After The Petition
After you present your petition and initiation fee to the Lodge secretary, there are several steps to membership. First, your petition will be read at the following stated meeting, which is always the first Tuesday of the month. The Lodge secretary will then assign two to three members to your investigation committee. The investigation committee will contact you and arrange a time convenient for all to meet, which is typically done at the petitioner’s home. This is a casual meeting and is meant to allow the investigation committee the chance to get to know you and give you and you family a chance to ask questions about Masonry. The investigation committee is also required to contact your references.
At the next stated meeting, the investigative committee will report the results of their meeting with you and comments from your references to the members of the Lodge. The members of the Lodge will then vote to accept or reject your petition for membership.
The Work of Initiation
Upon approval of your petition by the membership of the Lodge, the initiation process will begin. Your contact at the Lodge will be the junior warden. The junior warden is one of the principal officers of the Lodge and one of his duties is to schedule all of the degrees for the candidates.
The first step of initiation is the preliminary lecture. This lecture is done at the Lodge, usually before or after dinner on a Tuesday evening. This lecture is to review the initiation process, explain the many facets of Masonry and answer any questions you or your family members might have. This is a public lecture and it is recommended that your spouse, family members and friends attend.
The next and final steps are the three degrees of initiation: the entered apprentice degree, the fellow craft degree and the master mason degree. Your Lodge will perform three degrees (initiation ceremonies) for your education and enjoyment. These ceremonies are very dignified and inspirational. At no time will horseplay or indignities enter into the program. These degrees are very solemn and Masons take the task of making Masons very seriously. After becoming a master Mason (the third degree of the Lodge) you may seek membership in the many other Masonic-related groups that are referred to as appendant bodies.
This process of going through the degrees can be done with small groups that include other candidates entering your Lodge just like you. This traditional process could take 3-6 months based on the system of the Lodge you choose. This process is very rewarding and will help you get to know the brothers at your Lodge.
In the last several years, we have begun another process called the one-day class. This process was developed to help compensate for the very busy schedules of modern life. In this situation the entered apprentice degree, fellow craft degree and master mason degree are all taught in one day. You watching the process as an exemplar is used to represent all in the room rather than in the traditional format where you are a participant in your own degrees.
Whichever path you choose, you will be a master Mason when it is complete and can proudly consider yourself a member of the world’s oldest fraternal organization.
There are many more degrees you can take and several different groups you may choose to get involved with as you grow in the fraternity. These are only available to you after becoming a master Mason.