What does the Masonic Year for a Blue Lodge look like?

Please note the thoughts, feelings, and calendar are subject to an average particular lodge and may not totally represent any particular lodge in general. Stated meetings, presentations, educational items, and the like may vary widely based on the lodge’s goals and objectives. But, with this being said, every lodge has the duty to create more Masons to become brothers in this wonderful fraternity.

The first quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

Are you looking forward to another amazing Mason year as much as other brothers from around the country have been? But, what in the world of Masonry does that even mean? Well simply, the new masonic year begins at the installation of the new lodge officers are successfully installed.  Every year, I see a lot of our Freemason brethren proudly announcing the new year’s officers and appointees on the internet among other places. Some of our brothers are wearing tuxedos plus their new aprons and jewels of their office at their home lodges and it makes me feel so proud.

Over the years as a Freemason, I look at January (and the officer installations) as a new beginning for the Craft. Fresh ideas and fresh leaders excited to make our fraternity great for the upcoming year. But leaders are only as good as those around them. Being elected as an officer by the craft, the brothers are hoping that the brothers of their lodge will engage each other, support each other, talk to each other, and help the officers in these important roles. I know in the lodges were I was a dues paying member was excited for the beginning of the year.  Each of my blue lodge experiences thankfully were with a very strong lodge with some amazing brothers. Further, we were and continue to be the jewel of our masonic district.

Many a new lodge officers some fresh ideas for the craft and hopefully with the brothers support in the blue lodge – it can make these ideas come to life. Many of the fraternity’s goals are clear – making new Masons, membership retention; putting on quality degrees; maintaining our lodge building; being active in community activities, helping in charitable endeavors, and enjoying well prepared meals before our meetings. I remember how I was shocked and humbled by being elected to a leadership role and my hopes to make each of brother feel like they made the right decision to have me in the officer’s seat.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

JANUARY – 1st Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week – Officers & Lodge Committee Chairs Kickoff Meeting
    • Officer’s Pictures for guests and brothers to see when entering the lodge.
    • Goal: all new officers will get job descriptions and officer packets for the year
    • Practice opening and closing the lodge if time permits
  • 1st or 2nd week – Lodge Installation –
    • Goal: Install as many officers as possible
    • Celebrate the incoming officers and congratulate the outgoing officers on a job well done
  • 2nd or 3rd week – Post Installation
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
    • Lodge Stated – This is a first meeting for many and folks might be nervous.
      • Goal: present the 2019 Budget & Calendar to the craft
      • Install Officers that could not make the installation ceremony
  • 3rd or 4th week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Opening & Closing Practice
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Celebrate Past Masters of the lodge & host an Inspirational Talk – Review a Chapter of the Grand Lodge Digest
    • Host a Lodge Family Night –  Goal: Increase Brotherly Love and Fellowship over dinner at a local restaurant

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for training of lodge officers and brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and keep up with other lodge event as well
  4. Junior Warden updates the fire extinguishers and checks the exit signage / emergency lights at the lodge to keep brothers safe
  5. Junior Warden has menu for monthly meetings ready for review
  6. Junior Warden has a Building Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  7. Senior Warden has a Finance Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  8. Senior Warden has an Events Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  9. Committee Chairs have appoint committee meetings to start the year off right
  10. Secretary begins to collect dues from the brothers via in person, online, or via a Direct Mailing

FEBRUARY – 2nd Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice –Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge and/or practice degree work
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Widow’s Dinner & Remember Brothers who have past away
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice dig into more Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Discussion on a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter and Vote on the Budget with the craft

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Brothers should be taking the first leadership training exam
  3. Open Books & School of Instruction for training officers and brothers of the lodge
  4. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  5. Reserve Hotel Rooms for Grand Lodge Communication
  6. Junior Warden gets bids for lodge building repairs
  7. Junior Warden gets hold harmless agreements signed this month from youth organizations using the lodge’s property
  8. Senior Warden has recruited brothers for upcoming lodge events

