Royal Arch Freemasonry Explained


Royal Arch Freemasonry is a branch of Freemasonry that is dedicated to the study and understanding of ancient religious and philosophical texts. It is a highly revered form of Freemasonry, with its own rituals, ceremonies, and degree system. The Royal Arch has been around since the 1700s and has been an important part of many Masonic Lodges. It is often referred to as “the Root, Stock and Foundation” of Freemasonry because it is said to be the source from which all other Masonic degrees stem. Royal Arch Masons strive to use their knowledge to help mankind in any way they can, seeking to promote morality, charity, justice and brotherly love throughout the world.

Royal Arch Freemasonry is the highest degree of traditional Freemasonry. It is sometimes known as the Fourth Degree, or the “Secret Master” Degree, as it is the fourth level of Craft Freemasonry. The Royal Arch Degree has ancient roots and dates back to the 18th century when it was first established in England.

The Royal Arch Degree is based on biblical texts and follows a narrative about rebuilding King Solomon’s Temple. The Degree focuses on understanding how wisdom, understanding, knowledge and strength are necessary for building a structure or foundation. It also teaches lessons in charity, brotherhood, loyalty and integrity.

Members of this degree are known as “Companions” and are part of an international fraternity which includes members from all over the world. In order to become a Companion in the Royal Arch Masonry one must first be a Master Mason in good standing with their local lodge. Candidates must then pass an exam demonstrating their knowledge of Masonic ritual and teachings before being initiated into this degree.

Once admitted into this degree, Companions can choose to join a ‘Chapter’ which meets regularly to discuss topics related to Freemasonry and allows members to share their experiences with others. These Chapters also host events such as banquets, lectures and fundraising activities for charitable causes.

The Royal Arch Masonry is an important part of traditional Freemasonry and its teachings provide insight into philosophical concepts which are relevant for today’s society. Through its rituals and practices it helps build strong bonds between its members while educating them in values such as integrity, loyalty and service to others.


Royal Arch Freemasonry is one of the oldest fraternal organizations in the world. It has a long and illustrious history that dates back to at least the 17th century. This article will explore the origins of Royal Arch Freemasonry, examining its roots and evolution over time.

Origins of Royal Arch Freemasonry

The exact origins of Royal Arch Freemasonry are unknown, but it is believed to have begun in England during the early 1700s. It is thought that the first recorded instances of Royal Arch Masonry occurred around 1740, when a group of Masons gathered together to form a secret society known as “the Grand Lodge”. The Grand Lodge was made up of three degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.

Royal Arch Masonry is said to have evolved from these three original degrees. It is believed that it was developed by a group of Masons who wanted to explore more deeply into the mysteries and rituals of Masonry. The goal was to create a separate organization for those seeking higher knowledge and understanding of Masonic philosophy and teachings.

The first recognized Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons was founded in England in 1758. This chapter laid down the foundation for all future Royal Arch Chapters around the world. By 1813, there were more than 200 chapters established in England alone, with many more established in other countries such as Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and Australia.

Today there are thousands of chapters worldwide, with each having its own set of unique rituals and traditions that are specific to their particular jurisdiction. While some organizations may require additional degrees or initiations for membership into their ranks, most chapters will accept any Master Mason as a member provided he meets certain requirements such as passing an examination on Masonic knowledge or demonstrating proficiency in certain rituals or ceremonies associated with Freemasonry.

The primary purpose behind Royal Arch Freemasonry is to provide an environment where members can learn more about themselves and explore deeper levels of Masonic philosophy and teachings while developing strong bonds with fellow Masons from around the world. To this day it remains one of most popular forms of Freemasonry and continues to attract new members from all walks of life seeking knowledge and camaraderie within its ranks.

Qualifications and Requirements for Membership

Becoming a member of an organization or society is not as straightforward as one might think. Each organization has its own set of qualifications and requirements that must be met before any individual can become a member. To help make the process easier, let’s look at some of the most common qualifications and requirements for membership:

• Age: Most organizations have age limits in place to ensure that members are mature and responsible enough to participate. Generally, these age limits range from 16 to 18 years old, depending on the specific organization.

• Background Check: Organizations may ask for a background check from potential members to make sure they don’t have any criminal records or other issues that would be detrimental to the organization.

• References: Some organizations require potential members to provide references from people who can vouch for their character and trustworthiness.

• Commitment: Organizations may ask potential members to demonstrate their commitment by attending meetings, completing tasks, or participating in events.

• Special Skills: Depending on the type of organization, potential members may need to demonstrate certain special skills or qualifications in order to be accepted into the group.

• Fees: Many organizations impose fees on their members in order to cover administrative costs and other expenses related to running the group.

