What is Royal Arch Masonry?
Great explanation on what Royal Arch Masonry is, especially how it differs in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Royal Arch Masonry or Capitular Masonry is an concordant body of Freemasonry and the first step in the York Rite system of Masonry.
In order to be eligible for membership in the Royal Arch, you must be a member in good standing of a Symbolic (Blue) Lodge. For more information on joining Freemasonry in Virginia, visit the Grand Lodge of Virginia.
Once considered an integral part of Symbolic Masonry, the Book of Constitutions of the United Grand Lodge of England stated "...pure Antient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz. those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch." This laid an important foundation of the importance of Royal Arch Masonry. Today, Royal Arch Masonry is governed independently in various jurisdictions.
The Royal Arch operates as Chapters with a Grand Chapter holding Jurisdiction. In the United States, jurisdiction extends from State to State. The first conferral of the Royal Arch degree in the United Stated was in Fredericksburg Lodge on December 22, 1753. The Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons in Virginia was founded in 1808. Read more on the history of Grand Chapter.
The Degrees conferred in the Royal Arch are: Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch. In Virginia, the Cryptic Council Degrees of Select Master and Royal Master are part of the Capitular Degrees and are inserted chronologically after the Past Master Degree. Read more on the Capitular Degrees in Virginia.
As in all branches of Freemasonry, philanthropy is an important part of Royal Arch Masonry, the main charity supported by the Grand Chapter of Virginia is the Alzheimer's Association.
Applying to membership is open to all Master Masons in good standing. Petitions are available and requires signature of two vouchers who are Royal Arch Masons in good standing.
Once a member of the Royal Arch you can continue your journey of seeking More Light in Masonry and reveal that which was lost, the goal of our Spiritual and Masonic Teaching.
Taken from: Grand Chapter Royal Arch Masons in Virginia website