Knights of the Golden Eagle
Revised june 1908
Ode of the Crusaders Degree.
Jehovah, Lord, our Shield,
May we for glory wield
Our sword and lance.
In faith our hearts unite,
With val’rous zeal to invite,
Each courteous Eagle Knight
Our cause to advance.
In Thee, oh Lord, we trust;
Let not our armor rust,
But keep it bright,
Our honor to maintain,
Our banner ne’er to shame
Thy glory ever claim
By deeds of right.
And when the crusade’s done,
The battle fought and won,
The cross laid down,
Oh, Saviour, Lord, with Thee,
In Thy blest world so free,
May we Thy glories see,
And wear the crown.
The Master of Records presents to the Noble Chief the names 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 solemn ceremonies of
the Crusaders’ Degree.
Brother Sir Herald, you will give
the Retiring Sign, 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 white 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 and Second Degrees, and says: Noble Chief, I find in waiting Sir Knight ..., who desires to be initiated into the solemn
mysteries of the Crusaders’ Degree.
Noble Chief, one rap: Brother Sir Herald, you
will proceed, with our Brothers Ensign and Esquire proceeds as in the First and Second Degrees
giving the Retiring Sign, to the ante-chamber, and escort the candidate
in waiting to the altar of our Castle.
The procession is formed in the same manner as in the First and Second
Degrees. The Sir Herald gives a blast upon his bugle and knocks at the Castle
First Guardsman, in a loud voice, through the wicket: who dares demand admission into the hallowed precincts of the Crusade
Sir Herald: Officers of this Castle, with a
Sir Knight of our Order, who desires to know the mysteries of this Degree.
First Guardsman, salutes as in the First and Second Degrees: Noble Chief, officers of this Castle, escorting a Sir Knight, desire
Noble Chief, rising: Admit them without delay
or hindrance, and let courteous escort be given him to the altar of our Castle,
there to be duly and solemnly obligated.
The procession moves once around the Castle (the first verse of the Ode
being sung) and halts in front of the altar. The Sir Herald gives orders to all
officers, except Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain, ‘Draw swords Carry swords’.
The Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to
the altar, the same as in the First and Second Degrees. The other officers,
except the Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain, take their respective positions at
the altar. The room is then darkened. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain
salute the High Priest, remaining at a salute until the Sir Herald delivers his
charge, then carry swords.
Sir Herald: Brother High Priest, by order of
our Noble Chief, I present this Sir Knight
who desires to assume the solemn obligation of the Crusaders’ Degree.
High Priest: Sir Knight, before proceeding
with the ceremonies of this Degree, are you willing to bind yourself by a solemn
obligation never to reveal any of its secrets?
The Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain then advance to the altar, and
assume proper position. Each member uncovers, and the Vice Chief removes
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.
Place your left hand upon your heart, and with your eyes fixed upon and your
right hand pointing with its index finger to the cross, repeat after me every
word of the following solemn and binding obligation:
in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the
Universe and the Crusade Knights here assembled, do solemnly and sincerely
declare, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever, that I will,
through life, preserve and keep inviolate all the mysteries of the Order of
Knights of the Golden Eagle, pertaining to the Crusaders’ Degree: that I will
never reveal the same, or any part thereof, to any one except to those legally
authorized to receive the same; that I will guard with fidelity the honor of a
brother, as well as that of his household; that I will make such sacrifices as
may be necessary, and the interests of myself and family will allow, to promote
the welfare of my brethren and the Order generally; and no qualified member of
this Degree shall ever call upon me for assistance and leave my presence without
help, if in my power to grant it. All of which obligation I pledge myself to
fulfill, as far as my circumstances and ability will permit, with Fidelity to
the principles of our Order; with Valor in the cause of Truth and Justice; with
gentleness of heart and courtesy of manner, trusting in the Great Chief above to
bestow whatever Honor and Glory he may see fit to give at the close of this
Knightly Crusade. So help me God, and keep me faithful.
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 any appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of
the organ. Each member re-covers.
High Priest: Arise! The officers also arise, the Sir Herald and
Worthy Chamberlain remaining at the altar facing each other at a “carry
swords.” Brother Sir Herald, you will now conduct our newly
obligated Sir Knight to the post of our Noble Chief for further instruction.
The Vice Chief replaces hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain
assume positions in line with the candidate. The Sir Herald gives orders to all
officers, except the Esquire and worthy Chamberlain, ‘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, same as in the First and Second Degrees, who then return to the altar
(THREE RAPS.) The procession moves once around the Castle to the antechamber, the Worthy
Bard playing a slow march. the white robe is removed and black substituted, the
procession re-enters the Castle (the second verse of Ode being sung) and halts
in front of the post of the Noble Chief. The foot and sword movements at the
post of the Noble Chief are the same as in the First and Second Degrees.
