THE MASONIC MANUAL
A pocket Companion for the Initiated
Compiled and arranged
by Robert Macoy
Revised Edition 1867
ORDER OF HIGH PRIESTHOOD
THIS order appertains to the office of High
Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter; and no one can be legally entitled to
receive it, until he has been duly elected to preside as High Priest in a
regular Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. This order should
not be conferred when a less number than
nine duly qualified High Priests are present. It should be conferred by
the Grand High Priest of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, or such Present or
Past High Priest as he may designate for that purpose. A convention,
notified to meet at the time of any communication of the Grand Chapter,
will afford the best opportunity of conferring this important and exalted
degree of Masonry with appropriate solemnity. Whenever it is conferred,
the following directions are to be observed:
A candidate desirous of receiving the order
of High Priesthood, makes a written request to his predecessor in office,
or, when it can be done, to the Grand High Priest, respectfully requesting
that a convention of High Priests may be called, for the purpose of
conferrinig on him the order. When the convention meets, and is duly
organized, a certificate of the due election of the candidate to the
office of High Priest must be produced. This certificate is signed by his
predecessor in office, attested by the Secretary of the Chapter. On
examination of this certificate, the qualifications of the candidate are
ascertained. The solemn ceremonies of conferring the order upon him then
ensue. When ended, the presiding officer directs the Secretary of the
convention to make a record of the proceedings, and return it to the
of the Grand Chapter, to be by him laid
before the Grand High Priest, for the information of all whom it may
concern. The convention of High Priests is then closed in due form.
It is the duty of every companion as soon
after his election to the office of High Priest as is consistent with his
personal convenience, to apply for admission to the order of High
Priesthood, that he may be fully qualified properly to govern his Chapter.
* * * * * * * *
The following passages of Scripture are
made use of during the ceremonies appertaining to this order:
And they took Lot, Abram's brother's son
(who dwelt in Sodom), and his goods, and departed. And there came one that
had escaped, and told Abram the Hebrew; for he dwelt in the plain of Mamre
the Amorite, brother of Eschol, and brother of Aner; and these were
confederate with Abram. And when Abram heard that his brother was taken
captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three
hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan. And he divided himself
against them, he and his servants, by night, and smote them, and pursued
them unto Hobah, which is on the left hand of Damascus. And he brought
back all the goods, and also brought again his brother Lot, and his goods,
and the women also,
and the people. And the king of Sodom went
out to meet him, after his return from the slaughter oI Chedorlaomer, and
of the kings that were with him, at the valley of Shevah, which is the
king's dale. And Melehizedek, king of Salem, brought forth bread and wine:
and he was the priest of the most high GOD. And he blessed him, and said,
Blessed be Abram of the most high GOD, which hath delivered thine enemies
into thine hand. And he gave him tithes of all. And the king of Sodom said
unto Abram, Give me the persons, and take the goods to thyself. And Abram
said to the king of Sodom, I have lifted up my hand unto the LORD, the
most high GOD, the possessor of heaven and earth, that I will not take
from a thread even to a shoe-latchet, and that I will not take anything
that is thine, lest thou shouldst say, I have made Abram rich: save only
that which the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men which went
with me, Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion. - GENESIS
* * * * * * * *
And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,
Speak unto Aaron, and unto his sons, saying, On this wise ye shall bless
the children of Israel, saying unto them, the LORD bless thee, and keep
thee; the LORD make his face to shine upon thee, and be gracious unto
thee; the LORD lift up his coun-
tenance upon thee, and give thee peace. -
NUMB vi. 22-26.
* * * * * * * *
For this Melchizedec, king of Salem, priest
of the most high GOD, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the
kings, and blessed him; to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all,
first being by interpretation, King of righteousness, and after that also,
King of Salem, which is, King of peace; without father, without mother,
without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life, but
made like unto the Son of GOD, abideth a priest continually. Now consider
how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the
tenth of the spoils. And verily, they that are of the sons of Levi, who
receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of
the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they
come out of the loins of Abraham. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest
forever after the order of Melchisedec. And inasmuch as not without an
oath he was made priest. For those priests (under the Levitical law) were
made without an oath; but this with an oath, by him that said unto him,
the LORD sware, and will not repent, Thou art a priest forever after the
order of Melchizcdec. - HEB. vii. 1-5-17-20-21.
* * * * * * * *
CEREMONIES AND CHARGES
UPON CONSTITUTING AND
DEDICATING A ROYAL ARCH CHAPTER AND INSTALLING ITS OFFICERS.
- The Grand Officers will meet at a
convenient place and open.
