What is a Masonic Grand Lodge?

What is a Masonic Grand Lodge?

A Masonic Grand Lodge is the supreme governing body that supervises and charters the particular Blue Lodges within its jurisdiction. The Grand Lodge will set a particular geographical area called it’s jurisdiction. A jurisdiction is sometimes state boundary, national boundary, or an agreed-upon geographical area in reference to a neighboring Grand Lodge. Each Grand Lodge is made up of Brother Masons who are in good standing with a particular subordinate Lodge in the Grand Lodge.

When several Grand Lodges claim the same jurisdictional area and/or claiming overlapping areas, each Grand Lodge will debate the oldest with legitimate documents from various other Grand Lodges. When claims are debated, normally the Grand Lodge would consider the other Grand Lodge as Clandestine or Irregular, therefore no Mason will allow or authorize to sit with the other Grand Lodge’s particular blue lodge meeting. Further, a particular Blue Lodge Mason will not be allowed to hold any type of official Masonic Communication with the other Grand Lodge’s particular blue lodge or any of its brothers.

How do would you start a Grand Lodge?

First, a convention must be held of the lodges in the area. At the convention, it needs to be determined by the Craft in the area that a Grand Master ought to be chosen to preside over the Craft in the area.  Generally, this area can be a State or Country, it is really based on the Craft in to decide in that area.

Next, during the convention, a committee will need to be appointed. Its purpose is to prepare a statement giving the reasons for such an action. This committee returns at some future period to make a report to Craft.

This report of the committee will cite the fact that the chartered Blue Lodges had been established under distinct, regular, and in some cases separate authorities. The report would identify the benefit or lack of a benefit and possibly or impossibly of having a Grand Master appointed by a foreign authority. If creating a Grand Lodge in this area is a matter of necessity the committee will report the reasons to the Craft.  It has been recorded that the Mother Grand Lodges have claimed the right to elect their officers distinct and separate from any foreign power.  The committee would then commend that the Craft of the area would and should be privileged to claim the same right, which is a right that Freemasons in all-time had enjoyed.

Can a Masonic Grand Lodge be chartered by another Grand Lodge?

No, individual lodges are chartered to a Grand Lodge. When necessary, these lodges can form a new Grand Lodge based on numerous issues based on distance and various other factors. The Mother Grand Lodge(s) of the Particular Blue Lodges generally will give its blessing of the new Grand Lodge, which will last forever.

Who is in charge of a Grand Lodge?

The official leader of the Grand Lodge is the Grand Master. The Grand Lodge Officers assist the Grand Master in his duties to effectively run the Grand Lodge.  Generally, in most Grand Lodges, the elected officers are as follows: GRAND MASTER; DEPUTY GRAND MASTER; DISTRICT GRAND MASTER; SENIOR GRAND WARDEN; JUNIOR GRAND WARDEN; GRAND TREASURER; and GRAND SECRETARY. Please note, each Grand Lodge may have its own set of elected officers and how their titles are spelled may differ from one Grand Lodge to another.

Furthermore, in many Grand Lodges, there are a number of appointed officers, but be aware in some Grand Lodges more than one person might be appointed in a given role, which are as follows: GRAND MARSHAL;  GRAND CHAPLAIN; GRAND LECTURER; SENIOR GRAND DEACON; JUNIOR GRAND DEACON; SENIOR GRAND STEWARD; JUNIOR GRAND STEWARD; GRAND SWORD BEARER; GRAND STANDARD BEARER; GRAND PURSUIVANT; GRAND ORGANIST; GRAND MUSICIAN;  GRAND TYLER; & GRAND HISTORIAN.

Some Grand Lodges have a Board of Directors to help the Grand Master run the Grand Lodge. While others tend to utilize the Past Grand Masters will various important projects within the Grand Lodge.  Modern-day Grand Lodges also employ a group support staff members as well. A Grand Lodge may employ a few professionals or numerous professionals based on the needs of the organization. Let’s look at some of the typical business office staff positions: Business Manager; Grand Secretary (which is sometimes a paid position); Grand Treasurer (which is also sometimes a paid position);
Comptroller; Executive Director; Staff Accountant; Accounts Payable/Insurance; Office Support Staff; Communications & Development Director;
Associate Director; Grand Lodge Library Director;  Webmaster; IT Coordinator; Supply Department Director; and a Building Manager.

Lastly, in the State of Pennsylvania, the Grand Master is called Right Worshipful whereas most other Grand Lodges call their Grand Master ‘Most Worshipful’. This is interesting because, in so many Grand Lodges, the title Right Worshipful is designated to the Grand Master’s District Deputy Grand Masters. His Grand Lodge Appointees help manage the various districts around the Grand Lodge.  The District Deputy Grand Master is also appointed to be his voice and they are the official Grand Lodge Representative for a Masonic District and generally speak on behalf of the Grand Master.

What is a Grand Orient?

A Grand Orient is another name for Grand Lodge. It is popular in some European countries such as France and Italy.  The Grand Orient of France is the oldest and the most important masonic obedience governing bodies in continental Europe. Born in 1728 as the First Grand Lodge of France, it took its current form and name in 1773.  At this time, I can not find any clear reason for the use of the term orient vs. lodge. The first known usage of the word ‘orient’ dates back to between 1755 and 1766. When the Vénérables of the lodges of the capital, gathered in a “Grand Lodge of the Masters of the Orient of Paris known as France”, to try to establish their authority on the whole of French Masonry.

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

20 Lodge Activities That Will Excite Your Brothers

20 Lodge Activities That Will Excite Your Brothers

Sometimes, I find that some blue lodges have a creative funk. The meeting minutes seem to go on forever and brothers can’t decide what day to host another Fried Chicken Fundraiser. Maybe your lodge is lacking new lodge activities??  Well, don’t worry because I am writing this blog article to give dozens of new ideas to energize your local lodge or any lodge really. It is important to remember that planning your annual year should start months before you are elected to a chair in the lodge. With that being said let’s get started!

1 – Conducting a brainstorming session during your meeting.

During your stated communication. Take a break to explain to the brothers how to plan and conduct meetings. This can be a great learning opportunity for new and veteran brothers to weigh in on ways to conduct a meeting using an agenda and best practices that have worked in the past. Further, it is a great chance for the brothers to brainstorm ways to make the meeting move quicker and more efficiently.

2 – Allow Brothers to give impromptu speeches.

Many brothers look forward to being part of the meeting versus just listening in to the officers’ talk at the meeting.

Encourage brothers to present one to two-minute impromptu speeches on assigned topics.  These assigned topics can be posted in the lodge all month long or it can be mentioned at the prior meeting. Either way, the brothers will be excited to share something with the lodge and have their names added to the meeting minutes for speaking briefly about an interesting topic.

Remember, this topic doesn’t need to be totally Masonic in nature, it could be a fun topic that the brothers can respond positively to, such as Charity Updates, Youth Programs happening, Sporting Events, a brother’s favorite hobby.  During my year as Master of my lodge, I would regularly request brothers to answer a random question, so the entire Craft could get to know each other better.  Personally, I loved listening to the stories and funny anecdotes they would share with the Craft.

3 – Organize Brothers to present prepared speeches.

Ask three to four brothers to present speeches based on projects from Masonic Leadership Manuals from your Grand Lodge. Or ask a brother to review a chapter from your Grand Lodge’s Digest or By-Laws. Other fun speeches can be topics such as: public speaking 101, a historical Masonic Techincal Speech, using vocal variety and superior body language when giving a tour of the lodge,  how to use non-verbal communication/gestures when reading books to elementary school students when representing Freemasonry, and of course speaking speed / speaking to be understood for a Masonic Degree.