Noble Chief: Sir Knight, before you can be
received into full fellowship with the Crusade Knights of the Golden Eagle, a
few lessons of instruction must be given you, to which we ask your serious
attention. Let these lessons sink deeply into your mind, and manifest themselves
in your life and conduct.
Brother Sir Herald, you will
conduct this candidate to the next post.
The procession moves around the Castle (the Worthy Bard playing a dirge)
to the First Scene at the Cave, the Castle at this time being darkened. The line
officers, upon arriving at the cave, proceed as in the First Degree by saluting,
the Sir Herald removes the hoodwink, and the officers form a hollow square.
Venerable Hermit: Sir Knight! Brother! We
beseech your serious attention to the scene before you: not for its intrinsic
beauty, but for the thoughts and memories suggested by the solemn tomb, the
mournful cross, Behold the apparent end of a life of wondrous sacrifice—a life
sacrificed for the salvation of a race which met its Saviour with the basest in
gratitude and the most inhuman treatment. Yet was it a life of honor,
unsurpassed by that of any mortal, however great. ‘Tis an honor to devote
one’s time and labor, to sacrifice one’s life, one’s all, for the benefit
of others—not always an honor in the view of surrounding men; not always an
honor in the regards of our dearest associates; but an honor in the sight of Him
whose eyes penetrate each heart and reads that which passes within its innermost
recesses, The Saviour of mankind appeared upon earth as a Sacrifice, by whose
life men might be taught to live so as to secure the approbation of the Lord of
the Universe, by whose sufferings and fearful death they might be atoned for and
blessed, man’s last enemy
conquered and an erring race brought back to the gracious smiles of the Heavenly
We teach no sectarian doctrines;
we encourage no bigotry. In this Degree we recall the life and struggles of the
Crusaders, whose grand object in life was to battle against those Moslems who
had invaded the precincts hallowed by the remembrance of a life and death so
dear, so sacred, so inexpressibly touching. They fought to wrest that spot, if
possible, from the defiling hands of the Saracen hosts, and to plant, where
waved the Crescent of Infidelity, that which was the symbol of their own holy
faith—the Banner of the Cross. But to you my brother, there remains a grander
conquest. A world is to be won from Crime and Sin, and conquered for God and
Truth; for sin holds the human heart with tighter grasp than do Moslem hands the
Holy City. The banner of evil is a far greater curse in the sight of the Holy
One of Israel than even the Crescent of Mohammed waving over the spot where
stood the Temple of the Living God. To battle against injustice and iniquity: to
wage valiant warfare against impurity and corruption in humble or high places;
to crush out of existence the monster Sin, where’er he shows his hideous
front, is a grander crusade, and to obtain victory in such a warfare a more
glorious triumph, than was ever known to the mailed warriors and cross-bearing
Knights of the earlier Christian centuries. But for this warfare you are not
fully qualified until you have won the first citadel —YOUR
OWN HEART. Fight valiantly until you have driven therefrom the
foe who has so insiduously planted thereon his hateful flag. Then, with the
Cross—the emblem of purity—and with purity of heart and purpose, you can do
such mighty warfare as will help to win this world for Good, for Glory and for
Brother Sir Herald, you will
conduct the Sir Knight to the next post for further illumination.
At the conclusion of his charge the Hermit retires The Sir Herald then
gives command ‘Attention,’ adjusts hoodwink, and proceeds as directed. The
moves around the Castle (the Worthy Bard playing a dirge) to the
second scene at the Cave—the Castle at this time being darkened. The font and
sword movements of Vice Chief and line officers at the Cave, are the same as at
the post of the Noble Chief, in the First and Second Degrees. The Sir Herald
removes hoodwink prior to formation of hollow square.
Vice Chief: My
Brother Knight! an end will one day come to this
Knightly warfare, which you have pledged yourself to wage until death, when, he who has borne the Cross upon
earth, shall enter a brighter world, that is without a shadow, without a cloud,
radiant with the brilliancy, and bright with the splendor of the throne of God.
Then when you shall have covered yourself with honor by the courage with which
you have fought, you shall lay down the armor of battle and receive the golden
crown of victory—the emblem of eternal glory—which awaits every true Knight
who here does faithful and continuous service. Remember the Degrees in which you
stand covenanted with your fellow-members; be faithful to the cause you have
espoused, and to the banner under which you stand enlisted; be valiant in the
discharge of duties you owe in the ranks of the pure and the good; be gentle and
courteous in your commingling with those around you, and endeavor to instill
into their hearts and lives those sublime principles which will make them good
and faithful Knights; let HONOR inspire your soul in all your actions, so that you may occupy that level
which is reached only by the pure and true—and fear not. You will have your
reward in that everlasting GLORY which awaits the faithful, the valiant, the honorable Knighthood which
stand in solid rank under the banner of the Cross.
