Capitular Masonry - Chapter

  •   Mark Master Mason

In point of time, this degree should follow that of Fellowcraft. Many Masonic students believe this degree is far older than any other Craft degree, and with considerable reason to support this belief.
It was customary for our operative ancestors to cut their "mark" or signature into each piece of stone they hewed for the building, so that their work might be identified. These marks may be seen today on the stones of many the old cathedrals of Europe. From this ancient custom grew the present day registration and use of "trademarks." We see them countless times each day, identifying the products of our modern industrial concerns, but few know the origin of this custom.
In the Mark Master Mason degree, the candidate selects his own personal mark which is recorded in the Book of Marks, to be his own Masonic signature for all time. In this degree he learns the significance and symbolic meaning of the Keystone, the Chisel and the Mallet. In it, he receives his symbolic wage for good work, true work, square work.

  •   Virtual Past Master

The Degree of Virtual Past Master teaches that before one can rule, he must learn to obey; before one can govern others, he must learn to govern himself. This Degree is part of the Royal Arch Chapter because originally only Past Masters were allowed to receive the Degree of Royal Arch. This Degree therefore fulfills that requirement.

  •   Most Excellent Master

This degree is probably of more recent origin than the others in the Capitular series. It has been called the most spectacular in all of Freemasonry, and with good reason, for it is one of the most dramatic degrees conferred.
Chronologically, it should follow the degree of Master Mason. It has for its theme the completion and dedication of King Solomon's Temple, so long anticipated in the degrees of the Symbolic Lodge. It closely follows Biblical history, and completes the Temple legend upon which Ancient Craft Masonry is built.

  •   Royal Arch

The Royal Arch degree is the "Pilgrim's Progress" of Freemasonry. Here we find the actual completion of the degree of Master Mason and the recovery of that which was lost. After the captivity of the Jews ended, many of them returned to Jerusalem and began the task of rebuilding the city and Temple. While this was going on and the rubbish of the first Temple was being cleared away, interesting and valuable discoveries were made which formed the backbone of this most important degree. The Royal Arch degree is unmatched in pageantry and is the keystone of Ancient Craft Masonry without which the complete understanding of all that has preceded it is impossible. It is a "must" for the brother who would complete that which he has begun.


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This page was last updated 03/27/08