What is the difference between ancient and modern Freemasons?

What is the difference between ancient and modern Freemasons?

Let’s Start at the beginning…

In June 24, 1717, the Premier Grand Lodge of England was established as the ‘Grand Lodge of London and Westminster’. It was focused on supplying Freemasonry to the London and Westminster areas in England.  It is important to note that this Grand Lodge is the oldest known in the country of England, therefore it soon became known as the Grand Lodge of England. The Grand Lodge was founded on St John The Baptist’s Feast Day when four existing lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse in London.

During 1717, four Blue Lodges came together in London and formed the first Grand Lodge. Most of the members of these lodges were Operative Masons; in fact, only one of the lodges had a majority of its members being Speculative which were meeting at the Rummer and Grapes.

In 1723, a long introduction of tracing Freemasonry back to biblical times was implemented via “The Book of Constitutions”. It included a set of six “Charges” or Masonic obligations; it expanded version of Payne’s Regulations; it formalized the method of constituting a new lodge. For the first time, all of Freemasonry, except for the ritual, was available in a printed book.

However, though there were groups of Freemasons that trace their roots back to the ideals and morals of the Christian belief system. But not every Freemason were themselves Christians. It is critical to inform you that not all Masons were Christians in that era. So in England, the Grand Lodge had to factions of Brothers – those Christian and those who were not Christian.  Thus it’s historical line was of a non-Christian focus.

In the year 1751, a number of Blue Lodges came together in London to form a rival Grand Lodge. The original Grand Lodge’s members came to dubbed “Moderns” while the latter called themselves “Antients”.  Further, this group of unaffiliated lodges of mainly Irish membership formed the Grand Committee of what would become the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions, now known as the ‘Ancients’ or ‘Antients’.   Because it was the first Masonic Grand Lodge to be created, it called itself the Premier Grand Lodge of England in order to distinguish it from the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions.

Who assisted in coming up with the names – Moderns and Ancients?

Laurence Dermott, who was the Grand Secretary & the Deputy Grand Master of the ‘Ancients’, helped the terms stick in our Masonic history. But be aware, the original Grand Lodge was already referred to as the “Moderns”, and Dermott made sure that it stuck when he was serving as the Deputy Grand Master. In 1756, Dermott published his version of the Book of Constitutions ensuring his own Grand Lodge becoming known to history as the Ancients.

Did you know, that Dermott originally affiliated with a ‘Moderns’ lodge around 1752, but left it to join one of the unaffiliated Irish lodges?

It is important to note that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge was to be a member of the Nobility. This nobleman would serve as their sponsor and serve as their spokesmen in high places.

Once a member of the Aristocracy/Nobility was chosen as Grand Master, it set in motion a chain of events that lead to the beginning of the much talked about disagreement.  The Grand Master was a member of the nobility and naturally associated with his class equals.  He further tended to fill his Masonic leadership appointments in the Grand Lodge with other aristocrats. Thus, Laurence Dermott, which was a successful wine merchant in England at the time, was the Deputy Grand Master and effectively ran the Grand Lodge.

It is thanks to Dermott that the United Grand Lodge, as it currently stands, inherits the infrastructure of the Moderns, but takes its ritual from the Ancients.

Why was there a disagreement or Schism in Freemasonry at that time?

Unfortunately, this class structure at that time was very inflexible. The thinking during that era was that no man would set aside any of his God-given rights and prerogatives of his nobility. The Christian Freemasons, known as the ‘Ancients’ or ‘Antients’ and the ‘Moderns’ never claimed a Christian heritage but instead had set up lodges that promoted values other than those espoused in Christianity.

Anderson’s Constitutions was published in 1723, by Presbyterian Church Minister and four deacons of Huguenot church. Thus, this became one of the founding documents of Freemasonry and was regularly printed in pocket-sized versions for the brothers of that era.  Anderson’s 1723 constitutions book only recognized the grades of Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft/Master. Later, Demott wrote the ‘Ahiman Rezon’ as the ‘ancients’ version of the Book of Constitutions as a way to retain the traditions of Freemasonry in its purest form.

Thus a feud amount the Freemasons of that era quickly erupted.  As time progressed, both “Ancient” and “Modern” Freemasons struggled to overcome this ideology and return to a more pure form fraternal-ism that is represented in the modern-day degree work.

So what were the differences in the two Freemasons Grand Lodge’s Book of Constitutions based on?

Here are the main points of difference between the ‘Antients’ and ‘Moderns’, as defined by the ‘Antients’ which can be easily summed up with the following:

  1. Transposing the modes of recognition in the First and Second Degrees
  2. Omitting prayers
  3. De-Christianizing the ritual, which the ‘Antients’ pointed to the ‘Anderson’s Constitutions of 1733’ as proof
  4. Ignoring the Saints’ Days, the ‘Moderns’ were being pointed as holding their festivals on days that were not the days of St. John.
  5. Omitting to prepare Candidates in the customary fashion
  6. Abbreviating the ritual work
  7. Neglecting the lectures and the catechisms that were attached to each degree
  8. Ceasing to recite the Ancient Charges at Initiations of new Brothers
  9. Introducing extreme plainness and simplicity of style into the ceremonies
  10. Removing the sword in the Initiation ceremony with the exception that the Tyler wore a sword
  11. Allowing a more esoteric ceremony at the installation of a Master to stop being used in the degree work
  12. Departing from the ancient method of arranging the lodge
  13.  Ignoring the Deacon

Two very famous Master Masons who did not adhere to the ‘ancients’ values in the Craft at that time were Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Believe or not, Benjamin Franklin was buried without being allowed a proper Masonic Funeral due to his secular beliefs as a Modern Mason at that time.

What is the difference between the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons and the Free & Accepted Masons?

From 1751 to 1813, there were two Grand Lodges in England. Both Grand Lodges were issuing charters or warrants empowering Masons to do degree work. Thus both allowed new Masonic Lodges to formed, mainly in the colonies soon to be the United States of America.

The reason for the formation of these two Grand Lodges in England was based on the Schism or disagreement on their written constitutions.

One group of Brother English Masons were dubbed – ‘Moderns’.  Ironically, this group was actually the older British Grand Lodge. The second group of English Freemasons called themselves – ‘Antients’ or ‘Ancients’

The ‘Moderns’ established the “Free & Accepted Masons” and the ‘Antients’ or ‘Ancients’ established the “Ancient Free & Accepted Masons” or “Antient Free & Accepted Masons”.