- The subordinate Chapter will meet in the
outer courts of their hall, and form an avenue for the reception of the
- When formed, they will dispatch a
Committee to the place where the Grand officers are assembled, to inform
the Grand Marshal that the Chapter is prepared to receive them; the
Grand Marshal will announce the committee and introduce them to the
- The Grand officers will move in
procession, conducted by the committee, to the hall of the Chapter, in
the following order:
Two Grand Stewards;
Representatives of subordinate Chapters, according to seniority, by
Three Great Lights;
Orator, Chaplain and other Clergy;
Grand Secretary, Grand Treasurer, and Grand Royal Arch Captain;
*) Grand P. Sojourner, Grand Captain of the
*) The Grand P. Sojourner, Grand Captain of the Host, and Grand Royal Arch
Captain, are appointed p?? temp(?)ore.
Host, and Deputy Grand High Priest;
Grand Scribe, Grand King, and Grand High Priest.
When the Grand High Priest enters the
grand honors are given.
- The Grand Secretary will then call over
the names of the officers elect; and the Grand High Priest will ask
whether they accept their respective offices. If they answer in the
affirmative, he then asks the members whether they remain satisfied with
their choice. If they answer in the affirmative, he directs their
officers to approach the sacred volume, and become qualified for
- The Grand Marshal will then form the
whole in procession, and they will march through the veils into
the inner apartment, where they will surround the altar, which is
previously prepared, in ample form, for the occasion.
- All present will kneel, and the
following prayer will be recited:
"Almighty and Supreme High Priest of heaven and earth! Who is there in
heaven but thee, and who upon earth can stand in competition with thee?
Thy OMNISCIENT mind brings all things in review, past, present and to
come; thine OMNIPOTENT arm directs the movements of the vast creation;
thine OMNIPRESENT eye pervades the secret recesses of every heart; thy
boundless beneficence supplies us with every comfort and enjoyment; and
thine unspeakable perfections and glory surpass the under-
standing of the children of men! Our
Father, who art in heaven, we invoke thy benediction upon the purposes
of our present assembly. Let this Chapter be established to thine honor:
let its officers be endowed with wisdom to discern, and fidelity to
pursue, its true interests; let its members be ever mindful of the duty
they owe to their GOD; the obedience they owe to their superiors; the
love they owe to their equals, and the good will they owe to all
mankind. Let this Chapter be consecrated to thy glory, and it members
ever exemplify their love to GOD by their beneficence to man.
Glory be to GOD on high.
Response - "So mote it be. Amen."
The officers are then qualified in due
All the Companions, except High Priests
and Past High Priests, are then desired to withdraw, while the new High
Priest is solemnly bound to the performanee of his duties; and after the
performance of other necessary ceremonies, not proper to be written,
they are permitted to return.
- The whole then return to their
appropriate stations; when the Grand Marshal will form a general
procession, in the following order:
Three Royal Arch Stewards with Rods;
Tyler of a Lodge;
Stewards of Lodges, having Jewels;
Deacons, having Jewels;
Secretaries, having Jewels;
Treasurers, having Jewels;
Wardens, having Jewels;
Mark Master Masons;
M. E. Masters;
Royal Arch Masons, by three;
Royal Masters, by three;
Select Masters, by three;
Orders of Knighthood;
Tyler of the new Chapter;
Members of the new Chapter, by three;
Three Masters of Veils;
Secretary, Treasurer, R. A. Captain; and
P. Sojourner, carrying the Ark;
A Companion, carrying the Pot of Incense;
Two Companions, carrying Lights;
Scribe, High Priest and King;
Grand Chapter, as before prescribed;
On arriving at the church, or house where
the services are to be performed, they halt, open to the right and left,
and face inward, while the Grand officers and others in succession, pass
through and enter the house.
- The officers and members of the new
Chapter, and also of the Grand Chapter, being seated, the Grand Marshal
proclaims silence, and the ceremonies commence.
- An Anthem or Ode is to be performed.
- An Oration or Address is to be
- An Ode or piece of Music.
- The Deputy Grand High Priest then rises
and informs the Grand High Priest, that "a number of Companions, duly
instructed in the sublime mysteries, being desirous of promoting the
honor, and propagating the principles of the Art, have applied to the
Grand Chapter for a warrant to constitute a new Chapter of Royal Arch
Masons, which, having been obtained, they are now assembled for the
purpose of being constituted, and having their officers installed in due
and ancient form.
