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The Orders Within Freemasonry

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posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 04:33 PM
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Many people will be surprised to know that there are many different Orders within Freemasonry.

They include the following (and I'm sure there are others):

The Craft
Holy Royal Arch
The Mark
Royal Ark Mariner
The Knight Templar and Knight of Malta
The Ancient and Accepted Rite
The Red Cross of Constantine
The Allied Masonic Degrees
Order of the Secret Monitor
The Operatives
Holy Royal Arch Templar Priest
Royal Order of Scotland
Scottish Rectified Rite
The Rite of Baldwyn
SRIA
Royal Order of Eri

My research strongly indicates that the ceremonies, contained within the Orders,
can be seen as a unified whole. Originally,the Mason would go from Entered Apprentice (within The Craft) to FellowCraft - enter the Mark - progress to Master Mason and eventually become Worshiful Master of his Lodge. Then and only then would he be allowed into Holy Royal Arch. That was the way it was 150 years ago! Now,a Master Mason only has to wait four weeks to go from Craft to Royal Arch, if he so wishes.

The progression would go onto the other York Rites like Royal and Select and then onto the Chivalric Orders like the Knights Templars. Once this was completed the Mason would go onto the Scottish Rite ( Ancient and Accepted). At the top of the Masonic System was the 33 Degree - or was it? Some scholars point to Orders beyond the 33rd - the Eygptian Rite and the Rite of Memphis leading to a 99 degree.

A lot of Masons are unaware of their incredible heritage. For them the journey ends at the third degree, maybe to go onto head of their Craft Lodge. It's not helped that the Orders are now presented as a mishmash of Side Degrees and not as part of a unified whole.

Most people, outside Masonry, talk only of the first three degrees. In truth its only the tip of the iceberg.

Why the ignorance?




posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 05:23 PM
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reply to post by Circle
 


I would agree that some of the higher learning can happen a bit too quick. For a mason to become the master of his lodge, he would have to progress through all of the stations of the lodge and understand a good bit of what masonry is really about before he takes more oaths.

BTW "The Operatives" Do you have any information on this group? I have never heard of them.

[edit on 10-1-2010 by network dude]



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 05:53 PM
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I agree with you as well. I was rushed through my degrees, I still did them in long form however. The rush unbeknownst to me was solely to get me ready in time to join the Shrine Club. I have now learned that most of the Masons in my town join the Shrine in very short order and then generally quit attending Lodge altogether. Although I am not a strict ritualist I find it very sad that some of the traditions are being lost. I would have liked to wear my apron as a FC for a bit longer.



posted on Jan, 10 2010 @ 11:19 PM
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reply to post by Circle
 

Oh, there are many more orders than that. Just from the York Rite you are missing the Sovereign Order of the Knights Precepter, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Order of the High Priesthood, the Silver Trowel, the Grand Council of Knight Masons, and the York Rite College. I'm sure I am missing some.

In Europe some of the degrees are different from those in America and you'll see those differences made up in the York Rite. You don't have to be Worshipful Master to join the Royal Arch Masons or Cryptic Masons. In fact, anytime after he is made a Master Mason he can apply to join the Royal Arch.

The Scottish Rite is seperate and not connected with the York Rite. Nor is the Egyptian Rite or Rite of Memphis-Mizraim recognized as regular Masonry. Its considered irregular or clandestine.

The Master Mason degree is the highest degree in Masonry. Everything is used to enhance an experience of a Mason not supercede the 3rd degree.

reply to post by network dude
 

In Idaho to be eligible for Worshipful Master you must have a certificate of proficiency and served as a Warden for a year (which also requires a certificate). The Master's certificate requires proficiency in all 3 degree ceremonies, lectures, 3rd degree, 2nd section, opening/closing of a Stated meeting, and take a test over the Code & Digest. I'm pushing legislation right now to require proficiency in all duties of the Master.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 05:43 AM
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Originally posted by KSigMason

In Idaho to be eligible for Worshipful Master you must have a certificate of proficiency and served as a Warden for a year (which also requires a certificate). The Master's certificate requires proficiency in all 3 degree ceremonies, lectures, 3rd degree, 2nd section, opening/closing of a Stated meeting, and take a test over the Code & Digest. I'm pushing legislation right now to require proficiency in all duties of the Master.


