Seal of the Grand Lodge of Maine

New Grand Lodge Building in Holden

Grand Lodge of Maine

Ancient Free and Accepted Masons

Guide for Masters & Wardens

sQ.gif (5819 bytes)


Prepared under the direction of M.W. Raymond M. Rideout, Sr., Grand Master, by M.W. Ralph J. Polard, P.G.M., Chairman, and R.W. Earle D. Webster, Grand Secretary, for the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service.   Mimeographed edition published in 1962.  Printed edition published in 1965, by authority of M.W. Wallace H. Campbell, Grand Master.

1977 Revision under the Direction of:
R.W. Peter C. Schmidt, Grand Secretary
R.W. Ernest H. Curtis, Grand Lecturer and Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Services
V.W. John E. Anagnostis, Assistant Grand Lecturer.

INDEX

Administrative Responsibilities
Blood Bank
Candidate Instruction
Charity
Charter
Church Contacts
Community Contacts
Dimits and Suspensions Discipline
Duties to Grand Lodge
Duties to Own Lodge
Educational Responsibilities
Forms and Supplies
Funerals
Grand Honors
History
Investigation of Applicants
Educational and inspirational programs
Public Relations
Reception of Visitors
Reports and Returns
Ritualistic Responsibilities
Speakers Bureau


A WORD TO SENIOR AND JUNIOR WARDENS

Brethren

While this Guide is addressed primarily to the Worshipful Master, and deals with the duties and responsibilities of that office, it is equally important that it be studied carefully by all Senior and Junior Wardens, since it may prove even more helpful to them than to an incumbent Master whose term will soon be over.

At any moment, some Warden may be called, as the result of an emergency, to fill the Oriental Chair. It is imperative that he be prepared to serve with efficiency in that station. Moreover, in the natural course of events, he can reasonably hope that he will, in the not-too-distant future, be called upon to serve as Master in his own right. His period of service as a Warden should be a period of preparation for the more important duties which lie ahead. This Guide is designed to help him in this preparation. 

A Warden, like the Master, has a dual responsibility-to the lodge which has elected him as one of its principal officers and to the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine, of which he is now a responsible member and to which he owes primary Masonic allegiance. He has taken an official obligation strictly to comply with the Constitution and Regulations of that Grand Lodge. This obligation he cannot keep unless he is thoroughly familiar with these sources of Masonic law. It is our hope that this Guide will assist him in finding and interpreting this law. 

While still a Warden, he should perfect himself in all phases of our ritualistic work. He should also make careful plans for his own term as Master. He should attend the annual communications of Grand Lodge, and vote conscientiously upon all matters coming before that body.

Hard work and faithful study as a Warden will ensure a successful administration as Master.

Index

TO THE WORSHIPFUL MASTER

Worshipful Brother:

You have been elected and installed as Worshipful Master of your lodge. This office is one of great antiquity, of great honor, and of equally great responsibility. On pages 284-287 of the "Maine Masonic Text Book" you will find a statement concerning the powers and prerogatives of a Master, which should convince you of the responsibility, dignity and importance of that office.

By your installation, you are invested with the title of "Worshipful", a title which you hold for life. While in office, you are an active member of Grand Lodge. In your own lodge, subject only to higher Masonic authority, you are an absolute ruler. Like a monarch, you alone are entitled to be covered. When you have completed your first term in office, you will receive an official Grand Lodge diploma. You will also be entitled to wear a distinctive jewel. As a Past Master, you will be eligible for appointment as District Deputy Grand Master and for election to the highest offices in Grand Lodge.

As Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge, you have multiple responsibilities and distinct and separate duties-to the lodge over which you preside, to the Grand Lodge under whose authority it works and to which you owe allegiance, and to the community in which that lodge is located. In this Guide, these duties and responsibilities will be discussed separately, beginning with those which you owe to Grand Lodge. At your installation, you took an official obligation "strictly to comply with the Constitution and Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine." You also gave your solemn assent to those ancient charges and regulations which point out the duty of a Master of a lodge, and which are to be found on pages 62-64 in the "Maine Masonic Text Book." Your obligation and duty to Grand Lodge results from these solemn promises.

Index

(A) TO THE GRAND LODGE

At your installation, you took an official obligation "strictly to comply wiht the Constitution and Regulations of the Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Maine."  You also gave your solemn assent to those ancient charges and regulations which point out the duty of a Master of a lodge, and which are to be found on pages 62-64 in the "Maine Masonic Text Book."   Your obligation and duty ot the Grand Lodge results from these solemn promises.

These promises you cannot keep unless you are familiar with the laws which you have promised to obey. Accordingly, your first duty to Grand Lodge is to study the "Constitution, Standing Regulations and Digest of Decisions" of the Grand Lodge of Maine, a copy of which is on file in your lodge. You should also familiarize yourself with, the official Grand Lodge Cipher, with the "Maine Masonic Text Book," and with the annual Proceedings of our Grand Lodge. It is not expected that you memorize all of this material. But you should know how to use these books and how to find the Masonic law on any question which may arise. The Master should have a copy of his Lodge By-Laws with him at all times and should refer to them constantly.

Your responsibilities to Grand Lodge fall into two categories, those which devolve upon you as a member of Grand Lodge and those which devolve upon you as the presiding officer of a constituent lodge. Let us consider these in order.

(a) As a member of Grand Lodge, it is your duty to attend the communications of that body. This you have promised to do, and you should make every effort to keep that promise. If, for any reason, you find it absolutely impossible to be present in person, it is your duty to see that your lodge is represented, either by your Wardens, who are themselves members of Grand Lodge, or by a duly commissioned Proxy. The responsibility for representation rests with you as Master. Sec. 84A of the constitution provides for a $10.00 fine for each lodge not represented at the annual communication of the Grand Lodge.

As a member of Grand Lodge, it is your privilege and duty to vote upon all matters coming before that body and in the annual election of Grand Lodge officers. In casting your vote, the best interests of the Fraternity should always be your guide. Most of the matters coming before Grand Lodge will be new to you, and, in forming your own opinion, you must largely depend upon the committee reports and recommendations made in Grand Lodge. On those matters which have been laid over from a previous communication, or which have been referred to the lodges for consideration, it is entirely proper that you take the sense of your own lodge and be influenced by this expression of opinion. However, you cannot be entirely bound thereby, since the recommendations and discussions heard in Grand Lodge may throw a new light upon the question concerned.

(b) As the presiding officer of a constituent lodge, your duties to Grand Lodge include the following:

(1) To see that the affairs of your lodge are conducted in strict conformity with the laws, regulations and edicts of the Grand Lodge.

(2) To see that the ritualistic work of your lodge conforms absolutely to the official Grand Lodge ritual.

(3) To see that all reports, returns and remittances to Grand Lodge are promptly made by the proper officers of your lodge, and that all correspondence is promptly answered.

(4) To see that the charter of your lodge, for which you are personally responsible, is safely preserved, and that it is, on demand, made available for inspection by the proper authorities.

