The next article in the Words & Phrases series is on the word "Chapter." This term is used in several concordant and appendant bodies within the Masonic family. The term in Freemasonry often indicates a basic organizational unit, but can also be used within a degree or as a name of a national/international governing body.
The word "chapter" is defined as the main division of a publication, a unit of measure specified period of time ("I opened a new chapter in my life"), or a local branch of an organization. The etymological root of "chapter" is in the Latin word "caput" meaning "head," but could also be "leader, guide, chief, summit, origin, or source."
Within Freemasonry, a Chapter is used to indicate the basic organizational unit for a variety of concordant and appendant bodies such as a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons in the York Rite of Freemasonry, Chapter of Rose Croix (15° - 18°) within the Scottish Rite, Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star, the Order of DeMolay, and the 7° - 10° in the Swedish Rite. There are some degrees within groups like the Scottish Rite, Ancient Toltec Rite, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, Royal Order of Scotland, and Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cité Sainte. Within Royal Arch Masonry, the use of Chapter is appropriate as the Capitular or Royal Arch degrees include the keystone which crowned or completed the Royal Arch and the Temple of Solomon.
1. Chapter. (n.d.). Retrieved from Etymology Online: https://www.etymonline.com/word/chapter
2. Chapter. (n.d.). Retrieved from Merriam-Webster Dictionary: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/chapter
3. Chapter. (n.d.). Retrieved from Masonic Dictionary: http://www.masonicdictionary.com/chapter.htm