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Affiliated Freemason

A Freemason who holds membership in some Lodge. The word affiliation in Freemasonry is akin to the French affilier, which Richelet, Dictionnaire de la langue Franaise, Dictionary of the French Language, defines, "to communicate to any one a participation in the spiritual benefits of a religious order,'' and he says that such a communication is called an affiliation. The word, as a technical term, is not found in any of the old Masonic writers, who always use admission instead of affiliation.

There is no precept more explicitly expressed in the Ancient Constitutions than that every Freemason should belong to a Lodge. The foundation of the law which imposes this duty is to be traced as far back as the Regius Manuscript, which is the oldest Masonic document now extant, and of which the "Secunde poynt" requires that the Freemason work upon the workday as truly as he can in order to deserve his hire for the holiday, and that he shall "truly labor on his deed that he may well deserve to have his meed" (see lines 269-74). The obligation that every Freemason should thus labor is implied in all the subsequent Constitutions, which always speak of Freemasons as working members of the Fraternity, until we come to the Charges approved in 1722, which explicitly state that "every Brother ought to belong to a Lodge, and to be subject to its By-Laws and the General Regulations." Opportunity to resign one's membership should therefore involve a duty to affiliate.

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