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What is Freemasonry?

 Freemasonry is the world's oldest and largest fraternity. It is comprised of adult men (18+) of good character from every country, religion, race, age, income, education, and opinion, who believe in a Supreme Being. Its body of knowledge and system of ethics is based on the belief that each man has a responsibility to improve himself while being devoted to his family, faith, country, and fraternity.

Freemasonry (often simplified to “Masonry”) enhances and strengthens the character of the individual man by providing opportunities for fellowship, charity, education, and leadership based on the three ancient Masonic tenets: Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. The Massachusetts Grand Lodge is a crowning legacy of this venerable heritage as we strive to “make good men better.”

Tenets of Freemasonry: 

By attending Masonic Lodge meetings and learning from your fellow Masons, you’ll strengthen the bonds of fellowship as you join together with like-minded men who share ideals of both a moral and metaphysical nature. You’ll enjoy the friendship of other Masons in the community, and you’ll be welcomed as a “brother” by Masons everywhere in the world. Freemasonry also promises that should you ever be overtaken by misfortune, sickness, or adversity through no fault of your own, the hands of our great fraternity will be stretched forth to aid and assist you. 


From its earliest days, charity has been the most visible Masonic activity. Freemasons have always been devoted to caring for disadvantaged children, the sick and the elderly. In fact, Masons in North America give away approximately $3 million to national and local charities each day, of which more than 70% is directed toward the general public. Masons are also actively involved in a great deal of community volunteer work. 

The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has advocated the education of its members since its earliest years. Its ceremonies provide instruction to all members, supplemented by various other activities such as seminars, lectures, workshops, and reading. Because Freemasonry is an esoteric society, certain aspects of its work are not generally disclosed to the public. Freemasonry uses an initiatory system of degrees to explore ethical and philosophical issues, and the system is less effective if the observer knows beforehand what will happen. It is described in Masonic craft ritual as "a beautiful system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols." 

Freemasonry offers its members leadership opportunities at the lodge, District, and Grand Lodge level. As Freemasons progress through the Craft, they discover different aspects of themselves and develop a range of skills that even they might not have known they possessed. By developing leadership techniques that fit their personality, Masons unlock the door to their full potential. For more than 10 years the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts has sponsored the Masonic Leadership Institute for its members to strengthen leadership within our Fraternity and to contribute to the personal growth of Massachusetts Masons.

Frequently Asked Questions about Freemasonry

Is Freemasonry a Secret Society?

No. Freemasonry has publicly displayed buildings and our members are always willing to discuss their Masonic affiliation and the work we do.  Freemasons participate in public events such as parades and work publicly in charities in their local area. Our yearly installations of Officers are open to the public. Freemasons do keep many of their formal ceremonies private to preserve longstanding traditions.

Can I join Freemasonry?

Freemasonry is open to adult men of all races and religions. If you are interested in Masonic membership:

  • The three requirements for joining Masonry are simple:
    • you must be at least 18 years of age,
    • of good moral character,
    • and have a belief in a supreme being.
  • Masonry is open to men of all races and religions that meet the above age, moral, and belief requirements.
  • The Grand Lodge of Massachusetts does not have strict requirements governing exactly which Lodge (geographically speaking) within the state you must join. We generally recommend that you join a Lodge within reasonable driving distance of your work or home so that you can attend and enjoy Lodge frequently. If Littleton is not a reasonable distance from where you are, you can contact us and we can help you locate a Lodge closer to where you are.
  • Freemasonry is unique among organizations in that we exist only to promote brotherhood, moral behavior,  and perform charitable work. If you are interested in membership,  please contact us. We will set up a time where you can come in and meet with us to learn more about Freemasonry and Tahattawan Lodge.

Is Freemasonry a religion?

No. While Freemasons are encouraged to worship in the religious institution of their own choosing, and while Freemasons all must have a belief in a Supreme Being, Freemasonry is not a religion. In fact, one of the two issues that cannot be discussed in a Lodge is religion (The other is politics).

Why don't Masons discuss Religion or Politics in a Lodge?

Since the early days of Masonry, discussions of Religion or Politics have been prohibited. It is felt that these are subjects that tend to separate men, rather than bring them together. Since the Masonic fraternity prides itself on warm, harmonious relationships between members, we avoid any discussion of religion or politics.

If I choose to join, what will I encounter in the Masonic degrees?

Masonic degree ceremonies are like plays that are performed by the Officers of the Lodge for the candidates. The degree ceremonies are intended to teach lessons of friendship, morality, charity, and Brotherly love. There is never anything  embarrassing or intimidating to the candidate in any of the ceremonies.

I have heard that Masons take an "obligation" - what is this obligation?

Masons take an obligation to help fellow Masons to the best of their ability. However, whenever this obligation is mentioned it is always preceded with a statement wherein the Mason acknowledges that obligations to his God, his country, his neighbor, his family, and himself come first, before Masonry.

I have other questions about Freemasonry. How can I get them answered?

We're happy to answer any of your questions. Just contact us and we will respond to you by email, US Mail, or telephone, per your preference.

Please sign our Guest Book of you'd like more information or are interested in becoming a Mason

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