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Visiting Brethren

Every Brother from abroad, or from any other Lodge, when he visits a Lodge, must be received with welcome and treated witch hospitality. He must be clothed, that is to say, Furnished with an Apron, and, if the Lodge uses them as every Lodge should, with Gloves, and, if a Past Master, with the jewel of his rank. He must be directed to a seat, and the utmost courtesy extended to him. If of distinguished rank in the Order, the honors due to that rank must be paid to him.

This hospitable and courteous spirit is derived from the ancient customs of the Craft, and is inculcated in all the Old Constitutions. Thus, in the Lansdowne Manuscript, it is directed "that every Mason receive or cherish strange Fellows when they come over the Country, and sett them on work, if they will work, as the manner is; that is to say, if the Mason have any mold stone in his place on work; and if he have none, the Mason shall refresh him with money unto the next Lodge." A similar regulation is found in all the other manuscripts of the Operative Masons; and from them the usage has descended to their speculative successors. At all Lodge banquets it is of obligation that a toast or sentiment shall be emphasized "to the Visiting Brethren." To neglect this would be a great breach of decorum.

The English Constitutions (Rule 149) state that "the Master and Wardens of a Lodge are enjoined to visit other Lodges as often as they conveniently can, in order that the same usages and customs may be observed throughout the Craft, and a good understanding cultivated amongst Freemasons."

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