Masonic Rites and Orders are bodies of esoteric ritual and practice in freemasonry, organised into a systematic initiatory degree structure. There are many different rites and bodies in freemasonry each with their own signs, passwords, degrees and ceremonies. Craft (Blue Lodge) freemasonry, or entry level, consists of three basic rites; Entered Apprentice, Fellow Craft and Master Mason. Once somebody has become a Master Mason they may elect to join rites with higher degrees.
While there are a variety of different rites operating internationally, the popularity of some is to a significant extent determined by preferences of local jurisdictions. For example in the United States the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and York Rite are widespread, in France and Begium the French Rite is strong and in the United Kingdom and British Commonwealth the Order of Mark Master Masons and Holy Royal Arch are most popular.
- Rites of Freemasonry at Masonic Dictionary (Freemasonic)
- Degrees of Freemasonry at Gnostic Warrior (Freemasonic)
- The Dead Rites of Masonry by Burton E. Bennett (Freemasonic)
- Freemasonry and Fraternal Organizations at Stichting Argus