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Holiness Unto the Lord
Royal Arch Masonry is the first order a Master Mason joins in the York Rite. The Chapter works on the following degrees:
The Mark Master Mason degree is in some respects an extension of the Fellow Crafts’ second degree. In some jurisdictions the degree is conferred in a Fellow Craft Lodge, that is, the second degree of the Blue Lodge.
The Past Master (Virtual) degree is conferred because of the traditional requirement that only Past Masters of a Blue Lodge may be admitted to Holy Royal Arch. Because there are so many applicants for this degree, a Virtual Past Master is required to qualify them for it. Much of the work is the same given to install the Worshipful Master of a Blue Lodge. There is no such requirement or procedure outside the USA.
In the Most Excellent Master degree the building of King Solomon’s Temple, which figures so prominently in Blue Lodge, has been completed. In England, the degree is conferred by Cryptic Councils, along with three other degrees below.
The Royal Arch Mason degree is said by many to be the most beautiful degree in all of Freemasonry. Following the convocation of the Supreme Grand Chapter in England on November 10, 2004, there are significant ritual differences from that worked in the USA, and fraternal inter-relations remain as before. Freemasons who reach this degree may continue to Cryptic Masonry or go straight to Knights Templar (where permitted—requirements vary in different jurisdictions).
My Testimony - Marvin Sapp
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