The word "lodge" means both a group of Freemasonry members meeting in some place and the room or building in which they meet. Freemasonry or Masonic buildings are also sometimes called "temples" because much of the symbolism Freemasonry uses to teach its lessons comes from the building of King Solomon's Temple in the Holy Land. The term "lodge" itself comes from the structures which the stonemasons built against the sides of the cathedrals during construction. In winter, when building had to stop, they lived in these lodges and worked at carving stone.
If you've ever watched C-SPAN's coverage of the House of Commons in London, you'll notice that the layout is about the same. Since Freemasonry came to America from England, we still use the English floorplan and English titles for the officers. The Worshipful Master of the Lodge sits in the East. "Worshipful" is an English term of respect which means the same thing as "Honorable." He is called the Master of the lodge for the same reason that the leader of an orchestra is called the "Concert Master." It's simply an older term for "Leader." In other organizations, he would be called "President." The Senior and Junior Wardens are the First and Second Vice-Presidents. The Deacons are messengers, and the Stewards have charge of refreshments.
Every lodge has an altar holding a "Volume of the Sacred Law." In the United States and Canada, that is almost always a Bible.
Last updated on January 15, 2010 by Ossipee Valley Lodge #74