Tudor Lodge No. 7280 © 2018. All Rights Reserved
Next LOI Meeting
Tuesday 25th January 2018
Next Regular Meeting
Wednesday 21st February 2018
2nd Degree Ceremony and
1st Degree Ceremony
Meeting dates are
detailed on the Diary page
January 2018 (News)
January 2018 (News)
October 2017 (News)
Why become a Freemason?
People join Freemasonry for a variety of reasons. Some are attracted by the valuable
work that the society performs in raising money for charity. A proportion of these
funds is used to assist Freemasons and their dependents in times of need, particularly
the sick and the elderly, but the greater part goes to non-
Personal satisfaction not personal gain
It has been said that some people become Freemasons for personal benefit. This statement is true, but for the wrong reasons. The personal gain is in experiencing the warmth of an honourable society and being part of an organisation that works hard to help the less fortunate of the world. Freemasonry does ask its members to give as freely as they can to charity and provides a structured channel for fundraising from its members. How much a Mason donates is entirely down to the individual. Freemasonry does not make any claim on any members’ wallet and any charitable donation should be made without detriment to a Freemasons personal circumstances.
This allows charitable donations to be made at a number of levels. In general terms these are; internationally for major disasters and nationally in the UK through the United Grand Lodge of England, through the Provincial Grand Lodge for regional charities such as air ambulance services, and locally through the lodge for smaller charities closer to members hearts.
Masonic symbolism has a purpose
But what about the funny handshakes and the peculiar dress styles? Freemasonry has been in existence for over 300 years and over this time has developed a pattern of rituals. They are no more stranger than ceremonies such as the State Opening of Parliament but, like this event, they perform a valuable function in reminding members of the heritage and standards they are expected to maintain. Once people have become Freemasons and understand the context of the rituals and symbolism, they no longer seem quirky.
Handshakes don’t give an unfair advantage
The handshakes are signs used within Masonic ceremonies. Certainly they can be used in everyday society, but to expect preferential treatment or some other sort of advantage from fellow Freemasons met in this way is both misguided and contrary to one of the basic principles of the organisation. Has anyone ever used their membership of Freemasonry to try to gain personal benefit? Of course there have been cases. But that is true of just about every group, society or body where men get together. How many business deals are cooked up on the golf course? The difference is that, unlike the golf club, Freemasonry has a system of morality that says ‘No’ to this.
Why the mystery?
If Freemasonry has nothing to hide, why the mystery? The ‘mysteries’ that are revealed to members as they progress are nothing more sinister than sound advice that helps them to lead a balanced life, for example, through thinking about things like the welfare of others. Similarly, Masonic passwords are simply keys to the doors of the different levels within Freemasonry. Learning these principles on a step by step basis makes them easier to absorb and understand. Masonic ceremonies are similar to short morality plays in which members play different parts. Like any form of theatre, it demands the learning of words and the movements on stage. Through taking part in these ceremonies, Freemasons come to understand the truths that they contain.
So what is involved?
Do you need the skills of an actor to become a Freemason? Absolutely not. In the
convivial atmosphere of a Masonic meeting, members soon learn to relax and enjoy
taking part in something rather special. It’s a place where everyone can be themselves
and contribute in a way that suits their own personality. Many members actually find
that learning and performing these rituals is a useful programme of self development.
For those that want to do it, Freemasonry also provides the opportunity to practise
How time consuming is it?
The majority of lodges in the Province of Hertfordshire meet four times a year. The formal part of the proceedings, which include the ceremonies, usually start towards the end of the afternoon. These are followed in the evening by a dinner and a few, usually short, speeches. Additionally there are instruction meetings where members learn more about the principles of Freemasonry and to master the ritual performed in the ceremonies. The number of these instruction meetings can vary per lodge but can be once a fortnight through the Masonic season of September to June, and also include meetings by the Lodge Committee.
Freemasons also gain great pleasure in visiting lodges other than their own, making
new friends and seeing different traditions followed. While there are numerous opportunities
to engage in Masonic pursuits, Freemasonry encourages its members to live well rounded
lives and always stresses that family and personal affairs must always come first.
Wives and partners matter to Freemasons
In the interests of domestic harmony, people interested in becoming Freemasons are strongly recommended to discuss their future membership with their wife or partner. Most Masonic Centres in the Province of Hertfordshire organise guided tours for the general public during the year. Visitors can see inside the Masonic temples where the ceremonies take place and ask about the issues discussed here. There are also entertaining lectures, held inside the lodge room, for anyone interested in learning more about Freemasonry. These are usually followed by an informal dinner.
Is it affordable?
What about the membership cost? Membership subscriptions compare favourably with everyday sports and social clubs. Freemasonry is an affordable hobby and a rewarding pastime for the many.
What else is involved in becoming a Freemason?
You have to be male, aged 21 or over and be of good character (which means not having any criminal convictions). You must also believe in a Supreme Being, but Freemasonry is not a religion; men from a variety of faiths belong.