Shriners International is a fraternity based on fun, fellowship and the Masonic principles of brotherly love, relief and truth. There are approximately 375,000 members from 191 temples (chapters) in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Republic of Panama.
Shriners International support Shriners Hospitals for Children, a one-of-a-kind international health care system of 22 hospitals dedicated to improving the lives of children by providing specialty pediatric care, innovative research and outstanding teaching programs. Since 1922, Shriners Hospitals for Children have significantly improved the lives of more than 865,000 children.
If you hold the title of Master Mason in Freemasonry, you qualify and are invited to join the Shriners.
Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
Scottish Rite Freemasonry is the one universal Freemasonry; in fact, in many lands it is the only Freemasonry. Prior to the beginning of World War II, before the Totalitarian aggressors suppressed the Craft in most of Europe, there were thirty-seven Supreme Councils in existence, including countries from Italy to Argentina and New Zealand, and from the United States to China and South Africa.
The Scottish Rite is primarily a rite of instruction. It interprets the symbols and allegories of Freemasonry in the light of history and philosophy, using the words of the inspired prophets of humanity, the ceremonials of the great religious of the world, and significant episodes from history and biography to point the moral and adorn the tale. It is a university course in Masonic symbolism, tradition and ideas. In its Degrees the Masonic ritual is explained, the underlying meanings interpreted. Ancient liturgies and age-old philosophies are invoked to illustrate and enforce the profound teachings of the Craft.
The Scottish Rite is more than a fraternity of good fellows engaged in the benevolent practices of friendship and relief. It is a militant order, a knighthood, devoted to the cause of Liberty, Equality and Fraternity.
The Scottish Rite seeks to cultivate in the hearts of men personal morality and the sentiment of tolerance and fraternity. What has been said and done by the historic emancipators for the liberation of the human mind is vividly portrayed in its Degrees and the Scottish Rite Mason is dedicated to the effort to make the spirit of Masonry prevalent in society.
York Rite of Freemasonry
The York Rite, or more correctly, the American Rite, is based on the early remnants of Craft Masonry that were practiced in the early 1700’s. The formation of the first Grand Lodge of England in 1717 specified that the lodges were to confer only the degrees of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason, all other degrees being considered spurious. However, many lodges had been conferring other degrees that they considered an integral part of Masonry, in particular that of the Royal Arch, and formed their own Grand Lodge in 1751, terming themselves the “Antients” and the other Grand Lodge members the “Moderns.” With the merger of the two Grand Lodges in 1813 into the United Grand Lodge of England, the lodges agreed that only the three accepted degrees of Masonry would be used by the lodges, but the degree of the Royal Arch would be attached to Chapters allied directly to these lodges and bearing the same number as the lodge, though as a separate body. Thus, unlike the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite, which claims to hold the power of conferring the first three degrees of Masonry in addition to those under its jurisdiction, those found in the York Rite have rightfully acknowledged the fact that they are considered appendant to those of Ancient Craft Masonry. It is still the practice in English Masonry that a Masonic member is not considered to be in possession of all the degrees of Ancient Craft Masonry until he has been exalted to the Royal Arch.
Early American Lodges operated in a similar manner until the establishment of the General Grand Chapter of Royal Arch Masons. For a period in US history, the Cryptic degrees were controlled by various state Grand Chapter jurisdictions, until the establishment of the General Grand Council. The Chivalric Orders have been controlled by the Grand Encampment since the early 19th century in the United States. All three bodies are technically autonomous Masonic entities, only the requirement of membership in the Royal Arch connecting the Cryptic degrees and Chivalric Orders together.
Appendant to the York Rite Bodies are several additional Masonic bodies, most of which are invitational in nature. Membership in many of them is predicated on membership in the Royal Arch, though some have memberships predicated on other bodies of the York Rite, or membership in all of the York Rite bodies. Many are found in other jurisdictions outside of the United States, but several are uniquely American in their origin. (yorkritetexas.org)
The Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both women and men may belong. Worldwide, there are approximately 1 million members under the General Grand Chapter.
Eastern Star is a social order comprised of persons with spiritual values, but it is not a religion. Its appeal rests in the true beauty of the refreshing and character-building lessons that are so sincerely portrayed in its ritualistic work. A deep fraternal bond exists between its members. It is the wholesome relationship of sisterly and brotherly love brought about through high principles exemplified in our lives which makes us near and dear to each other.
While this is an Order composed of people of deep spiritual convictions, it is open to all faiths, except no faith. The personal welfare of our members is vital to all of those in the Eastern Star, and it is considered a privilege to help another member whenever we can. (www.easternstar.org)
Texas Lodge of Research
Texas Lodge of Research is a Masonic Lodge instituted on December 4, 1958 in Waco, Texas “for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, conducting, and fostering Masonic research and study.”
Membership in Texas Lodge of Research is available to any Master Mason who is in good standing of a lodge recognized by the Grand Lodge of Texas.