These are just some of the most common qualifications and requirements for membership. Each organization has its own set of rules and regulations that must be followed in order for an individual to become a member. It is important for potential members to research an organization thoroughly before submitting an application, as this will help them understand what is expected of them as a member.

History of Royal Arch Degrees

The Royal Arch Degrees, also known as the ‘Royal Arch Masonry’ or the ‘Sacred Degrees’, were established in 1753 by a group of Freemasons in London, England. The main object of these sacred degrees was to provide a place for Masonic scholars to discuss and study the deeper aspects of Freemasonry. Since then, the Royal Arch has become one of the most popular and widely practiced Masonic degrees. The rites of these degrees have evolved over time and are now practiced across the world.


The Royal Arch Degree consists of four distinct sections: The Mark Master Degree, Past Master Degree, Most Excellent Master Degree, and the Royal Arch Degree. Each degree is designed to teach a different aspect of Freemasonry and is focused on developing a more profound understanding of the principles and teachings of Freemasonry.


The symbolism used in each degree has strong connections with Biblical stories. The Mark Master Degree provides an introduction to Masonic symbolism by focusing on building Solomon’s Temple. The Past Master Degree teaches about leadership by focusing on Hiram Abiff, who was tasked with overseeing the construction of Solomon’s Temple but was killed for refusing to reveal its secrets. The Most Excellent Master Degree focuses on resurrection and redemption through the story of Ezra and Nehemiah rebuilding Jerusalem after its destruction by Babylonian forces. Therefore, the Royal Arch Degree focuses on discovering lost knowledge through deciphering ancient symbols found at Herod’s Temple site in Jerusalem.


Each degree includes various rituals that involve participatory recitations and dramatic enactments meant to illustrate the moral lessons being taught throughout each degree. These rituals often involve symbols such as swords or ritualistic clothing such as aprons that are meant to reinforce their lessons. Through these rituals, candidates are expected to gain an understanding of basic concepts such as morality, justice, truthfulness, courage, charity and brotherly love – all essential tenants of Freemasonry that must be understood before progressing further in Masonic studies.

The Royal Arch Degrees are an important part of Freemasonry which provide students with an opportunity to learn more about its principles and teachings through dramatic enactments and recitations which help reinforce their lessons. Through these degrees candidates can gain a better understanding of moral values such as charity, courage and truthfulness – values which form a cornerstone for any successful Masonry Lodge or order.

Symbols of Royal Arch Freemasonry

The Symbols of Royal Arch Freemasonry are a collection of traditional symbols used in the Royal Arch degree. They represent the various aspects of the order and its teachings. The most common symbols are the triple tau, sunburst, two pillars, all-seeing eye, and the ark. Each symbol has a unique meaning and purpose within the order.

• Triple Tau: This is one of the most recognizable symbols in Freemasonry. It is a Greek letter “T” with three heads at each end. It stands for “Templum Hierosolymae” or “Holy Temple of Jerusalem” and symbolizes the foundation of Royal Arch Masonry.

• Sunburst: This symbol represents divine light and knowledge, which is necessary for illumination and enlightenment. It is also associated with protection from evil forces, as well as providing guidance to those who seek it.

• Two Pillars: The two pillars represent strength and stability. They are also a reminder that we should always strive to build upon our foundation rather than succumb to complacency or stagnation.

• All-Seeing Eye: This symbol is an ancient representation of divine providence and spiritual vision. It reminds us that we should always be on guard against any potential threats or dangers that may come our way.

• Ark: The ark represents safety and security in times of danger or distress. It also serves as a reminder to always have faith in God even when things seem bleak or uncertain.

The symbolism contained within these symbols can be used to guide us on our journey through life and help us become better versions of ourselves. By understanding these symbols, we can gain valuable insight into what it means to be a Mason, as well as how we should conduct ourselves within our order. In short, these symbols are reminders that we should always strive to be better people than we were yesterday so that we can continue progressing towards greater heights in life.

Role of the Grand Chapter in the Masonic Order

The Grand Chapter is an integral part of the Masonic Order. It is responsible for overseeing and regulating all of the Masonic Lodges in a particular jurisdiction. It also provides guidance and support to its members, as well as assistance in establishing new lodges. The Grand Chapter is composed of representatives from each lodge, who are elected by their peers to serve on the governing body.

The Grand Chapter plays an important role in ensuring that the rules and regulations that govern all Masonic Lodges are being followed. It ensures that all lodges have proper membership criteria, and it monitors the activities of each lodge to make sure that they are staying true to their purpose. Additionally, it provides resources and assistance to new lodges as they are established, helping them get off the ground and running smoothly.

The Grand Chapter also works with other groups within Masonry, such as local grand lodges and state grand lodges, to coordinate events and activities for members. This includes organizing conferences, seminars, and other educational opportunities for Masons from around the country to come together and learn more about their craft.

