Amendments to Grand Lodge Constitutions or Codes
on this chart comes from various sources. If
anyone has definite information for additions or changes on this chart, please send email
to Paul M. Bessel at paulb'at'bessel.org so I can update this chart.
||Procedures to Amend Grand Lodge Constitution or Code
||The Grand Lodge of Alabama has one set of rules to amend its
Edicts and another to amend its Constitution.
33.1. AMENDMENTS Every proposition to revise or repeal an existing Edict or to
add a new Edict shall be submitted in writing to the Grand Secretary at least sixty
days before the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge at which time it is to be
presented, and if certified by the Jurisprudence Committee as being in proper form, a
copy of the proposal shall be sent to all Past Grand Masters, Officers of the Grand
Lodge and to the Worshipful Master of each subordinate Lodge at least thirty days
before the Annual Communication. It shall then be distinctly read at the Annual
Communication of the Grand Lodge when, if approved by a majority vote, it
will be effective.
No other proposition to revise or repeal an existing Edict or to add a new Edict shall
be received by the Grand Lodge for its action without the foregoing provisions being
complied with, except the Grand Lodge may by two-thirds vote of the members
present agree to waive the requirements of previous notice to the Grand Secretary
and the Lodges. [amended 1998]
PROPOSITIONS TO AMEND
Every proposition to revise, alter or amend this Constitution shall be
submitted in writing to the Grand Secretary at least sixty days before the
Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge at which time it is to be presented,
and if certified by the Jurisprudence Committee as being in proper form, a
copy of the proposal shall be sent to all Past Grand Masters, Officers of the
Grand Lodge and to the Worshipful Master of each subordinate Lodge at least
thirty days before the Annual Communication. It shall then be distinctly read
and if approved by one third of the members of the Grand Lodge present, shall
be entered upon the minutes and be thereafter submitted to the several
chartered subordinate Lodges for their approval or rejection; and if
two thirds of the chartered subordinate Lodges approve thereof by
certificate over their respective seals, to the next succeeding Grand Lodge, the Grand
Master shall so declare it, and from thenceforth it shall be considered a part and
parcel of this Constitution.
No other proposition to alter, revise or amend this Constitution shall be received by
the Grand Lodge for its action without the foregoing provisions being complied with,
except the Grand Lodge may by two thirds vote of the members present agree to
waive the requirements of previous notice to the Grand Secretary and the Lodges.
||Sec 169. Filed with Grand Secretary 90 days before Annual
Communication - if unanimous consent proposed amendment can be considered
at current Annual Communication - if five-sixths vote in favor a
proposed amendment is adopted - if between majority and five-sixths, lies
over for a year, and then requires two-thirds for adoption
||Constitution, Sec. 810, and Ordinances Sec. 34010 and 32020
- presented to Grand Secretary at least 180 days before Annual
Communication, unless five-sixths agree to consideration without this
notice - signed by 3 members of Grand Lodge, each a member of a
different lodge - if five-sixths vote in favor, amendment is
adopted - if between majority and five-sixths, lies over for one year, and
then requires two-thirds for adoption
||Constitution, Article X. No amendment shall be made to this constitution except at a regular
communication of the Grand Lodge, and not until said amendment has been submitted in writing at a
preceding regular communication of the Grand Lodge, and laid over for final approval, and then approved by
two thirds of the members present and voting.
Rules and Regulations, Section 8203. No part of these Rules and Regulations shall
be repealed, altered, or amended, unless at the Regular Communication of the Grand
Lodge, two-thirds of the members present shall vote in favor of such repeal or
In actual practice, all changes are submitted throughout the year as they come up and
are referred to the Committee on Jurisprudence, Rules and Regulations.
Should an amendment be made from the floor at a Grand Lodge communication, it
has been the practice of the Grand Masters to refer the proposed change to
committee to be evaluated, worded correctly, etc. and then brought up at the next
Connecticut has 2 regular communications per year, in April & October.
||Chapter 27 - introduced at Semi-Annual for consideration at
Annual Communication, or vice versa - two-thirds vote needed to
|District of Columbia
||Sec. 129. Every proposition to amend
this Constitution must be submitted in writing, at a Stated Communication,
be signed by at least two members, and shall lie over
until the next
Stated Communication at which general business may be transacted, when it
may be acted upon; and, if adopted by two-thirds of the votes cast, it
shall become a part of this Constitution: Provided, however, that the
Grand Master, after requesting and receiving a report from the Committee
on Jurisprudence, may propose amendments to the Constitution for adoption
at the next Stated or Special Communication called for the purpose
provided that notice of such amendments is mailed to the members of Grand
Lodge at least sixty (60) days prior to such Stated or Special
Communication. No standing resolution shall have the effect of rescinding
or altering any part of this Constitution; and all standing resolutions in
conflict with this Constitution are hereby repealed.
