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Burials & Funerals – Rules in Grand Lodges about Masonic Funeral & Burial Services

Masonic Funeral & Burial Services

The information on this chart comes from various sources, mostly email messages from several brethren. If anyone has definite information for additions or changes on this chart, please send email to Paul M. Bessel at paulb’at’ so I can update this chart.

United States


State Policy concerning Masonic Funerals & Burial Services for EAs & FCs
Yes No
Alabama EA and FC Masons ARE NOW permitted to participate in Masonic Burials, as Pall Bearers and “the guy in the coffin”. This was changed at the GL session in 1998.
Arizona The Arizona Masonic Code (Regulation No. 22) states: “Every Mason (whether
Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, or Master) who dies in good standing is
entitled to be buried with Masonic honors.”
Arkansas In the F&AM Grand Lodge of Arkansas, no, only Master Masons in good standing may have a Masonic funeral.
California The California Masonic Code provides, in Section 23090, that Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts may be buried with Masonic honors upon the request of their family.California code allows funerals for EA’s & FC’s with only the stipulation that the Lodge shall not be opened for them. It is not required that the Lodge be opened for a MM, but it may be opened then called to refreshment and the family and friends invited into the Lodge room.
Colorado Here in Colorado any Mason is entitled to a Masonic Funeral. It was not always so, but has been changed fairly recently.
Connecticut Yes in Connecticut, they are Brothers as soon as they receive the EA obligation.
Delaware No. Only MMs are aforded a Masonic funeral.
District of Columbia Funerals will be conducted for EAs and FCs, in addition to MMs — also NPDs and dimitted Masons for less than a year
Florida The Grand Lodge of Florida DOES NOT recognize EA’s or FC’s for the purpose of Masonic Funerals, only Master Masons are entitled to Masonic Funerals or certificates of Respect for the Widows.
Georgia 2000 Georgia Masonic Code:
Chapter 51-1 – BURIAL
51-101. Who Entitled.–An Entered Apprentice or Fellowcaft Mason is not
entitled to Masonic burial. Only a Master Mason may be buried with
Masonic honors.
Idaho The Grand Lodge of Idaho changed its rule concerning burial services for EAs and FCs at this (Sept 2000) Grand Lodge. We now permit burial services for EAs and FCs who have not been dropped for failure to advance.
Illinois To the question of Masonic funerals for EAs & FCs in Illinois, the answer of whether a Masonic funeral is a Right is unclear. However, nothing prevents a Masonic funeral service from being delivered as a courtesy to the family of an EA or FC.
Indiana Indiana recently changed its policy in this area. Formerly, only a MM could receive Masonic burial services. Now, an EA or a FC may receive burial and memorial services. Reg. 23.010(b). If performed for an EA or a FC, the burial service must be preceded by the opening of a Lodge of Sorrow on the appropriate Masonic Degree. Reg. 23.010(c). However, none but MMs may participate in the service actively, join in the Masonic procession, or wear Masonic clothing (apron). Reg. 23.010-4. Masonic graveside services may be held for one dying prior to receipt of MM Degree, “with appropriate changes or omissions suitable to the circumstances.” Reg. 23.010-4. And, a Masonic apron may be displayed upon the casket of a deceased EA or FC. Reg. 23.020-3.However, at any Masonic service, memorial or burial, only MMs may wear Masonic clothing and participate in the service or join in the procession.
Iowa The code of the Grand Lodge of Iowa CHAPTER 39
Section 1. ENTITLED.
None but Master Masons in good standing or non affiliated may receive
Masonic burial. Such a Master Mason in good standing who at the time of his
death was not a member of the lodge applied to may receive Masonic burial at
the discretion of the Master.
Section 2. CONDUCTED
All Masonic burials must be conducted by a lodge of Master Masons, and no
Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft may be admitted to the procession.
However Masonic eulogies for Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts are not
unheard of.
Kansas Kansas DOES allow EA and FC to have a Masonic funeral.
Kentucky I received and email saying: In 2006, Section 118 of Kentucky’s Book of Constitutions was repealed. The effect of this is that EAs and FCs are now entitled to Masonic funerals.
Louisiana Quoting from the Louisiana Masonic Monitor:
“1. No Freemason can be buried with the formalities of the Fraternity unless at his own request or that of his family, communicated to the Master of the Lodge of which he was a member at the time of his death, foreigners or sojourners excepted, nor unless he has received the Master Mason degree. To this rule there can be no exception.
2. Fellow Crafts and Entered Apprentices are not entitled to these obsequies, nor can they be allowed in the procession, as Masons, at a Masonic funeral.”
Quoting from the Louisiana Handbook of Masonic Law:
“Any Mason in good standing at the time of his death, by his prior request or at the request of his family, is entitled to receive Masonic burial, although his death may have been due to improper excesses or
indulgences, and even after religious rites have been concluded by any other organization opposing our Fraternity.
Although a member demitted over a year, or one suspended for non-payment of dues, has lost his right to a Masonic funeral, the Lodge has the right to conduct such services, which may be done even subsequent to the burial of the former member; but one one who is otherwise suspended or expelled shall not, under any circumstances receive Masonic burial.”
Maryland Maryland does not as a rule permit Masonic Memorial Services of Graveside Services for EAs & FCs. However, it has been done in the past with permission of the GM. It requires a dispensation.
Massachusetts In Massachusetts, if a Mason, regardless of degree, dies and the family requests a Masonic funeral service, we are told very explicitly, we WILL perform the ceremony and the GM will “heal” it later. We won’t quibble with degree of Masonry when it comes to a departed Brother.another message