MARCH – 3rd Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all new officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: DeMolay or Boy Scout / Cub Scout Presentation to the Craft & Donation Check Given to the Boys youth program
    • *** All available lodge officers may be requested to attend the DeMolay or Scout Meeting ***
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice –Goal: Officers Meeting & Degree Practice on a different degree from February
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Discussion on a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter then a Rainbow Girls / Jobs Daughters or Girl Scouts Presentation to the Craft & Donation Check Given to the Girls youth program
    • *** All available lodge officers may be requested to attend the Rainbow/Jobs or Scout Meeting ***

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction continues for the officers and brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and executing on the commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  4. Reserve Hospitality Room in the Hotel at Grand Lodge Communication for the lodge brothers visiting the annual communication
  5. Junior Warden works on approval from the city / county for the building improvements
  6. Junior Warden begins replace or repairing or updating the building
  7. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  8. Secretary reports on progress of collecting dues from the brethren
  9. Brothers should be taking the second leadership training exam

The second quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

The brothers in the lodge are coming together to take the plan for successful year and implementing it. Each brother is been assigned a committee or event to help with. Each brother has agreed to assist with a degree. Many a brother wants to bring a lot of good spirit coming to our meeting and having other brothers leave from our gatherings with happiness in their hearts. It is a pleasure to see us keep an eye on the prize.

But wait, what in the world in Masonry does that even mean? ‘Keep an Eye on The Prize.’

What exactly is the prize we are so vigorously working towards? Is it a having money in the bank to pay the bills? Is it having brothers attending the meetings? Is it doing Degrees for candidates? Is it helping our Masonic District with some important priority? Attending Grand Lodge Annually? Learning new insights at Open Books? Is it earning Lodge Based Awards? Is it practicing the work together to improve the meeting’s openings and closings?

Nope. The prize my brothers is much more than a ‘to-do’ list of things to keep our organization running smoothly during the second quarter of the Masonic Year. The prize is one word. “Brotherhood”

Yup. That’s what our fraternity is about. Nothing else really… Now I know what some brothers reading this are thinking…but wait we need to do this stuff! Yes, we do – I am not saying we don’t, we wouldn’t, or we shouldn’t. But during our fast-paced lives, we live the work we do in Masonry and beyond, it’s only about the brotherhood and bonds we are forming during those experiences that really matters.

Think about it – help a brother earn his Mason Master 1. You have bonded with him. Meet a brother for lunch or something like that. You have bonded with him. Take time to help a brother learn his parts. You have bonded with him. Show up and help in committee – You have bonded with other brothers. Take time to drive to an important (or maybe just some random) masonic meeting – you are bonding with each other.

Bonding with each other is the key to be a strong Brotherhood. All these activities or priorities we need to get accomplished are just good excuses to bond with each other. Once a brother continuously steps away from opportunities to bond with another brother – it is the beginning of a weakening lodge.

Now is the time to talk to your friends about Masonry & now is the time to talk to your brothers about Masonry. Because a strong brotherhood starts with talking to each other and a good new potential brother someone you like talking to. And that is truly ‘keeping an eye on the prize”.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

APRIL – 4th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation to the Craft from the local Scottish Rite Club
    • Review Legislation for Grand Lodge
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice the EA Degree if no other degrees are scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation by a local Eastern Star Chapter to the Craft & Education for the Month is a Grand Lodge Digest Chapter

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the lodge newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction is available for the brothers and officers to get additional training
  3. Master Mason Association – The monthly district meeting to help other brothers in the area and to continue executing on the commitment to assist in district wide charitable fundraising efforts
  4. Confirm Officers, Past Masters, & Proxies for the Grand Lodge Communication
  5. Junior Warden works with contractors for lodge improvements
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  7. Junior Deacon hosts Family Night at the Lodge

MAY – 5th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Presentation by the Tall Cedars, the Grotto, or the Shrine to the Craft
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice the Fellowcraft Degree if no other degrees are currently scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Memorial Lodge Presentation to the Craft and Education for the Month – A chapter from the Grand Lodge Digest.
    • Grand Lodge Communication – this may will most likely vary from Grand Lodge to Grand Lodge

