Royal Arch Purple Degree exposed

Royal Arch Purple degree

Orange Poster

INTRODUCTION

Before being initiated, the Royal Arch Purple candidate must answer a number of questions.

Is this the first time you have stood within the precincts of a Royal Arch Purple Chapter?

Have you received the Purple Order of the Loyal Orange Institution?

Do you now wish to receive the Royal Arch purple Degree?

Other questions are asked, although the nature of such depends totally upon the individual examiner. Common questions asked are:-

Does anyone know you are coming to this meeting?

Has anyone told you anything about this initiation?

All these questions are designed to unnerve the candidate and put him at the mercy of the Chapter. 

The candidate is then informed, “Before we can impart to you any of the secrets or mysteries of the Royal Arch Purple Degree you will be required to take upon yourself a solemn, sincere, binding, yet entirely voluntary obligation, binding you to us, as we are bound to one another as Royal Arch Purplemen.”

Upon my assurance there is nothing in that obligation that may prove detrimental to you in life, or hinder you in the duty you owe to God, your country, or yourself, are you therefore willing to take upon yourself that voluntary obligation?

Upon his positive affirmation the candidate is instructed, “Kneel upon your right knee in token of your humility; place your right hand on the Holy Bible in token of your sincerity.

OBLIGATION

The solemn obligation begins: “I ——- ———— do most voluntarily, solemnly and sincerely declare that I will never reveal unlawfully, but will ever conceal, the proceedings of my brother Royal Arch Purple men in Chapter assembled, nor will I disclose any matter or thing therein communicated to me, unless to a brother Royal Arch Purple man, well knowing him to be such, or until I have been duly authorised so to do by the proper and legal authorities, they holding a Warrant for that purpose under the Grand Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland, or any other authority, the same having legally transferred into their hands, nor shall I be present at the initiation or raising of Purplemen to the Royal Arch Purple Degree, unless in a duly authorised Chapter room, and then only in the presence of at least seven members in good standing; nor will I confer this degree, or permit it to be conferred on any candidate, for a less sum than that authorised by the Grand Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland, namely, Seven shillings and sixpence, which I sum have paid – £2.00.

I will to the utmost of my power support and maintain the Protestant religion, and glorious Constitution of 1688, against all foes, foreign and domestic; I will aid and assist all true and faithful Royal Arch Purplemen in all just and lawful actions, and I will not wrong, nor see any of them wronged or defrauded, if in my power to prevent it.

And I further promise and declare never to marry a Papist, nor stand sponsor for the child of a Roman Catholic or Papist when receiving baptism from a Romish priest, nor allow a Papist to stand sponsor for my child when being baptised.

And I will always obey, without scruple or reserve, in all things lawful, the bye-laws of my Chapter, and the Rules and Regulations as drawn up and published by the Grand Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland.

And I furthermore do most solemnly and sincerely declare that I will not write, nor indite, cut, carve, stamp, stain, emboss, or engrave upon anything movable or immovable, whereby the secrets of this degree may become unlawfully known through my unworthiness

I will not have any unlawful carnal knowledge of a brother Royal Arch Purpleman’s wife, mother, daughter, sister, or any of his near or dear female relatives.

I will not be at the making of Royal Arch Purplemen behind hedges or ditches, or on the Queen’s highway, or in any other place except in a legally constituted Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting.

I will obey the five points of fellowship, and keep and conceal the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.

The candidate is then asked, “Is there anything in that obligation you could not keep?”

The candidate then affirms, “O help me, Almighty God, and keep me steadfast in this my solemn vow, but voluntarily obligation, being that of a Royal Arch Purpleman taken under this Warrant of Royal Arch purple Chapter No ….. held under the jurisdiction of the Grand Royal Arch Purple Chapter of Ireland.”

man

The obligation candidate is taken to the Anteroom and prepared as follows:

He is divested of his coat and vest, collar and tie, shoes and socks. One shoe is then placed on candidate’s left bare foot, and the legs of his trousers rolled up above the knee, his left breast being bare. The candidate is then blindfolded, and a piece of purple ribbon is fastened to the front of the candidate’s shirt or other garment.

