Knights of Honor
Ritual of the Degree of Infancy
Dictator, *: Knights will be clothed, and the officers will take their respective stations. Guide, you will satisfy yourself that all present are Knights of Honor in good standing.
The Guide will give the semi-annual and third degree passwords to the Dictator, then beginning on the latter’s right, will receive the words from the members of the Lodge. Each member will rise to his feet as the Guide approaches, and give the words. When all have been examined, the Guide, if satisfied, will report from rear of the altar:
Guide: Dictator, I am satisfied that all are correct.
Dictator: Let us sing our opening ode. * * *.
How truly blessed is the sight
Of Knights assembled here,
Who in each others’ peace delight,
And soothe each others’ care;
Who each his Brothers’ failings hide
‘Neath true fraternal love,
And free from selfish, jealous pride,
By works their faith do prove.
In all our troubles, joys, and cares,
We use the "Golden Rule,"
In all our efforts, trials, tears,
We mingle heart and soul:
May this pure spirit thro’ the night
Of life direct our way,
Till we behold the glorious light
Of God’s eternal day.
Dictator: Let each head be bowed in reverence to the Supreme Dictator of the Universe, while the chaplain invokes the Divine blessing.
Chaplain: Supreme Dictator of the Universe, we, Thy frail creatures, desire to approach into Thy august presence at this time, to offer unto Thee our thanks for that kind care and protection which has been extended to us since last we met as members of this Order. Continue Thy blessing to us, we pray Thee, and inspire us anew with fraternal love and charity, and Thine shall be the praise for evermore. Amen.
Brethren respond: Amen.
Dictator: 1 now declare this Lodge opened in the Third Degree, for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it. Advance the …. *.
Vice Dictator, you will inform the Sentinel that we are now at work in the Third Degree.
Degree of Infancy
The Lodge being opened in the Third Degree, the Dictator will say:
Dictator: Guide, you will retire and ascertain if there are any persons without, seeking admission into our Order.
The Guide having ascertained the name or names of any in wait big, returns to the Lodge, advances to the altar, salutes, and addresses the Dictator as follows:
Guide: Dictator, I find without Mr. …, a stranger, who desires to become a member of our Order. He comes well recommended by worthy Knights of this Lodge.
Dictator: Reporter, has he been elected?
Reporter: He has.
Dictator: Financial Reporter, has the fee been paid?
Financial Reporter: It has.
Dictator: If there are no objections we will proceed to confer the degree upon the candidate.
* * *.
I now declare this Lodge closed in the Third Degree and opened in the First. Advance the … of the First Degree. *.
Vice Dictator, you will inform the Sentinel that we are now at work in the First Degree.
The Past Dictator and Guide will retire and examine the candidate, and the Past Dictator will report.
The Past Dictator and Guide retire with the petition. Past Dictator, exhibiting petition, says:
Past Dictator: Is this your signature? Are you willing to conform to the covenant herein set forth? Do you solemnly promise to keep inviolate all the secrets of this Order that may be imparted to you? Are you a believer in the Supreme Ruler of the Universe?
Guide, take charge of the candidate.
The Past Dictator enters the Lodge, advances to the altar, salutes the Dictator, and says:
Past Dictator: Dictator, the candidate has answered the prescribed questions correctly.
Dictator: W hen properly prepared, let him enter.
The Past Dictator returns to the ante-room. The Guide having hoodwinked the candidate and invested him with a white badge, the Past Dictator will address him as follows:
Past Dictator: Mr. …, having satisfied me, in the presence of this Brother, that you signed this petition, and having cheerfully submitted to a preparation which all who have preceded you have undergone, you will follow your guide, and fear not, but submit patiently to whatever awaits you.
The Past Dictator and Guide, escorting the candidate, approach the inner door. The Past Dictator gives the signal, and the Guardian opens the door and says:
Guardian: Who comes here?
Past Dictator: The Past Dictator and Guide with a stranger.
Vice Dictator: Let them enter.
The Past Dictator returns to his station. The Guide places the candidate in a reclining chair, at the door, in which lie is wheeled or conveyed around the Lodge. As he starts out upon this circuit the Assistant Dictator will say:
Assistant Dictator: Brethren, behold the infant committed to our care.
Dictator: * * *.
The Guide, with the candidate, will make one slow circuit around the room, during which the following ode should be sung:
Our Infancy’s hright heaven
Is darkened hy no showers;
To childhood’s heart is given
No thorns among its flowers;
Thcir days know no grim sorrows,
Their nights no joy that fades,
And rosy beams oft horrows
From life’s most saddening shades.
The candidate is removed from the chair, and makes a second circuit, in which his progress is impeded by temporary obstructions placed in his way, and halting before the Vice Dictator, Assistant Dictator and Dictator.
