Shriners, Scottish Rite or York Rite

Discussion in 'The Voting Booth' started by MikeMay, Mar 12, 2011.


Scottish Rite, York Rite or Shrine

  1. Scottish Rite

    44 vote(s)
  2. York Rite

    46 vote(s)
  3. Shrine

    14 vote(s)
  4. Grotto

    1 vote(s)
  5. OES

    4 vote(s)
  6. Lodge time for anything else.

    41 vote(s)
  1. Bro_Vick

    Bro_Vick Moderator Premium Member

    I never wrote that a member of the Jewish faith could be a member of the KT, I said that you could be Jewish and still be a member of the York Rite, that the Templar degrees while having a prerequisite of being Royal Arch and Cryprtic could easily not be there as the Orders of the Temple don't complete the story.

    -Bro Vick
  2. 219SMack

    219SMack Registered User

    What are the differences exactly?

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  3. Heart of Stone

    Heart of Stone Registered User

    So since I'm a Muslim, it would be wise to join SR and not YR?

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  4. perryel

    perryel Registered User

    This answer to the question is both challenging and highly nuanced. Assuming I grasp your underlying premise, I will share that I have met several Muslim and Jewish Freemasons who have chosen not to progress beyond the Lodge of Perfection in the SR or the Council in the YR.

    Here's an excellent commentary on the relationships between the 2 "rites" from


    by Pete Normand
    33rd Degree in the Scottish Rite
    K.Y.C.H. in the York Rite

    Please let me add my two cents worth. As both a York Rite Mason, and I am a Past Presiding Officer in all the York Rite Bodies and a K.Y.C.H. (Knight York Cross of Honour), and a Scottish Rite Mason, 33rd Degree and a Board Member of the Scottish Rite Research Society, I have to correct some of the things that have been said here.


    First of all, the York Rite is not actually a "rite" in the same sense that the Scottish Rite is. That is, the York Rite is not unified under one governing body, but is rather split into various components, each with its own governing body. The first of these, the "Royal Arch Chapter," forms the "Capitular Rite." The second is the "Cryptic Rite." And the third is the "Chivalric Rite."


    The third of these, and therefore the entirety of the York Rite, is not open to all Freemasons. It is open to Christian Masons only. However, the Scottish Rite, as a unified Rite of Freemasonry, is open to all good Freemasons of whatever faith. If you live in one of the 15 northeastern states you will be joining the Scottish Rite Northern Jurisdiction. If you live in one of the remaining 35 U.S. states or in our nation's capital, you will be joining the Scottish Rite Southern Jurisdiction.


    The degrees of the Cryptic Rite were actually side degrees of the Scottish Rite that had fallen into disuse. They were then taken over by and worked in Royal Arch Chapters until they were reclaimed by the Scottish Rite. Finally they were relinquished by both the Scottish Rite and the Capitular Rite and were allowed to be worked in separate Councils, becoming what we now call the "Cryptic Rite."


    In the Articles of Union agreed to by the two rival grand lodges in England at their Union in 1813, it stated "that pure ancient Masonry consists of three degrees, and no more, viz., those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow Craft, and the Master Mason (including the Supreme Order of the Holy Royal Arch)." You will notice that it does NOT say "the E.A., F.C., M.M., AND the Holy Royal Arch." Rather, it actually "includes" the H.R.A. degree as part of the M.M. degree. This was added to appease the members of the Ancients Grand Lodge who worked the degree in their lodges as a completion of the M.M. degree, whereas the lodges under the Moderns Grand Lodge did not. To this day, the United Gr. Ldg. of England still follows this system, conferring the Royal Arch Degree on its Master Masons. But, it is done in Chapters of the Royal Arch, which are a part of the Supreme Grand Chapter of the Royal Arch.


