33rd Degree Mason: The Pinnacle Of Freemasonry

Ever wonder what it takes to reach the pinnacle of Freemasonry? The 33rd Degree Mason is one of the most prestigious ranks in this historic fraternity.

In this informative piece, we’ll delve into what achieving this honor entails, shedding light on its significance, criteria, and associated rituals and symbols.

Let’s journey together through centuries-old traditions and unravel the esteemed path towards becoming a 33rd degree mason.

The Degrees of Freemasonry

The Degrees of Freemasonry include the Three Craft Degrees and the Scottish Rite Degrees, each with its own significance within the organization.

The Three Craft Degrees: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason

Freemasonry unfolds its teachings through a series of degrees, starting with the Three Craft Degrees. These encompass the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason ranks.

Freemasons initiate their journey as an Entered Apprentice where they learn key principles about morality and ethics symbolized by specific scriptural verses associated with this degree.

Their next level is also referred to as the Fellowcraft Degree which emphasizes intellectual advancement and knowledge acquisition in line with its symbolic verse.

Upon completion of this stage, members reach the highest rank in standard Masonic rites known as Master Mason Degree – a pinnacle that represents maturity and wisdom within Freemasonry hierarchy.

This hierarchical structure forms the foundation for further exploration into more advanced or honorary degrees like Scottish Rite’s 33rd degree if one chooses to venture beyond these initial Blue Lodge Degrees.

The Scottish Rite Degrees: The Lodge of Perfection, Council of Princes of Jerusalem, Chapter of Rose Croix

The Scottish Rite Degrees encompass an array of critical stages in the path of Freemasonry. The Lodge of Perfection controls degrees from the 4th through to the 14th, each symbolizing different aspects and teachings about virtues within Masonic bodies.

The Council of Princes of Jerusalem lends its association with the Scottish Rite, adding value to these degrees.

Mirroring this structure, the Chapter of Rose Croix monitors the significance behind the 15th degree, embodying moral codes and values intrinsic to Freemasonry. These integral local organizations provide a foundation for masonic studies while offering ample opportunity for growth and development within their system.

These three entities collectively form part of a total set under what is known as ‘The Degrees Of Freemasonry’ – an integral component shedding light on facets such as charity, truth, honor loyalty justice amongst others laid out by The Scottish Rite.

The Significance of the 33rd Degree in Freemasonry

33rd degree mason

Earning the 33rd degree in Freemasonry is an accolade of high honor, reserved only for those who bring exceptional dedication and service to the craft. It is a level associated with prestige and regard within the international fraternity.

The path to this achievement requires more than just membership; it calls for active participation, commitment to Masonic values and community service along with deep understanding of its philosophical underpinnings.

It represents the human head atop 33 vertebrae symbolizing wisdom, knowledge, and enlightenment – apt representations as these elite members are seen as pillars of leadership within the brotherhood.

They hold critical roles in governance making their influence pivotal within Freemasonry movement. This degree goes beyond simple recognition; it signifies a transformation from ordinary member to enlightened authority holding immense sway over the organizational direction.

With symbols like double-headed eagle representing power and cross alongside crown denoting victory through sacrifice tied to it, 33rd degree masons embody superior authority and influential capabilities within Freemasonic traditions.

Criteria for receiving the 33rd degree

Receiving the 33rd degree in Freemasonry is a high honor and is bestowed upon members who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the organization. The criteria for receiving this prestigious degree may vary depending on the jurisdiction but generally include:

  1. Outstanding Contributions: To be considered for the 33rd degree, a member must have made outstanding contributions to Freemasonry, embodying its principles and values.
  2. Meritorious Service: Members who have received the Meritorious Service Award in the Northern Jurisdiction are often eligible for consideration of the 33rd degree.
  3. Commitment to Freemasonry: Candidates for the 33rd degree must have consistently shown exceptional commitment to Freemasonry through active participation and leadership roles within their lodges or other Masonic bodies.
  4. High Moral Character: The 33rd degree is reserved for those who have displayed a high level of moral character, integrity, and adherence to the principles of Freemasonry.
  5. Length of Membership: In some jurisdictions, there may be a minimum requirement for length of membership before being considered for the 33rd degree.
  6. Nomination by Peers: Often, candidates for the 33rd degree are nominated by their peers or recognized leaders within Freemasonry as individuals who have made significant contributions to the organization.
  7. Approval by Supreme Council: Ultimately, approval for receiving the 33rd degree rests with the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, which carefully reviews each candidate’s qualifications and contributions before conferring this esteemed honor.

Meritorious Service Award

Famous 33rd Degree Masons

The Meritorious Service Award is a highly esteemed honor within the Masonic Rite, recognizing members who have achieved the 32nd degree or higher. This prestigious award, granted by a State Council of Deliberation, is reserved for individuals who have made exceptional contributions and demonstrated outstanding service to the Rite.

It is bestowed upon those who have shown remarkable dedication and commitment to the principles and values of Freemasonry.

This distinguished recognition acknowledges major contributions made by recipients not only within the Rite but also to society at large. The Meritorious Service Award symbolizes the positive impact these individuals have had on their communities, highlighting their significant role in advancing Freemasonry’s mission.