- The Grand Marshal will then form the
officers and members of the new Chapter in front of the Grand officers;
after which, the Grand High Priest directs the Grand Secretary to read
- The Grand High Priest then rises and
says, By virtue of the high powers in me vested, I do form you, my
respected Companions, into a regular Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. From
henceforth you are authorised and empowered to open and hold a lodge of
Mark Masters, Past Masters, and Most Excellent Masters, and a Chapter of
Royal Arch Masons; and to do and perform all such things as thereunto
may appertain; conforming, in all your doings, to the General Grand
Royal Arch Constitution, and the general regulations of the State Grand
Chapter. And may the God of your fathers
be with you, guide and direct you in all your doings."
- The furniture, clothing, jewels,
implements, utensils, etc., belonging to the Chapter, (having been
previously placed in the centre, in front of the Grand officers,
covered,) are now incovered, and the new Chapter is dedicated in due and
- The dedication then follows: the Grand
Chaplain saying, "To our Most Excellent Patron, ZERUBBABEL, we solemnly
dedicate this Chapter. May the blessing of our Heavenly High Priest
descend and rest upon its members, and may their felicity be immortal.
"Glory be to GOD on high." - Response by the Companions.
"As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without
end! Amen". - "So mote it be."
- The Grand Marshal then says, "I am
directed to proclaim, and I do hereby proclaim, this Chapter, by the
name of -- Chapter,*) duly onsecrated, constituted and dedicated. This,
- An Ode.
*) All legally constituted bodies of Roal Arch Masons are called Chapters;
as regular bodies of Masons of the preceding degrees, are called Lodges.
Every Chapter ought to assemble for work, at least ones in three months;
and must consist of a High Priest, King, Scribe, Captain of the Host,
Principal Sojourner, Royl Arch Captain, three Grand Masters of the Veils,
Treasurer, Secretary, Tyler and as many members as may be found convenient
for working to advantage.
- The Deputy Grand High Priest will then
present the first officer of the new Chapter to the Grand High Priest,
"MOST EXCELLENT GRAND HIGH
PRIEST: - I present you my worthy Companion -- --, nominated in the
warrant, to be installed High Priest of this (new) Chapter. I find him
to be skillful in the royal art, and attentive to the moral precepts of
our forefathers, and have therefore no doubt but he will discharge the
duties of his office with fidelity.
The officers of the Chapter officiate in the lodges, holden for conferring
the preparatory degrees, according to rank, as follows, viz:
The High Priest, as Master.
The King, as Senior Warden.
The Scibe, as Jnior Warden.
The Captain of the Host, as Marshal or Master of Ceremonies.
The Principal Sojourner, as Senior Deacon.
The Royal Arch Chapter as Junior Deacon.
The Master of the First Veil, as Jnior Overser.
The Master of the Second Veil, as Senior Overseer.
The Master of the Third Veil, Master Overseer.
The Treasurer, Secretary, Chaplain, Stewards and Tyler, as officers of
The High Priest of every Chapter has it in
special charge, to see that the by-laws of his Chapter, as well as the
General Grand Royal Arch Constitution, and all the regulations of the
Grand Chapter are duly observed; that all the officers of his Chapter
perform the duties of their respective offices faithfully, and are
examples of diligence and industry to their companions; that true and
accurate records of all the proceedings of the Chapter are kept by the
Secretary; that the Treasurer keeps and render exact and just accounts of
al the moneys and other property belonging to the Chapter; that the
regular returns be made annualy to the Grand Chapter; and that the annual
does to the Grand Chapter be regularly and punctually paid. He has the
right and authority of calling his chapter together at pleasure, upon any
emergency or occurence which, in his judgment, may require their meeting.
It is his privleg and duty, together with the King and Scribe, to attend
the meeting of the Grand Chapter, either in person or by proxy and the
wpell-being of the institution requires that this duty should on no
occasion be omitted.
The Grand High Priest then addresses him
MOST EXCELLENT COMPANION.
- I feel much satisfaction in performing my duty on the present
occasion, by installing you into the office of High Priest of this (new)
Chapter. It is an office highly honorable to all those who diligently
perform the important duties annexed to it. Your reputed Masonic
knowledge, however, precludes the necessity of a particular enumeration
of those duties. I shall, therefore only observe, that by a frequent
recurrence to the constitution, and general regulations and constant
practice of the several sublime lectures and charges, you will be best
able to fulfill them; and I am confident that the Companions who are
chosen to preside with you, will give strength to your endeavors, and
support your exertions. I shall now propose certain questions to you,
relative to the duties of your office, and to which I must request your
- Do you solemnly promise that you will
redouble your endeavors to correct the vices, purify the morals and
promote the happiness of those of your Companions, who have attained
this sublime degree?
- That you will never suffer your
Chapter to be opened, unless there be present nine regular Royal Arch
- That You will never suffer either more
or less than three brethren to be exalted in your Chapter at one and
the same time?
