The York Rite in Maine consists of three separate bodies:
- Royal Arch Chapter (Mt. Moriah #6)
- Council of Royal & Select Masters (Bangor Council #5)
- Commandery of the Knights Templar (St. John’s #3)
Each of these bodies existed for nearly two centuries. They are active and involved. York Rite is an extraordinary Masonic experience open to all Master Masons. Those involved find much of interest. These groups draw membership from a large surrounding area.
The York Rite comprises 10 Masonic degrees and orders. Conferred in the United States under a trilateral system of governance consisting of Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies. The name derives from the City of York. According to one Masonic legend, the first meeting of Masons in England occurred there in the year 926 A.D.
Along with the Scottish Rite, the York Rite is one of two appendant Bodies of Masonry beyond the level of the Craft or Blue Lodge. It focuses on expanding a Master Mason’s understanding of several important ideas introduced in the first three degrees of the Blue Lodge. Thus, the York Rite has a special, close relationship to the Blue Lodge degrees.
It continues the lessons learned in the Fellowcraft degree and completes Hiram’s journey in the Master Mason degree. In addition, it teaches the meaning of the True Word, offering impressive lessons from the Christian Knighthood tradition in a ceremony that is among the most beautiful in all of Masonry. In fact, the third tier of the York Rite, known as the Orders of Templary, is traditionally styled as the Christian Order of Freemasonry.
The Essential Theme of the York Rite
The degrees and orders of York Rite Masonry all revolve around one great center—the True Word. In the Lodge, they lost The Word. You find the Master’s Word concealed before the death of Hiram in the Chapter degrees, consisting of the Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and the Royal Arch.
The Council degrees, comprised of the Royal Master, Select Master, and Super Excellent Master, preserve The Word. As a Royal Master, you have a conversation with Hiram Abif about his mortality. You discover how and why the Master’s Word was lost, by whom, and for what purpose. The answers to these questions are unveiled in the Select Master degree.
The Orders of the Commandery, consisting of the Order of Red Cross, Malta, and Temple, they explain The Word. In the Commandery Orders, you assist in rebuilding the 2nd Temple and learning the Knights Templar’s origins. You become a Knight after the tradition of Templary.
Come find out why York Masonry is so exciting!
Find meeting dates and times along with contact information for each body at www.yorkriteofmaine.org.
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