32nd Degree Freemasonry™, also known as Scottish Rite Freemasonry, is a fraternity of Brothers committed to journeying deeper into the highest principles, teachings, and ideals of the Masonic craft. Scottish Rite Masons work to be guided by six core values – Reverence for God, Integrity, Devotion to Country, Justice, Tolerance, and Service to Humanity.
The Scottish Rite offers a series of degrees (from the 4th degree to the 32nd degree) that supplement and amplify the philosophical teachings of the first three degrees conferred in the symbolic lodge. 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry is sometimes called the "University of Freemasonry" because it uses extensive allegory and dramatic presentation in its degrees to explore the philosophy, history, ethics, and fundamental truths that guide Freemasons' lives.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry™ is a tight-knit community of Masons who seek to be the best version of themselves, find a deeper sense of purpose, and be of service to the world and our fellow man. Learn more about our visions and values.
Do you want to become a 32° Scottish Rite Freemason™ or learn more about the Scottish Rite journey? Visit the Join page to learn more!
32nd Degree Freemasonry is another term for Scottish Rite Freemasonry. The term comes from the degrees conferred in the Scottish Rite, which start with the 4th degree and go up to the 32nd degree. The degrees begin with the 4th degree because they build on the three degrees conferred in blue lodge Masonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft, and Master Mason.
The Scottish Rite is reinvigorating the use of the term 32nd Degree Freemasonry to instill pride and a sense of accomplishment in the men who have committed to going deeper into the highest principles, teachings, and ideals of the Masonic craft. Scottish Rite Masons can earn the title of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason once they receive a minimum of five Scottish Rite degrees: the 4th degree and 32nd degree, along with three additional degrees that focus on 32nd Degree Freemasonry’s Core Values.
The branch of Freemasonry known as the Scottish Rite is “Scottish” in name only. Most outsiders—and even many Freemasons—assume that the fraternity originated in Scotland. However, historical research supports the theory that the Scottish Rite started in Paris, France, around 1758.
According to Arturo de Hoyos in his book The Scottish Rite Ritual Monitor and Guide, the Scottish Rite came to the United States by way of France. There is evidence of Scotch Masons’ lodges dating back to 1733 in England, and there were also predecessors such as the Adonhiramite Rite (ca. 1781), which included many degrees that ultimately became part of the Scottish Rite. Yet it was not until 1763 and the creation of the Order of the Royal Secret by Etienne (Stephen) Morin of France that the ritual we practice today began to coalesce into a form recognizable to a modern Scottish Rite Mason.
On May 31, 1801, the Scottish Rite formalized its existence in the United States when Colonel John Mitchell and Reverend Dr. Frederick Dalcho met in Charleston, South Carolina, and opened a meeting of the “Supreme Council of Freemasonry.” Today, the Southern Jurisdiction recognizes this date as its beginning and held its own bicentennial celebration in 2001.
In 1813, the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, USA was created. Read more about the history of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction and discover key events on our timeline from the pre-charter era through present day.
Master Masons in good standing can become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason by completing the membership application process outlined below.
- In order to become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, you must first be a Master Mason. If you are not yet a Freemason, visit BeAFreemason.org to learn more and take the first step.
- If you are a Master Mason in one of the 15 Northern Masonic Jurisdiction states, submit a membership application to join a Scottish Rite Valley near you. If you are a Master Mason in one of the 35 Southern Jurisdiction states, visit scottishrite.org to begin the application process.
- Your Valley Secretary will review your application and send you more information on the membership process.
- Once you are approved as a degree candidate, you must attend a 4th degree date or reunion to be initiated as a Scottish Rite Mason. This fall you may take the 4th degree and join the Scottish Rite through a Virtual Reunion.
- Finally, to become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, you must receive a minimum of five Scottish Rite degrees. You must receive the 4th degree and 32nd degree, along with three additional degrees in any order that focus on 32nd Degree Freemasonry’s six core values. While not required, most men go on to view all 29 Scottish Rite degrees in the future. Participation in a Virtual Reunion will make you eligible for the 32°. The requisite number of degrees will be presented on each Virtual Reunion date.
Becoming a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason is an opportunity to join a tight-knit community of Masons committed to self-improvement, community, and brotherhood through deeper learning of the ethical teachings and philosophies of Freemasonry.
