Time Changes Our Duties

by Midnight Freemason Contributor
Bro. Robert Johnson 32°

Some time ago I presented a piece about becoming a lodge officer. I briefly touched on the duties of some of the positions you might find yourself in. However those duties have not always been the same. Many of the duties prescribed to certain lodge officers have been eliminated. 

What duties you might ask? Well how about someone to wipe the floor? In the 1700’s all the way until the early 1900’s there were lodges that met in rented out rooms, after hours which had dirt floors. 

The members would draw the working tools and much of the symbology we use right on the floor in dirt to explain them to new candidates. When the meeting was over, a member, usually the tyler or perhaps the stewards would literally mess the dirt around the floor to conceal any and all traces of things that had been drawn. 

You have no doubt heard the Worshipful Master of your lodge say that “...if sooner specially convened, due and timely notice will be given by summons or otherwise.” In the 1700’s and 1800’s according to many Masonic scholars, the deacons would need to write out these summonses and it was the duty of the stewards to hand deliver them to the brothers of a lodge living throughout the land.

The duties we had to the craft in centuries past may have been different—I don't think anyone has to wipe down a dirt floor or hand deliver summons notes—but we do have brothers in lodge who are charged with managing a social media page for their lodge, managing a call-them-all phone system to advise members of upcoming events or  maintaining a lodge website. Whatever our duties are today and regardless of how time has changed those duties, let's do the best we can. 

Your lodge is counting on you. 


Bro. Robert Johnson, 32° is the editor of the Midnight Freemasons blog.  He is a Freemason out of the First North-East District of Illinois. He belongs to Waukegan Lodge No. 78. He is also a member of the York Rite bodies Royal Arch, Cryptic Council and Knights Templar, and a member of the Scottish Rite Valley of Chicago.  Brother Johnson currently produces and hosts a weekly Podcast (internet radio program) Whence Came You? which focuses on topics relating to Freemasonry. In addition, he produces video shorts focusing on driving interest in the Fraternity and writes original Masonic papers from time to time. He is a husband and father of three. He works full time in the safety industry and is also a photographer on the side as well as an avid home brewer. He is also working on two books, one is of a Masonic nature.

1 comment:

  1. Freemasons have a history of promoting the immortality of the soul through reincarnation. "John the Baptist is Elijah returned. He who has an ear to hear, let them hear". Jesus was referring to reincarnation and those who were initiated in the ancient Mysteries would know this.


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