Many reasons could be advanced, and some have already been alluded to, but three are of special importance. Firstly, it greatly enhances his knowledge of Craft Masonry. Secondly, it teaches, in a delightful way, many important practical lessons about life. Thirdly, it gives a greater appreciation of the Royal Arch and provides an essential qualification to other Orders in Masonry.

The first reason? There are many terms and phrases, even Biblical characters, introduced in the Craft that remain a mystery to many brethren. For example, what does the Senior Warden mean, at the closing of the Lodge, by the expression “…having seen that every Brother has had his due”? This is but one many peculiarities of the Craft that become much clearer in the Mark.

The second reason? Mark is not only a true craftsman’s degree but it also teaches invaluable lessons about life, for example:

• The studious application of skill and ingenuity, resulting in high quality workmanship, will ultimately be rewarded, even if at first it is not understood or appreciated by others.

• We each have different skills to offer and different contributions to make. To be accepted we must always be honest and give of our best – the impostor will inevitably be uncovered and receive his due punishment.

• We can not properly judge others unless we are sufficiently competent ourselves and exercise humility in the process.

• We must all accept responsibility for the tasks we agree to undertake and not blame others for our own shortcomings.

Such lessons the craftsman learns, in a dramatic way, in the ceremony. He is, of course, to apply them, not just to the immediate task of symbolically building the Temple, but in the way he conducts himself through life.

The third reason? A Craft Mason who joins the Royal Arch directly from the Craft, as most do under the English Constitution (it is not permitted in other constitutions), is confronted with a sudden and bewildering change of symbolism. This is because an important intermediate step has been omitted – the Mark. The Mark adds essential background and symbolism on the construction of the Temple, the Principal Arch and the Keystone, thereby providing a clearer introduction to the Royal Arch ceremony.

 

 

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