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  1. Freemasonry - Wikipedia › wiki › Freemasonry

    The Masonic lodge is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. The Lodge meets regularly and conducts the usual formal business of any small organisation (approve minutes, elect new members, appoint officers and take their reports, consider correspondence, bills and annual accounts, organise social and charitable events, etc.).

    • List of Freemasons

      This "List of Freemasons" page provides links to...

    • Stonemasonry

      Stonemasonry or stonecraft is the creation of buildings,...

    • Masonic Bodies

      Overview of relationships between masonic organizations. The...

  2. Masonic lodge - Wikipedia › wiki › Masonic_Lodge

    A Masonic lodge, often termed a private lodge or constituent lodge, is the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. It is also commonly used as a term for a building in which such a unit meets. It is also commonly used as a term for a building in which such a unit meets.

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    Which is the correct definition of a Masonic Lodge?

    What does it mean to be in a Masonic Temple?

    Where does the symbolism of Freemasonry come from?

    What is the general term for Continental Freemasonry?

  4. Masonic ritual and symbolism - Wikipedia › wiki › Masonic_ritual_and_symbolism
    • Overview
    • The purpose of Masonic ritual
    • Lack of standardisation
    • Symbols in ritual
    • Overlap with symbolism in the Latter-day Saint Movement
    • Perceived secrecy of Masonic ritual

    Masonic ritual is the scripted words and actions that are spoken or performed during the degree work in a Masonic Lodge. Masonic symbolism is that which is used to illustrate the principles which Freemasonry espouses. Masonic ritual has appeared in a number of contexts within literature including in "The Man Who Would Be King", by Rudyard Kipling, and War and Peace, by Leo Tolstoy.

    Freemasonry is described in its own ritual as a "Beautiful or Peculiar system of morality, veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols". The symbolism of Freemasonry is found throughout the Masonic Lodge, and contains many of the working tools of a medieval or renaissance stonemason. The whole system is transmitted to initiates through the medium of Masonic ritual, which consists of lectures and allegorical plays. Common to all of Freemasonry is the three grade system of craft or blue lodge fr

    Freemasons conduct their degree work, often from memory, following a preset script and ritualised format. There are a variety of different Masonic rites for Craft Freemasonry. Each Masonic jurisdiction is free to standardize its own ritual. However, there are similarities that exist among jurisdictions. For example, all Masonic rituals for the first three degrees use the architectural symbolism of the tools of the medieval operative stonemason. Freemasons, as speculative masons, use this symboli

    In most jurisdictions, a Bible, Quran, Tanakh, Vedas or other appropriate sacred text will always be displayed while the Lodge is open. In Lodges with a membership of mixed religions it is common to find more than one sacred text displayed. A candidate will be given his choice of religious text for his Obligation, according to his beliefs. UGLE alludes to similarities to legal practice in the UK, and to a common source with other oath taking processes. In keeping with the geometrical and archite

    Worship in temples of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints shares a commonality of symbols, signs, vocabulary and clothing with Freemasonry, including robes, aprons, handshakes, ritualistic raising of the arms, etc. However, the meanings of each are different for the Freemasons and the Latter-day Saints. Speaking in 1877 at the St. George Temple, Brigham Young related LDS temple worship to the story of Hiram Abiff and Solomon's Temple, though he believed the ceremony had not been prac

    Freemasons often say that they "are not a secret society, but rather a society with secrets". The secrets of Freemasonry are the various modes of recognition – grips, passwords and signs that indicate one is a Freemason. While these and the rest of masonic ritual have all been exposed multiple times through the years, Freemasons continue to act as if they were secret, and promise not to discuss them with outsiders more out of tradition than a need for actual secrecy. This has led to a ...

