How do you become a member of the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium?
Qualities of heart and mind
Sponsorship but also spontaneous application …
Other men apply spontaneously, after having read or heard information about the Order. They may not know any Masons, or may not be sure they know any. They apply in this case either to a lodge of which they have an address, or to the Grand Lodge of Belgium itself.
When “laymen” 32 (people who are not part of Freemasonry) have applied, the lodge contacted – either directly or through the intervention of the Grand Lodge – gets in touch with them and, in accordance with the terms and conditions provided for in its regulations, initiate a procedure intended to rule on their request.
A patient process …
This can be relatively long – usually several months – because before planning its initiation, the lodge, in several stages, must know the candidate, his motivation, his background, his expectations, his potential and his affinities vis-à-vis of masonic work. It collects this information through the “sponsors” who introduce the candidate or have been appointed to welcome and accompany him, the “investigators” that it will delegate to him, as well as the meetings organized with its members.
It will also be a matter of usefully informing the candidate so that he himself appreciates the adequacy of his availability and his wishes with the teaching provided by traditional and regular Freemasonry, its method and its rules.
Under no circumstances will the conclusion reached by this reciprocal attention be considered a value judgment.
The impatience which characterizes the air of secular times does not need to be in masonry.
Likewise, there is no need for haste in the process leading to it. This requires a carefully considered decision and it should be considered with the dual objective of lasting satisfaction both for the future mason and for the assembly he will join.
A real and effective commitment
Entering a lodge involves some expense, which is not normally insurmountable. The requested contribution, relatively moderate and varying according to the lodges, is intended to meet the costs incurred by the practice of masonry: premises and various charges, costs related to the organization of the work.
Masonic life also entails other costs, such as those linked to participation – never compulsory – in meals taken together.
In any case, entering Freemasonry is by no means a privilege reserved for the rich and anyone can become a Freemason without harming their family and loved ones. For information only and depending on the practices of the lodges, the annual contributions are of the order of 200 euros, and the related annual expenses (meals, clothing, charity, etc.) of the order of 300 to 400 euros. The overall annual budget is therefore around 500 to 600 euros per year.
Members are expected to make greater efforts in other respects. As the reading of the answers to the questions preceding in this book suggests, Freemasonry is not an ordinary society, it presupposes a real and effective commitment and an active participation. To live the life of the lodge to the fullest, you must be present assiduously at the meetings and seminars it organizes, accept sometimes absorbing functions, contribute through your work and your involvement in the life of the lodge. Attendance at the lodge is essential to progress towards a better self. Most Lodges meet between 15 and 25 times a year.
Masonry requires time
Of course, these demands cannot interfere with professional and family life, but masonry demands that we devote time to it. There should be at least between fifteen and twenty “outfits” (or ritual meetings) per year, to which may be added as appropriate additional meetings for seminars, preparation of ceremonies, etc.
Of course, the possibility offered to the mason to “travel” and visit other lodges than his own makes it possible to multiply Masonic activities and to adopt in this matter an individual calendar practically “tailor-made”, therefore also. to leave his lodge, without any pitfalls or unfortunate consequences. This is obviously not desirable, because the Masonic journey, without end, requires perseverance and diligence which is gradually rewarded by spiritual enrichment and personal development, in addition to the constantly renewed and even increased pleasure of meeting up with masons – between “brothers” – in a warm, reassuring and beneficial universe. Most often, it is for life that you become a mason.
A voluntary membership
Nothing is done in any case to try to retain anyone against their will within Freemasonry. This would hardly make sense since its practice supposes the voluntary adherence to a set of rules, a strong personal commitment and the sustained desire to progress constantly, in a constructive and stimulating, serene and peaceful, convivial and fraternal climate. , bearer of well-being and hope, favorable to self-discovery as well as to “living together”, broadly open to the future.
Sociable and friendly men who love life
Do not imagine that Freemasons are austere men with closed faces … quite the contrary! We could not finish this book without once again mentioning the great sociability, the warm atmosphere and the good humor that preside over the meetings of the Freemasons and the relationships they maintain.
Each “outfit” is often followed by a fraternal and very convivial meal from which the healthy rules of good food are not excluded … This too has been part of the Masonic tradition since its origins, which has not been denied over time.!
Freemasonry is serious business but – all Masons will tell you! – to work on his own improvement as well as, therefore, that of humanity does not in any way interfere with the ability and desire of the Freemason to be both a bon vivant and a man who loves life in society.