ANCIENT AND ACCEPTED RITE (ROSE CROIX)
The Ancient and Accepted Rite consists of 33 Degrees. It is often referred to as the ‘Rose Croix’. This is a shortened form of the 18th Degree title of Knight of the Pelican & Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom.
In this Country this is the entry Degree, and the one in which a Candidate is Perfected.
The first three Degrees are the same as those in the Craft Lodge namely Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft and Master Mason.
A Candidate is ‘Perfected’ during a Two part Ceremony. In the first part the Fourth to the Seventeenth Degrees are conferred by name only. These Degrees each have full rituals and one or more of them are demonstrated each year under the auspices of The Supreme Council 33rd Degree.
In the Second part the Candidate is taken through the Easter Story, through a reflection on the death of Jesus Christ and then into the Resurrection.
On completion of this part of the Ceremony the Candidate is Invested with the Collar and Jewel of a Knight of the Pelican and Eagle and Sovereign Prince Rose Croix of Heredom. He then continues as an 18th Degree Mason throughout all the Offices of the Chapter until he has completed a year in the Chair of the Chapter as Most Wise Sovereign.
If, during this time, he completes all the work associated with the Degree Ceremonies, including the Installation of his Successor into the Chair, the Chapter Recorder will pass this information to the Inspector General who can make a recommendation for Promotion to the Higher Degrees. The first of these being the 30th Degree.
The Supreme Council will then Elect him to that Degree and within a year he will be asked to attend the London Headquarters to have the 19th to 29th Degrees conferred by name; the 30th Degree is conferred in a Special Ceremony held in London.
Progression to the 31st and 32nd Degrees are recommended by the District Inspector General, but are strictly limited in numbers by The Supreme Council 33°. These Two Degrees are also conferred, in London, by The Supreme Council.
The 33rd Degree is that of Sovereign Grand Inspector General (normally in Charge of a District). This Appointment is the prerogative of The Supreme Council only.