  5. Masonic conspiracy theories - Wikipedia › wiki › Masonic_conspiracy_theories

    Masonic conspiracy theories are conspiracy theories involving Freemasonry; hundreds of such conspiracy theories have been described since the late 18th century. Usually, these theories fall into three distinct categories: political (usually involving allegations of control of government, particularly in the United States and the United Kingdom), religious (usually involving allegations of anti ...

  6. Freemasonry - Simple English Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia › wiki › Freemasonry

    This engraving is based on that of Gabanon on the same subject dated 1745. A Masonic Hall in Alabama. Freemasonry is an organization of people who believe in brotherhood and helping others. Its members are known as "Freemasons" (in full: "Ancient Free and Accepted Masons", or simply "Masons"). Freemasons also help one another in times of hardship.

  7. Masonic Temple - Wikipedia › wiki › Masonic_Hall
    • Overview
    • Development and history
    • First Temples
    • Heyday and decline
    • Naming conventions
    • Usage

    A Masonic Temple or Masonic Hall is, within Freemasonry, the room or edifice where a Masonic Lodge meets. Masonic Temple may also refer to an abstract spiritual goal and the conceptual ritualistic space of a meeting.

    In the early years of Freemasonry, from the 17th through the 18th centuries, it was most common for Masonic Lodges to form their Masonic Temples either in private homes or in the private rooms of public taverns or halls which could be regularly rented out for Masonic purposes. This was less than ideal, however; meeting in public spaces required the transportation, set-up and dismantling of increasingly elaborate paraphernalia every time the lodge met. Lodges began to look for permanent facilitie

    The first Masonic Hall was built in 1765 in Marseille, France. A decade later in May, 1775, the cornerstone of what would come to be known as Freemasons' Hall, London, was laid in solemn ceremonial form spurring a trend that would continue to present day. Most lodges, however, could not afford to build their own facilities and instead rented rooms above commercial establishments. With permanent facilities, the term "Masonic Temple" began to be applied not just to the symbolic formation of the Te

    The 1920s marked a heyday for Freemasonry, especially in the United States. By 1930, over 12% of the adult male population of the United States were members of the fraternity. The dues generated by such numbers allowed state Grand Lodges to build on truly monumental scales. Typical of the era are the Dayton Masonic Center and Detroit Masonic Temple.

    When Freemasons first began building dedicated structures the more frequently used term for a Masonic Temple was Masonic Hall. This began to change in the mid 19th Century when the larger Masonic Halls most often found in major cities began to be named with the term Masonic Temple. As time went on more and more American buildings began using the name Masonic Temple regardless of their size or location. In US Freemasonry today the term Masonic Hall is experiencing a revival motivated in part by t

    Though Masonic Temples in their most basic definition serve as a home to a Masonic Lodge they can also serve many other purposes as well. Smaller Masonic Temples will often consist of nothing more than a meeting room with a kitchen/dining area attached. Larger Masonic Temples can contain multiple meeting rooms, concert halls, libraries, and museums as well as non-masonic commercial and office space.

  8. Masonic manuscripts - Wikipedia › wiki › Old_Charges

    Masonic manuscripts. There are a number of masonic manuscripts that are important in the study of the emergence of Freemasonry. Most numerous are the Old Charges or Constitutions. These documents outlined a "history" of masonry, tracing its origins to a biblical or classical root, followed by the regulations of the organisation, and the ...

  9. Masonic bodies — Wikipedia Republished // WIKI 2 › en › Masonic_bodies
    • Overview of Relationships Between Masonic Organizations
    • History
    • Recognition
    • Membership
    • Rites, Orders, and Degrees
    • Other Affiliated Bodies

