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Scottish Rite Degrees
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as the Scottish Rite, is one of several appendant groups of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry.
Each Valley has up to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of degrees. In the Southern Jurisdiction these are the Lodge of Perfection (4°-14°), Chapter of Rose Croix (15°- 18°), Council of Kadosh (19°-30°), and the Consistory (31°-32°). The Supreme Council confers the 33°, Inspector General Honorary.
The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. The other branch is known as the York Rite, consisting of Royal Arch Masons, Royal and Select Masters and the Knights Templar.
The degrees are dramatic presentations of Masonic history, morality, and philosophy. Many degrees are presented in costume.
LODGE OF PERFECTION
4° Secret Master
The teachings of Masonry are not to be taken lightly. Learning far outlasts physical monuments. Duties are not to be performed expecting reward - but expecting personal satisfaction. One honors relationships to God, family, country, and Masonry through duty, reflection and study. The teachings are secrecy, obedience and fidelity.
5° Perfect Master
Life is uncertain; death may call at any time. The noblest portion of humanity is virtue for virtue's sake. Honesty and trustworthiness are the cornerstones of Masonry and these virtues should be in all of our undertakings with mankind. The teachings are honesty, sincerity, and good faith.
6° Intimate Secretary
In this degree one should expand his knowledge of duty, charity and toleration. We are instructed to reshape ourselves, improving our self-control, and being a peacemaker. We are to be zealous, faithful, disinterested, and benevolent, and act the peacemaker.
7° Provost and Judge
We learn that impartial justice protects person, property, happiness and reputation. All actions have consequences; so let justice be the guide of all our actions. Be just in judging other's motives, and judge with patience and impartially.
8° Intendant of the Building
We should strive for perfection by using the great principles of "God's inherent love, charity, morality and kindness." Benevolence and charity demand we correct our own faults and those of others. That which a man knows dies with him; therefore, transmit your knowledge. Labor is honorable if done with sobriety, temperance, punctuality, and industry.
9° Elu of the Nine
Truth, candor and generosity; the foundation of Scottish Rite Masonry is most reflected in this degree. We should use these truths to shape our lives and conduct. Ignorance is the principle enemy of human freedom. A free press is indispensable to true liberty. Remorse and guilt are God's punishment and more severe than that of man's.
10° Elu of the Fifteen
This degree teaches us to be tolerant and respect the opinions of others. Freedom of political and spiritual ideologies should be shared by all. Ambition creates tyranny and despotism; fanaticism creates intolerance and persecution. We should fight against fanaticism and persecution with education and enlightenment.
11° Elu of the Twelve
Life is a school and Masonry is work. Be earnest, true, and reliable, and be the champion of the people. This degree teaches sympathy; we should be compassionate to our brother Masons and to all mankind as well.
12° Master Architect
This degree teaches faith in morality and virtue and in God. Life is what each man makes of it; the optimist turns a trial into a blessing. Wisdom is a gift from God and should be preferred over riches. Wisdom and knowledge bring honor, discretion, and understanding.
13° Royal Arch of Solomon (Knight of the Ninth Arch)
Moral character is a habit, not formed in a moment, and liberty in our mind and our hearts is motivated by duty and honor.
14° Perfect Elu (Grand Elect, Perfect and Sublime Mason)
Perfect Elu's are both bound and free: bound by their obligation and free from prejudice, intolerance, and envy We should assist, encourage and defend the Brethren, enlighten the people, protect the oppressed, relieve want and distress, and strive to be true to ourselves and our God.
CHAPTER ROSE CROIX
15° Knight of the East, of the Sword or of the Eagle
Fidelity to obligations and perseverance of purpose under difficulties and discouragement are the lessons of this degree. We should build the Masonic temple of liberty, equality, and fraternity in the souls of men and of nations.
16° Prince of JerusalemWe learn heroism of patience, the nobility of self-sacrifice, and compassionate judgment, along with charity, fidelity, and brotherhood. We are to judge equitable and fairly, keep faith in the justice and beneficence of God, and press forward with hope for the persecuted and oppressed.
