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.
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Additionally, most Grand Lodges require the candidate to declare a belief in a Supreme Being.
In a few cases, the candidate may be required to be of a specific religion.
Continental Freemasonry is now the general term for the "liberal" jurisdictions who have removed some, or all, of these restrictions.
The Lodge meets regularly to conduct the usual formal business of any small organisation (pay bills, organise social and charitable events, elect new members, etc.).
There also exist specialist Lodges where Masons meet to celebrate events, such as sport or Masonic research.
The rank of Master Mason also entitles a Freemason to explore Masonry further through other degrees, administered separately from the Craft, or "Blue Lodge" degrees described here, but having a similar format to their meetings. Because each Masonic jurisdiction is independent, each sets its own procedures.
The form of Freemasonry most common in Scandinavia (known as the Swedish Rite), for example, accepts only Christians.
At the other end of the spectrum, "Liberal" or Continental Freemasonry, exemplified by the Grand Orient de France, does not require a declaration of belief in any deity, and accepts atheists (a cause of discord with the rest of Freemasonry).
Freemasonry or Masonry consists of fraternal organisations that trace their origins to the local fraternities of stonemasons, which from the end of the fourteenth century regulated the qualifications of stonemasons and their interaction with authorities and clients.
The degrees of freemasonry retain the three grades of medieval craft guilds, those of Apprentice, Journeyman or fellow (now called Fellowcraft), and Master Mason.
Once the initial inquiry is made, an interview usually follows to determine the candidate's suitability.