Somerset Masonic Temple

Why become a Freemason?

Each man has his own reason for being desirous of becoming a part of the largest fraternity in the world. Regardless of your reason, membership in our ancient fraternity brings great benefits: “Freemasonry makes good men better.”

At Somerset Masonic Temple, Lodge #358, our mission is to forge those men of good character into men of even greater personal integrity through the nurturing of their own personal education, guided mentorship, focused leadership, community service, and social development. 

In today’s society, men’s attention and lives are under constant need. Many of the fraternal brothers find Lodge meetings to be an excellent respite from the hustle of everyday, a sacred place where everyday troubles can be forgotten, and a retreat for the psyche where brotherhood flourishes.

Freemasonry is not a religion, nor is it a substitute for religion, and it teaches no religious dogma. Masonry does not offer a plan for salvation or answers to ontological questions. That said, all Masons must believe in a Supreme Being and take an obligation upon themselves to the Craft on the Holy Book of their faith. Non-denominational prayers are offered at all Masonic functions and each man interprets references to “God” for himself according to his own practice.

Masonry is also not a science, but it does teach its members to value observation, wisdom, and reflection. It encourages members to introspect as well as to expand their perspectives, but Freemasonry does not prescribe specifics of ‘what’ to think. Masonry teaches understanding of others’ beliefs and opinions, and it encourages each brother to regard his fellow as his equal in the brotherhood, deserving of mutual respect as members of the fraternity.

Our brotherhood leads to lifelong friendships and offers an opportunity to create a meaningful difference in others’ lives as well as in one’s own life. It encourages each man who becomes a brother to become the better man he sees within. It is no coincidence that great men have been initiated into our fraternity for hundreds of years.

 

Qualifications

  • A voluntary candidate for membership
  • A petitioner must be male
  • At least 18 years of age
  • Good moral character
  • Consent to a criminal background check
  • Believe in the existence of a Supreme Being
  • Motivated to join for reasons unrelated to personal gain or profit
  • Prompted by a favorable opinion of Freemasonry
  • Desirous of earning knowledge
  • Willing to take an oath to aid and assist others when they are able
  • Reach out to our lodge for a petition to be completed and returned

The Process

After your petition for membership has been signed by two members and submitted, you will be contacted by three members of our lodge to meet with you  at your home. They will verify your qualifications for membership and help answer any other questions you or your family may have about our fraternity. Following a favorable, committee report, the fraternity will vote upon your petition at a subsequent, stated meeting, and if your petition is found favorable, you will begin your journey through the three degrees of Freemasonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.

These degrees are the steps of our initiatory system and are meant to explore  matters both ethical and philosophical on the path from lower to higher states of knowledge. The degrees are solemn, enlightening, and immensely memorable experiences. It will take several months to progress through the degrees and there is memorization associated with each degree. To complete this work, you will be assigned a mentor who will tutor and guide you on the path.

 

Get Started

The first step is to talk to a man who you know is a Freemason. Any Freemason will be happy to help get you started in the process of petitioning a Lodge. In a turn-of-phrase: “To Be One, Ask One!”

Our tradition is to wait for you to seek membership entirely of your own free will and accord. But this doesn’t mean that you must wait until you know someone who is a mason. Your interest is sufficient if you meet the qualifications to begin the process.

If you do not know a Mason but you wish to explore and learn more or petition to join our fraternity, please contact us on this website to notify Somerset Masonic Temple’s Secretary. The Secretary will be able to help get you started in the process, and connect you with a member who can help you understand more about the fraternity and the process.