Copyright 2010, Supremo Gran Capítulo de España, Webmaster M. E. Comp. Graham Simons 3rd G Prin
SUPREME GRAND CHAPTER OF ROYAL ARCH MASONS OF SPAIN
The Royal Arch is the continuation of Craft Freemasonry. Its members, called Companions, meet in Chapters under a Grand Chapter. Chapters are ruled over by three Principals, who rule conjointly, and the Grand Chapter is ruled over by three Grand Principals, with a Deputy First Grand Principal to share the workload of the First Grand Principal.
Chapters are grouped into Provinces and Districts where there are enough, or report straight to Grand Chapter when there are fewer. Provincial and District Grand Chapters are ruled over by a Grand Superintendent who is appointed by the First Grand Principal as his personal representative for the particular area.
In Spain the Royal Arch has four ceremonies: the exaltation ceremony to bring in new members and an installation ceremony for each of the three Principals. The exaltation ceremony is in two parts: a rather dramatic presentation of the principles of the Order followed by three Lectures in which the history, symbolism and principles of the Royal Arch are further explained. Like Craft Freemasonry, the Royal Arch is open to men of all faiths.
In Spain, the Royal Arch is considered to be the completion of 'pure ancient Masonry'. In the Craft the candidate is presented with a series of eminently practical principles and tenets which if he practices them he may hope to live a life of service to his fellow man. But man is not simply a practical being; he has an essential spiritual aspect to his nature. That spiritual aspect is introduced in the Third Degree, in which the candidate is led to a contemplation of man's inevitable destiny, and becomes the central message of the Royal Arch. In that sense, 'pure ancient Masonry' can be seen as a journey of self - knowledge and discovery with the Royal Arch completing the practical lessons of the Craft by a contemplation of man's spiritual nature, not replacing but reinforcing and supporting what he has learned from his religion.
Qualifications for Membership of the Holy Royal Arch :-
A Master Mason and a SUBSCRIBING member of a REGULAR Craft Lodge recognised by the Grand Lodge of Spain.
In the Book of Constitutions there is a preliminary declaration which reads:-
'Pure Ancient 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 Arch'
Once you have received the three Degrees, you have become eligible to complete your Masonic course by acquiring the Holy Royal Arch Order.
Royal Arch Masonry is not a separate degree, but is the completion of the third and a Master Mason's experience is not comprehensive until he has been exalted into his Supreme Order which comprises the climax of Masonry.
The Order is not conferred in the Craft Lodge but in another assembly called a Chapter which is attached to a Craft Lodge and whose members are referred to as Companions. The Chapter is subordinate to the Supreme Grand Chapter of Spain and its officials are the same as those of the Grand Lodge of Spain. Further fees are necessary, although less in amount.