It should be noted that the disagreement was short-lived.  It went on for 62 years and finally both groups agreed to once again open formal Masonic Communication with each other.  By the year 1813, the disagreement was totally and completely resolved. Also, during that time frame, the two Grand Lodges merged back into one Grand Lodge in England.  Thus the two Grand Lodges  existed until 1813 when the Premier Grand Lodge of England united with the Ancient Grand Lodge of England to create the “United Grand Lodge of England”

But the damage was done because each group spawned their separate Blue Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges all across the colonies and also after the American Revolution in the United States.

Thankfully, when the merger was complete, the Blue Lodges and Grand Lodges which are set with their own By-Laws and further cemented by their fraternal independence to retain the titles and initials they wished to have selected for themselves when the Grand Lodge was founded. Either as “Ancient Free & Accepted Masons”; “Free & Accepted Masons”; and in some cases some other variation.  This in some cases can be connected to which Grand Lodge was the chartering entity of a particular Blue Lodge, prior to the creation of the new Grand Lodge. But it is important to note, that according to prescription and usage, as adopted in London, in 1717, by and through the Representative System, as practiced on that occasion and adopted by constitutional provisions as binding for all time by the Craft.

If a brother Freemason visits different states, he will find the title on the Blue Lodge and Grand Lodge to read as such. Further, a brother can enjoy hearing a slight difference in the degree work too.

Once a year, a Cave Degree is offered for Brother Masons to visit and sit in a lodge to experience the degree work from other states. Further, they enjoy taking note of the differences in procedures of opening or closing a lodge and how the By-Laws effected that Grand Lodge’s chartered blue lodge in the proper manner.

Today, all the Grand Lodges in the United States treat each other with respect.  Many of the Grand Lodges in the United States are recognized by other regular Grand Lodges in Scotland, England, Thailand, Ireland, India, and other countries in Europe, Africa, and South America.

What states are going by Ancient Free and Accepted Masons?

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodges within the United States are as follows:

Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

What states are going by Free and Accepted Masons?

Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodges within the United States of America are the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

Sources: 1 |  2

Do Freemasons worship the devil?

Do Freemasons worship the devil?

Here is the answer to the question “No they don’t.” Most Freemasons are generally Christian, Muslim, or Hebrew which have a belief in the God of the Bible, Koran, or Torah.

Yet, others are Muslim and other religions, we meet as a fraternity, not as a religion. We are taught to love one another. Plus create a society made up of peace and harmony thus to reject evil. Further, Freemasonry is not a church or religion.

Every lodge has an altar with the Bible on it.  Every lodge has a Chaplain which leads the brothers in prayer.  This prayer is non-denominational in nature and is shared at the opening or closing of the meeting.  The opening prayer is done during the flag ceremony which is open to the public to see.  The devil is never mentioned in any prayer. Nor is the name of the devil ever mentioned in a degree or in a meeting either.  Freemasons are not worshiping the devil during the stated communication.

 

Do Freemasons have to take an oath to the devil in the Masonic degrees?

No, Freemasons do not take an oath to the devil in any Masonic Degrees.  The Masonic degrees discuss how to learn to make yourself better so you can go into the world and make the world better. The Masonic degree focus on ethical decision making and understanding life is short so we should attempt to do as much good as we can while we can.  We use symbols to explain and remember the lessons taught in the degrees.

There is no ritual or ceremonial which discuss or directly/indirectly include the devil.  Making the world a better place and a more peaceful place actually go against the teachings of the devil.  The devil wants people to be divided against one another and to fight with each other. The Masons want the opposite and the Masons want everyone to love one another.

How did the devil get associated with the Freemasons?

The devil can first be found in the Morals and Dogma written by Albert Pike.  Brother Albert Pike researched many religions and tried to compile all the lessons of love over the ages.  The Scottish Rite degrees discuss the further ethical lessons and ways love was spread in the past.  The Scottish Rite pulls information from my great books including the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Kabbalah as well as sacred texts from the far east.  Unfortunately, Brother Pike’s research was not perfect, but no man is perfect, expect the One they nailed to the cross.

Baphomet was mentioned in the book Morals and Dogma.

“Hierogliphically to express this law of prudence, they gave their mercury, personified in Egypt as Hermanubis, a dog’s head; and to their Sulpher, represented by the Baphomet of the Temple, that goat’s head which brought into such disrepute the occult Mediaeval associations.” “The Gnostics held that it composed the igneous body of the Holy Spirit ; and it was adored in the secret rites of the Sabbat or the Temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or the hermaphroditic goat of Mendes.”

Yet, Brother Pike was attempting to explain Egyptian scripture in the book’s chapter.  This chapter was to add more value to the candidate and/or new brother to further educate the life/ethical lessons of the degree.  He termed the Baphomet, “the Goat of Mendes” — confusing it with Banebdjedet, an Ancient Egyptian ram god.  Brother Pike most likely was researching ‘The Book of the Heavenly Cow’ which describes the “Ram of Mendes”.  Unfortunately, this mistake was printed and reprinted for decades.  Which only added to the conspiracy theorists’ excitement to uncover some random and obscure word.

Do the Freemasons have any links to the Church of Satan?

No, this church was formed in the 1960s.  It was created in the United States and adopted the inverted pentagram to become a popular symbol for Satan.  The founders were Oswald Wirth and Maurice Bessy, neither of whom were ever Freemasons. Further, most Freemasons would agree that a satanist can not be made a Mason because the devil is not a God. The devil is simply a fallen angel and is not deity therefore no Satanist can be made a Mason.  There is no link or connection with this organization and Freemasonry.

Further, Freemasonry was formed thousands of years ago by builders.  The church mentioned above is a mere infant compared to the Catholic Church or most major religions in our world.

Do the Higher Degrees in Masonry have any links to the devil?

No. The higher degrees are for honoring the hard work of brothers in the fraternity. Generally, it simply highlights the ethical lessons again for the brothers by introducing leadership ethics in a symbol sense. As a Past Master, which is an honorary type of degree for elected Worshipful Masters to participate in, I have first-hand knowledge that no mention of the devil was directly or indirectly ever made.

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

How long does it take to become a Freemason?

How long does it take to become a Freemason?

This is a great question that is wondered by many people around the world.  The answer varies a bit based on the individual and the lodge.  Most times, it take 45 to 60 days. But, depending on the time year the candidate get involved it might take 45 to 120 days unfortunately.

Why does it take so long to be a Freemason?

