On the audio

Freemasonry in Russia has a really rich history. It is the heritage of Russia, and world Masonry, as well.

Since the start of the Russian Masonry during the reign of Peter the Great and up to now, Russian Masons have made valuable contributions to Russian and world culture, the spiritual evolution of mankind, the perception of  a Human's place on the Earth under the God, the growth and development, the maturing of the society. The spiritual ideals of Noble and Ethical society,  Freedom, Brotherhood, Equality, Faith, - have always been the ideals of our Brethren. Russian Masonry has always been trying to "take a good man and make him better", to make  Masons -  the men possessing a strong belief in God, of high moral values.

And all the history of Russian Masonry, the list of Russian Masons prove, that it has succeeded in this. The names of I. Yelagin, A. Suvorov, N. Novikov, A. Pushkin, M. Garder, and others, are the best proof. During the times of Catherine II the Great, Paul I, Alexander I, Nikolas I, Alexander II, Alexander III, Nikolas II, our Brethren used to be the basis of Russian elite and had introduced a lot necessary changes into the Russian Society, propagated the ideals of humanitarianism, contributed to developing new Laws, and so on.  

Continuously, during all its history, Russian Masonry has evolved  as a part of the Whole - the Freemasonry. Deep and friendly relations with our Brethren from Great Britain, France, Germany, Sweden, and other countries have always been characteristic of Russian Masons. Visiting our meetings, exchanging new ideas and literature, helping in the organization of new Lodges,  foreign Brethren took part in the activities of  the Russian Masonry. Of course, Russian Brethren have visited the meetings of European and American Lodges, took part in Masonic activities since the Willhelmsbad Convention up to the present time. And now, our foreign Brethren take part in the meetings of our Lodges, when staying in Russia. We are always delighted to see them.  

After the more than 70-years' recess, or "sleeping" period that was due to the laws of our not long ago closed society, prohibiting the very existence of any group, the aims of which were not precisely the same as the aims of governing party, the Russian Fremasonry has been revived. Actually, our history has not interrupted, and all this time, Russian Masonry has been keeping and developing its ideas, its principles and traditions, in other countries. Feeling deep gratitude towards our Brthren like Mikhail Vassilyevitch Garder, reading the history and the records of the meeting of Russian Lodges in France, we without a shadow of doubt say, that the Russian Masonry of today is the genuine offsping and descendant of the Russian Masonry of the times of A. Pushkin and A. Suvorov. The Fraternity not only has revived here, but it constantly grows and develops. 

The Grand Lodge of Russia was constituted  by  the Grand Loge Nationale Francaise  on June, 24, 1995. We have been recognized by :

Brief History

    http://members.aol.com/houltonme/rus.htm

Invitation

Dear Brethren,

we have an honor to announce, that there are English- speaking Lodges in Russia, particularly, in Moscow, and that we would be delighted  to see you at their meetings. If you wish to go on with your Masonic work and participate in Lodge meetings while visiting Russia, our Lodges are always open for you. 

Please, contact us by email:
freemasonry@freemasonry.ru

Concerning our English-not-speaking Brethren, we think, that language difficulties cannot be an unsurpassable obstacle for our work, and we would be very glad if you anyway contact us.

We are always very glad to see you, Brethren!

References

As you know, Masonry in Russia used to be very strongly oppressed during the Soviet period, and due to this and the fact that public oppression still goes on, there the Web certainly lacks objective and publicly available information concerning Russian Masonry.

However, now, you can view some opinions, notes, observations and researches made about Russian Masonry by our foreign Brethren:

THE GRAND LODGE OF RUSSIA by Brother Peter Waters

 http://users.iol.it/fjit.bvg/glrussia.html

The Masonic Universal 42

http://internet.lodge.org.uk/docushare/dscgi/ds.py/Get/File-156

The Masonic Universal 37

http://internet.lodge.org.uk/docushare/dscgi/ds.py/Get/File-151

The Masonic Universal 27

http://internet.lodge.org.uk/docushare/dscgi/ds.py/Get/File-141

RUSSIAN FREEMASONRY: A NEW DAWN. 

http://members.aol.com/houltonme/rus.htm

My Masonic Adventure In Russia, Robert G. Watkins, Jr., 32

http://www.srmason-sj.org/council/journal/09-sep/watkins.htm

 

“How Glorious Is Our Lord in Zion”

A Russian spiritual (non-church) hymn, one of the masterpieces by the Russian genius composer Dimitry Stepanovich Bortnyansky (1751-1825), who created it basing on traditional folk and church melodies. Bortnyansky was a faithful Freemason and author of many religious and Masonic musical works.

For a considerable period of time served as the national anthem of the Russian Empire, until it was replaced by “Bozhe Czarya Hrany”, actually the translation of the British anthem “God save the King” sung to the melody of the same.

“How Glorious Is Our Lord…” has always inspired various audiences by its crystal clarity and spiritual might. The melody is supposed to be created between 1790 and 1801. It was included into the ceremony of military cadets’ and officers’ promotion to ranks, also played after a cannon volley and an order “To the prayer! Hats off!”.

Since 1856 by the October of 1917 the 37 bells of the main tower of Moscow Kremlin tolled Bortnyansy’s hymn at 3 p.m. and at 9 p.m. (at noon and at 6 p.m. they tolled the Guard’s “Preobrazhensky March”). Since the August of 1918 these melodies were replaced by “The International” and the bolshevick mourning song “You Have Fallen Victims”.

Traditionaly, "How Glorious Is Our Lord..." is considered the anthem of Russian Freemasonry, for originally it was sung at every Masonic meeting in this country during the Feast of Brotherly Love. This tradition is being nowadays revived, and this inspiring hymn was, in particular, played at the installation of the Grand Master of the GLR in 1995 and at the consequitive Annual Assemblies of GLR.

The lyrics was composed by Gavrila Romanovich Derzhavin (1743-1816), one of the greatest poets in the history of Russia, one of the founding fathers of Russian secular literature and Russian Classicism, a prominent Freemason and the author of many Masonic hymns and songs, as well as of numerous philosophic and symbolic essays.

“How glorious Is our Lord in Zion,

This our tongue cannot explain.

Great Is He in Heaven,

Great Is He in the legends of the Earth.

Everywhere, Lord, everywhere Thou Art glorious,

Thy glory is the same, day or night.

***

Thou enlightenest the mortals with the Sun,

Thou lovest us, O Lord, like Thy children,

Thou satiatest us with a meal,

And Thou layest the foundation of a City for us in Zion.

Thou visitest the sinful, my God,

And Thou feedest them with Thy flesh.”

 

 

 

 

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