Ritual for the Royal Arch Degree
The newly elected High Priest at the time of announcing his appointments shall appoint a competent Companion to be designated as Director of Work. In some Chapters the Director of Work will supervise all degrees of Capitular Masonry. In others it may be convenient and more satisfactory to appoint a Director of Work for each of the degrees.
It cannot be too strongly impressed upon the various Constituent Chapters that a Director of Work is absolutely essential to the smooth exemplification of the degrees. Select a Companion for his ability to organize and administer details. Thereafter, leave to him all directional matters.
The Companion appointed to give the Prologue should take the candidates to a convenient room-with all who desire to hear it-and deliver it clearly and slowly enough to enable them to understand every part and thus to be more properly prepared for and interested in the work to follow.
As soon as the officers enter the Chapter room to open, the Director of Work should conduct the candidates to the preparation room and properly prepare them by removing coats, fixing hoodwinks, cable tows seven times about the body of each and connecting one to the other in the usual manner. Each of the three candidates is clothed in a white apron.
Important! Nothing will stimulate and maintain interest so much as beginning on time. Thereafter the work should move steadily toward its conclusion without delays of any kind. A good Director of Work will have everything in readiness. He should have supervision over all of the equipment and should direct the work of the degree.
The following suggestions are especially important:
1. Director of Work should have tabernacle set up and placed at one side of room-out of the way-before work starts. When needed it can be moved quickly into position. This will save much time and avoid those delays which detract from interest.
2. Director of Work should see that the Veils know how to form living arch before the work starts.
When work in the Royal Arch degree is to be given the Secretary or Director of Work should see that the candidates are at the Temple at least one half hour before the Chapter is to open.
The Companion appointed to give the Prologue should take the candidates into the Lodge room or other convenient room and seat them in readiness for the Prologue. Any Companion who is vouched for may be present.
The Prologue is given before the Chapter opens as follows:
My Brothers: Being about to pass through the ceremonies of this degree—may we express the hope that it is not an idle or vain curiosity—that merely grasps at novelty—which has induced you to seek this sublime degree of Freemasonry—far more important than all which have preceded it.
The Royal Arch degree is calculated to impress upon our minds a firm belief in the being and existence of God—and it teaches a due reverence for his Great and Holy Name. It also brings to light some of the most important secrets of the Craft— which have lain buried in darkness from the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abif to the erection of the second Temple—and without which the Masonic character is not complete.
The Degree of the Royal Arch is founded upon the destruction of the first and the building of the second Temple. The ceremonies of this degree have an interesting and graphic historical setting—and a profound and reverential moral significance. The Royal Arch degree i~ the complement of the Master’s Degree-the unfolding into a second volume—the history of that which was lost to its final recovery. Without the Royal Arch—the Master’s Degree is like a song half sung—a tale partly told—or a promise unfulfilled.
The history of the 418 years from the completion of the first Temple to its destruction by Nebuchadnezzer is filled with the glories—the triumphs—the final fall and degradation of the Kingdom of Judah—and the dispersion and loss of the Kingdom of Israel.
In the year 586 B.C. the Temple of Solomon was razed and burned to the ground by Nebuchadnezzer—King of the Chaldeans—the faithless Zedekiah—the last of Judah’s kings—was made sightless and cast into a dungeon in Babylon. The Holy Vessels—the famous brazen pillars—and all the treasures of the King’s house-of his palaces and of his princes were carried away. Judah lay waste. The Temple of God was desolate.
The remnant of the people—except the very poor that escaped the sword—were made captives in a foreign land.
Forty-eight years after the destruction of the first Temple—in the first year of his reign—Cyrus-King of Persia issued an edict—granting permission to the captives to return to their own land and to rebuild the Temple of their God. He appointed Zerubbabel—a Prince of the House of Judah—Governor of the people. Under his guidance and direction the rebuilding of the Temple at Jerusalem was begun.
But owing to the poverty of the people—and the hindrance by their enemies-very little was accomplished until eighteen years later—when Darius the King issued an edict—that the Jews should no longer be hindered or impeded in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding the House of the Lord. Darius also caused the Sacred Treasurers to be sent back to Jerusalem—and by royal command directed that the expenses of rebuilding the Temple should be paid out of the King’s Treasury.
In the year 520 B.C. under the stirring appeals of the prophets—Haggai and Zechariah—Zerubbabel once more began rebuilding the House of the Lord. It was completed in the year 516 B.C. Thus in the period from the destruction of the first Temple-to the completion of the second Temple—we find the fulfillment of the seventy years of captivity as foretold by Jeremiah.
The first Grand Council formed at Jerusalem-for the purpose of rebuilding the Temple consisted of Zerubbabel as King—Joshua-son of Josedech-as High Priest—and Haggai-the Prophet—as Scribe.
They held their meetings in a tabernacle—which was similar in structure and color design-to the one erected by Moses in the Wilderness. This tabernacle was erected near the ruins of the first Temple—and guards were stationed at the entrance to the veils—to see that none were permitted to enter but such as were duly qualified—by being true descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel—and by making themselves known by the words given by God unto Moses at the burning bush.
In this Degree you will represent three of these captives-who-rejoicing in their newly found
Hebrew freedom-made their toilsome and weary way-over rough and rugged roads—from Babylon to Jerusalem. Having proven themselves worthy—they were admitted into the presence of the Grand Council.
You will likewise be admitted into the presence of a representation of that ancient Grand Council. Like your ancient Brethren you will express a willingness to undertake any portion of the work—however humble it may be. You will begin your labors-during which certain important discoveries will be made. The chief of these will be the long lost Master’s Word.
You doubtless remember that in the Master’s Degree—a representation was made of the tragical death of our Grand Master Hiram Abif—for refusing to reveal the Master’s Word-and on account of his untimely death—the Master’s Word was lost.
Our three ancient Grand Masters entered into an agreement never to give the Word—unless all three were present and consenting.
Masonic traditions informs us that under the Temple was erected a vault—in which our ancient Grand Masters held their meetings-and in which were deposited many valuable treasures of the Craft. Upon the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abif—this vault was closed.
King Solomon now found it necessary to institute a substitute Word—until future generations should discover the right.
You have labored long and faithfully and the discovery of the Masters Word is to be your reward.
The Prologue will retire and the Director of Work will take charge of the candidates and lead them to a convenient room. As soon as the Companions enter the Lodge room for the opening ceremonies the Director of Work will conduct the candidates to the preparation room and prepare them as follows: Coats removed—hoodwinked—cable tow seven times about body of each and the three connected one to another—all clothed in white aprons. The Director of Work will see to it that the candidates are prepared and ready when the Chapter is open on the Royal Arch Degree.
Promptly, if a stated meeting, and at the hour designated if a called meeting, the High Priest will take his station and give * which calls the Companions to order and the officers to their respective stations. Companions are properly clothed and take seats. RAC closes door and goes to his station.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host, proceed to satisfy yourself that all present are Royal Arch Masons.
CH may make observation alone or direct RAC to assist him. Being convinced that all present are RAM’s he says:
CH: Excellent High Priest, all present are Royal Arch Masons.
HP: Is there a constitutional number present to open a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons?
CH:There are three times three.
HP gives which seats the CH.
HP: Companion Royal Arch Captain, you will see that the outer courts of the Tabernacle are duly guarded and inform the Guard that I am about to open … Chapter No. … Royal Arch Masons, and direct him to guard accordingly.
RAC goes to Tyler’s door passing north of Altar.
RAC opens door and says so that all in the room may hear:
RAC: Companion Guard: The High Priest is about to open … Chapter No. … on the
Royal Arch Degree. You are directed to guard accordingly.
RAC closes door and gives *** *** *, Guard responds with *** *** *. RAC returns to his station and reports to HP as follows:
RAC: Excellent High Priest: The outer courts of the Tabernacle are duly guarded and the Chapter is duly tyled.
HP gives which seats the RAC.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host: Are you a Royal Arch Mason?
CH: I am.
HP: How shall I know you to be a Royal Arch Mason?
CH: By three times three-under a living arch—and over a triangle.