After his oath-binding and preparation, the hoodwinked, semi-naked candidate is led to the Chapter door by a conductor, who is assigned to lead him through his travel. This specially selected guide will be at his side for the duration of his initiation.

The Conductor will then give three loud and distinct knocks on the door which are answered by three similar knocks from within.

The candidate is addressed as follows “What profane, or unworthy person or persons are these, coming here to disturb the peace and harmony of this, our Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting dedicated by us unto God, and Brother Joshua?

The question is then answered on his behalf by his Conductor. The guide replies: “They are not profane, nor unworthy at all, but friends with a brother, and a brother with friends, seeking admission into this, your Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting, dedicated by you unto God and Brother Joshua.”

Candidate is then admitted on the point of a sword or spear to his left breast, and on the entrance password.

Chaplain reads Exodus, Chapter 13, verses 15, 16, 17, 18.

Candidate receives three sharp pricks to his left breast, the meaning of which is explained to him.

Chaplain reads Numbers, Chapter 14, verses 11, 12, 26, 27, 28, and 33.

The blindfolded candidate is further disturbed by a loud and unexpected bang. This surprise can take many forms and often differs from area to area. One Chapter may fire a blank round from a gun at the initiate, another may smash a set of cymbals, another may simply drop the poles of the lodge’s banner on the floor beside him and others use different means.

Candidate hears ” loud report “, representing the Lord thundering down his wrath upon the Children of Israel, and is asked to kneel down and pray for his deliverance by repeating the Lord’s Prayer.

Chaplain reads Joshua, Chapter 5, verses 13, 14, 15. Candidate is told to cast off his shoe, and Conductor explains to him the meaning of being led three times ” round the wilderness “.

Chaplain reads Psalm 107, verses 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8.

The Royal Arch Purple candidate is led round the Chapter room, which is strewn with branches and/or holly, three times. This practice is known as ‘circumambulation.’ During his three journeys round the Chapter room, the candidate is violently whipped on his legs with brambles and branches by the assembled brethren. This practice normally results in varying amounts of cuts and bruises to the initiate, depending on the brethren administering such, the candidate enduring a symbolic fall, each lap of the hall.

travel

The three journeys of the candidate round ‘the wilderness’ are accompanied by three great falls symbolising the candidate’s victory over death and the grave. As the candidate is led round the room the first time he sustains a fall, and is raised up, on the words “O death, where is thy sting?”

Chaplain reads Psalm 107, verses 12, 13, 14 and 15.

He is then led round again and receives the second fall, and is raised up, on the words “O grave, where is thy victory?”

Chaplain reads Psalm 106, verses 43, 44, and 45.

On the third and final lap round the Chapter room, the initiate sustains his third and final fall, which results the candidate being raised from the floor by a lecturer or office bearer, who is assisted by some of the assembled brethren. The ‘brother’ raising the candidate then embraces him and acts out each individual point of fellowship; so as to leave a deep impression upon the candidate.

As the candidate is raised he is taught:

“First – Foot to foot. That I would not be afraid nor ashamed to go a foot or two out of my way to serve a brother Royal Arch Purple man in his time of need.

Second – Knee to knee. That I would not bend my knee in prayer, without remembering my Royal Arch Purple brethren in my prayers, as well as myself.

Third – Hand in hand. That I would go hand in hand with my Royal Arch Purple brethren in all just and lawful actions.”

Fourth – Breast to breast, that I would keep and conceal the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.”

“Fifth and last – Left hand behind back. To testify that I would be as true and faithful behind a Royal Arch Purple man’s back as I would be before his face. I would allow no plots nor plans to be laid about him, without giving him due and timely warning of all approaching danger, as far as in my power lieth, so that, on the one hand, he can come manfully forward to meet it, or, on the other hand, step aside and avoid it.”

Candidate is placed in line facing the Worshipful Master.

Chaplain reads Genesis, Chapter 28, verses 10, 11, 12, 13, and 14.

