Interested in joining? Here is some basic information which should address the question: “Where do I go from here?”
What is so often misunderstood is a simple fact: there are few but important requirements to become a Freemason!
While they are stated in slightly different words in various jurisdictions (and a few jurisdictions may have one or two requirements beyond these), they basically are as follows:
- Being a man, freeborn, of at least 18 years of age
Masonry began as a male organization, although there are now women’s organizations that parallel that of most of the men’s organizations.
The requirement of being “freeborn” is one which harkens back to the earliest days of Freemasonry. It became a requirement since only those free from indentured service (as many were in 17th century England, for example), could truly make decisions for themselves.
The age of adulthood for joining as established by the Most Worshipful Prince Hall Grand Lodge Constitution.
It’s a simply understood concept: if you are not old enough to make legal commitments, then the concepts and precepts of Freemasonry might be a bit too much for you to comprehend. Although this isn’t always true, there is a conceptual basis for separating ‘adults’ from ‘children’.
- Be of good moral character and well recommended
Being of good repute is another essential requirement in that Masons do not wish to encourage membership by those whose actions would stain the reputation of the fraternity.
A well-recommended person is one for whom another is willing to vouch. Those who become Freemasons have been recommended by a proposed sponsor and then examined by lodge members to ensure that the candidate will benefit from his membership.
- Belief in a Supreme Being
The major ‘bone of contention’ for some detractors, Masonry does not attempt to define or delineate how a person should pray or to whom worship should be addressed.
The term “Great Architect of the Universe” (or “Grand Architect of the Universe”) is used to permit a more generic worship to the Supreme Being of all present. All Masons understand this concept and when prayers are offered in their lodge, they understand that regardless of the person speaking the words or the manner of prayer of others present, the prayer is addressed to their Supreme Being.
Once a candidate professes such belief, no further investigation or interrogation is made about his religious beliefs.
- Ability to support one’s self and family
Although not specifically stated by all jurisdictions, this ‘requirement’ comes from a time when many would join organizations in the hope that there would be benefits for them in their old age. Masonry did want to become some type of benevolent association. Now, however, this ability is important to ensure that those who seek membership understand the priority of Freemasonry is secondary to religious and family obligations!
- Conduct oneself in a manner that will earn the respect and trust of others
This should be every man’s aim whether he joins the fraternity or not. You should be known by the way you deal with family, friends, and co-workers. Everyone should always know what to expect when dealing with you in the many facets of everyday life and the life of a Freemason.
- Possess a sincere desire to help other in the community
Masons should always be ready to help each other and those in their community without the need for reward. Practice charity and you will be rewarded in return.
- Join of your Free will and accord
Masonry is a voluntary organization which is sought by those with a positive impression of the organization.
Masonic membership has always been an intensely personal experience and in times when “feelings” weren’t discussed publicly, the need for a person to ask for membership was often not communicated to those who might otherwise be interested in the fraternity. Accordingly, there are many who became Masons much later in life than necessary: they had thought the proper thing to do was to wait to be asked to join!
So, don’t wait to be asked to join…
If you’ve read this far and are now interested in Masonic membership for yourself, simply visit your local Masonic lodge or contact us via the following: