Masonic Lodge Officer Duties are solely dependent upon leadership.
Masonic Lodge Officers, as they move through the Masonic Officer Chairs, as in any organization, could not properly function without a leadership team which provides Masonic Officer Training.
A successful organization’s future depends upon how well this team of lodge officers work together to provide Masonic Officer training. In the business world, an organization is built around Presidents, Vice Presidents, General Managers, Regional Managers, Supervisors and Workers.
Each position plays an important part in order for the organization to be profitable and successful.
In essence, the Masonic Lodge Officer duties and Masonic Officer Training structure, much like their counterparts in the business world, shoulder the Lodge Officer Responsibilities which makes a lodge successful.
Masonic Lodge Progressive Line: Lodge Officers are part of a “progressive line”, which is also known as “going through the chairs” …or as the Masonic Officer Chairs. This line of succession moves up one position at a time from one year to the next.
If no one asks to “step out of line” for any reason, 7 years from the time of becoming Junior Steward, the Master Mason will arrive at the chair of the Worshipful Master.
The progression is as follows: Junior Steward, Senior Steward, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Junior Warden, Senior Warden…and then Worshipful Master. The progressive line is used in the United States and in many other jurisdictions, as well.
Lodge Elections: In the Masonic Lodge, the top five Lodge Officers are (in this order) the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden, Junior Warden, Treasurer and Secretary are elected by the Lodge members at their annual elections.
Normally each position is filled for one year, however they may be re-elected to the same position depending on the circumstance. Lodge elections are performed via a Masonic Ballot Box.
Masonic Lodge Officer Duties For Their Term in Office: 1 Year
Appointed Lodge Officer Positions: The other officers, which include the Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Steward, Marshal, Tiler and Chaplain are appointed positions by the Worshipful Master. Other members of the Masonic Lodge may be called on to serve on any of the numerous committees by the Worshipful Master.
Lodge Officer Duties and Names: The duties and names of the officers are taken from very old customs dating back to the medieval stonemasons’ guilds.
Masonic Lodge Jewels:
In England in the 1400s, under the reign of King Edward III, local (city) governments grew out of the merchant and craft industries in each city or town. After an operative Master stonemason created his “Master’s Piece” to the satisfaction of the Master of his craft, or guild, he was considered a “Master Mason”.
Heads of the guilds became heads of their town councils, mayors, sheriffs, etc. During this time, one of the ways which a local official proclaimed his rank was by wearing a badge of office, or jewel, on a chain around his neck. The practice is still in use today in England.
If you have ever watched a ceremony wherein a Lord Mayor (regular mayor in the United States) attends a formal ribbon cutting event, you would see an ornate necklace which is the medallion, signature of his office, around his neck. Masonic Lodge Officers carry over this ancient guild tradition, today, in the form of the symbolic “jewels” of their offices.
Worshipful Master – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Square, which is a stonemason’s tool to ascertain true and correct angles of the cut and smoothed stone…thus his Jewel symbolizes virtue.
The Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge is the highest ranking of all Lodge Officers which a Lodge may elect.
The Worshipful Master sits in the East of the Lodge room (symbolic of the Rising Sun in the East) and directs all of the business of the Lodge. Note: Even if the building faces a different direction, the Master is said to be “in the East”. He also presides over ritual and ceremonies.
His position is similar to a President of any other organization. As Master, his word is final over any and all actions pertaining to his Lodge.
It is his duty to
“Set the Craft to work and give them wholesome instruction for their labor”.
While the Worshipful Master’s rank is highest of all members, his Lodge Officer Duties are the easiest to remember.
The Worshipful Master is responsible for every single thing within his lodge during his year as Master. He is ultimately responsible for every other lodge officer and their duties, every lodge committee, ritual and degree work, Masonic education, social functions, fundraisers, District and Grand Lodge liaison, Trestle Board communication, etc.
All eyes are upon the Master. If lodge functions go smoothly, it is the Master who takes the credit. If lodge functions go awry, it is the Master who bears the blame. Therefore, the Master wears many hats.
It is his duty to preside over business meetings, the conferral of degrees, and delegation of duties to all other Lodge Officers.
While Freemasons call the Master, “Worshipful Master”, they do not, as some people may erroneously believe, actually worship him. “Worshipful” is an honorary title which shows respect for his position. In France, the word “Worshipful” is replaced with the word “Venerable”.
It is no different than respecting the office of our President of the United States. He would be addressed, formally, as “Mr. President” rather than by his first name. Likewise, if you go before a judge, you would address him as “Your Honor”, rather than by his first name, as a measure of respect that you hold for his office.
Senior Warden – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Level...symbolizing that all Masons meet on the level, without regard to social, political or religious beliefs or status.
The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the second in command within the Lodge Officers.
In the absence of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden assumes the Worshipful Master’s duties. The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge sits in the West (symbolic of the setting sun) and assists the Worshipful Master in opening and closing the Lodge.
