Showing posts with label Shriner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Shriner. Show all posts

Nov 23, 2018

Masons vs. Shriners

You must be a Mason to be a Shriner, but there are very many members who just pay their yearly fee and are active in the Shrine.
Shriners International, also commonly known as The Shriners, is a society established in 1870 and is headquartered in Tampa, Florida, USA. It is an appendant body to Freemasonry. Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship, and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth.
There are approximately 350,000 members from 196 temples (chapters) - the term Temple has now generally been replaced by Shrine Auditorium or Shrine Center - in the US, Canada, Brazil, Bolivia, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe, and Australia. The organization is best known for the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.  Shriners have two claims to fame. One is acting silly and having parades with outrageous costumes and vehicles. The other is raising money to provide free medical care for children.
There are two organizations tied to the Shrine that are for women only: The Ladies' Oriental Shrine and the Daughters of the Nile. They both support the Shriners' Hospitals and promote sociability. Membership in either organization is open to any woman 18 years of age and older who is related to a Shriner or Master Mason by birth, marriage, or adoption.
The origins of Freemasonry are obscure. The best guess is that it is an outgrowth of medieval stonemasons’ guilds that began after the mid-1500s. These men, called “accepted” masons, enjoyed the ritual and secrecy that in the Middle Ages had been necessary to transmit the skills of the craft and prevent outsiders.
Eventually there were no operative masons and Masonry became a kind of fraternity, retaining such trappings of stonemasonry as the apron worn at formal functions and the familiar compass-and-square symbol. From 1740 to 1813 there were a host of Masonic rites, orders, and degrees created. These new rituals enlarged the scope of Masonry and encompassed many elaborations, some of which included elements which had previously been practiced within the craft.  There are many organizations and Orders which form part of the widespread fraternity of Freemasonry, each having its own structure and terminology. Collectively these may be referred to as Masonic bodies, Masonic orders or appendant bodies of Freemasonry.
The basic unit of Freemasonry is the Masonic Lodge, which alone can initiate a Freemason. Such lodges are controlled by a Grand Lodge with national or regional authority for all lodges within its territory. A Masonic lodge confers the three masonic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft (or Fellow Craft), and Master Mason.

Each Masonic body sets its own membership requirements, which vary greatly. Membership is sometimes open, and sometimes invitational. In the United States, the York and Scottish Rites make petitions available to all Master Masons, but reserve the right to reject petitioners, while other groups, such as the Knight Masons, require that one be asked to join by a current member.

Joseph Smith, the first Mormon prophet had prior involvement with Freemasonry, and many of the Mormon secrets closely parallel those of the Masons, as does the notion of the ceremony’s secrecy itself.

Bottom line, all Shriners are Masons, but not all Masons are Shriners.

Incidentally, the Knights Templar membership is by invitation only and candidates are required to be Master Masons.