The blindfolded Royal Arch Purple candidate is led over to within four or five feet of the front of a purpose-built ladder, symbolising ‘Jacob’s ladder’. The candidate then steps ‘two and a half’ paces forward towards the ladder, in an observance called ‘the advancement’.

ascent

The blindfolded candidate stands nervously in front of the set of steps, known as ‘Jacob’s ladder’. The initiate is then assisted in climbing up this three stepped ladder (one step at a time), with the help of his guide, whilst the Chaplain reads I Corinthians 13:13. Each rung of the ladder being labelled as he progresses upward, “And now abideth (1) Faith (2) Hope (3) Charity, these three; but the greatest of these is Charity.”

At the top of this ladder, the blindfolded Arch Purple candidate is made to kneel upon a representation of a coffin. The Royal Arch Purple lecturers then outline the importance and profound significance of this solemn act to him: “With my knees upon a representation of a coffin, my toes extended over the earth, to testify that I was duly prepared to suffer death and all its penalties, before I would divulge anything I had received, or was about to receive.”

Chaplain reads 1st Corinthians, Chapter 15, verses 56, 57, and psalm 91, verses 1 and 2.

After the gravity of his obligation is further impressed upon the Arch Purple candidate the assembled Chapter gather at the back of the steps (‘Jacob’s ladder’) and unfold a large canvas blanket. The blindfolded initiate, who has his back to the blanket is then told to cross his arms whilst still kneeling upon a representation of a coffin.

He is then asked, by the lecturers, “In whom do you put your trust? The nervous candidate answers “God (normally with a little prompting from his guide) whereupon he receives a violent push backward unto the blanket. Here he undergoes one of the most painful and humiliating experiences within the Royal Arch Purple ceremony, when he is brutally kicked and tossed upon the blanket by the assembled Chapter for a number of minutes. This practice is known as “riding the goat.”

goat-ride

At the end of his “ride on the goat” the candidate is rolled up in a bundle and carried in the canvas or sackcloth sheet to the north-west corner of the Chapter room, where he is informed of the consequences of disloyalty to the Royal Arch Purple. Here the Arch Purple candidate subjects himself to one of the most blasphemous and grossly repulsive forms of bondage imaginable, binding his conscience and spirit, by a devilish blood curse, to this sinful counterfeit body.

Two lecturers converse to explain the penalties as follows: “Can you explain to me the three great and solemn penalties of a Royal Arch Purpleman?

First – That I would suffer my throat cut across from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, and with my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, two and a half cable toe lengths from where the tide ebbs and flows, about twice in a natural day, before I would divulge.

Second – That I would suffer my left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken therefrom, and with my body given to the vultures of the air, or the wild beasts of the field, as a prey, before I would divulge.

Third and last – That I would suffer no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in two, one part carried east, the other west, taken to the top of some high hill or mountain, the parts thereof burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that not a vestige of such a vile or perjured wretch as I should remain amongst men, more especially Royal Arch Purplemen, should I divulge, part or parts, secret or sign, sign or token, of anything I had received, or was about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in, unless to a brother Royal Archpurpleman, well knowing him to be such, after strict trial and due examination, or upon the word of a well-known brother .”

As the ceremony continues the Arch Purple candidate receives a cold and hot test. This entails a very cold and a very hot instrument been forced into his chest, this practice is obviously intended to shock the initiate, keeping him in an unsettled state.

The Chaplain reads Genesis 1:14-18, where the Scriptures record the creation of the TWO great natural lights to illuminate the earth, the sun and moon. The sun, the greater light, is to rule the day and, the moon, the lesser light, is to rule the night (V.16). Then without introduction or explanation the Chaplain quotes John 1:5 stating, “And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.”

No exposition is made of these passages or the context in which they are found, thus placing the light of Lord Jesus Christ, referred to in John 1, in the same context as the natural light provided by the sun and moon.

blindfolded

The lecturers then ask the blindfolded candidate: “What do you stand most in need of?

