Constituted April 5, 1919
Amended and Adopted, January 29, 1965
Amended and Adopted, January 20, 1992
Names, Title, and Seal
Section 1. The name and title of this body shall be:
"The Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of the District of Columbia.
It shall have a seal bearing suitable devices and
inscriptions, which shall be affixed to all instruments issued by or under its
Section 2. Its jurisdiction shall extend over the territorial limits of the
District of Columbia. Provided, further, that where any Grand
Jurisdiction whose boundaries abut the District of Columbia, has enacted
legislation granting concurrent jurisdiction with the District of Columbia in
any county or counties, city or cities, thus permitting a resident of such
jurisdiction to apply to a District of Columbia Council for membership, the
Grand Council of the District of Columbia does hereby grant like concurrent
jurisdiction permitting a resident of the District of Columbia to apply for
membership in an Council in such county or counties, city or cities, provided,
further that the provision for twelve monthsí residence in the District of
Columbia is and shall be waived for an applicant residing in such jurisdiction
granting such concurrent jurisdiction.
Of Whom Composed
Section 3. This Grand Council shall be composed of:
(a) Officers as follows: Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Principal
Conductor of the Work, Grand Treasurer, Grand Recorder, Grand Visitor and
Lecturer, Grand Chaplain, Grand Captain of the Guard, Grand Conductor of the
Council, Grand Marshal, Grand Steward, and Grand Sentinel.
No one shall be eligible for office in this Grand Council who shall not have
attained the rank of Master of a Council; provided, this limitation shall
not apply to the Grand Treasurer, Grand Recorder, Grand Chaplain, and Grand
(b) Past Grand Officers as follows: Past Grand Maters, Past Deputy Grand
Master, Past Grand Principal Conductors of the Work, Past Grand Treasurers, and
Past Grand Recorders, so long as they remain members of Councils working under
this Grand Council.
(c) The Master, Deputy Master, and Principal Conductor of the Work of the
Constituent Councils working under this Grand Council.
(d) All past Masters of Councils working under this Grand Council and all
Past Masters from another jurisdiction who have been elected to active
membership in this jurisdiction, so long as they remain members in good standing
of Councils under the jurisdiction of this Grand Council.
Section 4. Any Officers of a Council, specified in Section 3, paragraph (c)
may be represented and vote by proxy, said proxy being at the time of service a
member of the same Council as his principal: provided, that such proxy
does not, by virtue of his designated authority, become a member of this Grand
Section 5. The title and designation of the Grand Master shall be "Most
Illustrious"; of the Deputy Grand Master, Grand Principal Conductor of the
Work, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Recorder, "Right Illustrious"; and of
the remaining Officers, "Illustrious". See Appendix I.
Section 6. (a) There shall be one stated Annual Assembly of this Grand
Council, which shall be held on the third Saturday in March, or the Friday
immediately preceding the third Saturday, within the District of Columbia at the
hour as the Grand Master may designate.
(b) The Annual Assembly shall be held in conjunction with the Grand Chapter
of Royal Arch Masons and the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar, both of the
District of Columbia. The Annual York Rite Banquet of the three said bodies will
be held on the Friday evening preceding the third Saturday. If the Friday
preceding the third Saturday is Good Friday, the Annual Assembly, Convocation,
conclave, and Banquet will be held on the following Friday and Saturday. The
order in which the Annual York Rite Sessions will be held will be rotated
annually, that is one organization each on Friday, Saturday morning, and
(c) The Grand Council shall pay for not more than two nightís lodging,
banquet tickets, Ladiesí luncheon, and entertainment for the General Grand
Master and his Lady, and for his designated representative and his Lady, when
either or both attend the Annual Grand Assembly.
(d) The Grand Council shall pay for banquet tickets for visiting Grand
Master, other General Grand Council Officers, and their Ladies, and for the
luncheon and entertainment for these Ladies.
(e) Special Assemblies may be called by the Grand Master and it shall be his
duty, upon written request to him from a majority of the Councils, to call a
Special Assembly. No business shall be transacted at a Special Assembly except
that which is specified in the notice or summons convening the same.
Election of Officers
Section 7. The Officers of the Grand Council shall be chosen at the Annual
Assembly. The Grand Master, Deputy Grand Master, Grand Principal Conductor of
the Work, Grand Treasurer, Grand Recorder, and Grand Captain of the Guard shall
be elected separately by ballot. The Grand Visitor and Lecturer, Grand Chaplain,
Grand Conductor of the Council, Grand Marshal, Grand Steward, and Grand Sentinel
shall be appointed by the Grand Master for the term of one year. Service as an
appointive Officer shall not be construed as a prerequisite to either
appointment or election to a higher office.
