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The Application of Royal Arch Masonry in Your Daily Life
York Rite Masonry is a book of many Chapters, each Chapter dependent upon those preceding it; the actual life of man and his rewards are the golden threads which run through the entire story. The following lines are written with the hope that they may be of assistance to members of our fraternity in interpreting the Degrees to the young Masons, so that they may enter into the real spirit of the ceremonies, grasping their deeper meaning and enjoying the splendid lessons which they teach to the thinking Mason.
The Mark Master Degree
The Mark Master’s Degree is a part of the Fellowcraft’s and is founded on the ancient custom of requiring each workman to place his mark upon his work. It teaches many lessons and is historical as well as philosophical. It teaches that the world demands substantial service which should measure up to certain standards, must pass the squares of certain authorities, and must bear our mark if we would take credit for it.
This Degree also teaches service and cooperation, and demonstrates that we can often assist a friend when we actually feel that we can not; even the pass-grip is a symbol of assistance and cooperation in getting up the steep places of life with the valuable qualities of character which go into our spiritual building. It also touches upon man’s selfishness in claiming a greater reward than his fellow, overestimating the value of his own efforts and underestimating the other man’s, but it shows that merit stands the test when referred to the wise and impartial judge.
A Mark Master is taught charity in the true sense of the word; charitable thinking is often more valuable than money. Common experience teaches us that men are prone to err and this Degree emphasizes that forgiveness, after suitable punishment, may enable a man to come again, regain what he has lost, perfect his life, and bring up good and square work, which is always acceptable.
The Past Master’s Degree
After a Mason has heard the obligation and the ancient charges, rules and regulations, he gets an insight into Lodge procedure which he has never had before; he learns the “whys and wherefores” of certain practices. Correctly conferred, the degree does much toward really qualifying a candidate to preside over a Lodge, and is a wonderful assistance to one who has had no experience in presiding or parliamentary practice.
It also teaches lessons of a moral and symbolic nature. It demonstrates that there is a correct method of teaching, which will drive home a lesson after other methods have failed. It also teaches obedience to the law, something that a Master must recognize at all times, and it calls attention to the necessity for closely following set rules while striving to master a new vocation, science or art.
The Most Excellent Master Degree
The Most Excellent Master’s Degree is still another picture of a man in actual life, but it is founded on one of the high lights in history. When we really understand this Degree, we find that it has been conferred on us many times, and that we have helped confer it on others long before we received it in the Lodge room.
When the student masters the course in school and receives a diploma, it is the Most Excellent Master’s Degree that is conferred upon them. In business, society or politics, a man may plan his work, follow it to a successful termination and look back upon it with thanksgiving and praise to those who have helped him, and receive the Most Excellent Master’s Degree. When a man marries the person he loves, he receives the Degree, and when these two build their first home, how strikingly they confer it upon themselves; however humble that home may be, however dim the lights within, a fire comes down from heaven and illuminates the souls of these two who have set the capstone and finished the house.
The Royal Arch Degree
Into the Royal Arch Degree is compressed more information, more food for thought, than any other degree. One of the lessons of this Degree is that the greatest of rewards is due to loyal service, especially service which is rendered at a sacrifice, for that shows the heart of the man; vicarious suffering is worthy of the noblest rewards. No matter whether one’s abilities be great or small, his service is valuable and his reward should be proportion to his zeal and fidelity rather than according to the high or low plane in which the laborer toils. The reward given is this Degree should be studied from every angle by every Royal Arch Mason, and he should strive to master its full meaning; he can get a very clear and distinct idea of what Masonry really means to him by attempting to fix a value upon the Recovery; his whole idea of Masonry is involved in the value he places upon it.
» Click here to learn why the Master Mason should seek further light
Thanks to the Grand Chapter of the State of Texas for this excellent outline
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