The blindfolded initiate, normally with the assistance of his guide, answers, “Light.” The candidate’s blindfold is then removed by the ‘Worshipful Master’, or some of the brethren present.

Blindfold is then removed from the Candidate’s eyes, and his attention drawn to the “horrors of death.” Three of the brethren solemnly stand pointing dangerous weapons at him. “A spear to pierce my heart, a sword to run me through, and a gun to shoot me, should I divulge.”

(Many Chapters use real guns to impress the grave consequence of betraying the Order. This custom has often involved the firing of a blank round at the candidate to further instil fear in to him, thus securing rigid loyalty to the Institution)

The candidate is then faced with a mystical three-branched candlestick flickering before his eyes. He is told that it represents ‘the three great lights’.

Candidate counts the Three Lights, which are explained to him: also the W. Master standing in the midst, the Bible, the Book of Rules and Regulations, and the Seal of the Chapter; all carried by the W. Master.

The Arch Purple lecture explains its meaning.

The candidate is told that the Three great lights in the east Represent – Spiritually, Father, Son and Holy Ghost, co-equal and co-eternal; but carnally, the Sun, Moon and Stars, and the Worshipful Master.

The Candidate’s attention is drawn to the Warrant of the Chapter, which is supported by two brethren.

The Purple ribbon is then explained to the Candidate, and the Chain of fellowship, and finally the Candidate is placed at one end of the chain.

Chaplain reads Exodus, Chapter 13, verses 21 and 22; and 1st Corinthians, Chapter 15, verse 58, and concludes with Revelation, Chapter 22, verse 21.

At the conclusion of the Travel, the lecturer requests permission of the Worshipful Master for the Candidate to retire to be re-clothed, before proceeding with the Lecture and Address.

LECTURE

Q. Why do you wear that colour?

A. What colour?

Q. That chief Purple?

A. Because I am a Royal Arch Purpleman

Q. How do you know you are a Royal Arch Purpleman?

A. I was once tried, never denied, and willing to be tried again.

Q. Where were you first prepared?

A. In my heart.

Q. Where next?

A. In a small room or vestry adjoining my Lodge room.

Q. How were you prepared?

A. I was neither naked nor clothed, barefooted nor shod, deprived of all moneys, means, and minerals, blindfolded, and led by the hand of a friend to a door.

Q. What kind of a door?

A. A Lodge room door.

Q. How did you know it to be a Lodge room door?

A. By three loud and distinct knocks from without, answered by three loud and distinct knocks from within.

Q. What did these three loud and distinct knocks signify?

A. Three portions of scripture.

Q. Can you explain them?

A. Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened opened unto you.

Q. Was it opened unto you?

A. It was.

Q. What did you hear?

A. A loud voice saying “What profane, or unworthy person or persons are these, coming here to disturb the peace and harmony of this, our Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting dedicated by us unto God, and Brother Joshua?”

Q. What was your reply?

A. “They are not profane, nor unworthy at all, but friends with a brother, and a brother with friends, seeking admission into this, your Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting, dedicated by you unto God, and Brother Joshua.”

Q. Where are you from?

A. The outer Camp of Israel.

Q. Where are you going?

A. To the inner lines.

Q. How do you intend to get there?

A. By the benefit of a password.

Q. Have you that password?

A. I have.

Q. Will you give it to me?

A. I will, if you begin – Shib – Bo – Leth.

Q. Why do you take Shibboleth for your entrance password?

A. Because it closed the passages of the River Jordan against the rebels of Israel.

Q. How were you admitted, or upon what?

A. On the point of a sword, spear, or some other warlike instrument pointed to my naked left breast.

Q. Why to your naked left breast?

A. Because it was nearest my heart.

Q. Did you fell anything?

A. Three sharp pricks to my naked left breast.

Q. What did these three sharp pricks to your naked left breast signify?

A. As they were a prick to my flesh in the meantime, so may they be a sting to my conscience hereafter if ever I should divulge anything I had received or was about to receive.

