After a Worshipful Master has finished his term in office he will become a Past Master. This is a position of great honor. Depending on the jurisdictions Past Masters have differing responsibilities. In some lodges the junior Past Master, or most recent Worshipful Master, becomes the Tiler. In others they become the incoming Marshall or Secretary. Even if a particular lodge does not have any such formalized progression, each Past Master is still put into an position of trust and leadership. He will be expected to provide counsel and guidance to the active Worshipful Master.
Past Masters are the only ones who are eligible to wear the special emblem of the Sun, Compasses and Quadrant. The Quadrant replaces the traditional Square. The sun represents the Masonic Light, or Wisdom, that a Past Master encompasses and is supposed to pass on. It also signifies that the Past Master has observed the Sun at Meridian height, (the South), setting (the West), and Rising (the East).
The Quadrant, or Protractor, is opened to 60 degrees. This is the angle of an equilateral triangle, where all three sides are the same length.
In some European jurisdictions, mostly in Great Britain, the 47th Problem of Euclid suspended by a square is used as a past Master symbol. The 47th Problem of Euclid is used to prove a square, a vital skill to ancient builders. Suspended by the square, the symbol represents knowledge and wisdom that a Past Master has gained from his service to his Lodge and Freemasonry in general.
In the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Texas Past Masters are allowed to wear a special apron that includes the emblem of their office. This is one of the few officially recognized aprons that are allowed by the Grand Lodge of Texas.