The Discoveries of the Royal Arch 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 “Royal Arch Lesson #14,” which is found on p. 36 of the Lessons on Capitular Masonry.

Outline of the Lesson:

(i) Read the excerpt of the Royal Arch ritual regarding the “Discoveries of the Workmen” beginning at the bottom of p. 123 and ending at the top of p. 129 of THE RITUAL.

(ii) Notice that the verses Genesis 1:1-3, Exodus 20:1-17, Deuteronomy 31:24-26, Exodus 16:32-34, Numbers 17:10, and Exodus 25:10-16 found in THE BIBLE are sources for the excerpt from THE RITUAL read in part (i).

(iii) Read the sections on “The Inventions or Discoveries” and “The Substitute Ark and the Substitute Word” found on pp. 131-133 of THE COURSE.

Discussion Questions:

(i) Answer questions 15-16 on p. 148 of THE COURSE.

(ii) The Ark discovered in the ruins is known as the Substitute Ark (or the Ark of Imitation) and is not the Ark of the Covenant. Discuss the differences between these two Arks and why the Substitute Ark was the Ark which was found. Discuss the symbolic relationship between the Substitute Ark and the Substitute Word.

(iii) Describe the Substitute Ark and list the sacred items contained within it. Discuss what the Substitute Ark represents in Freemasonry and how it relates symbolically to the Mason’s journey.

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