About the York Rite

The York Rite is a series of progressive degrees in the diaspora of Freemasonry that are expressed through Capitular, Cryptic and Chivalric forms. Each form has a unique significance as explained in the degrees which relate to the specific designation. The degrees themselves are categorized accordingly:

HOLY ROYAL ARCH MASONS (Capitular Degrees)
  • Mark Master
  • Past Master
  • Most Excellent Master
  • Royal Arch Mason

Royal Arch Masons meet in Chapters. All Master Masons are eligible for membership. Each Chapter is presided over by an Excellent High Priest.


ROYAL AND SELECT MASTERS (Cryptic Degrees)
  • Royal Master
  • Select Master
  • Super Excellent Master

Royal and Select Masters meet in Councils. None may become Royal and Select Masters without first becoming Royal Arch Masons. A Council is presided over by a Thrice Illustrious Master.


KNIGHTS TEMPLAR (Chivalric Degrees)
  • Order of the Red Cross
  • Order of the Knights of Malta
  • Order of the Temple

Knights Templar meet in Commanderies. None may become Kinghts Templar without first becoming Royal Arch Masons and Royal and Select Masters. A Commandery is presided over by an Eminent Commander.


KNIGHTS OF THE YORK CROSS OF HONOR (Honorary)

The Knights of the York Cross of Honor is a designation to honor members who not only were elected and have served as the head of a Chapter, Council and Commandery but also have served as Worshipful Master of a subrodinate Lodge.

Knights of the York Cross of Honor meet in Priories. One is eligible for membership if he is:

  • An actual Past Master of a Masonic Lodge
  • A Past Excellent High Priest of a Chapter
  • A Past Thrice Illustrious Master of a Council
  • A Past Eminent Commander of a Commandery

One must be elected by Knights of the York Cross of Honor to join its ranks. A Priory is presided over by an Eminent Prior.