You may or may not be familiar with Mark Masonry, an appendant order of Freemasonry that confers both the degrees of Mark Mason and Mark Master. It retains many of the core values and principles evinced within other Masonic orders, but differs slightly in structure and provides brothers with slightly different rituals and teachings.
The history of Mark Masonry
More than fifty years after the founding of the Grand Lodge in England, there is record of the first Mark Masonry meeting in England. In 1769, Thomas Dunckerley conferred the degrees of Mark Mason and Mark Master at a Royal Arch Chapter in Portsmouth.
As we know, when the Ancient and Modern Grand Lodges unified in 1813, they announced there would only be three core Craft degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master. As such, there was no place for appendant degrees such as the Mark and Master Mark. In Scotland, Mark brothers attempted to attach Mark Masonry to the Craft degrees in 1856, but to no avail.
It was then that the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was created, and it gained popularity alongside the growth of Freemasonry throughout the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
The teachings of Mark Masonry
The core teachings of Mark Masonry are reliant on allegory based upon the construction of King Solomon’s Temple in Jerusalem, much like Freemasonry more generally. Perhaps the fundamental difference between Mark Masonry and conventional Masonry can be seen in the Fellowcraft.
In Mark Masonry, the candidate is required to undertake the role of Fellowcraft, and it is seen as an extension of the second degree of Craft Masonry. Mark Masons are concerned with how a Fellowcraft should earn his wages and prove himself, as opposed to merely learning about the issuance of wages, as is the case within Craft Masonry.
Within other rituals, the Anglo-American version of the Hiramic legend is taught, and brothers are introduced to the Anderson constitutions. While there are many links between Craft and Mark Masonry, there are also many differences, many of which a brother can only uncover by completing the rituals and ceremonies within the order.
How to find out more about Mark Masonry
If you’re interested in finding out more about Mark Masonry, you can find out more by visiting their website. The degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons.