|WHAT IS FREEMASONRY
Freemasonry is the oldest and largest world
wide fraternity dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under
the Fatherhood of a Supreme Being. Although of a religious
nature, Freemasonry is not a religion. It urges its members,
however, to be faithful and devoted to their own religious
The organization of Freemasonry is based
on a system of Grand Lodges, each sovereign within its own
territory. There is no central authority governing all Grand
Lodges. However, to be acknowledged by others, acceptable
traditions, standards and practices must be maintained.
WHAT IT DOES
As a fraternity, Freemasonry provides
an opportunity for men to meet and enjoy friendly companionship.
In the spirit of helpfulness and brotherly love and guided
by strict moral principles it encourages goodwill toward all
mankind. Freemasonry is of a personal nature in its private
ceremonies. Its ritual dramatizes a philosophy of life based
on morality. It promotes self improvement. The tools of operative
masons are used to symbolize and teach the basic principles
of brotherly love, charity, and truth which Masons are encouraged
to practice in their daily lives. Charity is a tangible way
in which Masons help those whose circumstances in life fairly
Our traditions can be traced directly to
the associations of operative masons. They were men of outstanding
character and high ideals, who built the cathedrals, abbeys,
and castles of the Middle Ages.
With the decline of cathedral building
in the 17th Century, many guilds of stonemasons, called "Operative"
masons, started to accept into their membership those who
were not members of the masons' craft and called them "Speculative"
or "Accepted" masons.
It was in these groups, called lodges,
comprised mainly of "Accepted" masons that Freemasonry,
as we know it today, had its beginning.
In 1717, four such lodges, which had been
meeting regularly in London, united to form the first Grand
Lodge of England under the direction of a Grand Master. From
that first Grand Lodge, Freemasonry has spread throughout
the world. Today, some 150 Grand Lodges have a total membership
of approximately four million Masons.
One of Freemasonry's customs is not to
solicit members. However, anyone should feel free to approach
any Mason to seek further information about the Craft.
Membership is for men, 21 years of age
or older, who meet the qualifications and standards of character
and reputation, who are of good moral character, and who believe
in the existence of a supreme being.
A man who wants to join a lodge must be
recommended for by two members of that lodge. He must understand
that his character will be investigated. After approval by
the members of that lodge, he will be accepted as an applicant
for membership in Freemasonry.
The doors of Freemasonry are open to men
who seek harmony with their fellow man, feel the need for
self-improvement and wish to participate in making this world
a better place to live.
Any man who becomes a Mason is taught a
pattern for living - reverence, morality, kindness, honesty,
dependability and compassion. He must be prepared to honour
his country, uphold its laws and respect those in authority.
He must be prepared to maintain honourable relations with
others and be willing to share in Masonic activities. Freemasonry
is a way of life.