The United Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Victoria
About Mark Masonry
What is Mark Masonry?
In a historical context, the Mark degree is an expansion of the Second Degree of the Craft, with its ritual taking inspiration from the traditional history surrounding the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
It has its origin in the fact that an operative stonemason would be required to put a distinguishing mark on each stone he produced, so the craftsman could be easily identified. To this day, every candidate who is advanced in the Mark Degree is required to select his mark, which is then recorded by the lodge’s Registrar of Marks and subsequently entered on a brother’s record at the Joint Secretariat.
This mark can then be used when signing the attendance register at a Mark meeting and in correspondence with other Mark Masons. In the ritual of advancement into the Mark degree, the presentation of a candidate’s mark to another officer of the lodge in order to receive his wages forms an important part of the ceremony. The allegory of the workman toiling to produce his best work in the hope that it is fit for use in the temple’s construction is the essence of the Mark ritual.
The offices of a Mark Master Masons lodge mirror those of a Craft lodge, with the addition of the aforementioned Registrar of Marks and three other important additions: a Master Overseer, a Senior Overseer and a Junior Overseer. These offices create an opportunity for theatrical flair when delivering the ritual: the candidate presents the stone he has cut in the quarries for inspection, attesting for its fitness and suitability for the building of King Solomon’s Temple.
The stone (the keystone) is rejected because the Overseers fail to realise its significance. The ceremony culminates in recognition of the keystone as an essential requirement for the completion of the sacred arch of the Temple. The keystone is, therefore, the emblem of the Order. Mark Masonry is held in great affection by members, and a well-performed ceremony is enthralling, entertaining and, although meaningful, gives room for some levity during proceedings.
The Mark Token, with which a candidate is presented during the ceremony, is also a means of identification among brethren of the Order, and many special-edition tokens have been produced as collectable souvenirs. The progressive offices in a Mark lodge are Inner Guard, Junior Deacon, Senior Deacon, Junior Overseer, Senior Overseer, Master Overseer, Conductor, Junior Warden, Senior Warden and Worshipful Master.
The Tyler or Outer Guard can be filled by the retiring Worshipful Master but may also be one of the earlier progressive offices. The other offices are: Organist, Choirmaster, Welfare Officer, Director of Ceremonies, Assistant Director of Ceremonies, Secretary, Assistant Secretary, Treasurer and Chaplain.
The Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of Victoria controls the Mark Lodges in the State of Victoria and shares a Joint Secretariat with the Supreme Grand Chapter of Victoria.