Knights of the Golden Eagle
Second or Knights' Degree

Revised june 1908

The Master of Records presents to the Noble Chief tile name of candidates who have been elected.
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Chamberlain, you will approach the altar, give the Retiring Sign, and proceed to the ante-chamber, where you will prepare the candidates for the Knights’ Degree.
Brother Sir Herald, you will give the Retiring Sign and proceed to the ante-chamber, and receive from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of the candidates in waiting.
The Sir Herald receives from the Master of Records a list of candidates who have been elected, proceeds to the ante-chamber, receives from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of those in waiting, and compares them with those furnished by the Master of Records, if correct, the Worthy Chamberlain provides each candidate with a black robe and hoodwink, and sees that they are properly adjusted. The Sir Herald then returns to the Castle gives the sign of courtesy, salutes as in the First Degree, and says: Noble Chief, I find in waiting Brother ..., who desires to receive the honors of the Knights’ Degree.
Noble Chief, arises and gives one rap: We will now proceed to confer the coveted honor upon Brother ..., who having proved faithful and passed a fair ballot, desires to be initiated into the mysteries of the Knights’ Degree. Brother Sir Herald, you will proceed, with our Brothers Ensign and Esquire proceeds as in the First Degree to the ante-chamber and escort the candidate to this post.
The procession having been formed the same as in the First Degree, the Sir Herald gives a blast on his bugle and knocks at the Castle gate.
First Guardsman, in a loud voice, through the wicket: Who dares to demand admission to this Castle of the Golden Eagle Knights?
Sir Herald: Officers of this Castle with a Pilgrim who desires to know the mysteries of the Knights’ Degree.
First Guardsman, salutes as in First Degree: Noble Chief, qualified Sir Knights of our Order, escorting a candidate for Knightly honors, desire admission.
Noble Chief: Admit them without further challenge.
The gate is opened. The Noble Chief gives two raps. The procession enters and moves around the Castle (the first verse of the Ode being sung) and halts in front of the Noble Chief. The foot and sword movements are the same as in First Degree.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, this brother of the Pilgrims’ or Golden Chain Degree desires to know the mysteries of our Knighthood bond, and awaits your command.
Noble Chief: Brother and candidate, for the honors of the Knights’ Degree, before you can receive the honors emanating from this chivalric Degree, it becomes my duty, as Noble Chief, to inform you that you will again be called upon to assume an obligation, both solemn and binding in its character which requires you to preserve forever secret all that you shall see, hear, or be instructed in. You will be expected to observe, with conscientious care and unwavering obedience, the teachings and principles embodied in the lessons you will receive; principles which shown forth in splendor through the dark clouds of ignorance, superstition and vice that, in the early days of Christianity, had well nigh become universal; principles which reflected the God-like attributes of the human race, and warmed into a fervid glow the noble characteristics which shed their lustre upon the heart of man, kindled afresh the latent spark of pure religion which lay smouldering upon the deserted altars dedicated to the worship of the true and living God, and reviving the dying virtues of the age, taught men to emulate and display with heroism the sweet charm of courtesy and kindness to espouse the cause of helpless innocence, and defend the weak from the oppressor’s wrongs, making the true and valiant Knight breathe forth the graces and adornments of a noble and generous heart and mind.
These, my brother, are the true principles of chivalry. And may these teachings and symbols inspire in our hearts love and enthusiasm for all that is holy and pure, retaining for our standard the chivalric duties of Veneration for Religion, Fidelity, Valor, Courtesy, Charity, Temperance and Hospitality—Virtues that give purity to enthusiasm, crush out selfishness, teach the heart to expand like a flower in the sunshine, and smooth even the rugged brow of war.
My brother, I assure you that nothing will be required of you that does not tend to ennoble and refine. If you still desire to proceed, you will raise your right hand. ‘Tis well. You will now be escorted to our altar, where, in the presence of these valiant Knights, you will assume the solemn obligation of the Knights’ Degree.
The foot and sword movements are the same as in the First Degree. The procession moves around the Castle (the second verse of Ode being sung), and halts in front of the altar. Sir Herald gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, ‘Draw swords, carry swords’. Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar (same as in the First Degree). The Past Chief, High Priest, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, take their respective positions at the altar. The Castle at this time is dark. Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain present and salute the High Priest, remaining at a salute while the Sir Herald delivers charge.
Sir Herald: Brother High Priest, by order of our Noble Chief, I present this candidate for Knightly honors, who desires to assume the solemn obligation of this Degree.
The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain advance to the altar and assume proper positions, as per diagram, and are handed torches. Each member uncovers, and the Vice Chief removes hoodwink.