4 – Roller Skating or Ice Skating

You know the fraternal fellowship doesn’t have to be only in the stated or called communication. Here is one that can be done at any time of year, but will serve as a great function at the end of the fall and beginning of the spring. Simply call the local ice/roller rink and rent the place out for a couple of hours.

After skating, invite the brothers / their families and your prospective candidates back to your lodge for hot chocolate / cold soda and snacks. This is a great way to introduce new possible candidates and their families to the lodge building.

5 – Card Tournaments can be good lodge activities for the older brothers in your lodge

Have a card tournament targeting those brothers that not regularly able to attend a stated communication. Get them engaged even if their work schedule forces them to miss the stated meeting. A lot of men enjoy playing cards with their families.

Set a predetermined game theme such as Play Hearts, UNO, Euchre, or Rummy. Get prizes donated to entice participation and of course offer refreshments to all those attending – Popcorn and Potato Chips are always a crowd favorite.

6 – Board Game Night

Hold a “Game Night” with a board game competition: Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Life, Risk, Clue, Scruples, and Scatergories, or the old school favorites like Shoots and Ladders or The Game of Life.  Also include a video game competition with Play Station, Nintendo We, or kick it old school with the original video games from the 70s and 80s. What you need is a TV and lots of small prizes for the winners.  Ask brothers with their families and invited guests to switch games every 15 to 20 minutes to keep the energy in the room on high.

7 – Go Golfing – yes lodge activities can always happen outside of the lodge building

Get out those old argyles and knickers, put on your golf shoes, find that old alligator shirt, grab the golf bag, pull out your putter and put on some sunblock…then, hit the course!

The golf course for this type of event could be something as easy as the local miniature golf course or upscale country club. Either way, get the brothers broken into groups of 4 and have them get to know each other better.  Brothers and guests should be paired into teams who compete for the lowest score once the course has been finished. Design scorecards for the teams, or even use scorecards from a local golf course.  The winning team buys lunch for the losing team and the other teams are requested to organize the next golf outing.

If you want to go a little crazy, collect a few dollars and distribute a golf logo shirt. If you are trying to keep to a tight budget, head to the lodge and enjoy some hot dogs and/or polish sausages.

8 – Go Late Night Bowling

Reserve a few lanes at your local bowling alley for after-hours or late night games.  Enjoy playing with the brothers and their spouses until we hours of the morning! Dress casual or make lodge bowling shirts if you like.

Every couple of frames, make brothers do something wacky like spinning around 3 times before their shots.  Or ask brothers to trade lanes to help a brother out…

9 – Sponsor a Kickball Elementary School Class Tournament

Remember this game from elementary school gym class and/or recess? Well, not every school can afford gym supplies, so your lodge can help them out and buy them the kickball supplies. The Brothers can sponsor fixing up an open field, help as coaches and umpires for the kickball tournament, and invite the elementary school students to play on the teams. This should not be boys against girls, but classroom against classroom!

Afterward, get prizes for the student players at the end of the tournament. Further, invite the Teachers & Principals to the lodge for special recognition. This could potentially increase the membership if some of the teachers and principals are men.

10 – Day at the Driving Range

This activity is simply what it says, a trip to the driving range. Check with the local golf course for a driving range for group rates and availability. Of course, brothers can bring their own clubs or they can rent them there too. Golf pros will be excited to assist your members with their swing. Maybe if you have a win-win relationship happen, some brothers start going to the driving range regularly together while the Golf Pro might be inspired to consider joining the lodge.

You can set up ‘just for fun contests’ like the longest drive or shortest drive and most whiffs (i.e. completely missing the ball).  This might just bring a bit of competition and excitement to the outing.

If you a movie buff, think about having the trip to the range be thematic. Maybe the pre-or post-outing idea would be to watch movies at the lodge such as Tin Cup, Caddyshack, or Happy Gilmore.

Of course, get some small prizes for the longest drive, most ridiculous (authentic) golf outfit, and so on.

11 – Get the Wives involved – Play the Newlywed Game

This is an increasingly popular social event with young people across the country. Arrange this event just like the game show… but since there are not ever couple is married also encourage younger brothers that have been dating for a long time. It’s amazing to see couples who have been married or dating for a long time already know so much about each other.

Please note, it is important to tailor the questions to fit your brand of newlyweds (Older Brothers or Younger Brothers or a Mix of Both).

Make the Questions similar to the ones on the famous television show the game was created from. Try to make the questions more specific to dating,
married life, and Masonic events that important to your lodge and it’s families. Encourage friends of the couples on the ‘game show’ to invite their friends and family too.  Have guests and other lodge brothers who are not serving as one of the couples to be the audience.

I find it interesting that the guest and brothers that make up the audience really enjoy watching and listening to the couples argue as much as those couples who are playing the actual game. So, despite one’s introverted or extroverted nature, this event can be fun for everyone. If someone is interested, filming this with their smartphone or Go Pro that is a bonus. So get this on video… You’ll be surprised at the number of times you will view the event after it is over.

Finally, think about arranging a nice evening out for the winning couple… possibly dinner and a movie?

12 – Play Capture the Gavel

Create your own version of your child game called Capture the Flag! The goal is to capture the opposing officer’s gavel. Use squirt guns filled with colored water to squirt them. Have teams of about 5 to 15 per side.

Ask everyone to wear white t-shirts. Also, use food coloring in the squirt guns for each team. One side is red and the other side is blue.

One side is led by the Junior Warden and the other side is led by the Senior Warden. The umpires are the Past Masters and the Worshipful Master.

Organize the game into predetermined times of about fifteen minutes with four quarters. You can host this at the lodge or in a community park.

As the opposing team approaches your opposite teams Warden’s headquarters (where your gavel is located), you squirt them. If your colored water hits their shirt, they must return to their Warden’s headquarters.  After the game is over, declare a winner and present them with a team trophy. Also, have refreshments available too.

13 – Rent The Movie Theater

This is another super idea for a late-night event. And it can be a great way to introduce Freemasonry to the younger generation. Pick a popular movie in the theater and invite brothers, their families, and prospective candidates too.

Most local movie theaters have party rooms available onsite too. Promote the movie night as a free event to create awareness for the lodge in the community. Invite men in the community that might be good prospects for Freemasonry and consider inviting your local appendant bodies to come to.

Try to work out a deal with the manager/owner or get a fixed price per person or couple that includes admission, and all the popcorn
and soft drinks you can consume. If the movie has a general theme, consider coming in costume or as a character. If the movie is a sequel, the group should view the video of prequel prior to going to the theater.

If you want to save money before going to the theater, have dinner at the lodge.

14 – Thanksgiving Dinner Lodge Night In

Before people leave for Thanksgiving with their families and in-laws, consider hosting a dinner at the lodge. Cook the meal together, if possible. Play some games, watch some sports, and enjoy the good food. This can be done for almost any holiday. Plus this is a good way to make sure no brothers without family or that are widows in town don’t eat alone during the holidays.

15 – Win, Lose or Draw at the Lodge

Secure a few flip chart easels, the big fat markers, and plenty of white flip chart paper. Good news most Staples or Office Depot stores have this generally in stock, but if you want to get a better deal – head to Amazon to buy it online.

Place chairs or couches around the room, facing the easels, if brother prefers not to stand and do this activity. Select teams, again I recommend having the Senior and Junior Wardens be the team captains. Have the Worshipful Master serve as the host and the Past Masters serve as the judges. All you need to do is follow the same format as the TV show. A group of Past Masters will need to select the words or phrases that the teams will draw during the event. If you want to make it more interesting, consider cutting words and phrases out of local magazines or newspapers.

