What is Freemasonry
A system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols for the purpose of helping its initiates build free, beautiful, strong and wise selves.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest fraternal societies. It is concerned with moral and spiritual values. It offers members an opportunity to develop insights into themselves and the world around them. Its principles are taught by a series of ritual ceremonies with interconnected allegories and symbols, designed to facilitate a process of internal transformation for one to become a free builder. Members may not discuss politics or religion in Lodge meetings to ensure constant peace and harmony.
Freemasonry demands of its members a respect for the law. It is a progressive science which expects its members to be good citizens by practicing the highest social and moral standards in friendship, kindness, charity and integrity. It should be emphasized that its principles do not in any way conflict with your duties as a citizen whether civil, moral, or religious.
Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, and educational society. While requiring the belief in a Supreme Being, Freemasonry is non-religious and non-political.
WHERE AND WHEN DID FREEMASONRY START?
The earliest recorded “making” of a Freemason in England is that of Elias Ashmole in 1646.
Organized Freemasonry began with the founding of the Grand Lodge of England on the 24th of June 1717, the first Grand Lodge in the world. lreland followed in 1725 and Scotland in 1736. The general consensus amongst Masonic scholars is that it is descended directly or indirectly from the organization of operative stone masons who built the great cathedrals and castles of the middle ages. However, the legend of the Craft dates the origins of Freemasonry back to the building of the Temple of King Solomon in Jerusalem, around 1000BC. The Temple was the greatest and most magnificent monument to Man’s faith in God constructed during the Biblical era.
Is Freemasonry a secret society?
No, it is not secret society. It does not hide its principles or its locations.
We hold open events, like celebratory festive boards/banquets, participate in charitable activities like the Komen More than Pink Walk, the Alzheimer’s Association Walk, community back-to-school service events, supporting and attending community cultural events and promoting civic engagement.
Our Lodge and our Grand Lodge/HFAF maintain a comprehensive Masonic website on the internet which is completely open to the public. Members are actively encouraged to discuss their membership openly with family, friends and colleagues. These days, all Freemasons are encouraged to be open about their membership.
However, like most organizations, it does regard some aspects of its activities as confidential.
History of Secrecy - In the Middle Ages, people were predominantly illiterate. Therefore, symbols such as the square and compasses, modes of dress, handshakes and signs were used to distinguish an operative stone mason from a non-mason, and thus protect the highly prized technical know-how of their trade. The equivalent of a modern Trade Certificate or degree.
Developed long before our modern-day modes of communication, these secret signs and passwords were later used by speculative Freemasons to identify one another and to establish their degree or level of attainment in Freemasonry. These days, these modes of recognition are used solely as a ceremonial means of demonstrating that one is a Freemason when in Lodge meetings.
That a Freemason does not reveal these so-called secrets is basically a dramatic way of testing the good character of those who join. To become a Mason requires a person to continually observe, with total sincerity, the high ideals of integrity and confidentiality.
Why do women Freemasons call each other Brother?
We consider ourselves part of the universal brotherhood of mankind; one family, one fraternity.
What is Freemasonry’s relationship with religion?
Freemasons are expected to have a religious belief, but Freemasonry does not seek to replace a Mason’s religion or provide a substitute for it. It deals in a woman’s relationship with others not in a woman’s relationship with her God.