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Freemasons must never forget -- certainly never abandon -- their Fraternity's unique history, tradition, protocol, and pride that have been nurtured, protected, and passed Brother-to-Brother from generation to generation for nearly three centuries. History, tradition, protocol, and pride are more than nostalgia; they are landmarks that bond Freemasons into the greatest Fraternity ever known.

Why are some Masonic Lodge buildings called "Temples" and others called "Halls" or "Centers"?

In Pennsylvania, a Masonic building used exclusively to house a Masonic lodge or a number of lodges, and in some cases shared with authorized appendant Masonic bodies, can be designated as a "Masonic Temple." Masonic buildings which include stores, offices, or other commercial space cannot be designated a "Masonic Temple", but rather a "Masonic Hall." The term "Masonic Center" is a modern term that has come into wider use in recent years to name buildings that house one or more Masonic lodges and one or more appendant Masonic bodies. (Source: Digest of Decisions, Art. 62, Grand Lodge of PA)

What do A.D. and A.L. mean and why?

A.D. is the abbreviation of "Anno Domini," meaning "in the year of our Lord" and is the Christian method of designating the number of years following the birth of Jesus Christ. Freemasons' nomenclature in this respect comes from the old belief (entirely erroneous) that the world was created 4,000 years before Christ and therefore indicates the date as 4,000 years plus the current year, for instance 2000 A.D. or 6000 A.L. The abbreviation of "Anno Lucis," means "in the year of Light." (Source: Masonic Questions & Answers, compiled by the Office of Masonic Education, Grand Lodge of PA, 1999)

What is the distinction between due form and ample form?

A lodge is opened and closed by its Worshipful Master "in due form," meaning according to the ancient usages and customs, the laws and ritual, of its Grand Lodge. When a Grand Master opens and closes a Grand Lodge (or a subordinate lodge) he is said to do so in "ample form." In some Jurisdictions, such as the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, a Grand Master may shorten the common ritual to save time, but his power and authority are "ample" to accomplish his purpose, regardless of the manner in which he does it. (Source: Emessay Notes, The Masonic Service Association of North America, April 2000)

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