Rectified Scottish Rite – Grand Priory of England and Wales
Ritual of the Sixth Grade: Knight Beneficient of the Holy City
Ritual Opening of the Prefectory Chapter
Organ Music: The Prefect having arrived in his place (and all the Knights being placed) nocks once with the pommel of his sword and says:
Prefect: Rise, Reverend Knights. To Order, with swords at the carry in the right hand, point upwards, as a sign of respect and devotion to the Order, to our Country and to your Peers.
Dean: Inasfar as the sword is of no avail unless directed by a skilful hand, supported by firm and intrepid courage, in like manner our Order cannot be truly useful without practising the rules by which it is governed and directed in Faith, Hope and Charity.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, swords in left hand, point down, right hand on heart.
The Prior opens the Bible (New Testament), and places sword on the Bible. The Prior returns to his place.
Prefect: In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, to the Glory of the Great Architect of the Universe for the good of humanity, and by virtue of the power you have vested in me, Reverend Knights, I open this Chapter for the Ceremony of the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City, of the Prefectory of St. George of London, No. 1 in the Grand Priory of England and Wales.
Dean: Let it be opened according to the rites of the Order!
Prefect: Reverend Knights, efface all unworthy thoughts and all aggression from your hearts.
Dean: So that Peace and the light of truth may shine upon us.
Prefect: Pay, attention, Reverend Knights, to the words of the Reverend Prior.
Prior: Eternal and Almighty God, Heavenly Father, Infinite Power, who hast no end and no beginning, who lovest and penetratest all nature, inspire our thoughts, illuminate our consciences, bring to our hearts that mysterious force which comes from Thee, so that our efforts reach out to that ideal beauty which shines in the East and which is the supreme goal of our aspirations and our hopes.
M.C.: Swords point upwards.
Prefect: May Charity and Accord always reign amongst us!
Dean: Reverend and well-loved Knights, this Chapter of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City is open.
Prefect: I claim your attention, Reverend Knights. He gives the sign of the Order, followed by the Knights.
Dean: Please be seated.
Prefect: Rises. Most Eminent and Reverend Grand Master will you please direct our work. Sits.
Ceremony of Armament
Grand Master: Reverend and well-loved Knights, we have called this Chapter together to create and commission as Knights according to the ceremonies of the Order, the Squire Novices
Do you consent to their reception?
If consent is given.
I shall, therefore, proceed with the ceremony of receiving the Squire Novices … into the Prefectory Chapter.
Reverend Knight Master of Ceremonies, reassure yourself of the candidates' suitability and prepare them in the customary manner.
If you are satisfied, you will bring them to the porch of the Temple and inform us of their preparedness.
The Master of Ceremonies leaves the Temple.
M.C.: To the Squire Novices: You will now perform an action of lustration. You will wash your hands and face as a symbol of your inner purification and a sincere disposition towards our Order.
The Master of Ceremonies, on his return, knocks once on the door of the Temple.
Inner Guard: Most Eminent and Reverend Grand Master, there is an alarm.
Grand Master: See who wants admittance.
Inner Guard opens door and reports: The Reverend Knight Master of Ceremonies requests admission.
Grand Master: Admit him.
M.C.: Most Eminent and Reverend Grand Master, the Squire Novices have been prepared according to the ancient usages of the Order.
Grand Master: Reverend Knight Master of Ceremonies, you will now introduce the Squire Novices.
If there are three or more candidates, one will act as the representative candidate. The others stand by their seats. Master of Ceremonies stays with representative candidate in the West.
Introduction of the Squire Novices
Grand Master: Squire Novices, an ancient and respectable Order, derived from an early Order of Knighthood, preserved in various forms until today, hidden during many centuries from the profane under the veil of emblems and allegories, and reformed towards the end of the 18th century, is presented to you without hidden mystery. Today, this Order is devoted exclusively to the practice of virtue, to the defence of the oppressed and to the support of the deprived in the spirit of the Christian Faith. It opens the gates of its sanctuary to you today.
As novices you were already enabled to know something of it. Since then, you have expressed the wish to belong more closely to it. Indeed, Squire Novices, it is essential that you should assure us that the obligation you are about to take will be irrevocable, that you will always be devoted to the Order and to its principles, to its officers and to all the Knights, since they, in their turn must assure you of the same attachment. Are you now willing to commit yourself to this beneficent Order by solemn vows, and to join us by bonds of the closest fraternity?
All Candidates: I am.
After the candidates have replied in the affirmative, the Grand Master addresses the Knights.
