The Order of the Knights of the York Cross of Honour was formed in Monroe, North Carolina, on March 13, 1930. On June 6, 1930, a month after the first Priory was formed, the Convent General of the United States of America was formed to administer and govern the Order. The intent of the founding of the Order was to create an honorary group of York Rite Masons who had demonstrated leadership and dedication to the several York Rite Bodies of Freemasonry. Local bodies of the Order are called Priories.

Membership in the Knights of the York Cross of Honour (KYCH) cannot be applied for. In order to be considered for membership, a proposed candidate must have served as:

Worshipful Master of a Masonic Lodge    Thrice Illustrious Master of a Council of Royal and Select Masters
          
High Priest of a Royal Arch Chapter
Eminent Commander of a Commandery of Knights Templar

Nominations for membership must be made by a member of a KYCH Priory without the proposed person's knowledge.

The number of Priories permitted in each Grand Jurisdiction is dependent upon the number of chartered Councils or Commanderies.

When a member Knight has been elected to preside over one of the four Grand Bodies of York Masonry, he is invested with the rank of Knight York Grand Cross of Honour (KYGCH) and is awarded a Quadrant to apply to his jewel. The recognition is issued with one colored Quadrant for each of the Grand York Rite bodies served:

  • Masonic Grand Lodge: Blue
  • Grand Royal Arch Chapter: Red
  • Grand Council of Royal and Select Masters: Purple
  • Grand Commandery of Knights Templar: White

The background behind the crown with rays radiating is white for a Knight who is not of Eminent rank, blue for a Knight who is of Eminent rank, red for a Knight who is of Right Eminent rank, and purple for a Knight who is of Most Eminent rank.

A member receives each quadrant at the beginning of his term of office in the Grand York Rite body. If the member receiving the Grand Cross of Honour is a Present or Past Prior of a KYCH Priory, the award emblem will have a blue background behind the crown with rays radiating (Eminent rank). If the member receiving the Grand Cross of Honour is a Convent General officer other than the presiding officer, the award emblem will have a red background behind the crown with rays radiating (Right Eminent rank). If the member receiving the Grand Cross of Honour is a Present or Past Grand Master General of the Convent General, the award emblem will have a purple background behind the crown with rays radiating (Most Eminent rank). Click here for a visual index of the various quadrants of the KYGCH.

The Presiding Officer of a subordinate Priory is the Eminent Prior. The Governing Body is the Convent General, presided over by the Most Eminent Grand Master General.The Order's highest decoration is the Knight Grand Cross (KGC). Meetings are referred to as Conclaves.


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