What Is A Mason?
"Freemasonry, a beautiful system of Morality...
Veiled in Allegory and iIllustrated by symbols."
The fraternity of Freemasonry is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. It dates back hundreds of years to when stonemasons and other craftsmen on building projects gathered in shelter houses, or lodges. Over the years, formal Masonic lodges emerged, with members bound together not by trade but by their own desire to be fraternal brothers. Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere, John Hancock and many other famous men were Masons and played an important role as founding fathers of this nation.
Freemasonry is not a secret society, nor is it an insurance or beneficial society. It is a non-profit fraternal organization involved in charitable, educational and civic projects.
"Being persuaded that a just application of the principles,
on which the Masonic Fraternity is founded,
must be promote of private virtue and public prosperity,
I shall always be happy to advance the interests of the Society,
and to be considered by them as a deserving brother."
~ George Washington
Freemasonry accepts men who are found to be worthy, regardless of religious convictions. An essential requirement is a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being. It teaches the “Golden Rule.” It seeks to make good men better through its firm belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man and the immortality of the soul.
Masonry has no creed, no priesthood, and no plan for salvation. Neither is it an offspring of any church, ancient or modern. It espouses none of them nor is it subservient to any. While Masonry does require a belief in a Supreme Being, each Mason worships in his own fashion according to his religious belief, whether he is a Christian, Jew, Protestant, Roman Catholic, Buddhist or Hindu.
The Masonic Lodge, often known as the Symbolic Lodge, Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge, receives and acts upon petitions for the three degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees.
In many parts of North America, Masonry does not solicit members. In these areas, no one is asked to join, and a man must seek admission of his own free will – he must ask. In some areas, Masons are permitted to solicit new members. In all cases, a man interested in becoming a Mason, if he has not been asked, should consult a friend whom he believes to be a Freemason to secure his good counsel and recommendation concerning this important undertaking.
There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason (the Third Degree), but for those men who wish to further explore the allegory and symbolism learned in the Blue Lodge, the Scottish Rite and York Rite elaborate on the basic tenets of Freemasonry.
We welcome good men to join us and become Masonic brothers. It is never too late to become a member of the Masonic Fraternity. As webmaster of this site, I am proud to be a Mason and a Shriner. Please contact me if I may answer any questions for you.
The Scottish Rite is one of the two appendant bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry. Scottish Rite work amplifies and elaborates on the lessons of Blue Lodge Degrees. As with Freemasonry, the Scottish Rite is not a religion, and it is non-denominational, although it does require a belief in a Supreme Being.
A Master Mason may achieve 29 additional degrees – the fourth through the thirty-second – in the Scottish Rite. A 33rd Degree is bestowed on men who have given outstanding service to Freemasonry or to their communities. The Scottish Rite, sometimes called the “College of Freemasonry,” uses extensive drama and allegory to emphasize the messages of the degrees.
The York Rite is the other appendant body of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed to supplement and amplify the Blue Lodge degrees, affording historical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry.
York Rite takes its name from the old English city of York. It is said that Athelstan, a British king, was converted to Christianity in York and that he granted the original charter to the Masonic guilds in that city nearly a thousand years ago. Although the York Rite is not itself a religion, it does develop themes based on Christian Crusades.
In the York Rite, a Master Mason will become a member of three bodies – a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, a Council of Royal and Select Masters and a Commandery of Knights Templar.