Questions and Answers

Do you have a question regarding the Royal Arch?

If so, please feel free to email us. We will answer you individually and publish the most popular questions and answers on this page (with names removed).

A selection of Frequently/Recently Asked Questions...............................

Question:  What is the procedure in dealing with a Royal Arch Mason from another recognised constitution wishing to become a joining member of a Chapter under the English Constitution ?

Answer: The answer is attached in the right hand column.

 

Question:  What regalia should a joining Past Principal from a recognised Constitution wear in an English RA Chapter?

Answer:  If a Craft PM from a recognised Constitution (say Scotland or Ireland) becomes a joining member of a Lodge under the English Constitution, he would, on being elected, be required to make a Declaration as shown in Rule 163(f) BofC and is henceforth governed by the Rules in the Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England.  He should wear an English Master’s Apron (with levels) but would not be entitled to wear a Past Master’s Collar until he had been through the chair and installed his successor in an English Lodge.

Likewise, if a PZ joins from another recognised Constitution, he is required to make a similar Declaration as shown in RA Reg 67 and would henceforth wear an English RA Apron with a crimson lining, crimson ribbons and a crimson backing to the Tau badge.  He would also wear a Sash with a crimson backing to the Tau badge and an English RA Breast Jewel suspended from a crimson ribbon in recognition of him being a PZ.  However, he is not entitled to wear an English PZ’s Collar until he becomes a PZ in an English RA Chapter.

 

Question: What are the rules on wearing jewels from another Constitution when becoming a joining member of a Chapter under the English constitution?

Answer: On joining an English Royal Arch Chapter a Companion makes a declaration under RA Regulation 67 to pay strict obedience to the commands of the First Grand Principal and the regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter.

On becoming an English RA Mason a Companion should not wear any jewel not approved or allowed by the First Grand Principal as stipulated in RA Reg 84 (this includes any Jewels from any other Constitution).  On becoming a member of an English Constitution Chapter, Companions should wear an English RA Breast Jewel (suspended from the appropriate ribbon – White for Companions who have not been installed as a Principal and Crimson for Principals or Past Principals) and, by the same token, if the Companion is not a PZ of a Chapter under the English Constitution, he should not wear the PZ’s Jewel from any other constitution or a PZ’s Collar until he becomes a PZ of an English Chapter.

Likewise a Craft PM joining an English Lodge from another Constitution would be required to make a similar declaration as above (See Rule 163(f) BofC) and be thereby governed by the Rules in the Book of Constitutions.  The Brother would wear an English Master’s Apron (with levels) but would not be entitled to wear a Past Master’s Collar until he had been through the chair of an English Lodge.  Again, he should not wear any Jewels from another Constitution.

 

Question: Should a past ’Z’ wear the robe and jewel of a ‘Z’ when performing part of the ceremony from the 1st Principal’s chair if the present incumbent is present?

Answer: There is no reason to do so. And depending upon what he is doing he doesn’t need to sit in Z’s chair to do it. If a Past Master is to conduct the ceremony in Craft – He wouldn’t (or shouldn’t) wear the Masters Collar. It is just the same in the RA – The PZ would just wear the clothing of his rank.

 

Question: I am about to affiliate to a RA Chapter from Scottish RA.  I understand a new obligation has to be taken, but does this also include the whole Exaltation once again?

Answer: The term affiliate does not appear in the English constitution.  You would be admitted as a Joining Member and subject to the relevant Royal Arch Regulations regarding Joining Members.  You would not be required to take an obligation but would be required to make a declaration as prescribed in Royal Arch Regulation 67: ‘I (full name) exalted in the (Chapter name) Chapter, No (Chapter No)on the Register of the Grand Chapter of (Name of Grand Chapter) do solemnly promise that if I am admitted a member of this Chapter I will pay strict obedience to the commands of the First Principal and the regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter.’

The declaration shall be made in the Chapter which the Companion is joining or in some other Chapter under the Grand Chapter, or in writing witnessed by a Companion, who shall state the name, number and jurisdiction (which must be a Grand Chapter recognised by the Grand Chapter) of the Chapter to which he himself belongs.  The declaration validates the election retrospectively and must be recorded in the Chapter minutes.

Candidates joining from other Constitutions or upon exaltation, if not in possession of a current edition of the General Regulations, must be presented with a copy.  In the case of an exaltee the acceptance or possession thereof shall be deemed a declaration of submission to its contents.

Chapter Scribe Es please note that - A joining member from another Constitution must first submit his Grand Chapter Certificate to the Grand Scribe E and cannot be proposed for election until a certificate that he is eligible has been issued by the Grand Scribe E, which certificate must accompany the registration return.

