Chapter 13

Powers, Duties, and Expenses of the Grand Master


The Grand Master shall have such prerogatives and powers as are conferred, and shall perform such duties as appertain to his office, by the ancient usages of Freemasonry, subject to the limitations imposed by THE CODE and the requirements of this Grand Jurisdiction. He is not invested with any prerogative which might annul THE CODE or contravene the avowed policy of the Grand Lodge. [7-5; 13-4.12; 13-4.13].

1. The Grand Master's station is in the Grand East.

2. Whatever the Grand Master, as such, is authorized to do in person he may do by a duly authorized representative unless forbidden by the laws of the Grand Lodge, but he shall be responsible to the Grand Lodge for the acts of such representative.

3. The action and orders of the Grand Master shall be of force until set aside or modified by the Grand Lodge. [13-2.16; 13-2.17; 13-2.21; 13-4.1; 80].


Some, but not all, of the powers and duties of the Grand Master pertaining to the Grand Lodge are as follows.

1. To preside over the Grand Lodge.

2. To decide all questions of usage, order, and Masonic law not otherwise provided for. [7-3; 8-1, 8-2; 8-6; 13-5; 13-2.14].

3. To terminate debate on any question pending before the Grand Lodge. [36-5].

4. To convene the Grand Lodge in emergent communication when he deems it advisable or necessary. [18-2].

5. To present a written report on the first day of the annual communication of the Grand Lodge setting forth all of his acts of Grand Master and the general condition of Masonry within this jurisdiction and recommending such legislation and such action as he may deem necessary. [7-2; 8-6; 13-5; 13-4.2; 16-1.6].

6. To appoint all appointive officers of the Grand Lodge as provided by law, and to fill by appointment all vacancies not otherwise provided, for either pro tempore or for the unexpired term. [12-4; 11-11].

7. To appoint all committees not otherwise provided for. He may appoint special committees to deal with emergencies which may arise or committees on any important matters which he is advised may come before the Grand Lodge for consideration. [11-11; 27-2].

8. To report to the Grand Lodge arrest of charters and the reasons therefor and the constituting and instituting of new lodges. [39-8; 34-19.2; 41].

9. To keep and file all official correspondence and at the expiration of his term of office to deliver the same to the Grand Secretary to be preserved for future use.

10. To suspend from office any officer of the Grand Lodge, any officer of a subordinate lodge, a District Deputy Grand Master, a District Deputy Grand Lecturer, a member of any board selected or elected by the Grand Lodge, or a member of any commission or committee of the Grand Lodge upon satisfactory evidence of unmasonic conduct, misconduct, neglect, or malfeasance in office, or for any unlawful act of commission or for any serious or flagrant omission in the performance of his duties. [27-4; 58-1; 90-7.2; 91-13.2.E].

11. To execute, when authorized to do so, all deeds or other documents pertaining to the business of the Grand Lodge, unless otherwise provided. [49-7.3; 49-7.7].

12. To command every grand officer and board, commission, or committee, except a Trial Commission, to call on them for information, advice, and assistance on business relative to the Craft and to request of them information or service concerning their respective offices or duties.

13. To cause the Ancient Landmarks and the laws of the Grand Lodge to be observed and to perform the duties of Grand Master agreeably to the requirements of Masonry and THE CODE of the Grand Lodge.

14. To exercise the executive functions of the Grand Lodge when it is not in session, but always as provided by law. [2-7; 13-2.2].

15. To have general supervision over the Craft when the Grand Lodge is not in session.

A. He may refer any matter or controversy to an officer, board, commission, or committee with such instructions as he may deem proper.

B. He may summarily try a brother for unmasonic conduct as provided by regulation 91-13. [27-3; 27-7.4; 91-13].

16. To grant dispensations for the formation of new lodges as provided by law. [13-1.2; 13-4.1; 39-7.2; 39-6; 39-6.3; 39-12; 39-13].

17. To issue such dispensations as are authorized by THE CODE. [13-1.2; 13-3.8].

18. To divide the jurisdiction into districts and appoint a District Deputy Grand Master for each district. [26-1].

19. To appoint Grand Representatives to and receive Grand Representatives from other grand jurisdictions recognized by this Grand Lodge. [Official Form 58].

20. To preside, when present, over all meetings of the Craft in this jurisdiction, and of boards, commissions, or committees of the Grand Lodge except Trial Commissions, Committees on Finance, Masonic Jurisprudence and Appeals. [27-2; 27-7.8; 94-2; 95-2].

21. To have and to use the seal of the Grand Master, but he shall not delegate this power. [13-1.2; 89-14].

22. To vote at any stockholders' meeting in which the Grand Lodge is interested, and to cast any vote to which the Grand Lodge may be entitled unless otherwise provided by law or by special direction of the Grand Lodge.

23. To file with the Grand Secretary, immediately after his installation, a photograph of himself suitable for enlarging and printing, and a sketch of his life. [16-1.23].

24. To change the date, hour, or place for holding the annual communication of the Grand Lodge in cases of extreme emergency, or for a satisfactory reason, and when approved by a majority of the Board of General Purposes. [18-1.1; 27-7.7; 28-6]


Some, but not all, of the powers and duties of the Grand Master pertaining to subordinate lodges are as follows.

1. To continue lodge functions by dispensation pending replacement of a charter which has been defaced, lost, or destroyed. [41-2].

2. To decide any actual matter of difference which may arise in any lodge during a recess of the Grand Lodge upon subjects involving the construction and application of Masonic law not otherwise provided for.

A. Such decision shall be made only upon written request of a lodge or its Master or after a hearing upon a complaint laid before him by a member of a lodge.

B. The Grand Master may act in such manner and upon such notice to the parties in interest as he deems just, having in view the protection and maintenance of the Masonic rights of the parties concerned.

