Lodge Officer Duties - Worshipful Master

Discussion in 'Officers of the Lodge' started by Blake Bowden, Nov 20, 2014.

  1. Blake Bowden

    Blake Bowden Administrator Staff Member

    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.
  2. dfreybur

    dfreybur Premium Member

    In the French and Spanish meetings I have attended it is Venerable there rather than Worshipful.

    On the one hand among the many functions of Masonry is to teach members breadth of perspective and one tool for that is the use of words of various ages. Language itself is an unstable platform. People with larger vocabularies tend to be more successful. Studying the past teaches one what has worked and how failures happened in the past. It's all bundled together in the use of old fashioned words in our ritual.

    On the other hand the word Worshipful, current at the time GL Masonry was organized in 1717, is now confusing. Might it be better to start a movement to edit the ritual to use the less confusing word Venerable? It would sure reduce the confusion of outsiders and our detractors.

    Taken together I figure it makes for an easy "lightning rod of sanity" when it comes to outsiders. Don't brook the foolish or crazy and those who light up on this particular lightning rod have started down the road of foolishness or insanity. It's a quick and easy tool to quickly separate the barley from the chaff. Once we have the barley it's the job of our lodges to perform the higher more noble function of fermenting our candidates into the ale or wine that is both perfected compared to the starchy grain but also not distilled into excess (insert here founding meeting at a tavern in 1717).
    Blake Bowden likes this.
  3. Garrettsdaddy

    Garrettsdaddy Rev. Scott Kerschner PM Premium Member

    When I sat in the East I found it best to wear any hats. You can't manage people the same way. People all respond differently. As you move through the chairs learn how each member of your lodge responds to direction. Focus on the strength of each member and use it. It is also very important to let your officers know what is expected of them.

    The term Worshipful means one worthy of respect. Most people mistake it for you must worship them.
    Bro. Monty PM and mrpierce17 like this.
  4. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

    One thing that makes it a bit easier is being WM in a lodge where all of the "ACTIVE" membership are PMs. You know (more or less) what all of the Brethren are capable of doing and what they are willing to do.
    Bill Lins and mrpierce17 like this.
  5. mrpierce17

    mrpierce17 KOP Council director / Lodge instructor Premium Member

    That has got to be bitter sweet at times , I say this having never sat in the East and only been traveling a short while brother.
  6. Roy Vance

    Roy Vance Certified Premium Member

    I certainly hope they DON'T worship me. That would be a large mistake on their part. I am not worthy of worship, respect, maybe, but not worship. LOL
    Bill Lins likes this.
  7. Canadian Paul

    Canadian Paul Registered User

    In my lodge, which is one of 11 in the Canadian province of Newfoundland and Labrador which still holds of the GL of Scotland, the Master is, as in all Scottish Lodges, the 'Right Worshipful Master'.
  8. Ripcord22A

    Ripcord22A Site Benefactor

    In OR and NM rite worshipful is used for GL appointed offices such as DDGM
    mrpierce17 likes this.
  9. Lazza21

    Lazza21 Registered User

    Your Worship is the correct form of address to a Magistrate (Judge) who sits in the lower criminal courts in England as it is to Mayors of towns in England
    who are announced as "His Worship the Mayor". In other words "worship" is a term of respect and nothing more it is only uninformed detractors of Masonry who have managed to put another interpretation on an antiquated use of the word. The French use Venerable because a literal translation of Worshipful would be misleading.
  10. mrpierce17

    mrpierce17 KOP Council director / Lodge instructor Premium Member

    In my jurisdiction (FL ,PHA) I have only heard the term " Right Worshipful " used to address Grand Lodge Officers and Appended body officers never heard it in the Blue lodge unless someone was addressing a elected Grand Officer
  11. MBC

    MBC Twice Registered User Premium Member

    (W.) Brethren all,

    Newly installed Master reporting in.
    Last Tuesday (15/11), I was installed as Master of Lodge No. 3265 EC (founded 1908 in India) as the 106th Master of the Lodge in this Tercentenary year of the foundation of the first Grand Lodge. What an honour to be Master in this historical lodge and in this special occasion.
    However I am just a baby in Freemasonry. :)
  12. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    This is what I was told when I entered the East three days ago. Will try my best to meet the challenge.
    Bloke likes this.
  13. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    In Kentucky "Right Worshipful" is used to address the elected officers of the Grand Line other than the Grand Master who is "Most Worshipful".
  14. Bro. Landry

    Bro. Landry Registered User

    This is my first year as master and it is proving to be a daunting task. These words were told to me also.

    Sent from my iPhone using My Freemasonry Mobile
    Warrior1256 likes this.
  15. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Same here but so far so good.
  16. Brother_Steve

    Brother_Steve Premium Member

    The best piece of advice I can give as a Junior Warden is to make sure those of you who read this take the time to start planning your year when you're Junior Warden. It is why this chair has the least amount of memory work and ritual. You need to be looking east.

    Get a spread sheet.

    For my jurisdiction, I currently have out to Sr. Master of Ceremonies filled in. Junior MoS and the Stewards will be filled in by your Senior Warden. Hopefully you only have to worry about filling one chair.

    Look at who is on a committee now. Pencil them in. Your SW will most likely make some small changes, but these should be confirmed for the most part before your installation

    Look at what was done this year. Pencil in the same things and replace when you can. This way if the new falls through, you have a backup. If you have a good idea, propose it to the current Master. If time is short, offer it to the SW. If he has plans, he can use yours as backup. If he doesn't use it, then you can keep your idea!

    Same as Programs. Your Lodge has what works and what does not.
    St. Patrick's Day Dinner (Get bag pipers to play for you!)
    Breakfast with the Easter Bunny
    Cigar Nights
    A food stand at your town's Founder's Day
    Breakfast with Santa

    Monthly Breakfast with Hiram every third Saturday.

    Whatever else you do.

    Trestle Board:
    Clean up any candidates and those in progression so the next master can continue. What I mean is those who have not shown up and are about to time out. Don't let them carry over without official notice even if they are gone by constitutional law. For all you know, you may reach out and they will want to continue.

    Installation Team:
    Those of you who get to pick your installation team, they have to know their ritual. Get to them as soon as you can to block them out for your special day.

    Installation Expenses:
    They add up. Make sure your year as Senior Warden raises enough money to feed everyone if you have an open installation of officers.
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    Bloke likes this.
  17. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    Good advice and great plan!

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