San Diego division IX website
Use of Rods & Staffs by Deacons and Stewards
As submitted to http://bessel.org, by Masons of various lodges. Reprinted with the gracious permission of Bro. Paul Bessel, PM, past Senior Grand Warden of the GL of Washington DC
This is how the rods and staffs are used in lodges in some states. If
more is submitted, I will add them.
Colorado: Deacons and Stewards both carry rods whenever they move from their place. Deacons rods are blue; Stewards rods are white.
Connecticut: In Connecticut Deacons and Stewards are to carry their rods in the performance of their duty.
District of Columbia: Deacons move in lodge during opening & closing without ever carrying staffs or rods. Stewards use rods or staffs during degree work. Deacons and Stewards use rods and staffs when receiving the Grand Master in lodges.
Kansas: The rods are an integral part of the uniform and are carried by the Deacons and Stewards at almost all times when they move from their stations. They are carried vertically, with the base about 6 inches off the floor, arm in a natural, loose, downward position, in a loose grip between the thumb and first two fingers, with the fingers pointing down, on the right shoulder. When the right hand is in use, e.g. receiving the pass and token of the pass, there is a 4 step movement to place it on the left shoulder, where they are carried in a like manner. After completion of the duty, they are returned to the right shoulder, again, in 4 steps. If both hands are required, e.g. saluting the master, the rod butt is placed on the floor and the rod is leaned against the right shoulder, freeing both hands. When placing the Great Lights, the rod is placed in a stand next to the altar. When escorting visitors or conducting candidates, the rod is carried in the right, and the person is gripped with the left. There are no special rod salutes. The only time I can think of when the rod is not carried, is when the Senior Deacon is conducting voting. Rod colors are not specified. My lodge uses white for Stewards and dark wood for Deacons. Other lodges I have visited are mostly all one or the other, white or wood tone. Our rod stands are three footed brass, oriented as the Lesser Lights. Others I have seen are often round or square.
Minnesota: In Minnesota, Deacons and Stewards are directed to carry their rods at an angle of 23.5 degrees from the vertical, reflecting the tilt of the earth's axis from the plane of its orbit.
New Jersey: From message: In New Jersey, our Deacons, Stewards, and Masters of Ceremonies all have rods and always carry them when whenever they move about the lodge (which for Stewards and Masters of Ceremonies is only during degree work).
Oregon: Deacons move in lodge during opening & closing without ever carrying staffs or rods. Deacons & Stewards use rods or staffs during degree work. Deacons and Stewards use rods and staffs when receiving the Grand Master in lodges.
Texas: The only time we use rods in Texas is when we receive the Grand Master or his personal representative into the Lodge room. This is done by the Deacons as they lock the tops together to form an arch over the honoree and the two Past Masters that escort him. They follow the three from the door to the altar and as the honoree is escorted by one of the PM's to the East the Deacons part their rods and return to their stations. From another email message: For reception of the DDGM on his official visits to lodges, "The escorts, one on each side of the District Deputy Grand Master, will approach the altar with the distinguished guest, the Deacons forming an angle with their rods above the head of the District Deputy Grand Master."
Virginia: Deacons never move in lodge without carrying their staffs. The angle is 45 degrees. Stewards never use their rods for any purpose.