10 REASONS YOU SHOULD BE A ROYAL ARCH MASON
1. York Rite Masonry greatly expands and clarifies the teachings of Craft Masonry.
The events commemorated in the York Rite Degrees, like those of the Symbolic Lodge, pertain to the building, completion, and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple. In the York Rite, we discover what happened after the Temple tragedy, and thus, the legacy of Hiram is taken to a very meaningful conclusion.
2. The Degrees are conferred in a Blue Lodge setting, and are directly tied to the teachings of the Blue Lodge.
The ceremonies of the York Rite are similar to what you have already experienced in your Lodge. The lessons are conveyed as ritual dramas, very much like the Master Mason Degree. Every Degree conferred in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons has a familiar connection to and greatly expands your understanding of the lessons which were introduced to you in the Blue Lodge.
3. The True Word of a Master Mason is discovered and explained.
The Degrees of the Chapter revolve around one great central archetype — the True Word. In the Lodge, that Word was lost. It is re-discovered in the York Rite, and a powerful explanation is finally given as to its importance, meaning, and significance to Masonry.
Mark Master Degree,
4. The real wages paid by the Senior Warden are revealed.
The duties of the Senior Warden are explained at the opening of every Lodge. Among other things, it is he who pays wages on behalf of the Master. In the Mark Master Degree, we learn what these wages actually are in the eyes of the Grand Architect of the Universe, and how they are dispensed.
PAST MASTER’s DEGREE
A Degree that emphasizes the lesson of harmony. This Degree is conferred because ancient custom required that a Mason must be a Past Master in order to be exalted to the Royal Arch. In some Grand Jurisdictions this Degree is conferred upon all sitting Masters of the Blue Lodge. The Degree confers no actual rank upon the recipient, but is exemplified to maintain the ancient custom.
Most Excellent Master Degree
A Degree that emphasizes the lesson of reverence. This Degree is centered on the dedication of the Temple after its completion, particularly the consecration of the Sanctum Sanctorum and the descent of the Host into the Temple. It is complimentary to the Mark Master Degree and completes the symbolic lessons introduced in that Degree.
5. The building of King Solomon’s Temple is completed and a profound mystery is unveiled.
In the Most Excellent Master Degree, we learn that every monument of beauty, each human achievement, regardless of how superbly planned, erected, and perfected, is not truly complete until a great secret is unveiled in the soul of its builder.
6. An obligation every Master Mason takes at the altar of Freemasonry is finally met.
Every Master Mason promises, at the altar of Freemasonry, to conform to and abide by the Ancient Landmarks of Freemasonry. It is through the Royal Arch Degree of the York Rite that the Second Landmark, which was adopted at the formation of the United Grand Lodge of England in 1813, is finally fulfilled.
7. It broadens one’s fraternal participation and involvement.
Each brother’s individual and spiritual growth is greatly facilitated through Masonic experiences which he enjoys beyond his home Lodge. As his Masonic world expands, his knowledge of Masonry and its many benefits greatly increases.
8. It expands opportunities to make connections and forge Masonic friendships beyond your community and state.
The universal love and practice of Brotherhood is truly discovered when one travels to other communities, states, and foreign countries. There one discovers that there are no strangers in Freemasonry.
9. It provides occasions for further group and self-study of important Masonic themes and traditions.
Masonry is steeped in traditions. In the journey of the Blue Lodge, we learned about the Initiatic tradition, the Knowledge tradition, and the Hiramic tradition; to name but a few. In the York Rite, we learn about the Mark tradition, the Royal Arch tradition, the Secret Vault tradition, and the Knighthood tradition. All of these traditions add significantly to our understanding of who we are and what we are to be doing with our life.
10. It makes one a member of the oldest Rite in Freemasonry.
There is no older tradition in all of Masonry than that of the Mark Degrees of Operative Masonry. The York Rite is the only Rite of Freemasonry that makes this important connection to our operative ancestors of the Middle Ages.
The Royal Arch Degree
The completion of the Master Mason Degree and the summit of the original Degrees of the Blue Lodge as practiced in the Antients Lodges of England before 1820. The Degree explains the origins of the Substitute Word found in the Master Mason Degree, the recovery of the Ineffable Word, and its concealment within the Royal Arch Word. This Degree, together with the Master Mason Degree, may have once been exemplified as one large or “super” Degree, with the Master Mason Degree explaining the loss of the Master’s Word and the Royal Arch explaining the recovery of the Master’s Word. The presiding body is a Chapter, and the presiding officer is a High Priest (titled Excellent)
Order of High Priesthood –
A chair degree conferred upon installed or past High Priests.
Sometimes referred to as the Anointed Order of High Priesthood.
In antiquity, this degree was known as the Order of Melchizadek.