The Origin & Role of Deacons in Freemasonry

(WBro Schalk Jacobs, WM Umlazi Lodge)

“When you are initiated, your senses are overwhelmed
by what the ceremony entails. Your first regular meeting is a bit intimidating as you start to see the various
offices, experience the opening and closing ceremonies, the way the lodge is structured, and the way the
meeting proceeds. There is quite a lot of information
to digest and before long, you are caught up in the
way things are effectively done. Furthermore, having
listened to quite a few papers by several of the Brethren, I noticed that there aren’t many dealing with the
various offices within a lodge. This became the reasons
for writing this research paper on Deacons”.


After defining the term “deacon”, WBro Jacobs went
on to explain the historical origins of the concept and
how it was introduced into Masonry in 1813.


A comprehensive description of the symbolic meanings of the Deacons was given, with particular reference to the jewel and wand of the office.


In his concluding statement, WBro Jacobs reminded
us that the office of Deacon is not just “another rung
on the ladder” leading to taking the Master’s Chair
in the Lodge. On the contrary, it is a very important
office, rich in its own history.


“It also has a very important message that every Mason must be pure of heart, at peace with himself, his
fellow brethren and others. That he must be willing to
carry the principles of the Craft with him at all times
and conduct his actions in a true manner.”


This paper was approved and accepted by the Athenæum Lodge of
Research. A great honour was bestowed on WBro Jacobs when the
paper was published in The Square Magazine (England) in March
2016.

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