Duties of Officers of a Lodge
REG. 59-1 OFFICERS DUTIES.
Each officer of a lodge shall be held personally responsible to the Master and through him, to the lodge and the Grand Master that his office be filled with dignity, honor, and correctness, and that its various duties be performed fully, without haughtiness or tyranny, but according to the diligent desire to exemplify before the world the virtues and sublime morality of Freemasonry. In addition to those powers and duties which appertain to every individual Mason, those which are purely traditional and therefore unwritten, and those which appropriately pertain to his office, the powers and duties of each officer of a lodge are set out in THE CODE. [58-2; 59-4.1].
REG. 59-2 MASTER.
Some, but not all, of the powers of the Master of a lodge which are also duties to be performed by him, or at his direction and under his supervision, are as follows.
1. He may discharge all of the executive functions of his lodge, always subject to the law of the Grand Lodge.
2. He may expound the law and decide all questions of Masonic law and order, subject to review by the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge. [8-1; 8-2].
3. He may issue or cause to be issued all summonses or notices which may be required when the welfare of Masonry, the interest of the lodge, or the rights of a brother demand.
4. He shall take special care that disobedience of a duly served summons be promptly followed by discipline unless the offender renders excuse for the offense satisfactory to the lodge. [45-5; 83-2].
5. He may convene his lodge in emergent communication whenever he deems it necessary. [45-3; 45-5].
6. He may close his lodge at his pleasure, but it shall be closed as provided in Regulation 45-17.
7. He may decide who shall be admitted to the lodge and he may deny admission to a visitor. [50-5; 50-5.7].
8. He shall see that worthy brethren visiting from other lodges have courteous attention and a welcome to his lodge.
9. He may deny admission to a brother who is disqualified by law to sit in a lodge or who is under the influence of intoxicants. [74-5; 90-4].
10. He may refuse to entertain a motion. [45-23.20].
11. He may declare the business of a lodge and may prohibit or allow debate. [45-23.20].
12. Except as otherwise provided in Regulation 73-3, he may delay until the next stated communication only, a ballot on a petition for the degrees or an application for affiliation, advancement, or restoration.
13. He may order a ballot spread outside the regular order of business at a stated communication. [68-2; 68-14; 73-3; 73-6; 75-8].
14. He may order a vote taken by the customary method, if a ballot is not required by law, unless two members concur in a demand that it be taken by ballot. [63-3].
15. He may confer a degree or postpone conferring a degree against the wishes of a majority of the members except upon objection to initiation or advancement as provided by law. [73-3].
16. After having opened his lodge, he may place any capable Master Mason in the East and permit him to confer any of the degrees, the Master being present. If any regular officer is absent, his office should be filled pro tempore. [24-1.1; 45-12.2; 71-15].
17. He may complete unfinished material or business, except as may be otherwise provided by law. [73-3; 73-4].
18. He may set aside an election of officers for a violation of the law against electioneering for office. [86-2.14; 86-2.15].
19. He may appoint all appointive officers not otherwise provided for and fill vacancies in such offices. [54-2]
20. He may discharge any or all members of a committee appointed who fail to, or refuse to, act and fill any vacancy thus created. [67-9].
21. He may perform such other acts, by ancient usage proper to his office, as shall not be in contravention of any provision of THE CODE or any law of the Grand Lodge.
22. He shall preserve the charter of the lodge with unfailing care and to deliver it to his successor in office. [38-3.1; 40-6; 59-6; 41-8; 38-3.4].
23. He may appoint all committees except as otherwise provided. [Chapter 61].
24. He shall open and preside over the lodge when present, and to make all necessary provisions for the faithful performance of the duty when absent, except that he shall surrender the chair to the Grand Master or his representative or the District Deputy Grand Master, on their official visitations. [45-12; 45-12.1].
25. He may cast the deciding vote in the event of a tie if he has not already voted. [44-7 (Art.22B); 63-16].
26. He shall give Masonic instruction at every communication of his lodge.
27. He shall guard carefully against any infraction of the by-laws of his lodge, the laws of the Grand Lodge, or the general regulations, usages, and customs of Masonry, and suffer no departure therefrom upon the plea of convenience or expediency except in cases of emergency, and then only when authorized by a dispensation of the Grand Master. [76-3.4.A].
28. He shall require every member of the lodge present except the Tyler, to vote upon all questions of a business nature coming before the lodge unless excused at his own request by the Master. The Tyler, if a member of the lodge, shall vote in all secret ballots by balls and cubes, and he shall not be excused therefrom. [63-4; 63-11; Chapter 63].
