The Mark Degree is the largest degree after the Craft and Chapter and whilst the Book of Constitutions states that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch, this does not take into account the fact that before the Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons in 1813 a form of Mark Degree was being extensively worked in London and the Provinces.
In many countries the Mark Degree still forms part of either Craft or Royal Arch Masonry and candidates can become Mark Master Masons as soon as they have been passed to the degree of a Fellowcraft. However, in England the Mark Degree is totally separate from the Craft having its own Grand Lodge, founded in 1856.
The Degree itself is one of hope and encouragement, dealing with the building of King Solomon’s Temple. Its message is one of contemplation of human strength and weakness. It shows that the wisest amongst us can be mistaken, that the experts are frequently wrong and that the weakest can show more determination than the strongest.
The Degree is open to all subscribing Master Masons of a Craft Lodge.