The period from 1740 to 1813 saw a host of Masonic rites
emerge, as there were brethren for whom the Grand Lodge
system was insufficient. These new rituals enlarged the
scope of Masonry and encompassed many elaborations, some of
which included elements which had previously been practiced
within the craft. Many rites proved to be transient and died
out (some being no more than a written record without
evidence of having been practiced), but some proved more
resilient and survived through amalgamation.
It is possible to segment the various additional orders into
five distinct categories based on the allegorical form that
the ritual takes, the key lessons from the ritual and its
relationship with other orders. The individual orders do not
neatly fit into each category.
- Those dealing with the aftermath of the murder of
Hiram Abif and subsequently completing the construction
of King Solomon's Temple. The symbolism seeks to capture
the lesson that every candidate must make his or her own
- The Vengeance degrees, elaborating on the allegory in
the Traditional History of the Master Mason ritual.
These degrees deal with the finding and subsequent
punishment of the three who murdered Hiram Abif and the
resulting rewards to those who carried this out.
- The rebuilding of the temple by Zerabubbel and the
search for the figurative secrets in the foundations of
the former temple.
- Degrees conferring powers of inspection and discipline
on the candidate, within the structure that the degree
is contained within.
The appendant bodies which have survived to the present have
done so by containing ritual content perceived as being of
value to the participants. The ritual of those orders which
have not survived are collected and demonstrated by the
Grand College of Rites which provides a mechanism to
preserve the history and traditions associated with
Freemasonry and prevent the resurrection of dormant rituals.
- The Philosophical, Templar and Christian degrees.
York Rite (also called the "American Rite")
The York Rite is one of the two main appendant bodies of US
Freemasonry, which a Master Mason may join to further his
knowledge of Freemasonry. Its name derives from the city of
York, where, according to a Masonic legend, the first
meetings of Masons in England took place. The other branch
is the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite. Some obediences
of the Scottish Rite may confer some of these degrees in
Continents where the York Rite is not active. The divisions
within the York Rite and the requirements for membership
differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, but the essentials
are the same. In all the workings the one requirement is
that all applicants be in possession of the third degree,
that of Master Mason.
The York Rite is not found as a single system in the
majority of countries outside the United States, nor is any
of the separate degrees subject to the local Grand Lodge
jurisdiction. Each sovereign and distinct rite or "Order"
elsewhere has some differences in ritual details to the York
Rite system. However, provided that Grand Lodge in question
regards the parent "Craft" jurisdiction as regular, each
distinct Order has recognised fraternal inter-relations with
the respective Rite within the York system.
York Rite in the United States of America
The York Rite in the United States is actually a grouping of
separate Rites joined in order, namely the Capitular Rite,
or Royal Arch Masons (General Grand Chapter - Royal Arch
Masons International), the Cryptic Rite, or Cryptic Masons
(General Grand Council - Cryptic Masons International) and
the Chivalric Rite, or Knights Templar (Grand Encampment of
Knights Templar of the United States of America).
Royal Arch Masonry
Royal Arch Masonry is the first order a Master Mason joins
in the York Rite.
The Chapter works the following degrees:
- The Mark Master Mason degree is in some respects an
extension of the Fellow Crafts' second degree. In some
jurisdictions the degree is conferred in a Fellow Craft
Lodge, that is, the second degree of the Blue Lodge.
- The Past Master (Virtual) degree is conferred because
of the traditional requirement that only Past Masters of
a Blue Lodge may be admitted to Holy Royal Arch. Because
there are so many applicants for this degree, Virtual
Past Master is required to qualify them for it. Much of
the work is the same given to install the Worshipful
Master of a Blue Lodge. There is no such requirement or
procedure outside the USA.
- In the Most Excellent Master degree the building of
King Solomon's Temple, which figures so prominently in
Blue Lodge, has been completed. In England the degree is
conferred by Cryptic Councils, along with three other
- The Royal Arch Mason degree is said by many to be the
most beautiful degree in all of Freemasonry. Following
the convocation of Supreme Grand Chapter in England on
November 10, 2004, there are significant ritual
differences from that worked in the USA, fraternal
inter-relations remain as before. Freemasons who reach
this degree may continue to Cryptic Masonry or go
straight to Knights Templar.
Membership in the Council of Cryptic Masons (or the Council
of Royal and Select Masters in Great Britain and Texas) is
not required for membership in the Knights Templar in some
jurisdictions, so it is frequently skipped. It is called
Cryptic Masonry because a crypt or underground room figures
prominently in the degrees.
