Ritual for Exaltation into Royal Arch Chapter
Dit engelstalig rituaal is het (In Engeland meest gebruikte)
'Perfect'-rituaal; deze versie dateert uit 1990. In Nederland wordt een
vertaling gebruikt van een iets andere variant, het 'Domatic'-rituaal, dat op
enkele punten verschilt van de onderstaande tekst.
CEREMONY OF OPENING
The three Principals, and all Past Prinicipals, properly clothed, enter the
Chapter, and halt in the West. Other Companions present Prayer facing the East.
Joshua: O Lord our Heavenly Father, Almighty
and Everlasting God, we offer our unfeigned thanks for this opportunity to unite
in social compact, to reveal Thy most holy name. Grant us a proper frame of mind
to worship Thee in spirit and in truth, banish discord, and whatever else may
have a tendency to disturb our harmony, or interrupt our fraternal union; be
pleased, O Lord, to grant a blessing on this our undertaking, that we may from
henceforth dedicate ourselves to Thy service. Endue us with Thy heavenly wisdom,
so that by patience and perseverance in righteousness, we may obtain everlasting
life in those heavenly mansions, veiled from mortal eyes, there to enjoy Thy
glorious presence through all eternity.
PPZ: So mote it be.
Bible opened at Isaiah, chap. XII. The MEZ then takes
the Bible, with his left hand upon it Haggai and Joshua do the same respectively
on right and left of Zerubbabel, and repeat:
do meet and agree,
in love and unity,
this Royal Arch Chapter to open,
and not again,
to close the same,
until we three,
or three such as we,
do meet and agree, agree, agree. Repeated three times,
so that each gets a separate sentence each tune.
Zerubbabel reads Zech., chap. IV., v. 4-10:
So I answered and spake to the angel that talked with me saying, What are these,
Then the angel that talked with me answered and said unto me, Knowest thou not
what these be? And I said, No, my lord.
Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto
Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord
Who art thou, O great mountain? Before Zerubbabel thou shalt become a plain: and
he shall bring forth the headstone thereof with shoutings, crying, Grace, grace
Moreover, the word of the Lord came unto me saying,
The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this house, his hands shall
also finish it, and thou shalt know that the Lord of hosts hath sent me unto you.
For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall re]oice, and shall
see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven, they are the eyes of
the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.
The three Principals then advance by seven steps,
thrice halting and bending, and giving the reverential sign at the third,ffth,
and seventh. At the third step, the third Principal says, Grand Omniscient, at
the fifth step, the second Principal says, Grand Omnipresent, at the seventh
step, the first Principal says, Grand Omnipotent.
Haggai: To the all-wise, all-present, and
all-powerful being, around whose throne may we hereafter encircle.
Zerubbabel: Almighty God, unto whom all
hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid, cleanse
the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may
perfectly love Thee and worthily magnify Thy Holy Name.
PPZ: So mote it be.
Zerubbabel then advances to his chair. Haggai and
Joshua do the same in like manner, Zerubbabel in the centre, Haggai on his left,
and Joshua on his right, they form the triple ... and say …, they then unveil
the pedestal to see that they correspond, which being ascertained, they reveil,
turn round, and take and salute their sceptres, repeating their word of office
Zerubbabel: In the name of the Grand
Overseer of the Universe, to whom this chapter was originally dedicated, I
declare this Chapter duly and solemnly opened.
Zerubbabel, Haggai and Joshua each give one knock with
their sceptres in succcession, and a fourth is given by the Zerubbabel. Later
Companions then enter, give the sign, and take their seats.
CEREMONY OF EXALTATION
Zerubbabel: Brother … is this evening a candidate to be exalted
to the supreme Degree of Royal Arch Mason. Companion Principal Sojourner, will
you retire to prepare him, and ascertain his proficiency in his former Degrees.
PS retires and examines the Candidateby putting the
test questions of the 3rd Degree.
These questions being satisfactorily atiswered, the
PS: Do you seriously declare, on your honour
as a man, and your fidelity as a Mason, that you will steadily persevere through
the ceremony of being exalted to the supreme Degree of a Royal Arch Mason?
Candidate: I do.
PS: Do you further pledge yourself, under
the penalty of your former obligations, that you will conceal what I am now
about to impart to you with the same strict caution as the secrets previously
communicated to you?
Candidate: I do.
PS: Then I will entrust you with a test of
merit, consisting of a Pass Word, leading to the Degree to which you seek to be
exalted; it is Amm Ruhamah, which signifies, "my people having obtained
mercy." These words are to be found in the 2nd chap. of Hosea. You will be
particularly careful to remember these words, as without them you cannot gain
admission to be exalted.
The Candidate is then prepared as a MM, with a hood
wink, and cable tow round the body in addition.
PS gives four knocks.
Nehemia: Most Enlightened, there is a
report. Giving court bow.
Zerubbabel: Exalted Companion Nehemia, see
who wants admission.
Nehemaia, opens the door: Whom have you
PS: Brother …, who had duly and truly
served his time as an Entered Apprentice, passed the Degree of Fellow Craft, and
has been raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason, in which character he
has exercised himself for four weeks and upwards, and, in consequence of his
proficiency, has been rewarded with a Pass Word as a test of merit, and now
presents himself properly prepared and approved to be exalted to the supreme
Degree of a Royal Arch Mason.
Nehemia: How does he hope to obtain those
PS: By the help of God and the benefit of a
Nehemia: I will thank you for the Pass Word.
Candidate: Amm Ruhamah.
Nehemia: What does it signify?
Candidate: My people having obtained mercy.
Nehemia: Halt while I report to the
Closes the door.
