YOUR YORK RITE OF FREEMASONRY
"Experience Spiritual Growth"
Noel M. Smith, P.G., O.P.C.
Reese L. Harrison, Jr., K.G.C.Y., K.C.P.C.
Chapters of Royal Arch Masons
Capitular Masonry - 4 Degrees
Based on the parable in Matthew 20:1-19.
Teaches how to receive wages as a Fellowcraft Mason, the importance
of the mark we make in life, the nobility of labor, and that no one
is superior because of time in service.
Lessons taught in Psalm 25. Teaches that
he who would rule others must first learn to rule himself, and how to
govern and rule with moderation and decorum.
MOST EXCELLENT MASTER:
Lessons taught in 2 Chronicles 6 and 7,
and 1 Kings 7 and 8. Recites the events surrounding the completion and
dedication of King Solomons Temple, and emphasizes the opportunity
and obligation to disseminate light and knowledge to less informed brethren.
Lessons taught in 2 Chronicles 36. It
brings to light that for which the Mason has searched, for here we find
that which was lost the word, which you were given a substitute
in the Master Masons degree, is imparted to you. Its lessons are
the essence of Masonic truth. The ceremonies, for the most part, are
founded upon the return of the Israelites from captivity to rebuild
a destroyed temple and you learn how many of the sacred objects of the
Jewish people were discovered and restored. Presiding Officer of a constituent
Royal Arch Chapter is the Most Excellent High Priest. Governing body
is the Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Texas. Decoration is the Golden Keystone.
The meeting room is referred to as a Tabernacle, and meetings are referred
to as Convocations.
Councils of Royal and Select Masters
Cryptic Masonry - 3 Degrees
Lessons taught in 1 Kings 5, 6 and 7.
Symbolically teaches that to all who diligently labor in the erection
of a Spiritual Temple in this life, a reward is promised and they may
at its completion, appear before the Supreme Master, and if found worthy,
receive a knowledge of divine truth.
Lessons taught in Deuteronomy 31:24-26.
The summit and perfection of Ancient Masonry, without it the history
of the Royal Arch Degree can hardly be said to be complete. It rationally
accounts for the concealment and preservation of those essentials of
the craft which were brought to light at the erection of the second
Temple and which laid concealed from the Masonic eye for 470 years.
The degree teaches the virtues of silence and secrecy, which constitute
the very essence of all Masonic character.
SUPER EXCELLENT MASTER:
Teaches fidelity to vows, the wisdom of
worshiping God and the punishment for perjury. Here you are welded into
a circle of friendship, and an unending chain of fraternal union, as
symbolized in the Symbolic Blue Lodge by the point within the circle,
which is displayed on our altars. Presiding Officer of a constituent
Cryptic Council is the Thrice Illustrious Master. Governing body is
the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of Texas. Decoration is
the Royal Purple Service Award. The meeting room is referred to as a
Secret Vault, and meetings are referred to as Assemblies.
Commanderies of Knights Templar
Chivalric Masonry - 3 Orders
ILLUSTRIOUS ORDER OF THE
Lessons taught in Ezra 3, 4 and 6. Continues
the story of the Royal Arch and deals with a period in Jewish history
of the time of the return of the Jews from captivity and efforts to
rebuild the temple of their God in Jerusalem and teaches the almighty
force and importance of truth. As Judaism was a preparation for Christianity
so this Order is a preparation for the Christian Order of the Temple.
MEDITERRANEAN PASS AND
ORDER OF MALTA:
Shifting to the time of the crusades,
admission to the introductory degree of Mediterranean Pass is sought
so that a safe pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher might be undertaken,
culminating in the enrollment of the suppliant in the Order of Malta,
which teaches a soldier of the cross to keep his sword untarnished,
and to wield it with virtue.
THE ORDER OF THE TEMPLE:
Binds the Christian virtues with their
promise of immortality with the Word becoming flesh which walked among
us. A Knight Templar is a defender of the faith, enlisted under the
banner of our Blessed Savior, the Prince of Peace. Presiding Officer
of a constituent Commandery is the Eminent Commander. Governing bodies
are the Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Texas, and Grand Encampment
of the USA. Decorations are Knight Grand Cross of the Temple (KGC) and
Knight Commander of the Temple (KCT). Highest award is Knight Templar
Cross of Honor (KTCH). The meeting room is referred to as an Asylum,
and meetings are referred to as Conclaves.
York Rite Sovereign College
of North America
Requires that all members be York Rite
Masons. Membership is by invitation. Prime function is to bring about
a new coordination of the York Rite structure by means of fostering
cooperation among the various branches of York Masonry. The Order of
Knight of York depicts the York legend and brings to life the Crafts
urgent needs, which brought into being the legendary Charter of York
awarded by King Athelstan to Prince Edwin in 926 A.D. Presiding Officer
of a subordinate College is the Preeminent Governor. Governing body
is the York Rite Sovereign College of North America presided over by
a Most Preeminently Distinguished Governor General. Decorations are
Knight Grand Cross (KGC) of York and Knight Commander of the Purple
Cross (KCPC). Meetings are referred to as Assemblies.
