As We Three Did Agree: The Solomonic Rule of Three and the Cryptic Rite
By Right Puissant Companion Bill Snyder
General Grand Deputy Master
General Grand Deputy Master
AS WE THREE DID AGREE . . . .
As we go forward from the Pandemic and its repercussions, I believe that the core lessons of the York Rite, in all its elements and aspects, will be the primary reason for the survival of Ancient Freemasonry. While we can embrace our new skills in the use of technology for the benefit of the Fraternity, we must never forget the importance of our great moral lessons and the wisdom that has been provided by our Ancient Masonic Ancestors.
THE SOLOMONIC RULE OF THREE
All too often, leaders in Freemasonry forget the wisdom by which the early Masonic builders administered the Craft and the construction of the FIRST TEMPLE. You will remember that although King Solomon clearly was at the center of the leadership, he always acted in concert with Hiram, King of Tyre and our exemplar, Hiram Abif and with due respect for their respective knowledge and expertise. From some of our ancient legends, the two Kings continued this form of governance with our Adoniram as a co-equal part of the Masonic Triangle. I refer to this as the Solomonic Rule of Three.
The Solomonic Rule of Three gives us a successful formula for running all Masonic enterprises, whether it be in the Shrine, Scottish Rite, York Rite, Craft Lodge or Grand Lodge.
Likewise, our later ancestors who built the SECOND TEMPLE, and provided us with the foundation for the Holy Royal Arch, followed the Solomonic Rule of Three. “As we three did agree . . . .” demonstrates their adherence to the example set by Solomon and the two Hirams.
Thus, as it is readily apparent that we see that the builders of the FIRST TEMPLE represented in the Ritual, Lessons and Legends of the Cryptic Rite and that the builders of the SECOND TEMPLE are portrayed in the Capitular Rite.
Does this mean that I am suggesting that the Cryptic Rite is MORE IMPORTANT than any other part of the York Rite or any other Rite? No, it means that I am stating unequivocally to each of you that the Cryptic Rite and the lessons and legends of the Royal Master, Select Master and Super Excellent Master heritage are EQUALLY IMPORTANT as any other part of Ancient Freemasonry.
It is time to join in peace, love and unity in the cause of the York Rite as it ALL serves to bring the Master Mason to the path of completion on the journey to the Heavenly Realm.
In some nations and some States, there are Brothers, Companions and Knights who become entwined with the idea that their favorite Masonic entity is the most important part of Freemasonry, indeed, some assert that their entity is the “boss” of the others. Such is simply not the case. If you contend that the Grand High Priest or the Grand Commander is the superior over any of the other parts of the York Rite, why not simply believe that your particular favorite body is also superior to your Grand Lodge?
No, it is well established in the American York Rite System as well as the history of the development of our Scottish Rite traditions that the Grand Lodge is the beginning point of the “initiatic experience” and the basis for the existence of all else in our Masonic world.
So, we may analogize the Grand Lodge to the role of Solomon but with equal force, the expertise and duty of the Capitular Rite, Cryptic Rite, Templar Orders, and the Scottish Rite may be likened to the role of the two Hirams.
Thus, the correct view, by Masonic history and legends as well as Masonic Jurisprudence, is that all of Ancient Freemasonry is based upon co-equal parts that are dependent upon each other for their essence and true value to our Fraternity.
In the Cryptic Rite, we are all Brothers and we are all Royal Arch Masons, and many of us are also Knights Templar or Masters of the Royal Secret. It is to us that the task of preserving Ancient Freemasonry and the Solomonic Rule of Three has fallen. It is to us that there is the duty to provide more light to our Brothers, Companions and Knights and to prevent misguided journeys into the ways of error.
ROLE OF THE CRYPTIC RITE
As the Cryptic Rite, we must bring the FIRST TEMPLE to the hearts of all Freemasons so that each may build their own SECOND TEMPLE that is made without walls or earthly ties.
I know that I can rely upon each of you in joining with me in this task and this duty over the coming years. We will establish true York Rite Unity and make a reality of the principle of “As We Three did Agree” and to provide a basis for harmony throughout all of the Rites. York Rite or Scottish Rite or Both Rites have value only as all promotes the RITE OF FREEMASONRY.
As we work to follow the Builders of the FIRST TEMPLE, we will learn to properly use our newfound power in technology and win over the future generations of Freemasons to the Ancient Cause, and with all of its lessons, traditions and legends intact for their resources.
Copyright William G. Snyder 2021: Permission granted to the General Grand Council and its constituent Grand Councils for use in the Cryptic Rite