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English and American Orders differences explained
Posted: 10 January 2019 05:37 AM   [ Ignore ]  
Total Posts:  9
Joined  2017-08-18

Hi Bretheren,
I saw this on UGLE Solomon and thought it was an easy explanation of the historic differences between the orders in England and in the USA.

It is in the USA that the greatest difference is seen. There, the Royal Arch forms part of a linked system
designated the ‘York Rite’, as opposed to the ‘Scottish Rite’, which is their name for what we call the
‘Ancient and Accepted Rite’. The York Rite developed as a result of the great influence of the Antients’
Grand Lodge of England on the development of American Freemasonry. The warrants of Lodges under the
Antients’ Grand Lodge stated that they were working ‘according to the ancient institutions granted by
Prince Edwin at York in AD 926’. This resulted in American Brethren referring to themselves as ‘Ancient
York Masons’.
We also know that the Antient’s Lodges believed that their warrants empowered them to work any of the
known Masonic degrees within the Lodge and so they developed a linked system of the three Craft
Degrees followed by the Mark, Passing the Chair (if the candidate was not already an Installed Master), the
Excellent Master and High or Super Excellent Master Degrees (the Veils ceremony) which qualified the
candidate for Exaltation and then allowed him to proceed to the Knight Templar, Rose Croix and ne plus
ultra degrees. This was the system that prevailed when the America lodges declared their independence
after the British colonies became the United States of America, and it continued when the Craft separated
itself from the other degrees, and the State Grand Chapters and other governing bodies began to be
Today, in general terms (as there are local differences) the York Rite in the USA consists of the Royal Arch,
in which the necessary preliminaries are the Mark, a Virtual Master Degree (many American Grand Lodges
do not have a special Installation ceremony like ours) and the Veils Ceremony, followed by the Knight of
Malta, Knight Templar and Red Cross degrees, the whole being worked as a progressive system.

Confusingly for us, despite the linking and interdependence of the Degrees, the various sections of the York
Rite - the Royal Arch, the Cryptic and the Knight Templar; each has its own sovereign and independent
State governing body and each has a national body which acts in an advisory capacity.



Junior Deacon, Ruislip St Martins Lodge - London, UK
Second Assistant Sojourner, Ruislip Chapter- London,UK
18° Ancient and Accepted Rite, Supreme Council 33° of England & Wales

Posted: 10 January 2019 11:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
Sr. Member
Total Posts:  1358
Joined  2011-11-10

(You may want to explain what ‘Solomon’ is ...)


UGLE: Craft (PAGDC), Royal Arch (PProvGTreas)
Additional Orders: Mark, RAM, A&AR;, KT, KTP, ROS


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