Section 8. The election for any office not being filled by reelection of an
incumbent or by advancement of an elected Officer shall be by written secret
ballot. The election of other elective Officers shall be by written secret
ballot when the representatives (the top three Officers or their proxies acting
for them) of two Councils so request in writing, such request to be presented to
the Grand Recorder at least 30 minutes before the start of elections. Otherwise
the elections for such Officers may be by secret written ballot or by
acclamation, at the option of the Grand Master. The procedure for election by
acclamation shall be by proper motion, regularly made and seconded, that the
named candidate be elected by acclamation. If the motion passes by a majority
vote, the named individual is elected. If not, the election for that office must
be by secret written ballot. A motion to elect by unanimous ballot shall be out
Section 9. The Officers of this Grand Council shall be installed at the
Annual Assembly by the Grand Master, a Past Grand Master or, in their absence,
by some member of this Grand Council designated by the Acting Grand Master, and
shall hold office for one year, or until their successors are elected or
appointed and installed. If any Officer be absent from the general installation,
he may be installed at any suitable time and place under the direction of the
Grand Master; a report of said installation shall be made immediately to the
Grand Recorder; provided, that when an Officer of this Grand Council or
of a Constituent Council succeeds himself in any office, he need not be
installed a second time.
Section 10. In case of a vacancy in any office, the Grand Master may fill the
same by appointment until the next annual election; provided, that when a
vacancy shall occur, from refusal to serve, the Officer vacating, not having
served one full term, shall not be regarded as a Past Grand Officer of that
grade; nor shall a Companion who has filled an elective office by appointment be
regarded, by reason thereof, as a Past Grand Officer.
Power and Authority
Section 11. This Grand Council is a body of Cryptic Masons in whom is
inalienably vested the government and superintendence of Cryptic Masonry within
its territorial jurisdiction, subject only to its obligations to the General
Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
It shall have the power to grant charters for Councils to confer the degrees
of Royal, Select, Super-Excellent Master, and Thrice Illustrious Master; and
demand and receive therfor, and for dispensation, such fees as are hereinafter
provided. It shall assess and collect from the several Constituent Councils such
sums of money as the good of the Craft may require. It shall prescribe the
minimum fee for admission into a Constituent Council. It shall establish and
maintain a uniform mode of work. It shall hear and determine all appeals between
two or more Councils. it shall exercise all such powers as belong to it by
custom or the ancient constitutions and regulations of the Craft.
Votes and Voting
Section 12. All questions shall be decided by a majority of the members
present; provided, that on appeal, a two-thirds vote shall be necessary
to reverse the decision of the Grand Council.
Each member of this Grand Council, or proxy acting for his principal, shall
have one vote and no more in his own right; provided, that the Grand
Master or the Presiding Officer shall cast eh deciding vote in all questions
except in the election of Officers.
No Council, its representatives, or Past Master, shall be entitle to vote
until all dues owing by said Council to the Grand Council shall have been fully
paid or remitted.
The Grand Master presented the following two-part question to the Committee
on Jurisprudence for its consideration and report:
An Officer of this Grand Council is also serving as the duly elected and
installed Deputy Master of a Constituent Council:
(1). Is the aforementioned Companion entitled to more than one vote in the
Grand Council, and
(2). If not, then is his proxy from the Constituent Council entitled to vote
even though the principal is present?
Neither the Grand Council Constitution nor the Grand Lodge Code is clear on
this point although a breakdown of the Grand Lodge voting practice provides one
vote only for a Past Master serving as a Grand Lodge Officer. It seems clear
that the Grand Council Officer should be restricted to one vote.
It seems equally clear that no Constituent council should be denied the right
to have an individual vote cast by each of its three Council Officers.
Accordingly, your Committee recommends that the Grand Council Officer be
entitled to one vote and that his proxy in the Constituent Council, if present,
also be entitled to one vote. (Approved ó 1965 Proceedings.)
Section 13. The representatives of a Council shall be its Master, Deputy
Master, Principal Conductor of the Work, or proxies by them named at a Stated
Assembly or each respective Council and confirmed by a majority of said Council;
provided, that an acceptable certificate of said confirmation shall be
filed with the Grand Recorder prior to the Assembly of the Grand Council at
which the proxy offers to vote for his principal.
Powers and Duties of the Grand Officers
Section 14. (a) The Grand Master shall preside at all Assemblies of the Grand
Council when present, preserve peace and harmony in the Grand Council, and see
that its laws are obeyed.
