York Rite or Scottish Rite

Discussion in 'The York Rite' started by Seeves, Sep 15, 2018.

  1. Seeves

    Seeves Registered User

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    I hope it isn’t against the rules, but I’ll be posting this in both forums because I want to hear from both parties.

    I’ve been a MM out of East Liverpool Lodge #681 since 11-8-16. I am wanting to get more active masonry and have the opportunity to go York or Scottish Rite. I’ve wanted to be a Templar Knight since I started my journey. But I do like the passport and degree work in Scottish Rite. A friend of mine who is in York Rite told me that Scottish Rite is more of a fast track way of doing the degree work and York Rite is more of the old way. I feel like eventually I will join both bodies; however, at this time I only have time to contribute to one. Going York Rite will support my mother lodge as it’s in the same building, but joining Scottish Rite will allow me to be more active in Masonry because the local Valley (I believe they’re called) is much closer to my home. So to help aid me in my decision I have a few questions.

    1. Are the stories and knowledge the same in both?

    2. If I join Scottish Rite first will it take away from the degree work done in the York Rite or Vice Versa?

    Any help is greatly appreciated brothers. Excited to continue my journey regardless of what path I take.



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  2. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I’m not sure what is meant by “old way.” Remember, at one time the two degrees conferred in the same sitting. Additionally, some YR confer the two degrees in a festival.

    There is some AASR cross over, yes, but largely, no. To me, AASR is a survey of man’s relationship with deity, with government and with his fellowman. I view HRA as important for a blue lodge Mason as it completes the Hiramic legend. AASR allows you to meet more people.

    I can’t imagine the degrees of one rite taking away from the other (and I am quite involved with both).
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2018
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  3. Seeves

    Seeves Registered User

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    That answers the question perfectly. Since I can only do one for now would you recommend either of the two first?


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  4. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    I would start with HRA, for the reasons indicated.
     
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  5. Bro. David F. Hill

    Bro. David F. Hill David F. Hill Premium Member

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    York Rite minus Knights Templar, are the basis of your journey. AASR is sometimes called the University of Masonry. There is where you learn the deeper meaning of the allegories. You lose some of the wonder if you are reading about the symbolism and allegories that you have not yet experienced.

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  6. Companion Joe

    Companion Joe Premium Member

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    I am biased, but I say go YR. It completes the missing chapters of the book you have already started.
     
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  7. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Agreed!
    See my answer to your question in the Scottish Rite forum.
     
  8. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    This is my feeling also.
     
  9. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I came to the same conclusion; Holy Royal Arch. Firstly, I will admit I am not really involved in appendant bodies; partly because I have not wanted to take other offices, and everything i seem to get involved in, I end up getting heavily involved in, esp in the leadership group, whether it be private or professional. I'm learning to change that, part of working on all 6 sides of my ashlar.

    Here is the background;

    I've been a Freemasons for 15 Years and during that time have been heavily involved in multiple Craft lodges as a member and honorary member.. A Lodge Sec, Past Master 3 times, Director of Ceremonies (trains officers in lodge and leads deacons in degree, basically runs the floor, overseen by the Master). I have been installed in every office except Organist, Chaplain, & Treasurer (I've acted as one). I know a lot about the history of Freemasonry, the content of the three degrees and their symbolism. When I was entered, the Tyler, a very impressive man, now gone to the GL Above, told me don't be in a hurry to join other Orders because people often do that without understanding Freemasonry. He told me to really understand the Craft before I joined something else (others will give the opposite advice - to understand the Craft, you need to join other Orders, esp those of what you would call "York Rite"). I took his advice and have long resisted the recruiters for other orders, and indeed Craft Grand Lodge - I spend a lot of time in a niche of Freemasonry (buildings) where the volunteers and expertise is thin and have wanted to keep that going - I can say hand on heart, that two masonic buildings operate today only because I have put my shoulder to the wheel, which seemed more important to me obtaining degrees beyond what I was yet to really understand. I still don't have a Mastery of Craft, but am working on it, yet also act as mentor (and co-journeyman) to many and am the go to guy for a lot of Freemasons, one group of whom I shocked by replying "I don't know" recently... (I could probably take leaf out of Coach's used of the Socratic Method - but frankly, any deep discussion of Freemasonry generally leads to it).

