The Masons, or Freemasons, is a fraternal organization that traces its roots back to 13th-century stonemasons. Over 1.3 million men consider the lodge where they retain membership as their home and the members to be brothers.
Jump ahead to these sections:
- What Should You Include in a Masonic Obituary?
- Steps for Writing a Masonic Obituary
- Sample Masonic Obituaries
- Common Places to Post a Masonic Obituary
Though some think of the Masons as a religious organization unto themselves, many members still participate in a religious setting apart from the Masonic Order. Because of this, Masonic obituaries might contain information about Masonic activities in addition to religious beliefs. If you’re unsure of how to bridge the gap between both worlds and write a Mason’s obituary, read on for everything you need to know.
What Should You Include in a Masonic Obituary?
Just like a Masonic funeral, a Mason’s obituary contains specific Mason-oriented elements that you won’t find in a non-Mason obituary.
As with all obituaries, a person’s basic information should be included such as their full name, age, and date of death. If desired, you can also include the cause of death, though this is always optional.
Biographical information should be included about your loved one such as where they were born, where they went to school, major milestones such as career changes and marriage, and children.
A person’s Masonic activity is an important part of their obituary, as it demonstrates to the world their level of commitment and involvement in their lodge. Include information such as their degree, years of commitment, when they achieved special recognition such as a Grand Master appointment, and other related information.
If they were also involved in religious activities, include information about the place of worship they attended and any particular ways they were involved.
At the end of the obituary, include information on funeral or memorial services. If they’re public, state that all are welcome. If they’re invite-only, this should be stated, as well. Public funeral and memorial services should contain information on the date, time, and location of the service, along with any special instructions.
Steps for Writing a Masonic Obituary
Whether you’ve written an obituary before or you’re just learning how to write an obituary, you can follow these steps for guidance.
Gather information together
Before you start writing, gather all the information about your loved one together in one place. This will make the writing process easier. Find out about important dates, titles, and other information that you want to place in their biographical section.
Write the opening lines
The opening lines contain information about the person including their name, date of death, and age. Though non-Mason obituaries often say that a person died or passed away, many Masonic obituaries state that the person “laid down his working tools.” This is a Masonic way of saying they passed away.
Include a short biography
To begin this section, briefly mention the names of members of the family who are still living and those who predeceased your loved one.
Next, you’ll want to share biographical information. This can include items like where they grew up, where they went to college, when they married, their Masonic activities, major milestones, and other events they were proud of.
Add a poem or quote
If you’re feeling at a loss for words, you can insert a line or two from a Masonic funeral poem or a quote that is particularly relevant to their life.
Add information about services
At the end, include information about funeral and memorial services. Be sure to state whether services are private or open to the public. Include when and where they occur for public services.
Sample Masonic Obituaries
Before you write your loved one’s obituary, take a few minutes to read through these examples for inspiration.
Example Masonic obituary for a grandparent
William Rogers, 76, laid down his working tools on September 9, 2021, and passed away peacefully at Madison Hills Nursing Home. William was born to Bert and Betty Rogers in Plainview, Texas, where he grew up. He is survived by his two children, Bill Rogers and his wife Cheryl, and Jane and her husband Dan Mays, and his grandchildren, William Rogers III and Janet Mays. He was predeceased by his loving wife, Clara Rogers.
He attended Texas A&M and graduated with a degree in business. He met his fiance, Clara Lake, two days before graduation and moved to Madison Hills, Texas, to court her as soon as college concluded. They were married a year later and the couple had two children, Bill and Jane Rogers.
William was a long-time member of Madison Lodge where he rose in rank and became a Master Mason when he turned 40. He was highly involved in helping new members learn rites and progress through the degrees of freemasonry.
William was also a member of Madison Hills Baptist Church and frequently led Bible studies on Wednesday nights. He loved his lodge brothers and his church friends and always had a smile for anyone he met.
A Masonic funeral service will be held on September 13, 2021, at 1:00 pm, at Madison Hills Cemetery. All who knew William are invited to attend.
Example Masonic obituary for a parent
Tom Bradford, 53, laid down his working tools on December 4, 2021, after a long battle with cancer. He leaves behind his wife of 20 years Laura Bradford, his son, Harvey Bradford, and his father, Brandon Bradford. He was predeceased by his mother, Trish Bradford.
