A recent guest to a number of the Corby Lodges has been Bro.Daniel Hefft who has recently moved into the area.
Brother Daniel presented 3 roses to each of the masters of the lodges on his visit and has kindly written an explanation for his gift for the website, which can be found below his picture.
I urge you all to read it, as it contains really interesting information about Masonic customs in Germany, and should you ever have an opportunity to visit a Lodge there, you will better understand the reasoning behind the 3 roses.
Three roses (white, pink and red) are common gifts in German masonic rituals.
Three roses: – Artist unknown.
Indeed, the rose is such a powerful symbol in German Freemasonry that many lodges have the word rose as part of the lodge’s name.
For example, my mother lodge is called Zur Rose am Teutoburger Walde (The Rose of the Teutoburg Forest).
The three colours represent:
White – light (the spiritual realm)
Pink – love (the consciousness to wander between these two worlds on earth)
Red – life (the earthly realm)
Three roses are given to the candidate at his initiation (together with two pairs of white gloves; one pair for himself and one for his partner to point out that the sisters are appreciated as well) and placed after his death as a last love gift on his coffin. This last gesture of brotherly love is normally in conjunction with a small masonic poem:
Zu Haupt die sanft Erglühende (rosa Rose),die dunkle niederwärts (rote Rose),die weiße hold Erblühende, die leg ich Dir aufs Herz.
Translation : To the head, the soft glowing one (pink rose),the dark down (red rose),the white, the dainty blooming, I will put on your heart.)
At installation meetings (in German lodges called John’s Day and preferable celebrated on 23/24th June) the temple will be decorated with roses and the WM, assisted by the DC will give each brother a bunch of the three roses, which they decorate themselves.
When brethren are travelling far or are invited to other lodges, the WM will often get three roses gifted (traditionally tied up with a blue ribbon) (often along with another token gift which can be displayed in the lodges). This symbolises that we are all part of a worldwide fraternity and are connected in brotherly love.
On major wedding anniversaries the WM will often gift the brother and his partner a rose pin.
The pin just takes on a custom, which also applies in the mundane life:
The man receives an even number of flowers, the woman an odd. This custom goes back to the Pythagorean number symbolism (6th century BC).
And as we all know , the MMs apron is also decorated with three roses.