(b) He is invested with power to grant dispensations, whenever he shall deem
it expedient, for the formation of new councils, to continue until the next
Assembly of the Grand Council, on application of nine or more Cryptic Masons.
(c) He has full authority to convene any Council within this jurisdiction, to
preside therein, to inspect its proceedings and require its conformity to
Masonic rules; he may require the attendance of, and information from, any
Master respecting his office.
(d) During the recess of the Grand Council, the Grand Master may exercise all
of its executive functions.
(e) The Grand Master, attended by the other Officers of the Grand council,
shall visit each Constituent Council annually in February. The Council to be
visited shall have ten (10) daysí previous notice of the visitation.
(f) The Grand Master shall have power to appoint suitable Companions to
represent this Grand Council near other Grand councils and the Grand Royal Arch
Chapters of Virginia and West Virginia, such Companions to be vested with the
powers and duties usually exercised by Grand Representatives.
(g) This Grand Council will not appoint or receive any Companion as
representative unless he shall have attained the rank of Master and is a member
of his respective Grand Council or the rank of High Priest and is a member of
the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Virginia or West Virginia.
(h) The Grand Master shall have the power to confer the Order of Ish Sodi on
not more than four Companions in any one year, three from this jurisdiction, not
more than one of whom shall be from any one Council, and one from another
jurisdiction. (Regulations governing this Order are printed in Appendix II.)
(i) The Grand Master shall have the power to recommend to the General Grand
Council candidates for the several awards of General Grand Council as given in
Appendix III. The Grand Master shall consider the recommendations from his
Awards Committee for each award.
Deputy Grand Master and Grand Principal Conductor of the Work
Section 15. In case of death, absence, or inability to serve of the Grand
Master, the Deputy Grand Master and Grand Principal Conductor of the Work will,
in succession, succeed to the prerogatives and duties for all purposes.
Section 16. In case of the absence of the first three Officers of the Grand
Council from an Assembly thereof, the Junior Past Grand Master present shall
assume temporarily the office and discharge the duties of the Grand Master.
Section 17. (a) The Grand Treasurer shall receive all moneys from the Grand
Recorder, giving him a receipt therefor. He shall deposit the same in the name
of the Grand Council in such bank or depository as the Grand Council shall
designate, and pay out no money except upon order of the Grand Council,
certified by the Grand Master, and attested to by the Grand Recorder. He shall
keep an accurate account of the transactions in an appropriate book, which book
shall be the property of the Grand Council and subject to its order. He shall
make a detailed written report at the Annual Assembly, and oftener if requested
by the Grand Master, of all moneys received and paid out by him subsequent to
the previous report. All checks drawn on the Grand Council accounts shall be
signed by at least two of the three above listed officers.
(b) He shall promptly deliver all moneys and other property of the Grand
Council to his successor.
(c) He shall receive an honorarium, which from time to time shall be approved
by the Grand Council, upon recommendation of the Committee on Accounts.
Section 18. (a) The Grand Recorder shall record the transactions of the Grand
Council. He shall receive, file, and safely keep all papers and documents of the
Grand Council and promptly deliver the same to his successor. He shall prepare,
sign, and certify all charters, dispensations, and other instruments of the
Grand Council and, when necessary, affix the seal of the Grand Council thereto.
He shall receive and keep a proper account of all the monies of the Grand
Council and pay the same over to the Grand Treasurer. He shall report annually
to the Grand Council the amount of money received by him, by items, and the
specific sources from which it was received. He shall also furnish such general
information as to the state of the Councils as may be proper for the information
or action of the Grand Council. He shall conduct the correspondence of the Grand
Council and perform such other duties as are incident to his office.
(b) He may receive an honorarium, which from time to time shall be approved
by the Grand Council, upon recommendation of the Committee on Accounts.
Grand Visitor and Lecturer
Section 19. (a) The Grand Visitor and Lecturer, assisted by the Committee on
Work and Lectures, shall instruct the Officers of the Constituent Councils in
the work and lectures of Cryptic Masonry as determined upon and established by
this Grand Council. He shall visit each Constituent Council at least every four
months, correct erroneous work observed by him, and report at the Annual
Assembly upon the work rendered by the Councils.
(b) He may receive an honorarium, which from time to time shall be approved
by the Grand Council, upon recommendation of the Committee on Accounts.
Section 20. (a) The Grand Sentinel shall take charge of the property of the
Grand Council not otherwise provided for in this Constitution, keep a correct
list of the same and file with the Grand Recorder and Grand Trustees a copy
thereof. At the expiration of his term of office, he shall deliver to his
successor the list, with the articles, and account satisfactorily for any
(b) He shall see that the Council room is suitably prepared for the
Assemblies of the Grand Council, and perform such other services as the Grand
Council may require.
