Isn’t that a secret society?
Freemasonry is not a secret society. Secret societies are by definition secret. Remember the movie fight club? What was the first rule of Fight Club? Answer: “There is no such thing as Fight Club.” Yes, Fight Club was a secret club or society; Freemasony is not. We wear square and compass rings and ball caps and hang square and compass license plates on our cars. We make no effort to hide our identity in public or during our meetings—we have no reason to. Our meeting places are clearly marked as Masonic Lodges, Masonic Temples, or Freemason’s Halls. Our meeting times are clearly stated in places that are easily accessible to the public like the calendar page on millersvillelodge.org, our sign on the corner of Kessler Boulevard and Emerson Way and our Facebook page. Yes, we have secrets; these are limited to our modes of identifying one another as brother Masons and some lines of our ceremonies and lectures. We may be better described as a society with some secrets that are of little interest and pose no threat to the public at large.
Freemasony? Is that some kind of religion?
We are not a religion, and do not intend to replace or interfere with a brother’s church involvement or affiliation. Masonry is religious. One must profess faith in a supreme being to become a Mason. “Masonry takes men from every country, sect and opinion and conciliates true friendship among those who might have otherwise have remained at a perpetual distance.”
Some have mistaken our use of the phrase “Worshipful Master” to believe that we worship a false god who is also master of the Lodge. The master of our Lodge acts much like the president of other organizations in helping to set a schedule of events, planning activities and has a part in our ritual—and he is not worshiped in any of those roles by anyone. Some of the phrases unique to Masonry come to us from middle English and sound rather odd to the modern ear. The term worshipful when used in context of a Mason’s Lodge simply means honorable—magistrates in England are still formally addressed as “your worship.”
What is the time commitment I’m required/expected to make to become a Mason?
To become a Mason at our Lodge, one must set aside three Tuesday evenings (occasionally we make exceptions and do a Saturday morning degree). You need to memorize a portion of the degree work for each of the three degrees and that will be arranged with a mentor who will be assigned to work with you. After that, you can be as involved as your time, interest and other commitments allow. Some brothers may go to Masonic-related activities 6 days in a given week, while others might attend 1 meeting a year or none at all. While you may hear folks in other organizations say, “You get out of it what you put in to it,” Freemasons believe this sells Masonry short. Many bothers will attest they have gotten much more out of our fraternity then they will ever be able to repay.
Does your fraternity condone hazing?
No part of our degrees is meant or intended to harass, abuse or humiliate anyone.
Dues? How much does it cost?
Masons are expected to pay annual dues to their Lodge. The annual dues payment for Millersville Lodge is currently $145/year. If you are interested in petitioning our Lodge to become a member, you will be expected to pay an initiation fee of $165. Freemasons (in good standing) transferring from another Lodge pay a $40 transfer fee. Exceptions to our annual dues assessment can be made on a case-by-case basis for brothers for whom this amount would be overly burdensome.
You exclude women from your meetings—do you not engage families?
Masonry has a long tradition of being a male-only organization. We do hold and support functions for families—like the Millersville family breakfast on the first Saturday of the month from September through June. We have recently held game nights for families and a movie screening as well. The spouses, sisters, daughters, mothers, etc. of our brothers may be interested in joining the Order of the Eastern Star—a co-ed appendant organization with a series of degrees based on 5 heroines from the old testament of the Bible.
Learn more about the Eastern Star…