Rituals

Rituals

A Rite is a very precise initiation structure, chiseled over the centuries by wise initiates and which aims to help the mason to develop on all levels, moral, ethical, social, but above all spiritual. Achieving what the Greeks called with Socrates and Plato "the state of wisdom", what Christians call "enlightenment", what the Japanese call "the Satori", what Hindus call "spiritual realization", is the primary and fundamental goal of all Masonry, even if some tend to forget – or forget outright this last point, confusing "religion" and "spirituality" , or confusing "clericalism" with "religion
." All Freemasons, however, being fundamentally free and tolerant men, consider themselves brothers and accept that each cultivates his own convictions and follows his own spiritual path. Freemasons are, in essence, opposed to any dogmatism, whatever it may be. It is understandable that we cannot go into the initiation details here.

Our obedience allows the practice of the following rituals:

  • The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite
  • The French Rite
  • The Scottish Rite Rectified
  • The Rite Emulation.
  • The Rite Menphis Misraïm
  • The Rite of York
  • The Primitive Scottish Rite
  • The Rite Standard of Scotland

THE ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED SCOTTISH RITE

This Rite is from the Rite of Perfection with 25 grades. It was converted into a rite of 30 high grades in addition to the first three symbolic ranks by the Supreme Council of Charleston (South Carolina 1801) attended by a Frenchman: Alexandre de Grasse-Tilly. The latter, who returned to France in 1804, installed the Supreme Council of France in Paris.

This rite of high grades then spread, especially in America and Europe. The Supreme Council of France had to define for its own obedience rituals to the first three ranks, the other obediences practicing this rite had to be inspired by it. The high-grades refer to the texts of the Old and New Testaments. This Rite defends itself from being focused on the religious tendency it represents: its symbolism and esotericism studied regularly and gradually bring the Freemason material to enrich his personal development.

THE FRENCH RITE

The French Rit has its origins in the introduction of Freemasonry in France around 1720, thanks to British immigration due to political and religious reasons.

It is based on the fundamental texts of the island lodges, particularly Scottish, dating from the 17th century and takes into account the contributions of its development in France during the 18th century up to the regulatory texts and the French Rite known as Moderne, born in 1783, with which it cannot be confused.

The names "French Rite" and "Modern Rite" are late and do not appear until the end of the 17th century. Its foundations and rituals are very similar to those of the French Rite called "Traditional" fixed in the twentieth century: from the same sources they come from the same spirit.

True to the original conception of speculative Freemasonry that animates it, it is the Grand Chapter of the Sovereign Princes Rose-Cross of the French Rit that manages the French Regime.

The ritual structure consists of
the symbolic lodges known as St. John's, which work in the first three grades or degrees of Apprentice, Companion and Master.-
of Sovereign Chapters that work in the corpus of the ranks of wisdom :Pinc
ipally: Elected Master, Father of the Scots, Knight of the East, Sovereign Prince of Rose-Cross.

THE SCOTTISH RITE RECTIFIED

The Scottish Rite, rectified in its present form, was born in Lyon in 1778, where it was attached to the "National Convent of The Gauls".

It is based on the continuity of the French Freemasonry of the 18th century, it comes from what is called the "Masonry of the Moderns", in contrast to the "Masonry of the Ancients" comprising it, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and the English Rite emulation style.

Other components will be added, with a doctrine referring to the teachings of Martinez de Pasqually as well as the influence of Louis-Claude de Saint Martin who are with Jean-Baptiste Willermoz considered the "Spiritual Fathers" of the Rite. These multiple components and his Christian esotericism make him appear to be difficult to approach.

The R.E.R., one of the oldest Masonic rites, forms a complete system and thus constitutes a real progression in the initiation process. Built in the form of a Masonic Regime, the system is complemented by a chivalrous dimension, which takes place in its Interior Order inspired by the ancient medieval chivalry in the Military and Religious Orders.

The concept of regime corresponds to the Order in its structural organization, which is based on staggered rites that concern the ritual practice itself. The ensemble was definitively approved and its rituals formalized at the Wilhelmsbad Convent in 1782, four years after its birth. Little and often little known, he has known for half a century a growing interest.

In our time, in practice the first three "blue" ranks are under the dependence of the Grand Lodges, while the fourth rank "green" depends on the great national and independent Priories of the Order of the Benevolent Knights of the Holy City.

This administrative division, however, does not prevent the continuity of content from the first to the fourth rank for the simple reason that their rituals were written by a single man, J-B. Willermoz, 1778-1809. From there comes the specific character to the rectified, that each degree completes the previous degree and announces the next in perfect coherence of the whole.

Among the principles he advocates and found throughout traditional Freemasonry, Benevolence is essentially affirmed.

THE RITE EMULATION

The Great United Lodge of England, born in 1813 from the merger of the two great English lodges, often rival, (Moderns of 1717 and Antients of 1751) charged one of its lodges the Emulation of Lodge Improvement, to unify the ritual practices of these two origins.

