History, Purpose & Symbolism of the Most Excellent 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 “Most Excellent Master Lesson #5,” which is found on p. 22 of the Lessons on Capitular Masonry.

Outline of the Lesson:

(i) Read the sections on the “Brief History,” “Purpose of the Degree,” “The Temple as Creation — The Temple as Man,” and “Esoteric Implications” found on pp. 66-69 and pp. 76-81 of THE COURSE.

Discussion Questions:

(i) Answer questions 1-6 and 14-15 on pp. 82-84 of THE COURSE.

(ii) The building of the Temple is the pervasive theme throughout much of Masonry; discuss the symbolism of this theme. Does this symbolism differ between the degrees of the Symbolic Lodge and the degrees of Capitular Masonry? If so, in what way?

(iii) There are two acts of completing the Temple in this degree. One relates to the completion of the physical Temple; the other serves a higher purpose. Name the two acts and discuss their meanings.

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