As the presiding officer of a constituent lodge, you have an especial relationship with certain officers of the Grand Lodge, as well as with certain standing and special Committees. Let us consider these in order.

(1) The Grand Master is your superior and commanding officer in Masonry. He exercises powers and prerogatives dating from time immemorial. In the recess between Grand Lodge sessions, he wields the full executive power of the Grand Lodge. As you are the ruler of your own lodge, so is the Grand Master the ruler of the entire Craft. You have promised to pay homage to the Grand Master, and this promise you must keep. In his presence, your own authority ceases. When he enters the door of your lodge room, you must immediately uncover. To him you must surrender the gavel of authority, not as a mere courtesy but as an act of homage and fealty. You do not invite him to preside. He presides over your lodge by right. Needless to say, his edicts and directives will receive your unquestioning obedience. To you, as to all Masons within our Jurisdiction, his word is law.

(2) The District Deputy Grand Master is the personal representative of the Grand Master in your Masonic District. His authority is derived from his commission, signed by the Grand Master, attested by the Grand Secretary, and bearing the seal of the Grand Lodge. With him, you should maintain the most intimate and cordial relations. He should be advised of all meetings of your lodge. You should always feel free to consult him on any Masonic problem. Most questions can readily be answered by reference to the "Constitution, Standing Regulations and Digest o f Decisions" of the Grand Lodge. Your contacts with the District Deputy should be frequent and personal. He is a definite link in the chain of command between you and the Grand Master.

(3) The Grand Secretary's contacts with your lodge are largely through your lodge Secretary. However, as we have stated before, it is your duty to oversee this correspondence, and to make sure that all reports, returns and remittances are promptly and properly made. In all administrative problems, the Grand Secretary is your best source of information. He knows more answers than any other person. Do not hesitate to call upon him at any time.

(4) The Grand Lecturer is the official Custodian of the Ritual in Maine. It is your duty to attend his Schools of Instruction, and to see to it that your officers and other participants in the work do likewise. Only by frequent attendance at these official schools, can ritualistic perfection be attained. Once you have learned the correct work from the Grand Lecturer or his assistants, it is your duty to see that it is followed in your lodge. Between schools, if any question concerning the ritual should arise in your lodge, you should contact the Grand Lecturer or his assistants either in person or by mail, and he will answer your question if such an answer can be given with propriety. Of course, there are a few items which cannot be discussed on paper. In an emergency, special schools can be authorized.

(5) The Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service exists for the purpose of serving the lodges and brethren in this jurisdiction. This Committee has a resident Representative in your District, whose acquaintance you should make and of whose assistance you should avail yourself. This Committee maintains a Speakers Bureau, which is ready and willing to serve you at any time. If you need assistance in the planning, preparation and presentation of a program, either for your whole year or for some particular meeting, please contact this Committee, either through your local Representative or by direct correspondence with the Committee Chairman. This Committee also maintains a free Masonic information service. If you have any question on a Masonic subject, you have only to write to the Committee Chairman. If he is unable to answer your question himself, he will do the necessary research to find an answer for you.

(6) Other Grand Lodge Committees with which you, as Master, have a special relationship are the Committee on Masonic Blood Bank and the Grand Master's special Advisory Committee on Public Relations. Your relationship with these Committees will be more fully discussed in the section of this Guide dealing with your duties and responsibilities to your own lodge.

(c) It is also your duty to see that visiting Masonic dignitaries are received in the proper manner. The ceremonies for the reception of such visitors, including the Grand Master and the District Deputy Grand Master, are fully set forth in Chapter VII of the "Maine Masonic Text Book." However, as our lodge rooms are not uniform in size and arrangement, and as each Grand Master has his own ideas as to exactly how he would like to be received, it is always well to check the details in advance with the Grand Marshal in charge of the ceremony. There are certain things, however, which must never be forgotten. As the Grand Master is announced, you must call up your lodge. As he enters the lodge room, you must uncover. The Grand Master must be presented and received individually, and must individually be accorded the private grand honors of Masonry. Any Past Grand Masters in his suite are then presented and received, and are collectively accorded the private grand honors. All other members of his suite are then collectively presented and accorded the public grand honors. As Master, you must always surrender the gavel to the Grand Master, as a token of homage and fealty to him and to the Grand Lodge over which he presides.

 The question of grand honors is really quite simple. The Grand Master and all Past Grand Masters are entitled to the private grand honors. These are also accorded to the District Deputy Grand Master, on the occasion of his official visitation only, and may also be accorded to the Worshipful Master at the time of his installation, provided that such installation be in private. All other Grand Lodge officers, and all Permanent Members of that body, below the rank of Past Grand Master, are entitled to the public grand honors. Needless to say, the private grand honors are never rendered at any public ceremony or other open meeting. In such cases, only the public grand honors are used. Write to the Grand Secretary for an instruction sheet for giving the grand honors.

 As Master, you should always be careful in your use of Masonic titles. The basic Masonic title is, of course, "Brother". Higher Masonic titles are acquired by virtue of service in certain Masonic offices. The Grand Master and all Past Grand Masters have the title of "Most Worshipful". All other elective Grand Lodge officers, past and present, all District Deputy Grand Masters, and Grand Lecturers, past and present, have the title of "Right Worshipful". All Assistant Grand Lecturers who are not "Right Worshipful" are accorded the title of "Very Worshipful". Other Grand Lodge officers, except the Grand Tyler, have the title of "Worshipful", as do all Masters and Past Masters. Once acquired, a Masonic title is held for life. In using these titles, it is perfectly proper to say either "Worshipful John Doe" or "Worshipful Brother John Doe". However, when only the last name is used, you should always say "Worshipful Brother Doe", never "Worshipful Doe".

Index

(B) TO YOUR OWN LODGE

Your first duty to your own lodge is to assume custody of its charter, which was officially transmitted to you at your installation. For the preservation and safekeeping of this charter, you are now responsible. If your lodge does not have a modern fireproof safe of its own, the charter should be kept in a bank vault. While a certificate of charter may properly be used for the ordinary purposes of the lodge, the life of such a certificate coincides with the life of the charter itself. If anything should happen to the charter, the certificate loses its authority. Accordingly, you must make every effort to see that the charter is preserved and safely transmitted to your successor.

Your next duty is to familiarize yourself with the By-Laws of your lodge, if you have not already done so, and thereafter to see that these By-Laws are always obeyed. You should also study that section of the official Digest ( pages 53-55 ) in which are set forth the powers, prerogatives and limitations of a Master. This is your blue print for the government of your lodge.

Your responsibilities to your lodge fall into four categories - ritualistic, administrative, educational and miscellaneous. We will consider these in order.

(a) Your ritualistic responsibilities require that you be a complete master of our ritualistic work. As such, you must be able to open and close your lodge on any degree; to confer all three degrees in an accurate and impressive manner; to deliver all lectures and charges; and to conduct the Masonic funeral service with reverence and impressiveness. You may, of course, call upon any officer, Past Master, or other qualified brother to take any part in the ritualistic work which you may assign to him, either as a method of training your subordinate officers for higher duties or as a means of putting more brethren to work. However, when this is done, you remain entirely responsible for the quality of the ritualistic work. Whatever portions of that work you may choose to delegate to others, you should certainly be able to do yourself.

