Presented by the Masonic Education and Lodge Services
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BROAD DEFINITION OF FREEMASONRY
Freemasonry is a charitable, benevolent, educational and religious society.
Its principles are proclaimed as widely as men will hear. Its only secrets are in its methods of recognition and of symbolic instructions.
It is charitable in that it is not organized for profit and none of its income inures to the benefit of any individual, but all is devoted to the promotion of the welfare and happiness of mankind.
It is benevolent in that it teaches and exemplifies altruism as a duty.
It is educational in that is teaches by prescribed ceremonials a system of morality and brotherhood based upon the Sacred Law.
It is religious in that it teaches monotheism, the Holy Bible is open upon its altars whenever a Lodge is in session, reverence for God is ever present in its ceremonial, and to its brethren are constantly addressed lessons of morality; yet it is not sectarian or theological.
It is a social organization only so far as it furnished additional inducement that men may forgather in numbers, thereby providing more material for its primary work of education, of worship, and of charity.
Through the improvement and strengthening of the character of the individual man, Freemasonry seeks to improve the community. Thus it impresses upon its Members the principles of personal righteousness and personal responsibility,
enlightens them as to those things which make for human welfare, and inspires then with that feeling of charity, or good will, toward all mankind which will move them to translate principle and conviction into action.
To that end, it teaches and stands for the worship of God; truth and justice;
fraternity and philanthropy; enlightenment and orderly liberty, civil,
religious and intellectual. It charges each of its members to be true and loyal to the government of the country to which he owes allegiance and to be obedient to the law of any state in which he may be.
It believes that the attainment of these objectives is best accomplished by laying a broad basis of principle upon which men of every race, country,
sect and opinion may unite rather than be setting up a restricted platform upon which only those of certain races, creeds and opinions can assemble.
Believing these things, this Grand Lodge affirms its continued adherence to that ancient and approved rule of Freemasonry which forbids the discussion in Masonic meetings of creeds, politics or other topics likely to excite personal animosities.
It further affirms the conviction that it is not only contrary to the fundamental principles of Freemasonry, but dangerous to its unity, strength,
usefulness and welfare, for Masonic Bodies to take action or attempt to exercise pressure of influence for or against any legislation, or in any way to attempt to procure the election or appointment of governmental officials onto influence then, whether or not numbers of the Fraternity,
in the dictates of his conscience.
The papers provided in this booklet are recommended for your consideration as you prepare yourself for the important duties as Master of your Lodge.
It is our hope that the booklet will serve as as basis for an officer kit. One for each of the there principal officers of the Lodge.
The outgoing Master would then pass his kit to the incoming J.W. at installation.
This would provide a continuos link from one administration to the next.
|Grand Lodge Constitution and Reg Maine Masonic Text
Master Book – Claudy
Guide – Masters & Wardens
Pollard Plan Booklets
Candidates Lesson Books
Evening Memorial Service
Main Freemasonry (pham
|Grand Lodge Edict 2nd sec. Secretaries Manual
Masonic Service Catalog
Care and Share
Masonic Blood Bank
Updated List of Lodge Members
Lodge By Laws
Pollard Plan – Candidate Instructional Sessions
Brethren, you are approaching a great Masonic adventure. Soon you are going to manage the destiny of your Lodge. If you wish to become a good Worshipful Master, you must prepare yourself ahead of time. Many worshipful Masters have been heard to express this thought: “If I had another year to serve, I think I could do a real good job.” If you hope to do a good job beginning in January, you must start to prepare for the task now.
The eyes of many will be upon you first of all, your own Officers.
You will be setting an example for them to follow. Watching also, the members of your Lodge. The verdict of these Brethren will determine Lodge attendance at future meetings. Your family and friends will either be proud of you, or sorry for you, depending on how well you do as Presiding officer of your Lodge. Many others you do not know will be watching and forming their opinions of Freemasonry by your performance as the head of your Fraternity in the community.
The office of Worshipful Master is the highest honor a Lodge can confer upon one of its Members. The Worshipful Master is the supreme ruler of his Lodge. If he is going to exercise that authority in a proper manner,
he must be adequately prepared to do so. He should know in advance the duties of his office should not have to rely upon the Secretary for guidance.
Many helpful Masonic books are available to you. However, you should read and become familiar especially with these – – I now call to your attention
First, The Constitution and Digest of Decisions of the Grand Lodge of Maine. As Worshipful Master, you cannot perform the duties of the office in a proper manner unless you know this book. In due time, each of you will swear to abide by the rules set forth in this volume. But how are you going to keep, support, maintain and abide by the provisions of the Constitution if you haven’t read it and don’t know what it’s all about?
The second book is the Maine Masonic Textbook. This book is a collection of Masonic Organization, History, Jurisprudence, Charges, Sections of Written Work and much more. You should have a complete understanding of what this book contains and know where to find answers to Masonic questions.
The third book, sometimes referred to as the “Secretary’s Manual”
and available from Grand Lodge. Every Ledge should have at least two,
one for the use of the Secretary and another to be passed along to each successive Worshipful Master for his use during the year he serves in the East. As Worshipful Master, you should be quite familiar with the duties of the Secretary of your Lodge.
The fourth book is the By-Laws Of Your Own Lodge. There should be no question concerning your Lodge’s By-Laws that you could not answer without referring to this book.
The fifth book is the Holy Bible. Don’t engage in a plodding cover to cover reading. Instead, read selectively. Your knowledge of this book,
the Great Light in Freemasonry, should be well above average. You will be dealing with people. As Worshipful Master, you cannot afford to lose your ten1per nor to be annoyed by the many problems coin to all Lodges,
There is no better textbook to teach you haw to deal with people than the Holy Bible. Here you will find guidance, wisdom and strength.
As the Presiding Officer in your Lodge, you must have the ability to stand on your feet and talk effectively before people. This is not easy.
It takes practice, experience and courage. Take every opportunity between now and the time of your installation to practice public speaking. This will lead to increasing success not only in Masonry but also in all, your other endeavors.
Here are a few suggestions to help you became a good public speaker.
First, increase your vocabulary. We think in words, therefore, the more words at your command, the more lucid and effective your speaking. Words are tools of communication. Whenever you read or hear a word not familiar to you, look it up in a good dictionary. Study the correct pronunciation and if it fits into your vocabulary, use it.
Of the Seven Liberal Arts, give special attention to the first three:
Grammar, Rhetoric and Logic. Grammar is the relationship of words to each other. Review your grammar. Eliminate careless speaking habits. You need good grammar to effectively express your thoughts.
Rhetoric is the art of speaking (or writing) with correctness and clearness.
Read a book or two on rhetoric. It will improve your communication with your Lodge Members.
Logic is the science of reasoning. Think before you speak. Learn to express yourself in such a manner that your audience will understand what you are saying and will comprehend what you are talking about.
The practice of public speaking involves not only use of the voice, but also gestures, mannerisms, posture and general appearance. Reading aloud in a clear, distinct voice, enunciating every work is one good way to practice. Standing and speaking before a mirror will help you see how you look to the audience. Watch your feet, hands, posture, facial expressions and gestures. If you see something wrong, tell yourself about it. This method of self-criticism will help you eliminate bad habits which you see in that fellow looking at you from the mirror.
To each Senior and Junior Warden, the “Time is Now:” Yes, “Now is the Time” for you to make yourself ready for the hour and the day when you will occupy the Oriental Chair of your Worshipful Lodge.
Planning and designing interesting and appealing Lodge Meeting programs and activities takes time, thought and imagination. So, please do not
“put off” to a later date the thinking and planning so necessary to put your “Master Plan” into action.
An excellent place to begin in planning and designing programs is the adoption of a “theme” for your “Year in the East.”
Your “theme” should be selected with the best needs and welfare of your Ledge in mind. By now, you should knave the needs of your Lodge.
So govern yourself accordingly. A long list of suggested “themes”
is enclosed in your packet.
As you being constructing your programs for various months of the year,
keep in mind the importance of “timing” and “arranging.”
Lay your ten stated Meetings out in front of you and then proceed to construct each stated Meeting program on its own. Same Lodge meeting programs do not lend themselves to certain times of the year. So, schedule certain programs when you feel they will be most effective and appealing. Yes,
“timing” and “arranging” can be most important.
Once you have adopted your “theme” for your year and have finalized your overall program, you should decide on ways and means of communicating with your badge Membership. Communicating with the Craft is one of the most productive thing you can do. The finest Lodge Meeting programs and activities you can schedule will prove useless if you do not “include,” “inform, “and “invite”
the Members of your Lodge. “Getting the word out” to the Craft means doing it in “due time” so that the Member can schedule his time to attend and participate. Advance notice of caning events is so important. Last minute notices and announcements are practically useless.
How does a Worshipful Master or a potential worshipful Master communicate with the Craft? There are many ways. The Monthly Lodge Notice or “Trestle Board” is just one of many ways of communicating with the Craft. Special mailings of letters or flyers are effective. Telephone committees are also effective. And, by word of mouth through other Elective Officers and Appointive Officers and Committees to the general Membership. Yes, getting the work around is most important.
A final point on communicating covers that relationship between the officers and Members of the Lodge. It is a “sad state of affairs”
when a Worshipful Master is not in open and free communication with his fellow officers and Members. Please do not permit this to happen.
