A short dictionary of Freemasonry
Introductory note: The following Short Glossary of Freemasonry is primarily intended for the profanes (those who do not belong to the Brotherhood), seeking information about the world of Freemasonry. Accordingly, the list of terms is short and the definitions do not cover the extremely rich and multi-faceted meanings of described items. This approach was a conscious choice, because the role of this website is not to create a full lexicon, but only set aside the door to the full richness of the Masonic terminology.
A lodge - refers to the assembly of the Freemasons (chaired by the Honourable Master of the Lodge and assisted by Officers), but also a to their meeting place. The Lodge itself is an echo of the Temple of Jerusalem, and the understanding of its symbolism and constant exploration of its meaning is one of the fundamental tasks of Mason.
Obedience - determines the dependiences in freemason streams. The concept of obedience involves issuing of so-called freemason patents. For the lack of a better analogy, the obedience can thought as of Christian sects such as Orthodoxy, Catholicism, Anglicanism and Lutheranism. They all belong to one family (christianity), but among them there are various differences. It should be noted that this is only a far-reaching simplification, and Freemasonry is not (and never was) a religious movement.
The most important obediences operating in Poland include Grand Orient of Poland (liberal and adogmatic power), Grand Lodge of the National Polish (Regular Freemasonry, conservative), and International Masonic Order l'Droit Humain.
Rite - refers to the scripted words and actions that are spoken or performed during the degree work in a Masonic Lodge. There are a number of different rites, including: Rite of Adoption, Ancient and Primitive Rite, French Rite, Rite of Memphis-Misraim, Primitive Scottish Rite, Rectified Scottish Rite, Scottish Rite Rite of Strict Observance, Swedish Rite and York Rite. Each Lodge takes one rite as governing its work. Different Lodges in one obedience can take different rites. For instance, lodges in Grand Orient of Poland usually prefer French and Scotish Rites.
Grand Lodge - a traditional name for the obedience (or lodge of the lodges), usually acting as a seed of Freemasonry in one particular country.
Regularity - applies to changes and partitioning of Freemasonry in 17th Century. The Grand United Lodge of England recognised itself as a sole heart of the Freemasonry. Continental lodges (esp. in France) claimed this as an usurpation and proclaimed the liberal branch od Freemasonry.
Masonic Triangle - a seed for a lodge. Cound be thought as a "company in organisation". It cannot work ritually, but one of its main goals is to prepare the installation of a fully qualified lodge.