Ritul York





The history and the importance of the York Rite

Motto: „Every people desire knowledge by his nature

The York Rite is the eldest and the strongest Masonic rite acknowledged, and which has the largest number of members active on all continents of the world. The first historical attestation – REGIUS POEM – was discovered in the 17th century and it deals with the history of the tenth century masonry. The first Grand Lodge was set up in York in 926 under the ruling of King Athlestane (son of Alfred the Great), and the first Grand Master was Prince Edward, the brother of the king.
1725 - The Grand Lodge of York, considered to be the source of Masonry, was set up as the Grand Ancient Lodge which considered the degree of Royal Arch Mason a necessary part of the Ancient Masonry, and which, on its emblem, had the heraldic elements specific to this degree: the two cherubs, the ark of law and the four flags of the Israelite tribes.
1813 – The United Grand Lodge of England came into existence, through the union of the Independent Grand Lodges of the Ancient and Modern Masonry present on the territory of England. The union act set forth the following: “It is declared and pronounced that pure and Ancient Craft Masonry consists of three degrees and no more, namely, those of Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason, including the Royal Arch Masons, but this article is not intended to prevent any Lodge or Chapter from holding Convents in any of the degrees of Chivalry, according to the Constitution of the Order.”
The York Rite is composed of the Capitular, Cryptic  and Chivalry Masonic bodies, plus the paramasonic body of the Order of the Rose for mason’s spouses, sisters, or daughters of the rite’s members.
By running through and understanding the symbol of each degree, a person actively searching the Light, discovers the truths protected against the access of profanes, through deliberate occultation of the entire Masonic ritualistic . Finally, accession to the highest degrees of the York Rite results in the completion of the Masonic education and spirituality in order to become a perfect Master Mason. This is also expressed by the symbolism of the death phenomena which appears as a final intiatic act, certainly at a different scale and progressive, starting with thr third degree in the symbolic masonry and continuing with the rituals of the Capitular, Cryptic and Chivalry Bodies.
In order to emphasize the importance of the York Rite in the Universal Freemasonry it is sufficient to recall that the Grand Master of the United Grand Lodge of England, who according to the tradition is a member of the Royal House, is at the same time also Grand High Priest of the Supreme Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons of England.