Thursday, May 26, 2016

 How the Royal Arch Completes the Story
By Thomas Hendrickson P.G.M.

In the 1700’s the Royal Arch was regarded as the Root, Heart and Marrow of Freemasonry.
For those of us in Freemasonry, symbolism is part of our way of life.  It causes us to take an extra moment or two to reflect upon something to find the greater meaning which is far more personal and meaningful than having it spoon fed to us in a 20 second sound bite.
We all interpret things differently so for me this is how I interpret these symbols.

The Root is a symbolic representation of our origins and in unseen ways the tree is supported and finds nourishment.

The Heart is used to symbolize the flow of life itself.  In ages past the heart was believed to be where the soul resided
The Marrow refers to the essence of life. Bone Marrow is a spongy tissue found inside the bones.  It produces the red and white blood cells along with platelets and adult stem cells which are essential for humans to live.  When I would visit the blood center to donate blood, I heard it referred to as the very essence of life.

So after reflecting on the descriptive words of Root, Heart and Marrow I believe the Brothers of our ancient craft believed strongly that the Royal Arch was important, essential and indispensable to the craft degrees.

My question is, how did the Royal Arch become so important?  What was the purpose of the Royal Arch?

We know that in England during the 1600’s, there were two degrees.  The Entered Apprentice and The Fellow Craft.  Up until 1717 some lodges were working one comprehensive degree, while others were working two degrees.  The Master Mason degree started appearing around 1730 (we know that the legend or Hiram was known around 1700).

It was determined by many that the Master Mason degree was incomplete. The candidate was left with an unfinished temple and a substitute word.  The candidate is left with more questions than answers.  I know that when I left the lodge room I said to my Masonic mentor, “How did they lose the word”?

It is easy to see that some speculative degree writers may have seen an opportunity to carefully weave the completion of the story from the same Hiramic legend used in the craft lodges to provide the completion of the story.  Thus the Royal Arch was born.
In England there were two major factions of Freemasons, the Ancients and the Moderns.  The Ancients considered the Royal Arch essential to Freemasonry. The Moderns officially disavowed the Royal Arch and in their official announcements they were very straight forward and blunt of their dislike for the Royal Arch.

As time went on the Moderns discovered many of their lodges were working the Royal Arch degree and many of their members
were belonged to Royal Arch Chapters. They were in amazement when they learned that many of their prominent members were Royal Arch Masons
Both sides come to understand the situation needed a solution and they stopped the infighting and developed a workable idea.  In October 1809 the Ancients and the Moderns agreed to create a Special Lodge called “The Lodge of Promulgation”.  The purpose of this lodge was to find a common ground and negotiate their differences.  In November 1813 they agreed to merge and signed the “Articles of Union”.

The actual union took place on St. Johns Day on December 28, 1813 at Freemasons Hall, creating the “United Grand Lodge of Ancient Freemasons of England, the very same Grand Lodge that we know today.

Both the Ancients and the Moderns felt that the Royal Arch was such an integral part of pure ancient masonry that it was written in their constitution.

By the solemn Act of Union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December, 1813, it was “declared and pronounced that the pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz those of the Entered apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch”.

The union clearly defined what pure ancient masonry was and created the Royal Arch as an Order to ensure the proper regulation of the Capstone of the Craft degrees.
So the Royal Arch stands on authority to bring the Master Mason into the full Masonic light, by the completion of pure ancient masonic degrees.

So if you completed the first three degrees and desire to be a Master Mason with the complete and intended purpose of the ancient craft you should seriously talk to your local Royal Arch and consider joining.

Saturday, March 26, 2016

Why I am a Royal Arch Mason

                                                  Image result for royal arch masons

Why I am a Royal Arch Mason

·        I’ve learned the True Word of Master Mason

·        I know how to receive my wages from the Senior Warden

·        I’m a member of the oldest Rite in Freemasonry

·        I didn’t stop at the 2.5 Degree-I went on to complete the Third Degree

·        I wanted to learn all the Secrets of Freemasonry

·        I read the first 3 Chapters-I wanted to finish the book

·        I’ve made many new friends from other local Lodges

·        I’ve participated in some of the most beautiful rituals in Masonry

   Provide by the Royal Arch Masons-Grand Chapter State of New York
     Grand High Priest Piers A. Vaughan 2014


Tuesday, March 8, 2016

What does the Royal Arch call a meeting?

Blue Lodges hold "Communications"

Councils hold "Assemblies"

Commanderies hold "Conclaves"

What does the Royal Arch Chapter hold? and what does it Literally mean?

Royal Arch Chapters hold "Convocations" and it means "A getting Together"

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Salsa-Licious was Delicious!


Red Wing Masonic Lodge #8 has taken a leadership role in sponsoring,organizing, and executing a fundraiser to assist 20 non-profit organizations that serve the Red Wing community.

