It’s Second Time Lucky For Berwick Upon Tweed Royal Arch Chapter

08th July 2023

The end of June saw Berwick-upon-Tweed Royal Arch Chapter No.393, which meets at Berwick Masonic Hall, undertake the Exaltation ceremony of Bro. Darren Curry, a member of the recently amalgamated Farne and Glendale Lodge No.5228, which meets at Seahouses Masonic Hall.

It was in fact Darren’s second Exaltation, having previously joined the Hirsel and Dunse Caledonian Royal Arch Chapter No.466, in the Scottish Constitution, which meets in Coldstream.

The joining of a Royal Arch Chapter in Scotland differs significantly in comparison to the process under the auspices of the Supreme Grand Chapter in England.

The starting point of Freemasonry in Scotland is the Blue Lodge where the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason are conferred upon the candidate.

At this point a candidate is eligible to join a Royal Arch Chapter. The next step is the degree of a Mark Master, which can be conferred either by the Blue Lodge or the Royal Arch. If a candidate receives their Mark in a Blue Lodge they will be required to become an affiliate member in the Royal Arch Chapter. After this the degree of Excellent Master, or the ceremony of “Passing the Veils” is conferred, followed finally by the Royal Arch Degree.

The ceremony of “Passing the Veils” is relatively unknown in England with the exception of the Province of Bristol, where it forms an integral part of the Exaltation ceremony. It is performed by every one of the twelve Chapters at every Exaltation ceremony and is the way by which the Companions, including the Candidate, gain entry to the Chapter room.

The meeting in Berwick was attended by a number of Companions from the Hirsel and Dunse Caledonian Royal Arch Chapter, who had crossed the border to witness the ceremony.

As the First Principal was at work, a fine ceremony was conducted by a stand in, E.Comp Michael Hallsworth, with a recent joining member, E.Comp Paul Cassidy, acting as Third Principal. Also playing his part in the ceremony, E. Comp John Grey, fulfilled his role as Principal Sojourner with feeling and sincerity.

During the evening, Michael explained to the Companions present the change in the settings, a practice which is being actively encouraged in the Province.

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