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What's a Mason?

A Mason is a member of a fraternity known as Masonry (or Freemasonry because there are things they want to do in the world, there are things they want to do "inside there own minds" and they enjoy being together with men they like and respect.

What's Masonry?

Masonry (or Freemasonry) is the oldest fraternity in the world. No one knows just how old it is because the actual origins have been lost in time.

Where did Masonry start?

Probably, it arose from the guilds of stonemasons who built the castles and cathedrals of the middle ages. Possibly, they were influenced by the Knights Templar, a group of Christian warrior monks formed in 1118 to help protect pilgrims making trips to the Holy Land.

When was Masonry formally organized?

In 1717, Masonry created a formal organization in England when the first Grand Lodge was formed.

What is a Grand Lodge?

A Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Masonry in some geographical area.

When did Masonry start in the US?

Prior to 1731, because when Benjamin Franklin joined the fraternity, there were already several lodges in the Colonies, and Masonry spread rapidly as America expanded west.

What are Masonic temples?

Masonic buildings are also sometimes called "temples" because much of the symbolism Masonry uses to teach its lessons comes from the building of King Solomon's Temple in the Holy Land.

What does "Worshipful Master" mean?

Since Masonry came to America from England, we still use the English titles for the officers. The Worshipful Master of the lodge sits in the East. "Worshipful" is an English term of respect which means the same thing as "Honorable". He is called the Master of the lodge for the same reason that the leader of an orchestra is called the "Concert Master". It's simply an older term for "Leader". In other organizations, he would be called "President".

Why is Masonry "secretive".

It really isn't "secretive", although it sometimes has that reputation. Masons certainly don't make a secret of the fact that they are members of the fraternity. We wear rings, lapel pins, with Masonic emblems like the Square and Compass, the best known of Masonic signs. Masonic buildings are clearly marked. Most lodge activities are not secret.

Is Masonry a "secret society"?

"Secret Societies" became very popular in America in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Many of them were modeled on Masonry and made a point of having many "secrets". Freemasonry got ranked with them. But if Masonry is a secret society, it's the worst-kept secret in the world.

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