To attain ritualistic proficiency, you should attend one or more of the Schools of Instruction conducted by the Grand Lecturer, or one of his assistants, and should also require the attendance of your officers and of all others taking part in the work. You should then hold frequent rehearsals to ensure that the officers of your lodge are ready for any work which may present itself. If no candidates are available, you should exemplify all three degrees both for the instruction of your officers and for the benefit of your members. The ritual is the very heart of Masonry, and we all need to refresh our memories of its teachings at frequent intervals.

Needless to say, you must enforce the Grand Lodge edict on dignity and decorum in the ritualistic work. For this, you are always responsible, whether the work be done by your own officers, by visitors, or by a so-called degree team. You cannot escape this responsibility. Any brother who introduces levity or horseplay into any Masonic degree is thereby demonstrating his own ignorance of Masonry, and any Master who tolerates such conduct in his lodge is thereby demonstrating his own unfitness for office.

Of course, you have probably attained reasonable proficiency in our ritualistic work long before you were elevated to the Oriental Chair. Ritualistic proficiency cannot be attained overnight. Now, however, you should perfect yourself in all details of the work, and should constantly practice to improve your rendition and delivery.

(b) Your administrative responsibilities are numerous and important. A successful Master must be a good executive, a good organizer, and a good leader of men. He must be able to inspire others and to win their loyalty, cooperation and support. Without this, he cannot achieve success. Accordingly, at the beginning of your term, you should hold an officers' conference, outline your program, tell your officers what you expect of them, and solicit their support. Such conferences may be repeated as necessary.

To help you in the administrative details of your office, the following suggestions are offered for your consideration:

1. You should always open your lodge promptly at the hour specified in your By-Laws. Nothing discourages attendance more than a late start, a dragged-out meeting, and a resultant late closing. If your officers know that you mean to start on time, they will soon get into the habit of being there when the gavel falls. If they are uncertain as to just when you plan to open, they have little incentive to be there on time.

2. Immediately after opening, you should always extend a courteous welcome to any visitors who may happen to be present. If any brother is visiting your lodge for the first time, he should be presented at the altar and formally introduced to the brethren. He will appreciate this courtesy, and will be encouraged to come again. If the seating facilities of your hall permit, you should invite your own and visiting Past Masters to occupy seats in the East. While they may prefer to remain on the side lines, they will appreciate this recognition. Of course, if any Grand Lodge officer or Permanent Member is visiting your lodge, he should be formally presented and accorded the appropriate grand honors. If you have such a Grand Lodge officer or Permanent Member in your own lodge, you should accord him the grand honors on the occasion of his first attendance at lodge in your administration. Thereafter, these need not be repeated except on occasions of ceremony or when a senior Grand Lodge officer is present.

3. Routine business should always be transacted in an expeditious manner. A few minutes spent with the secretary before the meeting will ensure a smoother presentation of such business.

4. As Master, you should be a careful steward of your lodge's money. Whether or not you have a budget committee, you can tell approximately what your income will be and what it will cost to run your lodge. Every effort should be made to keep expenses within income. Deficit spending is a sure road to insolvency. If your lodge expenditures exceed your income, there are only two solutions. Either you must increase your lodge dues or you must reduce your expenditures. This is a problem which plagues many a Master. It can only be solved by applying the principles of good business.

5. As Master, it is your duty to draw designs on the trestle board. Well-planned programs are now essential. Our meetings are in competition with many other attractions, and we must provide interesting and attractive programs if we are to secure the attendance of our members. We cannot expect our brethren to attend meetings merely to confirm the records and to pay the current bills. Good meetings must be carefully planned in advance. They cannot be left to chance.

A well-rounded program should include good degree work, educational features, inspiration, entertainment and social fellowship.

(a) We have no control over the flow of candidates. One year, a lodge may have little work, the next it may be very busy. If you are enjoying a busy season, you can introduce a little variety into the degree work by having a degree conferred by your own Past Masters, by a visiting lodge, by visiting officers from several lodges, by one of the approved degree teams, or by a special group of present and past Grand Lodge officers. Such events usually help attendance.

(b) Educational and inspirational programs will be more thoroughly discussed in that section of this Guide dealing with your educational responsibilities to your lodge.

(c) There are many excellent programs of entertainment which have worked well in other lodges. Many fine documentary films are available from Masonic sources, Government agencies, transportation companies or industrial corporations. Perhaps one of your own members has recently traveled overseas, and has slides which he would be glad to show at lodge. Perhaps you have talent among your own members, brethren who can sing, play some musical instrument, recite, do tricks, or tell humorous stories. If so, put them to work. At open meetings, you might also utilize the talents of your members' wives and children. Either in lodge or at an open meeting, you might have non-political talks on subjects of current interest, such as public health, conservation, sports, law enforcement, highway safety, education, youth problems, civil defense, civic responsibility, patriotism and national defense. The work of DeMolay or Rainbow always provides a pleasant evening.

(d) Do not overlook the possibilities of such social events as ladies nights, family picnics, father and son nights, father and daughter nights, cultural evenings, or special programs open to invited non-Masons.

Either in lodge or at open meetings, you might honor the members of some particular profession, such as public officials, judges, lawyers, clergymen, physicians, educators, members of the Armed Forces or members of the police and fire departments.

Anniversaries are important, 25th, 50th, 75th, 100th, 125th, 150th, etc. Programs should be arranged well in advance and at the local level.

In planning any program, please remember that the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service is ready to help you.

6. A good executive knows how to use the abilities of others. As Master, you should put your officers, Past Masters and members to work. You should give them a definite job to do, and then see that they do it. Use them as Committee members, candidate instructors, "Elder Brothers" for your new members, program chairmen, workers on your special projects and as contact men with sojourners in your community, and with those of your own members who are sick, shut-in, elderly, in need of relief, delinquent or disinterested. The number of committees you appoint will depend upon the nature of your program and the local needs of your lodge. The more brethren you can put to work, the greater interest you will generate and the healthier your lodge will be.

7. Do not hesitate to use your unique powers as a presiding officer. When necessary, use the gavel with firmness. Insist upon proper Masonic courtesy in your lodge. Allow no improper and unfraternal language in debate. Remember, it is your prerogative to convene your lodge at such times and for such lawful purposes as you see fit; to appoint all committees; to rule on all points of order; to initiate and close debate; to determine who shall be permitted to enter and leave your lodge; and to close that lodge at your will and pleasure. From your decisions, there can be no appeal to the lodge. And no motion to adjourn is ever in order.

