Degrees

July 20, 2016

Most Royal Arch Chapter throughout North America, particularly in Canada are permitted to confer the degrees of Mark Master Mason, Most Excellent Master, and the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem.

ra25Mark Master Mason

The Mark Master Degree is believed to have originated as a ceremony of registering a craftsman’s mark in those years distinguished by operative craft masons and their temple building. It was later developed into a full fledged degree by the Masonic fraternity as we know it today, Some scholars say it was the earliest degree and may predate all others by many years. It is highly regarded by students in all Masonry, teaching lessons that have proven of value in all walks of life. Some Grand Lodges place so high an eminence on the Mark Master Degree, that they confine it to the jurisdiction of a separate grand body, the Grand Lodge of Mark Masters.

The Degree of Mark Master is a continuation of the lessons taught in the 2nd (Fellowcraft) Degree. The Degree teaches that although we are often misunderstood, underrated and traduced, there is ONE who will make the rejected stone the Head of the corner.

 

rsmselmstrMost Excellent Master

The Degree of Most Excellent Master is a very beautiful and dramatic Degree.  The Most Excellent Master Degree is a product of American innovation. It was conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter as early as 1783 in Middletown, Conn. It is by far the most spectacular degree in all Freemasonry. It is the only degree that brings forcibly to our attention the completion and dedication of King Solomon’s Temple. The very idea upon which all Masonic symbolism has been based.  Here the Temple, on which work was halted so dramatically in the 3rd (Master Mason) Degree is completed.

apronHoly Royal Arch of Jerusalem

Attention: open in a new window.The Royal Arch Degree is the climax of Ancient Craft Masonry and Masonic Symbolism. It is described as “the root and marrow of Freemasonry.” The Degree of Royal Arch is the capstone of the Craft Degrees. It is concerned with the discovery of a crypt and the value of the resulting discoveries to the Craft. In this Degree, that which was lost in the 3rd (Master Mason) Degree is again found.

It is the complete story of Jewish History during some of its darkest hours. Jerusalem and the Holy temple are destroyed, The people are being held captive as slaves in Babylon. Here you will join with some slaves as they are set free to return home and engage in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding the city and the Temple of God. It is during this rebuilding that they make a discovery that brings to light the greatest treasure of a Mason – the long lost Master’s Word.

Many historians have traced the earliest origins of the Royal Arch Degree to Ireland, late in the 17th century and in England in 1738, In 1752, ambulatory or military warrants for Lodges were introduced. This was instrumental in placing the Royal Arch Degree on a par with the Master Mason Degree. Military lodges were greatly responsible for planting Freemasonry in the Colonies and also gave birth to the use of the Marl and Royal Arch degrees in the “New World.” Lodge records show that the Royal Arch Degree was conferred at Fredericksburg No. 4 on December 12, 1753. George Washington was raised in this Lodge a few months prior to this date.

The value of Royal Arch Masonry will be appreciated by all who are exalted to that most sublime degree, particularly by those who are seeking to complete their Masonic education. It reveals the full light of Ancient Craft Masonry, presents it as a complete system in accordance with the original plan and justly entitles you to claim the noble name of Master Mason. These Degrees continue the education which the Master Mason received in the Symbolic Lodge. Any Master Mason who wishes “Further Light in Masonry” should receive them.

 

In the diagram below, you can see where Royal Arch “Capitular” Masonry is situated, proving it is the only true concordant body within Craft Masonry.

canadianfreemasonry