Below are some common questions that apply to Masonic membership in the State of Maine.
What are the requirements for becoming a Mason?
A candidate must be male, at least 18 years of age, professes a belief in a Supreme Being, and is of good character.
In Maine, no lodge, without the permission of the Grand Master, shall receive a petition of a candidate for the degrees until he has resided in this state for one year (excepting seafaring men absent only on a voyage to sea) or unless he is in military service and stationed in Maine for at least the past six months.
Can minorities be Masons?
Any person who meets the requirements listed in question (1) of this section is eligible, regardless of race, color or creed.
I have a physical disability. Can I be a Mason?
The answer is yes, provided that you can attend Lodge and meet the non-physical requirements listed above. The lodge that you ultimately join will work to accommodate your needs.
Can atheists be a Mason?
The only religious requirement is that candidates believe in a Supreme Being. If you can in good faith profess such a belief, regardless of your religious affiliation, then you are eligible to be a Mason. Therefore, an atheist cannot knowingly be a Mason.
Do I have to be invited?
If you have an interest in joining Freemasonry, all you need to do is ask to become a Mason. That starts by expressing your interest to someone you know to be a Mason, contacting a lodge near you, or by contacting our Grand Lodge office who will have someone reach out to you.
OK, I’m interested– how do I proceed?
Once you’ve expressed an interest and begun to talk to a lodge about joining, here’s what you can expect.
- You’ll be asked to complete this petition in order to join a lodge. The members of the lodge will see to it that you have completed the form and will ensure you get the proper signatures.
- The petition will be read aloud at a lodge meeting, and a committee will be formed to meet with you and discuss what it means to join a lodge.
- This committee will report back to the lodge, and there will be a vote on whether or not to accept the petitioner. If accepted, the lodge will contact you and you will begin to schedule your initiation into Masonry. In a case where the petitioner is not voted to become a Mason, the lodge Secretary will contact you as well.
Typically, the process is as follows:
- The applicant fills out a petition. The petition requires you to have two sponsors from the lodge you’re seeking to join. If you don’t know anyone, arrangements will be made for you to meet and get to know someone willing to serve as your sponsor. This should not be an impediment to you. There are many, many Masons today who did not know another Mason when they first sought admission.
- The petition is read at the lodge during the next business meeting, which for many lodges is during the first week of the month. A committee is formed to investigate the candidate. (Your sponsors will explain the schedule to you based on their knowledge of the lodge’s meetings/events.)
- The committee meets with the candidate to answer questions, ascertain that he meets the criteria for membership, and finds out a little more about him. This is not a “grilling session”, but rather a friendly and casual chat to make certain that the candidate has been properly informed about Masonry and that was not improperly solicited. The committee also contacts the character references listed on the petition, typically asking if they know any reason why the candidate should not be accepted, etc.
- The committee reports back to the lodge during the next business meeting and the candidate is voted on. If accepted, someone from the lodge (often the Secretary) contacts the candidate and informs him that he has been accepted and schedules a date for the Entered Apprentice degree.
If you do not know a Mason, you can feel free to contact either the District Deputy or the District Educational Representative in the District nearest to your residence.
See the list of lodges in Maine to locate a Lodge near you or for the name of the District Deputy responsible for Freemasonry in your area. We’ll look forward to hearing from you!