8. As Master, you should maintain the most intimate and cordial relations with your Secretary. A good Secretary is one of the most valuable assets a lodge can have. As secretaries usually hold office for many years, that officer is very likely to have all details of lodge administration at his finger-tips, and to know exactly how to find the Masonic law on any question. While you, as Master, are legally responsible that the Secretary's duties are properly performed, you are very likely to find him your greatest Source of assistance in your own administrative responsibilities. You should also work closely with the other administrative officers of your lodge, such as the Treasurer, Finance Committee, and Trustees, if such officers are a part of your lodge set-up. Know their duties, responsibilities and problems. Let them know that their services are appreciated.

(c) Your educational responsibilities are vitally important. They are three in number, the first being for the proper Masonic education of the candidate, the second for the education of your lodge officers in their respective duties, and the third for the presentation of educational programs appealing to your entire membership.

1. Nothing in Masonry is more important than the proper Masonic education of the candidate. On our success in this field depends the whole future of our Institution, for the candidates we raise today will be the Masonic leaders of tomorrow. If we succeed, our candidates will become loyal and devoted Masons. If we fail, they will soon be dropped for non-payment of dues.

Your responsibility for the education of the candidate begins as soon as he is elected to receive the degrees. Prior to his initiation, you must see that he is properly presented with our official Candidate Booklet Number One. This booklet introduces him to the true nature of our Fraternity, and prepares his mind for the solemn ceremony of initiation.

Your next duty is to see that the candidate is initiated, passed and raised in an accurate, dignified and impressive manner, in strict accordance with the official ritual of the Grand Lodge of Maine. The ritual is the basis of all Masonic instruction. By it, the candidate learns the fundamental principles and teachings of our ancient Craft. By it, he learns those signs, grips and words which enable him to prove himself a Mason. In conferring the degrees, you must be careful to convince the candidate of your own sincerity, and to make him feel that you really believe the solemn truths which you are imparting to him.

Our laws require that each candidate memorize a certain portion of the ritualistic work in each degree, and pass a satisfactory examination thereon. As Master, it is your duty to see that each candidate is properly coached, and is examined in all degrees, including that of Master Mason.

To supplement the ritualistic education of the candidate, our Grand Lodge has adapted an official non-ritualistic program of candidate instruction, commonly known as the Pollard Plan. This program is based on four candidate booklets, one of which is presented to the candidate prior to his initiation, the others after his reception of each degree. These booklets should be read and studied under the supervision of a qualified instructor, who makes sure that they are understood, and who, when necessary, explains them to the candidate.

As Master, it is your duty to see that full and effective use is made of this program. You may act as your own instructor, or you may appoint one or more competent brethren as such, depending on the number of candidates in your lodge. These instructors may or may not be the same brethren who coach the candidate in his ritualistic lessons. The program is flexible, to meet the needs of any lodge. Each Master, however, is personally responsible for its effective use in his lodge. The booklets are furnished free by the Grand Lodge, and their use is mandatory. As a suggestion, some of your Past Masters should make excellent candidate instructors.

The program also calls for the appointment of an "Elder Brother" for each newly raised member. This Elder Brother may well be one of those who signed the candidate's application, a blood relative, a close personal friend, a near neighbor, or a fellow-employee or business associate. If none of these are available, you can always detail one of your junior officers for this job. The duties of an Elder Brother are very simple. All he has to do is to show a personal interest in the new member, to remind him of all meetings and to urge him to attend, to make him feel wanted and at home in lodge, to see that he is introduced to the brethren, to help him get acquainted with the usage's and customs of the lodge, to encourage him to visit neighboring lodges, furnishing transportation when necessary, and to take him along when attending Schools of Instruction, Area and District Meetings, and similar important functions. In this way, the new member will be aided in forming good Masonic habits during his first vital year of membership. If faithfully used, this program will benefit your lodge in two ways, by making better Masons out of your new members and by putting some of your older members to work. It should certainly help attendance. As Master, it is your duty to find suitable Elder Brothers, and to convince these brethren of the value and importance of their job.

2. Your second educational responsibility is to supervise the training of your officers. You must see that each officer is proficient in his ritualistic part, that the floor work is done with snap and precision, and that each officer understands the duties peculiar to his office.

For instance, the junior Deacon and Stewards must be instructed in their important duty of preparing the candidate; the Senior Deacon in the arrangement of the lights, the art of conducting the candidate, and the proper method of introducing visitors; the Senior Warden in the proper instruction and examination of the candidate; and the Marshal in the formation and conduct of Masonic processions. You must also see that those who assist in the second section of the third degree are thoroughly instructed in their important duties and are proficient in the words of ritual which they are supposed to speak. If possible, these assistants should be required to attend one of the Grand Lecturer's Schools of Instruction. You should always encourage your officers to learn the lectures of the several degrees, and to prepare themselves for promotion to higher Masonic office.

3. Your third educational responsibility is to include educational and inspirational features in your over-all program for the year. This can easily be done by availing yourself of the services offered by our Speakers Bureau. This Bureau includes all Past Grand Masters, all present Grand Chaplains, and many other able and well-informed brethren. They are prepared to address your lodge on a wide variety of subjects, such as Masonic history, symbolism, and philosophy, the story of Freemasonry in foreign countries, the biographies of famous Masons, the story of the persecutions which our Craft has suffered and survived, the administration of Masonic justice, the correct relationship between Freemasonry and the Church, the administration of Masonic charity, and the part which Masons have played in the constitutional, political, military and economic history of our Country. For an evening of faith and inspiration, why not call upon one of our beloved Grand Chaplains for an address?

Through the Masonic Service Association, several filmed addresses by outstanding Masonic leaders are available. Films of the Washington Memorial may also be obtained. For a quiet evening with your own members, you might well read, or have read, extracts from our Grand Lodge Proceedings, such as portions of the Grand Master's address and of the Correspondence Report. Your lodge regularly receives the monthly "Short Talk Bulletins" published by the M.S.A. Some of these are very good. They are meant to be read in lodge, and this practice is to be commended. You might also have one of your own members review one of the excellent Digests published by the M.S.A., or prepare and present a paper of his own.

Several of our national holidays are particularly suitable for the presentation of Masonic programs, such as Washington's Birthday in February, Patriot's Day in April, Law Day, Armed Forces Day and Memorial Day in May, Flag Day in June, Independence Day in July, Constitution Week in September, and Veterans' Day in November. All of these holidays have an especial Masonic significance. Of course, our own Masonic festivals, St. John the Baptist's Day in June and St. John the Evangelist's Day in December, are always good occasions for inspirational addresses.

Of course, no Master could ever use all of these suggestions in a single term. After all, there are only twelve months in the year. We again remind you that the Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service stands ready to help you at any time.

(d) Your miscellaneous responsibilities are numerous, and include some of the most important duties of your office. In view of their importance, these will be discussed under separate headings.

Index

(1) The Investigation of Applicants

As Master, it is your duty to appoint the committee charged with this important task. You should be careful to pick the right men for this job, and should impress them with the serious nature of their responsibility. They are the guardians of our portals, whose duty it is to see that no unworthy person is ever admitted to our ranks. Under present-day conditions, when people are continually moving from one locality to another, their duties are particularly difficult and important.

