A unique institution with global membership
By joining Freemasonry, you will become part of a unique and global community that welcomes individuals from all backgrounds and walks of life. Not only will you have the opportunity to make a real difference through charitable work and community service, but you will also experience the unparalleled sense of fellowship and camaraderie that is at the heart of Freemasonry. Imagine being greeted as an old friend, no matter where you go in the world and being part of a movement that prioritizes friendship, goodwill and mutual assistance.
Personal satisfaction not personal gain
When you join Freemasonry, you will gain personal satisfaction that extends far beyond personal gain. As a member of this honourable society, you will be part of an organisation that is dedicated to helping those in need and making a positive impact on the world. Freemasonry encourages its members to give freely to charity and provides a structured way to make a difference through fundraising and volunteer work. Imagine being a part of something bigger than yourself and making a real difference in the lives of others, while also experiencing the warmth and sense of community that Freemasonry offers. Joining Freemasonry is an opportunity to find fulfilment and purpose while also making a real impact in the world.
Masonic symbolism has a purpose
The symbolism and rituals of Freemasonry may seem strange to outsiders, but they are an integral part of the fraternity's rich history and tradition. Freemasonry has been in existence for over 300 years, and during this time, it has developed a set of rituals that serve a valuable purpose. They serve as a reminder to members of the fraternity's heritage and the high standards they are expected to uphold. Once you become a Freemason and understand the context and meaning behind the symbolism and rituals, they will no longer seem unusual or outlandish, but instead, they will be an important part of your journey in the fraternity.
Handshakes don’t give an unfair advantage
The handshakes used in Masonic ceremonies are not meant to be used as a means of gaining preferential treatment or advantages. This is contrary to the basic principles of the organisation. Expecting such benefits from fellow Freemasons is misguided and not in line with the values of Freemasonry. It's true that, like any other groups or organisations, there may be individuals who have used their membership of Freemasonry for personal gain, however, Freemasonry has a strong moral code that prohibits such behavior. Instead, the fraternity focuses on brotherhood, charity and self-improvement, rather than personal gain.
Why the mystery?
Many people may wonder why Freemasonry is perceived as mysterious. The truth is that Freemasonry is not secretive, but it does have certain rituals and symbols that are only revealed to members as they progress through the different levels of the organisation. These "mysteries" are not sinister, but rather they offer sound advice and wisdom that helps members lead a more balanced and fulfilling life. For example, they focus on the importance of thinking about the welfare of others. Similarly, the passwords and symbols used in Masonic ceremonies are simply tools to help members understand and internalise the principles of the fraternity. The ceremonies themselves are like short morality plays that help members understand and appreciate the values of the fraternity. Through participating in these ceremonies, Freemasons come to understand the deeper truths and wisdom that they contain.
So what is involved?
Becoming a Freemason does not require any specific talents or skills, such as being an actor. The convivial atmosphere of Masonic meetings creates an environment where members can relax and enjoy being a part of something special. Freemasonry is a place where everyone is welcome to be themselves and contribute in a way that aligns with their own personality. In fact, many members find that participating in the rituals and ceremonies of Freemasonry is a valuable form of self-development. Additionally, for those who are interested in public speaking, Freemasonry provides the opportunity to practice and improve these skills with a supportive and friendly audience.
How time consuming is it?
Many people may wonder about the time commitment required for Freemasonry. It's important to note that the majority of lodges in the Province of Somerset meet only 6-7 times a year. The formal ceremonies usually take place in the late afternoon or early evening, followed by a dinner and speeches. Additionally, there are weekly instruction meetings where members learn more about the principles of Freemasonry and perfect the ritual performed during the ceremonies. Freemasons also enjoy visiting other lodges and making new friends whilst experiencing different traditions. While there are many opportunities to participate in Masonic activities, Freemasonry encourages its members to lead well-rounded lives and prioritisers the importance of family and personal affairs.
Wives and partners matter to Freemasons
Freemasonry values and respects the importance of family and relationships. That's why it's highly recommended that anyone considering becoming a Freemason involve their partner or spouse in the process from the very beginning. The Masonic centres in the Province of Somerset welcome visitors, and they are happy to give guided tours of the facilities, including the Masonic temples where ceremonies take place. Visitors can see the inside of these temples and ask any questions they may have. This is a great way for partners and spouses to understand what Freemasonry is all about and how it may impact their lives.
Not just for the well heeled
Many people may have concerns about the cost of becoming a Freemason. But it's important to note that membership subscriptions are comparable to that of everyday sports and social clubs. Freemasonry is not a hobby exclusive to the wealthy, but is an affordable and rewarding pastime for people of all backgrounds. Joining the fraternity does not require a large financial investment, but rather a commitment to the principles of brotherhood, charity, and self-improvement.
Becoming a Freemason involves a few key requirements. The first is that you must be a man aged 21 or over, of good character (free from criminal convictions), and believe in a Supreme Being. It's important to note that Freemasonry is not a religion and welcomes men from a diverse range of beliefs and backgrounds. Additionally, you will be required to attend a series of meetings and ceremonies, as well as make a commitment to the fraternity's principles of brotherhood, charity, and self-improvement.
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