A warm welcome to the website for the District of Kent, Order of Royal and Select Masters. Sometimes known as “The Cryptic Degrees”. This fascinating Masonic Order has nothing to do with either crosswords or riddles but refers to the steps taken by King Solomon to safeguard the treasures of his Temple at Jerusalem, by building a secret underground vault in which they could be hidden in times of trouble.
The Order consists of four basic degrees, plus two more that may be conferred on Past Masters. The four degrees that everybody takes are: Select Master; Royal Master; Most Excellent Master and Super Excellent Master. They are taken in that sequence. These degrees cover the 500 year period between the building of the first and second temples. It is a fascinating story, being demonstrated by some of the most beautifully constructed ritual in the whole of Freemasonry and is laced with intriguing moral precepts. The discerning ritualist and the Masonic historian will be delighted by what they discover.
Once you have passed through the chair, you can be considered for two more degrees. The first is called “The Degree of the Silver Trowel”, or “Order of Anointed Kings”. This particular degree is conferred on Past Masters who have shown meritorious work. It is by invitation only, and each invitation has to be approved by the Grand Master. Each recipient earns the right to wear a hallmarked silver trowel on his apron. After being awarded the Silver Trowel, Past Masters may then be put forward for the degree of “Excellent Master”, which is the final link between the Craft and the Chapter.
If you are a Master Mason, as well as a Companion of the Holy Royal Arch and a Mark Master Mason, you are qualified for membership of this most enlightening of Masonic Orders. One senior mason said “I wish I had known about it years ago and not joined it so late. It deserves to be better known”.
If you are qualified to join and would like to do so, please ask, a step I am sure you will not regret. I always look forward to warmly greeting new members, personally, in each of the eight Councils of this District.
Trevor M Sharpe
District Grand Master