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Freemasons are members of the global fraternal organization called Freemasonry. The organization has been associated with many conspiracy theories throughout its existence and is one of the most famous brotherhoods in the world.
See the fact file below for more information on the Freemasonry or alternatively, you can download our 26-page Freemasonry worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The history of Freemasonry is so extensive that it cannot be completely discussed in a single fact file.
- The earliest masonic texts ever found contain a sort of mystery, or history of masonry.
- The Regius Poem, or The Halliwell Manuscript, dating back to between 1390 and 1425, positions the beginning of the “craft of masonry” with Euclid in Egypt. The documents also state that masonry came to England during King Athelstan’s reign.
- The Cooke Manuscript, which came in later, originates masonry to Jabal, son of Lamech. Euclid learned of this knowledge from Jabal, and it was passed on to the Children of Israel, and eventually came to Athelstan through an elaborate path.
- The Manuscript became the basis of subsequent manuscript constitutions that all trace masonry back to biblical times.
- Freemasonry developed from guilds of cathedral builders and stonemasons of the Middle Ages.
- Freemasons were called as such because they were free, and not servants belonging to a rich lord, like most workers during those days.
- Due to the drop in cathedral building, a number of working mason lodges started accepting honorary members to augment their declining membership.
- From some of these lodges came modern speculative or symbolic Freemasonry.
- Particularly during the 17th and 18th centuries, these speculative Freemasons adopted the trappings and rites of ancient religious orders and ancient chivalric brotherhoods.
- Almost immediately after its inception, Freemasonry met considerable opposition from the Roman Catholic Church and other organized religions.
- Although not a Christian institution, Freemasonry has many of the elements of a religion.
- Freemasonry teaches charity, morality, and obedience to the law.
- Freemasonry’s basic organizational unit is the Masonic Lodge.
- The Lodge has regular meetings to do the usual formal duties of any small organization.
- In 1717, the Grand Lodge of England, the first association of lodges, was formed. Grand Lodges or Grand Orients are sovereign, independent bodies that govern Masonry in a certain geographical area called a jurisdiction.
- There is no worldwide Grand Lodge that oversees all Freemasonry.
- Freemasonry has various forms internationally.
- The United Grand Lodge of England estimates its worldwide membership at about 6 million.
- The relations of different Grand Lodges are bound by Recognition.
- Each Grand Lodge keeps a list of other Lodges that it recognizes.
- When two Grand Lodges recognize each other and communicate Masonically, they are in amity.
- Grand Lodges that are in amity can have their brethren visit each other’s Lodge and Masonically interact.
- Inter-visitation in Lodges that are not in amity is not allowed.
- In 1929, the United Grand Lodge of England laid out the most commonly shared rules for Recognition between Grand Lodges. These are the following:
- The Grand Lodge should be built by an existing regular Grand Lodge, or by at least three regular Lodges.
- A belief in scripture and a Supreme Being are conditions for membership.
- Every initiate should take their vows on their scripture.
- Only men can be admitted, and no relationship should exist with mixed Lodges.
- The Grand Lodge is not subject to another body, and has complete control over the first three degrees.
- While in session, all Lodges shall display a volume of scripture together with the square and compasses.
- There should be no discussion about religion or politics.
- “Ancient landmarks, customs and usages” should be observed.
DEGREES IN MASONRY
- To become a member of a Masonic Lodge, candidates must go through three ceremonial stages called “degrees”.
- These degrees are roughly based upon the journeyman system used to educate craftsmen during medieval times.
- The three degrees symbolically represent the stages of human development: youth, manhood, and age.
- The first degree is referred to as Entered Apprentice. After the candidate completes the ceremony, he is given the title of “Brother” and takes his first step as a Freemason.
- The 2nd degree, known as Fellow Craft, exposes the Brother to more of the philosophy and symbolism of the organization.
- Master Mason, the third degree, is the Lodge’s last ceremony, where the Master Mason acknowledges the candidate as a full member. The Brother can now enjoy both the responsibilities and rights of his membership.
- In every ceremony, the candidate is first obliged, then entrusted with signs and grips (secret handshakes) and passwords, characteristic to his degree or rank.
- All the ceremonies that candidates go through are always done in such a way as to bring pride to both the candidate and the Lodge’s members.
RITUAL AND SYMBOLISM
- The symbolism of Freemasonry is mainly drawn from stonemason tools.
- Each of these tools is attributed to moral lessons, although the designation is not consistent.
- The meaning of the symbolism is imparted and explored through ritual, articles, and lectures by masons who offer their opinions and insights.
- All members begin their journey as Freemasons by being “initiated”, “passed”, and “raised” into the degrees of Blue Lodge Masonry or Craft.
- The candidate is taught the Masonic symbols during these rituals. He is also entrusted with tokens or grips, words and signs which signify the degrees he has taken.
- The ceremonies include illustrative lectures, and center around the Temple of Solomon’s construction, the artistry and death of Hiram Abiff, the chief architect of the temple.
- Various versions of these rituals exist; however, any Freemason from any jurisdiction can recognize each version.
- The concept of the Masonic brotherhood may have come from a definition of “brother” from the 16th century, as someone who has sworn an oath of mutual support to another.
- Masons take an oath at each degree that they will keep the contents of that certain degree a secret. They also swear to support and protect their brethren unless they have committed actions against the law.
- In the majority of Lodges, the obligation or oath is taken on a Volume of Sacred Law.
JOINING A LODGE
- Before a candidate for Freemasonry is initiated, they will have to meet most of the active members of the Lodge they want to join.
- This process is different between jurisdictions; however, the candidate is usually introduced by a friend at some open evening, or at a Lodge social function.
- Candidates are never invited, but they can ask to join, and are sometimes encouraged to ask.
- After the initial inquiry, the candidate’s suitability is determined through an interview.
- If the candidate declares to proceed after the interview, the Lodge votes on the application before the candidate can be accepted.
- Any body of Freemasons requires that the candidate must be free, and of good character.
- Grand Lodges have varying age requirement, but the candidate should be a mature adult. In some jurisdictions, this age requirement can be overridden in the dispensation of the Grand Lodge.
- Most Grand Lodges also require the declaration of the candidate’s belief in a Supreme Being.
- Some Lodges require the candidate to be of a definite religion, for example the Swedish Rite accepts only Christians.
- Continental Freemasonry, on the other hand, doesn’t require this declaration, and even accepts atheists.
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Freemasonry across 26 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Freemasonry worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Freemasons who are members of the global fraternal organization called Freemasonry. The organization has been associated with many conspiracy theories throughout its existence and is one of the most famous brotherhoods in the world.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Initial Year
- Matching Symbols
- Masonic Questions
- Coloring State
- Womanly Masons
- Lodges and Masons
- Secrets of Society
- Against the Hood
- Controversial Fame
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Link will appear as Freemasonry Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, August 1, 2020
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.