The Masonic Trowel

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responsibilities of the master

by Bro. E. A. Snell

The Worshipful Master has a duty towards every candidate accepted for membership in his Lodge. He must make every effort to ensure that the candidate receives the best possible impression of our ceremonial workings. The dignity and sincerity of the degrees will unquestionably affect the candidate's future life in Masonry.

However, the success of Masonry does not come from the number of members initiated. The Master whose planned program consists of nothing but the conferring of degrees, without making any provision to teach the meaning and purpose of the degree, has really failed in his responsibilities.

The Bylaws of the Lodge state the time, place and date of the regular meetings. It is incumbent on the W.M. to be on time, all the time. Starting meetings late discourages the punctual attendee and does not encourage the laggard.

The Master should be the first to arrive at the Lodge and be prepared to greet all his members and visitors. Everyone seems to feel so much more welcome when personally greeted by the Master. He should also be the last to leave after wishing all a pleasant goodnight and a safe journey home. A good Master will check with the person or persons who set up the Lodge to see that everything is in its place. He always has a standby in case some officer at the last minute is unavoidably absent.

He should consult with the Secretary to see that he is aware of everything that is to come before the membership and that both he and the Secretary know the order of business they intend to follow. He should know what piece of business will require a motion, what will likely spark a debate, what may require further study, what will require a directive from the Master, etc.

One of the Master's greatest assets is a competent and loyal Secretary. It is the W.M.'s responsibility to appoint all officers of his Lodge except the elected ones. Extreme care should be taken in these appointments because it is most likely that he is selecting a future Master for the Lodge. A mistake that Master's often make is to leave deadwood in the line of Office. It takes courage on the Master's part, but it is his Duty to replace any appointive officer whose replacement would improve the line and make for a more harmonious and prosperous lodge.

Use the Lodge bulletin to let the membership know that the meetings are successful, that interesting things are planned and are happening so that they will want to come and not miss out on the fun and fellowship. The public will remain at a perpetual distance so long as we continue to keep them in the dark concerning the social activities of the Loge. We should be very much concerned about our Masonic image. If it is good, there will be good men knocking on our west gate.

When we appear in public, such as church services, funerals, etc., we should appear in groups large enough to be impressive.

Prospective members' attention will be drawn more quickly to an active Lodge.

A man's value to the world is in direct proportion to the unselfish service he renders. In the heart of every true Mason there is something that doesn't permit him to be so well satisfied with those things he does for himself, as with those things he does for others. That is why all members of the Craft now living, or those who shall live, owe a debt of gratitude to those who devote their lives to the teachings of Masonry.

"Masonry teaches love and kindness in the home, honesty and fairness in business or occupation, courtesy in social contacts, help for the weak and unfortunate, resistance to wickedness, trust and confidence in good men, forgiveness towards the penitent, love towards one another, and above all, reference for the Supreme Being."

May we spend so much time developing and promoting worthwhile activities and programs that we won't have time or the need to complain about what is wrong with out Fraternity.

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Last modified: March 22, 2014