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Algoma District Travelling Square


Grand Honours - November 15, 2010





A new member of our order might be quite confused when he first assists giving Grand Honours.  He might wonder at the significance of the several movements and be inquisitive as to their origin.  He will soon discover that Grand Honours are given to four ranks; Worshipful Brother, that is Worshipful Master rank or the recipient of the William Mercer Wilson Medal, three times; Very Worshipful rank, five times; Right Worshipful rank, seven times; and Grand Master rank, nine times.  These honours are given at installation and at the time of visitation in an official capacity of officers of the ranks.


Mackey's Encyclopaedia of Freemasonry claims this practice dates back to Greek and Roman times and has come to us through the operative craft.  Of course, ancient cultures were more ritualistic than we are and carried the practice to a much wider usage.


The Grand Lodge Bulletin of Alberta in its May 1973 issue explains the practice in this way:


"The practice has been adopted by the Masonic Order and various Grand Officers are accorded courtesies as are laid down in the constitution.


Freemasonry has put into these courtesies certain symbolism:


1. slapping the thighs - a primitive gesture of Joy, enthusiasm and Thanksgiving.


2. Crossing the arms over the breast is the formation of the Cross of St. Andrew and is a sign of respect and honour.


3. Clapping the hands above the head to form a right angle triangle, the fourth part of a circle, which does not need to be explained to a Mason.


4. Clapping the hands.   A sign of enthusiasm and appreciation.


Thus brethren, with Grand Honours we say to a visitor:


We welcome you with joy.


We receive you with respect and honour.


We greet you on the square.


We appreciate your presence."


Submitted by W. Bro. D. l. Garrett, Niagara Lodge No.2, G.R.C., Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario, to the 19BB Spring Edition of the Masonic Newsletter.


Presented by R.W. Bro. Rob Manz