top of page

What is the Scottish Rite?

Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite is one the of the branches of Freemasonry continuing in the tradition of "Making Good Men, Better".  Providing it's members: Inspiration, Convenience, Enjoyment!

The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States often omits the and), commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In the Scottish Rite the central authority is called a Supreme Council. 

Continue reading...

Why Scottish Rite?

One of the best things about Freemasonry is that you can expand upon your knowledge of Freemasonry.  You took the necessary steps to become a Master Mason.  You earned the right to become a part of the oldest and greatest fraternal organization in the world.  You may approach a 32° Scottish Rite Mason to take the next step into the Scottish Rite.  Or he may approach you to suggest that you continue your Masonic journey, which should be a never-ending path.  There is always room for improvement in our lives. Although there is no higher degree than that of Master Mason, the 29 degrees of the Scottish Rite serve to enrich the philosophy of the Symbolic Lodge.  A Mason who chooses to further his Masonic experience by becoming a 32° Scottish Rite Mason will be expanding upon the fundamental principles of Freemasonry.  The moral and ethical lessons will allow him to be constantly reminded of his duty to God, family, country and fellow man.

How Long Will It Take?

A Master Mason may become a 32° Scottish Rite Mason in one or two day reunion, held in the Spring and Fall each year.  Each degree requires elaborate stage preparation, so not every degree is presented in full form during a degree-conferring session (reunion).  The lessons for degrees not performed are summarized for the candidates.  Every 32° Scottish Rite Mason should strive to witness in future years as many degree presentations as possible.  Each degree is performed at least once within a six-year period.

Is Memorization Required?

A candidate is not required to commit the Scottish Rite degrees, signs, passwords, tokens or grips to memory. No examinations are given either during the degree work nor for admission to the meetings of other Valleys.



Scottish Rite Bodies

The Ineffable Degrees of the Lodge of Perfection

The Lodge of Perfection confers the Ineffable Degrees, from the 4th to the 14th inclusive.  They are called “Ineffable” because they are concerned with the ineffable or unutterable Name of God and with man’s eager quest for the true Name.  The candidate will observe many references, scenes and characters which recall and amplify the three Symbolic degrees.  In formal ritual and in drama, ten of these degrees, based upon Old Testament Scripture and legends from the era of King Solomon, elaborate the teachings of Symbolic Masonry and apply them to practical situations which are faced in everyday life.  The Fourteenth Degree summarizes what has been taught and is a moral and philosophical climax.

    4° - Master Traveler – Here is the introduction to Scottish Rite Masonry.  This degree provides us with a preview of the moral truths we shall witness on our journey through the Scottish Rite.

    5° - Perfect Master – This degree teaches us that selfish thoughts and unworthy ambitions will corrupt and destroy a man.


    6° - Master of the Brazen Serpent – We learn from this degree that we must have faith in ourselves, faith is each other, and faith in God.

    7° - Provost & Judge – Justice should be impartial and tempered with mercy.  This degree teaches us that we should not judge hastily.

    8° - Intendant of the Building – We are reminded in this degree that each new honor is a step toward moral perfection.  Each honor earned requires attention to a particular duty.

    9° - Master of the Temple – The message of this degree is that mutual belief in a Supreme Being should bind all men together in a worldwide brotherhood.

    10° - Master Elect – We learn in this degree that a person who violates his obligations, regardless of his station in life, will not go unpunished.

    11° - Sublime Master Elected – This degree dramatizes the importance of good citizenship, that honesty and respect for others should be rewarded.

    12° - Master of Mercy – Exemplified in this degree is the quality of forgiveness, not just to forego the opportunity for revenge, but to cease to feel enmity or resentment toward the transgressor.

    13° - Master of the Ninth Arch – This degree teaches us that difficulties and dangers, however great, should not deter us from progressing toward moral and ethical improvement.

    14° - Grand Elect Mason – As the summit of Ancient Craft Masonry, this degree impresses us with the holiness of God and the reverence due His Holy Name.


The Historical Degrees of the Council of Princes of Jerusalem

The Council of Princes of Jerusalem confers the 15° and 16°, which teach lessons using the settings based on the Babylonian captivity of the Hebrews and the building of the second Temple.

