Freemasonry,

Much can be said, and much has been written about Freemasonry. It is our hope that you have not stumbled upon this site by accident. Thus, we will not go in great depth about Freemasonry as there are greater authorities on the subject.

The following information was taken from a brochure titled, "A Way of Life, Freemasonry," published by the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of Delaware Masonic Education Committee with respect given to the contribution of the Grand Jurisdiction of Pennsylvania.

"The Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons is the oldest, largest and most widely known fraternal organization in the world. Volumes have been written by it. Yet, to many, Freemasonry remains a mystery...

Some historians trace Freemasonry to the Tenth Century, B.C., during the building of King Solomon's Temple. Records reveal that Freemasonry was introduced into England in 674 A.D. Freemasonry is directly descended from associations of operative masons, the cathedral builders of the Middle Ages, who traveled through Europe employing the secrets and skills of their crafts. In the 17th Century, when cathedral building was on the decline, many guilds of stone - masons, known as "Operative Masons," or "Freemasons," started to accept as members of the masons' craft, calling them "Speculative Masons" or "Accepted Masons."

It was from these groups, comprised mostly of "Adopted or Accepted Masons," that Symbolic Masonry or Freemasonry, as we know it today, had its beginning.

In 1717, four Lodges of Freemasons meeting in London, England, formed the first Grand Lodge. This Grand Lodge charted Symbolic Lodges and Provincial Grand Lodges in many countries, including the United States.

Today, there are more than 150 Grand Lodges in free countries of the world with a membership of more than 6,000,000. The Grand Lodge is the Administrative authority in its territory, known as Jurisdiction. In the United States, there are 49 Grand Lodges. they include 48 States and the District of Columbia. Hawaii is under the Grand Lodge of California, and Alaska, the Grand Lodge of Washington. There are approximately 4,000,000 Freemasons in the 49 Jurisdiction of the United States -- nearly two-thirds of the worlds' total.

The Basic unit of all Grand Lodges in the Symbolic Lodge, or "Blue Lodge," as it commonly known. It is the Symbolic Lodge that issues petitions for membership, acts on petitions and confers the three Symbolic Degrees, know as the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason Degrees.

There are twenty nine Symbolic Lodges in the Jurisdiction of Delaware with a membership of approximately 9,200. Membership is limited to adult males who can meet the recognized qualifications and standards of character and reputation..."