Q. What did you hear?

A. A loud report, as of a cannon-gun, or some other small piece of musketry.

Q. What did this loud report signify?

A. The Lord thundering down his wrath upon the children of Israel for their disobedience unto him.

Q. What was then demanded of you?

A. To kneel down, and pray for my deliverance, which I afterwards did.

Q. What was further demanded of you?

A. To arise, and cast the shoe from off my foot, for the place whereon I stood was holy ground.

Q. How were you the dealt with?

A. I was led three times around the wilderness, once across the Red Sea, and the river Jordan, to testify that I was duly prepared to receive the degree of a Royal Arch Purpleman.

Q. What befall you on the way?

A. I was beaten and torn by brier and bramble, bitten and stung by fiery serpents, I received three great and mighty falls with my back to the earth, and my face towards the heavens.

Q. What did these three great and mighty falls represent?

A. Three times the children of Israel fell in the wilderness for their disobedience unto the Lord.

Q. Upon the third and last of these three great and mighty falls how were you raised, or upon what?

A. Upon the five points of fellowship.

Q. Can you explain to me the five points of fellowship?

A. First – Foot to foot. That I would not be afraid nor ashamed to go a foot or two out of my way to serve a brother Royal Arch Purpleman in his time of need.

Second – Knee to knee. That I would not bend my knee in prayer, without remembering my Royal Arch Purple brethren in my prayers, as well as myself.

Third – Hand in hand. That I would go hand in hand with my Royal Arch Purple brethren in all just and lawful actions.

Fourth – Breast to breast. That I would keep and conceal the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.

Fifth and last – Left hand behind back. To testify that I would be as true and faithful behind a Royal Archpurpleman’s back as I would be before his face, I would allow no plots nor plans to be laid about him, without giving him due and timely warning of all approaching danger, as far as in my power lieth, so that, on the one hand, he can come manfully forward to meet it, or, on the other hand, step aside and avoid it.

Q. How were you then advanced?

A. By two and a half, up three steps, better known as Jacob’s ladder.

Q. What did these three steps represent?

A. Three portions of Scripture.

Q. What are they?

A. Faith, hope, and charity.

Q. Why faith, hope, and charity?

A. By faith I am saved, by hope I am raised, and by charity brought nearer to God.

Q. How were you placed, or upon what?

A. With my knees upon a representation of a coffin, my toes extended over the earth, to testify that I was duly prepared to suffer death and all its penalties, before I would divulge anything I had received, or was about to receive.

Q. How were you further dealt with?

A. I was tossed to and fro, between the heavens and the earth, rolled up in sackcloth or canvas, carried to the north-west corner of my chapter room; there I experienced a representation of the three great and solemn penalties of a Royal Arch Purpleman.

Q. Can you explain to me the three great and solemn penalties of a Royal Arch Purpleman?

A. First – That I would suffer my throat cut across from ear to ear, my tongue torn out by its roots, and with my body buried in the rough sands of the sea, two and a half cable toe lengths from where the tide ebbs and flows, about twice in a natural day, before I would divulge.

Second – That I would suffer my left breast torn open, my heart and vitals taken therefrom, and with my body given to the vultures of the air, or the wild beasts of the field, as a prey, before I would divulge.

Third and last – That I would suffer no less a penalty than that of having my body severed in two, one part carried east, the other west, taken to the top of some high hill or mountain, the parts thereof burned to ashes, the ashes scattered to the four winds of heaven, so that not a vestige of such a vile or perjured wretch as I should remain amongst men, more especially Royal Arch Purplemen, should I divulge, part or parts, secret or sign, sign or token, of anything I had received, or was about to receive, or may hereafter be instructed in, unless to a brother Royal Archpurpleman, well knowing him to be such, after strict trial and due examination, or upon the word of a well-known brother.”

Q. What did you stand most in need of?

A. Light

Q. Did you get that light?

A. I did

Q. Who gave it to you?

A. The Worshipful Master, or some of the brethren present

Q. What did you first behold?

A. Death in all its horrors, staring me in the face, a spear to pierce my heart, a sword to run me through, and a gun to shoot me, should I divulge.