This body is also called the Cryptic Rite. The degrees are:
In Great Britain, a Most Excellent Master degree is offered
between Select Master and Super-Excellent Master.
- Super-Excellent Master, which is an optional degree -
the legend having nothing to do with a crypt.
Knights Templar is the final order joined in the York Rite.
Unlike other Masonic bodies which only require a belief in a
Supreme Being regardless of religion, membership in Knights
Templar is open only to Master Masons who promise to defend
the Christian faith. While the Masonic Knights Templar
organization is based on the historical Knights Templar
founded in the 12th Century, there is no actual historical
link between the two groups.
A local Knights Templar organization is called a Commandery
in the United States and a Preceptory elsewhere. In the
United States, Knights Templar consists of three degrees:
- Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
- Order of the Knights of Malta (or simply Order of
The York Rite Sovereign College
- Order of the Temple consisting of:
Order of Knights Templar
Consecration to service to country
An invitational Masonic body open to members who are members
of all four York Rite Bodies and who have shown exceptional
proficiency in them. The College confers only one degree:
Order of the Red Cross of Constantine
This is outside the system of degrees of the York Rite, but
is included here for the sole reason that candidates must
have received the Royal Arch Degree.
The Conclave is an invitational Masonic body open to members
of York Rite Masonry and by special dispensation to Sublime
Princes (32nd Degree) of the Royal Secret, Ancient and
Accepted Scottish Rite. The Scottish Rite includes the
degree of Royal Arch of Solomon.
- Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine
- Knight of the Holy Sepulchre
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- Knight of Saint John the Evangelist
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry (the
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction in the United States omits the
and), commonly known as simply Scottish Rite, is one of
several Rites of the worldwide fraternity known as
Freemasonry. A Rite is a series of progressive degrees that
are conferred by various Masonic organizations or bodies,
each of which operates under the control of its own central
authority. In the Scottish Rite, the central authority is
called a Supreme Council.
The thirty-three degrees of the Scottish Rite are conferred
by several controlling bodies. The first of these is the
Craft Lodge which confers the Entered Apprentice,
Fellowcraft, and Master Mason degrees. Craft lodges operate
under the authority of Grand Lodges, not the Scottish Rite.
Although most lodges throughout the English-speaking world
do not confer the Scottish Rite versions of the degrees,
there are a handful of lodges in New Orleans and in several
other major cities that have traditionally conferred the
Scottish Rite version of these degrees.
The Scottish Rite is one of the appendant bodies of
Freemasonry that a Master Mason may join for further
exposure to the principles of Freemasonry. In England and
some other countries, while the Scottish Rite is not
accorded official recognition by the Grand Lodge, there is
no prohibition against a Freemason electing to join it. In
the United States, however, the Scottish Rite is officially
recognized by Grand Lodges as an extension of the degrees of
Freemasonry. The Scottish Rite builds upon the ethical
teachings and philosophy offered in the craft lodge, or Blue
Lodge, through dramatic presentation of the individual
The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite in each country is
governed by a Supreme Council. There is no international
governing body - each Supreme Council in each country is
sovereign unto itself.
In the United States, there are two Supreme Councils: one in
Washington, DC, and one in Lexington, Massachusetts, which
control the Southern Jurisdiction (SJ) and Northern Masonic
Jurisdiction (NMJ), respectively. In the SJ, individual
states are referred to as Orients and local bodies are
called Valleys; the NMJ uses only Valley. Each Valley has up
to four Scottish Rite bodies, and each body confers a set of
degrees. In both jurisdictions the Supreme Council controls
and confers the 33rd Degree of Sovereign Grand Inspector
In the United States the Lexington, Massachusetts - based
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction, formed in 1813, oversees the
bodies in fifteen states: Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois,
Indiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New
Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island,
Wisconsin and Vermont.
Orients in the other thirty-five states, districts and
territories in the United States are overseen by the
Southern Jurisdiction. Based in Washington, D.C., the
Southern Jurisdiction is the "Mother Supreme Council of the
World," being the first Supreme Council, and was founded in
Charleston, South Carolina in 1801.
In the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, the
Supreme Council consists of no more than 33 members, and is
presided over by a Grand Commander. Other members of the
Supreme Council are called "Sovereign Grand Inspectors
General" (S.G.I.G.), and each is the head of the Rite in his
respective Orient (or state). Other heads of the various
Orients who are not members of the Supreme Council are
called "Deputies of the Supreme Council."