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for additional training of Lodge Officers and Brothers
  3. Master Mason Association – Masonic District planning fall event for fundraising purposes
  4. Junior Warden continues to work with contractors on lodge improvements
  5. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  6. Senior Deacon hosts Charitable Fundraiser at the Lodge

JUNE – 6th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge for the DDGM Official Visit
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Report the Grand Lodge Results Presentation to the Craft
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Entered Apprentice Degree Practice if no other degrees are scheduled
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Low Twelve or Widow’s Sons Motorcycle Club Presentation to the Craft and Masonic Education is a Digest Chapter

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the monthly newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction for additional officer and brother training
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and commitment to assist in district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden works with contractors on building and property improvements
  5. Junior Warden handles Pest Control Treatment
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  7. Junior Warden has a Building Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  8. Senior Warden has a Finance Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)
  9. Senior Warden has an Events Committee Meeting (at least once a quarter)

The third quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

So, we have a lot of lodge improvement projects for this part of year approved via the budget. These projects are getting finished up hopefully by this point in the year. But my question is why bother doing any of it? Why bother improving the kitchen or updating the AC units? Why bother painting the outside of the lodge? Seriously deep down in our heart of hearts – is it really worth doing?

I was wondering about this while driving to Stuart Florida and then the next day to Tampa Florida. Both were long trips and gave me time to reflect on the lodge. I was questioning if Masons actually like each other? I have been a Mason for 15 years plus and I have seen the clicks / factions – it is generally caused by who doesn’t like who and why. I have listened to brothers share their opinions on other brother’s short comings or etc. I have watched brothers just stop showing up to lodge meetings. It is a sad state of affairs when in most lodges we can’t get enough brothers to show up to open the lodge or pay their dues to keep the lodge open.

This is the feeling the lodge is in during the third part of the Masonic Year. The brothers are working hard and at times disagreeing about how well things are getting done.  They are getting future officers ready to take over.  Some officers are going to training and studying new parts for the potential new leadership role.

Here is my opinion, I think we all come in to the fraternity to learn ‘the secrets’ first and most of all. Then when we are done with the degrees we go to a lodge meeting and we see brothers that we don’t wish to spend time with. So, we might join an appendant body such as the Shrine or the Scottish Rite to get more light and see if it is different somewhere else. But, sadly some brothers just stop showing up all together.

Granted some brothers are busy with life – having a baby to watch, illness, or starting a new career to name a few examples. While others move away and some flatly state, it wasn’t what I was hoping for.

Remember, Freemasonry was the premier social activity a few hundred years ago – what is stopping the lodge brothers from making it that way again?

JULY – 7th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Celebrate the founding of the United States at a community wide event – No Practice this week (Please note other countries may celebrate their country’s founding day on a different week. But being an American, I created this calendar to represent the country to which I reside.)
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Financial Planner(s) Presentation on long term asset review and future investment suggestions to the Craft and masonic education of a Masonic Grand Lodge Digest Chapter
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Practice for the Dist Deputy Grand Master’s Official Visit and/or Master Mason Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated  – Goal: District Deputy Grand Master Official Visit to our blue lodge (Please note that this date is generally selected by the DDGM and could be anytime during his term of office.)

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the Blue Lodge Newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction to further educate the brethren
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and execute the district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden should be finishing all lodge improvements by this time
  5. Senior Steward coordinates a July 4th Event with city and brethren
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

AUGUST – 8th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and explain the importance of the charitable efforts
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice  – Goal: Officers Meeting & Officer Team should be practicing the 1st degree
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity – Generally this is some type of charity relief program. Further, Masonic Education for the Month is yet another interesting chapter from the Grand Lodge’s Digest

