How It's Said When Speaking Friend-to-Friend

It's not just the friend who is invited to a lodge's Friend-to-Friend program who has a memorable experience. Brethren who have "been there, done that" are quick to say that they had a great time and learned as much as those who were not Masons.

Here is the suggested presentation provided by the Committee for Operation Rescue/Recovery. You will find it interesting and educational and it will equip you with guidelines for your conversations about Freemasonry with your worthy friends.

All these men, whom I call "Brothers," have a belief in a Supreme Being and have become members of our lodge by asking for a petition for membership from a man who was already a member and would agree to recommend him for membership. The recommender then presented the petition at a stated meeting of the lodge. The petitioner was then voted upon by the membership and, if the vote was unanimous, he then gained full membership by receiving the three Masonic degrees at lodge meetings over a period of several months. Every Mason has experienced those degrees and it was during those degrees that we were all taught the principles of Freemasonry.

Like all organizations, we need money to operate and to help fund the various charities that we support. That money comes from annual dues and from an initial application fee from men who desire to become members. Of that initial fee, $100 goes to our Grand Lodge in Philadelphia and $5 goes to the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Fund.

Our Masonic lodge is . . . chartered, by the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, headquartered in Philadelphia. The state is divided into 59 Districts, each consisting of six to 10 lodges, and a District Deputy Grand Master is in charge. (If the District Deputy Grand Master is present, he should be introduced to discuss the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and the Family of Freemasonry. He also should provide the Internet address of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania: www.pagrandlodge.org.)

Now, we will show you a video about Freemasonry in Pennsylvania entitled "Tools of the Craft." It should answer many of the questions you might have about the Masons. The brethren will be glad to address other questions after the video.

It is very important for you to know that as Masons we are not permitted to ask or solicit you to join this organization. We are permitted to tell you about what Freemasonry is, what Freemasons believe, and what they do. However, men who desire to become members must seek that membership on their own by asking a member of the Masonic Lodge to recommend them.

I would encourage you to take the packet of material that has been made available, read it, and share it with your family members. In particular, I recommend that you read the "Friend-to-Friend" brochure If, after reading that material, you have any questions or desire to know more about Freemasonry, your friend who invited you will be pleased to answer your questions or obtain the answers for you. [Note: Petition forms are not to be included in the packets or distributed. A person must ask to be recommended.]

Now, if you will rise, we will be led in a closing prayer.

I am the Worshipful Master of the Lodge. I want to thank our members for attending and I am especially pleased that they have extended the invitation to you, their valued friends, to join with us for this Friend-to-Friend Program. Our hope is that both the members and guests will find this to be a rewarding experience. Before we proceed, I have asked our Chaplain to offer an invocation.

The purpose . . . (is to) explain to you what Freemasonry is, who Freemasons are, what they believe, and what they do. The Masonic lodge that meets here, elects and installs officers annually to run the meetings, and conducts the necessary business. I was elected to be in charge of the lodge for this year and was given the title of Worshipful Master. You might think of me as the president. The other officers . . . are the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden, the Secretary, etc.

Those brethren assist me in conducting the business, (such as) paying bills, receiving income, voting on petitions for membership, etc. The only difference between our meetings and those of most other organizations is that we tend to be a bit more formal in how our business is conducted.

You may have noticed that I referred to these men as "Brothers." We are all "Brothers" in the Lodge. "Brother" is the title we give to every man when he becomes a member of the Masonic Fraternity.

Our meetings are conducted in this room. As Worshipful Master, I preside . . . in the East. The Senior Warden is in the West, the Junior Warden in the South, and the Secretary and Treasurer to the right and left of the Master. The other officers are located around the room. (There is) an altar upon which is The Holy Bible -- the rule of our faith and a guide to our actions.

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