Welcome to Freemasonry – for the Candidate

You are about to join an ancient and honourable fraternity, which has at its centre the core values of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Freemasonry is a system of morality, which is explained through symbols and stories.

This article explains a little about how you need to make yourself ready to be received into the Lodge. The symbolism starts now, at the door. The Tyler will ask you to adjust your clothing in a particular way, based on the procedures of the working stone masons of yesteryear. The reasons will become more apparent as you make progress in Freemasonry. They include: • You must enter the Lodge in an apparent state of poverty. You will therefore be asked to remove all jewellery, money and other metallic items from your person before entering the Lodge. Please note that you can ask to keep any items, such as wedding rings, with important personal symbolic meaning, but we ask that they are not visible, so we will cover them with tape and ask you to pretend that you are not wearing them. • You will be required to remove any jacket, waistcoat and tie you are wearing over your shirt, which will be unbuttoned to reveal part of your chest to show that you are male. One of your shirt-sleeves will be rolled up, to show that you are unarmed. One of your trouser legs will be rolled up to your knee, so that when you kneel to take the obligation of a Freemason, you are kneeling on a bare knee. You will also be asked to wear a slipper on one foot (or ‘slipshod’ in Masonic parlance), which is another reference to poverty and humility. • Finally, you will be blindfolded (or ‘hoodwinked’ in Masonic parlance) for the first part of the ceremony. This represents the start of your journey from darkness to light in Freemasonry and demonstrates your reliance on others, so you will be more willing to offer support in the future to others in need.

When you are properly prepared, the Tyler will announce you and the Junior Deacon will come to lead you into the Lodge. He will look after you during the ceremony, and will give you instructions, so that you know what is expected. Please remember that we have all been through the same initiation, it is one of the many things that unite us as Freemasons. The purpose of the Initiation ceremony is to treat everyone equally, regardless of social status or personal beliefs, and certainly not to humiliate you or make you feel uncomfortable. We are all looking forward to welcoming you as our Brother at the start of your Masonic journey and we hope you enjoy the ceremony.