Masonic regalia refers to the items of “uniform” that all Freemasons wear when they meet within a Lodge. Most people have heard that Freemasons were aprons as part of their masonic regalia but don’t know that there are difference types of apron for difference degrees and ranks as well as other items.
It is normal for a Lodge meeting that a Freemason with wear a dark suit, black tie and white gloves. Being a Freemason is a great honour and we respect that honour by always being dressed smartly and discretely when we meet. The wearing of white gloves is an interesting aspect of a Freemason’s masonic regalia and there has been much discussion about why we do it. One accepted view is that when Freemasons meet we wear white gloves as an indication of equality within Freemasonry. Historically, if a tradesman and a clerk met and then shook hands, the tradesman’s hands may well be rough and the clerk’s hands smooth, thus giving and indication of the what type of employment and social standing each other had. By the wearing of white gloves it meant that every Freemason’s hands looked clean and no other Freemason could make an assumption about another’s employment by the shaking of hands. As you will note from this website equality within Freemasonry is a very important aspect for us all.
In general terms, the aprons for craft masonry comes in 3 forms for the first, second and third degrees. But let’s just pause there for a second. We just mentioned craft masonry so what is that? Freemasonry covers not only those degrees that the most people have heard about but also a progression within Freemasonry that covers a number of orders or “side degrees”. No matter where they have ended up within Freemasonry everyone starts by being initiated within a craft Lodge, which is always referred to as their mother Lodge. Craft masonry is the very heart of Freemasonry and it is here that the vast amount of Freemasons conduct their meetings. Other orders or side degrees include:
- The Holy Royal Arch
- Knights Templar
- Mark Masons
- Royal & Select
- Allied Masonic Degree
- Order Of The Secret Monitor
- Ark Mariners
- Rose Croix
… to name but a few. But we are only dealing with craft masonry in this section.
When a Freemason is first initiated he is given a plain white leather apron that shows he has taken his first degree in Freemasonry and that he is at the start of his masonic career. After a while he will progress to the second degree in Freemasonry and at this stage he will be given a new apron which is white but with two light blue rosettes at the bottom. As he progresses further within Freemasonry the mason undertakes his third degree in Freemasonry and is then allowed to wear the apron of a Master Mason. This is a much grander apron and is made of soft white leather, trimmed in light blue material, has three light blue rosettes and silver embellishments. It the normal course of things it id the Lodge that lends the aprons for the first and second degrees but the Master Mason is required to pay for his own Master Masons Apron.
Okay, so we know that the Lodge will lend a first and second degree mason their apron but the question bodes, where do I buy masonic regalia from and how much does it cost?
There are a number of ways to buy masonic regalia depending on whether you want brand new masonic regalia or second hand. When a second degree Freemason knows that his third degree ceremony is getting close he is always best speaking to a more senior member of the Lodge about where to buy regalia from as they may know of someone who may be selling their past masonic regalia. This is normally a great way to start building masonic regalia as you get it at a reduced charge. Your first port of call for this should be your Lodge Secretary who will know exactly the right person to speak to. Also many Lodges have regalia sales during the course of the year when pre owned masonic regalia will be offered for sale to Freemasons in general and from other Lodges. You can also look at eBay which has a huge resource for masonic regalia but just make sure that you are buying the right piece of masonic regalia for both your degree and Lodge requirements. With pre owned regalia the advice if clear, if in doubt ask.
Moving on to buying new masonic regalia, you will find a number of online outlets as well as a few “real world” suppliers. By listing the suppliers below you should note that we have no affiliation or ties with any of the suppliers and cannot give any warranty for their use. That being said most Freemasons buy their masonic regalia on line and personally, the author has never had an issue.
I hope this page on masonic regalia has been of some help and if you have any questions please do not hesitate to drop us a line by clicking here.
What to do now?
At King Edward The 7th Lodge, we see ourselves as being a progressive and friendly body of men who enjoy talking to people about Freemasonry and explaining why we enjoy it so much.
There is a common misconception that you have to be invited to join Freemasonry by another Freemason, but this is just not the case. We welcome enquires and membership requests from men who have previously had no direct contact with Freemasonry and have a general interest in the work that we do along with wanting to be a part of a wonderful and global society.
If you have an interest in Freemasonry in Manchester and would like to speak to one of our members we would be more that happy to make arrangements and accommodate you. The first thing to do is send us a confidential email with your contact details and a short message so that we can organise a meeting and talk things through with you. All of us at King Edward The 7th Lodge found that talking through Freemasonry with a member was a great help in making the decision to join. There is no pressure to join us and we would hope that you took the time to meet other members of the Lodge, join us at a dinner and see for yourself what Freemasonry is all about.
Getting in contact with us could not be simpler, send us a confidential email by clicking here and we will do our best to get back to you within one working day.