The Scottish Rite is an appendant body of the Freemason fraternity. It is a branch of the Masonic family that operates in many parts of the world. The Scottish Rite is based upon philosophical, educational, and philanthropic principles. It 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. It consists of thirty-three degrees that are conferred on those who choose to participate in its ceremonies and activities. The Scottish Rite seeks to promote and enhance the moral, philosophical, and spiritual values that are essential to a life well-lived and a society justly ordered. The Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is a system of degrees that makes up the side degrees of Freemasonry. It is also known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite seeks to strengthen the public commitment to personal study, self-improvement, and service to humanity. It consists of 33 degrees, which are grouped into three main categories: Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°), Chapter Rose Croix (15°–18°), and Council of Kadosh (19°–30°). The 31st and 32nd Degrees are part of a separate body called the Consistory, while the 33rd Degree is an honorary degree conferred by Supreme Councils.
The Degrees of the Scottish Rite
The Scottish Rite is a system of degrees within Freemasonry, and it is also known as the “Mother of Masonic Rites.” It is composed of thirty-three degrees, divided into two main categories; the first fifteen are known as the Symbolic Lodge, or Craft Lodge Degrees; and the remaining eighteen are known as the Ineffable Lodge Degrees. Within each category, there is a progressive system in which an initiate must ascend through each degree to reach the highest level.
The Symbolic Lodge Degrees include: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. These degrees are based on the relationship between a Mason and his lodge, and teach lessons on moral rectitude, brotherly love, relief, truth, and charity. The Ineffable Lodge Degrees are higher-level degrees that focus on philosophical teachings related to topics such as history, religion, morality, government structure and law.
The highest degree of the Scottish Rite is known as the 33rd Degree. This degree is a special honor bestowed upon those who have made significant contributions to their local lodges or to Freemasonry at large. Those who are given this honor receive a certificate that grants them membership in what is called “The Supreme Council” – a body that governs over all other Masonic bodies within its jurisdiction.
The Scottish Rite provides an opportunity for Masons to explore deeper aspects of Freemasonry in their quest for self-improvement and enlightenment. Through its progressive system of degrees and its emphasis on moral instruction, it serves as an excellent complement to any Mason’s journey in Freemasonry.
History of the Scottish Rite
The history of the Scottish Rite can be traced back to the late 1700s, when it was founded in France by a group of Freemasons who wanted to create a Masonic order that would be more accessible to those who were not part of the traditional lodges. This new order, known as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, was based on an older version of the Masonic rites practiced in Scotland. The main idea behind the Scottish Rite was to create a system that would allow for more advanced teachings and degrees than what was offered by traditional lodges.
The Scottish Rite quickly spread throughout Europe and eventually made its way to America in the early 1800s. In 1801, a Supreme Council was formed in Charleston, South Carolina, which is now known as its headquarters. Since then, other Supreme Councils have been formed around the world. In addition to its headquarters in Charleston, there are now Supreme Councils located in Mexico City, Paris, Madrid, London, Rome and Jerusalem.
The Scottish Rite focuses on progressive education and self-improvement through philosophy and morality. It also emphasizes brotherly love and encourages members to take part in charitable works throughout their communities. Today, there are more than three million members worldwide who belong to this organization. The Scottish Rite is open to all men over the age of 18 who profess a belief in a higher power and are willing to take on its moral obligations.
Grand Masters of the Scottish Rite
The Grand Masters of the Scottish Rite are the governing body of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite for Freemasonry, whose members are referred to as ‘Sovereign Grand Inspectors General’. The Grand Masters are responsible for the governance and control of all Supreme Councils, which administer the 33 degrees within Scottish Rite Masonry. The Grand Masters have full authority to grant charters and dispensations for establishing new Supreme Councils throughout the world.
The current Grand Masters lead a global organization comprising nearly 200 Supreme Councils in countries across six continents. The headquarters of this organization is located in Washington D.C., United States. The current Grand Masters of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite are: Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander James Daniel Turley, 33°, and Most Worshipful Deputy Sovereign Grand Commander William Henry Koon II, 33°.
The roles and responsibilities of these two individuals include overseeing all aspects of the operation and administration of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite worldwide, including its governing documents, policies, procedures and regulations; developing and implementing strategic plans; working with other Masonic bodies; and representing all Supreme Councils on matters pertaining to Freemasonry.
The most recent Grand Master was Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander Ronald A. Seale, 33° who held office from 2012-2018. He was preceded by Most Puissant Sovereign Grand Commander William Jackson Groves, 33° who was in office from 2007-2012.
Becoming a Member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry
The Scottish Rite is an appendant body of Freemasonry that provides additional degrees to the three Craft degrees and the Royal Arch which are offered by the Symbolic (or Blue Lodge) Masonry. To become a member of the Scottish Rite, one must first be a Master Mason in good standing with a duly constituted Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons. After this, one may petition for membership in their local Valley or Consistory.
The petition process involves filling out an application with personal information and having it signed by two members in good standing. The application will then be reviewed by various committees, and if accepted, the petitioner is interviewed by a board of officers. After successful completion of the interview, the petitioner is then obligated as a member of the Scottish Rite and presented with a membership certificate.
Membership in the Scottish Rite does not replace or supersede membership in one’s local Lodge but instead serves as an additional layer to enhance one’s Masonic experience. The primary purpose for joining is to learn more about Freemasonry through further exploration of its history, philosophies and principles.
