Sunday, May 31, 2009

Happy 208th Birthday to the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry

On May 31, 1801, a group of Freemasons met in Charleston, South Carolina, and opened "the Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree for the United States of America ... agreeably to the Grand Constitutions." This body was the first Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree in the world, and is sometimes known as the Mother Supreme Council of the World. It exists today as The Supreme Council, 33rd Degree, Southern Jurisdiction. This date, then, marks the birth of what is known today as the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry.

I invite you to read my remarks upon entering the Rite in the Spring 2007 class of the Valley of Orlando, Orient of Florida, as they appeared in the July-August 2007 issue of The Scottish Rite Journal.

I am very glad to be a member of the Rite. I invite my other Scottish Rite brethren to reflect today on the meaning of their involvement in the Rite, 'the university of Freemasonry.'

(For more on the history and symbolism of the Scottish Rite, I recommend the superb book edited by Arturo de Hoyos, Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, which has just been issued in a second edition, revised and enlarged. The illustration above is from this volume.)