Masonic Bodies. What Are They?
Masonic bodies comprise several groups such as lodges, chapters, councils, commanderies, and consistories. These, in turn, construct the fraternity of Freemasonry, also called Free and Accepted Masons” which are regulated by private groups of members.
The functional Masonic body is the Masonic Lodge that grants the first three degrees in Masonry, being that of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Being the operational body, Masonic Lodge alone can make a mason.
Read more: What Is The Master Mason Degree?
Usually, Master Mason is considered to be the highest degree but the affiliation of various other organizations with Free Masonry enable the Free Masons and non- Masons pursue their goals, the latter having some relation to a Master Mason, for instance, Order of the Eastern Star, International Order of Job’s Daughters and the Order of the Amaranth.
The Order of DeMolay and the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls provides a sigh of relief to the non-masons having said that the applicant is not required to be obliged to a Master Mason. Leesburg Lodge No. 58 finds itself immensely grateful to mention that its members have acquired Masonic education through willing participation in one of several Masonic appendant and concordant bodies.
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The term York Rite adheres to the collection of Masonic degrees, particularly in the United States of America. Having its name derived from the city of York, it is considered that the first meetings of Masons in England took place. A Master Mason may follow one of the two main branches of Masonic Appendant Bodies in United States Freemasonry to expand his knowledge of Freemasonry. Keeping the essentials same, the divisions and the requirements for membership vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
Moving on, the subsequent branch of Freemasonry in the United States is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Here, the demand for the possession of Master Mason’s degree is still upheld.
As per defined, a Rite is a series of progressive degrees that are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies under the supervision of its own central authority. In this stance, the Supreme Council is the central authority in the Scottish Rite. The thirty degrees of the Scottish Rite are bestowed by competent authorities and controlling bodies.
The Craft Lodge presents the Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges generally work under the dominion of Grand lodges and not the Scottish Rite. This Rite provides Master Mason with an opportunity to expand his observation more in-depth to the principles of Freemasonry.
Though Scottish Rite is unrecognized in terms of its official channelization in England, a Freemason is absolutely free to shake hands irrespective of the prescription by Grand lodge. Contrary to England, the United States let the mason avail extensive learning opportunity and the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges.
The aim of the Rite is to provide ethical teachings upon which it laid its foundation and the prospering philosophy carried in the craft lodge, or the Blue Lodge, through the presentation of individual degrees.
Order of The Eastern Star
This fraternal organization cordially welcomes both men and women around the globe. The founding year 1850 blessed Rob Morris, a lawyer, and educator from Boston, Massachusetts who remained an official with the Freemasons.
The organization set its stone on Biblical teachings and surprisingly, offers providence to all monotheistic faiths. Having almost 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and almost one million members under its General Grand Chapter.
The age limit is 18 for the members of the Order, with the requirement that men must be Master Masons and women must have a particular kinship with Masons. She is required to be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a Master Mason. Thankfully, the Order has now permitted conjoined relatives as well as Rainbow Girls, Triangle Girls, and Job’s Daughters to become members when they approach the required age.
Order of Amaranth
In 1873, the Order of the Amaranth was founded as a Masonic-affiliated women’s organization.
The criteria for the membership remains the same as in the Order of the Eastern Star that men must be Master Masons and women must have a particular kinship with Masons. She is required to be the daughter, widow, wife, niece, aunt sister, or mother of a Master Mason. She must be recommended by a Master Mason. Another important requirement is that she has had been an active member of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls or Job’s Daughters International for more than three years.
Basically, the Order of the Amaranth was devised by Queen Christina of Sweden’s court for the ladies and knights of her prestigious court. The idea then captured the attention of James B. Taylor of Newark, New Jersey, to create a fraternal society.
The members of the Order are strongly motivated to be mindful of their obedience to God, state, and humanity. They need to acquire belief in the Golden rule and be exceptionally motivated by truth, wisdom, faith, and have an open heart for charity so that virtue is not confined to an individual but promoted to the entire humanity.
