Masonic Etiquette, Masonic Laws, Recognition, and "certainly friendly grip"

Discussion in 'Masonic Jurisprudence' started by Timothy Fleischer, Dec 20, 2010.

  1. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    Brothers,

    I have had a couple of instances occur lately that have put a bur under my saddle, so to speak. I'll give the background before I get to the questions.

    Here they are:
    Incident #1:
    Our small lodge held a fundraiser at a public event in our small town. Lots of people from other towns and other parts of the state came to the event. We had a banner with the Square and Compass and our Lodge name and number. A few Masons from other areas (hard to pinpoint) came up and greeted our brothers with that strong grip and the words "I'm a Master Mason from Lodge so-and-so." This was done in front of Masons and non Masons alike, including some of our newly initiated EAs.


    Incident #2:
    I attended a nearby lodge in a larger city in our district. I was greeted by some young brothers with that strong grip, both within the Lodgeroom and in the refreshment room. Afterward, we gathered a few of us at a local pub for more refreshment. Again, the other brother greeted us with that strong grip, this time in "public."

    Our lodge tradition: We do not use the grips -- any of them -- as a greeting with brothers from our own lodge or with visiting brethren. That is not our custom. We might use the grip, accompanied by the word, as a form of formal examination of a visiting brother who cannot be vouched for.


    My questions are several:

    1. Is there a Grand Lodge law, resolution or edict about this form of recognition? When is it proper to give the strong grip? Is it proper in mixed company of Master Masons, EAs, FCs and even non-Masons?

    2. What about with Prince Hall Masons? I read the resolution from 2007 about recognizing the authority and legitimacy and autocracy of Grand Lodge as well as Prince Hall Masons in Texas. Do I violate laws or obligations if I take a PH Mason by the grip?

    3. What does your lodge do in educating your young brothers about the appropriate times and/or places of giving the grips?

    It would be interesting to know both the Laws, as well as the Traditions of other Lodges in Texas, including Prince Hall; as well as other jurisdictions outside of Texas.

    I appreciate all and any comments as a chance to learn more.

    Tim
     
  2. Bro.BruceBenjamin

    Bro.BruceBenjamin Premium Member

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    It is customary not to give the real master grip outside of the lodge room. When it is used in the lodge room it is primarily for training and or use among lodge members known to each other. Most people greet on the first or second and I'm sure that goes for mainstream and pha alike. You do not use any signs or passwords among the uninitiated so as to keep cowans and eavesdroppers from obtaining that which they have not been entrusted with.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. jack357

    jack357 Premium Member

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    I have to concur with Bro. Benjamin.
     
  4. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    In my jurisdiction here in Germany, the EA grip is the only one allowed outside the temple. It is just meant to recognize a brother per se, not to determine the degree. As degree secrets are no topic for public discussions, it does not matter, what degree a brother has.
     
  5. owls84

    owls84 Moderator Premium Member

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    I like this idea. I know people that give a MM grip EVERYTIME they shake your hand and I for one don't remember the last time I did outside of Lodge. I usually just ask if you a traveling man if I don't know or simply say "Are you a Mason?" I am pretty bothered by this behavior and this could be up for resolution. This is a pretty good one. I don't think this is law in Texas but more or less tradition that has been lost.
     
  6. tom268

    tom268 Registered User

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    Well, here you are an EA for a much longer time than in the USA, usually between 9 and 12 months, sometimes longer, if the end of the time falls in the summer break. So you have a good chance to meet an EA or FC, when you meet a brother.
     
  7. Bro Whalon

    Bro Whalon Registered User

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    In agreeance with Bro Benjamin, I myself only greet on the EA. "How one may know another in the light as well as in the dark."
     
  8. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

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    You are right Tom. Perhaps this whole discussion/thread should be moved to The Quarry. However, I do not know how to initiate or even join The Quarry discussions.
     
  9. Bro. Bennett

    Bro. Bennett Premium Member

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    As most should know, the examination should be done in a private place whereby no one unworthy of the knowledge may gain insight into any of the secrets of said discussions. Therefore, any and all of the secrets should never be disclosed in a public place nor should any of the signs be revealed in a public place....
    Yabadabadoo Brothers.
     
  10. Colt.barker

    Colt.barker Registered User

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    I had a similar event happen to me. I was in traffic and saw the square and compass on the back of the vehicle in front of me, so when I passed him I just waved and he just gave me a weird look, then after I was infront of him he saw my s&c and once he passed me he stuck his head out his window and gave the sign of an EA. My immediate reaction was just to wave back to him as i recalled reading or being told not to give the signs or the due guard outside of the lodge.
     
  11. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    I have to agree with these statements. I don't use the sign in public and, if it is used inside the lodge in front of EAs or FCs, I wait until alone and then caution the brother so giving that he should be more careful. We need to be more guarded with our actions.

    Unwittingly, the last time I looked, was still an offense. What say ye?
     
  12. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    My Brother, are you sure about that?
     
  13. CarlGlas

    CarlGlas Registered User

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    Unfortunately, this site isn't safe from cowans and eavesdroppers.
     
  14. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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    I've used the strong grip outside of lodge to greet, but only discreetly and with those I know to be a MM. As far as the signs, I do not give those outside. I'm try to be always aware of my surroundings when doing either. I'm sure I could have done it without my knowledge before but not that I can remember right off the bat.
     
  15. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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  16. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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  17. Zack

    Zack Registered User

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  18. vanderson78102

    vanderson78102 Registered User

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    I suppose it could. I've done both. It depends on who I'm talking to and where it is.
     
  19. jwhoff

    jwhoff Premium Member

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    Agreed! In fact, such flamboyance is cautioned in each of the three degree obligations.
     

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