What is the Order of Mark Master Masons?
It is a masonic order separate from Craft Freemasonry but strongly connected to its themes and the building of KST. The Mark referred to in its title derives from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many Cathedrals and important buildings.
It can be considered to be an extension of the Craft Second Degree.
Background and History
The earliest English records of the Mark Degree stem from mid-18th Century. In those days the degree was worked in Craft Lodges or within Royal Arch Chapters.
In 1813 within days of the United Grand Lodge of England being formed an independent Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons came into being. By the following year some fifteen Lodges were operating under its jurisdiction while others preferred to work under the Scottish Constitution.
Today the Mark Degree enjoys considerable popularity among Freemasons and there are over 1200 Lodges under the English Constitution. In 1868 the Mark Benevolent Fund was established which holds annual Festivals under the direction of the various Provincial Grand Masters. The money raised by these and other efforts is used for both Masonic and non-Masonic charities.
How is it organised?
The order of which HRH Prince Michael of Kent is Grand Master is administered from Mark Masons’ Hall in St James’s London and is separate from the United Grand Lodge of England.
Ritual and Ceremonies
The ceremony in which a Brother is ‘advanced’ essentially comprises two degrees. In the first part he is acknowledged as a Mark Man and in the second he becomes a Mark Master Mason. Much use is made of Holy Writ to instruct the Candidate and Brethren in the story which serves to teach that the real message is one of contemplation of human strengths and weaknesses.
Who can join?
The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons.
How often are the meetings?
Most Lodges meet 4-5 times a year.
Does it cost much?
Subscriptions are much less than the Craft and there is a one-off Advancement fee.
What is the regalia?
Regalia comprises an apron and breast jewel. The Apron is of white kid with a triangular flap bordered with a two inch ribbon of light blue with crimson edges. It has rosettes of a similar colouring. Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a Keystone appended to a ribbon which matches the Apron and bears a Mallet & Chisel which are the tools of the Order. The Keystone which bears certain characters forms an integral part of the ceremony.
Why should I join?
The ceremony of Advancement is based on the preparations for the building of KST and follows the fate of an ambitious craftsman (the candidate) seeking promotion in his trade by demonstrating his skill and ability. In the early part of the ceremony his talents go unrecognised and his hopes are dashed but eventually he triumphs over adversity and is justly rewarded for his work. It is a wonderful ceremony containing elements of drama and humour, and, above all, strong moral lessons. The concept of Masons as “living stones” being built into a spiritual house, in parallel with the construction of the Temple, is a powerful theme in the Degree.
Ideally the Mark, as is the requirement in other constitutions, is a logical step from the Craft to the Royal Arch and enables the candidate to more fully appreciate the structure and beauty of Solomonic Masonry.
The Mark Order is commonly known as the “friendly degree.” Although each Lodge aims to conduct their ceremonies with precision as befits the profound moral lessons the atmosphere in a Mark Lodge is more relaxed and less formal compared to the Craft.
If you are interested in expanding your Masonic Knowledge and becoming a Mark Master Mason then please fill in the form below or email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be in touch. You can also download the brochure below for more information.