Cedars of Lebanon
Tall Cedars of Lebanon was founded in 1902 in Trenton, New Jersey, as a 'fun'
side degree for Master Freemasons. The organization is mainly confined to the
northeastern part of the United States and publishes The Cedar Digest
twice yearly. There were 25,000 members in 1995, since then membership has
The Tall Cedars of Lebanon is one of the smaller 'fun' organizations within freemasonry, though, even at that, it is still larger than many independent secret societies. Admission is open to all Master masons in good standing. The name comes from the trees supposed to have been used in the construction of the Temple of Solomon. The watchwords of the order are 'fun, frolic and friendship'.
The original side degree of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon was apparently conferred well before the formal foundation of the organization; some trace it back to the 1840s. It apparently involved a certain amount of rough-housing; the extent to which it has since been toned down is not clear. The obligation of the Tall Cedar degree obliges the candidate to walk, only wearing sandals, the pyramidical hat and a smile in the streets, than climb a tall building and recite the oath, every New Year's eve, St. Patrick's Day and Yom Kuppur,
The modern lodges are called Forests and offer two further side degrees, the Royal Forest and the Sidonian. There is also a marching division, the Royal Rangers. the chief officer is the Supreme Tall Cedar.
Tall Cedars are much given to comical-seeming attire. All Tall Cedars wear triangular, pyramidical hats, in different colors for officers, past officers and nonofficers. The Royal Rangers march in military outfit, while the Tuxedo Units march in white tuxedos.
In addition to the usual social activities and support for Masonic youth organizations, the Tall Cedars operate the Tall Cedar Foundation, which funds research into muscular dystrophy.
Until 1972, when the current style was adopted, the Tall Cedars were known as The Tall Cedars of the U.S.A.
Ritual of the Tall Cedars of Lebanon