a question from Iftar:
Hi. I would like to know if one has to pay for joining your society.
If yes, how much does it cost to join Freemasons? The reason is that some of the websites used to tell that one must pay for joining.
I am interested in joining.
Thank you for your question. Yes, there are financial requirements and obligations involved in becoming a Freemason, and in remaining in good standing with your Lodge. In general the financial requirements are the initiation fee and the annual dues.
The initiation fee is a one time fee that must be paid in whole or in part prior to the initiatory degree of Entered Apprentice. This fee covers the expenses involved in conferring the three degrees, as well as the clerical expenses involved in creating your membership. The amount of the fee varies depending on the Grand Lodge jurisdiction and the Lodge itself. Strictly as an example, one of the Lodges I belong to has an initiation fee of $125 USD. Depending on the type of Lodge and the jurisdiction the amount can be considerably more. The only way to know for sure how much this fee will be is to contact a member of the Lodge and ask.
The annual dues are required to maintain your good standing with your Lodge. These monies generally support the basic operations of the Lodge and Grand Lodge. They keep the lights on, the water flowing, provide for insurance, form the fundamental budget for general expenses, and perhaps provide for some charitable giving. The amount of these dues is generally split between your Lodge and the Grand Lodge of the jurisdiction. The amount of the annual dues is set in the bylaws of each Lodge, so it can vary from one Lodge to another. Again, strictly as an example, the annual dues for one of the Lodges I belong to is $45 USD. In some parts of the world, and even in other parts of the U.S., the amount can be considerably different. Only your local Freemason can say for sure.
These are the required financial expenses in order to become and remain a Freemason in good standing. However, charity is one of the fundamental tenets of Freemasonry, and while acts of charity are not limited to financial giving there are abundant opportunities to contribute. As Freemasons and as citizens we are expected to give according to our means without injury to ourselves or family.
I congratulate you on your interest in joining Freemasons. For many of us it becomes a journey of our lifetime. I wish you well in your journey. For more information and a description of the process of joining the Masonic fraternity visit our Joining Freemasons page.
Thank you again for your question Iftar.