- That you will not exalt any one to
this degree, who has not shown a charitable and humane disposition; or
who has not made a considerable proficiency in the foregoing degree?
- That you will promote the general good
of our order, and, on all proper occasions, be ready to give and
receive instructions, and particularly from the General and State
- That to the utmost of your power, you
will preserve the solemnities of our ceremonies, and behave, in open
Chapter, with the most profound respect and reverence, as an example
to your Companions?
- That you will not acknowledge or have
intercourse with any Chapter that does not work under a constitutional
warrant or dispensation.
- That you will not admit any visitor
into your Chapter, who has not been exalted in a Chapter legally
constituted, without his being first formally healed?
- That you will observe and support such
by-laws as may be made by your Chapter, in conformity to the General
Grand Royal Arch Constitution, and the general regulations of the
- That you will pay due respect and
obedience to the instructions of the General and State Grand
officers, particularly relating to the
several lectures and charges, and will resign the chair to them,
severally, when they may visit your Chapter?
- That you will support and observe the
General Grand Royal Arch Constitution, and the general regulations of
the Grand Royal Arch Chapter, under whose authority you act?
- Do you submit to all these things, and
do you promise to observe and practice them faithfully?
These questions being answered in the
affirmative, the Companions all kneel, and the Grand Chaplain repeats
the following prayer:
"Most Holy and glorious LORD GOD, the
Great High Priest of heaven and earth! we approach thee with reverence,
and implore thy blessing on the Companion appointed to preside over this
new assembly, and now prostrate before thee; fill his heart with thy
fear, that his tongue and actions may pronounce thy glory. Make him
steadfast in thy service grant him firmness of mind; animate his heart,
and strengthen his endeavors; may he teach thy judgments and thy laws;
and may the incense he shall put before thee, upon thine altar, prove an
acceptable sacrifice unto thee. Bless him, O LORD, and bless the work of
his hands. Accept us, in mercy; hear thou from heaven, thy
dwelling-place, and forgive our transgressions
Response - " So mote it be"
- The Grand High Priest will then cause
the High Priest elect to be invested with his clothing, badges, &c;
after which he will address him as follows:
MOST EXCELLENT: - In consequence of your
cheerful acquiescence with the charges, which you have heard recited,
you are qualified for installation as the High Priest of this Royal Arch
Chapter; and it is incumbent upon me, on this occasion, to point out
some of the particulars appertaining to your office, duty and dignity.
The office of High Priest is a station
highly honorable to all those who diligently perform the important
duties annexed to it. By a frequent recurrence to the constitution and
general regulations, and a constant practice of the several sublime
lectures and charges, you will be best enabled to fulfill those duties;
and I am confident that the Companions, who are chosen to preside with
you, will give strength to your endeavors, and support to your
Let the mitre, with
which you are invested, remind you of the dignity of the office you
sustain, and its inscription impress upon your mind a sense of your
dependence upon GOD; that perfection is not given unto man upon earth,
and that perfect holiness belongeth alone unto the LORD.
The breast-plate with which you
are decorated, in imitation of that upon which were engraven the names
of the twelve tribes, and worn by the High Priest of Israel, is to teach
you that you are always to bear in mind your responsibility to the laws
and ordinances of the institution, and that the honor and interests of
your Chapter and its members, should be always near your heart.
The various colors of the robes
you wear, are emblematical of every grace and virtue which can adorn and
beautify the human mind; each of which will be briefly illustrated in
the course of the charges to be delivered to your subordinate officers.
I now deliver into your
hands the Charter under which you are to work; you will receive
it as a sacred deposit, and never permit it to be used for any other
purposes than those expressed in it.
I present you with the
Book of the Law, the great Light in every degree of Masonry. The
doctrines contained in this sacred volume, create in us a belief in the
dispensations of Divine Providence, which belief strengthens our FAITH,
and enables us to ascend the first step of the Grand Masonic Ladder.
This faith natu rally produces in us a HOPE of becoming partakers of the
promises expressed in this inestimable gift of GOD to man; which hope
enables us to ascend the second step. But the third and last being
CHARITY, comprehends the former, and will continue to exert
its influence, when Faith shall be lost
in sight, and Hope in complete enjoyment.
present you with the Constitution of the General Grand Royal Arch
Chapter; the Rules and Regulations of the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of
this State; and also, with the By-laws of your Chapter. You will
cause all these to be frequently read and punctually obeyed.
And now, Most Excellent, permit me, in
behalf of the Craft here assembled, to offer you our most sincere
congratulations on your accession to the honorable station you now fill.
I doubt not you will govern with such order and regularity as to
convince your Companions that their partiality has not been misplaced.