I was not aware of any eligibility requirements other than having a proficiency card. We have a large enough lodge that you have to start as a steward in order to be part of the rotation, then of course not be a chucklehead in order to be elected to JW. I just hate to see the ones who after they are raised, they disappear into whatever reason they joined for. (shrine, ?) I don't think you even start to understand things until a year or so into going to lodge regularly.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:21 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 


Hello Network dude. The Operatives only appear to have lodges in England. They don't seem to feature in the USA; Scotland or Ireland.. They have seven degrees starting with Apprentice; Fellow; Fitter and Marker; Setter and Erector; Intendent; Passed Master and finally Master Mason.The Order was formed in 1913.

Correspondance to the Order is : The Grand Clerk, 14 Girton Way, Croxley Green, Rickmansworth WD3 3QN.UK



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by Circle
Hello Network dude. The Operatives only appear to have lodges in England. They don't seem to feature in the USA; Scotland or Ireland.. They have seven degrees starting with Apprentice; Fellow; Fitter and Marker; Setter and Erector; Intendent; Passed Master and finally Master Mason.The Order was formed in 1913.


Actually, they have a presence in New York City and (I think) Philadelphia. I have several Mason friends who are members. They haven't been there long (perhaps 10 years or so)

I have a set of their rituals which bear a great deal of similarity in places to Speculative Freemasonry but deal more with the symbolism of the Operative trade



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:29 AM
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Originally posted by KSigMason
reply to post by Circle
 

The Scottish Rite is seperate and not connected with the York Rite. Nor is the Egyptian Rite or Rite of Memphis-Mizraim recognized as regular Masonry. Its considered irregular or clandestine.



How is it decided what is regular and irregular? I know that United Grand Lodge of England (U.G.L.E). I wonder what their criteria would be? My guess is that it is not based on Christian tenets. A bit like the Order of Light which is a Masonic Organization based on Eastern philosophies. U.G.L.E dont have them on the officia "Roll call order".



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:34 AM
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reply to post by senrak
 


That's interesting, I didn't know that the Operatives had made a beachhead in the US. You would think that it would start in a bigger city like New York or one with more political influence like D.C. It's probably because a leading member went to work in Phily. What's the lodge called Senrak?



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:38 AM
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reply to post by Namaste
 


Yes, in the rush to attract more members something vital can get lossed. I guess that was what I was trying to put across in my original post. In today's modern society, everything is expected to be Mc Quick, like fast food.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 08:48 AM
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Originally posted by Circle


How is it decided what is regular and irregular?


By lineage and tradition.

The Rites of Memphis (97 degrees) and Mitzraim (90 degrees) are considered clandestine for several reasons. To begin with, both Rites plagiarized their first 33 degrees fron another iregular rite, the Cerneau Scotch Rite of 33 degrees. All the degrees above the 33rd in those systems existed in name only, without any ritual. When the Rites were reformed in the United States and incorporated into the Grand College of Rites, they wre stripped down to 33rd degree systems.

Those Rites were generally money-making schemes, selling the non-existent degrees to anyone willing to pay for them. Eventually, the regular Grand Lodges banned those rites for these and other reasons.


Most people, outside Masonry, talk only of the first three degrees.


From my experience, most seem to focus on the 33rd degree, as if it were the pinnacle of Freemasonry. In reality, the Masonic system of three degrees contains the fundamentals of Masonry. Other Masonic degrees and rites expand upon the first three degrees, but do not replace their original authority.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:02 AM
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reply to post by Circle
 


thanks for that info. And thanks Senrak. It's nice to learn a bit more of what else is out there. In my little world, there isn't much else discussed except the Scottish rite and Blue lodge.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:03 AM
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How is it decided what is regular and irregular?


Most Lodges gain recognition for regularity through the UGLoE, meeting all of the tenets that are outlined for it.