29. He shall permit no appeal from his decision to be made to the lodge. [59-4; 59-5; 59-5.4; 45-23.20; 8-3; 8-3.4].
30. He shall make the work and ritual practiced in his lodge conform to the authorized work adopted by the Grand Lodge and to no other system, and to preserve carefully the Official Standard of the Work receipted for by him. [24-5; 24-5.3; Chapter 24].
31. He shall have a copy of THE CODE always available in the lodge room when the lodge is open.
32. He shall require the members of his lodge to obey a mandate of the Grand Master. Refusal of its members to submit to such decisions, until reversed by the Grand Lodge, is revolutionary and shall subject the offenders to discipline for unmasonic conduct.
33. He shall read and expound to the lodge the proceedings of the Grand Lodge.
34. He shall sign all orders drawn upon the Treasurer after approval by the lodge. [59-11.3].
35. He shall take command of the other officers and to claim of them at any time advice and assistance on any business relative to the Craft.
36. He shall see that the proper officers collect and truly keep the moneys of the lodge, see that the furniture and other valuables are properly cared for, and should the charter be forfeited or surrendered, to preserve these things subject to the order of the Grand Lodge. [41-9; 41-1.2].
37. He shall see that the law for collection of dues is fully observed. [77-24].
38. He shall see that the Secretary promptly pays the lodge funds to the Treasurer. The Master is justified in removing a Secretary who fails or refuses to do so. [59-12.4].
39. He shall see that the annual returns to the Grand Lodge are made out properly and forwarded by the Secretary by the time required by the Grand Lodge, and that the amount due to the Grand Lodge is paid promptly. [Chapter 47].
40. He shall convene his lodge in stated communication at the time prescribed in its by-laws. [44-7 (Art.8)].
41. He shall convene his lodge upon the official visitation of the Grand Master or his representative, extend to him the appropriate courtesies and, when called upon, submit for his inspection the by-laws and records of the lodge. [13-3.3].
42. He shall see that all unmasonic conduct that comes to his knowledge is dealt with according to the laws of the Grand Lodge. [41-10.4].
43. He shall preside at the Masonic burial services of deceased Master Masons. [82-1; 82-2].
44. He shall represent his lodge in conjunction with the Wardens at all communications of the Grand Lodge, or appoint his proxy therefor. [3-1.3; 3-3; 3-4; Official Form 43].
45. He shall inspect the ballot box, after requiring it to be inspected by the Wardens, declare the result, and immediately thereafter to destroy the ballot.
46. He shall install his successor in office or cause it to be done. [55-7].
47. He shall declare a petition for the degrees received by the lodge after it has been read in open lodge, provided, the lodge has jurisdiction over it, and he, or the lodge, has not refused to entertain it. [65-6].
48. He shall order a petition or application withdrawn and returned if he discovers after it has been received that the lodge does not have jurisdiction or that the petitioner or applicant is not mentally or physically qualified. If he is morally disqualified, the petition or application shall not be withdrawn but shall go to the ballot. [65-6; 65-7; 66-2; 67-4; 67-6; 75-8; 78-2].
49.?He shall see that the place of the Junior Deacon is filled anytime this officer himself is outside of the lodge room temporarily performing his duties. [59-14.2]. (this subestion amended, effective 1/1/2010)
50. He shall see that the East is always filled when the lodge is open. [45-12; 57-8].
REG. 59-3 RESTRICTIONS - MASTER'S POWERS.
The following are some, but not all, of the restrictions on the powers of the Master of a lodge are as follows.
1. A Master shall have no authority to waive examination of a candidate before advancement. [72-2].
2. A Master shall have no authority to levy an assessment against the members of his lodge.
3.?A Master shall not ignore or refuse to accept an objection to advancement as provided by law. [59-2.17; 73-3]. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)
4. A Master shall not have the right to demand of a member of a Committee of Investigation, on a petition for degrees or an application for membership, his reasons for his report. [67-11].
5.?A Master shall not have the right to demand of a member his reasons for objecting to the presence of a visiting Mason. [50-5.9; 73-3.5]. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)
6. A Master shall have no authority to order another secret ballot on a petition for degrees, an application for affiliation, advancement, or restoration, or any subject matter that may be submitted to the secret ballot after the ballot has been closed and declared, except as provided in Regulation 68-8, even if he believes a mistake has been made in the original ballot. He shall report the matter fully to the Grand Master and be governed by his orders. [68-3.18].
REG. 59-4 MASTER ACCOUNTABLE.
In the exercise of his powers and prerogatives a Master is at all times accountable to the Grand Master and to the Grand Lodge for any abuse thereof. [59-5.4; 8-3; 8-3.4].
