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A fraternal order is a fraternity organised as an order, with traits alluding to religious, chivalric or pseudo-chivalric orders, guilds, or secret societies. Contemporary fraternal orders typically have secular purposes, including social, cultural and mutually beneficial or charitable aims. Many friendly societies, benefit societies and mutual organisations take the form of a fraternal order.
Fraternal societies are often divided geographically into units called lodges or provinces. They sometimes involve a system of awards, medals, decorations, styles, degrees, offices, orders, or other distinctions, often associated with regalia, insignia, initiation and other rituals, secret greetings, signs, passwords, oaths, and more or less elaborate symbolism, as in chivalric orders.

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