Freemasons and Odd Fellows

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by JanneProeliator, Dec 23, 2018.

  1. JanneProeliator

    JanneProeliator Registered User

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    I noticed that Odd Fellows have opened their first lodge in my city and that made me wonder what is the correlation betwean Freemasons and Odd Fellows. Have Odd Fellows always been it's own organisation or has it started from or with Masonry in earlier times? Also what are the general differences from Freemasonry?
     
  2. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    Odd fellows have never been part of freemasonry. They partly started out as sort of a union and insurance.
    They have their own ledgends etc.
     
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  3. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    It should also be noted that there exists more then one order of Odd Fellows and that they are diffrent.
     
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  4. JanneProeliator

    JanneProeliator Registered User

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    My only information of Odd FEllows is what I an read from their pages and from wikipedia, but that doens't tell me much.

    It seem's almost half of the Odd Fellows in Finland are from the swedish speaking minority.
     
  5. Elexir

    Elexir Registered User

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    I was at one time intressted in joining but after what Ive heard its not really my thing, Ive also been speaking to few brothers.
     
  6. JanneProeliator

    JanneProeliator Registered User

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    I would be curious to know how it differs from Freemasonry and specially why you didn't find it suitable for your self.

    I am not interreted in joining my self. I don't have time or need to find another fraternal orgnisation. This is our of curiosity. (If someone as thinking about that. :) )
     
  7. frehm

    frehm Registered User

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    I'm an Odd Fellow (IOOF) since nine years and have the highest regular degree (Royal Purple). I'm Ceremony master (Conductor) in my lodge.
    I find Odd Fellow and Freemasonry complete each other well - they cover different aspects. While the masonry gives more chances to personal growth and reflection, Odd has a stronger brotherhood with closer bonds and also do more active charity (at least my lodge).
    Since we meet often you know everyone and people really care about you. If someone gets sick/ill the lodge will choose a "comittee" to keep in touch with that member.
    We work under "Friendship" - "Love" and "Thruth". Our command is to: Visit the sick, Relieve the distressed, Bury the dead and Educate the orphan.

    The rituals in Odd Fellow are beutiful and has many important messages, but they are not as personal as the Masonic rituals.
    We have seven regular degrees - four in lodge and three in Encampment. The Encampments gather several lodges and you are still member of your lodge once you join the Encampment.

    In some countries they have less focus on the ritual aspects of lodge life. I've visited loges in the US who didn¨t care much about the rituals, but were more about charity in general. That's sad, since the rituals are important part of a Fraternal Order.
    As Elexir said, there are also some different Odd Fellow orders. The biggest and most widespread is IOOF.
    But in the UK and Commonwealth, the original Order called Manchester Unity, is bigger. There is also one called Gradn United Order of Odd Fellows, I don't know much about it though.

    Hope this gave you some anwers - feel free to ask anything you want to know.
     
  8. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    That is not exclusive to IOOF. In the U.S., not caring about ritual has been a plague that has ravished Freemasonry as well.
     
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  9. JanneProeliator

    JanneProeliator Registered User

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    Thank you frehm.
    Do you feel that rituals in Masony and IOOF are from the same tree or are they completly different?
     
  10. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Very true unfortunately.
     
  11. frehm

    frehm Registered User

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    That's very sad to hear. It shouldn't matter where you live - you should be able to get the same experience anywhere.

    Many of IOOF:s degrees are based on Biblical stories, mostly from the Old testament, or at least take place in those enviroments. I would say there are both similarities and differences comparing to what I've seen so far in the Freemasonry. The oldest parts of IOOF:s rituals are probably from the 1700:s, like the masonic rituals. And especially in those, one can find similarities. You can also find shared symbols.
    The rest of our rituals - I would say they still have similarities but as I said they are presented in another way than the masonic rituals. At least compared to what I've seen so far (just having FC degree in the masonry).

    It might also be so that the Odd Fellow rituals might be more similar to other rites in the freemasonry, but I can't tell of course since I just have experience from the Swedish Rite so far. Once I've gained a bit higher degree in the masonry I might be able to visit other systems and compare to those.

    The biggest difference I've seen so far is, as I said, that the masonic rituals go much more on an individual level, while many of IOOF:s degrees are more "general" and often presented, at least partly, like a drama/theatre. Masonry also gives many more chances to study the degrees through exceptionally good literature.
     
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  12. JanneProeliator

    JanneProeliator Registered User

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    Tack bro Frehm. :)
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2018
  13. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

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    As with our lodges, the Oddfellows are seeing many of their lodges fail but some of them thrive. In my town there's an active and growing Oddfellow lodge.
     
  14. frehm

    frehm Registered User

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    That's different from country to country. Here in Sweden Odd Fellow has almost 40 000 members (male and female).
    My lodge has been growing steady.

    The Swedish Order of Freemasons has around 15 000 members and also seems to have managed to turn the tide and stabilize the number of members. But it requires a lot of work for all fraternal orders to interest new members, also hopefully from younger generations.
     
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  15. ERHansen

    ERHansen Registered User

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    I did some cursory research between the two when I was searching for my Masonic connection. One of my great grands was an Odd Fellow but not a Mason, even though there was a time when many men belonged to both. I was hoping for this case.

    In New York in particular, during the aftermath of the Morgan Affair, the Odd Fellows may have been a haven for exiled Masons while they waited for the backlash to die down.

    The Greater Rochester Area, close to where it happened, was decimated. "Prior to the Morgan Affair, a number of Lodges were developed in every corner of Monroe County — Morning Star in Pittsford, Wells in Gates, Penfield Union in Penfield, Parma, Thomkins in Scottsville, Henrietta, Monroe in Brockport, Brighton, Union in Mendon, Hamilton in Rochester, and Monroe Encampment in Rochester. But by 1830, all Masonic bodies in Monroe County had ceased to exist." (Source.)

    Many Masonic groups met in Odd Fellows lodges in the Rochester area until the downtown Masonic Temples were erected. By the 1920's, the Masonic groups were back in full force. (And at least for Eastern Star, Monroe District was the largest in the state for much of that decade.)
     
  16. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Very interesting info. Thanks for sharing.
     
  17. frehm

    frehm Registered User

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    Thank you for your USA historic information. I know too little of the american history of IOOF, who is by the way celebrating 200 years this year.
     

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