1. For the neglect or violation of any duty imposed by law upon the Master of the lodge he shall be subject to reprimand, removal from office suspension, or expulsion. [59-1; 66-7; 75-11.1; 90-7; 90-7.2; Chapter 58].
2. So long as he is serving as Master of the lodge, whether it is in session or not, the Master may issue an order and perform such official acts as are permitted by law. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)
REG. 59-5 APPEAL FROM THE MASTER.
An appeal cannot be taken to the lodge from a Master's decision.
1. An appeal may be taken to the Grand Master or to the Grand Lodge from a Master's decision. [59-5.4; 59-2.29; 45-23.20; 8-3.4].
2. When the Master has announced a ruling of the Grand Master to his lodge, there shall be no appeal from the ruling on the ground that it is the Master's decision.
3. An appeal may be taken to the Grand Lodge from the Grand Master's decision.
4. An appeal cannot be made to the Grand Master, or the Grand Lodge, from a ruling of a Master prohibiting debate on a question before the lodge since he has power to allow, prohibit, or limit debate.
5. The Master is accountable to the Grand Master and the Grand Lodge for his abuse of this power, therefore, a member feeling that the Master of his lodge has abused such power may prefer charges against him to the Grand Master. [59-4; 59-5; 59-2.29;8-3].
REG. 59-6 CHARTER OF THE LODGE.
The Master of the lodge is especially charged with the safe keeping of the charter of his lodge, and he must actually and physically deliver the same to his successor at the time of his successor's installation, and a record must be made thereof in the minutes of the communication of the lodge. This regulation applies also to the legal substitute for said charter. [38-3.4; 59-2.22].
REG. 59-7 MASTER NOT EXCLUDED.
The Master shall not be excluded for nonpayment of dues or for other offenses during his term of office except as provided in THE CODE. [77-15].
REG. 59-8 ABSENT OFFICER.
An officer of a Masonic lodge who habitually absents himself from the meetings of his lodge lays himself open to censure and shall be liable to suspension from his office. [58-1].
REG. 59-9 SENIOR WARDEN.
The duties of the Senior Warden shall be as follows.
1. He shall take charge of the Craft during the hours of labor in the absence of the Master.
2. He shall represent the lodge in conjunction with the Master and Junior Warden at all communications of the Grand Lodge or to appoint his proxy therefor. [3-1.3; 3-3; 3-4].
3. He shall succeed to and exercise all the powers of the Master in the event of his absence. [45-5].
4. The Master shall be considered absent, so as to justify a Warden or a Past Master in acting as Master, when he is not present at a communication of the lodge, either stated or emergent, or when he is absent from the jurisdiction, or is mentally or physically unable to do official acts when necessity therefor arises. [59-10.4].
5. The member qualified and acting as Master shall have the same powers and he is held to the same accountability as the lawful Master of the lodge during the time he shall be lawfully acting as such, and no longer.
6. A Warden shall not call an emergent communication of his lodge while his superior officer is within the territorial jurisdiction thereof and is able to authorize the call, but a Warden acting in the absence of the Master has the same power and authority as the Master. [45-3; 45-5].
7. When acting as Master, he shall sign official documents Senior Warden, but adding thereto Acting Master. [45-12; 57-8].
REG. 59-10 JUNIOR WARDEN.
The duties of the Junior Warden shall be as follows.
1. He shall superintend the Craft during the hours of refreshment.
2. He shall take cognizance of all complaints of any unmasonic conduct and bring the same before the lodge, or to prefer charges therefor, provided that his failure to act shall not bar any brother from bringing a complaint directly before the lodge or preferring charges as provided by law.
3. He shall represent the lodge personally or by regularly appointed proxy in conjunction with the Master and Senior Warden at all communications of the Grand Lodge. [3-1.3; 3-3; 3-4].
4. He shall succeed to and exercise all the powers of the Master in the absence of the two officers above him. So far as practicable the provisions of Regulation 59-9shall apply when the Junior Warden acts as Master.
REG. 59-11 TREASURER.
The duties of the Treasurer shall be as follows.
1. He shall receive and safely keep all moneys and property of every kind of his lodge which shall be placed in his hands by the Secretary, or by order of the lodge, and to give proper receipt therefor.
2. He shall keep all moneys received by him on behalf of the lodge as a fund entirely separate and distinct from all other funds under his control. If such moneys are deposited in a bank, the account shall be in the name of the lodge. He shall not use or lend lodge funds nor mingle them with his own or with any other money, but shall hold them separately so that they shall be subject to the order of the lodge at all times. Failure or refusal to comply with this subdivision shall be a Masonic offense.