At first, the ritual remained in the old oral tradition and it was only in the 19th century that printed texts were tolerated. However, orality remains a rule of the rite. The texts, not being read, are said in a theatrical form accompanied by a precise gesture. The learning of the "by heart" is then considered to be a fruitful method to assimilate and discover the hidden meaning of the ritual, that is to say to progress on the path of initiation.

This Anglo-Saxon rite is accompanied by a side degree, that of the masonry of the Royal Arch. While considered to be a higher rank than Master, he finds himself in the position of a high-grade in relation to the Emulation rite. His Chapter is therefore called to welcome Freemasons holding the Mastery of the rite emulation.

THE MEMPHIS RITE

Prior to 1721, when it was first mentioned, the so-called "Narbonne" Rite existed in Narbonne.

He was the heir to two currents from the Egyptian and Rosicrucian past. Egyptian by the "Order of African Architects" (taken here in the sense of Egyptian) and Rosicrucian by the "Brothers of the Golden Cross Rose" (or Asia: actually EASIE which were the initials of 'Eques A Sancti Johann evangelists').

This Rite had almost disappeared when in 1779 it was restored to its primitive vigour by the Marquis of Chiefdebian on the model of the Philaleth rite and it took the name of The Primitive Rite of the Philales or The Primitive Rite of Narbonne.

In 1798, officers of Bonaparte's army, all members of the Grand Orient of France and followers of the Narbonne Rite, on a mission to Egypt, came into contact with Sufism initiates and the Druze Initiation Colleges of Lebanon.

They decided to renounce the parentage of the Great Lodge of England and create a new Rite. Thus was born the Lodge "The Disciples of Memphis" in Cairo, following the tradition of the Narbonne Rite.

Samuel Honis, initiated at this Lodge, returned to France in 1814 and settled in Montauban on 23 May 1815 a subsidiary of the Lodge "The Disciples of Memphis" which became the Mother-Loge of the Rite of Memphis.

January 21, 1816: NEGRE MARCONIS is elected Grand Hierophant.

March 23, 1838: Creation in Paris of the "OSIRIS" Lodge.

May 21, 1838: Creation in Brussels of the "The BIENFAISANCE" Lodge.

June 17, 1841: Prohibition by the Prefect of Police of Paris following a denunciation for republican conduct.

March 5, 1848: Authorization to resume work.

Grand National Lodges were established in various countries, including Romania, the United States of America, Egypt, Australia and England, where it was officially installed at Free Mason's Hall in London on June 4, 1872.

THE RITE OF MISRAïM

This Rite appeared (or rather reappeared) in Venice in 1788. It is therefore one of the oldest in France. A group of Socinians (anti-trinitarian Protestant sect) received from Cagliostro a constitutional patent. He conferred on them the first three ranks of Freemasonry, which he himself regularly held in the Great United Lodge of England. He also awarded them the High Grades of German Templar Masonry, which he also held as regularly.

The Rite quickly spread to Italy and appeared in France with the Bédarride brothers who, from 1810 to 1813, successfully developed this Rite, almost under the protection of the Scottish Rite. The Rite of Misraim has close ties with the Carbonarii, of which it becomes a nursery and refuge. Fifty Lodges are created in the Netherlands, France and Switzerland.

In 1818, the General Statutes of the Order of Misraim for the Netherlands were published in Brussels. There were already lodges, notably in Antwerp, Mons, Courtrai and Brussels.

In 1829, the Rite was introduced in Scotland and Ireland.

In 1822 he was denounced to the police as "Enemy of the State, the Altar and the Throne", but the police were unable to ban him.

On 18 January 1823, however, a search of Brother Vehrnes' home in Montpellier uncovered violently anti-clerical documents and the Rite was banned.

It resumed operations in 1838. it was again banned in 1841 and finally restored in 1848.

THE MEMPHIS-MISRAÏM RITE

Shortly after its installation in England (June 4, 1872), the Grand Lodge of Memphis of that country appointed General Garibaldi an honorary member and relations were immediately established with the Supreme Scottish Council of Sicily and the Great East of Egypt.

On October 26, 1876, the Grand Orient National of Egypt (Rite of Memphis) gave the illustrious Brother Garibaldi the title of Grand Master ad vitam. It was under his Great Mastery in 1881, after much discussion, that the Rites of Memphis and Misraim, who had the same High Dignitaries in most countries, merged. This merger was formalized in Naples in 1899 and took the name of "Ancient and Primitive Eastern Rite of Memphis-Misraim". Garibaldi was often referred to as "a true citizen of the world" and defined as the "Knight of Humanity". He was above all a "gatherer" esteemed for his sincere selflessness, integrity and courage. He had a great dream: "The United States of Europe." He advocated unity among men and was convinced of the need to fight "for humanity and freedom in general".

An irreducible opponent of the Roman Church, he called for the separation of church and state. He wanted to introduce compulsory, free and secular education by abolishing religious congregations; however, he rejected atheism, indifference and "miserable materialism". Victor Hugo wrote of him: "Garibaldi, what is Garibaldi? He's a man, nothing more. But a man in all the sublime meaning of the word. A man of freedom, a man of humanity."