Grand Master: And you, Reverend Knights, do you promise the candidates inviolable attachment and boundless devotion?
Knights: We swear it.
Grand Master: This being the case, we shall bring to your notice the GENERAL DUTIES AND ESPECIAL OBLIGATIONS OF THE KNIGHTS BENEFICENT OF THE HOLY CITY. They form the essential part of the rules you will have to follow.
Listen carefully to the lecture which will be read by the Dean of the Chapter.
Squire Novices, be seated.
Master of Ceremonies sits.
Dean: Most religious chivalric Orders were instituted to defend and protect with their arms the Christian Religion and the faithful who travelled to Palestine to visit the Holy Places. Solemnly they made four vows: vows of poverty, obedience, chastity and to defend the Christian Faith.
The Knights Beneficent of the Holy City, who are called upon to exercise the same virtues and partly the same duties take the same vows modified to suit the present state of the Order and the spirit and needs of our century.
Bearing in mind these principles, the Knights engage themselves on the following lines:
Happily, the holy wars undertaken on religious grounds have ceased.
It is therefore not with the sword that you are called upon to defend the sublime principles of the Christian Faith. When they are attacked in his presence the Knight must defend them with words, with prudence and circumspection. He must see that they are loved and respected by his own example of a well informed tolerance, by good morals, and regular conduct.
Any Knight being seen to comply with those who, in ignorance, take pleasure in insulting the religion of Christ, will not be considered a true Knight in the face of the Order.
Nor will the Order admit as Knights those who profane the principles of the Christian Faith by intolerance or fanaticism.
An inviolable respect for Christianity will be the prerogative of the Knights Beneficent of the Holy City and the sincerity of the Knights will be demonstrated by the constant practice of the lessons it teaches.
Obedience to the Order consists of the faithful observance of the Laws by which it is constituted and directed, and of respect for the Officers charged with their application.
In the Order; the vow of chastity consists of living a chaste life in celibacy or in the state of Holy Matrimony.
The Order does not impose the vows of poverty. The Knight should enjoy the possessions accorded to him by Divine Providence but should take care not to place too great a store by them or abuse them. He should always remember that he came naked into this world and that soon he will have to leave it in like manner, and that the deprived have a sacred right to those things superfluous to him.
These then are our vows within the Order.
M.C.: Squire Novices, you will now stand.
Dean: In all the degrees through which you have passed you have been preparing for these vows, and the obligation to keep inviolate the silence enveloping the Order has already been demanded of you.
You are now called upon to observe this obligation even more strictly in all things concerning the Order of the Holy City, to withhold everything undertaken in our association and our assemblies from all persons not having the right to such knowledge.
Destined to prepare and procure, in the widest sense, all that could be useful to the general good, and principally to relieve suffering of whatever nature, the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City demands that every Knight should collaborate to this end by every means his station in life will allow?
The duties particular to each Knight are derived from the obligations common to all classes of society from which the Order is formed into one unique militia.
This beneficent Order brings together and wisely combines diverse means for the general good, bearing in mind the principles of Love and Charity.
In conclusion: Constantly preserve and defend Truth by your own morals, by your speech and your example. Do not resort with exaggerated zeal to violence against those who err. It will repel more than attract and edify.
Where you find errors, carry pity in your heart. Do what you can to bring the offenders back to truth by soft persuasion, and never engage your Brethren in sterile dogmatic discussions.
Teach them to love and imitate our Divine Saviour, Jesus Christ. Be as useful as your means, your talents and your station will permit. Sloth is punishable. Divine providence has appointed you to your post. Fulfil your duties faithfully. By working for the happiness of others you will advance towards your own perfection.
Grand Master: Squire Novices, do you accept the Duties and Obligations of the Knights as they have been presented to you, and do you consent to fulfil them faithfully?
Squire Novices: I do.
M.C.: Squire Novices, be seated.
Grand Master: I shall now call your attention to a reading of the lecture of your new degree, the highest, the most sublime of our Rite, that you may be the better enabled to appreciate its significance.
Prefect: When you were received as Novices into the Inner Order, we endeavoured to retrace the successive phases through which the Initiation of ancient times passed, and to show how, inspired by that uninterrupted advance of the human spirit, they led along the path to Perfection and to an Ideal.