Although in the craft of Freemasonry there is no degree considered higher than that of a Master Mason, the degrees of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry enrich and expand the teachings of the symbolic lodge. As a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason you will, indeed, find an untold wealth of knowledge. You will learn more about Masonry. You will more deeply explore questions raised in the blue lodge degrees.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masons live by six core values: Integrity, Justice, Service to Humanity, Tolerance, Reverence for God, and Devotion to Country. These values unite us in a quest to become better men and better Masons. Together we work to pass on those values to future generations so our craft is left in the hands of other good men.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the most innovative and member-focused body in Freemasonry, offering a vast range of benefits to members. These benefits include:
- Further light in Masonry through Scottish Rite degrees, from the 4th degree to the 32nd degree.
- Member-only livestreams, including virtual degree watch parties and regular programming with Scottish Rite leaders and Brothers to keep us connected.
- Expanded fraternal network of Masons in each of the 102 Valleys in the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction. Forge lifelong bonds with more Brothers through exclusive Scottish Rite events, such as reunions, webinars, charity fundraisers, and more.
- Opportunity to get involved with the Scottish Rite Charities and make a difference in the lives of Brother Masons, their families, and our communities. Learn more about the transformative impact of each of our charities: the Grand Almoner's Fund, Abbott Scholarship Fund, Children's Dyslexia Centers, and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.
- Premium website content for members only, including our Best Practices and Leadership Resource Center. These resources will help you develop your leadership skills, learn what’s working for other Masons across the jurisdiction, and plan effective programming for your blue lodge and Scottish Rite Valley.
- Access to Hauts Grades Academy, a curriculum that provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the study of all 32 degrees. Student testimonials cite finding greater enlightenment and meaning from our Masonic teachings through the course.
In the United States, the Scottish Rite is organized into two regional jurisdictions: the Southern Jurisdiction and the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ). The Supreme Council of each jurisdiction operates independently, overseeing the states and Valleys in their region.
The Scottish Rite was established in the United States in 1801 in Charleston, South Carolina. The Southern Jurisdiction recognizes this date as its beginning. Today, the Supreme Council of the Southern Jurisdiction is headquartered in Washington, D.C. and oversees 35 states, primarily in the South and the West.
In 1813, a charter was granted to the Supreme Council of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in New York. Today, the Scottish Rite, NMJ is headquartered in Lexington, Massachusetts and oversees 15 states in New England, the Mid-Atlantic and the Mid-West: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, and Vermont.
Read more about history of the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
The Supreme Council of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite (AASR) is the governing body of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction (NMJ), the Supreme Council is headquartered in Lexington, MA and is led by the Sovereign Grand Commander, who performs the role of chief executive officer. The current Sovereign Grand Commander is Ill. David A. Glattly, 33°.
The Supreme Council is composed of 49 trustees, known as Active Members. Each of the 15 states within the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction has an Active Member designated as a Deputy. The Deputy serves as the executive officer for Scottish Rite Freemasonry within his state. He is supported by the remaining Active Members of the state.
The Supreme Council meets on an annual basis, at which time the business of the fraternity is done and the 33rd degree is conferred on those who have been elected to receive this honor. Learn more about the structure of Scottish Rite leadership or contact the Supreme Council with questions.
Valleys are the local bodies of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction.
The Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction includes Valleys in the following 15 states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.
Similar to a Masonic lodge, Valleys are local groups of Scottish Rite Masons, covering a larger region within a state. Belonging to a Valley means being part of a tight-knit community of Scottish Rite Brothers. Degrees from the 4th to the 32nd are also conferred in the Valleys.
Find your local Valley to learn more. Reach out to your Valley Secretary for ways to become involved.
If you wish to learn more about 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, there are opportunities for members and non-members alike through select Masonic institutions and exhibits.
Our Supreme Council headquarters in Lexington, MA is home to our Masonic Museum & Library, which is also one of our Scottish Rite charities. The Masonic Museum & Library aims to be the "historical society" of American Freemasonry and the Scottish Rite by collecting, preserving, interpreting, and celebrating the history of fraternalism. The museum hosts over 17,000 objects, including relics from the days of our Founding Fathers and bespoke artifacts with special meaning to the fraternity, and over 16,000 books. With workshops, education programs, and new and seasonal exhibits offered regularly, the Masonic Museum & Library offers those interested in learning more about 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry a plethora of resources to explore - so bring the whole family! Can't make it to Lexington? You can explore a limited number of exhibitions and objects from the Museum's collection online.
