WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
An ancient fraternity dedicated to friendship, morality, and brotherly love.
It is NOT…
- A Charity – even though Masons contribute considerably to worthwhile charities.
- A Subversive Organization – a Mason must be a peaceful, law abiding citizen.
- A Political Party or Action Group – although you will find prominent Masons leading our government.
- A Religion – although to become a Mason, a man must believe in a supreme being.
Freemasonry neither interferes with religion nor politics. Freemasonry strives to teach a man the duty he owes to his God, his neighbor, and himself.
WHAT DO MASONS DO?
Enjoy Brotherhood – through social functions and group activities.
Build their lives and character, just as a carpenter builds a house.
Quietly volunteer considerable time and money to Charities:
- The Masonic Home of Florida – St. Petersburg
- The Grand Masters Charity – which contributes to such things as Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) (Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF), Medical Research, etc.
- Other Organizations – Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, Red Cross, Salvation Army, community ministries, Meals on Wheels, College scholarships, and neighborhood youth sports teams.
WHAT DO MASONS BELIEVE?
Although Freemasonry recognizes each man is different, there are certain traits all Masons have in common:
- Masons believe in the existence of God. No atheist can become a Mason. Masons do not care what your individual faith is. Masons include Christians, Jews, Muslims, etc.
- Masons believe in responsibility, honor, morality, and ethics.
- Masons believe the world should be a better place because we passed through it.
- Masons believe a person should strive to be a good citizen and that we have a moral duty to be true to the country which we live, and uphold and maintain the principles of good government.
- Masons see brotherhood as a form of wisdom, a sort of bond that holds men together. A private friendship that tells us we owe it to each other to be just in our dealings.
WHO ARE MASONS?
All walks of life and professions:
- Business Leaders, Entertainers, Inventors, Designers, Founders, Kings, Military Leaders, Pioneers, Explorers, Political Leaders, Sports Figures, Writers, Patriots, Presidents, Judges, Justices, Your Neighbor!All religions, all races, all socioeconomic classes (blue collar and white collar).
Freemasonry is an international society, with Lodges and Brotherhood around the world.
WHO CAN BECOME A MASON?
Men of the age of 18 or older who…
Freemasonry will also entail certain financial obligations which you should be able to discharge without detriment to yourself or those dependent on you. In addition to the fees payable on your entrance, there will be annual dues for the support of your Lodge.
WHAT IS A MASONIC LODGE?
- A Masonic Lodge (also known as “Temple” or “Blue Lodge”) is the cornerstone of Masonic society. It is a place where local Masons gather to conduct meetings, perform fraternal ceremonies, and hold social functions. There are about 13,200 such lodges in the United States.
- A Masonic Lodge is governed by a set of officers:
- Worshipful Master (President)
- Senior Warden (Senior VP)
- Junior Warden (Junior VP)
- Deacons (Messengers)
- Stewards (to serve refreshment)
Once you have become a Mason, you can visit other Lodges.
HOW DO YOU BECOME A MASON?
To become a good and bright Mason, it is necessary that a Man be of sound mind and retentive memory. There are three symbolic degrees to learn in becoming a Mason. These degrees represent lessons of Masonry:
- Entered Apprentice (EA) – beginner
- Fellowcraft (FC) – intermediate
- Master Mason (MM) – expert
How do I begin?
To be one, ask one! Simply ask a Mason and he will help you begin the process. The steps include:
- First you must petition the Lodge of your choice. .Ask someone you know who is a Mason to sponsor you into the fraternity.Have three references who know you to be of good morals and strong character.
- Your petition is read in Lodge, the members vote on its acceptance and an investigation committee is formed. A nominal entrance fee must accompany the petition; this will vary from Lodge to Lodge.
- The investigation committee will contact you and your family to meet, go over your petition and ask questions of your character.
- Approximately one month from the time your petition is accepted, the report of the investigation committee and your references, will be read in Lodge, and then the craft will ballot on final acceptance.
The Final Ballot Was Favorable:
- You will then be invited to attend Lodge and be initiated an Entered Apprentice.
- The Lodge will appoint an instructor who will teach you the meaning of the degree you have gone through. After successfully presenting your proficiency, you advance to the Fellowcraft Degree and so on until you have completed all three degrees and have attained the sublime degree of Master Mason.
The Final Ballot Was Unfavorable:
- You will be informed of the LODGES’S decision regarding your petition.
- You may petition other lodges or the same lodge after a 30 day waiting period.
THE ORGANIZATION OF FREEMASONRY
Masonic government is relatively “flat”, meaning it has very few layers of bureaucracy. Within the State of Florida, we have:
- Lodge – governed by a Worshipful Master (elected by the Lodge membership for one year). The Master has full authority over the Lodge.
- Districts (groups of Lodges, typically by county) – led by Right Worshipful Masters (one year term) appointed by the Grand Master.
- Zones (groups of Districts) – led by Chairmen (one year term) appointed by the Grand Master.
- Grand Lodge (state-wide) – governed by an elected Grand Master (one year term). Click HERE for the current Grand Master and his officers.