What is a Mason?

What is a Mason?

Even though Masons (or Freemasons) are members of the largest and oldest fraternity in the world, and even though almost everyone has a father or grandfather who was a Mason, many people aren’t quite certain just who Masons are. The answer is simple: A Mason (or Freemason) is a member of a fraternity known as Masonry (or Freemasonry).

Modern Freemasonry as practiced in the United States dates from the constitution of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717. However, Freemasonry is known to predate the Grand Lodge of England by at least 300 years (evidence suggests a significantly older origin).

Many of our country’s founding fathers were Freemasons, including Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, Paul Revere, Joseph Warren and John Hancock. Freemasonry played an important role in the creation of our country dating back to the Revolutionary War with England, the establishment of the first Constitutional Convention, and debates surrounding the ratification of the Bill of Rights. Many of those debates were held in Masonic Lodges.

The Masonic Window of Lerwick Town Hall in Shetland, Scotland.

Freemasonry extends into all walks of life. There are lodges in most towns, and more populous cities tend to have several. There are about 13,200 particular lodges in the US, over 300 in the state of Florida, and 9 in Brevard County. There are about 35,000 Masons in Florida.

Famous Freemasons

Buzz Aldrin

Buzz Aldrin

Astronaut

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Composer & Musician

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini

Magician

Louis Armstrong

Louis Armstrong

Musician

How to Become a Mason

Becoming a Mason is an individual choice, and many men do consider that question at some point in their life. Most people remember an uncle, grandfather, or even their own father grabbing their apron and ring and heading out to the local meetings. Didn’t you always wonder what went on in those meetings?

Masonry requires several things of its potential members:

  • First and foremost, they must be of good moral character. The unofficial motto of the order is “to make good men better.” Therefore, any candidate must be basically a good man.
  • Secondly, members must be able to state a belief in a Supreme Being. Without a strong belief in God, moral lessons would be valueless.
  • Finally, candidates must come to the order of “their own free will and accord,” unfettered by undue solicitation or expectations of financial reward. In other words, you must ask to join — the Masonic Order does not solicit members.
2B1 ASK1 -- Read as "To be one, ask one" -- A slogan which represents the idea that the journey of Freemasonry begins by asking another Mason to join.

By ancient tradition, Masons do not solicit for new members. We can talk to friends about Masonry, what Masonry does, why we enjoy it. But we can’t ask anyone to join. Becoming a Mason is a serious thing. Joining Masonry is making a permanent life commitment to live with honor and integrity, to be willing to share with and care about others, to trust each other, and to place ultimate trust in God. No one should be “talked into” making such a decision.

To become a Mason, you must first petition a lodge (apply to join), and express your desire to join to a Mason. Give your petition to the Mason, and he will take it to the local lodge. The Master of the lodge will appoint a committee to visit you and your family, find out a little about you and why you want to be a Mason, tell you and your family about Masonry, and answer your questions. The committee reports to the lodge, and the lodge votes on the petition. If the vote is affirmative, the lodge will contact you to set the date for your Entered Apprentice Degree. When you’ve completed all three degrees, you become a Master Mason, and a full member of the fraternity.

A petition and supplemental form are provided below:

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