Who Are Freemasons ? What is a Freemason – What is Freemasonry?

Welcome to our website which has been established as a ‘one stop shop’ to explain the principles of freemasonry, examine and comment on criticism, and to provide links to many other Masonically related sites, which freemasons and the public may find interesting and informative.

About Freemasonry

Freemasonry has a wonderful history, having existed for many years earlier than its traceable history of over 300 years. It is renowned for its charitable and good works, including helping local, national and international charities and good causes.

What is a Freemason?

Freemasons seek to retain a moral and ethical approach to life seeking to reinforce thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things, showing concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need. With Charity being at the heart of Freemasonry, Freemasons are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount.

Freemasons follow the three great principles:

  • Brotherly Love – Showing tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behaving with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
  • Relief – Practising charity and to care – not only for their own – but also for the community both by charitable giving and by voluntary efforts and work as individuals.
  • Truth – requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives. Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.

Whats New In Freemasonry?

  • Scientists That Were Freemasons
  • Advertise Your Masonic Events For Free
  • Beamish Lodge County Durham
  • Masonic Activity By Prisoners of War
  • Add Your UK Lodge Information
  • Suggest International Masonic Lodge
  • Formal Menswear Suitable For Masonic Functions
  • Countries For International Masonic Lodge Section
  • Walking with the Widows Son
  • The History of the Freemasons and Freemasonry
  • A Handbook for the Freemasons Wife
  • The Matthew Cooke Manuscript

Misconceptions About Freemasonry

Type Freemasons or Freemasonry into Google and one has many thousands of pages to choose from. It is the intention of this website to cover just about every aspect related to Freemasonry and become the accepted central focus for the public and the craft. We will even address the criticisms of the ‘anti- Masonic brigade’ whose comments are made through total ignorance.

Freemasonry has long been mistakenly seen as a secretive organisation and the anti-Masonic web sites, of which there are many; perpetuate a twisted view of the craft. Interestingly, there are a number of really secretive organisations, some with questionable motives, but they are not attacked in the way Freemasonry is. But rather than dismiss their criticisms out of hand, they will be confronted, addressed and corrected.

So having said that, let us address, and get out of the way, two misconceptions.

First – invitation

One does not have to wait to be invited by a Freemason to join Freemasonry. Waiting to be invited to join was really a genuine concern so that a person’s feelings were not hurt and only ‘chosen’ people of an acceptable class were invited. This really came about due to changes in society which took place as the result of the first and second world wars. One has to realise the situation of the times and in both cases there was a considerable reduction of the ‘servant’ class, many of whom became the new middle class. In such a class ridden structure, many of the ‘old guard’ did not want those who were previously servants to join their lodge. Not only that many, if they had wanted too many, could not have afforded the annual subscription.

But today life has changed, and that attitude disappeared many years ago. Nevertheless it still perpetuates. Now any man can join providing he is over 21, of good character, and believes in a god of his faith. Freemasonry is classless. It is enjoyed by men in many walks of life. There are cases, in the military, of an NCO initiating his Commanding Officer into the craft. And the first Masonic Office he will hold is steward; often waiting on his fellow brethren at dinner after the lodge meeting. One’s external rank has no standing in Freemasonry. Freemasonry has its own ranking structure and all new initiates, regardless of external rank are subjected to it. The Masonic webmaster of this site has been waited on at table by top ranking members of the armed forces, politicians etc who have been starting their Masonic journey as a steward.

Second – secrets.

We are very sorry to blow away that misconception. There are no secrets in Freemasonry! Yes, we know that many will laugh and say what a lot of rot. But before you dismiss that statement, just click on here to read and consider the explanation.

There are many suppositions of how freemasonry started, and we can address that on the FAQ and other pages. The only thing this site will not disclose is what is referred to as ‘the secrets of Freemasonry. Why you ask. Well, because it is not a secret, but simply a password. Let us explain. Go back to the middle ages when there were no paper qualifications. How did a stone mason prove the level of work he was capable of if he moved to another site or job many miles away where he was not known? Simple. At certain stages of his seven-year apprenticeship, after proving competence, he would have gone through various ceremonies during each of which he would have been given a password.

He was also threatened with dire consequences if he told anyone. This made it a secret personal to him. Now these young apprentices lived in a time of fear; ghosts, apparitions, witches, wizards and ducking stools. Young and impressionable, they were often afraid to walk across a graveyard at night. Arriving at his new job, he would be able to communicate the password so that the Master mason knew what he was capable of. It was regarded as personal and kept secret, and closely ‘guarded’. If it became general knowledge, the whole of the ‘competence’ structure would have been void and useless.

All the working guilds of the time had a similar structure, but it has really only survived through Freemasonry. We respect the traditions of an ancient craft and protect what is no more than a password. It is no more than one protecting one’s credit card security code. But if one is really interested in finding out, then there are many web pages and the local library to choose from.

Masonic Rituals & Progression

The working mason wears an apron for protection. Those we wear reflect this and signify a level or office within Freemasonry. At your Initiation, you will wear a plain white apron.

  • When you become a Fellow Craft, you will wear a plain white apron with 2 light blue rosettes.
  • After the third ceremony, as a Master Mason, your apron will have a light blue border, three light blue rosettes and two vertical ribbons referring to Jachin & Boaz – columns outside King Solomon’s Temple. The ‘tassels’ – some say represent the seven ages of man and knowledge of the seven liberal arts.
  • On becoming The Worshipful Master, they exchange the 3 rosettes for 3 levels. Precursor of a spirit level, the two inverted T’s are fixed at 90 degrees to the baseline. Therefore, a cord hung down the centre of the leg of the inverted T will confirm that the horizontal bar is level.
  • Eventually Provincial rank – a white apron with a dark blue border, fringed with gold edging, 3 gold levels. Also, a collar and jewel.
  • In normal craft, Freemasonry brethren wear light blue collars to differentiate lodge offices.
  • Most Masons wear a black tie, in remembrance of those killed in WW1. All Freemasons wear white gloves. A leveller; you cannot tell by a man’s hands if he is an office worker or labourer

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