The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed to supplement and amplify the Blue Lodge degrees, affording historical background on the work and meaning of Freemasonry. The York Rite takes its name from the old English city of York. The York Rite is not a religion in itself, it does, however, develop themes based on the Medieval Crusades.
In the York Rite , a Master Mason may become
a member of three bodies -
Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
Council of Royal and Select Masters
Commandery of Knights Templar.
What is York Rite Masonry?
On your journey through the three degrees of Symbolic Masonry , no doubt many questions have arisen concerning the meaning of the ritualistic ceremonies, the historical implications and the why of the legends of Freemasonry.
Many believe the Sublime Degree of Master Mason to be the ultimate degree of Freemasonry and that all others are added and explanatory. Most students of Freemasonry agree that the story of the Craft as presented in the three degrees is incomplete and that the degrees offered in the York Rite of Freemasonry complete the story and answer many of the questions in the mind of the newly made Master Mason.
The York Rite consists of the degrees of the Royal Arch, the Council of Royal and Select Masters and the orders of the Commandery of Knights Templar. In none of these is any memorization required to advance from one degree to another. There are many easily learned parts that any interested Mason may acquire and participate in the conferring of the work. In the York Rite, most of the work is by a cast of characters made up to portray more vividly the message and the cast is robed to add to the impressiveness of the lessons.
Chapter of Royal Arch Masons
The degree of Mark Master
teaches us to discharge our several duties punctually and with
precision, the duty of assisting a distressed brother is forcibly
illustrated. Historically the degree illustrates the process by
which the work on the temple accomplished by each craftsman was
The (Virtual) Past Master degree came into being because originally the degree of Royal Arch was conferred by the Symbolic Lodge only on actual Past Masters. This restriction prevented many worthy brethren from receiving the full information of the degrees of Freemasonry. The degree of Virtual Past Master was instituted in order to conform to tradition and to make it possible for worthy brethren to receive the Royal Arch degree. The conferring of this degree by a Chapter gives a brother no rights as an Actual Past Master in a Symbolic Lodge unless he has actually served as Master of his Lodge.
The Most Excellent Master degree dramatizes the historical incidents of the completion and dedication of King Solomons Temple. This degree emphasizes the opportunity and obligation of Companions to disseminate light and knowledge to less informed brethren.
The Royal Arch Degree is set in a later period in the history of the Jewish People. Events of the objects of the Jewish people were preserved, discovered and restored. This degree is the culmination of Ancient Craft Masonry for here we find that which was lost-the word for which you were given a substitute in the Master Mason degree is imparted to you in solemn and impressive ceremonies.
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Council of Royal and Select Masters
The degrees of the Council of Royal and Select Masters are
necessary to fully complete your education in Ancient Craft
Masonry. The degrees of our Masonic system are not
chronologically arranged and in the degrees of Royal and Select
Master, which many believe are the most beautiful and impressive
of all, you learn of additional incidents in the building of the
first temple. During these degrees you represent the Master
Builder, Hiram Abiff, and learn why the word was lost and the
secret of its preservation and recovery. The Super Excellent
Master degree, though having no connection with Ancient Craft
Masonry, is a vivid dramatization of truth and fidelity and never
fails to impress those who witness it, either for the first time
or after many times.
The degrees of the Council will enable you to more fully understand your third degree of Symbolic Masonry and the degree of Royal Arch.
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Commandery of Knights Templar
The Orders of Knighthood, the Commandery of Knights Templar, are three in number. The Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Malta and The Order of the Temple. Each of these portray beautiful and impressive lessons and explain the Christian interpretation of Freemasonry.
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We trust that you have been intrigued by the lessons and mysteries of Freemasonry which you have thus far received and that you will in due time investigate those available in the York Rite of Freemasonry in order to complete your Masonic knowledge.
Additional information and Petitions to join the Prather York Rite may be obtained from
PRATHER CHAPTER No. 157
Meets first Monday monthly at 7:30pm
CHAPTER OFFICERS for 2000:
High Priest .......... Robert O. Troutt
King.................... William S. Schulke
Scribe ................. S. Todd Farmer
Treasurer ...... Gerald L. Morphey, PHP
Recorder ............. Thomas W. Harper, KYCH
Captain of the Host....... Allan D. Hall, PHP
Principal Sojourner.......... C. Don Munden, PHP
Royal Arch Captain.......... Michael A. Moxley, PHP
Master of the 3rd Veil .......... W. Jeffrey Lumpkin
Master of the 2nd Veil .......... C. Thomas Lumpkin
Master of the 1st Veil ............. Denzil H. Byram, PHP
Sentinel................. Jackson O. Smith
Chaplain .................. Jaye E. Blazier, PHP
PRATHER COUNCIL No. 100
Meets first Monday monthly at 8:30pm
COUNCIL OFFICERS for 2000:
Master ..... Michael A. Moxley
Deputy Master ....... Robert O. Troutt
Principal Conductor of the Work ..... William S. Schulke
Treasurer ........ Gerald Morphey, PIM
Recorder ........ Thomas Harper, KYCH
Captain of the Guard ....... S. Todd Farmer
Conductor of the Council....... Denzil H. Byram
Steward ........ Allan D. Hall, PIM
Sentinel ........ Jackson O. Smith
Chaplain ....... Jaye E. Blazier, PIM
TRINITY COMMANDERY No. 62
Meets fourth Monday monthly at 7:30pm
COMMANDERY OFFICERS for 2000:
Eminent Commander ...... C. Don Munden
Generalissimo ....... Michael A. Moxley
Captain General ....... William S. Schulke
Treasurer ....... Gerald L. Morphey, PC
Recorder ........ Thomas W. Harper, KYCH
Senior Warden ...... Allan D. Hall
Junior Warden ....... Robert O. Troutt
Warder ....... W. Jeffrey Lumpkin
Standard Bearer ..... S. Todd Farmer
Sword Bearer ....... Robert R. Otten
Prelate ...... Jaye E. Blazier, PC
Sentinel ...... Jackson O. Smith
Thanks for stopping by if you
have any questions or comments E-mail:
C.Don Munden or Thomas W. Harper
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