First of all, they must make sure that the applicant is actually within the jurisdiction of your lodge. Then they should conduct a searching investigation as to his character and fitness to become a Mason. They should look into his background, his past life, his professional or business standing, his reputation for honesty and reliability, his religious affiliations, if any, his marital status, his associates, his interests, his habits and his tastes. They should determine whether or not he is intellectually and spiritually capable of understanding and appreciating the teachings of our Fraternity. If possible, they should visit his home and ascertain his wife's attitude in regard to his becoming a Mason. So far as is humanly possible, they should attempt to discover his motive for wishing to join our ranks. They should determine whether or not he is financially able to meet his Masonic obligations.

Once their investigation is completed, they should make an honest and fearless report to the lodge. Only if they are convinced that the applicant is worthy and well qualified, and that, if accepted, he will prove to be an asset rather than a liability to your lodge, should their report be favorable. It is not enough that an applicant has managed to keep out of jail. He should have positive qualities to recommend him. Masonry is a select society, and Masonic membership is a distinct honor, which should not lightly be conferred. As Master, it is your duty to see that this committee, like all committees, functions in a proper manner.

Index

( 2 ) Masonic Charity

(a) Masonic charity includes far more than financial relief for the indigent. Every act of fraternal kindness, every giving of one's self to the assistance of a brother, his widow or orphans, every manifestation of brotherly love and thoughtfulness, is, in truth, an act of Masonic Charity. Whenever a Mason assists some sick or disabled brother in getting in his wood, harvesting his crops or repairing his property; whenever he shovels the walk, mows the lawn, or puts on the double windows for some Mason's widow; whenever he visits a sick, shut-in or elderly brother, and takes time to listen to his reminiscences and complaints; whenever he furnishes transportation for some brother or widow without a car of their own; whenever he gives professional or business advice to a bewildered widow; whenever he writes a cheerful letter to some brother in the Armed Forces or otherwise away from home; whenever he sends a birthday or Christmas card to some aged or lonely person; whenever he runs an errand for a sick brother or his family; or whenever he shows a fraternal interest in anther's welfare, such a Mason is fulfilling his charitable obligations. The recipient of such charity need not be indigent. He may be rich in this world's goods and still need the helping hand and thoughtful attention of a brother.

(b) As Master, you should be assiduous in visiting the sick. Whether you do this in person or through a committee, it is your responsibility to see that it is done. As soon as you learn that one of your members is sick, either at home or in the hospital, you should call to inquire as to his condition, to cheer him up if possible, and to find out if there is any way in which the lodge can be of help. This visit should be repeated as often as necessary. Even if the brother himself is too sick to appreciate your visit, your interest will certainly be appreciated by his family. If no such interest is shown, it is equally certain to be noticed and to result in unfavorable comment. We cannot afford to have it said: "He was a Mason for more than forty years, but when he was sick the Masons never came near him."

If your brother is a patient at the U.S. Veterans Hospital at Togus, you should immediately notify the M.S.A. Hospital Visitor at that station. He is there to serve your and our hospitalized brethren.

On your rounds, do not overlook the chronically ill, shut-in or aged members of your lodge. Although not actually sick, they may well be lonely and discouraged, and might appreciate a visit from the Master of their lodge. This is particularly true when they are confined to a nursing home or similar institution. A visit to such brethren is a real act of Masonic Charity. It would also be a courteous gesture if you should visit any ailing or aged sojourners in your community, and notify their home lodges of your visit and of their condition. If there is serious illness in a brother's family, a visit from the Master might also be in order. While sitting up with the sick is not as common as it used to be, an occasion might arise in which such a service by members of your lodge would be most helpful and appreciated.

(c) The Maine Masonic Blood Bank program is an excellent example of practical Masonic Charity at work. One cannot give a more intimate or personal gift than his own blood. The success of our program depends on the active participation of our Brethren, their families, and friends. As Master, it is your responsibility to appoint a dynamic and dedicated Lodge Blood Bank Chairman, and support him in his efforts. Our experience has been that a permanent Chairman works better than leaving the job to a particular office which changes periodically. The Maine Masonic Blood Bank program is working closely with the Northeast Regional Red Cross Blood Program, Maine's blood supplier. It is equally as important that your Chairman work closely with the District Chairman and the Grand, Lodge Committee on Masonic Blood Bank. Through the facilities of this Committee, blood can be readily transferred to another jurisdiction for someone needing transfusion (s) . Your Lodge Chairman should maintain records of participation so that members may receive appropriate donor awards from our Grand Lodge. Detailed program instructions are available in the Maine Masonic Blood Bank Handbook.

(d) When any member of your lodge is having a hard time because of sickness, accident, fire or unemployment, it is a thoughtful and fraternal gesture to remit his dues before he becomes delinquent. As Master, you should keep your eyes and ears open to learn of cases where such an act of charity might be in order. Your lodge would undoubtedly follow your recommendations on such a case. It is only a little thing, but it may mean a great deal to the brother concerned.

(e) Inevitably, of course, some worthy brother in your lodge, or the widow or orphan of such a brother, will require financial relief at the hands of his Masonic brethren. In the olden days, relief was often an individual affair, one brother helping another. Today, appeals for relief are usually directed to the lodge. As Master, you should see that such appeals are promptly investigated. If your lodge has a Charity Fund of its own, with money available for distribution, you have only to vote such a sum as may be needed. If you have no charity fund, it may be necessary to pass the hat, to get up a paper among your members, or to make a grant from your general fund. In any event, your lodge should do something itself, as an evidence of good faith, before appealing to the Grand Lodge for assistance.

When your own lodge has done all that it can to meet the need, you are then free to call upon the Grand Lodge Charity Fund. As Master, you are responsible that the prescribed application form is properly filled out and executed. All questions contained therein should be answered in full. The Grand Lodge Committee on Distribution needs this information in order to make an intelligent decision as to the amount needed in each case. Applications may be made at any time, but a new application must be made for each Masonic year.

When a Grand Lodge grant is made, it is disbursed through the local lodge, either the Master or Secretary usually acting as almoner. Each case, of course, has its own problems, which must be decided by the responsible lodge officers.

(f) Attention is invited to Section 62 of the Grand Lodge Constitution, which prescribes who may receive relief from the Charitable Foundation of the Grand Lodge. You are also reminded that lodge charity funds can be used only for the purposes of Masonic charity and for the DeMolay and Pine Tree Youth Foundation.

Index

( 3 ) Masonic Funerals

It is the duty of your lodge to conduct a Masonic funeral service, when such a service has been requested by a deceased brother or by his family. As Master, you are responsible that this service is conducted in a reverent, dignified and impressive manner, so as to merit the commendation of all who witness it. This is one of the few occasions when the Masonic Fraternity appears in public, and the importance of making a good impression at such a time cannot be over emphasized.

Our Maine regulations in regard to Masonic funerals, together with our two optional services and our provision for military honors, are fully and clearly set forth in Chapter IX of the "Maine Masonic Text Book". As you never know when your lodge may be called upon to conduct a funeral, you should immediately familiarize yourself with this chapter, and should prepare yourself and your officers to conduct either of our services in a creditable manner.