HP: Why in that manner?
CH: Because in that manner only can the principal secret of this degree be communicated.
HP: What makes you a Royal Arch Mason?
CH: My obligation.
HP: Where were you made a Royal Arch Mason?
CH: In a just and lawfully constituted Chapter of Royal Arch Masons—assembled in a place representing a Tabernacle—erected by our ancient brethren near the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple.
HP: How many compose a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons?
CH: Nine or more.
HP: When composed of only nine who are they?
CH: The High Priest, King, Scribe, Captain of the Host, Principal Sojourner, Royal Arch Captain and three Masters of the Veils.
HP: Whom do the first three represent?
CH: Joshua, Zerubbabel and Haggai who formed the first Grand Council at Jerusalem—and held their meetings in a Tabernacle.
HP: Whom do the latter three represent?
CH: Those three of our ancient brethren who discovered and brought to light-the principal secret of this degree-and who—as a reward for their labors—were appointed Masters of the Veils.
HP: How many Veils were there?
HP: To whet do they allude?
CH: To the four principal tribes of Israel—Judah— Ephraim—Reuben and Dan—who bore their banners in the wilderness and on which were delineated—a Lion-an Ox—a Man and an Eagle—denoting the strength of the Lion— the patience of the Ox—the intelligence of Man-and the swiftness of the Eagle.
HP: Where were the Veils placed?
CH: In the outer courts of the Tabernacle.
HP: For what purpose?
CH: To serve as coverings for the Tabernacle and stations for the guards.
HP: Why were guards placed there?
CH: To see that none was admitted into the presence of the Grand Council but such as was duly qualified and had permission.
HP: What is the station of the Master of the First Veil?
CH: Within the First Veil.
HP gives ** All officers arise except Grand Council.
HP: Companion Master of the First Veil.
FV steps to right of his station.
HP: Your duty?
FV: To guard the First Veil and admit none but such as are duly qualified and have the pass words.
HP: What are the pass words?
FV: I AM that I AM.
HP: What is the color of your banner?
FV: Blue—emblematic of friendship and peculiarly characteristic of Ancient Craft Masonry.
HP: What is the station of the Master of the Second Veil.
FV: Within the Second Veil.
FV steps back into place.
HP: Companion Master of the Second Veil.
SV steps to the right of his station.
HP: Your duty?
SV: To guard the Second Veil and admit none but such as are duly qualified and have the pass words.
HP: What are the pass words?
SV: Shem—Ham and Japheth.
HP: What is the color of your banner?
SV: Purple-denoting union. It being a due admixture of blue and scarlet—is therefore placed between the First and Third Veils—which are of those colors—to remind us of the intimate connection existing—between Ancient Craft Masonry and the Royal Arch.
HP: What is the station of the Master of the Third Veil?
SV: Within the Third Veil.
SV steps back into place.
HP: Companion Master of the Third Veil:
TV steps to right of his station.
HP: Your duty?
TV: To guard the Third Veil and admit none but such as are duly qualified and have the pass words.
HP: What are the pass words?
TV: Moses—Aholiab—and Bezaleel.
HP: What is the color of your banner?
TV: Scarlet—emblematic of that fervency and zeal which should actuate all Royal Arch Masons.
HP: What is the station of the Royal Arch Captain?
TV: Within the Fourth Veil.
TV steps back into place.
HP: Companion Royal Arch Captain.
RAC steps to right of his station.
HP: Your duty?
RAC: To guard the Fourth Veil—and admit none but such as are duly qualified and have the pass words—together with the signet of Zerubbabel which means truth.
HP: What are the pass words?
RAC: Joshua—Zerubbabel—and Haggai.
HP: What is the color of your banner?
RAC: White—emblematic of that purity of life and rectitude of conduct—so essentially necessary for all those-who seek to gain admission in-to the Holy of Holies above.
HP: What is the station of the Principal Sojourner? RAC: On the left and in front of the Grand Council.
RAC steps back into place
HP: Companion Principal Sojourner, your duty?
PS: I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not—I will lead them in paths that they have not known—I will make darkness light before them—and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them—and not forsake them. (Isaiah 42 :16).
HP: What is the station of the Captain of the Host?
PS: On the right and in front of the Grand Council.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host, your duty?
CH: To obey the commands of my Chief—and to preside at the introduction of strangers among the workmen.
HP: What is the station of the Scribe?
CH: On the left of the High Priest.
HP: What are his duties there?
CH: To assist the High Priest in the discharge of his duties and in his absence and that of the King to preside.
HP: What is the station of the King?
CH: On the right of the High Priest.
HP: What are his duties there?
CH: To assist the High Priest in the discharge of his duties and in his absence to preside.
HP: What is the station of the High Priest?
CH: In the center of the Grand Council in the East.
HP: What are his duties there?
CH: To preside over the Chapter—to read and expound the law-and to devise plans for the workmen.
HP gives ***. All arise.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host, you will assemble the Officers around the Altar, to assist me in opening … Chapter No. … Royal Arch Masons.
RAC leads the three Veils south-thence west and thence north-just west of Altar. PS will fall in behind the M-1-V. These form part of circle west of Altar. When they are in position the HP-K and Scribe come down on floor. CH walks on right of King. All move west to form, with other officers, a circle about the Altar. Chaplain standing west of circle, kneels when the others kneel.
HP: Companions: you will form chain with right arm over left. Kneel on right knee.
Chaplain, or someone appointed by the HP to give prayer, kneels immediately west, outside circle.
Chap: Supreme High Priest of Heaven and Earth. We humbly beseech thy blessing upon the purposes of our present assembly. Grant us wisdom to contrive, strength to support and the beauty of harmony to so administer the affairs of this Chapter that all our doings may be acceptable in thy sight. Amen.
Response by all Companions: So mote it be.
Chaplain returns to his station.
HP: Companions: Balance three times three.
HP: Arise. Companion Captain of the Host: You will form the Companions in groups of three.
CH designates Grand Council as 1st group. The three Companions to the south back of Altar as 2nd group and the two remaining Companions and himself as 3rd group.
CH: Excellent High Priest. The groups are formed.
HP: As we three did agree in Peace, Love and Unity, the Sacred Word to search—as we three did agree in Peace, Love and Unity the Sacred Word to keep—so we three now agree in Peace, Love and Unity to raise a Royal Arch.
Companions: Balance three times three.
The Arch is formed by raising the right arms. The GRAW is communicated in syllables. Officer of highest rank starts by giving first syllable to Companion on his left who gives second syllable to Companion on his left who gives third syllable to Companion on his left. Then the one who gave second syllable gives first syllable to Companion on his left and so on around. Then Companion who gave third syllable first time gives first syllable to Companion on his left and so on around. Now the Grand Council alone in same manner, gives the word aloud. Companions remain around Altar. Grand Council returns to East.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host, it is my will and pleasure that … Chapter No. … be now opened on the Royal Arch Degree-for the dispatch of such business as may regularly come before it.
CH: Companions Take notice and govern yourselves accordingly. Look to the East.
HP leads in giving the d-gd and s of the R.A.
HP: *** *** *.
K: *** *** *.
S: *** *** *.
HP: Companion Principal Sojourner, display the Three Great Lights.
PS goes to Secretary’s desk and takes the Three Great Lights from Secretary and reverently arranges them on the Altar. Bible open at Haggai 2nd Chapter. Returns to his station leaving Altar on his left.
HP: In the name of God and Zerubbabel. I declare … Chapter No. … open in form on the Royal Arch Degree. Companion Royal Arch Captain, inform the Guard.
HP seats himself and Companions with *. RAC goes to door and gives *** *** *. Guard responds with *** *** *. RAC opens door and says:
RAC: Companion Guard, … Chapter No. … is now open on the Royal Arch degree. Take due notice and guard accordingly.
RAC returns to his station and says:
RAC: Excellent High Priest, that duty is performed.
HP gives * which seats the RAC and completes the ceremony of opening.
HP: Companions, we have met for the purpose of conferring the Royal Arch Degree upon Brothers …., Most Excellent Masters. If there be no objection we will proceed with the ceremony.
