The Lodge

by MasterMason
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This next piece is in answer to Bro. Desmond Shairp of Vancouver BC who wanted to know WHERE did the name “Lodge” come from and WHY. The following information is the best that I have been able to find:

The Lodge

The Constitutions of our Fraternity as early as 1723 defined the Lodge as;

“a place where Masons assemble and work: hence that assembly, or duly organized Society of Masons, is called a Lodge, and every Brother ought to belong to one, and to be subject to its By-Laws and General Regulations”

All Brethren know that the word “lodge” has at least three meanings: it is the place –a building or a room—in which Freemasons meet; it is the society, or body, of Freemasons that meets there; it is the actual meeting of that body. When we think of the Lodge all three meanings often coalesce.

The word “lodge” was applied as early as the thirteenth century to the room or building set aside fro the use of Masons on any big building site.

One form of the old lodge was probably a workroom, which also served as the Masons’ “refectory” as  beautiful a word as the modern “canteen” is ugly, but having much the same meaning. The Lodge was the Masons’ fraternal and social centre, and also, we expect, it was also their dormitory as well.

In general language, the word “lodge” applies today to a small building, sometimes a shed, and we may note that the incorporation of Masons, one of the fourteen trade guilds of Glasgow, dating back to the eleventh century, brings its meeting to an end by “closing the shed” with a series of knocks made by rapping with a folded rule.

The word “shed” as meaning the Masonic Lodge, is known in some parts of Scotland.

Taken from Freemasons’ Guide and Compendium (Bernard E. Jones)

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