The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite. Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the first three degrees, there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several other major cities that have traditionally conferred the Scottish Rite version of these degrees.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
The York Rite or American Rite is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. The York Rite specifically is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently. The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite. There are also other organizations that are considered to be directly associated with the York Rite, or require York Rite membership to join such as the York Rite Sovereign College but in general the York Rite is considered to be made up of the aforementioned three. The Rite’s name is derived from the city of York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first meetings of Masons in England took place, although only the lectures of the York Rite Sovereign College make reference to that legend.
The York Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join to further his knowledge of Freemasonry. But the York Rite is not found as a single system world wide, and outside of the York Rite there are often significant differences in ritual, as well as organization. However in most cases provided that the Grand Body in question regards the parent “Craft” jurisdiction as regular, each distinct Order has recognised fraternal inter-relations with the respective Grand Body within the York system.
The Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, also commonly known as Shriners and abbreviated A.A.O.N.M.S., established in 1870, is an appendant body to Freemasonry, based in the United States. In 2010, the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, as well as Shriners North America, changed its name to Shriners International, now covering nearly 200 temples (chapters) across North America, South America, Europe and Southeast Asia. The organization is best known for the Shriners Hospitals for Children it administers and the red fezzes that members wear. The organization is headquartered in Tampa, Florida. Shriners International describes itself as a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. There are approximately 340,000 members from 194 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, the Republic of Panama, the Philippines, Puerto Rico, Europe and Australia. On July 6, 2011, Shriners International commissioned Emirat Shriners of Heidelberg, Germany, as its 194th temple, and took the first steps toward forming a new temple in Mindanao, Philippines
In 1870, there were several thousand Masons in Manhattan, many of whom lunched at the Knickerbocker Cottage at a special table on the second floor. There, the idea of a new fraternity for Masons stressing fun and fellowship was discussed. Walter M. Fleming, M.D., and William J. Florence took the idea seriously enough to act upon it.
Florence, a world-renowned actor, while on tour in Marseilles, was invited to a party given by an Arabian diplomat. The entertainment was something in the nature of an elaborately staged musical comedy. At its conclusion, the guests became members of a secret society. Florence took copious notes and drawings at his initial viewing and on two other occasions, once in Algiers and once in Cairo. When he returned to New York in 1870, he showed his material to Fleming.
Fleming took the ideas supplied by Florence and converted them into what would become the “Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (A.A.O.N.M.S.)”. Fleming created the ritual, emblem and costumes. Florence and Fleming were initiated August 13, 1870, and initiated 11 other men on June 16, 1871.
The group adopted a Middle Eastern theme and soon established Temples meeting in Mosques (though the term Temple has now generally been replaced by Shrine Auditorium or Shrine Center). The first Temple established was Mecca Temple (now known as Mecca Shriners), established at the New York City Masonic Hall on September 26, 1872. Fleming was the first Potentate.
In 1875, there were only 43 Shriners in the organization. In an effort to spur membership, at the June 6, 1876 meeting of Mecca Temple, the Imperial Grand Council of the Ancient Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine for North America was created. Fleming was elected the first Imperial Potentate. After some other reworking, by 1878 there were 425 members in 13 temples in eight states, and by 1888, there were 7,210 members in 48 temples in the United States and Canada. By the Imperial Session held in Washington, D.C. in 1900, there were 55,000 members and 82 Temples.
Shriners often participate in local parades, sometimes as rather elaborate units: miniature vehicles in themes (all sports cars; all miniature 18-wheeler trucks; all fire engines, and so on), an “Oriental Band” dressed in cartoonish versions of Middle Eastern dress; pipe bands, drummers, motorcycle units, Drum and Bugle Corps, and even traditional brass bands.
The Grotto was founded in the summer of 1889 by LeRoy Fairchild who, along with other members of Hamilton Lodge #120 in Hamilton, New York, met to organize and hold informal meetings for fun and good fellowship. At their meeting on September 10, 1889, they decided to call the group the “Fairchild Deviltry Committee” and restrict membership to Master Masons in good standing.
The idea of the Order proved to be attractive, and many Masons joined. In response to requests, other groups were formed in other areas, and on June 13, 1890 the former “Fairchild Deviltry Committee” duly established and formed the Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm. Its purpose was to add in greater measure to the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an impetus of royal good fellowship.
It is a social organization for Master Masons, and as such, all Master Masons are welcome to join. It encourages renewed interest in the Blue Lodges, though it makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry.
Members are distinguished by a black fez with a red tassel and a Mokanna head in the middle.
For a few years the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm had no official emblem to wear. Word got around that the Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets were permitted to wear an emblem that set them apart from others and a black Fez head covering was selected with a Mokanna Head in the center, giving the name of the Grotto. Naturally, this attracted attention. The minutes of a February 26, 1903 stated meeting of Azim Grotto, Bronx, New York states: “Prophet Charles E. Lansing, Past Potent Monarch, after some preliminary remarks, descriptive thereto, presented to those present, a drawing in color of a headgear appropriate for the Order. The same was received with favor and by motion, regularly made and seconded and carried, it was unanimously decided to adopt and wear them on serious and other appropriate occasions.” In the minutes of October 29, 1903, it is recorded: “The Potent Monarch reported that the Fez worn by our members was, at the Annual Session of the Supreme Council help at Hamilton, New York on October 20, adopted as the official headgear for all Prophets of the Realm.”
