York Rite- Joining the Chapter, Council, Commandery?

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by b-mac, Jun 4, 2013.

  1. b-mac

    b-mac Registered User

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    Hello, I am a Master Mason who is looking to gain more light by hopefully joining the York Rite and possibly the Scottish Rite as well but my question here is obviously about the York Rite. I am wondering is one allowed to join the Chapter and Council but stop and not join the Commandery? Is this allowed or something that has ever been done? I ask because while I was raised a Christian I did struggle with some of the Christian beliefs later on in life. I do believe in God and that the bible is a Holy book it's just that I struggle with some of the beliefs that Christianity has about Jesus. So at the moment I am not sure that I can proclaim my faith as Christian. As I am in college and home for the summer I have decided that I am going to talk to a pastor my family knows pretty well because I feel that Christianity is something that I may want back in my life (some of you may have seen my other post about coming back to Christianity and know about this) That being said is it possible for me to take the Chapter and Council and if I do decided that Christianity is something that I want to come back to later down the line is it possible that I could go ahead and join the Commandery at that time?? Not sure exactly what to do, so help and suggestions are welcomed by any brother. Should I wait all together and wait till I know exactly if I want to proclaim my faith as Christian? By no means do I want to become a Christian just to become a Knights Templar that would be something wrong for myself and the fraternity, this is why I ask. Or should I join the chapter and council and wait on commandery.

    Thank You!
     
  2. wedgeprime

    wedgeprime Registered User

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    Sure you can. I have brothers who have done exactly that. I also have some who are Jewish who still joined Commandary that would defend the Christian religion if necessary. I guess it would depend on your Commandary and if they would except that.

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  3. b-mac

    b-mac Registered User

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    I haven't really tried asking them yet. But on the petition for the Commandery portion it has a line that says "that he is a firm believer in the Christian Religion". I would defend the Christian faith but it seems they want more then that. I like the idea of the York rite and everything so i'm glad to hear I can at least join the council and commandery.
     
  4. Pscyclepath

    Pscyclepath Premium Member

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    The three groups, chapter, council, and Commandery, are all independent, so you may stop wherever you wish. The trick is that they are progressive, so if you want to be a member of the council of Royal and Select Masters, you need to be a companion of the Royal Arch first.

    For that matter, you can stop at the Mark Master degree, or any of the others, if that's what floats your boat... just as in the blue lodge you could stop at the EA or FC degree. Just Don't expect to be able to sit in on many of the meetings, as they tend to open in the highest degree, and drop down to a lower degree only as needed to confer that degree on a new candidate.

    Many brothers will find that they like one order or another better, and tend to focus on that one more. Me, I tend to be a lot more actively involved with the chapter than council or Commandery, due mostly to having conflicting demands as a blue lodge officer on that meeting night.
     
  5. b-mac

    b-mac Registered User

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    Oh okay cool. What is the highest degree one can achieve before he must declare the Christian faith? And as far as that goes do you guys see any problem in someone coming back to and or becoming a christian I suppose you could say (whichever one you prefer to say more) and then becoming a knights templar? as long as its true to what he believes??
     
  6. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    You can absolutely complete your Chapter and Council degrees and then stop. I'd say about a third of all brethren progressing through the degrees stop after the Council for various reasons. The Commandery will always be there if and/or when you decide to complete your work. Commandery is a personal decision for each member and it isn't unusual at all to stop after Council.

    As for advice, I'd wholeheartedly recommend you complete your Chapter and Council degrees (but I admit I am biased in that Chapter/Council is where my passion lies) and then take the time you need to work out your relationship in Christianity.

    Be true to yourself and your beliefs and good luck on your journey! You will enjoy the Chapter and Council degrees and you will find them rewarding and enlightening even if that's as far as you travel.

