The exaltation ceremony is not the easiest to understand and for the Exaltee, it is very different from the ceremonies he has gone through in his Craft Lodge.
I am sure that every RA Companion can remember his exaltation and would admit that some explanation of what he was doing would have been helpful. Also, for all witnessing the ceremony, a reminder of the background to the 3 scenes that we witness would not go amiss.
To help Exaltees and all RA masons get a better and possibly quicker understanding of our Degree ceremony, There are two sets of explanations which are intended to be READ – not necessarily learnt. They are not part of our established rituals but an addition thereto. “Setting the Scene”
The “Sojourners Readings” are for the benefit of the candidate and are to help him gain a better understanding of our story. They are intended to be read to him “outside” the Chapter room before the sojourners and the exaltee, make their respective 3 entrances. They should be read by either of the sojourners accompanying the candidate. It is also suggested that the leaflet be printed and given to the candidate at the end of the ceremony for him to read in his own time,
“Setting the Scene” is intended to enable all Companions present in the Chapter Room to gain a better understanding of, and thereby more enjoyment from, the Exaltation Ceremony, which can be confusing, as the location of the story changes throughout the ceremony without any obvious change in the scenery, unlike our Craft ceremonies. The readings are intended to set the scenes during the intervals when the Sojourners have retired from the Chapter and can be given by any nominated Reader. Again, they are not required to be learned and recited.
These additional explanations have the approval of our Most Excellent Grand Superintendent and I hope that all Suffolk Royal Arch Chapters will see the benefits for Exaltees and all Companions, and adopt these in their working. It may be sensible to keep copies in your Chapter locker or box. They are also available as downloads in the Royal Arch web site.
If you have any comments, suggestions or improvements – please let me know.
Yours Sincerely & Fraternally
E. Comp. Raymond Pascoe Provincial Almoner/ Mentor.