Knights of Honor
Ritual of the Degree of Youth
The Lodge being open in the Third Degree, the Dictator will say:
Dictator: Guide, you will now retire and ascertain if any Infants are in waiting for advancement to the Degree of Youth.
Guide retires and finds an Infant, or Infants, in waiting, returns and salutes the Dictator, and reports as follows:
Guide: Dictator, I find in waiting an Infant … in this Order, who desires advancement to the Degree of Youth.
Dictator: Financial Reporter, has the fee been paid?
Financial Reporter: It has.
Dictator: If there are no objections to the advancement of this Infant we will proceed to confer the degree upon him. * * *.
I now declare this Lodge closed in the Third Degree, and opened in the Degree of Youth.
Advance the … of the First and Second Degrees. *.
Vice Dictator, you will inform the Sentinel that we are now at work in the Second Degree.
Guide, you will retire, prepare, and introduce the candidate.
The Guide retires and prepares the candidate by investing him with a white badge and hoodwink, and advances to the inner door and gives the signal of the Second Degree. The Guardian opens the door and says:
Guardian: Who comes here?
Guide: The Guide in charge of an Infant who seeks instruction in the Degree of Youth.
Vice Dictator: Let them enter.
Dictator: * * *.
The Guide conducts the candidate once around the room to the Assistant Dictator.
Assistant Dictator: My son, you appear before me in the character of an infant, as I perceive by the lodge you wear and your still helpless condition; but you are now about to enter upon the pilgrimage of Youth. Learn, first of all, a lesson of obedience as becomes your condition. Obey your Guide, and he will safely conduct you through the way that lies before you.
Dictator: My son, you have now entered upon the state of Youth, but before you can proceed farther in your advancement, it is necessary that you should take another obligation. Are you willing to proceed? Guide, you will conduct him to the altar.
Guide: Dictator, your order has been obeyed.
Dictator: Bow down in the presence of the Supreme Dictator of the Universe and these brethren. * * *.
Brethren (in concert): He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
Past Dictator: Repeat after me:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will continually strive to overcome all the frailties and evil tendencies of my nature ; that I will endeavor to lead an honorable, consistent life, and by doing unto others as I would have them do unto me, so secure the esteem and confidence of my brethren, that when I arrive at proper advancement I may be found worthy of complete fellowship as a Knight of Honor. I further promise that I will he true to all my fraternal trusts, and will obey all commands lawfully imposed by those placed in authority over me. Amen.
Brethren respond: Amen. *.
Past Dictator: My son, the period of Youth is a period of instruction. Happy is he who well improves it, that he may lay up stores of knowledge to enrich him in Manhood, and bless him in Old Age.
Begin now, the greatest of all studies: know thyself.
At this point the Guide removes the hoodwink, and a mirror previously placed in position is displayed before the candidate and reflects his image.
Past Dictator: Arise, my son, and follow your Guide.
The Guide conducts the candidate to the Dictator, who says:
Dictator: My son, I will now divest you of the badge of Infancy, and invest you with the badge of this degree.
As you are removed from the hallowed influences of Infancy, the light which surrounds you will lose its whiteness; the deceptive yellow light of the natural world will more or less obscure your vision, and you will be in danger of mistaking appearances for realities, unless you profit by the wisdom of your elders.
Happiness depends upon the exercise of the mind, and the labors of the body; therefore labor is not to be shunned as a curse, but sought as a blessing. Without proper employment, man is in a truly pitiable condition.
It is needful, therefore, that we should be taught in early youth the necessity of useful labor. Let us be seated, and hear the lesson appointed for our instruction, concerning the state of youth.
Chaplain: And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. David said, moreover, the Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. And it came to pass, when the Philistine arose, and came and drew nigh to meet David, that David hasted, and ran toward the army to meet the Philistine. And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, and the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth. So David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine and slew him.
Dictator: My son, by this Scripture we learn that even a stripling may deliver his brethren from the hands of their enemies.
Youth is the time to begin the warfare which all must wage, who would be delivered from evil, and as the Lord was with David, so will he be with all who battle for the right.
Arise, my son, and behold the emblems of the Degree of Youth.
A yellow banner is here displayed at the right of the Dictator, on which are delineated the emblems of the degree. The Dictator, with a sword, or Guide’s baton, indicates the different emblems as he proceeds.
As the Lamp is the bearer of light, it is the appropriate symbol of instruction.
The Lamp of Truth is ever burning to illuminate the minds of all those who place themselves within reach of its rays. May you always be ready to receive the truth.
The Shepherd’s Crook serves to recall the history of David, and the victory he won, when suffering himself to be led by the Lord.
