Masonry’s beginnings are traced back to England when the Cathedrals were being built. There were many craftsmen who designed and built those amazing buildings. To keep their craft pure they organized themselves into Lodges. Each Lodge elected a leader and other officers to organize, plan, and take care of business for the Lodge. The Worshipful Master of a Lodge was the top position similar to a CEO. Giving the Officers and other members proper instruction for the work that was requested of them.
In these times the word “Worshipful” was a term similar to “Respected”. It did not mean that they worshiped their leader as a god or someone with unearthly powers. It was a term of respect and honor. When a Lodge of Master Masons elected their leader they gave him the title of Worshipful Master, indicating that he was the Respected Master Mason of that Lodge and he was responsible for all of its dealings. They trusted him to always do the right thing for the members and he will also benefit as they benefit.
Today, the Worshipful Master is mostly a figurehead leader of the Lodge. He conducts the ritual of opening and closing the Lodge. He is involved with finances, community involvement, and is responsible for all dealings of the Lodge. Some say it is a massive burden to be Master of a Lodge and while it is a lot of responsibility if you have a good group of men all working Masonry together, the burden is light. We don’t always wear the hat.