It is a well-established principle of all laws that no law can be
retroactive unless specifically so stated.
Standing Resolutions can be adopted, repealed, or amended at any meeting
by majority vote
||Article XI - majority vote at Annual Communication causes
proposed amendment to lay over to next Annual Communication, where a two-thirds
vote is needed to adopt it
||Constitution Sec. 1-701 - two-thirds vote needed to
lie over to next Communication, and if it then receives two-thirds
vote it is adopted
Masonic Code Sec. 3-113 - majority needed to adopt amendments
||Constitution Sec. 35 - two thirds to lie over to next
Communication, and then two-thirds can adopt
General Law Sec. 37 - filed by July 15 - apparently a majority is
required (but I'm not sure of this)
of the Grand Lodge says the following in Article IX of the Constitution:
This Constitution may be revised, amended, or altered in the
a. Submitting in Writing. The proposal to revise, amend, or alter
shall be in writing and shall be submitted at a regular communication on the
first day thereof.
b. Referred to the Committee. The proposal shall then be referred
to the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence, which shall report its findings
and recommendations during the afternoon of the first day of the
c. Considered by Grand Lodge. The proposal and report shall lie
over until the following day and then be submitted to the Grand Lodge for
d. Vote and Action Required. A vote shall then be taken and, if
the proposal be approved by a two-thirds majority, it shall lie over to the
next regular communication and, if again approved by a two-thirds majority,
the Constitution shall be so revised, amended, or altered.
Regarding the General Law - Chapter 17, Section 3, Laws for Subordinate
"Section 3. PROCEDURE.
a. Filing by July 15. Every resolution for amendment of the
General Laws shall be filed in the office of the Grand Secretary not later
than July 15 prior to the convening of the regular communication of the
Grand Lodge at which it is proposed that the resolution will be acted upon.
However, a proposal for amendment sponsored by the Committee on Masonic
Jurisprudence may be filed with the Grand Secretary at any time during the
first day of the regular communication of the Grand Lodge. When so filed
with and presented by the Grand Secretary to the Grand Lodge, it shall
constitute the report of said committee recommending its adoption.
||Constitution Sec. 7 - submitted by Jan. 15 - if approved for
form by Jurisprudence Committee, and by Grand Master and Council of
Administration, printed - two-thirds needed to go to discussion at
Area meetings - at following Annual communication if two-thirds
sustain, proposal become law
||Constitution Sec. 217 - proposed by lodge - must be received
by Aug. 15 - remain one "vacation" for consideration by lodges -
then adopted by two-thirds
||Sec. 3-13. Constitution - submitted in writing - must be
seconded by a majority - copies to each lodge for approval or rejection -
if a majority of lodges approve, and then a majority of
delegates at the Grand Lodge Annual Communication, Grand Master shall
declare it a part of the Constitution. Regulations, Bylaws, Penal
Code - filed with Grand Secretary 120 days before Annual Communication -
notice sent at least 60 days prior - if Jurisprudence Committee reports
affirmatively, and carried by 2/3 of Grand Lodge, it shall be
||Section C10.01 This Constitution may be amended by a resolution presented in
writing at any Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge, approved by a two-thirds
(2/3) vote, published with the proceedings of that communication and then adopted by
a two-thirds (2/3) vote at the next Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge.
||Article 35 - two-thirds for proposed that does not amend or
repeat any previous provision - amendments to existing Bylaws must lie
over until next annual communication, and can be adopted by majority
||Constitution Arc. XVIII - majority vote needed to refer to
Jurisprudence Committee, which reports at next communication - three-fourths
needed to adopt
Statutes, Rules of Order, Standing Resolutions - two-thirds vote
needed to adopt, at any communication
||Constitution Art. XIII - signed by 5 members - submitted at
annual communication - then submitted to lodges - if a majority of the
lodges approve, at the next annual communication the Grand Master puts the
question to Grand Lodge - majority needed to adopt
Bylaws Sec. 1-502 - signed by 5 members - lie over to next Regular
communication (unless unanimous consent is given to vote at that
communication, or proposal made by Grand Master) - two-thirds
needed to adopt
||In NM there are 3 ways to change the Code. First, a Grand Master can bring
legislation to the floor by way of a Recommendation. Second, Constituent Lodges (3)
collectively may bring legislation to the floor. And third, the Jurisprudence Committee
may also bring in legislation for consideration.
