Knights of Columbus
Knighthood Degree


Degree Team to be composed of G.K., D.D., Chaplain, I. of C., I. of U., E. of F., Biographer, Chancellor. Chaplain wears clerical garb. Other officers wear tuxedos.
Candidates will be notified in advance as to the time and place of assembly. The sponsoring council, with the cooperation of the District Deputy in charge, will appoint and organize a reception committee. The duties of this committee will be:
1. Greet the candidates upon their arrival and escort them to the reception room, make them comfortable.
2. Record their presence on the official list of candidates.
3. Arrange the checking of their coats, etc.
4. Present the candidates to the other candidates.
5. Make available in the reception room fresh air, chairs, ashtrays, etc.
6. Supply each candidate with a 3 x 5 white card with the name of the candidate clearly printed on same.
7. Upon the arrival of the Warden’s aides the committee will assist them in lining up the candidates in the number of lines to agree with the rows of chairs provided for the candidates in the council chamber.
8. While decorations such as potted plants, flowers and ferns, might be used discreetly, none should be used which would distract attention from the sword. These decorations should be restricted to the walls, etc.
The District Deputy is in charge of this degree.
“The exemplifying team is composed of the District Deputy, his Warden, the Chaplain of the degree team, the Interpreter of Charity, the Illustrator of Unity, the Exponent of Fraternity, the Biographer, the Chancellor, and the Reader. These Knights are outstanding in their Catholicity, in their devotion to Columbianism, and are men who can deliver their charges in an impressive manner. With the exception of the Chaplain, who wears a clerical suit, and the District Deputy, who may wear the robe of his office, all are in tuxedo. The Warden will wear the jewel of his office; the others will wear a baldric style sash over the coat. The Reader is selected according to his .ability to read well. The quotations from Holy Scripture are the translation of the Confraternity Version.
Where several councils join for this exemplification, the sponsoring council will provide a suitable waiting room with sufficient chairs so that the candidates for the degree will be comfortable while awaiting entrance into the council chamber. It will be the responsibility of the Financial Secretary of each participating council to check the presence of his candidates for this degree. Each candidate is to be given a 3 x 5 white card with his name clearly printed on it. This is to be given to the Warden at the time of the knighting ceremony.
The Warden will have the council chamber in readiness for the exemplification of the degree. There is to a picture or bust of Christopher Columbus in the front of the council chamber placed high enough to be in full view of all the candidates. A spot light is to be focused on this picture or bust and it is to be turned on before the Biographer begins to speak. On the prepared table there should be candles, pillow, cross, skull, crossbones, fibers, and cable. A black cloth covers the table and extends to the floor on the side facing the candidates. Also, there is to be in readiness another table on which the sword is placed for the knighting ceremony. This table should be covered with a black velvet cloth which extends to the floor on the side
facing the candidates. The sword is placed on a long purple .pillow and covered with a silver cloth. On each end of the table there is to be a candle. A supply of small crosses should be behind the candles.
In the Council Chamber
The Warden and his aides will have previously checked the Traveling Cards of all members present in the council chamber.
G.K.: My Brother Knights, we are about to advance candidates to the honors of the Knighthood Degree. All persons who have not received the honors of the Knighthood Degree or the Third Degree shall retire from the council chamber. The doors shall now be closed and the guards assume their stations. Guards, admit no one after the closing of the doors unless he presents a current Knighthood Degree Traveling Card. Worthy Warden,
The G. K. will pause until the Warden and his aides leave their stations and arrive at the reporting spot in the chamber. The Warden will then salute the G.K.
G.K.: Do you vouch that none but duly qualified members are in the council chamber?
WARDEN: I do so vouch.
G.K.: Let me admonish each Knight here present that during the conferring of this degree his conduct should be such as to cause these candidates to be edified by the beauty and dignity of the lessons exemplified to them. After the entry of the candidates no Brother will be allowed to enter or leave this Council chamber during the working of the Degree unless he has asked and obtained the permission of the G.K. which should be done privately. The I.G. shall strictly enforce this command. There will be no smoking during the ceremonial.
