Regularity (freemasonry)

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The concept of regularity comes from the internal usage of the various Masonic teachings and systems. A distinction is made between the regularity of a freemason, a lodge and the grand lodge. It is based on parentage, principles and compliance with Masonic rules at work. Partly, therefore, a distinction is made between the regularity of the origin, the principles and the work.

The regularity is often the basis for the mutual recognition of the individual systems and thus for the Masonic intercourse between the lodges and their members. Furthermore, the regular Masonic lodges distinguish themselves from other Masonic associations ( wild lodges ).

Regularity of a Freemason

The regularity of a Freemason is decided almost uniformly by all systems. A Freemason is regular when he has been legitimately made a Freemason in a regular lodge. If it was initiated in an irregular lodge or in an irregular form, it can be regularized .

Regularity of a lodge

According to the 8th ordinance of Anderson's constitution, a lodge is regular if it works according to the rules of the constitutional patent granted to it. Then the grand lodges confirm the "regularity" of the respective recognized member lodges with patents:

“If any set or Number of Masons shall take upon themselves to form a Lodge without the Grand Master's Warrant, the regular Lodges are not to countenance them, or own them as fair brethren and duly form'd, nor approve of their Acts and Deeds ; but must treat them as Rebels, until they humble themselves, as the Grand Master, shall, in his Prudence, direct, and until he approve of them by his Warrant, which must be signed to the other Lodges, as the Custom is when a new Lodge is to be registered in the List of Lodges. "

- George Payne 1720 : Anderson's Constitutions of 1723

Regularity of a grand lodge

The assessment of the regularity of a Grand Lodge is strongly influenced by the leadership role claimed by the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLoE) within Freemasonry. For regularity, it requires recognition by another (regular) grand lodge. The criteria for this, which ( Basic Principles ) in the version of 1989 require:

  • Regularity of descent,
  • Belief in a supreme being,
  • Commitment to the Holy Book ("Volume of the Sacred Law"),
  • Membership is made up exclusively of men,
  • Sole jurisdiction of the grand lodge over the lodges under it,
  • Laying on the three Great Lights of Freemasonry (Holy Book, Compasses and Square Measure),
  • Ban on discussions about religion and politics in the lodges,
  • Recognition of the old landmarks.

If these criteria do not apply to a grand lodge, the UGLoE will consider them to be masonic irregular. With the result that their daughter lodges and their members are also regarded as irregular. The UGLoE therefore prohibits the regular grand lodges and Masonic intercourse with these lodges. This point of view is not undisputed. Particularly with reference to the sole jurisdiction of a grand lodge, the UGLoE is denied the right to intervene in the powers of the other grand lodges. However, the grand lodges recognized by the UGLoE essentially adhere to this obligation.

Irregular Freemasonry

In addition, Liberal Freemasonry developed towards the end of the 19th century . Between the Grand Orient of France (GOdF) and the United Grand Lodge of England there was originally a mutual recognition. Only when the Grand Orient de France, at the request of the Calvinist pastor Frédéric Desmons, renounced the formula of the Almighty Builder of All Worlds for reasons of freedom of conscience in 1877 , did the United Grand Lodge of England unilaterally break off contacts in 1913 and have since recognized the Grand Orient of France and that of their recognized grand lodges and lodges no longer as regular. The latter, however, continues to regard the United Grand Lodge of England and the grand lodges and lodges recognized by it as regular.

At the present time this non-recognition by the United Grand Lodge of England is justified primarily by the fact that the liberal lodges emanating from the Grand Orient of France violate the Basic Principles ” of the United Grand Lodge of England by not assuming any belief in a Supreme Being and recognize women's and mixed-sex lodges.

On March 10, 1999, the United Grand Lodge of England issued a public statement officially prohibiting the attendance of ritual meetings of liberal lodges.

" Irregular and Unrecognized Grand Lodges
There are some self-styled Masonic bodies that do not meet these standards, eg which do not require a belief in a Supreme Being, or which allow or encourage their members to participate as such in political matters. These bodies are recognized by the Grand Lodge of England as being Masonically irregular, and Masonic contact with them is forbidden. "

- The United Grand Lodge of England :

Although the members of the Freemasonry, recognized by the United Grand Lodge of England, are not allowed to have mason contact with lodges that accept women , joint work is still tacitly carried out - despite the risk of exclusion due to irregular behavior. In principle, there are good relations between the two directions of Freemasonry. The covenant of Freemasonry is inherently one and more general; all lodges on the whole earth ideally form only one lodge.


  • Eugen Lennhoff, Oskar Posner, Dieter A. Binder: Internationales Freemaurerlexikon. Revised and expanded new edition of the 1932 edition. Munich 2003, ISBN 3-7766-2161-3 .

Web links


  1. Alec Mellor: Lodges, rituals, high degrees. Handbook of Freemasonry. Styria, Graz 1967, p. 67.
  2. Lennhoff / Posner, Lemma: Regular
  3. Anderson's Constitutions of 1723
  4. Lennhoff / Posner, Lemma: Regular
  5. The United Grand Lodge of England: Irregular and Unrecognised Grand Lodges ( Memento from September 10, 2007 in the Internet Archive ) (English)