A Symbolic Lodge cannot function in the true spirit of Freemasonry if any of the officers, Elective and Appointive, are “not on speaking terms with one another.” Such a condition will definitely “mar the harmony and good order” so necessary for a Symbolic Lodge to function.
In your planning and preparation for your “Year in the East,”
make every effort to “tap” and use the talent within your own Lodge. So many Worshipful Masters seem to feel they must “go out of their own Lodge” and engage the services of other Master Masons.
There are occasions when this is in order. However, it is recommended that you get acquainted with the hidden talent within your own Lodge and put it to use. See Members talent sheet.
Something good happens when a fiber is singled out to serve his Lodge,
especially if he is not already serving as an Officer or on a Committee.
As you review your Lodge Membership and get better acquainted with those Members living within a reasonable radius, you could very well find that you have “an acre of diamonds” in talent within your own Lodge. Review the file of Petitions and get to know the qualifications and specialties of your Numbers.
As Worshipful Master of your Lodge, one of the most important and lasting responsibilities you will have is that of appointing others to Floor Offices and various Committees. The future of your Lodge, and Freemasonry in your city may well depend on the Members you appoint to the various Floor Offices and the several Committees. Satisfy yourself that you are selecting and appointing the best qualified within your Ledge. Friendship should not influence such appointments. Many Lodges are suffering and in real trouble only because Members were appointed to an office in the Lodge who “just didn’t have it,” so to speak.
The Office of Worshipful Master is draped with honor, clothed with authority,
cloaked with responsibilities and adorned with obligations. To the weak it lends strength. To the strong it teaches humility. To the faithful it offers an excellent opportunity to serve mankind.
While in your journey to occupy the Oriental Chair, read diligently all the information contained in the officers kit. It is essential if you are to become a leader of man. Few men are born to preside in the East. You should arrive at that exalted station through diligent effort,
preparation and service.
Finally, when you are duly elected and installed worshipful Master of your Lodge, you must be Master in fact and not only in name. You must rule and govern your Lodge, taking up the work where your predecessor left off, and continue without hitch and without harm to the delicate fabric of human relationships which comprise a Masonic Lodge.
Be a leader and not a boss. There is a vast difference. There isn’t one real problem within our Symbolic Lodges that couldn’t be resolved by good leadership. For you, a future Worshipful Master of your lodge,
the time is now. And, the Craft is anxiously waiting and depending on YOU:
Dale Carnegie, in his famous book “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” says, “If you want to gather honey don’t kick over the beehive.” And then he mentions these road signs to follow:
1. Begin with praise and appreciation.
2. Call attention to people’s mistakes indirectly.
3. Talk about your own mistakes before criticizing the other person.
4. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.
5. Let the other man save his face.
6. Praise improvement.
7. Use encouragement. Make the fault seem easy to correct.
To master all the things mentioned as being worshipful Master’s requirements,
and many more that have not been mentioned, seems like an insurmountable task. But you are reminded that countless thousands of Worshipful Masters have come and gone, some good and some not so good. Some have been outstanding in their Knowledge of and performance in that office. Some have been found wanting.
It is entirely within the power of any dedicated Mason to learn all this, and more. It depends on his desire, dedication, willingness and application.
In one or two years, your Senior and Junior wardens will become Worshipful Masters of your Lodge. You and men like you, hold the future of Freemasonry in your hands. What are you going to do about it?
If a farmer wants a bountiful harvest in the fall, he doesn’t loaf around at planting time in the Spring. If you want to reap a bountiful harvest for Lodge why you are its Worshipful Master, now is the time to do your planting. IT IS LATER THAN YOU THINK.
This booklet contains a sampling of the printed “helps and aids”
available to you from the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education.
If you find that scene point has not been covered, you have but to ask and it will be provided. The following pages will provide some of the information you will find helpful as you prepare yourself for the Honorable and Responsible office of a Worshipful Master and a sheet on suggested Programs for Stated Meetings and for other Masonic affairs. Do not discard this material. Read it and then return it to your kit.
Study and thoroughly learn the Masonic Burial Service so you can conduct it in a solemn, skillful and impressive manner. It is the last time you will have the opportunity, in public, to pay your respects to a deceased Brother. Moreover, you are conducting a Masonic ceremony on one of the few occasions you will appear in public as Worshipful Master of your lodge.’
For these few minutes, you and your Officers are under public scrutiny.
Practice the Masonic Burial Service and be ready for this important Masonic obligation.
Pay all due respects to your Past Masters. They are the bulwark of the Lodge. They are sincerely interested in their lodge. But sometimes some Past Masters became so interested that they attempt to run the Lodge for the Worshipful Master. Men you become Worshipful Master of your Lodge,
take every advantage of the experience, knowledge and advice of your Past Masters. Seek their counsel, but when all is said and done, make your own decisions. You are the Worshipful Master and the final responsibility for governing the Lodge is yours alone. Act in accordance with your best judgment as to what is best for your Lodge in particular and Freemasonry in general.
Brethren, I urge you to start now to prepare yourself for one of the most outstanding years of your entire life. Properly and thoroughly prepared,
you will in time to come, look back on that significant year with justifiable pride and satisfaction. Each one of you has the potential to become the best Worshipful Master your Lodge ever had:
RECOMMENDED ORDER OF BUSINESS
|FULL FORM OPENING SALUTE TO THE FLAG WELCOME TO ALL PRESENT INTRODUCE FIRST TIME VISITORS AND GUESTS OFFER P.M.’S A SEAT IN THE EAST RECEIVE DIGNITARIES READING OF MINUTES READING OF COMMUNICATIONS READING OF BILLS PETITIONS TO BE READ PETITIONS TO BALLOT||COMMITTEE REPORTS OLD BUSINESS NEW BUSINESS GOOD OF THE ORDER ANNOUNCEMENTS DEGREE WORK OR PROGRAM MASTERS REMARKS REMARKS OF D.D. IF PRESENT CLOSING|
The Worshipful Master should never be in a position to tell the Secretary to clear his desk. A review of things to be presented should be given by the Secretary to the Worshipful Master or the Worshipful Master should view before lodge what is to cane before the Lodge. The Secretary does not enjoy being put into the position of appearing to run the Lodge. His only desire is to present before the Lodge those things called for by the Worshipful Master in the order he desires.
SUGGESTED THEMES FOR PLANNING AND DESIGNING A YEARLY PROGRAM
SUGGESTED FORMAT FOR SETTING UP PROGRAMS OF STATED MEETINGS FOR YEAR
PANEL DISCUSSION – QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Business of the Lodge – Minutes, reports, balloting, bills,
etc.. Introduction of newly Elected and Appointed Officers and Committees.
Presentation of Past Master’s Jewel to retiring Worshipful Master. Question and Answer session using moderator and panel. Recognition of Masonic birthdays and guests then closing ceremony.
ANNIVERSARY NIGHT – DISTRICT DEPUTY VISITATION
– GUEST SPEAKER
Buffet dinner served for Members and guests making reservations.
Opening of Stated Meeting following the buffet dinner. Business of the Lodge Minutes, reports, balloting, bills, etc. Official Visitation of the District Deputy Grand Master.
Memorial Service for Brethren deceased since last Anniversary Night. Address by guest speaker. Recognition of Masonic birthdays and guests then closing ceremony.
MASTERS AND WARDENS’ NIGHT
Business of the Lodge – Minutes, reports, balloting, bills, etc.
Admission of Masters and Wardens in their respective groups.
Ten or twelve minute presentation. Recognition of visiting Officers;
brief remarks by one Worshipful Master. Recognition of Masonic birthdays and other guests, then closing ceremony.
HOBBY AND HANDICRAFT NIGHT
Business of the Lodge – Minutes, reports, balloting, bills, etc.
Recognition and remarks by Brethren displaying hobbies and handicraft.
Recognition of Masonic birthdays and guests, then closing ceremony.
BACK TO LODGE NIGHT
Business of the Lodge – Minutes, reports, balloting, bills, etc.
Recognition of visiting guests; brief remarks by one of the guests. Recognition of Masonic birthdays and other guests, then closing ceremony.
ANNUAL PAST MASTERS NIGHT SYMBOLIC DEGREE REFRESHER
Business of the Lodge – Minutes, reports, balloting, bills,
Special recognition of all Past Masters present. Memorial service in tribute to deceased Past Masters of Lodge.
Conferring of Symbolic Degree by “team” of Past Masters. Recognition Masonic birthdays and guests, then closing ceremony.
ANNUAL MEETING – ELECTION AND INSTALLATION OF OFFICES
Business of the Lodge Minutes, reports, balloting, bills, etc.
Election of Officers for ensuing Masonic year. Recognition of Masonic birthdays and guests. Hour of refreshments and fellowship. Installation of newly Elected Officers, then closing ceremony.
So Mote It Be
Study should begin sometime in advance to learn the action necessary in holding the Annual Election. The Worshipful Master should be fully acquainted with the procedure.
When it comes time to select the appointive officers of your Lodge, care must be taken as to the selection. Your appointive officers will in due time,
possibly, become the Worshipful Master of your Lodge. The honor, glory and reputation of the Fraternity may quite possibly rest on your selection.
Discuss with each the duties of their office. You don’t need someone just to warm a seat. You need an active and willing worker.
If you find that the previous officers have done a good job, be certain to consider them for advancement. To pass one by who has been working to one day serve as Master would be a grave injustice.
Meet frequently with your officers and keep them advised of your plans and expectations.
