Royal Arch

The early history of the Royal Arch Degree is involved in obscurity, with roots in Jacobite origin.   With the exception of the Master Mason Degree no Masonic Degree is more important in its historical and symbolic significance than this. In some form it appears in every Rite, but only here does its history, its symbolism, and its lessons show so vividly its connection with the Master Mason Degree and the fact that it is, indeed, the final chapter of that essential degree in Freemasonry.

In many foreign jurisdictions the Royal Arch Degree is still a part of the Master Mason Degree and when visiting those jurisdictions it is required that you must possess proof of your having received the Royal Arch Degree in order to be admitted to a seat in their Lodges.

That which is lost.  The Most Sublime Degree of the Royal Arch is the fourth and highest degree in a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.  This Degree encompasses the entire era of Ancient Craft Masonry.  In the Masonic progression you witness the preservation of the Master’s Word and its tragic loss.  That secret which laid buried in darkness for 470 years.

In this Degree we find the completion of the Master’s Degree and the recovery of the Word.  After the first Temple was destroyed and the Israelites carried away captives to Babylon, where they lived for about 70 years.  Here, many acquired considerable wealth and attained high rank and influence in the Chaldean government.  However, when liberated by King Cyrus, many of them returned to Jerusalem and began rebuilding the Temple. 

In this degree you represent sojourners on their return to Jerusalem from Babylonian Captivity.  You have come to help, aid and assist in the rebuilding of your city and its Temple, without hope of fee or reward. 

While portraying those sojourners in the act of removable of the rubbish of the first Temple, for the laying of the foundation for the second Temple, many interesting and valuable discoveries were made, chief of which was the recovery of the Lost Word.   This Degree brings to light that for which Masons have long searched. 

This Degree has completes the circle of progression in Ancient Craft Masonry. The discovery of the long lost Masters Word.

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