    The Royal Arch Degree is conferred in BOTH the York Rite and in the Scottish Rite. In the York Rite it sits atop the 4-degree Capitular Rite and is therefore the 7th Degree of the York Rite. In the Scottish Rite, it is the 13th Degree. In the York Rite version of the degree, the degree is set during the building of the Second Temple, that is, the Temple of Zerubbabel, built about the year 516 B.C.E. (although the Degree uses the date 530 B.C.E.), and relates to the discovery of a secret vault beneath the ruins of Solomon's Temple which had been built about 1000 B.C.E. and destroyed by the army of Nebuchadnezzar, King of the Chaldeans, in 586 or 587 B.C.E., thus beginning the period known as the Babylonian Captivity. 70 years later, Prince Zerubbabel returns from the captivity and builds the Second Temple.

    However, the older version of the degree appears to be the Scottish Rite Thirteenth Degree which places the degree not at the end of the Babylonian Captivity in 530 B.C.E., but much earlier, at the building of the original Temple of Solomon, about 1,000 B.C.E. This is why the degree in its Scottish Rite version is called "Royal Arch of Solomon." In this degree, three workmen discover a secret vault within the mount upon which they plan to construct Solomon's Temple.


    Well, that depends on what you mean by older. If you mean, "which Rite, in its present form, with all the degrees together, is older?", then the answer has to be "The Scottish Rite." The Scottish Rite of 33 Degrees came together in its final form in the year 1801. But there were older versions of the Rite that collected together a lesser number of degrees as early as the mid-1700's and prior to 1750: that is, "The Rite of Perfection," etc.

    The York Rite, with all four of the degrees of the Royal Arch Chapter, and the degrees of the Council, as well as the degrees of the Commandery, did not solidify until the late 1800's. As late as 1871, the Grand Council of Massachusetts called a convention of Grand Councils from 14 states and adopted a resolution that Cryptic Degrees should be under the exclusive jurisdiction of Grand Councils and that no Cryptic Mason should be recognized unless he had received the degrees in a Cryptic Council or by the Scottish Rite, and NOT under the authority of a Royal Arch Chapter.

    So you can see, that even as late as 1871, the York Rite had not quite "come together" as a "Rite" by any loose definition.


    Some misquided Masons join the York Rite, instead of the Scottish Rite, under the impression that this is the only way to "become a Knight Templar." What they don't understand is that the Scottish Rite IS the Knights Templar, and no less a Templar body, and possibly more so, than the York Rite Templars.

    The full name of the Scottish Rite is "The Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-Third and Last Degree of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry." (whew) This IS the Knights Templar, or Knights of the Temple of Solomon, "Militiae Templo Hierosolomitanae."

    Further, there is not just one "Templar" Degree in the Scottish Rite, but several. The 27th Degree is "Knight Commander of the Temple." In the 28th Degree, "Scottish Knight of St. Andrew," the candidate represents a Knight Templar after the suppression of the Order. He seeks admission into the Order of Knights of St. Andrew who are but Templars who have been given refuge by Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland. The candidate is captured by what appears to be the Holy Inquisition of the Church who accuse him of being of the heresy of being a Freemason. But this is only a test, and because he refuses to renounce his previous vows, he is admitted and made a Knight of St. Andrew.


    But the most important Knight Templar degree of the Scottish Rite is the 30th Degree of "Knight Kadosh." The word "Kadosh" means "Holy" or "separated," as anything "holy" is "separate" and apart from the rest. It refers to the "Kadosh Kadoshem," or "Sanctum Sanctorum," of Solomon's Temple. Part of the degree is set in an asylum of Knights Templar where the assembly decides whether the candidate is worthy to be advanced any further. While standing guard as part of his vigil, he is confronted by the spirit of a deceased knight who advises him to abandon his post and flee with his life. He remains steadfast and is eventually rewarded.

    As a side note, just to show the pedigree of the name "Kadosh" as part of the Templar orders of the Scottish Rite, in 1791, a controlling body of the order in England was known officially as "the Grand Elect Knights Templar Kadosh and Holy Sepulchre of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta." Two years later, the Duke of kent, Grand Patron of the Order, name Thomas Dunckerly Grand Master of the Knights of Rosy Cross, Knights Kadosh, and Knights Templar."