In the Northern Jurisdiction the Supreme Council consists of
no more than 66 members. All members of the Supreme Council
are designated Sovereign Grand Inspectors General, but the
head of the Rite in each Valley of the Northern Jurisdiction
is called a "Deputy of the Supreme Council."
System of Degrees
According to the various Scottish Rite jurisdictions in the
world, all of which operate independently, the Scottish Rite
degrees are worked at will by their governing bodies. For
example the Southern Jurisdiction separates the degrees as
- 4° through 14°: Lodge of Perfection
- 15° through 18°: Chapter of Rose Croix
- 19° through 30°: Council of Kadosh
This is slightly different in the Northern Jurisdiction:
- 31° through 32°: Consistory
- 4° through 14°: Lodge of Perfection
- 15° through 16°: Council, Prince of Jerusalem
- 17° through 18°: Chapter of Rose Croix
The Supreme Council is the governing body of the Scottish
Rite in the various jurisdictions, and charters all
subordinate bodies. Members of the Supreme Council are
chosen from among those members who have obtained the 33°.
- 19° through 32°: Consistory
A Scottish Rite Mason does not need to be, nor ever needs to
have been, an officer of any rank in any lodge to be honored
with the 33rd degree.
In Scotland, candidates are perfected in the 18th degree,
with the preceding degrees awarded in name only. A minimum
of a two-year interval is required before continuing to the
30th degree, again with the intervening degrees awarded by
name only. Elevation beyond that is by invitation only, and
numbers are severely restricted.
Similarly in England, the candidate is perfected in the 18th
degree with the preceding degrees awarded in name only.
Continuing to the 30th degree is restricted to those who
have served in the chair of the Chapter. Elevation beyond
the 30th degree is as it is in Scotland.
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The Shriners of North America
The Shriners, or Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the
Mystic Shrine, are an Order appendant to Freemasonry. Until
2000, one had to complete either the Scottish Rite or York
Rite degrees of Masonry to be eligible for Shrine
membership, but now any Master Mason can join.
Established in New York City in the 1870s, the Shriners are
best known for having fun. Members of the Shrine are
immediately recognizable by the fezzes they wear, and are
often seen in parades and as clowns in the Shrine Circus.
However, the Shrine is also noted for its charitable works,
rather like a service club, most notably the Shriner's
Hospitals for Children, which provides medical treatment to
children free of charge.
The Shriners often participate in local parades, sometimes
as rather elaborate units: shrines may have one or more
whole units of miniature vehicles in themes (all sports
cars; all miniature 18-wheeler trucks; all fire engines for
instance) of a dozen or two dozen Shriners executing
elaborate drills in the mini-vehicles; an "oriental band"
dressed in cartoonish versions of Middle Eastern dress;
floats, including huge inflatable balloons of Shriners
wearing their fezzes - some local mosques actually have all
of the above marching in the same parade.
The Shriners are committed to community service and have
been instrumental in countless public projects throughout
their domain. They also host the annual East-West Shrine
Game which is a college football all-star game. Once a year,
the fraternity meets for the Imperial Council Session in a
major North American city. It is not uncommon for these
conventions to have 20,000 participants or more, which
generates significant revenue for the local economy.
The Shrine's charitable arm is the Shriners Hospitals for
Children, a network of twenty-two hospitals in the United
States, Mexico and Canada. It was formed to treat young
victims of polio, but as that disease was controlled, they
broadened their scope. They now deal with all pediatric
cases, most especially with orthopedic injuries and disease
and burns. The Shrine has pioneered new treatments for these
There is never any charge for treatment at a Shriners
Hospital. There is no requirement for religion, race, or
relationship to a Freemason. Patients must be under the age
of eighteen and treatable. Local Shrine temples most often
provide free transportation to the nearest hospital. In
2002, a mascot named Fez Head Fred debuted, primarily to
visit their children's hospitals.