SUGGESTED SPECIAL PROGRAMS FOR PROMOTING INTEREST AND ATTRACTING ATTENDANCE AT STATED MEETINGS
|Masonic District Night Arrange for a Table Lodge Old Timers’ Night Special Recognition of Fifty-Year Kin Folk Night Members Exchange visits with other Lodges Past Masters’ Night Schedule showing of film or slides Senior Junior / Wardens’ Night Questions and Answers panel Father and Son Night Masonic experiences Order of DeMolay Night Schedule a prominent speaker||Rainbow for Girls’ Night Masonic stamps lecture Sojourners’ Night Schedule Masonic Music Interpretation of Ritual Exemplification Gadgets, Hobbies and Handicraft Anniversary Night Sport Celebrity Night Musical Concert after meeting for Members and Families Non-Residents’ Night Barber Shop Quartet Competition after meeting Recognition of Mason-of-Year Masonic Birthday Recognition’s Strawberry Festival after meeting Local Ministers’ Night|
BRINGING FREEMASONRY TO THE ATTENTION OF PROFANE
|Family outings – picnics, sporting Tours of local plants and places events, theater’s of interest Masonic Church Service Sponsor youth activities Cornerstone CeremoniesConducting Masonic Burial Services Annual fish fry , pancake or oyster Masonic Breakfast for Lodge or feast District Golf Tournament for Members and wives Christmas party for children||Family Night Banquet Entertainment Open house at Masonic Temple and Dance Masonic Hall Sponsor DeMolay Chapter Servicemen Activities Help organize other youth activities Local newspaper coverage Distribution of Masonic literature Masonic films for mixed groups available for general use|
What your audience sees is often almost as important as what it hears.
You should be properly dressed for your Station in the Lodge. Your clothes should fit properly and be clean and neat looking at all times.
Collars and aprons should be properly adjusted. Aprons should not be worn over another apron. The apron should be tied on the left side with the tassels hanging down the left edge of the apron. Shoes should be black and of a plain dress style.
When at your Station, you should stand upright, without apparent stiffness.
Your feet should be flat on the floor and not too far apart. You should not move around unnecessarily, but you should not stand like a statue.
Your body action should be natural.
The best thing to do with the hands is to forget them. When it is necessary to use your hands, do so deliberately and wit- easy, natural movement.
Do not fold them in front of you, lock them behind you.
To be able to speak properly comes naturally to some people. But, to most of us it takes much thought and practice. A Worshipful Master will find that not only what he says, but how he says it, is a very important part of his duties.
The volume of your delivery should be such that it is not overpowering to those seated close by and, at the same time, can be heard distinctly in the far corner of the room. To acquire this ability you should practice speaking from the diaphragm instead of from the throat.
You should properly and distinctly pronounce each word. Good grammar is the ear-mark of a good speaker. Do not slur words ending in “ing.”
Do not skip over prepositions, conjunctions and pronouns. For example,
do not say “er” for or, do not say “un” for and. Do not say “im” or “er” for him or her. Learn the proper use of “I” and “We,” “shall or should” and
“will or would.” Guard against starting a sentence in a loud tone of voice and then trailing off to an indistinct ending. In all his speaking, a Worshipful Master should be courteous and considerate. He should try to show by the inflection and tone of his voice, a politeness of manner and an evenness of temper at all times.
A motion from the floor that, in the opinion of the Worshipful Master,
would mar the harmony and good order of the Lodge, could be handled in different ways: (A motion is not necessary but may be considered by the W.M.)
a. He could ignore it.
b. He could tell the Brother who made the motion that he did not care to entertain it.
c. He could tell the Brother that he feared the motion might lead to disharmony in the Lodge and ask him to withdraw it.
d. He could direct that the motion be laid on the table and then, endeavor to reconcile any potential trouble before the next Stated Meeting.
If a heated debate starts to develop after the motion has been made and seconded, the Worshipful Master might still stop discussion and drop the subject or lay it on the table, or he may call the Lodge off from labor for a few minutes to provide a cooling off period.
A Brother who is grossly negligent in addressing the Worshipful Master,
or who crosses rye Lodge Room at the wrong place or in the wrong manner,
or who speaks out of turn, or who attempts to leave the dodge Roam during a ballot, or who gives the wrong sign in addressing the Chair, or who throws the sign from a wrong location should receive a word of friendly counsel from the Worshipful Master. It is up to the good judgment of the Worshipful Master as to the time and place to do this and it should be called to the Brother’s attention in a kindly and diplomatic manner.
The considerable power of a Worshipful Master over the Members of his Lodge during a Lodge meeting, carries with it the sharp necessity of using a great amount of tolerance, patience and understanding. He should endeavor at all times to say or do nothing that would incite ill feelings or disruption or provoke any Member to an exhibition of ill manners or shameful conduct.
EXAMINATION OF VISTORS
The Worshipful Master has final say as to whether any individual, Visitor or Member may be admitted into the Open Lodge. He should know the Oath of Examination and be familiar with the proper procedure for conducting the Examination of a Visitor. He should know which Members are qualified to conduct an examination and should direct only fully qualified Members to do so. Guarding the sanctity of his Lodge is one of the Worshipful Master’s important responsibilities. When a Visitor has been found worthy by the Examining Committee, he should be brought into the Lodge and introduced in the proper manner as taught at your School of Instructions. The Worshipful Master should welcome the Visitor in a sincere and kindly manner. (Refer to the appropriate section of the Maine Masonic Textbook).
1. Appoint committee of three.
2. Visitors must be examined individually.
3. Current dues receipt card.
a. Check signature with one appearing on dues card.
4. Check Lodge name and number in directory.
a. Be sure directory is up to date.
5. “Tyler’s Oath”. (page 184 in cipher)
6. Examination of ritual.
a. Great Lights in each degree.
b. Due-Guard & Signs, Grip & Word.
c. Grand Masonic Word & Manner.
d. Relate story in extreme circumstances.
a. No trick questions.
c. Don’t show off.
b. Do not detain. d. Don’t try to stick visitor.
8. Conclusion. (from S.R. #30)
A visiting Brother, having produced his Grand Ledge certificate or diploma,
or a current receipt for annual dues, and having satisfied the examining committee of a Lodge that he is a Mason in good standing, and a Member of a regular Lodge, shall have the right to inspect the Charter or Charter Certificate of the Lodge he desires to visit.
Every Lodge shall keep and preserve a record of visitors.
The following is an example of on-going programs of a lodge and list of committees that have to be appointed by the Worshipful Master each Year a booklet is available from Grand Lodge entitled “Lodge in Action Programs” that lists 25 Lodge committees that may be put in use by the Worshipful Master.
Dates to set for the following scheduled Communications.
1. Special Communication for installation of officers. Refreshments and cost of installation to be provided by incoming Master of the Lodge as custom dictates.
2. St. Johns Day – June (Sunday nearest the 21st)
3. Long Service Awards (Sometime during the year)
4. Ladies Night (M.M. and their Ladies and Masonic Widows) Special night to honor Masonic widows.
5. Family Night.
6. Rededication Night (Sheet available from G.L.) Should be held last meeting of year.
Committees – Examples
1. Charity Committee – (3-5) should include Sec. & Trees.
2. Lodge Education Committee ( Pollard Plan and/or Candidate and new Master Mason Program)
3. Widows Committee (3) at least 4 . Lodge Share and Care (sick) Committee (3) or more 5. Building Repair Committee. (As Lodge has need)
6. Elder Brothers should be appointed to work with the Education Committee.
(Perhaps first line signers on application)
7. Investigation Committee – See form #7 Grand Lodge
This list is not intended to be all inclusive. As is always the case,
the Worshipful Master may have as many special nights as he desires (guest officers, wardens, etc.) He may also appoint as many Committees as he deems necessary.
The appointive Officers are as follows:
Chaplain, Tyler, Organist, Marshal, S.S., J.S. and Ritual Instructor.
Appointments should be made just prior to installation.
The sample list above should be contained in the Officers kits and updated each year as the Lodge expands its activities and ongoing programs.
1. Used in two senses.
- “A certain number of Masons, duly assembled..”
- Not to be confused with a Lodge room or a Lodge Hall.
1. Elective a. Determined by Lodge By-Laws.
b. Usually only Master, Senior and Junior Wardens,
and Treasurer and Secretary.
c. Some Lodges elect all officers.
d. Chosen separately by ballot at annual meeting.
e. Term – usually for one year or until successor is installed.
f. Campaigning or nominations are not allowed.
g. Master and Wardens cannot resign.
h. Master may appoint an acting officer to fill a vacancy.
i. In the absence of the Master, the following may preside:
1. Senior Warden 2. Junior Warden 3. A Past Master
2. Appointive a. Appointed by Master at annual meeting after he is installed.
b. Term -same as elective.
c. May resign at any time if Lodge By-Laws so provide.
d. Master may fill a vacancy at any meeting.
3. Duties a. Spelled out in installation ceremonies.
b. Each officer should become familiar with his duties.
