All over the world individual lodges have come together to form grand lodges, this to ensure harmony, unity, and conformity. There is at least one grand lodge in each of the United States. Many recognize as regular other grand lodges in their own geographic territory.
The organizational structure of a grand lodge is basically the same as that of a lodge, its officers usually being called grand master, grand warden, etc. The business of a grand lodge is transacted during annual meetings, delegates from the member lodges usually constituting a majority of those entitled to vote therein. The grand lodge exercises complete authority over each and every one of its member lodges but, as can be noted from the foregoing, the lodges, through their delegates, have the say about who will govern them, and how.
There is no central or supreme Masonic authority in the United States, each grand lodge exercises complete control of its own destiny and total Masonic authority over its lodges, recognizing and respecting the right of each other grand lodge to do likewise. Top officers of the grand lodges meet together periodically, nationally and regionally, to maintain fraternal harmony and to share information and ideas.
The grand lodges maintain ongoing fraternal relations and correspondence with each other and many grand lodges in other countries. If a grand lodge should adopt policies or engage in activities contrary to those held to be properly Masonic by another grand lodge, it is probable the fraternal relations between the two will be severed. Several grand lodges in Europe, for example, have over a period of time dropped the requirement that each member believe in a Supreme Being, or the requirement that the Holy Bible be always present and open upon the altar while a lodge is meeting, and this has resulted in the grand lodges here and most of those abroad withdrawing fraternal recognition of the offenders. When fraternal recognition is withdrawn, it means the withdrawing grand lodge no longer recognizes the other grand lodge or its members as being Masonic.