District Grandlodge of Mark Master Masons in the Netherlands
In 1958 the Dutch Grand Orient permitted the founding of a Lodge of Mark Master Masons under authority of the ‘Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England & Wales, etc.’.
In 1972 the number of lodges did rise enough to unite themselves as a District Grand Lodge under English authority.
The Mark Master Masondegree is an important side degree, only
open to Master Masons. In Anglo-Saxon countries this degree is
wide-spread. Most irregular obediencies do not have this degree.
It is based on a verse in the Bible (Psalm 118: 22): The stone the builders refused
is become the head of the corner (‘Lapis reprobatus
capit anguli’). This degree has traces of operative masonry. The
use of builders, to mark their stones is used in this degree. In
ancient times, these marks were regular marks, freemasons gave
these marks an esoteric significance.
This degree originated in 1770. Markloges are now controlled by the ‘Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons of England and Wales and districts and lodges overseas’. In New Zealand this degree is administrated by the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter.
The fast development of Mark Masonry was possible because brethren were allowed to join and hold office in more than one lodge. When founding a new lodge, the founders don't have to quit their old lodges.
In the Netherlands membership of Mark Masonry is not obligated in order to join the Royal Arch Masonry. However, it is possible that a Dutch visitor abroad is not allowed to join certain ceremonies of a Royal Arch Chapter. This is often the passing the veils, that preceeds the actual exaltation of a R.A. Companion.
Mark Masonry in the Netherlands is open to Master Masons after recommendation of two Mark Master Masons. Every new member chooses his own mark, that can also be used as a signature.
The ritual points out that every man is responsible for his own actions which he marks. He can also trust that his life's work will be appreciated.
A separate degree is the Royal Ark Mariner (R.A.M.)-degree, which is also administrated by the Grand Lodge of Mark Master Masons. Lodges of this degree can be connected to MMM-lodges. The RAM is only open to Mark Master Masons.
Additional rituals are the installation of a Master of a Mark Master Masons Lodge and the ritual for the installation of a Commander of a R.A.M.-Lodge.
In 2019 the Dutch District Grand Lodge consisted of 22 MMM-lodges. 16 Of those are also RAM-lodges:
This District Grand Lodge has about 800 members, the lodges meet 3 - 4 times a year.
Rules and Regulations of the Dutch District
On our download York Rite Library we have published a number of other rituals and texts, on our CD-Rom French Masonic Library the French rituals are published.