The Senior Warden is in charge of the Lodge when it is at labor. His position is similar to a Vice-President of any organization.
His ancient duties were to pay the Craft (the members of the guild) their wages and to handle disputes among the workers. It is his duty to support the Master and to prepare himself for that office during the following year.
Junior Warden – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel of Office is the Plumb,… which is a stonemason’s instrument used for ascertaining the alignment of a vertical surface.
It symbolizes upright behavior among Masons.
The Junior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the third in command of the Lodge. The Junior Warden sits in the South (symbolic of the position of the sun at midday) and is responsible for the Brethren while the Lodge is at ease or refreshment.
His position is similar to a Second Vice-President. The Junior Warden, too, may open the lodge if the Master is unable to attend the meeting.
It is the Junior Warden’s duty to arrange meals for the lodge, and, typically, the 2 Stewards act as his assistants in this responsibility.
Symbolically, it is also his duty to make certain that the members do not convert their refreshment into intemperance or excess. This is a holdover from earlier days, which still remains as part of the Junior Warden’s job description, even though in most U.S. jurisdictions, alcohol is barred from the lodge.
Which Officers Can Open the Lodge? The Master, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden or a Past Master.
Senior Deacon – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Square and Compass with the Sun in the middle. The sun signifies that his position is on the lower level, to the right of the Worshipful Master in the east.
His duty is as messenger of the Worshipful Master, hence he does a lot of walking.
The Senior Deacon of a Masonic Lodge is an assistant officer of the Lodge. The Senior Deacon’s principle roles are to welcome and escort both visitors and candidates into the lodge and introduce distinguished visitors.
It is his duty to assist the Worshipful Master and carry orders between the Worshipful Master and the Senior Warden. During degree rituals, he guides the new candidate and conducts him around the lodge room.
During the opening and closing ceremonies, the Senior Deacon opens the Holy Scriptures to the correct passage of the degree being worked and closes it after the lodge is adjourned. He also lights and extinguishes the candles at the altar.
In some lodges, he carries the ballot box around the lodge when new members are being voted upon.
The Senior Deacon’s position is similar to a Manager. The Senior Deacon (and the Junior Deacon) both carry long staffs (or rods), because as messengers of the Worshipful Master, the staffs are symbolic of the caduceus (or wand) that the Roman winged god and messenger Mercury carried during their duties. Atop the rods are the jewels of their offices.
Junior Deacon – Lodge Officer Duties:
Like his senior counterpart, the Senior Deacon, the Jewel of his office is the Square and Compass, however the Junior Deacon’s Square and Compass has a moon in the center (rather than a sun), which signifies that he is in the West.
The Junior Deacon of a Masonic Lodge is an assistant officer of the Lodge. He sits to the lower right of the Senior Warden.
The Junior Deacon’s principle roles are to assist the Senior Warden by carrying messages from the Senior Warden in the West to the Junior Warden in the South and to guard the inner door of the Lodge.
It is his duty to ascertain at all times whether the Tiler is guarding the door and only allowing visitors to enter after they have been properly vouched for. The Junior Deacon and the Tiler communicate with each other by knocking on the door (the Tiler from the outside…and the Junior Deacon from the inside).
Some jurisdictions split this position into 2 positions…that of the Junior Deacon and the Inner Guard.
The Junior Warden’s position is similar to a Manager.
Senior Steward – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Cornucopia, which is an exact duplicate of the Junior Steward’s Cornucopia. The Cornucopia signifies the “Horn of Plenty”. It is a goat horn filled with the fresh fruits and vegetables to denote the “fruits of your labors” and represents a job well done.
The Senior Steward of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge.
The Senior Steward is tasked to understudy the Junior Deacon’s position and fill in for the Junior Deacon when absent.
The Junior Deacon’s principle role is to prepare the candidates during ritual and escort them to the lodge room and assist the Senior Deacon. In their entry Officer positions, both the Senior and Junior Stewards typically handle kitchen duties and wait staff for the members.
The Senior Steward’s position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
Junior Steward – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Cornucopia, which is an exact duplicate to the Senior Steward’s Cornucopia. The Cornucopia signifies the “Horn of Plenty”.
It is a goat horn filled with the “fruits of your labors” and represents a job well done.
The Junior Steward of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge.
The Junior Steward is tasked to understudy the Senior Steward position and fill in for the Senior Steward in his absence. The Junior Steward’s principle role is to assist the Senior Steward and the Senior Deacon in the preparation of the Candidates.
Both the Senior and Junior Stewards carry rods, atop which are the jewels of their offices. The rods represent England’s Lord High Steward’s rod in the House of Lords.
The Junior Steward position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
LODGE OFFICER DUTIES
FOR THOSE NOT
IN THE PROGRESSIVE LINE:
The following officers do not usually move in the progressive line.
Many times they have already progressed through all the chairs and choose to serve their lodge in different positions. Treasurers and Secretaries often serve their lodge in their respective positions for many years.