Nehemia, gives court bow: Most Enlightened,
there is at the door of the Chapter Brother …, who has duly and truly served
his time, as an Entered Apprentice, pased the Degree of Fellow Craft, and has
been raised to the sublime Degree of a Master Mason, in which character he has
exercised himself for four weeks and upwards, and, in consequence of his
proficiency, has been rewarded with a P.W. as a test of merit, and now presents
himself properly prepared and approved to be exalted to the supreme Degree of a
Royal Arch Mason.
Zerubbabel: How does he hope to obtain those
Nehemia: By the help of God and the benefit
of a Pass Word.
Zerubbabel: We acknowledge the powerful aid
by which he seeks them. Do you, Enlightened Companion, vouch that he is properly
prepared and in possession of the Pass Word?
Nehemia: I do, Most Enlightened.
Zerubbabel: Then let him be admitted with
all due caution; previously to which, Enlightened Scribes, veil the pedestal.
Scribe Nehemia, PS and 1st Assistant Scribe go to the
door and Scribe Nehemia opens it. The PS takes the Candidate’s right hand. and
the 1st Assistant Scribe his left hand and conduct him to the centre of the Key
Stone in the West, facing East. 2nd Assistant Scribe now moves to side chair,
but disrobes when other Scribes disrobe. Scribe Nehemia resumes his seat.
Zerubbabel: Brother …, as you seek
preferment in our Order, and have been honoured with a Pass Word as a test of
merit, I must now demand whether you freely and voluntarily present yourself
with a hope of being exalted to the supreme Degree of a R.oyal Arch Mason?
Candidate: I do.
Zerubbabel: Do you likewise declare that you
are prompted to seek admission into our Order from a desire of increasing your
Masonic knowledge, and of applying the same to the welfare of your
Candidate: I do.
Zerubbabel: And are you ready and willing to
take a solemn obligation, restricted to this Degree, to preserve inviolate our
Candidate: I am.
Zerubbabel: Thus assured, I will thank you
to kneel, whilst a blessing from Heaven is invoked in aid of our proceedings.
Candidate kneels, and Companions stand with Sign of
Joshua: Almighty and Eternal Father of the Universe, at whose
command the world burst from chaos, and all created matter had its birth, we,
Thy unworthy servants, humbly implore Thee to bestow Thy spiritual blessing on
this convocation, grant that the Brother who now seeks to participate in the
light of our supreme mysteries may be indued with a portion of Thy Holy Spirit;
may he not enter into our Order lightly, nor recede from it hastily, but pursue
it steadfastly, ever remembering that the great object of this Institution is
the happiness of our fellow-creatures, and, above all, the glory of Thy holy
PPZ: So mote it be.
Zerubbabel: In all cases of danger and
difficulty, on whom do you rely for support?
Candidate, prompted by PS: The true and
living God most high.
Zerubbabel: Since your confidence is so
firmly placed you may safely rise. The Companions will take notice that Brother
… is about to pass in view before them, to show that he is a Candidate
properly prepared to be exalted to the sacred degree of a Royal Arch Mason.
PS leads the Candidate round the Chapter by the cable
tow, and places him in the West.
Zerubbabel: As you seek to be admitted to a
participation in the Secrets of this sacred degree, I call upon you to advance
towards the East, to the sacred shrine on which they are deposited; you will
advance by seven steps, thrice halting and bowing with reverential awe at the
3d, 5th, and 7th, for at each step you will approach nearer to the sacred and
mysterious name of the True and Living God Most High. You are now arrived at the
crown of a vaulted chamber, into which it is necessary that you should descend,
and in order to do so, you must remove two of the Arch or Keystones in a
PS picks up Crow Bar and holds it about its middle in
his right hand. The Assistant Scribe raises Candidate's left hand palm upwards
and PS places the Crow Bar on it so that the Candidate grasps it between the
middle and the claw. PS then places the Candidate's right hand so as to grasp
the Crow Bar from above to the right of the PS's right hand. The PS then places
his left hand on the Candidate's left hand and using both his hands on the Crow
Bar makes a wrenching movement at each of two different points. He then removes
the Crow Bar and replaces it where he found it.
Zerubbabel: Let, the Candidate be duly
lowered into the vault, and attend to a portion of the writings of our Grand
Master King Solomon.
PS lowers Candidate on his knees before the pedestal.
Joshua reads Proverbs, chap. II , v. 1-9, and chap.
III, v. 13-20.: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my
commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thy heart to
Yea, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchist for her as for hidden treasures:
Then shalt though understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of
For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous: he is a buckler to them that walk
He keepeth the paths ofjudgment, and preserveth the way of his saints.
Then shalt thou understand righteousness, and judgment, and equity; yea, every
Happy is the man that findeth wisdom, and the man that getteth understanding.
For the merchandise of it is better than the merchandise of silver, and the gain
thereof than fine gold.
She is more precious than rubies; and all the things thou canst desire are not
to be compared unto her.
Length of days is in her right hand; and in her left hand riches and honour.
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one
that retaineth her.
The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding hath he established
By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew.
Joshua resumes his seat.
Zerubbabel: You will now endeavour to
discover something in the vaulted chamber.
PS puts the scroll into the hands of the Candidate and
prompts: It is found.
Zerubbabel: What is found?
Candidate: Something like a scroll of vellum
Zerubbabel: What are its contents?
Candidate: Deprived of light I cannot tell.
Puts scroll in his bosom.
Zerubbabel: Let that want of light remind
you that man by nature is the child of ignorance and error, and that he would
ever have remained in that deplorable situation, under the darkness of the
shadow of death, had it not pleased the Almighty to call him to light and
immortality, by the revelation of His most holy word and will, therefore, and
draw forth the third arch or keystone, and receive the light of the Holy word.
Candidate rises and figuratively draws forth the third
arch or keystone.
Zerubbabel: Let the Candidate be again
lowered into the vault, and attend to a portion of the writings of the prophet
PS lowers Candidate as before.
