6. Lodges and Orders in Denmark

As mentioned previously I searched the Internet for Masonic Orders, and learn what my options were. Here’s the a overview. Unfortunately, only a few of the orders have material in English (still, refer to the Links section for more).

The regular orders: Three orders are recognised by The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) (and this serves as my simplified definition of regularity). This means that members can visit each other’s lodges, as well as regular lodges all over the world. UGLE holds no authority over Danish freemasons, though – there exists no such central power.

The Danish Order of Freemasons (DDFO)
The oldest order in Denmark, founded in 1743. It has worked according to different systems, but since 1858 uses the Swedish System. It is unique in that it calls for its members to be baptized in the Christian faith; it has 11 degrees. DDFO functions as Grand Lodge of Denmark, which means that it decides which lodges can be recognized as regular. It has approximately 8.000 members.

The Ancient Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons of Denmark (DDFL)
The second largest masonic organisation in Denmark. They work the three craft degrees (using an Emulation-based ritual), but if members wish it, and are baptized, they may take the higher degrees in DDFO. They have some 1.300 members in lodges all over the country. The Fraternity was established in 1929, but reorganised in 1961 in order to achieve amity with DDFO.

The St. John’s Lodges [Johanneslogeforbundet]
Three lodges working the German Schröder Rite. Recognized by DDFO as regular since 1959. The first of the lodges was established in 1900.

The irregular orders: A number of orders and lodges, not recognized by DDFO. Basically they cannot be present in the above mentioned (UGLE-“sanctioned”) orders (and vice-versa). Other than that their workings may be very similar, i.e. regular in terms of organisation and ritual. (Note: translation of order names are my own – these are generally very regional in their outlook).

The Order of St. Andrew [Sct. Andreas Ordenen]
This order established itself in 1896 following dissatisfaction with the Order of the Circle. They work according to The Swedish System, but only the first 6 degrees. They have their own lodge building in Copenhagen.

The Order of the Circle [Cirkel-Ordenen]
Resides in Copenhagen and has some 100 members. The website indicates three lodges at one point: Paulus, Matthæus and Johannes (Paul, Matthew and John). They are not very informative regarding the basis of their work, and I have not received answer to my email enquiry.

The Grand Lodge of Denmark of Free and Accepted Masons
An alternative grand lodge dating from 1929, but not recognized by UGLE. This is the organisation from which sprang the Fraternity (see above). It presents itself as having two craft lodges, a Royal Arch chapter, and a lodge of research. They are registered with the international union of CLIPSAS.

The Grand Orient of Denmark of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons
Works the Scottish Rite 33rd, and dates back to 1919. In close contact with the Grand Loge of Denmark, and only few members.

The Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of Denmark
Created in 2007 as it broke off from the Fraternity; started out with four lodges, still expanding.

Women-only and mixed-gender orders: There also exists lodges that accept women. Views are divided over this: UGLE considers this disqualification from regularity. But at the same time they have accepted that what the women are doing is freemasonry and usually of a very high standard.

Le Droit Humain (LDH)
The order was created in 1893 with the purpose of initiating women, and it is the oldest mixed-gender order. Le Droit Humain is represented all over the world, and here in Denmark they have 3 lodges totalling about 100 members (of mixed gender). The first Danish lodge was founded in 1917.

Danish Free & Independent Masons
A brand new lodge residing in Copenhagen since 2003. They accept both men and women.

Freja Lodge / Lilium Lodge
Freja was founded in 1989 under charter from the Grand Lodge of Belgium, and it has its home in Copenhagen. In 2005 a second lodge was consecrated: Lilium. The lodges only accept women.

Add to this Druids, Templars, Rosecruicians, Odd Fellows et al, different orders working with rituals, ceremony and degrees, many of them inspired by freemasonry. But I have decided to limit myself for this brief overview.

