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Encyclopedia > Grand College of Rites

The Grand College of Rites is a Masonic organization dedicated to the collection and publication of various ritual texts from both Masonic ritual not currently used in the United States, and non-Masonic rituals used by other fraternities and societies of a ritualistic nature who generally keep their rituals private. American Square & Compasses Freemasonry is a worldwide fraternal organization. ...


The Grand College of Rites has as one of its stated purposes the prevention, within the larger community of Freemasonry, of the revival or usage of any rituals that are not currently in use in the United States. In addition to archiving rituals not currently in use in the USA, printing such rituals, and making them available to its members for study, the Grand College claims sole authority and jurisdiction over these rituals in the United States. Many Freemasons, and even many of the Grand College's members, disagree with the College's leadership over whether this is a desirable state of affairs. The Masonic Square and Compasses. ...


Among the many rituals over which the Grand College claims jurisdiction in the U.S. are those belonging to systems of Freemasonry that at one time co-existed with the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. Chief among these was the Antient & Primitive Rite, or the Rite of Memphis. Although the Ancient & Primitive Rite was established before the Ancient & Accepted Rite, in the USA, many misinformed masons seem to believe that it was somehow irregular, or in competition with the Ancient and Accepted Rite which had not yet been established. This is perhaps due to some confusion between the Ancient & Primitive Rite and the Cerneau Scottish Rite. In order to join the Grand College of Rites, a Mason must promise never to join any Masonic or quasi-Masonic organization that uses rituals from the Rites of Memphis & Misraim, as well as many other Rites. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a Masonic Order. ... The Rite of Memphis-Misraïm is an international masonic organisation which operates in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Spain, France, Martinique, Mauritius, New Caledonia, Scandinavia, Switzerland, Uruguay, USA and Venezuela. ... Joseph Cerneau was born in Villeblevin, in Yonne, France. ...


However, many members of the Grand College of Rites join simply because they have a scholarly and historical interest in the materials in its possession, without any particular desire to prevent distribution of those materials to a wider readership or to discourage revival of the rituals in question. Some Scottish Rite Masons regard the Grand College's policy of suppression of these rituals as being at variance with the principles of intellectual liberty and freedom of conscience expressed in the Scottish Rite Creed. The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is a Masonic Order. ...


Other Masons consider this policy justified because it curtails the proliferation of "irregular" Masonic bodies: bodies not recognized as legitimate by mainstream Masonic authorities. Of course, to many this argument seems either misinformed or redundant, since regularity is determined by Grand Lodges, and their jurisdiction only extends to the symbolic lodge. In the 19th century, most of the Grand Lodges in the USA had a friendly relationship with the Ancient and Primitive Rite. Indeed, the Ancient and Primitive Rite members stood by the Grand Lodge of Louisiana when a spurious self-styled body called the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite appeared in its jurisdiction, in a clandestine fashion, with support from the Grand Orient of France (who were at that time recognized by American masonic authorities). Some argue that for the sake of the unity and integrity of Freemasonry, it is important to prevent the spread of a bewildering array of alternative systems and governing bodies. They also point out that such bodies have occasionally been used to defraud the unwary. The dubious claims of Pike and Morrin to a charter for the Ancient & Accepted Rite issued by none less than King Frederick the Great of Prussia (which was subsequently declared spurious by the very Grand Lodge he helped to found) have since been discredited and acknowledged as specious by most Masonic scholars, including those of the Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite itself. Members of alternative Masonic organizations counter that so-called "regular" Freemasonry, too, has fallen prey to the unscrupulous. Albert Pike (born December 29, 1809 in Boston; died April 2, 1891 in Washington, D.C.) was an attorney, soldier, writer, and Freemason. ...


Many would argue that the very concepts of "regularity" and "irregularity" (or, for that matter, of "alternative" and "mainstream") in Freemasonry are relative to the particular traditions in which Masons work, and that these notions create an unfortunate barrier to unity between Masons of good will who share a deep comittment to universal liberty, equality, and brotherly love. In many quarters today, there are hopes for a rapprochement of some kind between traditions that do not currently feature mutual recognition.


Many Freemasons, regardless of the tradition or obedience in which they work, insist that what makes someone a Mason in the truest and best sense is not something that depends greatly on recognition by this or that governing body, but a condition of the heart.


See also

Masonic Appendant Bodies Whilst there is no degree in Freemasonry higher than that of Master Mason[1], there are a number of related organisations which have as a prerequisite to joining that one be a Master Mason or have some relation to a Master Mason[2]. These bodies are commonly referred to as...


External links


  Results from FactBites:
 
Grand College of Rites - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (727 words)
The Grand College of Rites is a Masonic organization dedicated to the collection and publication of various ritual texts from both Masonic ritual not currently used in the United States, and non-Masonic rituals used by other fraternities and societies of a ritualistic nature who generally keep their rituals private.
The Grand College of Rites has as one of its stated purposes the prevention, within the larger community of Freemasonry, of the revival or usage of any rituals that are not currently in use in the United States.
Some Scottish Rite Masons regard the Grand College's policy of suppression of these rituals as being at variance with the principles of intellectual liberty and freedom of conscience expressed in the Scottish Rite Creed.
Masonic Appendant Bodies - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1220 words)
The history of Craft Masonry, prior to the formation of the Grand Lodge of England in 1717 is unclear, and the history of the various appendant bodies is even more opaque.
The Antients Grand Lodge in England, formed in 1751, allowed a wide range of rituals to be worked, whilst the Grand Lodge of England, then colloquially known as the Moderns frowned on anything beyond the three Speculative degrees of Craft Masonry, viz.
The ritual of those orders which have not survived are collected and demonstrated by the Grand College of Rites which provides a mechanism to preserve the history and traditions associated with Freemasonry.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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