    15° - Knight of the East – This lesson of this degree emphasizes the importance of loyalty to our beliefs and fidelity to an obligation.

    16° - Prince of Jerusalem – This degree exemplifies fidelity to duty and devotion to truth.


The Philosophical Degrees of the Chapter of Rose Croix

The chapter of Rose Croix confers two Philosophical Degrees and is the spiritual heart of the Scottish Rite.  The historical setting of these degrees is within the Christian era but without any prescribed date.  These degrees teach that the only lasting Temple is in the soul of man.  Their message is universal; their fellowship may include all men who believe in one Supreme Being whatever their nation, race or creed.

    17° - Knight of the East and West – We learn from this degree that we must seek truth in our way of life and that we should learn from and avoid repeating the errors of the past.

    18° - Knight of the Rose Croix of H.R.D.M. – The message of this degree reveals the new law of love.  We should prepare a Temple in our heart, where God is worshiped.


The Chivalric Degrees of the Consistory

The Consistory confers the 19° - 32°.  These lessons portray many memorable lessons that range in settings from the days of chivalry through the 20th century.  Each Degree dramatized its own unique and independent message and applies it to a familiar life situation.

    19° - Brothers of the Trail – This degree dramatizes the perennial conflict between good and evil that will end in the triumph of righteousness and peace in the hearts of men.

    20° - Master ad Vitam – In this degree we learn that the challenge of disloyalty and treason must be confronted.  We should condemn all who conspire against the security of the nation and the happiness of its people.

    21° - Patriarch Noachite – This degree teaches that Freemasonry is not a shield for wrongdoing and that justice is one of the pillars of our fraternity.

    22° - Prince of Libanus – The dignity of honest labor, the nobility of work and the disgrace of idleness is the subject of this degree.

    23° - Knight of Valor – This degree teaches that impure thoughts and selfish, unworthy ambitions are corrupting and destructive, and that a man who forgets his duty to family, country, and God will be morally and spiritually destroyed.

    24° - Brother of the Forest – In this degree we discover that a Scottish Rite Mason should not judge any man by his race or by anything except his own acts.

    25° - Master of Achievement – Dramatizing events in the life of Brother Benjamin Franklin, this degree shows us that an industrious life benefits not only ourselves but also humanity.

    26° - Friend and Brother Eternal – From a true incident during the American Civil War we learn that partisan strife does not dissolve our Masonic obligations and that the virtues of brotherhood give rise to good citizenship.

    27° - Knight of Jerusalem – The lesson of this degree illustrates the importance of a free church in a free state, each cooperating toward the common good.

    28° - Knight of the Sun – Reminding us that Freemasonry provides a meaningful moral philosophy, this degree points out the importance of overcoming the vices and superfluities of everyday life.

    29° - Knight of St. Andrew – This degree emphasizes the Masonic teachings of equality and toleration.

    30° - Grand Inspector – This degree teaches us to be attentive, impartial, and equitable in judging others.

    31° - My Brother's Keeper– In this degree we learn of lessons found in the Old Testament and a parable in the New Testament. It dramatically exemplifies two of the Scottish Rite Core Values; Integrity, and Service.

    32° - Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret – As the culmination of Scottish Rite Masonry, this degree celebrates the triumph of individual integrity and our obligation to serve humanity.



The Cathedral Foundation

In 1924, Illustrious Brother John S. Wallace wanted to build a Masonic Temple large enough for all Masonic groups to meet. Today, the Cathedral is still used as a Masonic Temple, as well as a public Banquet Facility and a 2,800 seat Auditorium. Perfectly overlooking downtown New Castle, Pennsylvania –  the Scottish Rite Cathedral is one of the area’s most beautiful historic buildings.


 Learn more about the Cathedral Foundation

Children's Dyslexia Center of Western PA

A Scottish Rite Charity, 32° Freemasons Helping Children

Reading and writing are two of the most critical skills we can teach our children. Children with Dyslexia have difficulty with these skills. Our mission... to help children learn to read and write.


Learn more about the Children's Dyslexia Center of Western PA

bottom of page