In some jurisdictions a Deputy Grand Master serves as the Grand Master’s assistant, and is given the authority to act in the Grand Master’s name in his absence.
In England, under the jurisdiction of the United Grand Lodge of England, should the Grand Master be a member of the Royal family, a Pro Grand Master is elected to officiate as Grand Master in his absence on Royal duties.
The Senior Warden (sometimes known as First Warden) is the second of the three principal officers of a lodge, and is the Master’s principal deputy. Under some constitutions, if the Worshipful Master is absent then the Senior Warden presides at meetings as “acting Master” and may act for the Master in all matters of lodge business. Under other constitutions, only sitting Masters or Past Masters may preside as “acting Master,” and so the Senior Warden cannot fulfill this role unless he is also a Past Master.
In many lodges it is presumed that the Senior Warden will become the next Worshipful Master. In some jurisdictions, the position is an elected office, while in others it is appointed by the Master.
The third of the principal officers is the Junior Warden (or Second Warden). The Junior Warden is charged with the supervision of the Lodge while it is “at refreshment” (in recess for meals or other social purposes). In some jurisdictions the Junior Warden has a particular responsibility for ensuring that visiting Masons are in possession of the necessary credentials. In others, this is the job of the Tyler. In some jurisdictions the Junior Warden presides if both the Master and the Senior Warden are absent. In some jurisdictions, the position is an elected office, while in others it is appointed by the Master.
The Wardens are regular officers of the Lodge, meaning that the positions must be filled.
The role of the Treasurer is to keep the accounts, collect annual dues from the members, pay bills, and forward annual dues to the Grand Lodge.
The annual presentation of accounts is an important measure of the lodge’s continuing viability, whilst the efficient collection of annual subscriptions is vitally important, as any lapse in payment (deliberate or unintentional) can lead to a member losing voting rights, being denied the opportunity to visit other lodges, and finally even being debarred or excluded from his own lodge.
It is common for the Treasurer to be an experienced Past Master, but this is not required.
The Secretary’s official duties include issuing the summons (a formal notice of an impending meeting, with time, date and agenda), recording meeting minutes, completing statistical returns to the Grand Lodge, and advising the Worshipful Master on matters of procedure. Many individual lodge bylaws add to these duties by mandating, for example, that the Secretary serve on specific committees.
Although any member may hold the office of Secretary, it is typically held by an experienced Past Master.
The title “Director of Ceremonies” is used in the United Grand Lodge of England and its subordinate lodges, as well as in many other jurisdictions. However, other titles found in other jurisdictions include, “Lecturer,” and “Ritualist.”
Whatever the title, this officer is responsible for the smooth flowing of ceremonial and ritual and may hold rehearsals. He may be responsible for prompting other officers who forget their lines. In some jurisdictions, he directs proceedings during the installation of a new Worshipful Master. He is also responsible for forming processions and introducing visitors, except in those jurisdictions which appoint a “Marshal” for these latter purposes.