Order of the Purple Cross (OPC) - left
A coveted investiture designated to honor
any York Rite College member be he officer, or lay member, for outstanding
service to York Rite or humanity, and awards the rank of Associate Regent
of the Sovereign College.
Regents govern the York Rite Sovereign
College. There can be no more than 40 Regents plus the Grand Governors
of Jurisdictions (State or Provinces) who are Regents Ex-Officio during
their tenure in office as Grand Governor.
Degrees or Orders
ORDER OF HIGH PRIESTHOOD
in Genesis 14:1-3, 8-24; and 33:18-20. Teaches monotheism and is founded
on the Blessing of Abram. For those elected to preside over a Chapter
of Royal Arch Masons. Presiding Officer of a Grand Council of the Order
is the Most Excellent Grand High Priest. Meetings are referred to as
ORDER OF THE SILVER TROWEL
in 1 Kings 1:5-34: and Psalms 19. Refers to events connected with the
closing years of King Davids life. For those elected to serve
as Thrice Illustrious Master and preside over a Council of Royal and
Select Masters. In some jurisdictions it is called Order of Thrice Illustrious
Master or the Council of Anointed Kings. Presiding Officer of a Council
of the Order is the Thrice Illustrious Master. The Order is under the
proprietary jurisdiction of the State Grand Council of Royal and Select
Masters. Meetings are referred to as Assemblies.
SOVEREIGN ORDER OF KNIGHTS PRECEPTOR
For those elected
to preside over a Commandery of Knights Templar. A preceptor is a teacher
and the study of Templary, its history, customs, traditions and usages.
Its precepts and purposes are enjoined upon each Knight Preceptor. Presiding
Officer of a subordinate Chapter is an Eminent Preceptor. Governing
Body is the Grand Chapter presided over by the Sovereign Preceptor.
The meeting room is referred to as an Asylum, and meetings are referred
to as Conventions.
KNIGHTS OF THE YORK CROSS OF HONOR (KYCH)
limited to those individuals who have presided in Lodge, Chapter, Council,
and Commandery. The number of Priories permitted in each Grand Jurisdiction
is dependent upon the number of chartered Councils or Commanderies.
When a member Knight has been elected to preside over one of the four
Grand Bodies of York Masonry, he is invested with the rank of Knight
York Grand Cross of Honor (KYGCH) and is awarded a Quadrant to apply
to his jewel. Presiding Officer of a subordinate Priory is the Eminent
Prior. Governing body is the Convent General presided over by the Most
Eminent Grand Master General. Decoration is Knight Grand Cross (KGC).
Meetings are referred to as Conclaves.
ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE
is to be a Royal Arch Mason. Consist of three orders. An individual
must have demonstrated a high level of dedication and performance in
his Masonic activities, be proposed for membership by a member knight
companion and pass a secret ballot. It is based upon Trinitarian Christianity
and was tradition-ally founded by Constantine the Great after the battle
of Saxa Ruba in 312 A.D. Subordinate Conclaves are limited to no more
than 50 members or less in some instances. The number of Conclaves is
dependent upon Royal Arch membership in the Grand Jurisdiction. Presiding
Officer of a subordinate Conclave is the Puissant Sovereign. Governing
body is the United Grand Imperial Council presided over by the Most
Illustrious Grand Sovereign. Decorations are Knight Grand Cross and
Knight Commander of Constantine. Meetings are referred to as Assemblies.
HOLY ROYAL ARCH KNIGHT TEMPLAR PRIESTS
is to be a Past Commander of a Knights Templar Commandery. Consists
of 33 degrees including the last degree which is Holy Royal Arch Templar
Priest. Subordinate Tabernacles are limited to 33 members. The number
of Tabernacles permitted in each Grand Jurisdiction is dependant upon
the number of chartered Knight Templar Commanderies. Presiding officer
of a subordinate Tabernacle is the Eminent Preceptor. Governing Body
is the Grand College presided over by a Most Eminent Grand Preceptor.
Decorations are Knight Grand Commander (KGC) and Knight Commander (KC).
Meetings are referred to as Ingatherings.
ALLIED MASONIC DEGREES
is to be a Royal Arch Mason. The Grand Council controls and superintends
18 side or detached degrees some of which, many years ago, were conferred
under Craft warrants. Subordinate councils are limited to 27 members.
Presiding Officer of a subordinate Council is the Venerable Sovereign
Master. Governing body is the Grand Council and is presided over by
the Most Venerable Sovereign Grand Master. Decorations are Knight Grand
Cross (KGC) and Knight of the Red Branch of Eri. Meetings are referred
to as Convocations.
ORDER OF KNIGHT MASONS
in Ezra 3, 4 and 5. Membership prerequisite is to be a Royal Arch Mason.
Knight Masons control the three Green Degrees of Ireland which are considered
the ne ultra plus of Freemasonry in Ireland and dramatize the building
of the second Temple. Presiding officer of a subordinate Council is
the Excellent Chief. Governing body is the Grand Council presided over
by the Most Excellent Great Chief.