Well the steps involved to become a Mason is rigorous. From background checks that take a week to interviews with the prospective candidate. Further, the voting to begin the process to have the craft agree to have a new candidate. After, reading the results of the work and read the petition at a meeting. Once this is done, the petition has to wait 30 days to be re-read, and then balloted upon so the candidate’s petition. So this can take at least 45 days when done efficiently and longer if not, which makes the process quite time consuming as well.

Is it worth waiting more than 45 days or more to become a Freemason?

This question plagues me because we live in a world of ‘I want to right now’. The days of patiently waiting are quickly going away. But, my attitude to this type of thinking is simple. This is a lifetime commitment, shouldn’t you be okay with no being rushed into something this important? 45 to 90 days compared to the average age of an adult man – which is 75 years – is nothing.

I try to explain to a new candidate that joining the Freemasons is like going to a 5 Star Restaurant.  When you go to the 5 Star Restaurant you have multiple courses with a waiter dressed in a tuxedo. There are sometimes breaks between the courses for a drink or smoke. Now looking at a fast food drive thru restaurant, this type of place serves you quickly and the food is average. The service is generally done by a student who is not getting paid a premium to give you your food. Most days, they are awaiting the end of their shift with little care to see if you are truly happy with your meal.

So you get what you pay for. If you want an inexpensive and average meal or the ability to join quickly – well maybe another fraternity is better suited for you.  Now if you want to be a Freemason, you are okay with things going at a slower more deliberate pace. Then this fraternity is for you, you probably understand that good things take time to be done well.

 

Explaining the Freemasonry Report

Explaining the Freemasonry Report

I chat with brothers in my lodge meeting regularly and tell them I have a blog that answers some of the more popular questions about Freemasonry.  Some think it is a good idea, others just tell listen, and a few others ask for the website url.  My goal is not promote the website to them.  But, my goal is let them know a new resource is being developed for the fraternity.

As my year as Worshipful Master comes to an end and a much needed break from being an active leader begins.  I think to myself – as a Blue Lodge Master- we added 10 new Master Masons. Which is great but our lodge has 8 brother Masons going NPD.  NPD stands for non payment of dues and it is the second top reason Freemasonry is declining in membership.  The first is deaths.  Literally, elderly brothers are just passing away from old age.  Which means, my year as Master of the Lodge, I have been able to show a small growth in membership of 2 brothers overall.  I

Is that good? The Freemasonry Report is Born.

After thinking about the membership direction versus the population of men over the age of 18 that believe in God.  It is clear to see that the fraternity as a lot of market density it can tap into.  But, the old ways of connecting the fraternity to these men is changing.  More and more men are going to places like Facebook, Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Instagram, Twitter, Meetup, and LinkedIn to name a few to find interesting people to become friends with.  So I decided to add a new avenue to connect the fraternity with these men.

How? The Freemasonry Report give you highly detailed answers.

I have been surveying new and veteran brothers of our fraternity to ask them – what they wish they were told prior to joining.  Also, I have researched what people are looking to get answers to about the Freemasons.  By blending these two concepts together, I have created a blog with a YouTube Account to start to answer these questions about the fraternity.  My hope is that Father, Grandfathers, Brothers, Uncles, Nephews, Grandsons, and first time men with no family members in Masonry can learn about the fraternity.

The visitors can refer this website to friends, family, and people they know to get the word out about the fraternity.  My desire is not over success, but a long term positive outcome.  Thank you for reading this blog article and enjoy exploring more of the page and post on this website.

 

Do Freemasons elect their top leadership?

Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?

Do Freemasons elect their top leadership?

Yes, every year Masonic Lodges do have elections. These elections are to vote on new top lodge officers in the blue lodge. Any blue lodge that does not hold annual election of officers is considered irregular by most Grand Lodges. These elections happen in the end of the year to elect the following years leadership team.

What Officers are elected in a Blue Lodge?

(An Article by The Freemason Report – Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership)

The top five officers elected in the Blue Lodge are as follows: Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Secretary. These elected officers are voted on and approved by a majority of the brothers present in the regularly stated meeting of the blue lodge. The election happens only once a year unless a position is vacant. If a vacancy were to happen, a special election will be called and approved by the Grand Lodge to fill the open seat. In some Grand Lodges, if there is an open position during the annual election – the current brethren that are officers maybe required to stay in their respective positions for an extra year. But, this judgement solely rests with the Grand Master only.

Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?
Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?

What Officers are not elected in a Blue Lodge?

The officers in the blue lodge which are appointed and approved by the Worshipful Master are as follows: Tyler, Chaplain, Musician, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Stewart, Historian, and the Marshall. These appointments are not elected but maybe brothers that are Past Masters of the lodge in some cases. Yet, at other times in maybe new brothers in the lodge that wish to serve the fraternity. The top leader of the lodge is the Worshipful Master and even though he may listen to wise advice from the brothers, it is his sole appointment prerogative. In some Grand Lodges, the Wardens may select for appointment their deacons, but these must still be approved by the Worshipful Master.

Who can not be appointed or elected an Officer in the Blue Lodge?

Some Master Masons can not be appointed or elected to an officer role in a blue lodge. This is mainly due to the brother being on an ‘npd’ status. NPD stands for Non Payment of Dues. If this brother is considered ‘npd’ – the lodge will first have to vote on the brother after a background check has been preformed. In some grand lodge jurisdictions, it is required that a brother has passed basic Masonic Leadership or Brother Based exams to qualify for an elected officer-ship.  While other Grand Lodge’s require a brother be capable of ‘giving back’ all the work prior to being allowed to seat in the East. Many Grand Lodge’s recommend that a brother be active in the degrees for candidates and new brothers prior to being elected into the East.

Who else can not be appointed or elected into a officer role in a regular blue lodge?  Well, the top reason for a brother not being allowed to serve the fraternity is if he has been brought up on Masonic Charges. If this were to happen, that brother could be elected for an office in the blue lodge until after the Masonic Charges have removed. If a guilty verdict is delivered back to the brother, he will be suspended or removed from the fraternity entirely.  Furthermore, if any criminal felony charges / verdict upon a brother, it would disqualify him from being elected, appointed, and quite possibly attending any lodge meetings as well. Lastly, no Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft Mason can be elected to hold a position in a blue lodge.

Freemasonry Blue Lodge Leadership Chart
Freemasonry Blue Lodge Leadership Chart
My thoughts and feelings on Freemasons elect their top leadership in a blue lodge…

The blue lodge is now into the final few weeks of the Worshipful Master’s year. Furthermore, we have lodge officer elections coming up annually.

