Things You Should Know Before Becoming a Freemason

Of Conduct

Freemasons are expected to exhibit the utmost tolerance and gentlemanly conduct both in “Lodge” the name for a gathering of Freemasons and in their daily lives. In the course of the Degrees Freemasons obligate themselves to a conduct of wise living, seeking to cultivate an honorable or virtuous character as individuals. Overt honesty, compassion, fortitude, prudence, justice, and the pursuit of philosophical truths are the hallmarks of a Freemason. Thus Freemasons must steel themselves to inculcate, practice, and exemplify these virtues throughout all the transactions of life. The mark of a Freemason is their discipline in character and their dedication to further pursuit of Masonic Light.[1]

Of Cost

There are two costs associated with Masonry. The first cost is dues; all members of the Lodge pay annual dues of $85.00. Dues cover the annual operating expenses of the Lodge. The second cost is Degrees; in the progress from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason one will pay $300.00 total for all three degrees ($100.00 for each Degree). This cost covers the materials received by the Candidate: apron, study guides, copy of Lodge bylaws, traveling warrant, and heirloom volume of sacred law.

Note: Effective June 2005, before a Candidate can receive their Entered Apprentice Degree, the cost for all three degrees ($300.00) must be received by the Lodge.

Of Beliefs

Freemasonry will joyfully accept members from almost any religion, including all denominations of Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Buddhism, and any other Religion or Belief that promotes a Creative ideal to the Universe and Life in general, promotes positive ideals, encourages a Brotherhood of Mankind, the belief in a Supreme Being, and the immortality of the soul.

Freemasons must possess a belief (not necessarily Faith in the vernacular use) in a Supreme Being. But one finds a high degree of non-dogmatism, and the phrase “Supreme Being” is purposefully given a very broad interpretation, usually allowing Deism and often even allowing naturalistic views of “God/Nature” in the tradition of Spinoza and Goethe (himself a Freemason), or non-theistic views of Ultimate Reality or Cosmic Oneness, such as found in some Eastern religions and in Western idealism (or for that matter, in modern cosmology). [1]

Of Politics

Freemasons as a whole are not bound to any secular particular political ideology. However individual Masons may be bound to a political party, or ideology. A Lodge of Masons internally practices Democracy in governing and coming to decisions.

Of Secret Societies

Freemasonry is often called a “secret society”, and in fact is considered by many to be the very prototype for such societies. Many Masons say that it is more accurately described as a “society with secrets” or “Private Organization”. The degree of privacy varies widely around the world. In English-speaking countries, most Masons are completely public with their affiliation, Masonic buildings are clearly marked, and meeting times are generally a matter of public record. In other countries, where Freemasonry has been more recently, or is even currently, suppressed by the government, secrecy may be practiced more in earnest (again, depending greatly on the particular country).

  1. See also - Charges of a Freemason.