About the York Rite

The York Rite is a collection of ten Masonic degrees and orders. These are 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 where, according to early documents, the first meeting of Masons in England was held in the year 926 A.D.

Each of these bodies is a sovereign entity, with separate Constitution, Officers, and By-laws. Instead of Stated Meetings, a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons holds a Convocation; a Council of Cryptic Masons, an Assembly and a Commandery of Knights Templar, a Conclave. Depending on their schedule, bodies may hold their gatherings together in what is called a 'unified meeting'. Bodies also work together in various ways and so are often referred to as one group, such as the “Phoenix York Rite Bodies”. However, it is important to remember that each body remains, administratively, unique.
Like the Blue Lodge, each body also has a corresponding Grand body at the state level, which grants the authority to meet and confer their respective Degrees or Orders. Unlike the Blue Lodge, each Grand body also has a corresponding national body, which assists the states by providing guidance in membership, education and research, and the coordination of each body’s sponsored Charity.

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 Symbolic Lodge that Word was lost.
  • In the Chapter degrees, you will find the Master’s Word and where it was concealed before the death of Hiram.
  • In the Council degrees, the Word is preserved. You will have a conversation with Hiram Abif about his mortality and discover how and why the Master’s Word was lost, by whom, and for what purpose. .
  • In the Orders of the Commandery, the Word is explained. You will assist in rebuilding the 2nd Temple and learn the origins of the Knights Templar. and become a Knight after the tradition of Templary.