Cornhill Lodge 1803

Offices Within the Lodge

The Offices of the Lodge are listed below in order of prescedence.

Master of the Lodge: The senior officer of a Masonic Lodge is the Master, normally addressed and referred to as the "Worshipful Master". The Worshipful Master sits in the East of the lodge room, chairs all of the business of his lodge, and is vested with considerable powers without further reference to the members. He also presides over ritual and ceremonies.

The office of Worshipful Master is the highest honor to which a lodge may appoint any of its members. The office is filled annually by election and most lodges will nominate and elect the previous year's Senior Warden in an uncontested election. The honorific Worshipful does not suggest that the Master is worshiped, but is used in its original meaning, "worthy of respect".

At the conclusion of his limited term of office, a Worshipful Master is termed a Past Master. The duties and privileges of Past Masters vary from lodge to lodge and jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In most jurisdictions, a Past Master retains the honorific "Worshipful" (as in "Worshipful Brother Smith").

Immediate Past Master: While the Immediate Past Master (the last brother to hold the office of Worshipful Master) is not formally an officer of the lodge, in certain jurisdictions he has his own duties. In the United Grand Lodge of England, he has a ceremonial role in the opening and closing of the lodge and is expected to deputise for the Worshipful Master in the event of his absence or death.

Senior Warden: The Senior Warden is the second of the three principal officers of a lodge, and is the Master's principal deputy. In many lodges it is presumed that the Senior Warden will become the next Worshipful Master.

Junior Warden: The third of the principal officers is the Junior Warden. The Junior Warden is charged with the supervision of the Lodge while it is "at refreshment" (in recess for meals or other social purposes).

The Wardens are regular officers of the Lodge, meaning that the positions must be filled.

Chaplain: In most Masonic jurisdictions, each lodge will have a 'Chaplain'. The principal duty of the Chaplain is to lead prayer before and after the lodge meeting, and to say grace while the lodge is at dinner. It is not required that the Chaplain be a clergyman, as prayers are non-denominational.

Treasurer: The role of the Treasurer is to keep the accounts, collect annual dues from the members, pay bills and forward annual dues to the Grand Lodge.

The annual presentation of accounts is an important measure of the lodge's continuing viability, whilst the efficient collection of annual subscriptions is vitally important, as any lapse in payment can lead to a member losing voting rights, being denied the opportunity to visit other lodges, and finally even being debarred or excluded from his own lodge.

It is common for the Treasurer to be an experienced Past Master, but this is not required.

Secretary: The Secretary's official duties include issuing the summons (a formal notice of an impending meeting, with time, date and agenda), recording meeting minutes, completing statistical returns to the Grand Lodge and advising the Worshipful Master on matters of procedure. Many individual lodge bylaws add to these duties by mandating, for example, that the Secretary serve on specific committees.

Although any member may hold the office of Secretary, it is typically held by an experienced Past Master.

Director of Ceremonies: The 'Director of Ceremonies' is responsible for the smooth flowing of ceremonial and ritual and may hold rehearsals. He may be responsible for prompting other officers who forget their lines. He is also responsible for forming processions and introducing visitors.

Almoner: The 'Almoner' is responsible for the well-being of lodge members and their families. He remains in contact with members who are unwell, and also maintains a discreet presence in the lives of widows of former members, so that the lodge may readily assist them should they find themselves in any particular need.

Of necessity the Almoner must be well versed in local and national Masonic charities and the scope of their charitable work, so as to offer advice to those who might qualify for such assistance.

Charity Steward: All lodges are charged with maintaining an appropriate level of charitable giving to good causes. The 'Charity Steward' is responsible for encouraging the members to give generously, as well as leading discussions about the appropriate recipients of the lodge's charitable donations.

Lodge Mentor: The role ofMentorwithin the Lodge is to imparts his knowledge, spend time with the Candidate and to guide and support him throughout his Masonic journey. By helping the Candidate or new Member take the correct first crucial steps, theMentorwill be guiding him on a path that will change his life, and the lives of those around him, for the better.

The responsibilities of a Mentor are great, but the role is also, in many ways, an easy and enjoyable one. Mentoring is not rocket science; it is simply a process of spending time with a Candidate and exposing him to information in a controlled manner, i.e. small understandable chunks that he can easily digest, whilst making sure he starts to understand what is happening around him.

Deacons: A Deacon is a junior officer in the lodge. In most jurisdictions, a lodge has two Deacons, styled Senior Deacon and Junior Deacon.

The principal duties of the Senior Deacon are to conduct candidates around the Lodge and speak for them during certain ceremonies, to attend the Worshipful Master as needed and to carry his messages to the Senior Warden.

The office and duties of Junior Deacon are similar in many respects to that of Senior Deacon, to attend the Senior Warden, and carry messages to the Junior Warden.

Organist: The 'Organist' or 'Director of Music' provides musical accompaniment to lodge proceedings, although there is no set form. Many lodge rooms are equipped with a pipe organ or electronic organ and in others, there is provision for a wider range of instruments.

Inner Guard: The office of 'Inner Guard' is mandatory inUKlodges. This position is commonly assigned to a fairly junior member, as it provides a good opportunity for him to meet members and observe and learn ceremonies, and is at the beginning of the progressive offices leading to the Chair.

The task of guarding the door is shared with the 'Tyler'. The Inner Guard is on the inside of the door.

Stewards: Stewards fulfill a number of junior assistant roles. Stewards have a traditional role of serving wine at any meal after the lodge meeting, often extended to a general supervision and planning of catering and refreshments.

In a Grand Lodge, the Grand Stewards are typically promising junior members, who may subsequently expect accelerated promotion as Grand Officers. In United Grand Lodge of England nineteen lodges hold the right to nominate a Grand Steward each year, and as Grand Stewards wear distinctive red aprons, these lodge are known as 'red apron lodges'.

Tyler: The 'Tyler' is sometimes known as the 'Outer Guard' of the lodge. His duty is to guard the door (from the outside), with a drawn sword, and ensure that only those who are duly qualified manage to gain entry into the lodge meeting. He also prepares candidates for their admission. TheTyler is traditionally responsible for preparing the lodge room before the meeting, and for storing and maintaining the regalia after the meeting.