1. Brother a. Entitled after taking Entered Apprentice obligation.
2. Worshipful a. Entitled after installation as Worshipful Master
3. Very Worshipful a. Entitled – Assistant Grand Lecturer – District Representative
4. Right Worshipful a. Entitled – Elected Grand Lodge officers; DGM, SGW,
JGW, GT, GS Appointive; DDGM and Grand Lecturer
5. Most Worshipful a. Entitled – Grand Master
6. Past Officers a. Highest title attained is retained for life
7. Use of Titles.
a. In Lodge – Always use Masonic Title with full name or last name.
b. You should not use title and first name only; i.e.
c. In public – Titles not used except between Brethren.
d. In correspondence – Titles are used on letters, but not on envelopes
ADDRESSING MASONS IN THE LODGE
In addressing Lodge members, the salutation should be such as “Brother Jones,” using only his last name unless the first name is necessary to designate which “Brother Jones.”
In addressing Lodge Officers, the salutation should be “Brother Secretary,” using only the title of his office.
In addressing distinguished visitors, use full name and title and mention their Jurisdiction if it is other than Maine. For example, M. W. Brother John Jones — Most Worshipful Past Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of New York.
In addressing Past Masters, state their full name and title. For example,
Worshipful Brother John Smith Past Master of — Lodge —.
In addressing Grand Lodge Officers, state their full name and title.
For example, R. W. Edwin V. George — Right Worshipful Grand Secretary.
In addressing the District Deputy Grand Master of your Masonic District,
state his full name and title. For example Right Worshipful John O. Snug
-District Deputy Grand Master. Should he be from another Masonic District,
add his Masonic District letter or number. For example, R. W. John O.
Smith District Deputy of the 20th. Masonic District or R. W. Brother John O. Smith Past District Deputy of the 20th. Masonic District.
In addressing the Mast Worshipful Grand Master — address him as Mast Worshipful Peter C. Schmidt, Most Worshipful Grand Master.
1. Due-guard given to
a. Worshipful Master or presiding officer from rear of altar on entering or retiring from an opened Lodge.
b. Worshipful Master or presiding officer when addressing him.
c. Due-guard and sign given in place for each degree with Grand hailing sign at the opening of M.M. Degree; F.C. Degree only the first two due-guards and signs; and the E.A. Degree only tie first due-guard and sign.
d. Private Grand Honors – Due-guards and signs as given in M.M. opening, except no Grand Hailing Sign. (See Grand honors)
ENTERING AN OPENED LODGE
1. Member or frequent visitor.
a. Tyler can avouch for – causes alarm at tyled door
– J. D. responds at the order of the W.M., reports to the W.M. that X number of brethren are without; properly clothed and avouched for and wish to gain admission;
permission granted, they enter, approach rear of altar and give due-guard and sign of Degree b. Tyler should be aware of the progress of the meeting and determine when a Brother should be admitted.
c. No one should be admitted during Degree work should wait for break after first section.
d. Emergency calls from without for a member in a meeting should be delayed until a break or the Tyler should use discretion and send a message by a Brother seated near the preparation room door. No alarm at tyled door during work
2. Visitor for the first time.
a. Must be avouched for or examined (See both of these sections)
1. General procedure.
a. Should address the Senior Warden.
b. No signs given.
c. If you have sat in a Lodge with visitor.
d. A member of the Examining Committee can avouch for a visitor who has passed the examination.
e. A Brother who will be absent from a meeting can avouch for a visitor only if he has sat in a Lodge with him, and can avouch for him in the presence of a Brother who will attend that meeting. This must be done in person and not over the phone.
GREETING VISITORS AND MEMBERS
1. Before the meeting.
a. Duty of the Senior Warden.
b. Meet and greet all hers.
c. Seek out all first time visitors d. Make certain they are introduced to W.M. and other officers.
2. In Lodge Room a. First time visitor should be introduced formally.
b. Grand Honors should be accorded to those who are entitled.
c. Past Masters and/or special visitors invited to seat in East.
1. Symbol of authority.
a. Part of Master’s regalia.- MUST be worn while presiding.
b. Can be worn by W.M., M.W.G.M., or Past Master when presiding c. Should be removed during prayer.
d. Should be removed at the Altar during obligation placed on floor, not on base of Altar.
e. Should be removed when Grand Master is present or when D.D.G.M. is presented at official visitation
(inspection) Master may replace hat during work of the evening f. Master may remove hat when S.W. or J.W. are presiding during Degree work and Master is filling their station.
g. May be removed by Master momentarily during Degree work to rest his head should use his discretion.
1. Officers a. No robes allowed – See Digest of Decisions pages 20 and 76.
b. Ordinary business suits are acceptable.
c. Dark suits, white shirts, bow ties, black shoes recommended.
d. Encourage use of Tuxedos, if possible, for the Officers.
e. Dress should be dignified, not sloppy. Adopt dress code
2. Members a. Should dress as they would to go to Church – neatly
3. Candidate. Clothed in a white robe b. Robe should be cleaned as necessary – J.D. take notice
LODGE ROOM BEHAVIOR
1. No one should pass between Master and Altar.
a. A Master relies on the Great Light (Holy Bible)
to rule and govern his Lodge. Line of vision should never be broken.
b.* Exception – during Degree work, officers may pass this way in a clockwise motion while conducting candidate.
2. Lodge at Labor a. No audible conversation or noise that will distract the attention of the candidate or interrupt the business of the Lodge.
b. No one may leave the Ledge room without the permission of the Worshipful Master.
3. Lodge at ease a. Same as Lodge at Labor except that the Brethren may converse quietly.
b. No one should move about or leave Lodge room without permission of the Worshipful Master.
4. Lodge at Refreshment a. Masonic term meaning “recess”.
b. Permissible to leave the Lodge room.
c. Craft is under the direction of the Junior Warden.
He is responsible for the general welfare of the membership.
PRESIDING ON LODGE BUSINESS
A Masonic Lodge does not operate under the rules of order observed by secular bodies. In a Masonic Loge, a Worshipful Master’s decision is final.
He cannot be overruled by action of the Lodge. He is accountable to the Grand Master and the District Deputy Grand Master as the direct representative of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. An appeal can be made from the decision of the Worshipful Master to the Most Worshipful Grand Master.
A District Deputy Grand Master is the direct representative of the Most Worshipful Grand Master. He is supreme in his district when his is acting in his official capacity as District Deputy.
If any Lodge considers itself aggrieved by a District Deputy Grand Master,
it can appeal to the Grand Master.
MASONIC MEMORIAL SERVICE PROTOCOL
The information concerning the Masonic Memorial Service is partially derived from the Maine Masonic Textbook. More specific information can be obtained on pp. 262-3. The Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service is offering the following suggestions in order that the purpose of the service can become clearer in the minds of the lodge officers who are performing it. We must note, however, that circumstances will vary because of the way the funeral home is arranged, where the deceased is placer. and where the family is seated. The Grand Master has approved the use of these services even though the body or the ashes are not present.
In either of the latter two cases, the word “symbolically” (shown in parenthesis below) should be inserted in the service and only the Master will place the apron and the evergreen in an appropriate place.
I. Officers’ Positions.
- The Master should stared at the head of the casket, facing family and friends
- The Chaplain should stand at the foot of the casket, facing the center of the room
- The Deacons should stand with crossed rods (if desired) next to the Master.
- The Stewards should stand with crossed rods (if desired) next to the Chaplain.
- Remaining officers and brethren.
1. Should remain in their seats until end of service.
2. If seats are not available, the officers and brethren should stand at the head and foot of the casket next to the Deacons and Stewards
Note: It is imperative that the sight line be clear so that the family and friends of the deceased can be seen by the Master and Chaplain. Actually,
the Master is performing the service for the deceased, but he does address the family and friends
II. The Apron
A. Statement is made by the Master.
1. “He will now (symbolically)
wear that apron forever as the emblem of the virtues it represents.”
a. As the Master concludes this statement he holds up the apron by the two upper corners with the flap toward him and places it over the edge of the casket allowing the strings to fall within the casket
III. The Evergreen.
A. Statement is made by the Master.
1: “In accordance with our custom, I now place (symbolically) this Evergreen over the heart of our brother.”
a. The Master brings his right hand to his left breast then extends it, palm downward, over the casket, depositing the Evergreen, then carries it above his head pointing to Heaven and then drops arm and hand to his side.
B. Other Officers and Brethren 1. Deposit their Evergreen in like manner at the end of the service.
Conclusion: It is important that this service be rehearsed.
One of the best ways to attract Members to your Meetings is to provide interesting speakers. If your speakers are consistently good, the word gets around and your attendance at Lodge Meetings will increase.
A list of speakers may be obtained by contacting the Grand Lodge office.
A new list each year may be obtained from the committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service
If you want to obtain good speakers, treat your speakers with extra consideration and courtesy. Word as to how speakers are treated at Lodges also gets around. Here are some suggestions:
1. Arrange for the speaker well in advance.
2. If he is not a Member of your Lodge, remember that he is your special guest and treat him accordingly.
3. The speaker must be a Mason if he speaks in open Lodge.
4. The speaker does not have to be a Mason if he does not speak in .
the Lodge Room.
5. The speaker and the Worshipful Master should agree on the topic, the approximate length of the speech and the approximate time the speaker is to commence speaking. This should be confirmed by the Worshipful Master in writing. If this cannot be done a the time the speaker is engaged,
then the Worshipful Master should contact him again, at least thirty days before their date.
6. If the speaker is coming from a distance and is not thoroughly familiar with the route and the location of the Lodge Building, the Worshipful Master should furnish him with necessary maps and guidance.
