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"Degrees are conferred on merit and ability . . . ultimately ones commitment to their brethren in particular and in the Order in General will grant them access to higher degrees."

Degrees of Freemasonry

The Honorable Order of American Co-Masonry, heir to the ancient traditions whose wise principles, moral force and discipline it has maintained, has preserved the rules of the past used by the first Masonic Orders, also the signs, grips, sacred words and passwords of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish and York Rite, employed as a means of recognition by a large number of the Freemasons scattered throughout the world.

All members of the Order form but one family of Brothers, and are part of an Institution which permits them to be recognized by Freemasons of whatsoever Rite and to recognize also all Freemasons throughout the world.

The Masonic Degrees consist of the thirty-three degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in addition to the Royal Arch Degrees of the Ancient and Accepted York Rite. These are designated as follows:

Symbolic Masonry "Symbolic Degrees"

1° - Entered Apprentice
2° - Fellowcraft
3° - Master Mason

English Rite (or York Rite) "Chapter Degrees"

Mark Master Mason
Royal Ark Mariner
Excellent Master
Holy Royal Arch of Jerusalem

Lodge of Perfection "Ineffable Degrees"

4° - Secret Master
5° - Perfect Master
6° - Intimate Secretary
7° - Provost & Judge
8° - Intendant of the Building
9° - Master Elect of Nine
10° - Master Elect of Fifteen
11° - Sublime Master Elect
12° - Grand Master Architect
13° - Royal Arch of Enoch
14° - Grand Elect and Sublime Mason

Chapter Rose Croix "Historic Degrees"

15° - Knight of the East
16° - Prince of Jerusalem
17° - Knight of the East & West
18° - Knight of Rose Croix of Heredom

Council Kadosh "Philosophical and chivalric Degrees"

19° - Grand Pontiff or Sublime Scottish Knight
20° - Sovereign Prince or Master ad Vitam
21° - Noachite or Prussian Knight
22° - Prince of Lebanon or Royal Axe
23° - Chief of the Tabernacle
24° - Prince of the Tabernacle
25° - Knight of the Brazen Serpent
26° - Prince of Mercy
27° - Sovereign Commander of the Temple
28° - Knight of the Sun, Prince Adept
29° - Knight of Saint Andrew
30° - Knight Kadosh

Consistory "Official and Ceremonial Degrees"

31° - Grand Inquisitor Commanders
32° - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret

Court of Honor "Honorary Degrees"

33° - Grand Inspector General

Degrees are conferred on merit and ability. Specific requirements, such as time and examination, are necessary to progress, but ultimately one's commitment to their brethren in particular and in the Order in General will grant them access to higher degrees. For example, to attain the 32nd Degree, a Freemason must be a Master Mason for at least 14 years, have been elected Master of Lodge and served the Supreme Council with satisfaction.

The Supreme Council may, at any time, authorize the establishment of other Masonic bodies not practiced.

What is the work of Freemasonry?

"The true Mason is not creed-bound. He realizes with the divine illumination of his lodge that as Mason his religion must be universal: Christ, Buddha or Mohammed, the name means little, for he recognizes only the light and not the bearer. He worships at every shrine, bows before every altar, whether in temple, mosque or cathedral, realizing with his truer understanding the oneness of all spiritual truth. All true Masons know that they only are heathen who, having great ideals, do not live up to them. They know that all religions are but one story told in divers ways for peoples whose ideals differ but whose great purpose is in harmony with Masonic ideals."

- Bro. Manly P. Hall

Freemasonry, Freemason, Masonic

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