- 1 GRAND CONSTITUTIONS
- 2 ADDITIONAL ARTICLES, ADOPTED DECEMBER 15, 1801
- 3 ADDITIONAL ARTICLES, ADOPTED DECEMBER 8, 1806
- 3.1 SECTION 1st
- 3.2 SECTION 2nd
- 3.3 SECTION 3rd
- 3.4 SECTION 4th
- 3.5 SECTION 5th
- 3.6 SECTION 6th
- 3.7 SECTION 7th
- 3.8 SECTION 8th
- 3.9 SECTION 9th
- 3.10 SECTION 10th
- 3.11 SECTION 11th
- 3.12 SECTION 12th
- 3.13 SECTION 13th
- 3.14 SECTION 14th
- 3.15 SECTION 15th
- 3.16 SECTION 16th
- 3.17 SECTION 17th
- 3.18 SECTION 18th
THE CONSTITUTIONS OF THE GRAND LODGE
OF THE MOST ANCIENT AND HONORABLE SOCIETY
OF FREE AND ACCEPTED MASONS
FOR THE COMMONWEALTH OF MASSACHUSETTS
Adopted December 10, 1792
- In the Year of Masonry, five thousand seven hundred and ninety-two, The Saint John's Grand Lodge and The Massachusetts Grand Lodge, by their Committees of Conference, duly appointed, having deliberately considered the present state of Masonry, and being desirous to promote the benevolent designs of this Ancient Fraternity, do mutually agree in a Complete Union of the Grand Lodges aforesaid: And that impartiality and candor may mark the Original proceedings of such Coalition, each Grand Lodge shall assemble at their respective places on the first Monday of March, and shall nominate a Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Secretary, after which they shall each appoint seven Electors, to meet in Convention, and form such List of Candidates to form a new Grand Lodge.
- The Grand Master Elect shall notify a meeting of all persons authorized to sit in Grand Lodge, and, having declared his acceptance, shall appoint a Deputy Grand Master, Grand Deacons, Grand Stewards, Grand Marshal, Grand Sword Bearer, and Grand Tyler. He shall then cause the names of the Officers thus chosen and appointed to be duly recorded and they shall continue until the next regular Election.
- This Grand Lodge, organized as aforesaid, shall forever hereafter be known by the name of the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons, for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Its powers and prerogatives are Independent; all distinctions between Ancient and Modern Masons shall, as far as possible, be abolished; the Mode of working practiced by the late Saint John's Grand Lodge, is hereby recommended to the Lodges now established; and shall be enjoined upon all Lodge hereafter constituted.
- All Grand Lodge records heretofore made, and other Masonic Papers, shall be safely deposited in the Archives of this Grand Lodge, and they shall never be carried out but by the Grand Master's permission.
- All Lodges heretofore established may retain their Original Charters, the dates and Grand Lodges from whence they were respectively issued being recorded by the Grand Secretary, and a due representation, with the payment of equal quarterly assessments, shall entitle such Lodges to a regular connection with the Grand Lodge to take precedency according to Seniority.
- All past and present Grand Masters, Deputy Grand Masters, and Grand Wardens shall be considered as Members of the Grand Lodge, and no others.
- All Members of the Grand Lodge, and other Grand Officers for the time being, except the Grand Tylers, and the Representatives of every Lodge under this Jurisdiction, shall have a right to sit and vote in Grand Lodge and every Brother shall be properly vested, with his Jewel and Clothing before he takes his place.
- No vote of the Grand Lodge shall be reconsidered by a less number of voters than were present at the passing the same.
- No Brother shall be admitted into the Grand Lodge but such as are Members and Voters, excepting Petitioners and Witnesses or those called in by Motion; in neither of which cases shall they be admitted to sit at the table.
- A Grand Master shall be annually chosen, on the evening of the second Monday in Decemer; and no person shall be eligible for the Office, more than three years successively.
- In the election of the Grand Master a ballot at large shall be taken (every voter writing the Candidate he thinks best qualified) and the Brother who has two thirds of the votes present, shall be declared Grand Master and installed in Due Form according to ancient usage.