16 – Ice Cream Eating Contest & Ice Cream Social are two fun Lodge Activities brothers can enjoy

This is a great old fashion activity, where brain freezes may happen!  The ice cream eating contest should be volunteers only and the officers of the lodge that are not contestants build the ice cream contest plates with all the fixings of an ice cream sundae. Sprinkles or jimmies, chocolate syrup, walnuts, cherries, whipped cream, and of course plenty of favors of ice cream. Have several plates and you can make it into a tournament too by dividing people into teams and have a contest to see who can finish their sundae the quickest.

Everybody likes ice cream!!! So head over the grocery store and buy a ton of ice cream. This is also a great activity to engage your Masonic youth programs and local Boy Scout Programs too.

17 – Visit a Haunted House together

Halloween is meant to be a fun time of year for the community. So get connected and support a local haunted house by visiting it. If your community doesn’t have a haunted house, your lodge can vote on creating one in your building. Invite community school students and local community churches to be guests. Have the brothers dress and try to shock the guests. After the haunted tour, offer your guests hot chocolate and cookies.  Remember, this is a good chance to talk to the parents about Freemasonry and it’s youth programs for boys and girls.

18 – Cruise Ship getaway as a Lodge

Here’s a great event for the women to arrange for the men… plan a cruise. If your lodge has a lot of retired brothers, invite them to go on a cruise together. Reach out to a local travel agent and let the wives pick the places they want to visit.

There are plenty of cruise-lines that offer deals for groups and the places you can go to see are surprisingly numerous.  Now, you might be wondering – what about the younger brothers with families or just starting their first career, a weekend-long cruise is an answer.  Invite them to get away for a long weekend with their brothers and families too.  Most cruise ships have kid-friendly areas and lots of places that are set up for situations like this. My recommendation is to get a travel agent for this group too.

19 – Ballroom Dancing Lessons can be part of your annual Lodge Activities plan…

Let’s face it most Masons have a tuxedo, why not show off a little to your sweetie.  Plan a day at the local dance studio with their dance instructor. Have your brothers wear their tux and spouses/girlfriends dress in formal dresses. Find out if it is okay to serve some nice “hors d’oeuvres” and sparkling
beverages too. This is a great way to get the brothers together with their wives or girlfriends.  The goal is to have fun, learn to dance, and of course build life long friendships.

20 – Coffee House at the Lodge

Recreate your lodge into a dimly lit coffeehouse. Serve coffee drinks while listening to a performer or two. Offer an open mic section where a talented brother or guest can get up and perform. This is meant to be a chill-out style evening with good music. So refreshments should be fancy water bottles and interesting coffee mixtures. Need some ideas – just google a recipe blog for some amazing coffee drinks.  Have a volunteer brother serve as the barista for the evening and have another brother serve as the emcee. Then sit back and relax.

Did you want more ideas for lodge activities?

Good news! I have made a YouTube Channel with more content to watch, I recommend finding the Freemasonry Report on YouTube.  I will be posting 3 to 5 more ideas for lodge activities that may fire up your brothers on that channel. So watch all my videos on YouTube Today!

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

What is the difference between ancient and modern Freemasons?

What is the difference between ancient and modern Freemasons?

Let’s Start at the beginning…

In June 24, 1717, the Premier Grand Lodge of England was established as the ‘Grand Lodge of London and Westminster’. It was focused on supplying Freemasonry to the London and Westminster areas in England.  It is important to note that this Grand Lodge is the oldest known in the country of England, therefore it soon became known as the Grand Lodge of England. The Grand Lodge was founded on St John The Baptist’s Feast Day when four existing lodges met at the Goose and Gridiron Alehouse in London.

During 1717, four Blue Lodges came together in London and formed the first Grand Lodge. Most of the members of these lodges were Operative Masons; in fact, only one of the lodges had a majority of its members being Speculative which were meeting at the Rummer and Grapes.

In 1723, a long introduction of tracing Freemasonry back to biblical times was implemented via “The Book of Constitutions”. It included a set of six “Charges” or Masonic obligations; it expanded version of Payne’s Regulations; it formalized the method of constituting a new lodge. For the first time, all of Freemasonry, except for the ritual, was available in a printed book.

However, though there were groups of Freemasons that trace their roots back to the ideals and morals of the Christian belief system. But not every Freemason were themselves Christians. It is critical to inform you that not all Masons were Christians in that era. So in England, the Grand Lodge had to factions of Brothers – those Christian and those who were not Christian.  Thus it’s historical line was of a non-Christian focus.

In the year 1751, a number of Blue Lodges came together in London to form a rival Grand Lodge. The original Grand Lodge’s members came to dubbed “Moderns” while the latter called themselves “Antients”.  Further, this group of unaffiliated lodges of mainly Irish membership formed the Grand Committee of what would become the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions, now known as the ‘Ancients’ or ‘Antients’.   Because it was the first Masonic Grand Lodge to be created, it called itself the Premier Grand Lodge of England in order to distinguish it from the Most Ancient and Honourable Society of Free and Accepted Masons according to the Old Constitutions.

Who assisted in coming up with the names – Moderns and Ancients?

Laurence Dermott, who was the Grand Secretary & the Deputy Grand Master of the ‘Ancients’, helped the terms stick in our Masonic history. But be aware, the original Grand Lodge was already referred to as the “Moderns”, and Dermott made sure that it stuck when he was serving as the Deputy Grand Master. In 1756, Dermott published his version of the Book of Constitutions ensuring his own Grand Lodge becoming known to history as the Ancients.

Did you know, that Dermott originally affiliated with a ‘Moderns’ lodge around 1752, but left it to join one of the unaffiliated Irish lodges?

It is important to note that the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge was to be a member of the Nobility. This nobleman would serve as their sponsor and serve as their spokesmen in high places.

Once a member of the Aristocracy/Nobility was chosen as Grand Master, it set in motion a chain of events that lead to the beginning of the much talked about disagreement.  The Grand Master was a member of the nobility and naturally associated with his class equals.  He further tended to fill his Masonic leadership appointments in the Grand Lodge with other aristocrats. Thus, Laurence Dermott, which was a successful wine merchant in England at the time, was the Deputy Grand Master and effectively ran the Grand Lodge.

It is thanks to Dermott that the United Grand Lodge, as it currently stands, inherits the infrastructure of the Moderns, but takes its ritual from the Ancients.

Why was there a disagreement or Schism in Freemasonry at that time?

Unfortunately, this class structure at that time was very inflexible. The thinking during that era was that no man would set aside any of his God-given rights and prerogatives of his nobility. The Christian Freemasons, known as the ‘Ancients’ or ‘Antients’ and the ‘Moderns’ never claimed a Christian heritage but instead had set up lodges that promoted values other than those espoused in Christianity.

Anderson’s Constitutions was published in 1723, by Presbyterian Church Minister and four deacons of Huguenot church. Thus, this became one of the founding documents of Freemasonry and was regularly printed in pocket-sized versions for the brothers of that era.  Anderson’s 1723 constitutions book only recognized the grades of Entered Apprentice and Fellowcraft/Master. Later, Demott wrote the ‘Ahiman Rezon’ as the ‘ancients’ version of the Book of Constitutions as a way to retain the traditions of Freemasonry in its purest form.

Thus a feud amount the Freemasons of that era quickly erupted.  As time progressed, both “Ancient” and “Modern” Freemasons struggled to overcome this ideology and return to a more pure form fraternal-ism that is represented in the modern-day degree work.

So what were the differences in the two Freemasons Grand Lodge’s Book of Constitutions based on?

