Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What Are The Allied Masonic Degrees?

I hate to admit it, but that's the question I had to ask myself when I received a letter from the Secretary of the Eastern Illinois Allied Masonic Degrees Council No. 356 a couple months ago--my good friend Gregory Knott received the same letter.  It was an invitation to join the Council, and while both Greg and I had heard of the AMD, neither of us knew much about them.

I know a little more now, so I thought I'd share what I've learned with you (and I swiped some of this information from various AMD sites).

Back many years ago, before Masonry took on the familiar structure we know today, there were a lot more degrees that were performed by Craft Lodges.  When our more modern structure of three Blue Lodge Degrees and the Royal Arch system was established, many of these degrees became dormant or were conferred as side degrees.  The best of these degrees were later grouped together under the title of "Allied Masonic Degrees." 

The degrees comprising the system in the United States are the Royal Ark Mariner, Secret Monitor, Knight of Constantinople, Saint Lawrence the Martyr, Architect, Superintendent, Grand Tilers of Solomon, Master of Tyre, Excellent Master, Installed Sovereign Master, Installed Commander Noah, Red Branch of Eri and Ye Ancient Order of Corks. They are conferred in the United States in Councils chartered by the Grand Council. Membership in every Council of Allied Masonic Degrees is by invitation, and is predicated on membership in the Royal Arch Chapter.

L to R: Greg Knott, Sovereign Master Larry Raglan, & Todd Creason at Paxton Lodge (IL)
The Allied Masonic Degrees serve another role besides performing and ensuring these degrees have a lasting place in Masonry.  They bring together small groups of Freemasons (each Council is limited to 27 members) who are particularly interested in and active in the advancement of all Masonry, and who are interested in study and research--which is why membership is by invitation.  They are looking for a particular kind of Mason.

In general, you will find the members of the Allied Masonic Degrees are extremely active in all local Masonic bodies.  I know I'm certainly looking forward to my participation in the Eastern Illinois Council.  I think the part I'm looking most forward to is the practice by my council to meet in a different lodge each meeting--it will give me an opportunity to visit a few places I haven't had the chance to visit before.

So now, hopefully, you know a little something more about the Allied Masonic Degrees.



  1. I just got a letter myself in early December. I'm being "initiated" in April or May. EM Lambert AMD Council 319. Kind of hilarious, I didn't know about them either.


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