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Degrees, Orders, and Sysems of Advancement
Posted: 21 March 2009 12:35 AM   [ Ignore ]  
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It sounds very much to me that there are a wide variety of entry levels depending on the capability of the individual.  On the one hand I hear about a system of advancement from one degree up to three and then a whole new system seems to set in, up to and including the tenth Templar degree.  On the other hand, I have recently understood that those that join the Scottish Rite are automatically 32nd degree masons.

I have my own multitude of reasons why I feel more drawn to the Scottish Rite and rank is not one of them but I am curious: am I off base in my understanding?

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Posted: 21 March 2009 03:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I would not say that you are off base, just somewhat confused. There are over 100 (one hundred) appendant and concordant bodies and organizations, affiliated with Freemasonry. I have been a mason for a quarter of a century, and I am not an expert on all of them. Do not feel embarrassed, that you are not an expert on all of these organizations!

The Craft Lodge of Masonry, also known as the blue lodge, is organized into three (3) degrees. These are the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason degrees. The Master Mason degree is the “black belt” of Masonry. This is the highest degree in the Craft Lodge.

If an individual wishes to study the more esoteric and historical aspects of Freemasonry, he is free to pursue his masonic knowledge in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. There are 29 operative degrees: 4th (Secret Master) through 32d (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret). These degrees can be obtained in one day, or over a weekend. I took mine on two Saturdays.

If an individual wishes, he may also take the York Rite of Masonry (or both York and Scottish Rite) The York rite is organized into three components

Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
Council of Cryptic Masons
Commandery of Knights Templar Masons

And there are also Associated and Allied degrees of Masonry.

The Scottish Rite is non-Sectarian, and the Cryptic/Commandery requires the individual to be a Christian.

You can learn more about the Scottish rite at

http://www.scottishrite.org

and the York Rite at

http://www.yorkrite.org

I suggest that you visit

http://www.masonicinfo.com

for a huge amount of information on many aspects of Masonry.

Please feel free to post your questions here!

I look forward to calling you “brother”!

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Charles E. Martin
Alexandria, Virginia

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Bowling Green Lodge #73, Bowling Green, KY (Grand Lodge of KY, F.&A.M.;)
Macedonian Lodge, Quincy Mass. (Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, F.&A.M.;)
Alexandria, VA Scottish Rite Bodies, A.A.S.R. (Southern Jurisdiction, USA)

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Posted: 07 December 2011 02:07 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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cemab4y - 21 March 2009 03:08 AM

I would not say that you are off base, just somewhat confused. There are over 100 (one hundred) appendant and concordant bodies and organizations, affiliated with Freemasonry. I have been a mason for a quarter of a century, and I am not an expert on all of them. Do not feel embarrassed, that you are not an expert on all of these organizations!

The Craft Lodge of Masonry, also known as the blue lodge, is organized into three (3) degrees. These are the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason degrees. The Master Mason degree is the “black belt” of Masonry. This is the highest degree in the Craft Lodge.

If an individual wishes to study the more esoteric and historical aspects of Freemasonry, he is free to pursue his masonic knowledge in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. There are 29 operative degrees: 4th (Secret Master) through 32d (Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret). These degrees can be obtained in one day, or over a weekend. I took mine on two Saturdays.

If an individual wishes, he may also take the York Rite of Masonry (or both York and Scottish Rite) The York rite is organized into three components

Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
Council of Cryptic Masons
Commandery of Knights Templar Masons

And there are also Associated and Allied degrees of Masonry.

The Scottish Rite is non-Sectarian, and the Cryptic/Commandery requires the individual to be a Christian.

You can learn more about the Scottish rite at

http://www.scottishrite.org

and the York Rite at

http://www.yorkrite.org

I suggest that you visit

http://www.masonicinfo.com

for a huge amount of information on many aspects of Masonry.

Please feel free to post your questions here!

I look forward to calling you “brother”!

My Brother,

Although I, too am no expert, I had questions about York Rite and through a happy coincidence had the opportunity to ask them of Most Worshipful Donald G. Hicks, past Grand Master of Masons in Massachusetts and a truly nice guy. My concern was that I find Masonry’s tolerance of all faiths to be something that makes me proud to be a Mason and having a “Christian only” appendent body seemed completely contrary to that tolerance. His answer was that men of any faith who are Masons may join York Rite. Once they advance to the Commandery, they are only required to swear to “defend the Christian Faith”. There are many non-Christians, like me, who would have no problem making such an oath. York Rite is open to any Mason who wishes to pursue further light in that way. York Rite counts men of many Faiths in its ranks and welcomes all men of faith no matter what they call the GAOTU.

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John Ruggiero, 32°
Past Master, Ancient York Lodge, Lowell, MA.

God never sends us anything we can’t handle. Sometimes I wish He didn’t trust me so much. - Mother Teresa

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Posted: 08 December 2011 07:48 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]  
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CEMAB4Y , I have said it before on here to you and I will say it again . The Council (Cryptic) degrees ARE NOT for Christians only . Let me repeat that again , the Council is not a “Christian” only body and does not require it’s members to be Christian , It is non-sectarian .


The Cryptic Rite, or Council Degrees, enhance the lessons taught in the degrees you have previously taken in the Chapter. They highlight the preservation, loss, and recovery of the Masonic mysteries.  Symbolic Lodge Degrees teaches of the loss of the word and the hope of its recovery. The Chapter Degrees teaches the recovery, and the Council or Cryptic Degrees complete the story by teaching of the word’s initial preservation.

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Posted: 08 December 2011 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]  
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Agreed.  Most Worshipful Brother Don and I have a mutual friend and lodge member of ours who is a Muslim who is a member of Council.

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Dan

Past Master, Columbian Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Boston, MA
Friendship Lodge A.F.&A.M. - Wilmington, MA
32° Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Valley of Boston
Shriners International, Aleppo Temple - Wilmington, MA

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