Masonry and The Mason

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Timothy Fleischer, May 10, 2012.

  1. Timothy Fleischer

    Timothy Fleischer Registered User

    Some time back, I posted that I would scan my old copy of "Masonry and the Mason," a booklet given to me at the time that I was raised.

    I have taken out the references to the Texas Masonic School, since it has been closed.

    However, much of the information (I think) is good.

    Here it is... forgive the typos as they are the result of the OCR on the scan.

    This Booklet is designed to assist the new Master Mason. Its
    purpose is to furnish information whereby the new Master Mason
    may improve himself in Masonry. It is an attempt to impress upon the
    Mason the difference between being a member of the Fraternity and
    a genuine Mason in every day living of the Masonic life. It is a review
    of the lessons taught in the three Degrees, and a reminder that a
    man's life as a Master Mason should reflect the proper application of
    those lessons in his daily life.
    This bookle.t is also presented to each Master Mason who
    transfers his Masonic membership to a Texas Lodge from another
    Grand Jurisdiction. In such instances, it will assist the Master Mason
    to become better acquainted with the requirements of membership in
    this Grand Jurisdiction.
    In either case, we trust the information which follows will
    assist you in your efforts to "improve yourself in Masonry."
    Compiled by Leonard P. Harvey
    The Committee on Masonic Education and Service
    The Grand Lodge of Texas
    A. F. &A.M.
    Revised by Leonard P. Harvey, PGM
    Pete Martinez, Member
    The committee on Masonic Education and Service
    The Grand Lodge of Texas
    A. F. &A.M.
    Having been raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason,
    you are probably a bit confused and somewhat bewildered by the
    events both during and immediately following the degree. Together
    with experiencing the beauty of the degree, the depth of its lessons,
    and the reminder that more lessons are yet to be learned, you were
    "charged" as a Master Mason. In all the confusion, you probably
    missed some of the more important highlights of the Master Mason's
    Charge, and due to its importance as a rule and guide to your future
    conduct as a Master Mason, let us review the Charge, and for sake of
    simplicity and better understanding we will look at it in a more or less
    "paraphrased" form. Essentially, you are charged as follows :
    Your zeal for the institution of Masonry, as demonstrated by
    the progress you have made in learning the lessons required of you, as
    well as your willingness to conform to the regulations of Freemasonry,
    have singled you out as a proper object of our favor and esteem.
    You are bound by duty, honor and gratitude to be faithful to
    your trust; to support the dignity of the character of a Master Mason
    at all times, and to inspire, by the example of your own conduct, strict
    obedience by others to the principles of Freemasonry. As a Master
    Mason you are not only authorized, but have the solemn duty to correct
    the errant conduct of your Brethren, who through ignorance or
    indifference might bring shame or embarrassment to the image of
    Freemasonry. To preserve, protect and uphold the reputation of
    Freemasonry must be your constant concern.
    Your own acts of kindness and charity toward all mankind will
    serve as the best example for others who might otherwise be less considerate
    of their fellowmen.
    The ancient landmarks and customs of Freemasonry are
    entrusted to your care. These landmarks are to be carefully preserved
    because what they were at the beginning of Masonry, they still
    remain; and must continue to remain without change until Masonry
    shall cease to exist. These customs and usages of Freemasonry are
    never to be changed or altered in any way. One of your most important
    duties as a Master Mason is to guard against any modification of
    established Masonry. We as Master Masons are bound and obliged to
    transmit Masonry, unchanged, to our successors.
    Your virtue, honor, and reputation are concerned in supporting,
    with dignity, the character of a Master Mason. Let no motive,
    therefore, cause you to swerve from your duty, violate your obligations
    or betray your trust; but be a true and faithful brother among us.
    Thus you will deserve the honor which we have conferred and merit
    the confidence of your Brethren.
    You have made much progress since beginning your search for
    Freemasonry. You petitioned your Lodge for membership. You were
    investigated as to your qualifications to become a member among us.
    You have been initiated into the Entered Apprentice Degree, Passed to
    the Degree ofFellowcraft, and Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master
    Mason. Now you can sit back and relax, enjoy the full benefits and
    privileges of Freemasonry and let someone else worry about the next
    fellow. Right? Wrong!
    What contribution can you make to Freemasonry by sitting
    back to watch it pass before you? How long will Freemasonry continue
    to survive if each new Master Mason does absolutely nothing to
    continue its ideals and teachings? Being raised a Master Mason isn't
    really the end of something. It is the beginning of many things. The
    challenge is awaiting your response, and as you choose so shall be
    your Masonic future. It is our sincere desire and wish that you choose
    to become a "working member" among us. Freemasonry needs your
    time, talents and interest. Your regular and faithful attendance at our
    meetings is earnestly requested. We need your active participation in
    Lodge activities. Simply stated, we challenge you to become a true and
    faithful brother among your brethren.
    In the process of becoming a Master Mason you have been
    taught many lessons. However, it is one thing to be taught lessons,
    and quite another thing to properly learn them. A genuine and sincere
    search for knowledge is one of the very best ways to maintain
    interest in Freemasonry, and Freemasonry is constantly searching for
    interested Freemasons.
    The purpose of this booklet is not to embark you upon a "study
    course" of Freemasonry, but we do maintain that interest in our
    Fraternity can best be "whetted" by a sincere desire for knowledge. As
    you continue to gain knowledge, your interest will increase.
    Now, let's go back to a subject we have mentioned before. We
    have suggested that you attend your Lodge on a regular and consistent
    schedule. Make it a habit to be in your Lodge when meetings are
    being held. Why do we suggest you attend your Lodge on a regular
    basis? One simple reason. By so doing, you can enjoy the fellowship
    of brethren. A desire for fellowship with Masons is no doubt one of
    the reasons which prompted you to petition for the degrees in the first
    place, and the very best place for fellowship with Masons is in a
    Masonic Lodge!
    Perhaps the fellowship you have experienced to this point in
    your Masonic career hasn't measured up to you expectations. The
    seed of fellowship is not unlike any other seed; it has to be planted in
    properly prepared soil, and once it sprouts and takes root, it has to be
    cultivated on a regular basis for it to produce any fruitful yield. There
    is no reason to stay away from Lodge if the fellowship fails to meet
    your expectations. If your reluctance to attend your Lodge is based
    upon such a flimsy excuse your efforts leave much to be desired.
    Participation in Lodge activities has been mentioned. Stop
    and think about it for a moment. Except for the participation of those
    who investigated your petition, conferred the degrees upon you, gave
    your lectures, taught your lessons and have guided you throughout
    the three degrees, you would not now be a Master Mason! Have you
    given much thought to the matter of the importance of participation?
    Participation means going back to work in your Lodge. It means perspiring
    almost to the point of expiring! It means work, and no Master
    Mason worth his wages should neglect the work that Masonry
    requires of him.
    There are many ways to work in a Masonic Lodge. If you get
    a kick out of making someone happy, we suggest you ask your
    Worshipful Master to put you to work in your Lodge. Ask him to
    assign you to work on an Investigation Committee with a couple of
    more experienced brethren. Ask the Chairman of your Floor Work
    Committee to teach you some of the work necessary to help confer
    degrees in your Lodge. Attend your Lodge Study Club and learn to
    teach others -the lessons you have been taught. Every Mason has a
    talent that can be used in his Lodge. If your only talent is the ability
    to make good coffee, then attend your Lodge each time it meets and
    make the very best coffee to be found in any Lodge in the State of
    Texas! Remember, a Lodge is a place where Masons meet for work.
    Masonry is a challenge, and once you get the spirit of Masonry
    in your heart, it will not stay cooped up and inactive. It will flow from
    you as does fresh pure water from a refreshing spring. Once you get
    Masonry inside you, it will show itself on the outside. Nothing can be
    so inspiring as to see Masonry radiating from the very heart and life
    of a truly dedicated Mason. Live your Masonry day by day. Love your
    Masonry in such a way as to inspire others to do likewise. Get the
    spirit of Masonry. It is like a disease in one sense of the word, and
    each and every Mason needs to contract the disease, not be immunized
    against it. It is the kind of disease that, as strange as it might
    sound, is a cure for whatever ills may beset the craft!