Having studied the origin and the goal of Masonry, starting from the East, the cradle of all initiation, we have arrived step by step at that touching figure of Christ, who dominates olden times and who replaced the formula of the Old Testament, a strong and jealous God who punished the children for the iniquities of their fathers, by that more just, more truthful and more consoling formula of the New Covenant. God is father, he is love and forgiveness! It is not surprising that such precepts, supported by a life of total forbearance, should become the basis of a new religion which transformed society! The life and teaching of Christ make him appear as an Initiate, the greatest, no doubt, who like many others, paid with his life for his courage, his independence and his thirst for truth.
Prefect: The earliest times of Christianity were marked by their naive simplicity. Awaiting the return of the Master, the early Christians adhered to his precepts; they obeyed them to the letter without trying to uncover any hidden meaning. And in order to distinguish themselves from false Brethren they adopted certain signs and tokens, as an Association. But little by little the new religion was transformed, giving rise to Monastic Orders which recalled in some measure that of the Essenes. And the principle of authority became definitely established when one proclaimed himself the successor of St. Peter and the representative of the Master, the most humble of the humble, and sat himself upon a more than royal throne and placed a triple crown upon his head.
Then it was that the simplicity of the early days, the morals, the beneficence and fraternal love gave place to a spirit of authority and intolerance and also to the strangest and the most arbitrary dogmas.
But let us not dwell on those times which were not without grandeur! Was not that sublime appeal of Peter the Hermit at the Council of Clermont, which created a courageous throbbing in the veins of his contemporaries, a magnificent page in the book of Mankind? The conquest of the Holy Places! The Christians, possessing those far off regions where the unforgettable Redeemer lived, preached and suffered! ....
The Crusades followed, an illustrious epoch which inspired so many brilliant actions and which, for the Western peoples, meant the dawn of liberty and emancipation.
The establishment of the Christians at Jerusalem gave birth to the chivalric orders and tradition has it that we were attached to them.
So let us retrace that short but glorious co-existence.
In 1108 Hugues de Paganis and Geoffrey of St. Omer arrived in the Holy Land. Three years later they joined seven other noblemen on the Feast of the Holy Trinity and elected Hugues de Paganis as their chief. Their principal task was to protect the pilgrims against the Saracens and to sacrifice all for the defence of the Christian Faith.
They called themselves CHEVALIERS BIENFAISANTS DE LA CITE SAINTE or KNIGHTS BENEFICENT OF THE HOLY CITY. The nine Founders of that Order were Hugues de Paganis, Geoffrey of St. Omer, Gilbert of Norfolk, Philippe of St.-Maur, Hildebrand Lavis de Scala, Jacques de Durfort-Duras, Martin of Rhodes, William of Gamache and Hugh Lord Lusignan.
In principle these nine Knights were errant, but in 1115 Baudoin II gave them asylum within the precincts of King Solomon's Temple and in 1118 they were called KNIGHTS OF THE TEMPLE or TEMPLARS. They lived on alms and the generosity of the faithful and for nine more years they limited their numbers to nine. Despite coming from noble families, their poverty was such that one horse had to carry two Knights! Later, wishing to commemorate the modest beginnings of their Order they struck a seal representing "a horse ridden by two Knights".
In 1128, at the Council of Troyes, they were solemnly recognised by the Christian Church and acquired the white mantle; St. Bernard established their rules. In 1147, Pope Eugene III added the red cross. Ten years later the Pope gave them the right to possess land and thereafter their prosperity knew no bounds.
Before the Council of Troyes the Order comprised 27 Knights and immediately afterwards, in 1128, three Priories were established, each comprising 27 Knights. It was agreed to divide them in this manner in order to be able to cover the avenues of the Temple and Jerusalem more efficiently. It was decreed that each 9 Knights in a Priory should have a Superior and that a Prefect should be placed over these Superiors to whom the other Knights owed obedience. Later Pope Eugene III gave these Superiors the name of Commander.
In 1183 the Order had become so important in Europe that it was divided into Provinces. The number of Provinces was irrevocably fixed at At the close of the 12th century the revenues of the Order attained two million golden ecus spread over their nine thousand establishments. In the following century Richard, King of England, sold them the kingdom of Cyprus, conquered from the Greek emperors.
But their prosperity and splendour was at the root of the covetousness and jealousy which led to the downfall of the Templars. Within a short time Philippe le Bel, King of France, swore to destroy them.
