Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest
secular fraternal societies. This article is intended to explain
Freemasonry as it is practiced under, the United Grand Lodge of
England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland, which administer Lodges
of Freemasons in England and Wales & Ireland and in many places
The explanation may correct some misconceptions.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual
values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual
drams, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’
customs and tools as allegorical guides.
The Essential Qualification for Membership
The essential qualification for admission into
and continuing membership is a belief in a Supreme Being.
Membership is open to men of any race or religion
who can fulfill this essential qualification and who are of good
Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry id not a religion, nor is it substitute
for religion. Its essential qualification opens it to men of many
religions and it expects them to continue to follow their own
faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meetings.
The Three Great Principals
For many years Freemasons have followed three
Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the options
of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow
Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only
for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by
charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.
Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and
aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principals represent a way of achieving
higher standards in life.
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned
with the care of orphans, the sick and aged. This work continues
today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local
Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands from its membership a respect for the law
of the country in which a man works and lives.
Its principals do not in any way conflict with its members’
duties as citizens, but should strengthen them in fulfilling their
public and private responsibilities.
The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his own or
anyone else’s business. Professional or personal interests
in condemned, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought
admission to Freemasonry.
Freemasonry and Politics
Freemasonry is non-political, and the discussion of politics at
Masonic meetings is forbidden.
Other Masonic Bodies
Freemasonry is practiced under many independent
Grand Lodges with standards similar to those set by the United
Grand Lodge of Ireland and Grand Lodge of Ireland.
There are some Grand Lodges and other apparently Masonic bodies
that do not meet these standards, e.g. that do not require a belief
in a Supreme Being, or that allow or encourage their members as
such to participate in political matters.
These Grand Lodges and bodies are not recognized
by United Grand Lodge of England and the Grand Lodge of Ireland
as being Masonry regular, and Masonic contact with them is forbidden.
A Freemason is encouraged to do his duty first to his
God(by whatever name he is known) through his faith and religious
practice; and then, without detriment to his family and those
dependent on him, to his neighbor through charity and service.