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TILER

Also spelled “tyler.” In the Latin tegere (from which came “thatch”) meant cover, roof; tegulae were the tiles, pieces, slabs, used for roof-coverings. A tiler, therefore, is one who makes, or fastens on, tiles. Since in Operative Masonry the tiler was the workman who closed the building in, and hid its interior from outside view, the guardian of the entrance to the Lodge was figuratively called by this name. It was once supposed that “tiler” came from the French tailleur, a cutter, a hewer (from whence we have “tailor”), and it was accordingly spelled “tyler;” that, however, is incorrect, “tiler” being the correct spelling.

- Source: 100 Words in Masonry


TILER

An officer of a Symbolic Lodge, whose duty is to guard the door of the Lodge, and to permit no one to pass in who is not duly qualified, and who has not the permission of the Master. A necessary qualification of a Tiler is, therefore, that he should be a Master Mason. Although the Lodge may be opened in an inferior Degree, no one who has not advanced to the Third Degree can legally discharge the functions of Tiler.

As the Tiler is always compensated for his services, he is considered, in some sense, as the servant of the Lodge. It is, therefore, his duty to prepare the Lodge for its meetings, to arrange the furniture in its proper place, and to make all other arrangements for the convenience of the Lodge. The Tiler need not be a member of the Lodge which he tiles; and in fact, in large cities, one Brother very often performs the duties of Tiler of several Lodges.

This is a very important office, and, like that of the Master and Wardens, owes its existence, not to any conventional regulations, but to the very landmarks of the order; for, from the peculiar nature of our Institution, it is evident that there never could have been a meeting of Freemasons for Masonic purposes, unless a Tiler had been present to guard the Lodge from intrusion. The title is derived from the Operative Art; for as in Operative Masonry the Tiler, when the edifice is erected, finishes and covers it with the roof of tiles, so in Speculative Masonry, when the Lodge is duly organized, the Tiler closes the door and covers the sacred precincts from all intrusion.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry


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