By becoming a member, one can also contribute to various charitable activities that are sponsored by their local Valley or Consistory. This may include fundraising events for local charities or sponsoring youth organizations such as DeMolay or Job’s Daughters International.
Overall, becoming a member of Scottish Rite Freemasonry is an excellent way to further understand Masonic philosophy while supporting meaningful causes within your community.
Advancing in a Scottish Rite Lodge
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. The Scottish Rite consists of 29 degrees, divided into four groups: the Lodge of Perfection (4°–14°), the Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15°–16°), the Chapter of Rose Croix (17°–18°), and the Consistory (19°–32°).
Advancement in a Scottish Rite Lodge involves completing each degree in sequence, beginning with the fourth and ending with 32nd degree. Each degree requires a certain amount of work, research, and understanding before progressing to the next degree. As part of this work, candidates are required to demonstrate proficiency in their knowledge of each degree and must be approved by a majority vote by all members present at their meeting.
During advancement, candidates learn about the history and symbolism associated with Masonic traditions and rituals. They also participate in various activities such as debates, lectures, and catechism to demonstrate their understanding of Masonic principles. Additionally, some candidates may be required to give presentations or write papers on topics related to Masonic philosophy or history.
In addition to learning about Masonic traditions and rituals, advancement also provides members with an opportunity for networking with other Masons from around the world. This allows them to share ideas and experiences with one another while building relationships that can last a lifetime.
Therefore, advancement also offers members a chance to serve their community through charitable works or service projects organized by their local lodge or state Grand Lodge organization. Through these activities, members can gain an even greater appreciation for Freemasonry’s commitment to its community service projects worldwide.
By progressing through each degree in sequence, members have an opportunity to further their knowledge about Freemasonry while forming valuable relationships along the way. In doing so they can become more active within their local lodge as well as in other lodges around the world – making them more involved members who are dedicated to living up to Masonry’s ideals and principles.
Are There Special Appendant Bodies Associated with the Scottish Rite?
Yes, there are several special appendant bodies associated with the Scottish Rite. These organizations are sometimes known as Side Degrees or Consistories. The various appendant bodies of the Scottish Rite offer additional opportunities for personal growth and service to mankind. Some of these organizations are dedicated to charitable work, while others focus on providing spiritual guidance or philosophical education.
The most well-known of the appendant bodies is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which is divided into 33 degrees and is often referred to as the “Mother Lodge” of Freemasonry. Other appendant bodies include Royal Arch Masonry, The Shrine (also known as Shriner’s International), The Order of High Priesthood, The Order of Amaranth, and many more. Each organization has its own distinct set of rituals and teachings that provide members with a deeper understanding of Masonic philosophy and traditions.
The Scottish Rite also offers several additional degrees for those who wish to continue their Masonic education beyond the 33 Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. These supplemental degrees are offered by various Grand Lodges around the world, but they may not be recognized by all Grand Lodges.
In addition to these special appendant bodies associated with the Scottish Rite, there are many other independent Masonic organizations that exist outside of mainstream Freemasonry such as Knights Templar Organizations, The Mystic Shrine (Shriners), The Grotto, and more. These organizations have their own rituals and traditions that may or may not be recognized by mainstream Freemasonry depending on individual Grand Lodges.
Overall it is clear that there are numerous special appendant bodies associated with the Scottish Rite which offer members unique opportunities for personal growth and service to mankind in addition to those offered within mainstream Freemasonry itself.
Special Offices or Responsibilities Associated with the Scottish Rite
The Scottish Rite has a number of special offices and responsibilities associated with it. These offices are designed to provide leadership and guidance to the members of the organization. The most prominent office is that of the Supreme Council, which is composed of 33 Grand Masters, each elected from one of the 33 regions that make up this international Masonic fraternity. The Supreme Council is responsible for setting policy and providing direction for all branches of the organization.
The Grand Lodge is another important office in the Scottish Rite. This office is responsible for overseeing all activities in an individual region and ensuring that its members are acting in accordance with Masonic principles. Each lodge also has a group of officers who are responsible for carrying out the specific duties associated with their position.
Within each region there are also subordinate bodies known as Valleys or chapters, which are presided over by a Master of the Valley or chapter Master. The Valley Masters are responsible for overseeing activities within their respective Valley or chapter and ensuring that its members adhere to proper Masonic protocol.
In addition to these offices, there are also various committees and commissions within the Scottish Rite, such as those dealing with education, public relations, ritual work, charities, and ceremonial occasions. Each committee or commission typically consists of a chairman or chairwoman along with several other members who serve in various capacities depending upon their expertise.
Therefore, each region also has an Inspector General who serves as an advisor to local lodges on matters pertaining to Masonic law and regulations. The Inspector General is typically appointed by the Supreme Council and serves at its pleasure. He or she is responsible for overseeing activities within all lodges within their region and ensuring that they comply with applicable laws and regulations governing Freemasonry.
The Scottish Rite is an appendant body of Freemasonry in the United States that has many similarities to regular Freemasonry, but also has its own unique rituals and practices. The Scottish Rite is open to all Master Masons, and provides a deeper understanding of the basic tenets of Freemasonry. It also offers a wide variety of social and philanthropic activities for its members. The Scottish Rite is an integral part of Freemasonry, and it is an excellent way to further your knowledge of the craft and enjoy the fellowship of other Masons.
The Scottish Rite offers a unique opportunity for Masons to explore the principles and philosophy of Freemasonry in greater depth, while enjoying the camaraderie and support that comes with being part of a Masonic organization. If you are interested in learning more about this appendant body, contact your local Lodge or Grand Lodge for more information.