Continuity in these positions is vital to a well-run and efficient lodge. Training takes time and if these officer positions changed each year, financial and accounting chaos would occur.
Treasurer – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is a Pair of Crossed Keys, signifying he is the Collector and Distributor of all Lodge Monies as he holds the keys to the cashbox.
The Treasurer of a Masonic Lodge is the Chief Financial Officer of the Lodge. He sits to the right of the Master and behind the Senior Deacon.
The Treasurer is responsible for all financial transactions. He receives all money, pays all debts by order of the Worshipful Master with the consent of the lodge and renders a report when requested.
The treasurer does not need to be in possession of an accounting degree, however experience with bookkeeping and accounting is an asset. Financial bookkeeping transactions may be performed either by hand or by the use of accounting software.
The Treasurer’s duties can be likened to a corporate C.F.O. (Chief Financial Officer).
Secretary – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Crossed Quill Pens. The Secretary is the Lodge’s Recorder.
The Secretary’s Lodge Officer Duties require a high degree of lodge experience, Masonic knowledge, diplomacy and, above all, detailed paperwork skills. The Lodge Secretary is the backbone of any Masonic Lodge and he holds a position of great responsibility. He sits to the left of the Master.
His duties require him to handle all correspondence to the members, minutes of Lodge meetings, petitions of new candidates, continuous lodge member count, and many other administrative duties. He compiles an ongoing list of each new candidate and which degrees that candidate has undertaken. From his member list, he sends out the annual dues notices and receives dues payments.
He communicates with other Lodges and the Grand Lodge, types letters, retrieves the mail as well as handles many other details.
The Secretary’s Lodge Officer duties are many, not the least of which is that he must be well versed in Grand Lodge By-Laws for his jurisdiction and his Lodge By-Laws. He keeps the list of Lodge members and helps the Master organize his meetings.
A very experienced member usually resides in this chair…many times he is a Past Master of the Lodge. While it is not a prerequisite, due to the number of hours that this position requires, most (not all) Lodge Secretaries are retired and therefore able to devote the many hours required which are necessary to this position.
The Secretary’s position is similar to a corporate C.O.O., (Chief Operation Officer).
Marshal – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Crossed Batons. The Marshal is the Lodge’s Conductor or Master of Ceremonies.
The Marshal of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge. The Marshal is in some jurisdictions the “Director of Ceremonies”.
The Marshal’s duties and principle role is the organization of processions and ensuring the correct precedence and etiquette in formal proceedings. It is his duty to formally conduct visitors into the lodge and introduce them to the members when the lodge is in session.
The Marshal’s position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
Tiler – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Sword, by which he symbolically refuses entrance to anyone who is uninitiated in the Craft. The sword has no scabbard, as it is his symbolic duty to always have his sword drawn, ready for the defense of his post.
The Tiler (or Tyler) of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge and is sometimes known as the “Outer Guard”. He sits outside the closed door of the lodge room, armed with a sword.
The Tiler’s duties and principle role is to ensure that only those who are duly qualified are allowed to enter the Lodge Room. He guards against cowans and eavesdroppers. During the Middle Ages, a cowan was a man who built stone walls of poor quality. He was an uninitiated or non-apprenticed stonemason…a “jackleg”, if you will.
While the Tiler is sometimes called upon to assist in the preparation of candidates, his chief duty is to (symbolically) keep unskilled workmen from overhearing the conversation within the Lodge Room.
After the lodge members are inside the Lodge Room, the door closes and it is the Tiler’s duty to decide whether late arrivals may enter. It is also his duty to make sure that each visitor is “properly clothed”, which means they must be wearing their Masonic apron.
To be fully and properly dressed before entrance into the Lodge Room, the visitor must be wearing their apron over the top (or on the outside) of their suit coat (never under their coat) and the apron strings must be fully tied before the Tiler will allow the visitor entrance. Some jurisdictions call this position the Outer Guard.
The Tiler’s position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
Chaplain – Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel of office is an opened book, symbolizing the Volume of Sacred Law (the Christian Bible, Hebrew Torah or Tanach, the Muslim Qur’an, the Hindu Vedas or other Holy Books).
The Chaplain of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge. He sits to the left of the Master.
The Chaplain is the spiritual leader of the Lodge. While he may or may not be a real-world Minister, Priest, Rabbi or Imam,… in the lodge, the Chaplain is responsible for non-denominational prayers at both the opening and closing of meetings, during degree ritual ceremonies and before meals. Most Chaplains have no religious training and prayers are non-denominational.
The Chaplain’s position is similar to that of a Supervisor.
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The greatest honor comes to a brother when he is elevated to the Chair as the Lodge Master, the Worshipful Master of the Lodge.
However, it is with mingled feelings of pleasure and anxiety when the gavel of authority is placed into their own hand.
Early preparation is ABSOLUTELY NECESSARY so that you do not become a Lodge Master in name only. It is very important that you arrive at this chair with a feeling not only of its authority, but fully confident of your abilities to handle that authority.
