To Become a Freemason You Must:
- Be a man, freeborn, of mature age, of good repute, and well-recommended
- Have a belief in a Supreme Being
- Be able to support one's self and family
- Come to Freemasonry of your "own free will and accord"
The applicant must be a man (Freemasonry is a fraternal organization) and be at least 21 years of age. He must be of good moral character and demonstrate responsibility in his family and work. To join a Lodge, a man needs to be sponsored by two Masons who belong to that Lodge.
Freemasonry does not demand belief in the God of a particular religion -- but demands a belief in a Supreme Being. Freemasonry strongly discourages any discussion of religious issues or politics while in Lodge. These are personal topics, and topics that tend to create disharmony -- which is antithetical to the culture of 'Brotherhood' that Freemasonry seeks to promote.
The applicant should be financially able to become (and remain) a Mason without it being a burden to himself or to his family.
Freemasonry does not "invite" men to become Masons! Solicitation of members is, in fact, strictly prohibited.
In addition to the criteria above, there are options with respect to which Lodge you join:
Dominion Lodge #117 meets on the second Wednesday of each month, and does not meet at all in July and August.
Other Lodges meet on weekday evenings, typically twice a month -- once for regular business and once for the conferring of degrees (called 'emergent' meetings) -- and some meet once a month, usually on a Saturday, where they confer a degree as well as conduct business.
Fees can vary from Lodge to Lodge. Lodge fees are levied according to the following disbursements: Grand Lodge Assessment, Building Assessments (covering the costs of the Lodge's building costs), and the Lodge Assessment (covering the operating expenses for the Lodge itself). Dominion Lodge fees are currently set at $150/year and are due in January of each year.
You will be given a "Letter of Information" which you need to sign. Once signed the Secretary will send you an application form or "Petition," which needs to be completed by you and signed by two members of Dominion Lodge. If you are interested in becoming a member of Dominion, and you don't know any of the members of our Lodge, please send an e-mail to the Lodge. We will arrange to meet with you, give you the "paperwork" and also make arrangements for you to meet with a second member of Dominion Lodge. A $250.00 deposit is required to go along with your petition. This is a one-time fee to cover the cost of Regalia if you are accepted and continue on to become a Mason of Dominion Lodge. Your annual dues are required before your initiation and will be prorated depending upon when you actually join in the year.
Once the petition is presented in open Lodge, the Worshipful Master calls an "Investigation Committee" consisting of two or three members who will arrange to meet with you. Though called an "Investigation Committee," this is really an informal get-together that allows you and your significant other to ask questions about the fraternity, and assure the Lodge that you are eligible to join and haven't been invited or coerced to join. (They'll make sure that you're over the age of 21, ask if you believe in a Supreme Being, ask if you're economically solvent, and find out why you want to join a Lodge.) It's an opportunity for you to meet a few more members of our Lodge, and ask some questions. Typically this meeting is held in your home at a time that is convenient for all concerned.
The next step is for the "Investigating Committee" to report their findings at the next Lodge meeting. In response to a positive report, a ballot is held at the same meeting. Given a positive ballot, the Master asks the Secretary to advise you of the same, and ask you to present yourself at the Lodge at a particular date and time.
This date / time is at the call of the Worshipful Master and will be the date of your initiation into the fraternity, and into Dominion Lodge, in particular. A member of Dominion Lodge will contact you before your initiation to prepare you for it. It is likely that the initiation will be on the fourth Wednesday of a specific month at 7:30 PM at Freemasons' Hall.
How Long Will it Take?
Dominion Lodge usually holds one degree every second month starting in January and one per month starting in September. A candidate can complete the three degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason) in six or three months respectively.
[Original text: Bro. Dan Wold, Commercial Lodge #81 - modified for Dominion.]
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