    The basic unit of Freema­sonry is the Ma­sonic Lodge, which alone can "make" (ini­ti­ate) a Freema­son. Such lodges are con­trolled by a Grand Lodge with na­tional or re­gional au­thor­ity for all lodges within its ter­ri­tory. A ma­sonic lodge con­fers the three ma­sonic de­greesof En­tered Ap­pren­tice, Fel­low­craft (or Fel­low Craft), and Mas­ter Mason. Whilst there is no de­gree in Freema­sonry higher than that of Mas­ter Mason, there are ad­di­tional degreesthat are of­fered only to those who are Mas­ter Ma­sons. Most of these are su­per­vised by their own "Grand" bod­ies (in­de­pen­dent from the Grand Lodge). The United Grand Lodge of Eng­land (which has no di­rect au­thor­ity over other Grand Lodges, but as the world's old­est Grand Lodge,has a his­tor­i­cal in­flu­ence in terms of reg­u­lar­ity and prac­tice) de­fines "pure, an­cient Freema­sonry" as con­sist­ing of the three de­grees of En­tered Ap­pren­tice, Fel­low­craft, and Mas­ter Mason, in­clud­ing the supreme Order...

    Some­time be­fore 1730, a trigradal sys­tem (that is, a sys­tem of three grades or de­grees) started to emerge in Freema­sonry, which quickly be­came the stan­dard sys­tem in the lodges of Eng­land, Ire­land and Scot­land. This seems to have been ac­com­plished by the re­arrange­ment and ex­pan­sion of the orig­i­nal bigradal sys­tem, par­tic­u­larly by the elab­o­ra­tion of the Hi­ramic leg­end, and its full ex­po­si­tion in the third de­gree, that of a Mas­ter Mason. The emer­gence, in the 1740s, of "chival­ric" de­grees on the con­ti­nent may be linked to the de­lib­er­ate "gen­tri­fi­ca­tion" of Freema­sonry in Cheva­lier Ram­say's Ora­tion of 1737. The for­ma­tion of the Royal Arch oc­curred in the same pe­riod, de­vel­op­ing the Hi­ramic theme with the re­dis­cov­ery of the se­crets lost with the death of the mas­ter builder. The Pre­mier Grand Lodge of Eng­land (the "Mod­erns") re­mained am­biva­lent about the new rite, per­haps be­cause a se­cret pass­word was taken from the...

    Dif­fer­ent Ma­sonic ju­ris­dic­tions vary in their re­la­tion­ships with ap­pen­dant bod­ies, if any. Some offer for­mal recog­ni­tion, while oth­ers con­sider them wholly out­side of Freema­sonry. This leads to some such bod­ies not being uni­ver­sally con­sid­ered as ap­pen­dant bod­ies, but rather sep­a­rate or­ga­ni­za­tions that hap­pen to re­quire Ma­sonic af­fil­i­a­tion for mem­ber­ship.

    Each Ma­sonic body sets its own Mem­ber­ship re­quire­ments, which vary greatly. Many of these, es­pe­cially those that ac­tu­ally con­fer ad­di­tional Ma­sonic de­grees and or­ders, limit mem­ber­ship to Mas­ter Ma­sons only. Oth­ers re­quire the can­di­date to ei­ther be a Mas­ter Mason or have a fa­mil­ial re­la­tion­ship to one. Some re­quire the can­di­date to be a Trini­tar­ianChris­t­ian. Oth­ers re­quire prior mem­ber­ship of other groups, or hav­ing held spe­cific of­fice in a group. Mem­ber­ship is some­times open, and some­times in­vi­ta­tional. In the United States, the York and Scot­tish Rites make pe­ti­tions avail­able to all Mas­ter Ma­sons but re­serve the right to re­ject pe­ti­tion­ers, while other groups, such as the Knight Ma­sons, re­quire that one be asked to join by a cur­rent mem­ber.

    England & Wales

    In Eng­land and Wales, after the de­grees of craft freema­sonry, there are a large num­ber of sep­a­rately ad­min­is­tered de­grees and or­ders open only to craft freema­sons. Under the Eng­lish Con­sti­tu­tion, the Holy Royal Arch is the only de­gree for­mally recog­nised by the United Grand Lodge of Eng­land(UGLE) be­yond the three de­grees of craft freema­sonry. Other or­ders and de­grees are how­ever re­ferred to and ac­knowl­edged by the Grand Mas­ter of the United Grand Lodge of Eng­lan...


