Saturday, October 07, 2006

Chapter and Council Degrees

I completed the remainder of my Chapter and Council Degrees on Friday, September 29, 2006.

Prior to this I had gone through the Past Master degree. So I just completed the following degrees:


6° Most Excellent Master
7° Royal Arch


8° Royal Master
9° Select Master

The degree work was all good (though there was room for improvement). This was our Fall York Rite Festival, and was conferred at the Masonic Center in Cottage Grove, Oregon, so I look forward to attending my "home" Chapter and Council meetings for the first time in the near future. Unfortunately I have to miss this month's convocation because I have a unique opportunity to go camping in a cave that I need to do before it gets much colder.

The meanings and symbolism behind the York Rite degrees is rich and although I benefited from the degrees I know I have a lot to learn as I become more familiar with the ritual. I think doing more than one degree on the same day is unfortunate in that it is so hard to soak in all the information that is presented, especially as the day nears the end.

One little point that I find fascinating is the verb used to indicate ascention to each degree, and I haven't seen it documented anywhere very well except concerning the Blue Lodge degrees. I will list them here, to the best of my ability, with a little help from the Internet to supplement my forgetfulness:

Initiated an Entered Apprentice Mason,
Passed to the Degree of Fellow Craft,
Raised to the Sublime Degree of Master Mason,
Advanced to the degree of Mark Master Mason,
Inducted into the Oriental Chair as a Past Master,
Received and Acknowledged a Most Excellent Master,
Exalted to the Most Sublime Degree of Royal Arch Mason.

I'm not sure if the Council degrees share the trait of having such a verb? At least, I do not recall any being used during our festival.


Widow's Son said...

You'd serve yourself well to stop at the Royal Arch degree until you fully and completely come to grips with what it is really teaching.

Widow's Son

Jeff said...

Really teaching? Masonry... Secret Teachings? Never! :P

I think I'm one of those people who tends to extract very different meanings out of the degrees than most other people do, but you're right - I haven't even finished understanding layer 1 of the onion of knowledge that is the Royal Arch Degree. Like I said above, I have already been through the Council degrees too, but I recommend to others to take it slower if possible. I think most Chapters and Councils would accomodate a brother if he specifically requested to do them one at a time. One always has the option of taking off and leaving once he's gone as far into an all-day festival as he intends to go.

Tom Accuosti said...

Five years ago I was gung how to get all the degrees. I took some advice from some internet brothers and waited a year before trying anything. As it happened, I got sucked right into the officer's line, and after a year I decided not to even think about the degrees until I get through my year in the East.

I would consider the RAM degrees, partly because one of the old descriptions is something like: Freemasonry consists of three degrees - the EA, the FC, and the MM including the Royal Arch Degree. I know it's ambiguous, but it makes me wonder if that's not the most logical place to go after this.

The Tao of Masonry

Anonymous said...

I just completed the Most Excellent Master Degree last week and will receive the Royal Arch at the end of this month.

If found the Chapter Degrees to be very meaningful but, as you've said, I've just begun to learn about this system of degrees. I'll also be taking the Council Degrees down the road but, am not sure when.

Tim Bonney

Anonymous said...

you were "Greeted" as a Royal and Select Master in the Council

Eric Diamond, PTIM
Chicago Council No.4 R&SM
Chicago, IL

Jeff said...

As it turns out, Greeted seems to be used in most places or the Super Excellent Master Degree (the occasionally conferred "10th" degree, which comes after Royal and Select Master).

I have found that one is "Introduced to the rites and honors of a Royal Master" and "Chosen as a Select Master."

These are stated elsewhere as "I have been introduced to the Sanctum Sanctorum..." and "One of those who for their fidelity and skill were Chosen..."

It appears, after some searching around, that in some jurisdictions the use of "Greeted" for Super Excellent and "Received and Acknowledge" for Most Excellent are reversed with one another.

More searching yields that one may be "constituted a Knight of the Red Cross", "created a Knight of Malta", and "dubbed and created a Knight Templar."

So the short list:

Initiated, Passed, Raised, Advanced, Inducted (or Presided), Received and Acknowledged, Exalted, Introduced, Chosen, Greeted, Constituted, Created, and Dubbed and Created.

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