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lunedì 16 maggio 2011

Becoming a Mason .

Becoming a Mason
Written by Office of the Grand Secretary
The Grand Lodge of the State of New York Becoming a Freemason can be one of the most significant events of your life. From the moment you become a Brother, you will feel immediate acceptance and Brotherly love. So where do you begin?

•Membership in a Masonic Lodge is open to all men 21 years of age or older — regardless of race, color, or religion. Our membership requirements are very clear:
•You must be of good character and reputation. You’ll have to provide evidence of living a positive life through references from at least one Mason and three other people.
•You must believe in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul. This belief is not proscribed — rather, we encourage you to be steadfast in the faith of your choice.

The First Steps
Start the process by completing a petition (application) for membership, which will be provided by the Lodge that you decide to join. It will look similar to this. Please do NOT print this sample petition as you will need to complete an official petition presented to you by the Lodge you wish to join. If you don’t know a Mason, just use the Lodge Locator to find a lodge near you — the Brothers will be happy to meet with you for an informational session.

The next step is to submit your petition to the Lodge you want to join. The petition is read in a Lodge meeting and referred to a committee (usually composed of three members). This committee then interviews you — usually right in your home, so that your family can ask any questions that they may have.

After the interview, the committee reports its findings to the Lodge, and a secret ballot is taken. If the vote is favorable, you’ll be notified by mail and you’ll be given a date to start the degree program.

The Degree Process
Our Fraternity’s private nature sometimes creates misconceptions about our “initiation ceremonies.” Rest assured that we are a moral institution whose tenets are Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love. Masonry teaches us to practice charity and benevolence, and to revere ordinances of — but not replace — any man’s religion. Quite simply, our Fraternity exists to make good men better.

Our three degrees are serious, educational, time-tested teachings. Each degree has a primary lesson. The first teaches us our duty to God. The second teaches us our duty to our neighbors. And the third degree teaches us our duty to ourselves.

To convey our teachings, we use ritual, ceremony, drama, lectures, and sometimes even musical accompaniment. You’ll work closely with a coach who will help you learn some of the key material in the Ritual. After completing the first and second degrees, you’ll be given an assessment to make sure you understand what you’ve just experienced.

Upon the completion of the third degree, you’ll become a Master Mason, and be eligible for all that Masonry has to offer you, which includes:

•Worldwide Brotherhood
•Male bonding
•Meaningful community service
•Camaraderie with other moral men
•Much more
It’s our sincere hope that you’ll consider becoming a Free and Accepted Mason, and sharing the feeling of friendship and Brotherly love that Freemasons have enjoyed from time immemorial.