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Masons vs. Freemasons: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Janet White || Published on January 20, 2024
Masons are skilled workers who build with stone, brick, or concrete, while Freemasons belong to a fraternal organization with symbolic rituals and a focus on moral and spiritual values.

Key Differences

Masons are craftsmen specialized in stone, brick, or concrete construction. Their work involves physical construction and building, focusing on the practical and functional aspects of structures. Freemasons, in contrast, are members of a fraternal organization known as Freemasonry, which is not related to physical construction but rather to symbolic building, focusing on moral and spiritual development.
The term mason historically referred to skilled workers who were adept in cutting, shaping, and laying stones to create structures. They were essential in building significant historical buildings and monuments. Freemasons, however, are part of an organization with roots tracing back to medieval stonemasons' guilds but have evolved into a group with philosophical, social, and charitable goals.
Masons engage in a trade that requires manual skills and knowledge about materials like stone and mortar. It's a profession with a focus on tangible, physical results. Freemasons, on the other hand, participate in a society that emphasizes symbolic teachings, moral lessons, and community service, often using metaphors related to stonemasonry.
Training for masons typically involves apprenticeships and hands-on learning to master the skills of masonry. It's a craft learned and perfected over time. Freemasons undergo a different kind of initiation, involving symbolic rituals and the learning of the organization's values and principles, which are more intellectual and ethical than physical.
Masons are found globally, contributing to construction and architecture. Their role is essential in the building industry. Freemasons also have a global presence but are unified by their fraternal bonds, shared rituals, and commitment to certain ethical principles, rather than a shared trade or craft.

Comparison Chart

Primary Focus

Construction with stone, brick, concrete
Fraternal organization with symbolic rituals

Nature of Work

Physical building and craftsmanship
Moral and spiritual development

Historical Origin

Skilled stone workers
Evolved from medieval stonemasons' guilds


Apprenticeships in physical craft
Initiation in symbolic teachings


Building physical structures
Promoting ethical values and community service

Global Presence

In construction industry
In fraternal and charitable activities

Key Skills

Manual skills, knowledge of materials
Understanding symbolic lessons, rituals


Tangible, physical results
Intellectual, ethical principles

Organizational Structure

Professional trade groups
Fraternal lodges with hierarchies


Constructing and repairing structures
Personal development, charity, social bonding

Masons and Freemasons Definitions


Skilled workers in stone, brick, or concrete construction.
The masons carefully laid the bricks for the new wall.


Members of a global fraternal organization with symbolic rituals.
The Freemasons held a meeting at their local lodge.


Professionals specializing in stonework, bricklaying, or concrete.
The masons completed the new pavement efficiently.


Individuals belonging to a society known for its moral and ethical teachings.
Freemasons often engage in charitable activities in their communities.


Artisans skilled in creating buildings and other structures.
Masons have been essential in constructing monumental structures throughout history.


Members of an organization with historical connections to stonemasons.
Freemasons trace their symbolic rituals back to medieval mason guilds.


Craftsmen who build and repair structures using masonry.
Masons were hired to restore the historic building.


Participants in a fraternal order focusing on personal development and community service.
The Freemasons organized a fundraiser for a local school.


Tradespeople proficient in the art of masonry.
The expertise of masons was evident in the intricately laid stonework.


People involved in a society with structured degrees and symbolic learning.
He became a Freemason to explore its philosophical teachings.


One who builds or works with stone or brick.


Freemason A member of the Free and Accepted Masons, an international fraternal and charitable organization with secret rites and signs.


Mason A Freemason.


A member of a guild of skilled itinerant masons during the Middle Ages.


To build of or strengthen with masonry.


Plural of freemason


Plural of mason


Infl of mason


What is a mason?

A mason is a skilled worker specialized in building with stone, brick, or concrete.

Who are Freemasons?

Freemasons are members of a fraternal organization known for its symbolic rituals and moral teachings.

Do masons and Freemasons do the same work?

No, masons are craftsmen in construction, while Freemasons are part of a fraternal society.

What skills do masons need?

Masons need manual skills and knowledge of masonry materials and techniques.

What do Freemasons do?

Freemasons participate in symbolic rituals, ethical discussions, and community service.

Are Freemasons a secret society?

Freemasons are not a secret society, but they have private rituals and meetings.

What is the main goal of Freemasonry?

The main goal of Freemasonry is moral and spiritual development, along with community service.

Do masons have symbolic rituals like Freemasons?

No, masons focus on practical building skills, not symbolic rituals.

Can women be Freemasons?

Yes, some Freemason branches admit women, though historically it was male-only.

How does one join the Freemasons?

Joining the Freemasons usually requires a belief in a higher power, a moral character, and an invitation or application to a lodge.

Are the teachings of Freemasons based on religion?

Freemasonry is not a religion, but it requires a belief in a higher power and has its own symbolic teachings.

Is there a difference in the membership process between masons and Freemasons?

Yes, masons enter through trade training, while Freemasons join through a more formal initiation process.

Do Freemasons engage in community work?

Yes, Freemasons are known for their charitable activities and community service.

Are all masons Freemasons?

No, being a mason in construction is not related to being a Freemason.

What kind of projects do masons work on?

Masons work on a variety of projects, including buildings, walls, and other structures.

Can someone be both a mason and a Freemason?

Yes, one can be a mason by trade and also join the Freemasons.

How does one become a mason?

One becomes a mason typically through apprenticeships and hands-on training.

Is masonry still a popular trade?

Yes, masonry remains vital in the construction industry.

Are there different types of masons?

Yes, there are various types of masons, such as stone masons, brick masons, and concrete masons.

Do Freemasons have ranks?

Yes, Freemasons have a system of degrees and hierarchical ranks.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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