Haggai stands and reads Haggai, chap. II., v. 1-9:
In the seventh month, in the one and twentieth day of the month, came the word
of the Lord by the prophet Haggai, saying,
Speak now to Zerubbabel, the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua,
the son of Josedech, the high priest, and to the residue of the people, saying,
Who is left among you that saw this house in her first glory? and how do you see
it now? is it not in your eyes in comparison of it as nothing?
Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the Lord; and be strong, O Joshua, son of
Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the
Lord, and work: for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts.
According to the word that I covenanted with you when ye came out of Egypt, so
my spirit remaineth among you: fear ye not.
For thus saith the Lord of hosts; Yet once, it is a little while, and I will
shake the heavens, and the earth, and the sea, and the dry land.
And I will shake all nations, and the desire of all nations shall come: and I
will fill this house with glory, saith the Lord of hosts.
The silver is mine, and the gold is mine, saith the Lord of hosts.
The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the
Lord of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the Lord of hosts.
All stand with Sign of Reverence.
Zerubbabel: You will now prepare yourself in
the most solemn manner to take the sacred obligation restricted to this Degree,
by which alone you can be admitted to the light of the mysteries of our Order.
Place your right hand on the Volume of the Sacred Law, and repeat your several
names at length, and say after me:
I, …, in the presence of the True and Living God Most High, and this Holy
Royal Arch Chapter of Jerusalem, here assembled, regularly congregated, lawfully
constituted, and properly dedicated, of my own free will and accord hereby and
hereon most solemnly and fervently swear that I will for ever conceal and never
divulge any of the secrets and mysteries restricted to this illustrious Order,
denominated the Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem, to any individual whomsoever,
unless it be to him or them who may lawfully be entitled thereto. I further
solemnly promise that I will not dare to pronounce the Sacred and Mysterious
Name of the True and Living God Most High lightly or irreverently; nor to share
if by syllables unless in the presence and with the assistance of two or more
Royal Arch Companions. I further solemnly promise that I will faithfully and
punctually answer and obey all lawful signs and summonses which I may receive
from a Royal Arch Chapter, and offer no excuse save sickness, or the unavoidable
circumstances of actual necessity.
All these points I solemnly swear to observe without evasion, equivocation, or
mental reservation of any kind. So help me the True and Living God Most High,
and keep me steadfast in this the sacred and solemn Obligation of a Royal Arch
Zerubbabel: As a pledge of your fidelity,
and to render this binding as a solemn obligation so long as you shall live, you
will seal it with your lips four times on the Volume of the Sacred Law. Let the
Candidate be duly raised out of the vault.
Rise, Brother …, now a Companion of our Order.
The organist plays a solemn tune, the Companions place
themselves on each side of the Chapter in a row, their staves pointing to each
other, not close, but forming an open arch, the three principals take their
sceptres, and form a vertical triangle. The PS loosens the hoodwink. Zerubbabel
knocks four times: What is now the prevailing wish of your heart?
Candidate: To be restored to light.
Zerubbabel: Let that blessing be restored. PS
drops the hoodwink Being now restored to the blessings of material
light, I call upon you to read the contents of the scroll you found in the
Candidate reads Gen., chap. I, v. 1-3: In
the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.
And the earth was without form and void; and darkness was upon the face of the
deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.
Zerubbabel: Such, newly-exalted Companion,
are the first words of the Sacred Volume, which contains the treasures of God’s
revealed Will. Let us praise and magnify His Holy Name, for that knowledge of
Himself which He has vouchsafed to us, and let us walk worthily in that light
which has shone around us. You may now retire, and on your return you will be
permitted to participate in the further mysteries of the Order.
The Sojourners and the Candidate retire. A report is
given. Four knocks.
Nehemia: Most Enlightened, there is a
Zerubbabel: Enlightened Companion Nehemia,
enquire who comes here.
Nehemia, opening the door: Who comes here?
PS: Three children of the captivity.
Nehemia: What is your request?
PS: Having heard that you are about to
rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem to the Lord God of Israel, we beg permission to
sojourn among you and assist in that great and glorious undertaking.
Nehemia: Halt, until I report you
Nehemia closes the door, and reports with court bow to
Most Enlightened Zerubbabel.
Nehemia: Most Enlightened, outside the door
of the chapter, are three Master Masons from Babylon, having heard that you are
about to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem to the Lord God of Israel, we beg
permission to sojourn among you and assist in that great and glorious
Zerubbabel: Let them be admitted with due
caution. Enlightened Scribes, cover the pedestal, before the strangers are
admitted. Let the strangers enter.
They are then admitted and stand in the West, the PS in
Zerubbabel: Strangers, we are informed that
you are desirous of communicating with us. Whence come you?
PS: From Babylon.
Zerubbabel: What is your request?
PS: Having heard that you are about to
rebuild the temple of the Lord God of Israel, we beg permission to sojourn among
you, and assist in that great and glorious undertaking.
Zerubbabel: Before we take your request into
consideration, we must inform you that on no account can a stranger be employed
in that holy work I must, therefore, demand to know who you are.
PS: Brethren of your tribes and families.
Zerubbabel: But are you of those who basely
fled when the Temple and holy city were oppressed, or of those who were left
behind by the Babylonish General to till the land?
PS: We would scorn to be descended from
those who basely fled when the Temple and holy city were oppressed, neither are
we of the menial tribe left behind by the Babylonish General to till the land,
but we are nobly born, and, like yourselves, descended from a race of patriarchs
Most Enlightened, we are descended from those princes and rulers of Judah, who
for their sins and those of the people were, together with their King Jehoiachim,
led into captivity by Nebuzaradan, Captain of the Guard to Nebuchadnezzar, King
of Babylon, where we were to remain for 70 years, and then return to our native
land, as foretold by the prophet Jeremiah; the 70 years of our captivity expired
in the first year of the reign of Cyrus, King of Persia, whom it pleased the
lord to inspire to issue this proclamation: "The Lord God of heaven hath
given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build Him an
house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah, Who is there among you of all His people?
his God be with him; and let him go up to Jerusalem, which is in Judah, and
build the house of the Lord God of Israel (He is the God) which is in
Jerusalem." We eagerly availed ourselves of this permission, and have come
to offer our assistance in the glorious undertaking, and to request that we may
be permitted to sojourn in our native land, where, as the prophets foretold, we
are to dwell in peace for ever.
