History of The Royal Arch Masonry

Document Type:Research Paper

Subject Area:History

Document 1

On the other hand, other scholars hold the belief that the royal arch had similar origins as the third degree. As opposed to the first theory, this belief gets its support from the fact that, many of the Craft missing in the third degree is present in the Royal Arch Ceremony. Another popular theory by scholars is that Royal Arch Masonry originated in Europe and was imported into England where it rapidly accepted into England Freemasonry. This provision is supported by the belief that there could have been activities in various parts of Europe, especially France that led to the birth of Royal Arch Masonry. Origins of Royal Arch Masonry Royal Arch Masonry is can also be referred to as capitular masonry.

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On the other hand, there are also recordings of a Royal Arch Masonry conference in Lodge No 4 in Fredericksburg, Virginia USA. The records show that this meeting took place on 12th of December 1753. It is in this same Lodge that the first president of the USA, George Washington, was initiated into Masonry on 4th November 1752. At the turn of the 18th century, two Craft Degrees existed. These two ceremonies were made up of reciting the old legendary history of Masonry, a commitment and a charge, and a custody of the grip along with the word. On the other hand, the ancient legendary describes the revelation of a Vault that had an Altar upon which a Sacred Word was inscribed. The legendary of the discovery of a Vault is quite popular, especially in the middle east.

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It is also recorded in a 400BC publication, “Ecclesiastical History of Solomon” which was written by a historian named Philostorgious. Chapter 14 of Book Seven, records that Philostorgious had a recollection of finding a column within an underground cavern. This column had the Name of God engraved on it. Thus, the Chapter could have been practicing some unique ceremony separate from that of the Lodge. According to the wordings of Andrew in his book, it is pointing to the idea that Chapter was a common and accepted practice even before his writing in 1723 and thus it could have had a connection with the Royal Arch. Moderns and Ancients Another explanation of the origin of the Royal Arch Masonry is about the division of the Moderns and the Ancients.

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Moderns were made up of the first Premier Grand Lodge. Moderns was founded in 1717 and had its main role as standardizing the first, second and third degrees. After passing the Arch in 1766, he established the Caledonian Chapter and transformed it into the Grand and Royal Chapter of the Royal Arch of Jerusalem in the following year, 1767. This he did by the Charter of Compact. Thomas Dunckerly, the Grand Superintendent of Hampshire beginning 1778, was among the signatories of Cadweller’s documents. It is notable that today’s Supreme Grand Chapter directly originated from the Grand and Royal Chapter of the Royal Arch of Jerusalem. On the other hand, the ancients did not have the same success as the Moderns in establishing an independent chapter but rather had its Grand Chapter working as a Committee under their Grand Lodge.

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” Moreover, in England, the United Grand Lodge continues to hold its position that the Royal Arch is not an independent Degree in Craft Masonry and that it’s an advancement that bestows upon a member the legitimate secrets of Craft Masonry while replacing the substituted ones given to him during his upbringing. This position held until December 2003 when the United Grand Lodge revised the rationale of the authentic ancient Masonry as had been indicated in the preamble to the Book of the Constitutions since 1853. In that communication, the United Grand Lodge of England recognized and declared the position of the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch as “an extension to the Degrees which come before it and it was in equal standards with them.

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” Moreover, other changes have since been made to the interpretation of the ritual of the Royal Arch as well the Principal’s Lectures. On November 2004, the Grand Chapter adopted the recommendation that 27 words be removed from the exaltation ceremony. In 1797, a meeting was held by some Royal Arch Masons in Hartford where they established a ruling/management board for the degrees that existed in the New England States. These metamorphosed into Northern States Grand Chapter before being decentralized and each state having its own Grand Chapter system. The governing entity was later named, “General Grand Chapter, Royal Arch Masons International. ” However, there have been significant changes and thus differences in the rituals practiced between the Royal Arch Masonry in England and the USA.

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