While the keystone is the principal locking stone of the Arch, the Copestone is the top, or cap of the entire wall. Therefore, The Royal Arch of Freemasonry, which has been classed as “the Copestone of Ancient Craft Masonry”, is known as the Capitular Rite.
In the United States, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons confers the degrees of Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and The Most Sublime Degree of the Holy Royal Arch. To add realism to the work, these degrees are usually conferred in appropriate costumes.
In Virginia and West Virginia, the Royal Arch Chapters also confer the Royal and Select Masters degrees of the Cryptic Rite. In Pennsylvania, the Grand Lodge retains control of the Past Master’s Degree.
While solicitation cannot be made for members for the Symbolic Lodge, once a man has attained the rank of Master Mason, he can and should be encouraged to continue his Masonic Education in the York rite. Several Grand Lodges specify a waiting period before a Master Mason is permitted to advance. All Capitular Masons should be familiar with the requirements of their jurisdiction.Excerpted from: A History and Handbook, The York Rite of Freemasonry, by Frederic G. Speidel