NEW HAMPSHIRE FREEMASONS TO OPEN DOORS TO PUBLIC
Freemasons locally and around the Granite State will open their Lodge doors to the general public, on Saturday, October 17, 2015, giving visitors a firsthand look into the mysteries of the world’s oldest, largest and most talked about fraternity.
Master Masons representing 63 Lodges from Portsmouth to Colebrook will be on hand from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m. to greet all comers, discuss the history of Freemasonry, answer questions and give guided tours to explain the significance of Lodge furniture, ornaments, jewels and working tools used in private Masonic ceremonies. The charitable aspects of Freemasonry will also be addressed, but not the fraternity’s deepest secrets, which only members can know and share.
Members hope the open and congenial atmosphere of the Fall Open House will help dispel rumors, misinformation and fanciful ideas that have dogged Freemasonry for decades and are perpetuated in media by the success of books and movies like DaVinci Code and The Lost Symbol.
Despite its tantalizing mythos as a secret cult, Freemasonry is a family-oriented, community-centered service organization that seeks to improve the quality of men’s lives as it promotes social well-being through its charitable programs and civic-minded members, according to Most Worshipful John F. Gordon, Grand Master of New
Hampshire’s 5,800 Masons.
“The people hosting this event are the people of our communities,” Gordon said. “We live, work and play like everyone else, share the same concerns as everyone else, share the same hopes for our kids as everyone else and want what’s best for our communities, just like everyone else,” Gordon said.”
“Our times demand that people have a chance to see for themselves what’s behind our closed doors and to get a sense of the genuine passion Masons share for the social and spiritual values they embrace.”
All are welcome and encouraged to visit a Lodge near them for an insider’s look at the world’s largest and oldest fraternity. While Masons are forbidden to overtly solicit candidate members, the fraternity is open to qualified men at least 18 who are deemed to be of good character, believe in a single deity and desire to become even better men.
To find a local Masonic Lodge, visit http://www.nhgrandlodge.org/find-a-lodge.
More About Freemasons
Freemasons have been active in their communities for centuries, living in accordance with the Masonic principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Freemasonry has existed in New Hampshire since 1735, and many of the state’s leading
have been Freemasons.
The fraternity’s charitable activities are many and varied: the Shrine Hospitals for Children, support of medical research, scholarships, programs for child identification and combating drug abuse, the Scottish Rite Learning Centers, and quiet, local charity. Freemasons are committed to helping those who are less fortunate, and in the process hope to build a better, safer and happier world.
Freemasonry traces its official history to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717, but is generally regarded to have evolved from the cathedral builders of the 1400’s and their proprietary system of stone mason guilds.
Some writers maintain that Freemasonry’s roots as a speculative, or symbolic craft, reach back even to the construction of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem and beyond, although historians have not convincingly documented this.
While it has been labeled a “secret society” and an organization bent on controlling minds, Freemasonry is a generally well regarded organization of men who by their own free wills choose to study and practice the Masonic system of social and moral virtues veiled in allegory and illustrated with symbols.
Certain aspects of its Lodge ceremonies are considered proprietary and not discussed publically, but are hardly secret when one considers that virtually the entire canon of Masonic ritual is published to and available from internet sources.
Masonic membership is predicated on an avowed belief in a single unifying God, although it promotes no particular religious points of view, offers no plans for salvation and strictly forbids discussions of religion and politics during its official gatherings.