Join York Rite

“Continuation of the Masonic Journey Through Ritual and Fellowship”

We have found that the main reason Masons join the York Rite is to learn the rest of the Masonic Story and our ritual is an important part of who we are. However, the reason our members come back and participate is for the Fellowship that is provided by a group that brings together Masons from a number of Lodges in the area and gives them the opportunity to get to know one another.

For us, at Tallahassee York Rite Bodies, we feel that we are an Organization that provides Masonic Education through outstanding rituals and a wonderful Fraternity that gives its members the opportunity to meet new people and make new friends.

What is a “Rite?”

In Freemasonry, a “Rite” is a collection of “degrees” (initiations), always beginning with the first three degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.

What is the “York Rite?”

The York Rite is a system of Masonic degrees that is spread out between four organizations: the Symbolic Lodge, the Royal Arch Chapter, the Cryptic Council, and the Commandery of Knights Templar. Each organization’s degrees focus on a different theme, and together, they create a larger story that teaches Freemasons valuable lessons through initiation.

Are you really the Knights Templar?

Masonic Knights Templar is inspired by, but not descended from, the actual Knights Templar. Masonic Knights Templar seeks to emulate this ancient Order in their conduct and devotion to Jesus Christ.

What is a Companion?

Members of a masonic lodge call each other by the title “Brother.” Members of Royal Arch Chapters and Cryptic Councils call each other by the title “Companion.” Knights Templar call each other “Sir Knight.”

What does York Rite Provide?

The York Rite provides its members with a greater understanding of their Masonic Degrees. As a Master Mason you’ve already started your progress through the York Rite by receiving the first 3 degrees, in your Blue Lodge, of the 12 degrees of the York Rite. Most people don’t stop reading a good book after the first chapter and yet that is exactly what most Masons do with their Masonic Journey, they stop just a quarter of the way through and never discover how the story ends.

  • Would you like to know how to receive your wages? You learned what they were as a Fellow Craft; as a Mark Master, you’ll learn how to receive them.
  • Would you like to meet Solomon’s successor as Grand Master? You met him in the Master Mason Degree; in the Past Master’s Degree, you’ll meet him again.
  • Would you like to see the Temple of Solomon finally completed? In the Most Excellent Master Degree, we celebrate to competition and dedication of the Temple.
  • Would you like to receive the Master’s Word? Not the substitute word given in the Master Mason Degree, but the actual long-lost word of a Master Mason. As promised by King Solomon, in the Royal Arch, future generations shall discover it.
  • Would you like to find out why we were able to recover the word? In the Royal and Select Master, we’ll talk with Hiram and learn of the preparations that were made to safeguard the Word.
  • Would you like to learn some of the histories that connect the Knights Templar with Freemasonry?
  • Would you like to become a Knight?

How Do I Join?

First, you need to be a Mason in good standing of a Lodge or a Lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Florida. Then you need to fill out a petition. You can fill the petition online below.

Do I have to be a Christian to join the York Rite?

No. The Royal Arch Chapter and Cryptic Council are open to Master Masons of all faiths. Only the Commandery of Knights Templar requires preference for the defense of the Christian faith.

What can the York Rite offer me?

The York Rite provides powerful initiatic experiences and uniquely close fellowship. Many Master Masons find that the friendships they make in the York Rite are long-lasting and deep. We are not just a fraternal brotherhood – we are family.

What level of time commitment should I expect?

Each Chapter, Council, and Commandery will have its own business to conduct and its own degrees (or orders) to perform. Chapter and Council often operate in parallel, making their business quite streamlined. Every experience will vary, but it is common for the time commitment to them to be about the same as joining a second craft lodge.

How does the York Rite fit in with the Blue Lodge degrees?

The York Rite degrees actually begin in the “Blue Lodge” (or Symbolic/Craft Lodge), and it is considered the first of the four York Rite bodies. The vast majority of lodges in the United States use variations of Preston-Webb Ritual, which was the result of Thomas Smith Webb’s revisions of Lodge, Chapter, and Commandery ritual. The Council became part of the York Rite some years afterward.

Does it matter which Rite I join first?

Both the Scottish Rite and York Rite are very beneficial to one’s masonic education. If you are interested in joining both, it is most beneficial to join the York Rite first, as the story told in the York Rite ritual is more closely connected to the Symbolic Lodge ritual in the United States. The Scottish Rite ritual will be easier to understand if you see the York Rite ritual first.