Four years ago an idea of a Salsa competition to raise money and create an awareness of the Non-profits and Community Service Organizations of Red Wing has become a great community event. Here are just a few of the organizations..Boy Scouts, Youth Soccer, Lutheran Social Services, Red Wing Environmental Center, Youth Out Reach, Sheldon Theater of Performing Arts, Goodhue Historical Society.

Each of the organizations would provide a table with decorations, a display about their mission in the community and their best salsa, in either a red or green tomato, bean or fruit based. Each group would also assist in selling of tickets to the event within the community. The profits are split among the organizations. Last year over $20,000 was raised.

This year the event was held at Sargents Nursery in one of their Green Houses. It was a very nice place that was filled with light and was warm on a cold Minnesota March Day.They also provided a coupon for $5 off all purchases at the nursery. (I am now the proud owner of a an $80 plant stand in the shape of a Red bicycle that has a rechargeable headlight on the handle bars so I can see it at night.)
The lodge had a very nice set of professional signs,cards and brochures about Freemasonry and about our lodge. The Lodge Brothers were very busy helping organizing, selling tickets, and getting the Judges started on the Judging of who had the Best salsa. The Brothers left their table thinking a Past Grand Master could handle any questions or important issues. 

I will let you in on a's not good for the Sponsor to win the competition. Our lodge has many professional Chefs and Restaurant owners as members. They have provided, in past years, a couple of gallons of salsa they thought that people would like and our lodge won the competition twice. So this year it was determined we needed to provide a salsa, but not something good enough to win.We provided a tomato salsa that came from a large plastic jug and sprinkled some cilantro on top. I placed it in little cups for the attendees to sample.  I'm a whiz at this by the way and no spills on my shirt, a miracle.  When asked what kind of salsa it was I described it as "a tomato based salsa, made from blended tomatoes, with chunks of savory onions, hand picked jalapeno peppers, with a medium heat that is appreciated in San Antonio, but not New York City. We got a lotta votes....and people came back for more.  I'm so happy we did not win.

There were 305 people that came to throughout the day. It was a very steady stream, but enough time to talk and get to make new friends and renew old friendships.There was alot of excellent salsa served by hard working volunteers and professionals who are committed  on making Red Wing a better place to live.

The Brothers were counting the ticket sales when I left and it is believed that we will exceed last year total... Some of us believe that Freemasonry is not something that just happens in a lodge room for the world is our Lodge.

Sunday, February 28, 2016

A Way of Life

The other organizations you pay your money and you become a member of the Moose, Elks, Lions, PTA, and The Joe Mauer Fan club. You get a dues card in the mail. Maybe you go to a meeting or a sponsored event maybe you don’t….but you’re a dues paying member.

Freemasonry is very different. Right up front we as an organization proclaim;
“Making Good Men Better”

In Freemasonry our Ritualistic teaching provides the tools, the teachings, the support, the incentives to make Masonry “A way of Life” Pure and Simple.
It is the roll of the Lodge and its members to make full fledged active Masons, not just a member.

Other organizations are not interested in you or your conduct when you’re not attending one of their meetings. But as a Mason you are a Mason 24/7, 365 days a year, always! Everything you say, everything you do, every life you touch reveals how successfully you have made Masonry a Way of Life.

As a Candidate you immerse yourself into the Masonic Society and Culture. You learn and are Mentored the teachings and the Masonic Ways. You grow into your new role, your new role grows in you. These new teachings and customs become you. You practice it and the more you practice it the better you get at it. Your goal is Progress not Perfection. For Freemasonry is a journey, not a destination. Now Think about it. Your life is a journey because your ultimate destination in life is the grave.

In Freemasonry we take an obligation that is our life guiding principils knelling at an Alter in front of witnesses’ .These are real promises to do things and not to do to others. THEY ARE NOT SYMBOLIC!

We promise we WILL always help, aid, and assist. Not if we feel like it or sometimes….maybe but always.

We promise we will NOT cheat, wrong or defraud. Not a Mason, not a lodge brother, not a friend, not a relative not a stranger… one!

Now I don’t think my daughter did this when she joined Green Peace, and I know my Uncle didn’t even do this when he joined the NRA.

Freemasonry is a place where good men accept our tools, ways, and customs and joins our Society. The new Brother is active in the lodge’s activities. We find the new Brother taking Ritual and Leadership positions in the lodge. That is how we can tell when the Lodge is effectively working.

I think it is the Lodges ultimate goal is the day they raise a new brother and keep him active and improving so he can receive his 50 year pin. The lodge is a place where we live and grow old together.

Freemasonry is a not for everyone it’s a way of life.

I wrote this several years ago and used it in Speeches, and thought its time for others to read this....

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Enter the secret world of the Freemasons

2016 Grand Masters of North America

Here is a photo that was taken of the Grand Master of North America taken in Madison Wisconsin

Do You see your Grand Master? Click on photo to enlarge