HP: Companion Captain of the Host, you will perform that part of your work which requires you to preside at the introduction of strangers among the workmen.
CH: Companion Principal Sojourner, you will retire and promptly introduce the candidates.
As the PS starts to leave the room the three Masters of the Veils move Altar to the West. PS goes out preparation room door without raps-leaving Altar on his right. Immediately he gives *** *** *.
RAC arises and says
RAC: Companion Captain of the Host, there is an alarm at the door of the preparation room. CH: Attend to the alarm.
RAC goes to the door of preparation room, gives *** *** *, opens door and says so that all may hear:
RAC: Who comes here?
PS responds loudly and clearly enough so that what he says may be heard by all in the room
PS: Three Brothers—who have been regularly initiated-passed and raised-to the sublime Degree of Master Mason—advanced to the degree of Mark Master—inducted into the Oriental Chair—received and acknowledged Most Excellent Masters-and now wish to receive further light in Masonry by being exalted to the most Sublime Degree of the Royal Arch.
RAC: My Brothers: Is this of your own free will and accord?
Candidates must reply in the affirmative.
RAC: Companion Principal Sojourner, are they worthy and well qualified?
PS: They are.
RAC: Are they duly and truly prepared?
PS: They are.
RAC: Have they made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
PS: They have.
RAC: Let them wait with patience until the Captain of the Host is informed of their request and his answer returned.
RAC closes door but does not return to his station. The three Masters of the Veils come down immediately to form the living Arch while the CH promptly says:
CH: Who comes there?
RAC: Three Most Excellent Masters who have answered all of the questions in the affirmative.
CH: It is well. You will admit them and receive them in due form.
The Veils have formed the living Arch about ten feet from the Prep. room door. Arch formed by each Veil grasping his own left wrist with his right hand and with his left hand grasping the right wrist of the Veil on his left. There must be no delay in this. RAC goes promptly to door, opens it and says:
RAC: Let them enter.
RAC goes promptly to his station. PS conducts candidates into room and halts them before the living Arch. CH goes to candidates and says:
CH: On your first admission into a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons you are received under a living Arch. It is to teach you that the principal secret of this degree can be communicated only under a living Arch. It is also to teach you a lesson in humility—for he that humbleth himself shall be exalted. Stoop low Brethren—stoop low.
CR assists candidates under Arch which must not be lower than the waist. CH remains in the West and takes his place before the Altar at the proper time to give the obligation. PS conducts the candidates east thence south, saying as he proceeds:
PS: And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not-I will lead them in paths that they have not known—I will make darkness light before them—and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them—and not forsake them." (Isaiah 42:16).
PS: My Brothers: As no man should ever enter upon any great or important undertaking without first invoking the blessing of Deity-you will kneel for the benefit of prayer.
PS and candidates kneel where they are which should be near Chaplain’s station. It is suggested that the Chaplain or some qualified Companion appointed by the HP for that purpose read this prayer slowly-distinctly and reverently-from the lectern or reading desk at Chaplain’s station. Chaplain gives which calls up entire Chapter or he may say, "The Companions will arise."’
O thou Eternal and Omnipresent Jehovah—the glorious and everlasting I AM—permit us—thy frail—dependent and needy creatures—to approach thy Divine Majesty.
We humbly adore and worship thy unspeakable perfections—and thy unbounded goodness and benevolence. We adore thee—that amidst the pains and calamities of our present state—so many means of refreshment are afforded us—while traveling the rugged path of life.
O thou who didst aforetime—appear unto thy servant Moses—in a flame of fire—out of the midst of a bush—enkindle—we beseech thee—in each of our hearts—a flame of devotion to thee—of love to each other—and of charity to all mankind.
May the solemnities of the ceremonies of our institution—be deeply impressed upon our minds—and have a happy and lasting effect upon our lives.
And finally—O merciful Father—when we shall have passed through the outer veils of these earthly courts—may we be admitted into the Holy of Holies above—into the presence of the Grand Council of Heaven—where the Supreme High Priest forever presides—forever reigns. Amen.
Response by all: So mote it be.
Chaplain gives * which seats the Companions. PS says:
PS: Arise my Brothers and follow me.
PS conducts candidates onward in his first circuit of room to a point one pace west of kneeling cushion of Altar. The three Veils come up behind the candidates and face them toward the East. PS gives *** *** *. CH is in position in front of Altar. He does not return raps but says:
CH: Who comes here?
PS: Three Brethren—who have been regularly initiated—passed and raised—to the sublime Degree of Master Mason-advanced to the degree of Mark Master—inducted into the Oriental Chair—received and acknowledged Most Excellent Masters—and now wish to receive further light in Masonry—by being exalted—to the most Sublime Degree of the Royal Arch.
CH: My Brothers: Is this of your own free will and accord?
Candidates reply in the affirmative.
CH: Companion Principal Sojourner, are they worthy and well qualified?
PS: They are.
CH: Are they duly and truly prepared?
PS: They are.
CH: Have they made suitable proficiency in the preceding degrees?
PS: They have.
CH: It is well, My Brethren: You are again before the Altar of Masonry—but before proceeding further-it will be necessary for you to take upon yourselves a solemn obligation—pertaining to this degree. Yet I am free to inform you that this obligation contains nothing—which can conflict with you duty to God— your country-your neighbor—or yourself. With this pledge on my part—are you willing to take the obligation?
Candidates must reply in the affirmative.
CH: Then you will take one step with your left foot. Bring the heel of the right to the heel of the left and thereby form a right angle. Kneel on both knees—your body erect—both hands resting on the Holy Bible-Square and Compasses.
The three Veils assist in placing the candidates in the proper position and may then be seated in
rear of room until conclusion of obligation when they are again required to assist candidates as indicated in next rubric.
CH: S I—prnc y nme i f—a rpt a m th ob.
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I frthmr p a s—tt I w nt unlwfly—shd th bld—o a RAM.
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In token of your sincerity of purpose—in these solemn engagements—you will disengage your hands-and kiss the Holy Bible. Done. You will arise.
As the CH gives the concluding words: "In token of your sincerity of purpose, etc." the Veils will return quietly to their former places back of the candidates.
If no representation of RR is used the Veils remove HW at this time and return to their stations. If representation of RR is used the HW are raised only when the candidates are in a position to view the screen. PS conducts candidates to position presenting clear view of screen without unnecessary movement. Veils stand by to assist at all times if representation of RR is used.
PS: "Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro his father in law—the Priest of Midian—and he led the flock to the back side of the desert and came to the mountain of God—even to Horeb.
"And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him—in a flame of fire—out of the midst of a bush—and he looked—and behold-the bush burned with fire—and the bush was not consumed.
"And Moses said—I will now turn aside-and see this great sight-why the bush is not burnt.
"And when the Lord saw—that he turned aside to see—God called unto him out of the midst of the bush-and said—Moses, Moses. And he said-here am I. And he said-draw not nigh hither—put off thy shoes from off thy feet-for the place whereon thou standest—is holy ground."
If RH is used each of tine Veils removes the shoes or sandals of candidate in his charge.
Moreover he said—I am the God of thy father—the God of Abraham—the God of Isaac—and the God of Jacob. And Moses hid his face-for he was afraid to look upon God. (Exodus 3:1-6).
And God said unto Moses: "Come now therefore—and I will send thee unto Pharaoh—that thou mayest bring forth my people-the children of Israel—out of Egypt." (Exodus 3:10).
"And Moses said unto God: Behold! When I come unto the children of Israel-and shall say unto them-the God of your fathers hath sent me unto you-and they shall say to me-What is his name? What shall I say unto them?
"And God said unto Moses-I AM THAT I AM-and he said—thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel—I AM hath send me unto you." (Exodus 3 :13-14).
Moses was faithful to the divine command— and thus became the great emancipator— prophet—leader and judge—of the children of Israel.
He led them out of bondage-through the wilderness—to the border of the promised land—where—on Nebo’s lonely mountain—his eyes undimmed by age—and his natural force unabated—God took him.