Wiki has a list of what is used to judge if a Lodge is regular or not, not sure how accurate it is.
Regular Masonic Jurisdiction

What complicates the matter, is you have groups who consider themselves regular, but are not recognized by the UGLoE.
Like Co-Masonry, or Female Masonry, who consider themselves compelty regular.

Now as for why some Rites are retired, like Memphis-Mizraim, it can be due to a number of reasons, I'd imagine.
One constant I've heard with the Memphis-Mizraim rite is that it was basically degree pedaling.


Edit: Didn't notice Masonic Lights post, sorry.
Let me know if I mistyped something.

[edit on 11-1-2010 by RuneSpider]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 09:37 AM
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reply to post by network dude
 

Yeah, each Grand Lodge has its own requirements. I know Arkansas doesn't have any, you just need to be elected. When I visited a Lodge in Little Rock they were really surprised to hear the requirements.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:12 PM
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reply to post by Masonic Light
 


Thanks for that Masonic Light, very informative.

How difficult is it for a Mason outside the US to join the College of Rites to get access, to say, the Eygptian Rite or other inactive Orders? It begs the question - are they really inactive or just restricted to a certain privileged few?



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:19 PM
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reply to post by Circle
 


www.grandcollegeofrites.org...

From their site:


Any Master Mason holding membership and in good standing in a regular symbolic Lodge recognized by a majority of the Grand Lodges of Freemasonry in the United States may petition for membership


this is for inside of the States.
Outside of the States, this is the site for the rite of Memphis Misraim:
www.memphis-misraim-international.org...
The site has a email address you can send requests to.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:21 PM
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reply to post by RuneSpider
 


Thankyou for the Link. Very useful.

Recently, I checked out a book entitled

"The Masonic Magician - The Life and Death of Count Cagliostro and His Egyptian Rite"

ISBN 978 -1 - 905857 - 68 - 5 PUB Watkins

by Philippa Faulks and Robert Cooper (Curator of Grand Lodge of Scotland Museum in Edinburgh).

The book states that Cagliostro gave free healing sessions to the poor. Is this someone who would peddle non-existant rites? I'm not so sure.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:26 PM
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Originally posted by RuneSpider
reply to post by Circle
 


www.grandcollegeofrites.org...

From their site:


Any Master Mason holding membership and in good standing in a regular symbolic Lodge recognized by a majority of the Grand Lodges of Freemasonry in the United States may petition for membership


this is for inside of the States.
Outside of the States, this is the site for the rite of Memphis Misraim:
www.memphis-misraim-international.org...
The site has a email address you can send requests to.


If a Mason outside the US sends a request to the above link could they face being expelled from Regular Freemasonry? Is the M-M International, the official College Of Rites for Masons outside the US? I would hate for anyone to use the link and then get themselves in hot water.



[edit on 11-1-2010 by Circle]

[edit on 11-1-2010 by Circle]



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:31 PM
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reply to post by Circle
 


I don't know about Cagliostro, from his brief Bio on Wikipedia, he seems to have been something of a Robin hood like fellow, scam the rich the help the poor and needy.




If a Mason outside the US sends a request to the above link could they face being expelled from Regular Freemasonry?


Dunno, my guess would be that as it's a recognized and regular Masonic institution, it should be fine. But one of the Masons of the site will probably correct me on that.



Is the M-M International, the official College Of Rites for Masons outside the US?

Not sure, I've been old that it is practiced outside of the US to some degree, and it's one of the source links listed on Wikipedia, so I read through it.



posted on Jan, 11 2010 @ 12:37 PM
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The Faulks / Cooper book says that Cagliostro claimed Masonry was incomplete without the Eygptian Rite. That his Rite deserved to be included in Regular Freemasonry because of its lineage. That kind of ties in with my original post about the need for Freemasonry to be a unified system of enlightenment. Is Cagliostro right to make these claims? Are the College of Rites correct to restrict access to the Rites? Why should a "regular mason" be threatened with expulsion for looking into the Eygptian Rites (except if he goes through the College)?



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