Why is the need felt by Freemasons to wear masonic aprons?
Wearing an apron is a symbol of delight for Freemasons. It is an act that links them with the historical stonemasons.
In the middle ages, stonemasons wore a leather apron to carry the tools of their work.
In the beliefs of Freemasonry, an apron is a sign of innocence and the badge of admiration.
In England, during the 1700s when the fraternity was initially made, the founders looked for genuine customs and rituals that could connect them with the stonemasons.
One of the best connections they came up with, was the apron. Stonemasons used them to not only to carry their eveday tools but also guard themselves from rough stones.
That is the reason that, recently, it has become an emblem of fraternal uniqueness.
However, today’s Masonic aprons have evolved from time and time again. They are not only used in comarison with the stonemasons but also with the noblest adornment of ancient Rome and modern Europe.
A brief History of The Masonic Aprons
In the ancient times, the aprons were made from skin extracted from animals. The stonemasons frequently used lambskin and prepared long aprons from it, espacially in the 18th century. They had collar-jewels with flaps that were down too.
It can be said that it was trendy in that era but soon fell into disapproval.
People started taking off the flaps in the next 100 years or so and began to minimize the overall length of it.
Looking into all of these discomforts, the designers of that time altered it a little to make it more suitable.
For example, they gave it a suitable, knee-length size and also began to indulge into softer fabrics like silk, satin, and velvet. It not only reduced the overall weight, but also made the Freemasons feel more at ease.
With a view to make the aprons more bountiful, its corners were trimmed to give it a more circular shape. But, in the late 18th century, the mode of wearing was also modified. The Masons started wearing it upside down!
This biggest change happened in the period of Modern Masons, as they needed to appear modern at the same time keeping their connection with the stonemasons.
They started strapping it around their bellies to prevent its downward hanging, as they felt it gave the audience a feeling that they were the working masons and not the modern Freemasons.
The most modern Masonic aprons, decorated with all the symbols, which you can easily witness in today’s time, were shaped and designed at the start of the 20th century.
The Freemasons began to use embroidery in their apron for decoration purposes. There were some minute modifications made for distinction.
For example, they brought about purple edging in the Masonic aprons worn by the Grand Officers and light blue for the Master Masons in their lodges.
Some fascinating facts About the Masonic aprons
There are some fascinating facts about the masonic aprons. Some of them are discussed below:
- An apron doesn’t just act as an apron in Freemasonry. It is an inheritance from the history. The members of the lodge wear it with pride as a badge of pride.
- Its appearance can vary according to your rank in the lodge. For instance, the Entered Apprentice wears a plain white lambskin devoid of any ornament.The Fellowcraft also uses the plain white lambskin but they have two sky-blue rosettes at the end. Master Masons also use the same colour apron however they also have sky blue lining and edging with an additional rosette.
- Grand Officers of the lodge have more elaborately designed masonic aprons. Usually, they purchase their own masonic aprons and don’t get them from the lodges.
- The white color on an apron is a symbol of purity and sacrifice.
- Masons can wear an apron on special events as well to show their pride in the fraternity.
- The material of the apron is specifically lambskin. It is due to the reason that a lamb is a symbol of purity and innocence. It sacrifices his own life to provide others, which Freemasons do as well by giving charity and supporting their brothers.
- You need to keep your apron spotless at all times, as it is a symbol of cleanliness.
As a Freemason, it is significant for you to keep the apron with you all your life. They bury it with you if you die as a Freemason.
You should always wear your apron with pride.
It shows your rank and also conveys to a common person that you have risen above the roughness and the unawareness of men.
If your local lodge doesn’t provide the apron, you can purchase it online as well. They are available and you can buy some additional ornaments as well, like apron case and gloves.
>>Read more Why did you become a Freemason?