A Brief History of the Scottish Rite

The lineage of the Scottish Rite can be traced to a period from 1726, although some of its rituals may have a legacy dating to the 1600’s.  There are early allusions to “Scottish” Masonry, i.e., degrees with a “Scottish” title, in manuscripts dating back to 1733.  But the most likely beginning of the Scottish Rite can be traced to Bordeaux and Paris, France where the ritual basis for the second temple degrees can be dated to 1743. The establishment of the Chapter of Clermont in 1754 outside of Paris, by Chevalier de Bonneville, honoring the Duc de Clermont, then Grand Master of the English Grand Lodge of France, may have worked as many as 25 degrees during its four year period of existence.

The Chapter of Clarmont was replaced by the Knights of the East and Emperors of the East and West, the latter becoming known in France as the Rite of Heredom during the 1750’s.  This Rite organized the Rite of Perfection, comprising of 25 degrees, 22 of which were called the haut grades, or high degrees, with the three degrees of the symbolic lodge added.  A document pertaining to the Rite of Perfection, known as the Secret Constitutions of 1761, designated officers as Inspectors General of the Thirty-third degree.

With the emergence of this document, a joint patent was issued from the Grand Lodge of France and the Emperors of the East and West to a merchant named Etienne (Stephen) Morin for the purpose of establishing the “Order of the Royal Secret” and promulgating the higher grades of Masonry in the Americas.  This patent granted Morin the title of Inspector General, with the authority to create other inspectors and to establish lodges to work in “the perfect and sublime degrees.” A year later, the Grand Constitutions of 1762 was adopted, providing for 25 degrees, including the three degrees of Craft Masonry, with authority to establish lodges and work the degrees under Inspectors General and their Deputies.  From Morin’s original authority, patents were granted establishing the Rite of Perfection in the West Indies, Albany, New Orleans, Philadelphia, and Charleston.

The Grand Constitutions of 1786, purported to be adopted in Berlin on May 1, 1786, provided for a Rite consisting of Thirty-three degrees, from one to thirty-three, under the title of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and governed by a Supreme Council.   This constitution created the structure and governance of the Scottish Rite as it is practiced in the United States today.  A Supreme Council of nine members was opened for the first time in Charleston, South Carolina, in May, 1801, thus establishing the “Mother Council of the World.”

All legitimate workings of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, including those practiced in Oklahoma, now provide for a system of Thirty-three degrees.  In most jurisdictions, the authority over the first three degrees is relinquished to the Grand Lodges of Ancient, Free, and Accepted Masons within each state, thus providing a homogenous partnership in promulgating a progressive system of moral and ethical lessons, which is the true mission of Freemasonry.

A Brief History of Saint Paul Scottish Rite

City of Saint Paul Proclamation
Whereas, the Freemasons long history in this country dates back to when the first Grand Lodge of Freemasons was established in Pennsylvania in 1730, and later with the establishment of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry in 1801 , as well as the establishment of the Grand Lodge of Ancient Free and Accepted Masons in Minnesota in 1853; and
Whereas, the local Scottish Rite, known by many names including The Valley and the University of Freemasons, is an organization whose members teach and emulate the principles of brotherly love, tolerance, charity, and truth, while actively embracing high social, moral and spiritual values: and
Whereas, the Saint Paul Valley of the Orient of Minnesota, of the Southern Jurisdiction of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry, was chartered as Carmel #1 Lodge of Perfection on March 21, 1873, was renamed Saint Paul #1 Lodge of Perfection on October 23, 1935, and has had thousands of members who were residents of Saint Paul over its 150 year history; and
Whereas, many prominent citizens and business leaders, including doctors, lawyers, bankers, judges, railroad superintendents, business owners and more, have been members of the St. Paul Valley, including fur trader, steamboat operator, railway entrepreneur and member of the Minnesota Territorial Legislature Norman Wilfred Kittson, and noted scientist and mathematician and President of Ramsey Institute of Technology Arvid Reuterdahl, and former Governor of Minnesota Harold E. Stassen; and
Whereas, the Saint Paul Valley has contributed to an array of causes, and philanthropies and scholarships that support our community including Reserve Officer Training Corps and Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps programs at a number of schools and universities, and has supported the Rite Care Foundation which provides grants to parents of children who suffer from speech and language disorders to pay for much needed therapy; and
Whereas, we join the members of our community in uplifting the contributions of the Saint Paul Valley, as we celebrate their long lasting impact.
Now, Therefore, I, Melvin Carter, Mayor of the City of Saint Paul, do hereby proclaim Tuesday, March 21, 2023, to be:
Saint Paul Scottish Rite Day in the City of St. Paul
In witness, Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the City of Saint Paul to be affixed this Twenty-first Day of March in the Year Two Thousand Twenty-three.
Melvin Carter, Mayor

The Valley of St. Paul, Lodge of Perfection, celebrates 150 years of history this year. 

Please save October 4, 2023 on your calendar for our celebration dinner and feast.

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