York Rite Bodies of Freemasonry




Ocala Chapter No. 13,
Royal Arch Masons
Ocala Council No. 22,
Royal & Select Masters
Ocala Commandery No. 19,
Knights Templar


Chapter and Council meets on the second Wednesdays of the month. Chapter meets on Odd Months and Council on Even Months. Commandery meets on the 4th Wednesday of each month. Meetings are at Belleview Lodge (Belleview, Florida) beginning at 7:30 PM.

You can visit Ocala York Rite Bodies at www.mastermason.com/oyrb/


Eustis Chapter No. 33,
Royal Arch Masons

Golden Triangle Council No. 28,
Royal & Select Masters

Triangle Commandery No. 28,
Knights Templar


Chapter meets on the second third Friday of the each month at 7:30 p.m.. Council on third Friday of each month. Commandery meets on the second Friday  of each month. Meetings are at Eustis Lodge No. 85 (Eustis, Florida) beginning at 7:30 PM.


Florida Grand York Rite


You can visit the Florida Grand York Rite website at www.flgyr.org


Grand York Rite, U.S.A.


You can visit the Grand York Rite at www.yorkrite.org




Leesburg Lodge No. 58 is proud that a number of our members have continued their Masonic education through active participation in one of several Masonic appendant bodies. Here we provide an overview of the York Rite Bodies of Freemasonry. If you want additional information about York Rite Masonry, give us a call or contact either of our local York Rite Bodies listed in the left column.




The Sublime Degree of Master Mason is often thought of as the ultimate degree of Freemasonry. However, many Masonic scholars agree that the narrative of the Craft, as illustrated in the three degrees, is not the whole story. The Degrees of York Rite Masonry complete the story and provide answers to many questions that the newly-raised Master Mason may have.


The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry. York Rite Masonry, which takes its name from the old English city of York, dates back 1744 in the U.K., has been described as the oldest and purest of the Rites. Like other forms of Masonry, the York Rite is not a religion. Nevertheless, it does develop Biblical themes in addition to themes based on the Medieval Crusades. In the York Rite, A Master Mason may become a member of three bodies -- actually a group of separate Rites joined in order. These include: a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons; a Council of Royal and Select Masters; a Commandery of Knights Templar.


By joining the York Rite, a Master Mason may proceed to supplement and expand upon the degrees of the Blue Lodge.


The symbolism of the Royal Arch picks up where the Symbolic Lodge leaves off. The symbolism of the Blue Lodge degrees emphasizes the building of King Solomon's. Royal Arch Masonry (known as Capitular Masonry) continues in this vein by emphasizing symbols and allegories of the Second Temple, the Ark of the Covenant, further symbolism of Solomon's temple completed, and the Lost Word (also called the Master’s Word) -- which is given to the Royal Arch Mason.


Within York Rite Masonry, the Royal Arch Degree is described as the Master Mason’s Degree completed. This is due to the fact that up until 1767, the Master Mason Degree of the Blue Lodge contained the secrets of the Royal Arch. Nowadays, these same secrets form a part of the teachings of the Royal Arch.


In England, the Royal Arch Mason degree is automatically included in the Master Mason’s Degree. In 1813, the Mother Grand Lodge of England stated it in no uncertain terms: "Ancient Craft Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely, those of the Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason including the Holy Royal Arch." It is a natural progression of the Freemasonry’s primary theme.


No other degree has been officially recognized by the Mother Grand Lodge -- this landmark remains to this day. No additional Rites and Degrees can be bestowed upon a Master Mason until he has received the Royal Arch Degree. This is perfectly logical, because a man is not a Master Mason until he receives the Master's Word. This is something a Mason can only receive in the Royal Arch. Within Capitular Masonry are contained the essentials of symbolism, allegory, and philosophy that a Master Mason requires in order to understand those teachings which have only been partially given to him in the Blue Lodge.


In architectural symbolism, the capstone is the crowing stone of an entire structure or wall. It is for this reason that Royal Arch Masonry is called "the Capstone of Ancient Craft Masonry" or the Capitular Rite.


