Many people ask why are there Masonic Rituals? And why are they Secret? The anser is far less ominous that one might assume… The majority of the reason for our secret rituals is the same reason you have a secret PIN for your debit card. You have resources of money, which you would trust few if any other people to. We also have assets which we must also protect, namely our loyalty, trust, and fidelity, ideas which we hold dear, and the process of understanding by which people truly learn lessons important to living a fulfilled and good life. Those things are in fact worth even more than than anyone’s bank account.
Simply put the reason for Masonic Rituals is 3 fold, first to determine if a person in fact a brother. Second, to teach lessons that are integral to being a Mason of a given degree. Third, to remind a Mason regularly of the nature of being a Freemason.
The first is kept secret for security. The second is kept secret in order to emphasize its importance, even though the content may, after being reviled, seem to some to some to have been self evident. Finally, the third is kept secret so as to not, as the old saying goes, throw pearls before swine.
Many speculate on the internet about what the Masonic Rituals for recognition are. Hundreds of speculated versions of secret passwords and handshakes are all over the internet. The truth is we do use such instruments. However all the websites on the interent will not equip you to pass the test. Yes, we also often get people falsely claiming to be Freemasons, and yes we can always tell if they are not. The only way to pass the ritual tests and gain admission to a Lodge is to truly be a Mason. If you wish to gain admission you must officially and legitimately Join Freemasonry.
St. Paul once said that when he was a child, he spoke like a child, and reasoned like a child, but when he became a man he put away childish things. He also said we see through the glass dimly. Our whole society understand this, it is why we have school grades, and why the phrase “you’ll understand when you’re older” exists. Freemasonry is a “progressive science” and is revealed in degrees only. In order to fully understand what it means to be a Freemason, we adhere to the philosophy that it can not be learned all at once. However, each degree must be experienced, explained and digested with time. As such, secrecy is important for the proper absorption of our valuable lessons.
Finally, we believe in a code of duty and behavior both in our daily lives, and in our stations in the Lodge. These are re-told in ritual, which are secret because it is important, even sacred. Sacred means holy, which literally means to be set aside, and not to be treated as common. To keep the exact wording of our obligations secret is to make them intimate, like a gift that no one else in the world can have, that special thing that you hold most dear.
To begin the journey of the beautiful world opened up by Masonic Rituals, Join Freemasonry.