Norwegian Order of Freemasons

Tuesday 26 July 2011

Norwegian Order of Freemasons

The Norwegian Order of Freemasons (Den Norske Frimurerorden) is the Masonic Grand Lodge in Norway. The first lodge (St. Olai Lodge - later Lodge St. Olaus to the white Leopard) was opened in 1749 and is still working. The Grand Lodge has followed the Swedish Rite since 1818, which requires its members to adhere to Christianity. During the union of Sweden-Norway, the Swedish-Norwegian king was Grand Master of the Order. The sovereign Grand Lodge of Norway was consecrated in 1891. As of 2009, the Order has almost 20,000 members.

The Order consists of 63 lodges of St. John (Iº – IIIº), 19 lodges of St. Andrew (IVº – VIº), three Steward lodges of 2. order (VII º), four Steward lodges of 1. order (VIIº – VIIIº), three Provincial lodges (VIIº – Xº), the Grand lodge (VIIº – XIIº) and one research lodge. The order is headquartered in Oslo, with a large building next to the Norwegian Parliament.

On its foundations in 1749, St Olaus was a pure lodge of St. John, a «blue lodge» practising the Craft degrees. In 1752 the lodge also gradually began to practise the high degrees of Rite of Strict Observance. The establishment of the rites was finished in 1762 and was practised in cooperation with the Copenhagen-lodges until 1782.

The rectified rite was introduced in Denmark and Norway in 1782. It was influenced by French Freemasonry and was less concerned with Christian institutions. Among other things, it removed the legend about the Knights Templars from the teachings. In 1818, St. Olaus became directed from the Swedish Grand lodge, and in 1819 it was transformed into a «blue lodge» of St. John practising the three Craft degrees since then.

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