As always, I am excited for all those running for elected offices for the upcoming year. I hope each elected brother does his role to the very best of his abilities so our lodge can benefit from his labors. So, are you ready for brutal honesty now?

Let me put it this way…  “Hey we are having dinner tonight,” I mention to my daughter. She asks me “what are we having?” Here is my answer…

Honest Answer – ” We are having chicken with a side of fresh veggies”

Brutally Honest Answer – “We are having dead bird that most likely was murdered with hundreds of his or her friends and family in a small building in some rural area. On the side, we are having fresh green plant that someone ripped out of the ground after being sprayed with numerous hazardous chemicals to speed up its growth cycle. But don’t worry we washed the plant leafs.”

So a lodge election kind of feels the same way to me.  There is a softer and more idealistic side to it where everyone is cool and chill with the election. Yet, I have seen in my time, volunteer elections were emotions run high and the more brutal honesty is pushed into the world.

Did you know, I spoke with the Grand Secretary of My Grand Lodge recently about Freemasonry? During the phone call, he asked me about the election process for the upcoming year. My answer was “Well either way, someone will win and someone will lose. Someone will leave the lodge meeting unhappy based on the election results.”  He response was “That should never be the case.”

You know what… he was right. After thinking about his comment for several days, I even located the answer to his statement, which can be found in the opening and closing charges of any Florida blue lodge.

Maybe at the upcoming election, we should all stop to seriously reflect on the words of these charges and take those sage words to heart. Maybe then win or lose, we all can walk out of the meeting with peace and harmony in our hearts.

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours on creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your finger tips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

Are Freemasons Greedy?

Are Freemasons Greedy?

“Are Freemasons greedy?” This is the question I was asked recently by a visitor at my lodge. It kind of surprised me because when I asked him if he any questions I never saw this one coming. It made me pause for a second. After his explanation of the movies and tv shows saying Masons are hiding treasure and he wanted to know why we didn’t want to share it.

So Freemasons in Freemasonry are not greedy at all.  They are kind of selfless in a lot of ways. They give their time, talents, and their own money to help other Masons and their families as well as the community a too.  The money comes from them, not some secret bank account with billions of dollars. Each dollar raised from the brothers in the fraternity literally comes from the brothers of the fraternity.

Why do Freemasons not want to share their buried Masonic Treasure?                

So, I love when TV shows and movies give the general public this wonderful idea of a room full of gold and ancient treasures from past civilizations. From the map to the hidden treasure being on the founding documents of the country in the movie – the National Treasure.  Then to the hidden treasure being left in a random island off the coast the United States – The Secrets of Oak Island.

Trust me if this was true and the case…. I would be driving a Porsche on Monday, a Ferrari on Tuesday, a Lamborghini on Wednesday, a Cadillac on Thursday, and a BMW on Friday, but I am not driving those cars because there is no physical treasure. Sorry History Channel, Sorry Internet Streaming Companies, Sorry California Movie Executives, and Sorry to the many authors that can spin a tall tale. There is no conspiracy theory of how Masons are running the world.

Freemasons are a group of dedicated individuals from all walks of life.  When a Freemason finds success in life, many times he can be asked to serve on a corporate board.  He may be asked to help on a charity board. Or he may be requested to serve our community in an elected office. But, it was his actions that created his success. It was not the fraternity – it was his hardwork and efforts to find success.  Hardwork is not glamorous and it not something that happens quickly either. Hardwork is difficult and stressful at times. The fraternity can be a place for relief from the stresses of life and teachings of ways to live your life with integrity but that’s about it.

The reason that there is no physical treasure is because the treasure is knowledge. And knowledge is what keeps our world evolving from the ancient civilizations to the present day.

Where is the Freemason Treasure really hidden?

Now you are probably wondering where the treasure is hidden. Well, that’s simple, it’s in the hearts and minds of every Master Mason.  From the 33rd Degree Mason to the Shriner to the York Rite Knight Templar Mason, the secrets are safely hidden in their hearts. Why? Because you can’t stop the heart of a volunteer and you can’t stop the heart of someone who wants to continue to learn throughout his life.

A Master Mason understands the lessons in the degrees that his actions in life matter to everyone around him but most especially himself.  His actions are the physical results of the treasure that Masonry so willingly reveals to its newest members.  The actions share with the world how Masons love one another and are viewed by the outside world to be the unending importance Masonic Lessons have to our community and our society.

How many Freemasons know where the Treasure is really at?

Now I get it, the timeless whispers of people who are ignorant and uneducated, that say ‘well you don’t really know all the secrets until….’. The logic of not getting a particular degree under your Masonic belt can be reason to have doubts.  There is a saying in Masonry that ‘there is no higher rank’ then ‘Master Mason’. Why? Because it shares exactly where the treasure is. It tells the new Master Mason where to go to find it and how to use it.  That is why we say the highest compliment you can call a Brother Mason is by using the term ‘Brother’.

Ironically, Freemasons have been labeled as many things. Unfortunately, when a greedy person wants part of the fast riches, they will say or do anything to destroy someone or something to get it.  A truly greedy person is blind to truth in front of them. This greedy person will never understand that knowledge used can create real riches.  Hardwork and the desire not to give up are part of it too.

Final Thoughts on A Greedy Mason and the question… Are Freemasons Greedy?

Sometimes, being greedy is not totally bad either.  Having a desire to get ahead is a good thing and can be very motivating for some people. Also, for the longtime brother Masons, it is okay to be greedy in the fraternity and take advantage of the things the fraternity can offer.

I think it is okay to be greedy and enjoy the fraternity.  From joining the Shrine or the Scottish Rite / York Rite to hanging out with a few brothers at a coffee shop.  It is ‘your’ fraternity and you should have the right to enjoy the way you want to. There are many opportunities to enjoy the fellowship, social, degree work, events, and activities if someone wishes to take advantage of everything the fraternity can offer. If you are not yet a brother in the fraternity, click the link to Freemasonry 101 to learn more about the fraternity and then check out the ‘Find a Lodge near you’ section to get connected with Masons near you.

Lastly, I am spending alot of time researching these topics and I am networking with Freemasons on Facebook – if you want to catch up with me or Freemasons from around the world – check out this Facebook Group / Page now.

What does the Masonic Year for a Blue Lodge look like?

What does the Masonic Year for a Blue Lodge look like?

