Is Freemasonry a secret society?
Freemasonry is not a secret society, but lodge meetings, like meetings of many other social and professional associations, are private occasions open only to members. Freemasons are encouraged to speak openly about their membership, while remembering that they undertake not to use it for their own or anyone else’s advancement. As members are sometimes the subject of discrimination which may adversely affect their employment or other aspects of their lives, some Freemasons are understandably reticent about discussing their membership. In common with many other national organizations, Grand Lodge neither maintains nor publishes a list of members and will not disclose names or member’s details without their permission. In circumstances where a conflict of interest might arise or be perceived to exist or when Freemasonry becomes an issue, a Freemason must declare an interest. The rules and aims of Freemasonry are available to the public. The Masonic Year Book, also available to the public, contains the names of all national office-holders and lists of all lodges with details of their meeting dates and places. The meeting places and halls used by Freemasons are readily identifiable, are listed in telephone directories and in many areas are used by the local community for activities other than Freemasonry. Freemasons’ Halls are open to the public and ‘open days’ are held in many provincial centers. The rituals and ceremonies used by Freemasons to pass on the principles of Freemasonry to new members were first revealed publicly in 1723. They include the traditional forms of recognition used by Freemasons essentially to prove their identity and qualifications when entering a Masonic meeting. These include handshakes which have been much written about and can scarcely be regarded as truly secret today; for medieval Freemasons, they were the equivalent of a ‘pin number’ restricting access only to qualified members. Many thousands of books have been written on the subject of Freemasonry and are readily available to the general public. Freemasonry offers spokesmen and briefings for the media and provides talks to interested groups on request. Freemasons are proud of their heritage and happy to share it.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
Freemasonry is not a religion. It has no theology and does not teach any route to salvation. A belief in God, however, is an essential requirement for membership, and Freemasonry encourages its members to be active in their own religions as well as in society at large. Although every lodge meeting is opened and closed with a prayer and its ceremonies reflect the essential truths and moral teachings common to many of the world’s great religions, the promotion of any particular religious dogma is not permitted in lodge meetings.
If it's not a religion, what principles do Freemasons follow?
Freemasons follow three great principles: Brotherly Love – Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures. Truth – Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life. Charity – Freemasons are taught to practise charity, and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Many world leaders have been Freemasons, is Freemasonry a political organization?
Freemasonry is definitely not a political organization, it has no political agenda, and discussion of politics is not permitted at lodge meetings. Freemasonry naturally tends to attract those with a concern for people and a sense of social responsibility and purpose. There are members, therefore, who are involved in politics at the local, national, and international levels. Equally, there are members who take an active interest in non-Masonic charitable organizations and other community groups.
Who can become a Freemason?
Membership is open to men of all faiths who are law-abiding, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a religious deity. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organisation. It has attracted men of goodwill from all sectors of the community into membership. There are similar Masonic organisations for women.
How do I become a Freemason?
All you need to do is ask! If you would like to request an application to petition a lodge for membership, first read the notes below and then complete the application and send it to: Roger Williams Secretary to start the process. You must be able to meet the following requirements to start your journey in Freemasonry: Be a man, of 18 years of age or older; Believe in a Supreme Being; Live an ethical and moral life; Have a strong interest in the Fraternity and desire to participate in its charities and its activities. We believe that men are first made Masons in their hearts, then they ask to join our Fraternity. Freemasonry will take these men - good in their communities - and help them become better men. Each man brings something different into the Fraternity, as different as the types of men that become Masons. But each shares a common core of beliefs and of dreams; each believes that, in a small way, by their actions, they help make their world, their communities and themselves better. Once we receive your application, an officer of the Lodge will contact you to schedule a meeting. A committee from the Lodge will then meet with you and report back to the Lodge and have your application voted upon. If you receive a favorable ballot, you will be notified when the degrees begin. You and other candidates must learn a portion of what will be taking place during your degrees.