I.G.: Worthy G.K., the D.D. and his staff are present.
Three Raps.
The D. D., staff, visiting officers will enter and salute the G.K. who will return the salute.
G.K.: I am pleased to introduce D.D. ... to whom I present the gavel as presiding officer of the exemplification.
The Warden will escort the D.D., staff and visiting officers to the chairs provided for them.
D.D.: Let us invoke the Divine blessing by repeating aloud the Lord’s Prayer.
Four Raps (if not convenient to kneel—three raps)
CHAPLAIN: Our Father, etc.
Three Raps (if members were kneeling).
D.D.: We shall now sing the opening ode.
Choir and Members—Sing Opening Ode.
One Rap.
D.D.: Worthy Warden, you will retire to the antechamber and inquire if there are any candidates awaiting the honors of Knighthood in our honored Order.
WARDEN: Worthy D.D. I assure you of my obedience to your command.
The Warden will retire with his aides and return after leaving his aides to line up the candidates.
WARDEN: Worthy D.D. In compliance with your command I find ... candidates waiting to have the honor of Knighthood conferred upon them.
D.D.: Worthy Warden, you will conduct the candidates from the ante-chamber to the presence of the conferring officers.
The Warden salutes, retires and returns with the candidates already assembled by his aides. The choir will supply the singing while the candidates enter the council chamber unannounced. The Warden and his aides will lead the candidates to their chairs an give the necessary commands to seat the candidates.
WARDEN: Worthy Interpreter of Charity, I present to you these candidates for advancement in the ceremonials of the Knights of Columbus.
I OF C: Worthy Brothers, by your participation in the Admission and Formation Degrees, you have demonstrated your Interest and qualifications for further preparation to achieve the fullness of Knighthood. Your willingness to become exemplary Christians requires that you act as Christ in the modern world, practicing especially the virtues of justice and charity.
The Knights of Columbus draw all their principles from God’s holy law, and by their practice seek to attain the ideals that they teach. Under divine guidance we must conform our lives to the teachings of Christ. By such action, we strive to knit firm and steadfast our fraternal love as brothers and command the respect of our fellowmen.
My Worthy Brothers, the basic principle of our Order is CHARITY. Charity is the greatest of al virtues and the crowning glory of a Christian life. Charity was the motive that gave rise to chivalry. In its exercise is always found the essence of true knighthood. It is in the exercise of charity that we can bring brotherhood to the world. True charity does not consist alone in almsgiving. If a man has an abundance of the world’s goods, contributions are a duty, not simply a courtesy. Let us listen to the words of St. Paul on charity:
READER: If I should speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but do not have charity, I have become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal, and if I have prophecy and know all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to remove mountains, yet do not have charity, I am nothing. And if I distribute all my goods to feed the poor, and if I deliver my body to be burned, yet do not have charity, it profits me nothing.
Charity is patient, is kind; charity does not envy, is not pretentious, is not puffed up, is not ambitious, is not self-seeking, is not provoked: thinks no evil, does not rejoice over wickedness, but rejoices with the truth; bears with all things, believes all things... So there abide faith, hope and charity, these three: but the greatest of these is charity. 1:Cor. 13:1-
I OF U: Worthy Brothers, inspired by this message and imbued with the true spirit of the ennobling virtue of charity, let us relieve the distress of the poor, sympathize with the unfortunate, and fulfill our duties to God, our neighbors and ourselves. Worthy Warden, please proceed.
The Warden will now distribute the fibers to the candidates.
WARDEN: Worthy Illustrator of Unity, the candidates await your demonstration on the power of unity.
I OF U: Worthy Brothers, since you have proven yourselves ready for the full honors of Knighthood, I shall now dwell with you on the power of unity—the second principle of our Order. To impress upon you the might and strength that men possess when united in a common cause, and to show you the conditions under which union can exist among us, by brothers, break the fiber you have received.
All do so. The Warden then selects two candidates to stand before the conferring officer and face the other candidates. He gives the cable to the two men.
I. OF U: Now, break the cable.
Candidates attempt to do so.