7. If parking is a problem, the Worshipful Master should arrange to reserve a parking space for the speaker’s car.
8. If the speaker is a Grand Lodge Officer or other distinguished Mason,
the Worshipful Master should arrange with the Tyler for a proper reception in the Lodge Room.
9. The Worshipful Master should designate an experienced Brother, usually a Past Master, to greet the speaker on his arrival, make him feel welcomed and see that all his needs are taken care of. This Past Master should be qualified to conduct an examination Worshipful of a Visitor, so that if the speaker is not known, he may be given an Examination, quickly,
quietly and courteously.
10. The question of remuneration should be settled at the time the speaker is engaged. At least he should be reimbursed for any out-of-pocket expenses and if he refuses to accept anything for speaking at your Annual Banquet,
a modest donation should be made in his name to his favorite Masonic Charity.
11. Most speakers have a biographical sketch which they will furnish you. If such is not the case, you should investigate his background enough to find out something about him, such as his occupation, hobbies, honors,
12. Then introducing the speaker, do not elaborate on his accomplishments,
etc., to the point of embarrassing him. Keep your introduction as short as possible without seeming to slight the speaker’s importance. It is proper to mention the topic of his speech but never elaborate on the subject and give the impression that you are trying to steal his speech.
13. An important part of your relations with the speaker is your attitude towards him after the speech is over. The Worshipful Master should immediately thank the speaker sincerely. And he may, at that time, make a brief reference to sane highlight of the speech or its value to those present.
14. Before the speaker starts home, the Worshipful Master should again thank him and see that he is clear on his route home.
A wise and prudent Worshipful Master will not try to do everything himself.
If he personally takes on too much detail, he will find himself neglecting his real job which is to be a Leader. A person who acquires the ability to get others to work enthusiastically for him will find the responsibilities of Leadership much easier to carry.
The Worshipful Master should prepare for the entire years’ Stated Meetings and submit a copy of it to the District Deputy Grand Master for approval.
To get others to take an interest in Lodge affairs and work for the good of the Lodge, the Worshipful Master should be a student of human nature and learn how to approach and deal with others to obtain their willing cooperation. This is an art that seems to come naturally to scene people,
but anyone can acquire a useful amount of this ability by observation;
study and the application of old fashion common sense and by doing unto others as you would have others do unto you.
MASONIC COURTESY IS A DEFINITE FORMAL FRAME OF MIND
Masonry is distinguished by a Masonic Etiquette that is all its own.
A Mason is first a gentleman. The charm of good manners, the use of politeness,
the expression of gracious behavior and those amenities indicated by word and by action, which characterize you as a Mason and a Gentleman, will continually serve as an inspiring example to your Brethren. This is the code by which gentlemen of the world govern their conduct, and in Masonry it directs itself to an evident respect for the craft and a courtesy to the individual Brother.
Do not use titles on the outside of an addressed envelope. In the salutation of a letter, use the title, followed by the address, then “Dear Brother”
or “My Dear Brother” followed by the first or last name.
Copies of letters to the Grand Master, which subject matter concerns the Lodge, should be sent to the District Deputy Grand Master; also copies of letters sent to the Grand Master, which subject matter concerns the District, collectively or otherwise, should be sent too the District Deputy.
A verbal invitation to a Brother to speak in your Lodge should always be confirmed by letter which is to be signed by the Master. A verbal invitation to a Brother to visit your Lodge should be confirmed by sending a copy of the communication with a suitable notation.
You, Worshipful Master, are draped with honor, clothed with authority,
cloaked with responsibilities and adorned with obligations. The eyes of your Brethren are upon you.
You are entitled to the reverence and respect of every Member of your Lodge and the high regard of the craft at large; but it must be earned by your demeanor and deportment.
To be slovenly and careless in your dress To use poor grammar To mispronounce words To use vulgarity To be indifferent to a Brother To be arbitrary To be inconsiderate To take action based on whims and prejudices To be critical of the Grand Lodge To oppose constituted authority To be critical of other Lodges
To be unjustly critical of your Brethren can hardly command the approbation of those wham you have been selected to lead.
Every good and sincere Brother wants you to be a good Master, an outstanding Master who has earned the everlasting respect of his Brethren.
Think, study and meditate. Walk with the Supreme Architect in every good deed and every act, that you may become inspired by these concepts. They will make you a better Mason. Your Lodge will be the better because you have served as its Master.
- Application – Self explanatory – See textbook and Standing Regulations.
a . Requirements:
Must be 21 years of age.
Resident of Maine for 12 months.
Resident of town or Lodge jurisdiction for 6 months.
Must be morally and mentally qualified.
If under the jurisdiction of another Lodge, a waiver must be obtained from that Lodge.
After petition accepted, it must be referred to committee of inquiry who reports at the next stated meeting
-30 days Degree cannot be conferred until 14 days after election.
Deposit must be made with application.
Full amount of initiation fee must be collected before degree can be conferred.
Petition cannot be withdrawn after it is referred to committee of inquiry without consent of Lodge
- Senior Deacon prepares ballot box.
- Master inspects ballot box.
Make certain that there are enough white balls for each member present.
Make certain that there are at least 6 black cubes Master reads petition -instructs Brethren on method of balloting.
Master declares ballot open.
Senior Deacon may pass ballot box or it may be set on a table behind Altar – never on the Altar.
Senior Deacon should avoid passing between Master and the Altar.
After all members have voted, Master declares ballot closed.
Senior Deacon may present ballot to J.W. and S.W. for inspection; they may rap once, they do not report whether the ballot is clear or not.
Master examines ballot, destroys it and then reports.
Two or more black cubes mean petition is rejected.
One black cube – ballot has to be taken a second time immediately.
One black cube on second ballot – petition is rejected.
No one admitted or retired during balloting.
No member excused from balloting, except by unanimous vote of Lodge.
Tyler may be excused by Master Separate ballot for each petition.
- See Textbook
- See Lodge By-Laws
THE COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY – Its Duties and Responsibilities
“Is He Worthy and Well-Qualified?”
Several committees are appointed by the Worshipful Master of a Lodge,
but no committee is as important and vital to the welfare of the Lodge in particular and Freemasonry in general as the committee of Inquiry,
appointed to investigate each Petitioner for the Degree of Freemasonry.
The best interests of Masonry demand that an exhaustive investigation,
be made of the character and standing of every application. It is imperative,
therefore, that the investigation of the petitioner be thorough.
Not all Brethren are skilled or adept at investigative work. It is always advisable for the Worshipful Master to carefully review the membership of the lodge, and whenever possible, to select those who have investigative experience or a talent for such
THE COMMITTEE – Its Responsibilities
The Lodge Brother who is appointed by the Worshipful Master to serve as a member of the Committee of Inquiry should consider such appointment a high honor, a visible expression of implicit trust and confidence in his ability, his zeal and his concern for the welfare of the age and Freemasonry.
The Committee of Inquiry is in reality a Masonic sentry. It must make sure that no man not fitted for the teachings and blessings of Freemasonry pass through the West Gate to initiation.
In the Charge at raising, our duty in this respect is clearly and unmistakably pointed out to us: “To preserve the reputation of the Fraternity unsullied must be your constant care.” Besides being an admonition to us in the daily conduct of our lives, it also includes the acceptance of petitioners
THE COMMITTEE – Its Duties
As members of the Committee of Inquiry, you are answerable to no one except your conscience. Your Lodge and Freemasonry are dependent upon.
your efforts and judgment. You are screening a person who can make the structure of Freemasonry either strong or weak. The members of the Committee of Inquiry are urged to become familiar with sections: 93, 112-118, 123,
129, 133; S.R. 20 of the Grand Lodge Constitution, and also the section on “Application” in the Maine Masonic Textbook, pages 225-231,
OFFICIAL FORM NO. 7
To be attached to every petition for degrees referred to a Committee of Inquiry.
INSTRUCTIONS TO COMMITTEE OF INQUIRY
The best interests of Masonry demand that an exhaustive investigation be made of the character and standing of every applicant. It is imperative therefore that your investigation of the petitioner be thorough.
Members of the Committee of Inquiry are urged to become familiar with those sections of the Grand Lodge Constitution which relate to applications
(See Index – page 61) and also the section on “Application”
in the Maine Masonic Textbook (1959 edition) pages 225-233.
Following are the more important points on which you will wish to check:
1. Ascertain definitely if the petitioner has any defect or deformity which will prevent him from being instructed in the arts and mysteries of Freemasonry, or cause an inability to acquire the means of subsistence.
2. Ascertain definitely if the Lodge has jurisdiction over the petitioner.
3. Ascertain whether the petitioner is mentally qualified to receive Masonic Degrees.
4. Ascertain whether the petitioner is morally fit to be received into the Fraternity.
5. Ascertain if any organization to which he belongs will impair his usefulness to the Fraternity.
6. Ascertain if his neighbors, acquaintances and employers give him a good character.
7. Check his answers to the questionnaire attached to his petition and see that all are fully answered. If any questions have not been answered,
interview the petitioner and have the same completed, or ascertain the reason for his not answering such questions.
8. Consider the financial standing of the petitioner with particular reference as to his reputation in meeting his obligations, and whether or not the maintenance of Lodge membership would be in any way of financial detriment to those dependent upon him
9. Do not make a favorable recommendation unless you are convinced that the petitioner will conform to the laws, rules and regulations of the institution.
