QUESTIONS & ANSWERS

A lodge is not a building, it is the men that form it.

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organizations.
In the past, it was defined as “a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols.”
Freemasonry instills in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness.
Today, Freemasonry is defined as “an organized society of men symbolically applying the principles of operative Masonry and architecture to the science and art of character building”.

Freemasonry encourages good Men to become better Men by promoting a life dedicated to high ideals, community service, and benevolence.
Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society.

A.F. & A.M. means “Ancient Free & Accepted Masons”.
The term Ancient originated in England during the Middle Ages. After the foundation of the first Grand Lodge in England in 1717, a rival Grand Lodge arose less than two decades later, calling itself the Antients (or Ancients). The Antients were also known as the Athol Masons, from their first Grand Master, the Duke of Athol.

Why Free and Accepted?
The ancient craftsmen were very skilled, and their craft was considered to be indispensable to the welfare of both church and state. For this reason, they were not placed under the same restrictions of other workers – they were “free” to do their work, travel and live their lives in a manner which befitted their importance.
In Medieval England, this freedom of movement was almost unheard. Most workers were under bond to the owners of the land on which they worked. We believe this freedom for the operative mason may date back as far as the year 946 in York, England.

During the latter years of the Middle ages, there were few educated men outside the monasteries of the church. Naturally, men wanted to become Freemasons to get the advantages the Craft had to offer. These men did not necessarily want to build buildings, they wanted to belong to the organization.
These were “accepted” Masons rather than operative masons. This practice probably originated when some of the people for whom craftsmen were working asked to be admitted and the practice grew with time. This was a big boost to Masonry, because the secret techniques of building trades were becoming more widely known.

No, Freemasonry is not a secret society. We clearly communicate our presence (this website is just one example of that!), buildings are clearly marked, and many cars feature the familiar Masonic logo. Freemasonry does, however, have a few key secrets that are used for two primary reasons:
To prove to each other that we are Masons;
As a bond between members – showing that we can honorably keep our secrets.

No, Freemasonry is not a religion and does not pretend to be a substitute for religion. It is a fraternity, and its members are encouraged to follow their own paths when it comes to religion.

There are four main considerations that must be met: you must be age 18 or older, a man, have a belief in a Supreme Being, and be of good standing with your community and peers.

A candidate for Masonry must honestly profess a faith in a higher being such as God when applying as a prerequisite for admission. An avowed atheist would not profess this belief and thus would not be admitted.

It could be because blue is generally regarded to be the color of truth and fidelity, and these are the basic teachings of the Craft. Also, because blue characterizes friendship. And finally, blue has been used to trim and decorate Masonic aprons, collars and clothing down through the ages.

Following the practice of the ancient stonemason guilds, Freemasons use special handshakes, words, and symbols to not only to identify each other, but to help, as William Preston said in 1772, “imprint upon the memory wise and serious truths.” Although every Freemason takes an obligation — and vows to keep the secrets of Masonry — it doesn’t matter to him that you can find the secrets in print; what matters is that he keeps his promise. And the secrets he is protecting are only used to help Masons become better men; and there’s certainly no secret surrounding what it takes to be good and true.

New members make solemn promises concerning their conduct in Lodge and in society. Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional methods of proving that he is a Freemason which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known. Freemasons do not swear allegiances to each other or to Freemasonry. Freemasons promise to support others in times of need, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God, the law, their family or with their responsibilities as a Citizen.

The meeting is typically in two parts. As in any association there is a certain amount of administrative procedure – minutes of last meeting, proposing and balloting for new members, discussing and voting on financial matters, election of officers, news and correspondence. Then there are the ceremonies for admitting and advancing new Masons.

On entry, there is an initiation fee. at the initiation of the following two degrees there is a new fee due, then after the third degree Members pay an annual subscription to the lodge which covers membership and the administrative cost of running the lodge.

We avoid discussing matters of religion and politics. The goal of Masonry is to bring men together in fraternity, and religion and politics tend to be divisive topics.

We meet every Wednesday of the month.
The agenda may be different from month-to-month, but our night generally starts around 6:00 p.m. with dinner and our meeting begins at 7:00 p.m.

As brothers, we enjoy spending time with each other for matters both Masonic and non-Masonic. Many of our members get together on a regular basis for dinners, drinks, or coffee.

Absolutely not. That would be a misuse of membership and subject to Masonic discipline. On his entry into Freemasonry each candidate states unequivocally that he expects no material gain from his membership. At various stages during the three ceremonies of his admission and when he is presented with a certificate from Grand Lodge that the admission ceremonies have been completed, he is forcefully reminded that attempts to gain preferment or material gain for himself or others is a misuse of membership which will not be tolerated. The Book of Constitutions, which every candidate receives, contains strict rules governing abuse of membership which can result in penalties varying from temporary suspension to expulsion.

No. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been involved in charitable activities. Since its inception, Freemasonry has provided support not only for widows and orphans of Freemasons but also for many others within the community. Whilst some Masonic charities cater specifically but not exclusively for Masons or their dependents, others make significant grants to non- Masonic organizations. On a local level, lodges give substantial support to local causes.

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