In 2005, Shriners Hospitals approved 37,755 new patient
applications, attended to the needs of 123,385 patients and
provided the following free of charge:
- 228,261 radiology procedures
- 305,455 outpatient, outreach and telemedicine visits
- 67,735 orthotic and prosthetic devices applied
- 24,627 surgical procedures
Shriners Hospitals' total budget for 2006 is $649 million,
of which $616 million is targeted for operating expenses
(including $33 million for research) and $33 million for
buildings and equipment expenditures. During the 84-year
history of the Shriners Hospitals, approximately $7.6
billion has been spent to operate Shriners Hospitals, and
over $1.73 billion has been spent on construction and
- 227,857 occupational therapy treatments
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M.O.V.P.E.R. or The Grotto
Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted Realm, also
known as M.O.V.P.E.R. or The Grotto, the subordinate bodies
are called Grottoes (much like Lodges in Freemasonry).
This order was founded by LeRoy Fairchild. In the summer of
1889 who, along with a group of Master Masons, member of
Hamilton Lodge #120 at Hamilton, New York, met to organize
and hold informal meetings. What this group was seeking was
fun and good fellowship. At their meeting on September 10,
1889, they decided to honor the founder by calling it
"Fairchild Deviltry Committee." It was decided that this
organization be confined to Master Masons in good standing.
The idea of the Order proved to be attractive and many
distinguished Masons joined. The Order could no longer be
confined to any one locality and in response to requests
other groups were formed On June 13, 1890 the Fairchild
Deviltry Committee duly established and formed the Supreme
Council, Mystic Order of Veiled Prophets of the Enchanted
Realm. Its purpose mainly was to add in greater measure to
the Masonic fraternal spirit the charm of radiant
cheerfulness and to maintain within the fraternity an
impetus of royal good fellowship.
It is a social organization for the Master Mason and all
such are welcome to join the Enchanted Realm. It encourages
renewed interest in the Blue Lodge Field. While it is not
and makes no claim to be a part of Symbolic Craft Masonry,
they ever remember that it is comprised solely of Master
Members are distinguished by the black fez with the red
tassle and a Mokanna head in the middle. The M.O.V.P.E.R.
organizes the annual Fair Saint Louis in Saint Louis,
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Tall Cedars of Lebanon
The Tall Cedars of Lebanon is one of the various appendant
bodies of Freemasonry, open only to Master Masons in good
standing in a regular Masonic Lodge.
Cedars meet in groups called 'Forests,' each headed by a
Grand Tall Cedar. These forests most often meet at the local
Masonic hall. The Tall Cedars claim 15,000 members, mostly
in the eastern United States. The group was incorporated in
1902, but has antecedents in American Masonry from the
1840s. Its center of activity was, and is the states of New
Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Tall Cedar support research into Muscular Dystrophy and
neuromuscular diseases. Tall Cedars often provide the site
and volunteers for local telephone banks for the annual
Jerry Lewis Telethon. They are distinguished by the
pyramid-shaped hats they wear at their functions.
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Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal
organization in the world that both men and women can join.
It was established in 1850 by Robert Morris, a lawyer and
educator from Boston, Massachusetts who had been an official
with the Freemasons. It is based on teachings from the
Bible, but is open to people of all monotheistic faiths. It
has approximately 10,000 chapters in twenty countries and
approximately one million members under its General Grand
Chapter. Members of the Order are aged 18 and older; men
must be Master Masons and women must have specific
relationships with Masons. Originally, a woman would have to
be the daughter, widow, wife, sister, or mother of a master
Mason, but the Order now allows other relatives as well as
allowing Rainbow Girls to become members when they come of
The emblem of the Order is a five-pointed star, representing
the Star of Bethlehem. In the Chapter room, the
downward-pointing white ray points to the West. The
character-building lessons taught in the Order are stories
inspired by Biblical figures:
- Adah (Jephthah's daughter, from Judges)
- Martha (sister of Lazarus, from the Gospel of John)
The Order has a charitable foundation and from 1986-2001
contributed $513,147 to Alzheimer's disease research,
juvenile diabetes research, and juvenile asthma research. It
also provides bursaries to students of theology and
religious music, as well as other scholarships that differ
by jurisdiction. In 2000 over $83,000 was donated. Many
jurisdictions support a Masonic and/or Eastern Star
retirement center or nursing home for older members; some
homes are also open to the public. They also often make
charitable contributions in their local communities,
presented low key without much fan-fare.
- Electa (the "elect lady", from II John), the mother
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Order of the Amaranth
Order of the Amaranth is a Masonic-affiliated organization.
It is similar to the Order of the Eastern Star in many ways.
