An epithet applied in Freemasonry to an officer who has held an office for the prescribed period for which he was elected, and has then retired. Thus, a Past Master is one who has been elected and installed to preside for twelve months over a Lodge, and the Past High Priest one who, for the same period, has been installed to preside over a Chapter. The French use the word Passe in the same sense, but they have also the word Anaen, with a similar meaning. Thus, while they would employ Al altre passe to designate the Degree of Past Master, they would call the official Past Master, who had retired from the chair at the expiration of his term of service, an Ancient Venerable, or Ancient Maitre (note also Passed and Past Master).
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