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30th Degree NMJ

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Topic: 30th Degree NMJ
Posted By: Adept?
Subject: 30th Degree NMJ
Date Posted: July/12/2014 at 3:19pm
The Degree Rituals
The Supreme Council, 33°, AASR
for the
Northern Masonic Jurisdiction
United States of America
by C. DeForrest Trexler, 33°
Copyright © 2008
Supreme Council, 33°, AASR, NMJ

In 2004, the Committee on Ritualistic Matters finally took the long overdue
step of confronting the ritual of the 30°. The committee quickly arrived
at the same conclusion Lichliter had reached nearly 60 years earlier.Attempts
to salvage the ritual by rewrite ended in frustration. The ritual simply did not
express a meaningful lesson for Scottish Rite Masons of the 21st century. 
Hence, the decision was made to recommend withdrawal of the ritual and its
replacement by a highly modified version of what then was the ritual of the

The 31° Ritual of 1949 consisted of the usual ceremonial opening and prologue,
followed by a dramatization of a civil trial in 14th century England.
The primary author of the trial scene had been Ill. Harold Whittaker Connell,
33°, a member of the Valley ofMilwaukee and a consultant to the Committee
on Rituals.  A lawyer by profession, Connell devoted two years to researching
and recreating a medieval English trial. Unfortunately, he did not live to see
the fruits of his labors. The trial scene was approved as part of the 31° tentative
ritual in 1938, a year after Connell’s untimely death. The Scottish Rite degree
system thereby acquired a third ritual, in addition to the 7° and the 21°,
that used a dramatized trial scene in an historical setting to portray a similar
lesson, justice.
The 2004 committee recognized the merits in the work. The trial scene
was easy to stage and could be entertaining as well as instructive. However,
there would have to be extensive editing of the dialogue into more contemporary
English and condensation of the ritual to the essence of the trial scene.
The vocabulary and grammar of the dialogue was “modernized,” but the substance
and sequence, as well as the cast, of the scene were left intact. Significant
shortening of the ritual was accomplished by elimination of the
ceremonial opening, as mandated by the policy adopted by the Supreme
Council in 1995, and by deleting the opening portion of the trial scene, in
which the judges identified themselves with famous lawgivers of history, an
exercise that contributed nothing to the dramatic action.
Finally, the former title of the 31°, “Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander,”
was abbreviated by dropping the last two words and replaced the
meaningless title of the 30°, “Grand Elect Knight Kadosh or Knight of the
White and Black Eagle.” These changes and transfer of the modified ritual
from the 31° were approved by the Supreme Council as the 30° Ritual of
2004, “Grand Inspector.”

For the entire PDF

Being of the NMJ, I am disgusted and appalled by this.  As stated before, I am of the NMJ, and a 32nd.  However, all the material I study comes from the SMJ online store, and the Francken manuscript of 1783.  I have a 1950's copy of Morals and Dogma, and the second edition of the ritual monitor and guide SMJ.  To my knowledge, the NMJ offers nothing for study material, or educational courses like the SMJ does.  It is my belief that the Supreme Council of the NMJ should dissolve, and yield itself to the SMJ, and that there should be only ONE supreme council in the U.S.  The ORIGINAL one...  


"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."

Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: December/21/2014 at 9:29am
Geez...I can't believe that not even one other brother has an opinion, or a comment on this subject...

"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."

Posted By: log cabin Bill
Date Posted: December/25/2014 at 8:15am
I, for one, do not understand why the NMJ has changed so many of its degrees. To my way of thinking, I always thought that the lessons taught were supposed to be timeless and therefore, there shouldn't be a need to change them. The 30th is not the first degree to be changed and I suspect it will not be the last. Apparently, we as members, have no say in the determination of changes to the degrees as the changes have been made without the members input, approval or suggestions.

North Hills Lodge, #716,PM
Allegheny RAM,#217,PHP
Allegheny Council,#38,PTIM
Allegheny Commandery #35
Knight Masons,Gateway To The West Council #5
AASR,Valley of Pgh.
Syria Shrine
Islam Grotto

Posted By: Hyksos
Date Posted: December/25/2014 at 9:11am
I believe there are posts in this subforum regarding this issue and the 30th degree. I am a member of the southern jurisdiction, and I was surprised to learn that the NMJ has degrees with George Washington and Benjamin Franklin. One theory I have for the changes in the degrees; especially the 30th, is that the NMJ has a lot more Catholics within its jurisdiction. The heavy catholic influence may have necessitated the changing of certain degrees.

All one has to do is read chapter 30 of morals and dogma to understand why the degree is seen by some as anti Catholic. Without revealing any more I will also say that I could understand why someone might interpret the 30th degree (as practiced in southern jurisdiction) as anti Catholic too.

Gainesville Lodge #41

Posted By: Adept?
Date Posted: December/25/2014 at 10:36am
There should not be any catholic influence in Freemasonry since their denomination has been hostile to Freemasonry for centuries. They excommunicate anyone who joins our beloved brotherhood. To be offended by the 30th degree and/or want it changed is to completely misunderstand the message of the degree. For the powers that be, or were at that time To say that the degree has no meaningful message for Freemasonry in the 21st century just tells me that there were, and probably still are men in charge of things that have little or no real understanding of what they are in charge of.

"It is humanity that creates god, and men think that god has made them in his image, because they make him in theirs."

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