RECEPTION OF THE GRAND MASTER
I. Advance Planning A. Notification by letter.
B. Grand Marshal consults with Master of Lodge before meeting.
C. Grand Master’s Suite.
1. Formed in ante-room.
2. Formed according to Grand Master’s wishes.
II. Receiving Grand Master A. Grand Marshal rakes demand at tiled door 1. Informs Senior Deacon that Grand Marshal is in waiting.
Grand Marshal escorted into Lodge.
Announces that the Grand Faster is in waiting and wishes to be received in the Lodge.
Worshipful Master informs Grand Marshal that a procession of the proper officers will be formed and will wait upon the Grand Master. This procession will consist of the Lodge Marshal, Deacons and Stewards 2. Or – Grand Marshal informs the Senior Deacon that the Grand Master is in waiting and wishes to be received in the Lodge. (Follow procedure as in lc. above)
3. The Grand Marshal meanwhile forms his suite outside in the following order:
Grand Stewards Grand Pursuivants Grand Chaplain Assistant Grand Lecturer Past District Deputies District DeputiesGrand Lecturer Grand Secretary Grand Treasurer Past Grand Wardens Grand Wardens Past Grand Masters Deputy Grand Master Grand Master Grand Deacons Grand Standard Bearer Grand Sword Bearer
B. Entering the Lodge Hall
1. When Lodge officers arrive at the outer door, Stewards will remain inside the hall, face each other and cross rods to allow suite to enter beneath the arch formed. Deacons go to the rear of the procession. Marshal will inform the Grand Marshal that the Lodge is ready to receive the Grand Master and will then step to one side.
2. Grand Marshal announces
“The Grand Lodge of Maine.”
3. Worshipful Master gives three raps to raise the Lodge
4. Suite marches to rear of altar in double file, halts at the altar,
opens ranks and faces inward while the Grand Marshal goes to rear of column and escorts the Grand Master to rear of altar. In escorting the Grand Master, the Grand Marshal offers his right arm. (Note: While this takes place, the Lodge Marshal, Stewards and Deacons go quietly to their respective places in the Lodge.)
5. The Grand Marshal introduces the Grand Master to the Master of the Lodge.
6. Worshipful Master asks the Grand Marshal to escort the Grand Master to the East, where he is welcomed by the Master and in turn introduced to the Brethren, at the conclusion of which he is given the private Grand Honors at the request of the Master, taking cue from the Grand Marshal.
(Note: Private Grand Honors consist of giving the Due-guards and signs of the three degrees. DO NOT GIVE GRAND HAILING SIGN.
7. Master presents gavel to Grand Master and asks him to preside.
8. Grand Master accepts gavel and asks Grand Marshal to introduce the balance of the suite.
9. As each of the remaining officers is introduced, he steps between the lines, facing East, salutes with D-G and steps back into line. When all have been introduced, Grand Marshal leads entire suite to East, forming a semi-circle facing West;
10. OR, As each is introduced he steps to rear of Altar, salutes, and proceeds toward the East forming lines facing inward on North and South sides of hall alternately.
11. Grand Master introduces Grand Marshal and suite is accorded the Public Grand honors by the Brethren. (Note: Public Grand Honors consists of crossing arms, left over right, tips of fingers resting on shoulders, then bowing three times).
12. Suite is then conducted once around the Lodge and will find convenient seats for themselves
C. Seating the Lodge 1.Grand Master uses gavel to seat Lodge and returns gavel. D. Master of Lodge continues with opening
III. Program for the Evening.
A. Lodge program presented.
B. Grand Master to be the last one to speak. Allow as much time as Grand Master feels necessary to present his message. (Note:
NO ONE SHOULD. SPEAK AFTER THE GRAND MASTER, NOT EVEN TO MAKE AN ANNOUNCEMENT)
IV. Closing Lodge A. Master uses regular form for closing Lodge B. Or, Asks Grand Master to close in Ample Form
GRAND LODGE OF MAINE A.F. &
Grand Honors are of two kinds: Public and Private. Each is given differently and is intended for use on designated occasions as mentioned below. The manner in which Grand Honors are given and used as adopted by the Grand Lodge in 1940 is as follows:
PUBLIC A. How Given
Public Grand Honors are given “by crossing the arms upon the breast, the left uppermost, the tips of the fingers touching the points of the shoulders and bowing three times with arms thus crossed.” This form was adopted in 1894
B. When Used
Public Grand Honors are to be used in all public ceremonies which require the use of Grand Honors. They may be used also as a token of esteem “in receiving all Grand Lodge officers of our own or other Grand Jurisdictions,
with the exceptions as noted under Private Grand Honors, and for permanent members of our own Grand Lodge.”
PRIVATE A. How Given
Private Given Private Grand Honors consist of the due guards and signs of the three degrees, each given on the step of the degree. These Private Grand Honors may be given “in procession” or “in place”,
whichever is desired by the Grand Officer to be received, or as may be most expedient; if given “in procession”, each Brother when reaching the East steps and faces the East and on stop of degree gives due guard and sign of the first degree the first time around the hall,
of the second degree the second time around, and of the third degree the third time around.”
B. When Used Private Grand Honors shall be used when
(a) a Masonic Hall is to be dedicated
(b) a new Lodge is to be constituted
(c) a new Master-elect is to be installed, and
(d) the Grand Master or his official representative is to make an official visitation to a Lodge
These Honors may also be accorded to Past Grand Masters of your own or other Grand Jurisdictions.
The manner in which the Grand Lodge, Grand Lodge officers or Visitors should be received is described in Chapter VII, pages 76-80 in the Maine Masonic Textbook.
The function of the ritual is to move profoundly the inner life of the candidate; to accord him a genuine moral and spiritual experience;
to give him a vision of a new life; to use its potentialities; and zealously to perform its duties and make the necessary sacrifices.
It is important that all participating in the work of the ritual be so imbued with its meaning that the spiritual atmosphere of a Lodge, during the exemplification of the ritual, will be felt by all present.
Each officer should strive so to perfect himself in the exemplification of his part of the ritual teat he will be able to recite it accurately and impressively without conveying to the candidate the impression that it is something committed to memory.
It is improper to discuss the ritual in public, or to advertise it, or to publish pictures of it in any way whereby the secrets of Masonry may be unlawfully revealed.
HINTS ON LEARNING THE RITUAL AND LECTURES
Before memorizing any part of the ritual or a Lecture:
1. Learn to read the ritual or lecture fluently without hesitating.
2. Check with one who knows the lecture or ritual to be sure you are not mistaken in your choice of words. If a wrong word is learned, habit makes it difficult to correct the situation, even though the mistake is eventually recognized.
3. Check the dictionary to learn meanings and pronunciations of unfamiliar words.
4. Learn the full meaning of any strange sentences. Check with one who knows the ritual or lecture for explanations of the meaning and symbolism of unfamiliar phrases and sentences. It is difficult to memorize words and sentences that have no meaning to you.
5. Decide how each sentence should sentence when read or recited aloud.
Decide where voice inflection should occur and where emphasis should be placed. Always read the sentence in the sane way, never deviating from what you have once established to be the proper way to do it.
6. Read and re-read the ritual or lecture many times until you are thoroughly familiar with it
7. Practice, with the cipher closed, writing in proper order all of the subjects discussed in the lecture, and then check with the ritual or lecture to determine what you have omitted or misplaced. In delivering the lecture you will always have to know what cues next.
8.Inspect the slides or lecture charts and acquaint yourself with where they fit into the lecture, however, do not became dependent upon them.
9. Use every opportunity to hear others deliver the lecture or ritual.
Make a mental note of what you do and do not like about the way they have given it.
10. Understand that these steps are to be taken before memorizing anything and are as important as the actual job of memorizing, and will require as much of your time as the job of memorizing the lines.
These first hints are very important because the more familiar you are with the lecture, the easier will be the job of memorizing it. Do not be impatient to start memorizing.
To memorize the ritual or a lecture:
1. Learn it paragraph by paragraph; do not attempt to learn too much at any one time.
2. Concentrate on the lecture. Try to be along, if possible, without distractions from family, television, etc. Keep your mind on the ritual or lecture.
3. Take sections in the proper sequence; do not skip around in learning different sections.
4. Spend as much or more time in reviewing material already learned,
as in learning new sections of the ritual. Refuse to learn anything new unless you are fairly confident of your ability to deliver what you have already learned.
5. Practice what you have already learned during odd moments. For example,
recite while driving your car, riding a tractor, walking. You will be surprised at the benefit derived from the odd moments which would otherwise be wasted.
6. Always recite your lines in the same manner never changing voice inflections or emphasis once you have decided how they ought to be done.
So: prize how, and what, you say
7. Some prefer to recite aloud when practicing; others prefer the silent method. Most prefer the former, but do what is easier for you. If reciting silently, always concentrate on what you hear in your own mind what the sentences sound like.
8. Strive for perfection. Only by trying are we able to limit our mistakes to a relatively small number.
9. As we are told in the third degree lecture, “Time, patience,
and perseverance will accomplish all things.” Some can learn a lecture or ritual with less effort than others, but all can learn it if enough interest and determination is shown. When discouraged, consider carefully the lecture of the Beehive, as given in the third degree lecture.It will never fail to stimulate your efforts.
When giving the lecture
1. Always remember that primarily you are talking to the candidates,
and the brethren about the lodge are overhearing your remarks. Talk to them in normal voice volume and in a natural tone of voice. Look at the candidates while speaking.