Here are the main points of difference between the ‘Antients’ and ‘Moderns’, as defined by the ‘Antients’ which can be easily summed up with the following:

  1. Transposing the modes of recognition in the First and Second Degrees
  2. Omitting prayers
  3. De-Christianizing the ritual, which the ‘Antients’ pointed to the ‘Anderson’s Constitutions of 1733’ as proof
  4. Ignoring the Saints’ Days, the ‘Moderns’ were being pointed as holding their festivals on days that were not the days of St. John.
  5. Omitting to prepare Candidates in the customary fashion
  6. Abbreviating the ritual work
  7. Neglecting the lectures and the catechisms that were attached to each degree
  8. Ceasing to recite the Ancient Charges at Initiations of new Brothers
  9. Introducing extreme plainness and simplicity of style into the ceremonies
  10. Removing the sword in the Initiation ceremony with the exception that the Tyler wore a sword
  11. Allowing a more esoteric ceremony at the installation of a Master to stop being used in the degree work
  12. Departing from the ancient method of arranging the lodge
  13.  Ignoring the Deacon

Two very famous Master Masons who did not adhere to the ‘ancients’ values in the Craft at that time were Benjamin Franklin and George Washington. Believe or not, Benjamin Franklin was buried without being allowed a proper Masonic Funeral due to his secular beliefs as a Modern Mason at that time.

What is the difference between the Ancient Free & Accepted Masons and the Free & Accepted Masons?

From 1751 to 1813, there were two Grand Lodges in England. Both Grand Lodges were issuing charters or warrants empowering Masons to do degree work. Thus both allowed new Masonic Lodges to formed, mainly in the colonies soon to be the United States of America.

The reason for the formation of these two Grand Lodges in England was based on the Schism or disagreement on their written constitutions.

One group of Brother English Masons were dubbed – ‘Moderns’.  Ironically, this group was actually the older British Grand Lodge. The second group of English Freemasons called themselves – ‘Antients’ or ‘Ancients’

The ‘Moderns’ established the “Free & Accepted Masons” and the ‘Antients’ or ‘Ancients’ established the “Ancient Free & Accepted Masons” or “Antient Free & Accepted Masons”.

It should be noted that the disagreement was short-lived.  It went on for 62 years and finally both groups agreed to once again open formal Masonic Communication with each other.  By the year 1813, the disagreement was totally and completely resolved. Also, during that time frame, the two Grand Lodges merged back into one Grand Lodge in England.  Thus the two Grand Lodges  existed until 1813 when the Premier Grand Lodge of England united with the Ancient Grand Lodge of England to create the “United Grand Lodge of England”

But the damage was done because each group spawned their separate Blue Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges all across the colonies and also after the American Revolution in the United States.

Thankfully, when the merger was complete, the Blue Lodges and Grand Lodges which are set with their own By-Laws and further cemented by their fraternal independence to retain the titles and initials they wished to have selected for themselves when the Grand Lodge was founded. Either as “Ancient Free & Accepted Masons”; “Free & Accepted Masons”; and in some cases some other variation.  This in some cases can be connected to which Grand Lodge was the chartering entity of a particular Blue Lodge, prior to the creation of the new Grand Lodge. But it is important to note, that according to prescription and usage, as adopted in London, in 1717, by and through the Representative System, as practiced on that occasion and adopted by constitutional provisions as binding for all time by the Craft.

If a brother Freemason visits different states, he will find the title on the Blue Lodge and Grand Lodge to read as such. Further, a brother can enjoy hearing a slight difference in the degree work too.

Once a year, a Cave Degree is offered for Brother Masons to visit and sit in a lodge to experience the degree work from other states. Further, they enjoy taking note of the differences in procedures of opening or closing a lodge and how the By-Laws effected that Grand Lodge’s chartered blue lodge in the proper manner.

Today, all the Grand Lodges in the United States treat each other with respect.  Many of the Grand Lodges in the United States are recognized by other regular Grand Lodges in Scotland, England, Thailand, Ireland, India, and other countries in Europe, Africa, and South America.

What states are going by Ancient Free and Accepted Masons?

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodges within the United States are as follows:

Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia, West Virginia, Wisconsin

What states are going by Free and Accepted Masons?

Free and Accepted Masons Grand Lodges within the United States of America are the following states:

Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, Nevada, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Vermont, Washington, Wyoming

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

Sources: 1 |  2

How can I find North Carolina Freemason lodges? – Find a Masonic Lodge Near You

Freemasonry Report
Freemasonry Report – Get Answers Here

How can I find North Carolina Freemason lodges? – Find a Masonic Lodge Near You

How can I find North Carolina Freemason lodges?  – Find a Lodge Near You today! Did you know that you and your family are welcomed to visit any Lodge within the State of North Carolina? It’s true – many Lodges host Family Nights, Open Lodge Meetings, Presentation and Award Events, and Social Gatherings in what Masons in North Carolina call their ‘Grand Lodge‘. Simply use the link below to contact a Lodge nearest you. Sometimes, towns are so close that one lodge actually covers both. While for rural communities – there maybe a county wide lodge in some cases.

Here’s how to find North Carolina Freemason Lodges Near You!

Grand Lodge of North Carolina logoWhen you call the lodge nearest you – just ask to attend the next open event, or schedule a visit with the Worshipful Master and Secretary.

The Worshipful Master and Officers of the Lodge will be happy to give you a tour of their Lodge. While touring the lodge building ask questions and learn more about how Freemasons helped improve your local community. The Lodge Officers are capable of explaining What is Freemasonry and how becoming a member can be a benefit to you and your family.  Many times, the Lodge Officers will go into detail about the history of Freemasonry and their particular Lodge.  Lastly, remember to invite your family members to ask questions and get the answers they are looking for.  North Carolina Freemasons pride themselves on being open and honest to directly address any of your questions or concerns. Here is the link to the lodge locator for the Grand Lodge Of Georgia.

Please note that the Freemasonry Report is run by Masons but it is not connected to, doing business with, or representing any Grand Lodge.

Enjoy learning about the History of the Grand Lodge Of North Carolina and how it was established…

Learn about the history of Freemasonry in North Carolina

Freemasonry was reputedly established in North Carolina at Masonborough in the mid-1730s. However, the first documented evidence of Masonic activity in the state can be dated to Wilmington and New Bern during the early 1750s.

Joseph Montfort was Treasurer of the Province of North Carolina, Colonel of Colonial troops, a patriot, and ardent Freemason. Montfort was born in England in 1724. He was a member of Royal White Hart Lodge at Halifax.

In 1771 the Duke of Beaufort commissioned Joseph Montfort Provincial Grand Master of North Carolina, a post he ably held until his death in 1776. Montfort’s exuberance for the fraternity led to his commission as Provincial Grand Master on January 14, 1771.

Montfort’s commission, which hangs in the Grand Lodge Office in Raleigh, was granted by Henry Somersest, the fifth Duke of Beaufort and Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of England.

Montfort’s short tenure as Provincial Grand Master proved to be a watershed for the development of Freemasonry in North Carolina. Montfort tirelessly promoted and organized the fraternity into an efficient and productive organization. He chartered at least ten lodges and helped reorganize a half dozen more.

Montfort’s affect on North Carolina Freemasonry cannot be understated, and for that reason his name bears the highest award offered by the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of North Carolina. Montfort died in North Carolina, March 25, 1776.  But his zeal for the fraternity helped lay the foundation for the creation of the Grand Lodge in 1787.

Between Montfort’s death and the end of the American Revolution, the Provincial Grand Lodge Lodge of North Carolina essentially ceased to exist, though individual lodges continued to operate. In 1787 several delegates from several lodges across the state met at Tarborough to establish a new Grand Lodge and elected Samuel Johnston as their new Grand Master.

