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Lodge History

Activities of State College Lodge No. 700, F. & A. M. Members

There are three definitions which, in the technical language of Freemasonry, apply to the word "lodge."

  1. It is a place in which Freemasons meet.
  2. It is an assembly or organized body of Freemasons, duly congregated for labor or business.
  3. The lodge, technically speaking, is a piece of furniture made in imitation of the Ark of the Covenant.

We are interested in the second definition. In particular, we are interested in the various masonic activities of members of State College Lodge No. 700. Unfortunately, there can be only one Master per year. In a lodge having a membership of 500-600, there must be other masonic activities for the members who are (1) either not interested in the basic Blue Lodge requirements for becoming a Master; or (2) are unable for various reasons to participate in the lodge activities leading to the Master's Station.

Henry David Thoreau once said, "If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music he hears, however measured or far away."

Through the years the number of masonic-related organizations has multiplied to the point where it is doubtful if any person or organization could identify all of the masonic-related organizations. Thus, Masonry offers a place of comfort for those lodge members who desire a masonic-related activity. Those lodge members who become active in other masonic-related bodies, and take but very little interest in their Blue Lodge, are marching to the sound of a different drummer. Providing these lodge members remember the solemn Blue Lodge rites, of which they have been partakers, and their parts in them, then their need for a masonic related activity is being satisfied.

Masonic related bodies in the State College area include the following bodies:

  1. Bellefonte Chapter #241 Royal Arch Masons
  2. Nittany Council #57, Royal and Select Master Masons
  3. Constans Commandry #33, Knights Templar
  4. Centre Forest #129, Tall Cedars of Lebanon
  5. Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Williamsport
  6. Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Altoona
  7. Jaffa Shrine
  8. Penn Priory #6, Knights of the York Cross of Honor*
  9. Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders*
  10. 33° Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite*

* Honorary bodies - membership is by invitation or by meeting specific requirements only.
This list is not complete; only the most visible and well known are listed.

The Masonic relationship of the above named bodies can be best seen in the following diagram:

Masonic Relationships

It is to be pre-supposed that one who achieves the highest elected office in any of the bodies named in 1-7 inclusive, can be considered an active member of that body. Masonic bodies 8-10 inclusive have special requirements for membership. Knights of the York Cross of Honor require election to the highest office in the Blue Lodge, Chapter, Council and Commandry before membership can be obtained. Knights of the Red Cross of Constantine and 33° A.A.S.R. require extensive service and dedication to the concepts, rituals and development of this ancillary masonic body/bodies in order to be invited to join these masonic honor organizations.

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