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Swedish Order of Freemasonry

by Milos Gajic
January 2016 WSMag

 




This is an information based on leaf "The S
wedish Order of Freemasons" issued by the Grand Lodge of Sweden. I had to shorten it a bit, but I took the main points, names and dates. Attendance information got from my “Masonic Certificate” issued by The Norwegian Order of Freemasons that is valid only in combination with official passport. It is important to know that I am NOT authorized to write this on behalf of the Norwegian or any other Grand Lodge working by the “Swedish system”. This is information I gathered from documents mentioned above and general knowledge on the system I belong to:

Freemasonry was brought to Sweden by Count Wrede-Sparre who served in France and became a Freemason there. It was about 1735! The meetings seem to have ceased at the end of 1740s. At the beginning of 1750s there were quite a large number of Freemasons initiated by Wrede-Sparre. Count Knut Posse established the Lodge St Jean Auxiliaire (John the Baptist) in 1752 and Wrede-Sparre and brethren joined the lodge. This lodge was called the "Mother Lodge of Sweden". In 1756 Carl Fredrik Ecklef formed the Scottish Lodge L'Innocente in Stockholm working in so called Scottish St Andrew's Degrees. The next step in the development of Swedish Freemasonry was taken by Eckleff in 1759 when he established Grand Chapter in Stockholm, Eckleff who was an employee of the Swedish Foreign Office held a foreign patent authorizing him to form Lodges. It has not been possible to ascertain the date and place of origin of the patent and of the rituals, but the Grand Lodge of Swden was established in 1760. Ecklef moulded a Freemasonry system on Christian basis. The moral philosophy of the Swedish Rite was further developed by Duke Carl, later he became Swedish King Carl XIII. By two major revisions in 1780 and in 1800 he created a logical Masonic System with 10 degrees. The Rite is truly progressive and continuous. Each degree leads to next and each sums up the contents of the preceding degrees. The system is grouped in 3 divisions as follows:

St Johns degrees:

I Apprentice,

II Fellow Craft,

III Master Mason

St Andrew's (Scottish degrees):

IV and V Apprentice-Companion of St Andrew (two degrees got during the same evening but 2 rituals that must be experienced together)

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 R&K.

Progression from one degree to the next is no easy matter and is far from automatic.

Only those of Christian Faith are admitted.

Swedish System is being practiced in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Iceland and Finland. In Norway it is the only masonic system that exists. I think in Sweden and Iceland as well. In Finland they have also a system of 33 degrees as in USA and in Denmark I do not know. The Swedish system is also, in a German variant, practiced in Grosse Landesloge der Freimaurer von Deutschland, but I am not sure if they have all the patents for all the degrees - I must stress that - I am not sure, I do not know that.

In Sweden there are some 14.000 members, Norway some 19.000 and so forth. Lodges are pretty big compared with other systems. My Lodge - St. Torfinn in Hamar, Norway - has more than 300, the Lodge that we share the building with - St. Halvard -has more than 700 members.

The Worshipful Master of a Lodge is usually appointed for a period of some 6 or 7 years. However a compulsory retirement age of 75 is strictly enforced for all the office bearers.

All the brethren regardless of creed or faith that belong to a Grand Lodge recognized by the respective national Grand Lodge having the III degrees, can attend rituals in first 3 degrees. By international recognition, we can attend (and vice versa) different systems and lodges abroad.

So this is an overview what we from Scandinavia, can attend in your countries. The same rules apply abroad for members of Grand Lodges of Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Danmark, as the system is the same.

There are Mutual agreements of admission exists with:

Supreme Grand Royal Arch Chapters of: England, Scotland, France and USA

Scottish Rite: The Supreme Councils 33 degree London, for Scotland Edinburgh; Ireland Dublin; Opperraad voor het Koninkirjk der Nederlanden Den Haag; Southern Masonic Jurisdiction Washington D.C.; Northern Masonic Jurisdiction Lexington Mass.; Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry Canada Ontario

Grand Prieure’: de Belgique Belgium; des Gaules France; Independent d’Helvetie Switzeland

 

We must have a letter of Good Standing with us and you always examine us and we examine you . We are not supposed to take contact on our own, but must inform our Grand Secretary for Foreign Affairs that we would like to visit lodges abroad then they make initial contact and forward ti to us. For groups it is a must that they make contact via Grand Secretary for Foreign Affairs.

Here is the Key:

Norwegian Blue Royal Scottish York Grand

Degree Lodges Arch Rite Rite Prieure’

III yes no no M.M. no

IV-V yes no no M.M. no

VI yes yes 29 R.A. IV

VII yes yes 31 R.A. V

VIII yes yes 32 R.A. VI

IX yes yes 32 R.A. VI

X yes yes 33 R.A. Chevalier Capitulaire

In all the countries mentioned above, there are motorcycle “clubs” that gathers freemasons only and are strictly national assosiations.

Women are not allowed. Period. We have gatherings where our wifes and girlfriends can attend, but women can not be members or wear vest or back patch of any kind

We do NOT represent neither our Lodges, Grand Logdes og Freemasonry in any way.

Norway has two “clubs”:

Stella Polaris MC Norway ww2.stellapolarismc.no (also on Facebook)

Sorte Hjelm (Black Helmets) www.sortehjelm.com .

Sweden and Finland they have a assn. that thay call Rasslande Kedjan (Trembling Chain) but they do hold low profile. They are nowhere to find neither on internet or Facebook.

Finland there is an assn. Widows Sons that embraces Freemasons that not work in Swedish system (not sure here).

Denmark: Grå Cylindre (Grey Cylinders) and a group on Facebook called “Frimurer på motorcykler”

Iceland: “Fenrir” which is to be found on Facebook.

But we all are closed groups on both internet and Facebook. You can see what is public on those pages.

 

 

 

 

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