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The Anglo Saxon weorth was something honorable, deserving of respect, a meaning that shows up in worth, the value of anything, also in worship, which is deference paid to some object or person of great importance. Worshipful describes something full of the qualities calling for such deference. It was used in Medieval times of one’s parents, officers of the state, prelates, etc., signifying that such persons were of high station or entitled to deferential respect. It is so used in our term, “Worshipful Master.”

- Source: 100 Words in Masonry


The appelation "Worshipful" Master is misleading in the minds of many. In fact the time was when the writer questioned very seriously whether such an appellation should ever be made to any man. It had the sound of irreverance and therefore sacrilegious and blasphemous. We thought it meant to say that the Worshipful Master of a lodge was equal with and deserving of holy reverence as his maker - God Almighty; that he was a creature to be worshipped by others. But we found out that we were mistaken in the plain, simple meaning of the term "Worshipful." Our little dictionary says the term means "venerable."

Following our former opinions one would sometimes become sadly disappointed in a "Worshipful Master" who would always remove his hat in calling the name of the Deity in the lodge room, but would "cuss like a sailor" at other times. Most of them are of the highest type of manhood. - Kansas City of Freemason.

- Source: The Builder - March 1917

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