How do you become a member of the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium?
Qualities of heart and mind
In most cases, candidates are approached and then introduced by Masons who already know them and believe not only that their accession to Freemasonry would be beneficial to them, but also that they would fit in because of their qualities of heart and mind.
Sponsorship but also spontaneous application…
Other men spontaneously apply, after having read or heard information about the Order. They may not know any masons, or they may not be sure they know any. In this case, they address themselves either to a lodge whose address they have, or to the Regular Grand Lodge of Belgium itself.
A patient process…
This can be relatively long – usually several months – because before programming his initiation, the lodge, in several stages, must know the candidate, his motivations, his background, his expectations, his potential and his affinities vis-à-vis Masonic work. The Lodge collects this information thanks to the “sponsors” who present the candidate or have been appointed to welcome and accompany him, to the “investigators” that it will delegate to him, as well as to the meetings organized with its members.
It will also be a question 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 to which this reciprocal attention will lead be considered as a value judgment.
The impatience that characterizes the secular spirit of the times has no place in Masonry.
Similarly, haste is not required in the process that leads to it. This requires a carefully considered decision and it should be considered with the dual objective of satisfying both the future mason and the assembly he will join on a lasting basis.
A real and effective commitment
Entrance to a lodge involves some expense, which is normally not insurmountable. The contribution requested, 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 related to participation – never compulsory – in meals taken together.
In any case, entry into Freemasonry is by no means a privilege reserved for the wealthy and anyone can become a Freemason without harming their family and loved ones. For information only and according to the practices of the lodges, the annual subscriptions 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 reading the answers to the preceding questions in this book suggests, Freemasonry is not an ordinary society, it requires real and effective commitment and active participation. To fully live the life of the lodge, you must be present diligently 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 in the lodge is essential to progress towards a better self. Most Lodges meet between 15 and 25 times a year.
Masonry requires time
Certainly, these requirements cannot harm professional and family life, but Masonry requires that we devote time to it. It is advisable to count at least between fifteen and twenty “outfits” (or ritual meetings) per year, to which are added, depending on the case, additional meetings for seminars, the preparation of ceremonies, etc.
Of course, the possibility offered to the Mason to “travel” and visit lodges other 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 dressing room, without any pitfalls or unfortunate consequences. This is obviously not desirable, because the endless Masonic journey requires perseverance and assiduity that are gradually rewarded by spiritual enrichment and personal fulfillment, in addition to the constantly renewed and even increased pleasure of meeting among Masons – between “brothers”-