    S&F
    BroBill :SNC:
     
  7. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    It's not really a matter of "highest", it's more properly "additional" than "higher". In sequence after Master Mason it's Chapter with the Mark Master, (Virtual) Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason; then you would progress to Council with Royal Master and Select master required to be considered a Royal & Select Master (Council), but there is an optional "Super Excellent Master" degree that is only conferred occasionally (depending on where you are). You do not need the Super Excellent to proceed to Commandery so the last degree required before Commandery Orders is Select Master.
     
  8. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    The Grand Encampment of the U.S. doesn't accept that. Grand Commanderies that do are fudging, and they know it. The Grand Encampment says you must profess a belief in the Christian religion, not simply be willing to defend it.
     
  9. b-mac

    b-mac Registered User

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    Very interesting insight I think I will do just that. I will do chapter and council and take my time with commandery. My ideal situation is to get it done in the summer before school starts but if I have to wait longer to do all three so be it. What made you guys want to join the York Rite??
     
  10. Revbert

    Revbert Registered User

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    Actually, the GE does NOT demand such profession of faith, just that one would wield his sword in defense of the Christian religion first. No less then the MEGM himself stated this at a Department Conference last fall.

    S&F,
    Art


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  11. widows son

    widows son Premium Member

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    "The Grand Encampment of the U.S. doesn't accept that. Grand Commanderies that do are fudging, and they know it. The Grand Encampment says you must profess a belief in the Christian religion, not simply be willing to defend it."

    • This is what deterring me from going the Templar route. I respect it, but I don't profess it

    • In Canada instead of a Commandery, it's known as a Priory. A few Companions who are in the Priory/Commandery did a presentation known as 3x3, giving a brief explanation of the orders within. They said the requirement is a profession of faith in the Christian religion.
     
  12. BroBill

    BroBill Site Benefactor Site Benefactor

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    Texas freemasonry derives from York Rite Masonry and our Blue Lodges confer the first three York Rite degrees as our first three degrees. The Chapter and Council degrees complete the story begun in Blue Lodge and I wanted - essentially - to see "the rest of the story" (to borrow a phrase). In many cases when you hear a York Rite-er talk about Chapter and Council you'll hear them refer to "finishing your degrees", "complete your degrees", or maybe as "continuing your work" and its for that reason- EA, FC, and MM are just the first degrees....

    S&F
    BroBill
     
  13. Brother JC

    Brother JC Moderating Staff Staff Member

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    If you do nothing else in your Masonic career, I recommend you receive the Royal Arch. It truly completes the Craft (Blue) Lodge Degrees.
     
  14. b-mac

    b-mac Registered User

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    Thanks i actually decided to turn in my petition in today. I told them I am not sure on the commandery yet and actually found out there is a member that in my lodge that is only in the chapter and council. I can always fill it out later if I want rather it be next week or in a year :) but I am excited that i turned the petition in!
     
  15. MarkR

    MarkR Premium Member

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    Then they need to change their web site FAQ's. It quite clearly says you must profess a belief in the Christian religion. Copied directly from their page:

    In fact, the petition on their web site has as the last statement before you sign "the undersigned further confirms, insofar as his petition relates to becoming a member of the named Commandery of Knights Templar, he is a firm believer in the Christian religion."
    http://www.knightstemplar.org/newsrelease/Back.pdf
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2013
  16. Nat Geo 357

    Nat Geo 357 Registered User

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    I know in some jurisdictions that the only thing you have to do is confess that you will defend the Christian faith. The strange thing is there are Muslims that are in the Commandery and they will tell you if they defend Christianity they are defending Islam and Judaism also all at the same time. It's a very thin line when it comes to professed religion. I think part of the problem is that people tend to focus on what is not in common. Whereas progress comes from seeing what is common between the faiths. The Muslims and Jewish people that have become KT were the ones that were able to see through all of the rhetoric. Even in the Christian church you have many beliefs and differences. So I would say take your journey as far as you desire because in the end it is a very personal journey to say the least. Travel Light.


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