A Masonic lodge, often termed a private lodge or constituent lodge, is
the basic organisational unit of Freemasonry. It is also commonly used
as a term for a building in which such a unit meets. Every new lodge
must be warranted or chartered by a Grand Lodge, but is subject to its
direction only in enforcing the published constitution of the
jurisdiction. By exception the three surviving lodges that formed the
world's first known grand lodge in London (now merged into the United
Grand Lodge of England) have the unique privilege to operate as time
immemorial, i.e., without such warrant; only one other lodge operates
without a warrant – the Grand Stewards' Lodge in London, although it
is not also entitled to the "time immemorial" title.[note 1] A
Freemason is generally entitled to visit any Lodge in any jurisdiction
(i.e., under any Grand Lodge) in amity with his own. In some
jurisdictions this privilege is restricted to Master Masons (that is,
Freemasons who have attained the Order's third degree). He is first
usually required to check, and certify, the regularity of the
relationship of the Lodge – and be able to satisfy that Lodge of his
regularity of membership. Freemasons gather together as a Lodge to
work the three basic Degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and
1 Masonic premises
6 See also
9 External links
Villa Blye in
Paola, Malta is a
Masonic Temple where Lodges of the
British and Irish freemasons meet
Lodge room in Schloss Rosenau (Austria)
Technically, Freemasons meet as a lodge not in a lodge. In this
context, the word "lodge" refers to a local chapter of Freemasons,
meeting as a body. However, the term is often misused to refer to the
buildings or rooms that Masons meet in. Masonic premises are also
sometimes referred to as temples ("of Philosophy and the Arts"). In
many countries Masonic centre or Masonic hall has now replaced these
terms to avoid arousing prejudice and suspicion. Several different
lodges, or other Masonic organisations, often use the same premises at
Blue lodges, craft lodges or ancient craft lodges refer to the lodges
that work the first three Masonic degrees, rather than the appendant
Masonic orders such as
York Rite and Scottish Rite. The term "craft
lodge" is used in Great Britain. The blue lodge is said to refer to
the traditional colour of regalia in lodges derived from English or
Irish Freemasonry. Although the term was originally frowned upon, it
has gained widespread and mainstream usage in America in recent
Research lodges have the purpose of furthering Masonic scholarship.
Quatuor Coronati Lodge is an example of a research lodge; it has a
strictly limited membership and receives visitors and papers from all
over the world. Many jurisdictions have well-established research
lodges, which usually meet less frequently than blue lodges and do not
In Great Britain, a lodge of instruction may be associated with a
Lodge, but is not constituted separately. The lodge of instruction
provides the officers and those who wish to become officers an
opportunity to rehearse ritual under the guidance of an experienced
brother; there may also be lectures around the ritual and the
symbolism in the lodge within a Lodge of Instruction, in order to
develop the knowledge and understanding of the membership.
In some jurisdictions in the United States, the lodge of instruction
serves as a warranted lodge for candidate instruction in other aspects
Freemasonry besides ritual rehearsal, as well as hosting a speaker
on topics both Masonic and non-Masonic.
In Great Britain, the term mother lodge is used to identify the
particular Lodge where the individual was first "made a Mason" (i.e.
received his Entered Apprentice degree). 'Mother lodge' may also refer
to a lodge which sponsors the creation of a new lodge, the daughter
lodge, to be warranted under the jurisdiction of the same grand lodge;
specific procedures pertaining to this vary throughout history and in
Lodge Mother Kilwinning
Lodge Mother Kilwinning No 0 in the Grand
Scotland is known as the Mother Lodge of Scotland, having
been referred to in the Schaw Statutes of 1598 and 1599, and having
itself warranted other lodges at a time when it did not subscribe to a
Main article: Regular Masonic jurisdictions
Plaque of Lodge St. George, the 1797 Masonic Lodge which has been
housed in Bermuda's former State House since 1815
Lodges are governed by national, state or provincial authorities,
usually called Grand Lodges or Grand Orients, whose published
constitutions define the structure of freemasonry under their
authority, and which appoint Grand Officers from their senior masons.
Provincial Grand Lodges (which in England generally correspond to
historic counties) exercise an intermediate authority, and also
appoint Provincial Grand Officers.
Different grand lodges and their regions show subtleties of tradition
and variation in the degrees and practice; for example under the Grand
Lodge of Scotland, the Mark Degree (which is unrecognised by the
Grand Lodge of England, but has a separate Mark Grand Lodge) is
integrated into "The Craft" as a completion of the second degree. In
any case, Grand Lodges have limited jurisdiction over their member
Lodges, and where there is no prescribed ritual Lodges may thus have
considerable freedom of practice. Despite these minor differences,
fraternal relations exist between Lodges of corresponding degrees
under different Grand Lodges.
Generally, to be accepted for initiation as a regular Freemason (in a
lodge following Anglo-American style), a candidate must:
Be a man who comes of his own free will by his own initiative or by
invitation in some jurisdictions.
Believe in some kind of Supreme Being.
