Last month Lodge Devotion held a Table Lodge immediately after its regular meeting and it was considered a great success by all those who attended. However, given the success and the enjoyment we had on the evening, I was left pondering….why is it that Table Lodge meetings are not held more frequently and why have they been allowed to lapse as a Masonic priority ?
From time immemorial, Freemasons have enjoyed meeting about a “Festive Board” loaded with the fruits of their labour. In our colonial days, the Table Lodge meeting was Freemasonry’s greatest asset. It buoyed up the spirit of the colonists who were members of the Craft when they were at their lowest ebb.
Lawrence Dermot, the author of “Ahiman Rezon” (Constitutions of Masonry) remarked about a Table Lodge. “It was expedient to abolish the old custom of studying Geometry in the Lodge, and some younger Brethren made it appear that a good knife and fork, in the hands of a dexterous Brother, over proper Materials (food), would give great satisfaction and add more to the conviviality of the Lodge than the best Scale and Compasses in Europe”.
The Table Lodge meeting is a very successful and positive heritage of our past, which deserves serious consideration of revival. It has been stated that “The Table Lodge is a summary of Masonic Doctrine”. It prescribed reverence for Divinity and Moral Law. It strengthened the devotion that Masons held for the Lodge and Country. It increased unity and fellowship of the Craft.
For those Lodges who hold regular Table Lodge meetings I praise you for keeping this positive heritage alive. For those Lodges that have never held a Table Lodge meeting I actively encourage you to do so as soon as possible. It is my view that a Table Lodge meeting is one of Freemasonry’s greatest assets and is not a relic of the past. It is just as important today (...if not more important)as it was back in our colonial days !!!
MikeWorshipful Master 2014/15