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Scottish Rite

From Academic Kids


The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a Masonic Order. The Scottish Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States which a Master Mason may decide to join for further exposure to Masonic knowledge. The other main branch is the York Rite.

The Scottish Rite claims to enlarge upon the ethical teachings and philosophy of Blue Lodge Masonry through dramatic presentation. To this end, the Rite confers twenty-nine degrees, from the fourth through the thirty-second.

Notable members of this order include Albert Pike, Buzz Aldrin, Bob Dole, John Wayne, and Michael Richards.

Contents

The Degrees

Difficult for non-Masons to comprehend, completion of the first three Masonic degrees represents the attainment of the highest rank in all of Masonry. Any third degree Master Mason stands as an equal before every other Master Mason, regardless of position, class, or degree. For this reason, the higher degrees are sometimes referred to as appendent degrees. Appendent degrees represent a lateral movement in Masonic Education rather than an upward movement.

The core of the Scottish Rite is a series of 29 degrees, numbered from 4 to 32, which expand upon the morals, teachings, and philosophy of the first three degrees. These are not degrees of rank, but rather degrees of instruction.

The 33rd degree is an honorary degree in recognition of outstanding service. It is conferred on brethren who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general.

The titles of the degrees are as follows:

  • Blue Lodge or Craft Lodge
1 Entered Apprentice
2 FellowCraft
3 Master Mason
  • Lodge of Perfection
4 Secret Master
5 Perfect Master
6 Intimate Secretary
7 Provost and Judge
8 Intendant of the Building
9 Elu of the Nine
10 Elu of the Fifteen
11 Elu of the Twelve
12 Grand Master Architect
13 Royal Arch of Solomon (Knight of the Ninth Arch)
14 Perfect Elu (Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason)
  • Rose Croix
15 Knight of the East, of the Sword or the Eagle
16 Prince of Jerusalem
17 Knight of the East and West
18 Knight of the Rose Croix
  • Council of Kadosh
19 Grand Pontiff
20 Master of the Symbolic Lodge
21 Noachite, or Prussian Knight
22 Knight of the Royal Axe (Prince of Libanus)
23 Chief of the Tabernacle
24 Prince of the Tabernacle
25 Knight of the Brazen Serpent
26 Prince of Mercy
27 Knight Commander of the Temple
28 Knight of the Sun (Prince Adept)
29 Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew
30 Knight Kadosh
  • Consistory
31 Inspector Inquisitor
32 Master of the Royal Secret
  • Supreme Council
33 Inspector General

Systems of Degrees

According to the various Scottish Rite jurisdictions in the world, all of which operate independently, the 32 degrees are worked at will by their governing bodies. For example, some jurisdictions, like the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States separate the degrees as follows:

  • The Lodge of Perfection works the 4° to the 14°
  • The Council of Princes of Jerusalem works the 15° and 16°
  • The Chapter Rose Croix works the 17° to the 18°
  • The Consistory works the 19° to the 32°

In other jurisdictions, like the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States:

  • The Lodge of Perfection works the 4° to the 14°
  • The Chapter Rose Croix works the 15° to the 18°
  • The Council of Kadosh works the 19° to the 30°
  • The Consistory works the 31° to the 32°

The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Scottish Rite. Members of the Supreme council are chosen from among those members who have obtained the 33rd degree. Most countries have only one Supreme Council, but in the United States, as we have seen, two jurisdictions have evolved. The original body, now called the Southern Jurisdiction, ceded control of Scottish Rite activities in fifteen northern states, forming the Northern Jurisdiction. In addition to this, there are other organizations or orders within Freemasonry, such as the Royal Order of Scotland which Scottish Rite masons may join, upon invitation.

History

In Paris in the year 1758 The "Grand Council of Emperors of the East and West" organized a "Rite of Perfection," consisting of 25 degrees, the highest being the "Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret." Many British expatriates, who were Jacobites and living in France at the time, took an active part in creating the rite and saw in its symbolism their political aspirations of a return of the Stuart kings to the thrones of England and Scotland. Because of its Catholic sympathies, it has been suggested that the Jesuits at the college of Clermont also had a hand in the formation of the Rite.

Etienne Morin claimed to have received a charter from King Frederick II of Prussia permitting him to promulgate the Rite in the New World. Although the authenticity of his claim could never be proven, and the Declaration of the Grand Lodge of the 3 Globes at Berlin demonstrates that it is highly unlikely. Morin subsequently spread the Rite to the West Indies and North America from the city of St. Domingo in the Dominican Republic. In 1783 Isaac De Costa, one of the deputies commissioned to establish the Rite in other countries, formed Scottish Rite bodies in South Carolina, which eventually became the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, Southern Jurisdiction.

Up to that time only the twenty-five degrees of the Rite of Perfection were worked, but with the formation of the Supreme Council in continental America 8 more degrees, the so-called Continental High Degrees, were added to make the 33 degrees of the modern Scottish Rite.

Scottish Rite Creed

The Scottish Rite Creed of Freemasonry is as follows:

Human progress is our cause, liberty of thought our supreme wish, freedom of conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all people everywhere our ultimate goal.

See also

External links

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