Joshua who succeeded Moses was the son of Nun as set forth in the Book of Joshua Chap. 1:1.
Joshua became their leader. They entered the promised land. Here they became a great nation. Mighty kings—and the world’s greatest prophets and teachers rose among them. As long as they were faithful to God— they prospered. But when the children of Israel forgot and forsook God—national ruin came upon them.
"Zedekiah was one and twenty years old when he began to reign—and reigned eleven years in Jerusalem.
"And he did that which was evil in the sight of the Lord—his Cod—and humbled not himself before Jeremiah the prophet—speaking from the mouth of the Lord.
"And he also rebelled against King Nebuchadnezzar—who had made him swear by God—but he stiffened his neck —and hardened his heart—from turning unto the Lord God of Israel.
"Moreover—all the chief of the Priests-and the people-transgressed very much after all the abominations of the heathen—and polluted the house of the Lord—which he had hallowed in Jerusalem.
"And the Lord God of their fathers—sent to them by his messengers—rising up betimes and sending—because he had compassion on his people—and on his dwelling place.
"But they mocked the messengers of God— and despised his words—and misused his prophets—until the wrath of the Lord arose against his people—till there was no remedy.
"Therefore he brought upon them the king of the Chaldees—who slew their young men with the sword—in the house of their sanctuary—and had no compassion—upon young man or maiden—old man—or him that stooped for age—he gave them all into his hand.
"And all the vessels of the house of God—great and small—and the treasures of the house of the Lord—and the treasures of the king—and of his princes—all these he brought to Babylon," (2 Chron. 36:11-18).
My Brothers, we now represent descendants of those Most Excellent Masters—who were present at the destruction of the first Temple by Nebuchadnezzar—king of Babylon. He besieged the city of Jerusalem—burned the house of God-and carried away the Holy Vessels thereof.
"And them that had escaped from the sword—carried he away to Babylon—where they were servants to him and his sons—until the reign of the kingdom of Persia." (2 Chron. 36:20).
Here in Babylon our ancestors died. Here-in captivity—we were born—and the rebuilding of the house of the Lord seems afar off.
"Now in the first year of Cyrus King of Persia—that the word of the Lord—by the mouth of Jeremiah—might be fulfilled—the Lord stirred up the spirit of Cyrus King of Persia—that he made a proclamation—throughout all his kingdom—and put it also in writing—saying—
"Thus saith Cyrus, king of Persia—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." (Ezra 1 :1-3).
But our enemies in Judah-and the poverty of our people—have prevented the fulfillment of our fondest hope. But the dawn of that great day is near—when a new Temple shall arise in Jerusalem. For Darius the king has given commandment—that our people be not hindered—and that expenses be paid out of the king’s treasury—for the rebuilding of the Temple.
We are needed to assist in the noble and glorious work-of rebuilding our city and the Temple of our God.
Shall we go up? Will you? Will you go up? We will go up—and the prophesy of Jeremiah will be fulfilled when he said-"That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you-and perform my good word toward you—in causing you to return to this place." (Jer. 29:10).
And remembering the symbol of the burning bush—which is to impress upon our minds—in the most solemn manner-that the words and signs following are of Divine institution—and as such must be sacredly regarded by us and transmitted to our posterity-as means by which they might be known and distinguished forever after—let us also remember the words of the Lord-which we will give to our brethren at Jerusalem—"I AM hath sent me unto you." (Exodus 3:14).
Veils lower HW if HR is used.
PS: My Brothers: Before leaving the place of our bondage-to enter upon the hazardous journey to the land of our fathers-let us kneel and invoke the aid and protection of the Great I AM.
PS and candidates kneel and PS gives following prayer:
PS: Unto thee O Lord—do I lift up my soul. Keep me from the snares which they have laid for me. Let the wicked fall into their own nets-whilst that I withal escape. Amen.
PS: Arise—my Brothers, let us commence our journey from Babylon to Jerusalem.
If RH is used Veils accompany PS and candidates to assist them. HR is placed on south side of room. It shall not exceed 12 feet in length. We must ever bear in mind that we are enacting a great religious drama—full of symbolic revelation-and nothing may be here done to detract from its sacred implication or cause pain. When procession arrives before screen hw are raised by Veils.
PS: Thanks be unto God—we are once more without the walls of that wicked and abominable city—Babylon. We have left its domes and spires behind us and I can just see them glittering in the sunlight—over the hills and plains of Chaldea.
Our trust is in the great I AM—and although our journey may be long-tedious-and dreary—our path rough—rugged—and dangerous—yet we will endeavor to overcome every obstacle—endure every hardship—and brave every danger—to promote the noble and glorious work upon which we have entered.
Brothers here the routes diverge. One leads through the desert of Arabia—the other up the Euphrates—and around by the way of Anath—Tadmor and Damascus.
The desert may be less frequented by travelers—owing to its extensive sandy plains—its intense heat—and the great scarcity of provisions and water. The other way is much more pleasant—though longer and mountainous. There are hardships and dangers in each—but I think all things considered—the river route is more desirable. Let us pursue it. We now come to the ruins of Anath—once a flourishing city—but now alas smouldering in ruin and decay. Of this city naught remains to tell us of its former magnificence—save broken columns and ruined arches. But here—in the midst of all this ruin and decay—we find an ancient altar—at which doubtless—our fathers offered up their devotions—to the God of Abraham—and of Isaac—and Jacob. Before this altar let us kneel—and again invoke the aid and protection of the great I AM.
"I cried unto the Lord with my voice; with my voice unto the Lord did I make my supplication.
I poured out my complaint before him; . . .
When my spirit was overwhelmed within me, then thou knewest my path ....
I looked on my right hand, and beheld, but there was no man that would know me; refuge failed me; no man cared for my soul.
I cried unto thee, O Lord, I said, Thou art my refuge and my portion in the land of the living.
Attend unto my cry; for I am brought very low: deliver me from my persecutors; for they are stronger than I.
Bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise thy name: ...." Amen. (Psalms 142).
If HR is used Veils accompany PS and candidates to assist them. When procession arrives before screen hw are raised by Veils.
Yonder are the green banks of the ever running Euphrates. How beautiful the scenery around us. We have left the river and are crossing a portion of the Syrian desert. We are coming to the ruins of Tadmor in the wilderness. It was situated in the midst of a vast and arid plain—an oasis—a green spot in the desert. Its high antiquity—and almost countless remains of former architectural beauty and splendor—with which it still abounds—has rendered it the wonder and admiration of all beholders.
The city is now waste and desolate—and naught awakens the echoes in its empty courts and ruined palaces—save the cry of the jackal and the hyena.
But here—even here—in the midst of all this blight and desolation—we find another ancient altar. Here doubtless—our fathers also offered up their devotions to the God of Abraham—and of Isaac—and Jacob. Before this altar let us kneel-and again invoke the aid and protection of the great I AM.
"Here my prayer. O Lord, give ear to my supplications, in thy faithfulness answer me, and in thy righteousness.
And enter not into judgment with thy servant: for in thy sight shall no man living be justified....
O Lord: . . . hide not thy face from me, lest I be like unto them that go down into the pit. Cause me to hear thy loving-kindness in the. morning; . . . for I lift up my soul unto thee. Teach me to do thy will; for thou art my God: . . . bring my soul out of trouble.
And of thy mercy cut off mine enemies, …
for I am thy servant." Amen. (Psalms 143).
If RH is used Veils accompany PS and candidates to assist them. Arriving before screen hw raised.
We are now approaching the flourishing city of Damascus. Through the long lapse of century—it has experienced the various vicissitudes incident to wars and revolutions.
But while cities—kingdoms and empires—have arisen—flourished—fulfilled their destiny—and fallen—this venerable city still survives—her towers pointing bravely heaven-ward.
Having passed through Damascus—we journey toward the south. We should now have a good road and a pleasant journey—down the valley of the Jordan—to Jerusalem.
To our right we see the forests of Lebanon-where our fathers felled and prepared timbers for the first Temple.
