The Swedish Rite

The Swedish rite is truly progressive and continous. Each degree leads to the next and each sums up the contents of the preceeding degrees.

The system is grouped into three divisions as follows:

St. John's (Craft) degrees:
I Apprentice
II Fellow Craft
III Master Mason

St. Andrew's (Scottish) degrees:
IV-V Apprentice-Companion of St. Andrew
VI Master of St. Andrew

Chapter degrees:
VII Very Illustrious Brother
VIII Most Illustrious Brother
IX Enlightened Brother
X Very Enlightened Brother

On top of the system is
Most Enlightened Brother, Knight Commander of the Red Cross

There are currently about 80 Knight Commanders of the Red Cross (35 in active duty). They are present or past members of the Grand Council or Grand Officers.

In 1811 King Carl established the Royal Order of King Carl XIII. It is a civil order, conferred by the King, only to some Knight Commanders of the Red Cross with the number limited to 33. It is, however, not a Masonic degree.

Progression from one degree to the next is far from automatic. A brother has not only to be regular in attendance - he has to give proof of his proficiency and of his knowledge of Freemasonry.

There is only one form of accepted ritual for each degree, and deviations are not tolerated. The presiding Master follows an accepted ritual manuscript when working a Lodge.

The Swedish Rite is worked in Sweden/Finland, Norway, Denmark and Iceland. In Germany a Grand Lodge, Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland, is working rituals based on Carl Friedrich Eckleff’s documents from 1760, but otherwise have few similarities to the Swedish Rite.