The York Rite is a collection of ten Masonic degrees and orders which are conferred in the United States under a trilateral system of governance consisting of Chapters, Councils, and Commanderies. In most other countries these same degrees are conferred by separate Bodies operating independently from other local Masonic jurisdictions. The name derives from the City of York where, according to one Masonic legend, the first meeting of Masons in England was held in the year 926 A.D.
The York Rite (along with the Scottish Rite) is one of two appendant Bodies of Masonry beyond the level of the Craft or Blue Lodge that is focused on expanding a Master Mason’s understanding of several important ideas introduced in the first three degrees of the Blue Lodge. The York Rite has a special and close relationship to the Blue Lodge degrees. It continues the lessons learned in the Fellowcraft degree. It completes the journey that Hiram began in the Master Mason degree. It teaches the meaning of the True Word. It offers impressive lessons from the Christian Knighthood tradition in a ceremony which is among the most beautiful in all of Masonry. In fact, the third tier of the York Rite, known as the Orders of Templary, has traditionally been styled the Christian Order of Freemasonry.
The York Rite takes the Master Mason on a journey into the oldest traditions of English Freemasonry. Every serious student of Masonry should be a York Rite Mason. We know our Masonic Brothers will benefit from the added knowledge gained through their York Rite experience.