THE YORK RITE SYSTEM OF MASONRY
BEYOND THE THRESHOLD
As a Master Mason you should be interested in Masonic advancement, not that you will thereby become a better Mason, but that you may have a better understanding of the Masonic System, additional Masonic contacts, and an explanation of that great symbolism upon which the Fraternity has built a glorious superstructure.
We, your Brethren, know the pleasure and gratification you felt when you completed your first three steps in Freemasonry and became numbered among those thousands of men the world over who stand for Brotherly Love, Religious Freedom, and Peace and Happiness for men of all nations and of all creeds.
But Masonry does not terminate, here. There is a well-traveled and interesting road that lies ahead that is rich in experience and friendship, and which unfolds with surprising beauty for those who travel it. Thousands of your Brethren have walked it in the past, and thousands more will travel it in the future.
OPEN THE CLOSED DOORS
We who have walked the road ahead of you stood at one time just as you do now at the threshold of a new and rich experience in our Masonic career. We decided to step across that threshold opening the doors to the degree work on the floors above - the doors that are as yet closed to you. We hope that you will take these same steps - steps that gave to us and will give to you so much pleasure and satisfaction.
THE NEXT STEP
Masonic history, both real and legendary, has centered around the search for the true Word. The lessons taught in the Lodge leave the initiate with the sense of having almost, but not quite, discovered the much-to-be-desired object of his quest. The first steps to take along this road should naturally tie in closely and enrich the degrees you have already received. Such are the Chapter and Council degrees and the Orders of the Commandery in the York Rite. These Masonic degrees are not merely degrees, but are exemplifications of homely virtues often neglected and lost sight of in the busy lives we now live.
Known as the Capitular Rite the Chapter has four degrees, Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Mason each with its own lesson adding to the fundamental knowledge you acquired as a Master Mason.
The Royal Arch degree is fully as old as Ancient Craft Masonry and has become universal throughout the world. Its members constitute the largest Masonic group under one banner in the United States.
As a Master and Royal Arch Mason you are still searching the foundations of our Craft and one portion of that great structure is still hidden from your view.
The degrees of Royal and Select Masters are a vital part of the proper appreciation of the true significance of Masonry and are absolutely necessary for a thorough understanding of the third and seventh degrees. Known as the Cryptic Rite and consisting of Royal Master, Select Master and Super-Excellent Master, these Council Degrees are thought by many to be among the more beautiful and impressive degrees of Masonry.
It is a high tribute to the impressive beauty of the ceremonies of these degrees that the constantly growing membership in the Council is made up of Masons who recognize the inherent value of the Rite.
The last step in the York Rite System deals with the historical legend of the Ancient Crusaders teaching its lessons of Charity and Hospitality.
It consists of the Order of the Red Cross, Order of Malta and the Order of the Temple. With its rigid inspections by the Grand Commandery Officers and its many social and fraternal contacts with other Commanderies providing activity and interest, this Order of Christian Knighthood is indeed a climactic ending for Masonic knowledge the York Rite way.
FEATURES YOU WILL LIKE
Your Masonic acquaintance will be broadened.
Many Brethren you know are members of the York Rite.
No lectures to study and no memorizing to be done but an increasing opportunity to take an active part in the work if you so desire.
The York Rite System of Freemasonry does not consist of a large number of degrees; it does, however, endeavor to confer in full all the degrees that make up its entirety. Your Masonic education will not depend so much upon how many degrees you may receive, but upon how well you understand and practice those you have received.
If you plan to advance in Masonry, why not petition now and begin at once to receive the satisfaction of membership in the York Rite Fraternity. The initiation fees are nominal. Dues are small. The advantages of membership are large.
The opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the
official position of the Grand York Rite Bodies of Alaska. The Editor accepts sole
responsibility for the content.
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Last updated on February 24, 2009
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