High Priest: Brother, you are about to kneel before our altar, in the presence of the Great Creator of us all, to assume an obligation on this Holy Book, whose inspired pages speak to man and bid him seek immortal life beyond the tomb. Upon the Bible, you see, is placed a human skull; to remind you that although you hold that head of yours now proudly erect, yet it must surely come to this. The sword, which you must raise aloft, is also emblematic, and serves to convey to your mind the idea that you must fight your way through life to win valor’s golden crown. You are clad in a robe (robes) of black—a color signifying sorrow—denoting that the path to glory is sometimes dark and gloomy, and that you may be frequently compelled to wear the sombre mantle of sorrow. My brother, surrounded and impressed as you are, do you still desire the obligation of Knighthood to assume?
Candidate answers: I do.
High Priest: You will kneel. The High Priest will pause to allow the playing of a low dirge, if desired, after which he will proceed with his charge. When the candidate is directed to kneel, the officers, except the High Priest, kneel, resting their heads upon the hilts of their swords in a reverential manner, and the utmost silence must prevail. The other members remain standing. An extra sword, for the candidate should be provided, so as to avoid disarrangement of the altar.
Point with the index finger of the left hand to the skull. Raise aloft the sword with your right hand, and repeat the obligation in a distinct tone of voice, so that you may be heard by all.
I, ..., in the presence of the Great Jehovah and these valiant Knights, do solemnly promise and declare, without any mental reservation whatever, that I will, while life and reason last, preserve and keep inviolate all the mysteries of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle pertaining to the Knights’ Degree; that I will ever strive, God being my helper, to obey the teachings of this Knighthood bond; that I will wield valor’s sword in defense of the principles of this Order or any of its members whom I may know to be worthy ; that I will sustain, counsel and aid a brother when overcome by the iron hand of adversity and misfortune, and will, to the utmost of my ability, assist him in his business relations when not inconsistent with my duty so to do; that I will, by courtesy and brotherly love, in my intercourse with my brethren, proclaim to the world that this Knighthood bond is not a myth, but a pure unselfish tie—a reality; and finally, with uplifted sword—fit emblem to remind me that I must fight if I would win—I pledge my sacred word that I will strive these duties to perform, and prove myself worthy to wear the armor of this Degree. So help me God, and make me faithful in this my Knightly vow.
All respond: Amen.
The Worthy Bard may play a low dirge, or the members sing in a low tone, “Nearer. My God to Thee,’’ or an” appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of the organ. After which each member ‘re-covers.’
High Priest: Arise my brother. The officers also arise, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain remaining at the altar, as in the First Degree, with swords pointing toward the candidate and torches held aloft. The High Priest relieves the candidate of the sword, which he subsequently returns to him as the “Sword of Faith.” May the obligation you have just taken be ever fresh in your memory. Let not the tempter’s insiduous wiles allure you from the path of duty. You are about to enter the dark valley of sorrow and temptation. Take this, the Sword of Faith, and this Holy Emblem, before whose potent charm the spirits of evil flee to their dark domain and lose their power to harm. Remember, that soon, if you but courageous prove, you can, with valor, fight the warfare through. Farewell! Your road for a time is dark and drear. Farewell!
When the High Priest concludes his charge, the Vice Chief adjusts hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain will be relieved of torches, carry swords and assume position in the line with the candidate. The Sir Herald gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit ‘Return swords, Officers, to your post, march!’ The Sir Herald, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain do not return swords. The Noble Chief is escorted to his post by the Ensign and Esquire, as in the First Degree, who then return to the altar.
Three raps.
The Procession is reformed and escorts the Pilgrim to the antechamber—the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain remaining in the Castle and occupying their respective posts. The Castle being in readiness, the Sir Herald re-enters with Pilgrim and moves once around the Castle, the following chorus being recited or sung in a low tone:
“Whilst thou art a pilgrim here,
List not to the tempters wiles
Display thy Cross, thy spirit cheer
Nor heed the demon that beguiles.’’
A figure representing Satan, clothed in the garb of a Knight, approaches, and addressing the Pilgrim, says:
Lucifer: Mortal, I am the prince of the powers of this world. Go not with this Knight, thy guide, but follow me. Mine is a pleasant path, bestrewn with flowers, whilst this thou now dost travel is dark, thorny, and beset with trials, sacrifices and tribulations. I am Lucifer. Come, give me but a lease upon thy soul, and thou shalt enjoy pleasures unalloyed and unrestrained. Come, and I will make thee mighty amongst the sons of men.