We are taught by his submission to the Divine direction, the duty of obedience, and the result shows that the Lord guides the steps of all who allow themselves to be led by Him.
The Cluster of Grapes reminds us that the toil of the husbaudman will be in due time rewarded with abundant fruit. So all good works will, sooner or later, yield full recompense.
These truths should urge us on to renewed labors in youth, that our manhood may be enriched by the lawful rewards of toil.
As all good and truth flow from the great Author of our being, we should continually go to Him for instruction.
Dictator: Chaplain, let us pray. * * *.
Chaplain: Heavenly Father, we praise Thee for the hopes and promises of youth. We acknowledge Thee as the fountain of goodness and truth, and pray that Thou wilt help us to receive the benefits which Thou art ready to give. Grant that as we advance in years we may get true understanding, and learn to know Thee. May he, who now stands with us, before Thee, as a youth in this Order, be preserved from the snares of the tempter; enabled, by Thy grace, to light against evil; learn obedience to Thy precepts, and obtain the reward which is reserved for the faithful. Amen. *.
Brethren respond: Amen.
Dictator: My son, in the Degree of Infancy we endeavored to teach you the necessity of being led, and that without the aid anti assistance of your elders you were in a helpless condition.
In the Degree of Youth we have taught you the duty of obedience to all lawfully-constituted authority, and that fidelity and confidence in your brethren are requisite to your further advancement.
In order that this Lodge may have some evidence of your fitness for this advancement, we shall require you to pass through an ordeal which will test your fidelity as well as your courage.
Retire with the Guide and await our further instructions.
The Guide and candidate will retire to the ante-room. During their absence the Assistant Dictator will prepare for the Second Degree test, by placing upon a table in front of the Dictator’s station the fixtures required for the purpose. When everything is ready the Guide and candidate return, and upon their arrival at the table the Guide removes the hoodwink. The Assistant Dictator will remove the ladle of molten metal from over the flaming lamp, and pour into one of the basins (the other containing water), when the Dictator will address the candidate as follows:
Dictator: My son, in order that you may prove to us that you are both ready and willing to show implicit faith and confidence in your brethren, and that you are willing to comply with your obligation to obey all lawful commands, I order you to pass your hand first through this liquid preparation, and then through this molten metal.
If the candidate obeys the command, he is congratulated by the Dictator; but should he fail the brethren will say, "He hesitates," when the Dictator will repeat the command, and, if he still refuses, will proceed as follows:
Dictator: My son, you hesitate to obey a lawful command; we know that the flesh is weak, but a true Knight of Honor is ever ready to aid a faltering brother, and to show you that we impose no duty that it is impossible for you to perform, I will pass with you through the ordeal.
The Dictator then takes the hand of the candidate, clasps it in his own, and having passed them through the preparations, retires to his position and continues:
Dictator: Let this test teach you that confidence in your brethren is not misplaced, and that it is always better for you to perform a duty than to shrink from or avoid it.
I will now instruct you how you may obtain entrance to or exit from our Lodge room, while working in the Degree of Youth.
As a Second Degree member, you can visit no Lodge but your own, and that only while working in the Degree of Infancy or Youth. Desiring to enter this Lodge, while working in the second degree, 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, in a whisper, you will say to him I am Youth …, of this Lodge. This will admit you to the ante-room, where you will invest yourself with the proper badge of this degree, which is yellow (to be attached to the left lapel of the coat). Then, upon being informed by the Sentinel that the Lodge is opened upon the second 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 yen 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 a Youth Listening for further Instructions. You will be recognized by the Dictator with the sign of courtesy, 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 permission to retire. Should it be granted, you must advance to the altar and retire under the sign.
My son, as the child passes into the state of youth, his mind is especially active, and he comes hilly into the love of acquiring knowledge.
Strive to retain the innocence and purity of infancy, and add to it the activity and diligence of rightly-instructed youth, that you may continue to gain knowledge which will bless you in this world, and prepare you for the world which is to come.
You are now a Youth in this Order; as such, both your duties and privileges have increased; but you are not yet qualified to aid in the work of your elders, or to assist in their deliberations.
Retire, therefore, with your guide, and patiently await the time when you shall arrive at the age of manhood. * * *.
As they retire, the Lodge will sing.
"Remember thy Creator,
While youth’s fair days are bright,
Before your cares grow greater,
Before comes Ages night,
While yet the sun shines o’er you,
While stars your darkness cheer,
While life is all before you,
Your Great Dictator fear."
The Lodge being open in the Third Degree, the Dictator will say: