Grand Master’s Edict on COVID-19
To The Officers & Members of all Constituent Lodges, Appendant Bodies, & Building Associations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine.
For several months, we have been at the mercy of COVID-19 and the local, state, and federal guidelines directing our actions during this pandemic. While not completely in the clear yet, the Governor’s announcement that we will continue with Phase 2 of her reopening plan is clear enough to get back to work on a limited basis.
I am pleased to give you some good news finally!
Therefore, as of June 1, 2020, our Blue Lodges may slowly and carefully return to work with the provisions I outlined below. I strongly encourage the Building Associations and Appendant Bodies to follow the same COVID-19 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.
- Maintain social distancing of six feet apart.
- Small lodges must only allow the number of people into the meeting to maintain social distancing. If necessary, turn some Brethren away.
- Installations must be private. No family or friends are allowed.
- Educational Programs, Schools of Instruction, and Lodge rehearsals will not include grips, processions, or floorwork where social distancing cannot be maintained.
- Face coverings must be worn at all times unless you are the speaker. Once the speaker has finished, they must put on their face covering.
- Exercise handwashing 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. Instead, please go directly to the lodge room and begin working promptly.
- Maintain a thorough, complete sign-in register so that we can contact trace if needed.
- If you believe that you were infected with COVID-10, get tested. Contact the Grand Lodge office immediately.
- Upon closing the lodge hall, sanitize all contact areas, including restrooms.
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 does not count towards the up to three consecutive months that your lodge can go dark if bylaws permit. If your lodge would still like to go dark, please do so.
Second, under Section 82.1, I am issuing a blanket dispensation for all lodges that business may conduct without a quorum for June not to put our vulnerable members at risk of conducting necessary business. I expect the lodge leadership and attending Brethren to exercise good judgment as it pertains to our brethren’s health and well-being.
Many Brethren are aged and may also have underlying health issues. They may face adverse effects if they encounter COVID-19. 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 who feels the need to cancel your stated meeting for June due to safety concerns, please do so. Know that you have my full support.
Safety is our top priority!
The Grand Lodge office opens to the public on Monday, June 1st. We only allow two 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 from Monday through Friday from 8:30 am-4:30 pm. You can call them for all your needs at 207-843-1086.
Brethren, I have full confidence in your ability to protect each other during the COVID-10 pandemic. By doing so, we can ensure continued progress toward normal activity in the lodges. We work towards exemplifying degrees again. I will let you know when that time comes.
I will continue to monitor the changes as they come down from the Governor’s office and keep you posted on how we proceed. If you have any further questions about COVID-19, 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