Living to Work or Working to Live

Your Masonic Payday.

By: Thomas L. Schenk
Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Thomas L. Schenk Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Ancient Masonic Wages

Ancient Masons were paid in Corn, Wine, and Oil.

ln operative Freemasonry the Master was paid the highest wages, and he was paid in Corn, Wine and Oil and sometimes, Coin of the realm. Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft wages were paid less than the Master and were usually paid with meat and drink.

Wages of a Speculative Freemason

We as speculative Freemasons are not paid in coins. Instead, we earn our rewards by helping others with our time, being kind, and being of service to our fellow man.

We visit the sick, and the widows of our departed Brothers, and offer our services in any manner that might be of help.

The Bible tells us to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

Corn, Wine, and Oil

Corn, Wine, and Oil are Masonic elements of consecration. They are symbols, whose adoption has been supported by the highest antiquity. These three are the most important exports of some Eastern countries and have contributed to a lot of their wealth. They were seen as a significant support to their livelihood and as a source of sustenance and refreshment for the people.

Even King David spoke of Corn, Wine and Oil in the Bible. He regarded them among the greatest blessings a man could receive.

Psalm 104:15, “And Wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.”


Corn is carried in a golden pitcher and wine and oil are placed in silver vessels as a reminder that corn is essential and that it is of more importance and worthy of more honor than wine and oil which are mere comforts.

Your white lambskin, or Masonic apron is a symbol reminding us that we must have a pure heart and upright conduct to earn our rightful masonic wages.

We earn our final wages after we leave this world and exist in that house not made with hands, and we will receive our due wages for a life well spent doing the will of the Great Architect of the Universe.


Wine is refreshment and is a reminder of the eternal refreshment that good people receive in future life after they have performed their godly duties while here on Earth.


Kings, High Priests and Prophets were anointed with oil in biblical times.

Before a man or other things were dedicated to religious use, they were anointed with oil. Anointing with oil was an important ceremony among the Israelites. To this day. Christians still believe in anointing with oil.

Aaron and his sons who became priests were anointed with oil as part of their ordination. The Kings of Israel and the prophets were also consecrated to their offices by anointing them with oil. The Tabernacle in the wilderness and every holy vessel were anointed with oil as commanded by God.

Lodge Wages

Freemason Lodges were also consecrated with Corn, Wine and Oil. Corn, Wine and Oil remind us that we should be refreshed with God’s word and nourished with righteousness and start to rejoice with the unspeakable on the riches of divine grace.

ln the pilgrimage of life, we feed the hungry ones with part of our bread and give sorrowful people a cup of wine to cheer them up. Also, we are to pour healing oil into the wounds that sickness has made in the bodies of our acquaintances and into their hearts.

With excerpts from Brick Masons UK

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