The Proceedings of the Grand Lodge in North Carolina have been published annually since 1787. These Proceedings are the historical minutes chronicling the business of the Grand Lodge. These records contain, among other things, Masonic law, committee reports, financial reports, officer listings, membership lists, lodge listings, correspondence, speeches, and much more. They are laden with important historical context concerning the fraternity, as well as the history of North Carolina and many influential citizens of the State.  I recommend visiting this link to read this information further.

Why do the North Carolina Freemasons use A.F. & A.M. in their Grand Lodge and Blue Lodge Titles?

From 1751 to 1813, there were actually two different and separate Grand Lodges in England. This caused to titles to be used to know what Brother Freemasons were part of which Grand Lodge at that time.  In the city of London, both Grand Lodges had their headquarters and both disagreed on certain matters which were critical to them at that time. The brothers actually were all part of the same Grand Lodge prior to the year 1751.

The division was caused by two groups in the Grand Lodge.  The first group was called the “Moderns”. It was made of lodges that were actually the older of the factions. The second group was called the “Antients”, which later became the “Ancients”.

The “Moderns” used the title – F.& A.M. and the “Antients” used the title A.F. &A.M.

This disagreement continued until 1813 when the two groups began formal Masonic Communication between the English Grand Lodges. Thankfully, the disagreement was later fully healed around 1880, but by that time, there were Blue Lodges and Grand Lodges all over the United States that were descended from either the “Moderns” or “Antients” Grand Lodge. So each group kept their corresponding initials with which they were formed. Therefore, this is why the Grand Lodge of North Carolina also kept the title of A.F. &A.M.

Today, all regular Grand Lodges acknowledge the history and have regular communications between the Grand Lodges within the United States.  Yet, there are small differences within different states’ ritual wording and Grand Lodge By-Laws and procedures. Many brothers love to visit and watch/listen to a degree when visiting the state of North Carolina.  Any visiting Brother of a Regular Blue Lodge from a different Regular Grand Lodge are regarded equally as Brothers and Masons.

North Carolina Freemasonry is Charity in action!

Freemasons have been a force for charity and goodwill in North Carolina longer than any other organization, supporting the oldest children’s home and oldest elder-care facility in the state for more than a century.

Since 1929, the brethern established and support the efforts of their own foundation. It is called the “North Carolina Masonic Foundation” and it has played a critical role in that work, ensuring the financial support and vitality of the Masonic Home for Children at Oxford and WhiteStone: A Masonic and Eastern Star Community in Greensboro.

The brethren who created the foundation ensured many things for Masonic Families in North Carolina. Just months after creating the foundation, the stock market crashed and the beginning of the Great Depression ensued across the state as well as the nation. The visionary thinking of these Masons ensured the safety of both homes through good times and bad, and formalized the Craft’s pledge to support and fund both homes for generations to come.

Such foresight guaranteed that masonic charitable work would endure, even after they were gone – today, the Grand Lodge of North Carolina is one of only four states that still have both a Masonic children’s home and an elder-care facility.

Today, the Noth Carolina Masonic Foundation:

  1. Assists the Charles Edward Cathey Scholarship Fund and other endowed scholarships;
  2. Oversees the Masonic Historic Preservation Fund;
  3. Offers the opportunity for lodges and subordinate bodies to invest with the NCMF to achieve long-term gains on lodge reserve resources;
  4.  Advocates for fundraising efforts from lodge events to capital campaigns on behalf of our two major charities;
  5.  Educates the Craft on development, fund-raising and charitable issues;
  6.  With the Grand Lodge of North Carolina A.F. & A.M., supports production of The North Carolina Mason newspaper;
  7.  And supports the greater mission of fraternity to foster faith, hope, and charity across North Carolina.

Who are the top leaders in the Masonic Grand Lodge of North Carolina?

Currently, the top elected/appointed leadership of the Grand Lodge of North Carolina are as follows: Grand Master; Deputy Grand Master; Senior Grand Warden; Junior Grand Warden; Grand Treasurer; Grand Secretary; Senior Grand Deacon; Junior Grand Deacon; Grand Marshal; Senior Grand Steward; Junior Grand Steward; Grand Tyler; Grand Chaplain; Grand Historian; Grand Lecturer; and the  Judge Advocate. The Most Worshipful Grand Master is the top leader for Freemasonry in the State of North Carolina.

Please note that the Freemasonry Report is run by Masons but it is not connected to, doing business with, or representing any Grand Lodge. Read more interesting articles now about Freemasonry.

Do Freemasons worship the devil?

Do Freemasons worship the devil?

Here is the answer to the question “No they don’t.” Most Freemasons are generally Christian, Muslim, or Hebrew which have a belief in the God of the Bible, Koran, or Torah.

Yet, others are Muslim and other religions, we meet as a fraternity, not as a religion. We are taught to love one another. Plus create a society made up of peace and harmony thus to reject evil. Further, Freemasonry is not a church or religion.

Every lodge has an altar with the Bible on it.  Every lodge has a Chaplain which leads the brothers in prayer.  This prayer is non-denominational in nature and is shared at the opening or closing of the meeting.  The opening prayer is done during the flag ceremony which is open to the public to see.  The devil is never mentioned in any prayer. Nor is the name of the devil ever mentioned in a degree or in a meeting either.  Freemasons are not worshiping the devil during the stated communication.


Do Freemasons have to take an oath to the devil in the Masonic degrees?

No, Freemasons do not take an oath to the devil in any Masonic Degrees.  The Masonic degrees discuss how to learn to make yourself better so you can go into the world and make the world better. The Masonic degree focus on ethical decision making and understanding life is short so we should attempt to do as much good as we can while we can.  We use symbols to explain and remember the lessons taught in the degrees.

There is no ritual or ceremonial which discuss or directly/indirectly include the devil.  Making the world a better place and a more peaceful place actually go against the teachings of the devil.  The devil wants people to be divided against one another and to fight with each other. The Masons want the opposite and the Masons want everyone to love one another.

How did the devil get associated with the Freemasons?

The devil can first be found in the Morals and Dogma written by Albert Pike.  Brother Albert Pike researched many religions and tried to compile all the lessons of love over the ages.  The Scottish Rite degrees discuss the further ethical lessons and ways love was spread in the past.  The Scottish Rite pulls information from my great books including the Bible, the Torah, the Koran, the Kabbalah as well as sacred texts from the far east.  Unfortunately, Brother Pike’s research was not perfect, but no man is perfect, expect the One they nailed to the cross.

Baphomet was mentioned in the book Morals and Dogma.

“Hierogliphically to express this law of prudence, they gave their mercury, personified in Egypt as Hermanubis, a dog’s head; and to their Sulpher, represented by the Baphomet of the Temple, that goat’s head which brought into such disrepute the occult Mediaeval associations.” “The Gnostics held that it composed the igneous body of the Holy Spirit ; and it was adored in the secret rites of the Sabbat or the Temple, under the hieroglyphic figure of Baphomet or the hermaphroditic goat of Mendes.”

Yet, Brother Pike was attempting to explain Egyptian scripture in the book’s chapter.  This chapter was to add more value to the candidate and/or new brother to further educate the life/ethical lessons of the degree.  He termed the Baphomet, “the Goat of Mendes” — confusing it with Banebdjedet, an Ancient Egyptian ram god.  Brother Pike most likely was researching ‘The Book of the Heavenly Cow’ which describes the “Ram of Mendes”.  Unfortunately, this mistake was printed and reprinted for decades.  Which only added to the conspiracy theorists’ excitement to uncover some random and obscure word.

