To The Master Mason
The symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason, as conferred in the United States, are degrees of the York Rite.
You, therefore, as a Master Mason, have received the first three degrees of that Rite. It is perfectly natural that having begun your Masonic work in the Rite, you should want to continue it.
The Royal Arch Chapter offers you that opportunity, for in its last degree, is to be found the very essence of pure Freemasonry.
Even the Mother Grand Lodge of England recognizes this fact and many years ago set forth as Paragraph One of its General Laws and Regulations the following:
By the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December, 1813, it was "declared and pronounced that PURE ANCIENT MASONRY consists of three degrees and no more, vis., those of the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason, INCLUDING THE SUPREME ORDER OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH."
And today, in England, the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge, by virtue of his office, is also the head of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.
But, on the North American continent, you will find some additional degrees in the system, supplementing the work of the Lodge and the Royal Arch. These are the degrees of Mark Master, Past Master and Most Excellent Master, and all are part of the Capitular System of Freemasonry The degrees of the Lodge, Chapter, and Council, and the orders conferred in the Commandery, have been arranged into a system or Rite, referred to as the American, Canadian or York Rite of Freemasonry.
To those who are interested in Masonic philosophy or ritual, the Capitular degrees will be particularly appealing. They contain no abtruse philosophy or unintelligible doctrines, but do contain simple, plain statements of Truth, easily understandable and helpful in our relation to life.
The Lodge symbolism deals with the material side of life, the Chapter degrees, and in particular the Royal Arch deal with the spiritual side of life.
Founded as a national organization in 1797, existent in all parts of the civilized world, you will, upon your exaltation as a Royal Arch Mason, become a member of the oldest and largest Rite of Freemasonry in the world.
Any Royal Arch Mason will be happy to present your name as a candidate for advancement in the mysteries of Freemasonry, and toward the pursuit of additional Masonic Light.