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Becoming a Mason

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Who Can Be a Mason

Organizations around the world practice slightly different forms of Freemasonry. The Grand Lodge of California admits men age 18 and older who believe in a supreme being and are found to be of good moral character. To become a Mason, a person must be recommended by two current members of the lodge and voted in unanimously by the members of a lodge.

Other Masonic groups have different requirements for membership—including co-ed and women’s lodges. For a list of other Masonic bodies in California, see here.

Did you know?
Some people are members of just one Masonic lodge. Some are members of many. You can even join lodges in different states and countries.

Why Should I Apply to Join?

The reasons people become Masons are personal to them. However, some of the most common reasons include:

  • Forming lifelong friendships
  • Focusing on personal development
  • Helping others
  • Being part of a historic organization you can take pride in
  • Meeting people from different backgrounds who share your values
  • Engaging with the community
  • Learning time-tested leadership skills
  • Enjoying regular social activities
  • Connecting with a global network

What Are the Degrees of Masonry?

New members progress through three degrees of Freemasonry, culminating with the Master Mason degree. Each degree involves a ceremony where the moral and ethical teachings of Masonry are expressed and illustrated. One of the most rewarding parts of becoming a Mason is receiving your degrees—and supporting others as they get theirs.

There are three degrees, each containing unique life lessons.

  • First degree: Entered Apprentice
  • Second degree: Fellow Craft
  • Third degree: Master Mason

These ceremonies aren’t open to the public; they are for members only. But we can tell you this much: When you’re part of a degree ceremony, you’re part of history.

How Do I Apply?

Candidates typically apply directly to the Masonic lodge they intend to join. To do this, you can either approach a lodge directly and request information or fill out this request for information, and we’ll reach out to help answer questions and connect you to a lodge. If there are multiple lodges in your area, it’s often a good idea to visit several. Since each Masonic lodge has a unique identity, you’ll be able to tell which fits what you’re looking for.

How Do Freemasons Give Back?

Masons feel a special sense of responsibility for the places they call home. As a result, Freemasons show up for the events and causes that matter most to their communities.

We’re known for charitable giving.

In 2021, Masons raised approximately $6 million for charitable programs through the California Masonic Foundation. At the local level, California Masonic lodges also donated their money and time to countless deserving programs.

We have a long history of supporting public schools.

Freemasonry is all about the pursuit of knowledge. And historically, Masons have been proud champions of education and literacy. California Masons continue to support youth education through scholarships, volunteering efforts, and more. Statewide, the California Masonic Foundation is a primary partner of the youth literacy nonprofit Raising A Reader. Masons also support the California Teacher of the Year Awards, lead Public Education Advisory Committees, and fund the innovative Investment in Success college scholarship program.

We support our most vulnerable.

California Masons provide a wide range of care and services for vulnerable seniors through the Masonic Homes of California. That also includes supporting the Masonic Center for Youth and Families, which provides kids, adolescents, families, and seniors with mental health services.