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Order, Rules Of

Every permanent deliberative Body adopts a code of rules of order to suit itself; but there are certain rules derived from what may be called the Common Law of Congress and Parliament, the wisdom of which having been proven by long experience, that have been deemed of force at all times and places, and are, with a few necessary exceptions, as applicable to Lodges as to other societies. The rules of order, sanctioned by uninterrupted usage and approved by all authorities, may be enumerated under the following distinct heads, as applied to a Masonic Body:

1. Two independent original propositions cannot be presented at the same time to the meeting. 2. A subsidiary motion cannot be offered out of its rank of precedence. 3. When a Brother intends to speak, he is required to stand up in his place, and to address himself always to the presiding officer. 4. When two or more Brethren rise nearly at the same time, the presiding officer will indicate, by mentioning his name, the one who, in his opinion, is entitled to the floor. 5. A Brother is not to be interrupted by any other member, except for the purpose of calling him to order. 6. No Brother can speak oftener than the rules permit but this rule may be dispensed with by the Master. 7. No one is to disturb the speaker by hissing unnecessary coughing, loud whispering, or other unseemly noise, nor should he pass between the speaker and the presiding officer. 8. No personality, abusive remarks, or other improper language should be used by any Brother in debate. 9. If the presiding officer rises to speak while a Brother is on the floor, that Brother should immediately sit down, that the presiding officer may be heard. 10. Everyone who speaks should speak to the question. 11. As a sequence to this, it follows that there can be no speaking unless there be a question before the Lodge. There must always be a motion of some kind to authorize a debate. For additional information consult Doctor Mackey's revised Jurisprudence of Freemasonry.

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