In addition to our Masonic Museum & Library, the public is welcome to take a trip to Alexandria, Virginia and visit the George Washington Masonic National Memorial. The nine-story neoclassical structure has been erected and maintained by the Freemasons of the United States as an expression of the high esteem in which the memory of George Washington is held within the Masonic fraternity, and to preserve the history and heritage of American Freemasonry. The Memorial is not only a historic monument, but also a museum, an active Masonic temple, a research library, a cultural space, a community and performing arts center, and an important regional landmark. Hosting five tours daily, the George Washington Masonic National Memorial is another way visitors can learn more about the history of our fraternity, our values, and the infamous Scottish Rite Freemason, George Washington.
Finally, if you're interested in learning more about Freemasonry locally, try reaching out to your state's Grand Lodge for a tour. While tour availability varies by region, many Grand Lodges host weekly tours led by Masons that explore the historic artifacts, architecture, and more of the Grand Lodge while teaching visitors about the values, principles, and history of the fraternity.
If you'd like to support the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Charities, there are a few ways you can do so. The first is to submit a one-time or recurring donation on our website. You can select which 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Charity you wish to put your donation towards, such as our Grand Almoner's Fund supporting Brothers facing hardships or our Leon M. Abbott Scholarship which provides scholarships to Masons and their families pursuing higher education. All donations are tax-deductible to the fullest extent allowed.
Another way you can support the 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Charities is through our Masonic Marketplace, our online store for 32nd Degree Scottish Rite merchandise. All proceeds from each purchase benefit our Grand Almoner's Fund, allowing you to show your support in more ways than one!
The four charities under the umbrella of our Scottish Rite Benevolent Foundation are: the Grand Almoner's Fund, the Abbott Scholarship Fund, the Children's Dyslexia Centers, and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library. Read more about our charities and learn how you can make a difference.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry offers 29 regular degrees (4th degree - 32nd degree) and an additional honorary degree (33rd degree).
The Scottish Rite degree system is a way for a Mason to build upon the ethical teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge (also known as blue lodge), which consists of the first three degrees of Freemasonry: Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason. Scottish Rite Freemasonry continues these degrees, from the 4th to the 32nd. Each degree explores one of the organization's six core values -- Reverence for God, Integrity, Devotion to Country, Justice, Tolerance, and Service to Humanity.
The 29 Scottish Rite degrees are organized into four bodies. In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, the bodies are:
- Lodge of Perfection (4th - 14th)
- Council of Princes of Jerusalem (15th - 16th)
- Chapter of Rose Croix (17th - 18th)
- Consistory (19th - 32nd)
The 33rd degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector General is an honorary degree conferred only by the Supreme Council, the governing body of Scottish Rite Freemasonry. A Scottish Rite Freemason may attain the 33rd degree, which is an honor bestowed for outstanding service to the brotherhood. This honorary degree is granted in recognition for individual accomplishments in private life, business, government, and the arts, as well as leadership and service within the fraternity.
The Scottish Rite degrees are plays, often staged with costumes, scenery, special effects, and the full rigging of a dramatic production. Their purpose is to present Masonic philosophy so that men might understand the reason and purpose of life, and thereby gain the knowledge and inspiration to better themselves and society. Each degree explores one of the organizations six core values -- Reverence for God, Integrity, Devotion to Country, Justice, Tolerance, and Service to Humanity.
These degrees are not meant to tell a Mason what he should think about the philosophical and ethical themes they introduce, but instead try to inspire Brothers to gain their own unique insight.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry presents an interpretation of the lessons of blue lodge Masonry through Scottish Rite degrees from the 4th to the 32nd. These degrees make use of drama and lectures, appealing to both the ear and eye, to explore the great truths that Freemasonry professes, and to delve into the organization's six core values -- Reverence for God, Integrity, Devotion to Country, Justice, Tolerance, and Service to Humanity.
The 29 Scottish Rite degrees explore more deeply the questions raised in the three blue lodge degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry is often considered a “graduate course” in Masonic teachings because our degrees supplement and reinforce the blue lodge in every way.
We also encourage our members to continue their education of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry through our Hauts Grades Academy, a curriculum that provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the study of all 32 degrees. Student testimonials cite finding greater enlightenment and meaning from our Masonic teachings through the course.
No, the degrees in 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry are not considered higher than the 3rd degree of Master Mason. There is no Masonic distinction of higher prestige than that of a Master Mason, and the noblest and most significant emblem is the apron of the Master Mason.
The degrees of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry are meant to allow Masons to journey into the study of Masonic values, philosophy, and teachings.
