NEW HAMPSHIRE MASONS TO OPEN DOORS TO PUBLIC
Members of Masonic Lodges here and around the Granite State will open the doors to their sacred retreats, Saturday, October 15th, to give community members a birds-eye look at who Freemasons really are and what they do.
New Hampshire Masons hope their statewide Open House, involving 63 Masonic Lodges from Portsmouth to Colebrook, will heighten public awareness of Freemasonry, its people, charitable work and community-based activities. At the same time, they want their accurate information to dispel the rumors, misinformation and fanciful ideas that have persisted for decades and are perpetuated in media by the success of books and movies like DaVinci Code and The Lost Symbol.
“We are the largest and oldest fraternity in the world and we do preserve certain secrets pertaining to our rituals, but that’s insignificant when one considers the people hosting this event are the very real people of our own local communities and anything but secretive,” said Most Worshipful John F. Gordon, Grand Master of New Hampshire’s 5,600 Masons.
“We live, work and play like everyone else, share the same concerns for our kids, like everyone else and work to make our communities better places to live, just like everyone else. We have been an active and important part of the community for many years. The times, Gordon added, demand that people have a chance to see for themselves what’s “behind our closed doors and to have a sense of the genuine passion we Masons share for the social and spiritual values we embrace.”
Masonic Lodges across the state will open promptly at 9 a.m. and remain open until 3 p.m. Member Masons at Lodges in their own communities will be on hand to answer questions and give guided tours to explain the significance of Lodge furniture, ornaments, jewels and working tools used in private Masonic ceremonies.
Everyone is welcome. Brochures will be available, together with additional information. The fraternity promotes friendship, fellowship and kinship, offering a range of activities for personal development, community service, civic leadership and social, family-oriented fun.
To find a local Masonic Lodge, visit http://www.nhgrandlodge.org/find-a-lodge/ or contact Bill Sawyer, at 603 557-3576, firstname.lastname@example.org for location details.
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 men 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.
The fraternity 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 by some as a “secret society”, an anti-religious cult, 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 are 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 point of view, offers no plan for salvation and strictly forbids discussions of religion and politics during its official gatherings.