Rough and rugged has been the road-long and toilsome the march. But sustained and favored by the great I AM—we are now nearing our journey’s end.
You will remain here in this vale while I ascend you eminence.
PS advances several paces. View of Jerusalem appears on screen.
PS: As I live! I BEHOLD THE CITY OF OUR FATHERS! 0 JERUSALEM! JERUSALEM! If I forget thee—let my right hand forget her cunning!
Music may be rendered with splendid effect as the PS conducts the candidates around the room and out at the preparation room door. The Holy City, sung or recorded, is also appropriate.
Important note: Where it does not seriously interfere the representation of that portion of Tabernacle used by Veils should be in the room, set up and ready to place into position. Coverings on north and south sides of tabernacle should be removed so that Companions not taking part in the work can see the action. It is effective if a scrim is used, room darkened and Veils lighted as entered. Banners may be displayed on north side of representation or on standards within each Veil. At this point it is not unusual for some of the attending Companions to retire. Mostly this results from starting late and from delays which should be avoided. Director of Work, in charge of the degree, will eliminate this vexation. If everything is arranged as can well be done, the PS will lead the candidates out to preparation room, make proper divestments and immediately return.
PS: I see before us a Tabernacle. Let us endeavor to gain admission.
PS leads candidates to entrance 1st Veil and gives an irregular alarm of *** ***.
1V: Guards assemble! An enemy approaches!
1st Veil discloses some alarm and fear in his voice and action. 2nd and 3rd Veils with drawn swords rush to defense of 1st Veil. Forearm of 1st V. with sword in hand protruding through curtain.
1V: Who comes here? Who dares approach the First Veil of our sacred Tabernacle?
Veil is closed until name is given.
PS: Three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity who have come up thus far to help—aid and assist in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding our city—and the house of the Lord—without hope of fee or reward.
1V: Difficulties having arisen as the result of introducing strangers among the workmen—the Grand Council—now in session—has issued an edict that none shall be permitted to engage in the noble and glorious work—except true descendants of the twelve tribes of Israel. You will therefore be particular in tracing your ancestry. Who are you? What are your intentions?
PS is naturally annoyed with this reception after a long and difficult journey but he speaks patiently—slowly and clearly.
PS: We are of your own people. We are true descendants of those noble Giblimites who wrought so faithfully at the building of King Solomon’s Temple—and of those who were present at its destruction by Nebuchadnezzar King of Chaldea. By him they were carried away captives to Babylon. There they remained subjects to him and his successors until the reign of Cyrus—king of Persia. By his proclamation—and that of Darius the king—we have been liberated—and have come up to help—aid and assist—in the noble and glorious work of rebuilding our city—and the house of the Lord —without hope of fee or reward.
1V: How do you expect to gain admission?
PS: By the words of Him who hath sent us.
1V: Who hath sent you?
PS: The God of our fathers.
1V: What is his name?
PS: I AM THATIAM!
2V and 3V return to their stations. 1V opens curtains.
1V: The pass words are right. Enter within the First Veil. Good men and true you must be or thus far you could not have come. Further you cannot go—without my pass words—sign and words of explanation.
The pass words are Shem—Ham and Japheth. The sign is casting a rod upon the ground and taking it up. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses.
They are as follows:
"And the Lord said unto him—what is that in thine hand? And he said—a rod.
"And he said—Cast it on the ground. And he east it on the ground-and it became a serpent—and Moses fled from before it.
"And the Lord said unto Moses—Put forth thine hand—and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand and caught it-and it became a rod in his hand." (Exodus 4:2-4).
You will now advance to the Second Veil and give the regular alarm of seven raps.
PS: *** *** *.
2V, *** *** *: Who comes here?
PS: Three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity.
2V: How do you expect to gain admission?
PS: By the pass words—sign—and words of explanation of the First Veil.
2V: You will give them.
PS: The pass words are Shem—Ham and Japheth. The sign is casting a rod upon the ground and taking it up. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses.
2V: The pass words—sign—and words of explanation are right. Enter within the Second Veil.
2V: Good men and true you must be—or thus far you could not have come. Further you cannot go—without my pass words-sign—and words of explanation. The pass words are Moses—Aholiab— and Bazaleel. The sign is putting the hand into the bosom and plucking it out. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses—and are as follows:
"And the Lord said furthermore unto him— Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom—and when he took it out-behold—his hand was leprous as snow.
"And he said—Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again—and plucked it out of his bosom-and behold—it was turned again as his other flesh." (Exodus 4:6-7).
You will now advance to the Third Veil and give the regular alarm.
Joshua, the High Priest who, with Zerubbabel, a Prince of Judah and Haggai, the Scribe, assisted in the rebuilding of the Second Temple, lived several hundred years after Joshua, successor of Moses. He was the son of Josadek or Josedech who was the son of Seraiah who was High Priest when the First Temple was destroyed. Haggai 2:2.
PS: *** *** *.
3V, *** *** *: Who comes here?
PS: Three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity.
3V: How do you expect to gain admission?
PS: By the pass words—sign—and words of explanation of the Second Veil.
3V: You will give them.
PS: The pass words are Moses—Aholiab and Bazaleel. The sign is putting the hand into the bosom and plucking it out. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses.
3V: The pass words-sign-and words of explanation are right. Enter within the Third Veil.
3V: Good men and true you must be—or thus far you could not have come. Further you cannot go—without my pass words—sign—and words of explanation. The pass words are Joshua—Zerubbabel and Haggai. The sign is pouring water upon the dry land. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses. They are as follows:
"And it shall come to pass—if they will not believe also these two signs-neither harken unto thy voice-that thou shalt take of the water of the river—and pour it upon the dry land—and the water which thou takest out of the river—shall become blood upon the dry land." (Exodus 4:9).
You will now advance to the Fourth Veil—give the regular alarm—and present this signet for admission.
PS: *** *** *.
RAC rises: Companion Captain of the Host, there is an alarm at the Fourth Veil.
CH: Attend to the alarm.
RAC gives *** *** * and says with considerable force:
RAC: WHO COMES HERE? Who dares approach our sacred Tabernacle—where incense burns upon the Holy Altar both day and night.
PS: Three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity.
RAC: How do you expect to gain admission?
PS: By the pass words—sign and words of explanation of the Third Veil.
RAC: You will give them.
PS: The Pass Words are Joshua—Zerubbabel and Haggai. The sign is pouring water upon the dry land. The words of explanation are found in the writings of Moses. We are Most Excellent Masters and present this Signet for admission.
PS hands Signet of Zerubbabel to RAC.
RAC: The Pass Words—Sign and words of explanation are right. You will wait until the Captain of the Host is informed of your request and his answer returned.
RAC: Companion Captain of the Host, the alarm is caused by three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity. They claim to be Most Excellent Masters and present this Signet for admission.
RAC takes Signet and hands it to CH who examines it a moment and then says
CH: You will admit them.
RAC opens Veil and stands on north side facing South.
RAC: Enter within the Fourth Veil.
PS conducts candidates through Veil and lines them up before the representation of the Grand Council about four or five feet west of steps leading to dais. As they are entering and taking their positions and without any delay whatever; Haggai arises and addresses Zerubbabel. Haggai pays no attention to candidates.
Hag: Companion Zerubbabel, In the seventh month, the one and twentieth day of the month—came the word of the LORD—by the prophet Hagai-saying:
"Speak now to Zerubbabel—the son of Sheal ti-el-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 at 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 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."
"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." (Haggai 2: 1-9).
Haggai seats himself.
CH: Excellent Grand Council: There are before you three weary sojourners from Babylonian captivity. They claim to be Most Excellent Masters and have presented this Signet for admission.
CH hands Signet to Joshua who hands it to Haggai who arises and again addresses Zerubbabel:
Hag: "In that day-saith the LORD of hosts-will I take thee-O Zerubbabel my servant—the son of She al ti-el-saith the LORD—and I will make thee as a Signet—for I have chosen thee. (Haggai 2:23).
Haggai hands Signet to Joshua.
Jos: The Signet of Zerubbabel—which means TRUTH!