Much like the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of any well run corporation, the Lodge Master has many duties to perform. First and foremost, like the CEO, he must have a strong working group of subordinate officers to help him carry out the tasks within his Blue Lodge.
While many people’s first thought is that to call someone “Master” means that you feel you are supposed to “serve” them, actually, in Freemasonry, the opposite is true. The title of “Master” signifies that of a well versed “teacher,” and not that of the Almighty.
Elected by the brethren, he is placed in this special position to serve their needs. In essence, the Master’s job is much like the Queen Bee’s job in the symbolic Freemasonry beehive.
Many Freemasons wonder what the significance of the Masonic beehive is to their craft. Let’s take a look at it:
Queen bees develop from larvae, which is selected by the worker bees. She is specially fed Royal Jelly so that she becomes larger and therefore, can produce and retain a greater number of worker bees during her lifetime for the benefit of the hive. Without being chosen by her “brethren”, to become the “Queen Bee”, she would grow up to become a worker bee, just like all the rest.
While she is continuously surrounded by worker bees who meet her every need, her sole function is to serve as the reproducer of her species. During her life as the Queen Bee, she will usually only leave the hive once…and that is to reproduce. From this one-time outing, she will be able to lay eggs for the rest of her life, which is approximately 2-7 years.
A well functioning lodge (I mean hive) consists of one Queen bee, (Master of the Lodge) many worker bees and a few drones. A well functioning beehive is a very busy place, indeed,…industry being each bee’s highest virtue…with the exception of the drones.
Drones are larger than the worker bees, however they do absolutely nothing to promote the welfare of the hive. They do not gather nectar, make honey or make beeswax. They do not cap off each cell of honey that has been stored nor do they fan the cell to dry the bees wax. They also do not perform any housekeeping tasks toward the common good of their fraternity nor do they educate the younger bees in how to perform the work.
Needless to say, the drones do not worry about having enough honey stored to take the fraternity through the long Winter. The worker bees must feed the drones or the drones would starve and die. The only reason the drones are kept alive by the worker bees is to promote the reproduction within the hive. As you can see, the hive needs very few drones if it is to function properly.
If too many drones have been produced by the Queen Bee, their excess numbers drag down the abilities of the entire hive because each working member has to attempt to care for and feed these non-working members of their fraternity without receiving anything in return.
In the bee world, their excess numbers are internally counted and when the drones numbers exceed their usefulness, the worker bees drag these non-working members of their institution to the front door of the hive where they are left, alone to perish…not because they feel no charity, but simply because for their fraternity to survive, they cannot continue to nourish and support non-working members.
Therefore, Worker Bees understand that:
Freemasonry is full of allegory. Allegory means that you are representing one thing, when you’re actually alluding to another thing. It is a literary style which means you teach by innuendo. Most allegories include a “moral of the story”. The story of the beehive, above, is an allegory. The last paragraph beginning with “Therefore, Worker Bees understand that:” contains the moral of the story.
“Thus was man formed for social and active life, the noblest part of the work of God; and he that will so demean himself as not to be endeavoring to add to the common stock of knowledge and understanding, may be deemed a drone in the hive of nature, a useless member of society, and unworthy of our protection as Freemasons.” … Carl H. Claudy, The Master’s Book, Published by The Temple Publishers, copyright 1946
While many believe that since they are next in line to hold the gavel, they may simply perform their duties in the same manner as the previous Master performed his duties; this may or may not be the case. You be the judge.
The Loge Master is:
A good Master realizes that if he does not help the brethren to gather new members, feed (teach), nurture (socialize) and retain each member of their fraternity, his lodge will dwindle in size or by necessity must merge with another lodge.
DUTIES OF THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER:
As the lodge’s leader, the Worshipful Master wears many hats. His duties and responsibilities include everything pertaining to his lodge during his elected year.
THE IDEAL LODGE MASTER
The Ideal Lodge Masterperforms all of the following tasks throughout his year:
Knows something about Masonic literature and which books to recommend to his brethren.
As Lodge Master, he pays full attention to the duties with which he has been bestowed in his Grand Lodge. He faithfully attends, intelligently takes part in the deliberations, votes with the interests of his Jurisdiction at heart and is a constructive force within the governing body of Freemasonry.
Holds interesting meetings. He is willing to work and work hard to arrange programs and plan events which are not only interesting, but instructive to the brethren. He knows that basic ritual degree work is necessary, but every other week, he provides something containing instruction and education to his brethren.
Provides continuous, good and wholesome instruction and education. No brother should ever leave one of the meetings without learning something or experiencing something said by its Master that does not leave a higher thought of Masonry in his heart.
Provides leadership in helping his officers learn Masonry, so that when their time comes to sit in the Lodge Master’s chair, they, too are well prepared.
The Lodge Master considers the ill and the sorrowing as his personal care. No brother should take to his bed but that the Master sees to him to bring what cheer he may. No widow or fatherless child of one of the brethren should ever go uncomforted from the leader of the lodge.
