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Masonic History

Scottish Rite Council of Kadosh


*Called Consistory in Canada

The third portion of the Scottish Rite System of degrees is called The Council of Kadosh. This series of degrees includes the 19th° through to the 30th° It is important to note that in Canada these degrees fall under Consistory, which in the USA consists of only the 31st and 32nd Degrees.

Degrees 19 - 29 make up what is known as the Degrees of AREOPAGUS which is derived from a court in ancient Athens of the same name. The 30th Degree or "Kadosh" means Holy or Consecrated.

The explanation of the degrees below uses the Canadian titles for the degrees.

19th Degree Symbol

19° Grand Pontiff

The lesson of this degree is the difference between good and evil and the conflict therin. The sworn Knight of Justice, Truth and Tolerance is admonished to be patient and to work.

20th Degree Symbol

20° Master ad Vitam

Toleration, Justice and Truth, taught in the previous degree, are returned to in the 20th, where the candidate is further taught that the right to govern a lodge is not only by selection but also by intelligencce gained through patient labor.

21st Degree Symbol

21° Patriarch Noachite

The story of this degree is that of the crusading knights who sought to shield the innocent and hold guiltless anyone until convicted.

22nd Degree Symbol

22° Prince of Libanus

Libanus is another name for Lebanon and the story of this degree tells of those who cut cedar from the forests of Lebanon in order to build Noah's Ark. The underlying lesson is that labor is honorable and that we should strive to improve the condition of those who labor.

23rd Degree Symbol

23° Chief of the Tabernacle

The candidate is taught to labor incessantly for the Glory of God. The ritual retells the story of the Tabernacle and its ancient ceremonies.

24th Degree Symbol

24° Prince of the Tabernacle

The lesson of this degree is the importance of symbolism and how symbolism has been used since time began - a universal language of ancient theology.

25th Degree Symbol

25° Knight of the Brazen Serpent

This degree tells the story of the Children of Israel's 40th year in the desert, when they pitched their tents at Punon after the death of Aaron. The newly made "Knight of the Brazen Serpent" is taught to purify the soul of the alloy of earthliness and to restore his faith in God.

26th Degree Symbol

26° Prince of Mercy

Domitian, Emperor of Rome, in his persecution of the first Christians caused them to meet in catacombs. The ritual of this degree depicts the mysteries of these first Christians and further teaches that Freemasonry belongs to no one age or era.

27th Degree Symbol

27° Commander of the Temple

A degree dedicated to the Teutonic knights of the House of St. Mary of Jerusalem. This order founded in the time of Saladin fought that warrior and his men by day and nursed the sick by night. The candidate for this degree is taught the five qualities practiced by that order - Humility, Temperance, Chastity, Honor and Genrosity.

28th Degree Symbol

28° Knight of the Sun

This is the last of the philisophical degrees of the Scottish Rite and its material is derived from the Kabbalah. It looks at science, reason and faith as seen through the consistancy of nature.

29th Degree Symbol

29° Knight of St. Andrew

As a climax to the theory of universal religion, this degree inculcates equality and toleration with the knight representing the notion of truth.

30th Degree Symbol

30° Knight Kadosh

This degree along with the two degrees of the consistory were originally the Templar degrees of the A.A.S.R. The candidate is taught that he should apply himself practically as a defender of the Temple of the Most High God and while he may be armed with steel on the outside, he is armed with Faith and Love on the inside. Faith in God. Love of his fellow man.

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