To the Brethren in open Lodge convened
For the Election of the Master
(By Bro. Vincent Lombardo)
“From time immemorial it has been an established customs among Free and Accepted Masons, for each lodge, once in every year, at a stated period, to select from among those brethren who have served the office of Warden, an expert Craftsman to preside over them in the capacity of Master.” From this we deduce that the task of the W. Master is that of President.
In another portion of our rituals he is tasked “to instruct and employ the brethren in Masonry”, thus making him an Instructor or Teacher, and an Employer.
Yet in another portion of our rituals the Master is called “a Ruler in the Craft“, that is: a person who rules or commands. Some have even suggested that the gavel gives him the powers of a Despot, though in another place he is obliged “to submit to the awards and resolutions of his brethren in general lodge convened…” reducing his exalted status to that of a Servant – and not just a “run-of-the-mill servant, but one has promised at his installation: “not to be insensible to his duties, nor to his responsibilities for the faithful discharge of the same.
In another place he is prompted to administer the duties of that high office to the best of his skill and ability and, in another, is obliged not to permit or suffer any deviations from the established usages, customs and landmarks. That makes him an Administrator and a Policeman as well. That’s a rare breed of a servant. And I could say more but:
I am giving you this perspective on the role of the Master you are now about to elect for the ensuing 12 months (or until a new master is elected and installed in his stead) in order for you to reflect and be cautious on your choice of the Master – and to remind you that at installation you will be required to promise him Obedience, in addition to your obligation to “answer and obey all lawful signs and summonses you receive from him or your lodge”, and the regular attendance you have agreed to observe.
I had in the past the opportunity to remind you that a Lodge is not someone else’s enterprise or recreational facility, accessible with a membership card whenever one feels like it. It is not. The lodge is a living organism, a family of brothers, where every member participates and pulls his weight, to the extent of the length of his cable tow, and according to his skills and abilities.
You now know with clarity what you are entitled to expect from the Master you are about to elect – and what that Master is entitled to expect from you.
You will now attend at the Altar and cast your ballot for the election of the Master.