Wednesday, November 16, 2011

York Rite Education Program (YREP)

As I said during the previous post, I talked about the Under 40's committee.  At November's Stated meeting I held a survey of the membership covering what influenced them to join, what they liked about the organization/meetings, and what would they like to improve.  A third of those that answered joined the York Rite were seeking further light in Freemasonry.  Over half of those that joined enjoy the fellowship provided by the York Rite.  In the "Improvements" section they had the chance to pick up multiple choices so I'm only going to give the #1 answer.  77% of those surveyed (22% of the answers given) want programs.  This answer was given not just by the younger crowd, but was spread across the spectrum of ages.

The Scottish Rite has its Master Craftsman Program which states the program is intended to:
Increase and test your knowledge of the Scottish Rite while you learn about its structure and organization, its rich history, and its deeply philosophic Masonic teachings
For a nominal price of $35 they issue you a book with 6 quizzes to take, and after one has taken it a certificate of completion and lapel pin is issued.  This could be done with the York Rite and be an amazing success.

The York Rite has an amazing history; an interesting relationship between the 3 bodies; and rich symbolism and lessons taught in the degrees and orders.  I see some hurdles though to overcome:
  • A centralized, governing body that presides over the program
  • Establishing a book, or set of books, that covers the bases for all 3 bodies
The easiest thing may have a separate program for each body, but I would wish to unite the education program.

The curriculum I had in mind would follow in a fashion similar to this:
Part I - History
Quiz 1 - Origin of the Royal Arch degrees and its journey to America
Quiz 2 - Origin of the Chivalric orders and its journey to America
Quiz 3 - Origin and History of the Cryptic Rite
Part II - Royal Arch Degrees
Quiz 4 - Mark Master degree
Quiz 5 - Past Master (Virtual) and Most Excellent Master degrees
Quiz 6 - Royal Arch Mason degree
Part III - Cryptic Degrees
Quiz 7 - Royal Master degree
Quiz 8 - Select Master degree
Quiz 9 - Super Excellent Master degree
Part IV - Chivalric Orders
Quiz 10 - Order of the Red Cross
Quiz 11 - Order of Malta
Quiz 12 - Order of the Temple
Part V - Honorary and Invitational Bodies (HIB)
Quiz 13 - Chair degrees (to include the KYCH)
Quiz 14 - HIB requiring membership in the Royal Arch
Quiz 15 - HIB requiring membership in the Knights Templar
Quiz 16 - Other misc. honorary or invite-only organizations
None of this is set in stone and I will gladly take any assistance/advice, but in the meantime I plan on starting an Education Program at each York Rite meeting.  The piece I will read will be tailored to the specific group meeting and it is my hope that some will learn more and inspire them to start researching themselves.


  1. This is something I have been discussing with some of my Brethren in the Ft. Lauderdale York Rite bodies as well. We want more Light!

  2. I have been pushing for more light in Ohio. Grand Chapter has 4 test, Council has 3 cell courses but Commandery has nothing. They required us to have an asylum education officer, which I had established for our commandery one year prior, but provided us with no tools what so ever. I am pushing both our Grand Commandery and working with the Grand Encampment on possibly developing something, anything. I am the education officer this year and I am working on a program myself for our commandery to be passed down. Our brethren are seeking light, more light, and I feel that we are failing them.

    Scott W

  3. Scott,

    I wish you the best of luck on your Education Program. My Grand Commander is having work on a lot of research to give out to the Commanderies. I agree, we need to work on our Education Programs for the betterment of our members and Order.