What Do You Know About Masonry?


What Do You Know About Masonry?
GENERAL MASONIC QUESTIONS

When was the Mother Grand Lodge of England formed?
In 1717, in London.


Who was the first Grand Master of the Mother Grand Lodge?
Anthony Sayers, Gentleman.


When were the Constitutions first printed
In 1723.


How many lodges formed the Mother Grand Lodge?
Four.


What were their names?
They had no names in those days; they were simply "The Lodge meeting at
the Rummer and Grapes Tavern," "the Lodge meeting at the Goose and
Gridiron Tavern," etc.


What Presidents have been Masters of lodges?
George Washington, of Alexandria Lodge, Alexandria, Va., James Buchanan,
of Lodge No. 43, Lancaster, Pa., and Harry S. Truman, of Grandview Lodge
No. 618, of Missouri.


What President was a Grand Master!
Andrew Jackson. He was never a Master of a lodge, but was elected from
the floor of the Grand Lodge to be Grand Master of Tennessee, Harry S.
Truman, Grand Master of Missouri, 1940.


Who was William Morgan?
A renegade Mason who disappeared, and who was falsely said to have been
murdered by Masons because of his intention to publish an expose of
Masonic ritual.


What famous German poet was a Freemason?
Goethe, the author of many poems, including one on Freemasonry, the
first verse of which runs:


The Mason's ways are
A type of existence,
And his persistence
Is as the days are
Of men in this world.
The future hides in it
Gladness and sorrow;
We press still thorow
Naught that abides in it
Daunting us--onward.


What famous English architect was a Freemason?
Sir Christopher Wren., who built, among many other famous structures,
the great St. Paul's Cathedral, in London.


Name three famous American Revolutionary Day patriots who were Grand
Masters.
Paul Revere; General Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill, and Benjamin
Franklin.


Name the Presidents of the United States positively known to have been
Freemasons.
Washington, Monroe. Jackson, Polk, Buchanan, A. Johnson, Garfield,
McKinley, T. Roosevelt, Taft, Harding. Roosevelt, Truman, L B.
Johnson.(E.Ao only)


Was Thomas Jefferson a Freemason?
It is stated that he once visited the Lodge of the Nine Sisters, in
Paris, but there is no official record of his having been raised.


Was Lincoln a Freemason?
In his heart, yes. He was never raised in any lodge, so far as the
records show.


Is there a General Grand Lodge of the United States?
There is not. One was proposed in the early days of Freemasonry in this
country, and George Washington was approached as a possible General
Grand Master, but refused.


Will there ever be one?
Impossible to say what the future will bring forth, but the sentiment of
every American Grand Lodge is unalterably opposed to it. The Grand
Masters Conference is
on record against it. THE. MASONIC SERVICE ASSOCIATION has written into
its constitution a provision against it.


Would a uniform ritual in all Jurisdictions be desirable?
Had the ritual been uniform from the beginning it might have been
desirable. As all Jurisdictions have their own form of the ancient
ritual, any change now, looking toward uniformity, would be deplorable.
It would be resented by all who love the ritual of their own
Jurisdictions, and would inevitably lose many historic allusions and
connotations now preserved in the various rituals. All the rituals teach
the same lessons and impart the same knowledge, only the wording being
different. An attempt at uniformity would gain little, and might lose
much.


What is the meaning of the word "profane" as applied to a non-Mason?
Literally, "without the temple;" uninstructed, uninformed, ignorant of
Masonry, not a member of the Order. In this connection it does not
describe the non-Mason as a blasphemous person.


What is the meaning of the word Abif?
Literally, "His father." As used in the days of Solomon, "My father,"
meaning one having authority, an elder, a wise man looked up to. Hiram
Abif thus means "Hiram, my father," a man venerated for his wisdom and
his accomplishments.


Why do we call a Master "Worshipful?"
From the old English word "worchyp," meaning "greatly respected." In the
Wycliffe Bible, "Honor thy father and thy mother" is written, "Worchyp
thy fadir and thy modir." "Worshipful Master," then, does not mean
"Master to be worshipped," but "Master, greatly respected."


Why do we have a Grand Master, a Grand Lodge,instead of a Great Master, a Principal Lodge?
"Grand" here means first, or primary. It is also so used in grandfather,
or grand total; the first or principal father of the family; the
principal total.


