WHAT IS FREEMASONRY
Wor.Bro. Clive Herron
Tonight we are going to examine the question of WHAT IS FREEMASONRY for unless we can answer this question the chances of attracting new members is very slim.
What is Freemasonry....
any Freemason this question, and you’ll probably get different
the same question of a member of a rotary club, or a football club or an
amateur dramatic society and they can give you a clear answer
is it not so with freemasonry ?
means different things to each member.
would say it’s a personal development program which promotes family
and community values.
would describe Freemasonry as a chance for both social interaction and
there is no simple answer
LET US BEGIN BY EXAMINING WHAT FREEMASONRY IS NOT
is not a Religion
it contains marked religious elements and religious references. Some
Brethren may legitimately say, if they wish, that “Masonry is my
religion”, but he is not justified in holding that view out to others.
References in the Constitution of Irish Freemasonry make this point
quite clear that the system is meant to exist outside and independently
of religion. However The Order does requires of its members a belief in
a Deity and conformity to Moral Law. Every brother being free to choose
whatever mode or form of religion he pleases.
is not a Philosophy
are many philosophical matters in the background of Freemasonry some of
which do not appear in the Ritual, it is left up to each and every mason
discover and research. The Fellowcraft degree calls on us to study the
liberal arts and sciences. There is so much to masonry when we start to
is not a Service Club
does provide an opportunity for public service, and hands-on involvement
in charitable or community issues
is not an excuse for a boys night out
order to get a better understanding of freemasonry we need to ask
ourselves – WHAT IS A MASON? – For without masons there can be no
Freemasonry, likewise without freemasonry there can no Masons. You have
an egg or chicken situation that illustrates how intertwined we become
on joining Masonry
WHAT IS A FREEMASON?
Mason subscribes to a “system of morality”.
this is not a quality exclusive to Masons. Does a Man need to join
Masons to learn morals and study ethics.” The answer is NO.
If it were so we would not have any members, Remember as a pre-requisite
to joining the proposed candidate should be “of
good repute amongst his friends and neighbours”. So therefore
he was already of high moral standards before becoming a Freeemason.
surely there must be a quality we attain after becoming a Mason that
binds us together to become the oldest fraternity in the world with over
5 million members. For indeed we are bound together
the comfort and ease you feel when visiting another lodge. It is
something more than the claps given in the lodge room or the nice words
said about visitors over the festive board. You are accepted as a
brother no matter which lodge you are visiting.
can assure you that this is not a feeling you will experience in any
it the fact that like the ancient Masons whose camaraderie was developed
in their mutual labours building the tremple of Solomon. We bind
ourselves together through that” ….. spiritual
building, that house not made with hand, eternal”. The bricks
of this building are our “minds” and “thoughts” Character is
built by thoughts. Your character is the aggregate of your thoughts. We
are given a hint that the production of Good thoughts is not the easiest
of things to do and takes concerted effort. This is demonstrated in one
of the tools we are given to deal with it, the common gavel. We are told
of a violent process we must undertake on ourselves, that breaking away
the parts of the stones
(our bricks or thoughts) .The meaning of “superfluous” is
“UNNECESSARY”, “OBSOLETE”, “WASTEFUL”. “Rough” is
defined as crude, harsh,
as masons have THIS PECULIAR MORALITY that illustrated by hand tools AND
To spend time wisely – part in our usual vocation, part in rest
and recreation and part in the service of our creator
To divest our minds and consciences of all vices and impurities
To use the square as an emblem of proven morality
That all men in the sight of God are equal, subject to the same
infirmities, hastening to the same goals and preparing to be judged by
the same laws.
That we cannot sustain ourselves unless we live our lives in an
That all our words and actions are recorded and observed by the
Almighty and that we will eventually be called upon to give account.
That we should live according to the VSL
That true happiness can only be achieved through the living of a
this is the crux of Freemasonry ALL Masons must accept and have a clear
Freemason strives to be moral and ethical.
strives to show justice, act honourably, and be loyal.
Freemason teaches and practices concern for people.
cares for the less fortunate, and helps those in need.
all this is done irrespective of cultural or ethnic background.
of religious beliefs.
irrespective of any differences in social standing or education
question now begs to be answered
Am I living up to those ideals
my lodge serving its purpose
if we - fail we fail ourselves, our brothers and
are some of course who say I belong to a lodge but I don’t seem to get
much out of it. That brother could find the answer to his problem by
self examination. He is the one who “belongs” but makes no effort to
integrate himself with
masonry, or really become a part of his lodge.
then if it is Masons who make up Freemasonry then the qualities I have
outlined answer part of the question WHAT IS FREEMASONRY?
TO SUMMARISE – WHAT IS FREEMASONRY
is no short description for Freemasonry we are a complex body of men
bound together as a brotherhood, meeting as equals, involved in labour,
linked together spiritually and enjoying the fellowship of each
other’s company. All this we do in the firm belief that through
masonry we can promote PEACE, LOVE and HARMONY an ideal to which all
good men aspire.
are NOT a fraternity, that attracts with words BUT rather by DEEDS. If
you are living the life of a true mason your actions will NOT go
unnoticed. There will be qualities that set you above the rest. People
will respect you. It is up to each one of us to examine our own
reflection I realize the brilliance of our forebears in selecting the
Building of Solomon's Temple as our central theme. Everything in nature
and in the works of man is produced by building. Nature builds atom by
atom, cell by cell. Man builds by one brick, board or beam at a time.
This in effect reduces the ultimate work of Freemasonry to be the work
of the individual Mason.
we see, including, including ourselves, started small, simple and
singular, to be built into a complex unity towards a particular end or
Masons we are constructing that “……spiritual house (ourselves) not
made with hands…”. That
is the answer to what is Freemasonry?
Masonry attracts fellow men by the example we as masons set rather than
the manner by which we are described.