Do the Freemasons have any links to the Church of Satan?

No, this church was formed in the 1960s.  It was created in the United States and adopted the inverted pentagram to become a popular symbol for Satan.  The founders were Oswald Wirth and Maurice Bessy, neither of whom were ever Freemasons. Further, most Freemasons would agree that a satanist can not be made a Mason because the devil is not a God. The devil is simply a fallen angel and is not deity therefore no Satanist can be made a Mason.  There is no link or connection with this organization and Freemasonry.

Further, Freemasonry was formed thousands of years ago by builders.  The church mentioned above is a mere infant compared to the Catholic Church or most major religions in our world.

Do the Higher Degrees in Masonry have any links to the devil?

No. The higher degrees are for honoring the hard work of brothers in the fraternity. Generally, it simply highlights the ethical lessons again for the brothers by introducing leadership ethics in a symbol sense. As a Past Master, which is an honorary type of degree for elected Worshipful Masters to participate in, I have first-hand knowledge that no mention of the devil was directly or indirectly ever made.

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your fingertips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

How long does it take to become a Freemason?

How long does it take to become a Freemason?

This is a great question that is wondered by many people around the world.  The answer varies a bit based on the individual and the lodge.  Most times, it take 45 to 60 days. But, depending on the time year the candidate get involved it might take 45 to 120 days unfortunately.

Why does it take so long to be a Freemason?

Well the steps involved to become a Mason is rigorous. From background checks that take a week to interviews with the prospective candidate. Further, the voting to begin the process to have the craft agree to have a new candidate. After, reading the results of the work and read the petition at a meeting. Once this is done, the petition has to wait 30 days to be re-read, and then balloted upon so the candidate’s petition. So this can take at least 45 days when done efficiently and longer if not, which makes the process quite time consuming as well.

Is it worth waiting more than 45 days or more to become a Freemason?

This question plagues me because we live in a world of ‘I want to right now’. The days of patiently waiting are quickly going away. But, my attitude to this type of thinking is simple. This is a lifetime commitment, shouldn’t you be okay with no being rushed into something this important? 45 to 90 days compared to the average age of an adult man – which is 75 years – is nothing.

I try to explain to a new candidate that joining the Freemasons is like going to a 5 Star Restaurant.  When you go to the 5 Star Restaurant you have multiple courses with a waiter dressed in a tuxedo. There are sometimes breaks between the courses for a drink or smoke. Now looking at a fast food drive thru restaurant, this type of place serves you quickly and the food is average. The service is generally done by a student who is not getting paid a premium to give you your food. Most days, they are awaiting the end of their shift with little care to see if you are truly happy with your meal.

So you get what you pay for. If you want an inexpensive and average meal or the ability to join quickly – well maybe another fraternity is better suited for you.  Now if you want to be a Freemason, you are okay with things going at a slower more deliberate pace. Then this fraternity is for you, you probably understand that good things take time to be done well.


What finger to wear masonic ring on?

What finger to wear masonic ring on?

This is a super popular question by the new brothers in my lodge.  Time and time again, a new brother wants to know the proper way to wear his Masonic Ring.  Numerous times a brother asks me “What finger do I wear my masonic ring on?” or “What finger should I wear my Mason Ring ?”. Here is the quick answer – any finger you want to wear it on.  If you are a Master Mason and have been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason – you are entitled to all the privileges of a Master Mason. 

Now let’s dig in a little for the brothers looking for a more complete answer to this question. The Freemasonry Report prides itself on delivering real world perspectives to these types of questions.

What does each finger symbolize to the outside world?

The Pinky Finger is the first we should look at. The pinky finger can denote intuition, the ability to have a higher than normal level of communication, and a very nibble intelligent speed of thinking in a strategic way.

Wearing any style of Masonic ring on the pinky finger doesn’t directly tie the brother with any religious associations. This finger is for making a statement by being located the farthest from your body. The pinky finger is ego focused and many times this type of brother is a strong negotiator.

The Ring Finger is next up!  The ring finger is generally tied to the love of beauty, the wearer is many times a creative brother, and he is very strong in relationship building and maintaining with other brothers.

Symbolically, the ring finger is associated with Earth’s moon which is a reflection of the sun’s light. This brother is generally passionate about the fraternity and the knowledge he has gained. His creativity in life crosses over to fraternity by bringing new solutions to the table for the betterment of the craft. Furthermore, this brother will be the one who has a strong emotional / romantic relationship with his spouse.

In the United States, this finger is most commonly associated with being married. I can say this because I live in the US in the Grand Lodge of Florida (i.e. the State of Florida).  Interestingly, it is not uncommon to see 14th Degree brothers wearing that masonic ring to show to the world they are forever connected to the Scottish Rite Fraternity.

The Middle Finger – oh boy here we go…  In the United States, the middle finger has a negative meaning and many brothers need to remember if they decide to wear a Masonic Ring on their middle finger.  If they do wish to do so, the middle finger represents ironically responsibility and self-analysis too. Most people who wear a ring on this finger understand the negative meaning and are extra careful to make a good impression while showing off their ring. Due to the negative feelings tied to the finger – Freemason rings worn on the middle finger are surprisingly uncommon.

The Pointer Finger is a symbol of leadership and authority as well. During my travels, it is not uncommon to see seating Worshipful Masters wearing a Masonic ring on his finger of his active hand. It has always indicated his high self-esteem, confidence, and great leadership abilities while serving the craft.

And finally the Thumb. The thumb represents a brother’s Personal Self-Assertion towards all brothers and community members in his life. Wearing a thumb ring on be seen a trendy too. Some brothers may view this brother as fashion oriented and good individual to ask about attire suitable for wearing in a lodge’s stated communication.

Is there more to think about when choosing a masonic ring and your preferred finger – yes.  I will be adding to the blog article – so check back regularly to read my updates to this topic.

What is a Shriner and is he a Freemason?

What is a Shriner and is he a Freemason?

First off, yes a Shriner is a Freemason. A Shriner is a Freemason that helps the community. A Shriner does this by getting involved in a club or unit which the Shrine. From being part of the clown unit which helps in the Shrine Circus or a local Parade to motorcycle groups, horse patrols, marching bands, veteran clubs, photographers, Past Masters, classic-car owners, and the list goes on. A Shriner intention is to very social while giving back to the community . By getting involved in a unit that appeals to their interests or hobbies, a Shriner will be excited to help with big events that help the community.

Is the Shrine an appendant body of Freemasonry?

Yes, the Shrine is an independent appendant body part of the Masonic organization. The Shrine offers ceremonials for it’s candidates versus the traditional degrees offered by the Masonic Blue Lodge. The local organization is called a Shrine Temple. All Shriners must be Master Masons in good standing within a Blue Lodge in the Grand Lodge where the Shrine Temple is located. No Master Mason can be a Shriner if fails to pay his Blue Lodge Dues annually or if he suspended from the fraternity for any reason by on that Grand Lodge’s Masonic Law.

Why is the Shrine called the “Playground of Freemasonry”?

Many brothers in the fraternity call the Shrine – the “playground of Freemasonry.” Here is why they that. The Shrine does not make Masons. All the hardwork of making Masons via the three degrees is done in the Blue Lodge.  Further, all the higher degrees of the Scottish Rite and York Rite are done in those appendant bodies. Lastly, the AMD handles other ancient degrees which the Shrine does not confer either.  A Shriner goes his initiation via the Hot or Cold Sands. But before a man can become a Shriner, he must be raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason. No Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft can become a Shriner.