In fact, at one time Amaranth was to Eastern Star what
Master Mason is to Fellow Craft/Entered Apprentice in a
Masonic Lodge, but in 1921 this relationship ceased. Like
Eastern Star, members of the Order must be age 18 and older,
men must be Master Masons and women must have specific
relationships with Masons. These relationships are: Wives,
Mothers, Daughters, Granddaughters, Step-daughters, Legally
adopted daughters, Widows, Sisters, Half-sisters, Nieces,
Grand nieces, ,Aunts, Great-granddaughters, Grandmothers, or
have been active members of the International Order of
Rainbow for Girls or the International Order of Jobs
Daughters for more than 3 years and come recommended by a
Amaranth was based on Queen Christina of Sweden's court,
which is why the executive officer, who must be female, is
called Royal Matron, and the man that sits on her left Royal
In the Order's teachings, the members are emphatically
reminded of their duties to God, to their country and to
their fellow beings. They are urged to portray, by precept
and example, their belief in the "Golden Rule" and by
conforming to the virtues inherent in TRUTH, FAITH, WISDOM
and CHARITY they can prove to others the goodness
promulgated by the Order.
The extent of its Charitable Work and overall Benevolence is
limited only by the opportunities that exist, and the
ability to secure adequate funding. Its Philanthropic
project is the Amaranth Diabetes Foundation. The flag of the
appropriate country is prominently displayed at all meetings
creating a strong sentiment of patriotism and devotion to
the respective land that we love.
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DeMolay International (originally known as the Order of
DeMolay) is an international youth fraternity for young men
between the ages of 12 to 21 (members who reach the age of
21 are referred to as 'Senior DeMolays'). The organization
helps prepare young men to lead successful, productive and
happy lives through the development of civic awareness,
leadership skills and personal responsibility. It is modeled
after Freemasonry, and like Freemasonry, members are
initiated into DeMolay through ritual and an allegorical
program. DeMolay is considered an appendant body to
Freemasonry; every DeMolay chapter is sponsored by a Masonic
Lodge or other Masonic body. DeMolay is considered part of
the family of Masonic youth groups along with Job's
Daughters, Girls of the Golden Court, Rainbow Girls, and
Organization of Triangles.
The Order of DeMolay was founded in 1919 in Kansas City,
Missouri by Frank Sherman Land and nine young men. Since
then the organization has spread to all 50 U.S. states and
many other countries around the world including Canada,
Philippines, Aruba, Australia, Brazil, Bolivia, Germany,
Italy and Japan.
The organization is named after Jacques de Molay, a knight
and crusader who was the 23rd and last Grand Master of the
Knights Templar. Members are encouraged to model their
conduct after his example of loyalty and fidelity.
The initiation program consists of two degrees, the
Initiatory Degree and the DeMolay Degree. The initiatory
degree is solemn, and shows how one will dedicate himself to
the Seven Precepts inculcated by the Order. The Order of
DeMolay teaches its members that there is no better
foundation for the coming manhood years than the practice of
these Virtues. The DeMolay degree portrays the tribulations
experienced by Jacques DeMolay and inculcates his values of
loyalty and love for his comrades. There are other
ceremonies (public) including the Flower Talk which stresses
mother love, and the Ceremony of Light which conveys a brief
talk about the teachings of the Order of DeMolay.
A local DeMolay organization is known as a Chapter and is
headed by a Master Councilor. The Master Councilor is
elected by members of his Chapter and is usually among the
older members of the group. The Master Councilor is assisted
in his duties by a Senior Councilor and a Junior Councilor.
The Senior Councilor is usually considered to be next in
line as Master Councilor. All the officers of a Chapter are
appointed by the Master Councilor, except for the Councilors
and Treasurer, who are elected, and the Scribe, who is
appointed by the chapter's Advisory Council.
Senior DeMolays, Masons, or other adult mentors supervise
the Chapter and are usually referred to by the moniker "Dad
(name)" as in "Dad Land" for the founder. In recent years,
women have also served as advisors for the group, and are
referred to as "Mom". DeMolay Chapters may also periodically
elect a member of a neighboring Job's Daughters Bethel,
Rainbow Assembly, Triangle, or Constellation as a "Chapter
Sweetheart." To be a sweetheart, a young woman does not
necessarily need to be a member of any of these
organizations, but it makes the job easier, as she must
communicate with them. She must only meet the age
requirements of a particular jurisdiction or chapter,
usually set at fifteen to twenty-one.