WARDEN: Worthy Illustrator of Unity, the candidates have demonstrated the power of unity.
I OF U: What physical demonstration could be simpler or more forceful than this illustration of unity! The fiber, so easily broken, resists every effort when bound with others. As the fibers are to the cable, so are you, worthy brothers, to the Knights of Columbus.
Our reliance is not on numbers alone for there is greater strength in common purpose and united action. History offers countless examples of how small groups of men surmounted overwhelming odds, towering difficulties, and impressive numbers, because they were bound by a united desire, and joined together to work for a common burning ideal.
The greatest of all examples of the power of unity comes to us from the Gospels. The Apostles and the early Christians generally, inspired by the words of Christ Himself, took divine courage in the face of so many adversities, and gave to their hostile world an example of unity in the spirit of the Lord that is without parallel in the history of mankind. Let us consider these stirring words of Jesus as we read them in the Gospel of St. John:
READER: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit for itself unless it remain on the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, he bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. John 15: 4-5.
Holy Father, keep in Thy name those whom Thou hast given me, that they may be one even as we are. John 17, 11.
Yet not for these only do I pray, but for those also who brought their word are to believe in me, that all may be one, even as Thou, Father, in me end I in Thee, that they also may be one in us. John 17, 20-21.
I OF U: As the Lord gave His disciples a sharing in His Divine Nature so should we by our actions demonstrate our life in Christ. Christ glorified the Father by faithfully accomplishing His mission. So shall we glorify the Father by fulfilling our mission on earth as a projection of Christ in the world.
To be ready and efficient, you must possess unity both in purpose and in action. Unity of purpose comes to us through our acceptance of a common standard and an infallible guide. Our standard is the cross, our guide is the Holy Catholic Church.
Unity of action comes to us through obedience and loyalty to our chosen officers. This means respect for authority, without which there can be no unity. This means the formation of a right conscience so that we may freely obey the lawful demands made upon us.
Unity of purpose and of action gives strength. In a righteous cause, loyal and obedient to our chosen officers, our union will bring assured success. Unite for our Order, for our Country, for our Holy Mother Church.
Worthy Warden,
The Warden and his aides will proceed to the salutation table and salute the I of U. The I of U will return the salute and continue.
I OF U: Worthy Warden please proceed
WARDEN: Worthy Exponent of Fraternity, I present these candidates willing to promote and practice the lessons you are about to teach.
E OF F: Worthy brothers and Catholic gentlemen, you have learned the lesson of charity, you have learned the lesson of unity, you are in the midst of brothers who are loyal, firm and true. You are about to receive the lesson of fraternity and I would dwell with you on the duty of love toward your brother and your fellowman.
Let us consider your brother, what manner of being he is, that he should deserve your love. God created the earth, and the stars, and the limitless universe, and made the laws which govern them. They are indeed sublime, but greater than these is man, the marvelous creation of the same divine handiwork. Endowed with mind and heart, memory and will, life and intelligence, he may fall into the unfathomed depths of degradation and debasement, and yet rise again through the favor of a loving Father, to the immeasurable heights of God’s love.
Man has subdued the earth and has explored space. The mysteries of the material universe are within his grasp. Composed of the elements of mortality, he is yet sheathed with the splendid garment of immortality. He has a soul which is the image of the Almighty, and which no power can annihilate. The duty of this soul is love; its destiny is love. Its Divine Author came upon earth to expel hate from our hearts and to plant the wondrous flower of love upon the earth. He died for love of us and He left upon our altars the Sacrament of Love. This was His greatest commandment, and the central theme of the teaching He left us. This was His answer to that crucial question of the gospel as St. Luke records it for us:
READER: And behold, a certain lawyer got up to test him, saying “Master, what must I do to gain eternal life?” But He said to him, “What is written in the law? How dost thou read?” He answered and said: “Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole heart, and with thy whole soul and with thy whole strength, and with thy whole mind, and thy neighbor as thyself,” and “he said to him, “Thou hast answered rightly: do this and thou shalt live.” But he, wishing to justify himself said to Jesus, “and who is my neighbor?”
