Masonic Appellations, and Pre and Post Nominals

Most Worshipful, Right Worshipful, Very Worshipful, Worshipful Brothers, Brothers All !

The below details what position determined what Masonic Appellation a brother can use in Victoria.

Rule 9 of the

CONSTITUTIONS OF THE UNITED GRAND LODGE

of Antient Free and Accepted Masons

OF VICTORIA

dopted by Grand Lodge on March 21, 2009

states;

The Present and Past Grand Masters and the Present and Past Pro Grand Masters are entitled to the appellation, “Most Worshipful”. The prefix “Right Worshipful” is accorded to and may be used only by the Present and Past Deputy Grand Masters and the Present and Past Grand Wardens. The prefix “Very Worshipful” may be used only by the Present and Past Grand Chaplains, the Present and Past Grand Treasurers, the Present and Past Grand Registrars, the Present and Past Presidents of the Board of General Purposes, the Present and Past Presidents of the Board of Benevolence, the Present and Past Grand Superintendents of Works, the Present and Past Grand Superintedents of Membership, the Present and Past Grand Secretaries, the Present and Past Grand Inspectors of Workings, the Present and Past Grand Superintendents of Communication, the Present and Past Grand Superintendents of Education, the Present and Past Grand Directors of Ceremonies, Present and Past Grand Directors of Music and no other The title or address “Worshipful” may be used by the Present and Past Masters of Lodges, and all other members should be styled or designated as “brother” only.

Devotion News -Edition No 95, Dec 2014 - Feb 2015

How to Spell Masonic Pre and Post Nominals

Wikipedia defines a Pre-nominal letters as a title which is placed before the name of a person as distinct from a post-nominal title which is placed after the name. Post-nominals are defined as letters written after someone’s name to indicate that he or she holds a particular honour or award (e.g. AO - Officer of the Order of Australia).

The Australian Concise Oxford Dictionary has no reference to either word but they have been adopted extensively within the Craft. It is this lack of positive guidance or direction that has resulted in their various, sometimes confusing use.

While it might be argued that it really does not matter, like grammar and spelling in the written or printed word, if presented correctly, confusion is obviated and ultimately, reading is more pleasurable.

In Victorian Freemasonry we have five pre-nominals:

Most Worshipful

Right Worshipful

Very Worshipful

Worshipful

and of course, Brother, which is very often added to any or all the above.

There are over 80 positions within Grand Lodge to which post-nominals often refer.

Within the Book of Constitutions there is no reference to abbreviations for any of either Pre or Post- Nominals - yet we use them all the time.

For example, WorBro, Wor.Bro.,Wor Bro,W.Bro or any other combination, without spaces and/or full stops is probably the most common pre-nominal.

Since there appears to be no assistance for the matter in the Book of Constitutions, the next point of reference is the often under-appreciated, Secretary’s Handbook. There all things are clearer.

Most Worshipful Brother is abbreviated to MWBro.

Right Worshipful Brother is abbreviated to RWBro.

Very Worshipful Brother is abbreviated to VWBro.

Worshipful Brother is abbreviated to WBro.

Brother is abbreviated to Bro.

Note that in all cases, there is a full stop.

Below is a list of Masonic Titles and Ranks

The gaps in the list of Post-nominals may be due to oversights or the fact that the latest Secretary’s Handbook was published in 2008.

At first glance there are a few anomalies. GLHer. refers to both Grand Herald and Grand Lodge Herald (yes, they are different titles) and importantly, there is no reference to Immediate Past Master.

It is said that Masonic Post-nominals should be listed after all educational, civic or military ones. For example, WBro. Fred Smithringthorp, AO, MBA, PGStwd.

I can find no instructions for the correct use or spelling Post-nominals, so if any reader can advise me, it would be greatly appreciated.

Almost as a footnote the Secretary’s Handbook states that no Masonic Abbreviation should appear on an envelope (presumably on one that is posted).

VWBro Andy McKay, PGIWkgs.

Source: Book of Constitutions, Secretary’s Handbook 2008.

(yes, Andy did not put a full stop after “VWBro.” Hehehe – I think he wrote this for me. Ed . *smiles* )