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Hello everyone, glad you are here. And today’s topic of Freemasonry Knowledge, we’re going to be talking about “what is a 33rd degree mason”.
As we’ve discussed in previous topics, the highest degree a Freemason can achieve in the Fraternity is the Master Mason degree. The third and final degree in the symbolic Lodge which puts him on the level with all other Master Masons. Even though there are many degrees beyond the Master Mason degree offered by organizations within the Masonic Family. Some with different names or higher numbers. These degrees should never be thought of as a higher rank but rather degrees of continued education or honor to pursue a masonic light.
Read more: What Is The Master Mason Degree?
Understanding about 33rd Degree Mason
One of the more fabled degrees you may hear about is the 33rd Degree Mason. A degree only offered sparingly by the appendant Masonic organization known as the ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
It is a philosophical degree of appreciation conferred on those lucky few who have been nominated to become a sovereign grand inspector general and an honorary member of the Supreme Council. The jurisdictional governing body of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite.
The 33rd degree cannot be earned in a traditional sense simply by achieving degrees before it, but rather it is given to recognize brothers who have shown a dedicated commitment to the Scottish Rite or to the community at large.
For example, Michigan brother and the United States President Gerald Ford was awarded the 33rd degree in 1962 more likely for his 13 years of diligent service as a congress member in the US House of Representatives than for any leadership role in his Scottish Valley. and Michigan brother Henry Ford founder of the Ford Motor Company was actually given his 33rd degree and a specially convened ceremony on the very day he joined the Scottish Rite. And honored the Scottish Rite Masons of Michigan wanted to give him for helping to create a company that didn’t just help the community but helped him change the world as well.
33rd degree Masons are sometimes referred to as white hats within the Fraternity because, as we talked about in a previous topic, the color of a Scottish Rite Masons regalia hat communicates different things about that member, such as whether he is a regular member an officer or recipient of some other honor.
The color white is reserved for those hats worn only by brothers who have received the 33rd degree. But receiving the 33rd degree is not just an honor. It can also be a qualifying step if a Scottish Rite brother would ever want to take a leadership role at the jurisdictional level and become an active member of the supreme council, which is signified by those 33rd degree Freemasons who wear purple hats.
So you see, when you meet a 33rd degree Mason you’re not meeting someone who is in on some fantastic secret other Masons don’t know about, but rather you are meeting someone who exemplifies in some way.
The wonderful lessons that all Freemasons try to follow to help them become better men and make the world a better place.