What is Freemasonry?

 

Square and Compasses

Introduction
Freemasonry is one of the world's oldest secular fraternal societies. This explanation may correct some misconceptions.
Freemasonry is a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Its members are taught its precepts by a series of ritual dramas, which follow ancient forms, and use stonemasons' customs and tools as allegorical guides.

Freemasonry and Religion
Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion. Its essential qualification opens it to men of many religions who believe in the existence of a supreme being. It expects them to continue to follow their own faith. It does not allow religion to be discussed at its meeting.

The Three Great Principles
For many years Freemasons have followed three great principles:

Brotherly Love - Every true Freemason will show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and behave with kindness and understanding to his fellow creatures.

Relief - Freemasons are taught to practice charity and to care, not only for their own, but also for the community as a whole, both by charitable giving, and by voluntary efforts and works as individuals.

Truth - Freemasons strive for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.

Freemasons believe that these principles represent a way of achieving higher standards in life.

Charity
From its earliest days, Freemasonry has been concerned with the care of orphans, the sick and the aged.
This work continues today. In addition, large sums are given by various Grand Lodges and individual Lodges to national and local charities.

Freemasonry and Society
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for, and that they will adhere to, the law of the country in which they work and live.
Its principles do not in any way conflict with its members' duties as citizens but should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private responsibilities.
The use by a Freemason of his membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, professional or personal interests is strictly prohibited, and is contrary to the conditions on which he sought admission to Freemasonry.
His duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons and any attempt to shield a Freemason who has acted dishonourably or unlawfully is contrary to this prime duty.

 Secrecy
The secrets of Freemasonry are concerned with its traditional modes of recognition. It is not a secret society, since all members are free to acknowledge their membership and will do so in response to enquiries for respectable reasons. Its constitutions and rules are available to the public. There is no secret about any of its aims and principles. Like many other societies, it regards some of its internal affairs as private matters for its members. Its ceremonies are private. Freemasonry is not a secret society. In ordinary conversation there is very little about Freemasonry that may not be discussed.

Freemasonry and Politics
Freemasonry is non-political and the discussion of politics at Masonic meetings is forbidden.

Who can become a Freemason?
Our fraternity has a wonderful history, which dates back much more than three centuries. It is one of the world's oldest secular fraternities, a society of men concerned with moral and spiritual values. Founded on the three great principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, it aims to bring together men of goodwill, regardless of background and differences.  People might think that to become a Freemason is quite difficult. It's actually straightforward. Any man of more than 21 years of age who cares for the world in which we live; who is prepared to practise high moral standards and seeks excellence in all he undertakes; someone who believes in family values, who is willing to contribute to the betterment of society; a law-abiding citizen, who seeks the fellowship of like-minded men; a person who believes in the equality of all men regardless of social orientation, race or creed and in the existence of a supreme being; may apply for membership.

Today Freemasons are speaking out to spread their beliefs in a world which many feel has moved away from standards which foster a caring community and ideals which nurture a better world. Membership of Freemasonry is open to men of all faiths who are law-abiding, of good character and who acknowledge a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry is a multi-racial and multi-cultural organization. It has attracted men of goodwill from all sectors of the community into its membership.

Why do people join and remain members?
People become Freemasons for a variety of reasons, some as the result of family tradition, others upon the introduction of a friend or out of a curiosity to know what it is all about. Men who are seeking for a means of personal betterment and improvement.
Those who become active members and who grow in Freemasonry do so principally because they enjoy it, they enjoy the challenges and fellowship that Freemasonry offers.

There is more to it, however, than just enjoyment.