    Many would argue that the Scottish Rite 18th Degree, "Knight Rose Croix," is a Templar Degree in disguise. I would agree.

    Nevertheless, the structure of the Supreme Council, the governing body of the Rite, is that of the Knights Templar. That is why the presiding officer is called "The Grand Commander." The Scottish Rite Caps are in fact caps of knighthood. They are the last remaining vestige of chivalric regalia. And, I have to tell you, its a lot easier to wear than a Knights of Columbus uniform.

    I have to advise you that in the Scottish Rite you get more degrees and more "bang for your buck." But, both are wonderful and neither should be avoided.

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    Last edited: Jul 21, 2013
  5. part on the square

    part on the square Registered User

    I belong to a lodge in Louisiana. I am a Mason, Shriner, Scottish Rite, and very recently a York Rite Mason. Each group has its great benefits. I am a third generation Master Mason, I was fortunate enough to go through the York Rite with both my father and grandfather. From a Christian standpoint the York Rite is very informative and fulfilling. The Scottish Rite degrees were also very interesting. I find for lore charitable reasons the Shrine can not be beat. I have a great wife who stands by me and supports and participates in my many Masonic endeavors. She enjoys the Shrine more, but all four give me a very unique heart filled satisfaction that I am making a difference. It's all about charity and these four practice it very well.

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  6. Txmason

    Txmason Registered User

    Our shrine dues are going up from $86.00 to $115 (over the course of 5years) I don't know it's getting expensive

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  7. darrel hearn

    darrel hearn Registered User

    Shrine dues going up. Lots of folks on fixed income are already struggling. Hope we don't loose any more members.

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  8. Bill Lins

    Bill Lins Moderating Staff Staff Member

    Welcome aboard, Bro. Darrel!
  9. darrel hearn

    darrel hearn Registered User

    Thanks for the invite!!!

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  10. Brother_Bob

    Brother_Bob Registered User

    As with all things my brother but at least in following your obligation you know the added dues will go to a worthy cause.

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  11. malkirn

    malkirn Registered User

    Here in the United Kingdom Craft dues are averaging £120.00 per annum ($190.00) so when you say the dues are going up to $115, I would welcome that figure over here in ole blighty!

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  12. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

    As it should be. Our dues are less than men spend on coffee, but nothing gets people more upset than proposing to raise dues. A brother once asked "when are we going to stop raising dues?" I answered "when the property taxes, heating bills, electric bills, insurance costs, etc. stop going up."

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  13. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    If I'm accepted into the lodge I'm presently petitioning, my dues there will be $300 for 2014.
  14. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

    Being in Arkansas, the Shrine is clandestine for me, so I have no hopes or ambitions there. I've done both York and Scottish Rites, and am active in the Royal Arch chapter, though not so much in the Council or Commandery, and I am strictly a knife-&-fork Prophet. Of them all, I guess I personally get a little more out of the Scottish Rite due to my involvement with the Valley's kitchen committee and the brothers in and around that little group.

    My heart belongs to my blue lodge, and the fraternal activities in both the Chapter and the Consistory keep me coming back.
  15. tldubb

    tldubb Premium Member

    I agree with you frat! Blue house is the foundation of all under the fraternal umbrella.

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  16. Txmason32

    Txmason32 Registered User

    Try square where are you located ... it's crazy when we say your dues are 100 the candidate always says "a month" and is shocked when we say no a year lol . I love the blue lodge and the chapter . I have fun in the shrine but it's not why I am a Mason . I am endowed in SR but it did not catch my interest like the YR has . I still have the council and commandry degrees to go thru but so far really like the way it all ties in and makes me want to learn and study more

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  17. Brother JC

    Brother JC Vigilant Staff Member

    Txmason, I'm in California now, though I was Raised (and raised) in New Mexico.
  18. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    York Rite for me. I'm a new MM and am in the process of joining the YR.

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