The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and, while the English Constitution in the United Kingdom omits the Scottish), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite (or, in England and Australia, as the Rose Croix although this is only one of its degrees), is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. It is also concordant, in that some of its degrees relate to the degrees of Symbolic (Craft) Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, only a recognized Freemason may join and there is no prohibition against his doing so. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the Craft (or Blue) Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
A French trader, by the name of Estienne Morin, had been involved in high-degree Masonry in Bordeaux since 1744 and, in 1747, founded an \"Écossais\" lodge (Scottish Lodge) in the city of Le Cap Français, on the north coast of the French colony of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti). Over the next decade, high-degree Freemasonry was carried by French men to other cities in the Western hemisphere. The high-degree lodge at Bordeaux warranted or recognized seven Écossais lodges there.
While in New York City, Francken also communicated the degrees to Moses Michael Hays, a Jewish businessman, and appointed him as a Deputy Inspector General. In 1781, Hays made eight Deputy Inspectors General, four of whom were later important in the establishment of Scottish Rite Freemasonry in South Carolina:
Although most of the thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite existed in parts of previous degree systems, the Scottish Rite did not come into being until the formation of the Mother Supreme Council at Charleston, South Carolina, in May 1801 at Shepheard's Tavern at the corner of Broad and Church Streets (the tavern had been the location of the founding of Freemasonry in South Carolina in 1754). The Founding Fathers of the Scottish Rite who attended became known as \"The Eleven Gentlemen of Charleston\".
At this point, the degrees were in a rudimentary form, and often included only a brief history and legend of each degree, as well as other brief details which usually lacked a workable ritual for their conferral. In 1855, the Supreme Council appointed a committee to prepare and compile rituals for the 4th through the 32nd Degrees. That committee was composed of Albert G. Mackey, John H. Honour, William S. Rockwell, Claude P. Samory, and Albert Pike. Of these five committee members, Pike did all the work of the committee.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge, which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of national (or in the US, state) Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Attainment of the third Masonic degree, that of a Master Mason, represents the attainment of the highest rank in all of Masonry. Additional degrees such as those of the AASR are sometimes referred to as appendant degrees, even where the degree numbering might imply a hierarchy. They represent a lateral movement in Masonic education rather than an upward movement, and are degrees of instruction rather than rank.
In 2000, the Southern Jurisdiction in the United States completed a revision of its ritual scripts. In 2004, the Northern Jurisdiction in the United States rewrote and reorganized its degrees. Further changes have occurred in 2006. The current titles of the degrees and their arrangement in the Southern Jurisdiction remains substantially unchanged from the beginning.
The list of degrees for the Supreme Councils of Australia, England and Wales, and most other jurisdictions largely agrees with that of the Southern Jurisdiction of the U.S. However, the list of degrees for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States is now somewhat different and is given in the table below. The list of degrees of the Supreme Council of Canada reflects a mixture of the two, with some unique titles as well:
The AASR does have its own distinctive versions of the Craft rituals (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason), but most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not work in them. However, there are 10 lodges in New Orleans and 16 in New York City that work in the Scottish Rite Craft degrees.
The AASR craft degrees are more common in Europe and Latin-American jurisdictions. All lodges in the International Order of Freemasonry for Men & Women, LE DROIT HUMAIN work \"seamlessly from the first to the thirty-third degree and practises only one rite, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite (A&ASR). These two characteristics define it as an Order and not as an Obedience\". Most lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grande Loge de France use these degrees, as do a few of the lodges under the jurisdiction of the Grande Loge Nationale Française. It is a dominant ritual, out of the other rituals in use, in the Grand Lodge of Spain. There are two Lodges in Australia that practise the AASR Craft degrees, The Zetland Lodge of Australia No. 9 and Lodge France 1021, both of which are under the United Grand Lodge of New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory.
According to Masonic historian Alain Bernheim, Belgian Masonic scholar Pierre Noël demonstrated in a 2002 paper that the AASR Craft degrees derived from the French translation of the Masonic exposé Three Distinct Knocks, issued in London in 1760.
The Grand Orient of France signed a treaty of union in December 1804 with the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in France; the treaty declared that \"the Grand Orient united to itself\" the Supreme Council in France. This accord was applied until 1814. Thanks to this treaty, the Grand Orient of France took ownership, as it were, of the Scottish Rite.
From 1805 to 1814, the Grand Orient of France administered the first 18 degrees of the Rite, leaving the Supreme Council of France to administer the last 15. In 1815, five of the leaders of the Supreme Council founded the Suprême Conseil des Rites within the Grand Orient of France. The original Supreme Council of France fell dormant from 1815 to 1821.
The Suprême Conseil des Isles d'Amérique (founded in 1802 by Grasse-Tilly and revived around 1810 by his father-in-law Delahogue, who had also returned from the United States) breathed new life into the Supreme Council for the 33rd Degree in France. They merged into a single organization: the Supreme Council of France. This developed as an independent and sovereign Masonic power. It created symbolic lodges (those composed of the first three degrees, which otherwise would be federated around a Grand Lodge or a Grand Orient).
The Suprême Conseil de France (emerging from the Supreme Council of 1804 and restored in 1821 by the Supreme Council of the Isles d'Amérique founded in 1802 in Saint-Domingue, the modern Haiti)In 1894, the Supreme Council of France created the Grand Lodge of France. It became fully independent in 1904, when the Supreme Council of France ceased chartering new lodges. The Supreme Council of France still considers itself the overseer of all 33 degrees of the Rite. Relations between the two structures remain close, as shown by their organizing two joint meetings a year.
In England and Wales, whose Supreme Council was warranted by that of the Northern Jurisdiction of the USA (in 1845), the Rite is known colloquially as the \"Rose Croix\" or more formally as \"The Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas\" (continental European jurisdictions retain the \"Écossais\"). England and Wales are divided into Districts, which administer the Rose Croix Chapters within their District; many degrees are conferred in name only, and degrees beyond the 18 are conferred only by the Supreme Council itself.
In England and Wales, the candidate is perfected in the 18th degree with the preceding degrees awarded in name only. Continuing to the 30th degree is restricted to those who have served in the chair of the Chapter. Elevation beyond the 30th degree is as in Scotland.
In Scotland, candidates are perfected in the 18th degree, with the preceding degrees awarded in name only. A minimum of a two-year interval is required before continuing to the 30th degree, again with the intervening degrees awarded by name only. Elevation beyond that is by invitation only, and numbers are severely restricted.
In the Southern Jurisdiction, a member who has been a 32 Scottish Rite Mason for 46 months or more is eligible to be elected to receive the \"rank and decoration\" of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (K.C.C.H.) in recognition of outstanding service. After 46 months as a K.C.C.H. he is then eligible to be elected to the 33rd degree, upon approval of the Supreme Council and Sovereign Grand Commander.
The Lexington, Massachusetts-based Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, formed in 1813, oversees the bodies in fifteen states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin and Vermont. The Northern Jurisdiction is only divided into Valleys, not Orients. Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. 781b155fdc