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.




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.



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.



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

(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

 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”.



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
, 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.


(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.


( 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.


( 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

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

(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

(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

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.


( 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.


 (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


(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.


(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.


(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


(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.



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

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.


(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


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


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.


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.


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.



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.



(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



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