- The oldest, largest and most charitable men’s fraternal organization in the world.
- Spiritual, not religious in nature, requiring every member to profess a belief in a Supreme Being of his choice.
- Family oriented with many programs and groups to involve the entire family.
- An opportunity for a man to improve himself. Rich in history, tradition and patriotism.
- Sensitive to the needs of each community where it exists.
- Open to men of good character regardless of race, creed, or religion.
Freemasonry is not a secret society Any information about Masons can be found on the internet, at a bookstore, or local library. Masonic buildings are clearly marked and listed in the directory and many have their own websites. Members wear Masonic jewelry and regalia. The only secret about Masonry is that there are no real secrets!
A Very Brief Look At Masonic History
No one knows just how old Freemasonry is because the actual origins have been lost in time. Most scholars believe Masonry rose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the majestic castles and cathedrals of the Middle Ages. In 1717 a formal organization was created in England when four Lodges in London joined in forming England’s Grand Lodge. Freemasonry in America was initiated by our early settlers and was supported by men such as Washington, Franklin, Hancock, Revere, and DeWitt Clinton. As a matter of fact, most of Washington’s military staff were Masons. The Grand Lodge of the State of New York was chartered in 1781.
We strongly encourage you to read Masonic history; it is a vital part of our proud American heritage. For hundreds of years, Masons have been members of a renowned philanthropic brotherhood which has 1.7 million members in North America and 3.2 million members worldwide. There are very few places in the world where a Mason could go and not find friendship or assistance if the need arose.
The Degree System of Masonry
An initiate Mason called an Entered Apprentice goes through a unique experience as he participates in three degrees leading up to his achieving full membership as a Master Mason. Ancient in origin, each degree teaches an important lesson through the use of symbols. There is never any ‘hazing’ in a Masonic degree. The degrees are dignified and when understood can add great value to the Mason’s daily life. All Masons wear aprons at their meetings to symbolize the historic link between our current Brotherhood and the builders of old.
All Lodges meet on a regular stated basis which allows a Mason and his family to plan events. Masons receive more of the benefits of Masonry by attending meetings, so long as that attendance does not harm his family in any way.
What is the purpose of Masonry?
The main purpose of Masonry is to take good men and assist them in becoming better husbands, fathers, sons, and brothers. Masonry does this by keeping them exposed to moral and ethical teachings and by consistently asking them to consider important character building issues. One of the most important concern is what each Mason gives back to his community. Masonry’s cornerstone is charity. Approximately two million dollars a day is given to charity by all Masonic organizations combined. In short, by improving ourselves we are placed in a better position to help others.
Masons help in good times too! Inquire about scholarships for college bound teens, housing and care for senior family members, and Masonic Youth Camps for children. There are many ways in which Masons live out their way of life. It is up to each Mason to choose his own way to contribute.
How can you involve your Family in Masonry?
Some of the countless ways that your family can be involved in the Masonic family include:
- Attending Lodge sponsored functions such as public programs, parties, dinners, tours and civic
- Working with the Lodge at its various charitable events.
- Becoming familiar with the full family of Masonry which includes Eastern Star, Amaranth and Daughters of the Nile for women, DeMolay for teenage boys, Constellation of Junior Stars, Rainbow and Triangle for teenage girls. All of these groups provide the wholesome environment which springs from Masonry.