The time it takes to complete all 29 Scottish Rite degrees will vary for each person and depends on the degree schedule for each Valley.
To be initiated as a Scottish Rite Mason, you must witness the 4th degree, which can be completed in a single day.
To become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason, you must receive a minimum of five Scottish Rite degrees: the 4th degree and 32nd degree, along with three additional degrees that focus on 32nd Degree Freemasonry’s Core Values. Degree conferrals are often scheduled to permit the 32nd Degree to be attained within a short timeframe, such as a Reunion weekend. However, it is not necessary for an applicant to complete all of the required degrees at one time. You can choose to complete the degrees over whatever time period is most convenient for you.
Most men do go on to complete all 29 degrees. Some degrees, such as ones that require elaborate stage productions, may be conferred less frequently. Members are invited to travel to Valleys throughout the jurisdiction to witness degree presentations that may not be offered in their home Valley. Members are also encouraged to witness degrees more than once, as repeated viewings can lend greater insight into the lessons and teachings of each degree.
As a member of the Scottish Rite, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, you will be able to track your progress towards completing the degrees with your degree passport. Our online member center provides a digital version of the passport for easy reference. Members can also get their physical passport stamped at in-person Valley events.
The requirements for becoming a member of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction are as follows:
- You must be a Master Mason in good standing in a Masonic lodge. If you are not yet a Freemason, visit BeAFreemason.org to learn more and take the first step.
- You must profess belief in a Supreme Being.
- You must be a Master Mason in one of the 15 Northern Masonic Jurisdiction states and petition your local Valley for membership.
- Once you are approved as a degree candidate, you must attend a 4th degree date or reunion to be initiated as a Scottish Rite Mason. This fall you may also take the 4º and join the Scottish Rite through a Virtual Reunion.
- To officially become a 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemason, you must receive a minimum of five Scottish Rite degrees. You must receive the 4th degree and 32nd degree, along with three additional degrees (in any order) that focus on 32nd Degree Freemasonry’s Core Values. While not required, most men go on to view all 29 Scottish Rite degrees in the future. Participation in a Virtual Reunion will make you eligible for the 32°. The requisite number of degrees will be presented on each Virtual Reunion date.
Men of any ethnic, religious or economic background are eligible to become Scottish Rite Freemasons. Master Masons who are members of other appendant bodies of Freemasonry, such as Shriners International or the York Rite, are eligible to become Scottish Rite Masons so long as they meet the above requirements.
You will not be required to do any memorizing to earn the degrees and become a member of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry. To become a Scottish Rite Mason, you witness the degree ceremonies and drama and listen to the illustrative lectures. In order to more fully understand and appreciate what you have seen and heard, most 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasons attend presentations of the degrees more than once.
For members who do want to get more involved with the degree presentations, there are opportunities to act in minor or major roles, serve as a member of the choir, or participate as part of the behind-the-scenes crew.
Beyond the degree presentations, members can also continue their education of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry and journey deeper into our six core values through the Hauts Grades Academy (HGA), our premiere educational program. HGA offers a curriculum that provides an opportunity to delve deeper into the study of all 32 degrees. Student testimonials cite finding greater enlightenment and meaning from our Masonic teachings through the course.
32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry does not disqualify members based on their religious beliefs, but it does require that all members profess a belief in a Supreme Being. It does not attempt to teach creed of any kind, nor does 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry pretend to be a religion or a substitute for religion. The Scottish Rite practices universality.
The cost of joining 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry can vary. Minimum initiation fees have been established by the Supreme Council, but each Valley, Council, Chapter, and Consistory fixes its own fees. Each body also requires annual dues as fixed by its bylaws. Some bodies have a provision in their bylaws permitting a member to prepay his dues for the life of his membership in that body.
Membership costs will be outlined for you by your local Valley. Members of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, will receive their invoice once annually through an electronic and/or paper bill.
Members of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry can become as involved as they would like in the fraternity.
There is a place for you in many of the degree presentations depending on your interests, talents, and experience. For instance, you may serve as a guard or a member of the choir, or be part of the wardrobe committee, the stage crew, or the makeup team. You can be an actor in a minor or major role, as your talents permit. To get a taste for the kind of roles members can get involved in as it relates to degree presentations, watch our behind-the-scenes video of the 4th degree and read our blog about the making of the 17th degree.
Beyond the degrees, there is also the possibility of being on the reception committee or being an officer of the body, should you choose to run for an elected position and get selected. You can contact us for specific inquiries.
