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The Masonic Apron

"It may be that in coming years, upon your head may rest the laurel wreaths of victory; hanging from your breast, jewels fit to grace the diadem of an Eastern potentate; nay, more than these, with light added to coming light, your ambitious feet may tread round after round of the ladder that leads to fame in our mystic circle, and even the purple of the Fraternity may rest upon your honored shoulders; but never again from mortal hands, never again until your enfranchised spirit shall have passed upward and inward through the pearly gates, shall any honor be distinguished, be emblematical of purity and perfection, be conferred upon you as this which I now bestow.

It is yours; yours to wear through an honorable life, and at your death to be placed upon the coffin which shall enclose your lifeless remains, and with them laid beneath the silent clods of the valley.

Let its pure and spotless surface be to you an ever present reminder of a purity of life and rectitude of conduct, a never-ending argument for nobler deeds, for higher thoughts, for greater achievements.

And when at last your weary feet shall have come to the end of life's toilsome journey, and from your nerveless grasp shall drop forever the working tools of life, may the record of your life and actions be as pure and spotless as this fair emblem which I place within your hands tonight; and when your trembling soul shall stand naked and alone before the Great White Throne, there to receive judgment for deeds done while here in the body, may it be your portion to hear from him who sitteth as the Judge Supreme the welcome words: ‘Well done, thou good and faithful servant! They hast been faithful over a few things; I will make thee ruler over many things! Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."

The shape of our Apron is that of a square to teach you to fashion your Masonic life upon the square of Virtue. Standing boldly before the world inviting the security of all; from the North, the South, the West and the East. A true Mason lives and dies upon the square.

The flap is triangular to teach you the Triple duty of an upright Mason. First: Duty to God and acknowledge Him to be your God; Second: Duty to your Neighbor by practicing the golden rule; Third: Duty to yourself by establishing the noble self respect of one made in the image of his God.

The border of Blue is the color of Heaven to teach you that the Mason with his triple duty done, will see and salute the Grand Master of us all.

The White surface symbolizes purity. Human nature is weak my brother and life is full of mistakes, but a true Mason should always bear in mind that the violation of his Obligation is an indelible stain never to be effaced by time.

The cord that encircles your body will teach you that the truths of Free Masonry encircles your daily life, and may that apron be laid upon your dead body as clean as I have given it in your keeping.

• Having seen this lecture again, it may be helpful to review what Ronald W Corey, P.M., Veedersburg Lodge #491 had to say to his Lodge:

Soon in our Masonic teachings we are presented with the "Lamb Skin or White Leather Apron". We are at that time informed that "it is an emblem of innocence and the badge of a mason."

We are also instructed to "wear it with equal pleasure to ourselves and honor to the fraternity."

My message is to remind you of those lessons that were given to you at that memorable moment in your Masonic career.

In most lodges it is the usual custom to invest a newly obligated brother with his apron on the night of his Entered Apprentice Degree. Then, hold it for him until the conferral of his Master Mason Degree at which time the information on the underside of the bib is filled in and given to him. Then, usually it is suggested to most of the brethren to take their apron home and put it on a shelf in a closet until the day when he meets with he who sits as judge supreme eternal in the heavens.

I am not saying that this is a bad custom as it does keep it in good repair for that use although it is however a good idea to inform the members of your family where it is at. What I am saying is do not put the lesson of the apron lecture in a closet with the apron.

Remember that that apron is but a symbol, a reminder of purity of life and rectitude of conduct.

It is not only an emblem of the record of your actions but also your thoughts. It alone does not guarantee that you will "pass upward and inward through the Pearly Gates" but merely a badge to wear to remind you to "keep it and your life as clean and spotless as this fair emblem."

And as we can not put our life up on a shelf in a closet we need to symbolically wear that apron every waking hour of every day. Constantly striving to live as becomes a Child of Christ.

So, my brethren, get the symbolism of that apron out of the closet every morning and wear it proudly. Ensure that each acquaintance you make every hour of the day is a witness of your efforts to keep that apron as an emblem of innocence, unspotted by the world.

Prove by your actions that you are a Master Mason for actions truly do speak louder than words. ‘Let its pure and spotless surface be to you an ever present reminder of purity of life and conduct.’

Make it a point to wrap the ties of that symbol around your waist each day to remind you of the ties that bind us to our God, our Family, our neighbor, and ourselves. ‘So that we in age, as Master Masons, may enjoy the happy reflections consequent on a well spent life and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.’"

 

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