Council of Princes of Jerusalem
Updated: Sep 14, 2022
The second portion of the Scottish Rite system of degrees is called The Council of Princes of Jerusalem.
The Council of Princes of Jerusalem confers the 15th and 16th degrees, known as the historical degrees. These two degrees explore the conflicts and politics in the rebuilding of the Temple of Solomon.
The name of this body refers to a character in the 16th degree who is conferred the title of Prince of Jerusalem.
In the Northern Masonic Jurisdiction the Degrees of the Council of Princes are:
15th Degree - Knight of the East
This degree teaches us to emulate Zerubbabel who, even when tempted, would not violate his obligations.
Philosophy: Loyalty to conviction, fidelity to duty, and devotion to truth are the essences of integrity. Core Values: Integrity
16th Degree - Prince of Jerusalem
The court of King Darius contemplates what motivates man.
Philosophy: We learn that devotion to truth surpasses secular motivations.
Core Values: Reverence for God
These degrees teach the Core Values of the Rite:
Secrecy and silence in all confidential relationships
Reverence and obedience to God
Faithfulness to family and country
Justice tempered by mercy
Honesty in business relations
Forgiveness of past injustices
Perseverance in overcoming the difficulties encountered in our progress toward perfection
In the Southern Masonic Jurisdiction, the 15° and 16° degrees are part of the Rose Croix Chapter which is the second of the 4 Southern Jurisdiction bodies.
15th Degree – Knight of the East
This degree teaches that it is not possible to keep people in slavery once they know the value of liberty and can decide for themselves how to defend it. Likewise, it is not possible to defeat Masonry by attacking it; for we are building the Temple of liberty, equality, and fraternity in the souls of men and nations.
16th Degree – Prince of Jerusalem
This degree emphasizes the fact that one must use every means to be beneficial for the society in which one lives. We not only set our own example for our society, but we enlist the aid of our Brothers. Together, Masons are custodians of freedom. Our charge is to leave a noble heritage to those who follow us in this world. We build temples of the Living God in our hearts by following the truths of justice, equity, morality, wisdom, labor, fidelity, and Brotherhood-so that the collective liberties for mankind can be protected.