Wednesday, January 12, 2011
Adding the Capstone to Corinthian Chapter No. 33
As I reported a few months ago, I began my Capitular journey with the Mark Master degree. A Royal Arch Chapter is a great place to extend the tactile learning we as Masons crave. You are a candidate, and you take a physical part in the ceremonies. There may only be four degrees but those four degrees contain some of the greatest lessons a Mason can learn. The Royal Arch degree has been called the most beautiful degree and I am apt to agree.
Now that I've completed my term in the East as Master of Corinthian Lodge No. 67, I've been elected and installed as High Priest of Corinthian Chapter No. 33 which also meets in Farmington. The analog of High Priest in the blue lodge is the Worshipful Master. I'm hoping to ride the train of trying new ideas into my work in Chapter. I will present different ideas on this site for comment and criticism.
One of my first goals is to get the two bodies of the York Rite that meet in Farmington, Corinthian Chapter No. 33, R.A.M. and Northfield Council No. 12, R&SM on the web. I've created a Facebook page that will be used for event planning but also to discuss Royal Arch and Cryptic Council in general and its importance to further light for the Masonic student. Of course, the goal is to one day have a great web presence for York Rite Masonry in the south Metro. We are very close now.
What all Royal Arch Masons should explain to new brothers is not that you are a York Rite Mason. I know this seems counter-intuitive but we should focus on our Chapters before the Council or Commandery is discussed with a candidate. The Royal Arch is Act II of the Master Mason degree, should we be so restrictive of our brothers of other faiths as to restrict them from enjoying the completion of their labors? If a Companions seeks more degrees, then he may go forward but we should focus on the Royal Arch first.
What I'd really like to do is encourage all Royal Arch Masons to come down to Farmington and work to make Corinthian Chapter what we would like it to be. We have many options.
1.) We could work as a "Teaching Chapter". What I envision is a Chapter dedicated to performing degree work even when we have no candidates for the Royal Arch. Other Chapters would be invited to come down and work on whatever degree they would be performing soon. We would read through their parts, discuss what they need to work on, and help degree work throughout the state.
2.) We could work as a "Learning Chapter". The Companions would bring in a paper or presentation about Chapitular Masonry. This Chapter would resemble an Educational Lodge or Lodge of Research. We would ask for papers around the state and have them presented for the betterment of the assembled companions.
3.) We could work as an "European Concept Chapter". I have wondered a lot about using European Concept with Corinthian Chapter. The European Concept is in the family of revitalizing stylistic changes happening within some Masonic bodies. Another similar concept would be Traditional Observance. Two European Concept Royal Arch Chapter already exist and would serve as the model, Meridian Chapter No. 60 of Oregon and Norwood Chapter No. 18 of Edmonton, Alberta. European Concept requires a lot of dedication from the Companions but when the work is done, great things can be accomplished. Thankfully, Corinthian Chapter is open for any change and it would only require dedication from the Companions. Also, because Corinthian Chapter only meets every other 1st Monday from September to May totaling 5 meetings in all, work would be focused on each degree plus one paper and an installation night.
4.) Of course, we, as a Chapter, could use a combination of these concepts to improve the work of the Chapter. Perhaps a paper or presentation will be made during a meeting while we practice the degree that the paper was describing. Perhaps we could host a Festive board. There are many possibilities.
If you are a Companion in Minnesota and live near Farmington, why not pay a visit to Corinthian Chapter? If you want to help to improve Royal Arch Masonry in the South Metro and you are looking for more leadership opportunities in Royal Arch, come on out and affiliate. We have many places and parts that need to be filled and improved. If you're a Master Mason and would like to join the Royal Arch, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will begin the Mark Master degree on February 7th starting at 7:30 pm. Space is limited to three total candidates, only two spaces remain.