- In case of sickness or necessary absence, the Grand Master or any other Officer may be installed by proxy, but whoever represents him must have sustained the office to which such absent officer is to be installed.
- The Grand Master shall appoint and commission his Deputy, under the seal of the Grand Lodge; and he shall appoint and declare all other Grand Officers, excepting the Grand Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary.
- The Grand Master shall, when present, indispensably fill the Chair; in his absence, the Deputy Grand Master; in both their absence, the Senior Grand Warden; in the absence of these, the Junior Grand Warden; and in case of the absence of all the officers, the eldest Grand officer in the Lodge is to fill the Chair; and that the Grand Lodge may always appear in Due Form, the presiding Officer shall wear the Jewel of the Grand Master, and all others the Jewels of the officers they respectively represent.
- No Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, or Grand Warden shall during his continuance in office be Master or Warden to, or representative of, a particular Lodge; and no Brother shall be eligible for either of said offices, who has not passed the Chair of some regular Lodge, to be made nown by proper vouchers.
- The Grand Master, with his Deputy, Grand Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary, if convenient shall, during his Mastership, visit the several Lodges under his Jurisdiction; and shall examine their Records and proceedings, and see that no innovations be committed in any of them, first giving such Lodges timely notice of his approach.
- The Grand Master has full right and authority to preside in every Lodge under his Jurisdiction, with the Master on his left hand; and to summon his Grand Wardens, Treasurer and Secretary to attend him, who are to act in their several capacities whenever the Grand Master takes the chair.
- The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, and Grand Wardens, shall severally, at the time of their installation, make the following declaration: I solemnly promise upon the honor of a Mason that in the office of ----- I will, according to the best of my abilities, strictly comply with the Laws and Regulations of this Grand Lodge, and all other ancient Masonic usages.
- The Grand Wardens shall be chosen in the same manner as the Grand Master (Section 3, Article 2) and with the same restrictions (Section 3, Article 1).
- The Grand Treasurer shall be chosen annually by a majority of written votes and must be a Master Mason.
- He must be a Brother of good worldly substance, and to him shall be committed the monies belonging to the Grand Lodge. He shall always keep a fair record of the accounts and transactions, and the uses to which the monies are appropriated, and shall lay the same before the Grand Lodge when required.
- When the monies in stoc amount to forty pounds he shall put it to interest on good security and shall give bonds to the Grand Master, for the time being, that such sums, and the interest arising thereon, shall be appropriated to the use of the Grand Lodge.
- The Grand Secretary shall be chosen in the same manner and with the same qualifications as the Grand Treasurer; Vide Section 5, Article 1.
- He must be a Brother who can write a good fair, legible hand and shall keep accurate records of all the transactions of Grand Lodge. He shall present all the votes and orders of the Grand Lodge, after they are entered, to the Grand Master, for his approbation and signature; he shall issue summonses as the Grand Master may direct and shall give reasonable notice, in at least one publick newspaper, of every stated meeting of the Grand Lodge; he shall read the Records of the preceding meeting every Quarterly Communication, before any Business is entered upon, and he shall be rewarded for his services from time to time as the Grand Lodge may direct.
- The Grand Deacons, Grand Stewards, Grand Marshal, and Grand Sword-Bearer must be Master Masons.
- The Grand Stewards shall attend in preparing the Feast, on a regular Summons for that purpose; and they shall always see that the tables are regularly and Masonically spread.
- The Grand Marshal shall attend the Grand Feast, and assist the Grand Master in the order and arrangement of the Day; and the Grand Sword-Bearer shall attend on all public occasions.
The Grand Tyler shall attend every call of the Grand Master and be present at every Grand Lodge; for which services he shall be rewarded from time to time according to his merit.
- There shall be annually held four Quarterly Communications, in some convenient place, which the Grand Master shall appoint, vizt: on the evenings of the second Mondays of December, March, June and September; and special Grand Lodges shall be held at the Grand Master's direction.
