Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite and York Rite Degrees

 The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. The other branch is known as the York Rite, consisting of Royal Arch Masons, Royal and Select Masters, and Knights Templar. The Scottish Rite includes the degrees from the 4° to the 32°.

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York rite degrees


The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed to supplement and amplify the Blue Lodge degrees, affording historical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry. The York Rite takes its name from the old English city of York. The York Rite is not a religion in itself, it does, however, develop themes based on the Medieval Crusades. The York Rite confers degrees beyond the Blue Lodge’s three degrees. In the York Rite, A Master Mason may become a member of three bodies:

Royal ARch Chapter

Royal Arch Freemasonry provides an outstanding opportunity for Master Masons desirous of Further Light in Masonry to explore some of the deeper mysteries of the Craft. Chapters confer four degrees: Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch. These four degrees of the Chapter are truly some of the most profound and impressive within the whole Family of Freemasonry.

Cryptic Council

The Council of Cryptic Masonry is the second of the York Rite bodies. A man must have completed the Symbolic Degrees and have taken the Degree of Royal Arch before he can become a Cryptic Mason. Cryptic Masonry consists of three Degrees: Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master. This Council known as the Cryptic Rite, fills what would be a significant void in the complete story of the York Rite. The Degrees of Royal Master and Select Master are sometimes called the Degrees of Preservation. The Council Degrees are often referred to as “The Three Little Jewels” and are to many, the most appealing in all Masonry.

Knights Templar Commandery

In the Commandery, there are three ‘degrees’ or steps, which are called Orders. These are The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta and The Order of the Temple.

Scottish Rite

There are four coordinate bodies within the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction.

Lodge of Perfection, 4°-14°

Lodges of Perfection conferring the 4th to the 14th degrees inclusive. The degrees continue the story of the building of King Solomon’s Temple, and amplify and conclude the legend of the Master Mason degree. They are designed to impress more forcefully the teachings of the first three degrees of Craft Masonry.

Chapter of Rose Croix, 15°-18°

Chapters of Rose Croix conferring the 15th to 18th degrees inclusive. The 15th and 16th degrees relate to the rebuilding of the Second Temple of Zerubbabel. The 17th degree is an approach to, and the 18th degree a recognition of the Christian ethics in universal terms, thus assisting in the building, in our hearts, of the Third Temple, not made with hands. The 18th degree is supplemented by the beautiful Maundy Thursday and Easter ceremonies.

Council of Kadosh, 19°- 30°

The word “Kadosh” is a Hebrew word meaning Holy. Although Pike identifies the degrees of the Council of Kadosh as chivalric and philosophical, they are all intensely mystical with respect to the lessons conveyed and symbols employed.

Consistory, 31°- 32°

The Consistory Degrees are very different from each other in form and content. The 31° reveals the dynamic relationship that has existed for centuries between human law as a means of achieving justice, and divine justice as an ideal. The 32° reviews the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection, the Chapter of Rose Croix and the Council of Kadosh.