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Candidates – Number permitted to receive degrees at same time

Number of candidates permitted to receive degrees togetherThe information 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’ so I can update this chart.



Number of Candidates permitted to receive degrees together

Alabama Edict 13.19 of the Alabama Masonic Code states: 13.19. ONE CANDIDATE AT A TIME” It is improper to confer the degrees or any part of any one of them on two or  more candidates at one and the same time, except the Lectures,  Charges, and Proficiency Examination on the Lessons. Only one candidate for any degree may be obligated at one time. However, the lecture and charge may be given to more than one at the same  time.
Arizona  Constitution, Sec. 84 “No Lodge shall confer degrees upon more than five candidates at any one meeting; nor shall it confer more than one degree upon any one candidate at any one meeting; nor shall it confer any of the degrees upon more than one candidate at a time.”
Note that “confer” is understood to mean the “first section” of the degree (up to the point where the candidate is returned to the Lodgeroom for the lecture and charge) and that the Lecture and Charge are done on more than one at a time, if there is more than one candidate that evening. The lecture is to be done on the same evening as the conferral. In the 3rd degree, we have no approved “short form” and in theory the re-enactment of the death and raising is to be performed on one at a time. However, several unofficial “short form” variations are often used when more than one MM degree is being conferred in a single evening.
Also, as you already know from another of your pages, “…the Grand Master has the power to proclaim that a One Day Class be held (Constitution, Sec 34.12) and there is no size restriction for such a class.
California “26280. Restrictions on Conferring Degrees
No Lodge in this Jurisdiction shall confer: . . .
B. Degrees upon more than five candidates at any one meeting;
C. More than one degree upon a candidate at any one meeting;
D. Any of the degrees upon more than one candidate at a time;
E. More than five degrees in any one day;
What this means is that if you have more than one candidate in a day, the entire first section of the degree must be worked on each candidate individually. Up to five candidates may then hear the lecture simultaneously.
Connecticut Section 7007 & 7008 states “No more than 5 can receive a degree at one time and no more than 1 degree can be conferred at one time or within 24 hours of the preceding degree.Connecticut’s GM can issue a dispensation allowing more than 5 to be raised, but first the lodge has to convince the GM that there is a really good reason and not just for the convenience of the lodge. Such reason, for an example, might be if a Man and his brother both having 2 sons – all being FC’s (total of 6) want to be raised together.
District of Columbia As of 2008, there is no restriction on the number of candidates on whom a lodge may decide to confer degrees.
Illinois 4
Indiana 5
Iowa Iowa Constitution of the Grand Lodge: Article VIII, Section 4 Conferring of Degrees “With the exception of Grand Master’s One Day Classes, the First Section of the First and Second Degrees and the First and Second Section of the Third Degree shall be conferred upon but one person at a time. The portions of the work of the First and Second Degrees after reinvestment and the Monitorial Lecture and Charge of the Third Degree may, at the option of the Master, be given to more than one candidate at the same time. In no instance is any abbreviation of the work allowable, each candidate being entitled to the degrees in full.”  There is no mention of any particular limit to the number of candidates to receive the degrees.
Louisiana “The first section of the Entered Apprentice Degree shall be conferred upon only one candidate at a time; and no candidate who has not already received the Northeast Corner Lecture and the Lesson of Caution shall be permitted to witness any part of the initiation of succeeding candidates. No more than five candidates may be obligated in the Fellow Craft or Master Mason Degree at one time. Any number of candidates may receive the second section of the Fellow Craft Degree at the same time, but only one candidate may receive the second section of the Master Mason Degree at the same time, and not more than five Fellow Craft Mason shall be raised to the Master Mason Degree at any one meeting of a Lodge.”

“A suitable second section lecture must be given in the conferral of the Fellow Craft Degree. A suitable explanatory or interpretive lecture on the meaning of the degree must be given at the conclusion of the conferral of the Entered Apprentice and Master Mason Degrees.”

