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A peek inside the Lodge
[September 25, 2010]

A peek inside the Lodge

Sep 25, 2010 (The Gazette - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- C EDAR RAPIDS Members of the general public will have a rare opportunity to observe a Masonic ceremony today as Cedar Rapids area Masons host a rededication ceremony for their building.

The Grand Lodge of Iowa, Ancient Free and Accepted Masons will conduct a 100th anniversary rededication ceremony at 1 p.m. today for the Masonic Lodge, 210 Sixth St. NE, in Cedar Rapids. It's one of the few times a Masonic ceremony is open to the public.

'This is a ceremony we hold for lodges that celebrate milestones,' said Bill Crawford, Grand Secretary of the Grand Lodge of Iowa, 813 First Ave. SE, in Cedar Rapids.

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest global fraternity dedicated to the 'brotherhood of man.' It's not a religion or a substitute for religion, but members are required to believe in a supreme being. There are no ties to specific denominations or faiths. There are some things Masons will talk about when asked about Freemasonry, and there are several things they won't.

Regular meetings and ceremonies are open to members only, and the things discussed at those meetings are not shared with nonmembers.

That's why today's ceremony is rare; not only will members of the public get a glimpse inside the Masonic Lodge, they will hear presentations about the building given during the 45-minute ceremony.

The ceremony will include a consecration of the building using corn, wine and oil, symbolic of nourishment, refreshment and joy.

Although the Grand Lodge has held rededication ceremonies for remodeled buildings, it's the first time there has been a rededication ceremony for an original building's anniversary.

The building was originally the Scottish Rite Temple.

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