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Welcome to the website for Union Chapter No. 7 Royal Arch Masons.
Union Chapter No. 7 R.A.M. meets on the 2nd Monday of every month except the months of July & August. We meet in Essex Lodge No. 7 located at 8 Smull Ave. Caldwell, NJ 07006. Dinner is served at 6:30 PM with our Convocation beginning promptly at 7:30 PM.

History of Royal Arch Masonry
The Royal Arch Degrees was considered most important in the early years of Freemasonry and so dogmatic was the Mother Grand Lodge - from which all Speculative Masonry derives - that in 1813, when the two grand lodges in England united, a firm and solemn landmark was adopted and placed in the Articles of Union to guide Masons throughout the world forever on this matter: "Pure Ancient Freemasonry consists of but three degrees, viz., that of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason, including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch." The landmark has never been changed and to this day no other degree has been officially recognized by the Mother Grand Lodge and every rite, system or additional degree in Freemasonry cannot confer its degree on a Master Mason until he has received the Royal Arch Degree. Naturally, this is as it should be, because a man is not a Master Mason until he receives the Master's Word and he can only receive it in the Royal Arch. The Chapter of Royal Arch Masonry consists of four degrees, Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason.

Degrees

Royal Arch Masonry is the first order a Master Mason joins in the York Rite. The Chapter works the following degrees:
  • The Mark Master Mason degree is in some respects an extension of the Fellow Craft degree. In some jurisdictions the degree is conferred in a Fellow Craft Lodge, that is, the second degree of the Blue Lodge. 
  • The (Virtual) Past Master degree is conferred because of the traditional requirement that only Past Masters of a Blue Lodge may be admitted to Holy Royal Arch. Because there are so many applicants for this degree, Virtual Past Master is required to qualify them for it. Much of the work is the same given to install the Worshipful Master of a Blue Lodge. There is no such requirement or procedure outside the USA. 
  • In the Most Excellent Master degree the building of King Solomon's Temple, which figures so prominently in Blue Lodge, has been completed. In England the degree is conferred by Cryptic Councils, along with three other degrees. 
  • The Royal Arch Mason (or Holy Royal Arch) degree is considered by many to be the most beautiful degree in all of Freemasonry. The newly exalted Companion learns the true "Master's word" in this degree. 

If you are a Master Mason and want some more information on the York Rite, click here for a brochure produced by the York Rite of Texas which contains some very useful information.

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