Thursday, January 24, 2008

An Empty Chair at Lodge

Tonight I drove to Story City to preside at a Masonic Funeral Service for Brother Richard "Dick"Keech. He was not a member of my Lodge but the Brothers in Story City asked me to help them out and I was glad to do so. I have known Dick and his wife for a long time. Dick was a past master and he will be missed.

It got me to thinking about those empty chairs at lodge. When I was addressing the letters for the DeMolay Legion of Honor meeting I noticed a number of the Brothers who were still on the list but have passed to the Grand Lodge above.

First on the list was Brother Lyle Johnson, P.G.C.; Laverne Clary, P.G.M., Glenn Brown, P.G. M.; "Pete" Paschal, P.G.M; Dwaine Johnson, P.I.G.M. I knew each of these men and admired and respected them a lot.

I was also working with the data base for the pancake day which Ascension Commandery will have in March and noticed several names which I had to remove including Gene Moray, Adel Throckmorton, Robert Onstot and Jim Hoffman. I did the Masonic Service six times this year and I was proud to be able to do this last service for my brothers.

The service I use is one of hope. It speaks of the Brother going to receive his wages from the Master Builder. It says that he has gone with the workmanship of his Masonic character into the presence of a loving father, whose goodness and mercy know no bounds. It finishes with these words:
Soft and safe to you, my brother, be thy mortal bed; bright and beautiful be thy rising from it. With fragrance eternal may the sprig of acacia here flourish; May the buds of spring unfold their beauties over your resting place, and there may the sweetness of the summer's last rose linger.
I have been told many times how much the family appreciates these words. They are not mine. I put them together from other ceremonies but I did choose them and I am glad that their message of hope is comforting to the family and brothers in attendance.

Their chairs are now empty but our hearts are full with the memories we hold of them. I am so glad that I belong to this fraternity which has allowed me to know and have them as my brothers. Remember you are loved. Hugs, j

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