Please note the thoughts, feelings, and calendar are subject to an average particular lodge and may not totally represent any particular lodge in general. Stated meetings, presentations, educational items, and the like may vary widely based on the lodge’s goals and objectives. But, with this being said, every lodge has the duty to create more Masons to become brothers in this wonderful fraternity.

The first quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

Are you looking forward to another amazing Mason year as much as other brothers from around the country have been? But, what in the world of Masonry does that even mean? Well simply, the new masonic year begins at the installation of the new lodge officers are successfully installed.  Every year, I see a lot of our Freemason brethren proudly announcing the new year’s officers and appointees on the internet among other places. Some of our brothers are wearing tuxedos plus their new aprons and jewels of their office at their home lodges and it makes me feel so proud.

Over the years as a Freemason, I look at January (and the officer installations) as a new beginning for the Craft. Fresh ideas and fresh leaders excited to make our fraternity great for the upcoming year. But leaders are only as good as those around them. Being elected as an officer by the craft, the brothers are hoping that the brothers of their lodge will engage each other, support each other, talk to each other, and help the officers in these important roles. I know in the lodges were I was a dues paying member was excited for the beginning of the year.  Each of my blue lodge experiences thankfully were with a very strong lodge with some amazing brothers. Further, we were and continue to be the jewel of our masonic district.

Many a new lodge officers some fresh ideas for the craft and hopefully with the brothers support in the blue lodge – it can make these ideas come to life. Many of the fraternity’s goals are clear – making new Masons, membership retention; putting on quality degrees; maintaining our lodge building; being active in community activities, helping in charitable endeavors, and enjoying well prepared meals before our meetings. I remember how I was shocked and humbled by being elected to a leadership role and my hopes to make each of brother feel like they made the right decision to have me in the officer’s seat.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

JANUARY – 1st Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week – Officers & Lodge Committee Chairs Kickoff Meeting
    • Officer’s Pictures for guests and brothers to see when entering the lodge.
    • Goal: all new officers will get job descriptions and officer packets for the year
    • Practice opening and closing the lodge if time permits
  • 1st or 2nd week – Lodge Installation –
    • Goal: Install as many officers as possible
    • Celebrate the incoming officers and congratulate the outgoing officers on a job well done
  • 2nd or 3rd week – Post Installation
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
    • Lodge Stated – This is a first meeting for many and folks might be nervous.
      • Goal: present the 2019 Budget & Calendar to the craft
      • Install Officers that could not make the installation ceremony
  • 3rd or 4th week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Opening & Closing Practice
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Celebrate Past Masters of the lodge & host an Inspirational Talk – Review a Chapter of the Grand Lodge Digest
    • Host a Lodge Family Night –  Goal: Increase Brotherly Love and Fellowship over dinner at a local restaurant

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for training of lodge officers and brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and keep up with other lodge event as well
  4. Junior Warden updates the fire extinguishers and checks the exit signage / emergency lights at the lodge to keep brothers safe
  5. Junior Warden has menu for monthly meetings ready for review
  6. Junior Warden has a Building Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  7. Senior Warden has a Finance Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  8. Senior Warden has an Events Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  9. Committee Chairs have appoint committee meetings to start the year off right
  10. Secretary begins to collect dues from the brothers via in person, online, or via a Direct Mailing

FEBRUARY – 2nd Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice –Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge and/or practice degree work
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Widow’s Dinner & Remember Brothers who have past away
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice dig into more Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Discussion on a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter and Vote on the Budget with the craft

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Brothers should be taking the first leadership training exam
  3. Open Books & School of Instruction for training officers and brothers of the lodge
  4. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  5. Reserve Hotel Rooms for Grand Lodge Communication
  6. Junior Warden gets bids for lodge building repairs
  7. Junior Warden gets hold harmless agreements signed this month from youth organizations using the lodge’s property
  8. Senior Warden has recruited brothers for upcoming lodge events

MARCH – 3rd Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: DeMolay or Boy Scout / Cub Scout Presentation to the Craft & Donation Check Given to the Boys youth program
    • *** All available lodge officers may be requested to attend the DeMolay or Scout Meeting ***
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice –Goal: Officers Meeting & Degree Practice on a different degree from February
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Discussion on a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter then a Rainbow Girls / Jobs Daughters or Girl Scouts Presentation to the Craft & Donation Check Given to the Girls youth program
    • *** All available lodge officers may be requested to attend the Rainbow/Jobs or Scout Meeting ***

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction continues for the officers and brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and executing on the commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  4. Reserve Hospitality Room in the Hotel at Grand Lodge Communication for the lodge brothers visiting the annual communication
  5. Junior Warden works on approval from the city / county for the building improvements
  6. Junior Warden begins replace or repairing or updating the building
  7. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  8. Secretary reports on progress of collecting dues from the brethren
  9. Brothers should be taking the second leadership training exam

The second quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

The brothers in the lodge are coming together to take the plan for successful year and implementing it. Each brother is been assigned a committee or event to help with. Each brother has agreed to assist with a degree. Many a brother wants to bring a lot of good spirit coming to our meeting and having other brothers leave from our gatherings with happiness in their hearts. It is a pleasure to see us keep an eye on the prize.

But wait, what in the world in Masonry does that even mean? ‘Keep an Eye on The Prize.’

What exactly is the prize we are so vigorously working towards? Is it a having money in the bank to pay the bills? Is it having brothers attending the meetings? Is it doing Degrees for candidates? Is it helping our Masonic District with some important priority? Attending Grand Lodge Annually? Learning new insights at Open Books? Is it earning Lodge Based Awards? Is it practicing the work together to improve the meeting’s openings and closings?

Nope. The prize my brothers is much more than a ‘to-do’ list of things to keep our organization running smoothly during the second quarter of the Masonic Year. The prize is one word. “Brotherhood”

Yup. That’s what our fraternity is about. Nothing else really… Now I know what some brothers reading this are thinking…but wait we need to do this stuff! Yes, we do – I am not saying we don’t, we wouldn’t, or we shouldn’t. But during our fast-paced lives, we live the work we do in Masonry and beyond, it’s only about the brotherhood and bonds we are forming during those experiences that really matters.

Think about it – help a brother earn his Mason Master 1. You have bonded with him. Meet a brother for lunch or something like that. You have bonded with him. Take time to help a brother learn his parts. You have bonded with him. Show up and help in committee – You have bonded with other brothers. Take time to drive to an important (or maybe just some random) masonic meeting – you are bonding with each other.

