About Us > Duties of Lodge Officers
Worshipful Master - Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Square, which is a stonemason's tool to ascertain true and correct angles of the cut and smoothed stone...thus his Jewel symbolizes virtue.
The Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge is the highest ranking of all Lodge Officers which a Lodge may elect.
The Worshipful Master sits in the East of the Lodge room (symbolic of the Rising Sun in the East) and directs all of the business of the Lodge. Note: Even if the building faces a different direction, the Master is said to be "in the East". He also presides over ritual and ceremonies.
His position is similar to a President of any other organization. As Master, his word is final over any and all actions pertaining to his Lodge.
It is his duty to
While the Worshipful Master's rank is highest of all members, his Lodge Officer Duties are the easiest to remember.
The Worshipful Master is responsible for every single thing within his lodge during his year as Master. He is ultimately responsible for every other lodge officer and their duties, every lodge committee, ritual and degree work, Masonic education, social functions, fundraisers, District and Grand Lodge liaison, Trestle Board communication, etc.
All eyes are upon the Master. If lodge functions go smoothly, it is the Master who takes the credit. If lodge functions go awry, it is the Master who bears the blame. Therefore, the Master wears many hats.
It is his duty to preside over business meetings, the conferral of degrees, and delegation of duties to all other Lodge Officers.
While Freemasons call the Master, "Worshipful Master", they do not, as some people may erroneously believe, actually worship him. "Worshipful" is an honorary title which shows respect for his position. In France, the word "Worshipful" is replaced with the word "Venerable".
It is no different than respecting the office of our President of the United States. He would be addressed, formally, as "Mr. President" rather than by his first name. Likewise, if you go before a judge, you would address him as "Your Honor", rather than by his first name, as a measure of respect that you hold for his office.
Senior Warden - Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel is the Level...symbolizing that all Masons meet on the level, without regard to social, political or religious beliefs or status.
The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the second in command within the Lodge Officers.
In the absence of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden assumes the Worshipful Master's duties. The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge sits in the West (symbolic of the setting sun) and assists the Worshipful Master in opening and closing the Lodge.
The Senior Warden is in charge of the Lodge when it is at labor. His position is similar to a Vice-President of any organization.
His ancient duties were to pay the Craft (the members of the guild) their wages and to handle disputes among the workers. It is his duty to support the Master and to prepare himself for that office during the following year.
Junior Warden - Lodge Officer Duties:
His Jewel of Office is the Plumb,... which is a stonemason's instrument used for ascertaining the alignment of a vertical surface.
It symbolizes upright behavior among Masons.
The Junior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the third in command of the Lodge. The Junior Warden sits in the South (symbolic of the position of the sun at midday) and is responsible for the Brethren while the Lodge is at ease or refreshment.
His position is similar to a Second Vice-President. The Junior Warden, too, may open the lodge if the Master is unable to attend the meeting.
It is the Junior Warden's duty to arrange meals for the lodge, and, typically, the 2 Stewards act as his assistants in this responsibility.
Symbolically, it is also his duty to make certain that the members do not convert their refreshment into intemperance or excess. This is a holdover from earlier days, which still remains as part of the Junior Warden's job description, even though in most U.S. jurisdictions, alcohol is barred from the lodge.
Which Officers Can Open the Lodge?
The Master, the Senior Warden, the Junior Warden or a Past Master.
Appointed Lodge Officer Positions:
The other officers, which include the Senior Deacon, Junior Deacon, Senior Steward, Junior Steward, Marshal, Tiler and Chaplain are appointed positions by the Worshipful Master. Other members of the Masonic Lodge may be called on to serve on any of the numerous committees by the Worshipful Master.