Brings dignity to his office.
The Lodge Master of the symbolic lodge counts not his personal pleasure, his social engagements, his time of rest, recreation or even his sleep when his Lodge calls. During his year as Master, he puts his Lodge and its needs before anything and everything of a personal nature (excepting God and family) in his life.
Takes pleasure in his service to his lodge, knowing that men view his position to be honorable.
Never takes sides but is a balance wheel.
The Lodge Master of his blue lodge is enthusiastic about his work.
Conscious of his own limitations.
Strong and confident enough that he is eager to listen to suggestions and intelligent enough to follow only those suggestions which he deems wise.
The Master of the Lodge is primarily concerned with policies rather than details so he does not lose his way.
The ideal Lodge Master delegates the details to carefully chosen committees and not only requests their reports at each meeting, but expects to hear each committee’s issues, their findings, and their determinations so that both he and the brethren are continually kept up-to-date on their work.
Like any good CEO, the Ideal Lodge Master delegates.
If he does this well, his job becomes very manageable, indeed and he may obtain the abilities of the Ideal Master.
If he does not delegate well, his year will be continually filled with fires to put out until he becomes over-burdened, tired, unhappy…and remembered as a drone.
Simon-Sez: Don’t let this be you.
SECRET WEAPON OF THE LODGE MASTER:
The man in whose hand holds the gavel, wears many hats, however his secret weapon lies in his powers of delegation to his committees….and his notebook.
MAKE A LIST OF LODGE COMMITTEES AND COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
It is best to begin in your year as Senior Warden to make a list of lodge committees and choose the members who you feel would best be able to serve upon them. If you are currently the Lodge Master, it’s not too late to start.
Do not simply choose your friends, as you may not be best served. While your Junior Warden should serve as the Chairman of your Refreshment Committee, choose 2 other members of the brethren to be on the Refreshment Committee who like to cook.
Choose someone with a head for numbers, a bookkeeper, accountant, etc. as the Chairman of your Auditing and Budget Committees. Choose someone whom you feel is somewhat conservative, but fair, as the head of your Charity Committee.
To make your year go more smoothly, you should delegate / assign 3 members to each of the following committees.
Each committee should have a Chairman and 2 members with the exception of the Masonic Home Representative, which entails just 1 member:
Outside Charities Committee
Masonic Education Committee
Masonic Board of Relief
Committee for Suspension for Non-Payment of Dues
Masonic Home Information Representative
MASONIC LODGE COMMITTEE MEMBERS:
Balance your choices of committee members between the need to place the Lodge’s officers as chairmen of as many committees as possible because they need to learn these duties for the day when they become Worshipful Master AND choosing a member with the knowledge, skill or desire to perform their duties within a specific committee.
LODGE COMMITTEE INTERACTION:
Do not let these Committees languish because you do not request their genuine help with lodge issues.
As Lodge Master, do not request their reports and continually allow their answer to be: “We have nothing to report.” If this continues often, ask about specific items within their scope which the brethren of the lodge have an interest in. Draw them into each lodge meeting as the important members with important duties that they are.
When each Committee is asked for their report, they should be fully able and fully ready to speak to the brethren about items that have come to their attention which affect the entire lodge.
Simon-Sez: Purchase a 1” notebook. Place your name on the cover and the spine. Into this notebook, you will place the items that you will need at your fingertips during each and every lodge meeting. With this notebook in hand, you can confidently make decisions, ask and answer questions and vote in good conscience when requested to do so.
While each and every lodge member should be in possession of their own notebook, it is crucial that the Lodge Master and all Officers of the Lodge have this information readily at hand so they may perform their tasks to the best of their abilities.
Having this notebook with them at each lodge meeting also saves them a ton of personal time in having to dig out the Budget from their home or office desk, finding the latest copy of the By-Laws for the By-Laws meeting the next week, knowing the exact date of a function when someone asks you, etc.
Not only does it save you time, but you are perceived as a member of the brethren who is prepared for your duties and obligations and prepared to progress to the next chair.
LODGE NOTEBOOK ITEMS:
Here is a partial list of the items your lodge notebook should contain:
Make sure you keep a pen with your notebook or in your shirt pocket when you go to lodge.
With your notebook in hand, you are now fully prepared to become a fully functional worker bee in the hive (I mean lodge). You can:
…And…you, the Lodge Master, like all good CEOs…Chief Operating Officers…are confident of your personal abilities, have delegated the details to your committees and are truly living up to and deserving of your title as Master of the Lodge.
Here is a fill-in-the blank form for the Lodge Master Committees to whom the Lodge Master delegates to and presides over. Feel free to print it out and insert your specific brethren’s names to place into your notebook.
The Senior Warden sits in the West and represents the column of strength which is representative of Jachin, the right-hand pillar which stood at door to King Solomon’s Temple.
Jewel of Office: His jewel of office is a Level, a symbol of the equality which exists among the Craft while at labor in the Lodge.
