Master’s Message – July/August 2022

Master’s Message

There may be no greater honor for a Master Mason to be elected to the office of Worshipful Master. It is common for the newly initiated brother to feel some sort of pride or privilege. They are invested with the jewel of his office along with the warrant and other implements concordant with his new role. It is common in some lodges that the newly installed Master is gifted a gavel or some sort of jewel.

As we are taught in our degrees the Master is known for his head being covered by a hat or some suitable covering. Why is that? Is it because of the light coming from the East? Is he shading his eyes to better see the craft? Seems like a reasonable answer. What if there was something more to it than that? What if it has something more to do with King Solomon or any king for that matter?

The hat is a contemporary relic, where a king or monarch would remain covered when all others would uncover. The Master’s hat therefore is a symbol of authority and reminds the brethren of the Worshipful Master’s role.

That monarchs wear crowns-or hats-as a right when all others are uncovered, has been sung by poets of all ages. In Scott’s “Lady of the Lake,” Ellen Douglas is taken to see the King, little suspecting who he is:

“On many a splendid garb she gazed
Then turned bewildered and amazed
For all stood bare, and in the room Fitz-James alone wore a cap and plume,
To him each lady’s look was lent On him each courtier’s eye was bent;
Midst furs and silks and jewels sheen He stood, in simple Lincoln green.
The center of the glittering ring And Snowden’s knight is Scotland’s King!”

The King never uncovered. He wore the crown where he would, even in the House of God. All had to uncover before the King, as all had to retreat from his presence by moving backward —a custom which continues even today in ceremonial audiences in England -that no one might “turn his back on the sovereign.”

Fraternally yours,

Michael S. Romano,
Worshipful Master

June 26, 2022 at 8:30 am | Masonic Light

Lafayette Lodge in the News

Thanks to the reestablishment of local online news outlet, TAPintoRahway and reporter/editor, David Brighouse, Lafayette Lodge has featured in several news articles in the past year.

Rahway Woman Who Met Lafayette

2021 Wreaths Across America

An Evening with Lafayette (The Lafayette Trail Marker)

2022 Scholarship Night

June 13, 2022 at 8:12 am | Announcements

Master’s Message – June 2022

Master’s Message

If church leaders the world over stood at their lecterns and asked their congregation the following question “Who was killed, buried, and was raised from the dead?” I am confident the overwhelming majority would reply “Jesus Christ”, while few may answer “Lazarus”, though he simply died, he was not murdered. There would be a very few who would retort, and perhaps under their breath, “Hiram Abiff”. That sublime few who answered the question with Hiram Abiff would draw a mix of confused and perhaps angered glares from the gallery.

Hiram Abiff as we know him is not actually referenced in scripture by that name. Being a key figure in the sublime degree his debut is in the second degree. Biblically he was known as Hiram-abi, or occasionally as Huran-abi.

As a noun the word ‘ab means father, though more specifically a social relationship and less of biological one. Imagine the old-timer in the neighborhood that you lent an ear to as he recounted tales of the old days, or a coach that inspired you to practice endless hours. On the other hand, other scholars interpret ‘ab to mean ‘father-less’. This would make more sense Masonically when thought of as the widow’s son. Whether you read it as “fatherly”, “father of”, or “father-less” one thing is for certain, all Masons should be inspired by and look up to Hiram.

I mention this now because as we come closer to the summer and a time when we spend less time amongst our brothers. There may be a particular brother you look up to in this ‘ab sort of way. Perhaps you are that brother others look up to for advice and counsel.

We are a Brotherhood rife with good nature and good will, men of selfless actions, though at times we are polluted with the narcissistic, the self-absorbed, and agents of megalomaniacal pursuits. So, as we prepare to go dark for the summer let not our actions darken. Let us keep in mind Hiram or Hurnan, keep in touch with that brother or brothers you look up to, be near at hand for your fellows who need you. Let us enjoy the summertime. Give us a chance to recharge, regroup, and rekindle our fraternity and let it continue to be an instrument of good, one that the Widows Son, the ‘ab, Hiram would be proud of.

I would like to take a moment to wish you, my brothers, a happy, healthy, and safe Father’s Day. Kiss you loved ones every time you see them and tell them you love them. A fathers’ love is pure and will live on long after we have left this world.