(c) He may receive an honorarium, which from time to time shall be approved
by the Grand Council, upon recommendation of the Committee on Accounts.
Section 21. The other Officers of the Grand Council shall perform such duties
as traditionally appertain to their respective offices, or as may be assigned
them by the Grand Council or the Grand Master.
Section 22. There shall be three Trustees, one of whom shall be elected by
ballot at each Annual Assembly for a term of three years. They shall have
custody of securities and other valuable property in such depository as
designated by the Grand Council, collect interest due on the same, and pay it
over to the Grand Recorder. They shall make a report in writing at each Annual
Assembly of the property under their custody.
Section 23. The Grand Master shall appoint all Committees; he is ex-officio a
member of every committee.
At the Annual Assembly or as soon thereafter as possible, the Grand Master
shall appoint the following Standing Committees to consist of three members
each, namely: Committee on Bylaws, Committee on Accounts, Committee on
Jurisprudence, Committee on Correspondence, and Committee on Work and Lectures.
Section 24. The Committee on Bylaws shall examine the bylaws of the
Constituent Councils and all amendments thereof, submitted to the Grand Council
for approval. The approval of the Committee in the interval between Assemblies
of the Grand Council shall authorize the Council to act under said bylaws until
the decision of the Committee has been acted on by the Grand Council.
Section 25. The Committee on Accounts shall examine and audit the accounts of
the Grand Treasurer, the Grand Recorder, and the Grand Trustees, and present a
written report thereon to the Grand Council at the Annual Assembly, and at such
other times as the Grand Council or the Grand Master may direct. Its report
shall embrace all the financial operations of the Grand Council. It shall also
recommend to the Grand Council, from time to time, the amount of an honorarium
to be given to the Grand Treasurer, the Grand Recorder, the Grand Visitor and
Lecturer, and the Grand Sentinel for services rendered.
The Committee will prepare and recommend for approval, at each Annual
Assembly, a budget for the next Cryptic year, based on the anticipated revenues
and expenditures. It will examine and report to the Grand Council on any
proposal for expenditure of the Grand Council funds for any purpose other than
usual appropriations for running expenses approved in the budget.
Section 26. The Committee on Jurisprudence shall examine and report on the
decisions of the Grand Master and all other questions of Masonic law that may be
referred to it by the Grand Council or the Grand Master.
Section 27. The Committee on Correspondence shall examine the proceedings of
other grand bodies with which the Grand Council is in correspondence. It shall
report such matters found therein as affect the general or local welfare of the
Craft, accompanied by such recommendations as it may consider expedient. It
shall examine all correspondence of the Grand Council referred to it, and report
Section 28. The Committee on Work and Lectures shall cooperate with the Grand
Visitor and Lecturer in seeing that the Officers of the Constituent Councils are
properly instructed in the work and lecturers of the several degrees. It shall
decide all appeals made to it concerning points of differences between the
Masters of the Councils and the Grand Visitor and Lecturer. Its decisions shall
be final unless set aside by the Grand Council. It shall report at the Annual
Assembly concerning such questions and appeals as may have been submitted to it.
Section 29. The revenue of the Grand Council shall be derived from the
For every dispensation to form a Council $10.00
For every charter granted a Council working under a dispensation $15.00
For every charter granted without a previous dispensation $25.00
Every Council shall pay to the Grand Council for every member on its rolls at
the date of the annual return an amount not to exceed four dollars ($4.00), the
amount to be set by the top five Officers of the Grand Council prior to
September 30, preceding the date of the return. Provided, that no fee
shall be due or payable to the Grand Council from any Council on account of
clergyman or honorary members from whom the Council shall have extracted no
"dues." The amount shall not be increased by more than fifty cents
($.50) in any one year $2.50
For every member greeted in each Constituent Council during the year the
Grand Council shall receive from the Constituent Council the sum of $1.00
Section 30. All governmental powers, whether executive, legislative, or
judicial, not expressly delegated by the Grand Council, are inherent in and
reserved to it as the supreme governing body.
Section 31. The Grand Council has exclusive power to constitute Councils
within its jurisdiction; and it shall have power to ordain and prescribe
regulations for their government not in conflict with its allegiance to an
affiliation with the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
A Council of Cryptic Masons shall consist of a Master, Deputy Master,
Principal Conductor of the Work, Treasurer, Recorder, Chaplain, Captain of the
Guard, Conductor of the Council, Marshal, Steward, and Sentinel, and as many
members as may be convenient, congregating and working by virtue of a
dispensation or charter held under this Grand Council and at the place
designated in the dispensation or charter or by the Grand Council.