The term Warden is derived from the Middle English word “Wardein” and from the Anglo-French word, circa the 13th Century, “Gardein”, meaning guard or guardian.
The definition of the word Warden has many different meanings in today’s world, however its basic meaning is one having care of or being in charge of something with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws or regulations.
In Masonic terminology, he is the second Officer within the Masonic Blue Lodge. He presides over the Craft during the hours of labor.
The Senior Warden’s primary duty is to assist the Worshipful Master in opening and closing the Lodge. In the absence of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden presides over the Lodge.
Senior Warden’s Duties:
As in all positions, there are many unwritten duties that will occur depending upon the Lodge and the Master.
However, the early efforts that you put into your position as Senior Warden will make your tenure in the East much easier and go much more smoothly.
The Junior Warden is the 3rd in line within the Masonic lodge hierarchy and helps the lodge to run smoothly, both at labor and at refreshment.
ASSISTANT OFFICER: In Freemasonry, the Junior Warden is an elected officer in the Lodge. His position is similar to a Vice-President.
JEWEL: His Jewel of Office is the Plumb,… which is a stonemason’s instrument used for ascertaining the alignment of a vertical surface. It symbolizes upright behavior among Masons.
REFRESHMENT: He sits in the South (symbolic of the position of the sun at midday) and is responsible for the Brethren while the Lodge is at ease or refreshment.
It is his to arrange all meals for the lodge, and, typically, the 2 Stewards act as his assistants in this responsibility. Symbolically, it is also his duty to make certain that the members do not convert their refreshment into intemperance or excess.
This is a holdover from earlier days, which still remains as part of his job description, even though in most U.S. jurisdictions, alcohol is barred from the lodge.
Which Officers Can Open the Lodge? The Master, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden or a Past Master may open the lodge if the ranking officer(s) is unable to attend the meeting.
JUNIOR WARDEN DUTIES
The term Warden is derived from the Middle English word “wardein” and from the Anglo-French word wardein, gardein, from warden to guard dated around the 13th century.
The word, Warden, has many different meanings in today’s world. Its basic meaning is one having care or in charge of something with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws or regulations.
Like all other officers of the Masonic lodge, the Junior Warden’s understanding and performance of his duties creates harmony within the lodge and promotes the brotherhood of its members.
Jr. Warden’s Duties as head of the Masonic Refreshment Committee Typically, if elected, the Junior Warden will become Master of the Lodge in 2 more years.
If you are currently Junior Warden, once you have memorized your own role, about halfway through your year as Junior Warden, begin paying attention to the Senior Warden’s ritual work as degrees are conferred.
When you move up to the chair of Senior Warden, you will be expected to learn his role in degree conferral.
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Masonic Education builds Masonic Retention.
The Masonic Mentor Program Committee should consist of:
The critical need for a Masonic Mentor Program in each and every Lodge can best be likened to our learning to swim.
Which is better?
A. Sign up for lessons at the local pool and learn by listening and watching the Swim Instructor show you via step-by-step instruction how to float, scull, and dogpaddle,
… then graduate to the butterfly stroke, low diving board and then the high dive,
…and once you are confident and feel proficient and good about your abilities,
… join swim team?
Does your Lodge have an Education Officer and a Masonic Mentor Program? If you do not, take a moment and ask yourself some questions.
2. Ask your Lodge Secretary for some lodge statistics.
A. How many new members were initiated between 24 months
previous to today’s date and 12 months previous to today’s date?
B. How many of those members attend lodge on a regular basis, today?
Masonic retention doesn’t just “happen”. It is the duty of the Master of the Lodge to fill any voids in the members’ Masonic education.
Your Masonic Mentor Program is the key to Masonic retention. Masonic education is one of the most valuable assets that a lodge can possess.
Teach and be taught. Help and be helped. Share information.
If you have learned anything on this website, share it. Print an appropriate page from this website and hand it to a new member…be they an Entered Apprentice, a Fellow Craft or a newly raised Master Mason, give them a URL of a good place to study or a good Masonic study book.
Learning about Freemasonry’s history, its symbolism and its spiritual light is necessary for their ongoing progress.
Lodge Members should also be encouraged to think about their new members and ask if they have any questions they might be able to help him with. Soon, the new member feels that he has attained the knowledge so that he, too, can become a valued member of the lodge.
Masonic Mentor Program
Each new candidate in your Lodge is the Lodge’s future and every single member should have a vested interest in insuring that he remains interested and enthusiastic.
Each and every new candidate should, from his first degree onwards, be assigned a mentor to take them by the hand and guide them through the basics of our fraternity, answer his questions, teach him Masonic etiquette, Freemasonry’s history and Freemason Symbols.
If your lodge does not have a Masonic Mentor Program Committee, consider beginning one. Lodges should get the candidate involved as soon as possible. Attempt to get the new member to participate in the degree work, assign him to a committee, or give him a simple responsibility.
Step-by-step instruction will give him a sense of belonging and the feeling that he has a purpose and he will soon want to attend Lodge meetings to assist in the work.
