2022-2023 ADONAI #718 LODGE OFFICERS
The senior officer of a Masonic Lodge is the Master, normally addressed and referred to as the "Worshipful Master". The Worshipful Master sits in the East of the lodge room, chairs all of the business of the 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. 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 title "Worshipful" does not suggest that the Master is worshiped, but is used in its original meaning, "worthy of respect". (Mayors and magistrates in parts of England and the Commonwealth are also traditionally called "Worshipful" or "Your Worship".
The Senior Warden (sometimes known as First Warden) is the second of the three principal officers 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 as "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", and 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.
The third of the principal officers is the Junior Warden (or Second Warden). The Junior Warden is charged with the supervision of the Lodge while it is "at refreshment" (in recess for meals or other social purposes).
In some jurisdictions the Junior Warden has a particular responsibility for ensuring that visiting Masons 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.
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 lodge's continuing viability, whilst the efficient collection of annual subscriptions is vitally important, as any lapse in payment (deliberate or unintentional) 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.
In some jurisdictions, the position is an elected office, while in others it is appointed by the Master. It is common for the Treasurer to be an experienced Past Master, but this is not required.
The Secretary's official duties include issuing the summons (a formal notice of an impending meeting, with time, date and agenda), 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. In some jurisdictions, the position is an elected office, while in others it is appointed by the Master
Damon Mercay, Jr.
A Deacon is a junior officer in the lodge. In most jurisdictions, a lodge has two Deacons, namely, Senior Deacon and Junior Deacon (though First Deacon and Second Deacon are sometimes encountered as an alternative.)
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 as needed and to carry his orders to the Senior Warden.
The office and 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 "tyled" (in other jurisdictions this duty is given to the "Inner Guard" or "Inside Sentinel")
A. Harry Williams IV
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 at dinner.
In many lodges this position is filled by a clergyman (an ordained minister, priest, rabbi, imam, etc.) who is a brother of the lodge. However, it is not required that the Chaplain be a clergyman, as prayers are non-denominational. In some lodges the tradition is for the immediate Past Master to act as Chaplain.
The 'Musician' or 'Director of Music' provides musical accompaniment to lodge proceedings, although there is no set form.
Many lodge 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.
Masters of Ceremony
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 conferrals.
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.
Stewards fulfill a number of junior assistant roles. 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 Steward(s) may be required to assist the two Deacons in conducting the candidates.
Stewards have a traditional role in many jurisdictions of serving food and drink at any meal before or after the lodge meeting.
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.
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 organisation of processions and ensuring the correct precedence and etiquette in formal proceedings, including the introduction of visitors to the lodge.
This is distinct (in such jurisdictions) from the role of the Director of Ceremonies in supervising the ritual of the lodge's degree ceremonies.
The 'Tyler' (sometimes spelled 'Tiler') is sometimes known as the 'Outer Guard' of the lodge. His duty is to guard the door (from the outside), with a drawn sword, and ensure that only those who are duly qualified manage 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 in others he may be an employed brother from another lodge.
Damon P. Mercay, Jr.
The Trustees are elected by the members of the Lodge. Their function is to hold legal title to the property of the Lodge.
They invest such funds which the Lodge may make available to them either by direction of the Lodge, or in the absence of such direction, to the best of their ability.
The Trustees make an annual report of all property and investments in their hands. Their accounts are audited annually by the committee appointed by the Master for that purpose.