FAQ’s about freemasonry

Why Become a Mason?
There are many personal benefits to becoming a Mason, and the rewards can be different for each person. But all Masons share a common goal: making good men better. Only individuals believed to be of the finest character are favorably considered for membership.

What are the requirements to join?
A man, of good repute, and well recommended, 21 or older, living in the locality of 6 months or more, recommended by two Masons, no criminal record and a belief in God.

What is the application process?
Masons cannot invite you to join. It must be of your own freewill. You should visit some Lodges and get to know some of the men who are Masons in your area. You must fill out a petition for the degrees. Candidates for the degrees must be voted by 100% vote of the Lodge members present. Again, only individuals believed to be of the finest character are favorably considered for membership.

What are degrees?
Degrees are similar to a multi-act play, in which you play a key part by your attendance and your heartfelt desire to become a Mason. Degrees teach very beautiful lessons using a system of symbols and allegories. There is never any hazing or poor taste in the degrees. They are majestic and the Masons who work hard to exemplify the degrees never demean them.

What happens at a lodge meeting?
The meeting, which like those of other groups, are open only to members, is normally in two parts. First, there are normal administrative procedures such as: Minutes of the previous meeting, proposing and balloting for new members, discussing and voting on the annual accounts, Masonic news and correspondence, news about charitable work, etc. Second, there are ceremonies for: admitting new members, the annual installation of the Master of the Lodge and his officers.

Why do Freemasons take oaths?
New members make solemn promises concerning their behavior both in the Lodge and in society. Members also promise to keep confidential the way they recognize each other when visiting another Lodge. Freemasons also promise to support others in time of need but only as far as it does not conflict with their family and public obligations.

Are Freemasons expected to give preference to fellow members?
Certainly not. This would be unacceptable and may lead to action being taken against those involved. On joining, each new member states that he expects no material gain from membership.

Who do the Masonic charities donate to?
Whilst there are Masonic charities that cater specifically, but not exclusively, for Masons or their dependents, others make significant grants to non-Masonic organizations.

Are you a religion?
Emphatically not. Freemasonry does not try to replace religion or substitute for it. It deals in a man’s relationship with his fellowman not in a man’s relationship with his God.

Why do some churches not like Freemasonry?
There are elements within churches who misunderstand Freemasonry and its objectives. They confuse secular rituals with religious liturgy. There are many Masons in churches where their leaders have been openly critical of the organization. Masonry has always actively encouraged its members to be active in their own religion.

Does Freemasonry accept Roman Catholics?
Yes. In fact, majority of Masons in the Philippines are Catholics. In Spain and other Catholic countries, majority of Masons are also Catholics. There are even Mason Catholic Priests in many countries and there are also non-mason Catholic Priests allowing their relatives to join Freemasonry.

Is Freemasonry a political pressure group?
Definitely not. Freemasonry as a body will never express a view on politics or state policy. The discussion of politics at Masonic meetings has always been prohibited.

Is Freemasonry an international order?
Freemasonry exists throughout the world. Each Grand Lodge, however is sovereign and independent. As earlier mentioned, a Grand Lodge is the administrative body in charge of Freemasonry in some geographical area or jurisdiction. Local organizations of Masons are called Lodges. There is no international governing body for Freemasonry.

Why do you not have women members?
Freemasonry, following the example of medieval stonemasons, has always been restricted to men. Women who wish to become members have two separate Grand Lodges restricted to women. The Masonic Family however includes Masons as well as organizations for their ladies, couples and youth.

Why do you wear regalia?
Wearing is historic and symbolic. Like a uniform, the regalia indicates the rank of the wearer in the organization.

How many Freemasons are there?
Worldwide there are approximately six million members. Under the United Grand Lodge of England, there are approximately 330,000 Freemasons. There are Grand Lodges in Ireland, which covers both North and the South, and Scotland with a combined total of 150,000 members. The USA has approximately four million members. In the Philippines, it is estimated to be somewhere between 10,000 to 15,000.

How does it cost to be a Freemason?
It varies from Lodge to Lodge. Anyone wishing to join will find a Lodge to suit his pocket. There is an initiation fee on entry. In this Lodge, entry fee is P7,000.00 inclusive of degree fees, GLP and local annual dues for the current year. In support to the Traveler’s Kit program of the GLP, the Lodge orders for this in behalf of and charge to the account of the newly obligated Brother. It costs P999.00. In this Lodge, a petitioner can pay initially the amount of P4,000.00 to cover the degree fees required by GLP then may pay the balance of P3,000.00 at P1,000.00 before every degree conferral. A stated meeting is normally followed by a fellowship, the cost depending on the venue. There is in addition, an annual dues. Members are invited to give to charity but this should always be within their means and it is entirely up to the individual how much they wish to contribute.