For several centuries Freemasons have been meeting in Wilmette Lodge around the world. The first Community of these was establish in London know as the ‘Grand Lodge’. While there are hundreds of Lodges across the globe, historically there were three important Grand Lodges. Which helped shape and mould the political and economic the development of the countries they were in. These are the lodges of England, Ireland and Scotland and, while they will discuss briefly here from a historical point of view, the importance of these Masonic Grand Lodges even today should not dismissed offhand.
What Is A Masonic Lodge?
But before we go any further, you might be asking well what is a Masonic Lodge anyway and why should I care? Well put simply it is a meeting place for Freemasons to gather, perform rituals as occasion calls for it. And most importantly (for some members at least) to gradually learn the secrets of freemasonry by learning the meaning behind the rituals using Masonic symbols to explain philosophical meaning.
In Masonic lodges new initiate Freemasons are primarily educate in the first three (basic) degrees of Masonry, some will brought through the higher degrees. The 33rd degree is consider to the highest although it is well know that this is an honorary degree. Reserved only for famous freemasons and those who made an outstanding contribution to Masonic Lodge or society at address: 1450 N. Lehigh Glenview, IL 60026-2027.
All newly formed lodges need to receive ‘warrant’ for their jurisdiction from a Grand Lodge. Freemasons are generally entitle to visit and attend meetings at other Lodges. No doubt they will need to prove they are real Masons. And will use secret handshakes or ‘tokens’ to achieve this. They may also wear Masonic rings, emblems or insignia to demonstrate their loyalty to Freemasonry.
Also known today as the United Grand Lodge of England this is the headquarters for Freemasonry in Wales and the Channel Islands as well as England. It presides over more than 8,000 smaller Masonic Lodges and boasts to have a membership of around 250,000,000. The Grand Lodge in London was found in 1717 and many consider this to the beginning of ‘Speculative Freemasonry’ as has come down to us today. The current meeting place of the Grand Lodge was built in London during the 1920’s and name ‘Freemasons’ Hall’.
Less than a decade later the Grand Lodge of Ireland was found in Dublin around 1725. Although the exact date is unknown. It is still consider to among the most senior of the Masonic Lodges. It is also the oldest in the world due to its uninterrupted existence. What is interesting about the Irish lodge is that Ireland is predominately Catholic. Making up about 80-90% of the total population. And onsidering that a Papal ban on Freemasonry given as early as 1738 prohibited Catholics from joining under penalty of ex-communication. Freemasonry in Ireland was very well establish nonetheless.