Wednesday, September 28, 2022
Sunday, September 18, 2022
A year ago I had finished back-to-back weekends of attending the Grand York Rites of Colorado and Wyoming. Now I've done a complete circuit of all the Grand Chapters that compose the Northwest Region. It has been a hectic year so far. Between work and Masonry, I've spent more than 180-days on the road since this time last year.
At the Grand York Rite of Colorado, I was made an Honorary Member of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar and the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. Due to my schedule, I had to leave before the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons assembled. The best part about flying home on Saturday, I got to surprise my nephew for his 15th birthday on Sunday.
This last Thursday I flew back to Denver with the Northwest Department Commander and drove up to Cheyenne for their annual Grand York Rite sessions. Outside of Idaho, Wyoming is one of my Masonic homes. I love visiting and some of my favorite Masons are in Wyoming. Everything went smooth with the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons, but it was a bit weird and tense at first with the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar as Sir Knight Mike Johnson was present and some Sir Knights brought a resolution to the floor to file a grievance with the Grand Encampment. This was not surprising in that Sir Knight Mike Johnson was from Wyoming and his removal as Grand Master was a sore point, to say the least. I was extremely pleased to see the Sir Knights of Wyoming, while unhappy, conducted themselves as Templars and with civility. The Northwest Department Commander gave some phenomenal comments that I believe will help with healing relations between the Sir Knights of the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Wyoming and the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar, USA.
I'm now on my way home and I do not have to travel for the next several weeks which will be a nice change of pace. My next adventures include an SRICF College convocation, the Northwest York Rite Conference, the annual meeting of the SRICF High Council, and a special trip that I believe will be a blessing and enhancement to me as a Christian, Rosicrucian, and Sir Knight.
Sunday, September 4, 2022
Members refer to each other as "Sojourner" and the honorary title of "Worthy" is used in this organization. The basic organizational unit is the Shrine which is presided over by a Worthy High Priestess and Watchman of Shepherds. They are supported by the following officers:
Noble ProphetessAssociate Watchman of ShepherdsWorthy ChaplainWorthy ScribeWorthy TreasurerWorthy ShepherdessWorthy GuideWorthy HeraldFirst Wise ManSecond Wise ManThird Wise ManKingQueenFirst Hand MaidSecond Hand MaidThird Hand MaidWorthy OrganistWorth GuardianWorthy Guard
Only women can serve in some offices like the Priestess or Prophetess while men can only serve as Watchman or the Wise Men. Some offices like Guard, Scribe, or Treasurer can be filled by either a man or a woman. Constituent Shrines fall under the governance of the Supreme Shrine which is composed of the following officers:
Supreme Worthy High PriestessSupreme Watchman of ShepherdsSupreme Noble ProphetessSupreme Associate Watchman of ShepherdsSupreme ScribeSupreme TreasurerSupreme Worthy ChaplainSupreme Worthy ShepherdessSupreme Worthy GuideSupreme Worthy HeraldSupreme First Wise ManSupreme Second Wise ManSupreme Third Wise ManSupreme KingSupreme QueenSupreme First Hand MaidSupreme Second Hand MaidSupreme Third Hand MaidSupreme Worthy OrganistSupreme Worthy GuardianSupreme Worthy Guard
A Supreme Shrine in Illinois was established on September 23, 1894. This Supreme Shrine was administered by a Board of Directors until 1901 which was presided over by a President and Vice President. After 1901, the Illinois Supreme Shrine was governed by Supreme Worthy High Priestess and Supreme Watchman of Shepherds. In 1897, another Surpeme Shrine was established in Michigan that was presided over by a Supreme Worthy High Priestess and a Supreme Chancellor (equivalent to the Supreme Watchman of Shepherds in Illinois). These two Supreme Shrines would establish subordinate Shrines around the country until 1909 when they merged together. Today there are Shrines in Washington, Oregon, California, Arizona, Colorado, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, Missouri, Iowa, Wisconsin, Illinois, Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Florida, Ohio, West Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Ontario (Canada). The current Supreme Shrine meets annually in May.
There is one degree for the White Shrine and the ritual takes the candidate through the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The emblems of the White Shrine are the Star, Cross, and Shepherd's Crook which can sometimes be seen with the phrase "In Hoc Signo Spes Mea" which translates as "In this Sign is my Hope." All three symbols seem very obvious in their use as the organization as it surrounds the Blessed Redeemer.
The charity of the White Shrine is called the Material Objective which assists the less fortunate with medical bills regardless of race, color, creed, or sect. This charity is funded through voluntary donations and income from their endowment.
1. Cross and Shepherd's Crook (White Shrine of Jerusalem). (n.d.). Retrieved from City of Grove, OK: https://www.cityofgroveok.gov/building/page/cross-and-shepherds-crook-white-shrine-jerusalem
2. General Information. (n.d.). Retrieved from Supreme Shrine, OWSJ: https://supremeshrine.org/about/
3. The Order of The White Shrine of Jerusalem. (n.d.). Retrieved from Grand Lodge of Kentucky: https://grandlodgeofkentucky.org/?page_id=1269
4. What is The Order of the White Shrine of Jerusalem? (n.d.). Retrieved from MasterMason.com: http://www.mastermason.com/wsj/whatis.htm