Companions of Chapter, -- Behold your
High Priest. [They rise and bow, or, if the Installation be not
public, salute him with the honors of Royal Arch Masonry.] Recollect
that the prosperity of your Chapter will as much depend on your support,
assistance and obedience, as on his assidutity, information and wisdom.
The Marshal of the Chapter will
then present the second officer to the Deputy Grand High Priest, who
will present him to the Grand High Priest. The Grand high Priest will
then ask him whether he has attended to the ancient charges and
regulations before recited to his superior officer; if no answers in the
affirmative, he is asked whether
he fully and freely assents to the same:
if he answers in the affirmative, the Grand High Priest directs his
Deputy to invest him with his clothing, &c., and then addresses him as
CHARGE TO THE KING.
EXCELLENT COMPANION: - The
important station to which you are elected in this Chapter, requires
from you exemplary conduct; its duties demand your most assiduous
attention; you are to second and support your chief in all the
requirements of his office; and should casualties at any time prevent
his attendance, you are to succeed him in the performance of his duties.
Your badge (the Level, surmounted by a Crown) should
remind you, that although you are the representative of a King, and
exalted by office above your companions, yet that you remain upon a
level with them, as respects your duty to GOD, your neighbor, and
yourself; that you are equally bound with them to be obedient to the
laws and ordinances of the institution, to be charitable, humane and
just, and to seek every occasion of doing good.
Your office teaches a striking lesson of
humility. The institutions of political society teach us to con sider
the king as the chief of created beings, and that the first duty of his
subjects is to obey his mandates - but the institutions of our sublime
grees, by placing the King in a situation
subordinate to the High Priest, teaches us that our duty to GOD is
paramount to all other duties, and should ever claim the priority of our
obedience to man; and that, however strongly we may be bound to obey the
laws of civil society, yet that those laws, to be just, should never
intermeddle with matters of conscience, nor dictate articles of faith.
The Scarlet Robe, an emblem of
imperial dignity, should remind you of the paternal concern you should
ever feel for the welfare of your Chapter, and the fervency and zeal
with which you should endeavor to promote its prosperity.
In presenting to you the Crown,
which is an emblem of royalty, I would remind you that, to reign
sovereign in the hearts and affections of men, must be far more grateful
to a generous and benevolent mind than to rule over their lives and
fortunes; and that to enable you to enjoy this pre-eminence with honor
and satisfaction, you must subject your own passions and prejudices to
the dominion of reason and charity.
You are entitled to the second seat in
the council of your companions. Let the bright example of your
illustrious predecessor in the Grand Council at Jerusalem, stimulate you
to the faithful discharge of your duties; and when the King of kings
shall summon you into his immediate presence, from his hand may you
receive a crown of glory, which shall never fade away.
CHARGE TO THE SCRIBE.
EXCELLENT COMPANION: - Tho
office of Scribe, to which you are elected, is very important and
respectable. In the absence of your superior officers, you are bound to
succeed them and perform their duties. The purposes of the institution
ought never to suffer for want of intelligence in its proper officers;
you will therefore perceive the necessity there is of your possessing
such qualifications as will enable you to accomplish those duties which
are incumbent upon you, in your appropriate station, as well as those
which may occasionally devolve on you by the absence of your superiors.
The Purple Robe, with which you
are invested, is an emblem of union, and is calculated to remind
you that the harmony and unanimity of the Chapter should be your
constant aim; and to this end you are studiously to avoid all occasions
of giving offence, or countenancing anything that may create divisions
or dissensions. You are, by all means in your power, to endeavor to
establish a permanent union and good understanding among all orders and
degrees of masonry; and, as the glorious sun, at its meridian height,
dispels the mists and clouds which obscure the horizon, so may your
exertions tend to dissipate the gloom of jealousy and discord whenever
they may appear.
Your badge (a Plum-rule,
surmounted by a Turban,) is an emblem of rectitude and vigilance;
and while you stand as a watchman upon the tower, to guard your
companions against the approach of those enemies of human felicity,
intemperance and excess, let this faithful monitor ever remind you
to walk uprightly in your station; admonishing and animating your
companions to fidelity and industry while at labor, and to temperance
and moderation while at refreshment. And when the great Watchman of
Israel, whose eye never slumbers nor sleeps, shall relieve you from your
post on earth, may he permit you, in heaven, to participate in that food
and refreshment which is "
"Such as the saints in glory love,
And such as angels eat."
CHARGE TO THE CAPTAIN OF
COMPANION: - The office
with which you are entrusted is of high importance, and demands your
most zealous consideration. The preservation of the most essential
traits of our ancient customs usages and landmarks, are within your
province; and it is indispensably necessary that the part assigned to
you, in the immediate practice of our rites and ceremonies, should be
perfectly understood and correctly administered.