3. He shall disburse or transfer the funds of the lodge or any part thereof only with the consent of the lodge upon the order of the Master duly attested by the Secretary. [59-2.34].
4. He shall keep a book, or books, which shall contain a correct statement of receipts and disbursements on account of the lodge. He shall make a complete statement of his account with the lodge annually or as often as he may be directed by the lodge or ordered by the Master and deliver it to the Master. [44-7 (Art.5)].
5. He shall make reports to the lodge of its receipts, disbursements, and financial condition, as the law and as the lodge or the Master may require. [44-7 (Art.5)].
6. He shall demand that the Secretary promptly pay over to him the lodge money and on failure of the Secretary to do so, to report the matter to the lodge at once. [59-12.4].
7. He shall give surety bond in such sum and upon such conditions as the lodge may require. On his failure to execute and deliver a proper bond when required, the Master shall declare the office of Treasurer vacant and by dispensation of the Grand Master, proceed to hold another election to select another brother as Treasurer. [55-6].
8. He shall deliver promptly to his successor in office all the funds of the lodge together with all the books, vouchers, records, and other property having any reference to the financial business of the lodge, or to deliver to an appointed committee, or to a designated representative of the lodge, the temporary custody of the books and property of the lodge, when the lodge, for ample cause and by two-thirds majority vote at a stated communication, directs him to do so.
9. He shall perform such other duties pertaining to his office as the law requires or the lodge at any time may direct.
REG. 59-12 SECRETARY.
The duties of the Secretary shall be as follows. [44-7 (Art.6)].
1. He shall record all the proceedings of the lodge and all reports proper to be written. [62-1; 62-2].
2. He shall read the minutes of each communication to the lodge and see that they are approved before the lodge is closed. [44-7 (Art. 21; 1A-M); 45-21; 62-1.1.A; 62-2; 45-23.1].
3. He shall prepare and transmit to the Grand Lodge or the Grand Master a copy of such portions of his record as he may be directed.
4. He shall collect and receive all moneys due the lodge giving receipt therefor. The receipt for dues shall be on the form prescribed by the Grand Secretary.
5. He shall pay to the Treasurer, within fifteen days after receipt thereof, all such moneys and take his receipt for the same. [59-2.38; 77-7; 77-7.2].
6. He shall make to the lodge, as its by-laws direct or as otherwise required, a report of its work, of the condition of its accounts with its officers and members, and of all other matters relating to its finances or business which may be under his care. [44-7 (Art.6)].
7. He shall keep a cash book and ledger and deliver the same, with all other books, records, and property pertaining to his office to his successor.
8. He shall keep the seal of the lodge and to affix the same with his attestation to all papers issued under authority of the lodge or by order of the Master, and in obedience to the requirements of THE CODE, to deliver the seal to his successor in office. [Chapter 46].
9. He shall preserve carefully the by-laws of the lodge, THE CODE, the vocabulary, published Proceedings, and Ceremonials of the Grand Lodge. To post promptly all amendments to THE CODE in the lodge's copy of THE CODE. [24-5.1; 24-5.3; 26-3.14].
10. He shall notify any member of the lodge who may have been excluded, suspended, expelled, or restored, immediately after the action of the lodge or the Grand Lodge. [77-20.4; 78-2.3; Chapters 100; 101].
11. He shall study the rules and forms prescribed by the Grand Lodge and to keep records, books, and other papers in accordance therewith.
12. He shall issue notices of the communications of the lodge, under direction of the Master. [45-3.1; 45-4].
13. He shall issue summonses when directed by the Master or by the lodge. [87-13.2; Chapter 83].
14. He shall keep an account with each member and promptly collect all dues.
15. He shall prepare annually at the close of his term of office a balance sheet of all accounts of the members, to furnish an official statement of his own account with the lodge, and to deliver all such documents to the Master. [44-7 (Art.6;1)].
16. He shall file promptly the annual returns required by Chapter 47and remit to the Grand Secretary the dues and other indebtedness of his lodge to the Grand Lodge.
17. He shall file such further reports as may be required by the Grand Lodge or the Grand Secretary. [16-1.19; 20-1.4; Official Form 49].
18. He shall report to the Grand Secretary and to the District Deputy Grand Master of his district, not later than January fifteenth, the names and addresses of the officers of his lodge elected and appointed. A report shall be made regardless of whether there was an election or not. [59-12.31].
19. He shall report to the Grand Secretary within five days after each stated communication transactions if any, at such stated communication under each of the following subjects, giving the full name of each: [75-10; Official Form 49].
