About Freemasonry

Frequently Asked Questions

Who can be a Freemason?


A candidate  must be male, at least 18 years of age, able to profess a belief in God, and be  of good character.


I have a physical disability. Can I  be a Freemason?


The answer  is almost certainly yes, provided you can attend Lodge and meet the  non-physical criteria in the first question  of this section. Parapalegics have been made Masons, as have the blind, the deaf, and others with a variety of physical  handicaps. Minor modifications may need to be done to the rituals (e.g.,  employing sign language, modifying points where the candidate stands if the  candidate is in a wheelchair, etc.) with assent from the Grand Lodge of Texas,  most Lodges are able to accommodate candidates.  In medieval times, the requirement to have a sound body free of  physical defect was a serious one, since the work of stonemasonry was  physically difficult. Some Grand Lodges did carry this requirement into symbolic (i.e., non-operative) Masonry. However, in recent times this has all
but been eliminated. Please contact us if you have any questions.


Is Freemasonry a Religion?


Freemasonry is NOT a religion. Morris, in his Complete Idiot's Guide to Freemasonry, explains "they only adopted the then-radical idea of religious toleration-agreeing that God exists, is central to their lives, and compels them to serve humanity, but stopping the discussion there"  Freemasons refer to God as "the Great Architect," and the fraternity holds all religions in equally high esteem.  One of the most common false accusations aimed toward Freemasonry is that it seeks to subserve as a substitute for its members' religion.  Every man must express a belief in the existence of a Supreme Being to be admitted to the Fraternity; however, a Freemason determines his own religious preference without influence from his Masonic affiliation.  Meetings are opened and closed with prayer; to whom the Freemason prays is his personal preference.


What do Freemasons repeat after a prayer?


Freemasons conclude their prayers with the statement "so mote it be." This is simply the Early English wording "so may it ever be" or "Amen."


Can an atheist become a Freemason?


The only religious requirement is that candidates believe in a Supreme Being. If you can in good faith profess such a belief, you are eligible to be a Mason. No atheists will ever knowingly be made Masons. There are Catholic, Protestant, Mormon, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, and Muslim Masons. It would be tedious and pointless to go into a religion-by-religion (and then denomination-by-denomination) discussion. The key points to remember are the  requirement of belief in a Supreme Being and the fact that Masonry is a  fraternity, not a religion.

Do Freemasons accept Catholics?


Catholicism is only mentioned specifically because it has generated a lot of traffic in the  past on the Masonic websites and media channels. There is no prohibition in any Grand Lodge jurisdiction against Catholics being made Masons.


Can a convicted felon be a Freemason?


No, not currently within the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas.


Do I have to be invited?


Don’t wait to be invited. In fact, we’re waiting for you to ask! Traditionally Masons have  never recruited members in order that a candidate might fully and honestly answer the first question in our ritual as to whether his request for
membership is made of his “own free will and accord.” Some men have never become Masons in the mistaken assumption that if no one asked them, they could not join.   It’s up to you to take the initiative and ASK to become a  Mason.

Explain the term "Worshipful."


The term "Worshipful has no religious connotations.  "Worshipful is the old British honorific title.  It simply used synonymously with the term "honorable" and only used "to give respect."  In areas of England today, mayors and judges are still referred to as "Worshipful" and "Your Worship."


 What does the letter "G" stand for?


The square and compasses with the letter "G" in the middle is one of the most recognizable symbols in our society today.  In Freemasonry, the "G" stands for "Geometry" and "God".  The "G" reminds each Freemason that as geometry was the center of the Freemason's trade, then God should be the center of his life.  The "G" is frequently used in American Lodges.


 Why does the "Master" wear a hat?


Simply stated, so that everyone knows who is in charge.  It is the custom and tradition in Texas Masonry that the presiding officer be "covered" and that no other Freemason in attendance wear any type of "covering".


 What does the term "Working Tools" mean?


Today's Freemasons have taken the "tools" actually used by the ancient stonemasons and have applied them symbolically to teach lessons of morality, ethics and spiritualism.  After receiving the first three degrees, a Master Mason would have a deeper appreciation for the symbolic meaning associated with the square and compasses, the level, the trowel, etc.


 Why is the Bible open on the altar?


