Royal Arch Notes
1. THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH – The United Grand Lodge of England has declared that “..pure Ancient Masonry consists of Three Degrees and no more, viz: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow-Craft and the Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch..” It is this Order, the Holy Royal Arch, which is the final step for a Master Mason and finishes his experience of a complete philosophy of life. It is the next (and natural) step for a Master Mason to take.
2. ABREVIATIONS – An Excellent Companion may be described as ‘E. Comp.’ but never as ‘Ex. Comp.’.
3. CHAPTERS SUMMONSES – Each Chapter Scribe E must send an electronic copy of the Chapter Summons of every meeting of his Chapter to the Assistant Provincial Grand Scribe Ezra at email@example.com for approval prior to issuing to the Chapter membership.
4. COMMUNICATIONS –
a. All communications to the M. E. G. Supt. must be made through the Prov. G. Scribe E.
b. All communications with Grand Chapter or the Grand Scribe E (including ALL Annual Returns and cheques) should be made through the Prov. G. Scribe E.
c. All communications to other Provinces must be made through the Prov. G.
Scribe E., who will then correspond with that other Province through their own Prov. G. Scribe E. The reply, if any, will be carried out by the same process, but in reverse.
d. The M. E. G. Supt. should be described as ‘..in and over the Province of Norfolk..’ and not ‘..of ..’ or ‘..for the Province of Norfolk..’. He is to be addressed in public as ‘Most Excellent G. Supt.’ or ‘G. Supt.’ or as ‘Sir’.
e. Neither the Grand Superintendent nor the Deputy Grand Superintendent have
‘Provincial’ in their title.
5. GREETINGS – Active Provincial Grand Officers do not give greetings, unless, at the same time as holding their Active Provincial Office, they are 1st Principal of their own Chapter.
6. INVITATIONS – A prompt reply to any Summons is a matter of courtesy and greatly assists the Chapter Scribe.
7. JANITOR’S TOAST – In some Chapters, the Janitor’s Toast is given in the form of the Tyler’s Toast without confining it to R. A. Masons. There is no objection to this and much in its favour.
8. JEWELS – The Jewel of the Order must be worn by ALL Companions. The wearing of a PZ Jewel alone is not a compliance with this rule. The Jewel of the Order is worn pendent from a narrow ribbon on the left breast, the colour varying in accordance with the rank of the Companion as follows:
a. Tri-coloured – Present and Past Grand and Provincial Grand Officers (if Installed Principals)
b. Crimson – Present and Past Principals
c. White – all other Companions, including Provincial Grand Officers who are not Installed Principals.
d. Jewels should be worn in the following order from the centre: of the Order; PZ; Centenary. Royal Arch Jewels may be worn in a Craft Lodge but Craft Jewels (other than the Tercentenary or Festival Jewel) may not be worn in a Chapter. The Craft Tercentenary Jewel may be worn with Royal Arch regalia at all Chapter meetings, including Supreme Grand Chapter.
9. LOYAL TOAST – The correct form of the first toast is ‘The King and Royal Arch Masonry’
10. PAST PRINCIPALS – If one of the Chapter Principals vacates his Chair temporarily for a Past Principal to take part in the Ceremony of Exaltation (or for any other reason), the latter must not be invested with the Collar of the Principal whose Chair he is to occupy, but must be clothed according to his rank. At other times, a Past Principal filling an Office as a substitute should wear the Collar of the Office he is filling.
11. PROVINCIAL GRAND CHAPTER – Supreme Grand Chapter Officers, Present and Past Provincial Grand Officers, Past First Principals and, most especially, the current Three Principals of the Several Chapters in the Province are reminded they are summoned to attend the Provincial Grand Chapter Convocation and, as such, it is obligatory for each to return their attendance form, which can be issued with the Spring edition of the New Ashlar, via the Chapter Scribe E or electronically, by the deadline stated thereon, either to confirm their presence or record their apology. Compliance with this essential duty enables the Provincial Grand Scribe E to correctly formulate processional, seating and dining plans in good time for this prestigious event.
