Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons?
It is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world. Freemasonry is not an insurance or beneficial society. It is not organized for profit. However, the charitable services rendered by Freemasons are beyond measure.
What is a Masonic Lodge?
The basic unit of all Grand Lodges is the Masonic Lodge, often known as the Symbolic Lodge, Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge. It is the Masonic Lodge that receives and acts upon petitions for the three degrees known as the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason Degrees. There are more than 525 such Lodges in the Grand Jurisdiction of California with a total membership of approximately 145,000.
How does someone become a Freemason?
Membership is limited to adult males without regard to race, color or creed who are of good character and reputation. A man becomes a Freemason of his own volition. No one is solicited to membership. A man seeks admission of his own free will. He makes the choice! One of the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry is that Masons cannot solicit members. One seeking admission must have a desire and ask for an application form from one who he believes to be a Mason. The applicant for admission to Freemasonry in California must be over 18 years of age, mentally and physically competent and of good moral character. He must be recommended by two members of the Masonic Lodge to which he is seeking admission and obtain its unanimous favorable ballot for acceptance.
Is Freemasonry a secret organization?
Contrary to what many believe, Freemasonry is not a secret society. It does not hide its existence or its membership. There has been no attempt to conceal the purposes, aims and principles of Freemasonry. More than 25,000 books have been written about Freemasonry. You may select one or more from your Public Library. It is an organization which has as its principle teachings, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Its constitutions are published for the world to behold. Its rules and regulations are open for inspection. It is true that we have modes of recognition and ceremonies with which the world is not acquainted. In this regard all family groups and institutions have private affairs.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
Freemasonry is not a religion even though it is religious in character. It does not pretend to take the place of religion nor serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its members. Throughout the entire history of the Craft of Masonry, members of the Protestant, Jewish and Catholic faiths as well as Hindus, Zoroasters, Mohammedans, Buddhists, and others have found nothing in Masonry which is incompatible with their own religioous beliefs. One essential requirement of an applicant for Freemasonry is a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being.
How old is Freemasonry and where did it begin?
Freemasonry traces its ancestry to the operative craftsmen, primarily cathedral builders, of the Middle Ages. These men, because of their special knowledge and skills, were permitted special travel privileges from country to country. They developed means of recognition and identification of their work. In the 17th and 18th Centuries, as cathedral building came to an end, some of the operative Masonic Lodges accepted into membership men who were not operative craftsmen. Gradually the Lodges came to be composed entirely of philosophical or speculative Masons. From these groups Freemasonry of today had its beginnings.
What are the Tenets of Freemasonry?
The teachings of Freemasonry are based on ehtical principles that are acceptable to all good men. Freemasonry teaches understanding and charity for all mankind. Freemasonry proudly proclaims that it consists of men who are obligated to extend Brotherly Love and Affection to all men everywhere. It dictates to no man as to his beliefs, either religious or secular. It seeks no advantage for its members through business or politics. As a matter of fact, neither business nor politics may be discussed in the Lodge room.
So...What is Masonry?
Freemasonry is kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, pity and concern for the unfortunate, resistance toward evil, help for the weak, forgiveness for the penitent, love for one another and, above all, reverence and love for God. Freemasonry is many things but, most of all, FREEMASONRY IS A WAY OF LIFE!