Monday, April 23, 2012

How Do I Become A Freemason?

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Uncle Benjamin

Over the years, The Midnight Freemason has talked a lot about what Freemasonry is, and about famous Freemasons, and about different groups within Freemasonry.  But I don't remember Todd ever talking about how to become a Freemason.

Freemasonry is a fraternity of adult men, who all share a basic moral philosophy, and a desire to improve ourselves.  Freemasonry strengthens the moral character of our members through our three major tenants:  Brotherly Love, Truth, and Relief.  We believe strongly in building moral character, in fact, the main goal of a Freemason is to become a better man.  Those three tenants are strengthened through education, leadership, and charitable activity.

If you're interested in becoming a better man, there is no better place to begin your journey than with a lodge of Freemasons. To join, you need only ask a Master Mason, and the requirements of membership are quite simple:
-You must be an adult.  In most places, that is 18 years of age. 
-You must have a belief in a Supreme Being. Atheists need not apply, but men of any religious affiliation are welcome. 
-You must be of good character.  In other words, a law-abiding citizen with a good reputation. 
-You must apply of your own free will.   In other words, you're not joining because of undo pressure from friends or family.  It has to be your own choice to petition for membership.
-You must be recommended.  That means, a Master Mason needs to vouch for your character--a friend, a family member or co-worker.  If you don't know a Mason, you need only contact a local lodge, and they will be more than happy to talk to you, get to know you, and if you meet the basic requirements, sponsor your petition.  If you ask, you'll probably be surprised to learn you know more Masons than you thought.

Once you've meet those basic requirements, you will fill out a petition and submit it to a lodge of Freemasons.  Your petition for the degrees of Freemasonry will be read in open lodge by the lodge Secretary, and the Master of that lodge will appoint a committee to investigate you.  But don't worry, that's not as ominous as it sounds.  Basically, a small group of Masons will meet with you and satisfy themselves that you meet those basic qualifications.  Once they report back favorably to the Master that you are well qualified to join, the lodge will vote on you as a member, and once the lodge votes unanimously to elect you (and yes, it's true, we use black and white marbles), you will begin receiving the three degrees of Freemasonry.

Those degrees are Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and finally, the degree of Master Mason.  There is no higher degree than that of Master Mason.  There are additional degrees offered by the York Rite, and the Scottish Rite, and other appendant bodies of Freemasonry (most people have heard of a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, a Shriner, or a member of the Knights Templar). You can choose to join those groups or not.  These are additional degrees, and each a great honor to receive, but the highest degree of Freemasonry is that of Master Mason that you will receive in your local lodge (also known as a Craft Lodge, or Blue Lodge).

The rules and the processes involved in joining a lodge and becoming a Master Mason may seem archaic, but as the world's oldest fraternity, that is our tradition, and it's worked very well for us for centuries in countries all over the world.  That's unlikely to change any time soon.

So that is the basic process, and it begins much as our little saying goes--2B1ASK1.

WB Sean McBride (left) and Midnight Freemason
 founder, Todd Creason, after he was installed as
 Worshipful Master in 2010
I'd only add one thing to this.  When I was raised a Master Mason, I thought I'd graduated.  I thought I'd attained my ultimate goal.  Little did I know at the time, that I'd only just begun.  For many Freemasons, being raised a Master Mason puts us on a very different path in life.  If you let it, it can change your life. It can change you for the better. Freemasonry will make you a better man if you're willing to allow it to.

If you're interested in joining, either ask a Master Mason you know, contact your local lodge, or do a simple Google search for the Grand Lodge in your state or jurisdiction (we may be archaic in our ritual traditions, but we're all on the internet these days). The Grand Lodge in your jurisdiction will put you in contact with a lodge secretary close to you, and he'll contact you and get you started.

Or you can just contact The Midnight Freemason himself. Todd Creason is a lodge secretary, and he can put you in contact with the Grand Lodge of any jurisdiction in the world. Just be sure to tell him where you live.

You can contact Todd at webmaster@toddcreason.org for that information, or you can post any questions on here, and I'll be happy to answer them.

~Uncle Ben

Uncle Benjamin is a historian, published author, blogger, and a political pundit. He's also a Freemason--a Past Master, member of the Scottish Rite, and a Shriner. He's the member of several Masonic research lodges, and research societies.  Uncle Benjamin has been a periodic contributor to The Midnight Freemason for several years.

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