The Grand Chapter also works with other charitable organizations within Masonry to help fund community projects or provide financial assistance to those in need. By working together with these organizations, Masons can ensure that their efforts are being put towards helping others in need rather than just benefiting themselves.

Moreover, the Grand Chapters works closely with local government officials to help ensure that all Masonic Lodges are operating legally and ethically. This includes working with law enforcement agencies when necessary to ensure that any illegal activities taking place within a lodge are dealt with quickly and appropriately.

Overall, the role of the Grand Chapter within Masonry is essential for maintaining order and upholding standards within Masonry around the world. By providing oversight, guidance, support, education, financial assistance, legal counsel, and more – it ensures that all Masons are following established regulations while still providing meaningful benefits for members everywhere.

Organizational Structure of Grand Chapter

Grand Chapters are the governing bodies of a Masonic fraternity. They are responsible for the day-to-day administration and management of the Grand Lodge and its subordinate lodges. The organizational structure of a Grand Chapter is typically composed of several levels:

• The Grand Master, who acts as the executive head of the lodge, is elected by members from within the lodge.

• The Deputy Grand Masters, who serve as assistants to the Grand Master, are appointed by him.

• The Grand Wardens serve as assistants to both the Grand Master and Deputy Grand Masters.

• The Grand Stewards act as secretaries for the lodge and carry out administrative duties such as taking minutes, organizing meetings, and distributing correspondence.

• The Lodge Treasurer is responsible for collecting all dues and fees from members and making sure that funds are properly accounted for.

• The Lodge Secretary is responsible for keeping records such as minutes, charters, and other documents related to lodge activities.

The functions of each office will vary depending on how large or active a particular lodge is. In larger lodges there may be multiple offices performing similar duties or more complex tasks such as overseeing charitable activities or fundraising efforts. Smaller lodges may only have one or two officers that perform all administrative duties. All officers must be elected by members annually in order to remain in office.

The Benefits of Joining a Royal Arch Freemasonry Chapter

Joining a Royal Arch Freemasonry chapter can be a rewarding experience for many individuals. Not only does it provide a sense of community and camaraderie, but it also offers several benefits that go beyond the social aspects. Some of these include:

• Insight into Ancient Wisdom: By joining a Royal Arch Freemasonry chapter, you will gain access to centuries-old secrets and teachings that are still relevant today. You can learn from the writings and experiences of others who have gone before you.

• Charitable Work: As part of the fraternity, you will be able to contribute to charitable causes and help those in need. This is an excellent way to show your support for your community and make a positive difference in the world.

• Networking Opportunities: By being part of the group, you will be able to connect with other like-minded individuals who share your same values and interests. This can open up all sorts of opportunities for professional as well as personal growth and advancement.

• Improved Leadership Skills: Joining a Royal Arch Freemasonry chapter can help improve your leadership skills by teaching you how to work well with others, think critically, set achievable goals, and more. These skills can help you in all aspects of life.

• Personal Growth: Participating in group activities and discussions with other members allows you to grow on both an intellectual as well as emotional level. You’ll gain insight into yourself as well as others, which can help lead to personal transformation.

All these benefits make joining a Royal Arch Freemasonry chapter an excellent option for anyone looking for ways to expand their horizons, make new connections, or just grow on both a personal and professional level.

Final Words On Royal Arch Freemasonry Explained

Highly esteemed and steeped in tradition, Royal Arch Freemasonry has been around for centuries with a rich history that is unique and powerful. This fraternal order has a strong commitment to its members and a deep love for the craft of Masonry. It is a great way to become involved in the brotherhood, build relationships, and further your Masonic knowledge.

The Royal Arch Freemasonry experience is one of enlightenment, joy, and fellowship. Its teachings are profound and its ceremonies powerful. Most importantly, it allows members to further their understanding of the ancient mysteries of the craft while affording them with countless opportunities to grow as men, as men of character, and stewards of their communities.

The Royal Arch Mason’s journey is full of unique challenges that bring out the best in all who partake in it. Through its teachings, we learn to appreciate the beauty of life and understand our place within this grand universe. The lessons we learn help us become better people who are dedicated to helping our brothers in arms as well as our local communities.

By joining the Royal Arch Freemasonry experience, we can unlock doors that lead us down paths where we can discover answers to questions that have long remained unanswered in our lives. Through this journey we can also gain access to an ever-evolving network of like-minded individuals who share similar values and goals in life.

In reflection, Royal Arch Freemasonry has much to offer us all if we are willing to open ourselves up to its teachings and embrace it with an open mind and heart. Its lessons are timeless; its history rich; its endowment priceless. So if you have ever felt the calling of Freemasonry or felt inspired by its rituals but never knew how or where to start – you should look no further than Royal Arch Freemasonry!


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