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Meeting Formats

Grand Lodge Meeting Formats

The information on this chart comes from information supplied on Masonic email and other sources.

If anyone has definite information about the rules in each Grand Lodge concerning solicitation of new members, please send email to Paul M. Bessel at [email protected] 

U.S. Grand Lodges



Grand Lodge Meeting Format
California The Grand Lodge of California meets annually with the meeting beginning on the second Monday in October…which is always also Columbus Day. The meeting is held at the Grand Lodge building in San Francisco (atop Knob Hill, across the street from Grace Cathedral.)

The official communication is usually preceded by a Grand Secretary’s Workshop on Saturday for all Lodge Secretaries who would like to attend; and a opportunity on Sunday to take a bus trip to the Masonic Home at Union City (near Hayward 30 minutes away by bus) where, in addition to the tours, a breakfast/brunch/lunch is provided. There is an informal opening of Grand Lodge on Sunday afternoon, usually at 2:00 PM or 3:00 PM which is open to the public and at which all of the representatives of organizations which cannot visit a tiled Grand Lodge Session are received (Eastern Star, Amaranth, youth groups, etc.) There is also, frequently but not always, a Grand Lodge vesper service (non denominational) held either in the Grand Lodge building or across the street at Grace Cathedral.

The Annual Communication begins at precisely 9:00 AM on Monday, breaks for lunch and usually calls off somewhere near 5:00 PM. There is frequently some sort of entertainment event on Monday evening. The Grand Lodge calls back on at 9:00 AM on Tuesday and, breaking again for lunch, continues until the necessary business is transacted, usually somewhere in the area of 3:00 PM to 5:00 PM. During these two days the Grand Master reports fully on his year and presents any decisions or recommendations for ratification or rejection by Grand Lodge. Committee reports are received, resolutions are debated, and voted upon. Visitors are introduced and received and representatives of the male Masonic organizations are presented and welcomed. The next-to-last item of business on Tuesday afternoon is the adoption of the Grand Lodge budget and the setting of the per capita for the following year. The last item of business is the election of the new Grand Lodge officers.

Grand Lodge is again called off on Tuesday afternoon, and on Wednesday morning, usually at 10:00 AM the installation of the new Grand Lodge officers takes place. It is followed by a reception. Grand Lodge is then closed.

Connecticut  The Grand Lodge of Connecticut meets twice a year. The first meeting called its Annual Communication is held anywhere between the third Wednesday in March and the 2nd Wednesday in April. This year it will be held on April 10th, with a banquet dinner the night before. For the past ten years it has been held in Cromwell CT. After the usual ritual opening at 9 AM, the distinguished guests of appendant bodies are introduces followed by the introduction of guests from sister jurisdictions. Then the PGM of CT are introduced. The lodge is then called to refreshment and the women guests of appendant groups are brought in and introduced and the flag presentation follows. The Women are then each are allowed to say a few remarks including those representing Youth groups. They are then excused and the Lodge returns to labor and reports start. These continue until its time to Install the new Grand Line officers for the ensuing year. After which GL is closed.

The Semi-Annual Grand Communication is held in October in Pyramid Shrine Temple, Milford. After opening at 9AM, the main report delivered is that of the Masonicare Foundation regarding our home, hospital and related facilities. We also hear who have been awarded the Pierpont Edwards awards for outstanding Masonic service. This is usually followed by the election of officers for the next year, which gives the GM-elect time to get his program in order for action after his installation. The session ends with the roll-call of lodges somewhere prior to noon.

District of Columbia The Grand Lodge meets the 2nd Wednesday May at a semi-annual meeting, at 7:30pm for a couple of hours. Committee reports are presented, resolutions can be received, debated, and voted on, and the session then ends.

The Grand Lodge then meets for its annual session the 2nd Saturday in December, starting at 10am. The Grand Master gives his extensive report on his year. Then, again, committee reports are presented, resolutions can be received, debated, and voted on, and at 2pm elections are held. The session usually ends right after elections.

There is a 3rd official meeting, the 3rd Saturday in December, at 6-7pm. The purpose is only to hear and vote on the Jurisprudence Committee’s report on the actions of the outgoing GM, which is usually pro-forma, and then to install the new officers. This session is usually over by 8-9pm, depending on how much everyone wants to say.

