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Royal Arch FAQ’s

When can or should I join?

As soon as you receive your Grand Lodge Certificate, if your personal circumstances allow it

Do I have to be invited?

No, it is just as natural as an Initiate being passed to the 2nd Degree. Simply ask your Lodge Royal Arch Representative.

How long will I have to wait from applying?

Once you have applied, it is rare to wait longer than a year.

Do I have to learn answers to questions?

Yes, just the same as with other degrees.

How many degrees are there?

Just the one, the second part of the 3rd Degree.

Is there a lot of Ritual to learn?

It is about the same as the first part of the 3rd Degree that you have undertaken already, but it is up to you if you want to take part. The Ritual is shared among many participants, so nobody has too much to do at once.

If it is the 2nd part of the 3rd Degree, why is the ceremony not conducted in Craft Lodges?

It used to be, but when the union of the two Original Grand Lodges occurred in 1813, it was decided that the Holy Royal Arch was of such a profound nature and that so much of the layout of a lodge room needed to be changed before the ceremony could take place, that it would be better to confer this Supreme Degree separately.

Is the layout of the room and the officers the same as the Craft?

The layout of a Chapter room is very different but some things and officers are the same. The Volume of the Sacred Law lies open, as do the Square and Compasses. The is a Secretary (called a Scribe E), Treasurer, Director of Ceremonies, Almoner and Charity Steward, but most of the other titles such as; Worshipful Master, Wardens, Deacons Inner Guard have gone.

I have heard that the title Companion is used, why?

The members are called Companion rather than Brother. The word Companion comes from the Latin, meaning one with whom you share bread. This term implies an even stronger bond of brotherhood and is highly prized by the members.

I have also heard the word, Convocation. What is that?

Convocation is the term Royal Arch Chapters use for their meetings. It has a similar meaning.

How often do Chapters meet?

Four times per year is usual, one of the convocations is the Installation convocation and the other three are for Exaltations (the Royal Arch word for Initiation).

Do I need different regalia?

Yes. It can either be new or used and is available for purchase from the online shop, other retailers or from the Provincial Office. You will need a Royal Arch Companion’s apron, sash and breast jewel.

Do I need a new tie and gloves?

You don’t need a new tie in Province of Norfolk, as the Craft tie is also the Royal Arch tie – look for the red in your tie, that represents the Royal Arch. There is an official tie for the Order, but at this stage, you do not need it.

You will not need new gloves; gloves are very rarely worn in Royal Arch Chapters.

How do I know which Lodge members are in the Royal Arch?

They will be proudly wearing their Royal Arch Jewel, close to the centre line of the body. Those with a white ribbon are companions, those with a red ribbon are the same as Masters or Past Masters and those with three colours, blue, purple and red, are Provincial or Grand Officers.

Why are some members of my Lodge not in the Royal Arch?

Just as not all are Past Masters, they either have not achieved that distinction yet, their personal circumstances do not allow it or they do not wish to progress in the journey of freemasonry, for now.

Why doesn’t the Provincial Grand Master wear a Royal Arch jewel?

He does, but as the Most Excellent Grand Superintendent in and over the Province Norfolk (the equivalent of the Provincial Grand Master) he wears his special jewel on a collarette.

What can you tell me anything about the ceremony?

As at your Initiation, it is best if you know as little as possible so the impact of what will happen is not diminished. The ceremony is very different from anything you will have experienced before. It is dramatic, colourful and carries a profound message.

Is there a Festive Board and would I have to make a speech?

Yes to both. The Festive Board is similar in many respects as the ones you are used to, though the speeches are fewer and shorter and often the meal is just two or three courses. You will be asked to make a very brief speech at the Festive Board but your Proposer and Seconder will give you help with that.

Why is it so important to you that I join?

We would never put you under any pressure to join but it is surely the same as to how you now view good men who are not freemasons. You know how wonderful it is, why would you not want a friend to join? You are our brother, as such, we want you to share with us the wonder of The Holy Royal Arch.