Just last year (1999) M:W: Brother George Adams, PGM of the Grand Lodge of
the District of Columbia, published "A Trilogy: Inner Journey to the East,
Meditations of a Master Mason Along the Way, and Masonry for the Millenium."
The third of these three books, bound in one cover, includes a ten-point
"recipe," if you will, for a "new old-style lodge" that captures the essense
of the 18th century lodge.
These ten points are:
1) The Lodge has quarterly dinners following its stated meeting.
2) The Regular meetings of the Lodge and the dinners are looked upon as
special events, and every attempt is made to make them special.
3) Formal dress (black tie) is required of all Lodge members. (Visiting
Masons are welcomed as they are, but most will choose to come in coat and tie
4) Business meetings are streamlined and kept to one hour maximum. Potential
lengthy discussions are cut short by the Master who either calls for a vote
or sends the issue back to committee for further study and recommendations.
5) Meetings are followed by a traditional festive board around a U-shaped
table, with the Master at the head table and the two wardens at the ends of
the two legs. The brethren gather for drinks as soon after the close of the
meeting as possible and then go to the table when the Junior Warden rings the
dinner bell. A formal toast list is not required as this is not a "Table
Lodge." A festive board is a more relaxed manner of having the Lodge gather
for a dinner presided over by the Master and Wardens, without the rigid
adherence to traditional rituals and toasts. The Master may entertain or
request whatever toasts he chooses.
6) Dinner is followed by a 20 minute program on some aspect of Masonic
history, symbolism or philosophy. The program must be about Freemasonry.
7) Degree fees and dues should be in keeping with the times in which we live
rather than what they were in the late 1930's or 40's. In one case, the EA
fee is $250, the FC is $150, and MM is $100.
8) Excellence in degree work is most important. No degree is to be
conferred, and no member of a degree team is to participate, without the
Lodge conducting a complete degree rehearsal with all participants present,
within a week prior to the conferral.
9) The Lodge should conduct at least two additional functions during the
year to add deeper dimensions to the social aspects of membership. These
should be purely social and might include a dinner-dance, or a Lodge picnic,
where members can bring their wives and girlfriends.
10) One cardinal rule that the Lodge must always observe is that it must
make a clear distinction between Masonic functions and social functions.
Ladies and non-members are never to be invited to Masonic functions where
Masonic business is conducted, Masonic topics are discussed, or Masonic
addresses are given (Installations of officers, Lodge coffees, Lodge festive
boards and table lodges, Masonic Lectures, etc.). By the same token, when the
ladies and non-members are included in Holiday dinners, dinner-dances, Lodge
picnics, etc., no Masonic business is to be discussed, no Masonic topics are
to be discussed, and no Masonic speeches are to be given.
Masons enjoy Masonic fellowship without the non-members present just as
much as they enjoy social events where the non-members are present. They
should not be denied the enjoyment of either type of function. By the same
token, Ladies and non-members generally do not look forward to attending
Masonic events where the business, symbolism, and philosophy of a fraternity
they cannot join or fully comprehend are conducted and discussed. This is the
one rule that has met with the greatest greatful approval of the ladies who
have been made aware of it.
You may order this book from:
George R. Adams
PO Box 577
Glen Echo MD 20812-9998
Sorry, I don't know the price of it.