Each member of the Council, when present, shall be entitled to one vote in
all proceedings of the Council.
Section 32. The first five officers of the Constituent Council shall be
elected annually by ballot at the Stated Assembly in January and the remainder
shall be appointed by the Master, or elected, as the bylaws of the Council shall
provide, and these Officers shall be installed after the Grand Visitation but
before the Annual Assembly of the Grand Council.
Section 33. The title and the designation of the Master shall be
"Illustrious" and of the other Officers and members
"Companion"; provided further, that the title of the
"Illustrious" shall be accorded those Companions who have served as
High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter in Virginia or West Virginia.
Section 34. No Companion shall be eligible to the office of Master who has
not been regularly elected and served either as Deputy Master or Principal
Conductor of the Work for a period of one year, except in the formation of a new
Council or the existence at one and the same time of vacancies in the first
three offices of a Council.
Section 35. No Companion shall be installed as Master until he shall have
furnished a certificate of proficiency from the Grand Visitor and Lecturer
certifying to the fact that he is qualified to open and close a Council, and
conduct the business therein, and that he has a general working knowledge of the
Degrees, and is capable of arranging for the Degrees to be conferred in an
impressive and creditable manner. Such certificate shall be made a part of the
minutes of said Assembly.
Section 36. The Master shall not be responsible for his official acts or
otherwise to the Council over which he presides, but shall be at all times
subject to discipline from the Grand Council or Grand Master.
Section 37. A vacancy in any elective office, other than that of the Master,
may be filled at any Stated Assembly after notice to the members and by
dispensation of the Grand Master; provided, that vacancy can occur only
by promotion, death, resignation, refusal to serve, suspension, expulsion or
permanent removal from the jurisdiction, but nothing in this section shall be
construed to abridge the authority of the Master over appointive Officers.
Section 38. The Master, Deputy Master, and Principal Conductor of the Work,
shall, immediately after installation, appoint proxies to represent them in the
Grand Council, in case of their absence. The proxies shall be confirmed by a
majority vote of the Council.
Section 39. Special Assemblies may be called by the Master, but no business
shall be transacted at such Assemblies except that specified in the notice
convening the same.
Section 40. All business shall be conducted in a Council open on the Select
No Council shall be opened unless there shall be present at least five
regular Select Masters, at least three of whom shall be members of that Council,
and shall include the Master, the Deputy Master, or Principal Conductor of the
Work. Three members of the Council shall constitute a quorum for business, and
all business conducted in the absence of a quorum shall be null and void.
Section 41. Every Council shall furnish to each of its members in good
standing a card or certificate of that fact annually, under seal, according to a
form to be furnished by the Grand Recorder; said card or certificate to be
signed and attested by the Grand Recorder under the seal of the Grand Council.
The cost of said card or certificate shall be paid for by the Council issuing
Section 42. No Council in this jurisdiction shall confer the degree of Royal
and Select Master for a sum of less than ten dollars, which fee must be paid by
every candidate, nor upon anyone who has not received the degrees of Royal Arch
Masonry and is a member in good standing of a Lodge and Chapter; provided,
however, that petition for the Cryptic Degrees may be received and balloted upon
from anyone who has petitioned a Royal Arch Chapter for the Capitular Degrees.
Section 43. Royal Arch Masons whose residence in an adjoining jurisdiction is
nearer a Council in this jurisdiction than to any Council in said adjoining
jurisdictions may apply for and receive the Cryptic degrees in the Council in
this jurisdiction nearest their place of residence, and a like privilege and for
the same reason is granted to Royal Arch Masons of this jurisdiction; provided,
that such an arrangement be matter of agreement between the Grand Council of
this jurisdiction and of the other jurisdiction affected, but nothing in this
section shall be considered to abridge any other requirement for the reception
of petitions. (Not adopted by Maryland.)
Section 44. Any Council may, at a Stated Assembly, dispense with not more
than two of the succeeding Assemblies by vote of a majority of the members
Section 45. All admissions to membership upon petitions for Degrees, for
affiliation, or for reinstatement after one yearís suspension for non payment
of dues, shall be determined by unanimous ballot.
Section 46. No petition for affiliation shall be received unless accompanies
by a demit or certificate of good standing in due form from a legally
constituted Council of Cryptic Masons, or from a Chapter o Royal Arch Masons in
Virginia or West Virginia.