Our law has two parts, Constitution (1), and By-Laws (2). Changes to the Constitution
must be read at one annual communication and voted on at the next. Changes to the
By-laws can be done at the same communication presented if they were received in a
timely manner (by Jan. 1st) and distributed to the Lodges for their consideration. The
Jurisprudence Committee can submit changes by motion on the floor without prior
notice to the Lodges.
Article V Powers of the Grand Lodge Section 2 Alteration of Constitution
Any alteration or addition to this Constitution shall be proposed in writing at an Annual
Communication, seconded by not less than three Lodges. It shall
lie over until the next Annual Communication and be published with the proceedings, when, if adopted by
two-thirds of the votes present, the same shall become a part of this Constitution.
Chapter X - Change of Bylaws Code 90: How changed
(a) Any proposed amendment or addition to these By-Laws shall be submitted in
writing together with the written approval of not less than three (3)
Lodges, to the office of the Grand Secretary on or before January 1st next preceding the Annual
Communication. The Grand Secretary shall prepare sufficient copies of the proposed
amendment or addition and mail the same to each constituent Lodge with copies of
the Grand Master's proposed recommendations. 1994
(b) All proposed amendments or additions shall be presented by the Grand Secretary
on the morning of the first day of the Annual Communication, referred to the proper
committee, read again in full on the second day and shall become part of these
By-Laws if adopted by two-thirds of the votes present at such Communication. 1989
(c) Any proposed amendment or addition which is not submitted as provided in
sub-paragraph (a) may be submitted in writing at the Annual Communication, with the
approval of not less than three (3) Lodges and shall be held over until the next Annual
Communication. It shall then be considered and disposed of as provided herein,
provided, that amendments or additions proposed by the Committee on Jurisprudence shall be acted upon whenever submitted during an Annual
Communication, and except when a Lodge vote is allowed, two-thirds of votes
present shall be sufficient to adopt such amendments or additions.
||Sec. 10-1 Manner of Amendment
Except when a general revision of THE CODE is ordered by the Grand Lodge, as
provided in Section 10-2, or any part of this Constitution or any of the Regulations can
be amended, repealed, revised or altered in the following manner:
1. A proposal to alter, amend, revise or repeal any part of the constitution, or any
regulation, article, section, or subdivision, or any part of THE CODE, must be
submitted to the Grand Lodge not later than noon of the second day of any annual
communication, and the proposal shall take the course provided in this section.
A. Such proposal shall be in writing, setting forth expressly, or clearly identifying, the
matter intended to be affected, and in such form as to express the law as intended
and it must be submitted either as a substitute, alteration, amendment, revision or
repeal of the chapter regulation, article, section or subdivision of THE CODE which it
is intended to affect, or as an addition thereto.
B. Such proposal may be numbered or lettered as an additional chapter, regulation,
article, section or subdivision of THE CODE.
2. Any such proposal shall be referred to the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence
which shall report thereon, with its recommendations, at the next annual communication of the
A. By unanimous consent of the Grand Lodge, action on any such proposal may be
taken at the same annual communication at which it is presented.
B. The Grand Lodge shall not act, unanimously or otherwise, on any proposal at the
same session of the annual communication at which it is received, if it is received
later than noon of the second day of such annual communication at which it is received.
3. If the proposal is not acted upon by unanimous consent as provided in Section
10-1.2.A, it shall be published in the Proceedings of the Grand Lodge under the
caption, PROPOSED AMENDMENTS TO THE CODE, and within six months prior to the next
annual communication the Grand Secretary shall prepare and mail two copies of any such
proposal to each subordinate lodge and one copy to each officer and member of the Grand
4. If upon the report of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence, such proposal shall receive not less than
two-thirds of the votes cast, the proposal shall be declared adopted; but it shall not take effect until low twelve, Eastern Standard Time, on July
thirty-first following its adoption, unless otherwise provided by the Grand Lodge at the
time of its adoption.
5. When an amendment to this Constitution or Regulation is under consideration, it
may be amended if the proposed amendment is germane to the subject.
