Worshipful Master – 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 rituals and ceremonies.
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 the 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 that shows respect for his position. In France, the word “Worshipful” is replaced with the word “Venerable”.
Definition of “Worshipful” – Used as a respectful form of address. Claiming respect; worthy of honor on account of character, dignity, etc.; honorable.
Senior Warden – 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 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 – Duties
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.
It is the Junior Warden’s duty to arrange meals for the lodge, and, the two 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.
Senior Deacon – Duties
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 carries the ballot box around the lodge when balloting is performed.
The Senior Deacon’s position is similar to a Manager. The Senior Deacon (and the Junior Deacon) both carry 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 Warden – 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).
Senior Steward – 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 fresh fruits and vegetables to denote the “fruits of your labors” and represents a job well done. The Senior Steward sits to the right of the Junior Warden in the South.
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 principal 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 handle kitchen duties and wait staff for the members.
Junior Steward – Duties
His Jewel is the Cornucopia, which is an exact duplicate to the Senior Steward’s Cornucopia. The Cornucopia signifies the “Horn of Plenty”. The Junior Steward sits to the left of the Junior Warden in the South.
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.
Secretary – 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.
Treasurer – 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.
Marshall – Duties
His Jewel is the Crossed Batons. The Marshal is the Lodge’s Conductor or Master of Ceremonies. The Marshall sits to the left of the Senior Warden int he West.
The Marshal of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge.
The Marshal’s duties and principal 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.
Tyler – 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 Tyler of a Masonic Lodge is an appointed officer of the Lodge. He sits outside the closed door of the lodge room, armed with a sword.
The Tyler’s duties and principal role are 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 Tyler 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 Tyler’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 and the apron strings must be fully tied before the Tiler will allow the visitor entrance.
Chaplain – Duties
His Jewel of office is an open 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 Worshipful 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.
Musician – Duties
His Jewel is a Harp, symbolizing music.
The Musician provides musical accompaniment to lodge proceedings, although there is no set form. Many lodge rooms are equipped with an electronic organ, piano, or a wide range of other instruments. The Musician can also operate recorded or digital music systems.
Historian – Duties
His Jewel is a scroll and quill symbolizing historical writings.
This office is usually a senior member who holds a particular interest in the lodge’s history.
The Historian is involved in the archiving of documents and artifacts, and the publishing and updating of historical information, and maintain a small library where books and magazines may be borrowed.