Section 47. A member in good standing of a Council in this jurisdiction may
become a dual member of another council in this or another jurisdiction
permitting such dual membership without affecting his standing in his primary
Council, and may retain such dual membership so long as he remains in good
standing in his primary Council.
A dual member may sever his membership in the Council of which he is a dual
member at any time, but no demit will be issues. In lieu thereof, and at his
request, the Recorder may give him a letter, over the seal of the Council,
stating that he has paid all monies due the Council and voluntarily terminated
A member demitting from his primary Council shall lose his dual membership in
another Council in this jurisdiction unless he shall within ninety (90) days
deposit the demit with the Recorder of the Council of which he is a dual member,
in which case that Council becomes his primary Council.
A dual member is entitled to all the rights and privileges of the highest
rank he has attained in Cryptic masonry, and is subject to all the duties and
obligations of a regular members, including payment of dues.
Section 48. Non-affiliated Cryptic Masons of this jurisdiction, in
affiliating with a Constituent Council, shall obligate themselves to bear true
faith and allegiance to the Constitution, Rules and Regulations of the Grand
Council of the District of Columbia.
Section 49. A member of a Council demitting from his Blue Lodge and/or
Chapter and remaining non-affiliated for six (6) months shall be dropped from
the roll of his Council until such time as he affiliates with a Blue Lodge
and/or Chapter, but, upon payment of all demands made against him on the
Recorderís book, he shall be granted a demit.
Section 50. A Companion of this jurisdiction desiring to change his
membership from one Council to another may do so under the procedure outlined
herein without first obtaining a demit. He shall first notify his Council of his
desire to transfer his membership. This notice shall be read in open Council at
a Stated Assembly, when, if no charges have been or are about to be preferred
against him and his dues have been paid three months in advance, the Recorder
shall issue to him a certificate under seal of the Council showing that his dues
have been paid as aforesaid and stating the purpose for which the certificate is
issued. This certificate shall be deposited with his petition in the Council
which he desires to join and shall be regarded as the necessary documentary
evidence to accompany a petition for affiliation. If elected, the Recorder of
the petitioned Council shall immediately notify the Council of which the
petitioner is a member and his membership therein shall cease from the date of
said election. If the ballot on his petition should be unfavorable, he retains
his membership in the first Council. A certificate issued to a Companion
desiring to transfer his membership as herein provided shall be void if not
presented to another Council within two months from the date issued. If
favorable action is not taken within three months from the date of the
certificate, the petitioner shall still be a member of the original Council and
chargeable with dues therein. A certificate of transfer of membership from a
Council in another jurisdiction having a similar law may be accepted in the same
manner and with like effect as above specified. Nothing in this action shall
operate to change the law of this Grand Council regarding demits or
Section 51. The suspension or expulsion of a member of the Constituent
Council by a Blue Lodge and/or Chapter carries with it a like sentence in the
Section 52. Every Council shall submit its bylaws to the Grand Council for
approval; and every alteration or amendment made after such approval, except as
relates to fees, dues, or salaries of the Officers, shall be submitted in like
manner after its adoption.
Section 53. Every Council shall close its books and accounts to and including
the thirty-first day of December of each year. It shall make a just and true
return to the Grand Council of all its members as of December 31st
and furnish other information as may be required, at least ten days before the
annual visitation. Such returns shall be on forms provided by the Grand Recorder
and accompanied by the amount of its dues and fees to this Grand Council.
Further, for each Companion reinstated after being dropped for non-payment of
dues, the Council shall pay the Grand Council all dues and assessments for the
Companion for the year "dropped" and for the year reinstated.
Section 54. The Recorder of each Council shall, not later than two days next
subsequent to a Stated Assembly, notify the Grand Recorder of all applications
for the Degrees, affiliation, or reinstatement; also, of all greetings, demits,
and deaths. The Grand Recorder shall, the first day of each month, transmit a
copy of these returns to the Recorder of each Constituent Council, who shall
read the same for the information of the Companions.
Consolidation of Councils
Section 55. The procedure shall be as follows:
(a) A primary resolution processing the consideration of such consolidation
shall be presented at a Stated Assembly of each Council interested and, if a
majority of the members present and voting favor the proposition, it shall be
declared adopted. A Council adopting such a resolution shall notify in writing
the other Council or Councils involved, the Grand Master, and the Grand
(b) If adopted, a committee of three shall be appointed in each interested
Council to meet with the committee or committees of the other Council or
Councils for the purpose of considering all details of the consolidation.
