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What is Freemasonry? (top of page)

 

Masonry is a Universal Fraternal tie that unites men of various social, cultural, religious and ethnic backgrounds. It is an institution that has been sanctioned by ages, venerated for wisdom and exalted for” light”. Its foundation is built upon a strong belief in God, Brotherly Love, Spiritual and Moral growth and the immortality of the soul. Masonry engages one in a life long study of self through various stages of learning. It is this introspection that deepens the Love every member has for the Creator, Family and Humanity. Masonry is one of the worlds foremost Fraternal Organization who’s number one objective is to “take good men and make them better”.

 

Is Freemasonry a Religion?(top of page)

 

Emphatically No! Although one of the main tenets on becoming a mason is a firm belief in the Supreme Being, in Masonry every man’s religion is equally respected and nothing will ever be imposed that will conflict or displace his religious beliefs. Masonry supports the religious prerogatives of all its members; and persecution for one’s religious beliefs is not tolerated. Moreover, Masonry and the study thereof accentuate and encourages’ one’s devotion and loyalty to their professed faith. Masonry and Religion is in many ways like the relationship between the Parent Teacher Association (P.T.A.) and Education.


Members of the P.T.A. believe in the importance of education. They emphasize the importance of education and its impact on the development of the individuals’ full potential. They encourage students to stay in school and parents to get involved with the education of their children. They also help with scholarships and encourage members to support their individual schools. However, the P.T.A. does not teach, nor do they tell people what schools to attend. They don’t tell people what to study or what their major should be. Masonry is in many instances the same way. Freemasonry does not tell a person which religion he should practice or how he should practice. That is between the individual and Creator. Masonry is a Fraternity not a Religion

 

Is Freemasonry a Secret Society?(top of page)

 

Absolutely not! Masonic insignia are on Buildings in public places all over the world and are never hidden from public scrutiny. Lodge meetings are advertised in newspapers, and there are many books in libraries and bookstores about the various aspects of Freemasonry. Masonic lodges sponsor many public and charitable events and often times march in parades and other public festivities. There are over 7 Million Masons in North America. Some have made essential contributions in Political, public or private sector of society past and present. Many Masons wear Masonic jewelry, clothing with Masonic insignia, etc. Mystery is not a key to the character of the Masonic Fraternity. Masons do enjoy distinguishing ways of identifying one another such as handshakes, embraces, and catchwords etc. which are all ways of brotherly recognition

 

How did Masonry begin?(top of page)

 

Masonry in its antiquity has existed in various forms and many students of masonry have tracked masonry from various points some from the 1700’s in England to the 1800’s in the “New World” some Masons go as far back as the Gnostic and early Christian era and many to the middle ages where the Moors helped bring Europe into light by introducing chemistry, agriculture, medicine, botany, religious freedom, masonry, the seven liberal arts and many other Civilizing and moralizing arts and sciences. See Books & Literature (Golden age of the Moors by Ivan Van Sertimer). Many astute masons track it back to the ancient civilization of Kemit and Kush which today we call Egypt and Ethiopia (respectively) Ethiopia is the place believed to be the remote origin of Man. The and Mystery Systems of Egypt strongly influenced the philosophies of all races, nations and people for thousands of years including the Greek and Roman civilizations. See Books & Literature (Stolen Legacy by G.M. James). When Freemasonry reached the shores of the New World in the early 18th century, Masonic lodges fashioned influential men who would make a lasting impact upon our rising nation through the drafting of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

 

Why does Freemasonry use symbols?(top of page)

 

Everyone uses symbols every day. We use them because they convey an idea quicker than words. When you see a stop sign you know what it means, even if you can’t read the word stop. The circle through the line means “not allowed” or “don’t”. In fact using symbols are the oldest way of teaching. The most readily recognized symbols in masonry are the compass and square and the letter G. In a way this symbol is kind of a trademark of the Fraternity kind of like the Golden arches are for Mc Donald’s. When you see the compass and square on a building you know masons meet there. The Square symbolizes things of the earth, it also symbolizes honor truth, integrity, truthfulness, and how we should relate to this world and the people in it. The Compass symbolizes things of the spirit, and the importance of a well developed spiritual life, and the importance of self control, keeping us within bounds. The G stands for geometry, the science which the ancient believed revealed the glory of the Creator and his works in the heavens. Other symbols are clear and are to help us in our everyday lives to stay focused and to make continuous strides and improvement within our every day life. For example, the gavel teaches the importance of self control and self discipline. The hour glass teaches us that time is always passing, and we should not put off important decisions

 

What are the requirements for membership?(top of page)

 

The only requirements to become a Mason is to be a man free born 21 years of age or older, sound in mind and body, a firm belief in the Creator and of good reputation. He should aspire to help others understanding there’s more to life than material gain. He should be open to the opinions and beliefs of others and be willing to grow and develop as a human and spiritual being.

