The qualification to become a Mark Master Mason is that you are a Master Mason in the Craft. Unlike the Craft, there is only one degree ceremony which fits particularly well if it is taken fairly soon after being raised, though you can be advanced into Mark Masonry at any time. The regalia is an apron, similar in many respects to the Master Masons Apron and a breast jewel.
The Province of Middlesex
The area of the Province is defined by the Boundary of the County of Middlesex in 1892. There are 50 Mark Lodges spread throughout the various centres in Middlesex, together with a number of Lodges meeting in London.
Most Lodges meet three times a year and in each centre there is a Lodge of Instruction. The oldest Lodge in the Province is Keystone Lodge No 3 which was consecrated in 1856 and the newest is New Morning Lodge No. 1921 which was consecrated in 2010.
The Province is headed by the Provincial Grand Master, R.W.Bro. Richard Gan. He is assisted by a Deputy, W.Bro. Jack Flint and two Assistants, W.Bro. John Edwards and W.Bro. David White.
Mark – The Friendly Degree
Everyone associated with the Mark Degree refers to it as the ‘Friendly Degree’ and this sense of comradeship and fraternal union extends throughout the order. After the Craft and Royal Arch, the Mark is the next largest Masonic Order with its own Lodges. In many countries however, including Scotland, the Mark Degree is taken either in a craft lodge or more often as a precursor to the Royal Arch.
The Mark Degree itself is one of hope and encouragement, with the ritual being centred around a single verse of Psalm 118: -
Like the three degrees of Craft Masonry, the Mark ritual deals with the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the various craftsmen employed in its construction. The ritual, although deeply meaningful, has its lighter moments; but nonetheless it encapsulates a number of moral teachings and is immensely impressive for both those taking part as well as for the Candidate.
Among the moral lessons taught by the degree is that the wisest of men can be mistaken, that the so called experts are often wrong, that the weakest can display greater perseverance than the strongest, that the insignificant have the potential for distinction and that we all have a part to play. Whilst each of us will put our own interpretation on the messages of the degree, it shows that no man is beyond redemption and the possibility of distinction is always within our grasp.