(c) If and when such committees shall have mutually agreed upon a plan of
consolidation, a final resolution of consolidation shall be prepared
incorporating a statement of the same. Such resolution of consolidation shall
include details and recommendations with respect to the name and number of the
consolidated Council, the place of meeting, the disposition of the charters and
seals, the assumptions of assets and liabilities by the consolidated Council,
the rights of members, the bylaws, the election of elective Officers, the
installation of Officers, and the date and place for the first Assembly of the
(d) Such final resolution of consolidation, properly signed by the members of
the committee, shall be presented to the Grand Master for his consideration and
(e) If approved by the Grand Master, the resolution of consolidation shall be
presented to each of the involved Councils at a Stated Assembly and be acted
upon by each Council at a subsequent Stated Assembly or at a Special Assembly
called for that purpose, to which all members of the Council shall be given at
least ten days prior notice by mail. The notice may describe in general terms
the purpose and effect of the resolution or may set forth its complete text.
(f) The resolution of consolidation shall be voted on by each interested
Council by written ballot; a favorable majority of two-thirds of the members
present and voting shall be required for adoption.
(g) The Recorder of each Council shall promptly notify the other Council or
Councils in interest, the Grand Master, and the Grand Recorder, of the action
taken by his own Council.
(h) If two or more of the Councils in interest agree on the proposition, the
merger of those Councils so approving shall be considered to be completed. If
more than two Councils are involved in the resolution of consolidation and one
Council fails to approve same, it shall continue as though no action of this
nature had been contemplated.
(i) When the consolidation is finally approved, the members of the interested
Councils shall meet at the same time and place specified in the resolution of
consolidation and elect and install Officers.
(j) Prior to the election and installation of Officers in the consolidated
Council, the Recorders of the interested Councils shall prepare a list of all
members in good standing, all members in arrears for dues and the amount due by
each member; an accounting of all cash in hand and in bank, all accounts
receivable and payable, all property owned by the Councils, together with a list
of all Royal Masters and candidates belonging to the involved Councils. This
information shall be furnished to the Recorder of the Council formed by the
consolidation and to the Grand Recorder not later than the date of installation.
(k) The records, funds, resources, and paraphernalia of the consolidated
Councils shall become the sole property of the Council formed by the
consolidation, which shall assume all obligations of the consolidating Councils.
The members of such consolidating Councils shall retain all the rights,
privileges, and obligations they possessed in their respective Councils before
(l) After the consolidation is approved by the interested Councils, and prior
to the date specified in the resolution for the meeting of members to elect and
install their Officers, the charters of the respective Councils involved shall
be delivered to the Grand Recorder. There shall be placed with these charters an
appropriate endorsement over the signature of the Grand Recorder and the seal of
the Grand Council so that these charters so that these charters shall constitute
the charter of the consolidated Council.
(m) All Past Masters of the involved Councils and the Masters ceasing to hold
office because of the consolidation shall become Past Masters of the
consolidated Council. The honorary members of the involved Councils shall become
honorary members of the consolidated Council unless such member is an active
member of the involved Council.
(n) When the consolidation is completed, all the documents connected
therewith shall be transmitted to the Grand Recorder, who shall make the
necessary changes in the records of his office and issue such documents as may
be required to conform to the changed conditions brought about by said
Section 56. The Grand Council is competent at any time to alter or amend this
Constitution at a Grand Assembly on the occurrence of two-thirds of the members
present; provided, the proposed alteration or amendment shall have been
submitted in writing and sent to the Grand Recorder at least sixty (60) days
before action can be taken upon it, and then only after written notice of the
proposed amendment has been sent to all members of the Grand Council. However,
prior to the opening of the Grand Assembly, an amendment may be presented to the
Committee on Jurisprudence, in writing, and if reported favorably, may be
adopted by unanimous consent of the members present.
Correct Usage of Titles
Most Illustrious - Grand Master (of Cryptic Masons)
(or) Past Grand Master (of Cryptic Masons)
Right Illustrious Deputy Grand Master (or Past Deputy Grand
Illustrious Master (or Past Master)
Note: "Past" is part of the Title, not part of the Designation.
The Order of Ish Sodi
The following regulations govern the conferral of the Order of Ish Sodi in
the District of Columbia:
1. The Order of Ish Sodi may be conferred by the Grand Master on not more
than four Companions in any one year, three from this jurisdiction, not more
than one of which shall be from one Council, and one from another jurisdiction.
2. Nominations for the Order of Ish Sodi may be made by the Master of a
Council, or by a Past Master and two Companions of the same Council. The
nomination shall state the name of the nominee, his Masonic record, and the
specific activities that are considered to qualify him for the Order.
3. To be considered, nominations must be received by the Grand Master by
4. Nominees shall not be told of their nomination, and no public record shall
be made of the nomination.
