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The Book of Constitutions tells us that Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more. This is a strange statement bearing in mind that prior to the union of the Two Grand Lodges in 1813, a form of Mark Degree was extensively worked in both London and the Provinces. Indeed there is clear evidence that the degree was worked in 1723 and there exists a document in Provincial Grand Lodge of Durham, the last page of which is dated 1756 and reads “There being met PART of the Body of the Lodge they taking in their serious consideration that no member of the saide Lodge SHALL BE MADE A MARK MASON without paying the fee of one Scots Mark.
Nevertheless in England, the Mark Degree is a separate entity with its own Grand Lodge, which was founded on 23rd June, 1856. The first Grand Master was the Rt. Hon. Lord Leigh who was, at the time, Master of the Bon Accord Mark Master Lodge. His first Deputy Grand Master was the Rt. Hon. Lord Methuen, who was at that time the Provincial Grand Master of the Wiltshire Craft Lodges. In Scotland, Ireland and many other countries.
The Mark Degree is one of hope and encouragement and the ritual is built on a single verse from 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.The Degree contains many messages for the discerning man and illustrates that the wisest of men can be mistaken, that the experts are often wrong, that the weakest often display perseverance far better than the strongest, that the insignificant has 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 clear encouragement that no man is beyond redemption, and the possibility of distinction is always within our power. Whatever ones religion there is a clear message of hope and for the Christian, Peter, in the Book of Acts, states of Jesus, “This is the Stone which was set at nought by you builders, which is become the Head of the Corner”.
Finally the Degree reminds us that when all the wisest and cleverest of men were gathered together Only One looked towards the West and saw a sunbeam strike the roof of the Temple. The Degree represents the everyday life of each one of us, for the Stone hewn from the virgin rock depicts us all on our journey through life, and its final recognition as perfection, should be the guide to our conduct through life so that “we may be found worthy”.
The purpose of this section is to draw your attention to the existence of the Mark Degree and to invite you to consider seriously “Taking the fourth regular step”. There are sixteen Mark Lodges in Leicestershire and Rutland and eight Royal Ark Mariner Lodges.
Please consult the Leicestershire & Rutland Year Book for your nearest Lodge and contact either the Secretary or a Member known to you.
You may make use of the 'Contact Us' page to email the Provincial Grand Secretary if you require further information.