Participation in the dramatic presentation of moral lessons and in the working of a lodge provides a member with a unique opportunity to learn more about himself and encourages him to live in such a way that he will always be in search of becoming a better man, not better than someone else but better than he himself would otherwise be and therefore an exemplary member of society. Each Freemason is required to learn and show humility through initiation. Then, by progression through a series of degrees he gains insight into increasingly complex moral and philosophical concepts, and accepts a variety of challenges and responsibilities, which are both stimulating and rewarding. The structure and working of the lodge and the sequence of ceremonial events, which are usually followed by social gatherings, offer members a framework for companionship, teamwork, character development and enjoyment of shared experiences.

 What promises do Freemasons take?
New members make solemn promises concerning their conduct in the lodge and society. These promises are similar to those taken in court or upon entering the armed services or many other organizations. Each member also promises to keep confidential the traditional methods of proving he is a Freemason, which he would use when visiting a lodge where he is not known. There is nothing however in these promises, contrary to his civil, moral or religious duties.
The much-publicized 'traditional penalties' for failure to observe these undertakings have been removed from the promises. They were always symbolic not literal and refer only to the moral pain any decent man should feel at the thought of violating his word.
Members also undertake not to make use of their membership for personal gain or advancement; failure to observe this principal or otherwise to fall below the standards expected of a Freemason can lead to expulsion.

Respect for the Law
Freemasonry demands from its members a respect for the law of any country in which a man may work and live.

Principles
The principles of Freemasonry do not in any way conflict with its members' duties as citizens, whether at work or at home or in public life, but on the contrary should strengthen them in fulfilling their public and private responsibilities. Thus there is no conflict of interest between a Freemason's obligation and his public duty.
If an actual or potential conflict of duties or interests is known to exist or is foreseen, a declaration to that effect should be made.
It may on occasions be prudent to disclose membership to avoid what others mistakenly imagine to be a potential conflict or bias, but this must be a matter for individual judgment.

Use of Membership
A Freemason must not use his membership to promote his own or anyone else's business, professional or personal interests. This is made clear directly or by inference several times during a Freemason's early career so that no Freemason can pretend to be ignorant of it. A Freemason who transgresses this rule may be suspended from Masonic activities or even expelled.

Family
Freemasonry should not be allowed to harm a man's family or other connections by taking too much of his time or his money, or causing him to act in any way against their interests.

Duty as a Citizen
A Freemason's duty as a citizen must always prevail over any obligation to other Freemasons, and any attempt to shield a Freemason who as acted dishonourably or unlawfully, or to confer an unfair advantage on another Freemason is contrary to this prime duty.

 

 Freemasonry in Germany.

The Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany is one of five Partner Grand Lodges within The United Grand Lodges of Germany. The Grand Lodge has excellent relationships with the other four Grand lodges. We are an internationally recognized Masonic Body and have fraternal relations with all recognized Grand Lodges. We have a special relationship with the Grand Lodges of Scotland, England and Ireland. We work mostly in the English Masonic Ritual, but have a Lodge, which works a Scottish Ritual. There are 16 Lodges within the Grand Lodge of British Freemasons in Germany. These Lodges meet in various places throughout Germany as listed below.

  • Mönchengladbach
  • Celle
  • Bielefeld
  • Berlin
  • Hamburg
  • Münster
  • Soest
  • Osnabrück
  • Bonn
  • Düsseldorf
  • Herford
  • Hannover
  • Paderborn
  • Munich
  • Marienfeld
  • Osnabrück/Berlin – Scottish Ritual Lodge

 

Lodge-Events

  • souther Star Lodge 1025, Munich - Winter Social

    SOUTHERN STAR LODGE 1025, MUNICH

    WINTER SOCIAL – FRIDAY 11 DECEMBER 2015

    SSL celebrated the start of the Christmas period with their annual ‘Winter Social’ at the “Delhi Palace” Indian restaurant where the Festive Board is held after our Lodge meetings. A superb buffet of the finest Indian cuisine was laid on and everyone congratulated the staff for providing such a sumptuous feast (extra chilli sauce was provided for those who like their Indian food really ‘spicy hot’!).

    In total 30 guests attended (comprising 14 Members, 12 ladies and 6 ‘Not-Yet Masons’.