Your office corresponds with that of
Marshal, or Master of Ceremonies. You are to superintend all
processions of your Chapter, when moving
as a distinct body, either in public or private; and as the world can
only judge of our private discipline by our public deportment, you will
be careful that the utmost order and decorum be observed on all such
occasions. You will ever be attentive to the commands of your chief, and
always near at hand to see them duly executed. I invest you with the
badge of your office, and presume that you will give to your duties all
that study and attention which their importance demands.
CHARGE TO THE PRINCIPAL
COMPANION: - The office
confided to you, though subordinate in degree, is equal in importance to
any in the Chapter, that of your chief alone excepted. Your office
corresponds with that of Senior-Deacon, in the preparatory
degrees. Among the duties required of you, the preparation and
introduction of candidates are not the least. As in our intercourse with
the world, experience teaches that first impressions are often the most
durable, and the most difficult to eradicate; so it is of great
importance, in all cases, that those impressions should be correct and
just; hence it is essential that the officer, who brings the blind by a
way that they knew not, and leads them in paths that they have not
known, should always be well qualified to make
darkness light before them, and crooked
Your robe of office is an emblem
of humility; and teaches that, in the prosecution of a laudable
undertaking, we should never decline taking any part that may be
assigned us, although it may be the most difficult or dangerous.
The rose-colored tesselated border,
adorning the robe, is an emblem of ardor and perseverance, and
signifies, that when we have engaged in a virtuous course,
notwithstanding all the impediments, hardships and trials we may be
destined to encounter, should endure them all with fortitude, and
ardently persevere unto the end; resting assured of receiving, at the
termination of our labors, a noble and glorious reward. Your past
exertions will be considered as a pledge of your future assiduity in the
faithful discharge of your duties.
CHARGE TO THE ROYAL ARCH
COMPANION: - The
well-known duties of your station require but little elucidation. Your
office in the preparatory degrees corresponds with that of Junior
Deacon. It is your province, conjointly with the Captain of the
Host, to attend the examination of all visitors, and to take care that
none are permitted to enter the Chapter but such as have traveled the
rugged path of trial, and evinced their title to our
favor and friendship. You will be
attentive to obey the commands of the Captain of the Host during the
introduction of strangers among the workmen; and should they be
permitted to pass your post, may they, by him, be introduced into the
presence of th Grand Council.
The White Banner, intrusted to
your care, is emblematical of that purity of heart and rectitude of
conduct, which ought to actuate all those who pass the white veil of the
sanctuary. I give it to you strongly in charge, never to suffer any one
to pass your post without the Signet of Truth. I present you the
badge of your office, in expectation of your performing your duties with
intelligence, assiduity and propriety.
CHARGE TO THE MASTER OF
THE THIRD VEIL
COMPANION: - I present you
with the Scarlet Banner, which is the ensign of your office, and
with a sword to protect and defend the same. The rich and beautiful
color of your banner is emblematical of fervency and zeal;
it is the appropriate color of the Royal Arch degree. It admonishes us
that we should be fervent in the exercise of our devotions to GOD, and
zealous in our endeavors to promote the happiness of man.
CHARGE TO THE MASTER OF
THE SECOND VEIL.
COMPANION: - I invest you
with the purple banner, which is the ensign of your office, and
arm you with a sword, to enable you to maintain its honor. The color of
your banner is produced by a due mixture of blue and scarlet;
the former of which is the characteristic color of the symbolic
or first three degrees of masonry, and the latter that of the
Royal Arch degree. It is an emblem of unions, and is the
characteristic color of the intermediate degrees. It admonishes us to
cultivate and improve that spirit of union and harmony, between the
brethren of the symbolic degrees, and the companions of the sublime
degrees, which should ever distinguish the members of a society founded
upon the principles of everlasting truth and universal philanthropy.
CHARGE TO THE MASTER OF
THE FIRST VEIL.
COMPANION: - I invest you
with the blue banner, which is the ensign of your office, and a
sword for it: defense and protection. The color of your banner is one of
the most durable and beautiful in nature. Is is the appropriate color
adopted and worn by our ancient brethren of the three symbolic degrees,
and is the peculiar characteristic of an institution which
has stood the test of ages, and which is
as much distinguished by the durability of its materials or principles,
as by the beauty of its superstructure.
This an emblem of universal friendship
and benevolence; and instructs us that in the mind of a Mason those
virtues should be as expansive as the blue arch of heaven itself.