Due to this tremendous performance, it is regulated at the State level where primary functions are operative by the Supreme Council. There are titles for the honorable women as the Honored Lady and Sir Knight for the respectable men.
Tall Cedars of Lebanon
Among the various appendant bodies of Freemasonry, The Tall Cedars of Lebanon of North America opens its gate for the Master Masons in a regular Masonic Lodge. Like the Shriners, Tall Cedarism is devoted to social goodness and fellowship.
In sharp contrast to the York Rite and Scottish Rite, this is more of a social body with the motto, “Fun, Frolic, & Fellowship”. The trio clearly represents the social motive for the betterment of the State having hand in hand. Remember something unique about the Shriners? Yes, the Hats. The pyramid-shaped hats Cedarians wear at their functions make them distinctive too.
Order Of The DeMolay
Order of DeMolay is a Masonic-sponsored international organization for young men ages 12-21 that focuses on developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility, and leadership skills. It focuses on improving personal as well as professional skills.
It currently counts 36,000 members in the US and Canada and also few others globally. Freemasonry aided in building DeMolay, though, not in a direct connection but a closer one.
Unlike Rainbow Girls, a young man needs no familial tie to embrace DeMolay. Adult men and women are categorically advisors who strive for mentoring active members.
Therefore, an advisor is referred to as ‘Dad Smith’ instead of ‘Mr. Smith’, in respect of Frank Land and his fatherly role to the founding members.
The exquisiteness of the organization relies upon seven cardinal virtues namely, Filial love (love between a parent and child), Reverence for sacred things, Courtesy, Comradeship, Fidelity, Cleanness, and last but not least, Patriotism.
Job’s Daughters International
Who does not admire goodwill? Certainly, everybody does. Sponsored for girls age 10 to 20 years, Jobies or the Job’s Daughters International (JDI) paves the way to multi-cultures and opted religions.
With all the Biblical commandments, the organization attempts to knit its loops with other ethnicities as well. The individual chapter is called a Bethel, and each is ordered chronologically according to when they were instituted in their jurisdiction. They usually meet at a Masonic Lodge and the session is complemented as Bethel room.
Ancient Arabic Order of The Nobles of The Mystic Shrine (Shriners)
Shriners International strives to ensure the highest quality care to children with neuromusculoskeletal conditions, burn injuries, and other special healthcare needs within a peaceful and friendly environment.
It also aims to train physicians and healthcare professionals at their best in order to make them beneficial members of the organization.
The research work is also carried out to explore newer techniques so to improve the standards of life and quality of health care.
This mission is carried out without regard to race, color, creed, sex or sect, disability, national origin, or the ability of a patient or family to pay. There are around 375,000 members from 191 chapters in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and the Republic of Panama.
Until now, the organization has improved the lives of more than 865,000 children, suffering from pediatric issues.
Read more: Who are the Shriners?
Back in 1889, the Grotto was founded for fellowship and fun. Exactly on June 13, 1890, the former “Fairchild Deviltry Committee” duly established and formed the Supreme Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm.
Its purpose was to nourish greater measure to the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an impetus of royal good fellowship.
It does not pronounce to be an organ of Symbolic Craft Masonry, but generates greater interests of Masons and cordially welcomes them all.
Here comes the black fez with a red tassel and a Mokanna head in the middle. Is not it marvelously distinguishing!
High Twelve International
On May 17, 1921, located in Sioux City, Iowa, E.C. Wolkott laid the basis of the High Twelve International. It is a nonpolitical and nonsectarian organization, grouped by Free Masons who keep their heads high for social betterment. So, the keen interest lies in the welfare of the society, particularly at the hands of young adults and the youth.
Widespread in 350 clubs are the 21,000 members nationwide and in foreign regions. While the focus magnifies patriotic cause, the Masons expand their personal interest and widen it to the State level fraternity and civic amelioration.
It demands its members be wilfully active in their lodges and attend regular meetings to share their valuable suggestions and also relocating the areas where more advancement is needed.
In a nutshell, for the well-being of the society, one does not essentially need a heavier sum of money to initiate good cause but it needs a good heart and reverberating motivation that keeps one going.