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