At first I wanted to join the Scottish Rite because of the history I read about the Scottish Rite and because my uncle has been a member of the Scottish Rite for a long time.
Many members of my lodge are discoraging me from joining the Scottish rite. Most of the members in our lodge belong to the York Rite.
They tell me not to join for the following reasons:
1) They tell me since I am a christian I should join the York Rite, the Scottish Rite is for members who are jewish.
2) The Scottish Rite they tell me is a rip off. They confer all 32 degrees in one day and members walk away not getting much from them.
3) The York Rite is much more involved and meaninful than the Scottish rite, paying more for what your getting.
4) The Scottish Rite charges way more than what the York Rite does.
So I don't know what to do. Part of me still really wants to join the Scottish Rite because I have always wanted to be a 32nd degree mason, although I know there is nothing higher than the master mason, I still would like that.
But the other part of me feels well if I become a 32nd degree mason in one day, it doesn't feel that special to me and I would feel like I didn't work hard to earn it.
What are your opinions? What would the members on this forum recommend?
Hmmm, not sure about the US, but in England and Wales AASR (scottish rite) is only open to those of a trinitarian christian faith, and seeing as the subject matter, as I understand it, is to do with the life of Christ, I would suggest that those brothers who told you it was for 'jewish' members are talking out of their butt. Some degrees in the SR are not worked, but are conferred, that is common to all SR jurisdictions. As for the money question - that really should be the last of all in your reasons for joining a particular degree or order. While we do have the SR in the UK, we don't operate York Rite in the same way, they tend to be seperate orders here - for example Royal Arch, Royal Ark Mariners, Mark, Allied, Royal & Select Masters are to a certain extent all autonomous and not 'joined up' under an umbrella - which is how I understand it to operate in some US jurisdictions.
And the highest degree in freemasonry is that of Master Mason, there is more than enough in the first three degrees to keep one busy for a lifetime
Remember the RULE of freemasonry -
Read, Understand, Learn, Enjoy
Bro Penfold I agree to a great extent. Certainly we do not have One Day Classes or rapid rise to the 32nd Degree, which over here takes many years to achieve, if at all.
However at the risk of being pedantic can I explain that the description you give of Scottish and York Rites is only applicable to Male UGLE etc type Freemasonry. In Le Driot Humain (Co-Masonry) we consider Craft to be part of A&ASR as its first Three Degrees and the remaining Degrees are in an Initiatic Continuity therewith. York Rite to us consists of Mark, RAM, Royal Arch, KTs and R.O.S. so in that respect we may be closer to the US system.
I also understand that in some Jurisdictions a Jewish Brother could join A&ASR as long as they gave a Declaration of Support for the Christian Trinitarian Faith whereas in the UK one has to have been Baptised as a Christian.
This seems to be a common false assumption by some less read brethren in the US that the SR is Jewish and the YR is Christian. Its most likely YR Masons that make this over simplified statement by the mere fact that in the YR the highest Order/Degree is that of The Order of the Temple/Knights Templar, where a Candidate for such must profess his desire to defend the Christian Faith. I find it discombobulating that one can claim the YR is entirely Christian when it consists of degrees such as the Royal Arch.
One of the reasons I chose to explore the mysteries of the York over the Scottish Rite is that some of its degrees has had in the past a more intimate connection with regular Craft Masonry, and that in Craft in my state and pretty much all elsewhere in the US we work the York EA, FC, and MM degrees.
I'm a USA Freemason and a member of both Scottish Rite - Southern Jurisdiction, and the York Rite. Previous posters are absolutely correct, the idea that US SR is Jewish and US YR Christian is simply wrong. Yes, joining a Commandery of Knights Templar in the YR requires profession of Christian faith. Royal Arch Chapter and the Council of Cryptic Masons certainly do not. There is nothing, in my opinion, necessarily incompatible with my Christian faith in the Scottish Rite. I joined the York Rite bodies first largely because they are locally organized and the work and administration are done in my local Masonic Temple. The organization of the Scottish Rite required me to leave town for 3 days to attend a semi-annual degree granting reunion. Several years later I joined Scottish Rite and maintain active membership in "both" branches. Unduly simplifying things, I often say the the York Rite provides a wonderful vehicle for historic Chivalric Freemasonry. Scottish Rite Freemasonry provides a a wonderful philosophic journey through wide and varied disciplines. Each is very worthwhile and well worth your time. Good luck and good journies!
"the highest Order/Degree is that of The Order of the Temple/Knights Templar,"
There is no "highest degree" in the York "rite". First, the KT are orders of knighthood and not degrees. Second, as you've already pointed out, the "rite" is less of a rite than a collection of three separate and distinct masonic bodies that hail from the UK. Given this logic (not to mention documented history), then there is no "top" or ne plus ultra degree.
Post by celticgladiator on May 11, 2008 9:24:18 GMT
i couldn't decide either so i went through both. i love both of them for different reasons or maybe the reasons are the same. there are things i like about both that i just can't compare to each other. if you are leaning towards the scottish rite, go that route, you won't be disappointed. even if you do your degrees in one day, you can always get involved and continue to grow and discern more light.
Are you able to share why you have always wanted to be a 32 degree mason?
Corab, I am not a 32 Degree - just an 18th Degree and have no burning desire to become a 32nd Degree mason - however as it is a conferred degree i would be honored and even excited if such a degree was offered. Why excited - each Masonic initiation I have received has been life changing and can only imagine that a 32nd Degree initiation would equally rewarding.
Eastern order of International Co-Freemasonry
Auckland New Zealand
"All Truths are Truths of Period
and not truths for eternity."