About the Order of The High Priesthood
The Order of the High Priesthood of Ontario contains a ceremony which is so old that we can not accurately date it. but for more than 6,000 years this ceremony has been the privilege of many thousands of men. It had it’s beginning in the primitive priesthood’ of the ancient past before Abraham began his entry into the land of Canaan and then came down. with many breaks, through the Jewish line for almost 2,000 years, until the time of Christ. The High Priesthood of Melchizedek predates the Jewish priesthood by 500 to 600 Years.
In the jurisdiction of the Province of Ontario, a member must be an Elected and Installed First Principal of a Royal Arch Mason Chapter in good standing. A First Principal will be inducted into a very long line of sacred and holy responsibility and this experience is not to be taken in a light and or frivolous spirit. This order is a sacred and solemn experience for you are among the chosen few who have been selected for this high honour.
Between 2,000 and 3,000 years before Christ there lived in Palestine a king who was, also, a High Priest of the Most High God. The name of this king was, Melchizedek whose kingdom was not large but was of tremendous importance for it constituted a valuable buffer state between the Egyptians to the south and the Assyrians to the north. The seat of this kingdom was a most impregnable fortified city named Salim. it was a self-contained city and deeply respected by the many lesser kingdoms whose names were read before you a few minutes ago. The evidence of this kingdom-city is not only recorded in the Holy Bible but by the great archaeologists who have discovered many references to it in the most ancient records of the past. These records were letters and historical reports by both Egyptian and Assyrian rulers. In some of these records the Habiri people were mentioned and were later called Hebrews. They were of the Abrahamic tribes that had come into the Ancient land of Canaan.
The fourteenth chapter of Genesis tells of a series of battles between the several small kingdoms in this area. One king, Chedorlaomer, was successful in the prolonged battle and during the campaign captured Lot, the nephew of Abraham, and his family, and carried them away to his own kingdom. Abraham was informed of the capture of his nephew Lot and immediately gathered his own private forces and set out to do battle with Chedorlaomer and his army to rescue Lot. Abraham was successful, for by careful planning he struck his enemy at night and defeated him. Armies in those times did not do battle at night and this was a complete surprise for Chedorlaomer’s forces.
—Abraham collected an enormous amount of loot and brought Lot safely to his home. Abraham was a generous man and did not need to keep all the loot so he gave much of it to the neighbouring kings and a tithe, or tenth of all the loot, to Melchizedek who was the High Priest of the Most High God. Melchizedek blessed Abraham and served him bread and wine in a religious ceremony. Again, let me remind you that the Holy Bible records the events which have been related.
As we search through the Holy Bible we find many references to Melchizedek in the Psalms and one, Psalm 110:4. speaks of it king: “Thou art a High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek. “ Again, we impress upon all members, most strongly, this is not “just another degree.” As you have discovered all through the York Rite all the teachings and materials are taken from the Holy Bible. We teach no philosophies, no pagan beliefs, no theories. This High Priesthood is something very special for you to be selected, instructed. anointed, and blessed at the sacred altar and made a High Priest forever after the Order of Melchizedek.
We charge you that there is a solemn obligation upon you to follow the teachings of this degree and remember that you have been anointed and set apart for a special purpose, a very high purpose, to exert a high morality and a deep and strong determination to conduct yourself as one set apart.
There are 8 Councils presently in Ontario from Ottawa to Sarnia, Sudbury, Espanola, Thornhill, Cobourg, Tillsonburg and Dunnville. All are thriving and would welcome any new First or Past First Principals of The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Please use the contact on this website.