Each lodge is headed by an officer called the "Worshipful Master." "Worshipful" means "highly respected" or "honored." The term comes from the judicial system of England and carries no religious implication. "Master" means "leader," or "best qualified," as in "Concert Master" or "Master Architect."
Each officer of a lodge has a title that originated during the Middle Ages. These titles may vary somewhat from state to state, but in general the officers and their contemporary equivalents are:
|Middle Ages Title||Current Title||Middle Ages Title||Current Title|
Master of Ceremonies
1st Vice President
2nd Vice President
Until 1717, each lodge of Masons was autonomous. On June 24, 1717, four of the lodges operating in London met together to form the first Grand Lodge of England. It became the first administrative or policy-making body of Freemasonry.
Masonic lodges still retain autonomy over their finances, activities, officer election, fundraising, and joining ceremonies. But administratively, each State or Province has a Grand Lodge which co-ordinates activities, serves as a central source of record keeping, and performs other administrative and policy functions for the fraternity. The state president is called the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge. He has broad powers in overseeing the progress of the fraternity and while there is no national spokesperson for the fraternity, within his own state (Jurisdiction) he is the chief spokesman.
The Masonic Service Association of North America - Organization of Freemasonry
Tupelo Masonic Lodge No. 318 F&AM
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