 

How does one become a Mason?(top of page)


Becoming a Mason is a serious responsibility. Joining Freemasonry is like making a permanent life commitment to live a certain way. To live with honor and integrity and to be willing to share with and care about others. Having a sincere trust in one another and placing Supreme trust in the Creator. So this is why it has always been prohibited for a mason to ask someone to join the fraternity. To join and take on such responsibilities is something that has to be requested by the interested party for no one should be talked into such a decision. However, when a man decides he wants to become a mason, he asks a mason for a petition/ application. He then fills it out and returns it to that mason or the Secretary of the lodge. A committee will come and visit with the man and his family to discus more in detail what masonry is and answer any questions they may have. The committee reports its findings to the lodge. The lodge makes a decision whether or not he will be accepted. If the answer is yes the Secretary of the Blue lodge will schedule a day and time for the Entered Apprentice Degree. When the person finishes all three degrees, he will be a Master Mason and a full member of the Fraternity. Masons learn through a series of steps or “degrees”. These degrees of insight move from basic to more complex concepts. This no more hides the nature of Freemasonry from novice members than having a student understand fractions before calculus.

 

Why do Freemasons take Oaths?(top of page)

 

The solemn promises taken in Freemasonry are no different than the oaths taken in court or on entering the armed services. The much-discussed “penalties” judicial remnants from an earlier age, are symbolic, not literal. They refer only to the pain any honest man should feel at the thought of violating his word.

 

What is a Blue Lodge?(top of page)

 

There are different Rites in Freemasonry the most familiar are Scottish rite, York rite and Prince Hall Affiliation. Both Rites, as well as the PHA are very important due to the contributions they have made to humanity through their enlightened membership. However, although they have different methods of educating their members about their respective rites their out come is the same which is the self improvement and spiritual enlighten of their members and the upliftment of humanity. Each rite has what is called the Symbolical or Blue Lodge. The Blue lodge consists of three degrees. These degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Scottish Rite Freemasonry has 29 degrees 4th -32nd for those seeking to gain more light and a deeper understanding of the Symbolical or Blue Lodge Degrees. York Rite Freemasonry has 7 degrees.

 

What is Scottish Rite Freemasonry?(top of page)

 

It is a deeper study and understanding of the Teachings of the Blue Lodge more light if you will. An unvarying effort through its 29 degrees, (4th-32nd) to elevate the Divine and Spiritual characteristics within man, thereby aligning this with his nature, rational and moral sense, in a continuous effort to subdue and gain dominion over his lower desires, passions and sensual appetites.

 

How does the Scottish rite function?(top of page)

 

The Scottish rite in each State and City consist of Consistories which governs all degrees from 4th 33rd. These Consistories establish bylaws and set up Branches (Houses) to assist in the regulation of these degrees. See Classification and Grades of Freemasonry. However, These Consistories are mandated by The Supreme Council of the Southern and Western Hemisphere.

 

What is the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish rite of Freemasonry?(top of page)

 

The 33, otherwise known as the Sovereign Grand Inspector General is an Honorary Degree. This degree cannot be petitioned for like the previous degrees. It is the highest of Honors, which can only be conferred by the SUPREME COUNCIL Ancient Accepted Scottish rite of Freemasonry of the Southern and Western Hemispheres and upon those who may be elected to receive it by that high body which assembles yearly.

 

What is the Supreme Council of the Southern and Western Hemisphere?(top of page)

 

The Ancient Accepted Scottish rite is governed by a Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third and last degree. The Supreme Council is the parent body, elects its own members, and is self-perpetuating. It charters subordinate bodies in cities and states, which are called Valleys and Orients respectively. These subordinate bodies must observe the statues of the Supreme Council and the duly authorized and valid orders of the Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander which apply to them, but are otherwise autonomous. The hierarchical structure of all Supreme Councils throughout the world is the same. The only difference is that they are separate entities. Most Supreme Councils hold their active membership to 33 members all having the classification of Sovereign Grand Inspector General; there are Supreme Councils that have more than 33 members and some that has less. However, each Supreme Council builds its foundation off of the same Masonic tenets of Maximum service to God and humanity through Brotherly Love, Virtue, Charity Spiritual and Moral growth and development and the belief of the immortality of the soul.

 

 
 
     

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