Bonding with each other is the key to be a strong Brotherhood. All these activities or priorities we need to get accomplished are just good excuses to bond with each other. Once a brother continuously steps away from opportunities to bond with another brother – it is the beginning of a weakening lodge.

Now is the time to talk to your friends about Masonry & now is the time to talk to your brothers about Masonry. Because a strong brotherhood starts with talking to each other and a good new potential brother someone you like talking to. And that is truly ‘keeping an eye on the prize”.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

APRIL – 4th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation to the Craft from the local Scottish Rite Club
    • Review Legislation for Grand Lodge
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice the EA Degree if no other degrees are scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation by a local Eastern Star Chapter to the Craft & Education for the Month is a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the lodge newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction is available for the brothers and officers to get additional training
  3. Master Mason Association – The monthly district meeting to help other brothers in the area and to continue executing on the commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  4. Confirm Officers, Past Masters, & Proxies for the Grand Lodge Communication
  5. Junior Warden works with contractors for lodge improvements
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  7. Junior Deacon hosts Family Night at the Lodge

MAY – 5th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation by the Tall Cedars, the Grotto, or the Shrine to the Craft
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice the Fellowcraft Degree if no other degrees are currently scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Memorial Lodge Presentation to the Craft and Education for the Month – A chapter from the Grand Lodge Digest.
    • Grand Lodge Communication – this may will most likely vary from Grand Lodge to Grand Lodge

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for additional training of Lodge Officers and Brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – Masonic District planning fall event for fundraising purposes
  4. Junior Warden continues to work with contractors on lodge improvements
  5. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  6. Senior Deacon hosts Charitable Fundraiser at the Lodge

JUNE – 6th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge for the DDGM Official Visit
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Report the Grand Lodge Results Presentation to the Craft
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Entered Apprentice Degree Practice if no other degrees are scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Low Twelve or Widow’s Sons Motorcycle Club Presentation to the Craft and Masonic Education is a Digest Chapter

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for additional officer and brother training
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and commitment to assist in district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden works with contractors on building and property improvements
  5. Junior Warden handles Pest Control Treatment
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  7. Junior Warden has a Building Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  8. Senior Warden has a Finance Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  9. Senior Warden has an Events Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)

The third quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

So, we have a lot of lodge improvement projects for this part of year approved via the budget. These projects are getting finished up hopefully by this point in the year. But my question is why bother doing any of it? Why bother improving the kitchen or updating the AC units? Why bother painting the outside of the lodge? Seriously deep down in our heart of hearts – is it really worth doing?

I was wondering about this while driving to Stuart Florida and then the next day to Tampa Florida. Both were long trips and gave me time to reflect on the lodge. I was questioning if Masons actually like each other? I have been a Mason for 15 years plus and I have seen the clicks / factions – it is generally caused by who doesn’t like who and why. I have listened to brothers share their opinions on other brother’s short comings or etc. I have watched brothers just stop showing up to lodge meetings. It is a sad state of affairs when in most lodges we can’t get enough brothers to show up to open the lodge or pay their dues to keep the lodge open.

This is the feeling the lodge is in during the third part of the Masonic Year. The brothers are working hard and at times disagreeing about how well things are getting done.  They are getting future officers ready to take over.  Some officers are going to training and studying new parts for the potential new leadership role.

Here is my opinion, I think we all come in to the fraternity to learn ‘the secrets’ first and most of all. Then when we are done with the degrees we go to a lodge meeting and we see brothers that we don’t wish to spend time with. So, we might join an appendant body such as the Shrine or the Scottish Rite to get more light and see if it is different somewhere else. But, sadly some brothers just stop showing up all together.

Granted some brothers are busy with life – having a baby to watch, illness, or starting a new career to name a few examples. While others move away and some flatly state, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Remember, Freemasonry was the premier social activity a few hundred years ago – what is stopping the lodge brothers from making it that way again?

JULY – 7th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Celebrate the founding of the United States at a community wide event – No Practice this week (Please note other countries may celebrate their country’s founding day on a different week. But being an American, I created this calendar to represent the country to which I reside.)
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Financial Planner(s) Presentation on long term asset review and future investment suggestions to the Craft and masonic education of a Masonic Grand Lodge Digest Chapter
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice for the Dist Deputy Grand Master’s Official Visit and/or Master Mason Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated  – Goal: District Deputy Grand Master Official Visit to our blue lodge (Please note that this date is generally selected by the DDGM and could be anytime during his term of office.)

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the Blue Lodge Newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction to further educate the brethren
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and execute the district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden should be finishing all lodge improvements by this time
  5. Senior Steward coordinates a July 4th Event with city and brethren
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

AUGUST – 8th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and explain the importance of the charitable efforts
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice  – Goal: Officers Meeting & Officer Team should be practicing the 1st degree
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity – Generally this is some type of charity relief program. Further, Masonic Education for the Month is yet another interesting chapter from the Grand Lodge’s Digest

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the Lodge’s Monthly Newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction assisting new brethren and officers on leadership training
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and reporting the results from the district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden reports on all completed improvements and building plans for the fall
  5. Junior Steward coordinates effort for the Community Night Our (or the National Night Out) First Responders Honorees
  6. Senior Warden gets and gives reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

SEPTEMBER – 9th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice stepping up and down in degrees
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and introduce an appendant body to the craft.
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Fellowcraft Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Be a Sponsor for District Masonic Fundraising Efforts and of course more Masonic Education for the Month is yet another interesting chapter from the Grand Lodge’s Digest

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due once again
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction once again (names of these training sessions may vary based on your jurisdiction)
  3. Master Mason Association Monthly Meeting
  4. Junior Warden works with contractors on fall building improvements
  5. Junior Steward coordinates effort for the Community Night Out Honorees & Promotion to the Brothers
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

The fourth quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

So how do we turn it around and create bonds with our brothers and not rivalries? How do we fix this so we can make doing lodge improvements worth doing? These are questions brothers ask one another in the fourth quarter of the Masonic Year. It is start the conversations for how they want things to be done differently and possibly better for the next year.