Zerubbabel: We congratulate you on your
noble ancestry, and from the accuracy with which you have narrated the
circumstances, we acknowledge you brethren of our tribes and families. It now
only remains for me to enquire in what way you wish to be employed?
PS: We shall be glad to be employed in any
way in which you may be pleased to appoint us.
Zerubbabel: Your humility is a sure
indication of merit, and we doubt not of your being qualified for offices of
importance, but from the lateness of your application those are all filled. We,
therefore, appoint you to prepare for the foundation of the most holy place, for
which purpose you will be furnished with the necessary implements; and if in
removing the ruins of the former structure you should make any discovery of
importance, you will communicate to none but ourselves, sitting here in council.
PS: We cheerfully accept the trust reposed
in us, and will endeavour to evince our gratitude by our zeal and fidelity.
Zerubbabel: Go, then, and may the God of
your forefathers be with you and prosper your handiword. They
Nehemia: Most Enlightened, there is a
Zerubbabel: Inquire who comes here.
Nehemia, opening the door: Who comes here?
Janitor: The three sojourners who, having
made a discovery of importance, entreat permission to impart it to the august
Nehemia: Halt, until I report you.
Nehemia closes the door and reports with court bow:
Most Enlightened, three Sojourners, who have made a discovery of importance,
which they entreat permission to impart to the council.
Zerubbabel: Let them be admitted.
Nehemia goes to door and opens it, closes it after the
entry of the Sojourners and Candidate, and resumes his seat. The 1st Assistant
Sojourner enters first, the PS next and the Candidate last. They line up in this
order close to the Sojourner's chairs, the 1st Assistant Sojourner and Candidate
holding the life-lines. They hold their implements in front of them, retaining
the handles in their hands. No salutes.
Zerubbabel: We are informed you have made a
discovery which you deem of importance; you will relate the circumstances.
PS: Most Enlightened, early this morning on,
resuming our labours, we discovered a pair of pillars of exquisite beauty and
symmetry; proceeding with our work, we discover six other pairs of equal beauty,
which, from their situation, appeared to be the remains of the subterranean
gallery leading to the Most Holy Place, on cleaning away the fragments and
rubbish which obstructed our progress, we came to something which seemed to be a
solid rock, but accidentally striking it with my crow, it emitted a hollow
sound. We then cleared away more of the loose barth and rubbish, when we found
that instead of a solid rock there was a series of stones in the form of an
arch, and being aware that the architect of the former structure had designed no
part of it in vain, we determined to examine it, for which purpose we removed
two of the stones, when we discovered a vault of considerable magnitude, and
immediately cast lots who should descend. The lot, Most Enlightened, fell on me,
when, lest any noxious vapours or other causes should render my situation
unsafe, my Companions fastened this cord or life line round my body, and I was
duly lowered into the vault. On arriving at the bottom, I gave a preconcerted
signal, and my Companions gave me more line, which enabled me to traverse the
vault; I then discovered something in the form of a pedestal, and felt certain
marks or characters thereon, but from the want of light I was unable to
ascertain what they were. I also found this scroll, but from the same cause I
was unable to read its contents. I therefore gave another preconcerted signal,
and was drawn out of the vault, bringing the scroll with me. We then discovered,
from the first sentence, that it contained the records of the Most Holy Law,
which had been promulgated by Moses at the foot of Mount Horeb. This precious
treasure stimulated us to further exertion. We therefore enlarged the aperture
by removing another stone, and I again descended into the vaulted chamber. By
this time the sun had attained its greatest altitude, and shining in all its
splendour, darted its rays immediately into the aperture, which enabled me to
distinguish those objects I had before but imperfectly discovered. In the centre
of the vault I saw a pedestal of pure virgin marble, in the form of an altar of
incense, with certain mystic characters engraven thereon, and a veil covering
the upper face of the altar. Approaching with reverential awe, I lifted the
veil, and beheld what I humbly supposed to be the Sacred and Mysterious Name
itself. I replaced the veil on the sacred pedestal, and was again raised out of
the vaulted chamber. We then closed the aperture, and hastened hither, to report
to your Excellencies the discoveries which we have made.
Zerubbabel: Will you communicate the word
which you discovered?
PS: That, Most Enlightened, we must beg to
be excused from, for we have heard with our ears, and our forefathers have
declared that in their time, and in the old times before them, it was lawful for
none but the High Priest to pronounce the name of the True and Living God Most
High, nor him but once a year, when he alone entered the Holy of Holiness, and
stood before the Ark of the Covenant to make propitiation for the sins of
Zerubbabel: We command your pious caution,
and will depute certain of our Companions to proceed with you to the spot, and
examine into the nature of your discovery.
PS hands Crow Bar and Scroll to 1st Assistant
Sojourner, who steps to the right side of the Candidate, and whispers to him to
keep looking East. Scribes Ezra and Nehemia accompany the PS to the North West
corner of the Chapter, where the Name is communicated. The PS, lacing East, is
on the right of Scribe Ezra.
Scribe Ezra whispers to the PS: State what
you saw on that plate of gold.
PS gives the first syllable; Scribe Ezra gives the
second and Scribe Nehemia the third. Scribe Ezra then begins with the first
syllable, followed by Scribe Nehemia, and so on until the Name has been
communicated by all three. PS returns to his place on the right of the
Candidate, receiving back the Crow Bar and Scroll from the 1st Assistant
Sojourner, who moves to his original place on the right of the PS. Scribe Ezra
goes to the North West of the Chapter and Scribe Nehemia to the South West. They
advance towards the altar with the steps and bow as described for the Principals
at the opening ceremony, with this difference that they make no Sign Approaching
the altar, they remove the veil and place it on the floor at the East side of
the altar. They examine the plate of gold on the top of the altar to see that
all is correct.
