What is Freemasonry?

You might see the aprons and the ceremonies and wonder what it’s all about. Perhaps you’ve got a relative who is a Mason – an uncle or grandfather who was a Shriner or a friend at work who wears a Square and Compass ring on their finger. Maybe you’ve seen the Masonic Temple in your town, or remember going to a Shrine Circus as a child or seeing the men in their red hats driving their funny little go-karts during your local Christmas Parade.   

 

What do Freemasons do?

Freemasonry is defined in various public sources as “A peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols”.

An essay by W.Bro. Steven H. Mesnick puts forth the following points of what Freemasonry is (and isn’t):

  • Freemasonry is a charitable organization. Freemasonry, for just one of many possible examples, is the largest contributor of blood to Red Cross and other blood banks. The Shriners’ Burns Institutes and Hospitals for Crippled Children (at which all services are FREE!) are well known, but it is less known that to join the Shrine, you have to be a Freemason.
  • Freemasonry is a social organization. Freemasons enjoy meeting new people and socializing with old friends. The Craft offers ample opportunities for both.
  • Freemasonry is an educational organization. It is one of our basic principles that Freemasons should seek a greater knowledge of the universe and their place in it.
  • Freemasonry is a philosophical organization. Our ritual (which is rich, complex, and endlessly inspiring) stresses certain fundamental truths upon which, on reflection, men of many different backgrounds, religions, and opinions can agree — and have agreed for centuries. This ritual forms the focus of our regular meetings.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a religion. No atheist can be a Mason, and we as Masons are obliged to honor the Deity we recognize, but we preach no dogma and we neither offer salvation nor threaten damnation for the observance or omission of any particular religious belief.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a political organization, despite any fiction one might read concerning long-defunct splinter organizations or those that met under the guise of Freemasonry, like the Illuminati or P2. In fact, the discussion of political issues is strictly forbidden at Masonic meetings.
  • Freemasonry is NOT a secret organization. A secret organization is one that keeps its existence, or at least its membership, secret. Everyone knows Freemasonry exists, and Masons are proud of being members. Freemasonry is an organization with secrets — mostly relating to forms of recognition, points of ritual, etc. We do not have the recipe for the Elixir of Life, nor (despite recent sensational publications) do we know where the Holy Grail is hidden.

There are several excellent (and not-so excellent) resources on Freemasonry on the Internet. A visit to Google should help you with your search. Is Freemasonry right for you? Only you can answer that question. Do your research and decide for yourself. Ask friends or co-workers who are Masons. If you decide that Freemasonry is right for you, we at Flower City Lodge can help you on your road of Masonic light and knowledge!

Flower City Lodge meets every other Thursday as a Lodge for our regular lodge meetings. There we learn more about Masonry’s rich history, perform ancient ceremonies and come together as brothers in the ancient craft. Freemasonry is NOT a religion, and does not preach or support any particular faith. Flower City Lodge’s membership represents the rich multiculturalism of the City of Brampton. In Flower City’s lodge room, Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and Sikhs all call each other Brother and work together to improve ourselves and our City.

After you become a Mason, you’ll not only earn the respect and fraternal companionship that comes from being a part of a dynamic organization, you’ll be part of an organization that can trace it’s history back hundreds of years. You’ll also get the opportunity to join other Masonic organizations, such as the Shriners.