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due for the Lodge’s Monthly Newsletter
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction assisting new brethren and officers on leadership training
  3. Master Mason Association – District Meeting to help other brothers in the area and reporting the results from the district wide charitable fall fundraising efforts
  4. Junior Warden reports on all completed improvements and building plans for the fall
  5. Junior Steward coordinates effort for the Community Night Our (or the National Night Out) First Responders Honorees
  6. Senior Warden gets and gives reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

SEPTEMBER – 9th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice stepping up and down in degrees
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and introduce an appendant body to the craft.
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & Fellowcraft Degree Practice
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Be a Sponsor for District Masonic Fundraising Efforts and of course more Masonic Education for the Month is yet another interesting chapter from the Grand Lodge’s Digest

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due once again
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction once again (names of these training sessions may vary based on your jurisdiction)
  3. Master Mason Association Monthly Meeting
  4. Junior Warden works with contractors on fall building improvements
  5. Junior Steward coordinates effort for the Community Night Out Honorees & Promotion to the Brothers
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

The fourth quarter of the Masonic Year.

The Feelings and Thoughts of the brothers within a particular lodge.

So how do we turn it around and create bonds with our brothers and not rivalries? How do we fix this so we can make doing lodge improvements worth doing? These are questions brothers ask one another in the fourth quarter of the Masonic Year. It is start the conversations for how they want things to be done differently and possibly better for the next year.

The fourth quarter is where the lodge brothers really are talking about what is important for the lodge’s brotherhood.  An excitement grows from the brothers as new leadership and their ideas are being discussed. Here the most simple solutions are come up with. Brothers, start feeling the optimism and begin to talk to your friends about Masonry. Because lifelong relationships and fraternal commitments are made between friends not strangers. They talk to their friends about Masonry and positive things it does.  The tired feelings are gone and the hope for the future is in their hearts. They invite new potential candidates for Freemasonry to the lodge, so they can show off their hard work. They share a meal or a coffee and introduce these new guys to the other brothers, until finally they ask how to become a Mason.

The average calendar plan at this time of the brothers within a particular lodge.

OCTOBER – 10th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Inform the brothers of nomination process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity Again
    • *** Grand Master’s Official Visit to the District ***
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Officers Meeting & all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – Goal: Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity and talk about the importance of reading the Grand Lodge’s Digest
    • Lodge Event – October 31st – Halloween Night Community Table Candy Hand Out

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – surprise most Masonic lodges do this every month.
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction
  3. Master Mason Association Monthly Meeting is happening again – it is open to all Master Masons in good standing
  4. Junior Warden is finishing working with with contractors on building improvements
  5. Senior Deacon works on the Halloween style Community Table for the Blue Lodge and Candy give away to kids
  6. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events

NOVEMBER – 11th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated –  Goal: Inform the brothers of nomination process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice –  Goal: Officers Meeting & all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – No Meeting / Thanksgiving Night

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – 2nd to last one!
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction
  3. Master Mason Association
  4. Junior Warden building improvements – THIS NEEDS TO BE FINISHED BY THIS TIME
  5. Senior Warden gets reports from brothers for upcoming lodge events
  6. Event Chairs work on a lodge Christmas and/or holiday event

DECEMBER – 12th Month in the Masonic Year

  • 1st week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: all officers will practice the opening and closing of the lodge in next year’s potential chairs
  • 2nd week
    • Lodge Stated  – Goal: Inform the brothers of election process & Collect Funds for the Master’s Charity to go towards to community charity relief
  • 3rd week
    • Lodge Practice – Goal: Final Officers Meeting & Officer’s Gifts Handed Out
  • 4th week
    • Lodge Stated – No Meeting Day After Christmas

This Month’s Background Details:

  1. Officer Articles Are Due – last one of the year!
  2. Open Books & School of Instruction – this meeting is select next year’s district officers and practice for the installation ceremonies
  3. Master Mason Association – Holiday Party Meeting
  4. Assist in the step aside process to allow the next officer’s team to get going

In the last few months of the year, the election of officers happens and the newly elected brother happily await the chance to implement their ideas once being installed. If you liked this article and want to connect with Freemasons on Facebook – join this group!

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