Rising Sun Lodge #2

Norfolk, VA, F. & A.M., Inc. EST. 1845

VENERABLE INSTITUTION VS FRATERNITY

I have asked myself what is so special about this organization that we are all members of. I pondered the question of

 

why did we join, what did we expect, and what are we getting out of it. First I had to answer my biggest question what in

 

fact is a Venerable Institution vs A Fraternity. The dictionary defines the word venerable as accorded a great deal of

 

respect, especially because of age, wisdom, or character, and defines the word institution as a society or organization

 

founded for a religious, educational, social, or similar purpose.

 

Brothers in breaking these two words down their meaning combine to describe what we are members of.  A social and

 

educational society which is accorded a great deal of respect because of its age, wisdom, and character.

 

 

I found that to be more in line for my daily vocations as a Mason. I looked into the meaning of a Fraternity and the word

 

is defined as such. A group of people sharing a common profession or interests. The state or feeling of friendship and

 

mutual support within a group.  "the ideals of liberty, equality, and fraternity" brotherhood, fellowship, kinship, friendship ,

 

(mutual) support, solidarity, community, union, togetherness; sisterhood "A spirit of fraternity". All these describe the

 

word Fraternity. I then asked myself what can be the defining difference between the two in Masonry. Digging deeper

 

into the meaning I discovered that the word venerable is a term that is not often used to describe things that are not

 

historic and or have some historic importance. I sought more knowledge and I discovered before there were Fraternities

 

or Chapters there were Freemasons. Throughout history Freemasons have shaped this country in ways we cannot

 

begin to imagine. Has anyone looked up the total symbolic meaning of the masonic apron past that of which we are

 

taught? The meaning behind the square and compass? The reason why we use pirate punishments in our 1st, second,

 

and third, degree obligations? History is a mystery my brothers and we are the keepers of its secrets. We are tasked to

 

educate as well as learn, to give more back than we may receive, and to promote this earned light even in the face

 

unavoidable darkness and immutable circumstances. We are a Venerable Institution whose core values and principles

 

when practiced correctly allow us the benefits and enjoyments of a fraternity. We should not get the importance of one

 

confused with recreational fundamentals of another. The work in this house is never ending yet some of you have

 

retired from labor to refreshment without being called to do so. I implore you to search within and discover that lost inner

 

mason, under the sewn on squares and compasses, under the multiple houses you dwell in, under the mountain of

 

accolades that you have gotten throughout your extensive travels in masonry and allow that innovative, curious,

 

insightful worker for the temple to reemerge and take his rightful place amongst the craft. In doing so we maintain the

 

character of our Venerable Institution.

 

 

 

First Masonic District of Virginia - MWPHGL of VA, F. & A.M., Inc.