Who are the Masons?

Masons in Olympia, Tumwater and Lacey congregate at Harmony Lodge #18, the friendliest Lodge in Thurston County, WA. Our Lodge includes a broad cross-section of the community and we welcome men over the age of 18 who want to improve themselves by associating with like-minded peers. Our membership is distributed fairly evenly across age groups and by profession, although because of the proximity to Fort Lewis (JBLM), many of our members are active duty military or veterans.

The Masonic Fraternity is the oldest Fraternity in the world. The Masonic Family includes Masons as well as organizations for their ladies, couples, and youth.

The Masonic Family provides more than $2 million a day to charitable activities such as hospitals, youth scholarship, and those less fortunate than we.

To inquire about Masonry, contact our Secretary.

How to become a Mason? Click here.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Charges for the degrees

1st degree charge:

My Brother: I shall now proceed to point out to you those lines of personal conduct which you, as a Mason, are expected to follow. This part of the lecture is called the Charge, it being the special instruction, admonition and advice given, at his entrance, to every initiate, from time immemorial.

Having passed through the ceremonies of your initiation, allow me to congratulate you on your admission into our ancient and honorable Fraternity; ancient, as having existed from time immemorial; and honorable, as tending to make all men so who are strictly obedient to its precepts.

It is an institution having for its foundation the practice of the social and moral virtues; and to so high an eminence has its credit been advanced, that, in every age and in every country, men pre-eminent for their moral and intellectual attainments have encouraged it and promoted its interests. Nor has it been thought derogatory to their dignity that monarchs have, for a season, exchanged the sceptre for the trowel, to patronize our mysteries and join in our assemblies.

As a Mason, you are to regard the volume of the Sacred Law as the Great Light in your profession; to consider it as the unerring standard of truth and justice; to regulate your actions by the divine precepts it contains. In it you will learn the important duties which you owe to God, your neighbor and yourself: To God, by never mentioning His name but with the awe and reverence which are due from the creature to his Creator; by imploring His aid in all laudable undertakings, and by looking up to Him in every emergency for comfort and support: To your neighbor, by acting with him upon the square; by rendering him every kind office which justice or mercy may require; by relieving his distresses, and soothing his afflictions; and by doing to him as, in similar cases, you would that he should do unto you: And to yourself, by such a prudent and well-regulated course of discipline as may best conduce to the preservation of your corporeal and mental faculties in their fullest energy; thereby enabling you to exert the talents wherewith God has blest you, as well to His glory as to the welfare of your fellow-creatures.

As a citizen, you are enjoined to be exemplary in the discharge of your civil duties, by never proposing or countenancing any act which may have a tendency to subvert the peace and good order of society; by paying due obedience to the laws under whose protection you live, and by never losing sight of the allegiance due to your country.

As an individual, you are charged to practice the domestic and public virtues. Let Temperance chasten, Fortitude support, and Prudence direct you, and let Justice be the guide of all your actions. Be especially careful to maintain, in their fullest splendor, those truly Masonic ornaments, Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.

Finally, My Brother, be faithful to the trust committed to your care, and manifest your fidelity to our principles by a strict observance of the Constitutions of the Fraternity; by adhering to the Ancient Landmarks, and by refusing to recommend anyone to a participation in our privileges unless you have strong reason to believe that, by a similar fidelity, he will reflect honor upon our Ancient Institution.

2nd Degree Charge

My Brother: You have been passed to the Second Degree of Freemasonry. We congratulate you on your preferment.

Masonry is a progressive and moral science, divided into degrees; and as its principles and mystic ceremonies are regularly developed and illustrated, it is intended and hoped that they will make a deep and lasting impression upon your mind.

The impressive ceremonies of this degree are calculated to inculcate in the mind of the novitiate the importance of the study of the liberal arts and sciences, especially the noble science of Geometry, which forms the basis of Freemasonry; and which, being of divine and moral nature, is enriched with the most useful knowledge; for, while it proves the wonderful properties of nature, it demonstrates the more important truth of morality. To the study of Geometry, therefore, your attention is especially directed.

It is unnecessary to recapitulate the duties which, as a Fellowcraft Mason, you are bound to discharge. Your general good reputation affords satisfactory assurance that you will not suffer any consideration to induce you to act in a manner unworthy of the respectable character which you now bear; but that, on the contrary, you will ever display the discretion, the virtue, and the dignity which become a worthy and exemplary Mason.

Our laws and regulations you are strenuously to support, and be always ready to assist in seeing them duly executed. You are not to palliate or aggravate the offenses of your brethren; but, in the decision of every trespass against our rules, you are to judge with candor, admonish with friendship and reprehend with justice.

Your past regular deportment and upright conduct have merited the honor which we have conferred. In your character as a Fellowcraft Mason it is expected that, at all our assemblies, you will observe the solemnity of our ceremonies; that you will preserve the ancient usages and customs of the Fraternity sacred and inviolable, and thus by your own example induce others to hold them in due veneration.

Such is the nature of your engagements as a Fellowcraft Mason, and to a due observance of them you are bound by the strongest ties of fidelity and honor.

3rd Degree Charge

My Brother: Your zeal for our Institution, the progress which you have made in our Mysteries, and your steady conformity to our useful regulations, have pointed you out as a proper object for this peculiar mark of our favor.

Duty and honor now alike bind you to be faithful to every trust; To support the dignity of your character on all occasions, And strenuously to enforce, by precept and example, a steady obedience to the tenets of Freemasonry.

Exemplary conduct on your part will convince the world That merit is the just title to our privileges and that on you our favors have not been undeservedly bestowed.

As a Master Mason you are authorized to correct the irregularities of your less-informed brethren, to fortify their minds with resolution against the snares of the insidious, and to guard them against every allurement to vicious practices.

To preserve unsullied the reputation of the Fraternity ought to be your constant care, and, therefore, it becomes your province to caution the inexperienced against a breach of fidelity.

To your inferiors in rank or office, you are to recommend obedience and submission; to your equals, courtesy and affability; To your superiors, kindness and condescension. Universal benevolence you are zealously to inculcate; and by the regularity of your own conduct, afford the best example for the conduct of others less informed.

Our Ancient Landmarks you are carefully to protect and never suffer them to be infringed; nor are you to countenance any deviation from our established customs. Your honor and reputation are concerned in supporting with dignity the respectable character which you now bear.

Let no motive, therefore, make you swerve from your duty, violate your vows, or betray your trust; But be true and faithful, And imitate the example of that celebrated artist whom you have this evening represented. Thus you will render yourself deserving of the honor which we have conferred, and worthy of the confidence which we have reposed in you.

My Brother: I now greet you as a Master Mason, made such in a regularly constituted Lodge of Master Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Washington. You are now a member of Harmony Lodge No. 18, entitled to all the rights and privileges of Masonry and subject to its responsibilities and discipline. Should you wish to hold an office in the Lodge, it will be necessary for you to complete the requirement of proficiency in this Degree. You will now be conducted to the Secretary's desk where you will sign the By-Laws of this Lodge, and upon paying your dues, you will receive a receipt therefore.

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