Royal Knights of King David
Initiation Ritual (Pearson’s Ritual) - Third Degree
The candidate must be divested of all wearing apparel except underwear and must be barefooted, and blindfolded securely. When everything ia ready, the W.Con. will come to the inner door and give three distinct raps.
W.SENT.: Worthy Master, there is an alarm at the third gate of our vineyard.
W.M.: Attend and find the cause.
W.SENT.: Who gives the alarm at the third gate?
W.CON.: A brother who, having served faithfully as a laborer and cultivator, seeks now to be elevated to the Harvester's Degree.
W.SENT.: Has he made sufficient progress in the previous degrees?
W.CON.: He has.
W.SENT.: Let him tarry until our Worthy Master is informed of his desire.
W.SENT.: Worthy Master, a brother who has served his time as a Laborer and Cultivator in our vineyard, comes seeking to be elevated to the Harvester's Degree.
W.M.: Admit him in the name of the Master.
W.SENT.: You are admitted in the name of our Master. Welcome to our vineyard, and you may find shelter from the searching sun and rest from all care.
W.Con. enters, moving slowly around the room; all the lights are lowered and everything silent. The members sing:
Welcome, stranger, true hearts greet thee,
If thou by our precepts stand;
Honor, truth and friendship greet thee,
Welcome to our happy band.
Welcome to our healthful fountain,
May'st thou ever faithful prove,
Till from every vale and mountain
Rolls the stream of peace and love,
Then proceed with the following order:
1. Seat the candidate.
2. Run him up and down the room quickly, leaving him alone for awhile, during which time there should be clashing of swords and rolling of balls on the floor, ringing and casting down chains, and great tumult.
3. Place him in the south, with a staff in his hand, saying: Stranger, the greatest lessen we ever learned is from a blind man. He goes through the world, not heedlessly, but feels his way with his staff, which also teaches us that if we meet up with any obstacle to apply the staff.
4. The W.Con. then says: I was your conductor in the first and second degrees, but in this degree you must go alone. There is danger on the way, for many have started out on this tour whose lives were lost. All members groan at these words, and the candidate starts off alone.
W.M.: Candidate, get down on your knees and make your last prayer, and when you have ended your prayer, cry out Amen. Can you rifle the goat? Get on.
W.CHAN.: Candidate, you are about to take a ride. Have you ever heard of Jacob's ladder ?
Candidate must be prompted by W.Con.
CAN.: I have.
W.GHAN.: How many rounds has it?
W.SENIOR.: Name them,
Candidate: "Faith!" As the Candidate pronouuces the word. Senior gives one blow with the spanker.
W.CHAN.: What is the second?
CAN.: "Hope." Blow with the spanker.
W.CHAN.: What is the third?
CAN.: "Charity." Blow with spanker.
All say: Good! Good member of charity.
Take candidate to the center of the hall, and touch him in the breast with the point of a sword, saying:
W.Chan.: Stranger, now be calm and sober. When I count three you must jump for your life. Be sure to jump high and clear; for there is an abyss just before you, and one false step will cause you to lose your life. Brethren, be cautious; let him have a clear jump. Now stranger, as I count 'one,' get ready; 'two,' be sure you are ready; ' three,' jump!'
W.M.: Well done, thou good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things; enter into the joys of thy Lord." Conductor, convey the candidate to the altar and place him in position to receive the obligation of the third degree. Candidate, you will raise both hands to heaven and call your name after me.
I, …, do most solemnly promise in the presence of God and these true and tried Knights, never to reveal any of the secrets of this degree to any person except those whom I know to be true and tried members.
I further promise and swear that I will not print or cause to be printed or circulated any books, circulars, pamphlets, tracts or other documents containing the mysteries of the Royal Knights of King David.
I further promise that I will conduct myself in such manner as to reflect credit upon the Order.
I further promise and swear that I will never knowingly have any connection with a brother 's wife; or with his mother, sister or daughter, except in marriage.
I further promise to defend and protect all true brothers of this Order, and to assist them in the hour of distress as far as my ability will allow—that is, when the distress is not brought on by their evil conduct.
I further promise to keep a brother's secret in my own breast, and never reveal it except in ease of absolute necessity.
