What Do You Know About Masonry?

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?


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.A. 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.