Do I have to turn in any memory work?

In Florida, York Rite members do not need to turn in any proficiencies or memory work.

What’s the difference between the York Rite and Scottish Rite?

The primary differences between the York Rite and Scottish Rite are:

  • Ritual origin
  • Organizational structure
  • Educational format

The Scottish Rite degrees are French in origin, but were organized into an actual rite in Jamaica, then revised in the United States. The York Rite degrees originated in England, France, and the United States, and were revised in the United States.

In terms of structure, Scottish Rite is one organization (per Jurisdiction). In Florida, the Scottish Rite exists as the “AASR Orient of Florida.”

Learning in the Scottish Rite occurs primarily through self-study after receiving the degrees. It is known as a more “academic” form of learning. Learning in the York Rite occurs primarily through active participation after receiving the degrees and orders. The York Rite experience focuses more on the initiatic aspect of learning.’

What are invitational bodies?

Invitational bodies within the York Rite seek to gather together like-minded men and promote specific causes within Freemasonry. Different invitational bodies serve different purposes. Browse our site and learn more about the invitational bodies.

Do I have to wear a chapeau and uniform?

The Chapeau is part of the “Full Dress” Uniform. Our Commandery can provide you with a Uniform Jacket and Chapeau to wear.

Do I have to go to every meeting?

We encourage you to make as many meetings as your cable-tow allows. Just like lodges, York Rite bodies only succeed when members are active and participating.

What are the initiation fees?

Florida Chapter № 1 Capitular Degree Fees:$86.00
Mark Master19.00
Virtual Past Master19.00
Most Excellent Master19.00
Royal Arch Mason19.00
Chapter Ritual Book10.00
Seminole Council № 30 Cryptic Degree Fees:$75.00
Royal Master32.50
Select Master32.50
Council Ritual Book10.00
Tallahassee Commandery № 12 Chivalric Order Fees:$139.00
Order of the Red Cross38.00
Order of Malta38.00
Order of the Temple38.00
Knights Templar Asylum Tactics Book15.00
Knights Templar Ritual Book10.00
Total Due by the day of the degree:$300.00
Cash or make checks payable to “FL Chapter No 1 R.A.M.” You can also pay by credit card in person or visit to pay online. Additional fee’s apply when paying by credit card.

Annual Dues

Dues are $81.00 per year. This amount is due prior to the beginning of each year. It is to be received by the Secretary or Treasurer before the 1st of January of each year. If at any time, you are unable to pay the full amount of your initiation fees or dues, please reach out to the treasurer or secretary/recorder for a payment plan. We are more concerned about your participation and growth in furthering your knowledge in Freemasonry than receiving monies up front.

Additional Information

York Rite Masonry is the oldest and best-known of all Masonic Rites. It takes its name from York, England, where the earliest known record of Masonry exists, dating from about 923 A.D.. Masonry’s first written record is centered around York. This was the seat of the Ancient Grand Lodge, which finally merged with another group called the modern Premier Grand Lodge (which became public in 1717) in about 1813. This is the basis upon which our present system of Blue Lodge, or Craft Masonry, is constituted. The Mother Grand Lodge of England, many years ago, set forth as Paragraph 1 of its general Laws and Regulations: “By the solemn act of the union between the two Grand Lodges of Freemasons of England in December 1813, it was declared and pronounced that Pure Ancient Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, viz.: those of the Entered Apprentice, the Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, INCLUDING THE SUPREME ORDER of the HOLY ROYAL ARCH.” Entry into YORK RITE FREEMASONRY is available to those who have progressed to the degree of Master Mason in a “Blue Lodge.” In completing the beginning of the masonic journey in the Symbolic Lodge (or Craft Lodge, or Blue Lodge), a mason can delve deeper into the teachings of our honorable fraternity. What does your relationship with God look like now? How are the relationships with your family, friends, and fraternal Brothers? And does your personal piety cause you to engage with your faith as part of your involvement with the fraternity? York Rite does not replace the necessity for involvement in Blue Lodge but is instead a supplement for those interested in uncovering further mysteries about themselves and the world at large. We look forward to you joining us at the Tallahassee Your Rite Bodies. We started in Tallahassee in 1836 as Florida Chapter № 1, Royal Arch Masons of Florida.