You’ve almost found it.
The Ancient Master’s Long, Lost Word.
If you’re a Master Mason, you know that something is, well, missing in your Masonic experience. For non-Masons, Entered Apprentices, and Fellowcraft, let’s just say that no story is ever complete. Until you join the Royal Arch Masons, where many, many questions are answered. Even some questions, in fact, that you probably don’t even realize are unanswered.
Royal Arch Freemasonry provides an opportunity for Master Masons desiring further light to explore some of the deeper mysteries of the Craft. The four capitular degrees, in all of which candidates take an active part, are truly some of the most profound and impressive in Freemasonry. The work of a chapter is very closely related to that of the craft lodge, and the Freemason finds a warm and comfortable home in a safe and sacred retreat in the chapter. The degrees afford historical and philosophical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry.
The supreme degree of Holy Royal Arch Mason, as the culmination of the capitular degrees, is the climax of Ancient Craft Freemasonry and Masonic symbolism. It is described as “the root and marrow of Freemasonry.” It is during this degree ritual that the greatest treasure of a Freemason is brought to light: the long lost Master’s Word. The value of Royal Arch Freemasonry will be appreciated by all who are exalted to that most supreme degree, particularly by those who are seeking to complete their Masonic education. It reveals the full light of Ancient Craft Freemasonry, presents it as a complete system in accordance with the original plan, and justly entitles you to truly claim the noble name of Master Mason.
Want to learn more? Maybe find a local Chapter and speak with some of the members? Are you still traveling through the Lodge degrees but want to get prepared for that next step? Or are you not yet a Mason and are thinking of beginning your lifelong journey? Complete the form below and we’ll help you find your way.
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What is the Grand Chapter?
Much like our Grand Lodge is the overarching and governing body of our local Lodges in Illinois, the Grand Chapter is the central authority in the State of Illinois. It was instituted on April 10th, 1850 at a special communication of the Grand Lodge in Springfield.
Today, there are over sixty Chapters in Illinois, from as small as twelve members to as large as over 200. New Chapters are being formed almost every year, with specific missions such as Capitular education or fellowship or to charter where especially active Lodges are located and brethren seek additional Light in the Craft.
There is no “central” location for the Grand Chapter in Illinois, rather the main office tends to be where the Grand Secretary works out of. The state is divided into 18 distinct districts, each with two to five Chapters overseen by a District Deputy Grand High Priest, the direct and local representative of the Grand High Priest, who presides over the Grand Chapter.
The Grand Chapter meets annually at their Grand Convocation, commonly in mid-July. There, the business of the Grand Chapter is transacted, committees produce reports, the officers of the next Capitular Year are elected and installed, and the day is generally filled with events centering around fellowship, leadership, education, and other opportunities.
As of July 2016, there are nearly 4,700 Chapter members in Illinois. In the 2015-2016 Capitular Year, we added 142 new members around the state, continuing a recent upward trend of growing membership.
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