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Absence of Worshipful Master

Rule 141 of the English Book of Constitutions states that the Immediate Past Master or in his absence the Senior Past Master of the Lodge, or, if no Past Master of the Lodge be present, the Senior Past Master who is a subscribing member of the Lodge shall take the chair. Failing all of these the Senior Warden, or, if he is absent, the Junior Warden, is to rule the Lodge, but without occupying the Master's chair. No initiation is to take place or Degree be conferred unless a Master or Past Master in the Craft occupies the chair. In the United States, however, especially where many Candidates await their Degrees, the custom has developed for the Worshipful Master at his pleasure to place in the chair temporarily any Brother in his judgment competent to properly give the ritualistic work.

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