Q. Is York Rite an extension of regular Masonry with additional degrees?
A. York Rite is a separate group of three hierarchical bodies that require their members to be Master Masons. These bodies are entered sequentially, i.e. you must join a Royal Arch Chapter and complete it’s degrees prior to joining the Council od Royal and Select master Masons and receive it’s degrees and finally both those must be completed to receive the Orders of the Knights Templar. You may stop after Chapter or Council or be a member of all three.
Q. Can I just be a Knight Templar upon completing all these degrees requirements?
A. You may decide to be active primarily on any one of these bodies, but maintaining an up to date membership with current dues card is required in descending order, i.e. to be a Knight Templar you must be current in all three bodies, or to maintain the Council membership you must be current in both Chapter and Council. Loss in membership in any lower body will cause forfeiture of membership to the others. This, of couse, apply to membership in your blue lodge; lose that and you lose all appendant body memberships, like the Shriners, Scottish Rites, Grotto, High Twelve, Cedars of Lebanon, etc.
Q. How are these bodies organized?
A. All are similar to blue lodge with a “master in the East”, Treasurer, Secretary, Tyler and all the other Warden and Steward roles, although sometimes with a different title. They meet once per month and open on a degree, conduct the regular business meeting and confer any degree work scheduled.
Q. How much more will this cost me?
A. Dues range from $39 – $45 per body annually. Application fees are $35 – $45 as well. This is considerably lower than your combined blue lodge and Grand Lodge annual dues, but it is in addition to that.
Q. Are there additional expenses for Templar uniforms and regalia?
A. Yes. Should you choose to join the officer line in the Knight Templar Commandery you will need a chapeau and sword. Some are available for loan/use during ritual conferral of Orders and the annual Inspection & Review, but you may purchase your own.Uniforms are expected as well for members to wear to meetings with their Order of Red Cross, Order of Malta and Order of the Temple medals displayed.
Q. Are there any Royal Arch Chapter extras?
A. Just a tuxedo for officers, just as the blue lodge requires.