Scribes: It is correct, Most Enlightened. Give
Zerubbabel: Companions, I am to acquaint you
that my colleagues in office, as well as the other members of this august
assembly, concur with me in opinion, that as a recompense for your zeal and
fidelity, you should be called to the great and glorious rank held by your
illustrious ancestors. Exalted Companions Ezra and Nehemia, divest them of those
implements of labour, clothe them in the robes of innocence, and instruct them
to advance hither.
Scribes Ezra and Nehemia take the implements, lifelines
and Scroll from the three and replace them on the floor in their proper
positions. They then assist the Sojourners and Candidate to divest themselves of
their MM's aprons. The Sojourners resume their RA-clothing and robe with collar
over robe, the Candidate puts on a robe only. Scribe Ezra attends to Candidate
Scribe Nehemia attends to the PS. The Director of Ceremonies assists the 1st
Assistant Sojourner to robe and remains standing on right of 1st Assistant
Sojourner. Scribe Ezra resumes his seat.
Scribe Nehemia advances along North with the steps as
directed above but with no Sign. 1st Assistant Sojourner remains standing in
front of his chair. PS places Candidate in North West and instructs him to
follow and copy Scribe Nehemia. PS follows behind Candidate but does not take
the steps. Scribe Nehemia moves round by the East to his seat. The Director of
Ceremonies advances to stand beside the Ensign of the Tribe of Judah, the most
North Easterly of the Ensigns. All three Principals rise. MEZ hands his Sceptre
to Joshua. PS places Candidate in front of MEZ and stands behind him a little to
his right. The Director of Ceremonies gets the jewel, sash and apron from behind
Principal's chairs, where they should be ready, with the apron belt of the
correct length ascertained before the ceremony.
Zerubbabel: The robe with which you are
invested is an emblem of that purity of heart and rectitude of conduct which
ought to actuate all those who have been admitted to this sublime Degree. I
decorate you with this jewel as a token of our approbation of your conduct, and
receive you as Companions of this excellent and illustrious Degree; I adorn you
with this sash and badge, which is the insignia of our Order. I also present you
with this staff or ensign, to be borne by you as an emblem of regal power and
dignity, and which you will ever have a right to bear, unless 72 of your elders
happen to be present; and we hereby constitute you Rulers among us, and if you
persevere in the same faithful and honourable course, we shall by a regular
gradation admit you to the entire participation of the secrets of our exalted
PS: Thus rewarded, intrusted, decorated, and
invested by your Excellencies, it shall ever be our pride to endeavour to secure
a continuance of your approbation, by assiduously and faithfully discharging the
duties of the exalted vocation to which we have this day been called.
Zerubbabel: I will now communicate to you
the signs, and the manner of sharing the Sacred Name. The Sacred and Mysterious
Name on the pedestal is that which you have been supposed to have discovered
during your exaltation, and can only be given by three persons jointly, and in a
particular position. I will thank Companion Haggai to assist me in giving it.
Haggai leaves his Sceptre on his chair and steps down
to the right side of the MEZ, facing South. The Candidate is in front looking
East, and the PS is behind and to the right of the Candidate ready to prompt
Zerubbabel: Stand to order thus. The
two Principals, and Candidate give Reverential or Hailing Sign. The
Sacred Name is shared on a series of triangles formed first with the right foot here
all three form first triangle with their right feet as previously explained in
opening ceremony, second, with right knee here
the right knees of all three are slightly bent and made to touch,
third, right hand on right elbow here all three move
right hand from left breast and rest it on the right elbow of the Companion on
his left, and fourth, left hand grasping left wrist here
the left arms are extendedluily above the heads and the wrists grasped.
The sacred Name is Jehovah. It is shared in a series of syllables. I will
commence and you will follow. MEZ gives the first
syllable, Candidate, prompted if necessary by PS gives the second, Haggai gives
the third syllable and so on. Note that on this occasion, the communication is
Zerubbabel: You will now take your seats in the Chapter.
They take their seats in the West.
Zerubbabel: Companions, let me now
congratulate you on your admission into this sublime Degree of Freemasonry,
which is at once the foundation and keystone of our whole Masonic structure. You
perhaps conceive that you have this day received a fourth Degree of Freemasonry;
but such, strictly speaking, is not the case; it is only the Master Mason’s
Degree completed. For you will recollect, that when you were raised to the third
Degree, you were informed that, by the untimely death of our Master Hiram Abiff,
the genuine secrets of a Master Mason were lost, and that therefore certain
substituted secrets were adopted to distinguish the Master Mason, until the
genuine secrets might be discovered. Those secrets were lost for a period of
nearly 500 years, and were recovered in the manner which has been explained to
you in a peculiar and impressive form, for the purpose of fixing more strongly
on the mind the providential means by which the ancient and genuine mysteries
It is now time we should impart to you the historical, symbolical, and mystical
knowledge of our Order, and I request your attention first to the Historical
Part from the Most Enlightened Companion Joshua.
Address of the Third Chair.
Joshua: Exalted Companions, there are three epochs in Masonry
which particularly merit your attention: the history of the first or Holy Lodge;
the second or Sacred Lodge; and the third or Grand and Royal Lodge.
