Is the man in your life is thinking about petitioning for membership of the fraternity of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons? If so, we know that you are a very dear and influential person to him, and we feel it is our duty to include you in this process. You may also have some questions about what his new Fraternity is all about. Please take some time to read through this page, and get to know more about us!
WHEN AND WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
The Fraternity of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons (A.F. & A.M.) is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. It has its roots in antiquity and is directly descended from the association of “operative masons,” the cathedral builders & stone workers of the Middle Ages, who traveled through Europe employing the skills of their craft. The organization, as we know it today, began in 1717 in England when cathedral building was on the decline and the “operative masons,” or “free masons” as they were known, started to accept members who were not members of the mason’s craft, calling them “speculative masons” or “accepted masons.” Freemasonry was brought to the United States by our early settlers. Throughout the world, there are approximately five million Masons, with nearly three million of them in the United States.
WHAT IS THE PURPOSE OF FREEMASONRY?
The basic purpose is to “take good men, and make them better men”; better fathers, better husbands, better brothers, and sons. We try to place emphasis on the individual man by strengthening his character, improving his moral and spiritual outlook and broadening his mental horizons. We try to build a better world . . . by building better men to work in their own communities. Membership is limited to adult males (18+) who can meet recognized qualifications and standards of character and reputation.
IS FREEMASONRY A SECRET ORGANIZATION OR A RELIGION?
The answer is NO. A secret organization is one which conceals its membership, has secret meeting places and which the public has little knowledge regarding its organization or its principles. This does not fit the Masonic Fraternity at all. Our secrets are very few in number and deal with methods of personal recognition, some details of our degrees, and privacy of each member’s ballot. Freemasonry is not a religion, although it is religious in character. Every applicant for Masonry must express a belief and a trust in a Supreme Deity. Masonry does not take the place of religion, but stresses the personal commitment and involvement in the individual faith of each member.
WHAT ARE THE DEGREES?
Lessons in Masonry are taught in three separate stages in our Masonic Lodges. The degrees, in order are ?Entered Apprentice? (first degree), ?Fellowcraft? (second degree), and ?Master Mason? (third degree). Each degree blends Masonic moral philosophy in a unique lesson which is intended to have a serious impact and influence on the man who receives the degree.
WHAT ARE MASONIC APRONS?
The symbolic apron was worn by operative masons to protect themselves from rough stones and tools. Presently, it is a badge of fraternal distinction. It represents the white lambskin, a symbol of innocence. Some decorations may appear on Masonic Aprons and often designate an officer or special recognition. All are, however, a proud display of membership in this world-wide Fraternity.
WHAT DO MASONIC SYMBOLS MEAN?
Freemasonry is often referred to as ?a beautiful system of morals, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols?. The symbols help to illustrate our principles and lessons. The most widely recognized symbol of the fraternity is the Square and Compasses with the letter “G” in the center. This is the symbol you see on signs outside of major towns. Members wear it to remind themselves of their obligation to the lessons learned in their Lodges, and to identify their membership to other Masons and all people. Masonic symbols have wide meanings, some directly related to the tools used by actual operative masons, and some represent the need for order and direction in life. The letter “G” has a dual meaning, one of which is ?God?, the Supreme Architect of the Universe, in whom all Freemasons place their faith and trust.
WHEN ARE MEETINGS HELD?
Lodges meet in regular monthly sessions and on such other days as are necessary to conduct its business and ritualistic work. While every Mason’s attendance is earnestly solicited, yet it is not intended that a Lodge should interfere with one’s regular vocation or duty to family, God, or country. Should hnvested time and money in joining our Fraternity. He can best receive all that he should by frequently participating in its deliberations and events. We hope that you will approve and encourage him to attend regularly, and we hope also, that you, too, will join us whenever possible for the guest activities held by the Lodge.
CAN I GET INVOLVED WITH MASON ACTIVITIES?
Countless opportunities abound through active participation and membership in any of the numerous Masonic-related ladies’ organizations. You are encouraged to share in many social activities, parties, dinners, dances, tours, civic events, and charitable efforts of the Lodge. Many full family activities are regularly scheduled. Non-Masonic friends and families may also take part in many Mason-supported programs.
I hope this gives you a bit more insight into what we are, and what it means to you & your family. Please feel free to come visit any of our lodges, and get in touch with us if you have any questions. We look forward to meeting you very soon!