Originally posted by MrNECROS
I have posted a quite clear description of the 32nd Degree as presented in "The Book of Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite Freemasonry (1884)" and anyone who can read English will see it is as claimed.
As mentioned, anyone who wants a description of the 32° initiation ceremony as practiced in the Mother Jurisdiction need only read Dr. Hutchens’ “A Bridge To Light”, which gives details of all the rites from the 4° to the 32°. The book is given as a gift to all new 32° Masons, but is available to the general public for 10 bucks.
I am very familiar with Brother McLenachan’s book. I own a personal copy, and we have 3 or 4 copies in our Lodge library. But there’s a few things you don’t seem to understand about the Scottish Rite.
Firstly, McLenachan’s Obedience was the Supreme Council of England, which operates independently from the Mother Council. The English ritual of the Scottish Rite is used only in the UK, not in any other country.
Secondly, McLenachan’s descriptions do not completely match the ritual used today in England. In his day, the degrees were not actually conferred in ceremonial form, they existed only on paper. A 3° Mason who was approved for membership in the Rite was given the 32° by proclamation, and then they gave him the rituals to study. The rituals described by Bro. McLenachan were never actually staged.
In the US, Bro. Albert Pike, Grand Commander, re-wrote the old rituals to make them be easily staged in an actual ceremony. The first of these were the 4°, 14°, 18°, 30°, and 32°, which became the mandatory degrees. Eventually, the other degrees were likewise revised, but their ceremonial conferral is optional.
England soon followed suit, but their system is a bit different. In the USA, the above 5 degrees must be conferred in full form, which often occurs during a one day class. Thus, in the USA, practically all Scottish Rite Masons hold at least the 32°. In the UK, the mandatory degrees are the 18°, 30°, and 32°. All Scottish Rite Masons in the UK hold at least the 18°, since the 4°-17° are issued by proclamation (the rituals of these degrees are then given to the new Knight Rose Croix for study). After this, in England, there is a waiting period for the 30°, and another for the 32°. For more info about the English system of Scottish Rite Masonry, see “Rose Croix” by Ill. Bro. A.C.F. Jackson, 33°.
Incidentally "Fiat Lux" is the motto for the 20th Degree "Grand Master of All Symbolic Lodges", one who can assume the the gavel in ANY symbolic lodge providing there are none present superior in rank.
This is indeed found in the Old Charge of the 20°, as well in the Constitutions of 1786 of the Supreme Council, adopted by the Grand Consistory of Louisiana. It is outdated, and no longer applies. This Charge was eliminated from the ritual by Albert Pike in 1871, and in other Jurisdictions a short while later.
Originally, the Supreme Councils were chartering Symbolic Lodges (sometimes called “Blue Lodges”) which were not recognized by the Grand Lodges of the York Rite. In the old Scottish Rite Lodges, a Mason of the 20° could assume the Gavel because he had been named Grand Master.
Eventually, a Concordant was reached, and the Supreme Councils of the Scottish Rite agreed to recognize the ultimate authority of the York Rite Grand Lodges for the Blue Degrees. York Rite Grand Lodges do not recognize any degree higher than the Third Degree, and today, no Scottish Rite Mason can assume the Gavel in a Symbolic Lodge unless he has been elected the Master of the Lodge, has the permission of the Master, is a York Rite Grand Master, or a District Deputy Grand Master.
[Edited on 17-5-2004 by Masonic Light]