Masonic Lodge Officers



this article relates to mainstream crafts free masonry sometimes known as Blue Lodge free masonry every Masonic Lodge elects or appoints Masonic Lodge offices to execute the necessary functions of the lodges life and work the precise list of such offices may vary between the jurisdictions of different grand lodges although certain factors are common to all and others are usual in most all of the lodges in a given nation state or region have united under the authority of a Grand Lodge sovereign to its own jurisdiction most of the Lodge offices listed below have equivalent offices in the Grand Lodge but with the addition of the word grand somewhere in the title for example every Lodge has an officer called the Junior Warden whilst the ground Lodge has a grand Junior Warden a very small number of offices may exist only at the Grand Lodge level a euro such offices are included at the end of this article there are few Universal rules common to all Grand Lodge jurisdictions of Freemasonry however the structure of the progressive offices is very nearly universal while the precise hierarchy or order of various officers within the line of offices may vary the usual progression is for a Lodge officer to spend either one or two years in each position advancing through the chairs until he is elected as worshipful master in addition there are some offices that are traditionally not considered to be part of the line and which may be held by the same brother for many years or may be reserved for past masters progressive office progressive office refers to a series of offices within the lodge culminating in the office of worshipful master ideally a Mason starts at the most junior office and progresses to the next in line each year the exact composition of the progressive officers varies slightly by jurisdiction but will typically finish with the series junior Deacon senior Deacon Junior Warden Senior Warden worshipful master office is common to all Masonic jurisdictions equals worshipful master equals the senior officer of a Masonic lodges the master normally addressed and referred to as the worship full master the worshipful master sits in the east of the lodge room chairs all of the business of his Lodge and is vested with considerable powers without further reference to the members he also presides over ritual and ceremonies the office of worshipful master is the highest honor to which a lodge may appoint any of its members the office is filled annually by election often by secret ballot the requirements as to who is eligible for election as master vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction but the majority of jurisdictions specify that a brother must have served as an installed warden to qualify in practice most lodges will nominate and elect the previous year's Senior Warden in an uncontested election the honorific worshipful does not suggest that the master is worshipped but is used in its original meaning worthy of respect French Masons used the word VAR copyright now copyright rabble is the honorific for their masters at the conclusion of his limited term of office a worshipful master is termed a past master the duties and privileges of past masters vary from Lodge to lodge in jurisdiction to jurisdiction for example in some jurisdictions past masters become life members of the Grand Lodge while in others they are not in most jurisdictions a past master retains the honorific worshipful however there are a few where this honorific is used exclusively for sitting masters the corresponding Grand rank is Grand Master the Grand Master may preside over his Grand Lodge and also has certain powers and rights in every Lodge under his jurisdiction Grand Master's are usually addressed as most worshipful or as in Pennsylvania right worshipful equals senior warden equals the senior warden is the second of the three principal offices of a lodge and is the master's principal deputy under some constitutions if the worshipful master is absent then the senior warden presides at meetings is acting master and may act for the master in all matters of Lodge business under other constitutions only sitting masters or past masters may preside as acting master so the senior warden cannot fulfill this role unless he is also a past master in many lodges it is presumed that the senior warden will become the next worshipful master in some jurisdictions the position is an elected office while in others it is appointed by the master equals junior warden equals the third of the principal officers is the junior warden the junior warden is charged with a supervision of the lodge while it is at refreshment in some jurisdictions the Junior Warden has a particular responsibility for ensuring that visiting Mason's are in possession of the necessary credentials in others this is the job of the Tyler in some jurisdictions the Junior Warden presides if both the master and the senior warden are absent in some jurisdictions the position is an elected office while in others it is appointed by the master the wardens are regular officers of the lodge meaning that the positions must be filled equals treasurer equals the role of the treasurer is to keep the accounts collect annual dues from the members pay bills and forward annual dues to the Grand Lodge the annual presentation of accounts