Simon-Sez: Both the initial success of the new member’s quest for light and knowledge lie in the hands of the Masonic Mentor Program Committee.
Masonry’s many facets of ritual, Lodge etiquette, Freemason Symbols, Operative history, Speculative history, Lodge history, etc. are not learned overnight and are practically impossible for a new member to grasp all at once.
Nourished gradually, the new member will, in all probability, wish to begin ascending the chairs.
Duties of the Masonic Mentor Program Committee:
Make him feel as comfortable and as welcome as possible and begin establishing a sound foundation of knowledge to the new member.
Masonic Obligation: (Very Important!) At your very first Masonic Mentor Program class, take the time to ask each candidate to explain how they, personally, interpret the meaning of their Masonic obligation in each degree; the Entered Apprentice degree, the Fellow Craft degree and the Master Mason degree.
You may be surprised at the answers you receive. The Masonic oaths which have come down to us through the centuries are somewhat “rigid” and the candidate may very easily have obtained a quite literal interpretation of them.
The candidate’s journey should not begin with a “fear factor”.
Masonic Degree Interpretation: After each student has explained their interpretation of each obligation, the Masonic Mentor Program Instructor should take the time to quell any fears or misinformation / misinterpretation and explain that the ancient oral penalties have been retained in our Masonic ritual to impress upon each Brother’s mind how seriously a violation of the Oath will be regarded by members of the Fraternity.
The Masonic Obligation in each degree is voluntarily assumed and is used to impress upon the new Mason the solemnity and necessity of his faithful performance of them.
Feel free to click on the links, below and print any information you find that is helpful to you.
Lodge Etiquette: Teach him Lodge Do’s and Don’ts.
A.F. and A.M. versus F. and A.M.: (Affiliation of each of the 50 states in the United States)
Lodge Officer Duties – Duties of office and jewels of office
Masonic Words – Learn the meanings of many archaic words in Masonic ritual.
History of the Craft: Teach him the History of the Craft and its significance in today’s world.
Famous Masons: Teach him about the famous Masons throughout history.
Lodge-Walk: Take him on a Lodge-Room Walk and explain both the layout and the symbolism of every single item of the lodge furnishings within the Lodge Room.
Lodge Library: Show him the Lodge Library and let him know that he can check out as many books as your Lodge allows out at any given time. Tell him that as a member of your lodge, the entire contents of the wealth of knowledge within every book on its shelves is at his disposal.
Lodge Participation: Lastly, print this page and ask your Master to read it and help you create higher Masonic retention by requesting that he ask each and every member of your lodge to always help all new members learn in any way they can…even if they are semi-new members, themselves.
Step-by-Step: Even if the new member has been raised to Master Mason, begin training him at the Entered Apprentice Level.
The Masonic Quizzes, below, each with 20 questions and answer sheets, were designed to make your job as a Masonic Mentor MUCH easier. Feel free to print as many copies as you need for each of your new members
With the information above, plus a little knowledge of your own, you can confidently begin your Masonic Mentor Program, immediately.
So Mote It Be!
Masonic Lodge Hall, Kingston, New York, circa 1859-1890, from the Robert N. Dennis collection of stereoscopic views, courtesy of Commons.Wikimedia.org
If you are searching for a lodge near you, please go to the Masonic Lodge Locations page.
Lodge Officer Duties – (Jewels of office and Preparing For The East)
Masonic Etiquette – Lodge Room Etiquette
Lodge Administration – (includes Lodge Committees)
Masonic Insurance – (historical)
Lodge Talks (The Old Charges, Masonic Retention, Oldest Masonic Lodge)
Masonic Calendar– Historically-based calendars of the different degrees.
What is a Masonic Lodge?
A lodge is a certain number of Freemasons who assemble to work, by having authority to do so from a charter or warrant which usually comes from a Grand lodge.
A “lodge room”, or “lodge” is the properly arranged and furnished room where the lodge meets.
Is Everything About Freemasonry a Masonic Secret?
Actually, with the exception of the passwords, grips, signs and the ritual, itself, there is nothing else that is secret within the lodge.
When asked about Freemasonry, most often, it is the Masons who have not properly studied Freemasonry who make blunders such as jokingly saying things like: “If I told you, I’d have to kill you.”
There is nothing within Masonry about its members having to kill anyone.
Every Mason is taught that it is his duty to always be trying to improve himself in order to honor and respect his God-given talents and so that he may be better able to assist his brother Masons.
To not do so is to be “a drone in the hive of Nature” and unworthy of Masonic assistance.
With the advent of the internet, and online bookstores with thousands of books available about Freemasonry, modern Freemasons are achieving a greater collective knowledge about Freemasonry and its true place within their lives.
Within another few short years, Freemasons who do not study will be at a major disadvantage within their respective lodges.
TYPES OF FREEMASON LODGES
What is a “Regular” Masonic Lodge?