All members are welcome to get involved with the Scottish Rite Charities and make a difference in the lives of Brother Masons, their families, and our communities. Learn more about the transformative impact of each of our charities: the Grand Almoner's Fund, Abbott Scholarship Fund, Children's Dyslexia Centers, and the Scottish Rite Masonic Museum & Library.
Scottish Rite Masons are permitted to wear the 14th degree ring after receiving the 14th degree, Grand Elect Mason. The ring is optional for Scottish Rite Masons to order and wear and is intended to serve as a reminder of a member’s Masonic journey upon completing the Lodge of Perfection.
Scottish Rite Masons who have earned the honorary 33rd degree also have the right to wear the 33rd degree ring, awarded to them by the Supreme Council.
Additionally, some Brothers design their own 32nd degree rings to commemorate being 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Masons. These unofficial rings can be bought and worn at any time by any 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Mason.
You can learn more about the rings of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, their history and symbolism, and how to wear them on our blog.
After joining 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, you should not demit from your Masonic Lodge. Termination of your membership in a Masonic lodge for any reason automatically terminates your membership in the Scottish Rite. 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry is an appendant body of blue lodge Freemasonry and, as such, membership in the blue lodge is a requirement for membership in the Scottish Rite.
In 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, a “Reunion” is a gathering most Valleys hold for members once or twice a year, typically in the spring or fall. At the Reunion, the degrees of the Lodge of Perfection, Princes of Jerusalem, Chapter of Rose Croix, or Consistory are conferred on a class of candidates. The reunion also provides the opportunity for social fellowship.
New in 2020 and in response to shutdowns across our jurisdiction, accepted candidates can begin their journey to 32° by attending a Virtual Reunion. Our unique, meaningful, and convenient online event allows members and prospective Scottish Rite Masons to witness the 4° and other Scottish Rite degrees online, allowing them to join our Brotherhood from home. Participation in a Virtual Reunion will make you eligible for the 32°. The requisite number of degrees will be presented on each Virtual Reunion date.
Learn more about what it’s like to attend a Reunion of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry.
No, it is not improper to ask another Master Mason to join 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry! Please have no hesitation in inviting a Brother to join. By helping a Brother journey deeper into the teachings of Masonry, you are providing him with the opportunity to not only experience additional fellowship, but to find the true and best version of himself.
Brothers you ask to join 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry will be subject to the same membership process as non-referred Masons and will need to comply with the rules of their local Valley, which may differ from your own. Reach out to your local Valley with any questions on the membership process.
The dress code for members of 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry can range from casual to formal depending on the event.
For example, Reunions host one or multiple degree exemplifications and include Scottish Rite ritual, so formal dress, typically a suit and tie, is required. For more casual fraternal events, such as a charity event, casual dress is often suitable.
If you’re unsure of how to dress for a particular 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry event, reach out to a member or officer of your local Valley.
If you’d like to rejoin 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry, we'd love to welcome you home. The Supreme Council is committed to delivering a superior member experience with new resources and opportunities for members to get involved. Check out our premier educational program, Hauts Grades Academy. The highly popular Thursday Night at the Rite - evenings of video degrees and fraternal connection - returns January 7, 2021!
In fall 2020, due to widespread lockdowns throughout the jurisdiction, we offered brethren the chance to witness new degrees and complete their passport through Virtual Reunions! Decisions about Virtual Reunion offerings in 2021 will be announced soon.
To reinstate your membership, please reach out to your Valley secretary.
If you're interested in purchasing 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry merchandise, our Masonic Marketplace is a one-stop-shop for all your Masonic apparel and gift needs. From t-shirts and jackets, to bags, holiday ornaments, blankets, and coolers, there's something for everyone at our online store. Best of all, all proceeds made through the Masonic Marketplace support our Grand Almoner's Fund, which benefits our Brothers and families in times of hardship or crisis.
Master Masons are permitted to belong to 32nd Degree Scottish Rite Freemasonry and as many other Masonic organizations as they wish and are able to participate in.
Each Masonic organization operates independently from other Masonic bodies and holds unique opportunities for self-improvement, fellowship, and charitiable activities. Through these unique degrees, lessons, charities, and rituals, interested Master Masons are invited to engage with Freemasonry on a deeper level. Many Master Masons enjoy belonging to multiple Masonic organizations, such as Shriners International or York Rite Freemasonry, to expand their network of Brothers and explore the teachings of Freemasonry further, helping them to better understand how to apply Freemasonry's principles to their own life.