council3There are three degrees in the Council of Royal and Select Masters, two of which are conferred on council on a regular basis. The third, in many areas, is conferred separately and as a special event.

The degrees are based on events that occurred before the Royal Arch and after the third degree, building on both those degrees. In a word, the degrees of the Council deal with PRESERVATION. How did and why did the Master’s Word come to be in the place where it was discovered in the Royal Arch?

The Royal Master degree takes place prior to and shortly following the Master Masons degree. It deals with a young craftsman named Adoniram, a close personal friend of the Grand Master Hiram Abiff, who was commissioned to craft a piece of work intended to serve as a reminder of the mysterious triad, expressive of the essence and attributes of Deity and of those great Masonic virtues – Faith, Hope, and Charity.

Following its presentation to Hiram, Adoniram questions him as to what should happen if one of the Grand Master’s, even Hiram himself, should die before the Word was communicated to the workmen. Hiram gives Adoniram assurance that the Word would indeed be preserved. Then the question arises, “How was it thus preserved, and how came it to be in the place where you found it?

This question is answered in the Select Master Degree. In this degree, Hiram is still alive and the three Grand Masters are preparing to deposit artifacts, that when discovered by the craft, would restore the Master’s Word.

The Select Master Degree teaches at tentativeness to duty, to set a good watch over your words and actions that attachment to duty and to the principles of Masonry will result in advancement in life and in the Fraternity.

The combination of the Royal and Select Masters degrees represent some of the most beautiful degree work one could witness.

The Super Excellent Master Degree, the third of the Council degrees depicts the destruction of Solomon’s Temple and the City of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, King of Babylon during the reign of Zedekiah, the last King of Judea. The Jewish people were carried off to seventy years of slavery in Babylon, as foretold by the Prophet of God.

Fidelity is the most important lesson of this degree. Comprising four separate sections, the degree is one of the most elaborate and theatrical in Masonry. It is annually conferred by York Rites in Marshalltown and Sioux City.

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