York Rite vs Scottish Rite is a topic among countless Freemasonry topics. What is the difference between York Rite Masonry and Scottish Rite Masonry and which one is considered mainstream?
There is no difference, whatsoever, not really, I just wanted to give you an answer you probably haven’t heard before about this topic.
York Rite vs Scottish Rite. What are the actual differences?
Well, you will usually generally hear that York rite is more theological and that Scottish rite is more philosophical, meaning in general, that York rite focuses more on the religious aspects or how Freemasonry can be applied religiously or what Freemason kind of teachings we can get out of religion back and forth, however.
Meaning that in the Scottish Rite masonry it’s more of a thinking process about what can we learn about ourselves throughout any lesson we can find in any kind of religion that is out there. However, it bears mentioning that at the end, of the York Rite of which there are nine degrees after the three that you received in the symbolic or Blue Lodge.
You will be termed as a sir Knight or a Knight Templar it is just the easy and common tongue way of explaining what you get to at the end of being a member of the York rite. So, you go through the order of the temple as the last set of orders, they are termed as orders not degrees and you become a Knight Templar.
Over on the Scottish Rite, they flesh it out into 33 degrees and of that the first three degrees are part of the of the symbolic lodge so they don’t start anything until the fourth degree and when you reach the 32nd degree we’re using the term called Knight Kadosh and Kadosh is said to mean temple. Again, you are a knight of the temple or said more plainly a Knight Templar.
Some probably the most striking difference; over in the York rite, you in order to go through and become a Knight Templar you must profess that you were baptized as a Christian and swear fealty toward the Christian religion that you would defend the Christian religion.
Over in the Scottish Rite you need not make any such statement so you can be of any faith and still learn those lessons and go through similar but quite different degrees over in the in the Scottish Rite.
That’s probably again the most striking difference between the two.
As far as which one is considered more main stream, well it depends on how you want to look at it, I do not have access to the strict numbers of things but I have heard it said on more than one occasion from people who I would tend to believe that Scottish Rite has more Masons that are members of the Scottish Rite then York rite can claim for membership.
However, taking that a bit further, the York Rite could claim that there are more grand lodges that recognize and perform the three degrees of masonry under what they would consider the York Rite version of those three degrees as opposed to states that practice the first three degrees in the way the Scottish rite would have them be presented.
So, take your pick on what to consider as mainstream and go from there, I personally am a member of both and for the strict purpose that I get different lessons and learn more things in a different way from each body.
There are things that are in York Rite to speak volumes to me and I feel like I have more to learn on those things and so I stick with it. Over on the Scottish Rite there are again specific things that speak to me there and things that I want to learn more about.
Now, because the Scottish rite has sort of fleshed these lessons out over more numbers of degrees there are a lot more layers of the onion sort of to peel back and that’s something that intrigues me, I like trying to do that.
So much of the symbolism in Freemasonry can be tied to the lessons of the Holy Bible and therefore Christian symbolism which you can find very well explained over in the York rite.
The Scottish Rite has some very good marketing, so it’s real prevalent to see things like the house of the temple in Washington DC, the Scottish Rite Research Society, which I recently joined, the master craftsmen program that the Scottish Rite hosts where you can do a correspondence learning program; so there’s a lot where that you know about those things.
The York Rite has similar things now they don’t have to my knowledge a central building that would be a kin to the house of the temple but they do have research societies, they do have education programs and correspondence programs that you can go through and many other things like that.
It may not be as prevalent or is noticed as the Scottish rite is but it is certainly there. I would encourage you to look at both of those, the only reason not to go York Rite is if you can’t say I’m a Christian I was baptized a Christian, I would defend the Christian religion, if you can’t say that then avoid it and go with the Scottish rite. Where you won’t learn the exact same lessons but you will get some understanding of the same type of things that are in New York rite and then some other things different things and some extra things that get expounded upon.
If you can join the York rite then you’re going to learn things in a different way then gets explained in the Scottish rite.
It’s going to go into a more biblical understanding of those specific lessons of morality and get a little less philosophical but I personally have an issue trying to be so plain as to say that the York Rite is theological and that the Scottish Rite is philosophical because there is a ton of religion and the Scottish Rite version as well.
I think it has a lot of theology in there as well but that’s just me for myself and I, at the end of the day both organizations are expounding upon the first three degrees in masonry continuing a story developing on it further and giving men more tools to be able to apply lessons to their lives that can make them interact with those around them in better ways and bring themselves to a more centered position in their life where they can be more balanced and more understanding more just, more fair and again back to just being more moral.
York Rite vs Scottish Rite. Conclusion
I hope that gives you some information about which one you might be interested in joining.
I again enjoy being a member of both organizations because I learned about the Scottish Rite Master Craftsmen program, before I learned that the York Rite had a similar program, I’m already involved with discuss where I want to finish that one first but I am going to go and do the York Rite correspondence program as well.
As I’m searching for more light just like all of you!
Thanks so much for taking the time to read.
There are a lot of people out there who are members of things like the York rite College or members of the Rosicrucian’s and I’m sure there’s other members at the Scottish Rite and the different forms that it takes in other jurisdictions; so leave your comments down below and let this brother know what it is that speaks to you about a particular Rite or why you join both or anything else you’d like to add to this conversation.
by Bro. Andre M. Noble