Order of Holy Wisdom
Ceremony of Admission of a Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
Priest into the
Priesthood of Holy Wisdom
The Officers of a Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom
following: The High Prelate, the High Priest, the Pillar Priests
Hermeneutes (Secretary), Guide (DC/Conductor), the Reader
(Orator) the Acolyte
(Inner Guard) and the Keeper of the Door (Tyler).
Members of the Order are known as Knight Priests.
The layout of a Congregation of the Order is as shown.
The Clothing of the Order is that worn by a Knight Templar
the Mitre, and with the addition of a cordelier. That of the
High Prelate to be
of purple, that of the High Priest to be red, that of the 7th
Priest to be sky blue and those of all other Officers and
Members to be white.
All with the knot on the right hip. (Members entitled to wear
other than white
by virtue of their rank in KTP may do so, unless they are
acting as High
Prelate, High Priest or 7th Pillar Priest)
The Aspirant should wear his Knight Templar Priest tunic and
All pedestal candles should be of a gold colour if possible
but white or
cream may be used.
The Altar should be draped in white and placed thereon a plain
lantern (preferably white), which is lit at all times, is
placed on the Altar by
the High Priest when he enters and removed when he leaves.
There should also be
a Bible on the Altar. It is permissible for the anointing
vessels to be placed
on the Altar as opposed to the small table near the High
Two small tables are placed (1) in the South East, near the
High Priest, on
which are placed a Holy Bible (bookmarked at John 8: 12 and
Proverbs 2: 1) and
Anointing Oil and napkin and (2) inside the Temple to the
right or left of the
Acolyte on which are placed a small bowl of water, a cloth or
napkin, a towel
and a white cordelier. Outside the door there should be a
small container of
ashes or dirt and a "filthy" garment.
The Reader should have his part, or the ritual, in a Missal.
normally act as the prompter.
The following initials are used in the Ritual to designate the
The High Prelate (HPr)
The High Priest (HPst)
The Seven Pillar Priests (PP)
The Hermeneutes (Her)
The Guide (Gde)
The Reader (Rea)
The Acolyte (Ac)
The Keeper of the Door (KO)
Knight Priests (KPs)
The Aspirant (Candidate) (Asp)
Gde: Knight Priests to order to receive the High
Prelate and our
Led by the Ac carrying the HH painting, followed by the HPst
carrying the lit
lantern in his left hand, and finally the HPr. They enter from
the West and
proceed via the North to their places. HPst places lantern on
the altar. The Ac
places the HH painting in position and assumes his place.
Gde: Knight Priests, be seated.
HPr: Knight Priests of the Order of Holy Wisdom, to
assist me by your best endeavours to form this Congregation of the
rise Knight Priest
Guide, what is the
primary duty to be observed?
Gde: To assure ourselves that none but Knight
Priests of the Order
form this Congregation, High Prelate.
HPr: How is such determined?
Gde: By the giving of a Sacred Word which must be
imparted to the
Keeper of the Door before entry is permitted.
HPr: Since those assembled therefore, must have
Word, how do we assure ourselves further?
Gde: By calling upon all present to exhibit the
Sign which denotes
them as Knight Priests of this Order.
HPr: Knight Priests, to Order with the Sign.
All give the Sign which is then returned by the HPr.
HPr: I am satisfied that all present may remain All
drop the sign and now
the High Priest
will bring a blessing upon this Congregation, gathered here in the
name of our
HPst: Let us pray. Reads:
O Heavenly Father, who has given for our salvation, the
life of your only
son Jesu Christos, may Your abundant blessing fall upon those
gathered here. May
Your wisdom and sagacity prevail in all our actions and deeds and
may we prevail
over those who would defile Thy Name. May we prove worthy of Thy
ALL: Amen and amen.
HPr: Let the Lights of the Order be illuminated.
The Guide lights the Candle on the pedestal of the 1PP and
resumes his place.
The 1PP leaves his pedestal (left side) and lights the candle
of the 2PP and
returns to his pedestal (right side). The 2PP lights that of
the 3PP and so on
in a similar manner - the 7PP extinguishes and retains the
HPr: Knight Priests, the Lights of the Order are
fulfilled and I
do now declare this Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom duly
formed and the Priesthood cemented.
HPst opens the New Testament at John 8:12.
Knight Priests be seated.
