Once you have decided that Freemasonry is something you are interested in, the next step is Petitioning a Lodge. Remember, when completing the Petition that this is the first impression that many members of a Lodge will have of you, honesty is an important part of the fraternity, especially among Brothers.
You will need, and be able to, get to know several Brothers of the Lodge through the petition process and this starts with getting to know, if you do not already, at least two members of the Lodge who would be willing to vouch for you by recommending the petition to the Lodge through their signatures. Nearly all Lodges charge a fee that is due at the acceptance of the petition. Terre Haute Lodge No. 19, as well as many area Lodges, charges a Petition Fee of $100, which can be paid via cash or check, this should accompany the petition. The Petition Fee is used by the Lodge to cover the costs of items that the Lodge will provide to you at a later date, as well a mandatory donation that will be made on your behalf to the George Washington Masonic Memorial in Arlington, Virginia.
At the first business meeting, called a Stated Meeting, on the first Tuesday of the month immediately after the completion of the petition and submission of the Petition Fee the Lodge Secretary will read your petition in full to the Lodge. The Lodge will then vote to accept, or in rare instances reject, your petition. Assuming your petition is accepted a Committee on Character, sometimes referred to as an Investigating Committee, will be assigned. The Committee on Character is comprised of three Brothers of the Lodge who have received their Master Mason degree. These Brothers will be tasked, by and on behalf of the Lodge, to get to know you well enough to make a report of your general character and to report back to the lodge. Some of the things that the committee members look for are:
The members of the Committee on Character will report back to the Lodge with their findings at the following Stated Meeting and the Lodge will then have opportunity to ask questions or hold a discussion on your petition. The Lodge then takes an anonymous vote, by ball and cube ballot, on your petition. It has been a long held tradition in the Masonic fraternity that no may may enter a Lodge is one member of a Lodge casts a dissenting vote. This tradition is upheld because it is critical that all members of a Lodge must be a place of complete harmony among the members.
If you are elected to membership within the Masonic fraternity, Congratulations! You have just been elected to the largest, most ancient and honorable fraternity in the world. The members of the Lodge will reach out to you to discuss the date for your initial initiation ceremony, known as the first degree, or Entered Apprentice Degree. This will be the first of three initiation ceremonies that you will be required to undertake, and there is memorization that will follow before you are, generally, allowed to proceed to the next degree.
If you are interested in more information on the petition process you can find it here, or better yet, click the "contact us" link above!
Grand Lodge of Indiana
Terre Haute Lodge, No. 19 © 2016
All Rights Reserved
29 June 2016