It should also be noted, for the history of the Rite, that in 1925, as a result of the political situation and the attitude of the Fascist government, the Rite went to sleep in Italy.

During the 40-45 war, the Serene Past Grand World Master of Honour Robert Ambelain, continued to operate the "Alexandria of Egypt" Lodge clandestinely at home throughout the war.

Like other Obediences, the Order of Memphis-Misraim also had to pay its tribute. Thus, on 26 March 1944, Constant Chevillon, Serene Grand Master of France, was murdered with a machine gun by the Vichy militia.

On April 20, 1945, Brother Georges Delaive, Serene Grand Master of Belgium, died decapitated with an axe in the courtyard of Brunswick prison. Other Masons also died in the camps, victims of both their Masonic ideal and patriotism.

Thanks to these Illustrious Masons and the current Grand Masters, the Memphis-Misraïm Rite perpetuates its traditions of fidelity to the principles of brotherhood and initiation sciences.

Currently the rite is present in several obediences. And many of our brothers dream of re-joining what has been dispersed…

He was the heir to two currents from the Egyptian and Rosicrucian past. Egyptian by the "Order of African Architects" (taken here in the sense of Egyptian) and Rosicrucian by the "Brothers of the Golden Cross Rose" (or Asia: actually EASIE which were the initials of 'Eques A Sancti Johann evangelists').

This Rite had almost disappeared when in 1779 it was restored to its primitive vigour by the Marquis of Chiefdebian on the model of the Philaleth rite and it took the name of The Primitive Rite of the Philales or The Primitive Rite of Narbonne.

In 1798, officers of Bonaparte's army, all members of the Grand Orient of France and followers of the Narbonne Rite, on a mission to Egypt, came into contact with Sufism initiates and the Druze Initiation Colleges of Lebanon.

They decided to renounce the parentage of the Great Lodge of England and create a new Rite. Thus was born the Lodge "The Disciples of Memphis" in Cairo, following the tradition of the Narbonne Rite.

Samuel Honis, initiated at this Lodge, returned to France in 1814 and settled in Montauban on 23 May 1815 a subsidiary of the Lodge "The Disciples of Memphis" which became the Mother-Loge of the Rite of Memphis.

January 21, 1816: NEGRE MARCONIS is elected Grand Hierophant.

March 23, 1838: Creation in Paris of the "OSIRIS" Lodge.

May 21, 1838: Creation in Brussels of the "The BIENFAISANCE" Lodge.

June 17, 1841: Prohibition by the Prefect of Police of Paris following a denunciation for republican conduct.

March 5, 1848: Authorization to resume work. Grand National Lodges were established in various countries, including Romania, the United States of America, Egypt, Australia and England, where it was officially installed at Free Mason's Hall in London on June 4, 1872.

THE RITE OF YORK

The development of the York rite coincided with the expansion of the Great Lodge of the Ancients at the beginning of the 18th century. More "christian", this ritual practice will even be defended by Laurence Dermott in his Ahiman Rezon.

Although the Rite of York was its genesis in Scotland, it was the Irish Freemasons who helped export it to North America in the 18th and early 19th centuries.

It takes its name of American rite by distinction with the emulation rite that is codified when the lodges of the Ancients and Moderns unite in 1813. The United States, absent from the union between these two conceptions of Freemasonry that emerged in Great Britain, thus retains all the originality and authenticity of this rite.

It is not uncommon in the United States for the York rite to be performed in tandem with the ancient and accepted Scottish rite. This encouraged the creation in 1957 in Detroit of the York Rite College in order to defend and promote this rite.

The rite of York relies particularly on the Bible and even more on the Old Testament. The order sign is always preceded by the phrase "God Keep." The initiation process, from the blue lodges to the degree of Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine, contained in the rite of York, is for the Freemason to pass from the Temple of Solomon (of the Old Testament) which he rebuilt by receiving the gnosis for a Temple of the more Christian scope pursued by the Commanderies.

The Rite of York is divided into 14 degrees grouped into 5 categories:

– First category – Blue Lodges: 1. Apprentice, 2. Companion, 3. Master.

– Second category – Chapters and Royal Arch: 4. Master of the brand, 5. Past master of the brand, 6. Very excellent master, 7. Mason of the Royal Ark. T
he rituals of the Royal Ark are said to have been codified in 1797 at Bosto
n.Il takes its symbolism on the Ark of the Covenant contained in the Temple of Solomon.

– Third category – Advice and Cryptic Masons: 8. Royal Master, 9. Master select, 10. Super excellent mast
er. The Council's rituals are much more modern. They are believed to have been codified at the beginning of the 19th century. A council that completes the degrees of the chapter under the mythological reference of the crypts of the Temple of Solomon.

– Fourth category – Commanderies and Knights of the Temple: 11. Knight of the Red Cross, 12. Knight of Malta, 13. Knight of the Templ
e.The Commanderies have a more Christian dimension than the Chapters or the Council. They go from solomon's Temple to the Templar Orders.

– Fifth category – Large camps: 14. Knight of the Constantine Red Cross.