The fourth quarter is where the lodge brothers really are talking about what is important for the lodge’s brotherhood.  An excitement grows from the brothers as new leadership and their ideas are being discussed. Here the most simple solutions are come up with. Brothers, start feeling the optimism and begin to talk to your friends about Masonry. Because lifelong relationships and fraternal commitments are made between friends not strangers. They talk to their friends about Masonry and positive things it does.  The tired feelings are gone and the hope for the future is in their hearts. They invite new potential candidates for Freemasonry to the lodge, so they can show off their hard work. They share a meal or a coffee and introduce these new guys to the other brothers, until finally they ask how to become a Mason.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

OCTOBER – 10th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Inform the brothers of nomination process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity Again
    • *** Grand Master’s Official Visit to the District ***
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and talk about the importance of reading the Grand Lodge’s Digest
    • Lodge Event – October 31st – Halloween Night Community Table Candy Hand Out

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – surprise most Masonic lodges do this every month.
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction
  3. Master Mason Association Monthly Meeting is happening again – it is open to all Master Masons in good standing
  4. Junior Warden is finishing working with with contractors on building improvements
  5. Senior Deacon works on the Halloween style Community Table for the Blue Lodge and Candy give away to kids
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

NOVEMBER – 11th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Inform the brothers of nomination process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice –  Goal: Officers Meeting & all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – No Meeting / Thanksgiving Night

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – 2nd to last one!
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction
  3. Master Mason Association
  4. Junior Warden building improvements – THIS NEEDS TO BE FINISHED BY THIS TIME
  5. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  6. Event Chairs work on a lodge Christmas and/or holiday event

DECEMBER – 12th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated  – Goal: Inform the brothers of election process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity to go towards to community charity relief
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Final Officers Meeting & Officer’s Gifts Handed Out
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – No Meeting Day After Christmas

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – last one of the year!
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction – this meeting is select next year’s district officers and practice for the installation ceremonies
  3. Master Mason Association – Holiday Party Meeting
  4. Assist in the step aside process to allow the next officer’s team to get going

In the last few months of the year, the election of officers happens and the newly elected brother happily await the chance to implement their ideas once being installed. If you liked this article and want to connect with Freemasons on Facebook – join this group!

How should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?

How should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?
Freemasonry Report - Square and Compass
Freemasonry Report – Visiting a Freemason Lodge

How should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?

My thoughts on visiting a Freemason Lodge to make a good first impression

So many times men are uncomfortable visiting a Masonic Lodge.  One of the big reasons, they are this way is because they don’t know what to wear.

Hopefully this article can help a potential candidate to consider what to wear on the first visit to a lodge. My recommendation is call the lodge officers: Worshipful Master, Secretary, Senior Warden or Junior Warden. These officers will be able to answer this question, but what if you can’t get a hold of these officers – what should you do next?

Freemason Lodge First Impression
Freemason Lodge First Impression

Consider Your First Impression when visiting a lodge for the first time

My advice is be over dressed versus under dressed for the occasion. Some lodges wear tuxedos for only the officers while others all the members must be dressed in a tux. Other lodges, enjoy a casual attire – polo shirts and suit pants.

Yet, I have seen others where dark suits where considered appropriate attire. My reaction is simple – this is an interview between yourself and the lodge brothers.  You both want to make the right first impression to each other.

So here is my suggestion on what to wear to your first Masonic Meeting! (Here are My Freemason Lodge First Impression Ideas)

A Man’s Masonic First Meeting Attire Advice from a Past Master of a Blue Lodge

Here are examples of appropriate outfits for men going to a regular meeting. Potential candidates should always default to wearing a suit. All clothes should fit well and be free of stains.

  1.   If you go with a suit go with a conservative solid color:
    • navy
    • black
    • dark grey
  2. Think about wearing a long sleeved shirt that is white, light blue, or color coordinated with the suit
  3. Wear a Leather belt that matches your suit
  4. Wear a Tie
  5. Wear dark socks and conservative leather shoes that compliment the suit
  6. Consider wearing a nice watch but try to limit the amount of jewelry to just a few pieces
  7. Get a good haircut that makes you look neat and professional
  8. Limited amount of aftershave and/cologne
  9. Neatly trim your fingernails
  10. Bring a portfolio with a pen to take notes and place Masonic Brochures and Business Cards into
  11. Carry Breathe Mints in your pocketHow should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?

A Man’s Masonic First Meeting Attire Advice for a less formal or informal meeting

 

Here are few examples of appropriate outfit attire for a less formal event or meeting. Potential candidates should always default to wearing a sport coat.

  1. Go with a traditional Blue Blazer
  2. Wear Khaki Pants
  3. Select a leather belt that compliments the leather shoes
  4. Go for socks that match the khaki pants
  5. Wear a button down shirt – blue, white, or a color that is complimentary of the Blue Blazer
  6. Make certain your hairstyle matches your conservative attire
  7. Bring a pocket calendar and a pen to write down upcoming activities and/or notes
  8. Of course breathe mints in case the food is spicy and could leave you with bad breathe

Here are few examples of appropriate outfit attire for a informal event or meeting. Potential candidates should always default to wearing a sport coat.

  1. Go with a traditional Blue Blazer
  2. Wear a polo shirt and keep it tucked in to your pants
  3. Wear Khaki Pants or khaki shorts if it is an outdoor summertime event
  4. Select a leather belt that compliments the leather shoes or top slider style footwear
  5. Go for socks that compliment the khakis
  6. Make certain your hairstyle matches your conservative attire
  7. Bring your smart phone to jot down upcoming activities or to take notes with
  8. Of course breathe mints and share them with the brothers – it is a good conversation starter plus it shows you are a person who likes to share
How should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?
How should I dress when visiting a Freemason Lodge for the first time?

Tips for Millennials wanting to become Masons – Visiting a Freemason Lodge & Making a First Impression

  • Gum is okay but don’t chew with your mouth open or snap the gum – if you can’t remember to do that – dump it.
  • Coffee – bring it and enjoy it. Alot of Masons love coffee so it is a great conversation starter
  • Soda – bring it and enjoy it but remember to ask about recycling the can or bottle before you throw it in the trash can. Masons like to help keep the environment in good shape too.
  • If you have lots of piercings, be prepared to talk about them, Some older Freemasons probably want to learn about why you have them or so many of them
  • If you have tattoos, don’t cover them up. These are seen as ‘cool’ to alot of Freemasons and they will want to see them and share their tattoos as well.  I know a bunch of Masons with Square and Compass Tattoos as well as Scottish Rite Tattoos also

Tips for Busy Professionals wanting to become Masons – Visiting a Freemason Lodge & Making a good First Impression

  • Wear your business attire to the first meeting
  • Add a little fresh deodorant prior to arriving
  • Bring business cards so the Lodge Brothers can follow up with you
  • Take time after the first meeting to send a thank you card / email to people you have met at the meeting

I hope this article helped you with getting ready for your first Masonic Meeting and what you should wear – now get ready to make new friends in Freemasonry. And continue to enjoy the Freemasonry Report!

