In its present form Freemasonry arose from obscure origins during the 16th & 17th centuries which include the Knights Templar as they fled France to Scotland in the early 14th century; and it is noteworthy that TWO-main Branches exist:
- English/Irish/Scottish jurisdictions – requires a belief in Deity
- Some French/European jurisdictions – do not require a belief in Deity (accepts atheists) and that these are NOT in amity with each other.
All Masonic ritual, notwithstanding jurisdiction, makes use of architectural symbolism of the tools of the medieval operative stonemasons and as speculative masons (meaning philosophical building rather than actual building), use this symbolism to teach moral and ethical lessons of the principles of “Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth” or as related in France “Liberty, Equality, Fraternity”.
Candidates for ‘regular’ Freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being. However, this can mean Christian Trinity to a Christian Mason; Allah to a Muslim Mason; and Para Brahman to a Hindu Mason etc.etc.etc. The discussion of Politics and Religion is forbidden within a Masonic Lodge, in part so a Mason will not be placed in the situation of having to justify his personal interpretation.
Within an open Lodge in those jurisdictions which require a belief in Deity a Volume of the Sacred Law will always be open, and in Lodges with membership of mixed religions it is common to find more than one sacred text displayed; Candidates are required to take their Obligation(s) thereon.
Obligations are those elements of ritual in which a candidate swears to abide by the rules of the fraternity, to keep the “secrets of freemasonry” (being the various signs, tokens and words associated with each degree) and to act towards others according to Masonic tradition and law.
These Obligations together with the Free Thinking nature of Free-Masonry and Masons; are the reasons behind Catholic condemnation of Freemasonry.
Whilst the existence of Masonic Lodges can be traced as far back as the 14th Century; Regular Freemasonry commenced with the formation of The Grand Lodge of England on 24th June 1717 following which The Grand Lodge of Ireland and Grand Lodge of Scotland were formed in 1725 and 1736 respectively.
What is Involved
Zambian Freemasons meet across our country mostly in Masonic Halls,but occasionally in hotels.
Lodge meetings are held regularly and on a regular evening each month,this unsurprisingly is referred to as the Regular Meeting of any particular Lodge. Each Lodge will usually hold a further Committee Meeting each month, which like any organization attends to matters such as accounts, plans for forthcoming events and charity matters to be addressed and discussed amongst members.
The Regular Meeting of each Lodge is 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. The final part of the evening usually involves members sharing and enjoyable meal together. As an example, if a meeting starts at 6pm the ‘business’ part of the meeting would normally be concluded in time for a pre-dinner social drink and then being seated by 9pm to enjoy the ‘social’ side of the meal, winding up in most cases before 11pm.
In addition to the above, most Lodges organize regular social activities for families and friends, such as dinners, sports days, charity days etc. It is therefore important to identify whether a Lodge’s location and meeting days/times are convenient for you, so that you can commit to a regular attendance without impacting you family and/or work commitments.
You should also consider the financial commitment. As with all organizations, annual fees are expected of members but these are reasonably priced. There is also an expectation of contributions to charitable funds, dining fees etc – but
it is stressed that these are according to a member’s means. Again no one should undertake membership which may adversely affect his family, employment or any other non-Masonic commitments.
Membership of a Lodge, under the Constitutions of the Grand Lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland, is open to all men of good character aged 21yrs or over who have been proposed by two members. The final decision rests with the members of the individual Lodge. A Freemason may join more than one Lodge and, once a member, may visit other Lodges – so a change of home or job should not necessarily cause difficulties. Lodges meet all over Zambia and indeed all over the world.
If you are interested in becoming a Freemason in Zambia and do not know anyone who can sponsor you, introductions can be made directly through this website using the ‘Contact Us’ page.