What is RA Masonry?
Royal Arch Freemasonry provides an outstanding opportunity for Master Masons desirous of Further Light in Masonry to explore some of the deeper mysteries of the Craft. The degrees of the Chapter are truly some of the most profound and impressive within the whole Family of Freemasonry.
Most impressive of all is the Royal Arch Degree itself. In a beautiful ceremony that takes the candidate through the destruction of King Solomonís Temple, the seventy years of the Babylonian Captivity, and the ultimate return to the Holy Land to help, aid and assist in the rebuilding of the Temple to the Most High.
Every Master Mason aspires to attain the summit of Ancient Craft Masonry. Many feel with regret that it is not practicable for them to share in all the light shed by the several bodies, but all wish most earnestly to receive all the light and instruction which pertains to the Ancient Craft - the origin and foundation of the Institution.
In the life of every Master Mason, there comes a time when he realizes that he has not yet attained that goal, that he is not yet in possession of all the rights and light of a Master Mason, as these were known and understood by his ancient brethren.
The preparatory Degrees conferred in the Chapter are those of Mark Master Mason (this is also conferred by the Lodge when agreement with Grand Lodge and Supreme was reached that either body could confer the Degree) and Excellent Master. Both are beautiful and interesting. They teach valuable lessons, but the Most Sublime Degree of Royal Arch Mason is more august and important than all that precedes it. It brings to light many essentials of the Craft contained ONLY in this Most Sublime Degree and explains many cryptic passages of the first three Degrees incomprehensible to the Master Mason. Without knowledge of these, the Masonic character cannot be complete.
All who are exalted to that Most Sublime Degree, particularly by those who are seeking ∑to complete their Masonic education will justly appreciate the value of Royal Arch Masonry. It reveals the full light of Ancient Craft masonry, presents it as a complete system in accordance with the original plan and confers at last the rights and light of a Master Mason, in fact as well as in name.
After the Craft Degrees The Royal Arch is the gateway to all other Degrees in Freemasonry the most closely linked are the Cryptic Council and The Royal Ark Mariners.