Regularity is the process by which individual Grand lodges recognize one another for the purposes of allowing formal interaction at the Grand Lodge level and visitation by members of other jurisdictions.
The largest collection of mutually recognized Grand Lodges derives its regularity from the United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) based on a set of specific criteria. Dating back to 1717, UGLE is considered to be not only the oldest, but the largest grouping of lodges.
UGLE provides a list of recognized Grand Lodges on its website.
What is a “Clandestine” Lodge?
A “clandestine lodge” is one that does not hold a proper charter from any Grand lodge.
What is an “Irregular” Lodge?
An “irregular lodge” is a lodge that does have a charter from a Grand lodge, but its Grand lodge is not recognized by other Grand lodges.
THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER
Why Do Masonic Lodges Call Their Leader the Worshipful Master?
Worshipful Master means one who is held in honor, and considered as an honorable man. It is an Olde Englishe word that means someone who is worthy of honor and respect because he, himself worships or is full of worship, faith and respect.
He is respected because of the depth and strength of his faith in and his reliance on Deity.
A Now Deceased Relative of Mine Was a Freemason.
How Can I Find Out More About His Masonic Affiliation?
Begin by contacting the lodge in which he was a member. If they cannot offer you sufficient information, ask for a contact number for the Grand Lodge in the state or country in which your relative was a member.
Are All Members of Freemason Lodges, Christian?
No. Masonry is not a religion nor is a specific religion one of its requirements. Freemasonry teaches each member to be faithful to his conscience and his own chosen religion.
Within “regular” Freemasonry, all that is required of a candidate is a belief in a Supreme Being.
Can Mormons Be Freemasons?
Yes. There is no rule within Freemasonry barring Mormons from becoming a Freemason. There are quite a few Mormons who are Freemasons.
Can Catholics Be Freemasons?
Yes. The fraternity of Freemasonry embraces universality, no matter what a man’s ethnicity, economic or social status, or religious beliefs. However, Catholics may wish to check with their church about the church’s stance on Freemasonry.
Can Gays Join a Masons Lodge?
Yes…however Freemasonry is based on morality. There are some lodge members who may feel very strongly that homosexuality is immoral. If that becomes the case, you may want to petition another lodge.
EVIL, DEMONS AND PENTAGRAMS
One of Freemasonry’s symbols is a 5 Pointed Star. Is it a Demonic Pentagram?
No. You’ve been watching too much T.V.
Do Freemasons practice devil worship, animal sacrifices or other such shocking acts?
No. Most Freemasons are hard working, middle class men with families, a belief in a Supreme Being, a church affiliation and a desire to help others.
The basic foundation underlying Freemasonry is morality. If you are still unsure, ask your local Masonic lodge to give you a tour of the lodge.
Have you ever heard or read in any of the media of any shocking acts perpetrated by a Masonic lodge?
It is of course, possible, however, that the perpetrator of such an act might be a Mason, just as he might be black or white, Christian or Hindu, married or unmarried, or even a Boy Scout Leader or Sunday School teacher.
However the Masonic lodge, itself, nor the Grand Lodge under which the lodge receives its charter, does not tolerate nor condone any un-Masonic conduct, including murder, treason or heinous acts.
Freemasons are required to obey moral law, the laws of their country, all regulations and the established customs of the fraternity.
FIND A MASONIC LODGE
How to Find A Masonic Lodge
In the United States, you can:
List of Masonic Lodges
If you are not in the United States, go to my World Grand Lodges page. Once you arrive at your country’s Grand lodge website, look for a list of subordinate lodges in their jurisdiction which are near you.
If you cannot find a lodge near you, it does not, necessarily mean that there are none. Call or e-mail your Grand Lodge and request information about a Masonic lodge near you.
How to Find A Masonic Lodge If You Are a Woman
Go to my Women Freemasons page for contact information about women-only Masonic lodges and Co-Masonry.
How To Find a Prince Hall Lodge
Go to my World Grand Lodges page and click on the DMOZ.com and link to find a PHA lodge near you.
BECOME A FREEMASON
How To Become a Freemason
Go to my Become a Freemason page.
Can I Fill Out a Membership Petition on the Internet?
No. You must find a lodge near you.
How To Become a Knights Templar
All Knights Templar must first become Freemasons. (see How to Become a Freemason, above.) Once you have become a Master Mason, you may begin pursuing the other degrees, of which Knights Templar is one of the Chivalric Orders within the York Rite of Freemasonry.
Note: In the United States, a requirement of membership in the York Rite is being a professed Christian.
How To Visit a Masonic Lodge
If you are in the United States, see number (1.) and number (2.), above. Once you have the phone number or an e-mail address, contact the lodge nearest you and ask for a tour. Feel free to ask whatever questions you have at the time of your visit.
How To Start a Masonic Lodge
If you are currently a member of a “regular” Masonic lodge, read your Grand Lodge By-Laws to find out what steps you must take to start a new Mason’s lodge. You may also contact your Grand Lodge for more assistance.