is an important measure of the lodges continuing viability whilst the efficient collection of annual subscriptions is vitally important as any lapse in payment can lead to a member losing voting rights being denied the opportunity to visit other lodges and finally even being debarred or excluded from his own Lodge it is common for the treasurer to be an experienced past master but this is not required equal secretary equals the secretaries official duties include issuing the summons recording meeting minutes completing statistical returns to the Grand Lodge and advising the worshipful master on matters of procedure many individual lodge bylaws add to these duties by mandating for example that the secretary serve on specific committees although any member may hold the office of secretary it is typically held by an experienced past master it is not unusual for the office of secretary to be held by the same member for long periods of time even decades equals deacons equals a deacon is a junior officer in the lodge in most jurisdictions a lodge has two deacons styled senior Deacon and junior Deacon the principal duties of the senior Deacon are to conduct candidates around the lodge and speak for them during certain ceremonies to attend the worshipful master is needed and to carry his messages to the Senior Warden the office in duties of junior Deacon are similar in many respects to that of senior Deacon to attend the Senior Warden and carry messages to the Junior Warden in some jurisdictions he is also responsible for guarding the inside of the main door of the lodge and ensuring that the lodge is tiled in continental Freemasonry the Deacons are entirely absent their functions being shared between the inner guard and the wardens the jewel of the Deacons in some jurisdictions is denoted by a dove or by mercury the winged messenger indicating their duty in the lodge equal stewards equals stewards fulfill a number of junior assistant roles there is considerable variance even within the same jurisdiction as to the precise roles played by stewards some of their common duties could include the following stewards are often tasked with an understudy role to fill the position of the senior Deacon or junior Deacon in their absence when a degree ceremony is performed one or more Stuart s may be required to assist the two deacons in conducting the candidates around the temple stewards have a traditional role in many jurisdictions of serving wine at any meal after the lodge meeting often extended to a general supervision and planning of catering and refreshments some jurisdictions specify that each Lodge has two stewards known as the senior steward and junior steward in others the worshipful master may appoint any number of stewards according to the size and requirements of his Lodge and in this respect the office is unique although newer members usually fill the office of steward in some lodges it is traditional for a past master to be appointed to supervise the stewards work the office may serve to dignify a useful member the lodge such as a webmaster or wine buyer or to establish precedence in the rotation of offices in a Grand Lodge the grand stewards are typically promising junior members who may subsequently expect accelerated promotion as grand offices in the United Grand Lodge of England 19 lodges hold the right to nominate a ground steward each year and as grand stewards wear distinctive red aprons these lodging known as red apron lodges typically these lodges nominate their current worshipful master and can therefore be relatively junior through two extremely senior members the importance of the rights to nominate grand stewards and their duties go back to the first formation of the premier Grand Lodge when the office carried ownerís financial liabilities grand stewards of United Grand Lodge of England are still expected to organize and subsidize the grand festival which is held each year directly after the annual investiture equals Tyler equals main article at Tyler the Tyler is sometimes known as the outer guard of the lodge his duty is to guard the door with a drawn sword and ensure that only those who were duly qualified managed to gain entry into the lodge meeting in some jurisdictions he also prepares candidates for their admission the Tyler is traditionally responsible for preparing the lodge room before the meeting and for storing and maintaining the regalia after the meeting in some jurisdictions the Tyler is a past master of the lodge while and others he may be an employed brother from another Lodge officers found in some jurisdictions are not in others there are many offices that are found in some jurisdictions and not in others depending on the jurisdiction some a progressive others are not the more common ones include equals inner guard or inside Sentinel equals the office of inner guard is mandatory and UK lodges but rare in American lodges this position is commonly assigned to a fairly junior member as it provides a good opportunity for him to meet members and observe and learn ceremonies and is at the beginning of the progressive offices leading to the chair the task of guarding the door was shared with the the inner guard is on the inside of the door and in some jurisdictions is armed with a poet or short dagger in those jurisdictions which do not appoint an inner