THE THREE PILLARS OF FREEMASONRY
ref: Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge
Jurisdiction of Arkansas, F.&A.M.
The number three (3) is one of the most used numbers in
the Holy Bible, and it is in this vein the we seek the deepest meanings
of the three(3) Pillars of the Outer Porch of King Solomon's Temple.
While strictly Masonic in character, meaning they are not found in the
scriptures, there are deeper meanings when coupling the Masonic
teachings with the Holy Bible, and one will find food for thought in the
In Freemasonry, we find five (5)
Orders of Architecture with symbolic meanings of:
Three (3) Principal Officers
in a Lodge.
Three (3) Stages of Life of
Youth, Manhood and Old Age.
Three Attributes of the
God-head, Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Three Great Lights in a Lodge.
Two (2) Orders that don't mean
a thing in Freemasonry.
The Orders are: Tuscan, Doric,
Ionic, Corinthian and Composite, which are representative of the five
human senses, which every candidate for the degrees must have, but, only
three are needed to be known as a Mason and they are called the Three
Pillars of Freemasonry.
TUSCAN (A Roman Column)
A Pillar of plainness, one given
its name from the Tuscans and the pillar is simple but massive. Many a
member of the Masonic Lodge is there as a bench member, as in church,
does not do anything outstanding, is on no board or committee, does not
serve as an officer. Yet, without him, there would not be the numbers
in the Lodge, so we must keep him.
DORIC (A Greek Column)
The second Pillar is different
from the first even though it is Massive, for it is more massive or
robust that the first and has a different chapiter at the top, a circle
which represent the oneness of God (Isaiah 40:22) and its massiveness
represents the awesome power of God Himself. It is the first of the
Greek Columns and represents Strength, the Pillar of the Senior Warden
in the Lodge, one of Support for the Master in the opening and closing
of his Lodge. He is the keeper of the wages of the craft and is to pay
them out on the orders of the Master of the Lodge.
This pillar is emblematical of the
West in direct contact with and for the Worshipful Master, both
representing the sun as it travels from East to the West. It is a
journey of life, rising and setting, doing so on the just as well as the
unjust. It tells of the times as morning, noon, afternoon, evening and
night, five (5) stations or areas of time. It is man in his infancy as
well as in his seniority or his death.
This Pillar is strength as it pays
the wages of those that may become dissatisfied and become disruptive in
the Lodge. Those wages are equal and are given to all members that work
in the quarries of the Lodge. It was Friendship that got you in the
Lodge, Morality was the Lodge's teachings and Brotherly Love (Filios) is
the highest from of Love found on earth. We are to love one another as
Christ has loved us. A mighty symbol of Strength, a mighty emblem of
the man in control, a Mason of parade!
IONIC (A Greek Column)
The third Pillar is massive with a
scroll or book at the top. It is a fluted column and it has a very
important sport in the Lodge, for it represent Wisdom, the wisdom of
Solomon. Yet, it is simple in its beholding. Solomon was the wisest
man known to man until Jesus came on the scene. However, Solomon was
also the most foolish and that made him foolish in his beholding, for
who needs 700 wives and 300 concubines?
The Pillar is fluted, showing the
many attributes of a good Master as well as the authority and powers of
the office of to which he has been elected. Even if one flute or one
authority is lost, those that are left would be sufficient for the
remainder of his term. Yet, the Master must be diligent in all aspects
of his administration so as not to bring disgrace and ridicule upon the
Lodge, remembering that he represents Solomon, King of Israel.
In his wisdom, the temple was
built, and in his wisdom the reputation of Jerusalem was spread around
the known world. In his foolishness, he became week for women, but,
that is not why God did not bless him. It was because he built temples
and altars to the strange gods of his women. The Worshipful Master is
supposed to display wisdom for the Lodge and make plans for the
successful programs of the Lodge. Still, he is not to be foolish so as
to bring ridicule on the Lodge and must stand and act as an upright man
should. He is emblematical of the book of wisdom that is displayed at
the top of the column and is to keep his hand in the Master's hand.
He is to be a standout in his
home, his church and his community, so that others may say, here is a
man and here is a Mason! He looks like a Master, and he is. This
Pillar shows a thinking man, one that is worth to be called Rabboni
CORINITHIAN (A Greek Column)
Behold, a thing of Beauty, this
Corinthian Column, fluted, with a spray of God's creation of beauty,
flowers. The fern that grace the chapiters of these columns gives the
beauty of Ancient Greece, Corinth from which it gets its name. It is
representative of the Junior Warden in the Lodge, an observer of Time,
watching it as it rise from the East, superintends it as it travels in a
Southern direction towards the West. The Junior Warden represents Hiram
Abif, the Widow's Son, sitting in the South. He also observes the craft
when they are at refreshments. Seeing that they do not fall prey to the
wiles of the evil one, one that may devour their soul, for he comes to
kill, steal and destroy. The Pillar of Beauty is the final result when
Wisdom and Strength work together. It is the summation of what to
expect when you have Wisdom to contrive and Strength to support, then
you will have Beauty to adorn. Strength cannot support and build
without the planning of Wisdom, and Beauty cannot paint, carve or
beautify if there is nothing. In the Lodge, the Master puts plans on
the Trestleboard. The Lodge, under the direction of the Senior Warden,
supports the Master's plans and the Beauty of it all spells success.
When all components work together,
when these different parts come together as one, when like the Father,
Son and Holy Ghost work together, success will be the byword and all
will be at peace in the tranquility of good works.
One day, the Great Junior Warden
of the heavens will call us all from refreshment back to labor so that
judgment will take place with the Grand Master of the Universe in
charge. As the Junior Warden is the prosecutor in the Lodge in case of
a trial, it will be Jesus, the Great Junior Warden that will be at the
Judgment Bar to decide whether he will be our prosecutor or defense
counsel. As we will be wearing no more than lambskin, we will have to
face the Lamb himself who will say whether we have been true to the word
as a man and as a Mason. If we pass the test, it will be a thing of
COMPOSITE (A Roman Column)
Like the very first column, the
last one, the Composite column is useless in the Masonic order. As the
first one represents Taste, the last column represents Smell. We need
the three Pillars for they represent Wisdom, Strength and Beauty, or
Seeing (to see the sign), Hearing (to hear the Word) and Feeling (to
feel the grip, whereby one Mason may know another in the dark as well as
in the light). You need these three (3) to be a Mason, but you can
neither taste or smell Freemasonry.
Thank you and have a good day and
may God bless each and every one of you!