Signet Chapter No. 129

Order of the Eastern Star - Pennsylvania

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A History of the Order of the Eastern Star

Contained in this page is the rich history of the Order of the Eastern Star and some of the precepts and values inherent in becoming a member of the Order. If you have other questions regarding the Order, please contact a local chapter or the Grand Chapter in your area for more guidance on the subject.

:::   Frequently Asked Questions   :::

What it is

The order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which men and women may belong. There are currently more than 1 million members worldwide under the leadership of the General Grand Chapter headquartered in Washington, DC.  Only men who are Masons are eligible, and only women with specific Masonic affiliation may be members.

Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values but is NOT a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives and which makes us near and dear to each other.

While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to ALL faiths, except those of NO faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can. 

The members of the Order of the Eastern Star are dedicated women and men who sincerely reflect the spirit of fraternal love and the desire to work together for good. It gives them the opportunity to give a part of their time to many projects that benefit mankind.


The stated purposes of the organization are many and among these are:

  • Charitable

  • Educational

  • Fraternal

  • Scientific

However, there is much more to it than that. Dr. Rob Morris, the Poet Laureate of Masonry, founded the Order using beautiful and inspiring biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles, which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to take good people and through uplifting and elevating associations of love and service, and through precept and example, build an Order which is truly dedicated to charity, truth and loving kindness.


Concrete evidence of the charitable nature of the organization as it affects others is the millions of dollars, which have been raised within the membership to support national, jurisdictional, and local charities. Many Grand Jurisdictions have homes for their senior members.



Eastern Star Chapters donate funds to a wide variety of worthy charities. Some examples are:

  • Cancer Research Project

  • Arthritis Fund

  • Heart Fund

  • Knights Templar Eye Foundation

  • Shriners' Hospital for Children

  • Orphanages and many other charities within each Grand Jurisdiction.

In the United States alone, Masonic organizations contribute $1.5 million a day to charity.


Youth Projects

Eastern Star gives support to young people who are members of Rainbow for Girls; Job's Daughters, and the Order of DeMolay. These fine young people who are in training to become leaders are likely prospects to become valued Eastern Stars or Masons. The Order of the Eastern Star and the Masonic fraternity are highly rewarded by their support of and interest in these youth organizations.



ESTARL (Eastern Star Training Awards for Religious Leadership) is a scholarship fund for those who are going to school for the purpose of religious training. Each state administers their own ESTARL program. Those wishing to apply for an ESTARL Scholarship should contact the Grand Secretary of the state or province in which they reside.


Eastern Star/Masonic Homes

Many Grand Jurisdictions have homes for their senior members. These homes range in function from full-fledged "retirement homes" to organizations that provide services to those who are in need. To find out more about the services of your state contact your Grand Secretary.


Eastern Star Membership

Who may join:

Only women with specific Masonic affiliation and men who are Masons are eligible to join.  These affiliations include:

  • Affiliated Master Masons in good standing

  • Wives

  • Daughters

  • Legally adopted daughters

  • Mothers

  • Widows

  • Sisters

  • Half sisters

  • Granddaughters

  • Stepmothers

  • Stepdaughters

  • Stepsisters

  • Daughters-in-law

  • Grandmothers

  • Great granddaughters

  • Nieces

  • Mothers-in-law

  • Sisters-in-law

  • 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 each of whom shall have attained to at least the age of eighteen (18) years, are eligible to  membership in the Order of the Eastern Star.

How to Join

To inquire about membership, talk to a current member, or contact a local chapter. To find chapters in your area, contact the Grand Secretary of that state or province. Petitions are carefully read, eligibility investigated and election to membership must be by unanimous vote of the chapter to which the petition has been submitted. The Order strives to select persons of good mental, moral and spiritual quality who will work together in harmony to perform its objectives.