Other York Rite Bodies and Special Degrees
The “Chair Degrees” of York Rite masonry, so called as the candidate, must be the installed or a past presiding officer of the respective York Rite body. They may also differ somewhat in name or character from one jurisdiction to another.
Anointed High Priest – Council of Anointed High Priest of MD
A chair degree conferred upon elected High Priests. In Maryland, the degree must be conferred before a Companion can be installed as a High Priest. This restriction may not apply in other jurisdictions. In Maryland, the degree is conferred by the Council of Anointed High Priests. This Council is the oldest one in the United States, having been founded on May 27, 1824. Elsewhere the degree may be conferred by the Grand Chapter or another body established for the purpose. These other bodies go by various names.
In antiquity, this degree was known as the Order of Melchizadek.
Thrice Illustrious Master
A chair degree conferred upon elected Thrice Illustrious Masters. In Maryland, the degree must be conferred before a Companion can be installed as Thrice Illustrious Master. This restriction may not apply in other jurisdictions. In Maryland, the degree is conferred by the Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters. Elsewhere the degree may be conferred by the Grand Council, or another Council established for the purpose. In many jurisdictions, the degree is known as the Order of the Silver Trowel.
Association of Past Commanders – Association of Past Commanders in Maryland
Past Commanders Associations, very much like the related Order of Knights Preceptor, were formed to promote the cause of Chivalric Masonry through a dedication of Templar Leadership to its principles and to further the knowledge of its history, background, customs, usage, and traditions. The Association of Past Commanders is a Maryland institution open to sitting and Past Eminent Commanders. In some jurisdictions, the Sovereign Order of Knight Preceptors serves a similar purpose.
Appendant and Allied Bodies
The following bodies are appendant to the York Rite bodies due to the requirement that their members must also be members of the York Rite or one of its bodies or are allied to the York Rite by the requirement that their members must be Masons.
First are the invitational bodies, in which the candidate must be a member of the York Rite or one of its bodies, be invited by a member of the invitational body, and pass a ballot for membership.
Second are the allied Masonic bodies, which require the candidate to be a Mason and may have additional requirements, such as being invitational or requiring other Masonic or fraternal affiliations or memberships.
Many of the following organizations are exclusive in nature, and their memberships represent the more dedicated and select of the Masonic fraternity’s membership. This selectivity is usually exhibited in the limitations of the body’s membership size and/or its selection processes and requirements.
Unrestricted Invitational Appendant Bodies
These bodies are open to members of the York Rite by invitation only, but there is no restriction on the number of members allowed per body.
The York Rite Sovereign College of North America – www.yrscna.org
An invitational body dedicated to the assistance and promotion of York Rite Masonry and degree work. To be eligible for an invitation, a Mason must be a member in good standing of all four York Rite bodies (Lodge, Chapter, Council, Commandery, or Consistory) and have rendered special service in some aspect of York Rite Masonry. The local body is a College, and the presiding officer is a Governor (titled Preeminent). The college confers one degree, the Knight of York. The national body confers an additional honorary degree, the Order of the Purple Cross.
The Order of Knight Masons of the U.S.A. – www.knightmasons.org
An Invitational body whose degrees were originally conferred by the Knights Templar in Ireland. These are sometimes called the “Green degrees.” Membership is open to those who are in good standing in their Lodge and Royal Arch Chapter. The local body is a Council, and the presiding officer is a Chief (titled Excellent). Maryland Council #9 was one of the founding Councils of the Grand Council of the United States.
Degrees worked are
Knight of the Sword
Knight of the East
Knight of the East and West
Installed Chief (chair degree)
Knights of the York Cross of Honor (KYCH) – www.kych.org
An invitational body composed entirely of York Rite Masonic leaders. Members must be a Past Master of a Symbolic Lodge, a Past High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter, a Past Master of a Royal and Select Masters Council, and a Past Commander of a Knight Templar Commandery, and nominated by a KYCH member. A member who has completed a term as a Grand presiding officer (whether before or after he becomes a KYCH) receives the title Knight of the York Grand Cross of Honor (KYGCH). The presiding body is a Priory, and the presiding officer is a Prior (titled Eminent).
Restricted Invitational Appendant Bodies
These bodies are open to members of the York Rite by invitation only, with strict limitations on the number of members allowed per body.
The Allied Masonic Degrees (AMD) – www.amdusa.org
An invitational body dedicated to the preservation and exemplification of Masonic side degrees of antiquity. EDITOR’s NOTE: In some jurisdictions, the AMD Councils are limited to presenting research papers. Membership requires affiliation with the Royal Arch and is limited to 27 members per presiding body. The presiding body is a Council, and the presiding officer is a Sovereign Master (titled Venerable). European AMD Councils open and transact business on the Order of St. Lawrence the Martyr. In addition to the AMD Council, there are two subordinate bodies attached to the Council, which operate as separate bodies outside the United States.
