royarch

royar
Robert L. Pennell, Most Excellent High Priest Of The Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter, explains, "History records that Royal Arch Masonry was first mentioned by a secretary of the Ancients, Laurence Dermott, in 1756, noting at the time, 'Royal Arch, I firmly believe to be the root, heart and marrow of Masonry.' Further, the minutes of Royal Arch Chapter No. 3 dating from Dec. 3, 1767, are still in existence and are carefully preserved in the Archives of The Masonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania at the Masonic Temple in Philadelphia."

The first historical note referencing the organizing of a Royal Arch Chapter is that of Harmony Royal Arch Chapter on Apr. 28, 1794. The next year, Nov. 23, 1795, a committee presented a report to the Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania attempting to institute a new Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. It took from then until 1824 to formulate a constitution that established The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania. Finally, The Grand Chapter gained its independence and a constitution was amended and adopted. Just as Freemasons in Pennsylvania declared themselves independent of the Grand Lodge of England in 1786 by forming the R.W. Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania, by virtue of a resolution in 1824, The Grand Holy Arch Chapter of Pennsylvania became separate and distinct.

The Grand Chapter of Pennsylvania was opened in "ancient and solemn form" on May 17, 1824 and forthwith closed in harmony, sine die. Immediately, seven companions met to organize into a Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter. They appointed temporary Grand officers, the first three being "First, Second, and Third Grand Chiefs," who were to hold office until an election be held for Grand officers by virtue of the constitution. A week later they elected a Grand High Priest, Grand King, Grand Scribe, Grand Secretary, and Grand Treasurer.

Rules and regulations for the government of the Grand Chapter were adopted that July 16 and then on Oct. 8 various forms of warrants for Chapters, Mark Lodges, and Most Excellent Lodges were decided upon. The first warrant was granted to George Washington Chapter No. 135, Chambersburg.

At its first annual communication on Dec. 27, 1824, it was resolved "that it is of utmost importance that a distinct understanding should exist between the Right Worshipful Grand Lodge of Pennsylvania and The Grand Holy Royal Arch Chapter of Pennsyl-vania" and from that date to the present, peace and harmony has prevailed.

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