Saturday, October 25, 2008

Of the Officers of a Subordinate Lodge - Section VI. Of the Deacons.

A Treatise on the Constitutional Laws, Usages And Landmarks of Freemasonry
by Dr.Albert Gallatin Mackey, 1856

In every lodge there are two of these officersa Senior and a Junior Deacon. They are not elected, but appointed, the former by the Master and the latter by the Senior Warden. The duties of these officers are many and important, but they are so well defined in the ritual as to require no further consideration in this place.

The only question that here invites our examination is, whether the Deacons, as appointed officers, are removable at the pleasure of the officers who appointed them, or, whether they retain their offices, like the Master and Wardens, until the expiration of the year. Masonic authorities are silent on this subject, but, basing my judgment upon analogy, I am inclined to think that they are not removable: all the officers of a lodge are chosen to serve for one year, or, from one festival of St. John the Evangelist to the succeeding one. This has been the invariable usage in all lodges and neither in the monitorial ceremonies of installation, nor in any rules or regulations, which I have seen, is any exception to this usage made in respect to Deacons. The written as well as the oral law of Masonry being silent on this subject, we are bound to give them the benefit of this silence and place them in the same favorable position as that occupied by the superior officers, who, we know, by express law are entitled to occupy their stations for one year. Moreover, the power of removal is too important to be exercised except under the sanction of an expressed law and is contrary to the whole spirit of Masonry, which, while it invests a presiding officer with the largest extent of prerogative, is equally careful of the rights of the youngest member of the fraternity. From these reasons I am compelled to believe that the Deacons, although originally appointed by the Master and Senior Warden, are not removable by either, but retain their offices until the expiration of the year.

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