Jackson Chapter No. 3

Jackson-Coolidge Masonic Temple
355 Napoleon Rd.
Michigan Center, Michigan 49254-1264
(517) 764-9962

The Degrees conferred by Jackson Chapter #3, Royal Arch Masons

The Chapter degrees are a natural extension and culmination of the Legend begun in the Blue Lodge. The first three Chapter degrees, Mark Master, Past Master, and Most Excellent Master, develop more fully and expand on the theme of the Temple of King Solomon.  The Royal Arch degree concerns itself with the destruction of this Temple by the Babylonians, the "Babylonian Captivity" of the Jews, and their return to Zion after seventy years to begin building the Second Temple, that of Zerubbabel.  In the course of this reconstruction, that which was lost at the death of the Architect of the First Temple is recovered.

Mark Master Degree
The candidate in this Degree represents a young Fellowcraft working in a quarry.  After due preparation, he is instructed to choose a mark which will hence forth be his Masonic signature. 

The Mark Master Degree teaches two important lessons.  First, it teaches that one should relieve a Brother's needs when possible and second, that one should be satisfied with one's wages.

Past Master Degree
This Degree teaches the candidate the important lessons of moderation and decorum which are expected of one who would serve as the Master of a Symbolic Lodge.  Masters of Lodges must always bear in mind that they symbolically serve as Masters of Master Craftsmen and not as overseers of day laborers.  In Ohio, it is necessary to have received this Degree before a Master Elect is installed into office.

It is the tradition of York Temple Chapter that this Degree is conferred by a cast made up entirely of Actual Past Masters of Lodges, with the occasional exception of the presiding officers who may not yet have attained that distinction.

The allegory of this Degree depicts the passing of the hat from King Solomon to Noah and through him to all future Masters of the Fraternity.

Most Excellent Master Degree
This Degree portrays the completion, furnishing and dedication of King Solomon's Temple.  After which, the candidate, along with the other Temple workmen, is promoted from Fellow of the Craft to the rank of Most Excellent Master, a surrogate for the Master Mason degree. This Degree teaches that he who would achieve his dreams and goals must persevere steadily along the paths of knowledge and virtue, coupling these with diligent industry and a firm reliance upon God.

Royal Arch Degree
This is the final Degree conferred in a Chapter. It depicts the return of the Jews from Captivity in Babylon and their attempts at rebuilding the Temple of King Solomon under the direction of Zerubbabel.

The candidate represents one of the sojourners returning from Babylon to the Holy City. After making a difficult and dangerous journey, he gains admission into the presence of the Grand Council comprised of Jeshua (High Priest), Zerubbabel (King) and Haggai (Prophet, or Scribe). Upon expressing his desire to aid in the labor of reconstruction, he toils among the ruins of the Temple and makes several valuable and significant discoveries, which shed light on the Legend of the Master Mason Degree.