Many readers are concerned by their membership of Royal Arch Chapters and Mark Lodges in France.
The present situation calls for no other comment for the Royal Arch than for the Craft, as they are under the same Jurisdiction. The Mark continues likewise under the GLMMMF.
However, what lies ahead is liable to change :
- Royal Arch is a matter of reflexion in an open and very general sense. Should it remain under the GM of the Craft? If not, to what can it be attached? Should it be put into a grouping, if not a hierarchical system, to include……. (and here the suggestions as to what other side degrees it could include are multiple and varied ….. perhaps, the Mark, or one of the sorts of Mark degrees presently practised in France.
- The GLMMMF has not responded to the other (3rd) joint declaration made by the three Commanders of the Grand Priory of the Scottish Rectified Rite, the Supreme Council of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the Grand Chapter of the French or Modern Rite, clearly stating that they consider the Chair of Grand Master to be vacant. The position of the GM of the GLMMMF is thus open at this moment to speculation which side he is on. This could have a bearing on what happens to the GLMMMF after the reform is set into motion.
In a general way, the complexity of Mark and Royal Arch workings in France is such that it could cause some surprise to readers accustomed to the rather more static situation in the UK.
Here, Bro Nemausus offers us a synoptic look at these and other allied degrees as practised in France today.
The GLMMMF and the various degrees that were practised under its jurisdiction. I say “were” practised, because, although they are still worked, some have become independent of the GLMMMF: The Allied Masonic Degrees, The Order of the Secret Monitor, Royal and Select Masters and The Red Cross of Constantine.
The above is up-to-date, except for the Knights Templar Priest for which the Warrant has still not been recovered, and some qualifications have changed: it is no longer required to be Prince of the Order of the Secret Monitor (part 2) to enter the Allied Masonic Degrees, nor Royal Ark Mariner to enter Royal and Select Masters or Royal and Select Master to enter the Red Cross of Constantine. A Mark Master Mason can apply to join these Orders directly. We may add the Societas Rosicruciana in Anglia, which has come back under English Warrant.
(translator’s note: it is not known by me if all or any of the above can be practised in English over here, apart from mark and Royal Arch. Brethren interested can obtain that information from their brothers in France or by using the Contactbutton here)
Remaining strictly within the structures of the GLNF or the SGCUMARF (Supreme United Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons for France), the way leads from Master Mason to Royal Arch, then Knight Templar, including Knight of Malta, the summit of the progression. Qualification (usually dependant on the working in the craft lodge background) leads to one of three rites practised in the SGCUMARF:
Domatic : Companion of the Royal Arch.
Scottish Royal Arch comprising : Mark Master Mason, Excellent Master and Mason of the Royal Arch.. These three degrees are conferred in the same year.
American Royal Arch : comprising : Mark Master Mason, Virtual Passed Master, Very Excellent Master, Royal Arch Mason (including Excellent Master with the Passing of the Veils.
The advantage of American Royal Arch is that its members can visit all the others in all their degrees, but the opposite is not so.
At present it should be noted that there is no bridge between the GLMMMF degrees and the SGCUMARF.
The Scottish and no doubt the American Royal Arch will soon be complete systems with the addition of RAM, Cryptic and Babylon, the practice of which has been authorized by the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch of Scotland on March 20th 2010. Also K.T. Preceptories in the Scottish Rite, for which Grand Priory has also given its authorization.
Translated by Arturusrex.