Supreme Grand Council Eastern Jurisdiction Royal and Select Masters of Canada
The York Family of Rites
with Jurisdiction over Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick and Quebec

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  1. The York Rite
    1. Craft Masonry
    2. Capitular Masonry
    3. Cryptic Masonry
    4. Royal Ark Mariners
    5. Chivalric Masonry

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Clasped HandsFreemasonry is dedicated to the Brotherhood of Man under the Fatherhood of God. It uses the tools and implements of ancient architectural craftsmen symbolically in a system of instruction designed to build character and moral values in its members.

Its singular purpose is to make good men better. Its bonds of friendship, compassion, and brotherly love have survived even the most divisive political, military, and religious conflicts through the centuries.

Masonry is a fraternity which encourages its members to practice the faith of their personal acceptance. Masonry teaches that each person, through self-improvement and helping others, has an obligation to make a difference for good in the world.

Craft Masonry is the foundation of all Masonic activity, but Master Masons who want to expand and deepen their Masonic knowledge and experience can apply for membership (or be invited to become members) in other Masonic bodies. In all cases, however, membership in good standing in a Craft Lodge is a prerequisite.

The Ritual of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Nova Scotia is styled 'Ancient York Rite'. (Other Grand Jurisdictions have adopted other 'Rites' such as Scottish Rite, Swedish Rite, Schroeder Rite, etc.) The York Rite has four main levels: Craft Masonry, Capitular Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, and Chivalric Masonry.

The York Rite

The Structure of 'York Rite' Masonry

A very interesting 10 minute introduction into the system of degrees styled 'York Rite' is posted on You-Tube.
Click here to view it

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

Craft Masonry

Square and CompassesAlso called Speculative or Symbolic Masonry - Meeting in Lodges

Symbolic Masonry is the mother of all the Craft. It teaches a belief in one living and true God, the giver and ruler of life; and by following His guidance, one will increase in wisdom and stature, and thus he will develop into one worthy of the title of Freemason.

Craft Masonry refers to the first three degrees of Freemasonry. It is the world's oldest and largest fraternal organization. It is known by many names: Freemasonry, Masonry, the Blue Lodge, Symbolic Masonry or simply as "the Craft."

Ancient Craft Masonry is comprised of three degrees:

  • Entered Apprentice
  • Fellowcraft
  • Master Mason

Freemasonry is often described as a peculiar system of morality veiled in allegory and illustrated by symbols. The aim of the Craft is to make good men better with a special form of instruction from ancient rituals. Most of the symbols used in these rituals derive from the working tools of operative masons from the middle ages and teach the speculative masons moral lessons. The brotherhood of masonry is joined together by the ideals of a moral and metaphysical nature.

There is also an esoteric side of Ancient Craft Masonry. Many of the symbols presented to initiates of the Craft Lodges are not operative masonry tools. These other symbols have an exoteric meaning as presented in the ritual but many of these symbols have a hidden meaning. It is up to the initiate to search out the esoteric symbolism of the Craft. Appendant rites such as the Scottish Rite or the York Rite claim to help Master Masons search for a deeper understanding of the first three degrees of Masonry, Some of the symbolism in Craft Masonry originates in the ancient mystery traditions of the world. Hermetic Philosophy, Kaballah, and Alchemy, for example, share many of the same symbols as Freemasonry.

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Capitular Masonry

Holy Royal ArchAlso called Royal Arch Masonry - Meeting in Chapters
  • Mark Master Mason
  • Virtual Past Master
  • Most Excellent Master
  • Holy Royal Arch
Capitular Masonry is the Masonry of recovery. It teaches that, while often taking a long period of time, the great beliefs of Freemasonry are never eternally lost; that in future time, truths put away for safe keeping will be recovered and restored to the Craft; and that all things will, in due time be completed. Capitular Membership is required for future advancement in the York Rite.

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Cryptic Masonry

Cryptic MasonryAlso called Royal and Select Masters - Meeting in Councils
  • Royal Master
  • Select Master
  • Super Excellent Master

Cryptic Masonry is the Masonry of preservation. It teaches that the immortal truths of life will never be destroyed; that the approach of disorder and destruction will cause the Craft to deposit these great truths in a safe and secure place where they will be preserved; and, although forgotten and lost for a time, they are kept for future discovery and use of the Craft. Cryptic Masonry is the Alpha and Omega of Ancient Craft Masonry.

Royal Ark Mariners

Royal Ark MarinersAlso called Noachite Masonry - Meeting in Lodges

Lodges of Royal Ark Mariners are attached (moored) to Councils of Royal and Select Masters in this Jurisdiction.
The Royal Ark Mariner Degree commemorates the providence and mercy of God and relates to the legend of the deluge. The teachings of the Degree emphasize the importance of the family strengths and the need for each member of society to play his part for the benefit of all. The ritual teaches that out of chaos and catastrophe mankind can survive and that we should face adversity together, helping to look after those less fortunate than ourselves.

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Chivalric Masonry

Knights TemplarAlso called Knights TemplarMeeting in Preceptories
  • Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
  • Order of Malta
  • Order of the Temple - Knights Templar
Chivalric Masonry is Christian Masonry. The lessons of the Symbolic Lodge are given Christian interpretation in the Orders of Knighthood of the Preceptory. Chivalric Masonry aims to put those Christian virtues into practice in our daily lives. Charity and hospitality are characteristics which underlie the Templar program.

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