N.B. It is permissible for the 7PPs, Her, Rea and Gde to enter
in a suitable
procession prior to the opening.
HPr: Knight Priest Hermeneutes, what matter brings
us here today,
to gather in this Congregation?
Her: High Prelate, the Knight Priests have
requested that we make
known to you that a duly qualified Knight Priest of the Order of
Holy Royal Arch
Knight Templar Priests, aspires to be admitted into the Order of
Note: if there are several Candidates then it is suggested
that one be
selected as Aspirant and the remainder be admitted prior to
HPr: Knight Priest Hermeneutes, you will state the
name of the
He does so.
HPr: Knight Priests, do you confirm that we should
All give a bow of the head.
HPr: Then let it be so. Knight Priest Guide, you
will conduct the
Aspirant before us.
If there are additional Aspirants, they should now be admitted
before the Exemplar Aspirant is received The Guide then goes
to the door, which
is opened by the Acolyte, passes out and then reenters with
the Aspirant, after
which the Acolyte closes the door. The Guide escorts the
Aspirant to a point in
the West just in front of the Guide 's seat, where he
instructs him to clap his
hands twice, then three and then tour times with a short pause
Gde: Brother Aspirant, you have entered this
Congregation and have
given salutations two, three and four .. The same represent claps
twice Heaven and
the Trinity, claps
and finally the Four Elements. I charge you now to
to the High Prelate.
HPr: Brother Aspirant you came before us as a
Priest of the Order of Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests. Do
Asp: I do.
HPr: In which Tabernacle of that Order were you
admitted as such?
Asp states the Tabernacle of which he is a qualified member.
HPr: You will now attend to the Knight Priest
Reader who will give
a short explanation of the history of the Order.
The Reader now rises and reads or recites:
Rea: History tells us that the Order of Holy Wisdom
was, some 200
years ago, closely associated with your Order but due to many
the ceremony as originally written, not the least of which was the
length of the ritual and the complex paraphernalia employed, the
Order of Holy
Wisdom fell into disuse. In order that you are able to comprehend
difficulties in working the ceremony of Admission into the Order
of Holy Wisdom
as originally specified, you should know that the original text
called for use
of two chambers, and such furnishings as a throne, large velvet
plate and serving vessels, specially constructed seating and, last
least, an actual coffin. In addition, the Officers were to wear a
wide range of
ecclesiastic garments including surplices, dalmatics, cassocks and
in several different colours and worn with rich velvet cloaks,
again in varying
colours. Given such requirements, it is understandable why our
forebears did not
preserve this ceremony as a working degree.
Since the Order of the HRAKTP was once denoted by the addendum of
it was thought worthwhile to resurrect the Order of Holy Wisdom as
but associated Order, thus ensuring its continued existence.
HPr: As a consequence of what you have just heard, the ceremony in
will take part today has therefore been abbreviated to meet the
demands of time
but it retains most of the precepts and characterization of the
known to have existed in the 1790's.
In order that we adhere to the original concepts of the Order of
it is necessary that as an Aspirant, you adopt the identity of one
citizen of Rome and a non-Christian. It was believed that Publius
had died but,
just before his burial, it was found that he was only in a coma
and, on his
recovery, wished to accept the Christian Faith.
Are you willing to adopt his name and thereafter continue with
as a Knight Priest of Holy Wisdom?
Asp: I am.
HPr: Then I must ask you to retire and be again
Guide conducts the Aspirant to the door and he retires. The
Keeper of the
Door clothes the Aspirant in a 'filthy' shawl or garment and
applies a smear of
ash or dirt to his forehead. After a short pause the Keeper of
the Door gives
one knock. The Acolyte opens the door, admits the Aspirant and
closes the door.
The Guide conducts him to same place in the West as before.
HPr: Who is this?
Gde: Publius, son of Gaius, a Brother in Pagan
darkness who now
desires to behold the great light of God which illuminates the
HPr: Before he may proceed further, have I your
assurance that he
truly desires to give up that darkness in which he now walks?
Gde: You have.
HPr: Then Knight Priest Guide, undertake your
Guide then circles the Aspirant three times, exclaiming:
Gde, on first encirclement: We
that the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ cause all uncleanliness to
Acolyte approaches carrying bowl, towel, and napkin. Gde,
cleans dirt from
Aspirant's forehead with wet napkin Acolyte retrieves the
bowl, towel and
napkin, replaces them on his table, and collects the white
On second: We pray
that the love of
God free you from the tyranny of evil passions.
