Titles and Their Seekers

From the Blog of Chris Hodapp, Author, Freemasons for Dummies


Many years ago, my wife and I were in Paris, and we stopped in one afternoon at the Grand Lodge building of the Grande Loge Nationale Française. We had the pleasure of being shown around the building by a lodge secretary, and my wife was asking him questions about the French phraseology of Masonic titles. At one point, he made an observation that some men who join the fraternity feel unimportant in their daily lives.

"He might be a shoemaker, or a janitor, or a taxi driver, or a clerk in a large corporation whose name his boss doesn't know. And he might feel like an absolute failure in his personal life. But when he becomes a Mason, everything changes. In here, he can be a grand this, a venerable that, a most exalted or most sovereign or most worshipful something or other. To some of these men, there will never be anything more important for as long as they live to have such a title, and to collect as many of them as they can. And that is our greatest shame in Freemasonry, that so many Masons have so long ago forgotten that we are all supposed to be equal within the walls of our lodges."

I'm not usually in the habit of sending readers to The Past Bastard Masonic satire site, but there's no two ways about it: Today's entry is not satirical. It's not even an exaggeration. It's dead on.

Shriner with many medals