York Rite Education - Officers of a Royal Arch Chapter

Officers of a Royal Arch Chapter

Graig Huber

The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of the state of Indiana’s Constitution and By-Laws States:

“Each Chapter shall consist of a High Priest, King, Scribe, Treasurer, Secretary, Captain of the Host, Principal Sojourner, Royal Arch Captain, Masters of the First, Second and Third Veils and Guard.”

As one can see, with all of the officers a Chapter contains, it is difficult for a Companion to remember the various officer jewels for the respective officers as well as other "Masonic Symbolism” the officers and their regalia might allude to. In the written work of “A Handbook for Royal Arch Masons”, the author Ray V. Denslow has a very concise section of the work dedicated to Chapter officers. Below is a truncated excerpt of this section:

“The High Priest represents a High Priest of Israel. His emblem is the Mitre, reminding him of the dignity of his office and impressing upon him his dependence upon God - for it carries the inscription “Holiness to the Lord” across its face, teaching that perfection is not given unto man upon earth, but that perfect holiness belongs only to the Lord."

“The King wears a Crown, he is representative of the King of ancient Israel; his badge is the Crown surmounted by the Level, because though exalted above his companions, he is yet upon a level with them as respects his duty to God and his neighbors.”

“The third officer of a Chapter is the Scribe, whose emblem of office is a Plumb-Rule surmounted by the Turban. He wears a Purple Robe, which is an emblem of Union, reminding its wearer of the harmony which should exist in the Chapter.”

“The Captain of the Host corresponds to the Senior Deacon in the Lodge; he is actually the Master of Ceremonies and should superintend all processions and ceremonies.”

“The Principal Sojourner represents the leader of a small band of Israelites that made its way from Babylon to Jerusalem to assist in the rebuilding of the Temple. His robe is that of a traveler; custom prescribes a gray robe with a rose-colored tessellated border.”

“The Treasurer is the financial officer of the Chapter… His Jewel is the Crossed Keys.”

“The Secretary is the clerical officer of a Chapter… His Jewel is Crossed Quills, or Pens.”

“The Royal Arch Captain is a military character and his Jewel is a sword, or a crossed sword.”

“The Masters of Veils are military characters and their robes should be of that design. Their jewels are swords.”

A Companion should take notice of a “Missing Officer”. In both the Constitution and By-Laws of the Indiana Grand Chapter and Mr. Denslow’s section on Chapter officers, one officer well known to any Freemason is not mentioned: Chaplain. This is interesting to me, in that in every degree or Masonic function I have attended, a Chaplain (or a brother taking the role of Chaplain) has given some prayer to Deity. Now most, if not all, Chapters in Indiana have a Chaplain but why no mention in our governing bodies By-laws of this particular non-controversial officer. A good question to ask our Grand Historian in our next Chapter Instructional.


Receive Masonic education, event notifications, and more by signing up for our weekly emails at www.pratheryorkrite.com/newslettersignup.