The Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge is the highest ranking of all Lodge Officers. He sits in the East of the Lodge room (symbolic of the Rising Sun in the East) and directs all of the business of the Lodge. His position is similar to a President of any organization.
As Master, his word is final over any and all actions pertaining to his Lodge. It is the duty to preside over business meetings, the conferral of degrees, rituals, and ceremonies, and the delegation of duties to all other Lodge Officers. In Freemasonry, the Master is said to “Set the Craft to work and give them wholesome instruction for their labor.”
The Worshipful Master is responsible for every single thing within his Lodge during his year as Master. He is ultimately responsible for every other Lodge Officer and their duties, every Lodge committee, ritual and degree work, Masonic education, social functions, fundraisers, District and Grand Lodge liaison, Trestle Board communication, etc.
All eyes are upon the Master. If the Lodge functions go smoothly, it is the Master who takes the credit. If Lodge functions go awry, it is the Master who bears the blame. The Master should promote good morals among the Brethren, and thus endeavor to avert the shadow of any scandal or reproach against the Fraternity.
The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the second in command within the Lodge Officers. In the absence of the Worshipful Master, the Senior Warden assumes the Worshipful Master’s duties. The Senior Warden of a Masonic Lodge sits in the West (symbolic of the setting sun) and assists the Worshipful Master in opening and closing the Lodge. The Senior Warden is in charge of the Lodge when it is at labor. His position is similar to a Vice-President of any organization.
His duties are to assist the Master in the performance of his duties and to discharge all those duties when the Master is absent.
The Senior Warden is charged with the responsibility of the general care, welfare, maintenance, and upkeep of the Lodge Hall and grounds. To ensure the work is performed as needed and on a timely basis, and is ultimately responsible for the actions of the lodge members' behavior, performance, and any results thereof.
The Junior Warden of a Masonic Lodge is the third in command of the Lodge. The Junior Warden sits in the South (symbolic of the position of the sun at midday) and is responsible for the Brethren while the Lodge is at ease or refreshment. His position is similar to a Second Vice-President.
The Junior Warden, too, may open the Lodge if the Master is unable to attend the meeting. It is the Junior Warden’s duty to arrange meals for the lodge, and, typically, the two stewards act as his
assistants in this responsibility. It is also his duty to make certain that the members do not convert their refreshment into intemperance or excess.
The Junior Warden is to work directly with the Stewards to ensure that the Lodge dining facilities are ready to receive the Brethren and guests during any meeting, see that its kitchen and dining area (including prep or cooking surfaces, kitchen utensils, wash room, tables chairs, etc.) are always clean and in an orderly state ready to be used for the next occasion, and that an inventory of necessary supplies is maintained and given to the Lodge Secretary when more are needed.