Wednesday, February 16, 2011

My Station and Places: Senior Warden

In both the Idaho Lodge of Research No.1965 of the Grand Lodge of Idaho AF&AM and Idaho Commandery No.1 of the Knights Templar of Idaho, I am the Senior Warden. While there are striking differences between the bodies, there are some strong similarities in the duties performed by the Senior Warden.

Merriam-Webster's Dictionary defines "Warden" as (1) one having care or charge of something, (2) guardian or keeper, (3) regent, (4) member of a governing body, and lastly (5) an official charged with supervisory duties or with the enforcement of specified laws and regulations. Looking at the etymology of "warden" we see that “Ward” is of Medieval origin, having been used in early English, French, German, etc., always in the sense of to guard something, a meaning preserved in warden, guard, guardian, wary, ware, ward, etc

The Wardens do meet these definitions. The Senior Warden specifically is the right hand of the Worshipful Master in charge of keeping the peace and harmony of the Lodge going. To ensure justice reigns and, in the Lodge, that all Brethren receive their wages. During the hours of Labor in the Lodge are his eyes ever watching as is the Junior Wardens over the hours of Refreshment. The Senior Warden, as his jewel in the Lodge, is a symbol of equality while in the Commandery the jewel is of a hollow square with a mailed arm grasping the Sword of Justice. 

The Senior Warden is also the head of security for the Lodge and Commandery for it is his duty to ensure all present are members in good standing, ensure that all visitors have been tried and examined, to ensure the protection of the Charter, and to ensure the safety of the Pilgrim during his journey in the Order of the Temple. With the help of either the Tyler or the Sentinel, the Senior Warden protects the sovereignty of the Asylum or Lodge, and of that closed door that keeps the meetings private from the cowans and eavesdroppers.

To the Senior Warden I say, look well to the West and let your light so shine before men that they see your good works and glorify your Father which is in Heaven.

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