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Admission to membership in Freemasonry has always been limited to men, but there are several appendant organizations for the Ladies and for the boys and girls. There are also concordant organizations to which only Masons can apply for membership, including the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, and the Shriners, to name the largest and best know. These are a part of the Masonic Family.
Freemasonry has no restrictions based on race, creed, ethnic origin or social status.
As stated before, no one will openly invite a man to become a mason. You must ASK ONE TO BECOME ONE
The absolute requirements for becoming a Mason are:
Have belief in a Supreme Being (No particular religion or faith is required or excluded. All are welcome.)Be a man, at least 21 years old. (18 in some jurisdictions)
Be of good moral character
Be of good reputation
Be loyal to your country
Have a sincere determination to conduct yourself in a manner that will earn the respect and trust of others
You should be coming to Masonry "of your own free will and accord", to learn to improve yourself and to enjoy the company of other good people, not because someone keeps pestering you to join or because you think it will help you "get ahead" in business.
You should be someone who does, or want to learn to, enjoy the company of other men from all different social classes, faiths, backgrounds, races, countries, etc. Masonry is universal in its ideals.
Dedicated to providing for your own family. If you are a family man, Masonry considers that your family obligations come FIRST, so you must be sure that:
Let's expand what some of the concepts means:
A belief in a Supreme Being. Every applicant must profess such a
belief but Freemasonry does not define, or impose, a definition of a Supreme
Being. Each individual applicant must define that entity for himself.
Atheists and Agnostics cannot, therefore, become Freemasons. This belief
is absolute and admits of no exceptions. Of course individuals might lie in this
respect in order to gain admission and there is little that Freemasons could do
to identify such men. All is taken on the honor of the individual concerned.
In fact everything that a Freemason does in his private and public life must be
honorable and Freemasonry encourages all members to behave in an upright and
moral manner. Members are encouraged to support their individual faith by
attendance at their Mosque, Church, Chapel etc, but it is not a requirement.
HOW TO GET STARTED
Follow these steps to become a member
To join, all you have to do is ask a Mason. Remember Masons do not solicit for members. You'll need to express your personal interest in joining the Fraternity.
Your Petition for membership will be read at the next Stated Meeting and afterwards an Investigated Committee will be appointed.
Your character will be investigated by the Investigating Committee. This is done by three members who will meet with you, your family if so desire and answer any questions
Your petition will be presented and voted upon by secret ballot by all lodge member. All present members must accept you that is it must be unanimous.
If accepted you will receive information on when you will begin your degrees and your journey in Masonry begins
FEES AND DUES
All lodges have an Initiation fee which helps to pay for all materials that you will be receiving. Each jurisdiction will have its own governing regulations regarding amount and how it will be collected, but as a general rule, it could follow this format described below:
a) Each degree has its associated cost.
b) Usually an amount specified by by-laws shall be payable in advance with the petition, for consideration by the Lodge
c) Usually an amount specified by by-laws shall be payable, if elected, prior to receiving the Entered Apprentice degree
d) If rejected by action of the Lodge, as stated before, all fees paid by the Petitioner shall be immediately refunded
All lodges have a fee for affiliation for those who are already Master Masons payable in advance with the petition for consideration by the Lodge. If rejected by action of the Lodge the amount paid by the petitioner will be returned
Lastly all lodges have an annual dues which is payable by each voting member (excepting honorary members) on or before the first day of January of each year.
HOW DO I QUIT
Although different Grand Lodge jurisdictions will have their own definitions and requirement, all entitle their members to voluntarily withdraw if they so desire. There is no coercion or penalty; only, as in most things Masonic, a proper form.
Demits are usually issued in these two circumstances:
If a member is free of all charges (fiscal and conduct) and is in possession of a current dues card at the time of his demit or death, he shall be known as "a member in good standing at that time". However, a member in good standing at the time of demit is not a "member" nor in "good standing" thereafter, as he has voluntarily withdrawn himself from the rights and privileges of Freemasonry.
A demitted member may still, with some restrictions in some jurisdictions, visit Lodges; but most importantly he will also find it easier if he wishes to affiliate with a Lodge in the future.
Just as important is the potential bearing of his Masonic status on his family. Membership in appendant organizations such as the Eastern Star for women, Job's Daughters for girls, and DeMoley for boys, requires that a brother, husband, uncle, father or grandfather be, or have been, a Freemason. A member who is suspended does a potential disservice to his children or children's children.
To obtain a Demit, you must officially inform your lodge's secretary in writing of such request or if affiliating, the new lodge's secretary will request it for you.
Taking a demit is preferable to being suspended.
Suspension deprives a member of all his Masonic rights and privileges, either for a definite or indefinite time. A member can be suspended by his Lodge for non-payment of dues. A Grand Lodge Trial Commission can also suspend or expel a member for unmasonic conduct. A member, once expelled or suspended, is no longer considered a Freemason. He has no claims on Freemasonry and Freemasonry has no claims on him.
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States or elsewhere.
Last modified: March 22, 2014