Grand Masters Edict
To: The Officers and Members of all Constituent Lodges, Appendant Bodies and Building Associations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine
For several weeks we have been at the mercy of the Corona Virus and the local, state, and federal guidelines directing our actions during this pandemic. While we are not completely in the clear yet, the Governor’s announcement yesterday that we will continue with Phase 2 of her reopening plan is clear enough that we can get back to work on a limited basis. I am pleased to finally give you some GOOD news!
Therefore, it is my edict that as of June 1st, 2020 our Blue Lodges may slowly and carefully return to the work with the provisions I have outlined below. I strongly encourage the Building Associations and Appendant Bodies to follow the same guidelines.
- The lodge may only open for Stated Meetings, Educational Programs, Schools of Instruction, Practices and Installations
- No Meals are permitted
- No Degree Work is permitted, but you may ballot at Stated Meetings.
- Meetings cannot exceed two hours.
- Gatherings must be under 50 people and social distancing of six feet apart must be maintained. If your lodge is small you must only allow the amount of people into the meeting where social distancing can be maintained and if necessary, turn some Brethren away.
- Installations must be private. No family or friends will be allowed.
- Educational Programs, Schools of Instruction and Lodge rehearsals will not include grips, processions or floor work where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are the speaker. Once the speaker has finished, he must put on his face covering.
- Exercise hand washing frequently when possible. Do not use our grip! Buy Hand Sanitizer to have at the lodge if available.
- If you have a cough or are feeling ill, stay home.
- Do not congregate in the halls. Please go directly to the lodge room and begin the work promptly.
- Maintain a thorough and complete sign in register so that we can contact trace if needed.
- If you have reason to believe that you have been infected, get tested and contact the Grand Lodge office immediately.
- Upon closing the lodge hall, sanitize all contact areas including the restroom.
Please note this Edict also gives you guidance for two related parts of the Constitution. First, in Section 77.1, note that our closure the last several months will not count towards the up to three consecutive months that your lodge can go dark if your bylaws permit. If your lodge would still like to go dark, please do so. Second, pursuant to Section 82.1, I am issuing a blanket dispensation for all lodges that business may be conducted without a quorum for the month of June in order to not put our vulnerable members at risk just to conduct necessary business.
I expect the lodge leadership and attending Brethren to exercise good judgement as it pertains to the health and wellbeing of our brethren. Many of our Brethren are aged and may also have underlying health issues who may be adversely affected if they encounter this virus. Please encourage these Brethren to stay home. Stress to ALL members that attendance is NOT mandatory. We have been without our beloved Freemasonry for too long to have to revert to “no meetings” once again. Please exercise due diligence in all your actions. If you are the Master of a Lodge and have already or feel the need to cancel your stated meeting for the month of June due to safety concerns, please do so and know that you have my full support. Safety is our top priority.
The Grand Lodge office will open to the public on Monday June 1st. We will only be allowing 2 visitors at a time in the building but feel free to stop in if you need to. They will also resume normal hours of operation of Monday through Friday from 8:30am-430pm. You can also call them for all your needs at 843-1086.
Brethren, I have full confidence in your ability to protect each other during this pandemic. By doing so we can ensure continued progress toward normal activity in the lodges. We are working toward being able to exemplify degrees again and I will let you know when that time comes.
I will continue to monitor the changes as they are handed down from the Governor’s office and keep you posted as to how we will proceed. If you have any further questions, please reach out to me or the Grand Lodge office. Thank you for your continued patience and support.
MW Richard M. Nadeau
Grand Lodge of Maine