The Chapter (Capitular) Degrees
Mark Master—The Mark Master Mason degree forms one of the closest links connecting the old operative Masonry with the present speculative system. In the old operative Guilds each newly admitted craftsman was required to select and record a mark amid impressive ceremonies. The lessons taught in this degree are those of Integrity, Charity, Education and Discipline.
Past Master—The Past Master (Virtual) degree is conferred because of the traditional requirement that only Past Masters of a Blue Lodge may be admitted to Holy Royal Arch. It may aptly be called the degree of responsibility for in this degree the emphasis is placed on the importance of being faithful to our Masonic duties and obligations, a lesson which must be learned before we can enter the Royal Arch and receive the Master’s Word.
Most Excellent Master—This degree describes the completion of King Solomon’s Temple using factual Masonic history and information contained in the Old Testament. It tells us in ceremonies most solemn, most beautiful, most instructive and impressive the true purpose of man’s life and therefore what that life should be … to further spread the light of Masonry to our lesser informed Brethren..
It also tells us that none but the meritorious and praiseworthy, who through diligence and industry have advanced far toward perfection, and who have been seated in the Oriental Chair by the unanimous suffrages of their Brethren, can be admitted to this degree of Masonry.
Royal Arch—An ancient manuscript states “The Royal Arch Degree has always been considered more august, sublime and important than those which have preceded it and is the very summit of perfection in Ancient Masonry”. With the discoveries of the missing sacred treasure at the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon that which was lost in the Master Mason Degree is restored to the Craft in a vivid portrayal of epic events.