The next level above the Chapter is the State level. A State
Master Councilor or Jurisdictional Master Councilor is the
head of a statewide DeMolay organization. There are also
other state positions based off of the officers of a
chapter, which vary for each jurisdiction. The lead advisor
in a state is called an "Executive Officer" and the lead
advisor nationally is known as a "Grand Master." The
International Master Councilor and International Congress
Secretary are the heads of the International DeMolay
Congress and serve on the Board of Directors. These officers
are usually past State Master Councilors of their respective
An honorary title that is given on rare occasions to a
Senior DeMolay who has had some outstanding contribution to
the DeMolay movement or humanity at large is the title of
Honorary International Master Councilor.
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Job's Daughters International
Job's Daughters International (Sometimes abbreviated to JDI)
and known throughout the world simply as Job's Daughters, is
a Masonically-related youth organization for girls aged 10
to 20 who are related to a Master Mason. It is the oldest of
five Masonic organizations for girls, dating from 1920. The
individual chapter is called a Bethel, and each is numbered
sequentially according to when they were instituted in their
jurisdiction. They usually meet at a Masonic Lodge building
and when they are in session they refer to the meeting place
as the Bethel. Members of the organization are sometimes
referred to as Jobies.
The head of the Bethel is called the Honored Queen. The
Honored Queen is elected by members of her Bethel who are in
good standing. The position is roughly analogous to
Worshipful Master in a Masonic Lodge, and to the President
of an association of any kind. The Honored Queen is assisted
in her duties by a Senior Princess and a Junior Princess.
The Senior Princess is usually considered to be next in line
as Honored Queen. Girls who finish a term as Honored Queen
use the PHQ (Past Honored Queen) designation within Job's
Bethels are supervised by an adult female officer known as
the Bethel Guardian. A Master Mason called the Associate
Bethel Guardian is required to be present at each meeting.
They are joined by other adults to form the Bethel Guardian
Council. At the state level a group of adults called the
Grand Guardian Council oversees all of the Bethels in their
Members who reach the age of 20 or marry while members in
good standing become Majority Members. Majority Members may
still be active in the organization but are no longer
allowed to vote on business matters in the Bethel. Some
states allow girls up to age 25 to be part of their Grand
Bethel, which is composed of members from all over the
state. Young women who wish to remain active in Masonic
activities may join Order of the Eastern Star upon reaching
the age of 18.
The organization was founded as The International Order of
Job's Daughters (IOJD) by Ethel T. Wead Mick in Omaha,
Nebraska, in 1920. The original minimum age for membership
was 13 but has been changed several times over the years,
most recently in 2004, to age ten. The purpose of the Order
was to band together young girls who are related to a Master
Mason and is intended to build character through moral and
spiritual development including a greater reverence for God
and the Holy Scriptures, loyalty to one's country and that
country's flag, and respect for parents and guardians. From
the beginning, Job's Daughters were active in their
communities through charities and other social activities.
In 2004, the organization voted to change its name to Job's
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International Order of the Rainbow for Girls
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls (IORG) is a
youth service organization which teaches leadership training
through community service. Girls (ages 11-21) learn about
the value of charity and service through their work and
involvement with their annual local and Grand (state or
country) service projects.
The order was created in 1922 when the Reverend W. Mark
Sexson was asked to make an address before South McAlester
Chapter #149, Order of the Eastern Star, in McAlester,
Oklahoma. As the Order of DeMolay had come under his close
study and observation during his Masonic activities, he
decided that another Order for girls, setting forth some of
the principles of Freemasonry, would be welcomed if it did
not have to have a Masonic parent or grandparent as a
requirement, as the Job's Daughters did. The first class of
girls that was initiated into the Order consisted of a class
of 171 girls, on April 6, 1922, in the auditorium of the
Scottish Rite Temple in McAlester.
The highest office that can be bestowed on a Rainbow girl is
that of Grand Worthy Advisor of her particular state.
Majority is reached upon the 20th or 21st birthday of a
member. The Grand Cross of Color is the highest award given
to a member or adult leader for outstanding service.
The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls has
Assemblies in 46 states in the United States as well as in 6
other countries. The states which do not currently have
Assemblies are: Delaware, South Dakota, Utah, and Wyoming.
The governing body of Rainbow is Supreme Assembly, which
meets formally every two years.
Being related to a Master Mason is not a requirement in
order to join Rainbow. A few years ago, the rules for
Eastern Star were changed so that majority members of
Rainbow were eligible for membership in that order.