Jesus answered, “a certain man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and he fell in with robbers, who after both stripping him and beating him went their way, leaving him half dead. But, as it happened, a certain priest was going down the same way, and when he saw him, he passed by. And likewise a levite also, when he was near the place and saw him, passed by.
But a certain samaritan as he journeyed came upon him, and seeing him, was moved with compassion, went up to him and bound up his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. And setting him on his own beast, he brought him to an inn and took care of him. And the next day he took out two denarii and gave them to the innkeeper and said “take care of him: and whatever more thou spendest, I, on my way back, will repay thee.”
Which of these three, in thy opinion, proved himself neighbor to him who fell among robbers?” And he said, “He who took pity on him.” And Jesus said to him, “Go and do thou also in like manner.” Luke 110, 25-37.
E OF F: If such is the responsibility in charity and fraternity which we should demonstrate to strangers, how much more must we practice it in this fraternity. The greeting of peace in the Mass is the visible sign of the fraternity of all Christians. Let us now demonstrate this fraternity by using this great Christian symbol and extend our hands in friendship to our Brother Knights.
E of F extends hand of friendship to Warden who in turn extends it to his aides and they pass along the greeting to the candidates and members attending the degree. E of F will pause until the handshake of fraternity is completed.
E OF F: Worthy Brothers, this hand of friendship should have special meaning for us in our relations with each other. Hurt not your brother in thought or word or deed. Harm him not, nor his reputation, nor his good name. Harbor no evil thoughts against him. Be slow to believe evil reports about him and never spread them. Protect the character of your brother knights. Let the spirit of love pervade all the people of God. Such is the weakness of human nature that we are blind sometimes to the kind thoughts, the generous deeds of our brother, and too often blazon his faults across the sky for the world to see. Remember that no creature so accursed can be, but some good in him a loving eye can see.
Praise your brother openly, but if he has faults, let silence guard the gateway of your speech, for silence stills rumors and speech spreads scandal. But let neither silence nor any act of yours obstruct the way of justice. Confuse not charity with justice. Speak out fearlessly for the right.
Let no wrong be done under the cloak of fraternity against an individual or the public. Let the lamp of justice light the way to charity, unity and brotherly love.
Man is a dependent being. We need each other’s help. It is your duty to aid and assist your brother by counsel, encouragement, sympathy and support, both moral and material. Today he needs it, tomorrow you may need it. But wrong no man to aid your brother. Yet all things being equal, give him the preference.
Now heed this injunction: Let no man bring partisan politics into this Order, or into any of its council chambers. Let no man seek political support on the ground of fraternity alone. But, we charge you, if your faith is in peril, if your citizenship is in peril, if malice or wrong attack, stand firmly by and defend one another.
My Worthy Brothers, let the world see that the true spirit of fraternity pervades your every act, and that you are truly brothers in supporting each other in fraternal charity.
At this point all attention should be directed to Christopher Columbus. A light should be placed on the picture or bust of Columbus.
BIOGRAPHER: My brothers, let me give you an example of these virtues, of these principles of life, as they have been lived to the fullest in the history of one man, Christopher Columbus. The seaman of Genoa, the bold navigator who charted his way across the mighty seas to a great new world, gives us a model to imitate, and charts a pattern for our lives as his followers.
How can we learn a better lesson of charity than that of the man who braved the perils of the unknown waters of the earth out of ardent love for human souls. How can we learn the value of unity more than from him whose splendid victory was snatched from disaster when, with the help of God, he found the strength and courage to defeat the divided counsels of a rebellious crew and unite them toward a common goal. How can we learn a better lesson of fraternity than from Columbus who consecrated this land to the cross of the Redeemer and destined it as the abiding place of the great brotherhood of man who would walk in the brightness of the Lord’s unfailing love.
This is the man whose name we bear. He loved mankind; and so must we. He loved the Church and so must we. He loved the Lord from whom all these virtues flow, and so, as faithful sons and brothers, indeed must we.
Turn off spot light.