    At the risk of being elementary, and at the same time acknowledging
    our inability to completely define Freemasonry, let us briefly
    examine the subject. Lets explore some of the things that
    Freemasonry is, and some of the things Freemasonry is not. Let us
    determine some of the things which Freemasonry does, as well as
    some of those things which Freemasonry does not do.
    One of the first positive statements that must be made about
    Freemasonry is that its membership is strictly voluntary. No man is
    drafted into Freemasonry. No man is coerced into "joining up." As a
    matter of fact, no man "joins" Freemasonry. A man petitions
    Freemasonry for membership, and when he is accepted, he becomes a
    member among us. This is one of the many Ancient Landmarks of
    Freemasonry. Basically, Freemasonry is simply a Fraternity composed
    of good men who seek to be better men by living the lessons of
    the Fraternity on a day to day basis; who share the common bond of
    fraternalism to further develop themselves morally and ethically to
    the benefit of all mankind.
    Try with all your might. Search each and every word of our
    ritual. Leave no stone un-turned. Nowhere will you find anything
    within the teachings of Freemasonry that can be called immoral.
    Nowhere will you find anything remotely akin to immorality.
    Nowhere will you find anything that will debase the dignity of any
    man. Quite the contrary. Freemasonry is a system of moral' conduct.
    This is a pretty broad statement, but a true statement that cannot be
    disproved. Many have tried to prove otherwise, but no effort has been
    successful. There is absolutely nothing in the entire system of
    Freemasonry, written or otherwise, that either teaches or attempts to
    teach a man to be anything less than a moral man!
    On e illustration of the lessons to be found in
    F reemasonry is to be found in the Entered
    Apprentice Degree. It has to do with a certain "point
    within a circle," em bordered by two perpendicular
    parallel lines, upon the top of which rests the Holy
    Scriptures. We are taught that the "point" represents
    an individual brother, the "circle" is the boundary
    beyon d which he is never to permit his prejudices
    or passions to betray him. We are taught that
    in going around this circle we necessarily touch upon the lines as well
    as the Holy Scriptures, and that in keeping ourselves within these
    bounds it is impossible to materially err. This is but one simple illustration
    of the many lessons Masonry teaches us to guard our moral
    conduct. Each of the three degrees teach many lessons of moral conduct.
    Each lesson learned from Freemasonry can and should be
    applied to our daily lives. One such lesson is the manner in which we
    should use each day. A Mason is taught to divide his day into three
    parts, notequal parts, but a portion of each day should include a time
    of service to his God, his Brethren, and their widows and orphans. A
    portion of each Mason's day is to be spent in honest labor for a livelihood
    unless his physical condition prevents him from doing so; and of
    equal importance, he should avail himself of time to rest and refresh
    his body. Masonry is a way of life that admonishes us to walk uprightly
    in our several stations before God and man. Masonry teaches us to
    square our con duct by the square of virtue , and to remember that as
    we travel upon the level of time we should spread the cement of
    Brotherly Love and affection. Masonry is a way oflife that teaches the
    Mason to observe the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth as
    well as the virtues of Temperance, Fortitude, Prudence and Justice.
    Yes, Masonry is a way of life, and good men are taught to live better
    lives by the lessons it teaches.
    Freemasonry can truly be described as a fraternal society of
    men of high moral character with a common desire and determination
    to help make good men better. Men who are friendly toward one
    another, and enjoy the benefits of Brotherly Love. Men who enjoy
    themselves in fellowship with each other. Men who never forget that
    they are Brethren. Men who weep when a brother is saddened. Men
    who share the common aim of trying to please each other while uniting
    in the grand design of being happy and communicating happiness.
    Yes, Freemasonry is many things. Volumes could, and have
    been written on the subject of Freemasonry. But, as previously stated,
    it is not our purpose to cover the subject so thoroughly as to
    require such detail. So, let us review some of the things that
    Freemasonry is.
    Well, we have discussed Freemasonry as a way of life. It is a
    society of friends and brothers whose common bond is a sincere desire
    to be better men. It is a system of morality which teaches moral
    lessons while encouraging its members to practice ethical conduct
    toward each other. It is a brotherhood of equality whereby no station
    in life is above another. And, yes, Freemasonry is a system of men of
    good will who seek to make themselves better than they are, not better
    than others. Freemasonry is all this and much more. It has existed
    since time immemorial because it is based upon the indestructible
    foundation of the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of man, and the
    immortality of the human soul. No greater honor can be bestowed
    upon you than that of being raised to the Sublime Degree of Master
    We have discussed some of the things that Freemasonry is,
    and will now turn our attention to some of the things that
    Freemasonry is not. In so doing, we will explore some of the more
    common misconceptions about Freemasonry. Rare indeed is the
    Mason who goes through life without at least one encounter with some
    misguided individual whose apparent ignorance of facts prompts
    unjust criticism of Freemasonry. You are cautioned in advance that
    some individuals become hostile and literally berate Freemasonry and
    Freemasons. When you are confronted with such situations, you are
    cautioned never to permit your zeal for Freemasonry to lead you into
    argument with those who, through either ignorance or malice, may
    ridicule either Freemasonry or yourself. The best way to avoid argument
    is to stick to the facts, and the best way to stick to the facts is to
    arm yourself with knowledge of the facts as they exist.
    One of the most common false accusations
    aimed toward Freemasonry is that it is a religion;
    that it seeks to serve as a substitute for a man's
    religion. Nothing could be further from the truth!
    Freemasonry is religious in character, but it is not
    and has never laid claim to be a religion! As a
    matter of fact, Freemasonry has gone to great lengths to disclaim any
    thoughtless remarks by misguided and misinformed brethren who,
    through their own ignorance of the real facts, would claim Masonry as
    their religion.
    There is no place in Freemasonry for matters of theology,
    creeds or doctrines. Freemasonry neither condemns a particular
    church or faith, nor does it condone a particular church of faith.
    Freemasonry simply teaches that a man's soul is eternal, which is religious
    in character, but is not in fact a religion. Freemasonry teaches
    charity which is characteristically religious, but charity as such is not
    a religion. The same can be said with reference to Brotherly Love,
    Relief and Truth.
    Each Mason, at one point in our ceremonies, expresses a belief
    in the existence of a Supreme Being. To refuse or decline to do so
    would have denied him the privileges of Freemasonry. We welcome to
    our doors and admit to our privileges Worthy men of all faiths and
    creeds who possess the indispensable qualifications, and bar none
    because of their faith or creed.
    Masonic meetings are opened with prayer, and while the
    Lodge is at labor, the Holy Bible, Koran, or Book of Books of any faith,
    be it Jewish, Catholic, Protestant, Mohammedan, Hindu or any other
    rests upon our Holy Altar. All Masonic meetings are closed with
    prayer. A Freemason is taught to pray. How and to whom he prays is
    not influenced by Freemasonry.
    As a general rule, most Freemasons are good Church members.
    This is not to say that all Masons are the best Church members,
    but in all fairness is should be pointed out that all Church members
    aren't necessarily the best members of the Church. A Mason selects
    his own religious preference, and without influence from his Masonic
    affiliation. Simply stated, the faith a man has in a Supreme Being is
    his qualification to seek the privileges of Freemasonry. This singles
    out Freemasonry as a Fraternity for all men. Masons are taught
    never to mention the name of God but with that reverential awe which
    is due from a creature to his Creator; to implore His aid in all laudable
    and worthwhile undertakings; and to esteem Him and to
    acknowledge Him as the chief good. All Masons do not heed this
    admonition, but neither do all members of the Church heed all Ten
    Commandments. The reason? No mortal man is perfect.
    Yes, Freemasonry is religious in character. No, Freemasonry
    is not a religion, nor does it claim to substitute for a man's religion.
    With regard to Freemasonry and religion, we simply state with certainty
    that no atheist can be made a Mason. This simple fact and
    landmark of Freemasonry leads us to likewise assume that no real
    Mason can possibly be an atheist!
    Freemasonry is sometimes referred to as a "secret organization."
    Such reference is not only unfair to Masonry and unjust to the
    Mason, but is completely untrue, with no basis in fact. A "secret" is
    defined as something kept hidden, or unexplained - something kept
    from the knowledge of others, or shared confidentially with a few.
    Freemasonry is not kept hidden form anybody, and we most
    certainly attempt to explain the reason for our existence. Literally
    thousands of books, booklets and other publications exist on the subject
    of Freemasonry. Most such publications are true in every sense of
    the word; some are partially true and correct, and unfortunately, a few
    are completely and totally false.
