Although Freemasonry does have secrets that its members have sworn not to divulge, the organization of a Masonic lodge is not among them.
Masons define a lodge as a certain number of Freemasons who assemble to work, having authority to do so from a charter or warrant which originates from the Grand lodge. Within each Masonic lodge is a lodge room – the center of Masonic life – which is properly arranged according to centuries of tradition.
Each Masonic lodge is governed by a presiding officer – the Worshipful Master. By ancient tradition, the Worshipful Master sits in the East of the lodge room and conducts the business of his lodge with input from the lodge membership. By virtue of his office, he also presides over ritual and ceremonies.
Considered the highest honor that may be conferred upon a member by his lodge, the Worshipful Master is elected in Kansas to a one year term. It is important to note that the honorific Worshipful does not imply that the Master is to be worshiped. Rather, the use of this word recalls ancient tradition. Its original meaning, “to give respect” is similar to other positions of honor in our society — “Your Honor” for judges, or “Honorable” for
mayors. In fact, mayors and judges in parts of England are still called “Worshipful” or “Your Worship.” French Masons use the word Vénérable as the honorific for their Masters.
According to the Masonic scholar Chris Hodapp,
Every lodge is required to have a Worshipful Master, a Senior Warden, a Junior Warden, a Senior
Deacon, a Junior Deacon, a Treasurer, and a Secretary. However, Freemasons do not march in lockstep with one another. There are subtle and not-so-subtle differences in the names of officers and their duties, from country to country, as well as from state to state. And yet, a Mason from Iowa on vacation in Belgium will recognize the same basic framework of the Masonic officer’s line that he had at home in Dubuque, governing the lodge he’s visiting in Brussels.
Kansas lodges function in precisely the same fashion. In addition to the officers noted above, Kansas lodges, like lodges across the country, also have appointed officers such as deacons who assist the Worshipful Master, and stewards who are responsible for meeting preparations. Local lodges in Kansas, and there is one in almost every town in the state, are subordinate to the Grand Lodge of Kansas, located in Topeka.