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Encyclopedia > Order of Mark Master Masons

The Order of Mark Master Masons is an appendant order of Freemasonry that confers the degrees of Mark Man and Mark Master.[1] Whilst there is no degree in Freemasonry higher than that of Master Mason[1], there are a number of related organisations which have as a prerequisite to joining that one be a Master Mason or have some relation to a Master Mason[2]. These bodies are commonly referred to as... The Masonic Square and Compasses. ...

Contents

Administrative structure

In England, Europe and Australasia, The Mark degree is conferred in separately warranted Lodges under the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. The candidate for Advancement is required to be a Master Mason. In England and Wales, the governing body is The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and its Districts and Lodges Overseas, which also controls the Royal Ark Mariner degree; conferred in separately warranted Royal Ark Mariner Lodges.


In Canada, the Royal Ark Mariner degree is conferred by a Council of Royal and Select Masters.


In Scotland, The Mark degree is conferred in a Craft lodge and is seen as completion of the Fellowcraft degree, although the candidate for advancement is required to be a Master Mason. The Mark degree may alternatively, and exceptionally, be conferred in a Holy Royal Arch Chapter as a prerequisite for Exaltation to the HRA. His entry into the Chapter is preceded by a short ceremony of Mark Lodge Affiliation, if the candidate has already been advanced into the Mark degree. The York Rite (also called the American Rite) is one of the two main appendant bodies of United States Freemasonry, which a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. ...


In the US, this degree forms part of the York Rite, and the Royal Ark Mariner degree forms part of the rite of The Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD). The York Rite (also called the American Rite) is one of the two main appendant bodies of United States Freemasonry, which a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. ...


Allegorical legend

Similarly to Craft Freemasonry the Mark degree ritual conveys moral and ethical lessons using a ritualised allegory based around the building of King Solomon's Temple. Although only open to Master Masons, the events of the ritual require the candidate to undertake the role of a Fellowcraft. The degree is seen therefore as an extension of the Fellowcraft and the philosophical lessons conveyed are appropriate to this stage in a candidate's Masonic development. Solomons Temple (Hebrew: בית המקדש, transliterated Beit HaMikdash), also known as the First Temple, was, according to the Bible, the first Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. ...


History

There are many old masons' marks on buildings, as well as references to formally making or registering marks in operative Scottish minute books and by-laws and in old statutes and rituals. This evidence indicates the working of some form of Mark degree as early as 1599. The earliest record of the degree being worked in a speculative body was in 1769 in Portsmouth, England, under the direction of Thomas Dunckerley. Portsmouth is a city of about 189,000 people located in the county of Hampshire on the southern coast of England. ...


Thereafter the degree, like many of the appendant degrees, was worked in craft Lodges and Royal Arch Chapters, particularly under the Antients Grand Lodge of York. This Grand Lodge was of the opinion that any masonic degree could be worked in the craft lodge. The minutes of these Antients lodges record that on ocasions more than one degree was worked in a craft lodge.


Following the Union of the Antients and Moderns Grand Lodges and the formation of United Grand Lodge of England in 1813, that the articles of union stated that there would be three Craft degrees only, including the Royal Arch, excluding the Mark degree. Many lodges continued to work the degree with a number of London masons obtaining a warrant from the Bon Accord Chapter in Aberdeen. This resulted in some friction between England and Scotland leading to the creation of a Mark Grand Lodge in 1856, reaching an agreement on common ceremonial by 1860. In March 1856 UGLE resolved that the degree should be "a graceful addition" to Craft Masonry under proper regulations; however the Grand Lodge minutes were not confirmed at the next meeting in June.[citation needed] The United Grand Lodge of Englands Coat of Arms Headquarters of The UGLE. The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the main governing body of Freemasonry within England, and certain jurisdictions overseas (normally ex-British Empire and Commonwealth countries). ...


As Freemasonry spread around the globe in the 18th and 19th Centuries, Mark Masonry became well established and now has a worldwide presence with six daughter Grand Lodges and the degree being worked under alternative administrative structures elsewhere. Since all Mark Masters are necessarily first Master Masons, and must remain so, the unofficial relationship between the separate Grand Lodges is naturally fraternal. In England, the current Mark Grand Master, HRH Prince Michael of Kent, is the younger brother of the Craft Grand Master, HRH the Duke of Kent.


References

  1. ^ Beyond the Craft 5th Ed, Keith B Jackson, ISBN(13)09780853182481, 2005, Lewis Masonic

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