Jos to candidates: You claim to be Most Excellent Masters. Can you convince the Grand Council that you are Most Excellent Masters?
PS steps one pace south and one pace east and faces north and slowly gives due guard and sign of MEM. Candidates will follow him in this. Joshua consults briefly with Zerubbabel and Haggai.
Jos: They are indeed Most Excellent Masters. What part of the work are you willing to undertake?
PS answers with feeling-
PS: To promote the noble and glorious work of rebuilding our city—and the house of the Lord—we are willing to undertake any part of the work—even the most humble.
Members of Grand Council whisper together a few seconds and then Joshua says
Jos: Your modesty bespeaks your merit. The Grand Council has no doubt of your ability to perform any part of the work which may be assigned to you. It is necessary that the rubbish of the old Temple be removed—preparatory to laying the foundation of the new. The Captain of the Host will furnish you with the necessary working tools—repair with you— and designate the scene of your labors. You will be careful to observe and bring up for inspection—everything which may be of importance in rebuilding the Temple.
CH passes in front of candidates and supplies first with crow-next with pick axe and third with spade. CH then steps to right of PS-turns and passes through the Veils with PS and candidates following him single file. Veils stand at attention with swords sheathed while procession is passing. CH goes to the West or to other convenient location in the rear of the room where the Keystone and copy of Ark of Covenant have been placed and covered with a white cloth. If a proper pedestal is available it should be used. CH halts PS and candidates and says-
CH: My Brothers: You must constantly bear in mind that you represent three of those ancient Hebrew Sojourners—who returned to Jerusalem after the seventy years of Babylonian captivity—to help-aid and assist in rebuilding their city—and the house of the Lord. This is intended to represent a portion of the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple— and the place where those whom you represent began their labors. You will remember that they were directed to observe and bring up for inspection—everything which might be deemed of importance in rebuilding the Temple.
CH returns to his station.
PS: My Brothers: The three weary sojourners whom you now represent—began their labors among the ruins of King Solomon’s Temple. They wrought diligently for several days— among broken columns and ruined arches—without discovering anything of importance. At length one of them struck with his crow— what seemed to be an impenetrable rock—but which gave forth a hollow sound. They redoubled their efforts and presently discovered an arch. In its apex was a keystone—bearing the private Mark of our Grand Master Hiram Abif. It was similar to this model PS takes up keystone which was exhibited to you in the Mark Master degree—and which the three sojourners carried up to the Grand Council for inspection.
PS continues to hold the keystone in his hand and takes it with him when he leads the candidates to the East with the discoveries. PS continues-
With considerable difficulty they succeeded in raising the keystone. Then they widened the aperture and one of them volunteered to descend into the vault beneath the arch. They let him down. But first they took the precaution of placing a cable tow seven times around his body with a rope in his hands.
The sun being at its meridian height—its rays fell vertically into the vault. Its center was occupied by a block of white marble in the shape of a double cube—whereon he discovered a counterpart of this curiously wrought box. On its sides and ends were inscriptions—in characters to him unknown. The top of the box was overlaid with gold—bearing a golden triangle—on the sides of which were three ancient squares.
Deeming these discoveries of the greatest importance-he availed himself of the treasure—and gave the signal to ascend—holding his right hand in this manner-to protect his eyes from the brilliant rays of the noon day sun.
PS gives due guard.
PS: Upon closer examination of the discovery—the three whom you represent were overcome with awe and amazement. Silently fitting the staves to the handles on the box—they carried it up to the Grand Council for inspection. In earnest commemoration of the acts of our ancient Brethren let us carry up this copy of the Ark for the inspection of the Grand Council. We will deposit our working tools here at the place of our labors.
Candidates lay down their working tools while the PS inserts the staves through the rings on the box. PS continues-designating candidates by gesture-
PS: You will grasp the rods at the back-facing the box and you will grasp the rods with your back to the box-while you will steady it so that neither the top nor the squares will be disarranged.
You will follow me—and when we arrive before the representation of the ancient Grand Council—you will seat the discovery upon a pedestal which I will order placed for its reception. You will deposit the box with this side PS points to side with initials of Solomon King of Israel: toward the Grand Council and then step back into line with me. When in our report—I invite the attention of the Grand Council to these ancient squares you designating one of the candidates will take them up to Joshua in the center of the group. Remember that in the ceremonies following we are imitating the acts of our ancient Brethren. Follow me.
Veils stand at attention as PS and candidates pass through. PS at 4th Veil *** *** *.
RAC: Companion Captain of the Host: There is an alarm.
CH: Attend to the alarm.
RAC, *** *** *: Who comes here?
PS: Workmen from the ruins with what is believed to be an important discovery.
RAC: Companion Captain of the Host: The alarm is caused by workmen from the ruins with what is believed to be an important discovery.
CH: You will admit them.
RAC opens Veil and says
RAC: You will enter.
RAC steps to north side of Veil, and faces south. PS pauses and addressing RAC says-
PS: Companion Royal Arch Captain, you will place a pedestal in front and in center of the dais of the Grand Council about four feet west of the steps leading thereto.
RAC carries pedestal which has been placed conveniently back of station of CH and places it as directed. As RAC places the pedestal the PS, and candidates seat the box and take their positions in line back of it.
CH: Excellent Grand Council: There are before you workmen from the ruins with what is believed to be an important discovery.
PS steps out and addresses Grand Council:
PS: Excellent Grand Council: In the course of our work of removing the rubbish of the first Temple-at the place designated by the Captain of the Host—we discovered an arch. In its apex was a Keystone bearing the private mark of our Grand Master Hiram A. and we have brought it up for your inspection.
PS hands up the Keystone. Grand Council examines it and Joshua points out to Zerubbabel and Haggai the private mark of HA with gestures of satisfaction. He then deposits stone with mark toward candidates, on pedestal before him, and gives his attention to PS who continues—
PS: In the vault below upon a pedestal of white marble in the shape of a double cube was this curiously wrought box. The inscriptions on the sides and ends are unknown to us. The top of the box is overlaid with gold and bears a golden triangle. Upon the sides of this triangle are three squares. In imitation of our ancient brethren we have brought up the discovery for your inspection.
PS designates one candidate to present squares to Joshua. Joshua hands one square to Zerubbabel, one to Haggai and retains one, and says:
Jos: The jewel of office worn by our ancient Grand Master—Solomon King of Israel.
Zer: The jewel of office worn by our ancient Grand Master—Hiram King of Tyre.
Hag: The jewel of office worn by our ancient Grand Master—HA.
As each of the officers of Grand Council makes statement he holds up the square for candidates to see. Then Joshua takes all of the squares into his hands.
Jos: The Grand Council recognizes these as the jewels of office worn by our ancient Grand Masters.
Joshua points to box and holds brief whispered consultation with Zerubbabel and Haggai.
IMPORTANT: Let everyone taking part in this degree realize the dramatic tenseness of the scene which follows. Joshua is inwardly, tremendously excited.
As High Priest he knows that shortly before the First Temple was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar very few copies of the Book of the Law were in existence. He is convinced that all of these had also been destroyed with the possible exception of the copy which Masonic tradition said had been deposited by our three Ancient Grand Masters in a secret vault beneath the Temple. Hilki-ah the High Priest-had found a copy of the Book of the Law in the Temple when Josiah was King (2 Chron. 34: 15). Ser-a-i-ah was Chief Priest at the time the Temple was destroyed. (2 Kings 25: 18).
Therefore Josedech would have learned of the deposit of the one and the probable loss of the other and transmitted this information to his son Joshua. Thus it is logical to assume that Joshua-the High Priest-was the only one of all those who returned to rebuild the second Temple who knew of the deposit of the Book of the Law in the secret vault. Now that this copy of the Ark of the Covenant has been found—the hope that it may contain the long lost Sacred Treasure is almost more than he can bear.
Remembering-even in his excitement-that none of his Companions sense the possible tremendous import of the discovery-Joshua is unwilling to awaken the hopes of his people by an explanation which would only result in greater sorrow if the Sacred Book should not be found in the box.
