Origins and Symbolism of the Mark Master Degree

As a bit of background recall that, in 2016, the Committee on Education of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Oklahoma developed thirty-five Lessons on Capitular Masonry, in an effort to foster more opportunities for educational presentations during Chapter meetings. Each of these thirty-five lessons outlines a self-contained educational presentation. The material for these lessons is drawn from two readily available sources:

THE COURSE — The Capitular Masonry Education Course, which was published in 2014 by the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Oklahoma.

THE RITUAL — The Ritual of the Grand Chapter R.A.M. of Oklahoma, as adopted in 1932, with subsequent amendments.

Every other month we will suggest one of these lessons that a High Priest may use, if he so desires, as an educational presentation in his Chapter meeting.

This month’s suggested lesson for Chapter meetings is “Mark Master Lesson #8,” which is found on p. 14 of the Lessons on Capitular Masonry.

Outline of the Lesson:

(i) Read the sections on the “Origins of the Degree,” “The Mark Degree in the United States,” “Biblical References,” and “Esoteric Considerations” found on pp. 23-25 and pp. 42-45 of THE COURSE.

Discussion Questions:

(i) Answer questions 1 and 22-23 on pp. 46-49 of THE COURSE.

(ii) Discuss the Hero’s Quest theme in Masonry in general, and explain what aspect of the quest is dramatically shown in the Mark Degree.

(iii) Discuss the origin of the mark in Masonry. In early rituals, a mason’s mark was to be a geometric line. What was different about Hiram Abiff’s mark, and what tool in Masonry made the advancement of mark drawings possible?

These questions are only meant to begin the discussion and to hopefully spark further discussion and interest in the chosen topic.