The Lodge Master
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
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.
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
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
- They must elect the strongest
of the larvae to become
their Queen (Lodge Master).
- If they do not continue to
help the Queen (Lodge Master)
reproduce offspring; they will die.
- If each worker bee does not
work in unison with the
other members of the fraternity to feed, nurture and
retain each and every other worker bee member of their
institution, their industrious fraternity will die.
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
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:
- Elected by the brethren to
become their Master
- The person whom all eyes fall
upon for direction.
- CEO of the worker bees.
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.
- Ability to perform Ritual and
- Masonic knowledge of
Masonry’s science of morals,
symbols and allegory.
- Delegation of duties to his
- Delegation of duties to Lodge
- Lodge regalia maintenance and
- Trestleboard / Tracing Board
- Scheduling of all functions
- Provides ongoing Education to
- Provides necessary updates of
the Lodge By-Laws
- Oversees all Financial issues
of the lodge
- Represents his Lodge at Grand
THE IDEAL LODGE
The Ideal Lodge
Masterperforms all of
the following tasks throughout his year:
Like any good CEO, the Ideal Lodge
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.
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:
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
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
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
Do not let these Committees
languish because you do not request their genuine help with lodge
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.
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
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:
- Up-to-date Lodge Name and
Lodge Officer names and
- List of Committees, Committee
member names and phone numbers
- Copy of the most up-to-date
By-Laws of your lodge
- List of social functions for
- Copy of your Grand Lodge
Application (if applicable)
- Blank notebook paper for
notes about questions or
issues that you have been asked which you must
research before you return to lodge with an answer.
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:
- Vote your conscience because
you know what your
lodge's budget and check book contain.
- Call any member, when
necessary, not just the
members which you've made your Fave 5 in your cell phone.
- Answer questions asked of you
on-the-spot, because you
have all the pertinent data right with you.
...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.