    Masonic meetings are advertized in newspapers . and other
    media. Lodges print and distribute membership rosters. Grand
    Lodges publish Lodge names, locations and Lodge numbers; as well as
    membership rosters of entire Grand Jurisdictions. Lodge buildings
    are usually identified with prominently displayed Masonic emblems.
    Masons wear the Masonic emblem on their finger as a ring, in their
    lapel as a pin, as a tie clasp, or other ways, to display the fact of their
    Masonic affiliation. All of which is to say that if Masonry is really a
    "secret organization" we have a lot of secrets being leaked to the public.
    To be sure, we do have modes of recognition, esoteric degree
    work, questions and answers, lectures, etc., which are peculiar to
    Masons and Freemasonry, but our membership, location of Lodges
    and meeting places are as open as the Holy Bibles which rest upon our
    Holy Altars when we meet as a body of Masons.
    No, Masonry is not a "secret organization," and if anyone ever
    approaches you about it and wishes to make an issue of the matter,
    you should very politely point out to him that if it were a "secret organization,"
    he wouldn't be welcomed as a member because he would
    only blab about it!
    Freemasonry makes charity a duty incumbent upon all
    Masons, but as such, Freemasonry is not a "charitable organization."
    Masonic Lodges do not collect funds for charitable purposes, but many
    Lodges have their own funds which are used to relieve the distress of
    any deserving individual.
    Many Grand Lodges develop and support such organizations
    as homes and/or schools for the children, grandchildren or widows of
    Master Masons. Funds for operating such institutions are derived
    from Lodges on a per-capita basis. Lodges are permitted to select
    their own objects of charity to whom they may make charitable contributions.
    Such objects of charity may be Masonic or non-Masonic, or
    an organization having under its care and administering directly to
    the needs of persons who are objects of charity. Organized
    Freemasonry in the State of Texas does not include as an object of
    charity any organization or committee which gives or otherwise distributes
    funds to others for charitable uses or purposes, except such as
    are created and operated under authority of some regular Masonic or
    appendant organization recognized by our Grand Lodge. Masonic
    charity must be received directly by the object of such charity, and is
    not passed through channels on a non-selective basis. This is not to
    say Masons themselves are not permitted to handle their charitable
    contributions in such a manner as might please them. Freemasonry
    does not dictate to the Mason to whom he may be charitable.
    One particular object of Masonic charity in our State of Texas
    is the Masonic Home and School in Fort Worth. We have chosen to
    include a complete section of this booklet in dealing with the Home
    and School. (See page 30).
    Freemasonry does not have membership drives, nor does it
    solicit membership except under certain guidelines as established by
    the Grand Lodge of Texas. Even so, Masonry comes to the man ONLY
    after the man comes to Masonry. We welcome to our doors and admit
    to our privileges worthy men of all faiths and creeds who possess the
    indispensable qualifications and seek membership. No person has a
    right to demand Masonic membership.This is another "Landmark" of
    Freemasonry, and it is jealously guarded. It is a feature peculiar to
    Freemasonry, but we must be certain that a man has first determined
    in his own heart that he wishes to become a Mason. As has been mentioned
    above, the solicitation of membership is permitted under
    certain guidelines, and in order that you might fully understand
    the position of the Grand Lodge of Texas with regard to
    those guidelines, there follows the entire text of Article No.
    393-a of the Grand Lodge Laws for your guidance:
    Art. 393. (430). Solicitation. This Grand
    Lodge supports and practices the ancient custom and
    usage among Masons that a man is required to present
    himself for the Degrees of Masonry of his own
    free will and accord. At the same time, it acknowledges
    to all Masons of its obedience, that it is permissible
    and proper to extend a neutrally-worded invitation
    to petition for the Degrees of Masonry to a man
    whom you have strong reason to believe is of good
    moral character and reputation, who is otherwise
    qualified to petition under the Laws of the Grand
    Lodge of Texas. After answering the non-Mason's
    questions about the Fraternity (those proper to be discussed)
    and explaining the procedure for petitioning,
    the potential candidate should be left to make his own
    decision and to proceed of his own free will.
    Make no mistake about it, some few thoughtless brethren are
    guilty of violating the intent and the very spirit of the Grand Lodge
    · Laws as they apply to solicitation, but we wish to impress upon your
    mind in the most lasting and substantial manner possible that no true
    Mason will ever be guilty of such violation. Each of us has petitioned
    Masonry of our own free will and accord, and were accepted as members.
    Our admonition is that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with
    the rules of solicitation as stated above, and always remember that
    every man who becomes a Mason .... becomes your Brother!
    Freemasonry offers nothing in return for membership except
    the honor and privilege of being a Mason. All fees and dues are paid
    directly to the Lodge, and no returns from these payments are made
    to any Mason for any reason except in some cases, due to a man's
    inability to pay his dues, the Lodge may, at its option, elect to "remit"
    the dues for him, and keep him in good standing with his Lodge.
    It has been said that arguments over politics and religion have
    separated more friends than all other combined.
    Freemasonry cannot prohibit Masons from arguing among themselves,
    but it does have control over the discussion of partisan politics
    within the confines of a Masonic Lodge. Such practice is prohibited as
    is the discussion of faiths and creeds with the intent to persuade or
    unduly influence on either subject. As has been previously stated, the
    religious beliefs of a Mason are his and his alone, and the same can be
    said of a Mason's political persuasion. A Masonic Lodge is the one
    place where a Mason may seek refuge from the pressures of political
    or religious discussions.
    This is another "Landmark" of Freemasonry that is, and must
    forever be observed by each and every Mason and Masonic Lodge. As
    a private citizen a Mason is free to campaign for public office, hold
    elective or appointive offices and freely express his political views, but
    he must leave Freemasonry out of it! Our Constitution and Laws are
    to be strictly obeyed in this regard, and any Mason who mixes
    Freemasonry and partisan politics is subject to discipline for such
    abuse. Any doubts as to where you stand with regard to Masonic Law
    and partisan politics should be completely satisfied before you take a
    chance on embarrassment to either yourself or Freemasonry.
    It has not been our purpose to dwell upon the subjects of
    "Masonry does not" and "Masonry is not," but we feel that such information
    is of equal importance to the "Masonry does" and "Masonry is"
    subjects previously discussed.
    We have discussed Freemasonry and religion, and cannot
    overemphasize this particular subject. It is a subject that will continue
    to be with us, and as pointed out: the best defense of Freemasonry
    in regard to this matter is well-informed brethren. In all matters of
    this nature, facts are the best defense.
    Freemasonry and "secrecy" is another subject which we have
    tried to carefully explain because Freemasonry is often accused, and
    unjustly so, of being a "secret society." It should be pointed out that
    Masonic membership, meeting places and identities are not "secret."
    Masons do not parade while masked or hooded to conceal their identity.
    Their drivers licenses and dues cards bares identical names. An
    alias is unnecessary.
    Charity among Masons is well known and often practiced, and
    charity is a lesson taught in our rituals. A good Mason never turns a
    deaf ear to the cry of the orphan or to the sobs of the widow. A Mason
    cannot possibly be true to his obligations and refuse to be charitable
    toward all mankind.
    We have reviewed the fact that Freemasonry does not solicit
    membership. The Mason is accepted by Masonry at his request, and
    comes to us of his own free will and accord. A man must first determine
    in his own heart that he wishes to become a Mason. This is
    another "Landmark" of Freemasonry that is now entrusted to your
    care. Carefully see to its preservation and guard it against infringement.
    The benefits of Freemasonry are many, but do not include
    those associated with insurance or return on investments, etc.
    Freemasonry makes no such promise to you, nor does it guarantee
    that you will ever receive anything from Freemasonry. All promises
    between you and Freemasonry are made by you to Freemasonry, and
    anything you receive from Freemasonry will be entirely up to you and
    your own initiative.
    The subject of Freemasonry and partisan politics is one that
    has received some special attention. The subject is reviewed as regularly
    as elections are held. The general rule as applies in this case is
    simply that the two are not to be mixed. You are sworn to abide by the
    Constitution and Laws of Freemasonry, and the very best way to avoid
    conflict with our Laws is to become familiar with them, and if you are
    not certain as to where you stand, you should seek advice.