For Thirty-second Degree or Thirty-third Degree Masons in the Southern Jurisdiction, achieving the 33rd degree makes them eligible for this honor. In contrast, individuals in Northern Jurisdiction can receive both the 33rd degree and merit this award after fulfilling specific requirements set over a period of 46 months.

Receiving this award signifies an individual’s exemplary dedication and service while underscoring their invaluable role as pillars of their community. It stands as one of Freemasonry’s highest honors, showcasing not just accomplishments but also an unwavering commitment to bettering society through its principles and teachings.

33rd Degree Mason Symbols

The symbols associated with the 33rd degree Masons hold deep significance within the Masonic fraternity. Here are some key symbols to know:

  • The Patriarchal Cross: The symbol for the 33rd degree Mason is a red-slanting Patriarchal Cross, which represents Christ’s triumph over death and resurrection.
  • Double-headed Eagle: One prominent symbol associated with the 33rd Degree Masons is the double-headed eagle, representing the dual nature of human and divine. It symbolizes wisdom, strength, and dominion.
  • Square and Compass: The square and compass is the most common symbol in Masonry, used to represent Freemasons and Masonic lodges globally. It signifies morality, self-improvement, and discipline.
  • Scottish Rite Rings: Scottish Rite rings commonly feature symbols such as the number 32 (representing the 32nd degree), triangles (symbolizing balance), the Hebrew letter yod (representing God’s hand), and the square and compasses.
  • All-Seeing Eye: Another symbol often associated with Freemasonry is the All-Seeing Eye, also known as the Eye of Providence. It represents divine watchfulness, spiritual insight, and knowledge.
  • Pillars: In Masonic symbolism, pillars are often depicted as columns or pillars of wisdom, strength, and beauty. These pillars represent different aspects of life’s journey and moral principles.
  • Apron: The apron holds great importance in Masonic rituals and symbolism. It serves as a reminder to Freemasons of their commitment to virtue, integrity, and service to others.

33rd Degree Mason Ritual

The 33rd Degree Mason Ritual is an exclusive and highly revered ceremony that only those who have reached this esteemed rank can participate in. This ritual is shrouded in secrecy, as with many aspects of Freemasonry, and its details are carefully guarded by those who have been initiated into the 33rd degree.

During the ritual, members experience a powerful and symbolic ceremony that represents their ascent to the highest levels of Freemasonry. The ritual often involves elements such as sacred symbols, solemn oaths, and profound teachings that reflect the core values and principles of the Brotherhood.

One notable symbol within the 33rd Degree Mason Ritual is a delta with the number 33 at its center, written in Arabic numerals. This iconic symbol represents unity, strength, and enlightenment – key qualities embraced by individuals who have attained this distinguished degree.

It’s important to note that gaining access to these rituals requires dedication and commitment to Freemasonry. Only those who have demonstrated exceptional service to the Brotherhood and made significant contributions are considered for initiation into the prestigious ranks of 33rd degree Masons.

Overall, the 33rd Degree Mason Ritual holds immense significance within Freemasonry. It not only serves as a mark of achievement but also deepens one’s understanding of ancient wisdom while reinforcing timeless values shared among members.

How Much Does It Cost to Be a 33rd Degree Mason?

Becoming a 33rd Degree Mason in the Scottish Rite of Freemasonry is an honor that comes with both financial and personal commitments. While the exact cost may vary, it’s important to understand that membership fees are not solely based on financial means.

The path to attaining this prestigious degree involves years of dedication, study, and involvement within the Masonic community. It is a journey guided by moral and ethical principles rather than monetary contributions alone.

The focus is on character, commitment, and service to humanity rather than financial status. So while there are costs associated with progressing through the degrees of Freemasonry, it’s essential to remember that dedication and involvement play a more significant role in becoming a 33rd Degree Mason.


The 33rd degree mason is a highly esteemed honor within the Freemasonry community. It is bestowed upon individuals who have demonstrated exceptional dedication and service to the Brotherhood, as well as achieved remarkable professional and personal accomplishments.

As part of the Scottish Rite, these masons possess advanced knowledge and understanding of Freemasonry’s teachings, making them pillars of leadership and distinction within the organization.


A 33rd degree Mason is an honorary title given to individuals who have reached the highest level of achievement within Freemasonry. It is not a rank, but rather a recognition of their dedication and contributions to the fraternity.

To become a 33rd degree Mason, one must first join Freemasonry and progress through the various degrees from Entered Apprentice to Master Mason. The process for attaining the 33rd degree involves nomination by other members and approval by the Supreme Council of the Scottish Rite, which oversees this level of Freemasonry.

Being awarded the honor of being a 33rd degree Mason signifies that an individual has demonstrated exceptional commitment, knowledge, and service to Freemasonry. It often signifies leadership qualities within the organization and may involve further responsibilities in guiding and mentoring other members.

While there may be some unique events or ceremonies associated with being a 33rd degree Mason, there are no inherent privileges or benefits granted solely based on this honorary title. The true value lies in the personal growth, self-improvement, and fellowship experienced through participation in Freemasonry at all levels.