Speculative Freemasonry arrived in France around 1725 brought by British emigrants fleeing political and religious persecution. They bring with them the ritual used by the English Freemasons at this time, it is the ritual of the First Masonic Grand Lodge created in 1717. It is, therefore, the translation into French of the ritual called “Moderns”, the one practiced by Freemasons who together with James Anderson created the First Grand Lodge, which will spread in France during the eighteenth century. This is, on the other hand, the only known ritual for the degrees of symbolic Freemasonry in its origins and that will later be called the French Rite.
During the second half of the 18th century, there was an explosion of new masonic systems and degrees in France. When the profound reorganization of the First French Grand Lodge ended in 1773 with its transformation into the Grand Orient de France, it also had to refer to the question of rituals.
Since its second assembly, on December 27, 1773, the Grand Orient of France had established a Commission in charge of studying the rituals that had been used by the Lodges, in order to safeguard their regularity. This work will culminate in the voting in the 1780s and the subsequent printing in 1801 of the notebooks of the three symbolic degrees under the title of Freemason’s Regulator.
The text of the Freemason’s Regulator is characterized by its great fidelity to the original rituals disclosed between 1740-1760. From this time on the Freemason’s Regulator will be regarded as the reference text for the French Rite.
Due to the purity of its origin and the beauty of its ceremonies, the French or Modern Rite has spread throughout the world and its presence can be enjoyed not only in Europe but also in Africa and America, mainly in Brazil.
In the Grand Lodge of Spain, the French or Modern Rite is worked, in its original purity and within the strictest initiatory tradition.