White Gloves and
From The Grand Lodge Of Texas
The Freemason is well versed in the symbolic responsibilities of
the Lambskin, or White Leather Apron, but there are lessons to be found in the
references to the White Gloves in the Master Mason’s Degree. The twelve Fellow
Craft Masons, standing before King Solomon, wearing their white gloves and
aprons, professing innocence and begging pardon, is an expressive example of a
lesson within a lesson.
It is easy to understand the purpose of an apron for stone workers as it served
to carry their tools and protect them from the stones they worked. Likewise
gloves were a necessary part of their wear to protect their hands and the hands
were critical to their work. To the early masons, the hands were the source of
their labor and represented the builder within them. The hands were the seat of
feeling and allowed them to perform the action of creating buildings from stone.
Not only to protect the hands were gloves needed, they were to preserve the
cleanliness of the hands, thus insuring the perfection of the work. Thus the
White Gloves were to represent the innocence of the act performed and purity in
action. It is not without forethought that our ancient Brethren wore their white
gloves before the King.
Beyond that expression of innocence is a deeper lesson for us. Our hands are the
source of our actions and we should guard them accordingly. The left hand serves
as a constant reminder of equity and justice toward all. Always maintaining a
true and sincere freedom from bias, we should strive to be fair in all of our
actions. The right hand is recognized as the seat of fidelity and, since
fidelity means a strict faithfulness to an obligation, trust, or duty, we must
pay due attention to the protection of the right. When we take a Brother by the
hand, we act and expect action with sincerity. This mark of friendship and
Brotherly Love reaches out to show our trust and fidelity, and truly does allow
one Mason to know another, “in the dark as well as in the light. The White
Gloves should always remind us of that sincerity and we should act accordingly.
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