Becoming a member of our Fraternity is not a difficult task ...

If you look around you, you very well may discover that you are already in the company of Masons ... look closely for bumper stickers or medallions with the "Square and Compass" insignia - look for rings, tie tacks and/or lapel pins with the insignia ... and if you find one amongst your acquaintances, make inquiry with him about joining "the Craft" ...

If you don't find a friend who is already a Mason, look in the telephone directory (in the white pages under "Masonic Lodges" or in the yellow pages under "Fraternal Organizations"), and pick a Lodge near you. Drive by the Lodge building during the day - many Lodges have an active Secretary with regular Office Hours ... if so, stop in and make inquiry. (Several of our Lodges find that well over half of our new members come from drop-in visits, which sometimes turn into long conversations held in the Lodge office.) If there are no Office Hours posted, call the Lodge on the telephone, and leave a message - someone will get back to you. Or another way would be to make note of their next scheduled meeting date and time, and drop in about a half hour before the meeting starts - locate the "Tyler" (whose job during meetings is to act as an "outer guard", to insure that no non-member is allowed to disturb the meeting), and talk to him ... and it will probably flow from there into him presenting you with a "petition" for membership. (You should, of course, pick a Lodge whose meeting nights pose no conflict with your current activities!)

Once a petition is submitted, the following things happen, in the following order:

The petition is read, for the benefit of the membership, at the next regular Stated Communication ("Business Meeting"), and the Master of the Lodge (the "C.E.O. of the organization") will appoint an investigating committee (usually several senior members of the Lodge), who will contact you and find a mutually-convenient time to meet with you, to talk to you, and to determine if you meet the prerequisites for membership (which are generally that you are an honest and upright man, who conducts his affairs with dignity, and treats all mankind fairly and decently) ... they will then report their findings to the Master. (Since it is not practical that you meet each person who will be balloting on your petition, the "committee" interviews you and reports their findings, through the Master, to the entire Lodge.)

The petition will be read at the next Stated Communication, and it will be voted on by the membership present. If you are accepted as a member, you will be contacted by the Secretary, and instructed as to when and where to report for your "First Degree" - that of "Entered Apprentice" - at which time the Lodge, in full ceremony, will confer the ancient rites and rituals of that Degree.

After the Degree, there will be some study on your part, to commit parts of what happened to you and with you that night to memory and recite it before the Lodge, or in front of an examining committee of some sort ... and then on to the Second Degree (that of "Fellowcraft" - or in the terms of our ancient brethren, "Fellow of the Craft") and then on to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason.

You can meet no finer group of men than those you will find in a Lodge of Free Masons - and, in our opinion, no higher ideals to hold yourself to.

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