C. The Grand Master shall not entertain, hear, or determine any appeal from a trial by a Trial Commission. [8-6.3.A; 8-3; 8-3.4].

3. To convene any lodge within this Grand Jurisdiction in person or by his duly authorized representative. To preside therein with the Worshipful Master on his left, to inspect its proceedings and require strict conformity to Masonic law and usage. [45-12.1; 59-2.41].

4. To amend or revoke the dispensation for the formation of a new lodge and to arrest the charter of any lodge when he deems it proper to do so. [2-1; 4-1; 39-13;41-11].

5. To suspend the Master or any other officer of a subordinate lodge from the exercise of the powers and duties of his office for official misconduct, neglect, malfeasance, or unmasonic conduct. [57-1.4; 58-1; 90-7.2].

6. To command any member of a lodge he may visit to act as Warden or any other officer, for the time being.

7. To institute and constitute lodges, to dedicate Masonic halls and buildings to lay cornerstones of Masonic or public buildings in person or by his duly authorized representative. [4-1; 39-8; 84].

8. To grant dispensations to lodges in special cases as follows: [13-2.17; 13-4.1].

A. To hold special elections in the following cases.

(1) If the office of the Master becomes vacant, and the Wardens make application. [57-3].

(2) If the Master-elect declines to be installed and the Wardens make application. [57-3].

(3) If the three ranking offices become vacant. [57-3]

(4) If a lodge fails to elect its officers at the time fixed in its by-laws; but not before it so fails to elect. [54-1.2].

(5) If an officer must be elected, but such election shall be held at a stated communication. [54-1.2; 57-3].

B. To elect and install as Master a Master Mason who has not served as Master or Warden of a lodge but only as provided by law. [53-2.2].

C. To form in public procession for the purpose of performing strictly Masonic service, never, however, for other than a Masonic occasion. No dispensation is necessary for a lodge to attend divine worship or to conduct a Masonic funeral.

D. To hold its communications, in case of necessity only, in a room used for other than Masonic purposes. [43-2.13; 43-5; 43-6].

E. To permit a lodge, in case of necessity, to ask for outside relief but only as provided by law. [85-2; 85-3; 85-4].

F. To authorize a lodge to receive and act on a petition for the degrees of one who has physical defects but only as provided in THE CODE. [66-2; 68-15].

G. To permit a lodge to hold its communications temporarily, and in case of extreme necessity, or for a satisfactory reason, in another location than that named in its charter or dispensation; but always within the state. Only the Grand Lodge may authorize a lodge to move its location permanently from that named in its charter. [38-4.1; 38-4.2; 38-5; 42-3; 45-7; 43-6; 71-14; 82-9]. (This section amended, effective 1/1/2006)

H. To permit a lodge located within the corporate limits of a municipality to permanently change its location to a place within one mile of the corporate limits of the municipality as set forth in Regulation 42-1.

I. To permit a lodge to hold emergent communications with due and timely notice to conduct essential business for the benefit of the Craft. (This regulation amended, effective October 1, 2022.)

J. To permit a lodge to meet on the appropriate degree to conduct its business and education. (This regulation amended, effective October 1, 2022.)

9. To forbid unlawful expenditures by a lodge. [60-7].

10. To approve the minutes of a lodge, without the necessity of the minutes being read, at any communication of a lodge which the Grand Master closes in ample form. ( This subsection amended, effective January 1, 2018 )


The Grand Master has no authority to:

1. Delegate his power to grant dispensations for new lodges or other dispensations in his power to grant. [13-1.2; 13-2.16; 13-3.8; 39].

2. Give any decision, opinion, or other act in his official capacity which is to be kept secret from a lodge or suppressed from his report to the Grand Lodge. [13-5;13-2.5].

3. Make Masons at sight. [52-6].

4. Grant a dispensation to confer a degree on one deemed by the lodge physically, mentally, or morally disqualified. [66-2; 68-15].

5. Interfere with a trial however, he may conduct a summary trial as provided by Regulation 91-13. [Chapter 90]

6. Introduce, or permit to be introduced, any rite or ceremony whatever unless first approved by the Grand Lodge. [2-6.9; 17-2; 34-19; 34-19.2].

7. Recognize another grand lodge or any other organization or body, unless and until the Grand Lodge has first formally and expressly recognized the same.

8. Authorize a lodge to join in the funeral procession of a deceased Mason unless the funeral is conducted by the lodge. [82-6.4].

9. Dispense with the examination of a candidate for advancement as required by THE CODE. [72-2.7].

10. Obsolete. (This subsection amended, effective 1/1 2009) [73-3.5].

11. Suspend or expel a Mason, except as provided by law. [91-13; 100-2]

12. Set aside, suspend, or annul the laws of the Grand Lodge, except as and when specifically authorized by law. [7-5; 13-1; 77-5.4]

13. Authorize anything specifically forbidden by THE CODE. [13-1; 77-5.4]


The Grand Master shall report to the Grand Lodge all decisions and official opinions, with all papers relating thereto, rendered by him during its recess. Such decisions and opinions shall be referred to the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence for its consideration and report. [13-2.2; 13-2.5; 13-4.2].

1. A copy of each decision, official opinion, and unofficial opinion made by him during the recess of the Grand Lodge shall be sent at the time it is rendered to the Chairman of the Committee on Masonic Jurisprudence and the Grand Secretary.

2. The Grand Master shall furnish the Board of General Purposes, the Committees on Masonic Jurisprudence, and on Finance not less than ten days before the annual communication, copies of his proposed annual report, covering so far as is practicable such of his official acts as he should report to the Grand Lodge and such other subjects or matters as he may desire to submit. [28-3.1; 34-2; 34-3.1].