What is Freemasonry?
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. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organizations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry. The following information is intended to explain Freemasonry as it is practiced under the United Grand Lodge of England, which administers Lodges of Freemasons in England and Wales and in many places overseas.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues to this day.
FREEMASONRY DOES NOT DISCRIMINATE ON GROUNDS OF RACE, COLOUR, RELIGION, POLITICAL VIEWS OR SOCIAL STANDING!
Questions and Answers....
What's a lodge?
The word "lodge" means both a group of Masons meeting in some place and the room or building in which they meet. Masonic buildings are also sometimes called "temples" because much of the symbolism Masonry uses to teach its lessons comes from the building of King Solomon's Temple in the Holy Land. The term "lodge" itself comes from the structures which the stonemasons built against the sides of the cathedrals during construction.
What Does A. F. Mean?
The term 'Ancient Free' originated in England during the Middle Ages.
Ancient craftsman were very skilled, and their craft was considered indispensable to the welfare of both the Church and the State. For this reason, they were not placed under the same restrictions as were other workers - they were "free" to do their work, travel and live their lives in a manner befitting the Middle Ages this freedom was rare.
Our Legendary history carries this freedom from the "Operative Mason" back to the year 946 in York, England.
The Symbolism of the Stone
Why do we use the terms and tools of the Stonemasons art?
Stone is the oldest, most enduring natural building material and as a stone is worked, the excess is removed to reveal the inner beauty of character, polish and refine our raw material to bring out the best in each of us.
The Square & Compasses
The Square & Compasses are the single and most identifiable symbol of Freemasonry.
Both, the Square & Compasses are architect's tools and are used as emblems to teach symbolic lessons.
The Compasses, which is used to draw circles , represents infinite boundaries and the realm of the spiritual.
The angle measures the Square, and represents something that is stable; a foundation for building upon, and the angle measured represents the 'realm of the material'.
*Together the Square & Compasses represent a convergence of Spirit and Matter*