What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry means different things to each of those who join. For some, it’s about making new friends and acquaintances. For others it’s about being able to help deserving causes – making a contribution to family and society. But for most, it is an enjoyable hobby.
Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest and largest non-religious, non-political, fraternal and charitable organisations. It teaches self-knowledge through participation in a progression of ceremonies. Members are expected to be of high moral standing and are encouraged to speak openly about Freemasonry.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its principles (moral lessons and self-knowledge) by a series of ritual dramas – a progression of allegorical two-part plays which are learnt by heart and performed within each Lodge – which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons’ customs and tools as allegorical guides.
Freemasonry instils in its members a moral and ethical approach to life: its values are based on integrity, kindness, honesty and fairness. Members are urged to regard the interests of the family as paramount but, importantly, Freemasonry also teaches concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
For centuries Freemasons have followed these three great Principles:
Brotherly Love - This means that every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and will behave with compassion and understanding to his fellows.
Relief - From earliest times, Freemasons have been taught to help, to the best of their ability, those in distress without detriment to any who are dependent upon them and to give their support to outside Charities.
Truth - Freemasons strive for truth both in their view of themselves and in their dealings with others. Masonry requires high moral standards and its members endeavour to uphold these principles in their public and private lives.