    The gov­ern­ing bod­ies are the Grand Lodge of Scot­landand the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chap­ter of Scot­land. Under the Scot­tish Ma­sonic Con­sti­tu­tion, the Mark mas­ter's de­gree can be taken ei­ther within a Craft Lodge after hav­ing at­tained the de­gree of Mas­ter Mason, or within a Royal Arch Chap­ter, be­fore tak­ing the de­gree of Ex­cel­lent Master. No one under the Scot­tish Ma­sonic Con­sti­tu­tion can be ex­alted as a Royal Arch Mason with­out pre­vi­ously hav­ing been ad­vanc...

    United States

    In the United States there are two main Ma­sonic ap­pen­dant bod­ies: 1. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. 2. The York Rite (sometimes called the American Rite), which, together with the craft lodge, comprises three separate and distinct bodies: the Royal Arch Chapter (Capitular Masonry), the Council of Royal & Select Masters (Cryptic Masonry) and the Commandery of the Knights Templar. Other Ap­pen­dant bod­ies: 1. The York Rite Sovereign College of North America– www.yrs...

    These af­fil­i­ated bod­ies and youth or­gan­i­sa­tions are com­monly found in North and Cen­tral Amer­ica, and to a lesser de­gree in South Amer­ica. They are not gen­er­ally pre­sent in Eu­rope, ex­cept in lo­calised areas of Amer­i­can in­flu­ence, par­tic­u­larly areas of long term Amer­i­can mil­i­tary pres­ence. 1. Shriners International, historically known as the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.). Shriners meet in Shrine "centers" or "temples," and are well known for their maroon fezzes, lavish parades, and sponsorship of children's hospitals. 2. Royal Order of Jesters(R.O.J.) Colloquially known as "Jesters," local "courts" are limited to thirteen initiates yearly. Initiation, by invitation and unanimous ballot, is limited to members in good standing of the Shrine. 3. Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. Colloquially known as "The Grotto;" members wear black fezzes. 4. Order of Quetzalcoatl. Colloquially known as "The Q"...

  10. Square and Compasses - Wikipedia › wiki › Square_and_Compasses
    • with A "G"
    • Use of The Symbol by Other Fraternal Bodies
    • References

    In many English speaking countries, the Square and Compasses are depicted with the letter "G" in the center. The letter has multiple meanings, representing different words depending on the context in which it is discussed. The most common is that the "G" stands for God. Another is that it stands for Geometry, and is to remind Masons that Geometry and Freemasonry are synonymous terms described as being the "noblest of sciences", and "the basis upon which the superstructure of Freemasonry and everything in existence in the entire universe is erected. In this context, it can also stand for Great Architect of the Universe(a non-denominational reference to God)."

    The square and compasses has been used as a symbol by several organisations, sometimes with additional symbols: 1. The Order of Free Gardeners, which adds an open pruning knife within the square and compasses 2. The Junior Order of United American Mechanics, which adds an arm-and-hammerwithin the square and compasses. 3. The Independent United Order of Mechanics,which retains the symbol unchanged. 4. The Royal Black Institution,which uses the symbol unchanged. 5. Carpenters' Company of the City and County of Philadelphia uses the square and three sets of compasses in its arms. The Philadelphia arms are similar to the City of London Livery Company, the Worshipful Company of Carpenters 6. The Incorporation of Wrights and Masons - Edinburgh Trades.The Wrights' symbol is the square and compasses in a different configuration from the traditional Masonic one. Wright is the Scottish and Northern English term for a Carpenter. 7. The arms of the former Allan Glen's School, still used by the...

    Curl, James Stevens (1991). The Art and Architecture of Freemasonry: An Introductory Study. Woodstock, NY: Overlook Press. ISBN 1-58567-160-6. OCLC 493971613.

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