Council of Kadosh

19th ° - Grand Pontiff

Man hears the Proposals of Good and Evil; Be Patient, be Alert, Crush Falsehood, Baseness and Intolerance and you aid the coming of the Reign of Eternal Good.

This is the First Degree of the Council of Kadosh. In it the fact of the influence of the past upon the present and future is forcibly exemplified. The true Mason labors for the enlightenment of future ages. All good men hope to live after death through the work they have done. We still feel the influence of the deeds of heroism done in the past and are uplifted by the monuments of art and literature of ages gone by. It is the dead that govern. The living only obey. The Thoughts of the Past are the laws of the Present and the Future. That which shall live when we are dead, as a part of the great body of law enacted by the dead, is the only act worth doing, the only Thought worth speaking. Then let us so live that our acts may endure to uplift a brother yet unknown.




20th ° - Master of the Symbolic Lodge

Requirements and Responsibilities of Leadership are most demanding; Toleration, Justice and Truth in Leadership prompts rememberance with gratitude by those Governed.

As Grand Master of all Lodges, one must first learn to be able to teach. There is nothing more sublime than leading the initiate into the sublime truths of Masonry, but to do so properly requires study and thought. The lessons of this Degree are Liberty, Fraternity and Equality.






21st ° - Noachite or Prussian Knight

Count it always certain that Truth will win and Right will prevail in the end.

The history as well as the character of this degree is a very singular one. The Prussian Knights called themselves Noachites, or disciples of Noah; while all other Masons are designated as Hiramites, or disciples of Hiram. The destruction of the Tower of Babylon (whose chief builder was Phaleg) constitutes the legend of the degree. In this degree, we are admonished to be modest and humble, seeking ony the good in mankind and forgetting the evil. The fundamental idea of the degree is to teach the crime of assumption and the virtue of humility. Our ancient brethren met to redress wrongs and defend the helpless. The ancient meetings were held on the night of the full moon of each month.




22nd ° - Prince of Libanus

The lessons of this Degree have always been of great moment to a large number of people. The respect for labor itself and sympathy for the laboring classes are purely Masonic. Masonry has made the working man and his associates the heroes of her principal legend, and himself the companion of kings. From first to last, Masonry is work. Labor is man's great function, his peculiar distinction and his privilege. He pours his own thoughts into the moulds of nature, fashining them into forms of grace and fabrics of convenience.





23rd ° - Chief of the Tabernacle

Most of the ancient religious ceremonies consisted of public worship and private rites, called Mysteries, which only the initiated could attend. Only after years of practice of the most rigid virtue and great spiritual development could the initiate hope to attain the greater Mysteries. These ceremonies were often held at night in some secret place and consisted of sacred dramas, portraying some legend which contained a lesson, but little explanation was given and each candidate was left to interpret the truths for himself. Moses undoubtedly received from the Egyptians these Mysteries and in turn taught them to the Hebrew priesthood, emphasizing the doctrine of the one God supreme and inapproachable.




24th ° - Prince of the Tabernacle

Symbols were the universal language of an ancient theology. Symbolic instruction was the uniform usage of antiquity as a system of mysterious communication. The Mysteries were a series of symbols which strove to recall to man his divine origin, and point out to him, the means of returning thither. The great science acquired in the Mysteries was knowedge of man's self, of the nobleness of his origin, the grandeur o fhis destiny, and his superiority over the animals, which can never acquire this knowledge. The human mind still speculates upon the great mysteries of nature, and still finds its ideas anticipated by the ancients, whose profoundest thoughts are to be looked for, not in their philosophies, but in their symbols, by which they endeavored to express the great ideas that vainly struggled for utterance in words, as they viewed the great circle of phenomena - Birth, Life, Death, and New Life out of Death.



25th ° - Knight of the Brazen Serpent

The serpent was regarded in olden days with reverence and was known as the author of the fate of souls. The serpent in coil with head erect was the royal ensign of the Pharaohs. Other mysteries as well as those of the Hebrews and Gnostics consecrated it. In those of Bacchus Saba-Zeos it was flung into the bosom of the Initiate. In a system of degrees so complete as the Scottish Rite, it was necessary to teach every religion and philosophy known and so in this degree, we find moral lessons of some of the older religions taught with vigor. Specifically, this degree teaches faith.




26th ° - Prince of Mercy

To know many sciences and to know them thoroughly is difficult for our finite mind. But we can take time from our daily tasks to learn a little. That the light from some great sun has been traveling toward the earth for many centuries and is not yet visible to us is almost unbelievable, when we know that light travels 186,000 miles each second. yet is it any more wonderful to know that the great tree, the clinging vine and the little plant all spring from seeds so similar that only a botanist can tell one from another? The truth is that everything in nature is a mystery to us and we are mysteries to ourselves.




27th ° - Knight Commander of the Temple

Practical charity, knightly attributes of character and scoren for the base and selfish are but a few of the lessons taught in this Degree. Truth and honor are more to be cultivated than the gathering of wealth and power, and while we have been studying the historical, philosophical and religious lessons of Masonry, let us not forget the practical side of it, ever remembering our duties to the poor and helpless, the weak and unhappy.





28th ° - Knight of the Sun

The study of ancient religions is of such vast proportions, that were one able to devote his entire lifetime to it, he could not hope to complete it. The worship of the sun and its planets, with more or less variations, was the most prevalent, although originally the planets, as well as fire, light and heat were but symbols, or rather the outward manifestations of the Supreme Being, or Intellect. This Degree especially was the real belief of our first brethren, who lived long before the Pyramids of Egypt or the first Babylon.





29th ° - Scottish Knight of St. Andrew

Your duty always; a base act nowhere; tolerance ever; intolerance never.

Traditions and fold songs, handed down through the ages, are the foundation stones for the building of national character. The glorious achievements of our ancestors are the beacon lights of our efforts today. The cross of St. Andrew has always been the emblem of humility, patience and self-denial, and even more than these, that of charity and forbearance for the weak, the poor and the helpless. The knights of old held virtue and truth and honor the most essential qualities of character.





30th ° - Knight Kadosh

We break together the bread of Fraternity and drink from the same Cup of Equality.

Of all of the Degrees of the Scottish Rite, we should consider this as one of the most important. "Lives of great men," as the poet has said, "remind us we can make our lives sublime." If in death there is life, then the great martyrs of history live indeed in the hearts of the followers after truth. Every Mason who has attained this Degree should study the history of the Templars for it is as true now as then that the esoteric teachings of Masonry are only to be appreciated when studied diligently and continually. This Degree particularly teaches the great necessity of combating arbitrary and unscrupulous power and all influences which would keep the people in ignorance.