- All matters in Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority of votes, excepting when other provision is made, and the Brother in the chair shall have the casting vote.
- All differences that cannot be accommodated privately or made up in particular Lodges, are to be seriously considered and decided on in Grand Lodge; and if any Brother thinks himself aggrieved by the decision, he made appear at the Annual Grand Lodge next ensuing and leave his appeal in writing with the Grand Master, Deputy or the Grand Wardens.
- At the third stroke of the Grand Master's hammer, repeated by the Grand Wardens, there shall be a general silence; and whoever speaks without permission from the Chair, shall be publicly reprimanded, under the same penalty every Brother shall take his seat and keep strict silence whenever the Grand Master, or his Deputy shall call to order.
- No Brother is to speak more than twice to the same subject, unless to explain himself or when called upon, from the Chair, to speak. The Brother who addresses the Chair, shall rise and keep standing, and no Brother shall interrupt him - under the penalty of a reprimand; unless the Grand Master, finding him wandering from the point, sees fit to reduce him to order; and after being set right, he may proceed.
- Every Lodge under this Jurisdiction shall once every year transmit to the Grand Lodge, the names of their officers and also the names of the Brothers who have been made Masons, passed Fellow-Crafts, and raised to the sublime degree of a Master Masons; in order that the same may be duly noticed by the Grand Lodge.
- Every Lodge shall be represented by their own Master and Wardens, or by a proxy; and no proxy shall be received in the Grand Lodge, except he be a Master Mason, and a member of some Lodge under this Jurisdiction.
- The Grand Lodge has an inherent power and authority to make new regulations, and alter these for the benefit of the Institution, provided always the Ancient Land-Marks be carefully preserved, and that such new regulations be proposed, at a Quarterly Communication, and agreed to by a majority of the Brethren present at the Annual Grand Feast.
- The Grand Wardens and Grand Secretary shall make all necessary preparations for every Grand Feast, and they shall be assisted by the Grand Stewards or some general undertaker.
- Every Brother present at a Grand Feast shall be controuled by the Grand Master in everything that pertains to the decency and decorum of his conduct.
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES, ADOPTED DECEMBER 15, 1801
All the Lodges, under this Jurisdiction, shall be formed into Districts to be denominated from the number of their order, in such manner that no Lodge shall be distant more than forty miles from any other Lodge within the same District, excepting in that part of the Jurisdiction which is within the District of Maine.
There shall be a' District Deputy Grand Master in and for each District, appointed annually by the Grand Master, whose duty it shall be to visit the several Lodges within his District once, at least, in every year, giving them timely notice thereof, and to communicate to each Lodge all such Edicts and Regulations as may be, from time to time, transmitted from the Grand Lodge; to receive all returns and monies required by the Grand Lodge, keeping an exact account thereof, and, annually, at the Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge in December, to make out a correct list or return of the Lodges in his District, exhibiting thereon the names of all the Masons made in each Lodge, and deliver the same to the Grand Secretary together with all monies in his hands due to the Grand Lodge, and shall deliver to the Grand Treasurer a duplicate account of all monies by him paid to the Grand Secretary, together with all monies in his hands due to the Grand Lodge, which District return shall be recorded and filed by the Grand Secretary.
And such District Deputy Grand Master shall keep an account of his expenses in visiting his several Lodges and making returns as aforesaid, for which he shall b© reimbursed from the Treasury of the Grand Lodge by order of the Grand Master.
From and after the first day of January next, the price for making, Crafting and Raising Masons throughout this Jurisdiction shall not be less than eighteen dollars, including the payment hereafter to be made to the Grand Lodge — fifteen dollars of which shall be paid at Initiation, and not less than three at Crafting and Raising. And out of the sum of fifteen dollars paid at initiation, two dollars shall be paid for the use of the Grand Lodge. And the Master of every Lodge in each District shall cause a return to be made of all the Masons made in his Lodge from the second Monday of March next to the time when the Assistant Grand Master shall visit his Lodge; and at the annual visit thereafter forever, the same to be certified by the Secretary of the Lodge and delivered to the District Deputy Grand Master with two dollars for every initiation made in said return, together with all Quarterages then due from his Lodge to the Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge shall cause to be provided a diploma, printed on parchment, with a device emblematical of, and suited to, the Genius and Design of Masonry, and purporting in a dignified simplicity of language, that the Bearer thereof (inserting the name) has been raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason, in _____ Lodge, of regular standing as appears by the records of the Parent Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
The diploma shall bear the Seal of the Lodge in which the Brother was raised, or is a member, and shall be signed by the Master, Wardens and Secretary of said Lodge.
