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Constituent Bodies of the A.A.S.R.


The Lodge of Perfection:

Emblam of the Lodge of PerfectionThe Lodge of Perfection confers the Ineffable Degrees, from the 4th to the 14th inclusive, under the jurisdiction of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.  They are called "Ineffable" because they are concerned with the unutterable Name of God and with man's quest for the true Name.  In these eleven degrees, there is a profound unveiling of the character and purposes of God, "that high and holy One who inhabits eternity but dwells with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit."

In formal ritual and in drama, ten of these degrees, based upon Old Testament Scripture and legends from the era of King Solomon, elaborate the teachings of Symbolic Masonry and apply them to practical situations which are faced in everyday life.  The Fourteenth Degree summarizes what was taught by the preceding degrees and is a moral and philosophical climax.

Important practical lessons are taught in the eleven Ineffable Degrees: secrecy and silence in all confidential relationships; reverence and obedience to God; faithfulness to family and country; justice tempered by mercy; universal brotherhood; honesty in business relations; forgiveness of past injustices; and perseverance in overcoming the difficulties encountered in our progress toward Perfection.  The honor of Masonry is placed in the hands of those who seek Perfection in character and who reverence the Ineffable Name of God.  These Ineffable Degrees are:
  • 4º -- The Secret Master Degree Demonstrates the dignity of fidelity and integrity.

  • 5º -- The Perfect Master Degree Teaches that unworthy ambitions corrupt and destroy a man who forgets his duties to his family, country and God.

  • 6º -- The Intimate Secretary Degree Illustrates how a man who is trustworthy can survive false accusations.

  • 7º -- The Provost and Judge Degree Teaches that truth prevails when justice is tempered with mercy and forgiveness.

  • 8º -- The Intendant of the Building Degree Demonstrates how personal ambitions for title and position can cause strife.

  • 9º -- The Master Elect of Nine Degree Illustrates how truth emerges from debated opinions.  It teaches us to look at issues concerning life, duty, and God through the minds of others who do not share the same religious faith.

  • 10º -- The Elect of Fifteen Degree Portrays Solomon's life.  It teaches the need to overcome pride and to supplicate oneself to ask for forgiveness.

  • 11º -- The Sublime Master Elected Degree Stresses the virtue of good citizenship.  It teaches that Masons should ever be loyal, brave, and courageous in the conviction that right will eventually prevail.

  • 12º -- The Grand Master Architect Degree Teaches the qualities of mercy, compassion, and tenderness of heart, which enables man to overlook injuries.  It teaches Masons to treat offenders better than they may deserve.

  • 13º -- The Master of the Ninth Arch Degree Portrays the legend of Enoch to prepare candidates for the 14th degree.

  • 14º -- The Grand Elect Mason Degree Demonstrates that the perfection of ones character is a constant undertaking.


The Council of Princes of Jerusalem:

Emblam of the Council Princes of JerusalemThe two Historical Degrees conferred in a Council of Princes of Jerusalem cover the period from 538 to 516 B.C.  They deal with persons and events connected with the end of the Babylonian Captivity of Israel, the return of some of the captives of Jerusalem, and the rebuilding of the Temple.  These degrees teach loyalty to conviction in the face of temptation, fidelity to duty in spite of hardships, and a devotion to Truth which is mighty above all things and which ultimately must prevail in the councils of mankind.  The Historic Degrees are:
  • 15º -- The Knight of the East, or Sword Degree Portrays Zerubbabel, a Jewish captive, who wins the favor of the Babylonian King Cyrus and obtains the release of the Jews from captivity.  This degree provides the example of Zerubbabel to teach the important lessons of loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to Truth.

  • 16º -- The Prince of Jerusalem Degree Again portrays Zerubbabel, who returns to Babylon to plead with King Darius for military protection against the enemies of Israel and for more generous assistance in the rebuilding of the Temple.  His skill in debate and his courage and integrity inspire Darius to grant his petitions.  This degree dramatizes the rewards obtained by the lessons of the 15th degree.


The Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix:

Emblam of the Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix
The Sovereign Chapter of Rose Croix confers two Philosophical Degrees.  Their historical setting is within the Christian era but without any prescribed date.  The degrees are deeply religious without any sectarian bias.  Their message is universal; relevant for all men who believe in one Supreme Being regardless of their nation, race, or creed.  The Philosophical Degrees are:
  • 17º -- The Knight of the East and West Degree Dramatizes man’s failure to learn from the ages.  It teaches that one should learn from, and avoid repeating, the errors of the past.

  • 18º -- The Knight of the Rose Croix of Herodom Degree Portrays a Knight of the East and West who learns that by the aid of three guiding virtues, Faith, Hope, and Charity, he may discover the New Law of Love.  The Rose on the Cross typifies the beauty and glory of the New Law incarnate in the lives of men.  In this degree, the principles of tolerance are affirmed and grants to each man the right to answer, in his own way, his convictions.


The Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret:

Emblam of the Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal SecretFourteen "Traditional", "Chivalric" and "Modern" Degrees - from the 19th to the 32nd inclusive, are conferred in a Consistory of Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret.  Each Degree dramatizes its own unique and independent message and applies it to a familiar life situation.

