Do you want to know how to
become a Freemason?
Freemasonry has lodges throughout the free world. You will find Masons meeting in almost every town and village and - except where repressive governments make their existence difficult - the locations of the lodges are very readily found. None of these lodges was ever organized as a result of any type of "missionary work." They came into existence because a group of existing Masons wanted to share friendship and fraternity with other Masons in the area.
What is often misunderstood is a simple but indisputable fact: Not everyone can become a Mason. There are few, but important, requirements to be eligible to become a Freemason.
Freemasonry is an initiatic experience. You can't become a Mason by reading a book or a website on the Internet. Becoming a Mason is not merely an event; it is a process and one that requires a life-long commitment. Your decision to become a Mason should not be entered into lightly.
Let's examine the requirements for becoming a Mason individually:
Being a man, freeborn, of good repute and well-recommended
Belief in a Supreme Being
Ability to support one's self and family
Of Lawful Age
"Own Free Will and Accord"
These basic principles have been the means of attracting the most highly respected persons to Masonry for over three centuries. Their simplicity confounds and confuses those who see a conspiracy lurking behind every bush; those who want religious purity and those whose own motives are constantly self-oriented. As a result, this quiet fraternity continues — as do its detractors.
How do I join?
If you are still interested in becoming a Mason in Shawnee Lodge 54, it is now time to explain the specific process. You can begin by requesting and completing the Petition Form supplied by the Lodge Secretary along with a check (payable to Shawnee Lodge 54) for the $150.00 Initiation Fee and a completed background check as instructed by the Lodge Secretary. This Initiation Fee covers the cost of your Bible, your Masonic apron and a series of Masonic books that are presented to you at various points. Only the current Petition form can be accepted and previous versions are obsolete and cannot be used. Details of your background check are held confidential and it is used only to determine that the petitioner has not been convicted of a crime other than a traffic violation and is of good moral character.
A Grand Lodge edict requires that candidates for Freemasonry submit to a background check from a specific service. This is performed and paid by the petitioner online, printed and submitted with the completed Petition form. Detailed instructions from the Lodge Secretary will be included with the Petition Form. Shawnee Lodge 54 voted that the $20 cost of this background investigation will be reimbursed to you when you receive your Master Mason degree.
Your Petition will be presented at the next Stated Communication of the lodge as an announcement that you wish to receive the Mysteries of Freemasonry. An Investigating Committee consisting of 3 lodge members will be assigned and they will contact you to determine a time when they can sit down with you and meet. The purpose of this meeting is to get to know you, as well as for you to get to know us. Ask any questions you have. There are actually very few "secrets" that they will not be able to answer. The specifics of our rituals and practices are the only things that are kept secret. They will be happy to discuss nearly any other aspect of Freemasonry.
Once they have met with you, the Chairman of the Investigating Committee will make a report at the next Stated Communication of the lodge. This report will be either "favorable" or "unfavorable" based on the Committee's impression of you based on the meeting. The entire lodge will then ballot on your being accepted as a member. In order to be accepted, this ballot must be unanimously favorable.
Once accepted, you will be notified and a determination made as to when you can be initiated in the First Degree. Normally, Degree Work is done on Thursday evenings at the lodge.
There are 3 ceremonies and rituals to become a Master Mason; the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellow Craft degree and the Master Mason degree. These are also known as the 1st°, 2nd°and the 3rd°. In order to advance to the next degree, you must prove a proficiency in the current degree, which is done by reciting certain portions of the ritual from memory. A coach or mentor is assigned to help you master this information and it is not as difficult as you might think.
Once you have been "raised" as a Master Mason, you are a full-fledged member of the lodge, however you are considered a Brother Mason after being initiated as an Entered Apprentice. Master Masons are required to pay lodge dues, which are currently $75 annually. We will pro-rate your dues for the first year based on when you actually become a Master Mason. A Paid Perpetual Life Membership is available for a one-time fee of $1500. The Lodge Secretary has more details, including a program whereby you can make installment payments on a life membership.