Many people ask me "what should it mean to become Mason?" The very best answer that I have read was cooked by the Masonic Awareness Committee with the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts. To the _best of my knowledge_ its content has no copyright mark. If reading it you've got an interest, drop me a note and I will discover you the lodge nearest your residence.

What it Means to become a Mason

Membership within the brotherhood of Masons means lots of things.

It means being a member of an unbroken tradition that stretches go back over 500 years into a time when guilds of freemasons traveled throughout Europe laying the stones in the great Gothic cathedrals.

It means sharing the values of our own nation's founding fathers; men who believe within the brotherhood of individual are firmly rooted inside the Constitution from the United States and that on the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. It means transforming into a better person while assisting to improve the well being for others. It means forming deep and lasting friendships that transcend the boundaries of race, religion and culture, in addition to those of geography.

But above all, to be a Mason means the type of deep satisfaction that comes only from selfless giving; from doing for some individuals without asking, or expecting, anything inturn.

Sharing the Traditions of Our Founding Fathers

Masons were active in Massachusetts little one 1733, the season the first Provincial Grand Lodge of Masons was formerly organized by Henry Price. Today, the Grand Lodge in Boston remains to be the oldest continuously operating Masonic organization from the Western Hemisphere.

In its early years, Masonry numbered among its members some from the nation's most influential citizens - one of them George Washington, Henry Knox, Benjamin Franklin, John Hancock and Paul Revere.

In Massachusetts, a number of who participated inside Battle of Lexington and Concord, and also the Battle of Bunker Hill were Masons. Many on the patriots who participated inside the Boston Tea Party were considered Masons while others, for instance Dr, Joseph Warren, who had previously been a Grand Master, sacrificed their lives inside the struggle for independence from British rule.

The values that have been important then - loyalty, patriotism, liberty, courage and faith - are only as important to Masons today. The principles on which this country was founded are deeply baked into Masonic tradition.

Improving Yourself and Those Around You

Basic to most on the world's great religions would be the belief using what some might call the "old fashioned" values of honesty, fair play and unselfishness in working with others.

Freemasonry shares many in the same beliefs; and, through its traditions and teachings, efforts to instill in its members the two desire as well as the means to improve themselves as well as the lives of others.

However, whilst it may abide by many on the same values from a religious faith, Masonry is not a religion. It is usually a brotherhood in men from every country, sect and opinion, joined in the common effort to generate themselves better visitors to ease the suffering of others, and for making the world a much better place.

To achieve these goals, Masonry will not promote itself or its individual members. Instead, it teaches by example. New members are certainly not recruited; they're attracted from the example of good men performing good works and living good lives.

No an example may be asked to join the Brotherhood. To become a Mason, you must ask.

Having Friends Wherever you Go

Who is a Mason: anyone and everyone, accountants, businessmen, teachers, contractors, professional men and laborers. Masons result from all areas of life and all numbers of income. They represent every race, creed and culture.

In Masonry, regardless of whether a male is a bricklayer or physician, a waiter or mayor from the city. All are on equal footing inside Lodge room.

The creaminess and practices from the Masons have remained unchanged since way back when. No matter where a Lodge can be found, its members share the most popular bond of experiencing passed through the same degree work, rites and rituals.

Because in this, members can find brother Masons wherever they are going. In Massachusetts alone, you can find over 300 lodges with nearly 70,000 members. Across the country and around the world you will discover Lodges in just about any city and quite a few smaller communities.

It is usually a good feeling to find out that wherever a male's travels usually takes him, they have friends he can depend on and trust.

Committing Yourself to your Code of Moral Ethics

Freemasonry is build upon three basic tenants - Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Brotherly Love will be the practice on the Golden Rule. Relief embodies charity for those mankind. Truth is honesty, fair play and adherence on the cardinal virtues.

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

The First Degree uses the gavel and gauge to remind the modern member of his attachment to others and subordination to God. In the Second Degree, the square, level and plumb are widely used to reinforce the central moral lesson of brotherly love and service. And within the Third Degree, the trowel along with other tools encourage the candidate to reflect for the end of life and for the value of faithfulness to his promises.

After the Third Degree, members may move into other branches of Masonry for instance the Scottish Rite, York Rite, and Shrine.

Masons usually are not a secret organization. However, becaus e Masonry values confidentiality and trust, most of its rites and rituals are secret except for the membership.

Giving Freely of Yourself and Asking Nothing in Return

Of all on the cardinal virtues, none is a bit more valued in Masonry than selfless giving. Examples of Masonic charity are legion.

Nationally, Masons contribute nearly $2 million every single day to relieve suffering but for the enrichment of mankind. Masons are founding sponsors with the Shriners Burns Institutes as well as the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children, which offer their services totally free.

Masons may also be responsible for the Scottish Rite Museum in our National Heritage, the Masonic Retirement Home in Charlton, The Knights' Templar Eye Foundation, and Schizophrenia Research programs; along with supporting such programs as Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), DeMolay for Boys, Rainbow for Girls, and countless other programs nationally and locally.

Here in Massachusetts, Masons would be the largest list of blood donors to your Red Cross, giving over 20,000 pints annually.

The satisfaction created from these endeavors is not measured in ordinary terms. We will say, however, that it's in helping others that man most helps himself.

Masons usually do not solicit for membership. To become a Mason, and more information, contact any Freemason or Masonic Lodge in your community or even in Massachusetts, telephone 1-800-882-1020.

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