The Description of these Degrees can be found on St. Andrew’s in America Council No. 1a, AMD, NC WEBSITE
Degrees worked are:
” Order of St. Lawrence the Martyr
” Knight of Constantinople
” Grand Tilers of Solomon
” Excellent Master
” Masters of Tyre
” Grand Architect
” Ye Ancient Order of the Corks
” Red Branch of Eri and Appendant Orders (Honorary Degree)
” Royal Ark Mariner (separate Lodge outside the USA)
” Order of the Secret Monitor (separate Conclave outside the USA)
” Installed Sovereign Master (AMD Chair Degree)
” Installed Master (OStLM Chair Degree)
” Installed Commander Noah (RAM Chair Degree)
” Installed Supreme Ruler (OSM Chair Degree)
Royal Ark Mariner – Royal Ark Mariners in Maryland
An invitational body whose degree contains events before, during, and after the Biblical Flood. The apron and emblems of this degree are easily recognizable by the ark and rainbow motif, although the degree itself claims the original apron to have been made of unfinished lambskin.
The Red Cross of Constantine and Appendant Orders (RCC) – redcrossconstantine.org
An invitational body composed of highly dedicated and long-serving York Rite Masons. Membership requires affiliation with the Royal Arch and belief in the Trinitarian Christian faith. Membership is limited to 45 members per presiding body. The presiding body is a Conclave, and the presiding officer is a Sovereign (titled Puissant).
Degrees worked are:
” Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine
” Knight of the Holy Sepulchre
” Knight of St. John the Evangelist
” Installed Viceroy (Chair Degree)
” Installed Sovereign (Chair Degree)
The Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priest (HRAKTP) – www.hraktp.org
An invitational body composed of highly dedicated and long-serving York Rite Masons. Membership requires affiliation with the Knights Templar, and members must be Past Eminent Commanders of a Knight Templar Commandery. Originally, this body conferred 33 degrees, but now only one is conferred. Membership is limited to 33 members per presiding body. The presiding body is a Tabernacle, and the presiding officer is a Preceptor (titled Eminent).
Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis (SRICF) – sricf.org
A research group for Christian Master Masons is interested in studying symbolism, esotericism, and Masonic history. Membership is limited to 72 members.
About the Masonic Rosicrucians (SRICF)
The Societas Rosicruciana in Civitatibus Foederatis is a Rosicrucian Society based in the United States of America extending from its formation of a Grand High Council on April 21st, 1880 and its official consecration on September 21, 1880, by three Colleges chartered by the Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia. High-Grade Christian Freemasons in the United States in search of the Classical Rosicrucian Society for Masons in the United Kingdom became interested in organizing a similar body in the United States and did so under Scotland’s authority (Societas Rosicruciana in Scotia) with the help of Most Worthy Charles Matier of the SRIS, as early as 1873. This effort died out two years later under the care of R.W. Frater George S. Blackie VIII and was then re-chartered by the SRIS later again in 1878. Dr. Jonathon J. French was an IX grade head of the Rosicrucian Society of the United States & opened the Matier Royal Provincial College with a charter from Lord Inverurie, Earl of Kincore, and Supreme Magus of the SRIS.
The college was named after Charles Fitzgerald Matier, the first Supreme Magus of SRIS, who served in 1876. Harold Van Buren Voorhis insists that the Illinois College under Dr. French was never truly active, and it certainly was short-lived as Dr. French died an untimely death in 1879. Harold Voorhis also insisted that Frater Stodart Blackie’s early charter in New York had been nothing more than an unsubstantiated rumor. It has since been established as a historical fact.
Membership is by invitation only & predicated on regular mainstream Masonic affiliation and a profession of the Christian faith. Membership was initially restricted to 36 members per College, but this was changed in 1908 by MW Thomas Shryock (PGM, Maryland) to 72 members per college. The See of the High Council is in Washington, D.C. The SRICF is in amity with the SRIS (Scotia) and the SRIA (Anglia) as well as the SRIC (Canada) and has helped the cause of Rosicruciana by empowering High Councils in their own sovereignty around the World. They are: the SRIL in Lusitania (Portugal), SRIG in Gallia (France) & the SRIR (Romania).
(Information courtesy sricf.org/info.html)
Sovereign Order of Knight Preceptor (SOKP) – SOKP National Body
Each applicant MUST BE INVITED, MUST HAVE BEEN A MASTER MASON FOR MORE THAN FIVE YEARS, and MUST BE A TRINITARIAN CHRISTIAN BY FAITH. He further should hold the 32nd degree of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, although this may be waived if the Petitioner is a Knight Templar.
We require that all applicants must be entitled to honor in Freemasonry because of services performed for the Craft, the Church, or the Public. We consider offices held in Masonic Bodies as evidence of service performed to the Craft. Also, honors already received in the fraternity such as the K.C.C.H., the 33rd degree, the Red Cross of Constantine, the K.Y.C.H., etc.
We also consider services such as offices held in Church, activity on Boards and Committees, active work with the Boy Scouts, DeMolays, Community drives, etc., or other types of evidence of service performed for one’s fellow man. We judge each application on its own merit. Our concern is that they meet our basic requirements and that they are worthy of the honor of membership as a reward for the service they have performed.