guard this duty is given to the junior Deacon equals Chaplin equals in most Masonic jurisdictions each Lodge will have a chaplain the principal duty of the chaplain is to lead prayer before and after the lodge meeting and to say grace while the Lodge is a dinner in many lodges this position is filled by a clergyman who is a brother of the lodge however it is not required that the chaplain be a clergyman as prayers are nondenominational in some lodges the tradition is for the immediate past master to act as chaplain equals director of ceremonies / Ritualist / ritual director equals the title director of ceremonies is used in the United Grand Lodge of England and it's subordinate lodges as well as in many other jurisdictions however other titles found in other jurisdictions include lecturer and Ritualist whatever the title this officer is responsible for the smooth flowing of ceremonial and ritual and may hold rehearsals he may be responsible for prompting other officers who forget their lines in some jurisdictions he directs proceedings during the installation of a new worshipful master he is also responsible for forming processions and introducing visitors except in those jurisdictions which appoint a marshal for these latter purposes the Grand Lodge of New York has developed the position of Lodge ritual director to facilitate this role and to ensure the smooth flowing of ceremonial and ritual and may hold rehearsals he may be responsible for prompting other officers who forget their lines equals marshal equals the office of marshal is quite common in the United States but not in other countries in some jurisdictions where it is found the title is simply an alternative for director of ceremonies however there are jurisdictions in which the office is distinct from any other in which cases the duties of the office revolve around the organization of processions and ensuring the correct precedence and etiquette informal seedings including the introduction of visitors to the lodge this is distinct from the role of the director of ceremonies in supervising the ritual of the lodges degree ceremonies equals masters of ceremony equals the offices of senior and junior masters of ceremony appear in some jurisdictions their primary duty is to prepare the candidates prior to each of the three degrees and conduct the candidates during the degree conferral x' they also maintain order during special circumstances at the discretion of the worshipful master in some jurisdictions the masters of ceremony are responsible for answering alarms at the preparing room examination room or outer doors in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania the senior master of ceremony is responsible for opening and closing the Holy Bible at the opening and closing of the lodge equals armin r equals the armed owner is responsible for the well-being of lodge members and their families he remains in contact with members who are on well and also maintains a discreet presence in the lives of widows of former members so that the lodge may readily assist them should they find themselves in any particular need of necessity the our Manor must be well versed in local and national Masonic charities and the scope of their charitable work so as to offer advice to those who might qualify for such assistance in some jurisdictions these duties are handled by a committee equals organist / director of music equals the organist or director of music provides musical accompaniment to lodge proceedings although there is no set form many large rooms are equipped with a pipe organ or electronic organ and in others there is provision for a wider range of instruments in other places the director of music operates recorded or digital music systems such as at the Grand Lodge of Austria in Vienna equals Superintendent of works equals the Superintendent of works keep the inventory and is responsible for the material possessions of the lodge it is his responsibility to see that the lodge is properly set out before the ceremony and that everything is safely locked away at the end of the evening equals immediate past master equals while the immediate past master is not formally an officer of the lodge in certain jurisdictions he has his own duties in the United Grand Lodge of England he has a ceremonial role in the opening and closing of the lodge and is expected to deputize for the worshipful master in the event of his absence or death additional offices there are certain offices which exists only in particular lodges or only in the lodges of one particular jurisdiction as far as possible the following list seeks to record all such offices that are either reasonably widespread or else have been made notable by some other means such as being held by famous people equals Rho equals in some jurisdictions there is a strong tradition of Masonic research and education and the presentation of papers by members is as common as degree ceremonies or other business in such cases the orator may present papers or be responsible for their presentation by others the orator may also be called upon to present a paper to celebrate milestones in the life of the lodge the term grand orator refers to a similar office within grand lodges equals historian / librarian equals most lodges have a senior member who holds a particular interest in the lodges