The first or Holy Lodge was opened two years after the exodus of the Israelites
from their Egyptian bondage by Moses, Aholiab, and Bezaleel, on consecrated
ground at the foot of Mount Horeb, in the wilderness of Sinai, where the host of
Israel had assembled and pitched their tents, to offer up prayers and
thanksgivings for their signal deliverance from the hands of the Egyptians. In
this place the Almighty had thought fit to reveal Himself before that time to
His faithful servant Moses, when he commissioned him His high ambassador of
wrath against Pharaoh and his people, and of freedom and salvation to the house
of Jacob. Here were delivered the forms of those mysterious prototypes, the
tabernacle and the ark of the covenant; here were delivered the sacred laws,
engraven by the hand of the Most High, with those sublime and comprehensive
precepts of civil and religious polity, which, by separating His favoured people
from all other nations, consecrated Israel a chosen vessel to His service; for
these reasons this is denominated the first or Holy Lodge.
Solomon, King of Israel, Hiram, King of Tyr and Hiram Abiff, presided over the
second or Sacred Lodge. It was opened in the bosom of the holy Mount Moriah,
under the very centre of the ground on which the Sanctus Sanctuarum was
afterwards erected. On this consecrated spot Abraham had proved his intuitive
faith by leading his beloved son Isaac a destined victim to the altar of his
God. Here, on the thrashing floor of Araunah, the Jebusite, David offered the
mediatorial sacrifice by which the plague was stayed; here he received in a
vision the form of that magnificent temple afterwards erected by his illustrious
son; and here the Almighty declared His sacred name should dwell; for which
reasons we distinguish this the second or Sacred Lodge.
The third or Grand and Royal Lodge was holden at Jerusalem; it was opened after
the return of the Children of Israel from their Babylonish captivity, under
Zerubbabel, prince of the people; Haggai, the Prophet; and Joshua, the son of
Josedech, the High Priest. Now was the kingly power restored in the person of
Zerubbabel to the royal line of David and princely tribe of Judah. Nor was a
vestige thereof again effaced until after the destruction of Jerusalem by the
Romans under Titus, in the year 70 of the Christian era; to commemorate which
restoration this is called the third or Grand and Royal Lodge, and the
resemblance in the Chapter before us to these great originals is, that in every
regular Royal Arch Chapter we acknowledge the representatives of the Grand and
Royal Chapter at Jerusalem. The three Principals represent Zerubbabel, Haggai,
and Joshua, whose names they bear; the two Scribes represent Ezra and Nehemia,
Selectors and Expounders of the sacred law, and attendants on the august
Sanheidrim, by whose names they are distinguished. Your three selves represent
the three faithful sojourners, by whom the secrets of the Royal Arch were found,
in consequence of which discovery they were honoured with seats in the august
assembly, composed of the rulers and elders of the people, represented by the
rest of the Companions now present.
Zerubbabel: Such is the Historical account
of this Degree. I shall now claim your attention, while our Most Enlightened
Companion Haggai gives an account of the symbolical part.
Address of the Second Chair.
Haggai: Exalted Companions, the forms, symbols, and ornaments of
Royal Arch Masonry, together with the rites and ceremonies at present in use
among us, were adopted by our predecessors at the building of the Second Temple,
as well to preserve in our minds the providential means by which the great
discovery was effected, as in our hearts those lessons of exalted morality which
we, as members of this sublime Degree, are bound to practice. The form in which
the Companions of every Royal Arch Chapter is arranged approaches as nearly as
circumstances will permit to that of the true Catenarian Arch; thus we preserve
the memorial of the vaulted shrine, in which the Sacred Name was deposited,
while from the impenetrable nature of this strongest of all architectural forms,
we learn the necessity of guarding our mysteries from profanation by the most
inviolable secrecy; it also strongly typifies that inviolable adherence to order
and spirit of fraternal union, which has given energy and permanency to the
Constitutions of Masonry, enabling them to survive the wreck of mighty empires
and resist the destroying hand of time. And as the subordinate members of the
Catenarian Arch naturally gravitate towards the centre, or keystone, which
compresses and cements the whole structure, so we are taught to look up with
reverence, and submit with cheerfulness, to every lawfully constituted
authority, whether of Masonic or civil regulation. The keystone and two
contiguous arch stones are represented by the three Principals of the Chapter;
for as the secrets contained under the Royal Arch could only be obtained by
wrenching forth the three principal stones thereof, so the complete knowledge of
this Degree can only be obtained by passing through these several offices. In
this Degree we acknowledged six lights; the three lesser representing together
the light of the law and the prophets, and, by their number, alluding to the
patriarchal, Mosaical, and prophetical dispensations; the three greater
representing the sacred name itself, and the creative, preservative, and
annihilative power of the Deity. These lights are placed in the form of an
equilateral triangle, each of the lesser bissecting the line formed by two of
the greater, thus geometrically dividing the great triangle into three lesser
triangles on the extremities, which, by their union, form a fourth triangle in
the centre, and all of them equal and equilateral, emblematical of the four
points or divisions of Masonry, viz., Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, Master
Mason and Holy Royal Arch. This symbolical arrangement corresponds to the triple
tau, which forms two right angles on each of the exterior lines, and two others
at their centre, by their union, for the three angles of each triangle are equal
to two right angles; this serves to illustrate the jewel worn by some of the
Companions of the Order, which forms by its intersections a given number of
angles; these may be taken in five several combinations, and when reduced into
their amount in right angles, will be found equal to the five regular platonic
bodies, which represent the four elements and the sphere of the universe.
The ribbon worn by the Companions of the Order is a sacred emblem, denoting
light, being composed of the two principal colours with which the veil of the
temple was interwoven; it is further signified by its irradiated form, and in
both these respects it has ever been considered as an emblem of regal power and
dignity. The ensigns which the Companions bear on their staves were the
distinctive bearings of the twelve tribes of Israel, and figuratively of a
peculiar blessing bequeathed to each by the patriarch Jacob, who, before his
death, assembled them together for that purpose, as we find in the 49th chapter
of Genesis. The leading tribes are pointed out in the 2nd chapter of Numbers.
