The Masonic fraternity is an organisation whose roots are buried in history. From the stonemason guilds of the Middle Ages to the founding fathers of the United States, the Masonic principles of responsibility, freedom, self-control and good citizenship resound throughout their teaching as acts of charity. Becoming a member of the masons is a process filled with ceremony and ritual. Giving a gift that has meaning to a mason is a wonderful way to honour his efforts.
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While there are many things that can be given only from one mason to another, there are some elements of ceremonies that can be presented as gifts. A gavel, symbolising self-discipline, is used in many of the rituals or "degree" work a man goes through when entering a Masonic Lodge. The square -- symbolising earth -- and compass -- symbolising spirit -- are two of the most widely recognised symbols of the organisation. In addition, an hour glass, symbolising the passing of time, engraved with the mason's name is a gift that reminds him to not put off important things.
There are many texts available for the Masonic book lover. "Born in Blood: The Lost Secrets of Freemasonry" by John J. Robinson explores the history of freemasonry, while biographies of George Washington, Ben Franklin and Harry Truman reference the doctrines taught and how they influenced these great men. Novels by Dan Brown, such as "Angels and Demons" and "The Da Vinci Code," offer fictionalised peeks into the rituals and ceremonies of the Masonic Lodge.
There are many movies with Masonic references, but not all contain factual information. Movies such as "National Treasure" and "The Librarian" offer quick and interesting fictionalised looks at Masonic symbols and rituals. There are also movies available from the Masonic organisation that serve as a documentaries of freemasonry throughout history.
Jewellery is perhaps the easiest gift to present to a mason. From rings to tie tacks, there are many pieces available with symbols engraved on them that represent the fraternity. Look for pieces that feature the Square and Compass, the "G" symbol representing the "Supreme Architect," or the double-headed eagle symbol for the Scottish Rite Masonic order. Confirm with your Masonic friend or family member the level and organisation he is a part of before purchasing any symbolised piece to guarantee you have the correct fraternal organisation.
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