In the area of morals, certain Consistory Degrees teach the ultimate victory of good over evil, the dignity of labor, the sacredness of duty and unselfish service as the test of one's religious professions.  A leader of men is taught that he must be righteous if he aspires to influence others and that he should listen, with open mind, to the lessons of the ages.

In social relations, the Consistory teaches: that toleration is respect for the opinions and religious convictions of others; that he who judges others must himself be above reproach; that it is noble to forgive but ignoble to seek revenge; that a Freemason who commits a felony will not be shielded by his brethren; and that he should have faith in himself, in his fellowman, and in God.

In the area of national affairs, the Consistory holds firmly to the separation of Church and State and teaches that treason is a crime over which Masonry casts no mantle of charity.  It proclaims that the crowning glory, in any human life, is that sacrificial love which impels one to lay down his life for a friend.
  • 19º -- The Grand Pontiff Degree Proclaims the spiritual unity of all who believe in God and cherish the hope of immortality, no matter what religious leader they follow or what creed they profess.  It is concerned primarily with the perennial conflict between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan.

  • 20º -- The Master ad Vitam Degree Dramatizes the American spirit for confronting the challenge of disloyalty and treason.  Masonic principles and leadership are subjected to a crucial test.  The degree demonstrates the Masonic condemnation of all who conspire against the security of the nation and the happiness of our people.

  • 21º -- The Patriarch Noachite Degree Teaches that Freemasonry is not a shield for evil doing and that justice is one of the chief supports of our fraternity.

  • 22º -- The Prince of Libanus Degree Demonstrates the dignity of labor.  It is no curse, but a privilege, for man to be allowed to earn his sustenance by work.  Idleness, not labor, is disgraceful.

  • 23º -- The Chief of the Tabernacle Degree Teaches that those with faith in God and love for their fellow man will make great sacrifices to help others.

  • 24º -- The Prince of the Tabernacle Degree Teaches that a mutual belief in a Supreme Power should bind all men together in a world-wide brotherhood.

  • 25º -- The Knight of the Brazen Serpent Degree Teaches that there are lapses in every individual life as well as in the history of every nation, which result in decreased discipline and faith.  This degree is a clarion call to faith--in ourselves, in each other, and in God.

  • 26º -- The Prince of Mercy Degree Reiterates the qualities of mercy and compassion.

  • 27º -- The Commander of the Temple Degree Stresses that Scottish Rite Freemasonry believes in the concept of a free church in a free state, each supreme in its own sphere, neither seeking to dominate the other, but cooperating for the common good.

  • 28º -- The Knight of the Sun Degree Illustrates the symbolism of the tools and implements of architecture.  They teach that, by building high moral character among its adherents, Freemasonry may advance man's determined quest for the achievement of unity and good will throughout the world.

  • 29º -- The Knight of Saint Andrew Degree Emphasizes the Masonic teachings of equality and toleration.  We are reminded that no one man, no one Church, no one religion, has a monopoly of truth; that while we must be true and faithful to our own convictions, we must respect the opinions of others.

  • 30º -- The Grand Elect Knight Kadosh Degree Proscribes the tests and ceremonies that symbolize the experiences we must undergo to build excellence in character.

  • 31º -- The Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander Degree Teaches that we should give every man the benefit of innocence and purity of intentions.  He who would judge others must first judge himself.

  • 32º -- The Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret Degree Describes the victory of the spiritual over the human in man, and the conquest of appetites and passions by moral sense and reason.  The exemplar represents every Freemason who is eager to serve humanity but may be caught between self-interest and the call of duty.  Duty often requires sacrifice, sometimes the supreme sacrifice.

A.A.S.R. Awards for Outstanding Service


Honorary 33º Scottish Rite Masons.

This is the highest or official degree which can only be granted and conferred by the Supreme Council.  It cannot be applied for.  Each year at the annual meeting of the Supreme Council, a limited number of Thirty-second Degree Masons from throughout the Jurisdiction are elected to receive the Thirty-third Degree because of outstanding service to the Fraternity or for service to others that reflects credit upon the Order.  Nominations for the Thirty-third Degree are made by the Deputies of each of the fifteen states after consultation with their fellow Active Members in each state.  Nominations are then submitted to the entire Active Membership of the Supreme Council for ballot.  Following election, candidates await the next annual meeting when the Degree is conferred in full ceremonial form.


Meritorious Service Award.

This honor is granted by the fifteen Councils of Deliberation to Thirty-second Degree or Thirty-third Degree Masons nominated for the award by the presiding officers of local bodies.  Supreme Council law limits the number of such awards to one member a year from each body in a state, subject to reduction by each Council of Deliberation.  At the end of July, 1987, there were 1,600 holders of the Meritorious Service Award throughout the Jurisdiction.


The Gourgas Medal.

The Gourgas Medal is named in honor of the founder of this Supreme Council, an outstanding leader who is known to the Craft as the "Conservator of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry."  This may be conferred by the Supreme Council, or by the Sovereign Grand Commander, upon a member of our Jurisdiction, or of any other Jurisdiction with which we exchange Representatives, in recognition of notably distinguished service in the cause of Freemasonry, humanity or country.  Only twenty-five awards have been made since the decoration was established in 1938.

Return to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Right Main Page   A.A.S.R. Main Page

About the A.A.S.R.

Inform our Web Master of omissions or revisions:
Send Email to our Web Master:
Gary A. Thomas