While the Master Mason is the pinnacle of achievement in the world of freemasonry, there are a number of appendant degrees that Master Masons can use to further their knowledge of the organization. One of the most unique of these is the York Rite, named for the city of York, England. Legend has it that the first meeting of the masons of England took place in the city of York, making the York rite an apt name for this popular appendant degree.
In most countries outside of the United States, the York Rite is not used as a single system, and each local Grand Lodge jurisdiction may have a distinct rite with some differences from the traditional York Rite system.
In the United States, the York Rite is in reality a grouping of separate rites, all grouped together to form the York Rite. The rites included in the United States version of the York Rite include the Capitular Rite, the Cryptic Rite and the Chivalric Orders.
The York Rite Sovereign College
The York Rite Sovereign College exists as an invitational Masonic body designed to further the knowledge and experience of the invited members. The York Rite Sovereign College is open to those members who are already members of all four York Rite bodies, and who have shown a marked proficiency within those bodies. The college confers one degree only, known as the Knight of York.