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Petition For Membership

How Do I Become a Mason???

Why am I not asked to join the Masonic Fraternity?
You may be surprised to know that a member will not ask you to petition the Masonic Fraternity for membership Contrary to popular belief, membership in Freemasonry is not by invitation. Instead, if you seek membership, you must do so on your own initiative by making your wishes known to a member of the fraternity.

What are the qualifications for membership?
Freemasonry is proud of its philosophy and practice of making good men better. Only individuals believed to be of the finest character and of legal age are favorably considered for membership. They must profess a belief in God.   (Legal age in Illinois Masonry is 18 years old.)

How do I petition to become a member of a lodge?
A petitioner must be recommended by two members of the Masonic lodge to which he seeks membership. At a subsequent monthly meeting of the lodge, the petition is voted upon by secret ballot.

Are qualified individuals ever rejected?
In an organization as old and as large as the Masonic fraternity, surely some individuals may have, on occasion, been unfairly rejected. Because voting is by secret ballot, there is no way of knowing who votes for or against the individual. On the other hand, surely no fraternity in the world cares more or teaches more about fairness, justice, and brotherly love as does Freemasonry. One of the reasons for Freemasonry's success is the careful manner in which it considers petitions for membership.

Are unqualified individuals ever accepted?
Because of the size of the Masonic fraternity, occasionally an individual may be accepted for membership who does not practice the honorable precepts of Freemasonry. When this is discovered, and the fraternity's established rules of conduct have been violated, suspension may result. Because of the careful manner in which petitioners are considered for membership, however, this problem has proven to be most rare.

What types of individuals are members of Freemasonry?
Freemasons come from virtually every occupation and profession. Within the fraternity, however, they all meet on an equal basis. They come from diverse political ideologies, but, within the fraternity, they meet as friends. They come from virtually every religious belief, but they all believe in God. Freemasons are patriotic citizens who obey the governments under which they live.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has always been how so many men, from so many different walks of life, can meet together, begin and end their meetings with a prayer, always conduct their affairs in peace, harmony, and friendship, and call each other Brother!

What do Freemasons believe in?
Members of the Masonic fraternity practice a sincere belief in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.

Is there more than one Masonic organization?
After a member receives his Third (or Master Mason's degree) he may, if he so desires, become a member of any of a number of Masonic organizations within the Masonic "family" which are well known for their charitable work.
Some of these Masonic organizations (such as the Shrine) are much more visible in our communities than others. The Shrine Masons have built 18 crippled children's hospitals and 3 burn institutes throughout North America. These hospitals were built, staffed, and are maintained without any government money. Even more incredible, no child has ever been charged for any treatment at a Shriner's Hospital. That's because the Shrine Masons and their friends pay for it all with endowments, wills, gifts, and fundraising activities such as the Shrine Circus.

At the Shriner's Hospitals, more than 2,500,000 crippled children have been restored to a normal or near-normal life. Because of their great work for crippled and burned children, the Shrine Masons have earned the proud title of The world's Greatest Philanthropy.
Several of the organizations within the Masonic "family" are much more socially oriented than is the Blue Lodge. It is, however, the strength of the principles taught in Blue Lodge masonry that establishes the foundation and creates the real bond among masons everywhere. No matter how many Masonic-related organizations to which an individual belongs, he always holds to that bond of being first, last, and always a Mason.

What do Freemasons do?
The Masonic Lodge (called Blue Lodge) meets one evening per month to conduct its regular business and vote upon petitions for membership.
It usually include a speaker, traditionally followed by refreshments. It is here where the bond of fellowship is strengthened.
A candidate will receive the three degrees concluding with the Third (or Master Mason's Degree), the highest degree in Blue Masonry.
The degrees are solemn, enlightening and enjoyable experiences with no uncomfortable or embarrassing moments. It is here where the principles of Freemasonry are taught. These principles teach respect for God, for each other, and for ourselves. They also teach that one's family and his own necessary vocations are to be considered above Freemasonry.

Is Masonry just a man's organization?
While membership in Freemasonry and its related organizations is limited to men, many family activities occur year-round with a considerable number of special events of all types for members, their ladies and children. There are other organizations that exist alongside Freemasonry to which family members may belong.

Why is this information included here?
Master Masons are proud of the Masonic Fraternity. They are also very proud of the fine character of its members. They sincerely believe that many readers possess the qualities for membership in the Fraternity and should, at least, have the opportunity to know more about it. Having taken a few moments to read this, you are better informed about Freemasonry. You will also understand that those who seek membership must do so on their own accord. Unfortunately, without this understanding, many fine individuals have not enjoyed the special rewards of membership in Freemasonry.
If, after reading this, you have any questions or a desire to know more about Freemasonry, any mason will be pleased to answer your questions or to obtain the answers for you.

How does a man become a Mason?
Some men are surprised that no one has ever asked them to become a Mason. They may even feel that the Masons in their town don't think they are "good enough" to join. But it doesn't work that way. For hundreds of years, Masons have been forbidden to ask others to join the fraternity. We can talk to friends about Masonry, we can tell them about what Masonry does. We can tell them why we enjoy it. But we can't ask, much less pressure anyone to join.
There's a good reason for that. It isn't that we're trying to be exclusive. But becoming a Mason is a very serious thing. Joining Masonry is making a permanent life commitment to live in certain ways. To live with honor and integrity, to be willing to share and care about others, to trust each other, and to place ultimate trust in God. No one should be "talked into" making such a decision.
So, when a man decides he wants to be a Mason, he asks a Mason for a petition or application. He fills it out and gives it to the Mason, and that Mason takes it to the local lodge. The Master of the lodge will appoint a committee to visit with the man and his family, find out a little about him and why he wants to be a Mason, tell him and his family about Masonry, and answer their questions. The committee reports to the lodge, and the lodge votes on the petition. If the vote is affirmative -- and it usually is -- the lodge will contact the man to set the date for the Entered Apprentice Degree. When the person has completed all three degrees, he is a Master Mason and a full member of the fraternity.

Warren Lodge #13 * Front and Greenwich Streets * Belvidere * NJ * 07823