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"The Supreme Council is the ultimate Masonic authority of the Order."

Government of the Craft

The Government of the Craft represents that bureaucracy which Freemasonry needs to ensure the continued functionality and expansion of the Order.  At the top of the hierarchy rests the General Constitution; the document from which the Order receives her principles and authority. Alongside the Constitution rests the Landmarks, a series of "unwritten" laws which ensure that the most important tenets of Freemasonry are preserved. Both are essential to maintain the values of Freemasonry  and are obeyed and considered binding by the Brethren - from the highest as well as to the humblest.

The governing body of the Order is the Supreme Council of the Sovereign Grand Inspectors General of the 33rd Degree. Presided over by the Most Sovereign Grand Commander, the Council is entrusted with the expansion and growth of Co-Masonry, while maintaining and preserving the tenants of the General Constitution.   The following chart shows the hierarchy of Order, after which a brief description of each section will be given:

Supreme Council of American Co-Masonry
The Supreme Council is the ultimate Masonic authority of the Order. Faithful allegiance and implicit obedience is due to it from all bodies, committees and members within its jurisdiction from the 1st to the 33rd and last degree of Freemasonry.  Its functions and prerogatives are therefore of the most extensive and important nature. The functions of the Supreme Council are divided into three classes:

  1. Legislative

  2. Judicial

  3. Executive

In its legislative capacity, the Supreme Council makes laws; in its judicial, it explains and applies them; and in its executive, it enforces them. Although, the Supreme Council may make laws, these laws must never oppose the General Constitution and more important the Landmarks or unwritten law. 

Members of the Supreme Council are those few that have provided exceptional service to the Order and by merit and ability have earned the right to governor the Order. They are typically the most learned and wisest who have sacrificed their lives to the betterment of the Order, to the service of their brethren and to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe. 

Grand Council of Administration
Below the Supreme Council is the Grand Council of Administration.  In essence, the steward of the Supreme Council, the Grand Council of Administration has the singular duty to maintain, preserve and expand the temporal realm of the Order. This includes all assets, properties, buildings and other items necessary to ensure the Work of the American Co-masonry.  The members of the Grand Council are elected by the general membership.

Lodges
In each Lodge, from that of Master Mason to the Supreme Council, universal suffrage is sovereign, but the sovereignty of the members of a Lodge must never be derogatory to the sovereignty of the members of another Lodge of the same degree, of an inferior degree or of a superior degree. 

Membership
For admission into the Order, the applicant must be free and of good character, have sufficient education to receive and to impart all the written and unwritten work, and his life must be irreproachable. In addition, the seeker must be 21 years of age, except by special dispensation of the Most Sovereign Grand Commander of the Order, in which case the first degree may be conferred at the age of eighteen, the second at twenty, and the third at twenty-one.

Once a Member, one must abide by the General Constitution, Rules & Regulations, decrees of the Supreme Council and the Bylaws of their particular lodge. Though ones Masonic status is permanent, membership may be withdrawn:

  • From those who have been condemned to certain penalties by the ordinary courts of the country they reside in;

  • From those who have committed Masonic crimes, or who have violated the oaths taken in connection with the Order and involving erasure from its records;

  • From those who are no longer free and of good report such as is exacted at the time of admission or initiation.

By virtue of the principle of fraternity which constitutes the foundation of Freemasonry, The Honorable Order of American Co-Masonry fraternally welcomes Masons of other Obedience's which, like itself, labor for the accomplishment of the Great Work, that is, for the progress of humanity along the road of material, moral and spiritual betterment.

It is the duty, therefore, of Masons, after the fact of initiation is known to them, fraternally to welcome all Brothers of every Rite recognized by the Supreme Council of American Co-Masonry, irrespective of their philosophy or their religious beliefs, according to them, after regular examination, the right of visiting, even in the case of non- reciprocity on the part of the Obedience to which these Brothers are affiliated.



What is the work of Freemasonry?

"Masonic labor is purely a labor of love. He who seeks to draw Masonic wages in gold and silver will be disappointed. The wages of a Mason are earned and paid in their dealings with one another; sympathy that begets sympathy, kindness begets kindness, helpfulness begets helpfulness, and these are the wages of a Mason."

- Bro. Benjamin Franklin

Freemasonry, Freemason, Masonic

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