** Courtesy of Grand Lodge http://www.freemasons.org **
Leather aprons were worn centuries ago by stonemasons to protect their skin and clothing, as well as to carry their tools. Today, lambskin or cloth aprons, often elaborately decorated or embroidered, are worn by members as a symbolic connection to those medieval craftmen from which it is purported that we derive our Masonic tradition.
Degrees of Masonry
Indications of the level of membership and knowledge of Freemasonry principles. The basic degrees of Masonry are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.
The word “free” was added to “mason” during the Middle Ages. The origin is uncertain, but may be related to stonemasons who worked as advanced stone carvers in “freestone.”
The administrative body in charge of Freemasonry in a specific geographic area. The United States has Grand Lodges in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
The elected leader of the Grand Lodge. In California, this position changes annually in October.
This refers to both a unit of Masons as well as the room or building in which they meet. There are approximately 13,000 lodges in the United States.
A member of the Masonic fraternity.
The elected leader of the local lodge; also the title a Mason acquires once he has completed the third degree of membership.
The monthly lodge meeting to conduct regular business, receive new members, and vote upon the Application of Degrees.
Another name for a Masonic building. The word is used in the same sense that Justice Wendell Holmes called the Supreme Court a “Temple of Justice.” Most California lodges now refer to their buildings as Masonic Centers.
Masonic organizations for young people that include DeMolay International for boys 12 to 21, Rainbow for Girls for girls 11 to 20, and Job’s Daughters for young women 11 to 20.