Let’s continue looking at the Shriner’s being the playground of Freemasonry. First, the Shrine Temple has a full bar available for it’s membership. Many Grand Lodges forbid the sale or consummation of alcohol in a Blue Lodge especially within the lodge room. Thus, when in the Shrine, a brother can enjoy drinking anywhere and anytime within the property of the Shrine Temple.  In the Shrine Temple, the membership hosts parties and social evenings for brothers and their wives to hang out. From Halloween Parties to playing bingo, the possibilities are endless.

Since, they do not make Masons – the Shrine is more focused on fundraising activities. They host fundraising events to support both themselves, special community initiatives, and their hospitals. Again, for many years the most recognized fundraiser has been Shrine Circus. But here in Florida, our local Shrine hosts an amazing Charity Auction which raises a lot of money for their preferred causes.  These events were designed to be a hospital fundraiser and many Shrine Temples send 100 percent of the proceeds to Shriner’s Hospitals.

But the Shriners are also active in community Parades and Motorcycle Poker Runs too.  Each Shrine Temple has developed it’s own rich traditions of annual fun events to do in the community.  Parades have become part of the Shriners ethos, why? Because anybody in the community can march in a parade, and Shriners pride themselves on their marching bands, driving mini cars, dressing up as clowns, creating cool looking parade floats, walking their camel in the parade, and rumbling down the street in with their motorcycle unit.

What is the History of the Shrine?

As we have learned, the Shriners is, at its most basic level, a sub fraternal organization of the Freemasons. Now the full name — Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine — you can rearrange the letters A.A.O.N.M.S. and spell “A MASON.”

In the beginning, it all started in Manhattan in 1870 when some members of what’s considered the world’s oldest fraternity – Masonry – were hanging out at their favorite tavern. They felt that Masonry, which traces its roots to stonemasons and craftsmen of the Middle Ages, was way too focused on the ritual. These guys wanted a fraternity that stressed fun and fellowship.

The Masons who gathered at this table were noted for their good humor and wit. They often discussed the idea of a new fraternity for Masons, in which fun and fellowship would be stressed more than ritual.

Who were the founders of the Shrine? Walter Fleming & William Florence

Dr. Walter M. Fleming, and William J. Florence, where regular attendees of the tavern and the conversation to start a more social focused appendant body of Freemasonry. Both men took the idea seriously enough to do something about it. Billy Florence was a well known actor. After becoming the toast of the New York stage, he toured London, Europe and Middle Eastern countries, always playing to capacity audiences.

While on tour in Marseilles, France, Florence was invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society.  Florence, recalling the conversations at the Knickerbocker Cottage, realized that this might well be the vehicle for the new fraternity. He made copious notes and drawings at that initial viewing and on two other occasions when he attended the ceremony, once in Algiers and again in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870 and showed his material to Dr. Fleming, Fleming agreed. Two of those gentlemen – Walter M Fleming, M.D., and Billy Florence, an actor – took that idea and ran with it.

Dr. Walter Millard Fleming was a prominent physician and surgeon. Born in 1838, he obtained a degree in medicine in Albany, N.Y., in 1862. During the Civil War, he was a surgeon with the 13th New York Infantry Brigade of the National Guard. He then practiced medicine in Rochester, New York, until 1868, when he moved to New York City and quickly became a leading practitioner.  Fleming was devoted to the fraternal ideology. He became a Mason in Rochester and took some of his Scottish Rite work there, then completed his degrees in New York City. He was coroneted a 33° Scottish Rite Mason on September 19, 1872.

Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.). While there is some question about the origin of the Fraternity’s name, it is probably more than coincidence that its initials, rearranged, spell out the words “A MASON.”

With the help of other Knickerbocker Cottage regulars, Fleming and Florence:

  • drafted the ritual,
  • designed the emblem and ritual costumes,
  • created a organizational structure,
  • formulated a salutation,
  • drafted the fraternity’s name, initiation rites, rituals and rules.
  • designed the fraternity’s emblem,
  • determined that the red fez with the black tassel would be the group’s official headgear.

The initiation rites, or ceremonials, were drafted by Fleming with the help of three Brother Masons: Charles T. McClenachan, lawyer and expert on Masonic Ritual; William Sleigh Paterson, printer, linguist and ritualist; and Albert L. Rawson, prominent scholar and Mason who provided much of the Arabic background.  .

What is the official emblem of the Shrine?

The Crescent was adopted as the Jewel of the Order. A Freemason can use any materials to form the Crescent. But, the most desirable would be the claws of a Royal Bengal Tiger that is united at their base in a gold setting. In the center is the head of a sphinx, and on the back are a pyramid, an urn and a star.

The Jewel bears the motto “Robur et Furor,” which means “Strength and Fury.” The modern day Shrine emblem includes a scimitar from which the crescent hangs, and a five-pointed star beneath the head of the sphinx.

What is official salutation of a Shriner?

The founders of the Shrine created a salutation which is still used today. A Shrine Masons says to another Shrine Mason: “Es Selamu Aleikum!” which means, “Peace be with you!”

After this statement, the other Shrine Mason is required to return a response salutation: the gracious wish is “Aleikum Es Selamu,” which means “With you be peace.”

Shrine Red Fez What does the Shrine Fez look like?

The red fez with a black tassel is the official headgear of a Shriner. It derives its name from the place where it was first manufactured in the holy city of Fez, Morocco. It said that it is been handed down through the ages. and some historians claim it dates back to about A.D. 980. Yet the name of the fez (or tarboosh) does not appear in Arabic literature until around the 14th century. One of the earliest references to the headgear is in “Arabian Nights.” So the academic debate will continue of the origin of the Fez in the Morocco.


When was the first Shrine Temple Established?

On September 26, 1872, in the New York City Masonic Hall, the first Shrine Temple in the United States was organized. The first temple, Mecca Shriners, met in New York City in 1872.   Brother McClenachan and Dr. Fleming had completed the ritual and proposed that the first Temple be named Mecca. The original 13 Masons of the Knickerbocker Cottage lunch group were named Charter Members of Mecca Temple.

Noble Florence read a letter outlining the “history” of the Order and giving advice on the conduct of meetings. The officers elected were Walter M. Fleming, Potentate; Charles T. McClenachan, Chief Rabban; John A. Moore, Assistant Rabban; Edward Eddy, High Priest and Prophet; George W. Millar, Oriental Guide; James S. Chappel, Treasurer; William S. Paterson, Recorder; and Oswald M. d’Aubigne, Captain of the Guard.  Many of these Masons made it a point to lunch at the Knickerbocker Cottage, a restaurant at 426 Sixth Avenue at a special table on the second floor.

What is the Imperial Council in the Shrine?

At a meeting of Mecca Temple on June 6, 1876, in the New York Masonic Temple, a new governing body was established and it was called “The Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for the United States of America.”

Brother Fleming became the first Imperial Grand Potentate, and the new body established rules for membership and the formation of new Temples. The initiation ritual was embellished, as was the mythology about the fraternity. By 1878, within two years, there were 425 Shrine Masons in 13 Temples. Five of these Temples were in New York, two were in Ohio and the others were in Vermont, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Iowa, Michigan and Massachusetts. The Shrine continued to grow during the 1880s. By the time of the 1888 Annual Session (convention) in Toronto, there were 7,210 members in 48 Temples located throughout the United States and one in Canada. By the year 1898, there were 50,000 Shrine Masons, and 79 Total Temples chartered under the Imperial Council.

Are the Shrine Temples Really Dedicated to Fun and Philanthropy?

