The York Rite (sometimes referred to as the American Rite) is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. The York Rite specifically is a collection of separate Masonic Bodies and associated Degrees that would otherwise operate independently. The three primary bodies in the York Rite are the Chapter of Royal Arch Masons, Council of Royal & Select Masters or Council of Cryptic Masons, and the Commandery of Knights Templar, each of which are governed independently but are all considered to be a part of the York Rite.
The “Capitular” or Chapter Degrees of Freemasonry refers the four degrees of the York Rite system that follow the “blue lodge” or “Craft” degrees. The Holy Royal Arch is the final degree and the culmination of the Chapter experience for a candidate. The Chapter is the second body of the York Rite of Freemasonry (following the Symbolic or ‘Blue’ Lodge), though in some Jurisdictions it is considered the completion of the initial three degrees and is part of the regular Craft experience.
The Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of Arizona chooses allegiance to the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. A Master Mason in good standing starts his York Rite experience in Arizona in his regular Lodge, and continues by choice and petition into the balance of the York Rite Degrees and Orders by receiving the Chapter Degrees first, then continuing (if he chooses) on to and through the Council Degrees and Commandery Orders. The Chapter Degrees include:
The Mark Master Mason Degree
The (Virtual) Past Master Degree
The Most Excellent Master Mason Degree
The Royal Arch Degree
A Council of Cryptic Masons is the second York Rite body that a member joins. It is also referred to as “Royal and Select Masters” and is the second body where degrees are conferred in the York Rite system of instruction. Our constituent bodies, styled “Councils,” operate under the Grand Council of Cryptic Masons of Arizona which chooses allegiance to the General Grand Council of Cryptic Masons International.
Cryptic Masonry gives the Candidate the links between the allegorical teachings of the preceding degrees and focuses on fulfillment of the promise of understanding that comes with “right work”. Cryptic masons, owing to the lessons of the degrees, are styled ‘archivers.” A member must be a Royal Arch Mason in good standing in order to receive these degrees. The Arizona Councils confer all three of the Cryptic Degrees:
The Royal Master
The Select Master
The Super Excellent Master
A Commandery of Knights Templar is traditionally the final York Rite body that a member joins. A Candidate receives Degrees in both Chapter and Council but in the Commandery, he receives Orders. Constituent Commanderies operate under the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of Arizona, which in turn operates under The Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the United States of America.
While the other three bodies of the York Rite (including “blue lodge”) require their candidates to believe in a Supreme Being, the Commandery requires that a Sir Knight be ready to defend the Christian faith. During the regular Masonic year, in addition to Stated Conclaves, Knights Templar also convene special Observances at Easter and Christmas.
The York Rite Commandery Orders consist of:
The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
The Mediterranean Pass
The Order of Malta
The Order of the Temple
Upon completion of the Orders, the Candidate is dubbed a Knight and created a member of the Knights Templar. He is hereafter addressed as “Sir Knight”.
The Supreme Council was founded in Charleston, South Carolina in 1801. In 1911 the Mother Supreme Council began construction of a national headquarters of the Supreme Council in the District of Columbia, called the House of the Temple. Finished in 1915, the House of the Temple remains their headquarters to this day. It is located at 1733 Sixteenth Street, NW. The House of the Temple also contains the remains of Albert Pike, the author of Morals and Dogma.
In 1813, a member of the Supreme Council established in New York a Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States of America. In 1823, the Supreme Council granted jurisdiction of the fifteen states east of the Mississippi River and north of the Ohio River to the Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction.
El Zaribah Shriners is the local chapter of Shriners International with jurisdiction of the northern part of Arizona. Members of Shriners International are members of the Masonic Order and adhere to the principles of Freemasonry – Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth.
Shriners International is that fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth with nearly 200 temples (chapters) in seven countries and thousands of clubs around the world.
It is the mission of Shriners International to:
Be the premier fraternal organization for men of good character
Provide attractive, quality programs and services for its members, their families and their friends in a spirit of fun, fellowship and social camaraderie
Foster self-improvement through leadership, education, the perpetuation of moral values and community involvement
Serve mankind through the resources of its philanthropy, Shriners Hospitals for Chilren®
Dr. Robert Morris, the poet laureate of Masonry, founded this Order using beautiful and inspiring Biblical examples of heroic conduct and moral values. These portray the noble principles which should adorn the personal lives of Eastern Star members. Eastern Star strives to build an environment for our members and our Order which is truly dedicated to Charity, Truth and Loving Kindness by uplifting each other and through service in our communities.
The Order of the Eastern Star was founded by Dr. Rob Morris in the late 1800’s. As a Master Mason, Dr. Morris had the idea that it would be nice to have a way for female relatives of Master Masons to share the benefits of knowledge and self-improvement that Freemasonry made available to men and to have a place in the Masonic Family that would allow men and women to participate together.
Job’s Daughters has a rich heritage and tradition. The group was founded in 1920 to provide an opportunity for young women to work together, to learn about themselves and to help others.
For over 90 years, Job’s Daughters has been actively promoting friendship and service. The organization was founded by Mrs. Ethel T. Wead Mick in Omaha, Nebraska. The group takes its name from the Book of Job, and in particular to a reference in the 42nd Chapter that says, “And in all the land were no women found so fair as the Daughters of Job.”
To be a member of Job’s Daughters is to be part of a group that promotes friendship among young women and confidence in themselves. As a member you will learn skills that will help you throughout your life. You will become part of an organization that serves the community. Most importantly, you will have fun.
DeMolay – the premier International youth leadership organization – strives to shape young men into leaders of character who hold themselves to a higher standard.
By epitomizing timeless values, and accepting the challenge of leadership – both of character and of action – the young men of DeMolay transform themselves into citizens of the highest caliber.
Each young man takes ownership of his DeMolay experience. From generating ideas, planning events, coordinating logistics, and executing their plans, each DeMolay Chapter is responsible for defining their success. All of this is accomplished under the mentorship of trained Advisors, selected from the local community, enabling each Chapter to be uniquely tailored to support the interests of its members.
In 1922, Rainbow was created for young women whose fathers were members of the Masonic Lodge, and their friends. Although a Christian minister named W. Mark Sexson founded the organization, today the leaders of Rainbow Girls respect and welcome all girls from every religion. Their main focus is more on the spiritual principles of being a kind and caring person. While the Rainbow practices and programs continue to evolve, the basic teachings of faith, hope, and charity remain a cornerstone of this dynamic girl’s youth group.
In addition, members and advisors work on different service projects throughout the year.
Since November of 1951, world headquarters for the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has been located in McAlester, Oklahoma. This magnificent building was constructed for Rainbow Girls and funded by Rainbow Girls. It represents what can be accomplished when girls are empowered with knowledge, enlightened by travel, and energized by their own inner spirit.