    Of the ‘Not-Yet Masons’, one brought his completed Application For Initiation form with him, and three others before they left the party asked to have the form - what a result!!!

    To round the evening off a raffle was held, followed by an auction of some particularly  desirable items and together the superb sum of €427 was raised for charity.

    The next ‘social’ event will be our Master’s Farewell Dinner on Friday 12 February 2016 at a central Munich venue.  Details will be circulated nearer the time.

    Any Brother wishing to attend this prestigious event should inform the  SSL Secretary: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , who will add the email address to the Circulation List.

    Mike Hemming, secretary

    Southern Star Lodge 1025, Munich

  • Saxony Lodge Installation

    Saturday 26th April 2014 at 1400

    Saxony Lodge will be holding it's Installation at the Lodge at Magnusstrasse 2a, 29221 Celle.  This will be followed by a three course festive board in the Lodge Dining Rooms.  If any Brother wishes to attend the festive board please register at our website.  www.saxony-842.com.

    We look forward to seeing you there.

  • 60 Years as a Mason

    The Rose of Minden Regular meeting 5th March 2014

    The VWBro Garrett O'Sullivan celebrates being a Mason on the 13th March 2014 and we will recognise this event at our regular meeting on the 5th March 2014. It will be some what of a surprise evening for him, I know I am safe saying this here as he does not read these articles!!

     

    Brother Garrett was initiated into The Tudor Lodge No 5994, by the Worshipful Master - WBro Eric A Ensell on the 13th March 1954, he later became Master of this Lodge on the 26th september 1964. He was initiated with his brother James and the two of them followed each through the degrees with Garrett installing his brother into the chair of the said lodge on the 25th September 1965.

    VWBro Garrett is still a regular visitor to all lodges with GL BFG, he also attends many german Lodges within OWL region and travels at least once a year back to his old Masonic roots, unfortunately Tudor lodge went into darkness some two years ago.

    I strongly encourage all Masons reading this article to attend our regular meeting on the 5th March where we will celebrate his Sixty years, as a Mason. He took the chair at our last meeting to initiate his Grandson into Masonry and I am sure he will assist in years to come to put his Grandson into the Masters Chair in our Lodge.

  • Grand Lodge Seminar in Bad Iburg

    As is widely known, there is no such thing as a free lunch. However, for a small investment of your time, a free lunch will be provided!

    On 30th August starting at 10.00, the Grand Lodge will host a seminar that will be aimed to support the positions of Lodge Treasurers and Directors of Ceremony within a lodge.

    The program for the day will start with the  Directors of Ceremonies at 10.00 am  which will be chaired by the Assistant Grand Master and he will be assisted by the Grand Wardens.

    The purpose of the DofC's Seminar, is to look at Emulation Ritual and to answer any questions about what may be right or wrong to help iron our any irregularities within lodges,
    that
    This will be followed by lunch (the best bit of the day) at about 12.00.

    The seminar for Treasurers which will be chaired by Peter Appleson, will start at 13.00.

    The aim of this part of the seminar is to allow Treasurers to discuss the ins and outs of finances in an organisation. In no way at all, is the aim to tell our Private  Lodges how to keep their books. Our aim is to just assist when and  where required.

    This is an initial notice and a full registration pack will follow in a few weeks' time. Nonetheless, please put this date in your diaries - and please kindly inform the Brethren of your lodge about this. Lastly, please note that this is open to all brethren and not just the Treasurers and DoC's - the more the merrier and everyone is welcome.

    If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Grand Secretary!

  • Burns Supper - Festive Board

    Book in for our Special festive Board 5 Feb 2014

    As published under Summons you will notice we have a Special festive Board on the 5th February 2014

    Burns Supper Special - Please ensure you book in with Bro JW or go hungry

     

Forthcoming Lodge-Events

Wed Aug 30 @13:00 -
Kurt Tucholsky Lodge NO.1060