York Rite

About York Rite

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While the highest degree in Freemasonry is the 3rd or Master Mason degree, a Master Mason in Alberta may wish to supplement his knowledge of Freemasonry through membership in one or more other bodies with which our Grand Lodge has declared 'amity'. The following information is provided for the Master Mason who may be seeking further involvement in Freemasonry beyond that provided by his Craft Lodge.. It is up to the individual to decide.
The York Rite consists of the Craft Lodge, the Chapter, the Council, the Preceptory and numerous other groups. The York Rite takes its name from the old English city of York. It is said that Athelstan, a British king, was converted to Christianity in York and that he granted the original charter to the Masonic guilds in that city nearly a thousand years ago. None of the York Rite bodies is a religion.
Like the Craft Lodge, The Chapter and the Council are based upon the building of King Solomon's Temple. The Royal Arch allegory deals with the building of the second Temple under Zerubbabel after the return of the Israelites from their captivity in Babylon.  The Preceptory has a theme of Christian Chivalry.
While the degrees in all concordant bodies have much inherent value and beauty, those of the York Rite are especially impressive.

York Rite Masonry Video
Produced for the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Indiana.
Created by Christopher Hodapp, author of Freemasons For Dummies and the Templar Code For Dummies.

The Masonic Family in Edmonton


Royal Arch

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It is the first step in York Rite Masonry.  Here within the Chapter you will receive the necessary instruction and information to fill in some of the missing pieces from the Masonic history taught in the Masonic Lodge. The Chapter is referred as Capitular Masonry, providing a member the opportunity for further advancement within the brotherhood.

Every Chapter within the Province of Alberta falls under the jurisdiction of the Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Alberta.  To become a member of a Chapter, you must first be a Mason, and then you may apply for an application. Once accepted you will receive three Degrees:

  • Mark Master Mason
  • Most Excellent Master
  • Royal Arch Mason


The Council of Cryptic Rite Masons, Royal and Select Masters

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A Royal Arch Mason may petition to become a member of a Council of Royal and Select Masters, whose teachings expand further on those of the Craft Lodge and the Royal Arch.

Councils of Royal and Select Masters meet in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge.

The degrees are based on the building of King Solomon's temple and include 'Royal Master', 'Select Master', and 'Super Excellent Master'. An interesting side degree governed by the council is the 'Royal Ark Mariner' degree. It is conferred only upon Super Excellent Masters and in a Lodge of Royal Ark Mariners whose officers are those of the Council.


The Preceptory of Knights Templar

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Royal Arch Masons who profess the Christian faith may petition a Preceptory of Knights Templar. The Order of the Red Cross is based upon Old Testament events and is thus pre-Christian in its focus. This order has much in common with the 15th and 16th degrees of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite.

The Order of Malta and the Order of the Temple have a New Testament orientation and their lessons are based upon the crusades of the original Knights Templar. Whether there is an actual historical link between the modern Masonic Knights Templar and the historical group of the same name is debatable. Some think there is such a link, others do not.

One of the charities of the Knights Templar is a bursary program for divinity students.


The Allied Masonic Degrees

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This group invites Royal Arch masons to study and preserve some of the lesser known 'arcane' degrees of Freemasonry.


The York Rite Sovereign College of North America

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The college invites members who are both Super Excellent Masters and Knights Templar. They provide a resource of ritualists for the other York Rite Bodies for special occasions. There is a college in Edmonton and Calgary. Their main Degree is that of The Knight of York.
Registration Information for the Annual General Meeting in  Edmonton 2013

Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests

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This group admits members by invitation who are Installed Masters of their Craft Lodge and Knights Templar. They have control over thirty degrees but usually confer only the 'Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest' degree. There are two Grand Colleges, one in the UK and the other in the USA. The local Tabernacles, one in Edmonton and one in Calgary, are both of the UK affiliation.


The Order of the Red Cross of Constantine

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Membership is by invitation of Royal Arch Masons only. The order was established in England in 1865. There are Conclaves in Edmonton, Calgary and Lethbridge. The Canadian Constitution is represented.