Thus Joshua struggles to control his feelings as he commands
Jos: Companion Captain of the Host, you will open the box and see what it contains.
CH opens box and places lid on south half at right angles thereto. CH takes out pot of manna and hands it to Joshua. Joshua hands it to Zerubbabel-and says-
Jos: Companion Zerubbabel, what is your opinion?
Zer: A pot of manna.
Jos: A pot of manna—the bread wherewith our fathers were fed in the wilderness.
Jos: Companion Captain of the Host, you will see what further the box contains.
CH takes out Aaron’s rod and hands it to Joshua. Joshua hands it to Haggai and says
Jos: Companion Haggai, what is your opinion?
Hag: Aaron’s rod.
Jos: Aaron’s rod — that budded-blossomed and brought forth fruit in a single night.
Joshua is thinking that the Captain of the Host would surely have handed up the Sacred Law first if it had been in the box. His deep sense of loss and sorrow is reflected in his next direction.
Jos: Companion Captain of the Host—You will see if the box contains anything further.
CH removes scroll and hands it to Joshua. As he takes it—Joshua manifests the greatest interest and excitement. Remember that the Book of the Law had been lost to the devout Israelites during the 70 years of the captivity. Nothing more religiously dramatic can be imagined than its restoration—after all this time—to the captives who have returned to Jerusalem. Even now Joshua cannot be sure as he fumbles nervously to unwrap the scroll and when he has done so-he reads aloud
Jos: "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." (Genesis 1: 1-3).
Joshua nervously unrolls scroll and after very brief pause continues:
And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished.
That Moses commanded the Levites, which bare the ark of the covenant of the LORD, saying,
Take this BOOK OF THE LAW, ... (Deut. 31:24-25-26).
Joshua rises quickly to his feet. Zerubbabel and Haggai get up as quickly as they can. Joshua gives d-g with scroll and with great emotional reverence proclaims—
Jos: The Book of the Law—long lost—now found-Holiness to the Lord!
Joshua hands scroll to Captain of the Host who gives * All arise and give d-g and all say:
"The Book of the Law—long lost—now found— Holiness to the Lord."
CH gives * and all are seated. CH hands scroll to Joshua.
Jos: Let us read further from the Book of the Law.
Joshua reads from scroll—
Jos: "And thou shalt put the mercy seat above upon the ark—and in the ark—thou shalt put the testimony that I shall give thee. (Exodus 25:21).
"And Moses said—This is the thing which the Lord commandeth—Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations—that they may see the bread wherewith I have fed you in the wilderness—when I brought you forth from the land of Egypt.
"And Moses said unto Aaron—Take a pot-and put an omer full of manna therein—and lay it up before the Lord—to be kept for your generations." (Exodus 16:32-33).
"As the Lord commanded Moses—so Aaron laid it up before the testimony—to be kept." (Exodus 16:34).
"And the Lord said unto Moses—Bring Aaron’s rod again before the testimony—to be kept for a token." (Numbers 17:10).
Joshua lays scroll on pedestal before him without comment.
Jos: Companion Captain of the Host: You will see if you can read the inscriptions on the box.
CH stands at north of box and turns it around slowly, observing the inscriptions on ends and sides, and then says—
CH: Excellent Grand Council, I am unable to read the inscriptions on the box. They are in characters to me unkonwn.
Joshua during this time has been looking further through the Book of the Law. Now he says, holding it up—
Jos: In the Book of the Law—I find what appears to be a key. Let us endeavor to apply it.
Grand Council descends and stands east of the replica of the Ark. Joshua addresses the brethren—
Jos: Brethren, the Grand Council is of the opinion—that this most valuable discovery—is an imitation of the Ark of the Covenant—containing a true copy of the Book of Law— an imitation of a pot of manna—and of Aaron’s rod—and a piece of parchment— having on it apparently a key—by means of which we may be able to read the characters.
The original Ark of the Covenant-—built by Moses, Aholiab and Bazaleel—was burned when the Temple was destroyed. As the Ark of the Covenant was a symbol of the Divine Presence with—and protection of the Jewish people—and a pledge of the stability of their nation—as long as they obeyed the commands of God—so is this copy of the Ark—a symbol of God’s presence with us—as long as we live in conformity with the precepts-contained in the Book of the Law.
CH turns the box while Grand Council compares key with characters and as Joshua calls the attention of the brethren to them.
Jos: By this key we are enabled to read these mysterious characters.
Jos: On this side is inscribed Solomon King of Israel—on this end Hiram King of Tyre—on this end Hiram Abif—and on this side Anno Lucis 3000-meaning—deposited in the Year of Light 3000 by Solomon King of Israel— Hiram King of Tyre and Hiram Abif—for the benefit of the Craft in general—but the Jewish Nation in particular.
Grand Council manifests surprise when they begin to examine the triangle on top. After a brief consideration of the characters Joshua exclaims
Jos: And on the top—engraved on a triangular plate of gold—is the long lost Master’s Word —which was lost upon the death of our Grand Master Hiram Abif—and which the faithful of the craft were to receive when future generations should discover it. We will now invest you with this word.
There should be ample room to enable the groups to form without being cramped. The CE, PS and RAC assist. The center group consists of the HP, RAC and candidate. The north group consists of the K, CH and candidate. The south group consists of the S, PS and candidate. The candidate in each group being placed on the right of the Grand Council officer.
The HP will direct: Form triangle with left feet. With the left hand grasp the left wrist of the Companion on the left. With the right hand-grasp the right wrist of the Companion on the left. Right arms above.
Jos: "And God spake unto Moses and said unto him—I am the Lord—and I appeared unto Abraham—unto Isaac—and unto Jacob by the name of God Almighty—but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them." (Exodus 6:2-3).
We will now communicate the MW. Kneel on your right knee. Balance three times three.
Arch raised with right arms. Each officer of the Grand Council gives the first syllable to the Companion on his left-who gives the second syllable to candidate-who tells him what the third syllable is and directs him to give it to the officer of the Grand Council. Then the PS, CR, RAC give first syllable to candidate and direct him to give second to officer of Grand Council who gives the third syllable and then the candidate gives the first syllable to officer of Grand Council—he-the second to Companion on his left and he-the third to candidate.
Jos: It is the Ineffable name of D.
Jos: We will now communicate the GRAW. Arise.
Keep the Arch formed on arising and give GRAW in same manner. If the key is to be explained the RAG should prepare a double blackboard-with the key and the two sets of characters drawn thereon—before the work starts. The blackboard should be placed on a pedestal in a convenient place. RAC will open it when the Companion explaining the key is ready to begin.
Ex: I will now explain the key by means of which we were enabled to read the characters on the box. Here are two perpendicular lines crossing two horizontal lines and here are two lines crossing each other at an elevation of 45 degrees.
Commencing at the top and reading to the right-we take the first angle for the letter A—the second for the letter B. Going on in this manner we have the letters of the alphabet to and including the letter M. Then going back to the first angle and placing a dot in it for the letter N—the second angle with a dot for the letter O—in this way we get the entire alphabet.
Jos: The MW is composed of four Hebrew characters.
The Companion giving these lines should pick up the triangle and carefully point out the characters from right to left.
Jos: Corresponding in our language to JHVH— reading Hebrew from right to left-when translated we put them in the English order—and cannot be pronounced without the aid of vowels—which are supplied by the key or covering words—which are found on the three sides of the triangle. In translating these characters—we follow the Hebrew order—and begin on the right side of the triangle.
The candidates—with the assistance of the HP or whoever is explaining the translation and the key—read the, characters. As the letters are translated the HP places each letter opposite each character and places the vowel in its proper position.
Jos: The three key or covering words—when combined—form .a word of three syllables—which has become the GRAW. Having these words translated we follow the English order—taking the word on the left of the triangle for the first syllable—on the right for the second— and on the base for the third.
These words can only be given as you have received them—by three times three—under a living arch—and over a triangle.
In your obligation you solemnly swore that you would not unlawfully make-reveal-or retain-the key to the mysterious characters of this degree—and would destroy it immediately after using it.