    Many of your questions are still unanswered, but we trust you
    will seek the advice of well-informed brethren should you have the
    slightest doubt as to where you stand. A good rule to apply to all
    things, Masonic and otherwise, is that no man should be condemned
    for asking, but the same cannot be said for guessing.
    At this point we believe it is appropriate to briefly discuss the
    Masonic apron and the Masonic emblem. While no attempt is made
    to cover the subject in its entirety, we do feel that the new Master
    Mason might well have some questions on these subjects.
    Many Texas Masonic Lodges present a white lambskin
    apron to each newly raised Master Mason. Upon presentation
    of the apron, a Master Mason is told that it is an
    emblem of innocence, and the Badge of a Mason; that it is
    his, to be worn upon all proper occasions throughout an
    honorable life.
    Proper occasions for wearing the Masonic apron would
    include attending your Lodge while the Lodge is at labor in either of
    the three degrees, or during a Stated Communication. The apron
    could be worn during public meetings such as open installation of
    Lodge officers, family night, father and son nights, etc., and when a
    Lodge assembles to conduct Masonic burial services for a deceased
    Brother. Also, the apron is worn at other public meetings, such as
    Grand Lodge dedication of buildings, and the leveling of cornerstones.
    It should be pointed out that rarely does a Master Mason wear
    the original lambskin apron. As a rule, each Lodge furnishes white
    cloth aprons to be worn by members and visitors. Cloth aprons are
    more easily cleaned and are less expensive to furnish, but cloth aprons
    should and must be kept clean and attractive because, Masonically
    speaking, they represent the purity and innocence of the lamb, and
    remind us of "purity of heart and uprightness of conduct."
    The Masonic apron, when properly worn, shall be completely
    visible at all times. While wearing a coat as part of your dress,
    whether in public meetings or within the tiled recesses of your Lodge,
    the Masonic apron is correctly worn outside the coat.
    The Masonic apron is a natural curiosity to the non-Mason. It
    is often referred to by such descriptive terms as "thatfunny little
    apron" or other such terms by those who through ignorance fail to
    completely comprehend its true attachment to the Mason. The apron
    has always been associated with work. Except a man be working, he
    would have no need for an apron. When the Mason puts on his apron,
    he is signifying to the world his willingness to work at his accepted
    responsibility. Further, he is signifying the dedication of himself to a
    life of purity before God and man; because the material of the Masonic
    apron is lambskin it is also associated with innocence.
    The Masonic emblem is, of course, the Square and Compasses,
    within the center of which is the letter "G". It is the privilege of the
    Master Mason to wear the emblem either upon his person or his clothing.
    Article No. 1555 of our Texas State Penal Code prohibits the use
    or the wearing of the Masonic emblem by unauthorized persons. Also,
    the Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge of Texas governs the
    use of the Masonic emblem in our Grand Jurisdiction. We will not
    attempt to completely define these regulations, but suggest you refer
    to Article No. 506, part 3, of our Constitution and Laws for complete
    information concerning the use of Masonic emblems.
    Our Texas Grand Jurisdiction does not have specific requirements
    as to how the Masonic emblem is to be worn. Of course, the
    lapel pin should be worn with the points of the compasses pointing
    downward, otherwise the letter "G" would be reversed. It is generally
    accepted and widely practiced that a Masonic ring is worn with the
    points of the compasses pointing away from the person wearing the
    ring. It has been suggested that to wear the ring in this manner is a
    reminder to the world that the wearer is a Master Mason. You will
    find that most Masons wear their rings in the above described manner,
    but some wear their rings with the points of the compasses pointing
    toward the wearer to remind him that he is a Mason. It makes no
    real difference which manner you choose to wear a Masonic ring,
    because the position of the emblem upon your finger in no way proves
    that you are a Mason. Further, it makes no difference whether or not
    you choose to wear the emblem , because the wearing of the emblem
    doesn't make you a Mason. Remember, no amount of ornaments will
    make you a better Mason. AMason is made at our Altar, and Masonry
    is carried within a man's heart.
    Generally speaking, the display of the Masonic emblem by a
    Master Mason other than on his person or clothing is not permitted
    except as provided in the above-mentioned Article No. 506, para. 3, of
    our Constitution and Laws. The Masonic emblem is generally considered
    a "personal" emblem and as such should not be exploited or displayed
    ostentatiously. To be more specific, it is not to be displayed in
    a "showy, or gaudy" manner. With reference to the Mason and
    Masonic emblems, the very best manner of displaying Masonic affiliation
    is through conduct becoming a Mason!
    .............. THE GRAND LODGE OF TEXAS
    I •\
    { i j The history of the Grand Lodge of Texas is a story of
    its own. Volumes have been written on the subject of
    ... ... its formation, its heroes, its adversities and its frustrations,
    which eventually led to the realization of a
    dream come true. The new Master Mason is urged to
    study the history of our Grand Lodge, because many interesting facts
    may be obtained from such study.
    Our purpose here is to simply explain how the Grand Lodge
    came into existence, the authority for its existence, and to review the
    structure by which it governs all Texas Masons - through its
    Constitution and Laws.
    The present Corporate Charter of the Grand Lodge of Texas
    was adopted on December 5th, 1900, as authorized by the provisions
    of Chapter 11, Title 21 and Article 713a ofthe revised Civil Statute of
    Texas, as amended by the Twenty-sixth Legislature.
    The purposes of the Grand Lodge are to control and regulate
    the practice of Freemasonry in Texas; to advance the moral and social
    interest of its membership; to foster good citizenship, honest industry
    and upright living; to cultivate the exercise of charity in its best and
    broadest sense; to assist the widows and orphans of its deceased members;
    to stimulate friendship, harmony and brotherly love; and generally
    to promote, in its own way, the happiness of mankind.
    It is a Fraternity of good men, linked together by honorable
    and indissoluble bonds, who accomplish these noble purposes while
    avoiding all interest in factional politics and sectarian religion, and at
    the same time being free from the dictation of both.
    The Grand Lodge of Texas meets annually in theCity of Waco
    at 1:30 P.M. on the first Thursday of December. No business may be
    transacted at a Grand Lodge Communication unless there are present
    the duly accredited representatives of at least fifty Lodges.
    The Grand Lodge is composed of two classifications:
    members and representatives.
    Members of the Grand Lodge are the Past Masters
    of Texas Lodges who are presently members in good stand-
    ing of a Texas Lodge. This classification naturally includes present
    and past Grand Lodge Officers, because with the exception of the
    Grand Chaplain, all Grand Lodge Officers must be members of the
    Grand Lodge. rm Representatives are the Masters and Wardens of all
    Chartered Lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grand
    Lodge, or their proxies as duly elected by their Lodges.
    The Grand Lodge of Texas has exclusive jurisdiction
    over all regular Lodges within the State of Texas and
    has exclusive power to constitute new Lodges, to revoke
    charters if previously granted, to maintain uniformity in ritualistic
    work, and generally to control the affairs of Masonry in Texas. The
    Grand Lodge is the highest authority over Craft Masonry in Texas,
    and all members of appendant bodies whose membership is based
    upon Masonic membership are governed by the Constitution and
    Laws of the Grand Lodge ofTexas.
    The Officers of the Grand Lodge are: The Most Worshipful
    Grand Master, Right Worshipful Deputy Grand Master, Right
    Worshipful Grand Senior Warden, Right Worshipful Grand Junior
    Warden, Right Worshipful Grand Treasurer, Right Worshipful Grand
    Secretary, Right Worshipful Grand Chaplain, Right Worshipful Grand
    Orator, Right Worshipful Grand Marshal, Worshipful Grand :-;.,.,n,ncr l
    Deacon, Worshipful Grand Junior Deacon, Worshipful Grand Seniorl
    Steward, Worshipful Grand Junior Steward, Worshipful
    Pursuivant, Worshipful Grand Organist, Worshipful
    Photographer and Worshipful Grand Tiler.
    The first six Officers listed above are elected annually by
    members and representatives of Grand Lodge. The other Officers
    appointive. The Grand Stewards are appointed by the Grand J
    Warden. The Grand Master appoints all other officers except
    Grand Junior Deacon and Grand Pursuivant, whose appointment
    made by the Grand Senior Warden.