To gain his ends he secured the support of the Pope in Avignon who called Jacques de Molay, Grand Master of the Order engaged in the War in Cyprus, to his tribunal. The Grand Master, sure of his innocence, obeyed the call. He, godfather of the king's son, was thrown into prison. The Templars were arrested everywhere. They were submitted to the most dreadful tortures to extort from them confessions which were later denied. At last, on 16 October 1311 at the Council of Vienne, the Order was declared eradicated and abolished ... But three hundred Fathers refused to associate themselves with this infamous condemnation! Pope Clement V brought the force of his apostolic authority to bear and confirmed the judgement. From then onwards, torture followed upon torture until 11 March 1314, the day when Guy, Dauphin of Auvergne, and Jacques de Molay, the last Grand Master of the Order, were burned at the stake.
The people threw themselves upon their remains, collected them and kept them as relics.
Senior: The story now passes into the secret Tradition. This informs us that the Templars who escaped these disasters fled to different places.
Pierre de Beaujeu took refuge in Sweden. Pierre d'Aumont, Master of the Province of Auvergne, after offering some resistance, escaped with two Commanders and five Knights disguised as masons. Their numbers increased to fifteen and their first refuge was Ireland, from there they reached the Isle of Mull in Scotland and there met George Harris, Grand Commander at Hampton Court, who had returned there with a few of the Brethren.
They held court there, and on the Feast of St. John in 1312 they resolved to propagate the Order in secret, adopting masonic symbols and emblems. During their flight some of the Knights had changed their names and d'Aumont adopted the name of Mac-Benac. It was a memorable chapter meeting at which d'Aumont was elected Grand Master, and subsequently the Order spread in its outer form as we see it today. It was decreed that symbolical names and Masonic customs should be adopted to preserve the memory of the story of d'Aumont and his Brethren. D'Aumont, already a great age, was unable to sustain such a hard life and died in 1313. Harris then took his place. It was he who allowed the Knights to marry in order to preserve the Order through their children, because in those disastrous times they dared not initiate a free man, nor give him knowledge of any degree superior to that of Master Mason.
According to the secret tradition, for over 250 years no person was initiated as Scottish Master, unless it was a child of the Order and only one and a half centuries later, at the Convention of Lyons in 1778 were we permitted to entrust the secrets of the Order to Scottish Masters born of free parents.
Harris permitted men of every complexion, civil or ecclesiastical, even members of the Greek Faith to be initiated, and gave them the right to enter the Order. It was he who struck the seal representing a phoenix with this motto, "Perit ut vivat" "He dies that he may live" and who introduced the other mottos. The phoenix is the emblem of the novices. It is also the most ancient of emblems, because it is the image of the honour of perishing to live again, as it is of the Order that perished in flames only to be born again from its ashes.
In spite of persecutions the Order spread. Pierre de Beaujeu was the first Grand Master, d'Aumont succeeded him and brought the Knights into exile. Harris reorganised them, consoled them and gave them courage to live and endowed them with Faith in the future. Sublime Order! From the instruction of the Master, you have retained love of one's neighbour, enlightened beneficence, respect for the belief of others. Three columns support your Temple. They are called Faith, Hope and Charity. As long as they support the Temple, it will stand forever and will only fall with the end of mankind.
According to tradition the Order was perpetuated secretly in various provinces, and in the United Kingdom it formed the superior degrees of Freemasonry. In the days of its prosperity the Order of the Temple was the Protector of the Lodges of the country. In its turn, restricted and obliged to hide, it was protected and defended by the lodges …. The two systems continued to work together without being mutually absorbed and this was evidently the origin of the higher degrees in modern Masonry. For a long time unique, our superior degrees were the only ones known and the only ones practised. The members were recruited from the Masonry of St. Andrew or Royal Arch and their Inner Order was composed, as it is today, of 2 degrees - the Squire Novice and the Knight.
They were the faithful supporters of the throne and the altar. They accompanied royalty into exile and thus passed into France in the 17th century to spread abroad from there, subsequently being modified by contact with other milieux and new prerogatives. The ancient French provinces were resuscitated; they were the 2nd, 3rd and 5th of the Order. In France, as in Germany, the Order was frequently rectified under the supervision of its Conventions. It fought against infiltration by the Jesuits, defended itself against the alchemists of the time, forbade political and religious discussion; all things which corrupted the serenity of the relationship between the Brethren by sowing the seeds of disagreement and defiance. It preserved in its admirable rituals of Scottish Master, Squire Novice and Knight their original purity and undeniable greatness.
At last, at the National Convention des Gauls in 1778, the three French provinces, but particularly the 5th, that of Burgundy, declared that they would renounce for all time all the privileges and claims of the old Order of the Temple and adopt once again the name given to their Founders before they acquired any possessions, that of KNIGHTS BENEFICENT OF THE HOLY CITY.
