Saint Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter
BY EX. OSCAR A. GUINN JR.
The Royal Arch Lodge of Boston met on August 18, 1769, under the Charter of The Lodge of St. Andrew # 82, Boston, granted by the Grand Lodge of Scotland. It was called a "chapter" in the records of July 26, 1792; and referred to as "St. Andrews Chapter" on May 11, 1797.
St. Andrew's Chapter was represented at the Convocation of the Deputy Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts, in Mason's Hall, Green Dragon Tavern, Boston, on March 13, 1798, along with King Cyrus Chapter of Newburyport. The name of this new Grand Body was changed to Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Massachusetts on September 17, 1799.
There is no doubt that the Chapter took its name from the Mother Lodge. But, how did the Lodge receive its name?
The Centennial Memorial of Lodge. St, Andrew's, 1756 1769.- 166 states that the Charter of the Lodge was issued by the Grand Lodge of Scotland on November 30, 1756. And, "The name of Saint Andrew was bestowed upon the Lodge from the interesting fact that its petition was presented on that Saint's day."
But, why was St. Andrew important to the Scottish Grand Lodge?
St. Andrew was born in Bethsaida, in Galilee. He was a follower of John the Baptist and became one of the first Apostles called by Jesus. In turn, he brought his brother, Simon Peter, to Jesus. (John 1: 40-42)
Andrew was present on many occasions mentioned in the Gospels. A very interesting one was when he found a small lad with five loaves and two fish, with which Jesus fed 5,000. Later, Andrew went on a missionary journey, but the area in which he preached is open to doubt. Three ancient traditions compete for acceptance:
1. Scythia now Southern Russia, around the Caucasus Mts. and the Caspian Sea.
3. Ephesus, in Asia Minor.
All of these may be correct and locate places in which he worked at certain times.
He was considered a Patron Saint for Russia because of his early ministry there.
It is well documented, that he died in Patras, Greece, on November 30, 69. (The year is debated.) He was crucified on a cross in the form of a "X", which is now known as the St. Andrew's Cross. He was not nailed to the cross but tied to it. This was to prolong the suffering, which tradition says extended over two days.
His relics (parts of his body) have been moved often. They were in Constantinople by an early date. Many relics were stolen and taken to Rome in 1210. His Head was in St. Peters Church, Rome, until 196, when Pope Paul VI sent it to the Orthodox Church in Patras, Greece, where he had died. Some bones are in another Rome Church, and others are in Amalfi. There is a tradition that some bones were taken from Constantinople by St. Regulus, around 369, and deposited in a Church in Scotland. St. Andrew had been recognized as a Patron Saint of Scotland, even before that date for by 359 his Festival Day was recognized there. The Cross of St. Andrew is one of the symbols of Scotland.
In 1737, the Grand Lodge of Scotland instituted St. Andrew's Day as one of the Masonic Festival Days. Nineteen years later, on November 30, 1756, the petition from Boston was accepted, and The Lodge of St. Andrew received its name.
And, through that event, St. Andrews Royal Arch Chapter, Boston, began its great history.