Working Tools of a Master Mason (Emulation)


I've been here before
When a Freemason is raised to become a Master Mason, during the ceremony the Worshipful Master presents the working tools of this particular degree. The tools he is shown are the Skirret, Pencil and Compasses.

The Skirret
The Skirret is an implement which is used to mark out ground for an intended structure. In Masonic terms it guides a Mason to a straight line of conduct as pointed out in a Holy Book, known among Masons as the Volume of the Sacred Law (VSL). The VSL can be any Holy Book, depending on the religious make up of the members of the Masonic lodge.

The Pencil
Operationally, a Pencil is used to draw up plans for the design of buildings. In Masonic terms, the Pencil reminds Masons that their words and deeds are recorded by the Divine Spirit to whom they must give an account of their actions throughout their lives.

The Compasses
A famous Masonic symbol, in operative terms the Compasses are used to determine limits and proportions of a planned structure. To a Mason, they remind him of the Divine Spirit's unerring and impartial justice, after having laid out the boundaries of good and evil, and who will reward or punish as appropriate.

These three working tools are the last of nine working tools a Mason is presented in Blue Lodge Craft Masonry, when he is raised to the third degree and becomes a Master Mason. The tools in this degree teach Masons that they should remember and act on the laws laid down by the Creator so that the path to Heaven may be successful.

At the end of the ceremony, the newly raised Master Mason is presented with a new apron to match his new rank, and is requested to offer support and advice to Masons of a lower rank. This includes instruction of the working tools associated with Masonic symbolism to help Mason pursue a path of high moral standard.

Emulation Lodge Lodge of Improvement (Lewis Masonic Publishers; 8th ed. 1986).

Read more at Suite101: English Freemasonry: The Working Tools of a Master Mason |


Lodge Chaplain & arms dealer
Wayne Anderson's Sunday Masonic paper recently had a similar article about the "other" working tools. Good info, thanks Bro.Winter