Heidelberg York Rite         Heidelberg, Germany
 



Council No.2

Royal and Select Master
General Grand
Council of Cryptic
Masons International
      Illustrious Master
          Dafydd Bullock
    Deputy Master
          Patrick Goude
    PCW
          Thorston Stoeberl

Cryptic Masons


Cryptic Masons

Membership in the Council of Cryptic Masons (or the Council of Royal and Select Masters in Great Britain and several states in the USA) is not required for membership in the Knights Templar in some jurisdictions, so it is frequently skipped. It is called Cryptic Masonry or the Cryptic Rite because a crypt or underground room figures prominently in the degrees.

 

Royal Master - This is the first of the Council degrees. It is conferred in a place known as the council chamber, which represents the private apartment of King Solomon's Temple, where he and his two associates met for consultation and deliberation during the construction of the Temple, and the drama portrayed in it sheds additional light on both the Master Mason and Royal Arch degrees. It and the following degree are essential to a clear understanding of the events of one section of the Royal Arch.

 

Select Master - In the Select Master's degree which is the second of the Council, the place of meeting represents a "Secret Vault" or crypt beneath the Temple. The historical object of the degree is to commemorate the deposits of an important secret or treasure which, after the preliminary preparations, is said to have been made by our three Grand Masters.

 

Super Excellent Master - This degree was not originally a part of the Cryptic system, and is not in all jurisdictions as yet. It has one of the best written rituals in Masonry. It deals with the incidents in the reign of King Nebuchadnezzar when Zedekiah, the last King of Judah, was conquered and carried captive to Babylon. It enlarges upon the section of the Royal Arch having to do with the capture of Jerusalem by the Babylonian King, and teaches in most dramatic fashion the lesson of fidelity.

Without the Royal and Select Master degrees, neither the Master Mason degree nor the Royal Arch degree is complete, for they rationally account for the concealment and preservation of the treasures revealed in the Royal Arch.

The Super-Excellent Master is an honorary degree, to which any Cryptic Masons is entitled by virtue of his being in good standing in his Council. This is classed as the most dramatic and spectacular degree in all Masonic systems.
 
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