Grand College of Rites / Questions

Discussion in 'General Freemasonry Discussion' started by Forthright, Mar 23, 2020.

  1. Forthright

    Forthright Registered User

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    I've been reading up on GCR and am interested in petitioning, and may do so. One thing I found in their constitution though I found a bit curious, and wanted to know if any members might provide some color on this as I can't find any information:

    The Grand College of Rites has for its major objects:
    2. The elimination of sporadic efforts to resuscitate or perpetuate Rites, Systems and Orders of Freemasonry in the United States, except to bring them under control of the Grand College of Rites.
    I can imagine reasons why this would be a major object of the GCR, but I don't want to guess. Could anyone fill in the blanks?
     
  2. Mark Stockdale

    Mark Stockdale Premium Member

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    Maybe taken out of context as I am not in the USA, and only seeing that one small statement, but looks to me like they want to control all the GLs in the USA. Imagine 1 body controlling all the ritual in the USA, able to tell you that it must be done their way. Part of the beauty of Freemasonry for me is those differences in ritual, not only here in Scotland where every lodge has a slightly different ritual, but around the world.
     
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  3. JamestheJust

    JamestheJust Registered User

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    My limited observation of Grand Lodges and governing bodies is that they like monopolies. Competition would demand levels of competence that I have not seen in a long time.
     
  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    No, it is not to control the GLs. I assure you, we would have ruled it clandestine if that were the case, as it would have interfered with our sovereignty.

    It actually helps GLs, by limiting spurious groups who wish to take a disused ritual and seek to use it.

    It is worthwhile to note the rituals transferred to it by Masonic orders.

    See http://grandcollegeofrites.org/
     
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  5. Forthright

    Forthright Registered User

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    I did not interpret it to have anything to do with controlling grand lodges. My first assumption was that the GCR had concern over Masonry fracturing though. For all the regional differences we have, probably amity is easier because most of the jurisdictions evolved from a very small set of distinct rituals.

    I can imagine that amity & unity would be much, much harder if people started picking up old 18th century ritual, putting their spin on it, and kicking off a new group. I can imagine that it would be extremely difficult and contentious to determine whether those people were Masons or not.
     
  6. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    The ritual worked has nothing to do with whether craft jurisdictions are in amity, outside of preservation of the Hiramic myth and use of a VSL. There are over 80 actively worked rituals in England. The Scottish Rite and Rectified Rite Rituals are starkly different than the Preston Webb and Emulation families of ritual.

    There are still groups who either do pick up disused rituals or create their own in the 20th C., The Operatives, Athelstan, Acon, Spiritual Knights, August Order of Knights, Scarlet Cord.

    The few rituals controlled by The College could all be worked as side orders, maintaining the current Craft degrees as prerequisites.
     
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  7. Forthright

    Forthright Registered User

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    All of that makes sense. So why the second point?
     
  8. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    Sorry, which point is that?
     
  9. Forthright

    Forthright Registered User

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    The second point at the top of the thread was an element in the GCR constitution, a reason for GCR to exist:

    The elimination of sporadic efforts to resuscitate or perpetuate Rites, Systems and Orders of Freemasonry in the United States, except to bring them under control of the Grand College of Rites.​

    I was wondering why this point is so foundational as to be in their constitution -- that the organization should seek to eliminate efforts to resuscitate old rites.
     
  10. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    It actually helps GLs, by limiting spurious groups who wish to take a disused ritual and seek to use it.
     
  11. TonyT2020

    TonyT2020 Registered User

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    Interesting perspective on that statement. Appreciate the point.
     
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  12. Pointwithinacircle3

    Pointwithinacircle3 Registered User

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    Here is my personal experience with outdated Masonic Rites and Ritual. I was raised two years after my jurisdiction “simplified ” the ritual. As part of this revision the catechism was changed so that the statements of the obligation were read to the candidate and he simply agreed to them. When I learned about this we were trying to generate more interesting content for our meetings. Since I had never learned the catechism I thought it might be nice to learn the old catechism and present it in Lodge. I thought the older Masons would enjoy it and the newer Masons, who had never seen it, might learn something new about the craft. While searching for someone to teach me the old catechism I mentioned my plan in the presence of our Deputy District Inspector. My DDI informed me that it would be a violation of Masonic Law to perform the old catechism in open Lodge because when the new catechism was approved the old one had been outlawed. I believe that this applies to all Masonic ritual. It is either approved or outlawed.
     
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