High Priest (addressing the Chapter.)–Companions, you will assemble round the altar, for the purpose of assisting me in opening a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons.

All the members present (except the Grand Council) approach the altar, and, forming a circle, kneel, each upon his right knee. An opening in the circle is left for the High Priest, the King, and the Scribe. The High Priest rises and reads from the Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians, chap. iii., vs. 6 to 18:–

“Now we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which ye have received of us. For yourselves know how ye ought to follow us; for we behaved not ourselves disorderly among you; neither did we eat any man’s bread for naught; but wrought with labor and travail night and day, that we might not be chargeable to any of you; not because we have not power, but to make ourselves an example unto you to follow us,” &c.

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

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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 agreeTo 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,1 are given at low breath, each companion pronouncing the syllables or letters alternately, as follows:

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1st. 2nd. 3d.
Jah buh lun.
Jah buh
buh lun.
Je ho vah.
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Je ho
ho vah.
G o d.
G o
o d.1

After the word is thus given, the High Priest inquires if the word is right.

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