May 2014

This is the third year Shannon Chapter No. 1 has conducted the Mark Master Mason Degree in the Bell Island Mine, and it has lost none of it’s intrigue or attraction. This is becoming our own special event that will bring more companions to move beyond their own Blue Lodges.

We must recall our obligations to our own mother Lodges and make specific effort to assist them become stronger. It is too easy to forget to attend Blue Lodge meetings and functions: we are busy with our own lives and obligations. But, our first obligation was, and still is, to our mother lodges. All Blue Lodges will welcome your assistance and leadership. Perhaps your mentoring a newly minted lodge officer will give confidence and inspiration. Just your presence at a meeting will show interest to all. That made you feel good when you passed through the offices, so why not do the same for your brethren?



Mulling Point

There is no greater gift man can give his fellow man than knowledge. It is the charge of the Most Excellent Master that we learn well so we can “dispense Light and Truth to the uninformed Mason.” In so doing, we will indeed become a Most Excellent Master over ourselves - a Teacher, a Master - a Great One!

Robert G. Davis

York Rite Crusader Winter 1999 RAM Fall2000
at the pleasure of the

Most Excellent High Priest,

Excellent Companion JAMES SMITH



For seven years, six months and two days, the Craft had labored side by side upon the marvelous Temple of Solomon. So, when the last stone was placed in position, the joy of achievement mingled with regret at the end of the intimate associations of those seven eventful years. The Temple was COMPLETED! The work was OVER.

In the “Blue” Lodge degrees the candidate is “initiated” an Entered Apprentice, “passed” to the degree of Fellowcraft”, and “raised” to the sublime degree of Master Mason. All these ceremonies are true “initiation.”

In the Mark Master Degree, the candidate is “advanced”. Again, correctly speaking, this is “initiation.” His “induction” into the oriental chair in the Past Master’s Degree is not “initiation” proper and neither is the ceremony of the Most Excellent Master’s Degree. This degree would be more correctly described as a pageant.

The candidate isn’t “made” anything. Rather, he is “received and acknowledged”. This is so consistent with Masonic teaching. The candidate has labored. He has worked. He has made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees and therefore he has MADE OF HIMSELF a Most Excellent Master. It only remains for the Lodge to “receive and acknowledge” him as such.



by Robert G. Davies

published in The York Rite Crusader, the publication if the York Rite College of North America, (2000)

Edited by ME Companion Larry Moss

It is felt the Most Excellent Master degree was actually incorporated into the regular Capitular system to fill a gap which existed in the ritual system of the time. As we know, the Temple was left unfinished in the Third degree and the Royal Arch degree notes its destruction. It’s completion and consecration and it’s use as the central glory of the Jewish nation for the four hundred years, which elapsed between the legend of Hiram and the destruction of the temple, had previously been passed over by the rituals of all the other Rites which existed during the 18th Century. And so this degree seemed essential to the overall legend of the Masonic degrees, and in developing the complete allegory of Freemasonry.


Part 2 continued from previous newsletter:

Part 2

It is also a degree “in memoriam” of Hiram Abiff, the Master Builder of our great legend. We observe the vacant seat and are reminded that our own earthly life must also end. We should thus live in this world so that, when we cross that distant shore where only the true and faithful dwell, we will be mourned by those we leave behind.


In the second section of the Most Excellent Master we return to the biblical account of the completion and dedication of the temple. In fact much of the degree is centered around the story given in one Kings, Chapter 8. A historical account is given of the years required to erect the edifice, the labour of men working side by side and the joy of achievement that was felt when the last stone (the cope-stone) was placed, thus signalling the temple was completed. But one thing remained to be done - to seat the sacred Ark of the Covenant in the most holy place and to solemnly dedicate and consecrate this noble temple to God. A monument of architectural beauty, regardless of how superbly erected, is bid an empty shell until sanctified by the Divine presence.


So it is with all human endeavour. No human achievement, however noble or perfect, can be done alone; nor can it attain its full potential until in spirit and purpose, it is consecrated by Divine Will. Thus, the Temple of our present life, symbolically erected by ourselves as individual Masons, assisted by our family, friends and brothers, is not truly complete until dedicated to God and consecrated to the service of mankind.

  © V. Ex.Comp. Dr. Brian Roberts 2018