Who are Masons?
Masons are moral men who choose to associate with groups of like-minded individuals for mutual benefit. What they find in Freemasonry is a disciplined and systematic course of self-improvement based on the Golden Rule: always do to others what you would like them to do to you.
There are 3.2 million masons across the world and more than 40,000 in Ontario
Everyone is welcome, regardless of race, colour or creed
Masons are moral people, but there’s no room for discussion of sectarian religion or partisan politics in Freemasonry. Members are free to follow their own path, as long as it fits with the ethical principles of integrity and virtue symbolized by the square and compasses—the icon most commonly associated with Masonry.
Masonry stresses the principles of kindness and consideration at home, honesty in business, courtesy towards others, dependability in one’s work, compassion for the less fortunate and being a good citizen of the world. Masonry recognizes that each man has obligations to his family, his work, his beliefs, his community and himself – these must take priority and Masonry does not interfere with his ability to meet these obligations.
What do Masons do?
Masonry offers the opportunity to make each man better through its teachings, his Masonic associations and a philosophy that has served the social needs of men for centuries, by promoting:
- Tradition: when you become a Mason, you become part of an ancient tradition that spans centuries. From the original stonemasons that produced some of the most majestic architectural wonders of Europe to modern day Masons who participate in numerous charitable foundations, you’ll feel connected to a vital, growing and spiritually uplifting organization of moral men;
- Self Improvement: learning portions of the Ritual and participating in the Degree stimulates the mind and, coupled with committee work and lodge management, presents the opportunity to develop leadership and organizational skills, build self-discipline through commitment, poise and self-confidence, and strengthen presentation and public speaking proficiencies;
- Sense of Accomplishment: participating in lodge projects, be they charitable or social in nature, provides the opportunity to contribute, work with others and enjoy the success of effort well expended;
- Fellowship – Belonging to a Like-minded Group: the modern work environment has reduced or eliminated social association with co-workers; joining with lodge members in a fraternal atmosphere can substitute for that former workplace fellowship lost;
- A Break from the Workaday Routine: Masonry brings together in lodge men of diverse backgrounds, where the daily pressures of a career can be left outside the door and where fellowship is the common theme.
These attributes are summarized in the tenets, or fundamental principles of Ancient Freemasonry: Brotherly Love; Relief; and Truth. If these values address your needs, Masonry welcomes you.
The 3 degrees of Masonry
Masons participate in three progressive degrees, each one teaching an important lesson through the use of symbols. The degrees help a Mason think about the big questions: Where did I come from? What am I doing here? And what comes next?
The so-called Masonic “Secrets” are confined to modes of recognition by which a visitor can prove himself to be a Mason and thereby become eligible to enter a lodge in which he was otherwise not known.
A lodge is not a building…it’s the men that form it
The foundation of the Masonic family is the Masonic lodge. It is here that Masonry teaches its lessons: kindness in the home, honesty in business, courtesy in society, fairness in work, concern for the unfortunate and respect for one another. Most lodges are clearly signed and located on main streets in communities small and large across the globe.
With over 550 Lodges in Ontario, there should be a lodge that meets in a location near you.
Masonry is not a secret society…we’re happy to share what we know
Any information about Masons can be found at a well-stocked bookstore or local library. Masonic buildings are clearly marked and listed in the phonebook and members often identify themselves by wearing Masonic jewelry.