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Frequently Asked Questions
What is Scottish Rite?
The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has received the three degrees of the Symbolic, or Blue Lodge. The Scottish Rite consists of the 4º through the 32º.
There are four bodies that operate within the context of these degrees, of which the Valley of Boston also operates. They are:
Lodge of Perfection (4º - 14º)
Princes of Jerusalem (15º-16º)
Rose Croix (17º-18º)
Consistory Guard (19º-32º)
What about the 33º?
The 33º of Scottish Rite is an Honorary Degree that is awarded to a Scottish Rite Mason by the Supreme Council. It is something that is bestowed, and cannot be campaigned for. The degree is generally awarded as a means of recognition for outstanding and selfless work on behalf of the Rite or in public life.
Who belongs to Scottish Rite?
Members of the Scottish Rite are Master Masons who have elected to receive the additional lessons of the Rite. Any Master Mason is eligible to petition for membership in Scottish Rite.
How big is Scottish Rite?
There are 9 different Scottish Rite Valleys in the state of Massachusetts. The Valleys in Massachusetts fall under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. The Northern Masonic Jurisdiction covers the 15 states that are east of the Mississippi River and north of both the Mason-Dixon Line and Ohio River (including Delaware). There are over 400,000 Scottish Rite Masons in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
What are the membership requirements?
In order to join Scottish Rite, you must be a Master Mason in good standing with your Symbolic or Blue Lodge. Belief in a Supreme Being also applies, as well as any residency and sponsorship requirements that exist in each jurisdiction.
How much does it cost to join?
The Scottish Rite Valley of Boston charges the following fees for each of the four Bodies for a total of $200:
Boston Lafayette Lodge of Perfection: $44
Giles F. Yates Council, Princes of Jerusalem: $44
Mount Olivet Chapter of Rose Croix: $44
Massachusetts Consistory: $68
Note: This does not include the annual membership dues to which a member is subject to.
Do Scottish Rite Degrees hold a higher rank in Freemasonry?
No. The highest degree in all of Freemasonry is that of a Master Mason. This applies to each member of the Rite, regardless of his status as either a 4º (Master Traveler) or 33º (Sovereign Grand Inspector General). If a Scottish Rite Mason loses his standing within his Craft or Blue Lodge, his membership in the Rite is automatically terminated.
What are the ceremonies I would go through?
Each of the 29 degrees of the Rite are presented in a dramatic format to the candidate. There is no memorization of ritual that is required of the candidate. All that is expected of each candidate for the degrees is to attentively consume the dramatized lessons, and to attend future presentations of them periodically in order to advance one's understanding.
Is Scottish Rite a religous group?
No. Scottish Rite is not a religious group, and we advocate no religious creed other than the same requirement all Master Masons are subject to: the belief in a Supreme Being.
Where does the name Scottish Rite come from?
The use of the word Scottish is a point of confusion for many interested in the degrees of the Rite. Despite the easily made assumption, the Scottish Rite degrees did not originate in nor do they have much to do with the country of Scotland itself. The first reference to the Rite appears in French records where the word "ecossais", meaning Scottish, was found. We know that many Scots fled to France in the late 17th century to avoid political strife and may have resumed their Masonic interests while in asylum in that country. Their influence, we believe, is what contributed to the use of the word "Scottish" in reference to the degrees of the Rite.
Common Scottish Rite Abbreviations
TPM = Thrice Potent Master, SP = Sovereign Prince, MWM = Most Wise Master, CinC = Commander-in-Chief, CSM= Captain's Service Medal, MSA = Meritorious Service Award, DSA = Distinguished Service Award, A:.&A:. = Ancient & Accepted, A:.&A:. S:.R:. = Ancient & Accepted Scottish Rite, LOP = Lodge of Perfection, POJ = Princes of Jerusalem, RC = Rose Croix, CG = Consistory Guard
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The Bodies of the Scottish Rite, sitting in the Valley of Boston, Commonwealth of Massachusetts, acknowledge and yield allegiance to the Supreme Council, 33°, of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry for the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction of the United States of America, whose Grand East is in Lexington, Massachusetts.