TO THE LADY 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, 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
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 the
association 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 decline
and 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 early
settlers, 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
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
It is to be placed upon his 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
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, or
graveside only. Pallbearers will be furnished at the request of the
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 Lodge
Secretary's name appears on all dues cards. If you are unable to
contact the Secretary when needed, a call or letter to the Grand
Secretary, John E. Anagnostis, Masonic Temple, 415 Congress Street,
Portland, Maine 04010, will provide the information.
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 when
in 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
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