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  Edmonton Freemasons - Saskatchewan Lodge #92
  Saskatchewan Lodge No. 92 A.F. & A.M. G.R.A - Edmonton, Alberta, Canada - Northern Lights District    On The Level                                         
 
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Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth



 
 

 

Masonry Facts

What is Freemasonry?

 

Freemasonry is a philosophy and practice of morality and ethics imparted to its members through the symbolic use of the tools of ancient stonemasons and by initiation ceremonies based upon rituals that are centuries old. Freemasons uniquely use 18th century language and rituals to teach 21st century values.

 

The heritage of modern Freemasonry is derived from the organized guilds or unions of stonemasons who constructed the beautiful cathedrals and other stately structures throughout Europe during the middle ages. Over time, the demand for operative stonemasons declined until they were eventually  replaced with  members who emphasized the teaching of moral philosophy rather than the technical and working skills of earlier centuries.

Tools of the stonemasons are still used in Freemasonry today but only to symbolize moral virtue, not to build cathedrals.

 

What Does It Mean To Be A Mason?

 

It means being part of an unbroken tradition that stretches back over 500 years to a time when guilds of Freemasons traveled throughout Europe laying the stones of the great Gothic cathedrals.

 

Many famous people were Freemasons - among them George Washington, John A Macdonald, John G Diefenbaker, Harold Ballard, Tim Horton, Glenn Ford, Oscar Peterson, Gordon Sinclair, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock, John Molson, Joseph Seagram, and Paul Revere - all Masons who lived their lives by the principles of loyalty, patriotism, liberty, courage, and faith, which are also deeply embedded in Freemasonry. A more comprehensive list is HERE.

 

It means becoming a better person while helping to improve the quality of life for others. It means forming deep and lasting friendships through Masonic Brotherhood that transcend the boundaries of race, religion, and culture, as well as those of geography.

 

But most of all, being a Mason means the kind of deep satisfaction that comes only from selfless giving; from doing for others without asking or expecting anything in return.

 

Is Freemasonry a Religion?

 

Freemasonry is not a religion. In fact, discussing religion is forbidden in Masonic meetings. Every man desiring to become a Mason must believe in a Supreme Being; how each man views that deity is their own personal belief. Masonic meetings open and close with a prayer but not as a place of worship or a church.

 

Who Becomes a Mason?

 

Men who become Masons come from all walks of life and levels of income. They represent every race, creed, and culture. In Masonry, it doesn't matter whether a man is a bricklayer or a physician, a waiter or the mayor of the city. All are “on the same level” in the Lodge room.

 

The ceremonies and practices of the Masons have remained unchanged for hundreds of years. No matter where a Masonic Lodge is located, its members share the common bond of having passed through the same degree work, rites, and rituals. Because of this, members can find brother Masons wherever they go. Across the country and around the world, there are Lodges in nearly every city and in many smaller communities.

 

It's a good feeling to know that, wherever a man's travels may take him, he has friends he can depend upon and trust.

 

The Masonic Tenets

 

Freemasonry is built upon three basic tenets - Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Brotherly Love is the practice of the Golden Rule. Relief embodies charity for all mankind. Truth is honesty, fair play, and adherence to the cardinal virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence, and Justice.

These moral lessons are taught during three ceremonies, or "degrees" through allegory and symbolism using the traditional stonemasons tools.

 

Masonic Secrecy

 

Freemasonry is not a secret organization but rather an organization with secrets. The “secrets” which Masons may not divulge involve the modes of recognition which Masons may use to identify themselves, as well as parts of the degree rituals. However, Lodge buildings are clearly marked and listed in the phone book. Members frequently wear rings and pins identifying them as Masons. Masonry values confidentiality and so, as with many other organizations, many of its meetings are not open to the public.

 

Giving Freely of Yourself and Asking Nothing in Return

 

Selfless giving is a trademark of Freemasonry. Locally, our Lodge and many others support scholarships to students pursuing higher education. Masons are the founding sponsors and supporters of the Shriners Hospitals for Children which offer their services free of charge. Individual Lodges regularly support other charitable activities.

 

How Many Degrees are there in Freemasonry?


Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:

 

• Entered Apprentice • Fellow Craft • Master Mason

 

There are many other Masonic degrees and Orders which are called 'additional' or 'appendant' because they add to the foundations established in the first three degrees. They are not basic to Freemasonry but add to it by further expounding upon and illustrating the moral lessons taught. Some of these additional degrees are numerically superior to the third degree but this does not affect the fact that they are additional to and not in anyway superior to or higher than the Master Mason degree. The ranks that these additional degrees carry have no standing with the Craft.

 

Secrecy


The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition. It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to enquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members. In history there have been times and places where promoting equality, freedom of thought or liberty of conscience was dangerous. Most importantly though is a question of perspective. Each aspect of the craft has a meaning. Freemasonry has been described as a system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. Such characteristics as virtue, honour and mercy, such virtues as temperance, fortitude, prudence and justice are empty clichés and hollow words unless presented within an ordered and closed framework. The lessons are not secret but the presentation is kept private to promote a clearer understanding in good time. It is also possible to view Masonic secrecy not as secrecy in and of itself, but rather as a symbol of privacy and discretion. By not revealing Masonic secrets, or acknowledging the many published exposures, freemasons demonstrate that they are men of discretion, worthy of confidences, and that they place a high value on their word and bond.

