What is Freemasonry?
"A system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated with symbols". You could ask 100 different people what Freemasonry is and it is possible that you would get 100 different answers. Freemasonry is a world-wide ancient fraternal society of good men from all walks of life who believe in friendship, honour, morality and sound ethics. Freemasonry and Masonic Lodges in Scotland are governed by The Grand Lodge of Scotland which is based in Edinburgh.
Is Freemasonry a Secret Society?
Freemasonry is often mistaken as "Secret Society". If it were then we wouldn't have published this site on the World Wide Web for all to see, neither would you be able to identify the Masonic Lodge in your town, many Lodges have plaques at the door. Members are free to acknowledge their Masonic membership to others and some Lodges even publish the dates of their meetings in local newspapers. Masonic processions are a common sight in many towns, these are hardly the actions of a Secret Society. The secrets of Freemasonry are connected with the traditional modes of recognition included in our ceremonies and like many other societies, clubs and organisations it regards many of its internal affairs and actions to be of a private nature for its members.
Is Freemasonry a Religion?
It is not a religion, although an essential requirement to become a member is the belief in a "Supreme Being". Membership is open to men of any religion or race and they are encouraged to follow their own faith and do their duty to their own "God". Religious discussions are not permitted at Lodge meetings.
Is Freemasonry a Political Party?
Freemasonry is not a Political Party, it is true that leading Politicians are members of the fraternity, however, discussions of a Political nature are forbidden at Lodge meetings, Freemasonry is neither a Subversive Organisation or an Action Group, members must be peaceful, law abiding members of the community who are of good repute.
Is Freemasonry a Charity?
It is not a charity either, although members contribute considerably to a number of worthwhile charitable organisations and causes.
What Principles do Freemasons believe in?
Freemasons believe in three great principles, these are:
Brotherly Love: is the concern which each Freemason has for his Brother, which is readily shown by tolerance and respect for the beliefs, opinions and practices of his fellows and his willingness to care for his Brother and that Brother's dependents.
Relief: The Freemason is by nature and teachings a charitable man. He will cheerfully and kindly assist those less fortunate (whether Freemasons or not). He will care for and support his community - Local, National and International.
Truth: The Freemason believes in Truth in all things, in honesty and integrity in his personal, business and public life, in fair dealings and in firm standards of decency and morality.
Who are Freemasons?
Freemasons include members of the Royal Family, Business Leaders, Political Leaders, Government Agents, Bankers, Writers, Entertainers, Actors, Artists, Sportsmen, Inventors, Designers, Pioneers, Founders, Patriots, Presidents, members of the Police Force, Judges, Justices, members of HM Forces, Tradesmen, the ordinary man on the street and may be even your next door neighbour. You will most probably know of someone who is a Mason.
Who can become members?
Men of the mature age of 21 (or 18 if his father was a Mason) who believe in a "Supreme Being" (A God) who are of sound character and judgment and are law abiding members of the community, free of any convictions and have never plead guilty to a crime, may apply to be considered to become a Mason.
I think I qualify, how do I become a member?
You may have heard or seen the phrase “2B1ASK1"(to be one, ask one) meaning to be a Freemason, ask a Freemason. That would be your best first step to becoming a member, they will be more than pleased to tell you what they can about Freemasonry. If you don't know a Freemason you could find out who is the Secretary of your local Lodge and give him a call or send a letter expressing your interest.
If you have a specific interest in joining The Lodge of Melrose St John No. 1² discusses your interest with one of our members, or contact our Secretary using the Contact Us page for further information.
What does it cost to become a member?
There is a joining fee followed by annual dues to support your Masonic Lodge along with charitable donations which you should be able to pay without the detriment to you or your dependents.
How can I learn more?
If you want to learn more ask a Freemason for information or have a look at the website that The Grand Lodge of Scotland has published.