    The State of Texas is divided into a convenient number
    Masonic Districts which comprise as nearly as possible and
    number of Lodges, with each District being numbered. The
    Master appoints a representative in each District to personally
    sent him during his term of office. These representatives are
    as District Deputy Grand Masters, and they are the "eyes and ears"
    the Grand Master in their respective Districts. To the District
    includes present
    exception of the
    members of the
    Wardens of all
    of the Grand
    their Lodges.
    of Texas and
    to revoke
    Grand Masters is entrusted the power and opportunity to protect, preserve
    and promote the good name and reputation of Freemasonry in
    The Grand Master of Masons in Texas is the unquestioned
    leader of Texas Masons. Generally speaking, he is charged with the
    duty to conduct the labors of Grand Lodge in accordance with the
    ancient usages and customs of Craft Masonry, and to perform such
    other duties as may be prescribed form time to time by Grand Lodge
    laws, rules an edicts.
    His authority to perform the duties expected of him is supported
    by his power to grand dispensations for new Lodges and for
    conferring all degrees; to install and constitute new Lodges; to preside
    in any Lodge; to suspend Lodges and depose officers in subordinate
    Lodges when un-Masonic conduct is apparent; and generally to superintend
    and direct the labors of the Craft. The exercise of the powers
    of the Grand Master is subject to the Laws of the Grand Lodge,
    because the Grand Master has no power, by virtue of his office, to set
    aside any Law of the Grand Lodge.
    We have briefly described the Grand Lodge with reference to
    the legal authority by which it exists, its purposes of existence, its
    meetings, structure, and leadership.
    You are invited and encouraged to attend the meetings of your
    Grand Lodge. As a Master Mason in good standing, you may visit any
    Grand Lodge communication by presenting yourself and your credentials.
    You may take your place among your Brethren and observe the
    proceedings, and while you may not vote on any matter before Grand
    Lodge, or speak on any subject, unless you are a member or an authorized
    representative, you may enjoy the fellowship of your Brethren
    and receive good wholesome instruction from the deliberations of all
    Grand Lodge communications.
    We have previously suggested that a new Master Mason
    should become an active Mason. Once you become an active Mason,
    you will become more familiar with the function of your Lodge. Find
    out how many members belong to you Lodge. If your Lodge has a roster
    of its membership, search it out for the names of men you already
    know who are now your Brethren. How old is your Lodge? Does it
    have a written history, and is a copy available? If such a history is
    available, obtain a copy of it and become familiar with how your Lodge
    came into being. Search the records for interesting facts .
    What about the By-Laws of your Lodge? Are you familiar with
    them, and do you now have a copy of them in your possession? If you
    don't have a copy, ask the Secretary of the Lodge for a copy, and if no
    copy is available, courteously suggest that copies be made available to
    the membership. Remember, you are obligated to be governed by the
    Constitution and Laws of the Grand Lodge and the By-Laws of your
    Have you met the officers of your Lodge and become personally
    acquainted with each of them? Are you familiar with some of their
    duties? Are you concerned about the answers to these and other questions?
    We will attempt to answer some of these questions as we go
    along, but you must assume the initiative to seek some of the answers.
    We will not attempt to explain the complexities of how a Lodge
    is formed and all the procedures involved. For our purpose it will suffice
    to say that each Masonic Lodge in Texas operates independently
    of other Lodges. No Lodge may interfere with the affairs of another
    Lodge, and all Masonic Lodges in Texas are Chartered by the Grand
    Lodge of Texas and governed by the Constitution and Laws of the
    Grand Lodge. All Masonic Lodges are governed by their own By-
    Laws, but the By-Laws must be in harmony with and approved by the
    Grand Lodge. All Lodges in Texas use a uniform ritual as approved by
    Grand Lodge, and no deviation from the approved ritualistic work is
    The Officers of your Lodge are the Worshipful Master, Senior
    Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, Senior
    Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Steward, Marshal,
    Master of Ceremonies, and Tiler. The offices of Marshal and Master
    of Ceremonies are optional and not all Lodges have these officers.
    Grand Lodge Law requires that the first five officers named be
    elected by the membership on an annual basis. The By-Laws of your
    Lodge govern whether or not all or any number of the other officers
    are either elected by the membership or appointed by the Worshipful
    Master. A majority of the Lodges in Texas permit the Worshipful
    Master-Elect to appoint those officers whose election is not required
    by Grand Lodge Law.
    The Worshipful Master of your Lodge is its
    ruler, and the membership is well aware that he rules
    and governs at his will and pleasure. A Worshipful
    Master has almost unlimited power and authority, and
    is answerable only to the Grand Lodge and the Grand Master. Seldom
    do Masters abuse the power of their office, but no appeal may be taken
    from the decision of a Worshipful Master except to the Grand Lodge,
    and no one except the Grand Master or his duly appointed
    Representative may preside over his Lodge without his permission.
    The Worshipful Master is custodian of the Lodge charter. He
    is responsible for the correctness of the Minutes of the Lodge, and
    must attend to the peace and harmony of his Lodge. To his care is
    committed the careful and punctual execution of his Lodge By-Laws.
    He is a combination diplomat, advisor, counselor, friend, critic, executive,
    financier, parliamentarian, and arbitrator; in all of which he
    must temper with justice and mercy and use his authority with discretion.
    Because of what he is and because of the office he holds, he is
    entitled to and must receive the respect of the membership. If the
    man, for whatever reason fails to merit the respect of his Brethren it
    is nevertheless incumbent upon them to properly respect the office of
    Worshipful Master. The title "Worshipful Master" is strictly a title of
    respect, and has absolutely nothing to do with "worship" as it might
    relate to any religious application (or belief), and "Master" simply
    indicates the skill or leadership of the presiding officer of the Lodge.
    The Senior and Junior Wardens are charged
    with the responsibility of assisting the Worshipful
    Master in the discharge of his duties. In the
    absence of the Worshipful Master, the Senior
    Warden presides, and in the absence of both the Worshipful Master
    and the Senior Warden the Junior Warden presides. And, to go a step
    further, in the absence of the Worshipful Master and both Wardens ,
    The last Past Master of the Lodges present may preside.
    We do not presume to minimize the importance of the Lodge
    Officers other than the Worshipful Master and the two Wardens, but
    space does not permit our being completely descriptive of their respective
    duties. Suffice it to say that the Treasurer is responsible for the
    receiving of Lodge funds from the Secretary, and is to see to their disbursement
    by order of the Worshipful Master and consent of the
    Lodge. The Secretary is charged with the responsibility of observing
    the proceedings of the Lodge, and to make a correct record of all things
    proper to be written. The Secretary receives all monies due the Lodge
    and passes them along to the Treasurer. It is the duty of the Chaplain
    to perform those solemn services which Masons are taught to constantly
    render to their Creator. Most Chaplains of Lodges assume an
    active role in visiting the sick and seeking to comfort the bereaved
    families of deceased brethren, or bereaved brethren who experience
    misfortunes of any nature. The Deacons are "assistants" to the
    Master and Wardens and see to the proper accommodation of candidates
    for the degrees and to brethren who visit the Lodge. The
    Stewards are generally associated with refreshment and accommodation
    of the Brethren of the Lodge and such other matters as seeing to
    the proper cleanliness and appearance of the Lodge facilities. The
    Tiler is charged with the responsibility to see that none enter the
    Lodge while at labor, except those who are properly clothed and
    vouched for. All officers of a Masonic Lodge are extremely vital to the
    proper function of the Lodge, and when they are in concert with one
    another, the Lodge is much the better for it.
    Now that you are a Master Mason, there are certain responsibilities
    attached to the privileges. We are not going to become overly
    involved with our subjects, but are going to consider some of the privileges
    and responsibilities of Lodge members. We will briefly comment
    as we go along, but wish to emphasize that such matters require
    more inquiry and a closer look as to how given situations can be gov-
    erned by circumstances peculiar to each individual member. We are
    stating as a positive fact that the information furnished in this booklet
    cannot possibly answer all your questions. To do so is neither our
    promise, nor is it our objective.
    Of extreme importance to the Master Mason and his Lodge is
    the matter of Lodge dues. It is the responsibility of a Mason to pay his
    dues. It is a privilege for a Master Mason to pay his dues. Except a
    Mason pay his dues, he forfeits all rights and privileges that would
    normally be his as a Master Mason. The payment of Lodge dues is one
    privilege and responsibility which must be "enjoyed" in order to reap
    the benefits of fellowship with brethren. Please, Brother, don't be a
    member of your Lodge who must be "hounded" into paying your dues.