    I have been chased hardest by those in Mark Master Masons and Holy Royal Arch. Those trying to recruit me to them, generally talk about extended knowledge, and for HRA - learning "the genuine secrets of a MM". Knowing that Freemasonry is an c0mposite of many traditions and has been written and rewritten over centuries, learning the "genuine secrets " rang a bit false for me. I also remember being in a conversation with senior HRA guys and offering an answer to a question they were pondering. They were surprised and one said "I didn't know you were in HRA" - I replied I was not, but the answer was in a Craft Degree quoting it. I can't even remember what the question was, but it was clear those guys had moved on before they'd mastered Craft Freemasonry.

    One element of Scottish Rite which puts me off is how often members are keen to tell you they are 32nd or 33rd Degree implying that gives them a superior understanding of Freemasonry, but when you talk with such guys, they obviously mistake holding a degree for understanding Freemasonry. Not all are like that, but often comparatively newly minted Freemasons hold the 32nd and use it to try to speak with an air of understanding they simply do not hold.

    What made me join HRA (and I am only an EMM set to become a Companion in Dec) was a very knowledgeable Freemason giving a talk on the symbolism and lessons of the degree. I knew something of a lot of them (I could come close to setting out a HRA lodge, but would no doubt mix the banners) but this man's lecture (in a Craft Lodge) was really a walk through with major omissions, and the walk through made me think I would come to understand the Third Degree and the spiritual lessons in all three degrees in a deeper way.. so I signed up. I am after the lessons of the degree rather than its "secrets".

    There is no right or wrong path in Freemasonry (assuming one lives the values of Freemasonry) but for me personally, HRA seemed to be the next logical step.

    (Oh and I did join Shrine, but am not currently financial, mainly because my schedule could not accommodate it).
     
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  10. JohnXRV

    JohnXRV Registered User

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    I've just joined Mark. Did a lot of reading before deciding. As it completes the FC degree it felt the natural next step before HRA (which is heavily pushed here in England to do after your Third). Thoroughly enjoyed being Advanced and now understand why they call it the happy degree.

    John
     
  11. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    I'd always planned to do Mark first for the exact reason you state, but had to pick just one for the moment. It is often said people tend to develop a preference for either Mark or Chapter.. one days I will find the time to find out why :)
     
  12. CLewey44

    CLewey44 Registered User

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    I have some sort of Masonic dyslexia I think....
     
  13. JohnXRV

    JohnXRV Registered User

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    Now I've done it I can clearly understand where it fits in the masonic sequence. Reading a book from 1866, that put Mark as the 4th degree. It makes more sense now. I know what event Chapter is about and as that is later in the time sequence I don't understand why you would miss Mark and do Chapter.

    I should get my MM certificate when my lodge reconvenes after summer recess next month. The provincial officer will push Chapter as the next step. Don't know if I'll own up and tell him I'm already in Mark

    This is under UGLE btw.

    John
     
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  14. Seeves

    Seeves Registered User

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  15. JohnXRV

    JohnXRV Registered User

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    In England it is a degree you can join only after becoming a master mason. It is part of the HA story. In Scotland it is incorporated into the three craft degrees and a Scottish mason will have his Mark by the time he becomes a MM.

    This is my understanding
     
  16. Seeves

    Seeves Registered User

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    Nothing equivalent in the States?


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  17. Glen Cook

    Glen Cook G A Cook Site Benefactor

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    The Mark degree is part of the Royal Arch in most of the US.
     
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  18. Bloke

    Bloke Premium Member

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    Really ? Well, you lean something every day...
     
  19. Warrior1256

    Warrior1256 Site Benefactor

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    Yep.
     
  20. texanmason

    texanmason Registered User

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    Seeves, since you're based in Ohio, I would say go York Rite first. In the US, your craft lodge degrees are (almost always) going to be part of the Webb system that we call the York Rite. The transition from craft lodge to the YR appendant bodies is almost seamless and follows the story told in craft lodge.

    SR is fantastic, but the story is much easier to understand if you've gone through YR first.
     
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