An Introduction to the Ancient and Accepted Rite.
The Aim of the Order
The aim of the Order, which, in New Zealand, is Christian in character and practice, is to provide a duly qualified Master Mason with the opportunity to extend his participation, knowledge and enjoyment of masonry. The Ancient and Accepted Rite continues the teachings of symbolic masonry in a series of most interesting degrees.
How The A & A Rite Started
In the 18th century the protestant kingdom of Frederick II of Prussia was troubled by Rome, the Jesuits and Austria. Frederick, a mason himself, encouraged the craft at all levels. He opposed tyranny in all its forms and tried to restrain Romanism in Prussia and the power of Austria. Freemasonry assisted Frederick to achieve his ends. In 1785 freemasonry was strong and both Prussia and Austria sought its support. The atmosphere of freedom of association and learning, together with similar social freedoms developing in France and Britain, created a perfect climate for the development of the Rose Croix Order. It was protestant, (although that is not relevant today,) it was Masonic, and with Frederick governing Prussia firmly in all things, he foresaw the advantages of formulating the Grand Constitutions of 1786. These have remained the basic landmark of all Supreme Councils throughout the world.
From Europe to the World
Within the next century the A & A Rite spread to many parts of the world. In the early 1800’s the Supreme Council, Northern USA, was formed and it was this Council which in 1845 sponsored the Supreme Council for England and Wales.
The A & A Rite in New Zealand
In 1875 the first New Zealand Chapter was formed at Greymouth under the authority of England and Wales. The New Zealand Supreme Council was established on February 12, 1994. Today there are approximately 50 Chapters under its banner, four of which have accomplished 100 years of service.
What is the Rose Croix Degree?
It is a simple, beautiful degree following the Christian teachings. Its ritual is of special interest to the practising Christian as it moves through the steps of life, links craft masonry to higher levels and finally welcomes the candidate into the living circle. All Master Masons are eligible to join. Known as the Ceremony of Perfection, each candidate is instructed from the 4th to the 18th degree in one ceremony.
Because those who enter the Order are Christian, it follows that members of the Rite have between them an understanding that they all have the same religious faith.
The Rose Croix degree, is claimed by some, as the most dignified and beautiful degree experienced in the fabric of Freemasonry. It is by no means an exaggeration to describe the discoveries of the Rose Croix degree as the result and perfection of all preceding masonry.