    Consider your dues notice as another "bill" that must be paid, and pay
    it as soon as you receive the notice. Certainly, there are circumstances
    which might well prevent you from paying your dues. Under such circumstances,
    please notify the proper authority in your Lodge and you
    will find help and understanding readily available.
    There is no bargain equal to the price of Masonic membership!
    For you to loose fellowship with your Brethren because you are suspended
    for non-payment of your Lodge dues is unthinkable. We would
    recommend for your thoughtful consideration that you contact the
    Secretary of your Lodge with regard to the purchase of an Endowed
    Membership in your Lodge. The payment of a fee in the amount established
    by ,- Grand Lodge will forever exempt you from annual dues
    throughout your lifetime, and in addition will perpetually support the
    operation of your Lodge. In most instances, the payment of Lodge
    dues for ten years will equal or exceed the amount required to purchase
    an Endowed Membership.
    To attend your Lodge at your own will and pleasure is another
    combination of privilege and responsibility of the Mason, and is on
    some occasions a Masonic duty. So long as you are a member in good
    standing you have the unquestioned right to attend your Lodge. As a
    matter of dedication to Freemasonry, you should consider Lodge attendance
    a responsibility. It is a sworn duty to respond to a summons
    received from your Lodge. A summons should not be taken lightly.
    To cast your ballot upon the petition of a man for the
    mysteries of Freemasonry is another combination of
    your Masonic Privilege and responsibility. Do not take
    this part of your Masonic membership lightly. Your duty
    in regard to the ballot is two-fold. Should you be aware of any reason
    why a petitioner should not be welcomed among us, it is your duty to
    vote against the petitioner. To vote against a petitioner is to "blackball"
    him. On the other hand, if you are aware of absolutely no reason
    why a petitioner should not be admitted a member among us, it is
    your duty to vote in favor of the petition. A favorable vote is by "white
    ball." Before each ballot is taken, the Worshipful Master of your
    Lodge will instruct you as to all particulars concerning the petition,
    the report of the Investigating Committee and the instructions necessary
    for you to cast your ballot in an intelligent manner. Three "blackballs"
    are required to reject a petitioner.
    We would remind you that the ballot in a Masonic Lodge is
    strictly confidential in every regard. It is a Masonic offense to tell a
    rejected petitioner who was present at the meeting when the ballot
    was taken on his petition. It is a Masonic offense to inquire of a
    Brother as to how he voted. It is a Masonic offense to tell anyone how
    you voted. The ballot in a Masonic Lodge is sacred, and must be treated
    as such.
    The protest is another combination privilege and responsibility
    of the Master Mason. A protest has the same effect as a blackball
    and can be made either orally or in writing; but must be made to the
    Worshipful Master of the Lodge or any officer acting as such. Any candidate
    for the degrees or any one of them can be stopped by the protest
    of any three Master Masons in good standing. To be effective as to any
    Petitioner for a degree, the protests must be lodged after the petition
    has been received by the Lodge, and before conferring the degree has
    Once the protests have been made and announced by the
    Master or Officer acting as such, they cannot be withdrawn by the protesters.
    Hence, you are admonished to be certain of all the facts and
    be positive of your intentions before entering a protest.
    You may enter a protest against any petitioner for the degrees
    in any Lodge in this Grand Jurisdiction, but protests against reinstatement
    or restoration may be made only in your own Lodge.
    Any combination of "blackballs" and/or protests will reject the
    Adimit (or demit) is a method by which a Master Mason may
    withdraw his membership from a Masonic Lodge. A dimitted Mason
    belongs to no Lodge, and is thereby an unaffiliated Mason. An unaffiliated
    Mason in this Grand Jurisdiction may visit any Lodge, but not
    more than three times without petitioning for membership. He can
    sign a petition for a new Lodge, attend Masonic funerals and be
    clothed as a Master Mason provided the Worshipful Master considers
    him to be properly accredited. He cannot preside over any Lodge or
    fill any station in any Lodge; confer any degree or otherwise participate
    in conferring any degree. He cannot vote on any matter before a
    Lodge, or lodge a protest. He cannot address a Lodge or speak on any
    matter before it without being invited to do so by the Master presiding.
    He may not participate in any official capacity, or in any organization
    or body whose membership is limited to Master Masons.
    Let's face it, the unaffiliated Mason can contribute little or
    nothing to Freemasonry, and it is difficult to understand why a man
    would wish to be a Mason without being affiliated with a Lodge.
    Also, the unaffiliated Mason is subject to Masonic discipline
    should he fail to obey the Laws of Freemasonry.
    There is something about Masonry which seems to cause a
    Mason to feel guilt or shame when it comes to moving his Lodge membership
    from his "Mother Lodge." Nothing is wrong with loyalty to the
    Mother Lodge, but being loyal to Masonry while residing in one corner
    of the State with his membership in a Lodge located in another corner
    of the State does cause one to wonder if such loyalty is of any real benefit
    to Masonry.
    Well, Brother, Masonry can solve your problem! A member of
    any Lodge may apply for a "Certificate of Good Standing" to be used
    to transfer his membership to another Lodge. Or, if he moves from
    Cactus Gap to Big City and wants to maintain his membership "back
    in his Home Lodge," he may at the same time affiliate with a Lodge
    near his new residence. The Certificate of Good Standing can be
    issued by his Lodge "back home' to apply for resident membership in
    a Lodge near his residence. Such procedure is called "Plural
    Membership," and the Certificate of Good Standing has a specific feature:
    if for some reason your are not elected to plural membership in
    the Lodge petitioned, your membership "back home" remains intact.
    The consideration or contemplation of any action outlined
    above .should prompt the Mason to seek the advice of his Lodge
    Officers to make certain that proper procedure is initiated and followed
    according to our regulations.
    A Master Mason in good standing is privileged to visit any regular
    Lodge anywhere in the world! We stress "regular Lodge" because
    all Lodges are not "regular." All Grand Jurisdictions are not infraternal
    relations with each other, and for any number of reasons. We
    can not get into the many complicated details of fraternal relations,
    and will simply state that before you visit a Masonic Lodge outside
    our Grand Jurisdiction, you should first establish that the Grand
    Lodge of Texas is in fraternal relations with the other Grand
    Jurisdiction. Your Lodge is annually furnished a list of "Regular
    Lodges," and your Lodge Officers can assist you in determining if a
    particular Lodge in another Grand Jurisdiction is "regular."
    With regard to visiting a Masonic Lodge in Texas, there are
    procedures involved. You must either be "vouched for," or "prove yourself
    to be a Mason." ·Let's assume you visit a Lodge among whose
    membership is present a Brother with whom you have sat in Lodge
    while opened on the Master's Degree. The Brother may legally vouch
    for your standing as a Master Mason. You may then visit the Lodge,
    provided you meet all other requirements.
    Now, let's assume a Brother visited your Lodge while at labor
    in the Entered Apprentice Degree. You recall for a fact that the
    Brother entered the Lodgeroom during the conferral of the Entered
    Apprentice Degree, and that he left the Lodge with the new Entered
    Apprentice Mason immediately upon closing the Entered Apprentice
    Lodge. You may not vouch for the Brother to sit in a Master's Lodge.
    Unless and until you sit in a Master Mason's Lodge with the Brother,
    you may only vouch for him as an Entered Apprentice.
    Our Laws state that one Mason cannot vouch for another
    unless he has sat in open Lodge with him, and can state the time and
    the name of the Lodge. Of course, if you are appointed a member of
    an Examining Committee by your Worshipful Master to examine a
    Brother who presents himself to visit your Lodge, and upon satisfactory
    presentation of proper credentials together with proof to your satisfaction
    that he is conversant with Masonry; and proves beyond
    doubt to you that he is indeed a Master Mason, you may then vouch
    for him.
    When you wish to visit a Lodge and present yourself for that
    purpose, and none are present who can vouch for you, you must be
    examined before being permitted to visit the Lodge. Your current dues
    card will be requested and required as proof that you are in good
    standing with your Lodge. (Remember, except you be in good standing
    you have no right to visit another Lodge, nor do you have the right
    to attend your own Lodge.) A committee will be appointed to examine
    you to determine that you are conversant with Masonry with sufficient
    skill and knowledge to prove without a doubt that you are a
    Mason. Upon satisfaction of the committee, and by satisfying all other
    requirements for visiting a Lodge, you will be permitted to take your
    place among you brethren and enjoy Masonic fellowship.