6. When this Constitution or Regulations becomes effective, all previous Constitutions,
Regulations and enactments of this Grand Lodge which are inconsistent herewith are
repealed but those on which it is silent, or those referring to matters not provided for by it,
remain in force as provided in Section 7-4.1.
7. The repeal of existing laws shall not affect any act done, right accrued, offense
committed, or proceedings commenced prior to the time when such repeal takes
||Constitution Art. VIII - filed by April 1 - adopted if
approved by three-fourths vote, or if approved by a majority at
two consecutive Annual Communications
Bylaws Chapter VII - filed by April 1 (but three-fourths vote can waive
this) - if majority vote in favor, referred to Bylaws Committee - adopted
if approved by three-fourths or by majority at two consecutive
||Article XIII This Constitution may be altered or amended in the following manner only:
The proposed alteration or amendment must be submitted in writing at an annual
stated Communication of the Grand Lodge. If seconded by a majority of votes, it shall
be entered upon the minutes and be submitted to the several Subordinate Lodges for
their approval or rejection. If two-thirds of the Lodges, by a majority of the votes cast at
the meeting at which the amendment is considered, approve thereof and so certify
over their respective seals to the next succeeding annual Grand Lodge Communication, the Grand Master shall put the question upon its adoption. If
concurred in by a vote of three-fourths of the members voting, it shall thenceforth be
considered as a part and parcel of the Constitution.
Bylaws (1) Masonic Jurisprudence. Shall investigate and report, with or without
recommendation, upon all questions that may be referred to them by the
Grand Lodge. The Jurisprudence Committee shall not be required to consider and report on
any proposed amendment of the Constitution, Bylaws or Code unless the same shall
have been filed with the Grand Secretary for transmittal to the Chairman of the
Jurisprudence Committee, at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Communication
of. the Grand Lodge at which the proposal will be considered.
Sec. 11.10 Amendments to Code. (a) Recommendations of the Grand Master in his
report, or of any Committee in its report involving additions to, alterations of, or
changes in or interpretations of the Code, although accepted by the Grand Lodge,
shall not be of effect or force as law merely by reason of such
acceptance; but to render them legal enactments, they must be presented to
and adopted by the Grand Lodge as provided by the Code. (b) The Grand Master in his report, or a Committee
in its re- port, may present a draft of a proposed change in the law, but the
action of the Grand Lodge in its enactment must be independent of its acceptance of the report
and be in the manner prescribed in the Code.
Sec. 11.11 Amendments to By-Laws. No By-Law shall be altered, amended or
repealed until the proposed addition, alteration, amendment or nullification be
(a) Sponsored by not less than five members of Grand Lodge. (b) Reduced to writing and
filed with the Grand Secretary. (e) Entered upon the minutes of Grand Lodge.
(d) Laid over until the next succeeding Annual Communication, when, if approved by
two-thirds of the members present and voting, it shall be adopted; provided, however,
that any proposition may be acted upon immediately if no more than four members of
The Grand Lodge object.
Chapter 35 Amendment to Code Sec. 35.01 How to Amend. This code may be altered or amended only in the
following manner: The proposed alteration to the amendment must be (a) sponsored
by not less than five members of The Grand Lodge; (b) reduced to writing and filed
with the Grand Secretary; (c) entered upon the minutes of the Grand Lodge, and
(d) laid over until the succeeding Annual Communication of The Grand Lodge,
when, if approved by two-thirds of the members present and voting, it shall be adopted;
provided, however, that any proposition may be acted upon immediately if no more
than four members of the Grand Lodge object.
||Sec. 1.13. Determination of Questions.
— All questions before the Grand Lodge shall be determined by a majority
of votes cast.
Sec. 1.16. Time for Entertaining
Propositions, Resolutions and Motions in Grand Lodge.
— No proposition or resolution for the amendment or repeal of an
existing law or the enactment of any new law shall be entertained unless
it shall have been submitted to the Grand Secretary in writing, with a
brief explanation stating the reason(s) the resolution is necessary.
Propositions or resolutions must be received by the Grand Secretary no
later than the first day of January next preceding the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge. Any proposition or resolution received
which does not conform to the requirements of Section 1.17 shall be
immediately returned to the submitter advising him the reason it is not
acceptable. Propositions or resolutions may be submitted by any member of
the Grand Lodge of Virginia, in good standing, as defined in Section 1.06.
