Cerneau Rite Masonic Regalia 

Little known in Europe, the Cerneau Rite was much talked about in the United States in the 19th century. It is in fact a version of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite that owes its name to a French Freemason named Joseph Cerneau (1763-1840 or 1845). He settled in Santo Domingo, where he practised the 25-degree Rite of Perfection established in the West Indies thanks to the Patente Morin, the origin of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. The Haitian Revolution (1802-1803) forced him to leave the island and he eventually settled in New York, where in 1807 he founded a Sublime Consistory of the Princes of the Royal Secret for America (Rite in 25 degrees), which he quickly transformed into a Supreme Council of the 33rd Degree, even though he had never received this degree. He joined forces with a certain Brother Saint-Laurent, who held the Latin version of the Constitutions of 1786, a forgery of which he was clearly the author.

The Supreme Council of Charleston (founded in 1801), the only legitimate governing body of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in America, was outraged and, after an investigation, declared this new Supreme Council illegitimate and created the Supreme Council for the Northern Jurisdiction of the United States in New York in 1813. A merciless battle ensued, with the exclusion of all those who had had dealings with Cerneau's Supreme Council. The matter ended with the merger of the two Supreme Councils in 1867, putting a temporary end to the Cerneau Rite.

But in 1881, the Cerneau Rite was revived by a certain John. J Gorman, who tried to legitimise its existence by claiming that Etienne Morin had held the 33rd degree before 1786, the date officially given (wrongly, from a historical point of view) for the birth of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite. Gorman's Supreme Council ceased to exist around 1925.

The Cerneau Rite would have gone unnoticed in France if Jean Bricaud (1881-1934), who acceded to the Grand Mastership of Memphis-Misraïm in 1914, had failed to obtain a Patent of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite from the Supreme Council of France and instead obtained one from Gorman’s Supreme Council. The Cerneau Rite was then established in France, in the wave of the Egyptian Rites.

On Nos Colonnes, you will find all the Masonic Regalia (aprons, sashes, collars, collar jewels, etc.) used in the Symbolic Lodges of the Cerneau Rite.