Masonry, also known as Freemasonry, is the oldest and largest fraternity in the world. There is no other organization where a man can walk into a room full of strangers, anywhere on the face of the earth, and immediately be welcomed and honored as a friend and as a Brother. It has been estimated that over 100,000 books have been written about it and although we certainly can’t replicate all of that knowledge here (though we wish we could!), our website has been designed to provide you with a wide variety of information. Obviously, we’ll be telling you about Freemasonry in our own state of Vermont but we’ll also attempt to address the most common questions one might have about our organization.
Freemasonry has no regard for differences in a person’s race, color, creed or station in life. Its history and traditions date from antiquity. It has two purposes: first to inspire its members to live by the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth, and, second, to join its members in the endeavor to build a world where justice, equality, and compassion shine forth in the happiness of all human kind. While its moral philosophy is founded upon religious principles, it is not a religion nor a substitute for one. It does not solicit membership but welcomes men who have good morals and who profess a belief in a Supreme Being. Any man sincerely desirous of serving humanity only needs to ask a member in order to receive a petition for membership.
When a man asks to join a Masonic Lodge, he enters into an opportunity for personal development, character building, and the acquisition of leadership capacities. Through his Masonic journey and his association which his brethren, a Mason learns the skill and finds the understanding with which he can enhance his community and strengthen his family.
Much of the structure of the Masonic Fraternity is modeled on the medieval guilds of stone masons who constructed the magnificent cathedrals in Europe during the middle ages. Similarly, a great deal of modern Freemasonry’s moral symbolism draws from the art and science of these builders. Much the same as these master workmen labored to build an expression of a community’s faith, so Freemasons today labor within their communities to make them a finer place to live. While our earliest Masonic documents date from the close of the thirteenth century, present Masonic practice and structure emerged some three hundred years ago when lodges of masons began to accept men of prominence and learning who were not stone masons. In 1717, four lodges in England met and formed the first Grand Lodge with a Grand Master at its head. Freemasonry came to Vermont in 1791 and today there are some 89 lodges in the Green Mountain State.
Since its beginnings in Vermont, Freemasons have been active in promoting education, supporting stronger communities and practicing charity. This proud tradition continues through a wide range of community betterment programs, and most especially our Vermont C.A.R.E. program. Perhaps the civic service of Freemasonry to our communities is in no place more clearly evident than the laying of the cornerstones of public buildings. In this ceremony, Freemasonry reminds itself and all citizens of the moral convictions and dedication to others which are necessary to any well ordered and compassionate society.
Want to know more about our organization? Browse our site and then feel free to ask any questions you might have!