 

Question: I am not a current member of a Craft Lodge – Can I join the Royal Arch ? 
Answer: Since the amendment to RA Regulation 66A and the inclusion of a new regulation 66 B on April 28th 2016 which came into effect on December 31st 2016 – Every candidate for exaltation, joining or rejoining must both at the date of his election and the date of his exaltation or admission be a subscribing member of (a) a Lodge under the United Grand Lodge of England or (b) a Lodge under a Grand Lodge recognised by the United Grand Lodge of England.


 

Question: I am to be appointed to Provincial Rank in the Royal Arch but I have not been Installed as a Principal of a Chapter - What Regalia do I wear ?
Answer: As you are not an Installed Principal your Provincial Regalia is slightly different from those who are:
1. Jewel - You continue to wear your Royal Arch Jewel with a White Ribbon (See RA Regulation 85).
2. Sash - You wear a special Provincial Officers Sash with a silk fringe (See RA Regulation 97).
3. Apron - You wear a Standard Provincial Officers Apron bearing the badge of your Provincial Grand Rank (See RA Regulation 96).
4. Collar - You wear a Standard Provincial Officers collar with the Jewel of your Provincial Grand Rank appended (See RA Regulation 94).

Question: Is the procedure for appointing Officers in a Royal Arch Chapter not the same as a Craft Lodge ?
Answer: No it isn’t. Royal Arch Regulation No 48 states: “The Officers shall be elected by ballot on the regular day of election prescribed in the By-laws of the Chapter, provided that, except for the Principals and Treasurer who must be elected, it shall be in order for the Chapter on the day of election to resolve that they may be appointed by the Principals so elected.”
In order to comply with the above, an item “To elect Officers for the ensuing year” should be printed on the summons. When the item is announced, a proposal is made to leave the appointment of Officers in the hands of the Principals elect, which duly seconded, should be resolved by a show of hands.
Note: Following the amendment of Royal Arch Regulation 48 by Supreme Grand Chapter, it is now permissible, where there is only one candidate each for the Office’s of Z, H, J and the Treasurer, for the outgoing Z to declare that the elections of the nominated members, provided their names have appeared on the summons, no other member shall have indicated that he wishes to be considered and no member present calls for a ballot.

Question: What is the correct procedure regarding the appointment of Officers in a Royal Arch Chapter ?
Answer: R A Regulation 48 states: The Officers shall be elected by ballot on the regular day of election prescribed in the By-laws of the Chapter, provided that, except for the Principals and Treasurer who must be elected, it shall be in order for the Chapter on the day of election to resolve that they may be appointed by the Principals so elected.
To comply with Regulation 48, an item 'To elect Officers for the ensuing year' should appear on the summons. When this item is announced by the MEZ a proposal should be made as follows: 'M.E. I propose that the appointment of Officers be left in the hands of the Principals elect', this proposition being duly seconded, is put to the members present by the MEZ for approval by a show of hands.
The Janitor must be a Royal Arch Mason and (if not a subscribing member of the Chapter) should be elected by a show of hands on the regular day of election. A Chapter may, however, resolve that a subscribing member of the Chapter shall be Janitor without emolument, in which case he may be elected or appointed as in the case of the other Officers.
Therefore an item 'To elect a Janitor' must appear on the summons. When the item is announced by the MEZ and the post of Janitor is to be filled by a subscribing member of the Chapter, a proposal should be made as follows: 'M.E. I propose that the appointment of Janitor be left in the hands of the Principals elect', this being duly seconded is out to the members present by the MEZ for approval by a show of hands.

Question: There appears to be some confusion in some Chapters regarding the use of the R or H Sign ?
Answer: On November 10th 2004, a recommendation was approved in Supreme Grand Chapter that the R or H Sign should no longer be given before addressing the Principals for the first time. In consequence the sign should only be given when opening or closing a Chapter, or by Companions who arrive late after the Chapter is opened or who leave before the Chapter is closed. When used, the sign should always be directed towards the pedestal, not to the Principals.

Question: How many Companions should be present to open a Royal Arch Chapter and work any of its ceremonies ?
Answer: No Chapter should be opened unless there are five, and no ceremony of Exaltation worked unless there are seven Companions present (excluding the Janitor and Candidate), of whom two must be members of the Chapter and three must be qualified to occupy the respective Principals' Chairs. No conclave of Installed First or Second Principals should be opened unless at least two such Principals are present (excluding the Janitor and the Principal Elect).
(Extract from the Report of the Committee of General Purposes adopted on November 8th 2000).

Question: Can candidates be proposed other than at a regular convocation ?
Answer: Yes they can. (See RA Regulation 66) Candidates for Exaltation can also be proposed by suitable letter transmitted to the Scribe at least fourteen days before the next convocation. But no ballot shall take place unless the full name of the candidate, with his occupation (if any) and place of abode as well as the names of his proposer and seconder shall have appeared on the summons along with the name and number of every Lodge he is or has been a member, the date of his raising and the date of the letter.

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