A Talk on Irish Royal Arch Masonry

In December, the Companions of Lovekyn Chantry Chapter No 6807 were pleased to receive E.Comp. Dr Mike Robinson, PAGDC, PProvGSN, representing the ME Grand Superintendent. Also present was E.Comp. David Lester, PAGSoj, PProvGH, an Honorary Member of the Chapter.

A Talk on Irish Royal Arch Masonry

E.Comp. Chris Eley, Provincial Grand Orator (Craft), gave a talk on Irish Royal Arch Masonry which was well received and prompted some interesting discussion.

The Irish ritual differs from that practiced in Chapters in England and Wales in that ritual for the degree is founded upon material appearing in the Second Book of Kings, Chapter 22, and in the Second Book of Chronicles, Chapter 34, in the 18th year of the reign of King Josiah. Josiah was a great and good Prince who piously undertook the repair of the Temple which had been allowed to fall into a ruinous condition and had become defiled by idolatrous observances. King Josiah set about the repair of the Temple, during the course of which a secret vault was discovered and its contents were found to discover amongst other items the insignia of the three Grand Masters and a copy of the Book of the Law of the Lord given by Moses. This Book of the Law was taken by Hilkiah the High Priest, who was directing operations, to Shaphan the Scribe who read it to the King. At this point King Josiah realised the full extent of the transgressions of his people.

In the Irish Royal Arch Degree, the first portion, which comprises the Passing of the Veils, prior to 1864 represented various degrees which were at that time conferred between the degrees of Master Mason and Royal Arch Mason. In the year 1864 these were merged in the Degree of the Royal Arch and this part of the ceremony is known as the Passing of the Veils. When a Candidate is elected to a Royal Arch Chapter, he is first advanced to the Degree of Mark Master Mason in the Mark Lodge, which only opens to advance a Candidate or to install the Very Worshipful Master and his Officers.

After the Chapter was closed the Companions of Lovekyn Chantry Chapter and their guests sat down to a splendid festive board at the Surbiton Masonic Hall.

Article and photograph by E.Comp. Chris Eley

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