In , a move to introduce the Cryptic Rite into England roused the interest of the fraternity including many influential masons who had encountered the Rite either in USA or in Scotland. Hence in order to introduce the rite into England, it was necessary to apply to two sovereign bodies for dispensations. Those having been secured, four Councils were constituted; and it was then resolved to form these four councils into a Sovereign body: Grand Council was founded in There were four degrees in the original English Rite, the MEM being included as the 1st degree to bring things in line with the American Rite. In , when revising the rubric for the new edition of the Ritual, it was decided also to revise the order in which the degrees are taken to make them follow the sequence of Old Testament history viz.
The Order of the Silver Trowel
Symbolism of Cryptic Degrees
Freemasonry uses extensively rituals, formalized texts, full of symbolism in order to give some acts more depth. These rituals are one of the secrets of Freemasonry. Masonic Orders fight severely to the publication of these texts. The largest Dutch order, the Grootoosten Grand Orient threatened with legal procedures in order to try to have ritual texts removed from an internet site. Since the beginning of Freemasonry there have been publications with parts of the used rituals.
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In England and Wales, the degrees are practiced as a stand-alone organisation of Freemasonry while in some other Masonic Constitutions , they form part of the York Rite. These four English councils organized themselves as a sovereign body under the leadership of G. Members wear a jewel and a characteristic apron which is triangular in shape. The Order meets in local Councils, each having an elected presiding officer named the Thrice Illustrious Master, who appoints a number of assisting officers. Councils are grouped into districts, each governed by a District Grand Master, who likewise appoints district officers. The Grand Council in London controls overseas districts in South Africa, the Caribbean, and the Channel Islands, and also controls a few isolated overseas councils in the Isle of Man and across several nations of western Europe and the Far East. The Grand Council exercises control of six degrees. The first four are worked by local councils of the Order, and most members will progress through all four degrees. The two additional degrees are granted more sparingly to those who have a history of long or distinguished service to the Order. They are worked only in certain Councils, licensed for that purpose by the Grand Master.
Symbolism from other authors has been incorporated. It is the belief of The Grand Council, that if our members understand the beautiful symbolism of our Order, they will become better members of their subordinate Councils. We encourage you to study and learn more about our great Order, as it is not possible to include everything of interest or importance in this brief synopsis. We learn in the Royal Master degree, that there was an agreement among our three Most Illustrious Grand Masters, that the word would not be communicated to the Craft until the Temple was completed, and then only in the presence of all three.