Chapter 83



A summons is the most forcible writ known to Masonry. So long as he is a member of the Fraternity, an Entered Apprentice, a Fellow Craft, or a Master Mason, he must obey this writ, whether he be a nonaffiliated, a member of the lodge issuing the summons or otherwise.

1. Disobedience thereof would constitute one of the gravest of Masonic offenses if it be shown the summons had been received.

2. The willful failure to obey a Masonic summons lawfully issued and served is an act of insubordination for which charges should be preferred. If the accused is found guilty, he should be expelled. [83-1; 87-13.2; 86-2.8; 91-13.3; 93-4.1; 94-21].

3. The purpose of a summons is to insure the presence of the party, therefore if he be present in person, or by an authorized attorney when he may lawfully appear by an attorney, it is immaterial how he was summoned.

4. A lodge, or whoever lawfully issues a summons, may excuse a brother from obedience to a summons for good cause shown. [87-13.2].


A legal summons is a written or printed notice issued to a brother commanding him to appear at the time and place and for the purpose therein stated. [83-1.2; 87-13.2; 86-2.8; 93-4.1]

1. A summons may be issued by

A. Order of the lodge or the Master signed by the Master and attested by the Secretary of the lodge with the seal of the lodge attached,

B. The Judge Advocate, under his signature and official seal,

C. The Grand Master, under his signature and official seals,

D. The Chairman of a Trial Commission under his signature, or

E. An examiner in a trial under his signature.

2. Unless specifically provided otherwise by law, the required signatures on a summons shall be actual and not facsimile printed, or otherwise. A summons may be served either personally, or by registered mail, or otherwise as provided by law. If issued by order of the lodge or the Master and if served by mail, the Secretary shall serve it unless otherwise provided. In all other cases in which service is made by mail, it shall be made by the person authorized to issue the summons. When served by mail, it shall be directed to the last known address of the brother and it shall be deemed properly served when mailed. [59-2.3; 87-13.2; 87-19; 86-2.8; 91-13; 91-9.6; 91-9.7; 93-4.1; 94-10; 94-21].

3. The Grand Master, over his signature and the seal of his office, may authorize any Master Mason to issue a summons for Masonic purposes. The authority shall be restricted to a particular case or special circumstances.

4. If a summons is served by United States Registered or Certified Mail and a receipt therefor is signed by the brother to whom it is addressed, or signed by someone on his behalf, it shall be equivalent to personal service. [87-13.2].


When a summons, notice, or other instrument is required by a lodge, by the Master, or by law to be personally served, such service may be made by an officer or member of the lodge, by any Master Mason designated by the Master to perform that duty, or as may be otherwise provided by law. The certificate of service by the person making the service shall be sufficient proof thereof. [91-9.7; Official Forms 29, 30, 31, 32; Trial Forms 6, 8, 9).