Massachusetts  The Grand Lodge meets quarterly as well as for the feast of St. John. The GM is elected annually but cannot service more than three consecutive terms. Usually, the quarterly meeting is an assembly of the Brethren and Officer of the subordinate lodges. It usually begins at 2 PM. Presentations and other business pertaining to the Grand Lodge and the subordinate Lodges is attended to pro formally.
New Hampshire
New Jersey As defined in the Grand Lodge By laws, Article I, Annual meeting shall be held at 9am on the first Wednesday after the fourth Tuesday in April every year, (Passover or maudy Thursday excepted) – Article II Defines Election & Installation – Article V Committees, Trustees & Rules of order – 3-34 Call to business at the hour and place appointed as soon as representatives of 15 lodges on record is present – 3-35 (defines seating by district & lodge) – 3-36 Order of Business – First, Minutes of last annual & emergent communication – Second, Address of grand master & reports of Grand Sec & Treasurer – Third, Consideration of reports of Committees previously made and deferred. – Fourth, Reports of committees – Fifth, Petitions – Sixth, Misc business – Seventh, Election of officers – Eight, Installation of officers – Ninth, Committee appointments-
Note, Article III, The Grand Master shall have the power to convene Grand Lodge at any time when there shall appear to him a sufficient occasion. (happens about once a year depending on need )
New Mexico On Thursday evening prior to GL a Grand Master’s reception is held followed by introductions and fraternal greetings from all appendant and co-ordinate bodies.

The GL of NM meets at 9:30 am on the third Friday in March for the Annual Communication.. The Grand Master’s address is the first order of business followed by a reading of Resolutions and Recommendations. A booklet of all committee reports, other than those requiring action by the delegates, is given to the delegates at registration. In the afternoon election of officers is held. That evening is the GL banquet followed by the installation of officers. A memorial service starts the Saturday session. The Accounts Ways and Means, Ritual, Grand Masters’ Address, and Jurisprudence committee reports are received and acted upon. Declaration of Installation, from the previous evening, is given to conclude GL at which time the incoming GM makes his remarks and GL is then closed.

Quarterly communications are also held but no business is conducted other than the Board of Directors which hold meetings in conjunction with the quarterlies.

New York
North Carolina The Grand Lodge of North Carolina has one meeting each year. The Grand Lodge meets for its annual communication at ten o’clock in the morning of the fourth Friday in September of each year. The session last two days. The first day is largely ceremonial. Business is conducted on the second day. Election of Grand Lodge officers commences at eleven o’clock in the forenoon of the second day of each annual communication.

The Grand Master-elect and other grand officers are installed at an emergent communication called for that purpose the first Saturday in December.

Emergent communications of the Grand Lodge are called by Grand Master or on written application by the Masters of not less than ten chartered lodges, setting forth the cause which demands it.

North Dakota
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee GL of TN meets the last week of March. Sunday, credentials committee issues voting cards for those registered all the way to Thursday.- Monday, Grand Chapter of York Rite Meets, receives dignitaries, hear proposals. Calls off at noon. Grand Council of York Rite meets, receives dignitaries, hear proposals, calls off in the mid afternoon. Tuesday, Grand Chapter calls on and votes on proposals, elects new grand officers and adjourns. Grand Council calls on and votes on proposals, elects new grand officers and adjourns. Wednesday, Grand Lodge meets, receives dignitaries, here committee reports, calls off at 11 for lunch. Afternoon, reconvenes, hears proposals, conduct memorial service for those that died and calls off. Thursday, Grand Lodge meets again, votes on proposals, elects new grand officers, adjourns.
Texas 2001 – Thursday, Dec. 6, 2001 – 1:45 p.m. Opening, Entrance and Procession of the Most Worshipful Grand Master, the Past Grand Masters and Grand Lodge Officers. Reception of Distinguished Guests. Presentation of the Colors. Address of Welcome. Response to Address of Welcome. Presentation of the Key to the City of Waco. Greetings. Awards. Address of Grand Orator. Roll Calls. — Friday, Dec. 7, 2001 – 9:00 a.m. Opening. Report of Committee on Credentials. Resolution fixing day and time for the election of Officers. Installation to be at 2:00 p.m., Saturday, December 8th. Reports of Committees. Grand Lodge Called From Labor to Refreshment. 1:30 p.m. Grand Lodge Called to Labor. Committee reports. Grand Lodge called from Labor. 7:30 p.m. Medal and Awards Presentations. Saturday, Dec. 8, 2001 – 7:45 a.m. Grand Lodge Called to Labor. Reports of Committees. Completion of Grand Lodge business. Grand Lodge Called from Labor. 2:00 p.m. Open Installation of Grand Officers. Remarks by the Most Worshipful Grand Master. Closing Ceremony.
Virginia The Grand Lodge meets once a year, in November. The first day, starting at 10am, is ceremonial, with introductions, report by the GM, giving out awards. This ends by lunch time, and in the afternoon committees meet, primarily the Jurisprudence Committee to hold a hearing on resolutions that will be voted on the next day.

The next day, starting again at 10am, the Grand Lodge votes on resolutions and recommendations from committees, and holds elections. This is usually completed after lunch. During the afternoon there is time for photos and rehearsals for installation, and that evening installation of new officers takes place.

West Virginia


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