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Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the "liberal" jurisdictions who have removed some, or all, of these restrictions.The Lodge meets regularly to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation (pay bills, organise social and charitable events, elect new members, etc.).Some time later, in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, and finally they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason.In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords, signs and grips (secret handshakes) peculiar to his new rank.In modern times, interested people often track down a local Lodge through the Internet.The onus is on candidates to ask to join; while candidates may be encouraged to ask, they are never invited.Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients.

The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will typically have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge.

Modern Freemasonry broadly consists of two main recognition groups.

Regular Freemasonry insists that a volume of scripture is open in a working lodge, that every member profess belief in a Supreme Being, that no women are admitted, and that the discussion of religion and politics is banned.

There is usually an age requirement, varying greatly between Grand Lodges, and (in some jurisdictions) capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge.

The underlying assumption is that the candidate should be a mature adult.

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