After the reading, the High Priest, the King, and the Scribe approach the altar and take their places in the circle, kneeling with the rest, the King on the right, and the Scribe on the left of the High Priest. Each one now crosses his arms and gives his right hand to his left-hand companion, and his left hand to his right-hand companion. This constitutes the living arch under which the Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word must be given, but it must also be given by three times three, as hereafter explained.
The High Priest now whispers in the King’s ear the pass-word RABBONI.
The King whispers it to the companion on his right, and he to the next one, and so on until it comes round to the Scribe, who whispers it to the High Priest.
High Priest–The word is right.
The companions now all balance three times three with their arms; that is, they raise their arms and let them fall upon their knees three times in concert–after a short pause, three times more, and after another pause, three times more. They then rise and give all the signs, from the Entered Apprentice up to this Degree, after which they join in squads of three for giving the Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word, as follows:
Each one takes hold with his right hand of the right wrist of his companion on the left, and with his left hand takes hold of the left wrist of his companion on the right. Each one then places his right foot forward with the hollow in front, so that the toe touches the heel of his companion on the right. This is called “three times three;” that is, three right feet forming a triangle, three left hands forming a triangle, and three right hands forming a triangle. In this position each repeats the following:
As we three did agree,
In peace, love, and unity,
The Sacred Word to keep,
So we three do agree,
In peace, love, and unity,
The Sacred Word to search;
Until we three,
Or three such as we, shall agree
To close this Royal Arch.
They then balance three times three, bringing the right band with some violence down upon the left. The right hands are then raised above their heads, and the words, Jah-buh-lun, Jehovah, G-o-d, are given at low breath, each companion pronouncing the syllables or letters alternately, as follows:
After the word is thus given, the High Priest inquires if the word is right.
Each squad replies that it is right.
The officers and companions resume their seats. The High Priest raps three times with his gavel, the King repeats it, as also the Scribes; this is done three times (• • • • • • • • •).
High Priest (rising.)–I now declare this Chapter of Royal Arch Masons opened in due and ancient form; and I hereby forbid all improper conduct whereby the peace and harmony of this Chapter may be disturbed, under no less penalties than the by-laws, or a majority of the Chapter, may see fit to inflict.
High Priest (to Captain of the Host.)–Companion Captain, please to inform the Guard that the Chapter is open.
The Captain proceeds on this duty, while the Secretary reads the minutes of the last meeting. Should there be any candidates to be balloted for, this is the first business in order. If one or more candidates are waiting without, the Principal Sojourner goes to the preparation-room to get them ready. If there are not three of them, a companion or companions volunteer to make the trio, as not less than three can perform the ceremonies. The three take off their coats, when the Principal Sojourner ties bandages over their eyes, and, taking a long rope, coils it seven times round the body of each, leaving about three feet slack between.
He then proceeds with them to the door of the Chapter and gives seven distinct knocks.
Captain (rising.)–There is an alarm at the door, Most Excellent.
High Priest–Attend to the cause of it, and see who comes there.
The Captain of the Host goes to the door and raps on it nine times. The Principal Sojourner, outside, answers this by three times three, and then gives one rap, which the Captain answers by one, and then partly opens the door.
exerpt from Mackey’s Encyclopedia of Freemasonary at http://www.phoenixmasonry.org/mackeys_encyclopedia/index.htm
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