I find it interesting that Masonry's best kept secret might be the "Royal Arch Widow's Degree", a humorous side-degree unofficially worked by some Royal Arch Chapters.
A couple of well-crafted Google searches can land the full text of nearly any Masonic degree, exposed somewhere online, perhaps not in the format worked today or in a jurisdiction near you, but usually at least something shows up. This is not the case for the Royal Arch Widow's Degree. I don't know if this is good, bad, or weird. Of all the secrets Masonry has, this one seems the least apt to be a real secret, and the Brethren who perform it aren't under any obligation to keep it so. Maybe its insignificance keeps it from being of any interest to the Anti-Masonic crowd? But, this really all doesn't matter... I guess what really intrigues me about this is that the Internet doesn't have everything on it. We tend to think we have all information at our fingertips, but it really isn't the case. Maybe there are a whole slew of other degrees, perhaps authentic, serious ones, that are not available at all online? So, I guess the mysteries offered by the world's various fraternal orders cannot be fully penetrated by the Internet after all, and the only way to gain what they have to offer is to be initiated.
Steps to the Endowment.
6 years ago
You mean Freemasonry's best kept secret in certain parts of America. One does not find this quasi-degree elsewhere in the world.
An internet search revealed that this "degree" was conferred in Arizona (Oct 2007), Michigan (April 2007) & North Carolina (March 2007), plus it obviously isn't very new or unknown because it was also conferred in British Columbia (Canada) in March 2003. Also, since 1993, it has been conferred in odd-numbered years at the Colorado River Fall Festival where it will be available again in 2009.
Since January 2003, a Royal Arch Widow's Pin has been available from www (dot) freemasonstore (dot) com
so presumably the degree is conferred on more ladies than one might first imagine!
If you're still curious, I have the ritual.
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