Why Scottish Rite?
A Matter of Honor
Remember when a man’s word was his bond? When a handshake sealed a deal? When a man’s honor meant more than on a piece of paper? These virtues are still relevant in modern times.
There are still men who believe in personal honor. Men who believe in principle. Men who believe in moral and ethical behavior and setting a good example. Men who know that character does matter.
Who are these men? They are “32° Freemasons” associated with the Scottish Rite fraternal organization, and through their membership, make all of our lives richer and more rewarding.
What is the Scottish Rite?
The Scottish Rite is one of two branches of Freemasonry in which a master Mason may proceed after he has completed the (3) Degrees of Symbolic Blue Lodge Masonry. The other branch, known as the York Rite consists of the Royal Arch Masons, Cryptic Masons, and the Knights Templar.
The Scottish Rite includes the degrees from the 4° to the 32° inclusive. These degrees are based upon both Bible and historical references.
The Scottish Rite was founded in the 17th Century in Bordeaux, one of the oldest and most influential Masonic Centers in France. The membership included both Scottish and English Masons and was formed by leaders who saw a need for “advanced” degrees which were based upon the fundamental principles of three Masonic Symbolic Degrees.
32° Freemasons meet in Masonic Centers, or “Valleys”.
Qualifications for Membership
A Master Mason in good standing who possesses high moral and ethical standards, respected character, and personal honor.
Reasons for Joining Scottish Rite Freemasonry
- The Scottish Rite offers an unsurpassed field for the study of Freemasonry.
- It enlarges upon and explains and applies the symbolism of Freemasonry.
- It exemplifies and makes clear the truths and allegory of the Blue Lodge and the first three degrees.
- It presents an unequaled opportunity for the practical demonstration of the teachings of Freemasonry.
- It gives one a fellowship in its literature, with the deepest minds and purest characters of Freemasonry.
- It allows one to participate in the glorious work of spreading the doctrine of the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of man.
- It gives one a greater incentive to higher thoughts and nobler deeds because of a greater knowledge of one’s responsibility and the history of the institution of the Scottish Rite.
- It creates with one a greater love for chivalry, a greater respect for philosophy, and a never-ending lover for one’s Blue Lodge.
- It enjoins on every Brother the support of the American public schools, non-partisan, non-sectarian, efficient, democratic, for all of the children of all the people and equal educational opportunities for all.
- It inculcates patriotism, love of the flag, respect for law and order, and undying loyalty to constitutional government.
- It carries out the sublime principles of Freemasonry by cooperating in every way with Blue Lodges by maintaining an everlasting interest in Freemasonry.
- It brings the Brethren from various Lodges together at frequent intervals whereby the spirit of Brotherhood and Fraternity is reflected in everyday living.
Join Scottish Rite
Click on the link below to download our Fillable PDF Petition Packet. Fill it out, print it, and bring it to us at one of our scheduled meetings and have dinner with us or hand it to a Scottish Rite Mason.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the Scottish Rite?
The Scottish Rite is a Masonic organization that continues a Master Mason’s education of the first three degrees. Other examples of Masonic-affiliated organizations are: The Shrine (Shriners); York Rite; Grotto; Eastern Star, DeMolay International, Job’s Daughters, International Order of Rainbow for Girls, and the Tall Cedars of Lebanon. The Scottish Rite consists of the 4˚ through 32˚ Degree, Knight Commander Court of Honor, and an Honorary 33˚ Degree that is awarded for exceptional service.
Why is it called the House of the Temple?
The name “House of the Temple” is traditionally associated with the word Heredom, a significant word in high degree freemasonry, a derivation of which, suggests the Greek words hieros-domos, meaning “Holy House”, thus referring to the Temple of Solomon, which is central to Masonic ritual and symbolism.
Is Freemasonry a religion?
No! While it is a requirement that each member believes in a Supreme Being, it is not important how one expresses that very personal belief. Further, there is no dogmatic system in Freemasonry. However, confusion about the secular nature of Freemasonry has been a common misconception for many years. Most likely, this misconception is due to the Holy Book that sits on the altar in the middle of a Masonic lodge. This Holy Book does not have to be Christian, like the Bible, rather it can be any Holy Book that is important to the members of a lodge. In the U.S. where the population is mostly Christian, the Holy Book most often used in Lodges is the King James Version of the Bible.
Is Freemasonry or the Scottish Rite a secret society?
Absolutely not! The Scottish Rite and other forms of Freemasonry operate very much in the open with many events open to the public. There are “modes of recognition” (passwords and handshakes) that represent a Mason’s ability to keep a promise.
How can I join? Do I have to be invited?
Freemasonry is a fraternity (for men) whose membership must be sought by the candidate. So, in other words, to be a Mason, ask a Mason how to become a member.
Do I have to be Scottish to join the Scottish Rite?
No. The Scottish Rite degrees actually originated in France and were based on legends that came from Scotland, so “Scottish” is in name only.
How many people belong to the Scottish Rite?
There are about 1.7 million Masons in the United States and about 550,000 of those are Scottish Rite Masons.
What do all the symbols mean?
There are simply too many symbols used in Masonry to explain them all, but probably the most common symbol people see is the square and compasses. The square reminds Masons to “square” their actions by the “square of virtue,” and the compasses remind them to “circumscribe” their passions. In other words, Masons are reminded to keep their actions virtuous and their passions in control. Additionally, in the U.S. there is usually a “G” in the middle of the square and compasses symbol. This letter stands for “geometry” and “God” and reminds Masons that geometry was central to the stone mason’s life as God should be to his.
What is the official name of the Supreme Council?
The name of the Supreme Council reveals history, tradition, and accomplishment. The official, full name of this Supreme Council is: “The Supreme Council (Mother Council of the World) of the Inspectors General Knights Commander of the House of the Temple of Solomon of the Thirty-third degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry of the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States of America.”
What are the caps for?
If the apron is a badge of a Mason in Blue Lodge, the cap can be said to be the public badge of a Scottish Rite Mason. It is considered a part of the uniform and the different colors indicate the degree of the wearer. (black – 32˚, red – KCCH, white – 33˚)
What does the Fourteenth-Degree ring mean?
The Scottish Rite Fourteenth degree ring is a flat, plain band of gold, and embossed thereon is a plate in the form of an equilateral triangle and within the triangle is the Hebrew letter yud, the initial letters of Jehovah in Hebrew (yud he vau he). Inside the ring is inscribed the Fourteenth Degree Motto: Virtus Junxit, Mors Non-Separabit (Virtue has united and death shall not separate). The ring’s circle expresses the unbreakable fraternal bond between Masons of all generations. Upon the death of the owner, the ring should go into the hands of his widow, eldest son, the friend who was loved above all others, or another Scottish Rite Mason.