Internet Lodge 9659 United Grand Lodge of England Province of East Lancashire.
Title: I Am Regular Author: Bro Karen Kidd – United States of America This paper won the World Award in 2007, for the best short paper submitted by a Mason who was not a member of a Lodge in the United Grand Lodge of England. (re-printed with permission)
I Am Regular.
I know this to be true, though I’ve heard otherwise. That because various Masonic jurisdictions (such as the United Grand Lodge of England, the US Malecraft Grand Lodges and etc.) are not in amity with my jurisdiction, and because I’m a woman, I can’t possibly be Regular. I’ve also been counseled that, slander though this be, I should take it in good part and be grateful my Malecraft brethren speak to me at all.
And yet I know myself to be Regular because the Ritual and Masonic jurisprudence say that I am. So I am. By way of explanation, and within the context of this paper, I am about to use a word many find most unpalatable. I mean it in its legal sense.
I am no one’s bastard brother. I was conceived in the same place as are all the Brethren. Our progenitor is the same. I was pr*ly pr*pared. I was received upon the same p*nt. I was made in the b*dy of a L*dge J*st, P*rfect and R*gular.
I meet the criteria Bro. Albert Mackey (1), and others, set down long ago:
– I am acknowledged as a Free and Accepted Mason
– I was initiated into our mysteries in that “certain manner”
– I was made with the assistance of, and under the superintendence of, seven (and more) Master Masons
– I share in common, with all Brothers, “the ready use of those signs and words which are used by the other brethren.”
This all occurred within my jurisdiction which, like all Masonic jurisdictions, claims no binding authority over the Freemasons in any other jurisdiction. Indeed, I have poured over the books and I can find no instance in which *any* Freemasonic grand lodge, supreme council or other supreme body ever claimed authority over any other such body.(2) It is commonly accepted that no such body can make any pronouncement that is at all binding on any other such body. Logically, this includes any pronouncements about regularity.
Any Masonic supreme body may enter into amity agreements with other such bodies. And they also may declare that they consider, within their own jurisdiction, those bodies not in amity with them to be “clandestine” and even “irregular”. This is their right.
However, their pronouncements about regularity outside their jurisdictions do not mean that those other Freemasons in other jurisdictions are, in fact, irregular. Indeed, the only Brothers any of these supreme bodies may accurately declare irregular are those in lodges within their own sphere of authority.
This means a Brother is Regular by virtue of being so recognized within his/her own jurisdiction. No Brother upon the Earth requires recognition by any other jurisdiction to be Regular. Each Brother is as Regular within their own jurisdiction as any other Brother is Regular within their own jurisdiction.
So I speak a truth – and for some, a mystery – when I say, “I am regular”.
(1) See question 777, “How can a Mason prove his regularity” in Masonry Defined: A Liberal Masonic Education, which is the compiled writings of Bro. Albert Mackey and others, as edited by E.R. Johnston. (2) Ibid, question 413, “What is the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge” and question 533, “What is the jurisdiction of a Masonic Lodge” and question 534, “What is the extent of the jurisdiction of a Grand Lodge”.