2. Do not let your mind wander to the hard part that comes later on in the lecture. Think only of what you have to say at the moment.
3. Most of your lecture will be given in scene darkness because of projecting slides. Therefore, forget about your blushes and the sweat on your forehead.
No one will see it.
4. Graciously accept the prompting, if needed, and go on without worrying or being embarrassed.
5. There should be a single prompter, perhaps the lodge Ritual Instructor.
Have this person who knows the lecture sit near your lecture station and tell him not to prompt unless you signal for it.
6. Do not be bashful about insisting to the Master that all Lodge doors be kept closed while you are lecturing and that the Tyler preserve quiet in his quarters. They owe you this courtesy.
7. Do not talk too slowly or too fast; your presentation should be clear and deliberate.
8. Do not try to keep up with the slides; let the slide man keep pace with you.
9. Get expression into the lecture as much as possible without assuming an unnatural tone of voice.
10. When you have given a good lecture, you will know the personal pride,
satisfaction and enjoyment that goes with doing the job. That will be your wages for effort.
MASONIC EVENING MEMORIAL SERVICE
From the Constitution section 102, page 38, we read: “No one below the degree of Master Mason shall be interred with Masonic honors and the formalities of the order. It is the duty of a Lodge of which a brother is a member, or the nearest Lodge, to attend and perform the usual Masonic burial services over deceased Master Masons when requested so to do by the deceased or his nearest relatives.”
You are also referred to the Digest of Decisions, page 13 – Burial, and page 35 – under Funeral. Chapter IX (9) of the Maine Masonic Textbook is devoted to this topic; the Masonic Evening Memorial Service is found on page 97.
It is the duty and responsibility of the Master of a Lodge to conduct these services. However, if that is not possible, the Master may delegate this responsibility to a trusted member of the lodge. Many of our Lodges have Past Masters who have learned the ceremony and present it in a most dignified manner.
Here is how to proceed: Contact the family and if services are requested,
this starts the process. It is a good idea to have the obituary include the Masonic Memorial Service and the time it will be conducted, and that it is open to the public. Previous contact with the Funeral Director is very important; he will need to know when the Masons will arrive, plan for seating, and arrange for the smooth and orderly function of your ceremonies.
He is a most important person and will be a great help. Get to know him.
Plan with him.
Immediately notify the membership. Masonic Services with just a few members present do not make a good impression. The telephone tree approach works well, and it is quick: Form a committee for this purpose. A committee that can be counted on.
A special communication of the lodge is opened, of which the records should include appropriate Masonic information concerning the deceased brother. Proceed to the funeral home. The Marshal should plan and arrange for a smooth and orderly procession. These details require planning and coordination if we are to make the impression which we must make.
We suggest that the officers and brethren be seated together as a group.
That only the Master and Chaplain at the appropriate time assume their positions at the head and foot of the casket. You will note that the textbook indicates the Deacons and Stewards with crossed rods be positioned at the head and foot of the casket. Since most funeral homes do not have the required space, with the arrangement of flowers and the rest, we suggest that the working officers be the Master and Chaplain. This will provide for a much smoother arrangement, and will eliminate a crowded and clustered appearance during the ceremonies.
A Master and a Chaplain, brethren who have learned the ceremonies well have committed it to memory and are able to deliver it in a dignified and impressive manner are the brethren who should conduct these ceremonies.
They should face and speak directly to the congregation and the family.
Men the service is finished, the Master and Chaplain should go to the family to extend sincere condolences.
The service is completed. We must do an excellent job. The ceremony is public; the deep impression we make, or fail to make, will be noted and remembered
HELPFUL HINTS FOR THE MASTER
Some tips to Masters of Lodges pertaining to Duties to the sick, aged,
shutins, and assisting widows of deceased Brothers concerning memorial services and funerals.
I. When you call on the sick:
a. If hospitalized you might ask the nurse about the patient and if it is a good time to call.
b. Be warm, sensitive, friendly and optimistic. Call them by name, take their hand and say has sorry you are they are ill.
c. Be brief. The person is ill. They will appreciate your consideration.
d. If they do not know you, tell them who you are and why you are there.
e. Do not be loud or noisy or get into involved recitations.
f. Watch for your cue to leave. Take them by the hand, express your wish for their speedy recovery if appropriate. If a terminal illness,
tell them that you will be back and that you will inform their brethren of the visit.
II. When you call on the aged a. Introduce yourself and tell why you are there b. Be able to call them by name c. Follow the suggestions of visiting the sick generally if appropriate.
Be warn and friendly.
d. Do not take too long.
e. If they are not too lucid, make it short. If they are mixed up, their attention span may not be very great. Leave after handshake and good wishes.
f. If they are lucid you may spend a few moments with them, but make it brief.
III. When you call on the shut-ins:
a. These persons may be old, middle aged or young. For same it may be temporary. Usually they are the old and the immobile.
b. Follow procedures of visitation of sick or aged, as suggested above.
c. The key is to be sensitive to the one being called on.
IV. When you call on widows of recently deceased Brother:
a. You may wish to take one or two of your officers with you.
b. Call the widow and make an appointment for the visit ahead of time.
c. Tell here who you are, why you are calling and that you will be accompanied by officers, etc.
d. Introduce yourself and your companions. You may wish to speak of the deceased brother and establish your relationship to him as friend or acquaintance.
You do not have to overdo the matter.
e. Ask the widow if she has any problems that her husband’s Lodge could help her with. Ascertain if there are bills or debts that the Lodge could help with. Explain some things the Lodge can do. If she asks some things that you do not know, tell her you will find out and let her know.
f. Ask the widow if she wants a Masonic funeral at the time of the regular funeral or a Memorial Service the night before.
g. The Memorial service is a very meaningful ceremony if done well, and being at a different time does not compete with Church services. Some ministers may feel that their part is somehow preliminary to a non-church ceremony and resent it.
h. Some families may not want either Masonic funeral or Memorial Service.
Be polite. Tell them that you felt you should ask. Thank them for their time. Repeat regrets of death of brother and leave offering to help in any way you can.
i. If the widow wishes one or the other services, call up Lodge members.
Set up ceremony with members to give parts, with time to open Lodge proceed to funeral home.
j. Participating officers (Master and Chaplain) should dress formally.
Tux or dark suit with tie and dark shoes.
k. Others attending should dress in business suits with dark tie and dark shoes. A funeral or Memorial Service is a formal ceremony. It shows respect for a departed Brother.
l. If you are giving the service, be dignified. If you have a part, it is best to memorize it, but if you haven’t you must practice reading it so as to be familiar with its text and read it well: If you are not going to do it well, don’t do it at all.
m. When you give the service, face toward the audience, except when the Master places the Evergreen in the casket and the Masonic Apron.
n. Before or after the service, hunt up the widow, if present, and again repeat in behalf of the Lodge your condolences.
o. After you have fulfilled your ceremonies, you should take your leave and return to the Temple and close Lodge.
p. If there is a grave side committal by the Lodge, you would encar for the cemetery and assemble at the grave for the last ceremony.
GRAND LODGE OF MAINE
The following was prepared by the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education and Lodge Service from the Short Talk Bulletin of June, 1980 for use in evaluating the talent and interests of Lodge Members, new and old. We advise that it be given to every newly raised Master Mason. With the information on this report, the talents of every member of your Lodge can be utilized and good programs developed.
INTERESTED IN THE FOLLOWING LODGE WORK
MASONIC LODGE TALENT RECORD
Date______________________ Name of Member______________________ Home Address______________________ Phone ______________________ Business Address______________________ Occupation Formal education ______________________ Masonic birthday ______________________ Hobbies ______________________ Major interests______________________ Physical limitations______________________ Members of family with special skills, hobbies & interests:______________________ Posting of Candidates ______________________ Being and Intender/Instructor ____________________ Degree Lecturer ______________________ Investigations ______________________ Sick Visitation ______________________ Attend Funeral Services ______________________ Exhibit hobby collection ______________________ Prepare Educational items ______________________ Give book reviews ______________________ Library work Masonic ______________________ Research Write for Lodge periodical _________________ Present Masonic talks______________________ Temple maintenance carpentry electrical other____________________ Committee work ______________________
|Take part in plays ______________________ Visit other Lodges______________________ Musical: pianist soloist choir_________________ organist _____________________ Glee Club______________________ Audio/Visual equipment_____________________ Liaison with other bodies___________________ Telephone Committee_____________________ Youth Activities______________________ Take photographs______________________ Help with refreshments____________________ Becoming an officer_____________________ Other work______________________
LODGE WORK THAT INTERESTS MY FAMILY
Present music______________________ Take part in plays ______________________ Assist in serving refreshments__________________ Exhibit hey collection ______________________ Take part in an entertainment__________________ Take photographs Other work__________________
MASONIC EDUCATION PROGRAM AWARD
Certificate awarded annually to the Lodge which has conducted the most outstanding, continuing Masonic Education program in each District during the year.
2. .Each District Education Representitive will Recommend the outstanding age in his District to the Chairman of the Grand Lodge Committee on Masonic Education prior to April 1st. each year.
3. Awards presented at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge..
RAYMOND RIDEOUT TROPHY
1. Awarded annually to the Lodge which has conducted the most outstanding,
continuing Masonic Education program in the State during the year.
2. Winner to be selected by Committee from the recommendations submitted by the District Education Representatives to the Committee.
