A few years ago I decided to pursue the Royal Arch but I came to the group in a strange way. My lodge rents the facility to a RAM chapter, so I was familiar with the image of the triple tau but knew little about the group.
One night a meeting was called among some of the more active brethren of my lodge but when we got there we found that the building was already occupied by the Royal Arch members. We went elsewhere for our brief meeting but not before I caught a glimpse of some of the men who were there. They were guys I already knew and looked up to and many of the ones I did not know personally I knew by reputation. I decided then that this was a group I wanted to be part of.
Since joining, I have learned quite a bit about the order and am enjoying this pursuit. Getting to know the officers and members in my own chapter as well as the area chapters has been interesting because most of them were people I already knew to be masters of the Masonic ritual. Now it turns out that they are also masters of the Royal Arch ritual. Later I learned that they are almost all active in the Scottish Rite as well. Having a grasp on the operations of any one body is impressive enough, but many of the guys I know are experts on more than one level. It is very impressive and humbling. I am barely a master of anything, and I get to sit with these fine gentlemen who are more knowledgeable than I am ever likely to be.
So much of Masonry has been like this for me – following people whom I considered mentors, whether they knew it or not, and finding myself part of something surprisingly interesting and worthwhile. My brother (biological brother, that is) had advised me not to join any appendant bodies for at least one year and to spend that time in my mother lodge, learning and getting active. I followed his sage advice but knew early on that I would join the Royal Arch Chapter.
This year I am the king of my chapter. It’s different from being Elvis, at least so far, and I am excited about being the high priest next year. That’s when it will really feel like being Elvis!