Concordant Bodies

The fraternity of Freemasonry, also known as “Free and Accepted Masons,” is organized by private groups of members variously known in English as lodges, chapters, councils, commanderies, consistories, etc., which can be collectively referred to as “Masonic bodies”. The basic Masonic body is the Masonic Lodge which alone can make a Mason, and confers the first three degrees of Masonry, being that of Entered Apprentice, Fellowcraft, and Master Mason.

Whilst there is no degree in Freemasonry higher than that of Master Mason,there are a number of related organisations which have as a prerequisite to joining that one be a Master Mason, such as the Scottish Rite and York Rite, and have bodes such as the Royal Arch Masons, or the Commandery.

Additionally, there are also organizations affiliated with Freemasonry that admit both Master Masons and non-Masons who have some relation to a Master Mason, such as the Order of the Eastern Star. Still other affiliated organizations like the Order of DeMolay and the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls admit non-Masons and have no requirement that an applicant be related to a Master Mason.

There are also other organizations made up of Master Masons, like High Twelve. The Shriners ogranization is also a group made up entirely of Masons, as you must become a Master Mason before you would be able to become a Shriner.

A number of terms, such as “appendant,” “affiliated,” “concordant,” or “in amity” are used, sometimes interchangeably, to describe these bodies.