YR equivalent of 33rd degree

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by Ripcord22A, Aug 16, 2016.

  1. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I would be interested to know how others feel that the York Rite Sovereign College of North America fits into this conversation.
  2. hanzosbm

    hanzosbm Premium Member

    As others have stated, I think it's difficult due to the different structures of the two groups. 33rd is WITHIN the SR. RCC is outside of the YR. But, as the YR is made up of separate bodies, it becomes difficult to really say what the most prestigious grade within the rite is. If you start going down the rabbit hole of 'this group requires being of a certain level within this other group', it starts to get really messy. Imagine one invitational body that requires membership of both Chapter and Commandery, and another only Counsel, but the latter limits their numbers to a smaller group, or also has a requirement of PM in blue lodge...which is more prestigious? And, as the SRICF was brought up earlier, yes it is invitational and rather exclusive, but doesn't require membership in any other appendant body. Theoretically, you could be raised on Monday and be invited on Tuesday (a gross exaggeration). And then of course, you get into some of the, shall we say, non-public organizations, which are not only invitational, but whose requirements might span both SR and YR. It quickly gets all mixed up.
  3. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

    I totally understand. It is just that since we are discussing this subject anyway I was curious as to where the other Brothers thought that the York Rite College would fit in.
  4. EVG Yumul

    EVG Yumul Registered User

    Not quite sure why you mentioned that the chart doesn't help, it's exactly what you were asking for, Brother.
    The chart lists the Swedish Rite equivalents of the degrees of other Masonic Orders and Bodies.
    A quick Google Translate will show that it compares AASR, Swedish Rite, York (American) Rite, RER, et al.
  5. Jim Barr

    Jim Barr Premium Member

    OK, I responded a couple years ago, and some things have changed personally, so here's an update....

    It's difficult to draw a clean comparison, because the AASR consists of continuous degrees, culminating with the 33rd. The York Rite in the U.S.A. on the other hand, consists of 3 distinct bodies: Royal Arch Chapter, Council of Royal and Select Masters, and the Commandery. All bodies are independent of each other, are co-equal in stature, and yet some build on others. You have to be a member of the Royal Arch to join the Council and the Commandery, but you don't have to be a member of the Council to join a Commandery. I've seen in some states where the Commandery has been elevated to a prestigious level above the other bodies, but sadly arrogance and ego tends to drive it. In South Carolina, we seek for unity and equality, viewing all bodies as necessary to gain all of the Masonic Light that the YR has to offer.

    In addition to the three bodies are many Appendent bodies that confer additional degrees and honors. Some simply follow on, and others are invitation only organizations. Some delve into the esoteric, some fill in gaps left in the YR degrees, and some are for honor and recognition for service and support.

    The KYCH is an honor, but to me it's more of a milestone. You earn it by completing service as Master of a Blue Lodge, High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, Illustrious Master of a Council, and Commander of a Commandery. There are specific administrative requirements that can vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. And when you serve as a grand head of one or more of the four bodies, you can receive the KYGCH, or Knight York Grand Cross of Honour. For each grand head position you serve, you receive a "quadrant" on your jewel of the color of the body. So when I served as Most Illustrious Grand Master of the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters of South Carolina, I received the KYGCH with one purple quadrant for having served the Grand Council.

    The Red Cross of Constantine is an honorary degree and organization. It is limited in members, and is by invitation only. Like the 33rd degree and other honor organizations, you do not ask for it. I received the RCC last year, and I was told that it is accepted by the Supreme Council AASR as equivalent to the 33rd degree. There are no cross-visitation rights, it's only the "culmination" of standard York Rite Masonry. And like most honor and appendent bodies, there are officer and rankings at the local, Grand, and General Grand levels.

    Each of the YR bodies also has "high honor" awards and honors specific to the body. For example, the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International has the Order of the Secret Vault that has very limited membership. I was honored this weekend to receive it at South Carolina's Grand York Rite assembly. I did not ask for it, nor was it expected.

    The point is that there is no direct correlation between the degrees and honors of the ASSR and the YR, but each does recognize exceptional service and devotion. And remember, that in Freemasonry, there is NO higher degree than the 3rd Degree, that degree on which all Master Masons are on the level.
  6. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

    Excellent summation in large, though the SC does not accept RCC as equivalent to 33. It says nothing about it.

    Since RCC does not have KT or Cryptic as a prerequisite, it is hard to see how it would be a culmination of York Rite.
    Brother JC likes this.
  7. EVG Yumul

    EVG Yumul Registered User

    I get that, Brother, and I agree.
    I was simply pertaining to answer the original intent of the question in this thread:
    What rank/degree in the "American" Rite would you need to possess to visit a certain degree in the Swedish Rite, knowing that the AASR does have equivalencies in the Swedish Rite?

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