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Substitute Candidate

An arrangement resorted to in the Royal Arch Degree of the American system, so as to comply preform, as a matter of form, with the requisitions of the ritual. In the English, Scotch, and Irish systems, there is no regulation requiring the presence of three candidates, and, therefore, the practice of employing substitutes is unknown in those countries. In the United States the usage has prevailed from a very early period, although opposed at various times by conscientious Companions, who thought that it was an improper evasion of the law. Finally, the question as to the employment of substitutes came before the General Grand Chapter in September, 1872, when it was decided, by a vote of ninety-one to thirty, that the use of substitutes is not in violation of the ritual of Royal Arch Masonry or the installation charges delivered to a High Priest.

The use of them was therefore authorized, but the Chapters were exhorted not to have recourse to them except in cases of emergency; an unnecessary exhortation, it would seem, since it was only in such eases that they had been employed.

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