[Date of original post: September 23, 2005; last revised: September 10, 2009]

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11 thoughts on “6. Lodges and Orders in Denmark

  1. Hello Tom,

    I read your journey description from 1 to 7 some time ago, and it was nice reading 8, which you seem to have written from Dublin. I noted a lot satisfaction during the US visit, but I also noted a disappointment in Belfast where you were shut out by Droit Humain. This is in my view the saddest and pathetic part of freemasonry.

    Unfortunately, the policy of convenience put in place by UGLE doesn’t make things easier. It created a group of freemasons that do not consider anyone outside UGLE’s reach to be freemason. This in turn has added more to the frustration with freemasons not welcoming each other and treating each other as impostors. The largest and oldest Masonic organization in France (GODF) is not recognized by UGLE, etc…

    My view is that UGLE should recognize all brothers/sisters as freemasons. This will provide recognition and not regularity. What I am trying to say is: UGLE should at least call them freemason, without necessary opening the doors of regular lodges to them otherwise tolerance will remain a mere word most regular freemasons hide behind without discerning its meaning.

    I noticed that you don’t make a difference between regularity and recognition.

    A grand lodge is deemed regular when it strictly observes the landmarks as set out in the constitution, whether or not it is recognized by UGLE since UGLE can only recognize one grand lodge per country at a time with the exception of the US. In short, the fact that Storlogen af Danmark af Gamle Frie & Antagne Murere is not recognized by UGLE doesn’t make it irregular as it appears on this website.

    Marco

  2. The question of recognition and regularity in Masonic terms are both interesting and complex. So for this blog I have kept it simple. But I tend to agree with your point and have tried to clarify that, basing regularity on the question of UGLE’s recognition is over-simplified, and it is not my intention to draw into question the quality of work done by any of these lodges – how would I know, since I can’t visit? Nevertheless, from DDFO’s point of view, recognition IS a cornerstone in regularity, and thus I have stuck with that subjective point.

    It does become rather absurd, and I would much prefer that greater acceptance was accorded between the obediences.

    Thanks for bringing it up.

  3. Interestingly, there are 145,000 freemasons in France of whom only 27,000 are branded regular by UGLE. In many other European countries, including but not limited to Belgium, The Netherlands, and Italy, the majority of freemasons, that is more than 50% members, are said to be irregular.

    Liberal freemasonry seems to be growing stronger and even faster than the traditional one, and “one-day classes” where a new Candidate can become a Master Mason in a single day in certain US jurisdictions has failled to induce new dynamics. I wonder how the masonic landscape would look like the next 10 years.

  4. Dear Brethren,
    I am from the caribbean Island of St. Maarten, Union Lodge 266, E:. of St. Maarten. I have business in caribbean and plan to travel to Copenhagen, cruise port area in mid may. I would appreciate any brother who has any contact, or can get me any relevant information.
    Fraternally,
    Bro:. Haresh Shahani (Harry)

  5. Is there anybody here that can help me about schroeder rite , i am from Brazil , excuse for my english , and i need a lot of information ,i am a free mason here .
    3×3

  6. Ave, as independent researcher on affairs of Western World and Classical Culture, I got to the conclusion that the Order became one of the most enduring bastions to secure the principles in which we base our civilization, Freedom, Equality, Fraternity and Self improvement. Therefore as far I’ve been able to gather, the Schroder Rite is the line which I think better fits to my line of thinking, however, I need more information, specific guides on the particularities of the Rite. If in any case you can give me some light…
    Regards
    Val Piccinato
    Rebel Order Black Knights

  7. I am on a ship in dry dock in Fredrikshaven and am in the UGLE southern division I was wondering if there is any orders in Fredrikshaven I could visit

    • The Danish Order of Freemasons have a lodge in Frederikshavn, “Golden Crown to the Anchor”, but none of the Swedish Rite lodges work in the summer. But you could still try to contact them:

      Skippergade 50
      9900 Frederikshavn
      Tel. (+45) 9842 6747

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