The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry or the Scottish Rite, as it is informally called, is one of numerous Rites of the fraternity known worldwide as Freemasonry. They are one of two branches that a Master Mason may join to continue his education, after completing the first three degrees. The other branch is known as the York Rite. The Scottish Rite is compiled of the 4th through the 32nd Degrees and includes an honorary 33rd Degree, which is given for superior service.
History of the Scottish Rite
The Scottish Rite is not from Scotland; it was established in France in the beginning of the eighteenth century. Lodges of Perfections were setup in the United States during that century. Henry Andrew Francken created the first one in Albany, NY. The first Supreme Council was established in 1801 in Charleston, South Carolina.
In 1813 the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction was created. It is compiled of the fifteen states located north of the Ohio River and the Mason-Dixon Line and east of the Mississippi River. This also includes Delaware. The other thirty-five states are the Southern Jurisdiction. This group also includes the United States territories and possessions and the District of Columbia.
The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
The Supreme Council for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction is the Scottish Rite Freemasonry governing body. It is located in Lexington, Massachusetts. There are fifty 33° Masons known as Active Members, which are the board of directors of the Supreme Council. Their purpose is detailed in their Declaration of Principles.
The Southern Masonic Jurisdiction
The location of the Supreme Council of the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction is in the District of Columbia. Their building is known as, “House of the Temple.” It was started in 1911 and completed in 1915. It was designed like the renowned Mausoleum at Halicarnassus, which is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Scottish Rite Degrees
They have the identical belief of all Masonic groups, which means they feel the Master Mason degree is the highest attainable degree. The Scottish Rite degrees are not any higher than those of the Symbolic lodges. The Scottish Rite was created to continue and improve the work of the Symbolic lodge. These degrees are not of rank, but of knowledge. These degrees are a lesson that is observed by candidates in the form of plays. They include recent events of historical matters as well as Biblical ones.