    Any Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft or Master Mason in good
    standing at the time of his death is entitled to burial with Masonic
    Ceremonies. Burial with Masonic ceremonies is
    optional, but cannot be denied a Mason who departs
    this life while in good standing in his Lodge and upon
    request it may be extended at the discretion of the
    Worshipful Master of the Lodge to worthy non-affiliated
    Masons and to worthy suspended Masons who
    have been suspended for non-payment of Lodge dues.
    We urge and encourage you to determine whether or not you
    wish your burial to be with Masonic ceremonies. Perhaps you would
    prefer to delay such decision until you have witnessed one or more
    grave side services, but as soon as possible you should make your preference
    known to your family, a friend, or your funeral home if you preplan
    your burial. Please do not leave to chance the necessity for someone
    else to make the decision for you. Let your wishes be known, and
    upon your death they will be honored in accordance with your own
    determination as to what should be done when the time comes for
    action to be taken.
    Neither Freemasonry nor your brethren will insist that you be
    buried with Masonic ceremonies, but you should be aware that it will
    not be done unless you or your family makes the request.
    The basic organization of Masonry is composed of Lodges
    which confer the three Degrees of Craft Masonry, the Entered
    Apprentice Degree, the Fellowcraft Degree, and the Master Mason
    Degree. These Lodges are called Symbolic Lodges, or more often are
    called Blue Lodges. Whatever they might be called, their basic function
    is Craft Masonry, and the product of their existence and the proof
    of their effectiveness is the Master Mason.
    No degree in Masonry is "higher" than the degree of Master
    Mason. There is no such thing as a ''York Rite Mason" or a "Scottish
    Rite Mason." They are Master Masons who have received the degrees
    of the York Rite or Scottish Rite, and who are in good standing in their
    Blue Lodges. A suspended or expelled Mason may not maintain membership
    in either the York Rite or Scottish Rite Bodies, or any appendant
    organization whose membership is based upon Masonic membership.
    The degrees of the "Rites" simply expand or elaborate upon
    the Blue Lodge degrees.
    All members of all appendant and affiliated bodies and organizations
    are governed by the Constitution and Laws of the Grand
    Lodge of Texas, and while they have their own system of government
    among themselves, they are answerable first to the Grand Master and
    to the Grand Lodge.
    The York Rite is not a "degree.," but is a term which denotes
    the combination of the three organizations which compose York Rite
    as a whole. Actually, the York Rite is composed of Capitular Masonry,
    Cryptic Masonry and Chivalric Masonry, and we will endeavor to
    briefly describe the three as follows:
    Capitular Masonry confers four degrees in what is known as a
    Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. The degrees conferred are called Mark
    Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and the Royal Arch.
    These degrees are symbolic, and take up where the Master Mason's
    Degree ended in your Blue Lodge.
    Cryptic Masonry confers three degrees in what is known as a
    Council of Royal and Select Masters. The degrees conferred are called
    Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master. The degrees
    of Cryptic Masonry complete or explain the Sy mbolism of the Royal
    Arch Degree.
    Chivalric Masonry is composed of three "Orders" conferred in
    Commanderies of Knights Templar. The Commandery is divided into
    "Orders" instead of "Degrees." There are three of these Orders: The
    IUustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta, and The Order
    of the Temple. These Orders are called the Christian Orders of
    Knighthood, and in Chivalric Masonry the Christian Mason may find
    Masonic fellowship and truth in the Brotherhood of Christian
    Members of the York Rite Bodies have their own organization
    on a State level in the form of a Grand Chapter, a Grand Council and
    a Grand Commandery. Their State leadership is elected annually by
    the representatives of local Chapters, Councils and Commanderies.
    The main thing to remember about membership in any York
    Rite Body is that, above all else, the York Rite is composed of Master
    Masons who are in good standing in their Blue Lodges.
    As in the case with the York Rite, the Scottish Rite is not itself
    a "degree," but is a term which denotes a combination of four bodies
    which confer the 4th degree through the 32nd degree:
    the Lodge of Perfection confers the 4th through the
    14th degrees; the Chapter of Rose Croix confers the
    15th through the 18th degrees; the Council of Kadosh
    confers the 19th through the 30th degrees; and the
    Consistory confers the 31st and 32nd degrees.
    These four Bodies comprise a Scottish Rite ''Valley," of which
    there are 9 in Texas. The Texas Valleys are presided over by a
    Sovereign Grand Inspector General, who, in return is subordinate to
    the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of
    Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and to
    the Sovereign Grand Commander. The Supreme Council is located in
    , Washington, D. C.
    Scottish Rite degrees are conferred at meetings called
    "reunions." Each of the four bodies of the Scottish Rite elect their own
    officers annually; and as with all other Masonic appendant bodies,
    membership in the Scottish Rite is composed only of Master Masons
    who are in good standing in their individual Blue Lodges.
    Occasionally, after exceptional service to Freemasonry, his
    Cryptic Masonry confers three degrees in what is known as a
    Council of Royal and Select Masters. The degrees conferred are called
    Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master. The degrees
    of Cryptic Masonry complete or explain the Symbolism of the Royal
    Arch Degree.
    Chivalric Masonry is composed of three "Orders" conferred in
    Commanderies of Knights Templar. The Commandery is divided into
    "Orders" instead of "Degrees." There are three of these Orders: The
    fllustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta , and The Order
    of the Temple. These Orders are called the Christian Orders of
    Knighthood, and in Chivalric Masonry the Christian Mason may find
    Masonic fellowship and truth in the Brotherhood of Christian
    Members of the York Rite Bodies have their own organization
    ,on a State level in the form of a Grand Chapter, a Grand Council and
    a Grand Commandery. Their State leadership is elected annually by
    the representatives of local Chapters, Councils and Commanderies.
    The main thing to remember about membership in any York
    Rite Body is that, above all else, the York Rite is composed of Master
    Masons who are in good standing in their Blue Lodges.
    As in the case with the York Rite, the Scottish Rite is not itself
    a "degree," but is a term which denotes a combination of four bodies
    which confer the 4th degree through the 32nd degree:
    the Lodge of Perfection confers the 4th through the
    14th degrees; the Chapter of Rose Croix confers the
    15th through the 18th degrees; the Council of Kadosh
    confers the 19th through the 30th degrees; and the
    Consistory confers the 31st and 32nd degrees.
    These four Bodies comprise a Scottish Rite "Valley," of which
    there are 9 in Texas. The Texas Valleys are presided over by a
    Sovereign Grand Inspector General, who, in return is subordinate to
    the Supreme Council of · the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of
    Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, and to
    the Sovereign Grand Commander. The Supreme Council is located in
    . Washington, D. C.
    Scottish Rite degrees are conferred at meetings called
    "reunions." Each of the four bodies of the Scottish Rite elect their own
    officers annually; and as with all other Masonic appendant bodies,
    membership in the Scottish Rite is composed only of Master Masons
    who are in good standing in their individual Blue Lodges.
    Occasionally, after exceptional service to Freemasonry, his
    community or his country, a member of the Scottish Rite may be honored
    by being invested with the rank and decoration of the Knight
    Commander of the Court of Honor, and a much smaller number are
    ultimately coroneted with the 33rd Degree, Inspector General
    In addition to the directly appendant bodies of the York and
    Scottish Rite, a number of other organizations exist which are considered
    part of our Masonic Family. These affiliated organizations are
    usually tied to Freemasonry because of their membership regulations.
    The Shrine
    Because of its colorful costumes and its regular participation
    in public functions such as parades and circuses, the Ancient Arabic
    Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, usually referred to simply as
    "Shriners," is the best known of the Masonically-affiliated organizations.
    The Shrine is composed of Master Masons who have attained
    either the 32nd Degree of the Scottish Rite or the Order of the Temple
    in the Commandery. The Shrine is famous for its nationwide chain of
    hospitals for crippled and burned children. And here again is the continuing
    requirement that a Mason be in good standing in his Lodge in
    order to remain a Shriner.
