The term ‘York Rite’ is a term most often used in the United States to refer to a collection of Masonic degrees that, in most other countries, are conferred separately. As such, it constitutes one of the two main branches of Masonic Appendant Bodies in United States Freemasonry, which a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. Its name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite College make reference to that legend.
The other principal branch of Freemasonry in the United States is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.
The divisions within the York Rite and the requirements for membership differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the essentials are the same. In all the workings, the one requirement is that all applicants be in possession of the degree of Master Mason (the third degree of Freemasonry), which can only be conferred through a “blue” or “craft” lodge.
For more information on the York Rite Degrees and York Rite Bodies, click here.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges in their respective states, not the Scottish Rite.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft/blue Lodge, through presentation of the individual degrees.
Ironically, Scottish Rite did not originate in Scotland as the name might imply…it actually started in France.
For more information on Scottish Rite, click here.
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all monotheistic faiths. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately one million members under its General Grand Chapter. Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a Master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Rainbow Girls, Triangle Girls, and Job’s Daughters to become members when they become of age.
For more information of the Order of the Eastern Star, click here.
Order of the Amaranth is a Masonic-affiliated women’s organization founded in 1873. As in the Order of the Eastern Star, members of the Order must be age 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must be related to Masons as wives, mothers, daughters, widows, sisters, nieces, aunts, etc., or have been active members of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or Job’s Daughters International for more than three years and be recommended by a Master Mason.
Amaranth was based on Queen Christina of Sweden’s royal court. Christina had created the “Order of the Amarantha” for the ladies and knights of her court. In 1860, James B. Taylor of Newark, New Jersey drew upon this order to create a new fraternal society.
In the Order’s teachings, the members are emphatically reminded of their duties to God, to their country and to their fellow beings. They are urged to portray, by precept and example, their belief in the “Golden Rule” and by conforming to the virtues inherent in TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM and CHARITY they can prove to others the goodness promulgated by the Order.
Amaranth is organized into Courts, under Grand Courts at the State level. The primary body is called the Supreme Council. Women members of the Order are addressed as “Honored Lady”, while men are referred to as “Sir Knight”.
For more information on Amaranth, click here.
DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21, and currently has about 36,000 members in the United States and Canada and several thousand more world-wide. It uses a model of mentoring; adult men and women called advisors, often past DeMolay members or fathers and mothers of DeMolays, mentor the active Demolay members. An advisor is referred to as ‘Dad Smith’ instead of ‘Mr. Smith’, in respect of Frank Land and his fatherly role to the founding members. The mentoring focuses on the development of civic awareness, leadership skills and personal responsibility.
Founded by Jacques de Molay, a Freemason, DeMolay is closely modeled after Freemasonry. It is not directly connected to Freemasonry, though it normally meets in a Masonic Lodge room. DeMolay is considered to be part of the Masonic Family, along with other youth groups like Job’s Daughters and the Rainbow Girls. Like the Rainbow Girls, a young man does not need to have a family tie or sponsor in a Masonic organization to join DeMolay.
DeMolay has seven Cardinal Virtues, which are the soul structure of what they follow. These Cardinal Virtues are:
- Filial love (love between a parent and child);
- Reverence for sacred things;
For more information on DeMolay, click here.
Job’s Daughters International is a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for girls aged 10 to 20. The organization is commonly referred to as simply Job’s Daughters or “Jobies”, and is sometimes abbreviated and referred to as JDI (or IOJD, the original initialism). Job’s Daughters is focused on the Holy Bible but celebrates and welcomes many religions and cultures.
The individual chapter is called a Bethel, and each is numbered sequentially according to when they were instituted in their jurisdiction. They usually meet at a Masonic Lodge building and when they are in session, they refer to the meeting place as the Bethel room.
For more information on Job’s Daughters International, click here.
Known for may years as the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. There are approximately 375,000 members from 191 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama. It is probably the most well-known of all the Masonic bodies.
Shriners International support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a one-of-a-kind international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children have significantly improved the lives of more than 865,000 children.
Any Master Mason in good standing can qualify for membership and are invited to join the Shriners.
Shriners Hospitals for Children, which has a Portland, OR branch, has a mission to:
-Provide the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries and other special healthcare needs within a compassionate, family-centered and collaborative care environment;
-Provide for the education of physicians and other healthcare professionals;
-Conduct research to discover new knowledge that improves the quality of care and quality of life of children and families.
This mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect, disability, national origin or ability of a patient or family to pay.
Think Shriners doesn’t make a difference in someone’s life? We’d like to introduce you to Zachary…
Zachary is a 9-year-old Bend resident and has been a “Shriner Kid” since he was four months old. Born with one leg significantly shorter than the other, he has had multiple surgeries and has been fitted with a prosthetic leg. He has been to the Shriners Hospital for Children-Portland countless times and as he continues to grow, has a new prosthesis fitted annually. His zeal for life is evident in his smile and displayed by his exuberance. He is so appreciative of what the Shriners have done for him, he offered up his piggy bank for the Shriners Run for a Child. It was a very powerful statement for this young man.
Zachary was the Honorary Co-Captain for the 2013 Shriners East/West All-star football game in Baker City, Oregon last year and thoroughly enjoyed it. He will again be the Honorary Co-Captain in 2014. He was also the Run Marshal for the first Shriners Run for a Child fund-raiser held in Bend in August, 2013. He did a tremendous job and he will again share that responsibility with another “Shriner Kid” from Bend in the 2014 Shriners Run for a Child fund-raiser.
It is important to be able to put a face with a cause and that is all the motivation a Shriner needs.
Click here for additional information on the Central Oregon Shrine Club.
For more information on Shriners International, click here.
Portland Shriner’s Hospital: http://www.shrinershospitalsforchildren.org/locations/portland
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