Those interested in becoming masons may have some understanding of the ethos of the organisation already. Those who are not interested in becoming members often hold many misconceptions about what freemasonry stands for.

 

Freemasonry is not a 'secret society', and there are many books and websites which are easily accessible and detail all aspects of the organisation. It is, however, unique in that it offers members experiences that they would not be able to find elsewhere.

 

Nor do meetings do take place in secret, times and locations are well documented and in the public domain. additionally, our halls and facilities are generally open to the public and are valuable community resources. 

 

Below are detailed some of the most commonly asked questions and along with brief answers.

 

Why do Freemasons have secret handshakes?

 

Freemasonry is a very old society that pre-dates many present day institutions. The earliest Masonic records are to be found in Scotland and date from a time when members of Lodges were mainly illiterate. As stone masons had to travel all over the country, and occasionally overseas, some simple method of recognition had to be devised in order to secure employment appropriate to the degree of skill of each individual. Modern day Freemasonry continues that practice.

 

Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?

 
Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.

 

Why do you not have women members?

 

Freemasonry, following the example of medieval stonemasons, has always been restricted to men. There are similar organisations for women.

 

What happens at a lodge meeting?

 

The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts.

 
First, there are normal administrative procedures such as:
 
- Minutes of the previous meeting
- Proposing and balloting for new members
- Discussing and voting on the annual accounts
- Masonic news and correspondence
- News about charitable work
 
Second, there are the ceremonies for:
 
- Admitting new members
- The annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers

 

 

How many degrees are there in Freemasonry?

 

Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:

 
- Entered Apprentice
- Fellow Craft
- Master Mason

 

Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?

 

There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organisation. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.

 

Does Freemasonry accept Catholics?

 

Yes. There are many Catholic masons all across Ireland and in Olderfleet 501 Lodge.

 

Is Freemasonry a political pressure group?

 

Definitely not. Freemasonry, as a body, will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.

 

How much does it cost to be a Freemason?

 

It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription.

 

Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.

 


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