CURIOUS ABOUT THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH ?
A sincere desire to work, enquire and learn more is essential for you to complete the long and fruitful journey which you first commenced as an Entered Apprentice Mason. To be a satisfied and successful Royal Arch Mason is to be a keen and dedicated Master Mason, eager to learn, willing to participate and curious! Exactly the same attributes of fervency, zeal, constancy and dedication needed for your Craft Masonry.
WHY SHOULD YOU CONSIDER TAKING ANOTHER STEP
When you were Initiated into the Craft you learned the duties
you owe to God, your neighbour and yourself. And when you were Passed to the Second Degree you were advised to
study the hidden mysteries of nature and science - to develop the intellectual faculties. When you were ultimately Raised to the Sublime Degree of a Master Mason you
were instructed how to meet death fearlessly and with confidence in the survival
of human personality.
But something was missing. The genuine secrets of a Master Mason were not given to you! You were told they were lost and that it was necessary to wait until time and circumstance should restore the genuine secrets. Therefore the Master Mason's Degree is obviously not the summit of Freemasonry. Especially as the Craft instructs us to seek for that which was lost.
Through the Royal Arch you can be successful in recovering the long lost secrets. And when you receive them you will find that you learn more about that Supreme Being in whom you already believe. The lessons about life and death taught in the three Craft Degrees will be complete. Because it completes the Masonic search and imparts greater knowledge and wisdom, the Holy Royal Arch has quite rightly been called the copestone of the whole Masonic structure
The lessons of morality, the scientific instruction, and the explanation of the symbols contained in the first three Degrees of the Craft all hold a promise of greater development and you should consider them only as the start of your Masonic career.
THE ROYAL ARCH IS THE KEY TO YOUR MASONIC FUTURE
As well as the keys to that which was lost, and the keys to your Masonic
progress, the teachings of the Mark Master, Most Excellent Master, and the Royal
Arch Degree will give you a whole new awareness and understanding of Craft
Masonry. They will lead you along the path of greater Masonic and personal
knowledge and understanding.
Much more than just the completion of the Third Degree, the Royal Arch Degree is the natural progression in Freemasonry that provides "Genuine Secrets" instead of substituted ones granted in the Third Degree.
An integral part of Pure and Ancient Masonry, the Royal Arch Degree is referred to in the Articles of Union at the formation of the United Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons of England in 1813. Article II proclaims, it is declared and pronounced that pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees, and no more, viz, those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
WHAT THE ORDER IS LIKE
The story of the events leading to the recovery of the secrets is quite
different to that of the building of the Temple as told in the three Craft
Degrees. The Mark Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Degrees are very
colourful and the candidate takes an active part. The furnishings of the Mark
Master and Most Excellent Master Lodge and the Royal Arch Chapter, and the
regalia of the members are rich in symbols which will be explained to you.
You can be confident that to be advanced in the Mark Master Degree, received in the Most Excellent Master Degree and exalted in the Royal Arch Degree are enjoyable and unforgettable experiences. You will be warmly welcomed into this Order as your Brothers in the Craft become your Companions in the Royal Arch. As one sharing in something valuable with your Companions you will feel, and enjoy, a unique sense of unity and fellowship.
WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN THE ROYAL ARCH?
You should be serious and enthusiastic about your Freemasonry and wish to improve your Masonic knowledge. You should be interested in completing your Degrees in Pure and Ancient Freemasonry and wish to find that which was lost. You should realize that there is no short cut to Masonic knowledge. You must have been a Master Mason for at least six months, but not necessarily an Installed Master, and you must maintain your Craft membership at all times.
A BRIEF HISTORICAL BACKGROUND
Mark Master Degree
Evidence indicates that there was a form of the Mark Degree in existence as
early as 1599. Its present form has evolved over the years from 1769, through
the union in 1813, and the Concordat in 1860 to the present day.
The Mark Degree chronologically follows the Fellow Craft Degree and is one of the oldest grades of Freemasonry. The Degree appears to have grown out of an ancient ceremony in which each Craftsman selected a private mark with which to designate his work and this mark was fully registered with the constituted authority.
The legend of the Mark Degree is singularly instructive and is well founded on statements of Holy Writ relating to a period in the building of the Temple before the death of Hiram Abiff. It teaches the lesson that education is the reward of labour and it contains a dramatic message that fraud can never succeed. The symbol of the Degree is a Keystone.
Most Excellent Master Degree
This Degree deals with the completion of the first Temple, it celebrates the completion and dedication of the whole structure and the placing of the Ark of the Covenant in the Most Holy Place.
The Supreme Degree of the Holy Royal Arch
Dating from 1752, the Royal Arch was for a long time an appendage to the
Third Degree, being regarded by the Ancients as a Fourth Degree conferred in
their Lodges. Over its long history from the earliest days of Masonry it has become the
most talked of, and written about, degree in Freemasonry. And, for many Masons,
it is still regarded as the ultimate of the Craft system, having on numerous
occasions, been described as "the most sacred part of Masonry" and "the root,
heart and marrow of Masonry".
The Royal Arch Degree deals with a lengthy period following the ending of Solomon's reign. The Temple at Jerusalem had been destroyed, the Kingdom of Judea divided, and the tribes taken into captivity. Babylon eventually fell to Cyrus the Great and became part of the Persian Empire. Cyrus set free the Jewish captives and invited them to return to Jerusalem to commence rebuilding the Temple. The legend sets out to restore the genuine secrets of a Master Mason and this is accomplished by workmen who make a momentous discovery during their labours and an interesting and illuminating explanation of the nature of God is conveyed.
The symbol of the Degree is a Triple Tau.
THE NEXT STEP
If you would like to know more about the Mark Master, Most Excellent Master and the Royal Arch Degrees, just ask the Brother who handed you this brochure, or write, phone or fax.
Royal Arch Masons of Canada in the Province of Ontario
361 King Street West
L8P 1 B4
Phone: (905) 522-5775
Fax: (905) 522-5099
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