Is your lodge one of these "TO" (Traditional Observance) lodges I've been hearing about?
No. Lodge Vitruvian is not associated in any way with the Masonic Restoration Foundation, which administers the Traditional Observance concept. Lodge Vitruvian is a European Concept (EC) Lodge based loosely upon the ideas outlined by W.Bro. Kent Henderson in his paper Back to the Future: A Prescription for Masonic Renewal (The "European Concept" Lodge Model). There are significant differences between the two concepts.
Why only four stated meetings per year?
Many reasons. First, Lodge Vitruvian stresses Masonic scholarship strongly. The limited number of stated meetings allows our members sufficient time to prepare well researched papers for presentation at our Festive Boards. Second, we know that we are competing with other Masonic bodies and outside interests for our members' time and attention. Four quarterly meetings will be far easier for our members to deal with than one (or more) meetings per month. Third, we hope that the length of time between meetings will cause our members to count the days until the next time we can meet again.
Is it true that you accept petitions by invitation only?
Absolutely not. Anyone who otherwise meets the general requirements for petitioners set down by the Grand Lodge of Indiana, is willing to pay our fees and dues, and is willing to conform to our rules and regulations is free to petition Lodge Vitruvian just as he may petition any other lodge in this jurisdiction.
Then why limit the number of members?
We want Lodge Vitruvian to remain a small, intimate group of friends and brothers, rather than become just another huge lodge. We'd rather have a lodge of 36 members and have 30 of them attend our meetings rather than have a lodge of 360 and have the same 30 show up. If more than 36 brothers want to become members of such a lodge, we ought to have two lodges.
Why dress in tuxedos and buy your own regalia?
Because we believe that attending lodge should be a special event. A man dresses for the special events in his life. Adding an extra level of formality to our proceedings reinforces the very special place Freemasonry occupies in history and in our own lives. We purchase our own regalia rather than use common regalia owned by the lodge because this helps make the lodge belong to us, not the other way around. Also, we hope that members of our lodge will visit other lodges and represent himself as a Vitruvian.
Why are your dues and fees so high?
We do not believe they are high. We believe other lodges' are too low. Many lodges are suffering financial difficulties because their dues have not kept up with inflation over the years. We have pledged that this will not happen to Lodge Vitruvian. Also, it is simply a fact that a quality lodge must be paid for. Quality speakers and other programs do not come free, and dues at a proper level allows Vitruvian to afford to pay for them.
Why does Vitruvian want to open stated meetings on the EA degree?
Two reasons: First, we tell EAs that they are Masons, but we tell them that they aren't Masons enough to attend our meetings, where we enjoy fellowship and opportunities for Masonic education. EAs have the most need to attend our meetings, because we do not know them as well and because they have the greatest need of Masonic education. Second, opening stated meetings on EA is the rule everywhere in the world but the U.S. This became the case following the Baltimore Convention which was inspired by the anti-Masonic period of the early 1800s. The reasons for the change are no longer legitimate (if they ever were), and it's time for American Freemasonry to adopt -- or actually, to re-adopt -- the practices of the rest of the world.