Grand Master: Yes, Squire Novices, we are the spiritual descendants of those valiant warriors who founded the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City and who bore the title of Templars with glory.
Having formed the most brilliant masonic Order of the 18th century and thrown forth rays of light during the first quarter of the following century, it faded gradually until it finally fell with the society of which it was composed and which it represented, but in one last area of light and warmth it was kept alive in its Independent Grand Priory of Helvetia. Evolution is one of the great forces of nature. It is a force which breaks all resistance. To live one has to evolve with the times, one has to bend to its demands. One has to look ahead and march onwards, for he who stops retreats and disappears from the scene. Look ahead, Squire Novices, because life is a battle every day, life demands this daily fight and it is with this that victory must be paid for. Each one of us must work. Let each one of us bring his stone to the building. To be worthy of the Order and those who are within it, we must all maintain and propagate our principles of Faith, of liberty of thought, of charity and beneficence.
Grand Master: You will now recite, together, the Vows of the Order by which you will commit yourselves as Knights. Until now, you have taken your obligations kneeling, with your hand placed on the Holy Gospels and the Sword; today you will take your Vows, your head high, before this assembly of Knights, as a free man, determined to work with us for the progress of humanity, for the moral and material good of all mankind, that peace and charity may reign amongst them.
Organ Music: Meanwhile the Master of Ceremonies invites the Squire Novices to rise and approach the altar. When in place the Grand Master strikes one knock with the pommel of his sword.
M.C.: Rise Reverend Knights, swords in left hand, pointing down.
Prior: Almighty God, grant these Thy servants … Thy gracious help that they may conscientiously observe the obligation they are about to take as Knights Beneficent of the Holy City. Enlighten their spirit that they may never fail in their duty; fill their hearts with the divine fire of Thy love so that they may render themselves useful to the human family and so practise the lessons that we have been taught by our sovereign master Jesus Christ with whom we pray, saying together the Lord's Prayer.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, raise your swords.
The Prior presents the Gospel, opened.
Prior: You will place your right hand on the Holy Gospel, repeat your names individually and then read the Obligation together.
Candidates: I, …, in the presence of God and of my Brethren and of my own free will and accord, promise and swear that I will respect and practise the Holy Christian religion, the precepts of which I pledge myself to follow; to render myself useful to my fellow men by all the means at my disposal; to support the weak and oppressed; to relieve the poor and those in misery; to work together with my Brethren for the good of the Order and to observe its rules and statutes; to persevere in its work and to be devoted to its interests; to keep inviolably secret all its concerns; to honour its leaders and superiors.
I promise to observe these points inasfar as my station and my means will permit, so that, without neglecting my duties and obligations to my religion, my country and my civil status, these vows shall never be compromised.
Prior: May the Lord of Justice and Mercy receive you amongst his faithful workers, determined to work until death for the good of their fellow men and in search of Truth.
Grand Master: Squire Novices, do you accept these vows that you have just undertaken, and are you prepared to keep them always in mind with the firm will to carry them out?
Squire Novices: I do.
M.C.: Be seated, Reverend Knights.
The Master of Ceremonies returns his sword, takes the Novice by the hand and leads him to the centre for the ceremony of Armament.
All the candidates come and stand in the centre.
The Grand Master leaves his seat and moves into the choir to face the candidates.
Ceremony of Dubbing or ARMAMENT
Investiture of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City
Grand Master: Take off that red sash and prepare yourselves to receive the clothing of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City.
The Master of Ceremonies disposes of sashes, buckles on belt and places scabbard in frog.
There was a time when your investiture would have carried more attributes: I will remind you of the more important of them. First, there was the tunic of white skin decorated with the Cross of the Order; then a light sash of white silk; then the Golden spur, symbol of vigilance and promptitude, of which the rowel recalls the pains of the Crucified Lord and of life; and the large white mantle carrying the red cross of the Templar.
To these were added the gloves, the boots, the hat trimmed and decorated with feathers, the colours of which indicated the Province and rank of the Knight. Our vestments are much simpler. Let us proceed.
The Master of Ceremonies presents the articles, by hand, to the Grand Master. The Grand Master continues:
The sash Receive this white sash right shoulder decorated with the Cross of the Temple. Its colour is the symbol of Purity and Uprightness, qualities honoured by him, who is worthy of the title of Knight. This colour, white, symbolizes in Freemasonry the supreme degree in all rites; nothing is superior, there is nothing beyond, all those wearing it are equal; together they constitute White Masonry.
