Glossary

It is difficult to write a Masonic web site without using our jargon. To help decipher this and make the site more approachable we have put together this explanation of the terms used on this site.

Masonic Term
Explanation
Brother
Both male and female Freemasons refer to one another as Brothers.
Consecration
The ceremony that brings a new Lodge to life.
Craft Freemasonry
Freemasonry is often described as The Craft and is the three degrees described below. The term “Craft” can also be used to differentiate between masonic degrees for instance Craft as opposed to Chapter or Mark freemasonry.
Degrees
Freemasonry is seen as a journey with a number of steps known as Degrees. Each step has a unique name:

  1. When people first join, they go through the first ceremony and become an Entered Apprentice
  2. The next step is the Fellow Craft
  3. Finally, the new member becomes a Master Mason. This is known as the third degree and is the derivation of the phrase to give someone the third degree.
Emulation Ritual
There are several versions of the ritual, Emulation ritual is the most widely used. Hungerford Workings is a reference to the unique way our Lodge delivers the Emulation ritual.
Festive Board
After each regular Lodge meeting, we gather together to eat. The Festive Board is typically a multi-course meal with wine (or other drink) at which speeches are made and toasts drunk.
Installation
Once a year all of the key positions within the Lodge are changed. Key within this is the appointment or installation of a new Master.
Lodge
The Lodge is the basic organisational unit in Freemasonry.
Lodge of Improvement
This meeting is the rehearsal the night before a formal Lodge meeting to iron out any final wrinkles in the ritual.
Lodge of Instruction
This is a meeting used to rehearse the play or ritual. This allows the inexperienced members the opportunity to gain familiarity with the words and actions required of them.
Master (short for Worshipful Master)
The members of the Lodge take it in turns to be the leader of the Lodge. This role is known as the Master and it is the highest honour that a Lodge can bestow on one of its members.
Preamble
A piece of ritual that is delivered as part of the Initiation Ceremony that explains key elements of the ceremony.
Province
For administration purposes the United Kingdom is divided up into sub units known as Provinces. In general, these follow county boundaries, although in some cases, the Province may reflect an older version of the county boundary or in the case of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, a logical grouping.
Ritual
A formalised and symbolic presentation (similar to a short play) that uses drama to highlight the codes of conduct by which a Freemason strives to live.
Supreme Being
Freemasonry is open to men of all faiths that recognise or worship a deity. We choose to use the term Supreme Being as a way to refer to this deity by whichever name the deity is known to that faith.
Warrant
A document which formally authorises the Lodge to exist and initiate or make Freemasons. Without a warrant, a Lodge does not exist.