Gde, removes the filthy shawl or garment and gives to Acolyte.
On third: We pray
that the fellowship
of the Holy Spirit enable the sweet savour of good deeds be yours
Gde, receives cordelier from Acolyte and invests Aspirant.
ALL: Amen and Amen and Amen.
HPr: Brother Aspirant, you will now answer seven
the seven Pillar Priests. Are you willing to give true answers to
questions which must be asked of all those who seek admission to
Asp: I am.
HPr: Then Knight Priest Guide you will proceed.
The Guide advises the Aspirant quietly that the answer he must
give is YEA,
IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, in each case and then escorts the
Aspirant before each
Pillar in turn. After receiving the answer to his question,
the Pillar Priest
involved resumes his seat.
1PP, stands: Will
you, by the Grace
of God, observe and obey all Laws, Rules and Regulations of this
Order, so far
as they correspond with the revealed will of God?
2PP, stands: Do you
to unite with us in brotherly love, in the bond of peace, in
fellowship, never to be dissolved by slight offences or perceived
3PP, stands: Will
you, if admitted as
a Knight Priest of the Order of Holy Wisdom, be true to your
brethren of the
Templar Priesthood, their trusts, reputations and interests, tor
all the days of
4PP, stands: Will
you, as far as lies
within your power, seek to heal any dispute between Masons of any
becomes a Disciple of the Prince of Peace?
5PP, stands: Will you
obedience to the government of the country in which your lot has
6PP, stands: Will
you, if admitted to
this Holy Order, observe the behaviour of those who may be
admission hereafter, see that no hypocrite nor fool be allowed to
fellowship with us; exhort such Templar Priests as may prove to be
encourage those weak in spirit, correct those who deviate from the
righteousness, censure those who prove false to their vows; that
this Holy Order
may not be ill spoken of by the profane?
7PP, stands: Will you
truly guard any
trust that we shall repose in you, be temperate in your life,
modest in your
bearing and true to your family; be merciful, as far as you are
able, to poor
and needy members of the Order should they seek your aid? All of
precepts of this Order.
After the Aspirant replies, the Gde, conducts him to the East
before the kneeling stool.
HPr: Brother Aspirant, having answered the
questions of the Pillar
Priests, truly, and in the proper manner, you will now kneel
Guide takes Aspirant to the kneeling stool in the East, facing
Prelate, and advises him to kneel and offer his hands, palms
upwards. When he
has done so the High Prelate rises and proceeds to a point in
front of the
Candidate. High Priest rises, takes the oil and goes to stand
on the /eft hand
side of the High Prelate and delivers the ai/ into the hand of
the High Prelate.
Gde: Knight Priests,
to Order. all
The High Prelate, dips his right forefinger in the oil and
Aspirant, first on the forehead, then on the chin, then on the
palm of the right
hand and, finally, on the palm of the left hand.
HPr: May this sign mark you forever as a true
Knight Priest of
this Holy Order, and may Christian wisdom, of which it is a token,
be a lamp to
your feet and a light on your path.
The Aspirant is raised to his feet [If there are other
Aspirants, they should
be brought forward, one at a time and similarly anointed.] The
High Prelate and
High Priest retire to their seats and on sitting the Aspirant
is raised to his
Gde: Knight Priests, be seated.
The Guide then turns the Aspirant to face the High Priest, who
then rises and
HPst: Brother Aspirant, you are now required to
answer a further
seven questions to show willingness of your undertakings as a
Knight Priest of
this Holy Order.
Aspirant should answer I WILL to each of the questions.
HPst: Will you sincerely try to love your Brother
Will you bear with understanding, the frailties and weaknesses of
Brother Knight Priests?
Will you promise never to speak evil of a Brother Knight Priest?
Will you ever seek to do good as a Brother Knight Priest?
While at your prayers, both Masonic and private, will you ever
Brother Knight Priests?
Will you be spent and spend in defence of this Holy Order?
