A Pathway to Masonic Knowledge
What do we really mean by the term Masonic Education?
After all, learning can be accomplished by something as informal as two brothers talking about the fraternity over a cup of coffee, to the more formal membership in a Masonic Lodge of Research. So how do we define what this term? Simply stated, Masonic Education is any source through which a Mason becomes more knowledgeable about his fraternity.
Small discussion groups have been very popular in lodges around the country. Informal groups discuss such things as Masonic ritual, the esoteric aspects of the fraternity, charitable activities of the lodge, and the lodge’s commitment to the well-being of their community. More intense studies are done through formal groups, such as Masonic Lodges of Research, The Scottish Rite Research Society, or the Quatuor Coronati Correspondence Circle of London, England. These groups have memberships ranging from statewide to national to international.
The road to Masonic knowledge is not easy, simple, or a sure thing and requires commitment, effort, and a desire to learn. But then that’s the true nature of the fraternity itself. The journey toward Masonic Enlightenment through knowledge begins with the new Mason asking simple questions such as—“Why is my lodge called a blue lodge?” “Why is the Master of the Lodge called Worshipful?” These are very basic questions, but the answers do constitute Masonic Education. And it behooves us, as the Masons of today, to be ready to answer them correctly.
We are now experiencing a generational change in our fraternity. Not too many years ago it was very common for all lodges to have a multi-generational membership. That generational balance changed during the 1960s and 1970s. Freemasonry, like all value-based organizations, suffered membership losses during this period.