You will now be escorted to the
post of our Past Chief for further instruction.
The lights are turned up and the candidate disrobed. The Sir Herald
sheathes his sword and removes the robe, then carries sword, and the officers
take leave of the Vice Chief, as in First and Second Degrees The procession
moves once around the Castle (third verse of Ode being sung) and halts in front
of the post of the Past Chief. The foot and sword movements, at the post of the
Past Chief, are the same as in First and Second Degrees.
Sir Herald: Past Chief, by order of our Vice
Chief, I present this Sir Knight for further instruction.
Past Chief: Brother Knight, feeling
assured, from the impressive scenes which have been presented for your serious
attention, that you are prepared to unite with us in hearty sympathy and
co-operation, I will now enlighten you in reference to the signs, passwords and
grip of the Crusader’s Degree.
When you approach the outer gate,
you will give any alarm which will attract the attention of the Second
Guardsman, who will place his ear to the wicket and receive from you these
words, ...; he
will then partly open the gate and require of you the semi-annual password,
which is ...; given in a whisper. The password proving correct
he will admit you, when you will be provided with appropriate regalia. You will
then approach the inner gate and give ... raps and the Degree passwords, which
are .... The gate will then be opened, and you will then 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 .... Should you wish to retire, while the Castle is
open in the Crusaders’ Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and
salute the Noble Chief with this sign ...;
The Noble Chief will answer you with the same sign.
The grip is made in this manner .... The sign of recognition is given thus, ...
signifying ...; its
answer is ... signifying ...; There
are also signs of Distress—Inaudible and Audible. The Inaudible Sign is thus
given ... signifying ...; its
answer is thus made ... signifying .... The Audible Sign is ...; its answer is .... These signs, if you should be in
danger will bring to your assistance any member of the Order who may be near.
The Voting Sign is thus given .... In voting by ballot, .... The Grand Honor
Sign is given thus ... and is only to be used when receiving the Supreme or
Grand Officers on official business. The gavel
—the emblem of authority—is
thus used: One rap calls the attention of the Castle; two raps call the members
to their feet; three raps seat them. With these signs you will be able to work
your way into any Castle assembled in this Degree.
I will now recommend you to the
post of our Noble Chief for final instruction; but, before taking your
departure, listen to a few words in reference to the character of our Order:
Remember that its principles are sacred and ennobling. Let no one, by your
ballot, be admitted within our Castle Walls whose worth and merit of character
are not such that you would feel free to admit him to the privacy of your family
circle. Let our Order be an Order of Merit, an Order of Virtue, and not merely
an Order of numbers.
Brother Sir Herald, you will
resume your march and conduct this Sir Knight to the post of our Noble Chief.
The procession moves around the Castle to the post of the Noble Chief, the
Worthy Bard playing a march. The foot and sword movements, at the posts of the
Past Chief and Noble Chief, are the same as in the First and Second Degrees.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, by order of our
Past Chief, I present you this Sir Knight for final instruction.
Noble Chief, rising: Sir Knight, after your
long journey, I am pleased to greet you. I trust you are deeply impressed with
the lessons taught in the various Degrees of our Order. Remember the vows you
have taken, and may our mottoes be continually before you. And now, my brother,
stand arrayed in this, the regalia of the Crusaders’ Degree uncovering,
and may the Almighty Ruler aid you in your grand and never-ending crusade.
Vice Chief, rising and uncovering:
May the Lord bless thee and keep thee.
Past Chief, rising and uncovering: The
Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.
High Priest, rising and uncovering:
The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
All, uncovering: The Lord preserve thy
going out and thy coming in from this time forth and even for evermore.
Noble Chief: Be faithful, be valiant, and
full of the spirit of true honor, until the end of the conflict, when the
Supreme Chief of the Heavenly Castle shall say; “Well done, good and faithful
servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over
many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Each member recovers.
Sir Knights, I now declare Sir
Knight duly proven in the Third or
Crusaders’ Degree, and a member, with this rank, of ... Castle, No. ..., Knights of the Golden Eagle, of
.... That you may give him a
fraternal welcome, I now declare an intermission until the sound of the gavel,
when you will resume your respective posts.
Officers will return swords and dissolve hollow square without command.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will retire with
the Crusader to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the