The Term ‘ Worshipful Mater’


Having seen a number of discussion – for and against the use of the above term ‘Worshipful Master’ I thought I would try to shed some light.

Let us start with some dictionary definitions :


1] (initial capital letter) British. a formal title of honor used in announcing or mentioning certain highly regarded or respected persons or groups (usually preceded by the).

2] Of things: Notable or outstanding in respect of some (good) quality or property; distinguished, imposing; reputable, honourable.

3] (often capital) (mainly British) a title used to address or refer to various people or bodies of distinguished rank, such as mayors and certain ancient companies of the City of London


1] a person with exceptional skill at a certain thing

2] a person eminently skilled in something, as an occupation, art, or science: the great masters of the Impressionist period.

3] someone who is very skilled at something , Hitchcock was an acknowledged master of suspense.

The term is mostly reffered to in Modern times as a Masonic Lodge officer the Worshipful Master.

There are still Livery Companies where the term is used in the same manner for exmple.

Worshipful Company of Haberdashers :- The Haberdashers’ Company follows the Mercers’ Company (the other City livery company connected with clothing and originally haberdashery) in precedence, receiving its Royal Charter in 1448 and has records dating back to 1371. The formal name under which it is incorporated is The Master and Four Wardens of the Fraternity of the Art or Mystery of Haberdashers in the City of London.

 In Masonic terms here is a good explanation :- He who has attained the third degree in Freemasonry is a Master and has attained the summit of his profession. None but Fellow Crafts who have been found worthy can obtain this degree. As a Master Mason he has a voice in all the consultations of the officers of the lodge, and he may, if possessed of sufficient Masonic skill, be appointed to any office in the Lodge, even that of Worshipful Master. This is the highest preferment a Mason can obtain in St. John’s Masonry, through the three degrees of which every candidate for the Past Master’s degree must have passed. The greatest care and caution ought to be used by the brethren at this election to prevent the lodge being injured by the election of an improper person. He must also be well acquainted with the Order, its doctrines, its secrets, its history, and constitution, and must possess the power of communicating his own reflection upon all these subjects, in a clear, comprehensive form, to the brethren.


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