3. Presented at the Annual Communication of Grand Lodge.
4. Award will be inscribed with the name and number of the winning Lodge and the year received.
5. Award will be retained by winner for one year.
6. Trophy will be permanently retired to Lodge winning the award for three years in succession.
DEMOLAY AND RAINBOW
It is the duty of the Master to promote involvement and attendance at the affairs of DeMolay and Rainbow. Our youth are the future of our Freemasonry.
We have no better way to show them what Freemasonry is than teat of being personally involved within their groups.
A visit at least twice a year, more often if convenient, to each DeMolay Chapter and Rainbow Assembly in a district is recommended.
If no Chapter or Assembly exists in your district, investigate the possibility of organizing one with the leadership of these groups.
Assist the DeMolay and Rainbow in finding adult leaders when and where needed.
organize visitations to the nearest inlay Chapter or Rainbow Assembly.
Plan to invite them to your Lodge to provide an evening program or work of their choice.
Our youth needs YOU:
MASONRY IN ACTION
A TEAM CONCEPT PROGRAM
The team concept program consists of a booklet containing more than 25 Lodge committees with instructions how to put your members to work. The booklet also contains all the necessary information and instruction to the committees. A list of some of those committees are available through the Grand Lodge office.
|Candidate Proficiency Cemeteries Chaplains Church Service Community Service Fellowcrafts Fraternal Visits Greeters History Hospital Equipment Library Masonic Education Masonic Funeral Services||Masonic Birthdays Memorabilia Non-Payment of Dues Publicity Regalia Ritual Special Events Sojourners Sick and visitation (Care and Share)
Telephone Tree Togus Visitation Tresetleboard (age)
Widows Youth Program
Brethren, it is not intended that a Lodge must use all rose programs available. It is our hope that some of the .more important ones will be implemented and as time goes on perhaps some can be used to benefit the Lodge.
INFORMATION AND SUGGESTIONS ABOUT FILING APPLICATIONS
FOR GRANTS FROM GRAND LODGE CHARITY FUND
1. Applications may be filed at any time.
2. The application form is furnished in duplicate. The pink copy is for the lodge files. The white copy should be sent to the Chairman of the Committee on Distribution of Relief. The pink copy retained by the Lodge should be identical in every way to the official (white) application sent to the Chairman, so that if correspondence is necessary, reference can be made to data or information given in answer to questions.
3. Complete and correct information is indispensable for prompt action.
Too much importance cannot be placed upon the necessity for securing and presenting all the facts as requested in the application form. Supplementary information oftentimes is invaluable. Every question should be answered;
unanswered questions infer that the information has not been secured.
4. The answers to questions 19, 20, and 21 should correlate closely to the amount requested in question 22
5. All applications are for assistance for the period ending March 31st.
Because of constantly changing conditions, the Trustees of the Charity Committee require a new application each year. If assistance is needed beyond next March 31st, it will be necessary to file another application.
The Trustees are eager to give promptly as much assistance as the data on the application suggests is needed. Only as all the essential facts are presented can the Trustees arrive at a sound decision which will give the beneficiary the help which is needed.
Charity considerations should be left to the Worshipful Master and his Confidential Committee. Names of applicants should never be brought before the Lodge, nor should applications depend on Lodge approval unless the by-laws dictate. (Would suggest changing if by-laws now dictate bringing before the Lodge). Only amount of relief granted should be reported at the Annual Communication and how many assisted.
REDEDICATION TO FREEMASONRY
On May 3, 1978, at the Annual Communication of The Grand Lodge, our new Grand Master, the Most Worshipful Roger P. Shelling, proclaims an Act of Rededication to Freemasonry and invited all Maine Masons to rededicate the themselves to country and to Freemasonry. (This model canes from The Grand Master of Pennsylvania, August 15, 1975).
2. Rededication Ceremony, adopted for local lodge use:
A. The Marshal will assist the Worshipful Master and the Chaplain to the altar.
B. As many brethren as possible are asked to join the Worshipful Master and the Chaplain at the altar and to kneel on the left knee with the right knee extended, as in the E. A. Degree.
Brethren unable to find a place to kneel, or if kneeling presents a hardship,
are asked to stand and place your right hand over your heart.
D. When everyone is in place, the Chaplain shall lead the brethren in
“The Rededication to the Tenets of Freemasonry”.
I, (Give your name in full and repeat after me)
I, in the presence of Almighty God! and my ..assembled brethren/conscious of the deep/and abiding heritage/ which we have each received/and grateful for the inspiration/of those who have preceded me/along this road/do hereby dedicate myself again/to the principles and purposes set forth/in our most ancient/and honorable fraternity/and I commit myself once more/to the power of/the one Supreme Being/ to the founding principles/which undergird my nation/, and to the light and knowledge/I received in the symbolic degrees/of Freemasonry/. With great sincerity of purpose/I now renew my promise/to do all within my power/to be diligent/in support of my Lodge/and of my brethren,/to be faithful to my nation/and to all my fellow men/,
and to be courageous/ in my concern/for what is good and holy/, so help one God/, and keep me steadfast in this/my pledge of rededication./Amen/
Almighty God, author of our lives, guardian of our hopes and witness to all our best intentions, be present with us now and in all times to come to confirm in heaven what we seek to do on earth. And go forth with us from this moment of rededication to make it live in all we think and say and do, now and evermore. Amen.
I. MASONIC OFFENSES
1. MORAL LAW – “Moral law is the eternal and indestructible sense of justice and of right written by God on the living tablets of the human heart, and revealed in his Holy Word. (Moore v. Strickling, 46 W. Va.
2. NATIONAL AND STATE LAWS – While Masonry enjoins obedience to the civil law, it will not take cognizance of offenses against the civil law that are of a political character. So Treason, the highest offense known to the civil law, cannot be punished as a Masonic offense. There are also certain other offenses against the civil law which are not Masonic crimes;
when an act, prohibited by statue, involves no moral turpitude, it cannot ordinarily be punished as a Masonic offense; but when an act is prohibited by statue, as being against good public morals, or as dangerous to the life, health and good order of the community, it is an offense against Masonic law.
The two words “moral turpitude” have been defined as “inherent baseness or vileness of principle”; “The quality of a crime involving grave infringement of the moral sentiment as distinguished from mala prohibits.” Webster’s New International Dictionary. Generally speaking, crimes malum in se involve moral turpitude, while most offenses that are unlawful only because made so by statue, do not. “Moral turpitude” implies something immoral in itself, regardless of its being punishable by the law. It is an act of baseness, vileness or depravity in the private or social duties which man owes to his fellow men or to society in general, contrary to the customary rules and duty between man and man. It is something done contrary to justice, honesty, modesty and good morals. The word “moral” in the phrase “moral turpitude”,
seems to be nothing mare than emphasis on the work “turpitude”.
State of Maine v. Jenness, 143 Me. 380.
It is well recognized that moral turpitude cannot be exactly defined by a rule to fit all cases. It may or may not be said to exist, depending on facts, conditions and circumstances.
3. MASONIC CONSTITUTION 4. MASONIC REGULATIONS 5. CUSTOMS 6. OBLIGATIONS 7. BELIEF IN SUPREME BEING II. PENAL JURISDICTION OF THE LODGE 1. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION AGAINST A MEMBER 2. TERRITORIAL JURISDICTION AGAINST ANY BROTHER (Except member of lodges having concurrent jurisdiction.)
III. PURE IN LODGE
1. ACCUSATION IN WRITING 2. SPECIFICATION OF THE OFFENSE See p. 202-204 Maine Masonic Textbook 3. SIGNED BY ONE OR MORE MASTER MASON 4. PREPARED BY JUNIOR WARDEN 5. DELIVERED TO MASTER WHO SHALL SUMMON HIS LODGE 6. VOTE IF OFFENSE IS ALLEGED, AND, IF SO, THAT INVESTIGATION IS REQUIRED 7. MAJORITY VOTE REQUIRES INVESTIGATION BY GRAND LODGE
(a) If negative vote, then other aggrieved Lodge or Brother may appeal to Grand Lodge who may accept.
IV. PENAL JURISDICTION OF GRAND LODGE A. ORIGINAL JURISDICTION 1. OFFENSE COMMITTED IN ITS PRESENCE OR BY ANY MEMBER WHILE IN ATTENDANCE UPON A COMMUNICATION.
2. EXCLUSIVE POWER TO TRY AND PUNISH ITS OWN OFFICERS FOR ANY OFFENSE.
3. IMPEACHMENT AGAINST THE MASTER.
I. HOW BEGUN
(a) By five (5) members of the Lodge
(b) By District Deputy
(c) By Grand Master on his own II. ACTION BY GRAND MASTER
(b) May suspend to next annual communication
4. OF ANY MASON RESIDING WITHIN JURISDICTION
5. GRAND MASTER MAY SUSPEND A BROTHER UNTIL NEXT ANNUAL COMMUNICATION FOR:
(a) Dereliction of duty
(b) Unmasonic conduct 1. Information by Grand Master required if Brother convicted of crime involving moral turpitude and no action taken by his Lodge.
1. BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF TRIALS or
(a) Special Board of Commissioners 2. JUDGE ADVOCATE Duties as may be appropriate 3. COMMITTEE ON GRIEVANCES AND APPEALS
V. PROCEDURE COMMISSIONERS OF TRIALS 1. REPORT – BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS OF TRIALS
(a) Facts of case