Vice Dictator, *: Guide, what is your first duty towards this infant?
Guide: To protect him from dangers of every kind.
Assistant Dictator, *: Guide, what is your second duty towards this infant?
Guide: To aid him in the acquisition of knowledge.
Dictator, *: Guide, what is your third duty towards this infant?
Guide: To direct him in the path of virtue.
A third circuit is here made, the Guide leading the candidate by the hand, halting as they pass the Vice Dictator, Assistant Dictator and Dictator.
Vice Dictator: Brethren, remember your duty of protecting the weak.
Assistant Dictator: Brethren, remember the duty of aiding in the diffusion of knowledge.
Dictator: Brethren, remember the duty of aiding in the promotion of virtue. Whom have we here?
Guide, halting before the Dictator: An infant.
Dictator: Why say an infant, when he seems to us a man?
Guide: Because he is as an infant among us, and has been brought into the similitude of a state through which all must pass before arriving at the age of manhood.
Dictator: Why bring him here?
Guide: Because he has completed the period of entire dependence, and is therefore able to receive a certain degree of instruction, which it is now proper that you should impart to him.
Dictator: Then prepare him to be so instructed.
The candidate is here conducted to the altar, opposite to, and facing the Past Dictator.
Guide: Child, hear the words of him who now stands to thee as a father.
Dictator: My child, you appear before us in the dual character of infant and man. Emblematically placed in a state of infancy, you are now to receive instruction both as an infant and a man. As an infant, you are not capable of understanding duties or assuming obligations, but as a man you can do both; and while receiving the knowledge appropriate for an infant in this Order, it is necessary that you should be obligated as a man, to conceal it from those to whom it cannot be lawfully given. Are you willing to take such an obligation? Then bow in the presence of the Supreme Dictator of the Universe and these Brethren.
* * *.
The candidate kneels, and the Past Dictator takes his position at the opposite side of the altar.
Brethren (in concert): He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Past Dictator: Repeat after me:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will never reveal any of, the secrets or mysteries of the Knights of Honor which have now been imparted to me, or which I may hereafter receive, to any one to whom they cannot lawfully be given, according to the usages and customs of the Order. Amen. *.
Guide, you have discharged your first duty toward this infant, in protecting him from danger. Aid him now in acquiring knowledge, by bringing him to light.
Here the Guide removes the hoodwink, and assists the candidate to arise.
Continue in the performance of your second duty, and enter upon the third, by directing his steps toward the paths of virtue.
The candidate is conducted to the Dictator, at whose right hand is displayed n white banner, bearing the emblems of this decree. The Guide, pointing with his baton to the banner, will address the candidate as follows:
Guide: Behold before you the emblems belonging to the Degree of Infancy! These emblems illustrate certain truths, the possession and proper use of which will aid you in entering upon a life of virtue.
Dictator: Let us be seated and hear the lesson appointed for our present instruction.
Chaplain: And there went a man of the house of Levi, and took to wife a daughter of Levi. And the woman conceived and bare a son; and when she saw him that he was a goodly child, she hid him three months. And when she could not longer hide him, she took for him an ark of bulrushes, and daubed it with slime and with pitch, anti put the child therein; and she laid it in the flags by the river s brink. And his sister stood afar off, to wit what would be done to him. And the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river; and her maidens walked along by the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the flags she sent her maid to fetch it. And when she had opened it, she saw the child and behold the babe wept. And she had compassion on him and said, this is one of the Hebrews’ children. Then said his sister to Pharaoh’s daughter, shall I go and call to thee a nurse of the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for thee? And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, Go. And the maid went and called the child’s mother. And Pharaoh’s daughter said unto her, Take this child away and nurse it for me and I will give thee thy wages. And the woman took the child and nursed it. And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh’s daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses; and she said, Because I drew him out of the water.
Now Moses kept the flock of Jethro, his father-in-law, the priest of Midian; and he led the flock to the back side of the desert, and came to the mountain of God, even to Horeb. And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush; and he looked, and behold the bush burned with fire, and the bush was not consumed. And Moses said, I will now turn aside and see this great sight, why the bush is not burnt. And when the Lord saw that he turned aside to see, God called unto him out of the midst of the bush, and said, Moses, Moses! And he said, Here am I. And the Lord said, I have surely seen the affliction of my people which are in Egypt, and have heard their cry by reason of their taskmasters; for I know their sorrows. And I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of’ the Egyptians, and to bring them up out of that land unto a good land, and a large unto
land flowing with milk and honey.
Dictator: The events narrated in this Scripture contain a lesson of special fitness for this occasion. We here learn that by timely aid given to a helpless infant, a mighty man was raised up to deliver Israel from bondage.