Be of good morals, reputation and financially supporting himself and
Be at least 21 years old (may be as young as 18 or as old as 25,
depending on the jurisdiction).
Live in the jurisdiction (under some Grand Lodges in the United
Be able to pass interviews and pass the Investigation Committee's
inquiries about his past with people who have known him, which can
take up to 2 years.
Be of sound mind and body. (this is not a universal
Be a "Free Man". This may have arisen from the refusal of operative
masons to pass their secrets to slaves, who could be ordered to
divulge them to others. It may also have arisen from a requirement
of early speculative lodges that a new Freemason should at least have
a license to trade and employ others, making him a Free
Man of the
city or borough of the lodge.
Pass the vote of the Lodge to allow his membership.
After a Lodge elects or approves a candidate in accordance with the
requirements of its Grand Lodge, it will decide whether to give the
candidate each degree in order. Generally speaking those who have only
received the Entered Apprentice degree are considered Freemasons, but
hold limited privileges until they attain the Master Mason degree;
UGLE only a Master Mason will receive a
Grand Lodge certificate,
which may be demanded by any other Lodge he wishes to visit.
Kimbolton, NZ: Masonic Lodge No.123
A Master Mason is considered a full lifetime member of the Lodge where
he received his degrees. He can demit (resign) if he so desires but
only if he is in good standing and his dues paid. A Mason might demit
for personal reasons or to join another Lodge in those jurisdictions
where multiple membership is not permitted. After demitting, he
continues to be regarded as a Mason in absentia and may rejoin through
a new application, but he and his family have no rights, privileges or
claims on Freemasonry. Some sources (Mackey) claim that leaving the
lodge does not exempt him from his obligations nor the wholesome
control of the Order over his moral conduct. A Mason may be
expelled from his Lodge and
Freemasonry in general if convicted of
particularly serious violations of Civil or Masonic law. Expulsion
from all of
Freemasonry can only occur from a
Grand Lodge while lesser
chapters can expel members from their specific lodges.
A Master Mason "in good standing" (i.e. whose dues are current and who
is not subject to Masonic investigation or discipline) may join
another regular Lodge; he need not take his degrees again, but may be
expected to serve the new Lodge in office.
If a Master Mason is dropped from the rolls for non-payment of dues,
under most circumstances he may be immediately reinstated in good
standing simply by paying his current dues as well as any back dues
owed, although in many jurisdictions there is a requirement to ballot
Many Grand Lodges permit Master Masons to be "plural affiliates," or
members of more than one Lodge simultaneously. In some jurisdictions
plural affiliates are prohibited from serving as an elected officer of
more than one Lodge at any given time.
These rules are different for Freemasons of the Entered Apprentice and
Fellowcraft Degrees. In some Grand Lodges an Entered Apprentice or
Fellowcraft may not receive a demit, but may join another Lodge with
the intent of earning the Master Mason Degree with the consent of his
Main article: Masonic Lodge Officers
The names, roles and numbers of Lodge officers vary widely from
jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most cases, there is an equivalent
office in the
Grand Lodge of the given jurisdiction, with the addition
of the prefix 'Grand' to the title in question.
There are certain 'progressive' offices through which members move by
a process of effective promotion, but also other more permanent
offices, usually held by experienced members.
^ ...the premier
Grand Lodge was established on 24 June 1717, St
John’s Day, when a feast was held at the Goose and Gridiron Ale
House in St Paul’s Churchyard. The four Lodges involved met at the
Goose and Gridiron, the Crown Ale House in Parkers Lane (near the
present building in Great Queen Street), The Apple Tree Tavern in
Charles Street, Covent Garden and the Runner and Grapes Tavern in
Channel Row, Westminster. Three still survive and are now known as
Lodge of Antiquity No 2, Fortitude and Old Cumberland Lodge No 12
(originally No 3) and Royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge No IV.
These are known as "time immemorial lodges" the only lodges within the
English constitution with this distinction. They, together with Grand
Stewards’ Lodge, have the ability to operate without a warrant.
^ Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry
^ a b c d e f g "How To Become A Freemason". Masonic Lodge of
Education. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
^ "Become a Mason: Requirements".
Grand Lodge of Illinois, Ancient
Free & Accepted Masons. Archived from the original on 6 August
2007. Retrieved 2007-05-08.
^ "Would you like to become part of history". Freemason Network.
Retrieved November 10, 2013.
^ Robert L. D. Cooper, Cracking the Freemason's Code, Rider, 2009, p.
^ Rev Neville Barker Cryer, What do you know about Ritual, Lewis
Masonic 2008, pp 7-8
^ "Demit". Masonic Dictionary. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
^ "Demits". NC Secretary Corner. Retrieved November 10, 2013.
^ a b "Expulsion". Masonic Dictionary. Retrieved November 10,
^ Green, Michael. Parkins, Brian, ed. "The Grand Stewards and Red
Apron Lodges: Introduction". Archived from the original on March 3,
2017. Retrieved May 30, 2017.
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