I’ll quote from the Constitution and Regulations of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts: Sec. 508. No Mason shall be interred with the formalities of the Order, unless it be at his own special request, made known to the Lodge during his lifetime or communicated to its officers after his  death by a family member, an intimate friend, or other credible person, nor unless he has been advanced at the to the degree of Master Mason and was in good standing at the time of his death, without a Dispensation from the Grand Master.

The last few words are the key words. We have been instructed that if the family requests a Masonic funeral service, we are to provide it, NO QUESTION, and the matter of his standing will be “healed” later by the Grand Master. We are not to quibble at a time of grieving of the family.

Michigan Michigan allows Masonic Funerals for EA and FC. Michigan Masonic Law, 4-33 Section 1. …the tem Mason, for the purpose of funerals and/or memorial services, shall mean an Entered Apprentice or Fellowcraft eligible for advancement…” (1994)
Minnesota The book says a Mason — I think the general rule is still (I am sure it would have been last year but we just changed GMs and I do not know the current one as well) “If he or the family wants it — do it.” I believe that is what most Lodges would just do with out asking anyway. The prevailing thinking is that it is the brotherly thing to do and furthermore it looks bad and does Masonry no favors to refuse on such a technicality. After all, in two more months, in all probability, he would have been a Mason anyway.
Mississippi In the Grand Lodge of MIssissippi only MMs may have Masonic burial.
Missouri The Constitution of the GL of Missouri, Section 24.010. Funeral Services, states as follows:
“Masonic Funeral Services may be conducted for a Master Mason in good
standing or for a Fellow Craft or an Entered Apprentice who shall not have
received such degree more than one (1) year prior to the date of his death,
provided, however, that in the event of extenuating circumstances satisfactory to the Master, Masonic Funeral Services may also be conducted for a Master Mason who shall have been suspended for nonpayment of dues for not more than one (1) year immediately prior to the date of his death or for a brother who shall have been a Fellow Craft or Entered Apprentice for
more than one (1) year immediately prior to the date of his death. (Amended 1978-57)
Montana Para 26030 of the Statutes of the Grand Lodge of Montana reads:
“BURIAL. Every Master Mason and every Entered Apprentice and Fellow Craft Mason who has been prevented by death from further advancement, who dies while in good standing is entitled to burial with Masonic honors, regardless of the condition of or the disposal that is to be made of his remains except a Lodge may
use its discretion in giving the right of Masonic burial to:
A. A suicide; and
B. A member suspended for non-payment of dues if there is no other Masonic offense established against him.
SHORT ANSWER: Yes to both.
Nebraska EA & FC can receive Masonic funerals in Nebraska
Nevada EA & FC can now receive Masonic funerals, at the discretion of the WM of each Lodge
New Hampshire NH will do Masonic funerals for EA’s and FC’s. But you have to ask.
New Jersey New Jersey does.
New Mexico
New York EAs and FCs are entitled to a Masonic Funeral in New York.another message

As it states in our ritual in the First Degree, you are a Mason I presume. Therefore, the Grand Lodge of New York will permit a Masonic Funeral Service over the remains of Entered Apprentices and Fellowcrafts.

