I just tried to explain to other day, during a zoom presentation, the peculiarities of an Observant lodge – to a European audience. Make no mistake, this was not an audience of “irregular” Masons, that some of us often call (sheepishly) Continental Masonry, this was a group of Masons from a jurisdiction and lodge in full amity with our Anglo-American type of Grand Lodges, starting with the UGLE.
As a diligent speaker, I started to list the distinctive characteristics of such lodges, like the candle lights, the solemn procession to enter the lodge, the music, the lectures (architectural drawings) presented in the lodge, the mandatory classy dress, the white gloves, the festive board (that is literally festive and elegant, with another educative presentation), and so on.
My audience seemed to be confused. Why, yeah, what is so special…?
Then I suddenly realized: everything I tried to explain, for them is more or less part of their everyday Masonry – that’s what they practice and that’s how they always did it. That’s why they couldn’t grasp why we need a separate type of lodge with a new name to do things that mean Masonry.
Instead, I needed to explain to them what Masonry is today in the non-observant lodges, I figured. I had to describe how we practice Masonry in the average lodges of our jurisdictions on this side of the pond. It wasn’t my proudest moment…
P.S. Did you know that in some places the “observant” type of lodges are called European Concept Lodges?