After the degrees of Royal Arch Masonry, the second set of degrees within York Rite Masonry encompasses the degrees of the Council of Royal and Select Masters. These degrees expound upon the Royal Arch degree and, to a lesser extent, the Master Mason degree. They are often said to be among Masonry’s most beautiful and impressive ceremonies, complete one’s education in Ancient Craft Masonry. The degrees of the Council comprise what is called Cryptic Masonry or the Cryptic Rite because a crypt or underground room figures prominently in the degrees. The symbolic foundation of these rites is the subterranean Vault constructed by King Solomon as a stockpile for certain secret knowledge which was guarded by a select priesthood.


Through these ceremonies, a Mason learns more details concerning the building of the first temple. He discovers why the word was lost, and the secret of its preservation and recovery.


One of the most vivid occurs during the Super Excellent Master degree contains an impressive dramatizations of truth and fidelity. The degrees of the Cryptic Rite emphasize teachings that are instructive for a positive and gratifying life: "Let uprightness and integrity attend your steps; let justice and mercy mark their conduct, let fervency and zeal stimulate you in the discharge of the various duties incumbent on you."


The completion of the York Rite Bodies is the Commandery of Knights Templar—the degrees of which comprise what is known as Chivalric Masonry because they are based upon the Chivalric Orders of knighthood that fought to protect Christian pilgrims in the Holy Land during the Middle Ages. Unlike other Masonic bodies which only require a belief in a Supreme Being regardless of religion, membership in Knights Templar is open only to Royal Arch Masons who promise to defend the Christian faith. Despite the name, the Masonic Knights Templar is not considered to be any kind of lineal descendant from those historical orders of knighthood.


The Knights Templar is based upon the practice of the Christian virtues, moral values and spiritual lessons. Members are urged to live their lives as Christian Knights.


The rich history of York Rite Masonry is undeniable. The York Rite is historically the oldest and purest of the appendant Rites. Every Master Mason should be fascinated by the lessons and mysteries of Freemasonry provided by the Blue Lodge. Hopefully, all Master Masons will consider those lessons and mysteries available in the York Rite of Freemasonry -- in order to complete their Masonic knowledge and the teachings that are mentioned as landmarks of the Master Mason. All brother Masons should be advised to continue their historical and educational view of Masonry. Every Master Mason should be a member of the Royal Arch, and every Christian Mason should be a Knights Templar.

 Capitular Degrees

The work on the Temple continues. Amplifying the Fellowcraft Degree, we are taught that knowledge we received there can be employed most usefully  and judiciously for our honor and the profit of others. A beautiful lesson is exemplified, inculcating the truth that although we are often misunderstood, underrated and traduced, there is ONE who will make the rejected stone the head of the corner.

This Degree begins the preparation for the Royal Arch, which we are told was removed from the Symbolic Degrees, of which it was once a part, to reserve it for the more earnest seeker of more Light in Masonry. Originally only Past Masters of Lodges were admitted to the sublime secrets of the Royal Arch. This meant that very few could receive them. The Degree of Past Master (virtual) teaches the candidate that he must first learn to obey before he can rule, and to govern himself before he can govern others.

This is a significant Degree in Ancient Craft Masonry. King Solomon's Temple, which was begun so auspiciously and halted so dramatically in the Third Degree, is completed amid much rejoicing and great splendor. The labors of the Craft are given the blessing of the Lord, who descended as fire from heaven. King Solomon, in his gratitude, received and acknowledged them Most Excellent Masters, empowered them to travel and receive Master's Wages, and charged them with the responsibility of sharing their Masonic Light and Knowledge with those less informed.

