TO THE PARTNER AND FAMILY OF A MASON:
A man in your family is now a member of the Masonic Fraternity. This will undoubtedly raise some questions in your mind,
and we hope the following will be helpful in answering those questions.
You are now a Mason's Lady or Partner, and we take this opportunity to extend our first greeting to you. While you personally have
not joined our organization, there are certain things that may be helpful for you to know in the future. At the same time, there are
matters of general interest about you Mason and his new organization.
WHEN & WHERE DID IT BEGIN?
The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons is the oldest,
largest and most widely-known fraternal organization
in the world. It has its roots in antiquity, and is directly descended from theassociation of "operative masons," the cathedral
builders of the Middle Ages who traveled through Europe employing the secrets and skills of their crafts. The organization,
as we know it today, began in 1717 in England when cathedral building was on the declineand the "operative masons" or
"free masons," as the known, started to accept as members those who were not members of the masons'craft, calling them
"speculative masons" or "accepted masons"
Freemasonry was brought to the United States by our earlysettlers, and Benjamin Franklin, in an early newspaper
published by him, referred to a Lodge of Freemasons being in existence in Philadelphia in 1730.
We now have in Maine 200 Lodges with a membership totaling over 36,000. Throughout the world,
there are approximately 5 million Masons, with over 3 million of them being in the United States as members of
Lodges under the jurisdiction of 50 Grand Lodges. Masonry is not, contrary to common belief, a "secret society,
" but rather a "society with secrets." If it were a secret society, Masons would not wear Masonic jewelry of publicly
mark their many Halls. Masonry does have many traditions and customs which, of course, are known only to its members.
WHAT DOES FREEMASONRY MEAN TO A MEMBER?
It would be difficult to summarize in a brief space all that a Mason learns through his membership. But briefly,
Freemasonry encourages a member to apply to his daily living the broad, general principles of morality.
Membership is limited to adult manes who can meet the recognized qualifications and standards of character and
reputation. Freemasonry does not interfere with duties that a man owes to God, his country, his neighbor, his family, or
himself; but rather, by learning to understand, to live o practice the fundamental precepts of the organization, he has an
opportunity for self-improvement. It helps a good man become a better man, a better father, husband, brother or son.
During the ceremonies of his initiation, each Mason is presented with a white leather apron. It is, to him, an emblem of
innocence and the badge of a Mason. It has, in all ages, been cherished by the rich, the poor, the high and the low. It is his
for life. He will never receive another one and has, therefore, been cautioned to take it home and instructed in its care. While
perfectly satisfactory for him to do so if he desires, he need not bring it to Lodge,
as linen aprons are provided for his use during meetings.
It is to be placed upon him at his death if his nearest living relative so chooses. Its moral application is explained to
a Mason during its presentation. Its physical usage is now revealed to you.
Any member who was in good standing at the time of his death is entitled to a Masonic funeral if he or his family
requests it. Such a request should be made to the Master of his Lodge who will make the necessary arrangements
with the family, the mortuary, and the minister.
A service is authorized by the jurisdiction in which you are located, and consists of participation at the mortuary,
the beginning at the mortuary and the closing at the graveside, orgraveside only. Pallbearers will be furnished at the
request of the family. In general, the Lodge will do as much or as little as the nearest relative wishes it to do.
LET US KNOW
Contacting the Lodge is not a difficult matter.
The phone number of Harmonia Masonic Lodge is 561-640-9115
In the event our member becomes ill, we want to know. Again, the same method of notifying us can be used as explained above.
In the past, members have fallen ill without our knowing it and their loved ones have been displeased with us for a seeming act
of disregard, then in fact we have been unaware of the problem. Your Mason has joined an organization who wants to assist
him whenin need, and we need your help to do it.
Lodges meet in regular monthly sessions and on such other days as are necessary to conduct its business and ritualistic work.
While every Mason's attendance is solicited, it is not intended that a Lodge should interfere with one's regular vocation or
duty to family, God or country.
Your Mason has invested time and money in joining our order and for years to come will be paying annual dues. He can best
receive all that is his by frequently participating in deliberations and events. We hope that you will approve and encourage
him to attend regularly, and we hope that you, will join us whenever possible.
In the years to come, it is reasonable to assume that at some time while you are accompanying your Mason, someone will
address him as "Brother." Brother is neither a sentimental nor familiar form of address, but is a title, a distinction and an honor,
indicating that he has been recognized by another Mason.
Brother is a title dating back to ancient times and is used in place of Mister or a similar title to which one is entitled by
virtue of his station in life. In Masonry, all men are equal, as no man is regarded for his worldly wealth or honor, and all
distinctions are cast away.
ARE THERE MASONIC-ORIENTED ORGANIZATIONS WHICH MEMBERS OF THE FAMILY MAY JOIN?
There are several groups to which ladies related to Master Masons may apply for membership if they desire. But
this is entirely optional. If there are children in the family, they may find interests in Masonic-oriented youth groups whose
teachings of patriotism and love of family will, we are sure, be pleasing to you.
Across the nation is a network of Masonic Service Association Officers. If, while traveling, dire need of aid should arise,
consult the telephone directory of a major city for the number. If none is listed, a local Lodge will be able to
make connections for you.
The Grand Lodge has established a blood bank and you and your Mason are protected, should the need arise. You
are both encouraged to support this program whenever possible. The gift of blood is called the gift of life.
We hope you have found this information helpful, and that it will assist you in better understanding your
Mason's role in life. We urge you to save it as a reference whenever questions arise.