Craft Masonry is the foundation of all Masonic activity. Master Masons who want to expand and deepen their Masonic knowledge and experience can apply for membership (or be invited to become members) in other Masonic bodies. In all cases, however, membership in good standing in a Craft Lodge is a prerequisite.

The Ritual of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free & Accepted Masons of Nova Scotia is styled 'Ancient York Rite'. (Other Grand Jurisdictions have adopted other 'Rites' such as Scottish Rite, Swedish Rite, Schroeder Rite, etc.) The York Rite has four main levels: Craft Masonry, Capitular Masonry, Cryptic Masonry, and Chivalric Masonry. All four are represented in Pictou County.

Also represented in the County are the Scottish Rite, the Order of the Eastern Star, and the Shriners.


The Structure of 'York Rite' Masonry

Craft or Speculative Masonry - (Lodge)

  •   Entered Apprentice
  •   Fellowcraft
  •   Master Mason

Symbolic Masonry is the mother of all the Craft. It teaches a belief in one living and true God, the giver and ruler of life; and by following His guidance, one will increase in wisdom and stature, and thus he will develop into one worthy of the title of Freemason.

Capitular Masonry - (Chapter)

  •   Mark Master Mason
  •   Virtual Past Master
  •   Most Excellent Master
  •   Holy Royal Arch

Capitular Masonry is the Masonry of recovery. It teaches that, while often taking a long period of time, the great beliefs of Freemasonry are never eternally lost; that in future time, truths put away for safe keeping will be recovered and restored to the Craft; and that all things will, in due time be completed. Capitular Membership is required for future advancement in the York Rite.

Cryptic Rite Masonry - (Council)

  •   Royal Master
  •   Select Master
  •   Super Excellent Master

Cryptic Masonry is the Masonry of preservation. It teaches that the immortal truths of life will never be destroyed; that the approach of disorder and destruction will cause the Craft to deposit these great truths in a safe and secure place where they will be preserved; and, although forgotten and lost for a time, they are kept for future discovery and use of the Craft. Cryptic Masonry is the Alpha and Omega of Ancient Craft Masonry.

Chivalric Masonry - (Preceptory)

  •   Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
  •   Order of Malta
  •   Order of the Temple - Knights Templar

Chivalric Masonry is Christian Masonry. The lessons of the Symbolic Lodge are given Christian interpretation in the Orders of Knighthood of the Preceptory. Chivalric Masonry aims to put those Christian virtues into practice in our daily lives. Charity and hospitality are characteristics which underlie the Templar program.

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