Being a Freemason is an honor, not only because it’s the world’s oldest and largest fraternal organization – one that for centuries attracted many famous members – but because it helps individuals grow by seeking knowledge, personal fulfillment, and spiritual enlightenment. Masons are individuals from all walks of life who are devoted to their families and communities and dedicated to the Craft they spend their lifetime studying.
According to its classic definition, Masonry is a “system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols.” To non-Masons that may sound confusing, but in reality it translates into a group benevolent individuals who get together for social and charitable events while at the same time learning about the true spirit and history of the fraternity.
Contrary to popular belief, Masonry is not a religion or a cult, though one of the Brotherhood’s primary requirements is a belief in a Supreme Being. The Craft is nonsectarian and open to all individuals who wish to learn more about themselves and others, and work to make the world a better place for themselves, their families, and society as a whole. Masons are seekers of knowledge who study the history of the Craft and rise to various levels by taking part in historic rites and rituals. In truth, there’s nothing mysterious about Freemasonry, which has for centuries been burdened with the dubious title “secret society.” Save for a few modes of distinction among Brothers, most everything there is to know about the Craft can be found in books and on the internet.
What most people don’t realize is that Masonry, despite all the various appendant and concordant bodies that are open to men, also includes many organizations that are open to women, young adults, and children, including Order of the Eastern Star, Daughters of the Nile, Order of the Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters, and the Order of the DeMolay.
All of the organizations - both national and international – that comprise the Masonic family are dedicated to charitable causes, whether they are local or global. Some groups, like the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, commonly known as Shriners, are highly revered for their tireless charitable contributions. Every day millions of dollars are given to charity by various Masonic organizations in the hope of making life easier for those in need.
The study of Freemasonry is a fascinating journey through history from the construction of King Solomon’s Temple to the legend of Hiram Abiff, and the eloquent Knights Templar. Our rituals and initiation rites are replete with symbolism that pays homage to our antiquity and the hardworking masons of the Medieval Age. But as anyone who is part of the Craft can attest, the basis for Masonry is friendship that endures no matter the circumstances or surroundings. That, coupled with the fact that the Brotherhood is enveloped in history, and perhaps a touch of mystery, makes the Masonic journey an enlightening experience that is shared by all who choose to join.
From The Everything Freemasons Book by John K. Young, PH.D., and Barb Karg
Overseas Lodge Meets the second Tuesday of every month except July and August.
Dinner Starts at 6pm
Meeting starts at 7pm
Annual: Veterans Day
Overseas Lodge #40
2115 Broad St
Cranston, RI 02905
P: (401) 365-4116
2115 Broad St
Cranston, RI 02905