The four principal banners represent the leading standards of the four divisions
of the army of Israel, as described in the Book of Genesis. They unitedly bear a
device of an angelic nature, under the figures of a man, a lion, an ox, and an
eagle: a man, to personify intelligence and understanding; a lion, to represent
strength and power; an ox, to denote the ministration of patience and assiduity;
and an eagle, to display the promptness and celerity with which the will and
pleasure of the great I Am are executed. The several bearings of the sceptres
denote the regal, prophetical, and sacerdotal offices, which all were, and still
ought to be, conferred in a peculiar manner, accompanied with the possession of
particular secrets. The Bible, Square, and Compasses are considered as
appropriate emblems of the three Grand Masters who founded the First Temple: the
Bible denotes the wisdom of King Solomon; the Square, the power of King Hiram;
and the Compasses, the exquisite skill of Hiram Abiff; but the truly speculative
Mason regards them as the mysterious symbols of the wisdom, truth, and justice
of the Most High. His wisdom is most amply exemplified in the Volume of the
Sacred Law, which contains the records of His mighty acts and the treasure of
His revealed will. His truth is justly represented by the Square, it being the
acknowledged symbol of strength, and the criterion of perfection. His impartial
and unerring justice, which has defined for our instruction the limits of good
and evil, and assigned to each its due proportion of pleasure, is elucidated by
the Compasses, which enables us to ascertain the limits of all geometrical
figures, and to reduce our ideas of their proportion and equality to a certain
The Sword and Trowel have been adopted by Masons of the Royal Arch to
commemorate the valour of those worthy Masons who carried on the building of the
Second Temple, with the Trowel in their hands and the Sword by their sides, that
they might be ever ready to defend the holy city and sanctuary against the
unprovoked attacks of their enemies; by which they left a sacred and impressive
lesson to succeeding ages: that next to the obedience due to lawful authority, a
manly and determined resistance to lawless violence is the first step to social
The pickaxe, crow, and shovel were the instruments used by the Sojourners in
clearing away for the foundation of the Second Temple: with the pickaxe they
loosened the earth, with the crow they made purchases, and with the shovel they
cleared away the rubbish and loose earth. These we spiritualise thus: the sound
of the stroke of the pickaxe represents to us the sound of the last trump, when
the graves shall be loosened and deliver up their dead; the crow, being an
emblem of uprightness, displays to us the erect manner in which we shall rise on
that awful day to meet the tremendous but merciful judge; the mortal state in
which the body is laid in the grave is powerfully impressed on our minds by the
work of the shovel, so that when the rubbish of the body is shovelled away we
may with humble but holy confidence hope that the spirit may arise to immortal
and eternal life.
Zerubbabel: Such is the symbolical account.
I shall now proceed to explain the mystical part.
Address of the First Chair
The Mystical Lecture
Zerubbabel, knocks 4 times, but remains seated: Companions the
mystical knowledge of this Supreme Degree comprehends the forms and explanation
of the Signs, the nature and import of the Sacred Name, and the traditional
ceremony to be observed in sharing it. In Royal Arch Masonry there are five
signs, corresponding in number to the five Points of Fellowship, in which the
Master Mason is instructed; and as these point out our relative duties to each
other, so do the former mark in a peculiar manner the relation we bear to the
Almighty as creatures offending against His power, yet still as the adopted
children of His mercy.
The first is called the Penal Sign, gives it
and alludes to the fall of Adam and of the dreadful penalty entailed thereby on
all his sinful posterity, no less than death. It intimates, by the very action
itself, that the stiff-necked and disobedient shall be cut off from the land of
the living by the judgment of God, even as the head was severed from the body by
the sword of human justice. To avert this we are taught, by the Reverential or
Hailing Sign, to bend gives first part of Sign
with submissive resignation beneath the chastening hand of the Almighty, and at
the same time to engraft His law on our hearts completes
Sign and retains. This expressive form, in which the father of the
human race first presented himself before the face of the Most High, to receive
the denunciation of His just and terrible judgment disengages
Sign was afterwards adopted by Moses, when the Lord appeared to him
in the Burning Bush, in Mount Horeb, thus he covered his face does
so from the brightness of Divine presence and laid his hand on his
heart does so, in token of obedience; which
act of salutation was afterwards accounted to him for righteousness drops
Sign. The Reverential of Hailing Sign may be considered as the parent
of the Penitential or Supplicatory Sign, since it justly denotes that frame of
heart and mind, without which our prayers and oblations of praise cannot obtain
acceptance at the throne of grace, before which how should a frail and erring
creature of the dust present himself but with bended knees kneels
and uplifted hands does so, betokening at
once his humility and dependence? Thus did Adam first kneel to God and bless the
author of his first being; thus, too, did he bend with contrite awe before the
face of his offended Judge, to avert His wrath and conciliate His mercy, and has
transmitted this sacred sign to his posterity for ever drops
Sign and rises. The Monitorial Sign reminds us of the weakness of
human nature, unable of itself to resist the powers of darkness, unless assisted
by that light which is from above points up.
By this defenceless posture gives it we
acknowledge our own frailty, and confess that we can do no good or acceptable
services, but through Him from whom all good counsels and just works proceed,
and without whose Divine and special favour we must ever be found unprofitable
servants in His sight; therefore, according to the manner of our ancestors, and
atoning priests, we adopt this outward sign of contrition and humility dismisses
Sign. The Fiducial Sign shows it and
maintains it shews that as we would prostrate ourselves with our
faces to the earth, so we must throw ourselves upon the mercy of our Creator and
Judge, looking forward with holy confidence to His gracious promises, by which
alone we hope to pass through the ark of our redemption into the mansions of
eternal bliss and glory to the presence of Him who is the Great I Am, the Alpha
and Omega, the first and the last dismisses Sign.
The Mystical Lecture
On the plinth or front of the pedestal are the initials of the names of the
three Grand Masters viz., Solomon, King of Israel; Hiram, King of Tyr and Hiram
Abiff, which are intended to perpetuate their names as well as to commemorate
the circumstance of their presiding during the erection of the first Temple.