North Carolina “REG 74-2 STATUS. Entered Apprentices and Fellow Crafts are Masons of their respective degrees but shall not be permitted to participate in nor receive Masonic burial…”
North Dakota North Dakota doesn’t permit funerals for EA’s or FC.
Ohio That is a confirmed yes for Ohio F & AM, but must re requested by the family.Ohio didn’t allow Masonic Funerals for EA’s and FC’s in the past. That was just changed this year. The family of a deceased EA or FC must request it, and it must be approved by the Grand Master or his representative, before the Lodge may proceed.
Oklahoma Oklahoma does not
Oregon From an email to me:
Oregon does allow Funeral and Burial services for EA’s and FC’s
Pennsylvania Ahiman Rezon (last update April 1999) Section 9.01: Masonic Burial Service: “No Brother can be interred with the ceremonies of the Fraternity, unless he has been advanced to the degree of a Master Mason, and at the time of his decease was a member of a Lodge, and in good Masonic standing, unless by a Dispensation from the Grand Master.”
Rhode Island To answer your questions as to Masonic services and funerals in the jurisdiction of Rhode Island:  It is written in the General Regulations 2.2.5 INTERMENT OF NON-MASTER MASONS. No subordinate lodge shall inter a person not a Master Mason with Masonic honors, or unite in his funeral as a lodge.
South Carolina The Grand Jurisdiction of South Carolina does not permit Masonic funerals for EAs and FCs, only MMs are entitled to the service if requested.
South Dakota only a MM is entitled to Masonic funeral rites
Tennessee In TN, EA’s and FC’s are not entitled to a Masonic funeral.
Texas Grand Lodge of Texas law (Art. 359) provides for funerals as follows: “Burial with Masonic ceremonies is a privilege which pertains to all Masons, including Entered Apprentices, Fellowcrafts, and Master Masons, by virtue of their membership.” Hope that answers your question.
Utah Utah’s “Masonic Funeral Service” under “General Instructions” states that “An
Entered Apprentice or a Fellow Craft shall not be allowed in the procession as a Mason at a Masonic Funeral.”
Vermont Vermont permits funerals by consent of the GM for EAs & FCs.  We have no prohibitive legislation.
Virginia Only MMs can have or participate in Masonic funeral or burial services. Lodge opens “Lodge of Sorrow” at start of each year, and closes it at the end, thus allowing Lodges to merely go to funeral homes and declare lodge open.
Washington The Grand Lodge of Washington does permit lodges to give EAs and FCs Masonic funerals, although they are told they are not automatically entitled to have them.
West Virginia Not permitted in West Virginia
Wisconsin This apparently not so in Wisconsin though the first two degrees may  participate in the procession.
Summary 26 – AL, AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, ID, IL, IN, KS, KY, MA, MI, MN, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NY, OH, OR, TX, VT, WA 20 – AR, DE, FL, GA, IA, LA, MD, MS, NC, ND, OK, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, UT, VA, WV, WI



Other than the United States


Country Policy concerning Masonic Funeral & Burial Services for EAs & FCs
Prince Hall
New York
In the MWPHGL of NY, A EA or FC cannot receive a Masonic funeral or take part in one.
We (Grand Lodge of Canada in the Province of Ontario) definitely permit them here. No matter what degree, a Mason is a Mason.
Nova Scotia
In the Grand Lodge of Nova Scotia the Funeral Service is set up for Master Masons. As I recall, there was a situation several years ago where an EA passed to the GLA and he was denied a Masonic Funeral. 
British Columbia
Here in BC, due to American influences (ie: American Masons emigrating here in the 1860s) at the formation of our Grand Lodge in 1871, our Constitution (Reg. 166) forbids Masonic funerals for anyone below the  rank of MM.
England From a knowledgeable source, via email:
Whilst Masonic funerals were common in England in the 18th and early 19th centuries Grand Lodge began to have qualms about them in the 1830s and banned them in 1845. The last formal statement on the subject was made in Grand Lodge on 12 September 1962 in a general statement on the relationship of Masonry and religion. The relevant paragraph states:
‘that there be no active participation by Masons, as such, in any part of the burial service or cremation of a Brother and that there be no Masonic prayers, readings or exhortations either then or at the graveside subsequent to the internment, since the final obsequies of any human being, Mason or not, are complete in themselves and do not call in the case of a Freemason for any additional ministrations. That if it is wished to recall and allude to his Masonic life and actions, this can appropriately be done at the next lodge meeting in the presence of his brethren, or at a specifically arranged Memorial Service.’
France All French jurisdictions, and possibly all European jurisdictions, are reported to permit Masonic funerals for EAs and FCs.
Netherlands In the Netherlands we do not have Masonic funerals, nor are we permitted to create one. The only thing we are allowed to do is, when the widow of the deceased Brother agrees, to place three white roses on the coffin in the form of a equilateral triangle.
Grand Orient
Masonic funerals are permitted for EAs and FCs.
Panama Must be a MM to receive a Masonic funeral
Masonic Funerals are permitted for any brother
South Australia and the Northern Territory
No Masonic funerals are permitted for ANY brother. The ordinary obsequies are considered sufficient. We do pay tribute to the departed in our regular lodge meetings


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