Freemasonry is a fraternal organization whose purpose is to help good men lead a virtuous and moral lifestyle. The organization was initially founded in the middle ages, and its focus has shifted over the years. It is now considered a secret organization that has inspired many conspiracy theories around how much power they wield.
Freemasons belong to a local lodge, and the requirements to join each Lodge or area can be a little different, but the general requirements are the same, to only introduce the right kind of men.
I will go through the requirements and the general process required to become a freemason, so follow along if you want to find out.
What Are The Requirements To Become A Freemason?
To even be considered for application to a freemason lodge, you will need to meet specific requirements, including:
● Be a man; women may not join standard freemason lodges.
● You must be of a certain age, ranging from 18-25 as a minimum.
● You must join of your own free will, so you will be questioned why you’re joining, especially if you have family in the Lodge.
● You must believe in a supreme being.
● You must be able to support yourself and your family.
● You need to be recommended by two Freemasons in the Lodge you wish to join.
● You must not have any immoral criminal convictions.
What Are The Steps To Become A Freemason?
If you meet the requirements, then you can start the process to become a freemason. It’s not an automatic acceptance just because you match the basic requirements, and your application may be denied.
You can start the process by contacting your state’s Grand Lodge, your local Lodge, or any member of the Freemasons that you know.
Listed below are the general steps you will go through in the Freemason application process.
Making A Petition To Join A Freemason Lodge
You first must contact the Freemason lodge, either through members you know or directly to the Lodge.
You’ll be given a “Letter Of Information” that is your first official contact with the Lodge, and you must sign this letter to proceed. Once signed, you will get an application that you must fill in, and it requires two members from the Lodge you’re joining to sign the application.
If you don’t know any existing members, the Lodge may set up a meeting with one of their members; you’ll need to email or call the Lodge to get this process started. If your initial meeting goes well, you will be able to meet with a second member from the Lodge, which will complete your requirements for two existing members to sign your application.
You’ll need to pay a fee along with your application, which goes towards the processing and any materials that will be sent to you. It’s a one-time fee, though there will be yearly fees required as a member of the Lodge, and you’ll need to pay these annual fees before you can join the Lodge as well, but only after you’ve been accepted.
The Freemason Lodge Investigates And Reviews Your Petition
Your petition will be provided to the Lodge for open review so that any member may take a look. An investigation group will be put together that will go over your application, along with any information you’ve provided, to ensure that it not only meets their requirements but is truthful.
You and your partner (wife) will be invited to a meeting to ask any questions and so that the Lodge can verify your basic requirements have been met. The meeting will ascertain your age, that there is no pressure for you to join from family, or anything else.
You’ll also be asked about your belief in a supreme being, as well as why you want to join the fraternity. If you can’t provide a good reason for why you want to join, then your application may hit a roadblock.
The Freemasons Will Vote On Your Petition
The investigation group will present your application and findings at the next lodge meeting. If the investigation group found you to be an excellent potential member, then a vote will be called based on the information they provide.
So, for this reason, it’s essential to be truthful and impress your investigation group as their findings are the biggest factor in being approved or denied membership.
If the vote goes in your favor, then you’ll be notified to appear at the Lodge for initiation.
You Go Through Initiation As A Freemason
The entire initiation process is a secret, though you’ll be invited to the Lodge to join with any other new members on a specific day and time. From the time you are voted on to your initiation could take one month or even more if a lodge doesn’t meet every month.
During your initiation, you will become an Entered Apprentice of the Freemason fraternity; within the next year, you will progress through the stages to become a Fellow Craft and then a Master Mason. At which point, you are a full member of the fraternity with all of the advantages and rights as any other member.
Freemasons and Catholics
While the Freemasons aren’t a religious group and actively ban talk of religion in their lodges, if you are a Catholic, you should know that the Catholic church has banned membership into any secret organizations and the Freemasons are a specific example used for this.
This isn’t an old rule that is bendable; there have been multiple popes who have said that Freemasonry does not match the Catholic doctrines.
As recently as 1983, the Catholic church has said that any Catholics who become Freemasons are in grave sin and may not receive communion. In 1985 the US Conference of Catholic Bishops clarified any confusion and said that you could not be a Catholic and Freemason at the same time.
On the other hand, Freemasons do not have any such ban, and if you are or were a Catholic, you are welcome to join just as anybody else is welcome.