Masons, or Freemasons, are members of the oldest and largest fraternity in the world, with over two million active members. Freemasonry originated in the late 16th or early 17th century, and its members have included kings, presidents, scholars, and religious figures.
Learn about the tradition of Freemasonry and how to become a member of this esteemed brotherhood.
Understand freemasonry basics. Freemasonry was founded by men who shared a commitment to supporting each other in friendship, fellowship and service to mankind. For thousands of years, men have found spiritual and philosophical fulfillment as members of the fraternity, which still operates on the same core values. In order to become a Freemason, it is necessary to meet these requirements:
- Believe in a Supreme Being, regardless of your religion.
- Be a man.
- Be ready to devote some time and spend some money for charitable causes.
- Have a sound reputation, and be well-recommended by your peers.
- 21 years old and above.
Be interested in character building and morality. The Freemason motto is “making good men better” that could lead into making the world better. Freemasonry stresses honor, personal responsibility and personal integrity, and offers the following to its members:
- Regular monthly meetings at Freemason lodges.
- Encouragement to live for the good of all mankind, and ideas for practicing good citizenship and acting with charity and love.
- Participate in the ancient rites of Freemasonry such as rituals of initiation, rites for remembrance/sorrow and last rites.
- Open discussion to expound on various symbolisms, floor works and teachings.
Separate the hype from the truth. Books like The Da Vinci Code have perpetuated the notion that Freemasonry is a secret society with designs on taking over the world. Hidden symbols are said to be scattered around the world. People who attempt to join Freemasonry hoping to gain access to these secrets will be proven wrong.
Contact your local Lodge. The easiest way to begin the initiation process is to contact your local Masonic, District or Provincial Lodge which is usually listed in the telephone book or it’s probably easier to web search and say you are interested in membership. There are a few other ways to start the process depending in which part of the world you’re applying to, it’s probably best if you start locally. The process will start from there:
- Find a Freemason. Many Freemasons proudly display the Masonic symbol on bumper stickers, hats, and clothing or ring. They are happy to talk to people who wish to find out more information.
- Some jurisdictions require that potential members approach the brotherhood of their own accord, but others allow members to issue invitations. If you have been invited to become a Freemason by a known member, feel free to take the next steps.
Get Interested, Observe, Petition for membership. After your petition has been reviewed, you will be called to the Lodge for an interview with a group of Freemasons who form an Investigative Committee.
- You will be asked questions concerning your reasons for wanting to become a Freemason, your history, and your character.
- You will have the opportunity to ask questions about Freemasonry.
- The Investigative Committee will spend some time in contacting references with regard to your character and conducting a background check. Alcoholism, drug abuse, abuse of family, and other issues may be grounds for denial.
- The Lodge’s members will vote on whether to accept you.
- If you are accepted, you will receive teachings which are thought by degrees only.