Fraternally yours,

Michael S. Romano,
Worshipful Master

May 28, 2022 at 8:00 am | Masonic Light

Master’s Message – May 2022

Master’s Message

In brief Hebrew is a Semitic language and the one to be considered “the language of the Jewish people”, which is attested from the 10th century BCE to the late Second Temple period. The core of the Torah (the first of the five books of the Hebrew Bible) is written in the Classical Hebrew, though much of the contemporary form is written Biblical Hebrew, which had flourished in the 6th century BCE around the time of the Babylonian exile. It is for this reason that the Jewish people consider Hebrew to be the “Holy Language”. I can employ numerous trestle boards writing about the history of this vast language, so instead I would like to only focus more precisely the third letter of Hebrew, specifically Gimel (ג). In Latin Gimel is the letter “G”.

Some speculate that the letter Gimel derives from the word “gamal” meaning camel. The symbol, (ג) can be interpreted as a walking animal with its head, body and fore-legs. Through deeper study and practice you can discover a more significant meaning, one that we as masons may find stimulating.

If we use gematria, a system of assigning numerical value to a word or phrase, Gimel personifies the number three. Symbolically it characterizes a man in motion, more specifically a wealthy man who is in pursuit of a pauper. This is an act of charity which is shown in reflection within the Hebrew alphabet by the placement of the letter that follows Gimel which is Delat (ד) which is a representation of a poor or lowly man. Moreover the word Gimel is related to the word ‘gemmul’ which means “justified payment”, that is the giving of a reward or punishment.

Let us quickly see how, mystically, Gimel is used: in expression of its form it is symbolic of the expansion and contraction of the Infinite Light in the process of Creation. In its name it is the soul nursing from its source. In the aspect of Divinity it is the obligation to emulate God through charity and Gods continuous bestowal of love on man. If we contemplate it being in the third position of the Hebrew alphabet it is numerically symbolic of balance and stability, and the equilibrium found the within the primary elements found in Creation (air, fire and water). It symbolizes the three fathers, that of Isaac, Jacob and Abraham and also the three parts of the Torah: The Five Books of Moses, the Prophets, and the Writings.

It is clear that there is a deeper mystical connotation as to why the letter G is prominent among Freemasons. Coming from Hebrew it is obvious to us as a symbol not only of God and his love for us, but it is there also too remind us to practice charity and for us to keep a proper balance in our lives as men and as Freemasons. We should devote a brief portion of our days to sit back, close our eyes and quietly reflect on this humble character and see if it does not invoke in us some desire to be more generous, not only in our wealth of fortune, but more importantly the wealth of our wisdom; to learn to be more loving, not just of oneself but to all who shall pass our way.

Fraternally yours,

Michael S. Romano,
Worshipful Master

May 2, 2022 at 8:47 am | Masonic Light

An Evening with Lafayette – April 8, 2022

Lafayette Lodge is named in honor of Major General Marquis de Lafayette. On his Farewell Tour, General Lafayette was escorted through Rahway on September 24, 1824, and received at the nearby Peace Tavern that was located near the corner of Main Street and Monroe Street. Lafayette Lodge was granted its original charter during the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey on November 9th, 1824 and continues to be a pillar in the Masonic community as well as the local community.

After a year’s research, Lafayette Lodge was honored with a plaque to commemorate the General’s visit. The plaque is going to be presented by The Lafayette Trail, a non-profit organization whose mission it is to document, map, and mark General Lafayette’s footsteps on his Farewell Tour in 1824 and 1825.

On display, thanks to the Livingston Masonic Museum of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free & Accepted Masons of the State of New York, was Brother Lafayette’s Masonic apron.

Special guests for the evening included:

    Julien Icher and John Brecica of The Lafayette Trail, Inc.
    Representatives of the Grand Lodge of New York
    Representatives of the Grand Lodge of New Jersey
    Mayor of Rahway, Raymond Giacobbe
    Members of the Rahway City Council
    New Jersey Society of the Sons on the American Revolution Color Guard

April 9, 2022 at 7:34 am | Lafayette Events

Next Page »