You should also establish a good working relationship with the funeral directors in your community. These gentlemen can be of great assistance to you, particularly if they are members of our Fraternity. They can advise you on many important details, can assist you in your contacts with the family, and can help you in your arrangements with the officiating clergyman.

If the hours and nature of your own employment make it uncertain as to whether or not you will be able to conduct all Masonic funerals in person, you should make sure that a substitute group of officers is always ready to perform this duty, and that the services are frequently rehearsed. Every lodge has some retired or independent Past Masters who would be willing and honored to take the speaking parts in this service. Of course, if you can conduct the services yourself, so much the better.

Upon being notified of the death of a brother, you should immediately call upon the family, in your official capacity as Master of the lodge, express your sorrow and sympathy, and offer the help of the lodge in any way that may be desired. The undertaker will suggest the best time for making this call, and may even accompany you when you make it. This would be a real help to you, as details could be arranged on the spot. Unless the brother himself has requested a Masonic funeral, do not attempt to influence the family in making their decision as to whether or not such a service is desired.

If a Masonic service is requested, you can explain the three possible forms in which such a service may be conducted, and ascertain which form is preferred. These are:

(a) A memorial service conducted on the evening preceding the funeral.

(b) A Masonic funeral service following the religious service at the Church, home or funeral parlor, with a brief committal service at the grave.

(c) A Masonic funeral service conducted at the  graveside.

The time of year, the location of the service, and local custom may influence the decision on this matter. Here, again, the undertaker's advice will be most helpful. Bear in mind that it is optional whether the old service or the new Memorial Service be used.

You must next, again in company with the undertaker, if possible, meet with the minister who is to conduct the funeral, and go over the service with him. If the minister is himself a Mason, or if he is one who works harmoniously with the Craft, you will have no difficulty. On the other hand, if the clergyman is one who resents any other service than that conducted by himself, you must be extremely tactful and diplomatic in your dealings with him. You must explain to him that the Masonic service has been requested by the deceased or his family, and that it has not been urged upon them by the lodge. You must also explain that the Masonic service is in no way intended as a substitute for or duplication of the religious service, but merely as a time-honored token of respect to a departed brother, and as a public testimony to Freemasonry's belief in the immortality of the soul. You may invite him to give the final committal prayer at the grave. Such an invitation is entirely within your authority as Master, and such an invitation will usually satisfy the professional ego of any clergyman. The last word at the grave is what such clergymen regard as most important.

If military honors are to be accorded, the undertaker will make the necessary arrangements with the military unit or veterans organization concerned effort should be made to straighten out the misunderstanding and to win the brother back to his lodge. If the brother has merely lost interest and has become indifferent to Masonry, an attempt should be made to sell him anew on the value of his Masonic membership, and to convince him that he should not lightly throw away the investment of time and money which he has already made. We cannot solicit new members, but we can certainly do everything in our power to keep the members we already have.

Of course, if the brother insists upon taking a dimit, there is nothing we can do but grant it. And if one who is able to pay his dues refuses to meet this obligation, we will be forced to suspend him. But an honest attempt should be made, through personal contact with the brother concerned, to prevent either of these things from happening.

(5) Masonic Justice

Experience teaches us that Masons do not always live up to their Masonic obligations or obey the law of the land. In such cases, disciplinary action becomes necessary. Our Maine Masonic law in regard to Masonic offenses and their punishment is fully and clearly explained in Chapter XVIII of the "Maine Masonic Text Book". As Master, you should be familiar with this chapter, so that, if the need should arise, proceedings in your lodge may be conducted in strict accordance with our law on this subject.

(6) Other Organizations

As Master, you have certain responsibilities towards other recognized Masonic bodies in your community, as well as towards those affiliated groups which are permitted to meet in our Masonic Temples, such as the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of DeMolay, and the Order of Rainbow for Girls. As Master, you should maintain a cordial fraternal relationship with the heads of these several bodies. You should always be ready to cooperate with them, should attempt to understand their problems, and should be considerate in arranging your own schedule of events so as not to conflict with events which they have already planned. Courtesy and consideration towards the O.E.S. usually pays off in the loyal and devoted service rendered to your lodge by the ladies.

Maine lodges are now permitted to sponsor chapters of the Order of DeMolay. This is a most worth-while and rewarding activity, at once a community service and a help to our own sons, grandsons and nephews at a most critical time in their lives. If any members of your lodge are really interested in boys, and are able and willing to devote the necessary time and energy to this project, your lodge should certainly consider the sponsorship of such a group. The success of DeMolay, like the success of any other youth organization, depends almost entirely upon the quality of the adult leadership furnished. Poor leadership is worse than no leadership at all. If good leadership is available in your lodge, you, as Master, should certainly encourage this project.

Prior to the service, you and your Marshal should go over the ground to be covered by any procession, and you should also inspect the physical lay-out at the Church, home or funeral parlor, as well as at the cemetery, making sure that there is room for the proper officers to take their places about the casket. You and your Chaplain, or whoever is to take these speaking parts, should rehearse the service to be used over and over again. Of course, every effort should be made to ensure a good attendance.

On the day of the funeral, the lodge should arrive about ten minutes before the service is to begin. Seating arrangements and the coaching of pall bearers are the responsibility of the undertaker. When the time comes for the Masonic service to begin, the proper officers should take their places in a solemn, dignified and unhurried manner. The service itself should be conducted with the utmost solemnity. Speak slowly, clearly, distinctly and with feeling. This is particularly important when the service is held out-of-doors, in a large Church or in a cut-up apartment, with mourners in several different rooms. Do not mumble, do not lose your place, and do not hurry. The Master deposits the evergreen during the service, the brethren as they leave, each pointing to Heaven.

About ten days after the funeral, you should again call upon the family, and find out if the lodge can be of any further assistance.

Of course, if the deceased was a Grand Lodge officer or Permanent Member, you should immediately notify the Grand Secretary as soon as you learn of his death.

Index

( 4 ) Dimits and Suspensions

No dimit should be granted, except for the purpose of affiliating with another lodge, and no brother should be suspended for non-payment of dues, until a careful investigation has been made into the reasons which prompt one brother to withdraw voluntarily from his lodge and which lead another to allow himself to be subject to suspension. This investigation you may make yourself, or you may delegate the delicate duty to some close friend, associate or near neighbor of the brother concerned. But an investigation should be made.

If the trouble is purely financial, and if the brother still has a love of Masonry in his heart, the answer is remission of dues rather than either dismissal or suspension. If the brother has been hurt in any way and is angry at the lodge, every effort should be made to straighten out the misunderstanding and to win the brother back to his lodge. If the brother has merely lost interest and has become indifferent to Masonry, an attempt should be made to sell him anew on the value of his Masonic membership, and to convince him that he should not lightly throw away the investment of time and money which he has already made. We cannot solicit new members, but we can certainly do everything in our power to keep the members we already have. 