There is also the triple tau, which is a character affixed to the summonses of
Royal Arch Masons. The tau is the sign or mark spoken of by the angel which
Ezekiel saw in spirit, when it was said to the man with the writer’s inkhorn,
"Go through the midst of the city, through the midst of Jerusalem, and set
a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and that cry for all the
abominations that be done in the midst thereof," by which mark they were
preserved alive from amidst those who were slain for their idolatry by the
wrathful displeasure of the Lord. It was also a mark, in ancient times, placed
on the forehead of those who were acquitted by the judges, as a proof of their
innocence; and military commanders put it on those who were saved unhurt from
the field of battle: for which reasons it has been denominated the mark of life.
The union of the three taus here represented alludes to the grand triunison, by
which the horrific, gloomy, and unshapen chaos was changed into regular form and
The Name you behold on the plate of gold is the grand, awful, and tremendous
name of the Most High, signifying I Am that I Am, the Alpha and Omega, the first
and the last, the beginning and the ending, which was, and is and is to come,
the Almighty. It is the Sacred and Mysterious Name of the actual, future,
eternal, unchangeable, and all-sufficient God, who alone has his beginning in
and on himself and gives to all others their being; so that he was what he is,
is what he was, and shall be both what he was and what he is, from everlasting
to everlasting, all creation being dependent on his mighty will.
Zerubbabel returns to East side of altar. PS brings
Candidate to South of altar. 1st Assistant Sojourner attends to left side of
It may be here observed, that the upper part of the tablet in the pedestal or
altar should be a plate of pure gold, and the triangle and circle consequently
of the same metal. The selection of those mathematical figures, the circle and
triangle, deserves your attention: the latter seems to have been always
considered as bearing an allusion to the Deity; for even in the remote times of
antiquity names of God, or symbols of divinity, were generally enclosed in a
triangular figure. The Circle has always been the particular emblem of Eternal
power, for as a circle has neither beginning nor ending, it is with great
propriety said to be a type of God who alone is without beginning or ending, and
from whom all other beings are derived; it also calls to our remembrance the
great and awful hereafter or futurity, when we hope to enjoy everlasting life
and endless bliss.
In fine, Companions, this sublime Degree inspires its members with the most
exalted ideas of God, and leads to the exercise of the most pure and sublime
piety, and a reverence for the incomprehensible Jehovah the eternal ruler of the
Universe, the elemental life, the primordial source of all its principles, the
very spring and fountain of all its virtues.
The PS, Candidate, and 1st Assistant Sojourner return
to Sojourner's Chairs and sit facing East, the 1st Assistant Sojourner on the
right, the PS in centre and Candidate on the left. Director of Ceremonies now
conducts Candidate to MEZ.
Zerubbabel, stands up: Companion ..., I now
exhibit to you the Charter of the Chapter which I strongly recommend you to read
on some future evening.
I also strongly recommend you to read and refer to the Royal Arch Regulations
which are published in the Book of Constitutions. I now present to you this copy
of the By-Laws of the Chapter. On behalf of all the Companions I give you a
hearty welcome as a member of the Chapter.
Director of Ceremonies then conducts Candidate to a
side seat and 2nd Assistant Sojourner may now resume his seat at left of PS.
CEREMONY OF CLOSING
Zerubbabel asks if there is anything to offer for the good of the Chapter.
PS reads Hebrews, chap. IX, v. 2-8: For
there was a tabernacle made; the first, wherein was the candlestick, and the
table, and the shewbread; which is called the sanctuary.
And after the second vail, the tabernacle which is called the Holiest of all;
Which had the golden censer, and the ark of the covenant overlaid round about
with gold, wherein was the golden pot that had manna, and Aaron’s rod that
budded. and the tables of the covenant;
And over it the cherubims of glory shadowing the mercy seat; of which we cannot
now speak particularly.
Now when these things were thus ordained, the priests went always into the first
tabernacle, accomplishing the service of God.
But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without
blood, which he offered for himself, and for the errors of the people:
The Holy Ghost this signifying, that the way into the holiest of all was not yet
made man jfest, while as the first tabernacle was yet standing.
Haggai and Joshua reveil Pedestal.
Zerubbabel, Haggai and Joshua take the Bible as at
opening, and repeat: We three,
in love and unity,
this Royal Arch Chapter to close,
and not again,
to open the same,
until we three,
or three such as we,
do meet and agree, agree, agree.
Salute open, and hand round closed for the othet Camps
All then form in groups of three, and give the words.
Zerubbabel: Glory be to God on high.
Haggai: On earth peace.
Joshua: Goodwill towards men.
Zerubbabel: O! Almighty God, Grand Architect
of this Stupendous Universe, who hath filled the immensity of space with
innumerable systems or worlds, and hath enlightened each by its central sun and
their attendant moons, you glorious and amazing phenomena which beautify and
adorn the celestial hemisphere, for the heavens declare thy glory and the
firmament sheweth thy handywork, Thou who hast often declared that where thy
sacred name is placed there will thine eye be also, Inspire, we beseech thee,
these thy servants with Thy preventive grace, that they may be ever careful not
to transgress Thy sacred law; and may they place their whole trust and
confidence in Thy Almighty power and protection; grant us that peace which the
world cannot give, and pardon our offences as we forgive those who offend
PPZ: So mote it be!
Zerubbabel: In the name of the True And
Living God Most High, I declare this Chapter duly closed.
PPZ: Nothing now remains but, according to
ancient custom, to lock up our secrets in a safe and sacred repository uniting
in the act, fidelity, fidelity, fidelity, fidelity.
Zerubbabel then gives one knock with his sceptre,
followed by one each from Haggai and Joshua. Zerubbabel then gives another
knock, making altogether four.