At the foot of the diploma shall appear a certificate, signed by the Grand Secretary, by order of the Grand Master, expressing the date of the charter of the Lodge unto whom it is intended to be issued, and that the same was regularly constituted and is under the Jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge.
The Grand Lodge shall cause to be provided a diploma with a suitable and appropriate device, purporting the regular election of a Master by a Lodge duly constituted under its Jurisdiction and recommending to the respectful notice, friendly aid and attention of all regular Lodges, Masters, and Past Masters throughout the World.
That the Master of every Lodge, who shall cause his Lodge strictly to comply with the foregoing Regulations, respecting making returns, paying Quarterages and all fees, shall for his vigilance and fidelity be furnished by the Grand Secretary with a diploma of his office, gratis, and shall also be entitled to receive of the Grand Secretary, diplomas for each Mason, made, passed and raised in his Lodge agreeably to returns made thereof as aforesaid. The Grand Secretary shall supply each District Deputy Grand Master with a suitable number of diplomas whenever he shall apply, for which he shall be accountable when he shall make his returns in December; and for every diploma furnished to each individual, in advance of the foregoing Regulations, the applicant shall pay therefor seventy-five cents.
That all Past Masters, who have presided in any Lodge under this Jurisdiction, who have heretofore complied with the Regulations of the Grand Lodge, and whose Lodges are not in arrears to the Grand Lodge, shall receive a diploma of the office of a Master of a Lodge, gratis, and all Past Masters, who have presided, in Lodges now in arrears, which Lodges shall on or before the Quarterly Communication in December next pay up all their arrears to the Grand Lodge, shall also receive diplomas of their office, gratis.
That every Lodge which shall make a correct return of the names of each member of the Lodge and will transmit therewith to the Grand Secretary seventy-five cents for each member shall be furnished with a diploma for each member so returned.
The price of charters hereafter to be granted by the Grand Lodge shall be seventy-five dollars.
That the fee of fifty cents, now paid for every making, shall cease upon the adoption of the foregoing Regulations.
It shall be the duty of the Grand Secretary to transmit as soon as may be a correct copy of the foregoing Resolutions to every Lodge within this Jurisdiction, as well as to every District Deputy Grand Master who shall be appointed pursuant to them; and from time instantly thereafter, upon the adoption of any Edicts or Regulations of the Grand Lodge, to forward without delay a correct copy of the same to the several District Deputy Grand Masters, that the same may be by them communicated to the several Lodges for the good of Masonry.
N. B. Every Lodge under this Jurisdiction being constitutionally obligated to attend all Quarterly Communications of the Grand Lodge either by its Master, Wardens or by proxy, the foregoing Regulations are not intended to supersede that duty.
ADDITIONAL ARTICLES, ADOPTED DECEMBER 8, 1806
Report of a committee appointed 12/09/1805, to "define the office, rank, etc, of the District Deputy Grand Masters, in their several Districts, their privileges, etc."
That there be appointed, and commissioned, with the seal of the M.W. Grand Lodge affixed to their commissions, in December annually by the Most W, Grand Master, nine District Deputy Grand Masters for Massachusetts proper, and three for the District of Maine.
Every District Deputy Grand Master shall be furnished by his predecessor, or by the Grand Treasurer, with the appropriate jewel of his office, which he is to return to the Grand Treasurer at the expiration of the term of, his appointment, or, by order of the Grand Treasurer, deliver it to the District Deputy Grand Master who may succeed him.
