Visiting in the Royal Arch Degrees
As a Scottish Royal Arch Mason, you are in the fortunate position of being able to visit Chapters and Mark Lodges in all other recognised Constitutions. Your Royal Arch regalia is acceptable when visiting Mark Lodges furth of Scotland, including England. When visiting a Mark ceremonial worked within a Scottish Constitution Lodge, you must wear your Lodge regalia. Installed Principals and Past Principals who are not Installed Masters in the Craft are sometimes not permitted to attend the Chair degree working in English Constitution Chapters, as they lack the requisite qualification.
Visitors from Irish, Australian, New Zealand and North American Constitutions present no problems.
However, Royal Arch Chapters working under a small number of other Constitutions only work the Royal Arch degree, and do not require their candidates to have been previously advanced to the Mark degree. England is a good example of this, where it is common not to have been advanced. They will also not have the Excellent Master degree. Therefore the following recommendations apply when receiving visitors from England and other Constitutions based on the English system.
If your visitor has not been advanced, he cannot be admitted to witness a Mark degree, nor be present during a Mark affiliation. If your visitor has been advanced but is not a Royal Arch Mason, if you have opened and adjourned your Chapter for work in the Mark degree, he cannot be admitted. However, if you have opened directly into the Mark degree without opening your Chapter, then he may be admitted.
Excellent Master Degree
If your visitor has not received this degree, he cannot be admitted for this part of the evening.
Royal Arch Degree
This degree presents the fewest problems. When the candidates are passing the Guards, strictly speaking English Constitution visitors should be asked to retire, but are often allowed to remain on the understanding that they do not divulge what they have seen.
Visiting in the Royal and Select Degrees
It is recommended that you contact the Recorder of the Cryptic Council before setting out as meetings in these degrees are prone to change and cancellation. Further, in Scotland , the September and October meetings are often given over to business and Installations only. As a Scottish Royal, Select and Super Excellent Master , you are in the fortunate position of being able to visit Cryptic Councils in other Constitutions with which we are in amity. In the English and American workings there are four degrees – the first, second and fourth are the same as ours, but we do not have their third degree which, confusingly, is called “Most Excellent Master”. This is not the same as the E.M. degree in our Royal Arch workings. There are reciprocal agreements which permit intervisitation, but a visitor may be asked to take a heling obligation not to reveal what he has witnessed.
Cryptic Masons from the English Constitution or other recognised Constitutions are fully qualified to attend our Cryptic Council meetings.
Visiting in the Lodge & Council Degrees
It is recommended that you contact the Recorder of the Lodge and Council before setting out as meetings in these degrees are prone to change and cancellation. Further, in Scotland , the Septemberand October meetings are often given over to business and Installations only. As a Scottish Royal Ark Mariner , you are in the fortunate position of being eligible to visit Mariner’s Lodges in other Jurisdictions with which we are in amity As a Scottish Knight of the East and West , you are eligible to visit Councils working under the Grand Councils of Knight Masons of Ireland and the United States of America , but there are no reciprocal agreements with Councils of the Allied Masonic Degrees in England or elsewhere.
English Constitution visitors to our Lodges & Councils are most likely to have been elevated in the Mariner’s degree only. A few of them may have taken a truncated degree called the Red Cross of Babylon within a Council of the Allied Masonic Degrees, but there is no reciprocal agreement regarding intervisitation. Thus visitors from the English Constitution may remain for the Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners only, and must be asked to retire during the Red Cross Council workings. Visitors from the Grand Council of Knight Masons of the Irish Constitution may remain for the Red Cross Council workings only, and must not be admitted to a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners. The situation regarding visitors from other constitutions is complicated and advice should be sought in advance from the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland.