How Freemasons Work
Lodge meetings are held regularly (often monthly) and like any organisation there is a business element with minutes, accounts and plans for forthcoming events and charity activities to be addressed and discussed amongst members. Lodge meetings are also ceremonial and involve a series of formalized and symbolic presentations (similar to short plays) that use drama to highlight the codes of conduct by which a Freemason strives to live.
Freemasons have a traditional mode of dress which is worn during meetings. Wearing regalia is historical and symbolic and, like a uniform, serves to indicate to members where they rank in the organisation.
The final part of the meeting usually involves members sharing an enjoyable meal together.
Apart from these meetings, most Lodges organize regular social activities for families and friends, such as dinners, sports days and picnics.
Freemasonry offers men an opportunity to develop insights into philosophical ideals, which espouse the cardinal virtues of prudence, temperance, fortitude and justice. Prudence is to help us make the right decisions; temperance keeps us on the straight and narrow; fortitude promotes self-confidence and strong self-esteem; and justice provides us with guidance in life.
Members are also provided with training in self-development, which includes public speaking, mentoring, tolerance, communication skills and self-confidence.
People become Freemasons for a variety of reasons, some as the result of family tradition, others upon the introduction of a friend or out of a curiosity to know what it is all about.
Those who become active members and who grow in Freemasonry do so principally because they enjoy it. They enjoy the challenges and fellowship that Freemasonry offers. There is more to it, however, than just enjoyment.
Participation in the dramatic presentation of moral lessons and in the working of a lodge provides a member with a unique opportunity to learn more about himself and encourages him to live in such a way that he will always be in search of becoming a better man, not better than someone else but better than he himself would otherwise be and therefore an exemplary member of society.
Each Freemason is required to learn and show humility through initiation. Then, by progression through a series of degrees he gains insight into increasingly complex moral and philosophical concepts, and accepts a variety of challenges and responsibilities which are both stimulating and rewarding.
The structure and working of the lodge and the sequence of ceremonial events, which are usually followed by social gatherings, offer members a framework for companionship, teamwork, character development and enjoyment of shared experiences.