What Is Masonry?

Freemasonry in General

Freemasonry (or Masonry) is one of the world's oldest and largest secular fraternal organizations, whose members are concerned with moral and spiritual values. The necessary prerequisite for acceptance into the Masonic fraternity is the belief in a Supreme Being and membership is open to men of all races and religions who profess belief in deity and are of good repute. If what you read interests you, then check out our events page to see what we are up to.

Preamble to Freemasonry

Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society.

Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instruction.

It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit or for the financial benefit of any individual and it is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.

It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty. It is educational in that it teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon Sacred Law.

It is religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Volume of Sacred Law is open upon its altars whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.

It is a social organization only so far as it furnishes additional inducement that men may forgather in numbers, thereby providing greater opportunity for its primary work of education, worship and charity.

Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man. Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility, enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires them with that feeling of charity, or good will, toward all mankind which will move to translate principle and conviction into action.

To that end, it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice; fraternity and philanthropy; and enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil, religious and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any state in which he may be.

It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, country, sect and opinion may agree rather than by setting up a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions can assemble.

From the Preamble to the Constitution of the Grand Lodge, Free and Accepted Masons, of the District of Columbia, rev. May 2005

Key Tenets of Freemasonry

* Brotherly Love: A true Freemason ought to show tolerance and respect for the opinions of others and be kind to and understanding of his fellow human beings.
* Relief: Freemasons are taught to practice charity, not only for their own, but also for the community at large.
* Truth: Freemasons are taught to search for truth, requiring high moral standards and aiming to achieve them in their own lives.