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 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.
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
The Ritual of
Lodge of Ancient
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 Structure of 'York Rite'
interesting 10 minute
introduction into the system of degrees styled 'York Rite' is posted
(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
Click here to view it
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.
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 Masonry is comprised of three
- Entered Apprentice
- Master Mason
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
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
moral lessons. The brotherhood of masonry is joined together by the
ideals of a moral and metaphysical nature.
There is also
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.
called Royal Arch Masonry - Meeting in Chapters
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.
- Mark Master Mason
- Virtual Past Master
- Most Excellent Master
- Holy Royal Arch
called Royal and Select Masters - Meeting in
- Royal Master
- Select Master
- Super Excellent Master
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
called Noachite Masonry - Meeting in Lodges
Lodges of Royal Ark Mariners
are attached (moored) to Councils of Royal and Select Masters in this
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.
called Knights Templar – Meeting in Preceptories
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
- Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
- Order of Malta
- Order of the Temple - Knights Templar