ONSLOW YORK RITE MASONS
About York Rite Freemasonry













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A brief sketch of the York Rite

     The York Rite, often called the American Rite, consists of three bodies - the Chapter, the Council, and the Commandery - having a total of nine degrees and orders.

     The Chapter consists of four degrees: Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and the Royal Arch. Chapter meetings are opened and closed on the Royal Arch degree, much as blue lodges are opened and closed on the Master Mason degree. The High Priest is the presiding officer and his title is "Excellent". This Body is referred to as "Capitular Masonry". All business, except the conferring of the degrees, is transacted in the degree of Royal Arch Mason.

     The Council consists of two degrees: Royal Master and Select Master. Council meetings are opened and closed on the Select Master degree. The Illustrious Master is the presiding officer and his title is "Illustrious Master". All business, except the conferring of the degrees, is transacted in the degree of Select Master. This Body is referred to as "Cryptic Masonry" and is that division of the Masonic system which is directed to the investigation and cultivation of the degrees of Royal and Select Masters. The degree of Super-Excellent Master is conferred in some Councils and is presented from time to time as an honorary, rather than regular degree.

     The Commandery consists of three Orders: The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta (including it's pass degree - The Mediterranean Pass) and the Order of the Temple. Commandery meetings are opened and closed on the Order of the Temple degree. The Commander is the presiding officer and his title is "Eminent Commander". All business, except the conferring of the degrees, is transacted in the Knight Templar Asylum. This Body is referred to as the Christian segment of the York Rite.

     Other Appendent Degrees and Bodies do exist and membership is predicated upon interest in and activity among the various Masonic Bodies or Organizations. Most of these exist on an invitation basis. They include, but are not limited to, the:

Allied Masonic Degrees, 

York Rite Sovereign College,

Knight (Green) Masonry,

Prophets of the Enchanted Land (Grotto),

Tall Cedars of Lebanon, 

Philalethes Society, 

Red Cross of Constantine,

Anointed High Priests,

Thrice Illustrious Master,

Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests,

Royal Ark Mariners, 

Royal Order of Scotland,

Sword of Bunker Hill, 

Knight York Cross of Honor.

Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis,