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Fessler, Rite Of

This Rite, which was prepared by Fessler at the request of the Grand Lodge Royal York of Berlin, consisted of nine Degrees, as follows:

1. Entered Apprentice 2. Fellow Craft. 3. Master Mason. These three differ but slightly from the same Degrees in all the Rites, and are followed by six other Degrees, which he called the higher knowledge, namely: 4. The Holy of Holies. This Degree is occupied in a critical exposition of the various hypotheses which have been proposed as to the origin of Freemasonry; as, whether it sprang from the Templars, from the Cathedral of Strasburg, from the Rose Croix of the seventeenth century, from Oliver Cromwell, from the Cathedral of Saint Paul's at London, from that of the Palace of Kensington, or from the Jesuits. 5. Justification. Critical examination of the origin of certain of the advanced Degrees, such as the Ecossais and the Chapter of Clermont. 6. Celebration. Critical examination of the four following systems: Rose Croix, Strict Observance, African Architects, and Initiated Brothers of Asia. 7. True Light. Critical examination of the Swedish System, the System of Zinnendorf, the Royal Arch of England, of the succession of the Mysteries, and of all systems and their ramifications. 8. The Country. Examination of the origin of the Mysteries of the Divine Kingdom, introduced by Jesus of Nazareth; of the exoteric doctrines communicated by him immediately to his disciples, and of those which sprang up after his death, up to the time of the Gnosties. 9. Perfection. A complete critical history of all Mysteries comprehended in actual Freemasonry.

Both Clavel and Ragon say that the rituals of these Degrees svere drawn up from the work of the Golden Rose Croix, of the Rite of Strct Observance, of the Illuminated Chapter of Sweden, and the Ancient Chapter of Clerrnont. Fessler's Rite was, perhaps, the most abstrusely learned and philosophical of all the Masonic systems; but it did not have a long existence, as it was abandoned by the Grand Lodge, which had at first accepted it, for the purpose of adopting the Ancient York Rite under the Constitutions of England.

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