How to become a Freemason
How do I join?
Thank you for expressing an interest in Freemasonry by seeking out this information.
To become a mason you must meet the qualifications and be accepted by a Lodge. There are a lot of misconceptions surrounding Freemasons and their activities, so the following may answer some of your questions or worries.
What is Freemasonry?
It is the world’s oldest and largest fraternity dating back at least to the Middle Ages. Its purpose is to promote the bonds of friendship, compassion and brotherly love.
Politics has no role in it. Neither is it a religion as some would have you believe, but rather a friend and promoter of all religions which are based on the belief in one God.
Regardless of their position in society, Freemasons meet as equals. One of the most fascinating aspects of Freemasonry has always been how so many men from so many different walks of life can meet together in peace, never discuss politics or engage in religious debates, conduct their affairs in harmony and friendship, and call each other “Brother”.
What do we do?
Freemasons are respectable citizens who are taught to respect and conform to the moral laws of society and to abide by the laws of the country or state in which they reside. They are men of charity and good works who strive to support those less fortunate than themselves both inside and outside the order.
What are the qualifications?
Freemasonry is proud of its philosophy and practice of “making good men better.” Only individuals believed to be of good character are favourably considered for membership. Every applicant must be 21 years of age or more and respected in his locality.
What goes on at a meeting?
A Masonic meeting can be compared to a committee meeting or to a small “parliament” with various officers performing specific functions – Chairman (called the “Worshipful Master”), Secretary, Treasurer and so on. Items on an agenda are taken sequentially and will typically involve a ceremony, involving a candidate, which dramatises his inner growth in morality and ethics, using the symbols and metaphors of Biblical revelation and the tools of the Mediaeval stonemasons. Announcements are made and the business of the lodge dealt with. Proposals requiring assent are put to a vote. The atmosphere is convivial, but dignified. The meeting is usually followed by a supper or dinner, called a Festive Board, depending on the occasion, which is again convivial. If this description appears limited, it is not because Masons have sinister secrets to hide, but because to reveal what goes on in detail would spoil the enjoyment of the ceremonies for those who have yet to participate in them.
So how do I find a lodge to join?
There is a popular misconception that to become a Mason one needs to be invited to join, and that there is some cloak and dagger operation involved. In fact the reverse is true – a longstanding convention within Freemasonry is that it is the potential candidate who should do the asking! If you know a friend or neighbour who is a Mason and you have a notion of joining just ask him.
He will be delighted to talk with you as all Masons are proud to be members of their own Lodge.
If you are interested in joining our Lodge which meets in central Belfast, contact the Secretary by Email at:
For a Lodge in Ireland closer to where you live – just E-mail; [email protected] stating your name in full, full postal address, County and Post Code, along with your landline telephone number and area code.
In due course a member of staff from Freemasons’ Hall will contact you and hopefully will be able to provide you with the name of the Secretary of a Lodge near to you. No one will twist your arm.
Your name will be put before the Lodge. A committee (of perhaps two or three) will talk to you to ascertain that you are a man of good character and that you believe in God (Atheism and Freemasonry are incompatible). The committee will report its recommendation back to the Lodge. A vote will be taken and, if found acceptable, you will be on your way to being a fully fledged Mason and you will have joined the oldest global brotherhood in the world.
The Grand Lodge of Ireland has produced a number of leaflets regarding the Order and membership. Most topics are dealt with on the pdf files below. Please click the links and save these files for future study.
Freemasonry in Depth (244kb)
Initial Guide to Freemasonry (8mb)
Masonic Laws and Constitutions 2011 (725kb)
What is Freemasonry? (140kb)
Affiliation to Sir George Clark Memorial Lodge
To be considered for affiliation to Sir George Clark Memorial Lodge No.669, you must satisfy the following requirements:
You must be a full subscribing Master Mason in a Grand Lodge which is in fraternal communication with the Grand Lodge of Ireland.
Be in good Masonic standing.
Provide a physical copy of your Master Mason’s Certificate (e.g. a photocopy)
Provide us with an official letter from your Lodge confirming membership, Masonic standing, and your current rank and office.
The letter must have the Lodge seal affixed and be signed by your Lodge Secretary.
You should that check your application for affiliation to Lodge 669 complies with the Laws & Constitutions of your Grand Lodge, to ensure your it does not infringe any rules, for example:”dual” or “plural” membership etc.
If necessary seek permission from your Grand Lodge Grand Secretary and ensure that you comply with all their specific regulations.