The York Rite is a confederation of degree systems consisting of the Royal Arch Chapter, Cryptic Rite Council, and the Commandery of Knights Templar. It is often referred to as the American Rite of Masonry. While most of the degrees of the Ritual were nurtured in England, it is in North America that they have attained their highest development. It is only in America that there is a regular arrangement of the degree systems as a total Rite.
A Master Mason should be interested in Masonic advancement and the lessons exemplified in the York Rite degrees �lessons of honesty, charity, harmony, justice, spirituality, service, fortitude, hope, prudence, fidelity, truth, religion, faith, love, and toleration, become part of one�s life as a Mason. The York Rite becomes that teacher of the philosophy of the Blue Lodge (Symbolic Lodge) Mason.
Royal Arch Chapter
Original, the Royal Arch Chapter was the pinnancle of the York Rite. In the American Rite it forms the foundation upon which the Cypric Council and Commandery of Knights Templar are built. To become a Royal Arch mason, a brother must first have passed a suitable examination as to his proficiency in the Master Mason Degree. He may then petition a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. The chapter consists of four degrees that are known as Mark Master, Past Master, Most Excellent Master, and Royal Arch Mason. The Royal Arch Chapter consists of the studies of Antient Craft Masonry.
At one time the most selective and rarest of Masonic bodies, the Cryptic Council exemplifies Cryptic Masonry. To become a member of a council of Cryptic Masons, You must have first completed your work in the Royal Arch degree and be a Royal Arch Mason. The Council refers to its members as Royal and Select Masters. Its Degrees are the Royal Master, Select Master, and Super Excellent Master.
The nature of a Commandery of Knights Templar is for the interest of Masons who hold the Christian ideals. The prerequisites for membership are being both a Capitular and Cryptic Mason. Anyone who believes differently from Christianity should not apply for the Commandery Orders. The Comrnandery Orders are the Order of the Red Cross, The Order of Mediterranean Pass and Malta, and the Order of the Temple.