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FAQ


  • Why a 32º Mason?

    You took the necessary steps to become a Master Mason. You earned the right to become a part of the oldest and greatest fraternal organization in the world. Now you have an opportunity to expand upon your knowledge of Masonory to widen your circle of acquaintances, and to serve humanity in unique ways.

    You may approach a 32º Mason to take the next step into the Scottish Rite. Or he may approach you to suggest that you continue your Masonic journey, which should be a never-ending path. There is always room for improvement in our lives. Although there is no high degree than that of Master Mason, the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite serve to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge. A Mason who chooses to further his Masonic experience by becoming a 32º Scottish Rite Mason will be expanding upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry. The moral and ethical lessons will allow him to be constantly reminded of his duty to God, family, country and fellow man.
  • Degree Structure

    Whereas a Symbolic Lodge appears in almost every community in the United States, the Scottish Rite units tend to be regional and are called "Valleys". Most Valleys have four distinct parts, although in some areas a candidate may be required to continue his degrees in a neighboring Valley.

    The Lodge of Perfection confers the 4º-14º. These are commonly referred to as the ineffable degrees. In the 11 lessons the candidate will observe many references, scenes and characters which recall and amplify the three Symbolic degrees.

    The Council of Princes of Jerusalem confers the 15º and 16º which teach lessons using the settings based on the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews and the buildling of the second Temple.

    The Chapter of Rose Croix confers the 17º and 18º, and is the spiritual heart of Scottish Rite. These degrees teach that the only lasting Temple is in the soul of man.

    The Consistory confers the 19º-32º. These degrees portray many memorable lessons that range in settings from the days of chivalry through the 20th Century. A Scottish Rite degree can offer a new reflection each time it is performed or observed. The lessons are taught through parables in the form of plays, allowing Masons the opportunity to bond through theater, stage work, costuming, makeup, set design and musical activities. Cast members present the lessons, which are taken from Biblical and modern historical events, to candidates who learn from observing the performance.

  • How Long Will it Take?

    A Master Mason may become a 32º Scottish Rite Mason in one day, or he may take each body of degrees separately over a period of time. Each degree requires elaborate stage preparation, so not every degree is presented in full form during a degree-conferring session, known as a Reunion. The lessons for degrees not performed are summarized for the candidates. Every 32º Mason should strive to witness in future years as many degree presentations as possible. While some degrees are performed once or twice a year, others are conferred periodically.

  • Is Memorization Required?

    A candidate is not required to commit the Scottish Rite degrees, signs, passwords, tokens or grips to memory. No examinations are given either during the degree work nor for admission to the meetings of other Valleys.

    Following initiation, a member gains entrance to meetings of any Scottish Rite Valley by presenting a current dues card. A new member receives a 32º passport to record the date each degree is witnessed.
  • Growth of the Rite

    Masonic historians still seek answers to the origin of the Scottish Rite. Any connection with Scotland would seem to be vague. Records from the 18th century show activity of the Rite in Bordeaux, France. The reason may be that one or two of the degrees were long supposed to have been devised by the Chevalier Andrew Michael Ramsay, a learned Scotsman, who was tutor to Prince Charles Edward, the young Pretender. These degrees seem to have afforded a meeting place for those in exile in France who were adherents of the Stuarts, and who were plotting for the restoration of James II and his son to the throne of England. No degree of the Scottish Rite seems to have ever had its origin in Scotland.

    From France it spread to the West Indies and then to the colonies. Antecedents of Scottish Rite existed in Albany, New York as early as 1767. As the growth continued and to bring order of chaos, a Supreme Council was established at Chareleston South Carolina in 1801, to control the activity of the Scottish Rite. This later became known as the Supreme Council for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States. A Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States was organized in 1813.

    The Northern Jurisdiction headquarters is in Lexington, Massachusetts and coordinates the activities of Scottish Rite within 15 Northeastern, Middle Atlantic and Midwestern states. The Southern Jurisdiction headquarters is located at Washington, D.C. and covers the remaining 35 states. The 15 states in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction are Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Ohio, Michigan, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin. Each state has a Deputy responsible for Scottish Rite activity within that state.

    Today, the Northern Jurisdiction has official and friendly relations with more than 50 Supreme Councils throughout the world. The CEO for each Supreme Council is referred to as the Sovereign Grand Commander.

  • What is the 33º?

    A 32º Mason cannot apply for the 33º. This honor is conferred by Supreme Council for outstanding service to the fraternity or for service to others which reflects credit upon the Order. The Deputy for each state submits nominations annually to the board of directors of the Supreme Council for consideration.

  • Family Life

    Scottish Rite Valleys are encouraged to develop a program at least once a year that promotes strong family life and celebrates the importance of the family. For many years Valleys have sponsored family-oriented events throughout the year. Members are encouraged to take advantage of this opportunity to bring the family together.

  • What is the MSA?

    1992 Constitutions of the Supreme Council, 33º Article 901: There shall be an award known as the "Meritorious Service Award" which may be conferred upon members of the Rite in this Jurisdiction who have attained the 32º and who by reason of meritorious service of the Masonic character are deemed worthy of such recognition.

    The Council of Deliberation for New Hampshire has decided on the following approach to Meritorious Service Awards. Each Valley may submit one recommendation for a Meritorious Service Award, but only three are given statewide in any year. The Meritorious Service Award is bestowed in recognition of distinguished service of a Masonic character and granted to those members of the Rite who have given years of capable and faithful service to their respective Valleys. Such devotion to service may be in the form of consistent and diligent labors "behind the scenes", as well as active participation in ritualistic works, and holding official offices. All should emphasize constant and loyal service in multiple areas.



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