E OF F: I shall now ask you to take the pledge of the Knights of Columbus. I shall first recite it to you, and if any man has objection, let him speak.
I solemnly promise upon my honor as a Catholic gentleman that I hereby renew and will faithfully keep all the pledges taken by me in the ceremonials of the Knights of Columbus. I understand that no promise taken by me in this Order will ever conflict with my religious or civil duties. I promise to observe in all relations with my fellow knights the principles of true fraternity, always complying with the laws of justice, neither violating any just law of our nation nor any right of my fellow man. I further promise to strive individually and with the Order to carry on the work of the lay apostolate in keeping with the documents of the Second Vatican Council and all the teachings of the Church.
WARDEN: Candidates, raise your right hands.
E OF F: Candidates repeat the pledge after me.
WARDEN, after pledge is completed: Candidates, you may lower your hands.
E OF F: You will recall that your original pledge was one of secrecy. This does not mean that our Order is a secret society. But certain of our ceremonials are guarded by a pledge of secrecy in order to preserve their impressiveness, and to secure the interest and the anticipation of future candidates. Worthy Warden, proceed.
WARDEN: Worthy Chancellor, the candidates are ready for your Solemn Charge.
CHANCELLOR: We look back on the days of knighthood and the age of chivalry as a time of great adventure, of bravery and daring, and of crusading zeal for great ideals. The medieval splendor of that age is gone now; gone too are the solitary men of adventure who pursued their impossible quests with only a lonesome squire or a single sword.
Our world has become much more complicated and much more organized. It has little room for the solitary knight-errant, and it is not impressed by the power of a single sword. Today’s Knight more than ever must be one of a brotherhood, and he must pursue his quest with the help of many swords and many faithful brothers.
Yet in one deep sense the days of knighthood are still with us, since the sword of personal honor and the shield of a good conscience, and the lance of proven virtue are still weapons of mighty power in the face of battles today. Chivalry is still with us inasmuch as it means loyalty to God and country, service to neighbor, and defense of the poor and the oppressed. For this reason you are called the KNIGHTS of Columbus, for this great commitment to honor must still be alive in your hearts.
Before a candidate could pass fully into the ranks of knighthood, the ancient tradition required that he spend a night of vigil, alone and in the presence of God. During these hours of silence his mind would turn to the everlasting truths and the eternal questions—the fact of life, the fact of death, and the road of life between.
Let us here and now, in the last moments before you are called to join the knights of this Order in a solemn way, recall this vigil and the thoughts that make up this meditation.
Holding up the skull. Soft musical background.
Behold this relic of mortality, an empty casket which once contained the precious treasure of a human mind. How marvelous is this mind of man— use it to seek truth and the Source of all truth. Here pointing to the sockets from these empty sockets, fashioned by the hand of God, did once look out on life and light, eyes, fresh and bright and young as yours. Let us not be blind to the needs of our brothers, but search out the good in every man and especially in those of our brotherhood and of the household of the faith who are before our eyes each day. Here pointing to the mouth in this stronghold, guarded by these sentinels of bone, the tongue was placed.
“With it we bless God the Father, and with it curse men, who have been made after the likeness of God. Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing.” James 3:9-10.
Let us please God by moderation in its use, by truth and purity in its utterance and by reverence for His holy name. For he who would love life and see good days, let him refrain his tongue from evil and his lips that they speak no guile. Here pointing to the ears were channels through which instruction flowed. Listen ever to the weak and the oppressed. He who stops his ears against the cry of the poor may also cry himself some day and not be heard. Brothers, when you look upon this remnant still pointing to the skull of a being once endowed with life and health, as you are now, remember that the Angel of Death is ever hovering about, that before long the bodies now animated by our souls will be naught but ashes. Let our lives be such in honesty, integrity, purity, and charity, that on the last day our souls, complete with happiness may share forever the victory which Christ won for us on the cross.