CHARGE TO THE THREE
MASTERS OF THE VEILS, AS OVERSEERS
COMPA.N1ONS: - Those who are placed as
overseers of any work should be well qualified to judge of its beauties
and deformities, its excellencies and defects; they should be capable of
estimating the former and amending the latter. This consideration should
induce you to cultivate and improve all those qualifications with which
you are already endowed, as well as to persevere in your endeavors to
acquire those in which you are deficient. Let the various colors
of the banners committed to your charge, admonish you to the
exercise of the several virtues of which they are emblematic; and you
are to enjoin the practice of those virtues upon all who shall present
themselves, or the work of their hands for your
inspection. Let no work receive your approbation but such as is
calculated to adorn and strengthen the masonic edifice. Be industrious
and faithful in practicing and disseminating a knowledge
of the true and perfect work,
which alone can stand the test of the Grand Overseer's square, in
the great day of trial and retribution.
CHARGE TO THE SECRETARY
COMPANION: - I with
pleasure invest you with your badge as Secretary of this Chapter. The
qualities which should recommend a Secretary are, promptitude in
issuing the notifications and orders of his superior officers;
punctuality in attending the meetings of the Chapter; correctness
in recording their proceedings; judgment in discriminating
between what is proper and what is improper to becommitted to writing;
regularity in making his annual returns to the Grand Chapter;
integrity in accounting for all moneys that may pass through his
hands; and fidelity in paying the same over into the hands of the
Treasurer. The possession of these good qualities, I presume, has
designated you a suitable candidate for this important office; and I
cannot entertain a doubt that you will discharge its duties beneficially
to the Chapter, and nonorably to yourself. And when you shall have
completed the record of your transactions here below, and finished
the term of your probation, may you be
admitted into the celestial Grand Chapter of saints and angels, and your
name recorded in the book of life eternal.
CHARGE TO THE TREASURER.
COMPANION: - You are
elected Treasurer of this Chapter, and I have the pleasure of investing
you with the badge of your office. The qualities which should recommend
a Treasurer, are accuracy and fidelity; accuracy in
keeping a fair and minute account of all receipts and disbursements;
fidelity in carefully preserving all the property and funds of the
Chapter, that may be placed in his hands, and rendering a just account
of the same, whenever he is called upon for that purpose. I presume that
your respect for the institution, your attachment to the interests of
your Chapter, and your regard for a good name, which is better than
precious ointment, will prompt you to the faithful discharge of the
duties of your office.
CHARGE TO THE CHAPLAIN.
E. AND REV. COMPANION: -
You are appointed Chaplain of this Chapter; and I now invest you with
this jewel, the badge of your office. It is emblematical of eternity,
and reminds us that here is not our abiding place. Your inclination will
doubtedly conspire with your duty, when
you perform, in the Chapter, those solemn services which created beings
should constantly render to their infinite CREATOR; and which, when
offered by one whose holy profession is, "to point to heaven and lead
the way," may, by refining our morals, strengthening our virtues, and
purifying our minds, prepare us for admission into the society of those
above, whose happiness will be as endless as it is perfect.
CHARGE TO THE STEWARDS.
COMPANIONS: - You being
elected Stewards of this Chapter, I with pleasure invest you with the
badges of your office. It is your province to see that every necessary
preparation is made for the convenience and accommodation of the
Chapter, previous to the time appointed for meeting. You are to see that
the clothing, implements and furniture of each degree, respectively, are
properly disposed and in suitable array for use, whenever they may be
required, and that they are secured, and proper care taken of them, when
the business of the Chapter is over. You are to see that necessary
refreshments are provided, and that all your companions, and
particularly visitors, are suitably accommodated and supplied. You are
to be frugal and prudent in your disbursements, and to be careful that
travagance or waste is committed in your
department; and when you have faithfully fulfilled your stewardship here
below, may you receive from heaven the happy greeting of "Well done,
good and faithful servants."
CHARGE TO THE TYLER.
COMPANION: - You are
appointed Tyler of this Chapter, and I invest you with the badge, and
this implement of your office. As the sword is placed in the hands of
the Tyler, to enable him effectually to guard against the approach of
all cowans and eaves-droppers, and suffer none to pass or repass
but such as are duly qualified; so it should morally serve as a constant
admonition to us to set a guard at the entrance of our thoughts; to
place a watch at the door of our lips; to post a sentinel at the avenue
of our actions; thereby excluding every unqualified and unworthy
thought, word and deed; and preserving consciences void of offence
toward GOD and toward man.
As the first application from visitors
for admission into the Chapter is generally made to the Tyler at the
door, your station will often present you to the observation of
strangers; it is therefore essentially necessary that he who sustains
the office with which you are entrusted, should be a man of good morals,
steady habits, strict discipline, temperate, affable
and discreet. I trust that a just regard
for the honor and reputation of the institution will ever induce you to
perform, with fidelity, the trust reposed in you; and when the door of
this earthly tabernacle shall be closed, may you find an abundant
entrance through the gates into the temple and city of our GOD.