Of all the accomplishments Tom would want to be remembered for, his membership in Grey Lodge and his status as Master Mason are two of the most important. He loved spending time with his lodge brothers and helped promote awareness of freemasonry in his town and anywhere he traveled.
Tom Bradford was a wonderful example of a Mason, a husband, a father, and a friend. He always had time for others and was the first to lend a hand to someone in need.
A Masonic funeral will take place at Rolling Hills Cemetery on December 7, 2021, at 3:00 pm, and all are welcome to attend.
Example Masonic obituary for a partner or spouse
George Evans, beloved husband and devoted Mason, passed away from the world on January 19, 2021, at the age of 40. He leaves behind a devoted wife of ten years, Amber Evans, and a daughter, Amy Evans. He also leaves behind his parents, Dean and Debbie Evans, and his brother, Alex Evans.
George was most known for two things: loving his family and loving his lodge brothers. From the time he was young, he wanted to be a member of his local lodge. As soon as he turned 21, he joined Pine Forest Lodge where he was elevated to the status of Master Mason. He served in many areas during his years at the lodge.
George will be remembered for his lovingkindness, his dedication to helping others succeed, and his passion for his family and lodge brothers.
A private graveside service is planned for January 24, 2021, followed by a memorial service at Pine Forest Lodge at 2:00 pm, open to all.
Example Masonic obituary for a loved one without a spouse or child
Michael Fox, 32, was called from labor and laid down his working tools on March 15, 2021. He leaves behind his parents, Bert and Gracie Fox, brother, James Fox, and grandparents, Sheldon and Tracy Fox and Richard and Dottie Smith.
Though his life was short, Michael used the time he had well. He was a dedicated Mason involved in Saratoga Lodge and achieved the rank of a 32nd degree by the time he was 25. He had a wonderful sense of humor, encouraged everyone around him, and lived life to the fullest.
A private family service will be held on March 17, 2021, at Pineview Mortuary.
Common Places to Post a Masonic Obituary
While back in the day the only place to post an obituary was in the newspaper, today there are several places where you can share this information. Many of the options below provide for a budget-friendly option to share the news of a loved one’s passing with family and friends.
Newspapers remain a popular place for publishing obituaries to inform the general public about a loved one’s death. Publications can charge by the word, the line, or per section of the page, such as a quarter or half sheet for lengthy obituaries. Pictures often cost extra should you want to include them with the person’s published obituary.
One thing to note about many larger publications is that they often have publication deadlines, so you may not be able to publish your loved one’s obituary as fast as you wish. For deadlines, fees, and guidelines, you should contact your local newspaper’s editorial department.
Online memorial website
Online memorial sites are growing in popularity as a budget-friendly alternative to the traditional obituary published in a newspaper. While many online memorial sites are free to use, some charge a one-time fee to access all the features and others charge a monthly fee to use the full suite before archiving the website. Some websites allow you to keep the memorial site up indefinitely, as well.
Most online memorial sites offer a full suite of features including an unlimited word count for the obituary text, a featured picture or rotating picture frame, a photo and video album, and a digital guestbook where friends and family can comment and upload their own pictures and videos of your loved one.
More people than ever are taking to posting partial or whole obituaries on social media platforms to spread the word about their loved one’s passing as quickly as possible. Since social media has an unlimited reach, an obituary can be shared and re-shared between friends and family members.
Depending on the site you choose, you can post a full obituary (Facebook) or a limited death announcement with a link to the obituary published elsewhere (Twitter and Instagram).
Funeral home website
Many funeral homes are starting to offer add-on services such as obituary writing and memorial webpage hosting through the funeral home site. The benefit to going this route is that visitors to the memorial webpage can often access extra features such as sending flowers or condolences directly to the funeral home on behalf of the grieving family. Many also provide a donation button to allow for funeral donations in the person’s honor to help families pay for final expenses.
While some funeral homes offer this service for free, others charge a fee as an add-on service. It’s also important to check the funeral home’s website to see if the obituary webpages they host offer you all the features you want.
Honoring a Mason’s Life
Writing an obituary is one final way to honor your loved one’s life of service and devotion to their lodge, brothers, and beliefs. Take your time to think through how they’d want the world to remember them, and you’re sure to do their memory justice.