Common questions on the Masonic fraternity

Q. I know a dear friend who is a Mason, but he has never asked me to join. Why? Doesn't he think I'm worthy?

A. Masons are prohibited from asking anyone to join. If you are interested, you must ask - your friend would most likely be thrilled if you did, because it is a great honor to sponsor a man to become a Mason! When you ask, you are paying the man a compliment - that you think highly enough of him and what he stands for that you might like to learn more about him and the Lodge. If you are just curious, ask questions. You will probably get invited to attend an event and meet some of the people.

Q. What are the requirements to join Freemasonry?

  • Open to all men 18 years of age or older.
  • You must be of good character and reputation.
  • You must believe in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul.

Q. How much does it cost?

A. Dues and Initiation fees vary from Lodge to Lodge. Initiation fees for the three degrees of Masonry in this Lodge are a total of $500.00 and should be paid to the Lodge before receiving the degree of Entered Apprentice. Annual dues are $120.00 at Manahatta Lodge. Collation or other events that involve a major meal such as Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner are usually by donation and are generally around $20 to $100.

Q. What are Masons about? What do they do?

A. Masonry means different things to different people. People get out of Masonry what they put into it. Here are some of the reasons why people join freemasonry:

  • The charitable nature of the lodge as an organization.
  • The moral truths that are brought to light when they receive the degrees. 
  • The great history of the Masonic lodge and being a part of an ancient institution that will be there long after they are gone. 
  • Simply because their father or grandfather was a Mason and they want to follow in their footsteps. 
  • Some people enjoy the fellowship and social aspects of the lodge.
But for everyone, it is one of the greatest events of their life when they join the Masonic Fraternity.

Q. What is all the secrecy involving the Masons about?

A. So much material has been published about Masonry that very little remains secret. Much of the Degree ritual is published in some states. The primary "secrets" are the modes of recognition and passwords that Masons can use to identify themselves to another Mason. The problem for a non-mason looking at different authors on the subject of Freemasonry is determining the truth on the subject. Some Non-Masons have purported themselves to be experts on the subject while erstwhile Masons who write on masonic subjects can only speak for themselves as individuals and not on the Fraternity in general. Grand Lodges are the only official source of information within the boundaries of a state. There is no "national" Grand Lodge. If material has been published by a Grand Lodge in one of the states, it is most likely a valid source of information. Opinions and speculation of individuals should generally be discounted.

More information can be found at the Grand Lodge site.