The Mark Master Mason Degree follows on and expands upon the Fellow Craft Degree.
During the building of King Solomon’s Temple, a work force of some 113,500 is employed, and a system of promotion based on industry and skill is established. A qualified Fellow Craft is permitted to select a personal mark by which his work is recognised. Such marks have since been found in the ruins of ancient buildings and they can be found on many Churches, the Tower of London, Heidelberg Castle and many others too numerous to name.
The Mark Master Degree is believed to have originated as a ceremony of registering a Craftsman’s Mark in those years in Freemasonry distinguished by operative Craft Masons. It was later developed into a Degree by the Masonic fraternity as we know it today.
As mentioned, during the building of King Solomon’s Temple, a system of promotion based on industry and skill was established.
The Mark Degree chronologically follows the Fellow Craft Degree and is one of the oldest degrees of Freemasonry. The Degree has grown out of an ancient ceremony in which each Craftsman selected a private Mark which would designate his work. In the era of operative stonemasons, each “Fellow of the Craft” would place his unique mark on the stones he cut, in order to identify his work and receive the wages due him for his labours. These Marks would be used also as the Mason’s signature on documents. Following the ceremony for this Degree, each new Mark Master Mason is obliged to choose a distinctive mark and to draw it in his Chapter’s Register of Marks. It is also recorded by United Supreme Grand Chapter against his name and included on his Certificate.
The story of the Degree is based on the preparations for the building of King Solomon’s Temple and follows the fate of an ambitious Craftsman (the Candidate) seeking promotion in his trade by demonstrating his skill and ability by fashioning a particular stone. In the early part of the ceremony his talents go unrecognised and his hopes are dashed but eventually he triumphs over adversity and is justly rewarded for his work and made a Mark Master.
The symbolism of the Mark Master Mason Degree is that it teaches us that we should work with perseverance and commitment with a purpose to procure the inculcation of order, regularity, and discipline in life. It teaches us that we should be always good and true workmen in our life – not unfinished and imperfect.
Contact us today to learn more about how you can enrich your understanding of Masonic history and traditions through the Royal Arch Degrees, available to you upon becoming a member of the USGC.