When a man joins Masonry something special is added to his life. He now shares membership in a fraternity dedicated to such things as morality, worldwide brotherhood, obedience to the law, the practice of charity and belief in a Supreme Being. And it means much more. No wonder Masons, and newer members in particular, find it difficult to discuss Masonry with others, even with their families. But family interest and support in this special part of his life means a great deal to every Mason, to his lodge and to Masonry in general. The purpose of this publication is to help him share Masonry with you, and to extend sincere appreciation for your continued interest and support.
WHAT DOES MASONRY OFFER ITS MEMBERS ?
High on the list is encouragement to lead a more rewarding life by being a good citizen and neighbour; a good husband, father, son or brother; a friend to those in need; and to be a man of honour and of good morals. Masonry also offers a place where every member, regardless of age or occupation, can enjoy a sense of brotherhood in an evening of fellowship. Teachings of Masonry are of a serious nature, but lodge meetings and social events are meant to be enjoyed. Masonic Lodges can also provide ways in which a member can serve his community through a variety of charitable activities.
HOW MUCH TIME DOES BEING A MASON REQUIRE ?
To most new members and their families the first months in Masonry seem full of memory work and meetings. After the member receives his degrees things settle down to one, or sometimes two monthly meetings. If a member joins a committee or becomes an officer the time required naturally increases. In making such decisions, a Mason is expected to consider the needs of his family and of his work.
WHAT ABOUT SECRECY ?
Masonry has no secrets to come between a member and his family, his religion or his occupation. Many lodges hold “open house” events and other occasions to show and explain Masonry to member’s families and to the public. Most organizations manage their affairs in private and membership almost always provides privileges. So it is with Masonry
HOW RELIGIOUS ARE MASONS ?
Each Mason’s personal religion or denomination is considered private and the subject of religion, as well as that of politics, is not discussed in a Masonic Lodge. Masonry, on the other hand, is religious in nature. Members are encouraged to support whatever religion they follow. Each candidate must state his belief in a Supreme Being before he may become a member. The letter ‘G’ in the Masonic symbol refers to God. A volume of religious writings , acceptable to the members of the the lodge or to an incoming member is open at every regular meeting. These volumes include the Bible, the Granth, the Koran and the Torah.
WHO ELSE ARE MASONS ?
Worldwide, there are probably four million members. An exact number is difficult as each of the 150 Grand Lodges is separate and manages its own affairs. In our jurisdiction, Ontario, there are 653 lodges and about 90,000 members. Masons are in all walks of life, professions and occupations; characteristics that are set aside when they enter the lodge building. To become a Mason, our lodges require that a man be at least 21 years old, be recommended by two members of the lodge, and be of good moral character. A man’s race or religion is not a factor. When he joins, he is initiated in the same ceremony that has been used for several hundred years.
Grand Lodge A.F. & A.M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario