Freemasonry is not a secret society but the lodges gatherings like in the case of many other asociations are private and opened only to their members.The guiding rules and ideals of Freemasonry are known to the publicand in many areas the gathering places are also used by the local community.
Secrets of Freemasonry consist mainly of members of the traditional modes of recognition which are not used in a discriminatory manner, but only in order to prove membership in certain situations, such as participation in the work of other lodges.
Masons meet in a lodge called attire. Broadly it has three parts. The first part is related to discussion about administrative and legal matters that were part of the last meeting, screening of the new candidates or case dependant the election of officers or officials of that lodge. The second part consist mainly of the ceremony that follows when a new member admission or advancement in rank. The third part consists of a study session generally related to a Masonic theme or Masonic interest thusly helping the brethren elevate their spiritual state.
The Ritual is a profound experience shared by all masons participating in attire. The use of allegory and symbolism make the principles of the Masonic Order easier to be imprinted in the mind of each candidate.
New members take a solemn oath regarding their conduct within the Lodge and Society at large. Each is sworn to keep secret the words and signs that can prove he’s a Freemason.
Freemasons do not crooked vows. They vow to help each other in any difficult situation, but only if that support does not conflict with their duties to God, profane law, against their families or if they violate their civic responsibilities.
At the beginning of the 17th century when the first Masonic Rituals were drawn it was a common thing that legal and civic oaths include sanctions and physical punishments and Freemasonry adapted .Still the physical punishments were more symbolic then harm inflicting and there are no certain sources that can attest otherwise. In 1986 after tenuous debates all the physical sanctions were dismissed.
Absolutely NOT. This will be a miss use of the membership status and it comes under the Jurisdiction of Masonic Discipline. When accepted into the Freemasonry each candidate states unequivocally that no material gain is expected and this is reminded to the candidate on several occasions during the initiation ritual. It is highly emphasized that any attempt to benefit from preferential treatment or material gain weather it is a personal or collective is a miss interpretation of membership and it will not be tolerated. The Masonic Constitution which every brother owes to know, contains strict rules on the abuse of membership. Their violation may result in punishment , ranging from temporary suspension to delisting. However, it’s a natural thing that Masons feel a mutual affinity and this affinity would follow them into their daily lives.
No. Since ancient times, Freemasonry has been involved in charitable activities. From its inception, has provided support not only widows and orphans of Freemasons but also to other people not involved in Freemasonry While some charitable activities are aimed especially at Masons or their relatives, more support is provided to non-Masonic organizations.
In Romania we have operating at the present moment two Rites: The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and The York Rite. Both rites belong to regular Freemasonry. Regular Freemasonry is in no way an atheist or against religion. It involves, on the contrary, the faith in God and divine principles. It doesn’t try to remove or replace the religion. Each candidate is free to declare his religion and practice it. Regular Freemasonry doesn’t guide the members to a particular religion and doesn’t offer models. It takes care of relationships between people and religion, the relationship between man and his God.
For Christians the Book of the Sacred law is the Bible that is not the case for an important part of the freemasons. They will take their oaths on the Book that is considered sacred by their religion. The Bible will always be present in an Romanian Lodge and keep in mind the fact that Freemasonry accepts candidates from the whole spectrum of the religious faith in that particular case the Book of Sacred law will be The Holly Book of that particular religion. To Christian that book will be the Bible.
Freemasonry is open to anyone that belives in God.Its members include Christian, Hebrew, Muslim, Hindu etc. The use of the term The Grand Architect of the Universe ilustrates the harmny between these religions. The term itself is not used as to portray a Masonic God or an attempt to bring together all the deities of all religions in some sort of syncretic religion, it is just an attempt to keep everything as close to neutrality as possible thusly people of different religions could pray together.
It is to keep in mind that even the Romanian term thata defines God has a high degree of religious neutrality it has its origin in Latin language Dominus Deus a rough translation of Master God.
The question is complex and difficult in the same time and a more detailed answer will be provided in the near future in a separte discusion dedicated to the purpose of analyzing the relationship between Freemasonry and Church. Meanwhinle as a historic remark in 1937 the Holy Sinod of the Orthodox Church condemned Freemasonry and still enforce that conviction. However today many of the clergy and Orthodox Christians are part of Freemasonry and its a rare practice that any faithful brother is denied communion by virtue of his membership in Freemasonry. Currently, Romanian Masonry obvious endeavor to ingratiate Orthodox Church, and we welcome these efforts.
On the contrary. The first condition for admission into the Order is a belief in God. It is everyone’s right to express their faith in their own way. Four Grand Masters of English Freemasonry have been Roman Catholics. There are many Freemasons that belong to the Roman Catholic Church but in all fairness they are functioning on a temporary deviation from the canons of the Church. For any practicing Roman Catholic devout the Royal Art is considered a state of grave Sin and communion is denied.
On the contrary, while every manson might have its own political views Freemasonry as an organisation willl never express opinions in regards to the political doctrines and those kind of discussion are forbiden durring regular meetings. Higher masonic ideals like Democracy and Human Rights are inherently involved in the political part of life and Freemasonry will opose those who seek to deny this ideals.
There are. On one hand Freemasonry is a natural enemy of a totalitary regime so it shall act against it even thru political means on the other hand in every country mason with similar politcal views tend to support one another .Durring ritual and in lodges the subject is never discussed.
Tradinonaly in the regular Freemasonry only men were addmited. The first freemasons were men architects stone carvers sometimes affiliated to monastic orders. At the beggining of the 18th century some lodges where the members were only women began to emerge those type of lodges were never regular lodges and some took upon themselves liberties that made them notorious. Today most of the civilised countries have lodges that are made entirely of women where the same rituals are beeing imposed but those lodges are still not regular lodges.
Roghly 5 milion members.
Wearing regalia is historical and symbolic and, like a uniform, serves to indicate the degree that each member has in the organization.
Basic Freemasonry has 3 degrees (apprentices, fellowcraft Master Mason). There are many other Masonic degrees and orders which are called additional because it adds to the base. Some of these additional degrees are numerically superior grade 3rd to grade 33.
At the beginning an initiation fee is required then the regular members pay an annual fee towards the lodge that they belong to. It is a custom that after the regular meetings are over members gather around the table and share a meal. Individual donations depend on the financial possibilities of each and every member and it must not be detrimental to the other responsibilities that one has towards his family or working place.
In no case. There are members of all ages. It is true that there are also older members, retired, but they share their extensive experience and give advices.
Yes, but once initiated, the knowledge gained will stay forever. The Masonic Order does not require any member to remain active. Everyone has the right to make their own decisions.