Isn’t the ritual out of place in modern society? The ritual is a shared experience which binds the members together. Its use of drama, allegory and symbolism impresses the principles and teachings more firmly in the mind of each candidate than if they were simply passed on to him in matter-of-fact modern language.
Why do Freemasons take oaths? New members make solemn promises concerning their behaviour both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognise each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need, but only so far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.
Are Freemasons expected to show preference to fellow Masons at the expense of others in giving jobs, promotions, contracts and the like? Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.
Is Freemasonry an international order? Freemasonry exists throughout the world. However, each Grand Lodge is sovereign and independent. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.
Are there women Freemasons? Yes. Whilst the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE), follows the example of medieval stonemasons, it is and has always been, restricted to men, women Freemasons have two separate Grand Lodges, which are restricted to women.
Why is regalia worn? Wearing regalia is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organisation.
How many Freemasons are there? Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are over a quarter of a million Freemasons. There are Grand Lodges in Ireland, which covers both Northern Ireland and Eire, and Scotland which have a combined total of approximately 150,000 members. Worldwide, there are approximately six million Freemasons.
How many degrees are there in Freemasonry? Basic Freemasonry consists of three degrees:• Entered Apprentice • Fellow Craft • Master Mason
How much does it cost to be a Freemason? It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry and in due course regalia will have to be bought. The meeting is normally followed by a dinner, the cost depending on the venue. There is, in addition, an annual subscription. Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.