Of course, if the brother insists upon taking a dimit, there is nothing we can do but grant it. And if one who is able to pay his dues refuses to meet this obligation, we will be forced to suspend him. But an honest attempt should be made, through personal contact with the brother concerned, to prevent either of these things from happening.

Index

 (5) Masonic Justice 

Experience teaches us that Masons do not always live up to their Masonic obligations or obey the law of the land. In such cases, disciplinary action becomes necessary. Our Maine Masonic law in regard to Masonic offenses and their punishment is fully and clearly explained in Chapter XVIII of the "Maine Masonic Text Book". As Master, you should be familiar with this chapter, so that, if the need should arise, proceedings in your lodge may be conducted in strict accordance with our law on this subject. 

Index

(6) Other Organizations 

As Master, you have certain responsibilities towards other recognized Masonic bodies in your community, as well as towards those affiliated groups which are permitted to meet in our Masonic Temples, such as the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of DeMolay, and the Order of Rainbow for Girls. As Master, you should maintain a cordial fraternal relationship with the heads of these several bodies. You should always be ready to cooperate with them, should attempt to understand their problems, and should be considerate in arranging your own schedule of events so as not to conflict with events which they have already planned. Courtesy and consideration towards the O.E.S. usually pays off in the loyal and devoted service rendered to your lodge by the ladies. 

Maine lodges are now permitted to sponsor chapters of the Order of DeMolay. This is a most worth-while and rewarding activity, at once a community service and a help to our own sons, grandsons and nephews at a most critical time in their lives. If any members of your lodge are really interested in boys, and are able and willing to devote the necessary time and energy to this project, your lodge should certainly consider the sponsorship of such a group. The success of DeMolay, like the success of any other youth organization, depends almost entirely upon the quality of the adult leadership furnished. Poor leadership is worse than no leadership at all. If good leadership is available in your lodge, you, as Master, should certainly encourage this project.

Index

(7) Lodge History

Your attention is directed to the provisions of Standing Regulation No. 2. As Master, you are responsible that a Lodge Historian is appointed, that the lodge history is properly written up each year, and that, when due, it is submitted to Grand Lodge as required by this regulation.

Index

(8) Anniversaries

As Master, it is your duty to see that significant anniversaries in the history of your lodge and in the lives of its members are fittingly observed. No lodge would fail to celebrate its centennial, but there are many other anniversaries worthy of commemoration, around which an interesting program can be built. Read your lodge history. In it you will find many interesting events, probably unknown to your present members, which are worthy of being called to their attention.

Honor your members of the past. Today, as our Country celebrates the Centennial of the American Civil War, you might well honor those of your own members who took part in that mighty conflict. Perhaps some of your members have held high political, judicial or military offices. Perhaps some of them have achieved distinction in their chosen professions. Perhaps some have attained high rank in the Masonic Fraternity. You can always honor these brethren by the anniversary of some event connected with their lives.

Do not overlook important anniversaries in the lives of your present members. Whenever a brother receives a twenty-five year button, a forty-year button, a fifty-year Veterans' Medal, or an additional service star, this event should be made one which the recipient will never forget. Honor the silver jubilees of your Past Masters. And remember that your older members will greatly appreciate having their birthdays and wedding anniversaries noticed by their lodge.

Incidentally, such events are all newsworthy, which brings us to the final item in this list of your miscellaneous responsibilities, which is

Index

(9) Public Relations

Freemasonry has never sought publicity in the past, and it does not seek it today. The Fraternity does not need to advertise its wares, and does not desire to publicize its benevolence and good works. However, whether we like it or not, many of our lodge activities, as well as the doings of our individual members, are newsworthy, and are certain to be mentioned in the public press. This was true in the eighteenth century, and it is true today. This being so, it is only common sense for us to see that our activities are accurately reported, and presented in such a manner as to be a credit to the Fraternity. As Master, it is your responsibility to see that this is done. If you have a trained newspaper man among your members, put him to work. If no such brother is available, give the job to someone who can, at least, make proper use of the English language. Whoever has this assignment must remember that news is only news just before the event occurs or immediately after it has taken place.

Whenever your lodge celebrates a significant anniversary in its history, dedicates a new hall, installs a new slate of officers, receives a visit from the Grand Master, acts as host to an Area or District Meeting, hears a distinguished speaker, holds a ladies night or family picnic, receives a Grand Lodge citation, honors its Past Masters, attends Church in a body, awards twenty-five year buttons, forty-year buttons or Veterans' Medals, is host to a School of Instruction, entertains a visiting lodge or degree team, awards blood donor pins, makes improvements in its property, conducts a Masonic funeral, visits another lodge, is inspected by the District Deputy Grand Master, enjoys a particularly fine banquet, holds an open meeting, presents an educational or cultural program, or sponsors a new DeMolay Chapter, such events have a definite news value, and should be promptly and correctly reported to your state and local newspapers. If you have any event which merits particular notice and in the reporting of which you feel the need of professional assistance, you should consult the Grand Master's Special Advisory Committee on Public Relations, which will be glad to advise and to assist you.

While on this subject, it is also your duty as Master to see that items of interest concerning your lodge are made available to the editor of the "Maine Mason," the official publication of the Grand Lodge of Maine. Unless you report the activities of your lodge, you cannot expect to have them mentioned.

Index

(C) TO THE COMMUNITY

As Master of a Masonic lodge, you have certain responsibilities to the community in which that lodge is located. Your first responsibility is personal, to live in such a way as to bring no discredit upon the Fraternity you represent. The profane world, in general, has a high opinion of Freemasonry, and expects a little higher standard of conduct from Freemasons than from the general run of mankind. As Master, you should do nothing to disappoint this expectation, and should seta good example for your brethren.

A Masonic lodge, as such, takes little or no part in the public affairs of the community. Yet, through the activities of its individual members, it may well be the most influential organization in town. It takes no part in politics, yet its membership may include the political leaders of the community. It is completely non-sectarian, yet its membership may include the spiritual leaders and leading laymen in the local churches. It sponsors no community projects, as do the service clubs, yet its members may be the driving force behind all such projects. As its funds are restricted to Masonic purposes, it contributes to no fund-raising campaigns, yet its members may include the largest contributors to such campaigns. Masonry has always made its impact upon history through the individual accomplishments of its members. As Master, you should work hard for those community activities in which you believe, and should encourage all of your members to do likewise.

You should always maintain contact with your municipal authorities, and let them know that the members of your organization are interested in the betterment of the community. Despite all restrictions, there may be instances in which the lodge can make a direct contribution to civic welfare. Perhaps you have a good parking lot. This can be opened to the general public when not required for Masonic use. Perhaps you have a large and attractive dining room, which might be made available for community functions not inconsistent with Masonic principles. It might, for instance, be used for a flower show, conducted by the garden club, for a P.T.A. exhibit, as the temporary meeting place of a Boy Scout Troop or of a religious congregation whose church was undergoing repairs, for a food sale to aid the library, as an emergency or overflow classroom, or for a public supper to assist some local family stricken by disaster. It could not, however, be used for a political rally or for a beano game, no matter how worthy the cause. If your building has facilities for feeding or housing the victims of a community disaster, you might place it at the disposal of the local Civil Defense officials. The lodge room itself should never be used for such purposes.

