Page 30 - MFM Nov 2014
P. 30

Old Tyler Talks
Substitutes at Funerals

        Carl H. Claudy

“It’s too bad!” complained the New Brother, “I’ve got       “The world does judge by externals. As we make an
drawn on a funeral committee on the very day I want to      impressive appearance at a funeral, so do the profane
play golf. I wonder if I can find a substitute?”            judge us. If we make a poor and straggling appearance
“Very likely,” answered the Old Tiler. “The world is full   at a funeral, we are judged by those who do not know
of substitutes who perform the duties of people too         Masonry from the inside. Therefore it is important to
lazy, inefficient, and careless of the rights of others to  those who care for the good name of Masonry that
do it themselves.”                                          our funerals are well attended and that we conform to
“Oh, come now, don’t be so rough!” The New Brother          these outward marks of grief which custom has made
winced. “Going to funerals is all form. Why, I never        essential at a funeral.
even saw this deceased brother! What difference will it     “It is usual to have a funeral committee. In large lodges
make to him or his family if I go to his funeral myself or  it is more essential than in small, because in small
get someone else to go for me?”                             lodges everyone knows everyone else and goes to a
“No difference at all,” agreed the Old Tiler. “The only     funeral because he wants to. In large lodges we don’t
person to whom it will make any difference will be you.”    know everyone, and unless we have a committee we
“The difference it will make to me will be the difference   don’t put up the right kind of ‘front’ at a funeral. The
between being bored and having a good game of golf!”        more obscure and unknown the brother, the less the
asserted the New Brother.                                   size of the lodge turnout. Hence the committee, chosen
“It will make other difference.” The Old Tiler was very     by lot or alphabetical order.
emphatic. “One of them is that the only importance          “In this lodge we have many members and we chose
Masonry has is what it does to a man’s heart. Objectively,  fifty brethren by the alphabet. Once in twenty funerals
it is of less importance than the necktie he wears. The     your name will be drawn. If we have five funerals a year,
important part of Masonry is its leavening power on         which is average, you will be called upon once in four
that part of a man which is the ego, the person, the        years to aid your lodge to show its respect for the grief of
individual.                                                 the family of a departed brother, and show the profane
“The effect Masonry has on a man’s heart is aided           that Masonry honors its own.
by the mechanics of Masonry; temple, lodge room,            “You can get a substitute. I will substitute for you if you
dignity of the order, its public appearances, the respect   wish. I have no golf game to attract me. I substitute for
it shows to its dead, its educational work, appeal to       a many good men. Sometimes I substitute because of
the general public, its secrecy, its reputation of being    a real reason; business, absence, illness. Sometimes I
above party and politics, its alliance with all religion    substitute because a man is too careless and too lazy to
and its participation in none. These make Masonry           do his own work. But then, nothing I can do will help
objective, but they are the outward semblance of the        him. For the sake of the lodge I go in his place. For his
inward and spiritual Masonry. These you ought to            own sake I try to show him what a mistake he makes in
know for yourself: charity, relief, brotherly love, truth,  delegating to another the duty he owes his fraternity.
knowledge, self-sacrifice, tolerance.                       “Masonry means something in my heart. It means more
“But how can you separate the inward and spiritual          as its reputation grows. If anything I can do aids that
from the outward and objective? We build beautiful          reputation, I am glad. When is this funeral you want me
temples and meet in handsome lodge rooms, to express        to attend for you?
our love for our belief. We make lodge work dignified,      “I don’t want you to,” answered the New Brother. “I’ve
well done, impressive, to express to ourselves our sense    got to go now...”
of the dignity of the truths we teach. We conduct the       “What’s your hurry?” asked the Old Tiler.
funeral of a deceased brother, not to make a show           “I want to see the Secretary and tell him to put me down
before the world, but to express to ourselves our regret    as a possible substitute next time, when someone does
that a brother has departed and our conviction that he      what I was going to do- miss my chance to do my last
has but traveled upward to that Temple Not Made With        duty to one of my brethren.”
Hands, where the Supreme Architect waits for all who
Phaagvee3b0een builders upon earth.
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