The titles of First Grand Principal and Pro First Grand Principal bear the prefix of 'Most Excellent', why do not the other Grand Ranks mirror the Craft and carry the prefixes of 'Right Excellent’ or ‘Very Excellent'?
Replied by SPGC
on Friday, September 07 2012, 01:45 PM
Regulation 4 states -
The prefixes to be accorded to and used by Companions are as follows:
Most Excellent (M.E.)
The Three Grand Principals and the Pro First Grand Principal; all Past Grand Principals and Past Pro First Grand Principals. In the case of Metropolitan Grand Superintendents in and over Metropolitan Areas, Grand Superintendents in and over Provinces and Districts and First Principals of private Chapters the prefix ‘Most Excellent’ is to be attached to the titles but not to the names of the Excellent Companions holding such Offices.
Grand Officers, present and past, and Principals of Chapters, present and past.
All other Companions shall be styled ‘Companion’ only.
There are no salutes to any Companions in Royal Arch Masonry.
Though no reason is given for the differentiation, it is relevant that, within a Chapter, the only salutes given are those on entering and retiring, and then only to the Name. Also, the colours of aprons and sashes do not change with higher rank. Additionally, in earlier rituals, all the companions con-jointly opened and closed the chapter.
All of this suggests that Companions are of equal status. The elimination of a range of titles and prefixes reinforces that concept, and represents another of the differences between the Craft and the RA.
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