"To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care."


Sunday, September 05, 2010

Pennsylvania's German-language Lodge: Hermann-Humboldt Lodge No. 125

The variety of Freemasonry never ceases to amaze me. I was contacted this evening by W:.B:. Pierre Hans Rausch, the Master of Pennsylvania's Hermann-Humboldt Lodge No. 125. It is one of a rare number of foreign language lodges in the US, performing its rituals in German.

From the lodge history on their website:

It was at first intended that Concordia Lodge, which was constituted in 1795, should be a German Lodge, but being unable to get the necessary authority to conduct the deliberations in German, it became an English speaking Lodge .It took fifteen years of striving before the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge recognized the benefit of granting a charter to a Lodge permitting the use of the German language in its proceedings.

On December 12, 1810 a petition was drawn up by ten members of Concordia Lodge, No. 67, asking permission to withdraw and present a petition to the Grand Lodge in the endeavor to procure a charter to hold a Lodge in the German tongue. Their petition was granted by Concordia Lodge on December 14, 1810. . . The contitution of Hermanns Lodge NO. 125 and the installation of its officers took place at Grand Lodge on Friday ,January 25, 1811.


From 1873 until 2004 the Lodge held its meetings in the Masonic Temple at One North Broad Street In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. One of its members ,Brother Anthony Bournonville, in 1852 was unanimously elected Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania- the first ethnic German to occupy this prestigious office!

Hermann, now Hermann-Humboldt Lodge ( merged in 2002 ) has always cherished and honored the sacred heritage of its founders: furtherance of Masonic principles; preservation of the German language in ritualistic work; active Interest in all German endeavors and undertakings and fraternal benevolence! The proceedings continue to be conducted in German and the German language along with English is still spoken at all of its festivities and meetings. It can be justly said that Hermann-Humboldt Lodge ranks among the most important German institutions of this country and earnestly endeavors to carry out the fundamental principles of Freemasonry and make them universally beneficial!

The lodge will celebrate its 200th anniversary on February 12th, 2011 at the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania.



Bro. Brian Fegely from Philadelphia passed along the message that Hermann Lodge and Humboldt Lodge were merged from two Philadelphia city lodges which worked Pennsylvania ritual in the German language. He also says there is a lodge near Reading that uses Pennsylvania Dutch, a variant of Swabian dialect.

Thanks Brian.


  1. As a young Fellow Craft back in the Fall of 1996, I was invited to witness an EA degree at Garibaldi Lodge No. 542, F.&A.M. at the Grand Lodge of New York. Garibaldi Lodge performs their ritual in Italian.

    -Darren Klem, Broad Ripple Lodge #643, F. & A.M., Indianapolis, IN

  2. Garibaldi is one of the most famous. I have also heard there are lodges in Washington DC that work in other languages. And I presume there are Spanish language lodges in the southwest.

  3. This comment has been removed by the author.

  4. As a correction to an earlier comment: The lodge in Reading, name Teutonia works in proper GERMAN, not Pennsylvania Dutch.

  5. We are still proudly working in the German Language. 2020 was a rough year with Covid but we will persevere. Because Covid is so dangerous to the elderly we have a dispensation to no longer labor at rhe Frey Center, which is also a Masonic Home, but at WK Bray in Hatboro. I am the current Erwürdiger Meister or Worshipful Master.

  6. I was at Geribaldi last night for the First degree. Totally amazing and yes, still in Italian. I have been to a Florida lodge for a 3rd degree in Spanish.
    Question: is the German speaking lodge , Herman-Humboldt , still help at GL in Philly ? If so, what dates and time?

  7. Just found my great great grandfather Humboldt Loge no 359 all 8n german. Anyone know more about this lodge.

    1. My name is Scott Wolfertz, and just completed my 3rd year as Erwürdiger Meister. We meet the second Wednesday at Frey Masonic Home in Warminster, PA.
      My phone number is 267 784 5960 for any questions.

  8. I just came across this post and would like to add that the lodge near Reading, PA is in fact a German speaking Lodge. It is Teutonia Lodge No. 367. It is not working in PA Dutch. I am a Past Master of Teutonia.

  9. Update to lodge details: https://portal.pamasons.org/public_lodges/lodge/418

  10. Hi, anyone know anything about a Formation of the American Code of Arms framed document from the Herman-Humboldt dated 1915? I have one and can't find any info on it online, so would appreciate any info anyone has.

  11. Didn't see the notification box in my post above, thanks.


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