Each District Deputy Grand Master may appoint a Secretary to accompany him on his annual circuit to visit the several Lodges in his District, but the Secretary so honor'd by the appointment is not to travel at the expense of the Grand Lodge.
Every District Deputy Grand Master is to cause his commission or re-appointment to be read in each Lodge in his District, at his first visit after receiving it. And every District Deputy Grand Master shall be styled Right Worshipful.
5th, Every District Deputy Grand Master shall be entitled to a seat in the M.W. Grand Lodge during the period only which he holds his office; and it shall be his duty to attend in the Most W'l Grand Lodge at least twice in every year he may be in that office. When in Grand Lodge he may give his opinion on any subject before it relative to the District, or any Lodge in the District of which he is Deputy Grand Master; and on questions solely relative to such District, or any particular or member of a Lodge in such District, he may vote by virtue of his office as District Deputy Grand Master. But in order to qualify any District Deputy Grand Master, who is not a member of the M. W. Grand Lodge agreeably to the Constitution as it now stands, to vote generally on any question before it, he must hold a proxy from some one Lodge, and from one Lodge only in his District.
District Deputy Grand Masters shall appear in the M, W'l Grand Lodge, and in all other Lodges, in their own proper clothing and the badges of their office,
When District Deputy Grand Masters attend the M, Worsh'l Grand Lodge, they shall be seated immediately behind the M. W'l Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master and Past Grand Officers of that description, on the right and left of the elevation of the seats of the M. W'l Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Past Grand Masters, etc., and on an elevation with the Grand Treasurer and Grand Secretary, according to seniority, which seniority is always to be regulated by that of the oldest Lodges in their respective Districts.
In all processions of the M.W, Grand Lodge, District Deputy Grand Masters shall be placed after the Grand Wardens, according to seniority as before mentioned.
It shall be the duty of every District 'Deputy Grand Master to visit all the Lodges within the District to which he may be appointed, once, at least, every year, giving the Lodges timely notice thereof, and to make such visit or visits to such Lodge on or before the first Monday in December; to communicate without delay to each Lodge, all such information, regulations and edicts as may from time to time be transmitted to him for that purpose by the M. W'l Grand Master or the Grand Secretary, and to take charge of, and forward as soon as may be, all communications delivered him from such Lodges, to the Grand Lodge, the M.W. Grand Master or the Grand Secretary: to receive all returns and monies required by the M.W. Grand Lodge from each subordinate Lodge in his District, keeping an accurate account thereof; to make out correct statements of all the Lodges in his District, exhibiting therein, agreeably to the printed forms, the names of all the Brethren in each Lodge who have been passed, made, or raised, etc, the names of the officers and members of each Lodge in his District, for the time being, the monies due and collected for initiates, quarterages, etc, from each Lodge, for the Most W'l Grand Lodge, certified by the Secretary of each Lodge; and to make return of that and all his proceedings and to pay in all the monies he shall have received to the Recording Grand Secretary on or before the second Monday in December, annually, that the whole of his proceedings may then be laid before the M't W'l Grand Lodge, or a committee of the M. W. Grand Lodge appointed to receive them at that time, and report thereon. And shall also deliver to the Grand Treasurer duplicate accounts of all monies paid by him in behalf of the several Lodges or individuals, to the Recording Grand Secretary, and all his returns are to be recorded by the Grand Secretary, He is to keep an accurate statement of his expenses in visiting the several Lodges in his District and making the returns as aforesaid, and shall render in an account for his services to the Committee on Accounts, and if approved by the Most W'l Grand Master, and the committee, receive payment from the Grand Treasurer.
District Deputy Grand Masters are to constitute Lodges and install the officers of new Lodges under a commission from, and at the pleasure of, the Grand Master.
When District Deputy Grand Masters visit individual Lodges, they are to occupy a seat next to and at the right hand of the presiding Master; their Secretaries, who must be Master Masons, as must every officer of a Lodge, are to take their seats by the side of the Secretaries of the Lodges they visit.
