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What is Freemasonry?
Freemasonry is often described as 'a beautiful system of morality, veiled in allegory, and illustrated by symbols'. No man is ever asked to join the fraternity, he must come of his own free will and accord. "To be one, ask one."
What is a Craft Lodge?
The Craft Lodge (Symbolic Masonry) confers the first three degrees:
Entered Apprentice - (first degree)
Fellowcraft - (second degree)
Master Mason - (third degree)
Promotion depends on a Mason's proficiency in learning certain things about Masonry, it's ethics, and it's philosophy.
There is no higher degree in Masonry than Master Mason. However a Master Mason may enter the Scottish Rite or York Rite to elaborate upon basic masonic principles.
The Grand Lodge A. F. & A. M. of Canada in the Province of Ontario
What is Scottish Rite?
The Scottish Rite confers the 4th. through 32nd. degrees. The degree work is divided between three bodies, the Lodge of Perfection (4th. through 14th. degrees), the Chapter of Rose Croix (15th. through 18th. degrees) and the Consistory (19th. through 32nd. degrees). The 33rd degree is purely Honourary and conferred for service to the Rite. These degrees are portrayed in a dramatic format.
Any Master Mason in good standing may ask a Scottish Rite friend for a petition or obtain one from the Scottish Rite Secretary.
Scottish Rite of Canada
What is York Rite?
The York Rite consists of nine degrees in addition to the Craft degrees. Ancient York Masonry is considered by some Masonic Historians to have been the 'original' Masonry. It is not practiced in its 'original' form anywhere today.
York Rite Degrees are divided into the Capitular Degrees of the Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master and Royal Arch Mason; the Cryptic Degrees of the Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master, and the Chivalric Orders of the Order of the Red Cross, the Order of the Knights of Malta, and the Order of Knights Templar.
York Rite Home Page
The Scottish and York Rites are autonomous bodies, but members have in common their memberhip in the Craft Lodge, and all of the moral and philosophical teachings of Masonry that the two rites elaborate.
What is the Shrine?
" No man ever stood so tall as when he stooped to help a crippled child "
Every member of the Shriners International is a Mason who could also be a 32nd. degree Scottish Rite Mason or a York Rite Knight Templar. (As of July 2000 - any Master Mason may join!) It is an autonomous body that has as its reason for existence 'the world's greatest philanthropy' - The Shriners Hospitals for Children and Burns Institutes.
The Shriner's Hospitals for Children and Burns Institutes have a vital role in returning crippled and burned children to their rightful place in society.
The first Shriners' Hospital opened September 16th,1922 and since that time nineteen more have been added in addition to the three Shriners' Burns Institutes. Today these units form an important bulwark of defence against deformed and maimed bodies. The whole cost of building, maintaining and operating these units is paid for by the Shriners - no child, their parents or guardians are charged for treatment.
The Shriners Homepage
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Last updated September 19, 2021