Home > Freemasonry > Connecticut beats the virus by going virtual

Connecticut beats the virus by going virtual

According to an upcoming article in The Connecticut Freemasons Magazine, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut will be the first US Grand Lodge to charter an all-internet based lodge. According to the article by editor RW Frank Way:

While there have been a few other lodges calling themselves an “internet lodge,” none of them have actually been constituted as internet only, or “virtual” lodges; most of them are what I’d call hybrid lodges. The UGLE has Internet Lodge No. 9659, but the members belong to other lodges, and the lodge itself is not allowed to confer the degrees. Besides, they actually meet three or four times a year in a physical building.  Likewise, Ireland’s Lodge 2000 is also a hyrbrid, meeting quarterly in a building, and without the ability to confer degrees.  On this side of the pond, a couple of states have attempted to start some kind of internet lodge, but none of them have been actual lodges, in the sense that they can meet, confer degrees, and have regular communications. In fact, I can’t think of any offhand that are even still operating.

The most successful attempt at an online, virtual lodge has come, surprisingly, from our neighbor to the north. Well, considering that it is based in, and chartered by the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, maybe it’s not so surprising; as anyone who has ever driven through the area can attest, there’s nothing out there except frozen tundra, except for maybe two months in the summer, when there are nothing but mosquitoes and biting horse flies. That aside, Castle Island Virtual Lodge, CIVL (or “Civil,” as it’s known among the various internet groups) is mainly a research lodge, although it is allowed to confer the degrees if they can do so in a building.

CIVL about the closest any Grand Lodge has come to an actual lodge that meets only on the internet, until now.

Owing to advances in internet meeting technology which weren’t even on the horizon five years ago, the Grand Lodge of Connecticut has given dispensation for a new, entirely internet based lodge. Operating out of the town of Southington, with the officers and most members coming out of the Fifth Masonic District, the Farmington Valley Virtual Lodge (UD). FVVL (or Favvil, as the members call it) will be a fully functioning Masonic lodge, using state of the art meeting technology, and the officers will have the ability to confer degrees to online candidates.

While a virtual lodge for the state has been in the works for some time, the recent COVID virus pandemic has obviously made an impact on garnering the approval of the Grand Lodge, which has cancelled its own annual communication, and has ordered the brick and mortar lodges to suspend their own communications for the foreseeable future. The Grand Lodge sees FVVL as the first of a number of virtual lodges that will be instituted around the state (“around” being merely a term of availability, instead of location).

With the possibility of the pandemic causing a closure of public meetings running into the next few months, it’s quite likely that most of the lodges in the state will remain dark throughout the summer month and not re-open until September. We are hoping that the success of FVVL will quickly lead to more such lodges opening in Connecticut by the end of the year. Then we will truly be able to have fellowship with other brothers in the privacy and safety of our own homes.

 

 

 

 

Categories: Freemasonry
  1. R. Dustin James
    April 1, 2020 at 4:07 pm

    In addition to CIVL No. 190 under the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, you also have Endeavour Virtual Lodge No. 944 under the United Grand Lodge of Victoria in Australia.

    Please note, that some members of Internet Lodge No. 9659 are sole members of that Lodge and do not belong to any other Lodges.

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  2. April 8, 2020 at 3:16 pm

    I would remind the Brethren that a Virtual lodge and its operation needs to be mapped to the local Grand lodge and the ritual in how it is conducted. Within the Grand Lodge of Manitoba, we have ritual requirements in which the Senior and Junior Warden complete floor work during the opening and closing. Therefore the Grand Lodge of Manitoba has requested that all the work be completed the EA degree (which works well for an Educational Lodge).

    Therefore in our case, we can not complete any ritual as it relates to a candidate in a Virtual setting. We can however with planning request our Mother Lodge to assist in a physical meeting to complete the installation of a Master (if a non Past Master) and any other physical ritual work.

    In summary, we all have Grand Lodge processes and procedures to work within to enable or disable the way we set-up and use a ‘Virtual Lodge”.

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  3. Timurasrrs
    August 1, 2020 at 7:41 am

    Where is moderator??
    I’ts important.
    Thanks.

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