I hate that I even have to write this post but I again am calling out to my cyber-brethren for some advice and experience.
I hope this is not anything like my last post where I asked the Masonic blogosphere for some insight and personal experience and heard nothing back, see Discourse, or lack of, on The Chamber of Reflection. I guess the electronic brethren were too busy fighting each other over at The Burning Taper. But I digress.
Anyway, last night I answered the call of the other lodge in my city who were short on brothers to help out with a memorial service for a brother of theirs that passed on to the celestial lodge. I had never performed that most important duty and was glad to help the lodge that first met with me in Masonry. When I found out about the need, I immediately went to my Grand Lodges Web site because Connecticut has spent a lot of time developing their site and has a lot of stuff available electronically. Under the policy and procedures tab I quickly found Masonic Funerals and dove in head first.
Over the summer the combined lodges of my city performed a re dedication and memorial service at the grave site of our first Worshipful Master that I took part in. It was a beautiful ceremony enjoyed by all who attended. It was then that I realized the importance of the Masonic funeral service. Although we did not do the entire funeral service at the re dedication we did do some of the more symbolic parts of the service. It is very powerful ritual. For those interested who do not know visit: Masonic Funerals its a PDF available to all. When performed with dignity and quality, it is one of the best examples our fraternity can give to the public of the deeper meaning of our craft. More importantly it is the last thing we give a Brother that gave to us his devotion. Many of the people gathered for the re dedication told me after how moving a ceremony it was and how it shed such a good light about us.
Back to my quandary. After reacquainting myself with the procedure for a proper funeral service I met up with the brethren at the funeral home and while putting on the regalia we started to go over what was to go on during the service. Being freshly reacquainted with the material I tried to point out some of the disparities that we were about to perform to the family and friends of our deceased brother. I was told by a Past Master of their lodge that that was how they do things and dutifully proceeded to perform the service even though I knew we were doing things wrong. I will not go into details, but it was not just a trivial ritualistic misunderstanding that could be explained by "this is how we do it". Not that anyone observing the ceremony would know the difference, but I did, and along with some other things that I did not like about "how they do things", I left very frustrated with myself for not standing up for what I knew to be right because I did not want to offend a Past Master. I always remember the words of one of my brothers who told me that I was just as much a Master Mason as any other brother no matter how long they have served or how much gold and purple they wear. I did not heed those words. I would like to do so in the future without stepping on toes.
How can I?