    The Grotto
    The Mystic Order of the Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted
    Realm - the corporate name of the order better known as the Grottoes
    of North America - is erected upon the enduring basis of Masonic
    moral precepts. Any Master Mason in good standing is eligible for
    membership. The Grotto is well known for its program of dentistry for
    the handicapped child, and for its support of United Cerebral Palsy.
    Other Organizations
    Probably the best known ladies organization is the Order of
    the Eastern Star, which is open to Master Masons, their mothers,
    wives, widows, sisters, daughters, and granddaughters. Eastern Star
    Chapters depend upon Master Masons to participate in their meetings
    and ritualistic work.
    Other ladies organizations include the Daughters of the Nile,
    associated with the Shrine, and the Social Order of Beauceant, associated
    with the Commandery.
    Our affiliated youth organizations in Texas include the Order
    of Rainbow for Girls between the ages of 11 and 20, the Order of Job's
    Daughters for girls between the ages of 11 and 20, and the Order of
    DeMolay for young men between the ages of 13 and 21. Membership
    in Rainbow for Girls and DeMolay for boys does not require a Masonic
    affiliation, but membership in Job's Daughters requires that to be eligible
    for membership, the young lady must be related to a Master
    Mason. We would suggest that in the event you become interested in
    any of our affiliated youth organizations, you should seek advice form
    some local authority who might properly inform you with regard to
    any requirements for membership.
    Other groups and organizations with connections to Masonry
    are in existence. At your leisure, you may determine their merits and
    their application to you as an individual, based on your own experi- ·
    ence and desire. We would simply remind you that participation in
    Masonic activities is encouraged, but the choice is yours. Fellowship
    is one real objective and desirable result of your Masonic membership.
    No Masonic organization of any kind can function without the
    approval of the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge of Texas. All organizations
    whose membership is based on Masonic membership exist
    at the pleasure of the Grand Master of Masons in Texas, and the
    Grand Lodge.
    While membership and activity in some appendant bodies and
    associated organizations is widely sought and aggressively solicited,
    we should never lose sight of the fact that such activities should not
    detract from Blue Lodge objectives and operation. Lodges must be
    able to retain the interest of their members, from which comes their
    leadership. And, unless we maintain effective leadership,
    Freemasonry and Freemasons will cease to exist.
    The charities of Freemasonry are many, and while Masonry is
    not organized for the purpose of charity, Blue Lodge Masonry does
    participate in many programs of a charitable nature. The appendant
    bodies of Freemasonry have gone to great lengths to establish and
    maintain institutions of a charitable nature.
    The Grand Lodge of Texas provides care for the widows and
    orphans of its members through the Royal Arch Texas Masonic
    Retirement Center and the Masonic Home and School. As a new
    Mason, you are encouraged to visit these facilities at your earliest convenience.
    our effort has not been to cover every detail. Space does not permit us
    to do so. Our purpose has been to furnish some basic information, and
    to that end we trust our purpose has been served.
    Our Masonic widows live at the Texas Masonic Retirement
    Center in Arlington; however, their expenses are born by the Masonic
    Home and School of Texas.
    An application must be completed and approved by the Lodge
    of which the deceased husband was a member. The vote of the Lodge
    may be at either a called or stated meeting. Facts not known by the
    Lodge may be certified by the Lodge nearest the residence of the
    The Board of Directors of the Masonic Home and School of
    Texas have established the following general requirements for admission
    of widows to the Royal Arch Texas Masonic Retirement Center.
    1 - Only the widow of a deceased Master Mason in good standing
    in a Texas Lodge at the time of his death will be admitted.
    2 - If married more than once, a widow's last husband must have
    been a Mason.
    3 - A widow whose age and physical condition are such that she
    can earn a living will not be admitted.
    4- If there is sufficient property to care for a widow, or if her children
    are able and willing to care for her, she will not be admitted.
    5 - Transportation to and from the Home must be provided without
    any expense to the Home.
    6 - Property owned by the widow must be assigned to the Masonic
    Home and School.
    7- Upon the death of a widow, the sponsoring Lodge is responsible
    for assisting with funeral expense only if there is a desire
    to be of assistance.
    The charity and service activities of the appendant bodies of
    Masonry are the direct application of that Masonic purpose "to cultivate
    the exercise of charity in its best and broadest sense and generally
    .... to promote the happiness of mankind."
    For information and literature, descriptiv,e of their particular
    charities or services, we suggest you contact each appendant body
    direct. You may address them as follows:
    1. The Eastern Star Home:
    A. Grand Secretary
    0 . E. S. Office Building
    1111 E. Division
    Arlington, Texas 76111
    2. Scottish Rite:
    A. Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
    2222 Welborn Street
    Dallas, Texas 75219
    B. Scottish Rite Dormitory
    210 W. 27th Street
    Austin, Texas 78705
    C. Texas Scottish Rite Education & Fellowship Program
    of Texas
    P. 0 . Box 3080
    Waco, Texas 76703
    D. The Lee Lockwood Texas Scottish Rite Library and
    2801 W. Waco Drive
    Waco, Texas 76710
    3. Shrine:
    A. Shrine Hospitals for Crippled Children and Burns
    Institutes. Contact any Recorder of any Shrine Temple
    or through a Shrine Club.
    4. York Rite:
    A. The Texas Masonic Retirement Center
    1501 West Division
    Arlington, Texas 76012
    B. The Knights Templar Eye Foundation
    P. 0. Box 296
    Waco, Texas 76703
    C. Knights Templar Education Foundation
    Masonic Temple
    P. 0. Box 1320
    Fort Worth, Texas 76101
    Texas Masons are justly proud of the many charitable organizations
    which are operated by members of the Masonic family in our
    state. All of them are made possible through the generosity of Masons
    and non-Masons who believe in what we are trying to accomplish.
    For your information, there are a number of methods which
    can be utilized to achieve the purpose of the gift. Some of these are:
    A Will; Outright Gifts; A Living Trust; A Term Trust or Life Insurance.
    If you are contracted by prospective donors to any of our charities
    the official names are as follows :
    Masonic Home and School of Texas
    P. 0. Box 15040
    Fort Worth, Texas 76119
    The TE;xas Masonic Retirement Center
    1501 West Division Street
    Arlington, Texas 76012
    Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children
    2222 W. Welborn Street
    Dallas, Texas 75219
    The Scottish RifA EduclltionJAsSOciation of Texas
    210 West 27th Street
    ; ]fQun®,tio'.J"•J•.k;rr·' ·
    . .
    . . ..
    P. Box 25356.
    Tampa, Florida 33623
    (If a donor be
    For - .
    _ ,
    . '.
    My Brother, we have briefly described and discussed Masonry
    as it relates to the Mason. We recognize and acknowledge the impossibility
    of being completely descriptive of your relationship to
    Masonry, and assure you that no such attempt was intended.
    We have endeavored to impress upon you a certain understanding
    which we trust will help you in your Masonic life.
    You have been reminded that attendance and participation in
    the activities of your Lodge is essential to Masonic growth and understanding.
    We have tried to define what Masonry is and what it does.
    We have also tried to define some things which Masonry isn't intended
    to be and doesn't do. The Masonic apron and emblem, and how to
    wear and display them, have been discussed.
    The Grand Lodge, its formation, purpose, basic structure and
    leadership have been briefly explained; as has the Constituent Lodge,
    and its structure, its Officers and their duties.
    The privileges and responsibilities of a Master Mason have
    been briefly outlined, and the Master Mason's privilege of Masonic
    burial has been brought to your attention.
    The appendant organizations whose membership is predicated
    upon your Masonic membership have been reviewed for your future
    possible consideration. Our Masonic charities have been touched
    upon, and your interest in them is a matter of your own conscience.
    And now, the future of your Masonic life is your choice. While we
    earnestly solicit your regular attendance and participation, we
    acknowledge that Masonry is to the Mason as he alone determines.
    With regard to Masonry and the Mason, we leave you
    with this thought: Proof of Masonic membership can be a current
    dues card carried in a man's pocket to be displayed upon
    request. Proof that a man is a Mason is carried in his heart,
    and is displayed by the life he lives. The life you live will
    reflect the lessons that have been taught you. You are admonished
    to practice out of the Lodge, those duties which you
    have been taught in it. Thus you will rightfully deserve the
    honor that has been conferred and merit the confidence of
    your Brethren.
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    Loring Registered User

    I haven't been accepted yet, but am very excited and anxious about joining.

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