One of the five senses, and an important symbol in Freemasonry, because it is through it we receive instruction when ignorant, admonition when in danger, reproof when in error, and the claim of a Brother who is in distress. Without this sense, the Freemason would be crippled in the performance of all his duties; and hence deafness is deemed a disqualification for initiation.

Note: In recent years, Grand Masters have granted dispensations in many jurisdictions to those hearing impaired candidates who have shown the ability to communicate by lip-reading and hand-signing. Modifications in the ritual are made so the hearing impaired candidate is not blindfolded at the several stations and at the altar. This is another example proving that Freemasonry can change to meet the needs of a changing world.

This page is adapted from the Glossary at Phoenixmasonry — Used with permission.

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