17° Knight of the East & West
The wisdom of this degree is that loyalty to God is man's primary allegiance and the temporal governments not founded upon God and His righteousness will inevitably fall.
18° Knight Rose Croix
This degree emphasizes that life and its strength come from God. We are taught to practice virtue, labor to eliminate vice, and be tolerant of the faith and creed of others.
COUNCIL OF KADOSH
19° Grand Pontiff
We strive to endure, produce, and improve the world. We learn from the past and how it affects the present, and we labor with patience and industry for the future. We seek to destroy error, falsehood, and intolerance with truth, honest, honor, and charity.
20° Master of the Symbolic Lodge
Truth, justice, and toleration are indispensable qualities for a Master of the Lodge. We are to dispense light and knowledge, but example is the best teaching method known, so we are to practice Masonic virtues both inside and outside the Lodge.
21° Noachite or Prussian Knight
The lessons to be learned from this degree are that arrogance, defamation, and cowardice are unworthy attributes of a Mason and that humility, modesty, courtesy, and trust in God are the true virtues of men and Masons.
22° Knight Royal Axe, Prince of Libanus
This degree emphasizes the work ethic: By doing good work, we improve character and become better citizens.
23° Chief of the Tabernacle
We learn in this degree that the man who forgets his duty to God, family, country, and himself will be in danger of moral and spiritual destruction by thoughts and unworthy ambition. We learn about the virtues of faith - "aspiration toward the infinite;" hope; charity; fortitude - "victory over rage and anger;" prudence; temperance; and justice.
24° Prince of the Tabernacle
In this degree a Mason learns that he must show evidence of compassion, piety and justice. After initiation he may "manifest faithfully the social virtues in order to receive the rewards," and serve humanity through our brotherhood.
25° Knight of the Brazen Serpent
This degree speaks to the concepts of celestial purity and the eternal soul of man. The apprentice is driven to look within his faith, life, and God and to get a clear look at his inner self. We are to fulfill our destiny and re-create ourselves by reformation, repentance, and enlarging our knowledge.
26° Prince of Mercy or Scottish Trinitarian
The trinity of Deity belongs to no single religion; the truths of Masonry are contained within the religions of the world. In this degree we explore "the rewards of the trinity of Gods attributes - wisdom or intelligence, force or strength, harmony or beauty."
27° Knight Commander of the Temple
We learn in this degree that our love for God manifests itself in our love for truth, justice and nobility of soul.
28° Knight of the Sun or Prince Adept
Masonry is practical and requires its members to be actively involved in life. This degree teaches the apprentice to scorn selfishness, and to uphold the knightly virtues of charity, truth, honor, loyalty, justice, and humanity. We always should strive to assist the poor, helpless and infirm.
29° Scottish Knight of Saint Andrew
The virtues taught in this degree are "Love of God, loyalty to superiors, faithful adherence to promise and active resistance to unfair judgment." We serve the truth, protect virtue and innocence, and defend the people against tyranny
30° Knight of Kadosh or Knight of the White & Black Eagle
Knightly virtues are not obsolete in the modern world. We are to arm ourselves with faith in God, love toward our fellow man, and knowledge. The lesson of this degree is to stand for what is right and to be just in our lives, with a belief in God, country, and oneself.
31° Inspector Inquisitor
In this degree the apprentice learns prayerful self-examination. We learn that justice and mercy are two opposites which united in the great harmony of equity and that we must judge ourselves in the same light as we judge others - considering both actions and motives. We learn that true wisdom is to aim at the best, but be content with the best possible. We also learn that the good man should be able to point to positive actions and not simply to assert the absence of wrong in his life.
32° Master of the Royal Secret
The lessons taught in this degree are that genuine brotherhood requires mutual regard, esteem, and charity. We look for the good in everyone and make allowances for others' shortcomings, but most of all, we trust the Supreme Architect to lead us to friendship, morality and brotherly love.
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