What is the Role of the Worshipful Master?

To become the Worshipful Master of your lodge is an esteemed honor for any brother. Those that take this role are held in extremely high regard by their fellow Masons, and it’s a duty-bound position that shouldn’t be taken lightly.

If you’re preparing for your role as the Worshipful Master, you will undoubtedly be conducting thorough research into the position, and seeking advice from those that have gone before you. We hope this post provides you with a helpful starting point when exploring the esteemed position of the Worshipful Master.

As always, this writing is not an expression of the official views of the Freemasons Community, but simply the reflections of one Mason.

John Trauner became the new grand master for The Most Worshipful Grand Lodge of Free and Accepted Masons of California.
Submitted photo by Sean Metroka

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Preparing for your role

The role of Worshipful Master isn’t for everyone. In fact, it’s a position that requires fulfillment by a brother who is well organized, highly committed, and extremely dedicated to the furtherance of the core Masonic principles and values.

Some within the fraternity compare the role of the Worshipful Master to that of a CEO of a company, as the Master is responsible for the smooth running of their lodge. They’re also responsible for upholding the traditions and rituals of the lodge, and need to be aware of the many responsibilities and duties that come with the position.

As such, the brother who is about to become Worshipful Master is required to put in a significant amount of preparation, to ensure they’re ready to take the high office. Fundamental to this preparation is getting your own house in order, so to speak.

A Worshipful Master needs to lead by example, and be an open and transparent ally for brothers to approach when things get tough. They need to ensure they are in a good place mentally and be willing to accept the additional responsibilities that come with the position.

What the role of the Worshipful Master actually means

When people outside of the fraternity hear the phrase ‘Worshipful Master,’ they assume that it’s the person within the lodge that all other Masons serve. But this actually couldn’t be further from the truth.

As brothers will know, the Worshipful Master is actually the appointed officer who serves his fellow brothers. He is responsible for the way in which the lodge runs, and is there to assist his brethren in any way that is required.

He also represents his lodge at Masonic functions and social events. He is someone who is dedicated to learning the Craft, and his actions and principles are aligned with the Masonic values.

Can anyone become the Worshipful Master?

In theory, yes, any Masonic brother can be elevated to the position of Worshipful Master. The role isn’t reserved exclusively for men of a certain background. However, before being appointed as Worshipful Master, a brother will have displayed characteristics that are required for the role.

He will also have been prepared for his position thanks to roles he has held as both Junior and Senior Warden within his lodge, so he will understand the responsibilities that come with the Chair.

If a brother harbors ambitions of becoming the Worshipful Master of his lodge, he will have to be an active, dedicated Mason, who goes above and beyond in his dedication to the Craft.

What are the duties of the Worshipful Master?

Primarily, the Worshipful Master ensures that his lodge is running smoothly. He oversees what happens within the lodge, and offers guidance and feedback to brothers when he sees fit. He’s also required to take action against brothers that aren’t fulfilling their Masonic responsibilities.

The key to success for any Worshipful Master is effective communication with his brethren. Every Mason must play his part for their lodge to be successful, and to ensure this, the Worshipful Master must successfully nurture relationships and invest his time in liaising with all members of his lodge.

Apart from the general overseeing of the lodge, the Worshipful Master also has the following duties:

  • He serves as his home lodge’s representative at Grand Lodge events and appointments.
  • He schedules functions, ceremonies, and other events at the lodge.
  • He performs rituals and degree work when called upon.
  • He oversees the governance and financial matters that arise within the lodge.
  • He is well read and understands the vast Masonic history and symbolism. He is then able to offer advice and further direction to his brethren on such matters.
  • He delegates tasks and certain responsibilities to lodge committees when he sees fit.
  • He is responsible for the maintenance of lodge regalia.

As you can see, the duties of the role are presented in such a way that ensures the Worshipful Master is a servant of his brothers. In spite of his position, he should not be put on a pedestal by other Masons, and he is in this position to ensure the lodge runs successfully. 

Where can I find out further information about the role?

Should you want to find out more information about the role of the Worshipful Master, we recommend The Worshipful Master’s Guide [1993], by Cabell F. Cobbs. It details the role in depth and expands upon the duties and responsibilities that we’ve outlined in this post.

It is also prudent to connect with fellow Masons to prepare yourself for the role of the Worshipful Master. There’s no better source of information than a brother who has already gone before you.

You will find that your fellow Masons will be approachable, amiable, and willing to divulge their experiences of the role, and will be more than happy to guide you as you prepare for your new position.

However you approach it, we wish you the very best of luck in your new position as Worshipful Master, and congratulate you on your contribution to the Craft.

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