White Gloves and Masonry

Discussion in 'Masonic Education' started by jonesvilletexas, Jan 18, 2009.

  1. jonesvilletexas

    jonesvilletexas Premium Member

    The Freemason is well versed in the symbolic responsibilities of the Lambskin, or White Leather Apron, but there are lessons to be found in the references to the White Gloves in the Master Mason’s Degree. The twelve Fellow Craft Masons, standing before King Solomon, wearing their white gloves and aprons, professing innocence and begging pardon, is an expressive example of a lesson within a lesson.

    It is easy to understand the purpose of an apron for stone workers as it served to carry their tools and protect them from the stones they worked. Likewise gloves were a necessary part of their wear to protect their hands and the hands were critical to their work. To the early masons, the hands were the source of their labor and represented the builder within them. The hands were the seat of feeling and allowed them to perform the action of creating buildings from stone. Not only to protect the hands were gloves needed, they were to preserve the cleanliness of the hands, thus insuring the perfection of the work. Thus the White Gloves were to represent the innocence of the act performed and purity in action. It is not without forethought that our ancient Brethren wore their white gloves before the King.

    Beyond that expression of innocence is a deeper lesson for us. Our hands are the source of our actions and we should guard them accordingly. The left hand serves as a constant reminder of equity and justice toward all. Always maintaining a true and sincere freedom from bias, we should strive to be fair in all of our actions. The right hand is recognized as the seat of fidelity and, since fidelity means a strict faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty, we must pay due attention to the protection of the right. When we take a Brother by the hand, we act and expect action with sincerity. This mark of friendship and Brotherly Love reaches out to show our trust and fidelity, and truly does allow one Mason to know another, “in the dark as well as in the light. The White Gloves should always remind us of that sincerity and we should act accordingly.

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