Becoming a Freemason
From About Freemasons
Many people who become interested in Freemasonry eventually wonder how to become part of a Lodge. In order to become a Mason, a man must first show a desire to join Freemasonry. A good way to do this is to learn more about Freemasonry and to determine why Freemasonry is attractive. This is a very personal question, the one that masons will often ask of a new recruit. Therefore, someone wanting to become a Mason would do well to determine what exactly they're looking for from Freemasonry.
In order to become a Mason, a man must also look for a lodge to join. Today, many local lodges are listed in the Yellow Pages. Anyone interested in becoming a Mason may also contact the regular Grand Lodge in his jurisdiction to find out which local lodges are recognized. Finally, you may want to do research to determine which local lodges will be most attractive. While many lodges welcome everyone, some lodges are designed specifically to attract people from certain professions.
Once a man has determined that he wants to be a Mason and has found a lodge that interests him, he should visit the web site of the lodge or contact the lodge to learn about qualifications. Many lodges require that a Mason can read and write in the official language of the area, for example. Most lodges also require that a new recruit has lived in the area for at least a year. Many lodges require that a man is at least 21 years old and able to support those around him. In addition, many lodges ask specific questions that masons must be able to answer in the affirmative with a clear conscience. For example, lodges governed by the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of British Columbia and Yukon ask new recruits:
- Do you seriously and upon your honour declare that uninfluenced by mercenary or other unworthy motives, and unbiased by the improper solicitations of friends, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Freemasonry?
- Do you seriously and upon your honour declare that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Freemasonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution and a desire for knowledge?
- Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being?
A lodge in New York asks new candidates similar questions:
- Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that, unbiased by friends, and uninfluenced by mercenary motives, you freely and voluntarily offer yourself a candidate for the mysteries of Masonry?
- Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentlemen, that you are prompted to solicit the privileges of Masonry by a favorable opinion conceived of the Institution, a desire of knowledge, and a sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow-creatures?
- Do you seriously declare, upon your honor, before these gentle men, that you will cheerfully conform to all the ancient established sages and customs of the Fraternity?"
- Do you solemnly declare upon your honor that you have never petitioned any other lodge for initiation, and been rejected?
Some lodges have additional requirements that a Mason must meet. For example, some lodges require a Mason to have a Mason in good standing sponsor or recommend him. Most lodges require new recruits to pay an initiation fee and to study for initial rituals. Once a Mason becomes part of a Lodge, he will also have to pay annual dues and will have to work or volunteer for the lodge and this can range widely in terms of the time commitment. Some lodges require two to four evenings a month while others require a few evenings a week.