The Ceremony of the Veils dates back to the time before 1834 when the Supreme Grand Chapter introduced the basis of the current working of the Royal Arch ceremonies.
There is some evidence that before those changes the ceremony of Passing the Veils was practised as a preliminary to the Exaltation ceremony. This was particularly true in Lodges under the former Antients Grand Lodge which worked the Royal Arch ceremony within the Craft Lodge.
Today in England the ceremony is solely authorised for use in Chapters in Bristol but it is still very much part of the Royal Arch system in Ireland, the United States of America and in Scotland – where it is known as the Excellent Master Degree. For those wishing to see the Bristol ceremony, the Province and its Chapters are always delighted to receive visitors. East Kent Royal Arch Masons were given a rare opportunity to witness the unique Bristol workings at Maidstone in 2015. Click here to read the report.
Special dispensation must be obtained from Supreme Grand Chapter before the Ceremony of the Veils can be performed in any other Province under the English Constitution. Even then, any dispensation normally restricts demonstrations to a maximum of just one per year. In 2014 our Grand Superintendent managed to secure permission for three demonstrations to be conducted in East Kent. Click here for reports of these demonstrations.
The demonstration of the Ceremony of the Veils is given by a team from the East Kent Provincial Grand Stewards’ Chapter No 5866. Any East Kent Chapter wishing to host such a demonstration is invited to contact Steve Salisbury on 07867 973280, or by using the contact form below. Availability is limited and, as special dispensation must be obtained, plenty of notice is needed. If successful, it is expected that the Scribe E of the host Chapter would be primarily responsible for publicising the demonstration to Chapters in his locality.