What Is Freemasonry?

Freema­sonry is the world’s old­est and largest Fra­ter­nity. Its his­tory and tra­di­tion date to antiq­uity. Its sin­gu­lar pur­pose is to make good men bet­ter. Its bonds of friend­ship, com­pas­sion and broth­erly love have sur­vived even the most devi­sive polit­i­cal, mil­i­tary and reli­gious con­flicts through the cen­turies. Freema­sonry is nei­ther a forum nor a place for wor­ship. Instead, it is a friend of all reli­gions which are based on the belief in one God.

Who Freema­sons Are

Many of our nation’s early patri­ots were Freema­sons, as well as thir­teen sign­ers of the Con­sti­tu­tion and four­teen Pres­i­dents of the United States begin­ning with George Washington.

Today, the more than four mil­lion Freema­sons around the world come from vir­tu­ally every occu­pa­tion and pro­fes­sion. Within the Fra­ter­nity, how­ever, they all meet as equals. They come from diverse polit­i­cal ide­olo­gies, but they meet as friends. They come from vir­tu­ally every reli­gious belief, but they all believe in one God.

One of the most fas­ci­nat­ing aspects of Freema­sonry has always been: how so many men, from so many dif­fer­ent walks of life, can meet together in peace, never have any polit­i­cal or reli­gious debates, always con­duct their affairs in har­mony and friend­ship, and call each other ” Brother!”

What Freema­sons Believe

All Freema­sons believe in one God and in respect for each other.

What Freema­sons Do

Freema­sons are respectable cit­i­zens who are taught to con­form to the moral laws of soci­ety and to abide by the laws of the gov­ern­ment under which they live. They are men of char­ity and good works. They remain unchal­lenged as ” the World’s Great­est Philanthropy!”

The Freema­sons of Amer­ica con­tribute more than one mil­lion dol­lars every day to char­i­ta­ble causes which they, alone, have estab­lished. These ser­vices to mankind rep­re­sent an unpar­al­leled exam­ple of the human­i­tar­ian com­mit­ment and con­cern of this unique and hon­or­able Fraternity.


Freema­sonry is proud of its phi­los­o­phy and prac­tice of ” mak­ing good men bet­ter. ” Only indi­vid­u­als believed to be of the finest char­ac­ter are favor­ably con­sid­ered for Mem­ber­ship. Every appli­cant must advo­cate his belief in the exis­tence of a Supreme Being ( athe­ists are not accepted into the Fraternity).

Those Who Seek Membership

Any­one seek­ing Mem­ber­ship in Freema­sonry must ask a Masonic friend to rec­om­mend him. He must sign a Peti­tion, stat­ing his age, occu­pa­tion and place of res­i­dence. Mem­bers of the Lodge vote by secret bal­lot. To be accepted, the bal­lot must be unanimous.

The Masonic Lodge

The Masonic Lodge meets one or two evenings per month to con­duct its reg­u­lar busi­ness and vote upon Peti­tions for Mem­ber­ship. It is here where the bonds of friend­ship and fel­low­ship are strengthened.

The Masonic Degrees

The Can­di­date receives three Masonic Degrees, con­clud­ing with the Third (or Mas­ter Mason’s) Degree. The Degrees are solemn, enlight­en­ing, and an enjoy­able expe­ri­ence with no uncom­fort­able or embar­rass­ing moments. It is here where the prin­ci­pals of Freema­sonry are taught and where the new Mem­ber learns that his fam­ily and his own nec­es­sary voca­tions are to be con­sid­ered above Freemasonry.

Every Mas­ter Mason is wel­comed as a “Brother” in any of the thou­sands of Reg­u­lar Masonic Lodges through­out the world.

The above mate­r­ial Copy­right 1994 Right Wor­ship­ful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Penn­syl­va­nia.