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Why are Masons said to be Free & Accepted?

FREE: The word means not bound; not enslaved; independent; with liberty to follow your own choices. A freemason was know as such because of his skill, knowledge, laws, rules, and customs which applied to masons of lessor abilities in the cathedral building age.

ACCEPTED: The term applied to those men who were not builders, or masons by trade or skill, who were “accepted” into the early Lodges without such qualifications. With the decline of the cathedral building craft and general dissemination of knowledge (printing), operative masons no longer had a monopoly on the “secrets” of building trades; other men (Speculative Masons) were accepted into the fraternity for knowledge, fellowship, and collaborative learning.

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