What Does Initiated, Passed, and Raised Mean in Freemasonry?

When exploring the world of Freemasonry, you might come across the terms “initiated,” “passed,” and “raised.”

These terms are essential to understanding the journey of a Freemason and hold significant meaning within the Masonic tradition.

As a candidate for Freemasonry, your journey begins with the initiation process:

“Initiated” refers to the completion of the first Masonic degree, during which you are introduced to the values and symbolism of Freemasonry.

Once initiated, you move on to the Fellowcraft or second degree, which is referred to as “passed.”

In this stage, you dive deeper into the teachings and lessons of Freemasonry.

Finally, “raised” signifies your achievement of the third and highest degree of Freemasonry – Master Mason. This milestone represents your dedication and growth within the brotherhood.

“Initiated, Passed, and Raised” in Freemasonry

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“Initiated, Passed, and Raised” in Freemasonry

In Freemasonry, the terms “initiated”, “passed”, and “raised” refer to the progression of a Mason through the three degrees of Craft or Blue Lodge Masonry.

As you advance through these degrees, you will gain knowledge of the Lodge symbols and be entrusted with grips, signs, and words that identify you as a Mason to others in the fraternity.

The Three Degrees

The first degree, or the Entered Apprentice degree, is where you are “initiated” into the world of Freemasonry.

In this stage, you are introduced to the basic teachings, principles, and symbolism of the fraternity.

You will also learn the signs, grips, and words associated with this degree.

The second degree, also known as the Fellowcraft degree, is when you are “passed” to a higher level of Masonic knowledge.

During this degree, you will explore the meanings behind more complex symbols and delve deeper into the philosophical aspects of Freemasonry.

You will also be provided with additional signs, grips, and words that distinguish you as a Fellowcraft Mason.

The third and final degree, the Master Mason degree, is when you are “raised” to the highest rank within the Blue Lodge.

At this point, you have completed your Masonic journey and are now a full-fledged member of the fraternity. As a Master Mason, you are granted access to advanced teachings, rituals, and Masonic secrets.

You will also be entrusted with the final set of signs, grips, and words unique to this degree.

In summary, being “initiated”, “passed”, and “raised” in Freemasonry represents your progress through the three degrees of the Craft. These degrees grant you increasing levels of knowledge, understanding, and responsibility within the fraternity.

By giving attention to each stage, you will develop a deeper appreciation and connection to the teachings and principles of Freemasonry.

The Masonic Lodge and Its Jurisdiction

In Freemasonry, the term “lodge” can refer to both the group of Freemasons who gather under the authority of a charter issued by a Grand Lodge and the physical space where they convene.

Understanding the different levels of lodges and their jurisdiction will help clarify the relationships within Freemasonry.

Blue Lodge

The Blue Lodge, also known as the Craft Lodge, is the most basic organizational unit within Freemasonry.

It is here that you, as a Freemason, will begin your journey through the three degrees of initiation:

Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.

Each Blue Lodge is governed by a Worshipful Master, who is assisted by Wardens and various other officers.

Blue Lodges follow a specific set of rules and rituals, which vary slightly depending on their jurisdiction.

When you’ve completed the three degrees within the Blue Lodge, you’re considered a fully initiated, passed, and raised Freemason.

Grand Lodges

Grand Lodges are the governing bodies that oversee multiple Blue Lodges within a specific geographic jurisdiction, with each one having its own unique constitution, rules, and regulations.

They preside over matters such as the issuance of charters, the recognition of other jurisdictions, and disciplinary actions towards lodges under their jurisdiction.

It is important for you to know that not all Grand Lodges are recognized by one another, so your jurisdiction’s Grand Lodge is referred to as “regular” if it adheres to specific traditions and practices upheld within recognized Freemasonry.

However, some jurisdictions are considered “irregular” or “clandestine” due to deviations from these standardized customs. Always consult with your local Grand Lodge to ensure compliance with proper Masonic practices and recognition.

Masonic Rituals and Symbolism

Masonic Rituals and Symbolism

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In Freemasonry, there are three main degrees of initiation which include the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degree.

Each degree is rich in symbolism and imparts powerful moral lessons that shape the character of the members. As you progress through these degrees, you will undergo certain rituals and be exposed to various symbols.

Here’s a brief overview of these degrees and their associated rituals and symbols.

Entered Apprentice Degree

The Entered Apprentice is the first degree in the Blue Lodge of Freemasonry. During this initiation, you begin to learn the foundations of the fraternity through various rituals, symbols, and teachings.

Key symbols you will encounter include the square, compass, and the Volume of Sacred Law.

These three symbols represent the essential teachings of Freemasonry – morality, brotherly love, and truth.

In this degree, you will also learn a unique sign, grip, and word which signifies your newfound status as an Entered Apprentice.

The initiation ritual comprises a reenactment of a scene set at the construction of the Temple Mount, symbolizing your entry into the fraternity and the beginning of your journey toward enlightenment.

Fellowcraft Degree

The Fellowcraft degree, also known as the second degree, is a continuation of your Masonic journey, building upon the foundation laid during the Entered Apprentice degree.

In this degree, you will be introduced to new symbols and teachings, such as the plumb, level, and square.

These symbols emphasize the importance of moral rectitude, balance, and just conduct.

Ritually, this degree focuses on your passage through the Middle Chamber of King Solomon’s Temple.

During the initiation ceremony, you will learn the appropriate sign, grip, and word to signify your progress as a Fellowcraft Mason.

Studying the liberal arts and sciences is a key part of this degree, strengthening your intellectual and moral growth.

Master Mason Degree

Attaining the Master Mason degree, or third degree, is the pinnacle of the Blue Lodge experience.

As a Master Mason, you will learn the ultimate truth of Freemasonry and have access to its highest teachings.

The central symbols in this degree include the setting maul, sprig of acacia, and the trowel, representing mortality, resurrection, and brotherly love, respectively.

During the Master Mason initiation ritual, you will reenact the building and subsequent destruction of King Solomon’s Temple. This powerful allegory conveys the importance of integrity, perseverance, and the eternal nature of the human spirit.

Upon completion of this degree, you will receive the final sign, grip, and word, marking your status as a fully initiated Master Mason and a true guardian of the fraternity’s sacred teachings.



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