What are the requirements for membership?
The person who wants to join Freemasonry must be a man , sound in body and mind, who believes in God, is at least 21 years of age and is well recommended.
How does a man become a Freemason?
Some men are surprised that no one has ever asked them to become a Mason. They may even feel that the Freemasons in their town don’t think they are “good enough” to join. But it doesn’t work that way. For hundreds of years, Freemasons have been forbidden to ask others to join the fraternity. We can talk to friends about Freemasonry, we can tell them about what Freemasonry 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 Freemason is a very serious thing. Joining Freemasonry is making a permanent life commitment to live in certain ways. We’ve listed most of them above — to live with honour 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 Freemason, he asks a Freemason to join. The process can take 5-6 months. The Freemason will meet with him over coffee and may bring other Freemasons with him to better understand his character and reasons for joining. After several of such “meetings”, the Freemason may offer the individual an application or petition to complete. The individual fills it out and gives it to the Freemason, and that Freemason takes it to the local lodge. The Master of the lodge will appoint a committee to visit with the man and his family to find out about him and why he wants to be a Mason, tell him and his family about Freemasonry, and answer their questions. The committee reports to the lodge and, if the committee believes him to be suitable, will recommend the lodge votes on his petition. If the vote is affirmative, the lodge will contact the individual 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.
Adapted from a booklet prepared by the Masonic Service Association, Silver Spring, Maryland.