Maine SEC. 128. No lodge shall permit more than one candidate to be present at a time in the first section of the first, or the second section of the third degree. In addition, no lodge shall confer more than five degrees at the same communication of the lodge, or hold more than one communication upon the same day for the conferring of degrees.
Maryland No Lodge shall initiate more than five candidates at one meeting; nor confer more than one Degree of Masonry on a brother at the same meeting, unless by dispensation. The first section of the EA Degree must be conferred upon each candidate individually. The second section of the EA Degree may be conferred collectively. The entire FC Degree and the first section of the MM Degree may be conferred upon a maximum of five candidates collectively and as many as units of five, or parts thereof may be handled at one meeting as the Worshipful Master may decide upon. The second section of the MM Degree must be conferred upon each candidate individually in full form, unless in the exercise of his prerogative the Grand Master confers it in short form. The third section of the MM Degree may be conferred collectively. 
Minnesota Minnesota code: Section C9.18 When conferring degrees, a Lodge shall not initiate, pass nor raise more than ten (10) candidates at the same communication unless the Grand Master, by dispensation, shall provide otherwise. 
Montana Sect 390 30 subsection D.  No lodge in this jurisdiction shall confer any degree first section upon more than three candidates at a time, or the M. M. degree second section upon more than one candidate at a time, except where provided for in the mnemonics, unless waived by the Grand Master.
New Hampshire
New Jersey  The obligations states as before “not be present at the initiating passing or raising of more than 5” but now adds “except by proper dispensation”
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina REG. 71-21 MAXIMUM OF FIVE CANDIDATES.  A lodge may confer a degree but once on the same day, but it may confer  each of the three degrees once on the same day. A lodge may confer a  degree on not more than five candidates at the same communication, but  each candidate shall be admitted separately in the First Degree, and shall  be raised separately. The lecture and charge of a degree may be given to  any number of candidates collectively but only on the day the degree is  conferred.
[In the MM degree 4 receive the short form of the 2d section and 1 the long form.]
REG. 71-22 RECEIVE ONLY ONE DEGREE PER DAY.  No candidate shall receive the Degree of Entered Apprentice on the same  day or at the same communication at which he is elected, nor within twelve  hours after his election. No candidate shall receive more than one degree on the same day. 
North Dakota
Oregon Oregon code Sec 243.1: A Lodge shall not confer degrees upon more then Five candidates in any one day.
Pennsylvania In Pennsylvania the rule is “making” no more than five at the same session or upon the same day without permission of the RWGM.
Rhode Island
South Carolina  5
South Dakota
Tennessee TN code, 4.1506, states “A Lodge may not initiate, pass or raise more than one candidate at the same time; however any number of candidates may be initiated, passed or raised at one meeting.” 
Texas  1
Utah The first section of all three degrees can have only one candidate at a time. On the EA & FC there can be multiple candidates, with no limitation as to number. This means a Lodge can do the first section as many times as needed on the same day, and have all the candidates as a single class for the second section. The MM degree can be given as many times in a day as the Lodge wishes, but each candidate must be given the degree separately in each part.
Virginia Sec. 2.104. More Than Five Entered Apprentices Cannot be Made at One Communication, Without a Dispensation. — No Lodge shall, without a dispensation from the Grand Master, make more than five (5) Entered Apprentices, or Fellowcrafts, or Master Masons at one communication.
Washington Washington Masonic Code: Chapter 21- Conferring of Degrees, Sec. 21.01 B.L. Rules on Conferring. A Lodge shall observe the following rules when conferring Degrees:1. Degrees shall not be conferred upon more than fifteen candidates on any one calendar day; 2. Each Degree or portion of a Degree may be conferred upon not more than three candidates at a time. 3. The first and second sections of each Degree must be conferred at the same communication or communications of the Lodge on the same calendar day; and 4. The lectures, including the middle chamber lecture, and the charges may be delivered to more than one candidate at a time. 5. Notwithstanding any provision or requirement to the contrary, a constituent Lodge or Lodges may complete unfinished Degree work or confer any or all of the Degrees on any number of candidates in a single day or more at a Special Communication of the Grand Lodge opened by the Grand Master for such purpose provided such candidates have been regularly elected by a Lodge to receive the Degrees of Masonry. 
West Virginia



Other Places

Number of Candidates permitted to receive degrees together

England UGLE, B.of C. Rule 168. No Lodge shall initiate or confer any one degree on more than two candidates on the same day unless by dispensation.
Saskatchewan, Canada 95. A Lodge shall not confer any one degree on more than five candidates at the same meeting.
Ontario, Canada Constitution of the Grand Lodge AF&AM of Canada in the Province of Ontario, (1993). Section 373. No lodge shall confer more than five degrees in one day except by dispensation of the Grand Master. (1983). Section 374. Candidates must be taken separately up to and inclusive of: (a) the charge in the N.E. angle in the Entered Apprentice degree; (b) the obligation and explanation of the altered position of the L’s in the Fellowcraft degree; and (c) the B.M. star in the Master Mason degree.
United Grand Lodge of NSW and ACT (Australia) Regulation No 162 of the Constitutions states:  Numbers of Candidates. — Except by dispensation from the Grand Master, a Lodge shall not initiate, nor confer any degree on, more than five Candidates on the same day. 
France – GLF – Grand Lodge of France Up to five candidates at the GL of France. There is no specific article in our Grand Lodge General Regulations (you’d call that “bylaws”) but, since we have placed Anderson’s Constitutions of 1723 at the head of our own Constitutions, we refer to the General Regulations therein, page 59. Their Article 4 says:  “No Lodge shall make more than FIVE new Brethren at one Time” 

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