Scottish Rite Freemasonry
Almost every Master Mason who is invited or afforded an opportunity to petition for the Scottish Rite Degrees naturally raises the question in his mind as I did, "Why should I take the Scottish Rite Degrees?"
It is a fair and quite appropriate question for anyone to ask, as if is of utmost importance that the prospective initiate has a clear and definite understanding of what the Rite stands for, and is endeavoring to accomplish. Herewith, a brief is set forth of the aims and purposes of the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.
The Scottish Rite is a rite of instruction. It interprets the symbols and allegories of Masonry in the light of history and philosophy, using the words of the supreme prophets of humanity, ceremonials of the great religions of the world, and significant episodes from history, to point the moral and adorn the tale.
"The purpose of the Scottish Rite, simply stated, is to seek that which is the most worth in the world; to exalt the dignity of every person, the human side of our daily activities, and the maximum service to humanity; to aid mankind's search in God's universe for identity, for development and for destiny, and thereby achieve better men in a better world, happier men in a happier world and wiser men in a wiser world."
The Scottish Rite Creed
The cause of human progress is our cause, the enfranchisement of human thought our supreme wish, the freedom of human conscience our mission, and the guarantee of equal rights to all peoples everywhere, the end of our contention.
In the Southern Jurisdiction the Lodge of Perfection confers the Ineffable degrees from the 4th to the 14th; The Chapter of Rose Croix confers the Historical and Second Temple degrees, 15th and 16th, and the Religious degrees, I7th and I 8th; the Council of Kadosh confers the Chivalric and Philosophical degrees from 19th to the 30th inclusive, and the Consistory completes the series by conferring the Official degrees, 31st and 32nd. The Thirty-third Degree of the Rite differs from others in that for ¡t no one may ask; it must be given. In the Southern Jurisdiction a brother receives first the distinction of being named Knight Commander of the Court of Honor (KCCH). From those of this rank the Supreme Council chooses who may receive the 33rd, Inspector General Honors.
The Scottish Rite is wholly non-sectarian. It is deeply religious in character, but ¡n the same sense that Symbolic Masonry is religious - it teaches religion, not a religion.
The Scottish Rite is governed by a Supreme Council, just as a Symbolic Masonry is governed by a Grand Lodge. But the composition of a Supreme Council and a Grand I Lodge is wholly different. The Grand Lodge consists of the Masters and Wardens of Blue Lodges, and certain permanent members (Past Grand Masters, Grand Officers, in some Grand Jurisdictions Past Masters, etc.). Supreme Councils in this country are limited to thirty-three Active Members (Southern Jurisdiction which we belong).