Q. What did you next behold?

A. Three great lights in the east

Q. What did these three great Lights represent?

A. Spiritually, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, coequal and co-eternal; but carnally, the sun, moon, and stars, and the worshipful master.

sun.moon.stars

Q. Why the sun, moon, and stars, and the worshipful master?

A. First – The sun, the greater light, to rule the day.

Second – The moon and stars, the lesser lights, to rule the night.

Third – The worshipful master standing in the midst with a drawn sword in his hand. He also carried the Bible, and the book of rules and regulations, and the seal of the Chapter placed thereon. The Bible to be the rule and guide of his faith and practice. The book of rules and regulations to enable him to rule and govern his Royal Arch Purple Chapter, or, in his unavoidable absence, cause the same to be done by unavoidable absence, cause the same to be done by some fit and qualified brother. The seal teaches me that should I receive a summons or document where on that seal is legally affixed, I am in duty bound to attend thereto, as well as to keep the secrets of my Royal Arch Purple brethren within my breast, as well as my own, murder and treason excepted.

Q. What did you further behold?

A. My warrant, uplifted and supported by two supporting pillars, right and left.

Q. What were these two supporting pillars composed of? Wood or stone.

A. No, but of hu-man bone.

Q. Friend, I perceive you have received the degree of a Royal Arch Purpleman. Have you the central password?

A. I have

Q. Will you give it to me?

A. I will, if you begin. The-Ark-of-God.

Q. Why do you take the Ark of God for your central password?

A. Because when the feet of the priests that bore the Ark touched the waters of the river Jordan, the waters divided, hither and thither, and the children of Israel passed over on dry ground.

Q. What was the Ark made of?

A. Staves of Shittim wood

Q. What length was the Ark?

A. Two cubits and a half

Q. What breadth?

A. A cubit and a half

Q. What height?

A. A cubit and a half

Q. How was it overlaid?

A. With pure gold, within and without, and a crown of gold round about.

Q. How was it adorned?

A. By Cherubim’s.

Q. How many?

A. Two

Q. How were they placed?

A. One on each end, with their wings extended on high, and . Will you sell it to me?

A. No

Q. What did the Ark contain?

A. Three great and mysterious things.

Q. What were they?

A. Aaron’s rod, that budded buds, bloomed blossoms, and yielded almonds in the space of one night. Two tables of stone, whereon were written the Ten Commandments, given by God unto Moses on Mount Sinai. The golden pot that contained the manna, a representation of the manna that fed the children of Israel during their forty years wandering in the wilderness.

Q. Where was the resting place of the Ark?

A. In the Tabernacle

Q. How was it adorned?

A. With curtains

Q. How many?

A. Ten

Q. How were they placed?

A. Three on each side, and two on each end, which made the number ten, of blue, purple, and scarlet, of fine twined linen curiously interwoven with fine needlework.

Q. Of all these colours, which did you choose?

A. Purple

Q. Why purple?

A. Because I received it in darkness, and brought it forth to a marvellous light.

Q. Have you a number?

Q. Practical, or mystical?

Q. Mystical?

A. Two, and a half

Q. What two and a half?

A. The two tribes and a half

Q. What two tribes and a half?

A. The tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.

Q. What became of the two tribes and a half?

A. They were restored to their former inheritance on the other side of Jordan in the land of Gilead.

Q. Have you the great and grant password of a Royal Arch Purpleman?

A. I have.

Q. Will you give it to me?

A. I did not so obtain it, neither will I give it, but finding you to be a brother, I will word or divide it with you.

A. Divide it, and begin.

A. No – begin you. The-great-Jehovah-be our-guide.

Q. Why do you take the great Jehovah be our guide for your great and grand password?

A. Because the Lord said unto Moses; I am the great Jehovah. I will go before you in a pillar of cloud by day. I am the great Jehovah. I will go before you in a pillar of fire by night.

