Washington Lodge, #61 is known as a "Blue Lodge" of Freemasonry. One must start their Masonic journey in the Blue Lodge. It is required that a man become a Master Mason by going through the 3 degrees of the Blue Lodge before they can join any of the affiliated bodies. Without Blue Lodge, there would be no Shrine, Scottish or York Rite, Eastern Star, Rainbow or DeMolay to advance their noble and charitable causes. The single highest Masonic authority within the state of New Hampshire is the Grand Lodge of New Hampshire.
Below, we have provided brief introductions to some of the Masonic affiliated bodies which are active in New Hampshire, along with links to their web sites and contacts for further information. We encourage you to ask questions and explore for yourself the many faces of Freemasonry represented by these organizations.
Grand Royal Arch Chapter of NH
The Grand Royal Arch Chapter of New Hampshire provides the Master Mason with further opportunities for personal improvement. Chapter uses biblical allegories to extend and complete the many facets of the Master Mason degree. Through their many charities, the Royal Arch Masons exemplify the tenets of Brotherly Love, Relief, and Truth in their daily lives.
The Councils of Cryptic Masons form the center of the York Rite of Freemasonry. A Master Mason may join a Chapter of Royal Arch Masons and receive the four degrees of that organization. After which he may seek further knowledge in Freemasonry and join the Council of Cryptic Masons.
Ancient Craft Masonry centers around the story of the preservation, loss and recovery of the Word. The Word represents man’s search for life’s purpose and the nature of God. Symbolic Freemasonry, as in Lodge, teaches of the loss of the Word and hope for its recovery. Royal Arch Masonry, as in the Chapter, teaches of its recovery. Cryptic Masonry, as in the Council, completes this story by teaching of the Word’s initial preservation. There are mainly two degrees in Council,they being the Royal Master and the Select Master Mason degrees, with an additional Super Excellent Master Degree not being compulsory.
The Commandery of Knights Templar is founded upon the Christian Religion and the practice of Christian virtues. A Commandery confers three Orders (degrees): – The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple.
The Masonic Orders of the Temple and Malta are founded upon the traditions of the Chivalric Orders of Knighthood of the middle ages, and the Rite has therefore acquired the title of Chivalric Masonry. The Orders of Malta and the Temple are entirely based upon the ethical, moral, and spiritual concepts for a well governed life.
The Mount Horeb Chapter No. 11 of the York Rite is located within the Washington Lodge Temple building. To learn more about the New Hampshire York Rite visit the York Rite website.
Order of the Eastern Star
The Order of the Eastern Star is the largest fraternal organization in the world to which both men and women belong. With over 1 million members worldwide, it is dedicated to the principals of truth, kindness, and charity. Only men who are Masons and women with specific Masonic affiliations may be members. The Star supports many charities including the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, Cancer Research, the Shriners Hospitals for Children, Arthritis & Rheumatism, and the Heart Fund.
Information on this organization may be found at the General Grand Chapter OES website. Roth Chapter #16 is located within the Washington Lodge Temple building. For more information regarding the OES of New Hampshire, visit the NH OES website.
Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite
The Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite provides Master Masons with further exemplification of the tenets taught in the Blue Lodge degrees. New Hampshire belongs to the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite of the Northern Jurisdiction, USA. There are 30 degrees in Scottish Rite Masonry – from the 4th to the 33rd.
The 33rd degree is an honorary degree bestowed on Scottish Rite Masons who have made significant contributions to Masonry and their communities, and who exemplify the principles of the Brotherhood of Man, under the Fatherhood of God. Scottish Rite Masons support the Almoners fund for brothers, provide free treatment of learning disorders such as dyslexia, support the Museum of our National Heritage in Lexington, Mass., and provide college scholarships to worthy men and women.
The Order of DeMolay was founded in 1919 by Frank S. Land. DeMolay helps young men aged 12 to 21 to develop civic awareness, personal responsibility, and the leadership skills which are so vitally necessary in society today. Combining these goals with a relevant and fun approach, DeMolay creates and fosters the important bonds of friendship among its members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide. The Derryfield Chapter of NH is located at the Washington Lodge Temple building.
DeMolay International has an excellent website. For more information on the DeMolay in New Hampshire visit their website.
You can find the application for a DeMolay Scholarship —> HERE
Int'l Order of Rainbow for Girls
Founded in 1922, the International Order of Rainbow for Girls is for young women ages 11 to 20. They also have Pledges (age 6-11) and Sparkles (age 4-6) programs that get the younger girls interested, familiar with the Masonic Temples, and active in the Order. It is not necessary that an applicant for Rainbow be related to a Mason. The Rainbow fosters leadership, patriotism, kindness, charity, loyalty to one´s family and home, church membership, and self esteem through a program of activities and charitable events.
The New Hampshire International Order of the Rainbow is very active and information concerning membership may be found on their website.
Rainbow also maintains a foundation to provide scholarships to girls who are members. The application for the scholarship is available HERE.
Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine
Did you know that all Shriners are Freemasons? That makes us proud members of the oldest and largest benevolent fraternity in the world. Second, we are nobles of the Ancient Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, (A.A.O.N.M.S.) otherwise popularly known as Shriners.
People know us by our trademark Fez, our presence at parades, and our hospitals. They see the clowns, attend our circuses, and enjoy our Shrine football games. But not many people outside of the Shrine know of our origins.
Here’s a LINK to the Shrine and Shrine Hospital web site.
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