|Information about Mark Master Masons:
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 1 200 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.
There are twenty eight Lodges and a membership of around 1073 ?some thirty three ?per cent of the Craft membership of the Province.
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?
As with Craft Freemasonry and the Royal Arch the Advancement ceremony is a play where moral lessons are illustrated in the narrative which centres on a particular instance during the building of KST.
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.
Which Lodge should I join?
Mark Lodges meet in most of the Masonic Halls in the Province.? Given the level of membership you should be able to find a Proposer and Seconder and a Lodge which meets your needs.