With the increase of COVID-19 cases throughout the state and many municipalities increasing restrictions, the Grand Master has issued a new EDICT, reaffirming the previoous EDICTS issued by MWB Brown and making a blanket dispensation for all lodges to be able suspend regular meeting(s) at their Master’s discression, to comply with local mandates or restrictions, or if he feels its in the best interest of the safety of the lodge’s members, with no further paperwork necessary from Grand Lodge, through January 31st, 2021.
The PDFs of the Edict and Dispensations are linked below. They are also in your Portal Resources.
EDICT November 18, 2020
TO: All Missouri Masons under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri
WHEREAS, Grand Master Stanton T, Brown, II, issued the following Edicts pertaining to subordinate lodge operations in Missouri in response to the Coronavirus pandemic:
• Edict 3/11/2020 – Allowing lodges to close to protect members
• Edict 3/25/2020 – Suspending all Masonic Activity
• Edict 4/24/2020 – Resumption of partial Masonic Activity where allowed by City or County
• Edict 6/26/2020 – Revision to allow non-resident members to attend allowed activities
• Edict 8/27/2020 – Indefinite Extension of conditions of Edict 4/24/202 with emphasis on work allowed, temporary suspension of initiation and advancement time, and temporary suspension of Annual Communication attendance requirements
WHEREAS, on September 21st, 2020 Most Worshipful Brother Barry V. Cundiff was installed as Grand Master;
WHEREAS, in November, 2020, cases of the COVID-19 corona virus have been increasing, causing several municipalities in Missouri to implement more restrictive local ordinances that would directly impact the ability of Lodges to conduct businesses;
WHEREAS, these previous edicts state that all meetings so held shall be conducted in a manner which complies with all laws, regulations, requirements and guidelines of the State of Missouri and any city, county or other political subdivision in which the lodge hall is located;
THEREFORE, under the authority of Section 2.010(k) of the By-Laws of the Grand Lodge of Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons of the State of Missouri as Grand Master, I hereby issue the following Edict:
A. I reaffirm and hold continued in full force all the provisions of MWB Brown’s Edict of August 27th, 2020.
C. All meetings so held shall further be conducted in a manner which complies with all recommendations of the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC) with respect to physical distancing and sanitation practices;
D. All meetings so held shall be considered open to all members of the lodge, members of other subordinate lodges of this jurisdiction, and members of any lodge in another Grand Jurisdiction which is in fraternal relationship with this Grand Lodge so long as the total attendance at the meeting shall comply with the remainder of this Edict in respect to physical distancing and local regulations;
E. The Master of the lodge may, at his discretion, direct that all in attendance at such meetings wear facial coverings as recommended by the CDC, provided, however, that no one in attendance may be prohibited from wearing a facial covering at his election;
F. Notwithstanding Section 7.060 of the Grand Lodge By-Laws, all meetings shall be conducted in the First Degree of Freemasonry so as to comply with all social distancing guidelines in the practice of Masonic Ritual;
G. No degree conferral, ceremony, education, or other business that cannot be conducted in a manner that complies with the above requirements may be conducted by the lodge. Any lodge in violation of this portion of the Edict shall be subject to Masonic Discipline, including but not limited to suspension of its functions;
Notwithstanding the above, the Edict issued March 11, 2020 allowing subordinate lodges to cancel or postpone stated communications at the discretion of the Master when the purpose of said cancelation or postponement is to prevent or limit the exposure of officers and members of the subordinate lodge to coronavirus or some other such infectious or contagious disease of a similar nature remains in full force and effect indefinitely, unless canceled or modified by future order, and all dispensations issued pursuant to that Edict remain in full force and effect.
A blanket dispensation allowing the suspension of lodge meetings under the above conditions through January 31st, 2021 will be included with this Edict, that will alleviate any lodge desiring to suspend their meetings from contacting the Grand Secretary to obtain an individual dispensation for their lodge.
This Edict shall remain in full force and effect until otherwise modified by further Order of the Grand Master.
Barry V. Cundiff