(Regulations regarding membership may vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction around the world.)
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”
- “Be a Man, Freeborn, of Mature age, of Good Repute and Well Recommended”
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.
“Belief in a Supreme Being”
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.
“Be Able to Support One’s Self and Family”
The applicant should be financially able to become (and remain) a Mason without it being a burden to himself or to his family.
“Come to Freemasonry of Your Own Free Will and Accord”
Freemasonry does not ‘invite’ men to become Masons! Solicitation of members is, in fact, strictly prohibited.
Which Lodge Should I Join?
In addition to the criteria above, there are options with respect to which Lodge you join: Ivanhoe #142 meets on the first and third Thursdays each month (except for July and August).
Joining Ivanhoe Lodge…
Financial Considerations. 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). Ivanhoe Lodge’s annual fee is $250 and is $165 for out of province members and $200 for brethren over 65.
The Information. If you do not know any Ivanhoe members, you can contact our Senior Warden to arrange an initial meeting. He or other members will meet with you casually to discuss your intentions, answer questions, and set some initial expectations of you. You will then be invited to attend one of our social events and/or our post-meeting meal gatherings called ‘Festive Boards’ where you will be introduced to the members informally. We prefer if you attend a few of these gatherings, casual or not, to get to know the members better. If you still wish to proceed, inform a member who you deem would sponsor you for members and you may request or be given an official ‘Letter of Information’ which you need to sign if you wish to proceed.
The Petition. Once the Letter of Information is signed, the Secretary or your sponsor will send you an ‘Application Form’ or ‘Petition’, which needs to be completed by you and signed by two members of Ivanhoe Lodge.
The Investigation. The Secretary will then present your petition at a Lodge meeting. The Lodge Master appoints an “Investigation Committee” consisting of 2 or 3 members who will arrange to meet with you and your significant other. (Yes, you AND your wife or significant other!) Though we’re certainly a fraternal organization, we want to ensure that the prospective member’s spouse is ‘on-board’ and doesn’t have any fundamental objectives to the fraternity. 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 and your significant other 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 Ballot. 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.
The Initiation. This date / time is at the call of the Master and will be the date of your initiation into the fraternity, and into Ivanhoe Lodge, in particular. A member of Ivanhoe Lodge will contact you before your initiation to prepare you for it. You will be required to bring the remaining balance of your annual dues (prorated) to pay just prior to initiation. Preferred dress is a dark business suit.
How Long Will it Take? Ivanhoe Lodge does not rush candidates through the three degrees. There can be anywhere from two or three months (or more) between each of the three degrees. However, if the candidate is ready to continue through the three degrees in consecutive months, or do to extraneous circumstances, he will be allowed to do so. Essentially the entire process of communicating your interest to join to becoming a Master Mason takes over a year.
[Original text: Bro. D. Wold]