The Jewel The Jewel of the Order already on sash must be suspended from this sash as a reminder that this Sacred Order was the refuge of Knights in the time of their prohibition, and became the nursery of the Inner Order in more favourable times.
The Mantle I clothe you with this Mantle. It is the most beautiful adornment worn by a Knight. Let the noble heart which beats behind this Mantle bring forgiveness to your neighbours for their errors and may GOD forgive you your offences. This Mantle is also the emblem of Charity, the virtue which incites the desire to do good to others.
The Collarette The ancient tunic is today replaced by this red collarette. Its colour is the colour of your blood which, in former times, you would not have hesitated to shed for the salvation of the Order and for the Faith of our fathers. Now it is the emblem of devotion to the Institution and fidelity to the sworn faith.
The Cross of the Temple From the collarette is suspended the pectoral Cross or Jewel of the Order, more especially of the degree of Knight. In 1147 this red cross was bestowed upon the successors of the 9 Knights who were the Founders of the Hospitaller and Military Order of the Templars, first called KNIGHTS OF THE HOLY CITY who had followed Godfrey de Bouillon to the conquest of Palestine.
This cross, placed upon your breast, will cover a noble heart ready to make sacrifices for the good of the Order and that of your fellow-men.
The Master of Ceremonies presents the candidates' swords to the Grand Master.
The Sword I hand to you this sword, sign of nobility won by virtue. It symbolizes the duty of protecting your Brethren, of coming to the aid of the poor and distressed. Employ it only in just causes, for the defence of the Realm and for legitimate self defence .... Remember, however, that it is by the victorious arms of the Word and by good example that the Knight will bring back to the paths of goodness those who have strayed.
The Master of Ceremonies instructs the candidates to return their swords.
The Grand Master returns to his seat.
Consecration of the Knight
This part of the Ceremony is announced by the bell of the Encampment. * *** and at this signal the Assembly rises.
M.C.: Rise Reverend Knights, swords in left hand point upwards.
Grand Master: The sounding of the bell of the Temple of the Order announces the Initiation of new Knights. According to ancient Chronicles, it was only when the Temple was tyled, that is to say when all gates were closed and guarded, that our mysteries could be celebrated, and after the Vigil the Novice went to be created Knight by the Sword, the Spurs, the Helmet and the Accolade.
But first let us all give the Sign of the Order.
As this is done the bell is heard again. * ***.
Love your neighbour as yourself,
May Justice reign in your hearts,
May Temperance govern your tongue,
May Prudence inspire your actions,
Be strong and courageous men that your
Conduct may always be inspired by a loyal and generous spirit!
The Grand Master leaves his seat. The Master of Ceremonies presents his sword to the Grand Master who goes to each candidate, touching him with the sword on the right shoulder, left shoulder and head.
Grand Master: In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost and by the power vested in me by the Grand Priory I create you, Squire Novice names a Knight of the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City!
The Master of Ceremonies receives back his sword.
In the name of all the Knights of the Order, I give you the embrace of the Fraternity; The Grand Master takes the hands of the newly made Knight with welcoming words, then embraces him breast to breast, left and then right. from now onwards for all time you are our Companion in Arms! May the divine grace and the peace which emanates therefrom abide in you and in us all!
The Grand Master takes his place.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, be seated.
The Candidates stand in the centre.
Grand Master, name within the Order, escutcheon and motto: According to ancient tradition, confirmed in 1659 the year of the renewal of the Order by the creation of the secret degree of Scottish Knight of St. Andrew, the Knights who had reached the supreme degree, adopted a name within the Order and chose a motto and coat of arms. We have preserved this custom.
The Senior announces the Candidate's Name within the Order.
Grand Master: This is the characteristic sign of your degree. It is a cross drawn in two movements across the breast by the thumb of the right hand. To recognise the questioner, the questioned traces a vertical line from top to bottom, and the questioner responds by tracing a horizontal line crossing the first.
The word of recognition is EM-MA-NU-EL (God with us). It is given in 4 syllables. The questioned giving the first and third; the questioner the others. This completed, the two Knights embrace one another breast to breast, the questioner gives the whole word, the other replies "Amen".
The knocks are the following: the first knock with the right fist, marks the superiority you have gained by the title of Knight, above all the other ranks within the Order. The three following knocks are struck with the middle finger and are a repetition of the knocks of the Entered Apprentice. They teach you that having arrived at the term of your Initiation you have become an Apprentice of Perfection and that your unique and true Master must now be looked for in Heaven.