When Lucifer has finished, the Pilgrim (under the promptings of the Sir Herald) displays the Cross, and Lucifer vanishes. He can enter the Cave. The Pilgrim is then conducted around the Castle to the Cave. The chapel bell strikes twelve, occupying time between Lucifer’s departure and reaching cave. The Hermit is standing behind a rude altar, upon which is phaced an open Bible and skull, with a lighted candle upon each side.
Sir Herald, presents and salutes the Venerable Hermit, then delivers charge, and comes to a carry: Venerable Hermit, I present you this Pilgrim, who through temptations sore has passed unscathed. He seeks to know the mysteries of thy drear abode.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, you have been conducted to this mysterious Cave at midnight’s dark and gloomy hour—the time best suited to receive the solemn lessons I teach. The obligation you have assumed requires you to pass through an ordeal that will put your boasted valor to the test. Seest yon arched gate, whereon doth hang that shield?
Candidate answers: I do.
Venerable Hermit: I command thee to take this shield. Give me thy cross; thy sword retain. Advance if thou dost dare, and strike upon that shield three blows with thy good sword.
The Pilgrim advances and strikes the shield. The gate flies open with a loud noise, revealing figure, who speaks in a hollow tone of voice.
Fallen Knight: Mortal, behold in me the spirit of a false and craven Knight; false to my sacred I vows; condemned for my foul crimes, done in my days of nature to wear these clanking chains and dwell in torments here. I once did wear the armor of an Eagle Knight, but only to disgrace the cause. My coward heart, my deeds of violence and wrong, my cruelty and injustice to my fellow-men, make up a catalogue of crimes so foul that my poor soul must here, upon this lake of fire, exist whilst countless ages roll their solemn rounds—no rest or solace know or feel. Oh! horror! even now the fiends laugh and shriek within the hollow chambers of my soul. Lost! lost! lost! forever lost! Mortal, thou has assumed thy Knightly vows—take warning! betray them not. Let thy life be one of faithfulness, valor and courteous kindness. Conquer first thyself; when that is done, thy valor is proof against all foes. Remember, and beware! let this be not thy doom.
At this time, Lucifer can enter on the scene, and finding that the Fallen Knight has been uttering a warning, becomes enraged, and placing his foot upon the prostrate Fallen Knight, raises his trident to pierce him, thus forming a tableaux. The door then flies to with a loud noise.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, this terrific spectacle portrays to your mind the awful doom that awaits the warrior who proves false to his vows—a traitor to the cause of right which he has espoused—and who willfully neglects in this life the duties of a true Knight; Fidelity to his God and his fellow man, with all the attendant virtues recorded in his Knightly vows. This solemn, fearful scene, I sincerely hope, will be indelibly impressed upon your memory. The lessons we teach are full of wisdom, and proclaim, trumpet-tongued, to him who seeks to know the mysteries of this Degree, that it is not all of life to live, nor all of death to die. Let thy record, then, in this life be pure, that thy name may be recorded in the great book of life.
Pilgrim, you have shown by your conduct that you possess the requisite qualification to entitle you to wear the armor of this Order. That qualification is Valor, the first motto of this Degree. Nobly have you acted in facing the dangers surrounding you in this mystic Cave; therefore you are entitled to the full honors of Knighthood.
Brother Sir Herald, you will remove our brother’s robe of gloom the Sir Herald removes robe, as directed in First Degree. The candidate returns sword and shield and give him courteous escort hence. Farewell! Farewell!
When the Venerable Hermit has concluded his charge, the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain assume position, with the Sir Herald and candidate, at company front. The lights are then turned up. The line officers salute and the Noble Chief gives two raps. The procession is re-formed and moves around the Castle (the third verse of Ode being sung) to the post of the Vice Chief. The foot and sword movements at the post of Vice Chief are the same as in First Degree.
Three raps.
Sir Herald: Vice Chief, this brother, having passed the ordeal of the Hermit’s Cave, desires to be further enlightened.
Vice Chief: My brother, the lesson taught by me constitutes one of the principal requirements of true Knighthood, and goes hand in hand with Valor. It is Courtesy, which is thus defined: Kindness, Civility and Politeness. The definition Kindness is that which I now desire to present to your mind as the second motto of this Degree. Your duty requires you to practice the charm of courteous kindness in all your intercourse with your brother Knights. Whenever grim visaged misfortune, with its iron grasp, seizes upon a member of this Order, it becomes your duty to hasten to his rescue. Whenever disease or sorrow bows down his heart with weight of woe, be thou ever ready1 with acts of kindness and words of love, to cheer his heart; and if thy foe should be in thy power, revenge not thyself upon him, but, by thy courteous kindness, make him thy friend. So let thy action show to friend and foe that this chivalric charm is as potent in its power for good as mighty Valor, with its sword and shield.