Yes, the shrine has been active in supporting the children of the community.  From children with serious burns to children with birth defects, the Shriners have been raising money to help these children since the 1800s.   Thanks to the men of the Shrine – there is the Shriners Hospitals for Children. And Shrine Masons help fund work being done at their burn hospitals. Feel free to Google stories about their hospitals and read about them saving kids with burns on 90 percent of their bodies. There are 22 Shriners Hospitals for Children providing care for orthopedic conditions, burns, spinal cord injuries, and cleft lip and palate. These hospitals have helped more than 800,000 children — at no cost to the parent or child — since the first Shriners Hospitals for Children opened in 1922.

If you enjoyed this blog article keep reading more about Freemasonry’s other appendent bodies now.

Explaining the Freemasonry Report

Explaining the Freemasonry Report

I chat with brothers in my lodge meeting regularly and tell them I have a blog that answers some of the more popular questions about Freemasonry.  Some think it is a good idea, others just tell listen, and a few others ask for the website url.  My goal is not promote the website to them.  But, my goal is let them know a new resource is being developed for the fraternity.

As my year as Worshipful Master comes to an end and a much needed break from being an active leader begins.  I think to myself – as a Blue Lodge Master- we added 10 new Master Masons. Which is great but our lodge has 8 brother Masons going NPD.  NPD stands for non payment of dues and it is the second top reason Freemasonry is declining in membership.  The first is deaths.  Literally, elderly brothers are just passing away from old age.  Which means, my year as Master of the Lodge, I have been able to show a small growth in membership of 2 brothers overall.  I

Is that good? The Freemasonry Report is Born.

After thinking about the membership direction versus the population of men over the age of 18 that believe in God.  It is clear to see that the fraternity as a lot of market density it can tap into.  But, the old ways of connecting the fraternity to these men is changing.  More and more men are going to places like Facebook, Google, Bing, Duck Duck Go, Instagram, Twitter, Meetup, and LinkedIn to name a few to find interesting people to become friends with.  So I decided to add a new avenue to connect the fraternity with these men.

How? The Freemasonry Report give you highly detailed answers.

I have been surveying new and veteran brothers of our fraternity to ask them – what they wish they were told prior to joining.  Also, I have researched what people are looking to get answers to about the Freemasons.  By blending these two concepts together, I have created a blog with a YouTube Account to start to answer these questions about the fraternity.  My hope is that Father, Grandfathers, Brothers, Uncles, Nephews, Grandsons, and first time men with no family members in Masonry can learn about the fraternity.

The visitors can refer this website to friends, family, and people they know to get the word out about the fraternity.  My desire is not over success, but a long term positive outcome.  Thank you for reading this blog article and enjoy exploring more of the page and post on this website.


Do Freemasons elect their top leadership?

Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?

Do Freemasons elect their top leadership?

Yes, every year Masonic Lodges do have elections. These elections are to vote on new top lodge officers in the blue lodge. Any blue lodge that does not hold annual election of officers is considered irregular by most Grand Lodges. These elections happen in the end of the year to elect the following years leadership team.

What Officers are elected in a Blue Lodge?

(An Article by The Freemason Report – Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership)

The top five officers elected in the Blue Lodge are as follows: Worshipful Master, Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, and Secretary. These elected officers are voted on and approved by a majority of the brothers present in the regularly stated meeting of the blue lodge. The election happens only once a year unless a position is vacant. If a vacancy were to happen, a special election will be called and approved by the Grand Lodge to fill the open seat. In some Grand Lodges, if there is an open position during the annual election – the current brethren that are officers maybe required to stay in their respective positions for an extra year. But, this judgement solely rests with the Grand Master only.

Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?
Do Freemasons Elect Their Top Leadership?

What Officers are not elected in a Blue Lodge?

The officers in the blue lodge which are appointed and approved by the Worshipful Master are as follows: Tyler, Chaplain, Musician, Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Stewart, Historian, and the Marshall. These appointments are not elected but maybe brothers that are Past Masters of the lodge in some cases. Yet, at other times in maybe new brothers in the lodge that wish to serve the fraternity. The top leader of the lodge is the Worshipful Master and even though he may listen to wise advice from the brothers, it is his sole appointment prerogative. In some Grand Lodges, the Wardens may select for appointment their deacons, but these must still be approved by the Worshipful Master.

Who can not be appointed or elected an Officer in the Blue Lodge?

Some Master Masons can not be appointed or elected to an officer role in a blue lodge. This is mainly due to the brother being on an ‘npd’ status. NPD stands for Non Payment of Dues. If this brother is considered ‘npd’ – the lodge will first have to vote on the brother after a background check has been preformed. In some grand lodge jurisdictions, it is required that a brother has passed basic Masonic Leadership or Brother Based exams to qualify for an elected officer-ship.  While other Grand Lodge’s require a brother be capable of ‘giving back’ all the work prior to being allowed to seat in the East. Many Grand Lodge’s recommend that a brother be active in the degrees for candidates and new brothers prior to being elected into the East.

Who else can not be appointed or elected into a officer role in a regular blue lodge?  Well, the top reason for a brother not being allowed to serve the fraternity is if he has been brought up on Masonic Charges. If this were to happen, that brother could be elected for an office in the blue lodge until after the Masonic Charges have removed. If a guilty verdict is delivered back to the brother, he will be suspended or removed from the fraternity entirely.  Furthermore, if any criminal felony charges / verdict upon a brother, it would disqualify him from being elected, appointed, and quite possibly attending any lodge meetings as well. Lastly, no Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft Mason can be elected to hold a position in a blue lodge.

Freemasonry Blue Lodge Leadership Chart
Freemasonry Blue Lodge Leadership Chart
My thoughts and feelings on Freemasons elect their top leadership in a blue lodge…

The blue lodge is now into the final few weeks of the Worshipful Master’s year. Furthermore, we have lodge officer elections coming up annually.

As always, I am excited for all those running for elected offices for the upcoming year. I hope each elected brother does his role to the very best of his abilities so our lodge can benefit from his labors. So, are you ready for brutal honesty now?

Let me put it this way…  “Hey we are having dinner tonight,” I mention to my daughter. She asks me “what are we having?” Here is my answer…

Honest Answer – ” We are having chicken with a side of fresh veggies”

Brutally Honest Answer – “We are having dead bird that most likely was murdered with hundreds of his or her friends and family in a small building in some rural area. On the side, we are having fresh green plant that someone ripped out of the ground after being sprayed with numerous hazardous chemicals to speed up its growth cycle. But don’t worry we washed the plant leafs.”

So a lodge election kind of feels the same way to me.  There is a softer and more idealistic side to it where everyone is cool and chill with the election. Yet, I have seen in my time, volunteer elections were emotions run high and the more brutal honesty is pushed into the world.

Did you know, I spoke with the Grand Secretary of My Grand Lodge recently about Freemasonry? During the phone call, he asked me about the election process for the upcoming year. My answer was “Well either way, someone will win and someone will lose. Someone will leave the lodge meeting unhappy based on the election results.”  He response was “That should never be the case.”

You know what… he was right. After thinking about his comment for several days, I even located the answer to his statement, which can be found in the opening and closing charges of any Florida blue lodge.

Maybe at the upcoming election, we should all stop to seriously reflect on the words of these charges and take those sage words to heart. Maybe then win or lose, we all can walk out of the meeting with peace and harmony in our hearts.

Did you want more Freemasonry 101 topics to read? Good news, I am creating plenty for you to enjoy! I have been spending hours on creating this information, so take a moment to read each one!  Or maybe you want to find a lodge in your neck of the woods? Good news – I am creating a complete review of each Grand Lodge – it will take time but I wanted you to have this information at your finger tips!  If you want to network with other Freemasons – check out our Facebook Group / Page now!

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