Monday, June 14, 2010
Why and how is ritual and symbolism used?
Ask any member about Masonic ritual and he is likely to explain it as a unique and inspiring experience. Ritual is core in Freemasonry. This ritual is unique in that is uses a range of objects, symbols and scenarios to disseminate the values, traditions and philosophical precepts of Freemasonry. These rituals are centuries old and have been used in Freemasonry for hundreds of years. An example of such symbolism is the use of medieval stonemason working tools as a vehicle of instruction.
Symbols in the Lodge room are used to define the rank of a Freemason. The most widely recognized symbol of Freemasonry is the Square and Compasses. The Square teaches us to conduct ourselves properly – as in ’square conduct’, and the compasses teach us to keep our passions and prejudices within due bounds.
Members wear the symbol to remind themselves of their obligation to the lesson learned in their lodges and to identify their membership to other Freemasons and all people. Masonic symbols have wide meanings – some directly relate to the tools used by operative Masons and some represent the need for order and direction in life.