Will you, on final admission as a Knight Priest, be true to your
The High Priest resumes his seat and the Guide once again
places the Aspirant
before the kneeling stool and advises him to kneel on his
right knee only. The
seven Pillar Priests then rise. 7PP proceeds to the immediate
right of the
Aspirant. The 1PP moves down the North side and the 2PP moves
down the South
side towards the East and as they pass 3PP and 4PP they fall
in behind and as
they pass 5PP and 6 PP, they fall in behind. The 1PP proceeds
to the immediate
left of the Aspirant and the other PPs form a semi-circle
around the aspirant.
The order (North to South) is 5PP, 3PP, 1PP, Asp, 7PP, 2PP,
4PP, 6PP. They then
join hands, right to left in line, so that the right hand of
the 1PP and the
left hand of the 7PP are free. When this is done the High
Prelate leaves his
chair as does the High Priest. The latter carries with him the
Holy Bible, but
stands outside the circle. When all are in position, the High
Prelate lays bath
hands upon the Aspirant's head. The 7PP lays his left hand on
top of those of
the High Prelate and the 1PP lays his right hand upon the hand
of the 7PP, 5PP
and 6PP join hands, resulting in a chain of joined hands.
HPr: We admit you, within this Chain of Fellowship,
Priesthood of the Order of Holy Wisdom, be worthy of your place
among the Knight
Priests and ever be an example to all Knight Priests, that those
who follow you,
may never be ashamed.
The High Prelate and the Pillar Priests remove their hands.
Priests then resume their pedestals in a reverse fashion (lf
there are other
Aspirants they should be brought forward, one at a time, and
to the Order, before the Pillar Priests retire).
The High Priest then places the Holy Bible open at Proverbs 2:
1-5 in the new
Knight Priest's right hand and says
HPst: Read these words and be you wise unto
The Aspirant reads aloud the holy scripture; the High Priest
then opens the
Holy Bible at John 8:12 and says:
HPst: In these words, behold the wisdom of the
The Aspirant reads aloud the Holy Scripture; the High Priest
Holy Bible and resumes his seat. The Guide raises the new
Knight Priest and he
stands before the High Prelate. The Guide removes the kneeling
HPr: You will now listen attentively to the Knight
who will rehearse you in the fourteen Lessons, the seven Minor and
Major, of the Order of Holy Wisdom
The Lessons may be read by the Reader or another Officer may
desired. The HPr and HPr return to their seats.
Rea: The First Minor Lesson: Ye are a chosen
generation, a Royal
Priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people, that ye should show
praises of Him who hath called you out of the darkness into His
The Second Minor Lesson: What agreement hath the Temple of God
with idols? Ye
are the temple of the Living God.
The Third Minor Lesson: Ye are the temple of God and the Spirit of
dwelleth in you.
The Fourth Minor Lesson: Came ye and let us go up to the Mountain
Lord, to the House of the God of Jacob.
The Fifth Minor Lesson: Ye are built upon the foundation of the
the Apostles, Christ Jesus himself being the chief corner stone.
The Sixth Minor Lesson: Put on the whole armour of God, that ye
may be able
to stand against the wiles of Satan.
The Seventh Minor Lesson: Thou are worthy O Lord, to receive glory
and power; for Thou hast created all things and it is for, and by,
that all things are created.
Such, my Brother, are the Minor Lessons of our Order.
Hearken now to the Major Lessons. The
Rea: The First Major Lesson: Be blameless and
harmless, sons of
God without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation,
in which ye
shall shine as lights of the World, holding forth the Word of
The Second Major Lesson: This then, is the message we have heard
of Him; and
declare unto you that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at
all. If we say
we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do
not the truth,
but in Him there is no darkness.
The Third Major Lesson: Beloved, build yourselves upon the most
keep yourselves within the power of the love of God, seeking the
mercy of our
Lord, Jesus Christ.
The Fourth Major Lesson: Whoever abideth in Him, cannot habitually
sinner, and he who is habitually a sinner may neither see nor know
The Fifth Major Lesson: Awake, thou that sleepeth and arise from
the dead and
Christ shall shine his Light upon you.
The Sixth Major Lesson: He showed me a pure river of the water of
bright as a crystal, proceeding out of the Throne of God and of
The Seventh Major Lesson: We all, with unveiled faces, reflecting
as in a
mirror, the Glory of the Lord, shall be transformed into the same
Glory and by Glory, flowing from that Spirit which is the Lord.
