What is a Mason?
Freemasons are men who voluntarily seek admission to a lodge, are accepted because they were tested and found to be of good moral character, with a belief in the Devine, and uphold high moral, personal, and ethical standards. They participate and desire to participate with like-minded individuals in learning what Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth truly mean, practicing these tenants both within the lodge, and in their various communities. Freemasons are people from all walks of life, from college students to Presidents. Men from all walks have petitioned and received the degrees of the fraternity and have attended and served side by side with others who have elected to do the same. Membership is Freemasonry is not a secret, as many Masons proudly wear pins or rings proclaiming their fellowship. There are no secrets in Freemasonry, except for the most initiatic of rituals in the quest for light, and even those are not secret in their activity, but rather in their deeper meanings. The lessons learned in Freemasonry are openly shared with wives, friends, coworkers and anyone who seeks their meaning on what the great fraternity is about. But, Freemasons are neither boastful nor indolent in its virtues and do not squander their opportunities to impart wisdom whenever possible. Practical duties of charity are planned for and carried out, personally and within a lodge. And lastly, but most importantly, the bonds of fidelity and brotherly love are practiced within the lodge and without towards all brothers and non-brothers alike, but with special consideration to brother Master Masons, wherever they may be. The Process: The petition will be taken to a lodge meeting where a committee will review the character of the applicant. That committee will often visit the applicant in his home, talk with his family and verify his personal history. Only men of good report are accepted in this fraternity. Based upon the committee findings the petition will then be balloted upon by all members present as to whether the candidate should be accepted. If the applicant is accepted, he will be notified as to the date, time and location on which he will receive the first of three separate degrees. Each degree entails certain inalienable rights and privileges. Suitable proficiency must be attained in each degree before advancement. These first three degrees are the most important for they are the foundation upon which this institution rests. Much will be committed to memory, such as the working tools of each degree, oaths, modes of recognition, etc. The tools of the early builders have remained as symbols to allegorically help masons understand and remember the teachings of the fraternity. Through the strengthening of the individual’s character, Masonry seeks to improve the community and to make good men become better through belief in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man and the immortality of the soul. We meet regularly in many different communities throughout New York State, United States of America and the World.