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OF GRAND LODGES IN GENERAL.
A Grand Lodge consists of the Masters and Wardens, and all Pastmasters* of the regular lodges within its jurisdiction, with the following officers: The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Wardens, Deacons, Treasurer, Secretary, Grand Pursuivant, Marshal, Sword Bearer, Chaplain, and other necessary officers, as will be explained in its proper place, all of whom must be Master Masons.
No officers of any new lodge are acknowledged as members of the Grand Lodge, until such new lodge is first regularly constituted, and registered in accordance with the established rules.
All Past Grand Masters, are considered as members of, and admitted to vote in, the Grand Lodge.
It is customary for all members attending the Grand Lodge, to wear the jewels they are entitled to in their subordinate lodges, and take such seats as custom has established.
All brethren, of the degree of a Master Mason, are permitted to be present at the meetings of the Grand Lodge, upon motion, or leave asked and given ; but such brother, thus admitted, shall have no vote, nor be allowed to speak to any question, without leave, or unless desired to give his opinion.
The Grand Lodge meets usually four times a year, at stated periods, or at such other times as the Grand Master thinks it necessary.
All matters in the Grand Lodge are determined by a majority of votes, each member having one, vote ; the
* So long only as they continue members of a subordinate lodge.
Grand Master, on an equality of votes, has the right of the casting vote.
The business of the Grand Lodge, whether at quarterly communications or other meetings, is to receive the reports of the various committees, and seriously to consider the same; all expenditures must originate in that body by appropriations; transact and settle all matters that concern the prosperity of the fraternity in general; also, at stated periods, reports from all the lodges under its jurisdiction, with the number of admissions, rejections, deaths, resignations, and expulsions, which have taken place since the last yearly meetings. It also takes cognizance of all appeals, from brethren of subordinate lodges, who have been unable to heal their differences, and which are here referred to a proper committee, to be by them mutually heard, considered, and reported upon at the next ensuing meeting, or sooner, if necessity require despatch.
The Grand Master, by virtue of his office, has full power and authority to confer the degrees of Masonry on any one in his presence, in the Grand Lodge, or in whatever other place he thinks proper: provided he is accompanied by the Grand Secretary, who case must make a minute of the proceedings in the minute book of the Grand Lodge ;* but no individual can be made a Mason without first being proposed and submitted to the established rules of the subordinate lodges, unless by a dispensation from the proper authorities.
The Grand Lodge, at their meetings, shall consider the most prudent and effectual means of collecting and managing the funds, which cannot be disbursed except on vouchers, signed by the Grand Master, and countersigned by the Secretary.
* This, however, does not admit him as a member of any particular lodge, unless he has been regularly ballotted for
The Grand Master, accompanied by his Deputy, and officers of the Grand Lodge, shall, if possible, annually, go at least once, and visit all the lodges under its jurisdiction, examine their records, and give them instructions.
CEREMONY OF CONSTITUTING AND CONSECRATING
A LODGE-INSTALLING THE OFFICERS.
Any number of Master Masons, not under seven, resolved to form a new lodge, must apply, by petition, to the Grand Lodge, setting forth that they are regular Master Masons, and are at present, or have been, members of regular lodges; that having the prosperity of the fraternity at heart, they are willing to exert their best endeavours to promote and diffuse the true principles of Masonry; that, for the convenience of their respective dwellings, or other good reasons, they have agreed to form a new lodge, to be named
and have nominated, and do recommend A. B. to be the first Master; that in consequence of this resolution they pray for a warrant of constitution, to empower them to assemble, as a regular lodge, on the of every month, and there to discharge the duties of Masonry in a regular and constitutional manner, according to the original forms of the order and the laws of the Grand Lodge; that, the prayer of the petitioners being granted, they promise a strict conformity to all the regulations and rules of the Grand Lodge.
An application of the above, or a similar tenor,* signed and recommended by brethren of good repute, which is then laid before the Grand Lodge, if it meets their approbation a warrant is granted. In consequence of this charter a lodge may be held at the place therein named, and the transactions recorded are valid for the time being, with those of a regularly constituted lodge: provided they are afterwards confirmed by the brethren, convened at the time of constituting the lodge.
* The Grand Secretary of the various Grand Lodges in the U. S. will furnish the proper formula in blank.
The Grand Lodge having signified its approbation of the new lodge, the Grand Master appoints a stipulated time for constituting and consecrating, and for installing the officers.
In some of the Grand Lodges, an authority from the Grand Master to the new lodge is sent, until the proper warrant is given.
The following is usually the form : To A. B.:
Sir and Brother, (or as the case may be): Having indubitable testimony of your ability and attachment to the Masonic fraternity, and reposing especial confidence in your integrity, I do hereby authorise and appoint you to form and constitute a lodge in the city of name and style of Lodge, No. -, agreeable to a resolution of a Grand Lodge, held on ; and of the said lodge you will install our beloved brother, C.D., Worshipful Master, and our beloved brethren, E. F. and G. H., Senior and Junior Wardens, agreeable to the ancient usages, for which this shall be your warrant. Given under my hand and seal, this
day of A. D. A. L.
I. J., Grand Master. Attest: T. L., Grand Secretary.
At the appointed time, the Grand Master and his officers (or a proper person appointed by the Grand Master,) meet in a convenient room, near to that in which the new lodge is to be constituted.
When notice is given that the lodge is prepared for the reception of the Grand Lodge, who upon entering, the offi