Lodges at a distance of twelve miles from the residence of the Most Worshipful Grand Master and the R.W. Deputy Grand Master, are to apply to the R.W, District Deputy Grand Master of their respective Districts for permission to bury a deceased Brother in Masonic form, and permission in writing may be given, when necessary, in the opinion of said District Deputy Grand Master.
Masters and Wardens of Lodges are to advise and consult with the District Deputy Grand Masters of their Districts, in all matters of importance where the interest of the Fraternity is concerned.
District Deputy Grand Masters are to convene the officers and members of such Lodges, in their respective Districts, as they may judge necessary to attend and aid them in publicly constituting new Lodges and installing its officers of such Lodges, when said District Deputy Grand Masters are commissioned for such purposes by the M't W'l Grand Master,
They are also to convene the Masters and Wardens of Lodges in their respective Districts for the purpose of hearing all complaints of individual Brethren, or of one Lodge against another Lodge, which said District Deputy Grand Master may think expedient to lay before them, or which they may be requested by the vote of any Lodge legally assembled, or by request in writing of the Master or by the Wardens of any Lodge in their respective Districts to lay before them.
Such conventions for the purpose last mentioned, are to be composed only of the Masters and Wardens of the Lodges in their respective Districts duly elected, or their proxies specially appointed for the purpose. At such conventions the members are to wear the badges of their office and the proxies the jewels of the office they represent.
The District Deputy Grand Master of the District where such convention may be holden, shall preside.and shall appoint such officers, of the members present, as may be necessary to organize them as a Lodge, and, when organized, such convention shall be styled a District Deputy Grand Lodge, and shall consist of the following officers, vizt: District Deputy Grand Master, District Deputy Senior Grand Warden, District Deputy Junior Grand Warden, District Deputy Grand Secretary and District Deputy Grand Deacons. Other officers may be appointed if convenient.
A faithful record of all Lodges respectively, in a book to be provided for that purpose, and attested copies therefrom, at the close of the business for which such District Deputy Grand Lodge shall be convened, shall be forwarded by the District Deputy Grand Masters respectively to the Grand Secretary, who shall present the same to the Most Worshipful Grand Master for his perusal; and by the Most W, Grand Master's direction, the Grand Secretary shall lay the same before the Most Wfl. Grand Lodge. In every District Deputy Grand Lodge, when the R. W. District Deputy Grand Master may be absent, the Master of the Senior Lodge present shall preside, and all questions brought before such Lodge shall be determined by a majority of votes. District Deputy Grand Masters shall be no expense to the Lodge.
All complaints, whether by individual Brethren of Lodges, or by one Lodge against another Lodge, shall be made in writing, and must, in the first instance, be brought before the District Deputy Grand Master of the District where they may respectively originate, who shall, immediately, or as soon as convenient, assemble the Masters and Wardens of the Lodges in his District, and lay the complaint before them; whereupon, they, or a majority of those present, shall investigate the matter, and give such judgment thereon as shall appear to them just and proper.
Should either of the parties be dissatisfied with the judgment pronounced by a District Deputy Grand Lodge, he or they may bring it under the review of the Grand Lodge, by appeal; or should a District Deputy Grand Lodge find difficulty in determining a cause brought before them, the District Deputy Grand Master may report the same to the Most W'l Grand Lodge for its opinion and direction.
In case of an appeal by either of the parties, or of a report by the District Deputy Grand Master, the complaint, with all the proofs and documents and evidence taken thereon, must be transmitted to the Grand Secretary on or before the second Monday of March, the second Monday of June, the second Monday of September or the second Monday of December, which ever may happen next; these being the regular Quarterly Communications of the Most W'l Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
18th. Every District Deputy Grand Master shall keep in a book bound for that purpose, a record of his proceedings and an abstract of the returns of each Lodge before he shall forward them to the Grand Secretary. This book shall be delivered by each District Deputy Grand Master to his successor in office, and when full shall be delivered to the Grand Treasurer to be kept till otherwise ordered, with other books filled with the records of the Grand Lodge.