Today I was looking through Twitter and a Brother I follow retweeted a piece by a Brother I know named Dave Bacon. Dave is a younger Mason who lives in Canton, Ohio and works as a tattoo artist. The piece Brother Bacon published Dressing for lodge: The art of looking sharp. is from last year but I believe is timeless in it’s message.
Dave talks about his progression from being profane and never liking to get dressed through his progression to the Master Mason degree and his dressing for lodge makes him feel great and how it makes his monthly visit to lodge a special thing in his life. He also mentions that the ritual of getting dressed in his finer wear helps him mentally prepare for his job at hand and helps him get in the right mindset for such a great and important undertaking. He doesn’t say it in his article but it reminds me of when we prepare a candidate for a degree where each garment has a symbolic purpose and is meant to help him mentally prepare for the the degree in which he will participate thereby transforming from being a man and into a Mason.
I have heard the old cliche “It is the inward not the outward” argument one thousand times (Wouldn’t it be great if some Brethren retained other pieces of ritual for use in their daily lives instead of pieces which may bolster their arguments?) But Masonry is supposed to teach us to become better men, and although a style of dress won’t make you a better man, but much like through history when a boy becomes a man he adopts a more sophisticated style of dress and deportment which shows he is becoming a man who can be trusted and is responsible enough to be placed in a position of authority. Obviously dress isn’t the only qualification someone will look for but it is one of several. (Hopefully Masonry will teach you these other qualifications also)
Don’t get me wrong Brethren. I am not saying if you don’t have a suit then don’t go to lodge, quite the opposite. I just hope this article is food for thought and you will consider following Brother Bacon’s lead but no matter what you decide to wear I just ask you to please go to lodge! We need you!