What is the Ancient and Accepted Rite / Rose Croix?

The “Rose Croix” is a colloquial name used for the 18º of the 33-degree masonic system known as the Ancient and Accepted Rite for England and Wales and its Districts and Chapters Overseas, which has operated in this country since 1845. The 18º is the Order’s most popular as it serves as the entry point to which new members are admitted, with its full title being that of Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom, Knight of the Pelican and Eagle.

The Order requires that its membership profess the Trinitarian Christian faith, and derives its pedigree from the late eighteenth century French Rite of Perfection (also called the Order of the Royal Secret) and The Grand Constitutions of 1786 under the mythical titular direction of Frederick the Great, King of Prussia.

Today, the Order’s Chapters are grouped into Districts and are administered by a Supreme Council whose Grand East (headquarters) is located at 10 Duke Street St James’s, London.

Who can join?

All candidates for membership of the Ancient and Accepted Rite under this Supreme Council’s jurisdiction must profess the Trinitarian Christian faith and have been Master Masons for at least one year in UGLE or have joined a lodge under UGLE from a recognised Grand Lodge.

Is membership by invitation only?

It is not. As in most masonic units, a proposal and a second from existing members is required, but you need not be formally invited to express your interest in joining.

Do I have to be a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch to join?

No. There is no requirement for additional memberships beyond the Craft prior to joining.

Will I receive all the degrees of the Order?

All members receive the 4º – 17º in name only on the night of their Perfection into the 18º, which is worked and received in full. If a member chooses to progress through the offices of his Chapter and serve as its Most Wise Sovereign, they may be recommended for promotion to the 30º, which they would receive in full whilst receiving the 19º – 29º in name only. The 31º and 32º are reserved for members who, through the years, have shown exceptional dedication to the Order. The 33º is reserved for members of the Supreme Council, its Inspector Generals who oversee its districts, and members who go far above and beyond the call of service. It should be noted that the 30º – 33º are worked in full by the Supreme Council only.

Why aren’t all of the degrees worked and received in full?

The answer proffered to candidates during their Perfection in the 18º, is that it would simply “take many months, or even years, for candidates to acquire the whole”. In reality, the Intermediate degrees each have their own complex ritual, décor, furniture, layout, regalia, and officers. Each ceremony is at least an hour in length and contains very detailed content. It truly would be too daunting a task for Chapters and the Supreme Council to adequately convey each ceremony in a manner befitting the respect they deserve.

How can I benefit from those select degrees that aren’t worked?

The Order has a demonstration team within the King Edward VII (KEVII) Chapter of Improvement which exemplifies one or two of the the intermediate degrees, between the 4º – 17º, at various locations across the country every year. These events are a wonderful opportunity for Chapters to get together and form new friendships while being treated to these remarkable performances.

How is a Chapter structured?

A Rose Croix Chapter consists of members and Officers in much the same manner as a lodge, although the titles and duties of such are unique to the Order. An office entitled Most Wise Sovereign is the Chapter’s Worshipful Master-equivalent.

How often should I expect to be away from home to participate in my Chapter?

Most Chapters – such as ours – meet less than quarterly, so most members attend 3 meetings per year. However, as with all masonic units, depending on how active you choose to be within them will determine how often you are out attending Chapters of Instruction, Meetings, etc.

Is the regalia expensive?

No. The regalia of the 18º consist of a collar and jewel and can be sourced quite reasonably.

Who’s Who?

The Supreme Council consists of 9 members holding unique offices in leadership positions, in a similar structure to the rulers of the Craft. Currently, Most Puissant Brother John Boyington CBE 33° serves as the Order’s Sovereign Grand Commander and HRH The Duke of Kent as its Royal Patron.

How will joining the Rose Croix enrich my masonic journey?

The Rose Croix provides a unique opportunity for its members to experience the lessons of their faith through the lens of some of the most beautiful and thought-provoking ceremonies in all of freemasonry. Unlike some masonic orders, the rituals of the Ancient and Accepted Rite remain, for the most part, very much unaffected by innovation, thus transporting its members to a time in freemasonry’s antiquity where ideals of Christian chivalry blend with mystical symbolism for the most impactful of initiations. And as ever, the members of your Chapter will prove to be some of the best friends you’ll ever make in your masonic journey. The Order by nature safeguards against the profane and offers a harbour of fellowship for the most dedicated and warmest of Christian freemasons.

How do I get in touch with a Chapter near me?

If you are interested in joining Essex Quadrant Chapter, please use our Joining Enquiry Form to get in touch.

For masons living in the East London, Essex, Thames Gateway visit the Rose Croix District of South Essex and make contact with Eric Terry, District Recorder for South Essex, or click the Chapters by Venue tab and reach out directly to a Chapter meeting at a venue near you.

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