Why Seek More Light? Gathering Further Light

As a Master Mason, you were obligated and brought to Light. As a Mason in search of light, more light and further light you are invited to continue your Masonic Education by joining and participating in the York Rite. The degrees and orders of the rite will fill in the blanks and complete your search. When you joined the Masonic Lodge you were given a word. This was a substitute word devised to be used until future generations would find out the right. This substitute word allows you to visit Masonic Lodges and identify yourself as a Master Mason. Did you ever wonder what the real word was? In the York Rite of Freemasonry during the Chapter Degrees the word is found and communicated to you.


The Royal Arch Mason
The Royal Arch Mason
Every Master Mason aspires to attain the summit of Ancient Craft Masonry. Many feel with regret that it is not practicable for them to share in all the light shed by the several bodies, but all wish most earnestly to receive all the light and instruction which pertains to the Ancient Craft - the origin and foundation of the Institution. In the life of every Master Mason, there comes a time when he realizes that he has not yet attained that goal, that he Is not yet in possession of all the rights and light of a Master Mason, as these were known and understood by his ancient brethren. But he does not realize that the goal of his aspirations is near at hand - In the Royal Arch Degree. All Symbolic Masonry has its source In the Grand Lodge of England. Section I of the Constitution of the United Grand Lodge of England declares 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."
Read More
The Cryptic Degrees
The Cryptic Degrees
The Cryptic Degrees are a set of three degrees controlled by the Select Masters Council. The degrees get their name from the reference to a hidden or secret vault in the degrees, hence the term Cryptic. Only the first two degrees are regularly worked, the third degree, that of Super Excellent Master, is worked as an honorary degree, not being required as a requisite for membership in the Council. It is also somewhat peculiar in its association with the Cryptic degrees, as it is more closely allied in theme and character with the Royal Arch and the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross. The history of the body as a whole is also shrouded in uncertainty and controversy. Though there is early evidence of Councils of Royal and Select Masters being worked in the United States, the degrees were worked variously by their own Councils, Royal Arch Chapters, and even Lodges of Perfection of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Though the Scottish Rite has long relinquished any claim to these degrees, several Grand Jurisdictions (VA & WVA) still confer them as a part of Capitular Masonry. In England, the degree of Most Excellent Master is grouped with this body. In the United States, all business is conducted in the Select Masters Council, the other two bodies only being opened for the conferral of degrees. Some jurisdictions hold "table councils" in similar manner to "table lodges" as a social focal point of their local York Rite bodies.
Read More
The Chivalric Mason
The Chivalric Mason
The Chivalric Orders are a set of three Orders culminating in the grade of Knight Templar, and controlled by that body. This body is markedly different from its foreign counterparts, in that it exhibits a paramilitary structure and outlook on Masonry, being the only branch of Masonry in the world that is a uniformed body. Its requirement that its members be professed Christians has led to calls of condemnation from other Masonic bodies and organizations both inside and outside the United States, claiming that the body is more of a Christian organization rather than a Masonic body. These have had little effect on the body, however, as many of the organizations criticizing the body have similar degrees among themselves. The American body is also arranged different from its nearest relatives in England. The American body includes the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, which is not conferred in any other organization, though it has very close cousins in the Irish and American Order of Knight Masons and in the English Allied Masonic Degrees grade of the Red Cross of Babylon. Also, in the United States, the Order of Malta is conferred on members before being eligible to receive the Order of the Temple, whereas in England, the Order of Malta is an honorary grade bestowed on Knights Templar. In the United States, all business is transacted in the Order of the Temple, the other bodies only being opened for the conferral of the Orders. In England, the Order of Malta meets and operates as a separate body in addition to the Order of the Temple.
Read More