D.D.: Now, brothers, behold this symbol, emblematic of man’s redemption holding up the cross the cross through which was bought the freedom of the world, the supremacy of the light of Divine intelligence over the darkness of idolatry and superstition. It is the cross of the crucified Christ; of God the Savior, of Him, at the mention of Whose name let all heads be bowed in silent adoration. Pause briefly with head bowed. It is the cross emblematic of Divine fortitude, charity and brotherly love; that for the sake of which our Holy Mother Church was crimsoned if red lighting effects available, have bright light shine on cross at the word “crimsoned” with the precious and plentiful blood of her martyrs.
Yet, brothers, standing before this cross, let us never forget that many times in the history of the Church there have been societies as devoted and as full of promise to the Church as ours, but under secular influence they gradually drew away from her fold and motherly care, thus forfeiting her approval and her blessing. That such a lot may never be ours, let us watch and pray, and you, brothers of this Council, and you worthy sirs, take with me this pledge:
Three raps. Members and candidates repeat the pledge with the D.D.
D.D.: “I promise by this cross loyalty and obedience to the Holy Catholic Church, to our Supreme Pontiff, our Bishops and our Pastors, upon whom Christ has placed the mantle of teaching authority and the government of His Church. I promise this even to the relinquishment of my membership in this Order, if ever it should be deemed necessary, which God forbid.”
One rap of gavel
As proof of your promises, I shall now invest you each with the cross and resting it upon your shoulders, remind you that as a Knight of Columbus you are taking on additional burdens and responsibilities by bearing the Cross of Christ in the lay apostolate.
If the class is large it is suggested the D. D. designate state officers or visiting D. D.’s to assist in investing with the cross.
Candidates are presented with a small cross as a memento of their action.
D.D.: Worthy Warden, you will prepare the chamber for the final ceremony of the day.
Raise lights.
WARDEN: Worthy Brothers, you may now relax and meditate on the honor you are about to receive. Knighthood in our honored Order.
Soft music should now be played to provide a calm and pleasant atmosphere and to discourage conversation. The officers with the exception of the D.D., Chaplain, Warden and his aides will, in an orderly fashion, march from the head of the room down the center aisle and take seats reserved for them behind the candidates. The Warden and his aides will move the prepared table according to the chart and place the sword table in its proper place, which should be arranged before the degree is started. This table should be covered with a cloth of black velvet which extends to the floor. The sword should be resting on a purple pillow to make it visible to all the candidates. The sword should be covered with a silver cloth. On each end of the table will be a candle. The table should be placed in a position in front of the candidates in the center. Where possible a spotlight should be focused on the sword and the candles lit to concentrate attention upon the sword throughout this part of the ceremonial. The hall lights should be lowered. The D.D. will take his place behind the sword table. The Chaplain will sit in a chair to the right of the D.D.
D.D. gives one rap.
WARDEN, after all is ready: Worthy D.D., your commands have been obeyed. Worthy Chaplain, I present these candidates who have persevered to the threshold of the solemn Knighthood in our Order and now await our spiritual advice.
The Warden will take his place at the chair to the left of the D.D. The two aides to the Warden will stand at either end of the sword table. The Chaplain from behind the table will remove the cover from the sword and hand it to one of the Warden’s aides. The aide will fold the cover and drape it on his chair to the right of the Chaplain’s chair and be seated. The other aide will go to his chair to the right of the Warden and be seated. The Chaplain will stand in the center and face the candidates.
CHAPLAIN: The Chancellor has spoken to you about the ancient tradition of the night of vigil. Just as centuries ago in the age of chivalry your predecessors who were about to receive the honor of knighthood passed these long hours of vigil in solemn meditation before the altar of God throughout the very night before the ceremony, so have you men completed a symbolic vigil of preparation and Christian formation that warrants your reaching this stage in your journey to complete Knighthood in our Order.
You have studied and considered the serious obligations which you are to assume with the title of Knights of Columbus. I pray to the Lord Jesus Christ, our King, and to His Mother Mary, whom we venerate as Queen of heaven, that you will be strengthened with the knowledge, courage and fortitude that will enable you to reflect great credit upon our beloved Order of Christian men. Join with me in an Our Father and a Hail Mary before you move on to the last step of your journey.