12. ROYAL ARCH REGULATIONS – The Royal Arch Regulations are contained in the Book of Constitutions. They can also be found at (and downloaded from), www.supremegrandchapter.org.uk
13. SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER TIES – It is desirable that the Provincial Tie takes preference over the Supreme Grand Chapter tie in all Norfolk Chapters to comply with the Grand Superintendent’s request.
For Directors of Ceremonies
1. As the Three Provincial Grand Principals, like the Three Principals of a Private Chapter, are to be considered ‘conjointly as the Master and each severally as a Master.’, it follows that, when visiting a Chapter, they do so in their own right. Thus, the 2nd or 3rd Prov. G. Principals will not be announced, or referred to, as ‘representing the M. E. G. Supt…’ and will demand admission. Likewise, the Dep. G. Supt will be announced as such and will also demand admission.
2. The reception of the Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter or Provincial Grand Chapter, who are visiting as official representatives of the M. E. G. Supt., will be announced as attending at the bequest and direction of the M.E.G. Supt., and will request admission.
3. RECEPTION OF THE M. E. G. SUPT., THE DEP. G. SUPT., THE 2nd PROV. G. PRINCIPAL AND THE 3rd PROV. G. PRINCIPAL –
a) When the M. E. G. Supt. elects to enter a Chapter before it has been opened, the D.C. will call the Companions to order to receive him, before escorting him to a seat on the immediate right of the Chapter Principals. After the Chapter has been opened, the 1st Principal will offer his Sceptre to the M. E. G. Supt. and the Companions should remain standing while this is done.
b) Should the M. E. G. Supt. enter a Chapter after it has been opened, either because he elects to do so or for any other reason, the same procedure will apply, except that the 1st Principal will offer his Sceptre before inviting him to take his seat on the right of the Principals.
in a) & b), reference to the M. E. G. Supt. is to be taken to include the Dep. G. Supt. or the 2nd Prov. G. Principal or the 3rd Prov. G. Principal.
c) The Sceptre of the 1st Principal should always be offered to the M. E. G. Supt., even when he arrives after it has been offered to one of the other three but, this only applies to the M. E. G. Supt.
d) At Installation meetings:-
i. The Provincial Grand Director of Ceremonies (Deputy or Assistant) will be in attendance to form a deputation to receive the Provincial Executive.
The deputation will consist of the Chapter D.C., and four senior Norfolk Provincial Grand Officers (preferably of the year).
ii. the visiting Provincial Executive may deliver the Scriptural Readings.
e) When the Chapter is closed, the M. E. G. Supt. leaves walking on the right of the Chapter 1st Principal. The 2nd Prov. G. Principal and the 3rd Prov.G. Principal, if also present, walk on the right of the Chapter 2nd and 3rd Principals respectively. The Dep. G. Supt., if also present, follows the Chapter 3rd Principal, unless a Past G. Supt. is present, in which case, the Past G. Supt. will follow the Chapter 3rd Principal with the Dep. G. Supt. following him, save only if the M. E. G. Supt. be not present, the Dep. G. Supt. will walk on the right of the Chapter 1st Principal.
f) In this Province, the 2nd and 3rd Prov. G. Principals are to be seated on the right of the M. E. G. Supt., the Dep. G. Supt. on the right of the 3rd Prov. G. Principal, unless a Past G. Supt. is present, in which case, the Past G. Supt. will sit on the right of the 3rd Prov. G. Principal and the Dep. G. Supt. on the right of the Past G. Supt., save only if the M. E. G. Supt. be not present, the Dep. G. Supt. will sit on the immediate right of the Chapter Principals. Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter follow, with other Provincial Grand Chapter Officers on their right.
g) Officers of Supreme Grand Chapter, holders of the Norfolk Provincial Grand Chapter Order of Merit and Active Officers of Provincial Grand Chapter should be officially welcomed by the Chapter DC at every Chapter meeting, immediately after the Chapter Minutes have been dealt with. Each will stand when named, give a court bow, remain standing until all their peers have been welcomed and then resume their seats together.
John Adrian Parfitt
Provincial Grand Scribe E