Monitoring the Work

Landmarks, Charges, and Regulations Help Us.

By: Thomas L. Schenk
Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Thomas L. Schenk Grand Master of Masons in New Mexico

Brethren all,

I hope that each of you had a great holiday season, and it was spent with family and friends!

January 1, 2024, marked the beginning of a new year, and for most Lodges the beginning of a new masonic year with new officers.

I wanted to share something that you may find both useful and educational. Recently, the Grand Officers and I were faced with trying to figure out a difficult situation and come up with a solution that was in line with our Constitution and Bylaws. After much research, we still had not found the answer we were looking for, then finally, EUREKA, the answer lay within our Ancient Landmarks.

Some, especially our newer Masons, and newer Officers of the Constituent Lodges may not be familiar with those Ancient Landmarks, as well as our Ancient Charges, Old Regulations and Prerogatives and Duties of the Worshipful Master.

All of these “Usages” were established in the 1700’s as the rules and guides to our faith and practices. Constitutions can be written, and over time, even be amended, but they may never conflict with these “Charges”.

Why you might ask, is because they are set in stone and can NEVER be changed. Nothing can be subtracted, and Nothing can be added.

They are as follows:

Prerogatives and Duties of the Worshipful Master – 9 Duties & 13 Prerogatives.

By the prerogatives of the Worshipful Master is meant the inherent right and authority he possesses by reason of the position he occupies, giving him, as it does, extraordinary powers and privileges which belong to the presiding officer of no other association. He presides during business as well as the Work of Masonic labors of the Lodge. Etc.…

THE LANDMARKS – Twenty-Five (25) in total.

The Modes of Recognition are, of all the Landmarks, the most legitimate and unquestioned. They admit no variation, and if ever they have suffered altercation or addiction, the evil of such violation of the ancient law has always made itself subsequently manifest. An admission of this is to be found in the proceedings of the late Masonic Congress at Paris, where a proposition was presented to render these modes of recognition once more universal – a proposition which never would have been necessary, if the integrity of this important Landmark had been rigorously preserved. Etc.….

THE ANCIENT CHARGES – I through VI & 1 through 6.

The Charges of a Free-Mason extracted from The Ancient Records of Lodges beyond the Sea, and of those in England, Scotland, and Ireland, for the Use of Lodges in London: to be read at the making of New Brethren, or when the Master shall order it.

“These charges have always been held in the highest veneration by the Fraternity, as embodying the most important point of the ancient Written as well as Unwritten Law of Masonry”. Etc.…


The Old Regulations of the Ancient, Free and Accepted Masons.

The most complete history that could be given of these General Regulations is to be found in the title which precedes them in the first edition of Anderson’s Constitution, and which is continued in these words.

“General Regulations, compiled first by Mr. George Payne, anno 1720, when he was Grand Master, and approved by the Grand Lodge on St. John Baptist Dat, anno, 1721, at Stationer’s Hall, London, when the Most Noble Prince John Duke of Montagu, was unanimously chosen our Grand Master for the year ensuing, which chose John Beal, M.D., his Deputy Grand Master, and Josiah Villeneau and Thomas Morris Jr., were chosen by the Grand Lodge as Wardens.

And now, by the command of our said Right Worshipful Grand Master Montagu, the author of this book has compared them with, and reduced them to the ancient records and immemorial usages of the Fraternity, and digested them into this new method, with several proper explications, for the use of the Lodges in and about London and Westminster”.

All of this information can be found within the OFFICIAL MONITOR AND CEREMONIES of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico AF & AM and would make great Lodge presentation material as well as educate our brethren as to ALL of the regulations to which we are so sacredly bound above and beyond our Constitution and By-laws.

I hope this will be found useful and implemented within your Lodge.




Here is a direct link to the OFFICIAL MONITOR AND CEREMONIES of the Grand Lodge of New Mexico AF & AM.

Please see links to other GREAT resources from the Grand Lodge in this article (Click Here).

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