Scottish Rite Masonry
WHAT IS THE SCOTTISH RITE?
It is a branch of Freemasonry designed to supplement and amplify the philosophical teachings of the first three degrees. The Scottish Rite claims to build upon the ethical teachings and philosophy of blue lodge Masonry through dramatic presentation. The Scottish Rite is sometimes called the "University of Freemasonry" because it uses extensive allegory and drama in its degrees to explore the philosophy, history, ethics and ultimate truths that guide Freemasons' lives.
HOW DOES THE SCOTTISH RITE ELABORATE ON THE CRAFT LODGE DEGREES?
It presents in degrees from the fourth to the thirty-second an interpretation of the lessons of the craft degrees by the use of drama and lectures appealing to both the ear and eye to explore the great truths which Freemasonry professes.
HOW MANY DEGREES ARE THERE IN SCOTTISH RITE?
There are 29 Scottish Rite regular degrees, which follow the three degrees conferred in craft lodges. The 33˚ is conferred only by the Supreme Council, the governing body of Scottish Rite Masonry.
WHY ARE THESE DEGREES CALLED SCOTTISH RITE?
Any connection with Scotland would seem to be vague. The reason may be that one or two of the degrees were long supposed to have been devised by the Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay, a learned Scotsman, who was tutor to Prince Charles Edward, the young Pretender. These degrees seem to have afforded a meeting place for those in exile in France who were adherents of the Stuarts, and who were plotting for the restoration of James II and his son to the throne of England. No degree of the Scottish Rite seems to have ever had its origin in Scotland.
ARE SCOTTISH RITE DEGREES HIGHER THAN THOSE OF A MASTER MASON?
There is no Masonic distinction of higher prestige than that of a "Master Mason", and the noblest and most significant emblem is the Apron of the Master Mason.
WHAT ARE THE QUALIFICATIONS REQUIRED FOR MEMBERSHIP?
Membership in good standing in a craft lodge. A belief in a Supreme Being is essential, and the usual Masonic conditions of residence, and sponsors.
WILL I BE REQUIRED TO DO ANY MEMORIZING?
No. You witness the ceremonies and drama and listen to the illustrative lectures. In order for you to more fully understand and appreciate what you have seen and heard you are expected to attend future presentations of the degrees.
ARE THERE ANY RELIGIOUS DISQUALIFICATIONS?
The Scottish Rite does not intrude on the religious beliefs of its members, but it does require that its adherents profess a belief in a Supreme Being, and urges its members to be active in their respective houses of worship. It does not attempt to teach any creed nor pretend to be a religion nor a substitute for religion. Scottish Rite practices universality.
WHAT WILL IT COST?
Minimum initiation fees have been established by Supreme Council, but each Lodge, Council, Chapter and Consistory fixes its own fees. Each body also requires annual dues as fixed by its by-laws. Some bodies also have a provision in their by-laws permitting a member to prepay his dues for the life of his membership in that body.
WHEN WILL I BE ENTITLED TO WEAR THE SCOTTISH RITE RING?
After receiving the fourteenth degree.
AFTER BECOMING A MEMBER OF SCOTTISH RITE WILL I BE PERMITTED OR REQUIRED TO TAKE MY DEMIT FROM MY CRAFT LODGE?
No. Termination of membership in a craft lodge, for any reason, automatically terminates your membership in Scottish Rite.
WHAT IS A REUNION?
It is the practice in most Valleys to hold a Reunion of the members once or twice a year, when all the degrees of the Lodge, Council, Chapter or Consistory are conferred or communicated on a class of candidates over a period of a few days. This gives an opportunity for some social fellowship and it is also more convenient for the members living some distance from the meeting place.
IS IT IMPROPER TO SOLICIT ANY MASTER MASON TO JOIN THE RITE?
No. One should have no hesitation in inviting a Brother to delve further into the teachings of Masonry, thus providing a more meaningful life for himself and his family.
Although there is no higher degree than that of a Master Mason, the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite serve to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge. A Mason who chooses to further his Masonic experience by becoming a 32° Scottish Rite Mason will be expanding upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry.
In the Scottish Rite, you will indeed find an untold wealth of knowledge. It will teach you more about Masonry. It will answer some of the questions raised in the blue lodge degrees. It is a sort of “graduate course” in Masonic teachings. In fact, it aids, supplements and reinforces the blue lodge in every way. As organizations, these bodies are mutually dependent because they strengthen each other.
By joining Scottish Rite, you have an opportunity to expand upon your knowledge of Freemasonry, to widen your circle of friends, and to serve humanity in unique ways.
How can I join? Do I have to be invited?
Freemasonry is a fraternity whose membership must be sought by the candidate. So, in other words, to be a Mason, ask a Mason how to become a member.
To become a Scottish Rite Mason, you must first be a Master Mason. You may approach a 32° Scottish Rite Mason to take the next step in joining the Scottish Rite.