Mark Master Mason

The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales
and its Districts and Lodges Overseas

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The Degree of Mark Master Mason is open to all Master Masons. The ceremony, in which a Brother is 'advanced', can be said to comprise two Degrees; the first in which he is acknowledged as a Mark Man, followed by the second where he becomes a Mark Master Mason. The Mark referred to in its title takes its name from the mark or symbol with which the stonemason identified his work and can still be found in many cathedrals and important buildings.

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. In chronological terms the Degree follows that of the Second Degree in Craft masonry. There is reputedly some evidence that the Degree is 400 years old but the earliest English records stem from 1769 when it was first worked in Chapter of Friendship, Royal Arch Chapter No. 257 (formerly No. 3) in Portsmouth. However, a minute book dated 1599 of the Lodge of Edinburgh states that several speculative brethren had appended their marks after their names.

The first meeting of the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons was held on Monday, 23 June 1856.

The ordinary members' 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 the same colour whilst Masters and Past Masters have the rosettes replaced with silver levels. The jewel of the order is a key stone appended to a ribbon which matches the apron and bears a mallet & chisel which are the tools of the Order. The key stone, which bears certain characters, forms an integral part of the ceremony.

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It’s a little more than two years since we took the decision to give over the September Communication to those Brethren being honoured with a promotion in Grand Rank.

The fact that so many of you have supported this meeting in the last two years, and in such large numbers, testifies to it being the right decision and I hope that, in more normal circumstances, you will feel able to continue that support in the future.

We stand on the brink of a new masonic year at a time when Freemasonry faces perhaps its greatest trial. The lifting of the General Suspension of Masonic Activity just six weeks ago, signalled the start of a process aimed at creating an environment in which Lodges could resume their activities properly and safely.

Where this cannot happen, we have made it possible for administrative business to be conducted remotely, keeping things ticking over until face to face meetings can take place.

Communication has never been more important if we are to minimise the impact the pandemic will have on our numbers. Keeping in touch with one another; maintaining our interest in our craft; and demonstrating that Freemasonry is still relevant even in these unprecedented times, must be at the forefront of our actions.

 Amid the difficulties we are all facing right now, we must look for hope and opportunities to celebrate Mark Masonry. Today, that hope exists in the achievements of those whom the Most Worshipful Grand Master has been pleased to promote in Grand Rank. Their preferment recognises their past contribution and is a reward for future efforts.

To you all, I send my warmest good wishes and to those for whom today is a special occasion, I offer you hearty congratulations on your preferment.

In his goodwill message last June, the Most Worshipful Grand Master charged each of us not to let the past dictate what we are, but to let it shape what we will become – perhaps a leaner organisation than before but one that is fitter and stronger.

In the spirit of that message, let us continue to look forward together to brighter days when we can resume our masonry safely and confidently.

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Raymond John Smith

Pro Grand Master

Rulers

M.W.Bro. His Royal Highness
Prince Michael of Kent, GCVO
Grand Master

M.W.Bro. Raymond J. Smith
Pro Grand Master

R.W.Bro. John H. Prizeman
Deputy Grand Master

R.W.Bro. Stephen Davison
Assistant Grand Master

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