It shall thereafter be referred, to the Code Commission, unless the
Grand Master shall direct otherwise. The proposed legislation shall be
reviewed by the commission or committee to which it was referred, whose
duty it shall be to check the language thereof and its possible conflicts
with other sections of the Methodical Digest. The commission or committee
shall thereafter certify it as to language and form and other necessary
legislation in connection with it, to the Grand Secretary not later than
July first next preceding the Annual Communication at which it will be
considered. The Grand Secretary shall forward four copies of each such
certified proposition or resolution showing the proposed change or changes
in the form specified in Sec. 1.17 of the Methodical Digest, including the
reason(s) it should be enacted, to every subordinate Lodge holden under
the Grand Lodge by first class mail before the first day of September next
preceding the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge. Each such
resolution shall include the name and Lodge number of the persons submitting it.
Except with the unanimous consent of the Grand Lodge no alteration of
or amendment to an existing law or the enactment of a new law shall be
considered at the Annual Communication of the Grand Lodge at which it was
All other propositions, resolutions or motions, including amendments
and substitutes, except motions to adopt reports of committees or motions
made during the election of officers shall be submitted in writing. The
sponsor of all such propositions, resolutions, or motions shall arise,
state his name, office and Lodge and audibly read or have it audibly read,
leaving a signed copy thereof with the Grand Secretary. (1991)
1955 D-7, §-1.16, §-1.42
Section 32 (now 1.42) concerning right of the Grand Master to conduct
and control the business of Grand Lodge is merely declaratory of the
inherent powers of the Grand Master. The amendments to Section 27 (now
1.16) do not deprive the Grand Master of his power to entertain or
refusing to entertain any motion, resolution or proposal presented to
Grand Lodge. (H. Reid)
Sec. 1.17. Amendment of the Digest. — No amendment of the
Methodical Digest shall be made by mere reference to any paragraph or
section, but the entire section proposed to be amended shall be repeated,
with any part to be omitted stricken out, and any new language underlined
or shown in bold type.
All items enacted into law, regardless of method of enactment, shall be
incorporated in the Methodical Digest. The text of the Grand Master's
decisions, to the extent still applicable, shall be incorporated into the
Methodical Digest at the end of the section to which it refers but only at
such times as the Methodical Digest is revised. (1984)
||Sec. 12.06 Const. Amendments .
1. Presentation. Proposed amendments to the Constitution and By-Laws shall
be presented as resolutions at an Annual Communication. All resolutions submitted to
the Annual Communication for consideration must be submitted by a Constituent
Lodge of this Jurisdiction or by a Grand Master's recommendation.
4. Distribution. New proposals and those held over from the previous Annual
Communication shall be distributed in full by the Grand Secretary to the lodges for
reading and discussion in open Lodge at least sixty days in advance of the following
Sec. 12.07 B.L. Time Limit. All resolutions which if adopted would change the Constitution
or By-Laws shall be delivered to the Grand Secretary or mailed to him under
postmark not later than January 1 preceding each Annual Communication.
Sec. 12.08 Const. Voting on Amendments.
1. A proposed amendment to the Constitution which receives a ninety percent
vote shall be declared adopted and shall become a part of the Constitution
at the close of that Annual Communication. If the vote is not ninety percent, but is an affirmative
majority , the proposal shall be declared held over for one year and shall be published
with the Proceedings under the caption of "Proposed Amendments to the Constitution."
At the succeeding Annual Communication, the proposed amendment shall be reported by the Committee on Unfinished Business and called by the Grand
Master for action in advance of any new business.
If it shall receive two-thirds of the votes cast thereon, it shall be
declared adopted and shall become a part of the Constitution at the close of
that Annual Communication; otherwise it shall be declared rejected.
3. A proposed amendment to the By-Laws which receives a three-fourths vote
shall be declared adopted and shall become effective at the close of that Annual
If the vote is not three-fourths affirmative, but is an affirmative majority, the proposal
shall be declared held over for one year and shall be published with the Proceedings
under the caption "Proposed Changes to the By-Laws".
At the succeeding Annual Communication, the proposed amendment shall be reported by the Committee on Unfinished Business and called by the Grand
Master for action in advance of any new business.
If it shall receive a majority of favorable votes, it shall be declared
adopted and shall become effective at the close of that Annual Communication: otherwise it shall be
Other Groups, or Grand Lodges outside the United States
||Proposals must be submitted in writing by November
1. Three-fourths vote needed to adopt. (Proposal in 2002 would
change this to two-thirds.