Return to main page

Masonic History

Pennsylvania Work


The method of Entering, Passing, and Raising candidates in the Lodges of Pennsylvania differs so materially from that practiced in the other States of the Union, that it cannot be considered as a part of the American Rite as first taught by Webb, but rather as an independent, Pennsylvania modification of the York Rite of England. Indeed, the Pennsylvania system of work much more resembles the English than the American. Its ritual is simple and didactic, like the former, and is almost entirely without the impressive dramatization of the latter.

Brother Richard beaux, a Past Grand Master of Pennsylvania, thus speaks of the Masonic works of his State with pardonable, if not with impartial, commendations:

The Pennsylvania work is sublime from its simplicity. That it is the ancient work is best shown conclusively, however, from this single fact, it is so simple, so free from those displays of modern inventions to attract the attention, without enlightening, improving, or cultivating the mind. In this mark every word has its significance. Its types and symbols are but the language in which truth is conveyed. These are to be studied to be understood. In the spoken language no synonyms are permitted. In the ceremonial no innovations are tolerated. In the ritual no modern verbiage is allowed.

- Source: Mackey's Encyclopedia of Freemasonry

more masonic history