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Masonic Service Association of North America

Emessay Notes March 2005

The Initiated Eye
Secrets, Symbols, Freemasonry and the Architecture of Washington, DC

In an unprecedented collaboration with the Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of the District of Columbia and history painter Peter Waddell, The Octagon, the Museum of The American Architectural Foundation, is organizing an original exhibition focusing specifically on the significant contributions of Freemasons to the design and architecture of Washington, D.C.

Featuring 20 original paintings by artist Peter Waddell complemented by original Masonic artifacts, including the three silver cups used at the laying of the Washington Monument's cornerstone, the exhibition will tell the story of the city's design from a new perspective and shed light on the Masonic connections of many historic buildings in the U.S. Capital.

THE INITIATED EYE opens to the public on May 18, 2005, and remains on view through December 31, 2005. Extensive educational programming will accompany the exhibition, including walking tours of area Lodges and Temples, musical performances, lectures, and workshops.

The Octagon Museum is located at 1799 New York Avenue, NW, Washington, D.C. The museum is open 10 am - 4 pm Tuesday through Sunday. Additional information about this project is available online at: and

Did You Know? What are the "Old Charges?"

The first book of Freemasonry, printed in 1723, is known as Anderson's Constitutions. In it appear six "Old Charges" which are a statement of the old laws of operative Freemasonry concerning a Mason and his conduct. These six Old Charges are titled: Of God and Religion; Of the Civil Magistrate Supreme and Subordinate; Of Lodges; Of Masters, Wardens, Fellows and Apprentices; Of the Management of the Craft in Working; Of Behavior. The last, sixth Old Charge is concerned with behavior: "in the lodge while constituted; after Lodge is over and the Brethren not gone; when Brethren meet without Strangers, but not in a Lodge; in presence of Strangers not Masons; at Home and in the Neighborhood; towards a strange Brother."

(Source: MSA Digest - 101 Questions About Freemasonry)

American Freemasons
Three Centuries of Building Communities 

By Mark Tabbert, 32°

Published by the National Heritage Museum in cooperation with New York University Press

This book seeks to explore how generations of Masons have been exposed to the tenets of Freemasonry and have practiced them in public. To fulfill this purpose is to provide an explanation of what Freemasonry is, why American men have joined it for nearly 300 years, and what Freemasons have done and continue to do.

The book uses authorized quotations from Masonic initiation ceremonies and the symbols used by the Masons to provide deeper insight into Freemasonry's basic philosophy and a member's desire to participate. The dynamic and tense relationship between the privacy of restricted Masonic lodges and the openness of America's public communities are the catalyst of this beautifully illustrated book.

Order at: or 781-457-7108

All proceeds go to the National Heritage Museum.

Operation Phone Home

Operation Phone Home is a campaign designed with the goal of providing prepaid international phone calling cards to as many military men and women serving overseas as can be reached. It will be an ongoing effort as long as American Military Personnel serve overseas, particularly in Iraq, Afghanistan, and the Balkans.

The Masonic Service Association, on behalf of the Masonic fraternity, has entered into an agreement with the USO to participate in this program. MSA has met all of the requirements necessary to have a Website presence and a link to the USO Web page and to have a Masonic Logo on the phone card. The card will include the logo of the USO, the participating phone company (AT&T), and the American Flag. On the left side of the card will appear the Square and Compasses and the words Compliments of America's Freemasons.

Operation Phone Home, as described above, is a program that was formally approved by the Conference of Grand Masters at the MSA Annual Meeting in February 2004. As of December 31, 2004, $120,000.00 has been sent to the USO in support of this program. These funds include $20,000.00 originally given by the Masonic Service Association from our funds designated to support active duty military personnel and veterans and $100,000.00 from Grand Lodges, Lodges, Appendant Masonic Bodies, and Individual Masons. Also many donations form the Eastern Star, Jobs Daughters, Rainbow and DeMolay have been received. Please be proud, as a Freemason, that you are part of this extremely important program.




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