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Most Excellent Companion
Randy R. Downey, KYGCH
Grand High Priest

Companions,

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! This phrase has been heard many times, and stated in many ways. I have adopted this as my theme, my motto, and my overarching mission for the 2017-2018 Grand Capitular year. But my hope is that it is a message that will endure long after my time is done.

To me, LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE, has a number of meanings. From an institutional perspective, we must let the light of Royal Arch Masonry shine. The Royal Arch is the gateway to the York Rite – a Mason must first join a Chapter, before obtaining membership in a Council or a Commandery. Therefore we bear a heavier burden as Companions of the Royal Arch. We must allow our Masonic brethren to see the light we shine – to inform them that in York Rite, we do indeed offer more light in Masonry. It is incumbent upon us to share what we know, to allow our knowledge to shine on the members of our lodges, that they, too, may come to understand the beauty and wonder of York Rite Masonry. .

From a personal perspective, we must, each of us, shine our own light. This too, has multiple meanings. Our light must project what we as individuals are, and what we as Royal Arch Masons are. In order for any Mason to truly desire membership in our York Rite, he must see that its members are worthy of emulation. For that reason, we must not only be shown to be good Royal Arch and York Rite Masons, but we must each project the best parts of ourselves, to allow our better selves to shine, and thus inspire others to follow our example. We must also shine such that the world at large may see us, to know that as Masons, we are better for our relationship with this ancient craft. .

Beyond Masonry, we should all strive to simply be the best persons we can be – to be honest, ethical, and compassionate, and demonstrate by our actions and words at all time, that integrity and love are the codes by which we live. In this way, we cannot help but to let our shine, and thus to inspire others to they themselves be better. .

This year, I have designed a lapel pin to be symbolic translation of my theme. It is a sunburst behind a keystone. The keystone is a symbol of Royal Arch Masonry, and is that by which we are often identified. The sun behind the stone, casting its brilliant rays all around it, reminds us of that light which warms us and allows us each day to see the world. I hope it to be a constant reminder to each of us to let our light shine. .

Companions, when we strive to better ourselves, we then become better Masons. And it follows that as better Masons, we make our Chapters better. Remember to shine your light on those members that are new to York Rite, and more importantly, to those Companions who may be less active than they once were. Remind them by your attitude, energy, and demeanor, that Royal Arch Masonry has a purpose – to further the lessons began in the symbolic lodge – to educate, inform, and brighten. .

Throughout this coming year, and beyond, I ask you all to remember the things you admire most about our craft, to recall the beautiful lessons we teach in Royal Arch Masonry, and to rededicate yourselves to them, that you may in turn inspire others to membership and service, and thus brightly project the rays of the York Rite to the community of Masons, and to the world. .

I am excited that this year we begin the formulation of a new project, wherein we will be encouraging Companions to remember our Grand Chapter, and ultimately all of York Rite, in their estate planning – to remember us after the sable curtains have parted. This will be patterned after a Grand Lodge program that has been in place for some time. The program is really only in the conceptual stage at this point, and details will follow in the not too distant future. But I wanted to plant the idea in your mind, that there is an opportunity for you, in the future, to include the Grand Chapter in your plans. .

I look forward to seeing the Companions throughout the state this year, and hope that when we meet, we are of such a mind as to make a true difference in each other’s lives. .

LET YOUR LIGHT SHINE! .

Randy R. Downey, KYGCH
Grand High Priest, Royal Arch Mason of California

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