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].
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.
6. He may close his lodge at his pleasure, but it shall be closed as provided in Regulation 45-17.
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.
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].
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].
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].
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].
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].
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.
34. He shall sign all orders drawn upon the Treasurer after approval by the lodge. [59-11.3].
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].
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)
51. He shall make certain that the Treasurer makes a full and complete report to the lodge of its receipts, disbursements, account balances, and financial condition, as required by Regulation 59-11.5. The failure of the Master to make certain that the required reports are provided to the lodge by the Treasurer shall be a serious Masonic offense. In the event that the Treasurer fails to make any required quarterly report, the Master shall notify the District Deputy Grand Master, who shall then notify the Grand Master.
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 ].
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].
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].
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)
An appeal cannot be taken to the lodge from a 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].
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].
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].
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].
The duties of the Senior Warden shall be as follows.
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].
The duties of the Junior Warden shall be as follows.
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.
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 59-9 shall apply when the Junior Warden acts as Master.
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 full and complete reports to the lodge of its receipts, disbursements, account balances, and financial condition on not less than a quarterly basis. At the time of each such report, the Treasurer shall have present in the lodge and available for inspection by the Officers and members, any and all necessary documentation supporting his report, including but not limited to bank statements and check registers. Each quarterly report of the Treasurer shall be read out in open lodge and recorded by the Secretary as a part of the minutes of the lodge. The failure of the Treasurer to make the required quarterly reports to the Lodge shall be a serious Masonic offense. [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.
The duties of the Secretary shall be as follows. [44-7 (Art.6)].
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, including, but not limited to, a copy of the financial reports provided by the Treasurer as required in Regulation 59-11.5. The failure of the Secretary to record the required quarterly reports given to the Lodge by the Treasurer shall be a serious Masonic offense. [44-7 (Art.6)].
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].
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 47 and remit to the Grand Secretary the dues and other indebtedness of his lodge to the Grand Lodge.
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].
C. Each application for affiliation received and each applicant for affiliation elected, [75-10]
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].
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.
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].
The duties of the Senior Deacon shall be as follows.
The duties of the Junior Deacon shall be as follows.
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].
The duties of the Stewards shall be as follows.
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].