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The wording of the ritual, the number of officers present, the layout of the meeting room, etc. The officers of the Lodge are elected or appointed annually.

Every Masonic Lodge has a Master, two Wardens, a secretary and a treasurer.

There is usually an age requirement, varying greatly between Grand Lodges, and (in some jurisdictions) capable of being overridden by a dispensation from the Grand Lodge.

The underlying assumption is that the candidate should be a mature adult.

In modern times, interested people often track down a local Lodge through the Internet.

The onus is on candidates to ask to join; while candidates may be encouraged to ask, they are never invited.

The process varies between jurisdictions, but the candidate will typically have been introduced by a friend at a Lodge social function, or at some form of open evening in the Lodge.

Some time later, in a separate ceremony, they will be passed to the degree of Fellowcraft, and finally they will be raised to the degree of Master Mason.

In all of these ceremonies, the candidate is entrusted with passwords, signs and grips (secret handshakes) peculiar to his new rank.

The Lodges are usually supervised and governed at the regional level (usually coterminous with either a state, province, or national border) by a Grand Lodge or Grand Orient.

There is no international, worldwide Grand Lodge that supervises all of Freemasonry; each Grand Lodge is independent, and they do not necessarily recognise each other as being legitimate.

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