About York Rite
The York Rite of Freemasonry is a continuation\explanation of the Blue Lodge Degrees and an opportunity for the Master Mason to continue his spiritual growth through the lessons taught in the York Rite series of Degrees and Orders. The York Rite series of degrees fills in and completes the lessons begun in the Blue Lodge series of degrees. A Master Mason's education is incomplete without the York Rite series of degrees. The York Rite is also a foundation for the three main charities (associated with each group) and an opportunity for a Master Mason to make a difference in his greater community. Our principal purpose is to help Master Masons continue their growth within the fraternity so that he can make a difference to others and to prepare himself for his "further travels" on that level plane of time.
Requirements to join the York Rite fraternity
Not everyone can be (or should be) a York Rite Mason. While it is an individual decision, it certainly should be the goal of every Master Mason to become a York Rite Mason and to learn the valuable lessons in each of the Degrees and Orders. To become a York Rite Mason you must:
1. Be a Master Mason (completed all 3 of the Blue Lodge Degrees)
2. You must be 18 years old or older (Master Mason Requirement also)
3. You must submit a petition to join the York Rite (countersigned by two York Rite members)
4. Your petition to join must be voted on and accepted by the fraternity
5. You must complete the degrees in the proper order - starting with the Royal Arch series
6. To complete the last two Knight Templar series of Orders, you must be a Christian and profess your belief in the Christian faith
7. You must be of good moral character and have a strong desire (willingness) to help others
What you may not have known
The symbolic degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow craft, and Master Mason, as conferred in the United States, are degrees of the York Rite.
York Rite Masonry is the oldest and best known of all Masonic Rites. It takes its name from York, England, where the earliest known record of Masonry exists, dating from about A.D. 923. Masonry’s first written record is centered around York, the seat of the Ancient York Grand Lodge. In 1813, this Grand Lodge merged with another group called the Modern Grand Lodge, to form the United Grand Lodge of England. This is the basis upon which our present system of Symbolic Lodge (Blue Lodge) Masonry is built.
You, as a Master Mason, have received the first three degrees of the York Rite. Having begun your Masonic work in the York Rite, it is natural that you should want to continue with it and fill in what was left out of the first three degrees, as they are incomplete.
According to Masonic legend, every man raised to the sublime degree of a Master Mason received “substitute secrets”, as the “true secrets” were lost. It may prove a surprise to the average blue lodge mason, believing his work is completed, to be told that the secrets pertaining to the ceremony will not be given to him! This is unfortunate, but the veil is lifted in the degree of the Royal Arch, and in that degree only. Hence, no man actually becomes a true Master Mason until he is exalted in the Holy Royal Arch degree and he learns the secret word of a Master Mason.
Some would have the newly raised Master Mason (3rd Degree) believe that he can receive the secrets and word in a degree other than the Royal Arch. This is not true, historically or otherwise. The mother Grand Lodge of England was so emphatic regarding the necessity of the Royal Arch degree that many years ago, it set forth the following as Paragraph One (1) of its Laws and Regulations:
“By the solemn act of the union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December, 1813, it was declared and pronounced that Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellow craft, and the Master Mason, INCLUDING THE SUPREME ORDER OF THE HOLY ROYAL ARCH.”
The wording in this document was not a mistake. It was intentionally stated in this way to let every Master Mason know that his education is not complete until he has completed the complete series of the York Rite.
Don't be a "substitute Mason". Be a real Master Mason and know the secret word by being a member of the York Rite of Masonry. Send an email now and start the process of becoming a "real" Master Mason.
Why you should join the York Rite fraternity
(Or, what's in it for me)
1. The York Rite is a brotherhood of liked minded men where you can trust every person and trust your family with them also. The York Rite further solidifies the oaths that you took as a Master Mason and makes you a member of a community of men that fully supports one another.
2. The York Rite is brotherhood within which, using moral and civil guidelines, free thought, free speech, and spiritual growth, a man can grow into his fullest potential.
3. The York Rite is a fraternity wherein you can meet outstanding individuals from all walks of life, that you might not otherwise have had the opportunity to meet, know, and call Brother, Companion, and fellow Sir Knight.
4. The York Rite is a fraternity that is guided (as is the Blue Lodge) by the principal tenants of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth - with the search for your own life's truth being one of the principal goals.
5. The York Rite is a fraternity that provides opportunities for you to learn self development, leadership, and the ability to improve your public speaking skills.
6. The York Rite is an extended Brotherhood where one can go to seek support as well as give it. It is a further opportunity for you to contribute and support your greater community and to be a meaningful part of it.
7. The York Rite is a fraternity where moral virtues are taught, and through these teachings, a regular reinforcement of these moral virtues is experienced.
8. The York Rite is an opportunity to spend time with true brothers, who by acting as good men, make you want to become a better man. Not better than others, but better than you would have otherwise been.
9. The York Rite is a place to become better equipped to serve your Church and your community - as the Knights Templar Orders are Christian based.
10. The York Rite is a place to meet established members of the community and to become a part of that community of Brothers, Companions, and Sir Knights.
11. The York Rite is an opportunity for you to find out what was "left out" of the "Blue Lodge" degrees and to fill in the blanks that are there (whether you know it or not). It shares with you "The Master's Word" and informs you why it could not be given before. You become a "true Master Mason" that knows the "Master's Word".
12. The York Rite gives every Master Mason the opportunity to experience further spiritual growth and obtain a further understanding of what "the hidden mysteries of Freemasonry" are really all about. No Master Mason's education is complete without experiencing the York Rite series of Degrees and Orders.
13. If you believe in "what we stand for", are seeking further light beyond that of a Master Mason, and are of a like mind, you should be a member of the York Rite.
14. It's a lot of fun and a further opportunity to participate in the Freemason fraternity while becoming a "Sir Knight" (Knight Templar).
The noble heritage of York Rite Freemasonry is yours to experience and enjoy. The regular meetings of the various groups are conducive to firmer relationships and a closer spirit of Friendship and Brotherly Love. Being a York Rite Mason does not mean that you are elevated to a "higher rank". Being a York Rite Mason is an educational opportunity to help you realize the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man in your own life. We invite you to claim this heritage and become a part of the York Rite fraternity that devotes itself to finding further truth and enlightenment.
York Rite goes beyond the charitable contributions of the Blue Lodge. Each of the three groups in York Rite support their own charity. For more information on the charities supported by each group, please look at the "Charities" page under each group.
Come join the York Rite and find out for yourself.