What is Freemasonry?

Answering the question - what is freemasonry?

What is Freemasonry?

“What is Freemasonry?” as a Past Master of a Freemason Lodge – I don’t recall anyone directly asking me this question specifically. But I think that it does represent a number of similar questions I was asked over the years. This refined three word question is the simply the core question many people put a lot of words around.

My goal is to really dig in and look at the answer actually is. Over my Masonic Life, I have heard and read a number of definitions given to me by the brothers. Most common and overused is: “Freemasonry is a system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.” Okay to honest, I think this is a lame definition because it is so vague.

Here is my definition, “What is Freemasonry? My Answer: We are men of Faith and men with no criminal records. Also, we are men that are active military or veterans, civil servants, businessmen, charity professionals and retired. We are men over the age of 18 and we are respected in our community. We are men that are hungry to keep learning and to never stop desiring to learn.”

what is freemasonry
Answering the question – what is freemasonry?

Getting the fraternity better defined for you

Now let’s dig deeper into the question but yet look what is freemasonry in the big picture? It is a system of morality. Masons agree to live with integrity and morality.  Freemasons are just you but they attempt daily to improve themselves not in the eyes of others but in their eyes.  Change comes from starting with yourself and not those around you.  So you may be wondering what does morality mean?  Simply, morality is the principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

Similar terms are: ethics, rights and wrongs, correctness, virtue, goodness, good behavior, righteousness, rectitude, uprightness, having morals, principles, honesty, integrity, honor, justice, fair play, justness, decency, purity, blamelessness, a community’s moral standards, a personal moral code, a family’s principles of right and wrong, an business’s rules of conduct, ethos, and ideals. I know I gave you a lot of terms there but I did it on purpose.  It should cause you to think about how Masons try daily to live their life and improve themselves in society.

Okay so morality is a particular system of values and principles of conduct, especially one held by a specified person or society. That is the most basic definition of morality. Yet, Freemasonry has values, principles, and is a group of good men.  Freemasonry strives to help it’s members grow into a better person. A better father, grandfather, son, husband, uncle, neighbor, church attendee, co-worker, and the list can on but I think you get the point.

So what is Freemasonry for a Freemason?

Okay a Master Mason has been through the three degrees that explain the elementary principles of Freemasonry.  We use symbols in the degrees to help reinforce Freemasonry Report - Square and Compassideas and concepts. This happens in a lodge.  A lodge is the Freemason’s building and there are many in different local community around the world.  Each lodge in it’s area is part of a Grand Lodge and it is allowed to operate by authority of a Charter. A lodge charter is granted by the State or National organization depending on what country you live in, that is called “The Grand Lodge.”

Every Master Mason is a spokesman for our fraternity to the community.  Every Master Mason reinforces the good the fraternity can and should do to help our community by being a good citizen and doing good to others in the community.  A Master Mason is not interested in power, glory, and so on. He is a man wanting to make his community better by doing good actions in the community.

Further, Freemasonry is not a religion. Yet, it encourages it’s members to find a church or holy place and pray to God. Masons are from all different religions and come together to talk to one another about the fraternity not about politics nor religion. We discuss how to improve ourselves as people and do good in or for our community. We are not a cult, we are not a religion, and we are not a political group.  We are not a secret society, yet we are a fraternity with secrets.

What about it being a religion?

Truth be told, Freemasonry is not a religion but yet it is religious in nature. Why? Because having a Belief in a Supreme Being is a fundamental requirement for becoming a Mason. How can you take an obligation or make a promise to keep a secret if you have nothing you stand for or submit to? I submit to the fact that God is great and He is the maker of all everything. I personally stand for and abide by my words used before my God (which for me is the Holy Trinity – Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, and God).  How could anyone be held to their word if they don’t believe in a higher power? The higher power (i.e. God) will hold them accountable for their actions in life and God will be their only judge of their actions after their life is over.

So therefore, Freemasonry is not a religion nor a substitute for religion. It requires of its members a belief in a supreme being as part of the obligation of every responsible adult, but advocates no sectarian faith or practice. Therefore, an atheist cannot be Freemason. Further, our Masonic ceremonies include prayers, to reaffirm each individual’s dependence on their supreme being and to seek divine guidance. Freemasonry is open to men of various faiths but again religion may not be discussed at Masonic meetings.

Here is more information on why Freemasonry lacks the basic elements of religion:

  • It has no dogma or theology
  • It has no wish or means to enforce religious orthodoxy
  • It offers no sacraments
  • It does not claim to lead to salvation by works, secret knowledge or by any other means
  • The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with modes of recognition, not with the means of salvation

Gaining more information of this fraternity

Yes, Freemasonry is a charitable organization and it files with the local, state, and federal governments. Yes, it is a fraternity and abides by the laws of the land when paying bills and so on.  The fraternity mission is to strengthen a man’s character, to try to improve his moral and spiritual outlook, and encourage him to continue to learn for his entire life to better broaden his mental horizons. Freemasonry is not a secret society but is a society of secrets.  Okay, so the fraternity is interested in making good men better. So what is a good man? He is a man of Faith and a man with no criminal felonies. Also, he is a man over the age of 18 and he is respected in our community.

Here is what Freemasons don’t know and what are NOT our Masonic Secrets:

  1. The existence of UFOs
  2. What really is happening in Area 51
  3. Who killed JFK
  4. 9/11 Cover-Up or inside job
  5. Is Elvis alive or dead
  6. Knowing if Secret Societies Control the World
  7. If The Moon Landings Were Faked
  8. Holocaust Revisionism
  9. The CIA and AIDS
  10. The Reptilian Elite

And this list can literally never end.  But, we as Freemasons are not interested in taking over the world but we are trying to make ourselves better to hopefully improve our local community. Therefore, by our acts of kindness, we can be mean the world to others in a good way. Our acts of charity make a difference from paying for a set of glasses for a child from a poor family that can’t afford them to helping children with hearing, eye, or burns. This is how we wish to be remembered.

Okay I think I answered this question – but I know you may have more questions – don’t worry I will answer them one by one. Slowly and methodically to give a deeper understanding of this amazing fraternity. I hoped you enjoyed this first answer and I hope you reading the many answers yet to come!

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