FREEMASONRY AND THE BREAD AND WINE AS SYMBOLS Many people have so long wondered about the existence of freemasonry. But to formally define freemasonry, we can in short define it as free workers like free gardeners or free fishers and so on. But the word in itself can be just defined as workers. We should take not that they are not ordinary workers but are the workers with prestige. Many people associate freemasonry to religion. But this in fact is not about religion. It maybe peculiar but freemasonry is the opposite of what speculators think it is. It is a place where people of different religions meet. It is a sort of organization that is identified with a lot of symbols in life.
So aside from being considered as the world’s oldest fraternal society, it is also an organization that deals with ritual dramas following old forms and the use of stonemason’s customs and ways.
But unlike natural or normal organizations, no one can speak for the freemasons. This maybe is the reason why some people demand for the unity of culture, ways and means of this group. But not looking at what people say about the group, the main purpose and reason of its existence is to better every individual and its society.
Like any other fraternities or tight brotherhoods, getting in is not easy. There are also requirements or qualifications, one of which is a belief in the Supreme Being. This isn’t bad for a requirement. Other things that need to be considered are the three principles namely Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth.
The first one refers to the respect that a Freemason shows to other people with regard to their ideas and beliefs. In the modern age specially, ideas that reign are the ideas of the powerful. This principle can be the answer to the rising claim for power which can be derived from the already-wealthy individuals who only accept their own ideas to standing for the majority even though it does not. This also relates to kindness and behaving well by understanding the situation of other people and the different scenarios in life.
The second principle which talks of relief involves charity and care, still for other people. With this principle at hand, it is not only the individual who will benefit but also the community where he belongs. Voluntary acts of kindness can also be related to this principle. Giving to the needy and attending to the sick are just a few of the mentioned principle.
Then they also have the truth being one of the principles that need to be given attention. The good standards of life as they believe must involve the forever search for truth and good moral because this is the only way that he can achieve the real quality of living. With these three principles, Freemasons believe that a better way of living can be attained may it be in different walks of life.
In the past, Freemasons took care of children who lost their parents. They also dealt with the sick and the old people. Nowadays, charitable acts still continue and many people and companies involve themselves in the activities by giving financial support to the so-called organization.
To make it short, the organization is not just an organization. It has a purpose of a greater good for people. Having a good purpose for existence, freemasonry has different degrees symbolizing different Philosophies which in the end will land in the final degree called Knight of the Rose Croix. This, being the end of all philosophy aims to free the mind from those that hinders its progress or success. It might be a little absurd but this is considered as the higher form. When an individual has entered this degree, it is expected that from him, there are already different knowledge and ideas invested. This is a big deal for every freemason.
There are different ceremonies symbolizing different things in the rituals. One of these is the Brief of Address which includes drinking in the same cup and eating the same bread along with the other members. This is done to show confidence and trust to other people specially the members of the organization. This process using the bread and wine can also be likened to the process that was done by the Hebrews who acquired the customs from the Egyptians. This process being considered as a feast which is why every step they do has a meaning. There is the uniform statement which they utter as they celebrate the feast. In there they mention about the read and wine being the symbol of fraternity and brotherly affection being the perfect union that they believe should subsist among themselves as ‘brothers.’
In short, the feast which is also considered as a ceremony with symbols as bread and wine not only shows a strong bond among them but also commitment and dedication to what they believe, to the three principles which guided them all throughout the process until they reach the so-called final rite. Just like the last supper where the disciples partook on the bread and wine, they too somehow showed allegiance to their brotherhood. And it is said that brotherhood that is joined by the bread and wine has an eternity to take. Well, practically speaking, it still depends on the members and on how they deal with the so-called ‘brotherhood’ which is some sort of a self promise that they keep for a lifetime.
What is good about this brotherhood is that they don’t just benefit from each other but the people surrounding them. They are the ones who look for the higher level of living through their belief in the Supreme Being as guided by the three principles. the promise that they take, Is not an ordinary promise for a job or an office, but a promise connected with life. This in short is a sharing of the blessings of life through good and kind deeds. This is why we can say that the bread and wine Is not just trust and belief for each of the brothers but also trust and belief in the goodness of the Supreme Being who gives people good life through his own acts of kindness.
The Rosslyn Templars. 2002. Freemasonry. September 5, 2007
The Web of Hiram. Knight of the Rose Croix. September 5, 2007.