Tuesday, May 11, 2010

York Rite Freemasonry

Introduction 

The York Rite is a branch of the Freemasons. It composed of 3 bodies: Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Cryptics Masons, and Commandery of Knights Templar (Chivalric Orders). Royal Arch Masonry consists of the following degrees: Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch. Cryptic Masonry consists of: Royal Master and Select Master; some jurisdictions also confer the Super Excellent Master degree, but not all. The Chivalric Orders consist of: The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta, and the Valiant and Maganimous Order of the Temple (Knights Templar). 

A proficient Master Mason in good standing can join the York Rite. You must be of Christian faith to go through the Chivalric Orders, but don't have to be to go through the Royal Arch and Cryptic Masons. 

The York Rite answers many questions from the Blue Lodge (Craft Masonry). The Royal Arch degrees take place before and after the 3rd degree. The Cryptic degrees take place before the Royal Arch degree and after the 3rd degree. The Order of the Red Cross is the first order conferred and dramatizes the freeing of the Jewish captives from Babylon. The Order of Malta is where the first requirement of the member to be Christian is observed, this order traces the history of the Knights Hospitaller.

 And finally, the crowning glory of the York Rite is the Order of the Temple. Said to be "a very impressive and solemn experience in Masonry". It truly is a beautiful ceremony and from my experience I agree wholeheartedly with the saying that "every Christian Mason should be a Knight Templar". 

After you have been initiated through all the degrees and orders of the York Rite, there are also many invitational, honorary appendant bodies. They are strictly invitation only, have specific prerequisites that must be met before you can even be considered, and some have membership limits. These appendant bodies are: Order of the High Priesthood, Order of the Silver Trowel, Sovereign Order of Knights Preceptor, Allied Masonic Degrees, Council of Knight Masons, Sovereign York Rite College of North America, Knights of the York Cross of Honor, Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (Rosicrucian Society), the Royal Order of Scotland, Red Cross of Constantine, Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priests, and the Grand College of Rite, USA. 

Structure 

True to all 3-bodies of the York Rite, there is a local body, Grand body, and International body. For the Royal Arch, there is the Chapter, Grand Chapter, and General Grand Chapter. The leaders of each of these levels respectively are: High Priest, Grand High Priest, and General Grand High Priest. For the Cryptic Masons, there is the Council, Grand Council, and General Grand Council. The leaders for each of these levels respectively are: Illustrious Master, Illustrious Grand Master, and the Most Puissant General Grand Master. For the Knights Templar there is the Commandery, Grand Commandery, and the Grand Encampment, Knights Templar, USA. The leaders for each of these levels respectively are: Eminent Commander, Right Eminent Grand Commander, and the Most Eminent Grand Master. 

Charities 

There are 3 main charities that is supported by the York Rite: Royal Arch Research Assistance (RARA), Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF), and Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF). 

The RARA helps support the research into Central Auditory Processing Disorders. The primary recipient is the Able Kids Foundation which leads the way into CAPD research. Research is showing that children with CAPD often develop ADD.

The CMMRF helps advance the research into Atherosclerosis and Vascular Biology. The primary recipient of the donations is the Indiana Center Vascular Biology and Medicine (ICVBM) located at the University of Indiana. One of the most notable patents that have come from this research is the "Closer". The vascular Closer is a device that is used over 500,000 times a year. 

The KTEF aids those who need help in the preservation of sight. It both assists those who need help paying for their eye surgeries as well as donating to optical research. Since its inception it has spent more than $89,000,000 benefiting more than 75,000 people. It has also donated over $8,000,000 for research purposes.

Whew! Quite the read. I'll leave it at that.


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