What is a Mason? / How do I become a Mason?

Becoming a Freemason can be one of the most significant events of your life. From the moment you become a Brother, you will feel the immediate acceptance and Brotherly love. This obviously leads to the question; "How do I become a Mason?". Will I be asked to join? Simply put, the answer is "No"! You must ask a Freemason in order to become a Freemason (2B1-ASK1).

Unfortunately, many men who would like to become Masons never do because they are unaware of the previously mentioned requirement (that you come to the fraternity of your own free will and accord, and you must ask to join the Fraternity). If you desire to learn more about Masonic Membership, feel free to contact any Mason to satisfy yourself concerning what Freemasonry is all about. You can also contact your nearest lodge and ask to speak with someone concerning the fraternity: Contact Us. As Freemasons, we believe that membership in an organization as worthy as ours must come from your "sincere wish of being serviceable to your fellow creatures" and not because of coaxing, coercion, or the promise of any material gain of any kind.

Qualifications
Our membership requirements are very clear.

  1. Membership in a Pennsylvania Masonic Lodge is open to all men 18 years of age or older - regardless of race, color, or religion.
  2. You must be of good character and good reputation. You’ll have to provide evidence of living a positive life through references from at least one Mason and three other people. If you don’t know a Mason, just use the Contact Us page and we will be more than happy to meet with you.
  3. You must believe in a Supreme Being and the immortality of the soul. This belief is not proscribed - rather, we encourage you to be steadfast in the faith of your choice.

The Process
Start the process by contacting a lodge member or using the Contact Us link at the top of this webpage.

  • You then continue the process by completing a "petition" (membership application) for membership. To be further processed, this petition needs to be accompanied by an initiation fee that is the same for all prospective members. The lodge member you contact can tell you more about this. You may download a copy of the petition by clicking here.
  • The next step is to submit your petition to the Lodge. Your completed petition is then read in the Lodge at the next "Stated Meeting", and referred to a committee (usually composed of three members). This committee then interviews you, usually right in your home, so that your family may ask any questions that they may have.
  • After the interview, the committee reports its findings to the Lodge, and a secret ballot is taken. If the vote is favorable, and it usually is, you’ll be notified by mail and you’ll be given a date to start the degree program.
The Degrees
The three degrees of "Craft" or "Blue Lodge" Freemasonry are these:
  1. Entered Apprentice – the degree of an Initiate, which makes one a Freemason
  2. Fellow Craft – an intermediate degree, involved with learning
  3. Master Mason – the "third degree", a necessity for participation in most aspects of Masonry

Our Fraternity’s private nature sometimes creates the misconceptions about our “initiation ceremonies.” Rest assured that we are a moral and upstanding institution whose tenets are Friendship, Morality, and Brotherly Love. Masonry teaches us to practice charity and benevolence, and to revere ordinances of - but not replace- a man’s religion. Quite simply, our Fraternity exists to "make good men better".

Our three degrees are serious, educational, and time-tested teachings. Each degree has a primary lesson. The first teaches us our duty to God. The second teaches us our duty to our neighbors. And the third degree teaches us our duty to ourselves. To convey our teachings, we use ritual, ceremony, drama, lectures, and sometimes even musical accompaniment. You’ll work closely with a coach who will help you learn some of the key material in the Ritual. After completing the first and second degrees, you’ll be given an assessment to make sure you understand what you’ve just experienced.

Upon the completion of the third degree, you’ll become a Master Mason, and be eligible for all that Masonry has to offer you, which includes:

  •     Worldwide Brotherhood
  •     Fellowship
  •     Male bonding
  •     Meaningful community service
  •     Camaraderie with other moral men
  •     and much, much more...

It is our sincere hope that you’ll consider becoming a Pennsylvania Free and Accepted Mason and sharing the feeling of friendship and Brotherly love that Freemasons have enjoyed from time immemorial.

Download the PDF version of our "Petition for Membership" and bring it to the attention of any existing member, or you may deliver it directly to "Williamson Lodge, No 309, F.&A.M."  located at 210 Manor Ave. in Downingtown, PA 19335.

Freemasonry has tenets peculiar to itself. They serve as testimonials of character and qualifications, which are only conferred after due course of instruction and examination. These are of no small value; they speak a universal language, and act as a passport to the attentions and support of the initiated in all parts of the world. They cannot be lost as long as memory retains its power. Let the possessor of them be expatriated, shipwrecked or imprisoned, let him be stripped of everything he has got in the world, still those credentials remain, and are available for use as circumstances require.

The good effects they have produced are established by the most incontestable facts of history. They have stayed the uplifted hand of the destroyer; they have softened the asperities of the tyrant; they have mitigated the horrors of captivity; they have subdued the rancor of malevolence; and broken down the barriers of political animosity and sectarian alienation. On the field of battle, in the solitudes of the uncultivated forest, or in the busy haunts of the crowded city, they have made men of the most hostile feelings, the most distant regions, and diversified conditions, rush to the aid of each other, and feel a special joy and satisfaction that they have been able to afford relief to a Brother Mason. [- Benjamin Franklin]