Interested in joining the Mark Degree?
Why the interest?
The Mark Degree is an important Order for many reasons, next to the Craft and Royal Arch it is the largest of the Masonic Orders and has stood the test of ages. It builds on and develops the stories told in the 2nd and 3rd Degrees in the Craft.
The Mark Degree is one of hope and encouragement and the ritual is built upon a single verse of Psalm 118, “The stone which the builders rejected has become the headstone of the corner”. It deals with the building of King Solomon’s Temple and the various Craftsmen employed, but its real message is one of contemplation of human strength and weakness.
Why join Mark Masonry? the big question
Our enlightening ceremony teaches you, as a Craftsman, invaluable and practical lessons and how to apply them as you conduct yourself through life. You will also gain a clearer understanding of many of the terms, phrases and characters which have been introduced to you during your journey through Craft Masonry.
The Degree contains many messages for the discerning man and illustrate that the wisest of men can be mistaken, that the experts are often wrong, that the weakest can display greater perseverance than the strongest, that the insignificant has the potential for distinction and that we all have a part to play in the Building of Life. It is for each to put his own interpretation on the message which the Degree proclaims, but there is a firm statement that no man is beyond redemption, and the possibility of distinction is always within our grasp.
Ask any Mark Master Mason to describe the Mark Degree and they will invariably smile first and then tell you that it is a most friendly of Masonic Orders. Brotherly love is the keystone of Mark Masonry and the friendliness of the degree is clearly seen and experienced in our Lodge rooms in the genuine warmth of welcome that is universally extended among all Mark Masons. Indeed, whilst our message is key, there is no doubt that among Mark Master Masons you will ever find friends.
At least four other orders require you to be a Mark Master Mason before you can discover their symbolism and further aid your Masonic knowledge and journey.
One of the consequences of the 1813 union between the Ancients and Moderns in England was the specific recognition of the three Craft Degrees only, including the Holy Royal Arch, thus excluding the Mark Degree.
This can mean that a Craft Mason who joins other Orders before joining the Mark Degree could become slightly confused by the symbolism in the other Orders. The Mark Degree improves your understanding by providing necessary background to the history of the construction of King Solomon’s Temple, the importance of the Keystone and the work of the Overseers which are mentioned in the Craft 3rd Degree.
As you would expect in Masonry, there are many social activities organised by individual Lodges and by the Province, and the Mark Order is no different, but with a bit more ‘something’. That ‘something’ is hard to pinpoint, a bit like the “x-factor”, but friendliness is a big part of it.
At the end of the day, we all want to have a little extra fun and enjoyment to go along with our hobby.
There is no doubt that Freemasonry provides a massive contribution to charity, not just in the United Kingdom but throughout the world.
The Mark Benevolent Fund (MBF) is a registered charity which came into existence in 1868 on the suggestion of the Reverend George Raymond Portal, Grand Master of the Mark Degree. His views on charity were far more radical and progressive than the general thinking of the time. He felt that for charity to be effective it had to be disbursed swiftly and without the bureaucratic formalities of other Masonic charities. To him it was wrong for there to be any delay in providing assistance to those in need and his own Latin tag “Bis dat qui cito dat” – he gives twice who gives promptly – became, and still is, the principal guideline of the MBF.
The Province of Durham builds upon the foundation of the MBF with its own Benevolent Fund which is used to assist many fantastic local causes as well as some not so local causes.
So, how do you become a Mark Mason and make your MARK in life?
First, you have to be a Master Mason, if you’re not a member of a Mason’s Lodge you will have to join Freemasonry and details can be found on the Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham website.
You may be wondering, why the blue and red on this page?
The answer is that these are the colours that are normally associated with the Mark Degree.
They can be seen in the ribbon around the Mark Mason's apron