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York Rite

The York Rite is one of the two main branches of Freemasonry in the United States after the Blue Lodge, the other branch being the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Some obediences of the Scottish Rite may confer some of these degrees in countries where the York Rite is not active. The divisions within the York Rite and the requirements for membership differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the essentials are the same. In all the workings the one requirement is that all applicants be in possession of the third degree, that of Master Mason.

As in other Masonic bodies, the York Rite uses drama to demonstrate the lessons and special qualities of the degrees and has several various means of identification, such as grips or tokens (handshakes), signs and words.

The bodies of the York Rite are:

Table of contents
1 Royal Arch Masonry
2 Cryptic Masonry
3 Knights Templar
4 The York Rite Sovereign College
5 Knight of York
6 Order of the Red Cross of Constantine

Royal Arch Masonry

The Chapter works the following degrees:

Cryptic Masonry

The Council of Royal and Select Masters is not required for membership in the Commandery that follows, so it is frequently skipped. It is called Cryptic Masonry because a crypt or underground room figures prominently in the degrees. This Body is also called the Cryptic Rite. The degrees are:

Knights Templar

(This body is called a Commandery in the
United States and a Preceptory in Canada) It has has three orders:

The York Rite Sovereign College

An invitational Masonic body open to members who are members of all four York Rite Bodies and who have shown exceptional proficiency in them. The College confers only one degree:

Knight of York

The following is outside the system of degrees of the York Rite, but is considered closely allied to it.

Order of the Red Cross of Constantine

The Conclave is an invitational Masonic body open to members of York Rite Masonry and by special dispensation to Sublime Princes of the Royal Secret, Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite