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Encyclopedia > 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 appendant bodies. They generally use an initiatory system similar to Freemasonry, in that they use ritual, allegory and symbolism to communicate principles of a moral, ethical or philosophical nature. The Masonic Square and Compasses. ...


Appendant bodies are administered separately from Freemasonry and within each there is a system of offices which confer rank within that order alone; some of these bodies style themselves as (or are considered to be) Masonic due to the membership requirement that one hold the Master Mason degree.


A number of phrasings are used to describe these appendant bodies, none offering an accurate description; side, additional, advanced or higher degrees. The latter two especially elicit protest from avid supporters of Craft Masonry, because not only does that designation imply a contradiction to the statement that there is no degree higher than that of Master Mason, it also infers a more direct connection than exists.

Contents


History

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 Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason. Following the merger of the two Grand Lodges in 1813 it was agreed that Pure Antient Masonry consisted of these three degrees and no more. There are very few incontrovertible facts about the origins of Freemasonry. ... The United Grand Lodge of Englands Coat of Arms Headquarters of The UGLE. The United Grand Lodge of England (UGLE) is the main governing body of Freemasonry within England, and certain jurisdictions overseas (normally ex-British Empire and Commonwealth countries). ...


The period from 1740 to 1813 saw a host of Masonic rites emerge, as there were brethren for whom the Grand Lodge system was insufficient. These new rituals enlarged the scope of Masonry and encompassed many elaborations, some of which included elements which had previously been practiced within the craft. Many rites proved to be transient and died out (some being no more than a written record without evidence of having been practiced), but some proved more resilient and survived through amalgamation.


Approach

It is possible to segment the various additional orders into five distinct categories based on the allegorical form that the ritual takes, the key lessons from the ritual and its relationship with other orders. The individual orders do not neatly fit into each category.

  • Those dealing with the aftermath of the murder of Hiram Abif and subsequently completing the construction of King Solomons Temple. The symbolism seeks to capture the lesson that every candidate must make his or her own spiritual temple
  • The Vengeance degrees, elaborating on the allegory in the Traditional History of the Master Mason ritual. These degrees deal with the finding and subsequent punishment of the three who murdered Hiram Abif and the resulting rewards to those who carried this out.
  • The rebuilding of the temple by Zerabubbel and the search for the figurative secrets in the foundations of the former temple.
  • Degrees conferring powers of inspection and discipline on the candidate, within the structure that the degree is contained within.
  • The Philosophical, Templar and Christian degrees.

According to Masonic legend, Hiram Abif (or Abiff) was the master of the construction of King Solomons Temple. ...

Recognition

Different Masonic jurisdictions vary in their relationships with appendant bodies, if at all. Some offer formal recognition, while others consider them wholly outside of Freemasonry. This leads to some such bodies not being universally considered as appendant bodies, but rather separate organizations that happen to require Masonic affiliation for membership.


Membership

Membership of the various appendant bodies of Freemasonry requires the candidate to be a Master Mason or have a familial relationship to a Master Mason. Some require the candidate to be a Trinitarian Christian, whereas Craft Masonry accepts candidates from any faith as long as they declare a belief in a Supreme Being. Additional requirements may include prior membership of additional orders or having held specific office in a preceding order. Trinitarianism is the Christian doctrine that God, although one being, exists in three distinct persons (hypostases) known collectively as the Holy Trinity. ... Candidates for regular freemasonry are required to declare a belief in a Supreme Being; a generic description allowing the candidate to adhere to whichever deity or concept he holds to be appropriate. ...


Membership of many of the appendant bodies is strictly invitational; in some cases one must merely express an interest to receive this invitation, others being more strict and seeing the invitation as an honour reserved for few.


Survival

The appendant bodies which have survived to the present have done so by containing ritual content perceived as being of value to the participants. 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. 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 Appendant Bodies

The bodies themselves are accorded different status and position in different Masonic jurisdictions, and furthermore do not exist in all Masonic jurisdictions. Distinctions are noted below if known.