WARDEN: Candidates, please stand.
CHAPLAIN: Leads the Our Father and Hail Mary. Candidates remain standing.
D.D.: My Brothers, do you agree to assume the responsibility both individually and as a member of your council and of our Order to continue your Christian formation thus far begun?
WARDEN: Candidates answer: I do
D.D.: My brothers, do you agree to assume further responsibilities both individually and as a member of your council and of our Order to dedicate yourselves to the promotion and fostering of the apostolic mission of the Church.
WARDEN: Candidates answer: I do
D.D.: There are in every man’s life certain experiences, most of them pleasant, which fall to his lot only once. One of these is to the reception by a Catholic man of the final accolade which entitles him to be known fully as a Knight of Columbus.
You are here to be accorded this honor; you have merited it well. To achieve this distinguished goal you have patiently, attentively, perhaps at times even somewhat apprehensively, devoted much time and concentrated attention to absorb the lessons of our Order.
These lessons are part of the preparation of all Knights of Columbus, since only through learning them may the Knights better appreciate and resolve to practice effectively our Order’s cardinal principles of Charity, Unity and Fraternity.
I am here to exercise the most treasured prerogative of my office as District Deputy—to bestow our Order’s knighthood upon you. Very shortly we will proceed with the ceremony but I feel it incumbent upon me, first to comment briefly upon an aspect of your approaching status as a Knight of Columbus which has not been touched upon before.
I would recall to you the lessons impressed upon you in the course of those ceremonies in which you have already participated — our Degrees. Certain essential facts relative to the ideals which a Catholic gentleman must embrace in order to justify his title of Knight of Columbus were presented to you. These admonitions were phrased in dramatic language and delivered by you by men whose experience as Knights guarantees their ability to express these sentiments with sincerity and conviction.
There remains one more thought, however, which, though emphasized in our ceremonials, is of such vital importance that it can never be repeated too often. It is simply this:
The words Charity, Unity and Fraternity are written clearly into our ceremonials. But they are only words until they are given life in the actions of men who know their value and are committed to work for them.
These glorious God-given virtues of Charity, Unity and Fraternity exist potentially in your hearts and souls—in those of every man—but unless you live them as God intended you to do, they can and will lie useless—contributing nothing to a world hungry for justice and peace and kindness—bringing strength of spirit to no one.
Your formation and instruction are not over. They will continue throughout your membership in the Knights of Columbus where you are expected to live a good Catholic life, accept specific responsibilities, and train yourself for Catholic lay leadership. Others will judge the Order of the Knights of Columbus and judge our Church by the manner of your life and your actual participation in the social welfare for the betterment of all mankind. By the way you participate in the active life and programs of your council so will you help to promote the future of the Knights of Columbus and to attract others to assist you and us in the attainment of these noble objectives.
It is my earnest prayer, therefore, that when, in a short time, the Sword of Knighthood rests upon your shoulder and you are solemnly invested with that great title of Knight of Columbus—the memory of that moment will remain forever in your heart. Your own daily personal commitment should pour forth in generous service and good example an abundant expression of those divine sentiments of Charity, Unity and Fraternity to all mankind. Worthy Warden proceed.
WARDEN: Worthy Brothers, you have been provided with a name card. You will now hold the card in your hand.
The two Warden’s aides will take a place in the center aisle on either side and alternately conduct the candidates to the Warden. The Warden will take the name card and present the candidate to the D.D. and return the name card. Soft music will be played during the knighting ceremonial. The D.D. will come to the center front of the sword table and with the sword resting upon the candidates right shoulder, state solemnly to each one individually.
D.D.: By the authority vested in me, I now proclaim you Brother ... a Knight of Columbus.
The candidate will then return to his place by way of the side aisle.
When every candidate has been knighted:
G.K.: All join in singing “Praise to the Lord:”
G.K. will welcome each candidate and present him with the lapel emblem and make any announcements as are necessary to inform them of the balance of the day’s program, banquet, etc., time and place of the next meeting.
Announces closing prayer.
CHAPLAIN: Closing prayer.