history in some jurisdictions this interest may lead to appointment to formal offices the lodges historian the office involves the archiving of documents and artifacts and the publishing and updating of historical information in some jurisdictions a librarian procures Masonic reading material for members of the lodge and maintains a small library where books and magazines may be borrowed equals charity steward equals all lodges are charged with maintaining an appropriate level of charitable giving to good causes in some jurisdictions the office of charity steward exists he is responsible for encouraging the members to give generously as well as leading discussions about the appropriate recipients of the lodges charitable donations equals poet laureate equals this rare office was first created by the lodge canongate clinic no 2 in 1787 the lodge appointed Robert burns his poet laureate an investiture later immortalized in a painting by Stuart Watson the original of which hangs in the Grand Lodge of Scotland building in Edinburgh the painting incorporates a certain amount of artistic license which may possibly extend to the presence of Burns himself for although he was certainly a member of the lodge it is not clear that he was present at the meeting at which he was appointed poet laureate in 1843 David Ward lore Scot is recorded as the poet laureate of the st. David's Lodge of Edinburgh in 1884 Rob Morris was crowned the poet laureate of Freemasonry in New York in 1905 the office of poet laureate in the Canongate Colony no to lodge was awarded to Rudyard Kipling who was made an honorary member for that purpose equals person of and equals while more commonly seen at the Grand Lodge level in some jurisdictions lodges may also appoint a person event he is often responsible for answering alarms at the outer door of the lodge in place of another officer offices generally found only a Grand Lodge level the offices in a Grand Lodge are generally derived from the corresponding offices in its subordinate lodges however there are certain offices that must necessarily be filled in grand lodges but have no private Lodge equivalent these are outlined below equals deputy Grand Master equals in some jurisdictions a deputy Grand Master serves as the Grand Master's assistant and is given the authority to act in the Grand Master's name in his absence in England under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England should the Grand Master be a member of the royal family a program master is elected to officiate as Grand Master in his absence on royal duties equals Grand Chancellor equals the Grand Chancellor is responsible for external relations and formal interaction with the grand lodges of other jurisdictions the United Grand Lodge of England changed its constitution in 2007 to allow for the appointment of a Grand Chancellor for the first time only a few jurisdictions have grand Chancellor's in most jurisdictions the grand secretary fulfills these duties lodge of antiquity number two and royal Somerset House and Inverness Lodge no IV in England are rare examples of lodges that appointed Chancellor as one of their offices in antiquity it tends to be the senior active member of the lodge in now IV it appears that when the office was created in the 19th century it was intended to be similar to the role of chaplain however when revived in the early 20th century the role was more directed towards external relations by the late 20th century it appears that it had become customary for the office to be awarded to the longest-serving member of the lodge equals brand registrar equals in some jurisdictions a grand registrar is appointed to be the principal legal officer of a Grand Lodge the role is generally held by a qualified lawyer or judge in other jurisdictions there is no official title given to the holders of these duties equals grand superintendent of works equals when this office exists the grand Superintendent of Works is a Grand Lodge officer responsible for the Grand Lodge building and as such the office is usually awarded to a qualified architect or builder responsibility for individual Lodge buildings usually Falls to a committee equals grand sword-bearer equals many Grand Master's are preceded in formal processions by a ceremonial sword in such cases a grand sword bearer is appointed to carry the sword equals grand standard bearer or grand banner bearer equals many Grand Master's or grand lodges have an official standard which is carried behind the Grand Master in formal processions in such cases a grand standard bearer or grand banner bearer is appointed equals grand Persil of and equals it is the grand person events duty to announce all applicants for admission into the Grand Lodge by their names and Masonic titles to take charge of the jewels and regalia of the Grand Lodge to attend all communications of the Grand Lodge and to perform such other duties as may be required by the Grand Master or presiding officer also Swedish right has somewhat different offices references external links www.youtube.com/watch consecration ceremony reenactment of the re consecration of North Australia Lodge 150 year celebration excerpt from in the dark documentary on modern Freemasonry the grand director of ceremonies prepares the table

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