To experience the fraternity and the bond of friendship found within the Freemasons, many men seek to join the organization. Although each lodge in different in their approach to accepting new members, there are a few criteria that every lodge upholds.
An applicant to the Freemasons must be male, and must have a good reputation within the community. It also helps if he has been recommended for membership by existing masons. There is also a requirement to be “freeborn,” though that term is now archaic.
A potential Freemason must also have some type of belief in a higher power. There are no hard and fast requirements about the specific religion that a mason follows- only that they have a supreme being to worship.
Anyone seeking to join the Freemasons must also have the ability to support himself and his family. This requirement came about to keep the lodges from becoming a place to go for financial assistance. At one time men joined similar groups in order to be supported when they became elderly. The Freemasons will not provide this assistance, keeping the support requirement in place for every applicant.
A man who wants to become a mason must be exactly that- a man. The organization does not accept those who are underage in the state or country in which they reside. Applications from minors will not be considered.
In order to keep the organization fraternal and welcoming, the last requirement is that every applicant and member must choose to by their own choice. Only those who use their free will to decide to join will be permitted entry. The masons do not recruit members, nor do they advertise their lodges. An applicant must seek them out and ask to be there.
There are some lodges that have requirements above and beyond these standard Masonic rules. Many require that the applicant have a sincere desire to serve their local community.
For those who meet the requirements, the most direct route to becoming a member of the Freemasons is to call or visit the nearest lodge and ask to join. For those who know a member, that member can provide additional information about the local lodge and also serve as a recommendation on behalf of the applicant. Once a potential mason has applied for membership, he can expect to be seen by a committee who investigates the applicant’s character through an informal meeting. Applicants may have two such meetings before being granted membership.