Traveling Gavel

Rules and Timelines

Please note that Aurora Gavel is not ready for travel yet, we are customizing a tag for it. but, if you see a gavel in our possession at the bottom of this page, read the rules and we will see you soon!

Aurora Lodge A.F. & A.M. Traveling Gavel 16 Thorndike St ·  Fitchburg, MA. 01420 http://www.aurora-lodge.com
Brethren the purpose of the Travelling Gavel Program aims to foster visitation and brotherhood within all districts of the Masonic lodges in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. There are some rules which govern certain use that some lodge gavels may have, please pay attention or request the use of the gavel from that lodge (it might not be able to leave the district from which the lodge is in). The gavel is never without a copy of the rules and the ledger of its history and travel (Some gavels may have rule plaques attached). The Lodge that holds the gavel will remain to do so until a group of Masons fitting within the requirements of the rules visits that Lodge and request that it be relinquished to them as per the following:

General rules:

LODGES OUTSIDE OF THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE TO CAPTURE THE AURORA GAVEL, OR ANY OTHER GAVELS WE HAVE IN POSSESSION.                            

1.   This Aurora gavel is for the use of the Masonic Lodges within the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Districts only (It may not be used in Massachusetts Masonic Japan, Chile, Cuba, or Panama) It is not to travel out of the state.

2. For a visiting Lodge to capture a Travelling Gavel that Aurora has in its possession, at least six (6) members of the same Lodge must attend before the opening of the Lodge. If additional members show up after the start of the Lodge opening, they will not be counted. Of the six (6) or more visiting: At least one (1) must be the Master or a Warden; at least one (1) must be a Past Master and at least one (2) must be an Officer other than the Master or Wardens. Current due cards may be requested, and all members must be in good standing. before the opening of the Lodge. If additional members show up after the start of the Lodge opening, they will not be counted. In addition, they must be present at the opening and stay until the Lodge is closed. In the interest of fairness, if a member of a visiting lodge is also a member of the lodge currently holding the gavel, he should not be considered a visitor and his attendance should not be included in any visiting lodge’s total.

3.   The gavel can only be obtained during a stated legal masonic meeting; it cannot be requested or presented to other groups The gavels can be presented or obtained at either at Stated or Called Communications. Under no circumstances is the “Installation of Officers” or a “Funeral Lodge” to be considered for presenting or obtaining a gavel.

4.   The gavel must be asked for by the visiting brethren during the meeting to obtain it. Stand, speak your name, lodge, and district, and ask for your group to be escorted to the East.

5.   The gavel is to be presented by the active current Worshipful Master of the possessing Lodge to the active current Worshipful Master or Senior Representative of the obtaining Lodge.

6.   Should more than one Lodge is present to challenge a gavel, the Lodge with the most members present will be successful in obtaining it. If each Lodge has an equal number of members at the meeting, the Lodge traveling the greater distance will obtain it. A coin flip by the Master may also decide, or other methods agreeable to the Lodges will be used to determine the new holder. The gavel will stay at the current Lodge unless one Lodge wishes to forfeit it.

7.   The Secretary of the obtaining Lodge must notify the District Deputy Grand Master and all Lodge Secretaries within the District as soon as possible, please also CC webmaster@aurora-lodge.com so an update on the travel page within our website can be made.

8.   The Date, Lodge Name, and member information must be recorded in the accompanying notebook.

9.   The gavel must be displayed in full view in the Lodge Room of the possessing Lodge at all open Lodge meetings.

10. Masonic Lodge groups from the same city or town that hold monthly communications in the same building are ineligible to possess the same gavel. The Travel Gavel is to travel, not to sit in one location.

11. The Aurora Travelling Gavel remains the property of Aurora Lodge A.F. & A.M. and may be recalled at any time. This clause overrides Rules 2,3,4,5 and 6.

12.

PURPOSE


The Traveling Gavel was implemented for the sole purpose of encouraging Brethren of the District to travel and visit other Lodges and to promote Brotherly love and affection.  The Gavel should be a source of pride for the Lodge that possesses it and equally so for any Lodge that successfully captures and takes the Gavel back to their own Lodge.
Masonic Lodge groups from the same city or town that hold monthly communications in the same building are ineligible to possess the same gavel. The Travel Gavel is to travel, not to sit in one location.

DISPLAY

To be displayed at all meetings in the EAST. Keep secure and clean, as of your other lodges’ furniture.Be Proud, your lodge traveled for it! Await ‘till the day another lodge comes for one.  

MAINTENANCE OF JOUNEY

. For historical posterity, a small notebook to record visitations and gavel ownership shall always accompany the Aurora gavel in its travels.

BACKGROUND

THE “TRAVELING GAVEL” IN FACT & LEGEND

MORE FACT than legend has it that the “Masonic Traveling Gavel” originated in the Middle Ages through social activities by the masters of trades or guilds. When these masters met socially, the host of the gathering presided over the evening with a specially designed Gavel. The very same Gavel was handed over to the guild whose number was the highest in attendance.

Since these informal social meetings were mostly held in a tavern, drinking became an integral part of the list of events for the evening’s activities. It was a time to relax and unwind from days of hard work. Drinking, singing, and merrymaking became the focal point of these gatherings.

The “Gavel” in time was replaced by a Grail, Chalice, or Goblet. Whatever one preferred to call it, it became the centerpiece displayed at the table. It was to remind everyone that it was not for a business that they had gathered. These trade and guild masters enjoyed a tremendous amount of respect not only within their own community but beyond the borders of their own regions.

Depending on their choice of trades, it took up to twelve years of rigorous learning and training to achieve the rank of Master. Since Fellowcrafts and apprentices were still in the state of acquiring the skills and knowledge of their trades, they were not permitted to join in or participate in these social “activities”.

Coral singing became one of the master’s best-known social functions. The chorus was comprised of men of the highest caliber in the art of singing who traveled throughout the land entertaining others and themselves. In time other groups from different regions emerged and contests were held in numerous places to determine who was best. An elaborately decorated Goblet was the prize – to keep until won or reclaimed by another guild. The most famous chorus of all was that of Nuremberg, which still practices the art of choral singing today. It is immortalized by Richard Wagner in Die Meistersinger von Nuremberg.

Freemasons, whose system of advancement is copied from the trades and guilds of the stonemasons of the Middle Ages, also adopted, in general, the idea of A “Traveling Gavel”. It is that Gavel that symbolizes fact and is part of the legend of the “Traveling Gavel” or “Goblet” of
the Masters in the Middle Ages. The Masonic history of the “TRAVELING GAVEL” and the “Meistersinger” are forever intertwined and will live on for all time.

Reprinted from an article submitted by;
R: .W:. Joseph T. Loeb, DSA;
Published in the Empire State Mason Spring 1993 issue, Vol. 41 No.1

11/19/2021 CWM, Wilder Gavel.

Gavel NamePrevious LodgeDateMembersDays Held
Wilder, Leominster MA.Charles W. Moore, Fitchburg MA11/19/219164 Days! -Wilder 5/2/22

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