Brother Sir Herald, you will now conduct the brother to the altar of our Castle, where he will be received into full fellowship.
The foot and sword movements at the post of the Vice Chief are same as in First Degree The procession moves around the Castle (the fourth verse of Ode being sung) to the altar The candidate will be relieved of sword arid shield by the Floor Director, which are placed at the altar, where is also placed a regalia, helmet and pair of spurs The Noble Chief gives two raps The officers draw and carry swords without command. The Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar, same as in First Degree. The Past Chief, Vice Chief and High Priest take proper positions in front of their respective posts, facing altar, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain at left and right of the Vice Chief.
Noble Chief, after having returned his sword: Brother, you are about to receive the honors of this chivalric Degree. You now fully understand its ceremonies, as you have been clearly and faithfully instructed—our first requirement being Fidelity; our second, Valor and Courtesy—the three signifying with us; unwavering fidelity to our Order and its members; unflinching valor in maintaining the principles we are obliged to uphold; of assisting each other through the struggles and vicissitudes of life, and by courteous kindness to strengthen and encourage each other in sickness and sorrow. May you ever remember the warning in the Hermit’s Cave, and by your Fidelity, your Valor, and your Courtesy, avoid the doom of the false and traitorous Knight. Our Past Chief will now instruct you in the secret signs, passwords and grips of this Degree.
The Noble Chief will draw, carry, present and salute the Past Chief, who responds in same manner, both carry, arid the Past Chief returns his Sword and delivers his charge, standing near the altar, in front of his post.
Past Chief: Brother, at the outer gate you will proceed to work your way into the ante-chamber as you have been instructed in the Pilgrim’s Degree, where you will be provided with appropriate regalia, and immediately apply at the inner gate giving ... raps and the Degree passwords, which are .... The gate will then be opened and you will enter and immediately advance to the center of the Castle, in front of the altar, and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ..., which is called the sign of Courtesy and the meaning of which is .... It will be immediately recognized by the Noble Chief in this manner, which is the countersign, ..., signifying .... The Shield Sign, or Sign of Valor, which you will be required to present on certain formal occasions, is given thus ..., signifying .... The Grip is made in this manner, .... Should you wish to retire while the Castle is open in the Knights’ Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ... signifying ..., the Noble Chief will answer you with the same sign, when you will immediately retire.
The Past Chief will draw and carry sword, and salute the Noble Chief, who responds and returns his sword. The Past Chief conies to a carry. The Sir Herald gives order, ‘uncover’ (all members do so) ‘Present swords’. It is only necessary to knight one candidate, if there should be more than one. The Noble Chief does not uncover.
Noble Chief: You will kneel upon your left knee. By virtue of my authority as Noble Chief of this Castle, I now invest you with the regalia of this Degree. Place upon your head the Helmet of the Eagle Knights Take this, thy Shield, and these, thy Golden Spurs, and this, thy Sword, which according to ancient custom. I present, first giving thee three blows with its naked blade gives three blows on the shoulder of the candidate pronouncing thee, in the name of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle, a true and valiant Knight of this Degree. Arise, Sir Knight.
In presenting the sword of the Eagle Knights, presents him with the sword, I desire to impress on your mind the solemn emblematic significance with which it is endowed. In grasping its handle—the Cross—be ever reminded of that symbol of faith, the Christianis hope and the Christian’s trust, and ever cling with unwavering faithfulness to the first requisite of the Christian warrior—Fidelity to God and your fellow-man. The Blade, when forth from its scabbard drawn, will remind you of the valor and heroism to be displayed by you in the struggles and combats of this life, in which you must a conqueror prove to win the immortal crown. The Scabbard will remind you that when the last battle is fought and the victory won, you can return this blade of Valor to this its sheath, and close your eyes to sleep in peace until the archangel’s trump shall summon you before the Immortal Chief of the Universe to hear the joyful plaudit “Well done, thou faithful, valiant life warrior! enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Be sure, my brother, you stain not your armor. Permit not your shield to be reversed, nor let your sword to its scabbard return whilst there is a foe to fight, or cause of right to defend. Remember, the obligation of Valor binds you never to fly from your enemies. With this admonition, I declare you fully armed and equipped to maintain the doctrines and principles of our Order until death.
Sir Herald gives order: Recover Carry swords! Return swords.
Sir Knights, you will advance the Sign of Valor, ... Down. The armor is removed from the candidate by the Floor Director. You will now advance to greet with courtesy this brother Knight, for which purpose I declare an intermission until the sound of the gavel at my post.
One rap.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will retire with the Knight to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the Castle.