Welcome to Tallahassee York Rite Bodies

Companions meet on the second Thursday of every month
Sir Knights meet on the fourth Thursday of every month
Meeting at 7:30 pm

Adrian Dillon
High Priest

Neils Hesse
Illustrious Master

Keiffer W. Linsey Jr.
Eminent Commander

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The principles of capitular, cryptic, and chivalric masonry have a deep history in Tallahassee. For over a century, Tallahassee York Rite Bodies has served as home to those hoping to recover the lost word, look within the secret vault, and take up the glorious cause of knighthood. It is the purpose of the York Rite is to bring to the Masonic Brother Light of Masonic Philosophy and Knowledge.

The York Rite Bodies of Tallahassee is composed of Florida Chapter № 1, Seminole Council № 30, and Tallahassee Commandery № 12.

The York Rite consists of a series of Degrees and Orders. York Rite begins with the Blue Lodge Degrees (Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason). However, one is not considered to be a “York Rite Mason” until he has taken the Royal Arch series of degrees, followed by the Cryptic Mason degrees, and culminating with the completion of the Templar Orders.  When you complete the York Rite “Degrees” you become a Companion and, when you complete the “Orders”, a Sir Knight. 

The Sublime Degree of Master Mason is often thought of as the ultimate degree of Freemasonry. However, many Masonic scholars agree that the narrative of the Craft, as illustrated in the three degrees, is not the whole story. The Degrees of York Rite Masonry complete the story and provide answers to many questions that the newly-raised Master Mason may have.

York Rite Masonry, which takes its name from the old English city of York, dates back to 1744 in the U.K., has been described as the oldest and purest of the Rites. Like other forms of Masonry, the York Rite is not a religion. Nevertheless, it does develop Biblical themes in addition to themes based on the Medieval Crusades.

Equivalent bodies outside the United States

Mark Man and Mark Master

England, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand: The Mark degree is conferred in a separately warranted Lodge of Mark Master Masons. The candidate for advancement is required to be a Master Mason. A further degree is conferred by a Mark Lodge which is not present in the York Rite, that of Royal Ark Mariner. In Canada, the Royal Ark Mariner degree is conferred by a Council of Royal and Select Masters.

Scotland: The Mark degree is conferred in a Craft lodge and is seen as the completion of the Fellow Craft Degree, but the candidate for advancement is required to be a Master Mason. The Mark may alternatively, and exceptionally, be conferred in a Holy Royal Arch Chapter as a prerequisite for Exaltation to the HRA. If a Candidate has already received his Mark Degree in his Craft Lodge, then his initiation into the Chapter is preceded by a short ceremony of Affiliation to the Mark Lodge associated (“moored”) to that Chapter.

Holy Royal Arch

A Holy Royal Arch is very similar to that of the Royal Arch Mason in the York Rite and contains many layers of complexity within its ritual. A candidate for Exaltation is required to have been a Master Mason for four weeks or more. In Scotland, the candidate must also be a Mark Master Mason, a degree which can be conferred within Chapter if required.

England, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand: A Holy Royal Arch Chapter is required to be sponsored by a Craft Lodge and bears the same name and number; however, the HRA is seen as a separate order. Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter is governed from the headquarters of United Grand Lodge of England, but the administration remains distinct. The degree is termed the ‘completion of the Master Mason degree’ by virtue of the relationship between the ritual content.

Scotland: The degree is conferred in a Royal Arch Chapter which is within a wholly different administrative structure (the Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapter of Scotland). Due to a difference in ritual, Royal Arch Masons exalted in England may not attend Scottish Royal Arch Chapters without completing the Scottish exaltation ceremony. Before receiving the Holy Royal Arch Degree the Candidate must first have the Mark Degree and the Excellent Masters Degree. However, those Exalted in Scotland may attend Chapter in England, or indeed any Chapter, provided it be in Amity.

Council of Royal and Select Masters

Outside the United States, the Cryptic Council confers four degrees: Royal Master, Select Master, Super Excellent Master, and in Great Britain, a Most Excellent Master degree is offered between Select Master and Super Excellent Master.

Candidates are required to be members of a Royal Arch Chapter and a Mark Master Mason.

The Knights Templar

Officially known as The United Religious, Military, and Masonic Orders of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta, this order is colloquially known as the Knights Templar. Bodies of the order are known as Preceptories. In Great Britain and other countries these Preceptories confer three degrees: Knight Templar, The passing Order of St. Paul, Order of Malta

Membership is by invitation and candidates are required to be Master Masons, holders of the degree of the Holy Royal Arch and to sign a declaration that they profess the Doctrine of the Holy and Undivided Trinity. In the United States, this body is officially known as the Knights Templar. It is not invitational, though the same membership requirements still apply, and the body itself is called a Commandery. In some jurisdictions, membership in a Council is required prior to being eligible for the Knights Templar, and there are non-Christians who are members in some Commanderies.