Lodge Officer Positions Explained
Worshipful Master (WM)
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. The requirements as to who is eligible for election as Master vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the majority of jurisdictions specify that a brother must have served as an installed Warden to qualify. In practice, most lodges will nominate and elect the previous year’s Senior Warden in an uncontested election.
The honorable title “Worshipful” does not suggest that the Master is worshiped, but is used in its original meaning, “worthy of respect”. It also alludes to the duty of the Master to be worshipful to his creator. The Master should be a shining example of how a mason should act towards all mankind.
Senior Warden (SW)
The Senior Warden is the second of the three principal officers of a lodge, and is the Master’s principal deputy. If the Worshipful Master is absent then the Senior Warden presides at meetings as “acting Master”, and may act for the Master in all matters of lodge business. Most times, it is presumed that the Senior Warden will become the next Worshipful Master. The position is an elected office and has a one-year term.
The Level is the Jewel associated with this office and demonstrates that we are descended from the same stock, partake of the same nature, and share the same hope; and though distinctions among men are necessary to preserve subordination, yet no eminence of station should make us forget that we are brethren; for he who is placed on the lowest spoke of fortune’s wheel, may be entitled to our regard; because a time will come, and the wisest know not how soon, when all distinction, but that of goodness, shall cease; and Death, the grand leveler of human greatness, will reduce us to the same state.
His regular attendance at our stated meetings is essentially necessary. In the absence of the Master, he is to govern this Lodge; in his presence, he is to assist him in the government of it. The lodge firmly relies on his knowledge of Masonry, and attachment to the Lodge, for the faithful discharge of the duties of this important position.
Junior Warden (JW)
The Plumb is the Jewel representing this office and admonishes all of us to walk uprightly in our several stations, to hold the scale of justice in equal poise, to observe the just medium between intemperance and pleasure, and to make our passions and prejudices coincide with the line of our duty.
The Junior Warden should be committed the superintendence of the Craft during the hours of refreshment; it is, therefore, indispensably necessary, that he should not only be temperate and discreet, in the indulgence of his own inclinations, but carefully observe that none of the Craft be suffered to convert the means of refreshment into intemperance and excess.