Thursday, November 19, 2009

Petitions and a Petitioner's Age

RWB Doug – I have a question…well, another question.
One of our members has a son who will turn 18 on next March. He would like to petition the Lodge. Our Lodge has scheduled degrees to start in late March. Can a petition be read in Lodge if the candidate is not yet 18, but will be when the degrees begin?
We just want to make sure we play by the rules.

Our Minnesota Masonic Code is quite clear on this subject, a man must be 18 years old to petition the lodge:

ARTICLE XIV. Petitions

SECTION G14.01 A Lodge is authorized to receive five (5) types of petitions: For degrees; for affiliation; for plural membership; for reinstatement; for restoration.

A petition for degrees must be accompanied by an amount not less than one-third (1/3) of the whole fee for degrees, at the time of election, and must be the free and voluntary act of the petitioner, without improper solicitation. It shall clearly express a belief and trust in God, a favorable opinion of Masonry, a promise, if accepted, to conform to the usages and customs of the Fraternity and the Constitution and General Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of Minnesota.

It shall state the place of his birth, the present residence, with street and number, if there is one, his present occupation and, if not self-employed, the name and business address of his employer and the specific nature of their business.

It shall further state the length of his consecutive residence in this State and in the Jurisdiction of the Lodge to which the petition is addressed; whether ever rejected by any other Masonic Lodge anywhere and, if so, when and by what Lodge or Lodges, and the post office address thereof.

It shall show the petitioner's age to be no less than eighteen (18) years.

It shall be signed with the full name of the petitioner and must be recommended by two Master Masons in good standing, at least one of which must be a member of the of the Lodge petitioned and the other may be a member in good standing of a Lodge recognized by this Grand Lodge. (4/99)

No petition can be legally received which does not contain all of the foregoing data.

In accordance with the basic principles and the Ancient Landmarks of Masonry, every petition for membership in a constituent Lodge of the Grand Lodge shall be received and acted on without regard to the race, color, creed or national origin of the petitioner.

The bold emphasis above is mine.
I suggest that you allow the young man to come to some open lodge events, encourage him to read about the fraternity and talk with Masons to give him a head start. But he must wait until he turns 18 to submit his petition.