In this Degree we find the completion to the Master's Degree and the Recovery of the Word. After the death of King Solomon, his magnificent Temple was destroyed and the Israelites carried away as captives to Babylon, where they lived for about 76 years. Here, many acquired considerable wealth and attained high rank and influence in the Chaldean government. However, when liberated by King Cyrus, many of them returned to Jerusalem and began rebuilding the Temple. While this work was going on and rubbish of the ruins of the first Temple was being cleared away, many interesting and valuable discoveries were made, chief of which was the recovery of the Lost Word. With the recovery of that which was lost, it would seem to the novitiate that his search for Light was ended. However in order that he might better acquire the lessons, a seemingly inverse movement of the Degrees, historically, is setup.

This is a "chair" degree which is conferred on present or past High Priests, usually during the time of the state Grand Chapter meeting. It tells the story of Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and his encounter with Melchizedek, High Priest of Salem. The High Priest is then solemnly anointed, consecrated and set apart to the Holy Order of High Priesthood.

Chapter Charities

Royal Arch Research Assistance (RARA)

The Royal Arch Research Assistance is dedicated in helping children with Central Auditory Processing Disorders. R.A.R.A., through the contributions of Royal Arch Masons, supports the Center for Central Auditory Research at Colorado State University, where continuous efforts are being made to understand and treat individuals with Central Auditory Processing Disorders (CAPD) which is a condition in which one has difficulty processing or interpreting auditory information when in less than optimal listening environment. Individuals with CAPD typically have normal hearing acuity but are unable to efficiently process or interpret speech when in a minimally-noisy environment. For more information click here.

Cryptic Degrees

This Degree takes us backward in time to a day prior to the death of the builder, Hiram Abif, who is again the central character. He imparts sublime teachings of a useful labor on earth to the candidate and gives him instruction as to the preservation of our valuable secrets. This is one the most beautiful Degrees in all Masonry. Its lessons are so impressive that they are seldom forgotten. It is especially illustrative of the third and seventh Degrees.

Historically, this Degree occurs also prior to the third Degree and deals with incidents that occurred at the building of the first Temple. It is closely connected with the Royal Arch Degree and affords the explanation needed for its perfect understanding. It is highly dramatic.

This degree deals with incidents in the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar when Zedehiah, the last King of Judah, was conquered and carried captive to Babylon. It enlarges upon the section of the Royal Arch having to do with the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King, and teaches in most dramatic fashion the lesson of fidelity. (This degree, due to its complexity, is not normally conferred in Council, and is put on at Winter Haven and Jacksonville once a year).

Council Charities

Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation (CMMRF)
The Cryptic Masons Medical Research Foundation funds research, at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis, Indiana, to find the causes and eventually a cure for arteriosclerosis and its complications. Need more information click here.

Chivalric Orders

Here again we revert to the period of the Royal Arch Degree when the Jews were returning from Babylon to Jerusalem to rebuild the Temple. One of their number prevails upon King Darius to restore the Holy Vessels to the new Temple. They had been carried away by the Babylonian armies when the first Temple was destroyed. In presenting his plea before the king, the companion gives a powerful testimony to the almighty force of Truth.

Shifting to the time of the Crusades, admission to the Mediterranean Pass is sought so that a safe pilgrimage to the Holy Sepulcher might be undertaken. This is a sublime and sacred Order, which culminates in the enrollment of the suppliant as a Knight of Malta.

No Degree or Order in Masonry is more solemn, impressive or soul-searching than the Order of the Temple. It is a fitting climax to the labors of the humble penitent, who has faithfully performed the symbolic seven years of preparation for this consummation of his endeavors. He is knighted as a Christian warrior.

 Commandery's Charities

Knights Templar Eye Foundation (KTEF)
The Knights Templar Eye Foundation is a charitable foundation to help those who need help in the preservation of sight. Need more information on this click here.

Knights Templar Holy Land Pilgrimage
The Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Florida sponsors an annual "Holy Land Pilgrimage". The purpose of the pilgrimage is to send Christian Ministers to the Holy Land to enhance their religious experience. Masonic membership is not required and the Minister can be male or female. The number of ministers sent depends on availability of funds. Donations are greatly appreciated. Note: Due to the situation in Israel, the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar is analyzing other alternative sites to visit.



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