The Scottish Rite is one of the two branches of Freemasonry in which a Master Mason may proceed after he has completed the three degrees of Symbolic or Blue Lodge Masonry. The other branch is known as the York Rite, consisting of Royal Arch Masons, Royal and Select Masters and the Knights Templar.
Through the ancient tools of the Stonemasons, Blue Lodge Masonry or “Craft Masonry” helps its member look inward and “build that temple within himself”, and from this insight of character building, he begins a jouney which culminates into a better relationship with himself and those around him. Through Scottish Rite Masonry, that same Mason learns to understand his relationship with society and gains insight on both the mechanism and machinations of civilizations that he may be better enabled to assume a stewardship role within his community.
Known as the “University of Freemasonry”, the Scottish Rite is the compilation of the many orders and degress that were found throughout Europe and structured into Scottish Rite Degrees ranging from the 4º through 32º Masters of the Royal Secret. Based off of both their knowledge and continuous support of the Scottish Rite, members may attain the 32º Knight Commander Court of Honor (KCCH) and then finally the 33º Inspector General Honorary (IGH).
In the United States, members of the Scottish Rite can be elected to receive the 33° by the Supreme Council. It is conferred on members who have made major contributions to society or to Masonry in general. In the Southern Jurisdiction, a member who has been a 32° Scottish Rite Mason for 46 months or more is eligible to be elected to receive the “rank and decoration” of Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (K.C.C.H.) in recognition of outstanding service. After 46 months as a K.C.C.H. he is then eligible to be elected to the 33rd degree, upon approval of the Supreme Council and Grand Commander.