The Order of the Eastern Star is a fraternal organization that both men and women can join. It was established in 1850 by Rob Morris, a lawyer and educator from Boston, Massachusetts, who had been an official with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the Bible, but is open to people of all theistic beliefs. It has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and approximately 500,000 members under its General Grand Chapter. Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men must be Master Masons and women must have specific relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as allowing Job’s Daughters, Rainbow Girls, Members of the Organization of Triangle (NY only) and members of the Constellation of Junior Stars (NY only) to become members when they become of age.
The Order was created by Rob Morris in 1850 when, while confined by illness, he set down the principles of the order in his Rosary of the Eastern Star. By 1855, he had organized a “Supreme Constellation” in New York, which chartered chapters throughout the United States.
In 1866, Dr. Morris started working with Robert Macoy, and handed the Order over to him while Morris was traveling in the Holy Land. Macoy organized the current system of Chapters, and modified Dr. Morris’ Rosary into a Ritual.
On December 1, 1874, Queen Esther Chapter No. 1 became the first Prince Hall Affiliate chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star when it was established in Washington, D.C. by Thornton Andrew Jackson.
The “General Grand Chapter” was formed in Indianapolis, Indiana on November 6, 1876. Committees formed at that time created the Ritual of the Order of the Eastern Star in more or less its current form.
There are many other appendent and affiliated groups within the Masonic family. Some are quite large, while others are small, limited in scope or membership, or special interest. We have several good organizations for youth, including DeMolay for boys, and Job’s Daughters and Rainbow for girls. Our youth groups teach leadership and self-reliance in a positive, values-based environment.
Job’s Daughters International is a Masonic-sponsored youth organization for girls and young women aged 10 to 20. The organization is commonly referred to as simply Job’s Daughters, and sometimes abbreviated as JDI (or IOJD, referring to its longtime former name, International Order Of Job’s Daughters). Job’s Daughters welcomes many religions and cultures.
The individual chapter is called a Bethel (as is the meeting location), and each is numbered sequentially, according to when they were instituted in their jurisdiction. They usually meet at a Masonic Lodge building.
The organization was founded as The Order of Job’s Daughters by Ethel T. Wead Mick in Omaha, Nebraska, on October 20, 1920. The original age for membership was 13-18, but has been changed several times over the years, most recently to age 10-20 in 2004. The purpose of the organization is to band together young girls who are related to a Master Mason, and strives to build character through moral and spiritual development. Goals include a greater reverence for God and the Holy Scriptures, as stated in the Job’s Daughters Constitution, loyalty to one’s country and that country’s flag; and respect for parents, guardians, and elders. Job’s Daughters is not a religion or a creed, and its members are not required to practice a particular religion. Members are required, however, to believe in a supreme being. Job’s Daughters is not a secret society.
“Mother Mick” was fond of the Book of Job, and took the name of the organization as a reference to the three daughters of Job. The Book of Job, 42nd chapter, 15th verse says, “In all the land were no women found so fair as the Daughters of Job, and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren”. She founded the Order with the assistance of her husband, Dr. William H. Mick, and several Freemasons and members of Eastern Star of Nebraska. She dedicated the organization to the memory of her mother, Elizabeth D. Wead.
In 1931 the name was changed to the International Order of Job’s Daughters after a Bethel was instituted in Vancouver, British Columbia.
DeMolay is open for membership to young men between the ages of 12 to 21 of good character who acknowledge a higher power. Currently about 15,000 active members are in the United States and Canada and additional members have active chapters in Italy, Romania, Peru, the Philippines, Australia, Aruba, Bolivia, Serbia, Japan, and Brazil. At present Brazil DeMolay has more active members than even the United States, making Portuguese the most commonly used language in DeMolay chapters. The group uses a model of mentoring; adult men and women called advisors, often past DeMolay members or parents of DeMolays, mentor the active DeMolay members. An advisor is referred to as “Dad Smith” instead of “Mr. Smith”. Appropriate ways for the young men to address their adult guides was discussed by the members and advisors early on, and “Dad” was adopted as the best way to convey both friendliness and respect. Advisor mentoring focuses on the development of civic awareness, leadership skills, and personal responsibility.
Founded by Frank S. Land, a Freemason, DeMolay is modeled after Freemasonry. With the sponsorship of a Masonic body, a DeMolay chapter often meets in a lodge room or, if not in a lodge room, then some other appropriate room in the same building. Although none of the youth groups are “masonic organizations” as such, DeMolay is considered to be part of the general “family” of Masonic and associated organizations, along with other youth groups such as Job’s Daughters and Rainbow. As with Rainbow, a young man does not need to have family connection to Masonry in order to join DeMolay.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG) is a Masonic youth service organization which teaches leadership training through community service. Girls (ages 11–20/21) learn about the value of charity and service through their work and involvement with their annual local and Grand (state or country) service projects.
The order came into existence in 1922, when the Reverend W. Mark Sexson, a Freemason, was asked to make an address before South McAlester Chapter #149, Order of the Eastern Star, in McAlester, Oklahoma. As the Order of DeMolay had come under his close study during his Masonic activities, he suggested that a similar order for girls would be beneficial. The first Initiation consisted of a class of 171 girls on April 6, 1922, in the auditorium of the Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester. The original name was “Order of the Rainbow for Girls”.