To be "raised" a Freemason, we know that a man must profess his belief in the existence of a "Supreme Being".  We also know that Freemasons are always searching for more "light" or knowledge and believe the "Holy Writings" is the proper source for that understanding.


Is Masonry a Charitable Organization?


Freemasonry makes charity a duty but it is not a charitable organization.  The charities of Freemasonry are many, and while Freemasonry is not organized for the purpose of charity, Blue Lodge Masonry does participate in many programs of a charitable nature.  The appendant bodies of Freemasonry have gone to great lengths to establish and maintain institutions of a charitable nature.


Why is it called the "Blue Lodge"?


Blue is a color representative of truch and fidelity, lessons referred to in the Masonic degrees.  In Masonic terms, "blue" is symbolic of the sky.  The ceiling of a Lodge is often called a "canopy of heaven".  Blue was also a sacred color in ancient Israel; blue and purple dyes were very expensive, difficult to locate and, therefore, reverred.


Why is Freemasonry a "secret" organization?


It has been said, "If the Freemasons are a secret, they need a refresher course in camouflage."  Freemasons are very proud of who they are and want "visibility" in today's society.  Membership rosters are published and distributed; jewelry with the Masonic emblem is worn; meetings are advertised; lodge buildings are identified with prominently displayed Masonic emblems; and volumes of publications are written for anyone to read.  There are modes of recognition and esoteric degree work that are kept "private" to the Fraternity.  Since Freemasonry has been described as  a "system" of moral conduct, one would have to experience all of the degree work and study the Masonic teachings in order to fully understand its principles and tenets, the true secrets of Freemasonry.


Why the white apron?


The aprons are sumbolic of those worn by the ancient stonemasons to protect their outer clothing and to help carry their tools.  Upon his initiation into the Lodge, the Freemason is presented a simple white apron traditionally made of lambskin as an emblem of purity and innocence.  The lesson revealed through the ceremony is to keep this apron clean and spotless throughout the Freemason's life as a symbol of the purity of his thoughts and actions.  Some Masonic aprons can be very ornate signifying an officer's position, a specific lodge membership, or a Past Master.


Why don't Masons solicit membership?


Freemasons believe that any man wanting to be a part of this ancient Fraternity should come of his own free will and accord, not pushed or intimidated by a member that Freemasonry is the organization for him.  Freemasons should show the world by their own actions and way of life ot be upstanding pillars of society.  These examples should be worthy of emulation and sufficient encouragement for a man to desire membership in the Fraternity.


Does Masonry in Texas allow membership to all ethnic groups?


There are basically four qualifications that a man must possess to be considered for membership:  male, belief in the existence of a Supreme Being, at least 18 years of age, and be of good, moral character.  Texas Freemasonry does not engage in racial discrimination.  Every Lodge determines their membership through verifications of qualifications and interviewing the petitioner prior to the Lodge ballot.


Describe the three degrees in the Blue Lodge.


There are three ceremonies or degrees that a candidate must experience.  The first level, or Entered Apprentice degree, symbolizes the beginning of his personal journey in the Fraternity and his quest for knowledge or "light."  Individuals who earn the second degree, Fellowcraft, are symbolically entering the emergence into spiritual adulthood.  Here his education continues with more history of Freemasonry.  The third and final degree, Master Mason, symbolically enhances growth of adulthood in an effort to learn more of the Divine Truth.  Throughout the Fraternity, it is commonly believed that there is no higher degree conferred on a man than that of Master Mason.


Is Masonry a cult?


Several definitions of cult pertain to being associated with a religion and since Freemasonry has never been or never claimed to be a religion, it is definitely not a cult.  Another defines cult as an "exclusive group of persons sharing an esoteric, usually artistic or intellectual interest".  Masonic membership is open to all men equally and there are no restrictions that bar a Freemason from joining any other group.  The answer to the question in one word: "No".


What is an appendant body of Masonry?


An appendant body has been defined as a Masonically affiliated group that Freemasons or their relatives may join.  Some of the most recognized of these groups are the Scottish Rite, York Rite, Shriners, Order of the Eastern Star, DeMolay and Rainbow for Girls.  There are many, many more organizations and you are encouraged to research all of the groups through the Internet, books, or conversation with a member.

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