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Why seek further Light in Masonry?
No Rite of Freemasonry covers the world so much as does Royal Arch Masonry. In every country on the earth; on every continent and on many isles of the sea, will be found Royal Arch Chapters; eager and willing to receive their companions from other parts of the world into that full fellowship that characterizes Royal Arch Masonry. In Asia, in Africa, in Europe, in the Americas, and on the Continent of Australia will be found hundreds of Royal Arch Chapters into whose halls you will ever be a welcome visitor. In our own country we find upwards of three quarter million members in 3,000 chapters.
Upon your exaltation as a Royal Arch Mason you will become a member of the oldest and largest rite of freemasonry. What has attracted so many brethren to seek further light in Royal Arch Masonry? In your journey through the three degrees of Symbolic Masonry and as you have learned the proficiency lecture for each degree, no doubt many questions have arisen concerning the meaning of the ritualistic ceremonies, the historical implications and the “why” of the legends of Freemasonry.
Many believe the Sublime Degree of Master Mason to be the ultimate degree of Freemasonry and all others to be added and explanatory. Most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the degrees of the Royal Arch complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason.
The Royal Arch Degree was considered most important in the early years of Freemasonry and so dogmatic was the Mother Grand Lodge from which all Speculative Masonry derives that in 1813, when the two grand lodges in England united, a firm and solemn landmark was adopted and placed in the Articles of Union to guide Masons throughout the world forever on this matter:
Pure Ancient Freemasonry consists of but three degrees, viz., that of Entered Apprentice,
Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch.
This Landmark has never been changed and to this day, no other degree has been officially recognized by the Mother Grand Lodge and every rite, system or additional degree of Freemasonry cannot confer its degree on a Master Mason until he has received the Royal Arch Degree. Naturally, this is as it should be, because a man is not a Master Mason until he receives the Master’s Word and he can only receive it in the Royal Arch.
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