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more light #48

On Being master

by Ed Halpaus
Grand Lodge Education Officer
Grand Lodge of A. F. & A. M. of Minnesota

05 December 2005

From the Philalethes First 50 Years CD Rom

The Worshipful Master is Master of the Lodge by Douglas Smith, Jr., P.G.M. - VirginiaFrom the Philalethes Magazine 1969

A few pointed paragraphs which may be helpful in the conduct of the affairs of the Master's office.


Act like one . . . in your bearing be worthy of the title which sets you apart for the time.a. Be dignified, but not stuffy. In dress, in carriage, and in behavior in the Lodge.b. Be friendly, but not frivolous in handling your Lodge or its business.c. Be firm of opinion, but not inflexible - your election carries with it no sign of infallibility - even Worshipful Masters may err in judgment.d. Be courageous, but not cocky. The small man throws his weight about; the big man uses the weight of his judgment and ability to carry his point of view.e. Be exemplary, but not sacrosanct. Feigned piety and self-deification can destroy the value of an otherwise conscientious living of Masonic principles.


Be well informed in the Ritual and its meaning, but delegate its performance to your officers.b. Be well informed as to your duties and responsibilities. Study the Officers' Manual and the Methodical Digest.c. Be prepared for each meeting - you tell the Secretary what the minutes will be, and share an agenda with your officers.d. Plan well ahead - even though you may find a change necessary, you can't always get the program you want on the spur of the moment.e. Time is of the essence - check it for the minutes, for the Ritual, for balloting, for Catechisms, and business - if you are overlong, hold a second meeting.f. Delegate authority - a good leader directs others and doesn't try to do it all himself.


Be the first to sympathize and congratulate - in the latter case, especially the new Initiates and members who have done outstanding acts in the community.b. Be the last to condemn before knowing the facts - many Lodges and good Masons have been ruined because of hasty conclusions based on unfounded gossip.c. Be always available and never too busy to lend an understanding ear to the problems of your members. Many will come to you BECAUSE you are the Worshipful Master. Be the first to whisper good counsel in the ear of an erring Brother - sometimes it takes more courage than you believe yourself to have, but often it may save a life.


Believe with a great faith in God - Freemasonry does not concern itself with what you believe, but that you believe in God the Creator of all things and without this, all else is lost.b. Believe with your whole heart that there is a Modern Mission for Masonry in our time. If you think that Masonry is passť and that it has been superseded by civic clubs and other like organizations, then your contribution to its future is limited.c. Believe that your Lodge and you have a destiny to help meet this challenge, and resolve to make it and you a part of it!


Have an eternal hope that the battle is to be won by a continuous fight for that which is good in life.


You must love to love people and like things. There is a brief story about a young man and his older sister who on one occasion averred, "I love ice cream." He sagely observed, "No, sister, you like ice cream - you love people."


In fine:If you have the wisdom of Solomon; the patience of Job; and the love as described by St. Paul in the 11th Chapter of First Corinthians, you have the basics of becoming a great Worshipful Master.


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