HPr rises and faces the Aspirant: Now
that you have cast aside the identity of Publius you shall now be
Knight Priest … (Christian Name only) and
will now place you in possession of the secrets restricted to a
of the Order of Holy Wisdom, and these are; The Sacred Word, the
Token and the
Sign of the Order.
The Sacred Word is given in two parts in conjunction with the
Token of the
Order which also has two parts. When two Knight Priests of our
Order wish to
prove each other, the first will touch his forehead and chin with
forefinger and offer both hands, upwards and fingers curled. The
repeat this and grasp the other's hands, right to left and left to
right in this
fashion fingers clenched around the
this is completed the first says LUCEM DEI, meaning THE LIGHT OF
HPr and Asp exchange the Words, both Latin and English.
The hands are
disengaged and reformed with a similar grip but right to right and
left to left,
right uppermost, forming a cross and the second says ET LUX
CHRISTI meaning, AND
THE LIGHT OF CHRIST. Asp repeats both
The Sign of the Order is known as the SIGN OF LIGHT and is given
by a Knight
Priest holding out his left hand, with the 4th and 5th
fingers closed, the other fingers and thumb together Thumb
if holding a lantern and the right hand above the eyes as though
from its reflected light. I caution you to remember your
undertaking to be
circumspect in the use of these secrets. In giving the Token you
will recall the
points of your anointment, while the Sign of Light will recall to
meaning of these points.
The motto of the Order is, I am the Light of the World as
illustrated in the
painting by the artist Holman Hunt, which you will observe in the
East of the
Congregation. HPr indicates.
HPr: Knight Priest …, we welcome you into the
Fellowship of our
You may now be seated, and the Reader will give an explanation of
Hunt's painting of "The Light of the World."
Guide takes the new Knight Priest to a vacant seat and
thereafter resumes his
The HH painting may be placed in a suitable position for ease
of viewing. A
Knight Priest can be appointed to direct attention to features
of the painting
du ring the explanation.
When the Reader has finished the Aspirant should be taken to
the High Prelate
in order that a copy of the ritual can be presented to him.
HPr: Knight Priests, to Order and assist me to
Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom. All rise
Pillar Priests, let the Lights of our Order be quenched.
7PP: Mine is the Seventh, Last and Highest Pillar
GLORY. Glory to the Most High. Extinguishes
do all Pillar Priests in turn.
6PP: Mine is the Sixth Pillar and represents POWER.
Power to our
5PP: Mine is the Fifth Pillar and represents LIGHT.
May the Light
of the Lord shine upon us.
4PP: Mine is the Fourth Pillar and represents
TRUTH. May we always
embrace Righteous Speech.
3PP: Mine is the Third Pillar and represents
BEAUTY. May the
Beauty of Mercy be always with us.
2PP: Mine is the Second Pillar and represents
STRENGTH. May the
Strength of the Holy Trinity be granted to us.
1PP: Mine is the First Pillar and represents
WISDOM. May the Grace
of God ever bless this Congregation of the Order of Holy Wisdom.
HPr: High Priest, before we depart, you will now
offer up a
HPst: Let us pray. O Heavenly Father, Giver of
Light and Pillar of
the Righteous, bless these Thy servants and render unto them Thy
Divine aid and
the protection of Thy Mercy. Amen. Amen and Amen.
HPr: Knight Priests of the Order of Holy Wisdom,
let us depart and
celebrate the Resurrection of the Lord. I declare this
HPst closes the Holy Bible, collects the lantern and returns
to his place.
Gde: Knight Priests: Disperse in Peace, travel in
the Light of God
and ever remember the Fellowship of our Holy Order. Knight Priests
to order whilst the High Prelate and the High Priest retire in
this Congregation and the hymn is sung.
As we leave this Congregation,
Jesu may we dwell with thee,
With thy Lamp of Holy Wisdom
Shining bright for all to see.
Keep us mindful of Thy motto,
'Lighten us with piety,
'Till we meet again in glory,
May thy light eternal be.
The Acolyte proceeds to the East and collects the H.H.
painting, and carries
it in front of him, painting showing. As he passes the
officers they fall in
behind: The HPr joined by the HPst (carrying the lantern in
his left hand); the
7th Pillar Priest; together the 5th and
Priests; together the 3rd and 4th Pillar
together the 1st and 2nd Pillar Priests
and finally the
Guide and the procession carries on out of the Congregation.