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.
What is Freemasonry?
It is a society of men who are concerned with moral and spiritual values. Members are taught its precepts (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: it encourages thoughtfulness for others, kindness in the community, honesty in business, courtesy in society and fairness in all things. Although members are encouraged to regard the interests of the family as paramount, Freemasonry also teaches and practices concern for people, care for the less fortunate and help for those in need.
The Three Great Principles.
There are Three Great Principles in Freemasonry which have been followed for many years:
Brotherly Love - Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.
Relief - Freemasons are taught to practise charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals. From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged. This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given to national and local charities.
Truth - Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.
Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.