ADDRESS

The lessons we learn from this degree are chiefly taken from the emblems you are entitled to wear you sash or collar, and they are as follows: –

bible

THE BIBLE which is God’s revealed will to man, a firm reliance upon the truths therein contained will enable us to draw aside the sable curtain of the tomb, and look towards the dawn of a glorious eternity.

sword.heart

When you entered this Royal Arch Purple Chapter meeting you did so on the point of a hostile weapon pointed to your naked left breast, which gives us the emblem of the SWORD POINTING to the HEART, and teaches us that, sooner or later, justice will overtake us; for, although our lives and actions may be hidden from the eyes of man, yet the ALLSEEING EYE WHOM THE SUN, MOON, AND STARS obey, and, under those watchful care perform their stupendous operations, looks to the innermost thoughts of the heart, and I will reward us according to our actions.

TAOG

You can wear an emblem of the Ark representing our central password, THE ARK OF GOD. It reminds us of the divine Ark that shall bear us safely over the troublous seas of time, and the ANCHOR that shall moor us safely in that harbour where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest.

5star

You can wear an emblem of the FIVEPOINT STAR representing the five points of fellowship:-

First is foot to foot.

Second is knee to knee.

Third is hand in hand.

Fourth is breast to breast.

Fifth and last is left hand behind back.

Which teaches us that as foot by foot we travel along the rugged paths of life, and oftentimes bend the knee in submission to the Divine Will we may extend the right hand of fellowship to all those who are worthy, and learn to keep the secrets we have received within our breast, so that we would not speak evil behind a brother’s back that we would not care to speak before his face.

FHC

You can wear an emblem of the THREE-STEPPED LADDER representing Faith, Hope, and Charity. By faith we are saved, by hope we are raised, and by charity brought nearer to God. It is also emblematical of the three principal stages in life – Youth, Manhood, and Age. In youth we should industriously employ our minds in the attainment of useful knowledge. In manhood we should apply that knowledge in the duty we owe to God, our country, and ourselves; so that in old age we may have a happy reflection, consequent upon a well-spent life, and die in the hope of a glorious immortality.

coffin.symbol

Lastly, you can wear an emblem of the COFFIN a representation of which you knelt upon, to take that part of your solemn obligation. It reminds us of death which may come to everyone, break the brittle thread of life, and launch us into eternity. At this very moment the Angel of death has received the awful mandate to strike many of our brethren from the roll of human existence. If perchance we have escaped the numerous evils incident to childhood, and youth, and with health and vigour have arrived at manhood, yet and withal we too shall be cut off and gathered to the land where our fathers have gone before us. Whilst reflecting upon the solemn thought of death, this degree teaches us that all must die; we follow our brethren to the brink of the grave, and, standing on the shores of a vast ocean, we gaze with exquisite anxiety until the last struggle is over; we see them sink into its fathomless abyss, and feel our own feet sliding from the precarious brink on which we stand, a few more suns, and we too shall be whelmed heath death’s awful wave to rest in the stilly shades, where darkness and silence shall for ever reign, around our melancholy abode.

sun.moon.stars

But this is not the end of man, nor the glorious aspirations of the brethren of our Order, who, true to their principles, look for the manifestations of the THREE GREAT LIGHTS IN THE EAST, representing Death, Resurrection, and Ascension; and bid us turn our eyes with faith and confidence beyond the silent grave towards the dawn of a glorious eternity.

Finally, my brethren, by the careful regulation of our lives, pondering well our words, and the cultivation of brotherly love and loyalty, we may obtain our Great Grand Master’s approbation. Then, when the embers of mortality are faintly glimmering in the sockets of existence, and death does come, and we are ushered into the Grand Lodge above, there shall be revealed to us the real secrets of the Ark of God; and we shall realise, for all eternity that the Great Jehovah has been our Guide.

A Biblical Analysis of the Royal Arch Purple degree

Note: the solid and unrelenting opposition of GOLI to the RAP and the RBI

Orange Order

(1) The Orange Degree (first degree)

Catechism and Address

(2) The Plain (or small) Purple Degree (second degree)

Catechism and Address

The Royal Black Institution 

Royal Black degrees – exposed