Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. The Order of The Eastern Star is the largest Fraternal Organization in the world to which both women and men can belong.
Q. Can any woman or man belong?
A. No. Only women with specific Masonic affiliation may become members, and men who are Master Masons are eligible. A petitioner must be of good moral character, believe in a Supreme Being, have attained the age of 18, believe in the laws of the United States of America, be willing to assume the obligation of the Order, be able to participate in the Ceremony of Initiation, be free from disqualifying mental illness, be a resident of the State for the last six months (exceptions), and not be convicted of a felony (or adjudged an habitual criminal) under the law of any State, or of the United States.
Q. Who may become a member?
A."Affiliated Master Masons in good standings, the wives, daugthers, legally adopted daughters, mothers, widows, sisters, half sisters, granddaughters, stepmothers, stepdaughters, stepsisters, daughters-in-law, grandmothers, great-granddaughters, nieces, great-nieces, mothers-in-law, sisters-in-law, aunts and daughters of sisters or brothers of affiliated Master Masons in good standing, or if deceased were in good standing at the time of their death, as well as to members — either active for three (3) years or majority — of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or of the International Order of Job's Daughters, each of whom have attained the age of eightreen (18) years, are eligible to membership in the Order of the Eastern Star."
Q. Must the Master Mason, whom a woman might be using for her affiliation, belong to the Eastern Star before she can become a member?
Q. May a woman use, as her affiliation, a Master Mason who has died?
A. Yes. Provided the Master Mason was a member in good standing at the time of his death. A letter of verification from the man's Lodge will be required before the Degrees of the Order of The Eastern Star may be given.
Q. When was the Order of the Eastern Star formed?
A. Dr. Rob Morris, the poet laureate of Masonry, conceived the Order of the Eastern Star in 1850.
Q. What is the basis of the Order of Eastern Star?
A. Dr. Morris created the Degrees of the Eastern Star around the lives of five Biblical women. They were Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha, and Electa. The reason was that each of these Biblical examples stands for one of the tenets of the Order. They are Fidelity, Constancy, Loyalty, Faith and Love.
Q. Is the Order of the Eastern Star a religion?
A. No. The Order of the Eastern Star is not a religion, even though we are religious in character. It does not pretend to take the place of a religion or serve as a substitute for the religious beliefs of its members. Our members do come from all denominations.
Purposes and Goals
Q. What are the purposes and goals of the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. To provide an organization where women and men with high moral and social character can contribute much time, energy and wisdom to our Order with Charity, Truth and Loving-kindness for the good of all mankind throughout the world.
How Does One Belong?
Q. How may I express a desire to join the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. If you are not familiar with anyone in a Chapter in your area, you may contact the Grand Secretary of the Grand Chapter of California, for the name, address, and phone number of a Chapter in your area to express your desire for additional information.
Q. What procedure should I follow when I have decided that I would like to join a chapter?
A. The Chapter you intend to join will provide you with a Petition which you must fill out completely. It should be returned to the Chapter Secretary, as soon as possible, with the appropriate fees.
Q. What happens after I submit my petition?
A. Your petition will be submitted to an Investigation Committee composed of members of the Chapter that you wish to join. Shortly thereafter the members of the Investigation Committee will contact you individually to set up a time and place for a meeting. This is done (1) To ask a few very simple questions, (2) To provide you an opportunity to meet some of the Chapter members, (3) To provide you an opportunity to ask and receive answers to any additional questions that you might have, and (4) To verify your Masonic affiliation. The information that the Investigation Committee receives will be reported to the Worthy Matron.
Q. What will be the next step?
A. If all of the information is in order, the report of the Investigation Committee will be submitted to the Chapter members at a stated meeting and a vote will be taken. If favorable, you will have been elected to receive the Degrees of the Order of the Eastern Star. The Secretary will notify you of the results of the election and arrange for you to be initiated into the Order.
Q. How long after the election will that be?
A. Each Chapter attempts to plan the events of each meeting for the entire year. That usually includes some flexibility to accommodate Degree meetings for new members; however, in some instances very special plans cannot be interrupted, so the Degrees will be given at the first possible date. This will be between one week and not later than 60 days.
OES - A Way Of Life
Q. Just what is Fraternal Life?
A. The Order of the Eastern Star provides us with a means of compassion and concern - not only for our fellow Sisters and Brothers in the Order of the Eastern Star, but to ourselves, our Country, and our faith. In addition, it enters us into a way of life that all of us inwardly want for ourselves and our families.
Why Should I Want To Join The Order Of The Eastern Star?
Q. What does the Eastern Star have to offer that other organizations do not?
A. Each of us has an inner need to do something for others. Sometimes it is difficult to determine just how to begin. The Order of the Eastern Star offers that guidance and provides an outlet as well as serving as a resource center and support group.
Q. Is there any social involvement?
A. Yes. The Chapter has numerous fun activities for all members and their family and friends. Usually, the Worthy Matron has a Social Enjoyment Chairman to supplement her planned activities.
Q. Is there any Fraternal friendship?
A. Both women and men join a Fraternal Order to make friends and enjoy the fellowship that is displayed. Members and their families can enjoy interacting with others who share their beliefs.
Q. Will I become a better person?
A. Yes. The Order of the Eastern Star takes good citizens and makes them even better. We continue to be central in the development of the American promise of human opportunity and personal fulfillment.
Q. Does the Order of the Eastern Star give support to any affiliated youth groups?
A. Yes. The Order of the Eastern Star provides support to members of the Rainbow for Girls (ages 11 through 21) and Job's Daughters (ages 11 through 20). The purpose of these youth groups is to train these fine young citizens to be leaders in the community and to be future members and leaders in the Order of the Eastern Star. The Masons also sponsor DeMolay for Boys(ages 13 through 21).
Q. Does the Order of the Eastern Star have any special projects?
A. Yes. Our Order of the Eastern Star membership supports E.S.T.A.R.L (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership) and college or university scholarship awards to students of any race, creed, or color; Eastern Star Home for its senior members in California; J. Clifford Lee and Marguerite Rennie Memorial Cancer Funds; the Eastern Star Patient Comfort Program; Heart Research Foundation and a Benevolent Fund for the relief of qualified indigent and distressed members or Chapters. Additional charities are also supported.
Q. Is the Order of the Eastern Star a secret society?
A. No. Secret societies are underground and hard to find. We are easily found within the community. We do enjoy a distinctive means of identifying each other. Only members are allowed in a closed meeting.
Q. Can I afford membership in the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. Yes. Financial position is not considered in the Order. Members come from all economic stations of life.
Q. Is my religious faith allowed in the Order of the Eastern Star?
A. Yes. Members of all religions may belong to the Order of the Eastern Star. We only require a belief in a Supreme Being.
Q. Is the Order of the Eastern Star time-consuming?
A. After your Initiation into our Order during a regular meeting, you may attend as your time permits.
Q. Is there any memory work?
A. There is no mandatory memory work except the means of making yourself known if you wish to visit a Chapter or if you become an officer. A short proficiency examination is strictly voluntary but encouraged.
Q. Is the Order patriotic and democratic?
A. Yes. Members are taught an allegiance to preserve the good order of their country. We strongly support the government of the United States of America.