A. Each petition for the degrees received and each petitioner for the degrees elected,
B. Each petitioner for the degrees rejected,
C. Each application for affiliation received and each applicant for affiliation elected, [75-10]
D. Each applicant for affiliation rejected,
E. Each member who died since the last stated communication and the date thereof,
F. Each member excluded, suspended, or expelled, the date thereof, the cause therefor, and the period of such suspension,
G. Each member demitted, and [77-3]
H. Each member restored to membership and the date thereof. [78-2.3; 101-9]. The Grand Secretary from time to time may prescribe a form of report to be used in connection with this division and may take from or add other subjects not included herein. [16-1.18].
20. He shall transmit promptly to the Grand Lodge Committee on By-laws of Subordinate Lodges copies of all by-laws and amendments thereof adopted by his lodge as provided in Regulation 44-7 (Article 24). [34-15; 43-10].
21. He shall submit his books and accounts to an examination whenever required to do so by the Master of his lodge or the Grand Lodge.
22. He shall give surety bond in such sum and upon such conditions as the lodge may require. On his failure to execute and deliver a proper bond when required, the Master shall declare the office of Secretary vacant, and by dispensation of the Grand Master shall proceed to hold another election to select another brother as Secretary. [55-6].
23. He shall label and file for preservation all petitions and documents of every character on the business of the lodge and keep the same in some safe and secure place and deliver them only by order of the lodge unless otherwise provided in THE CODE. [67-5].
24. He shall present promptly to the lodge all official communications from the Grand Master or the Grand Secretary which require action by his lodge, or which should be read in open lodge as information or instruction.
25. He shall answer immediately all official communications or inquiries that require report or information from the Secretary without action of his lodge.
26. He shall draw all orders or warrants on the Treasurer for the payments of money when authorized to do so by the lodge.
27. He shall perform these and such other duties as are required of him by the law of the Grand Lodge or his lodge, and as the Master or the lodge may order.
28. The minutes of the lodge at the next stated communication shall bear record of mailing of any demit issued by the lodge to the Grand Secretary, and the date thereof.
29. The Secretary shall add at the end of the minutes of any emergent communication called for the purpose of conducting a Masonic burial a certificate to the effect that the brethren did receive the body and did inter the same with a Masonic burial ceremony.
30. In the event a lodge desires to have open Installation of Officers the Secretary shall add at the end of the minutes a certificate to the effect that the officers of the lodge were duly installed, unless otherwise noted, including the names of the installing officers, and that the charter, constitution and by-laws were delivered to the master during the installation.
31. Every Secretary shall, within fifteen days after the annual installation, transmit to the Grand Secretary, and to the District Deputy Grand Master a duly certified list of the names of the newly installed officers with the dates of their election and installation, and the name and title of the installing officer. [59-12.18].
REG. 59-13 SENIOR DEACON.
The duties of the Senior Deacon shall be as follows.
1. He shall act as the messenger of the Master in the active duties of the lodge.
2. He shall give fraternal attention to visiting brethren.
3. He shall receive and conduct candidates in the three degrees of Masonry.
4. He shall perform such other duties as the usage and customs of the Craft may require or the Master may order.
REG. 59-14 JUNIOR DEACON.
The duties of the Junior Deacon shall be as follows.
1. He shall act as messenger of the Senior Warden in the active duties of the lodge.
2. He shall have special care that the lodge is secure. [59-2.49].
3. If the Junior Deacon cannot personally vouch for each person in the lodge room as a Master Mason at the time the lodge is being purged, he shall proceed forthwith in the proper manner to satisfy himself to that effect. Failure to perform this important duty fully and properly shall be a serious Masonic offense. [50-4; Chapter 51].
4. He shall perform such other duties as the usage and customs of the Craft may require or the Master may order.
REG. 59-15 STEWARDS.
The duties of the Stewards shall be as follows.
1. They shall perform such duties agreeable to the usage of the Craft and pertaining to their offices as may be required by the ritual, the Junior Warden, or the Master.
2. They shall provide for the comfort of the brethren.
REG. 59-16 TYLER.
The duties of the Tyler shall be as follows.
1. To guard the entrance of the lodge, to report all brethren to the Junior Deacon for admission, to announce the name of each visiting brother and the name, number and location of his lodge; to see that each brother who enters is duly qualified, vouched for, and properly clothed; to be subject to the direct orders of the Master, and to keep a register of visiting brethren. [51-3; 62-1; 62-1.7].
2. To have charge, subject to the direct order of the Master, of the furniture, jewels, and other property of the lodge.
3. To have special care to insure cleanliness in the hall and anterooms.
4. To serve notices, summonses, citations, or other documents issued under authority of the Master and the lodge when ordered unless otherwise provided. [51-3; 51-3.2; 83-3].