ADDRESS TO THE HIGH
M. E. COMPANION: - Having been honored
with the free suffrages of the members of this Chapter, you are elected
to the most important office which is within their power to bestow. This
expression of their esteem and respect should draw from you
corresponding sensations; and your demeanor should be such as to repay
the honor they have so conspicuously conferred upon you, by an honorable
and faithful discharge of the duties of your office. The station you are
called to fill is important, not only as it respects the correct
practice of our rites and ceremonies, and the internal economy of the
Chapter over which you preside; but the public reputation of the
institution will be generally found to rise or fall according to the
skill, fidelity and discretion with which its concerns are managed, and
in proportion as the characters and conduct of its principal officers
are estimable or censurable.
You have accepted a trust, to which is
attached a weight of responsibility, that will require all your efforts
to discharge, honorably to yourself and satisfactorily to the Chapter.
You are to see that
your officers are capable and faithful in
the exercise of their offices. Should they lack ability you are expected
to supply their defects; you are to watch carefully the progress of
their performances, and to see that the long-established customs of the
institution suffer no derangement in their hands. You are to have a
careful eye over the general conduct of the Chapter; see that due order
and subordination are observed on all occasions; that the members are
properly instructed; that due solemnity be observed in the practice of
our rites; that no improper levity be permitted at any time, but more
especially at the introduction of strangers among the workmen.
In fine, you are to be an example to your
officers and members which they need not hesitate to follow; thus
securing to yourself the favor of heaven and the applause of your
brethren and companions.
ADDRESS TO THE OFFICERS
COMPANIONS IN OFFICE: - Precept and
example should ever advance with equal pace. Those moral duties which
you are required to teach unto others, you should never neglect to
practice yourselves. Do you desire that the demeanor of your equals and
inferiors toward you should be marked with deference and respect; be
sure that you omit no opportunity of furnishing them with examples in
your own conduct towards your superiors. Do you desire to obtain
instruction from those who are more wise
or better informed than yourselves? Be
sure that you are always ready to impart of your knowledge to those
within your sphere, who stand in need of and are entitled to receive it.
Do you desire distinction among your companions? Be sure that your
claims to preferment are founded upon superior attainments; let no
ambitious passion be suffered to induce you to envy or supplant a
companion who may be considered as better qualified for promotion than
yourselves; but rather let a laudable emulation induce you to strive to
excel each other in improvement and discipline; ever remembering, that
he who faithfully performs his duty, even in a subordnate or private
station, is as justly entitled to esteem and respect, as he who is
invested with supreme authority.
ADDRESS TO THE CHAPTER
COMPANIONS: - The exercise and management
of the sublime degrees of Masonry in your Chapter hitherto, are so
highly appreciated, and the good reputation of the Chapter so well
established, that I must presume these considerations alone, were there
no others of greater magnitude, would be sufficient to induce you to
preserve and to perpetuate this valuable and honorable character. But
when to this is added the pleasure which every philanthropic heart must
feel in doing good, in promoting good order; in diffusing light and
knowledge; in cultivating Masonic and Christian charity, which
are the great objects of this sublime
institution, I cannot doubt that your future conduct, and that of your
successors, will be calculated still to increase the lustre of your
justly esteemed reputation.
May your Chapter become beautiful
as the TEMPLE, peaceful as the ARK, and sacred as its
most holy place. May your oblations of piety and praise
be grateful as the INCENSE; your love warm as its flame,
and your charity diffusive as its fragrance. May your hearts be pure
as the ALTAR, and your conduct acceptable as the OFFERING.
May the exercise of your CHARITY be as constant as the returning wants
of the distressed widow and helpless orphan. May the
approbation of Heaven be your encouragement, and the testimony of a good
conscience your support; may you be endowed with every good and perfect
gift, while traveling the rugged path of life, and finally be
admitted within the veil of heaven, to the full enjoyment of life
eternal. So mote it be. Amen.
- The officers and members of the Chapter
will then pass in review in front of the grand officers, with their
hands crossed on their breasts, bowing as they pass.
- The Grand Marshal will then proclaim the
Chapter, by the name of --, Chapter No. -- to be regularly constituted,
and its officers duly installed.
- The ceremonies conclude with an Ode, or
appropriate piece of music.
- The procession is then formed, when they
return to the place from whence they set out.
- When the Grand officers retire, the
Chapter will form an avenue for them to pass through, and salute them
with the grand honors.