5. Nominations shall remain in force for a period of three years unless the
nominee shall have been selected for the Order, and nonselection for a
three-year period does not bar recommendation at a later date.
6. The Grand Master or his Committee shall consider all candidates nominated,
but shall not be limited in their selected to those who have been nominated.
7. The Order shall be conferred in recognition of outstanding service to
Masonry in general and Cryptic Rite Masonry in particular. The service shall
have extended over a period of at least ten years. Past Masters and Past Grand
Masters shall be eligible for the award, but service normally expected of an
elected Officer of a Council or Grand Council shall not be considered as
qualifying. The types of service to be recognized may include, among others:
(a) Frequent attendance at meetings, not only of the Council, but all other
Masonic bodies, especially the Blue Lodge.
(b) Service on committees.
(c) Proficiency in the ritual, as exemplified by frequent participation in
opening and closing ceremonies and degrees.
(d) Securing of petitions.
(e) Civic, patriotic, and religious activities.
(f) Service to youth groups, particularly the International Order of Jobís
Daughters, Order of the Rainbow, and DeMolay.
(g) Contributions to humanity in professional life.
8. The Order shall be conferred in Grand Council, or, at the option of the
Grand Master, it may be conferred at the Grand Visitation of the candidateís
own Council, or at some other appropriate occasion.
9. The Jewel of the Order shall be the Ish Sodi Jewel as conferred by the
Grand Council of New York.
10. In conferring the Order, the Grand Master shall have the recipient
presented at the altar. The Grand Master and the Master of his Council, if
present, shall then join him. The Grand Master shall invest him with the Jewel,
and still holding the Jewel after placing the ribbon around his neck, shall say,
"I confer upon you the Order of Ish Sodi." He then drops the jewel and
shakes the hand of the recipient, saying, "May your activity in Masonry
General Grand Council Awards
1. General Grand Council Medal of Honor:
One medal awarded each Triennium to an outstanding Cryptic Mason for service
to Masonry and who is well known in the Arts, Science, Business, Religion, or
Government. Nominations shall be made to the General Grand Master, and selection
approved by the elective officers.
2. Mordhurst Medal:
A medal awarded to the Grand Recorder of a Council who has served 15 years or
more, and not to be awarded prior to the date of qualification.
3. Columbian Medal:
A medal awarded to an outstanding Cryptic Mason for service to Masonry. One
medal for each of the seven Regions, and not more than three medals-at-large per
Triennium. Nominations of the Regional Deputies and selection by the elective
4. Cryptic Mason of the Year Medal and Lapel Pin:
One medal each year presented to a Cryptic Mason by the General Grand Council
to a man selected by each Grand Council for outstanding service to Cryptic
Masonry. Each Grand Council and each subordinate Council will select its own
Cryptic Mason of the Year according to the following rules and regulations:
a. Only one medal may be awarded annually to a Cryptic Mason in each
affiliated Grand Council.
b. Only one medal may be awarded triennially to a Cryptic Mason in each
subordinate Council of the General Grand Council.
c. Each Grand Council and each subordinate Council shall determine its own
method of selecting the Cryptic Mason of the Year in its jurisdiction.
d. No posthumous award shall be made.
e. The award shall be made only for exceptional and meritorious service to
Cryptic Masonry above and beyond the call of duty. No Past or Present Grand
Master, or any advancing line officer of the Grand Council shall be eligible for
this award, however, this restriction shall apply only to the Cryptic Mason of
the Year award, and not to the Adult Leadership Award.
f. General Grand Recorder shall be given the name of the selected Cryptic
Mason to be engraved upon the medal at least thirty days prior to the date it is
to be awarded. Subordinate Councils shall give the name of the selected Cryptic
Mason to be engraved upon the medal at least six months prior to the next
g. The General Grand Recorder shall cause the name of the honoree to be
engraved upon the medal and forwarded to the Grand Recorder or Recorder, if to a
subordinate Council, at the earliest time following the receipt of same.
5. Adult Leadership award and Lapel Pin:
One Medal presented to a member of the Cryptic Council affiliated with the
General Grand Council. The nominee shall be a leader in one of the youth
organizations recognized by the General Grand Council, namely: Order of Demolay,
Order of Rainbow for Girls, or Order of Jobís Daughters. The rules and
regulations "a" through "g" above, governing the Cryptic
Mason of the Year Award, shall apply to the selection and representation of the
Youth Leadership Award.
6. Grand Masterís Lapel Pin:
Each retiring Grand Master shall be presented a Lapel Pin, and Life
Membership Card which designates him as a permanent member of the General Grand