 

Freemasonry and Society


Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of the country in which a man works and lives. Its principles do not in any way conflict with its members' duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private responsibilities. The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, professional or personal interests is condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry. His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonorably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty and the teachings of Freemasonry itself.  

 

Freemasonry and Politics


Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden. Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance, and to be obedient to the laws of any state in which he may reside. Holding these beliefs and in the knowledge that the true Freemason will act in civil life according to his individual judgments and the dictates of his conscience. Freemasonry naturally tends to attract those with a concern for people and a sense of social responsibility and purpose. There are members, therefore, who are involved in politics at local, national and international level. Equally there are members who take an active interest in non-Masonic charitable organizations and other community groups. 

 

Freemasonry and Religion


Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. It has no theology and does not teach any route to salvation. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellow man not in a man’s relationship with his God. Although every lodge meeting is opened and closed with a prayer and its ceremonies reflect the essential truths and moral teachings common to many of the world's great religions, no discussion of religion is permitted in Masonic meetings. The one essential qualification means that Freemasonry is open to men of many religions and it expects and encourages them to continue to practice his religion and to regard its holy book as the unerring standard of truth. The Bible will always be present in a lodge but as the organization welcomes men of all faiths, it is called the Volume of the Sacred Law. Thus, when the Volume of the Sacred Law is referred to in ceremonies, to a non-Christian it will be the holy book of his religion and to a Christian it will be the Bible. 

 

Freemasonry and Hostility


Because of their belief in universal principles & freedoms Freemasons have been prosecuted and seen historically as threats by tyrants and despotic dictators. Intolerance towards Freemasons even emanated at one time from the Holy Roman Catholic Church. Various Roman Catholic Popes have published condemnations of Freemasonry, starting with Bull, In Eminenti, by Pope Clement XII, on 28 April, 1738. Although Roman Catholic Canon Law does not specifically mention Freemasonry, the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith of the Roman Catholic Church still views association as a serious sin. Furthermore, Freemasonry had been outlawed in Germany by Hitler and the Nazi's during WW II, by Mussolini in 1925, by Franco in Spain in 1941, suppressed by the Communists of Russia, Romania and Hungary, and in Iran by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. The countries where Freemasonry openly exists are in counties that are tolerant and more or less democratic.

 

Freemasons Obligations


New members make solemn promises concerning their conduct in the lodge and society. These promises are similar to those taken in court or upon entering the armed services or many other organizations. Freemasons promise to support others in times of need, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God, the law, their family or with their responsibilities as a Citizen. 

 

Family, Charity and Freemasonry


Freemasonry should not be allowed to harm a man's family or other connections by taking too much of his time or his money, or causing him to act in any way against their interests. Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.

 

Freemasonry Attraction


Every man comes, of his own free will and accord, with his own individual needs and interests. One man may join so that he can associate with other men who believe that only by improving themselves can they hope to improve their society. Another man may join because he is looking for a focus for his charitable inclinations. And yet another may be attracted by a strong sense of history and tradition. Many join simply because they knew a friend or relative who was a freemason and they admired that man’s way of living his life. All who join and become active discover a bond of brotherly affection and a community of mutual support; a practical extension of their own religious and philosophical beliefs. 

 

Freemasons: How Much and How Many


Membership fees vary from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his needs and means. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription. It is entirely up to the individual member what he gives to Charity, but it should always be without detriment to his other responsibilities. Freemasonry is a brotherhood of over 5 million worldwide.

 

Freemasonry and Women


Women are not invited to join recognized Masonic lodges. By contemporary standards it may not appear easy to justify this exclusion and most freemasons would simply claim tradition. One might justify this exclusion, in contemporary terms, as a form of male bonding; meeting a group of like minded men from a broad social, economic and cultural background to practice a ritual derived from those practiced hundreds of years ago. If Freemasonry is a power elite then women could and should feel justifiable outrage at being excluded. Freemasonry’s goal, though, is not the consolidation of power but rather the education of good men. The only real justification is that Freemasonry actively promotes and teaches certain social freedoms, one of them being the freedom of association. If freemasons wish to associate in a male-only environment, then that is their right and privilege as free citizens. No other justification or explanation is required except this. Women are a very important part of our lives as Freemasons and without them our hearts and minds would be at a significant loss.

 

Source: Masonic Higher Education Bursary Fund

 

 

Joining Freemasonry and Becoming a Mason

We are continually looking for worthy men and worthy men alone to join our Lodge.

To Become a Freemason You Must:

  1. Be a man, freeborn, of mature age, of good repute, and well-recommended

  2. Have a belief in a Supreme Being

  3. Be able to support one's self and family

  4. Come to Freemasonry of your own free will and accord

 

Click HERE for more on Joining Freemasonry and becoming a Freemason

 

 

 

 

 

 

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    Last Modified :09/25/13 02:25 PM