Why Should I Join This Fascinating Order?
The Order is open to all Master Masons who are also Companions of the Holy Royal Arch and Mark Master Masons. There are over 240 Councils under the Grand Council, administered from Mark Masons’ Hall. The Order of Royal and Select Masters is often referred as the “Cryptic” degree. The Order makes the link between between the third degree of Craft Masonry and the recovery of the Word in the Royal Arch.
This builds on the Mark Degree. It explains the background to the construction of a secret vault (or crypt) directly beneath the Holy of Holies of the Temple. In this vault copies of the most sacred treasures were to be placed to preserve them in the event that the Temple should be destroyed. The construction of the vault is carried out by a few Select Masons, sworn to secrecy and appointed by the three Grand Masters.
This takes place within the Holy of Holies very shortly before the completion of the Temple. Hiram Abif inadvertently explains to one of those Select Masters, Adoniram, why the Master Word will never be lost.This disclosure is made in what many consider to be the finest and most beautiful piece of Masonic ritual.
Most Excellent Master
This degree covers the final stages in the construction of King Solomon’s Temple and its dedication. King Solomon rewards those most skilful workmen, including those who assisted in the construction of the secret vault, with the title of Most Excellent Master.
Super Excellent Master
This degree covers the invasion of Jerusalem, the siege and fall of the city and the eventual destruction of the Temple by Nebuchadnezzar. The Jews are removed to Babylon where they remain in captivity. After a period of seventy years the Jews eventually return to Judah to begin the construction of the second Temple as described in the Holy Royal Arch.