Strictly speaking the word regalia from the Latin, regalia, meaning royal things, signifies the ornaments of a king or queen, and is applied to the apparatus used at a coronation, such as the crown, scepter, cross, mound, etc. But it has in modern times been loosely employed to signify almost any kind of ornaments. Hence the collar and jewel, and sometimes even the apron, are called by many Freemasons the regalia. The word has the early authority of Preston. In the second edition of his Illustrations (1775), when on the subject of funerals, he uses the expression, "the body, with the regalia placed thereon, and two swords crossed." And at the end of the service he directs that "the regalia and ornaments of the deceased, if an officer of a Lodge, are returned to the Master in due form, and with the usual ceremonies." Regalia cannot here mean the Bible and Book of Constitutions, for there is a place in another part of the procession appropriated to them.
It might have been supposed that, by regalia, Preston referred to some particular decorations of the Lodge, had not his subsequent editors, Jones and Oliver, both interpolated the word "other" before ornaments, so as to make the sentence read "regalia and other ornaments," thus clearly indicating that they deemed the regalia a part of the ornaments of the deceased. The word is thus used in one of the headings of the modern Constitutions of the Grand Lodge of England. But in the text the more correct words "clothing and insignia" (Rule 282) are employed. There is, however, so great an error in the use of the word regalia to denote Masonic clothing, that it would be better to avoid it.
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