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Uncovering the Similarities & Differences Between Freemasonry, Elks & Knights (Explained)

Uncovering the Similarities & Differences Between Freemasonry, Elks & Knights (Explained)

Have you ever thought about the difference between freemasonry, Elks, and knights? If not and you’re trying to find it then you are in the right place.

  • Freemasonry is a fraternal organization based on principles of brotherly love and mutual aid and includes numerous rituals and secrets.
  • Elks Lodge is a charitable fraternal organization focused on community service and fundraising for worthy causes.
  • Knights of Columbus is a Roman Catholic organization that promotes Catholic values and charity work.

Each of these organizations has its own unique culture and values, but also some notable similarities. They all have strong social networks that bring people together to promote friendship, support each other in times of need, and give back to their communities. Continue reading this blog post for a detailed explanation of this topic.

The History of Freemasonry

Freemasonry is one of the world’s oldest fraternal organizations, with its roots stretching back as far as the 1600s. Founded on the principles of brotherly love, relief, and truth, Freemasonry was originally open only to men. Today, though many lodges are still male-only, there are also some mixed lodges that welcome female members.

history carved on wood
history of freemasonry
Philanthropic organizationFreemasonry is a philanthropic organization that encourages its members to be active in the communities they live in.
Personal moralityThis historic organization helps members build meaningful connections with one another and puts an emphasis on personal morality and social responsibility.
Charitable activitiesThrough charitable activities such as blood drives, holiday food drives, public safety programs and more, Freemasons strive to make a positive impact on society as a whole.
brief summary of Freemasonry

The organization also has an esoteric component that focuses on spiritual enlightenment, self-discovery and self-improvement through symbols, rituals and teachings. Freemasonry is organized through local lodges which provide members with a place for spiritual reflection and moral development.

Exploring the Elks Lodge and Its Culture

The Elks Lodge, or Benevolent and Protective Order of Elks, is a fraternal organization in the United States that was founded in 1868. It focuses on charitable work, primarily for the benefit of veterans, children and the elderly.

elks culture
Exploring the Elks Culture

The organization promotes a culture of friendship and mutual support through community service and by providing opportunities for recreation. Members are expected to participate in club activities and participate in social events such as lodging meetings, parades, dinners and theater nights.

The Elks also engages in fundraising activities. Funds raised help promote community projects, support members’ families during times of hardship and develop youth character-building programs.

The Elks Lodge has a strong sense of patriotism that is demonstrated by their commitment to the Constitution of the United States, their focus on family values and their pride in their history and heritage as Americans. As with Freemasonry and Knights of Columbus, members must abide by certain tenets of conduct that extend beyond club meetings.

What To Expect As A Member Of The Knights Of Columbus?

Despite their differences, the members of the Knights of Columbus, Freemasonry and Elks Lodge all share a common commitment to promoting fellowship and charity. But when it comes to being a member of the Knights of Columbus, there are some expectations that make it stand out from other organizations.

Knight on a horse
What to Expect as a Member of the Knights

Core Values

The core values of the Knights of Columbus are fraternity, unity and charity – these are pillars that guide not only the organization itself but also the individual members.

This means striving for excellence in all areas of life, including relationships with others as well as one’s own self-development. As a Knight you must exemplify this code and help others do the same.


To become a member, you must be practicing Catholic at least 18 years old (or 16 with parental permission). In addition to meeting these requirements you must commit to:

  • Praying for fellow Knights throughout their journey
  • Participating in charitable works
  • Being an example of goodness in your community
  • Faithfully living according to Catholic moral teachings

By adhering to these expectations, Knights can act on their commitment to self-improvement and create a better world for everyone around them.

How Do These Organizations Support Charitable Causes?

All of the organizations listed serve a charitable purpose. Freemasonry, Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus do their part to contribute to their own communities and those beyond them.


Foundations affiliated with this organization engage in humanitarian activities, provide assistance to people in need, support medical research and promote education.

Elks Lodge

The Elks National Foundation is a major donor in the United States and provides financial aid to charitable projects each year. Notable contributions have included grants for drug-awareness programs, children’s camps and scholarships for college students.

Knights of Columbus

This Catholic fraternal society channels most of its fundraising efforts into assisting the needy and disadvantaged; activities such as food drives, toy collections and donations are commonplace across the organization’s many chapters worldwide.

Scholarships are also offered for high school and college students who face financial hardships.

Membership Requirements & Benefits

How These Organizations Support Charitable Causes

Though Freemasonry, Elks Lodge and the Knights of Columbus require different criteria for joining, each requires members to believe in a higher power and actively practice their faith. In addition, members are usually asked to subscribe to a code of conduct that encourages charity and fellowship.

Membership in each organization also comes with certain benefits. While requirements vary, many of these organizations offer access to exclusive clubs and services, such as:

  • Insurance programs
  • Low-interest loans
  • Scholarships for young people
  • Job placement services
  • Social events

In some cases, a connection or invitation from an existing member may be required for prospective members. Membership in these organizations also often involves dues paid on an annual basis.

Ultimately, no matter which organization you choose to join, these benefits serve as a testament to the important role these organizations have played over the years in promoting brotherhood and fellowship among membership or providing relief for those in need.

Comparing Rituals & Traditions

Comparing rituals and traditions between Freemasonry, Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus can be a difficult task, as each organization has its own distinct set of beliefs and values. However, there are certain similarities that can be drawn among all three.

Belief In God

At the core of all three organizations is the belief that there is a greater power in the universe, which is expressed through a belief in a higher power.

This higher power, whatever it may be, guides each organization’s members in their actions and teachings.

Rituals & Traditions

The rituals and traditions that take place during meetings can differ greatly among these organizations – such as how they organize meetings or the inclusion of religious elements within those meetings – but all three maintain similar core philosophies within their ceremonies.

These include respect for their fellow members, a commitment to their communities and helping others in need.

Dress Codes & Symbols

Similarly, each organization has its own particular dress codes which members adhere to during meetings or special occasions.

Each also has symbols which represent important values or beliefs within their organization – such as Masonic symbols representing Freemasonry’s core principles or the Knights of Columbus’ four-cornered emblem symbolizing their dedication to charity.


What Is Freemasonry, Elks, And Knights?

What Is Freemasonry, Elks, And Knights?

Freemasonry, Elks, and Knights are fraternal organizations that have a long history and are known for their charitable works and community service.

What Are Some Similarities Between Freemasonry, Elks, And Knights?

All three organizations are fraternal in nature, have a membership that is exclusively male, and have a strong focus on charity work and community service.

What Are The Differences Between Freemasonry, Elks, And Knights?

Freemasonry is a secret society that focuses on spiritual and moral values, while Elks and Knights are both public organizations that focus on charity and community service.

Elks are known for their support of veterans, while Knights are a Catholic fraternal organization that supports the Catholic Church.


  • When looking at the similarities and differences between Freemasonry, Elks Lodge and Knights of Columbus, it’s clear that each organization serves its members in different ways.
  • However, all three organizations have a common purpose of providing fellowship among their members, helping each member grow in their faith, offering assistance to those in need, and creating a sense of community.
  • In conclusion, while the individual criteria and activities of each organization may differ, they all have a common goal of helping strengthen their members, create a sense of purpose, and foster a sense of belonging.
  • It is this shared purpose that allows the members of these organizations to form a network of support and a bond of friendship that transcends any other group connection.

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