The CH will destroy the key on the blackboard and also the one on paper.
Jos: The step of a R.A.M. is made by advancing one step with the left foot-bringing the heel of the right to the heel of the left—thereby forming the right angle of a perfect square. This is the due guard. It alludes to the position in which the Brother found his hand placed on ascending from the vault. This is the sign. It refers to the penalty of your obligation. Upon entering or leaving a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons you will advance to the Altar and give the due guard and sign.
We now present you with the working tools of a Royal Arch Mason. In addition to the Crow—Pick-axe and Spade are the Square and Compasses which have been presented to you in every degree of Masonry through which you have passed. The Square teaches us as Royal Arch Masons that God has made all things square—upright and perfect.
The Compasses is used by Operative Masons to describe circles, and the circle is a striking emblem of the relation in which the creature stands to the Creator. For as every part of the circumference of a circle is equally near and equally distant from its center—so is every creature whom God has made—to Him—equally near and equally distant.
The motto of Royal Arch Masonry is "Holiness to the Lord."
The Companion giving these lines now picks up the equilateral triangle and exhibits it to the
candidates and says—
The equilateral or perfect triangle is the principal emblem of a Royal Arch Mason. It is also an emblem of the three essential attributes of Deity-namely Omnipresence, Omniscience and Omnipotence. As the three sides or equal angles form but one triangle-so these three equal attributes constitute but one God.
King and Scribe will have aprons in readiness so that there will be no delay-and will assist in placing them on candidates.
I now present you with the apron of a Royal Arch Mason. Its color is white-embroidered in red—symbolizing the purity of your intentions—and the fervency and zeal which should actuate you—in the performance of every duty—in promoting the noble and glorious work of building the Temple of your life-and in your labors for all mankind.
The Triple Tau in a triangle—within a circle— is the emblem of emblems of a Royal Arch Mason— typifying the Sacred Name-the Author of Eternal Life.
It is worn as a mark of distinction—separating us who know and worship the true name-from those who are ignorant of this august mystery.
May you wear it as one who-knowing and believing—may find in it the highest hope and faith ever given to man.
Members Grand Council return to stations. The candidate is seated and if lecture is given the Companion selected to deliver lecture will come forward and address the candidates from the floor in front of the dais. If the HP delivers the lecture he will do it from his station.
The importance of this lecture cannot be overemphasized.
And now-my Companions-you have received all the instruction that pertains to our noble Craft. You have ascended by regular gradations—to the summit of our sublime and Royal art.
You have teen conducted around the outer courts of the Temple-viewed its beautiful proportions-its massive pillars-its star decked canopy-its mosaic pavements-its lights-jewels and furniture.
You have been introduced into the Middle Chamber—and you learned—by the example of our ancient brethren—to reverence the sacred name of Deity.
You have entered the unfinished Sanctum Sanctorum and there—in the integrity and inflexible fidelity of the illustrious Tyrian—witnessed an example of firmness and fortitude never surpassed in the history of man.
You have wrought in the quarries-and exhibited speciments of your skill—and have been taught how to receive—in a proper manner—your Masonic wages.
You have regularly passed the chair—and learned its important duties—a knowledge of which can alone qualify you—to preside over the sons of light.
You have been present and assisted at the completion and dedication of our mystic temple-and for your zeal and fidelity to the Craft—have received the congratulatory title of Most Excellent Master.
You have now witnessed the mournful desolation of Zion—the sack and destruction of the city and Temple of God—and the utter loss-as the world supposed—of all those articles contained in the Holy of Holies.
You have seen the chosen people of God—forced by a foreign despot—from the pleasant groves and peaceful vineyards of their native Israel—and dragged into captivity on the banks of the far off Euphrates.
But you have seen those afflicted sons of Zion visited—in the darkest night of their adversity—by a peaceful light from heaven-which guided them over rough and rugged roads-to the scene of their former glory.
You have seen them enabled by the Signet of Eternal Truth—to pass the veils that interposed between them and their fondest hopes.
You have seen them successfully engaged in the great and glorious work—of rebuilding the House of the Lord.
And finally—you have seen the sacred treasures of the first Temple brought to light-and the blessed book restored to the longing eyes of the devout Israelites—to be the rule and guide—the comfort and support—of the people of God—throughout ail future time.
And-my Companions: If in all these things—you have seen only a series of unmeaning rites—if the spirit of truth has not applied to your hearts—the morals of these ceremonies—then-indeed-have we labored in vain—and you have spent your strength for naught.
But we are persuaded to believe better things of you. We trust that you have entered into the spirit of these solemn ceremonies—and understand the full import of these interesting symbols—that all the forms and ceremonies through which you have passed—from the moment you first trod the outer courts of the Temple-until your final reception within the veils—have deeply impressed on your minds—the great and fundamental principles of our time honored institution. For then—and only then—can you justly claim the noble name of free mason. Then-and only then-can you feel that friendship-that union-that zeal-and that purity of heart-—which should actuate everyone who would appropriate to himself the proud title—of a workman that needeth not to be ashamed.
HP, ***: Worthy Companions. By the consent and assistance of the members of this Chapter—you are now exalted to the sublime and honorable degree of Royal Arch Mason.
The rites and mysteries developed in this degree have been handed down through a chosen few— unchanged by time and uncontrolled by prejudice— by you with the same veneration—and transmitted and we expect and trust that they will be regarded with the same scrupulous purity to your successors.
No one can reflect on the ceremonies of gaining admission into this place-without being forcibly struck with the important lessons which they teach. Here we are necessarily led to contemplate with gratitude and admiration—the sacred source from which all earthly comforts flow. Here we find additional inducements to continue steadfast and immovable in the discharge of our respective duties—and here we are bound by the most solemn ties—to promote each other’s welfare and correct each other’s failings—by advice-admonition and reproof.
As it is our earnest desire—and a duty we owe to our Companions of this Order—that the admission of every candidate into this Chapter should be attended by the approbation of the most scrutinizing eye—we hope always to possess the satisfaction of finding none among us—but such as will promote to the utmost of his power—the great end of our institution.
By paying due attention to this determination-we expect you will never recommend any candidate to this Chapter—whose abilities and knowledge of the preceding degrees you cannot freely vouch for— and whom you do not firmly and confidently believe—will fully conform to the principles of our order— and fulfill the obligations of a Royal Arch Mason.
While such are our members—we may expect to be united in one object-without lukewarmness-inattention or neglect-but zeal-fidelity and affection will be the distinguishing characteristics of our society—and that satisfaction-harmony and peace may be enjoyed at our meetings—which no other society can afford.
HP gives * which seats Companions.
HP: Companion Royal Arch Captain, you will see that the outer courts of the Tabernacle are duly guarded and inform the Guard that I am about to close … Chapter No. … Royal Arch Masons and direct him to guard accordingly.
RAC about faces-goes to door and gives *** *** *.
Guard responds with *** *** *. RAC opens door and says-so that all may hear-
RAC: Companion Guard: The High Priest is about to close … Chapter No. … Royal Arch Masons. You are directed to guard accordingly.
RAC closes door and remains standing near it and reports
RAC: Excellent High Priest, the outer courts of the Tabernacle are duly guarded.
HP gives *** which calls up entire Chapter. Chaplain gives prayer-
By the wisdom of the Supreme High Priest may we be directed—by his strength may we be enabled—and by the beauty of virtue may we be incited—to perform the obligations here enjoined on us; to keep inviolably the mysteries here unfolded to us—and invariably to practice all those duties out of the Chapter which are inculcated in it. Amen.
Response: So mote it be.
HP: Companion. Principal Sojourner: Close the three Great Lights.
PS goes to the Altar—reverently closes the Great Lights-takes them to the Secretary and turns to his station.
HP: In the name of God and Zerubbabel I now declare … Chapter No. … closed in form on the Royal Arch degree. Companion Royal Arch Captain, inform the guard.
RAC opens door without raps and says
RAC: Companion Guard, the Chapter is closed.
RAC: Excellent High Priest: That duty has been performed.
HP gives * which dissolves the Chapter.