As Master, you should make the acquaintance of all ministers in your community, as you never know when you will have to work with them at the funeral of a departed brother. Needless to say, you should attend the church of your choice with regularity, and should encourage church attendance by all members of your lodge. Freemasonry and the Church are natural allies, working together, each in its own proper sphere, toward a common objective-the development of human character, the improvement of human morals, and the betterment of human society. In your conversation with non-Masonic clergymen, you should stress the fact that, while Freemasonry is deeply religious, it is neither a church nor a substitute for the Church, and that its members are often numbered among the most active workers in their respective denominations. On suitable occasions, your lodge should attend church in a body, thus demonstrating to the profane world that Freemasonry, as an institution, respects and supports the Church.

A Masonic lodge can appear in public, without a dispensation from the Grand Master, only for the purpose of conducting a Masonic funeral or for the purpose of attending Divine Worship. If your lodge desires to make any other public appearance or to participate in any civic celebration, you must obtain permission from the Grand Master. The nature and extent of any participation authorized will depend upon the character of the observance and the judgment of the Grand Master.

Masonic funds can be used only for Masonic purposes. Every year, your lodge will receive a number of letters soliciting financial support for various worthy causes. Even though your lodge cannot make the requested contribution, such letters should always receive a courteous answer. The writer should be advised of the restriction on the use of Masonic funds but should be reminded that individual Masons have probably contributed and that the matter has again been brought to their attention. If either you or your Secretary believe in the value of the charity concerned, you might enclose your personal contributions. And, if you so desire, a free-will contribution may be taken up among your members. But lodge funds cannot be diverted.

As Master, you should make the acquaintance of your local newspaper editor, and should supply him regularly with items of interest concerning your lodge. Let your fellow citizens know that your lodge is alive, and that it is making a worthwhile contribution to the life of your community.

Finally, it is your responsibility to see that your lodge premises are kept in such a condition as to be a credit both to the lodge and to the community in which it is located.

Index

Appendix
(A) How to Find the Law

The Grand Lodge of Maine has made it very easy for any Mason to find the Masonic law on any given subject. An exhaustive Digest, covering every conceivable subject and all sources of Masonic law, appears in both the official Book of Constitutions and in the "Maine Masonic Text Book". Subjects in this Digest are arranged alphabetically, beginning with "Accusation" and ending with "Work". Under each subject, reference is made to the section of the Grand Lodge Constitution, the number of the Standing Regulation, or the page and year of the Grand Lodge Proceedings where the law on that subject may be found. For instance, suppose that you wished to know the Grand Lodge requirements regarding the preparation of lodge histories. You would look under "History" in the Digest, where you would be referred to Standing Regulation No. 2, in which you would find the information you desired. A like procedure will give you the answer to a great majority of questions.

Index

( B ) A List of Reports, Returns and Remittances Required by Grand Lodge

Returns

Annual Returns consist of two copies of forms titled "Return", one copy of the form titled "Abstract for the Grand Treasurer" together with a check or money order made payable to "Grand Lodge of Maine, A.F. & A.M." for the amount of dues, assessments and insurance premiums as calculated in the return and abstract forms.

The forms are forwarded to the Lodge Secretary on December 1st, each year. If they are not received, contact the Grand Secretary so that additional forms may be sent.

Returns are made out on the calendar year basis, January 1 to December 31. (See Sections 84 and 85 Constitution). Penalties, by necessity, are imposed after February 1st.

In reporting work performed on candidates, full names, addresses, dates of birth and degrees are very important. Accurate and complete mailing addresses for Officers are required. Dates and places of deaths are needed so that Grand Lodge records may be accurately kept.

Be extremely careful in figuring the Grand Lodge Dues.

Index

Cards for Reporting Lodge Officers

So that the Grand Lodge Office may have up-to date lists of Lodge Officers, cards for such listings are sent to Lodge Secretaries just prior to the Annual Communications. Care should be taken in listing the names of the officers. Middle initials are important and "nicknames" should not be used. Any change in officers, for any reason, should be reported to the Grand Secretary promptly so as to keep his list current.

Index

Treasurers' Reports

Lodge Treasurers' Reports must be sent to the Grand Secretary (not to the Grand Treasurer) within ten (10) days following the Annual Meeting. These reports should be recorded in the records of the Lodge. Forms are furnished. See Grand Lodge Proceedings 1937, Page 303.

Index

Diplomas

Grand Lodge furnishes diplomas without cost. Standard forms for ordering are supplied. Care should be taken that each diploma be delivered to the Brother for whom it was ordered, for no duplicate can be issued.

Diplomas should be ordered far enough in advance to enable the Secretary to have them inscribed for delivery to the Brother when he receives the Master Masons degree and signs the By-Laws.

Index

FREE:

(C) A List of Forms and Supplies Available from the Grand Secretary's Office

Applications for Degrees Applications for Grand Lodge Charity Fund Applications for Re-instatement after Suspension for N.P.D. Diplomas (Master Mason) Diploma Certificates (Master Mason) Evening Memorial Service ( Booklet ) Examination of Visitors ( Sheet ) Fifty-year Veteran's Medals Fifty-year Buttons (Lapel) Five-year stars for Veteran's Medals Form for By-law Revision Approval Guide for Masters and Wardens Mailing List Change Order Pollard Plan Booklets Pollard Plan Instructor's Booklet Proxy Forms Return Forms

Index

FOR SALE:

Applications for affiliation, waiver of jurisdiction Candidate lesson sheets EA: FC: MM: Ciphers Constitution & Standing Regulations Demit Blanks Dues Receipts books, Dues Notices Forty-year Buttons Grand Lodge Certificates (traveling) Master's Book Maine Masonic Text Book

Official Forms-No. 2-5-6-7'

Orders on Treasurer Seals Twenty-five Year Buttons List of Masonic Lodges (Tyler's book)

(D) A List of Books Helpful to Masters and Wardens

The Maine Masonic Text Book

Grand Lodge Constitution, Standing Regulations & Decisions

The Master's Book The Builders, Newton

History of the Grand Lodge of Maine, Pollard

Introduction to Free Masonry, Claudy Masonic Harvest, Claudy Lodge Methods, Blakemore

Freemasonry in the Thirteen Colonies, Tatsch

Facts for Freemasons, Voorhis George Washington, Freemason, Brown

The Beginnings of Freemasonry in North America, Johnson

Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry ( 2 volumes)

The Craft and Its Symbols, Roberts

 

 

 

 

[Portal] [Home] [Grand Lodge] [Maine Lodges] [Resources] [Become a Mason] [Contacts] [Calendar] [Search]

   © 2003-2016 Grand Lodge of Maine

Phone: (207) 843-1086
Fax: (207) 843-1088