One of the pleasures that we as Masons enjoy is that of visiting other Lodges. This practice promotes fellowship and gives us the opportunity to see how others conduct their business, initiate their candidates and practice Masonry in general.
However, visiting other Lodges can become complicated if you are not well informed and educated on the customs and practices of that particular Lodge or jurisdiction. Our population has become highly mobile and visits to Lodges in other states and even other countries around the world are becoming commonplace. Several weeks ago, I observed nearly twenty cars from out of state on a trip to re-dedicate a Lodge in our state. At the ceremony, there was a Brother from another state and one from another country who visited with us and had the proper credentials to attend our ceremony.
In most cases, visits to another Lodge in your own state are easy and a current dues card usually suffices. The Tiler's Oath is not used in South Carolina but in many states the recitation of this oath and a current dues card will be sufficient to gain admittance.
If you plan to visit Lodges in a foreign country, the Grand Secretary, if asked, will furnish you with a letter under seal to prove you are a member in good standing of a regular constituted Lodge in South Carolina which could save you time and embarrassment. Dress in Lodges can sometimes be a barrier to admission. A black or dark blue suit, white shirt and tie is the required dress in many Lodges. If you know you are planning to visit, carry your apron or other regalia.
Another source of good and necessary information for traveling Masons, Lodge Secretaries and Grand Lodge Officers is called List of Lodges. Masonic published yearly and sold by Pantagraph Printing and Stationery Co. It will list all Lodges recognized as regular by state, hence keeping you from attending a clandestine Lodge.
Education on membership requirements can be beneficial to your Lodge. Would you know how to explain to a Brother from another jurisdiction if he asked for the procedure to apply for affiliation in your Lodge? Our book of Constitution and Code, the Ahiman Rezon, 2012 edition is recommended for your study and further education.
Sincerely and fraternally,
William R. Logan
Senior Grand Warden
Chairman Masonic Education Committee