The Masonic Society

 I have followed the genesis of this organization for almost a year now and on February 13th I took the leap of faith and joined. The impetus was a message on the home page of the society that stated that Feb. 13th was the last day one could join and be considered a “founding member”. So what is The Masonic Society you ask? Well from their own website:

“A significant group of passionate Masons are coming together to create what aims to be nothing less than the premier North American research society in Freemasonry. Called simply The Masonic Society, we are gathering together brothers who have a deep and abiding desire to seek knowledge, explore history, discover symbolism, debate philosophies, and in short, who will be at the forefront of charting a path for the future of Freemasonry.

As a student of Freemasonry, you are invited to join with us in the formation of this new and exciting organization.

Our name, The Masonic Society, intentionally alludes to the Royal Society, the innovative organization of visionary men who were at the forefront of the Age of Enlightenment, many of whom were present at the formation of what became modern Freemasonry. Likewise, our new Society will be at the forefront of a new age of Freemasonry, and we intend to be a vibrant, active community within the fraternity.

The goal of The Masonic Society is not just to look backward at the history of Freemasonry, but to foster the intellectual, spiritual and social growth of the modern Masonic fraternity.

To that end, The Masonic Society extends the hand of assistance and cooperation to individual Masonic research lodges in North America. It is the desire of The Masonic Society to be a partner with these lodges, to give their members the regular opportunity to publish their papers for an international audience, and to publicize their activities.

The Masonic Society is also forging a special relationship with those bodies that meet annually during Masonic Week, as well as the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar and the George Washington Masonic National Memorial Association. While not designed as a York Rite-specific research group, The Masonic Society encourages examination of this branch of Freemasonry.”

After reading many papers in the past year to understand Masonry and find my place in it, I have found that the pursuit of knowledge in Freemasonry is a lifetime goal. I am determined to know and pass on everything I learn along the way. The mission statement, if you will, brings with it a renewal in modern day enlightenment for those interested in attaining it. In the paper “Laudable Pursuit” by The Knights of the North a new resurgence of regaining Freemasonry’s legendary status seems to be on the rise. “This new generation of members wants to associate with something ancient, something mythical, something legendary; with a group that has been the fraternity of the greatest of men for three centuries; with a fraternity that is worldwide in its scope, and universal in its welcoming of all faiths and all races; with a local lodge that helps the family next door and the school down the street; with a group that once was at the forefront of issues that shaped this country and – arguably – was the crucible that gave birth to the American Revolution because they were men of action and social conscience; with a fraternity that claims as its members the most imaginative minds and the most successful of men. That’s what they read about on the Internet and in books and see in movies and even comics. That’s the image they see and what they are looking for when they knock on our doors.” – Laudable Pursuit, pg.4.

Will the dinner dances and summer picnics come to an end? I sincerely hope not, for this fellowship is the cement that binds. We all know that the numbers of Masons is shrinking or at best stabilizing where they are today. Many believe that there should be no drives for memberships like the one day courses. Pros and cons of these types of programs aside it is the quality of the members that counts. Should a lodge initiate, pass and raise 10 brothers in 1 year and only 2 come to lodge on a regular basis and get involved in lodge activities; seems to be a typical theme. In my short tenure as a Mason and from the small fraction of Brothers I have met, a couple of them came through the one day classes.

This really didn’t start out as an essay on one day classes or anything other than a general observation of Freemasonry today and tomorrow. The one day class example is just that an example.

So back to the Masonic Society, I have to admit that becoming a founding member is a real thrill. I am looking forward to the lifetime of learning that is ahead of me and hope that I can transfer this to whomever may be interested in seeing this great fraternity grow.

Ex Tenebris Lux

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