So, my brethren, when we receive into our midst one who is as an infant among us, let as remember that on us much of his future usefulness and happiness depends.
My child, you have been introduced into our fraternity in the character of a helpless infant, and have been made to pass through stages corresponding to the development of childhood.
The color with which you were invested on being prepared for introduction, is indicative of the purity of infancy. You were brought into the Lodge in a state of darkness, to show the absence of perception in the earlier periods of our existence.
The outset of your progress further typified this condition, and also represented the continued helplessness of infancy.
During the second stage of your progress, you became sensible of the difficulties that beset the first efforts of the infant to obtain knowledge of the world just opening to his view.
The third stage of your journey exemplifies the final state of infancy, in which he suffers himself to be led by the wisdom of his elders.
You were required to make thee tours in this degree, because every state has a beginning, a middle and an end.
You were provided for in your first state, protected in your second, and guided in your third, to remind van of the aid you received when in a state of infancy, and of your obligation to repay the debt incurred, by assisting all those who are in a like helpless condition.
As the development of intelligence is gradual in the infant, so you were brought by degrees from darkness to ordinary perception, and from ordinary perception to a knowledge of specific things.
When you were brought fully to the light, the emblems before you were disclosed, representing qualities of great value, which you should strive to make your own.
The Lamb here brought to your view, is universally acknowledged as a symbol of innocence, and here typifies the innocence of infancy. With this innocence exists a state of purity which is well represented by the White Lily.
The Flags at the water side sheltered the infant Moses, and were silent witnesses of his danger and his rescue.
They recall the helpless condition of infancy, and remind us of the duty already forcibly set before us, of caring for all who are unable to care for themselves.
Strive for the innocence and purity of infancy, and ever keep in remembrance the lesson of the flags.
On declaring your desire to be introduced into our fraternity, you acknowledged your belief in the Supreme Being, and renewed your acknowledgment at the altar erected in this Lodge. Having acknowledged the Lord at the beginning, and in the midst of your representative journey, it will be eminently proper to do so again at its close, thus signifying your belief in His continued presence with man, and the necessity for looking to Him in the beginning, the middle and the end of all things. Let us pray. * * *.
Chaplain: Heavenly Father, we praise Thee for the hopes and promises of infancy, and for Thy watchful care over childhood; grant that as we advance in years we may still retain the innocence of our first estate, and may our last days be filled with that true wisdom, which is given only to the pure in heart. Amen.
Brethren respond: Amen.
Dictator, *: I will now instruct you how you may obtain entrance to or exit from our Lodge room, while working in the Degree of Infancy.
As a First Degree member, you can visit no Lodge but your own, and that only while working in the Degree of Infancy. Desiring to enter this Lodge, you will approach the outer door, give a pull of the bell (if there be one), a rap, or any alarm that will attract the attention of the Sentinel, who guards the door. He will open the wicket or door (as the case may be), when you will say to him, in a whisper, I am Infant … of this Lodge. This will admit you to the anteroom, where you will invest yourself with the proper badge of this Degree (which is white), to be attached to the left lapel of the coat. Then, upon being informed by the Sentinel that the Lodge is open upon the first degree, present yourself at the inner door and give …. The Guardian will report to the Vice Dictator an alarm at the door. The Vice Dictator instructs him to inquire and report the cause. The Guardian opens the wicket, when you will announce to him your name. He closes the wicket and reports your presence to the Vice Dictator, who directs him to admit you, if correct. The Guardian re-opens the wicket, when, in a whisper, you will give him the permanent pass-word of this degree, which is …. This admits you to the Lodge room, when you will advance in front of the Vice Dictator’s chair, and thence to the altar, by right angles, and salute the Dictator (who is the presiding officer) with the salutation sign of this degree, which is made in this manner …. The meaning of this sign is: I am an Infant Seeking More Light. You will be recognized by the Dictator with the sign of courtesy (a wave of the hand), thus: ….
You can then take your seat in the Lodge room. Should you wish to retire before the Lodge is closed, you must rise to your feet, salute and address the Dictator, and ask his permission to retire. Should it be granted, you must advance to the altar, and retire under the sign.
You are now an Infant in this Order, and as such it is not proper you should be present during the instructions fitted to your elders; retire, therefore, with your guide, and patiently await your arrival at the age of youth. * * *.
The Lodge sings the following ode:
In every fleeting pleasure,
Tho’ horn to fade or die,
In every mortal treasure,
They find some glad’ning joy;
They know no grief, nor sadness,
No shadows cloud their night;
Their lives are filled with gladness,
Who struggle for the right.
Guide and candidate salute the Dictator and retire. *.