Endeavour, then, to render yourself worthy of His support and of His light.
Grand Master: Master of Ceremonies you will instruct the Knights in the Symbol of the Sword.
Symbol of the Sword. On the order of the Grand Master the Master of Ceremonies advises the new Knights to listen to the words of the Prior, instructs them to draw swords and beat the air three times with their swords: the first time ahead, the second time to the right, and the third time to the left. During this procedure the Prior says:
Prior: In Thy Name, O Lord, we challenge those who rise against us, for our hope lies neither in our ability, nor in our swords, but in Thee alone!
New Knights return their swords.
Grand Master: The chivalric ideal was a conception of the Christians of the Middle Ages, armed to serve unarmed Truth so that peace should not be continually threatened. Out of a barbarous rite of dubbing and consecration the Church made a Christian ceremony where its doctrine as chivalric material is expressed in terms of great beauty.
M.C.: Rise Reverend Knights, swords left hand, points down.
Prior: Lord, Thou hast permitted the use of the sword that we should support Justice, that the fury of the wicked should be restrained. Grant each new Knight the help he will need for the defence of Justice and Truth. Strengthen him in his Faith, his Hope and his Charity, Give him prudence and love, humility and perseverance, so that with this sword he may defend all that is just and all that is right.
M.C.: Reverend Knights be seated.
The Master of Ceremonies brings the candidates to the Grand Master.
Grand Master: Reverend Knights, you have promised obedience to your superiors.
You owe it to the Most Eminent and Reverend Grand Master of the Order in England and Wales, to your Prefect, to your Commander and to the Prior of this Prefectory, to the agents and trustees of the Laws.
You will never have reason to regret the free and voluntary obedience you owe them, for their only desire is to reign over your heart by persuasion and zeal, and never by an arbitrary authority of any kind.
Approach and give me the sign of Obedience that you owe me in my Office of Grand Master of England and Wales. You will then go to the other dignitaries.
M.C.: Rise, Reverend Knights, swords left hand, points up.
The Master of Ceremonies takes each Knight to the Grand Master who presents the pommel of his sword for the Knight to lay his hand upon. Each Knight then goes to the other dignitaries seated at the dais.
Grand Master: Reverend Knight Master of Ceremonies you will conduct each new Knight to the Almoner to donate his alms for the poor.
Whilst this is being done: Happy he who assists the poor and the indigent in the days of their misery. He acts as a good and worthy Knight.
The Master of Ceremonies brings the Knights before the Grand Master.
Grand Master: Reverend Knights, present yourself to all your Companions in Arms here present, and exchange with them a cordial handshake, while the fraternal embrace will pass around later in the ceremony."
After these personal greetings, Master of Ceremonies takes Knights to a seat.
Reverend Knights. Be seated.
Grand Master: Reverend Knights, you are now irrevocably bound to the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City.
You expressed the wish to arrive at this final stage of your Masonic career. It was necessary, however, before giving you satisfaction, to examine you in the symbolic steps so as to be assured of your zeal, of your discretion, and of your determination to acquire those virtues which must here be put into practice and which constitute a true ornament of the Order.
Persuaded as we are that all your hopes, which are our own, will be realised, we are happy to have introduced into the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City Squire Novices worthy of the name.
Grand Master: New Knights, the trophy of arms which stands before you must remind you that the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City is derived from the general order of Chivalry, an Order from which several religious and military orders were derived, and especially that of the Temple with which the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City has the closest affinity. As you know, this Order was devoted to the defence of the Christian Faith and Holy Places against the Moslems who claimed their possession. Those unhappy times when rivers of blood were shed have passed. The military characteristics of the Order have ceased, occupation has become a softer and more conciliatory matter, the duties of the Order more useful to humanity. This trophy has only been preserved to remind us of the duties and virtues of the Knights of which their composite parts are the emblems.
And so, Eques ..., by this degree, by those which preceded it, you have lifted the veil which covers the origins of Freemasonry. You have seen its origins, its principal secrets, its aim, its goal. It was born with Society and with Society it will end.
There is nothing beyond the Order into which you have entered. The ruling body of this Order is chosen from the Knights of which it is composed.
Having arrived at this high degree, you will wash to understand and fulfil more strictly then ever the obligations you have entered into.
