Lodge Officer Duties - Tiler

Discussion in 'Officers of the Lodge' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    His Jewel is the Sword, by which he symbolically refuses entrance to anyone who is uninitiated in the Craft. The sword has no scabbard, as it is his symbolic duty to always have his sword drawn, ready for the defense of his post.

    The Tiler (or Tyler) Lodge and is sometimes known as the "Outer Guard". He sits outside the closed door of the lodge room, armed with a sword. The Tiler's duties and principle role is to ensure that only those who are duly qualified are allowed to enter the Lodge Room. He guards against cowans and eavesdroppers. During the Middle Ages, a cowan was a man who built stone walls of poor quality. He was an uninitiated or non-apprenticed stonemason...a "jackleg", if you will. While the Tiler is sometimes called upon to assist in the preparation of candidates, his chief duty is to (symbolically) keep unskilled workmen from overhearing the conversation within the Lodge Room.

    After the lodge members are inside the Lodge Room, the door closes and it is the Tiler's duty to decide whether late arrivals may enter. It is also his duty to make sure that each visitor is "properly clothed", which means they must be wearing their Masonic apron. To be fully and properly dressed before entrance into the Lodge Room, the visitor must be wearing their apron over the top (or on the outside) of their suit coat (never under their coat) and the apron strings must be fully tied before the Tiler will allow the visitor entrance. Some jurisdictions call this position the Outer Guard. The Tiler's position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
  2. NY.Light

    NY.Light Registered User

    What is the importance of having the apron over the jacket? Many pictures of Masons in the 18th and 19th Century portray masons with the aprons under the jacket. Not that I really care strongly one way or the other, just curious.
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I don't know either. In Kentucky we are required to wear it over our jacket. I think that it would look better under the jacket.
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  4. crono782

    crono782 Premium Member

    If you look at a lot of the old style jackets, they open out more and display the apron. Jackets today, buttoned, would easily cover the upper half or more. Personally I think that would look tacky.

    It also makes a bit of sense on the outside in that, for an apron to keep your clothes unsoiled, it must cover said clothes.
  5. Go49ersuk

    Go49ersuk Registered User

    It's quite common in the UK for the Tyler to be responsible for setting up the lodge room (temple) for the meeting and taking it down again at the end of the meeting, as well as the other duties that have already been mentioned in the article.

    It's the normal custom in the UK for aprons to be worn over the jacket.
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  6. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

    In Scotland they are usually worn inside the jacket, which then must be left open so that the apron flap shows. When wearing a double-breasted jacket or an overcoat the apron should be worn outside.

    Having worn aprons both inside and outside my jacket I can report that inside is MUCH more comfortable!
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  7. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    Varies jurisdiction to jurisdiction. New Jersey requires over the jacket unless you are wearing tails.
  8. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

    NY Light said;

    "What is the importance of having the apron over the jacket? Many pictures of Masons in the 18th and 19th Century portray masons with the aprons under the jacket. Not that I really care strongly one way or the other, just curious."

    While the GL of Scotland is hesitant to prescribe in too much detail what its daughter lodges must do, it strongly encourages the old Scottish custom of wearing the apron inside the jacket, with the proviso that the flap of the apron must be visible. This means the jacket must be worn unbuttoned. As in addition to belonging to a Scottish lodge I am also a member of a lodge under the GL of Newfoundland and Labrador, I have worn aprons both ways. Inside the jacket is MUCH more comfortable. Also, as the jacket is worn unbuttoned it has the advantage that if you put on a bit of weight around the middle, you don't have to buy a new jacket!

    Far be it for me to suggest that is why the Scots prefer wearing the apron inside the jacket!
  9. Bro. David F. Hill

    Bro. David F. Hill David F. Hill Premium Member

    It is also his duty to tell the late arrival what degree the lodge is opened under and to receive the password before the person enters.
    Headlight likes this.
  10. Matt L

    Matt L Site Benefactor

    We wear our apron outside of the jacket. Our Tiler uses a Confederate Officers Sword that's been in the lodge since the war between the states. Our Junior Warden and stewards are in charge of the meal and setting up the lodge.
  11. billyjfootball

    billyjfootball Registered User

    We have to wear them outside the jacket too. Our elected officers have to wear tuxedos with tails. So the apron fits really nicely with the jacket.

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  12. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    Also, outside of the jacket is necessary so that we may see the way and manner the apron is arranged so we know what degree the Brother has achieved.

    It would be hard to tell an EA from a MM in NJ if the apron was under a buttoned jacket.
    Bloke likes this.
  13. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

    In Scottish lodges the apron is usually worn inside the jacket. However, for exactly the reason mentioned above by Bro. Steve, the jacket is worn unbuttoned so that the flap shows.

    If the jacket is double-breasted, or the apron is being worn with an overcoat, it is then worn outside, as the flap must be visible.

    Having worn aprons both ways, I can state with confidence that inside the jacket is MUCH more comfortable - and has the additional advantage that you can wear a jacket that has become that little bit too tight to do up!
    Headlight likes this.
  14. Headlight

    Headlight Registered User

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  15. Keith C

    Keith C Registered User

    Same here in PA, Under the jacket with tails, over if a normal suit.

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