For over two centuries the Scottish Rite has been the medium for many Master Masons to reflect upon their relationship with their faith, their fellow man and with themselves. It enables Master Masons to add to their Masonic knowledge and to witness colourful Scottish Rite 'degrees' which are dramatic presentations portraying the philosophy of Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite delves further into Masonic teachings and is meant to provide more insight into living a more meaningful way of life for a Master Mason and his family. It also includes enjoying the friendships and association with a larger and wider cross-section of like-minded men and their families.
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, commonly known as simply the Scottish Rite, is one of several Rites of Freemasonry. A Rite is a progressive series of degrees conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies, each of which operates under the control of its own central authority. In Canada the central authority is the Supreme Council of Canada.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of Freemasonry which a Master Mason may join for further exposure to the principles and lessons of Freemasonry. In England and some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In Canada, however, the Scottish Rite is officially recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of Freemasonry. The Valley of Calgary works in partnership with the Grand Lodge of Alberta. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual degrees.
In most of Canada, the first three degrees of Freemasonry are conferred by the Craft lodge. Scottish Rite then confers degrees four through 32. The
33rd degree is an honourary degree conferred by the Supreme Council. In some parts of the world, however, Scottish Rite confers all 32 degrees.
At right, Brother Al Long (L), recently made an Honourary 33rd Degree Mason at the annual meeting of Supreme Council, is congratulated by Commander in Cheif Greg Stewart and Thrice Puissant Grand Master Stan Clute.
Just like in Craft Masonry, once a Brother is initiated into Scottish Rite, he is welcomed into any Scottish Rite lodge in the world.
The Valley of Calgary consists of three bodies, each responsible for certain degrees. The first of these, the Lodge of Perfection, has an intake of new candidates each year. The candidates then progress through the Rose Croix and Consistory, culminating in their receiving the 32nd degree.
There are other valleys in Alberta, however some do not offer all degrees. Many members of the Valleys of Medicine Hat and Lethbridge come to the Valley of Calgary for their Consistory degrees. Right: Thrice puissant Grand Masters of the Valleys of Calgary, Lethbridge, Edmonton and Medicine Hat along with Supreme Council representative Ken McComb.
If you'd like to find out more about Scottish Rite watch this video piece which highlights how some members feel about their affiliation.