Is a Worshipful Master obliged to wear a hat?
No. It is his privilege, and his alone, to remain covered in the lodge.
In ancient days the king or ruler remained covered, his subjects
removing their headgear as a sign of respect. Brethren remove their
headgear before entering a lodge as a sign of respect; the Master
remains covered to signify that*his position is that to which the
greatest respect should be paid. The bat is a symbol of his office. But
he is not obliged to wear it if he does not de sire to do so.


Why do Masons salute the Master on entering and retiring from lodge?
To avow before all the brethren that they remember their obligations; a
visible evidence that they recall what they promised and under what
penalties they are bound. In most Jurisdictions a Mason salutes before
casting his ballot, to signify that he does so with memory of his
obligations as Mason, and with the good of the Order and his lodge
uppermost in mind. The Master answers the salute to signify not only
recognition, but that- he stands upon the level with his brethren, bound
by the same tie which binds them.


Has a would-be visitor to the lodge who requests a Committee a right to
ask to see the Charter of the lodge?
He has the same right to ascertain that the lodge he would visit is
"legally constituted," as the lodge has to ascertain, by an examination
of his knowledge and his credentials, that he is a regular Mason.


Has a would-be visitor the right to demand a committee?
All affiliated Masons have the right to visit other lodges, provided
that right is not in conflict with the prerogative of the Master to
exclude from the lodge any brother whose presence, in his judgment,
would interfere with the peace and harmony of the meeting; or the right
of any brother of the lodge to object to the presence of a visitor with
whom he cannot sit in peace and harmony. A well-informed and courteous
visitor will not demand, but re quest a committee to examine him.


How many members must compose such a committee?
Unless the Grand Lodge has ruled a certain number, the committee may
consist of as many as the Worshipful Master desires to appoint. Two or
three are customary; a committee of one is not uncommon, although it is
a courtesy to the visiting brother to send out at least two.


Has the visitor the right to demand that the committee take the Tiler's
Oath with him?

A well-informed committee will not wait to be asked. The visitor has a
perfect right to hear the brethren who are to examine him on Masonry
state under oath that they, too, are regularly initiated, passed and
raised Masons.


Can a Master Mason sit in lodge without an apron?
He can. So can he keep his hat on in church. But he should not, if
aprons are available. A Mason is not properly clothed in lodge without
an apron. At a communication attended so largely as to use all the
aprons available, it would be unthinkable to exclude later comers who
would clothe themselves properly if they could. Most Master Masons, if
all the aprons are in use, will use a pocket handkerchief as a
substitute, merely as evidence to all that they know how a Mason should
be clothed.


Should a lodge bury an Entered Apprentice or a Fellowcraft with Masonic
Honors?
Mackey states that the right of Masonic burial is one possessed only by
Master Masons. Preston, the author of the original Masonic burial
service, says in his "Illustrations of Masonry:" "No Mason can be
interred with the formalities of the Order unless it be at his own
special request, communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which he
died a member; foreigners and sojourners excepted; nor unless he has
been advanced to the third degree of Masonry, from which restriction
there can be no exceptions. Fellow Crafts or Apprentices are not
entitled to the funeral obsequies."


May a brother appeal from the decision of the Master to the Lodge?
He may not. If he attempts such an appeal, a well-informed Master will
rule him out of order. Appeal from the Master's acts and decisions lies
to his Grand Lodge or the Grand Master ad interim. The Master's
decisions on all that occurs in his lodge are final, until re versed by
the Grand Master or the Grand Lodge. In some jurisdictions appeal on
some matters may be made to the District Deputy, and his decision
overrules that of the Master, but may in turn be overruled by the Grand
Master or the Grand Lodge.


Can a lodge adjourn?
No. A lodge must always be in one of three conditions: at labor, at
refreshment, or closed. Nor can a lodge dictate to the Master when the
lodge must be opened or closed. A Master cannot legally open his lodge
before the stated time, but can open it as much later as he chooses; he
has the sole power of calling special communications, and can close any
communication at any time.


Is it permissible to offer a motion to lay on the table!
It is not. The Master has complete control of debate. He may initiate
it, curtail it and close it, at his pleasure. No motion which curtails
his power to control and limit debate should ever be offered. If
offered, the well informed Master will decline to put it.


Where can information similar to that conveyed in these questions and
answers be readily obtained?
From the code, by-laws and Constitution of the Grand Lodge; from the
ritual and manual of the degrees; from hundreds of fine Masonic books.
The invaluable Mackey's Jurisprudence, the Little Masonic Library, and a
good Masonic encyclopedia are all excellent sources.