The Knight Beneficent of the Holy City is the man of whom Plato speaks, one who accomplishes voluntarily, spontaneously and with joy, those things which others accomplish just to obey the law or in fear of retribution. The Knight alone can speak of Beneficence, for he alone understands its full significance; he alone is able to practise beneficence to the full.
M.C.: The new Reverend Knights will rise.
Grand Master: You have become the equal of your Brother Reverend Knights! Merit this equality by your efforts to surpass them in generous thoughts, fine actions, virtue and wisdom. Be just to all men, indulgent towards human weaknesses, and tolerant, respecting all sincere convictions. Endeavour to bring those who have strayed back to the paths of truth with patience and with persuasion, but above all show an ardent and active kindness towards the weak, the unhappy, and the deprived. Apply yourself to bringing them the courage and energy of which they stand so greatly in need.
The Grand Master rises.
M.C.: Rise, Reverend Knights, swords in left hand, points up. The Grand Master does not draw his sword.
Grand Master: It is with joy, it is with happiness that we receive you among us. Here, the circle of fraternity gathers together and sentiments of affection which bind us to one another have become all the stronger as they are founded on a well proven mutual esteem.
Our confidence in you today is absolute.
Your character is for us the surest guarantee of your sincerity.
The Master of Ceremonies conducts the new Knights to the centre.
The Grand Master leaves his seat and descends into the choir.
Once the Grand Master has arrived before the new Knights, all the Knights gather around and rattle their swords over the heads of the Grand Master and the new Knights.
Grand Master: As we are assured that you will not violate your obligations, they have become of no value! This is why we free you of all your obligations! You are now a free man, responsible only to yourself and before GOD!
M.C.: Reverend Knights, resume your places and return swords.
Grand Master stays in centre with candidates.
Grand Master to Candidate: Come to me to receive the word of the word of peace with the embrace of our Holy Fraternity, which you will then communicate to each Knight present.
The Knights embrace giving the word of the Order and the response. E……l, A..n.
The Grand Master returns to the altar to music.
Candidates return to the centre.
Grand Master: And now. Reverend Knights, all united, all confident in one another, let us march with courage and without weakness along the paths that have been opened to us, our eyes fixed upon the high summits which rise in the Heavens, where the Light, the Truth and Justice shine eternally bright.
Prefect: Reverend Knight Master of Ceremonies, accompany each new Knight to his place.
M.C.: Reverend Knights be seated.
This ends the Ceremony of Armament. The new Knights put on white gloves. The Grand Master invites the Prefect to take the Chair and continue the work.
Prefect: Reverend Knight Almoner, please collect the alms.
M.C.: Rise Reverend Knights
(After Collection) Reverend Knights be seated.
Communications, greetings to visitors.
Remainder of Agenda.
Prefect: Rises. Giving one knock with the pommel of his sword...: Reverend Knights, to Order, with swords at the carry in the right hand, point upwards, as a sign of devotion to God, our Sovereign, our Country and our fellow men.
Dean: Inasmuch as the sword is of no avail unless guided by a sure hand, itself supported by an indestructible courage, in like manner our Order would not be truly useful without the rules which govern and direct it in Faith, Hope and Christian Charity.
Prefect: The labours of the day being ended let us close this chapter of the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of the Prefectory of St. George of London, No. 1 in the Grand Priory of England and Wales, as it was opened.
Dean: Let it be closed according to the Rites of the Order.
Prefect: Let us pray to the Lord for our whole Order, especially our Brethren who are absent or sick.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, swords in left hand, points down, right hand on heart.
Prior: Eternal and Almighty God who takest all men under Thy Protection, we pray for those of us who are present or absent and particularly for those who are in sickness, in pain, or in adversity. Grant them Thy Divine Protection, direct and conserve their thoughts and actions to Thy greater Glory and the advancement of mankind, that they may be led to true happiness both present and eternal. Continue also to enlighten and instruct us that we may know, respect, and faithfully practise the Holy and Divine Truths unto eternal life.
Prefect: May fraternal charity and harmony always reign among us.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, points upwards.
Dean: My reverend and well beloved Knights, the Chapter of the Order of Knights Beneficent of the Holy City of this Prefectory of St. George of London No. 1 in the Grand Priory of England and Wales, is duly closed.
The Prior closes the Bible and takes up his sword.
Prefect: Pay attention, Reverend Knights. All follow him with the sign of the Order.
M.C.: Reverend Knights, return swords.
Dean: Reverend Knights the Chapter being closed, disrobe in silence and retire in the customary manner.
Ritual Opening of the Prefectory Chapter