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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-01 > 0884906782

From: <>
Subject: Re: Scotch-Irish-D Digest V98 #26
Date: Thu, 15 Jan 1998 18:26:22 -0500

Robert Perry wrote:
> These sound to me like Masonic Orders. Today, the Order of The Eastern
> Star is for wives of Masons. I've seen references in old obituaries to
> "The Scotish Rite" though I don't remember the word "consitory" used
> with it. It referred to some rankor degree within the Masonic Order.
> Perhaps someone knowledgable about Masonic Orders will comment.
> Robert Perry
> Date:
> Wed, 14 Jan 1998 22:48:13 EST
> From:
> Sheeeeesh <>
> To:
> ,
> Hello all,
> I recently found my great grandfather's obit and it says the following:
> "He
> was a member of the Lincoln, (Nebraska) Consistory of Scottish Rite and
> a
> charter member of the Eastern Star of Friend (Nebraska)."
> Can anyone tell me the "qualifications" for someone to become a member
> of the
> Consistory of Scottish Rite?As a FreeMason of long standing I will tell you what little I know as Masonry is a
lifelong search.

There are two distinct but overlapping branches of Masonry today; the American or Blue
Lodge and the Scottish Rite.

Freemasonry is a fraternal, benevolent and educational order. It teaches the practice
of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Its members believe in the Fatherhood of God and
the Brotherhod of Man. It is a system of morality based on the Sacred Law. Its
activity is paralleled to the OPERATIVE masons of old who, being itinerant builders of
the great cathedrals of Europe (and similar groups throughout the world,) gathered
together for friendship and to improve themselves in their crafts. We as SPECULATIVE
Masons, i.e. imitative of the masons of old, use the common sense approaches and
principles to be better citizens, fathers and employees. We are not a secret society
(or you would not know of me !) but rather a society of secrets. Many groups have
secrets but we seem to get all the attention for some unknown reason????

Speculative Masons grew in number until the year 1773 when the Grand Lodge of England
appointed a Provincial Grand Master in New England and the first lodge in North America
was formed in Boston on 30 July 1733. We now comprise men in every state and territory
and there are 16,000 lodges and 4,000,000 men. There are Grand Lodges in every state,
usually in or near the state capitol and act in an administrative function.

Our sisterhood is known as the Order of the Eastern Star and is run independent of
Masonic groups. Men are also allowed to belong and is a great group to join for
husbands and wives. There is the Order of DeMolay for young men and many other groups
for women, girls and combinations thereof. Our "fun group" who are very active in
childrens hospitals, burn units are probably the most well known to you as the Shriners.

The American Rite is what we in the US initially join. The generally understood term of
"being a Mason" is the third degree. All the other degrees are supplemental and afford
for more understanding of our responsibilities to God, family and country.

The Scottish Rite parallels the American Rite and after the third degree you can
continue with the American Rite and/or the Scottish Rite. In the Scottish Rite they
continue to use the numbering system and I think everyone has heard the term 32nd Degree
Mason, which is the end of the system. There is also the 33rd degree which is
an honorary degree given to Masons who have exemplified the craft through their
activities and their way of living. The great comedian who just died, Red Shelton, was
a 33rd degree Mason. He was a clown who devoted time to charity and never dishonored
himself or his fraternity.

I have several degrees and award and certifications but none is as rewarding to me as
being a Mason. If there are more questions, drop me a line.

Many of our Presidents have been FreeMasons. Most of the signers of the Declaration of
Independence were Masons. The last President that was a Mason was Gerald Ford and he is
still active in our fraternity.

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