I further promise that I will do all in my power for the upbuilding of the Royal Knights of King David everywhere.
I further promise to patronize members of this Order in business, when they are as reasonable as others.
I further promise that I will support the General Laws and Constitution of this Order that are now and that may be hereafter.
I further promise to obey all summons from the S.G.M. or S.G.S. which do not conflict with my religion or my rights as a citizen.
I further promise that I will pay strict attention to any member who is sick or in distress, and will help him and remember him in my prayers.
I further promise that I will recognize all signs and tokens given me by a member of this Order in good standing.
I further promise that I will do all in my power for the peace and harmony of this Lodge.
Under all of these obligations I bind myself till death; and should I knowingly violate any of them, may the sickle of death cut me down; and I be forever forgotten among men and angels. So help me God.
W.M.: Stranger, lower your hands and kiss the Bible three times.
W.Con. escorts the candidate around the room, while all unite in singing:
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love,
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
W.CON., stopping with candidate at Senior stand: Worthy Senior, our brother comes for instruction which will enable him to become a Harvester.
W.SEN.: Brother, as a Harvester I enjoin you to reap for the soul as well as for the body. The world of nature teems with life, and nothing has been made in vain. Each living creature, each running stream, each growing plant, all have their divinely appointed purpose. Cultivate an observing mind, that you may acquire wisdom and have the pleasure of diffusing knowledge to your brethren. You will now be conducted to our Worthy Chancellor.
W.CON.: Worthy Chancellor, I present you our brother for further instruction.
W.CHAN.: Brother, all honest labor is commendable; God, in making the earth, set the example of work and made it honorable. It is, therefore our duty to honor and dignify it, that we may minister to the happiness of God's creatures. May you labor cheerfully in the harvest field which you are about to enter.
Cheerfulness is the great balm for wearied and distressed minds. Ever look for brighter and better days, and mourn not over the past. While striving to make labor honorable, endeavor also to make it pleasant for all around you. You will now be conducted to the Worthy Chaplain.
W.CON.: Worthy Chaplain, I present you our brother for further instruction.
W.CHAP.: Brother, the vineyard is our chief place of labor, and it is now white unto the harvest. He that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal, that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice.
Be patient and contented in your labors, remembering that Godliness with contentment is great gain. Such are the high aims, works and rewards of the true laborer, To these I now bid you welcome. You will pass to the Worthy Master for his instruction.
W.M.: I will now instruct you in the signs, grips, and salutations:
Grips: Take hold of the right hand, placing ,the thumb upon the second joint of the forefinger, then pass the thumb down the knuckles of the fingers.
Signs of Distress: Day Sign of Distress: Extend both hands from your side three times; then let your hands fall helpless by your side. Should a member see you, he will come to your relief; and should you see a member making such sign, you must go to his relief.
Night Sign of Distress: Cry out, three times: O! Absalom, my son, my son. You may use these words in the daytime when the signs can not be recognized.
Raps: Same as in second degree.
Salutation: In this degree both points of the compass are elevated above the rule. Salute as if reaping down grain.
W.M.: I now present you with this regalia, which is pink and green. The pink is noted for its beautiful color. May you be noted for the good work which, as a laborer, you should do. The green should remind you of that beautiful season, the time of plating. May you take hold of every opportunity and now the seed of knowledge everywhere, I now present you with the sickle. This is, like all other tools we use, ancient and honorable. As an emblem of our Order, none is more appropriate than the sickle. It speaks of peace and prosperity, and is the harbinger of joy. With it, my brother, you can go forth reaping down every obstacle and dispensing the seed of knowledge, and when the angel reapers shall come to gather the harvest may you be found worthy of a place in the great garner of good above. As the day is far spent, you will now be introduced to the brethren in the vineyard and join them in the harvest as they are returning from their labors.
The W.M. will then call up the Lodge, and the members will form a procession and march around the hall, singing the Harvest Ode. When opposite the newly-made brother he will unite with the procession.
Brothers, ere we depart
Let us join hand and heart
In this our cause.
May our next meeting be
Blest with sweet charity,
Honor and secrecy,
Royal Knights all.
United heart and hand,
Long may our friendly band
May Royal Knights all be
Famed for sincerity—
Still may prosperity
Stand by our cause.