A member, after having a paper accepted and presented before the lodge is eligible to be elected to Full Membership.
Full Members can wear the distinctive aprons of Texas Lodge of Research. The apron is a replica of the apron worn by members of the Grand Lodge of the Republic of Texas.
(Truitt Bradley, PM, Texas Lodge of Research)
Tranquility Lodge No. 2000
Texas Freemasonry on the Moon
Tranquility Lodge 2000 was Chartered by The Grand Lodge of Texas for the purpose of promoting, encouraging, conducting and fostering the principles of Freemasonry, and to assist in promoting the health, welfare, education and patriotism of children worldwide.
The Grand Lodge of Texas is the first Grand Lodge to have a Member step onto the Moon, Brother Buzz Aldrin, in 1969. Through this event, The Grand Lodge of Texas has Chartered Tranquility Lodge 2000 for the purpose providing Fraternal Assistance to Masonic Organizations and other worthy organizations who help make life better for all living on Earth.
Tranquility Lodge 2000 is based in Texas under auspices of The Grand Lodge of Texas until such time as the Lodge may hold its meetings on the Moon. Our meetings are held quarterly at various cities in Texas, with the annual meeting being held in Waco each July.
Providing support and assistance to Masonic Organizations and to other worthy organizations who help make life better for all living on the Earth requires the support of all worthy Freemasons around the World. Your Membership in Tranquility Lodge 2000 helps in providing that assistance while offering Fraternal Brotherhood with Good Men of like mind.
High Twelve International
High Twelve International’s founder, former minister, E. C. “Wallie” Wolcott, who was the YMCA’s General Secretary at the time and eight of his business associates who were also Master Masons, met in Sioux City, IA, for fellowship and camaraderie and chartered the first High Twelve International club. It was Founders #1, chartered May 17, 1921.
High Twelve, which is a social extension of the Masonic experience, is so named because long ago, noon was known as “high twelve” and the time to call off from labor for refreshment. Accordingly, many High Twelve clubs – but not all – meet at noon. There is no ritual; but it strongly encourages its members to be active in their lodges and their communities.
High Twelve International’s clubs combine fellowship with helping others in their quality of life pursuits, particularly young adults and youth. The club’s two philanthropic objectives are youth and education, strongly supporting the Order of DeMolay, Rainbow Girls, Job’s Daughters and the Wolcott Foundation that was established to provide scholarships for students at George Washington University who seek public service careers in government.
High Twelve International affords valuable assistance to the Blue Lodges in whatever manner it is most needed. High Twelve International is Masonry in Action in the community where each Club holds its meetings and in the State where the several clubs are banded together in common purpose. High Twelvians adhere strictly to Masonic Law of that jurisdiction.
Masonry proper, is all work… solemn, serious and sublime work… there is not and never should be a line of light and frivolous from the first step as we enter the outer courts, to the last in the Holy of Holies of its mystic temple. Truth, everlasting and unchanging, is the foundation on which it is erected and on this basis its votaries by bonds of brotherhood which are mutually helpful and beneficent.
While it is as Prophets we open the portals of the Enchanted Realm to Master Masons, we are none the less loyal to Masonry. We carry with us the solemn lessons we have learned within the Lodge and we are guided by the precepts of Masonry while we revel in the good cheer of the Prophet.
The Order of Veiled Prophets, while proclaiming the loyalty of its members to Masonry, makes no pretense of being a Masonic Order, nor does it claim to confer a Masonic degree. Its membership is exclusively Masonic and its purpose is to supply the element of play such a way that work and play will be blended without marring the solid beauty of Masonry. The Grotto is said to be essentially Masonic in character.
The requirements for membership in the Order of Veiled Prophets is that a man must first be a Master Mason in good standing, and that he must continue to maintain his good standing in the Blue Lodge in order to retain his standing in the Order. In no way does the Grotto infringe upon the rights and ceremonies of Masonry or of any other Order.
The Grotto leads it votaries through an Enchanted Realm where the spirit of mirth touches the hearts and evolves cheerful companionship, in joy of which they are brought near together in helpful sympathy, which is none the less true because the eye beams with delight and laughter goes with a Prophet’s greeting when hand clasps hand in its mystic fellowship.
DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
DeMolay alumni include Walt Disney, John Wayne, Walter Cronkite, football Hall-of-Famer Fran Tarkenton, legendary Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, news anchor David Goodnow and many others. Each has spoken eloquently of the life-changing benefit gained from their involvement in DeMolay.
Rainbow for Girls
Rainbow members are between the ages of 11 and 20 years old. Rainbow welcomes everyone, regardless of race, creed, color or national origin. You do not have to be Christian to join, but parents can be assured that the values promoted by Rainbow are positive and uplifting. The lessons encourage members to be strong in spirit and kind in heart, respectful toward nature, and giving toward all humanity.
(Excerpt from The Grand Lodge of Texas website.)