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





        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.




        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



        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

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, 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.




        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.





        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