The Grade of Architect is the first of a trilogy of Grades expanding upon the Solomonic lessons of architecture. The structure of the degree is Continental in character, resembling certain Rites of the French and German grades, but incorporating the use of trestleboards as used in English and Scottish Masonry. Not surprisingly, it is first found attached to the Early Grand Rite of Scotland under the same name, as the VII° of the Blue Series. It is noteworthy in its interpretations as “extensions” or elaboration of the Master Mason degree. For this reason, it is assumed, it is not practiced or sanctioned by the English Masonic bodies, appearing only in the American and French variants of the Allied Masonic Degrees. The Grade was attached to the Grand Council of the AMD of the United States as an Active Grade in 1934.
The actual degree itself is rather short, with the work resembling that performed in Craft Masonry. The lecture or explanation, however, takes the form of catechism between the principal officers. The ritual is also punctuated with excessive circumabulations and floorwork, which if followed verbatim as prescribed by ritual would make the Grade most unworkable. The use of extensive paraphernalia and properties also mark this Grade with the affinities exhibited by many of the early Rites, which required large auditorium settings with elaborate backdrops. This places it at a disadvantage, as exemplification of the work requires greater amounts of preparation and staging.
The Jewel of the Grade is a flaming star, containing the letter “G,” all of which is within a triangle, in gold.
The Apron of the Grade is white, edged in deep red.
The Sash of the Grade is deep red, approximately four inches wide. It is worn from the right shoulder, resting on the left hip.