Examples of these appendant orders include:

  • The Mark Master — part of York Rite Royal Arch in the United States
  • The Holy Royal Arch — called simply Royal Arch in the US
  • Royal Ark Mariners
  • The United Religious, Military and Masonic Orders of the Temple and St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta — colloquially known as the Knights Templar with the the latter being the official title in the US.
  • Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, also known as Antient and Accepted Rite in England.
  • The Masonic and Military Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulchre and of St John the Evangelist. Colloquially known as the Red Cross of Constantine. This is part of the Knights Templar system in the US [citation needed]
  • Royal and Select Masters — colloquially known as Cryptic Masonry, and forming the second tier of the York Rite in the US, where it is called the Council of Royal and Select Master Masons.
  • The Allied Masonic Degrees
  • The Order of the Secret Monitor
  • The Order of the Worshipful Society of Free Masons, Rough Masons, Wallers, Slaters, Pavoirs, Plaisterers and Bricklayers. Colloquially known as the Operatives and formed of nine grades.
  • The Holy Royal Arch Knights Templar Priest — invitational only in the US
  • Royal Order of Scotland — invitational only in the US; candidate must be a Trinitarian Christian.
  • The Scottish Rectified Rite or Chevaliers Bienfaisants de la Cite Sainte (CBCS) (UK only?)
  • The Rite of Baldwyn at Bristol — practiced only in the city of Bristol, UK.
  • Societas Rosicruciana
  • The Royal Order of Eri
  • The August Order of Light
  • York Rite Cross of Honor (US)
  • York Rite College (US)
  • Order of the Eastern Star, although it should be note that this order is banned under UGLE, considered Quasi-Masonic.

The Order of Mark Master Masons may often be the first Masonic organisation encountered beyond the Craft, that is, after completing the three basic Craft or blue degrees. ... The York Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States which a Master Mason may decide to join for further exposure to Masonic knowledge, the other branch being the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. ... The York Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States which a Master Mason may decide to join for further exposure to Masonic knowledge, the other branch being the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. ... The York Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States which a Master Mason may decide to join for further exposure to Masonic knowledge, the other branch being the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. ... The Order of Mark Master Masons may often be the first Masonic organisation encountered beyond the Craft, that is, after completing the three basic Craft or blue degrees. ... Masonic Knights Templar is an international philanthropic templar organization and is a part of the York Rite in Freemasonry. ... The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is one of several different rites of the worldwide fraternity known as freemasonry. ... The York Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States which a Master Mason may decide to join for further exposure to Masonic knowledge, the other branch being the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. ... The Royal Order of Scotland is a fraternity derived from freemasonry which is present worldwide and has its headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland. ... Bristol (IPA: brĭstəl) is a city, unitary authority and ceremonial county in South West England. ... Societas Rosicruciana is a name used by a number of Rosicrucian groups. ... General Grand Chapter logo The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world that both men and women can join. ...

Further Orders

A small number of bodies exist whose purpose is not the employment of ritual to further the development of initiates, but to engender a fun, social atmosphere and further the masonic principle of Charity: Allegorical personification of Charity as a mother with three infants by Anthony van Dyck Charity, meaning selfless giving, is one conventional English translation of the Greek term agapē. // Etymology In the 1400, charity meant the state of love or simple affection which one was in or out of regarding one...

  • Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, colloquially known as the Shriners
  • Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, colloquially known as the Grotto
  • Tall Cedars of Lebanon
  • Ye Antient Order of Noble Corks
  • Order of Quetzalcoatl, colloquially known as the "Q"

A member of the Syrian Corvettes group of Shriners participates in a Memorial Day parade The Shriners, or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, are an Order appendant to Freemasonry. ... The Tall Cedars of Lebanon is one of the various appendant bodies of Freemasonry, open only to Master Masons in good standing in a regular Masonic Lodge. ...

Youth Organizations

A number of Masonic-affiliated youth organizations exist, mainly in North America. See Masonic Youth Organizations. Freemasonry has formed several youth organizations over the course of its history. ...


Organisations not associated with Freemasonry

There are some organisations which are commonly perceived as being related to Freemasonry; some of these benefiting from charitable support by Masonic or appendant bodies, and some merely borrowing the structure.[citation needed] In addition a number of organizations and fraternities such as the Orange Order style themselves along Masonic lines, using similar regalia and ritual. However they are not part of Freemasonry and are not accorded recognition as such. The Orange Order is a Protestant fraternal organisation largely based in the province of Northern Ireland and in western Scotland but which has a worldwide membership. ...


 
 

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