Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
Degree of the Knight of Death
Compiler's Notes: A Funeral Assembly of Knights of Death
consists of the Very
Eminent Knight Funeral Master, Eminent Knight Senior General,
Junior General, the Knights Clerk, Chamberlain, Conductor, Inner
Guardian. The Members wear black mantles and black caps. On
front of the caps,
the letters MM are embroidered in red.
The Assembly is laid out as for a Craft Lodge except that the
Prelate sits to
the left of the SG and the Conductor to the right of the JG,
Chamberlain to the left of the VEKFM.
VEKFM, gives ***********: Sorrowful Knights, it is
low twelve, the
hour when the Funeral Assembly opens and meditates upon the sadness
of life. You
will quietly kneel and give up a silent prayer. A short
pause ensues. Arise
Brother Chamberlain attend at the altar.
Cham. covers the altar with a black cloth, and places on it a
candle holder, a funeral lily, a skull and a Holy Bible, laid
upon the shape of
a coffin. The Bible remains closed.
VEKFM: Brother Knight Junior General, you will
ensure that this
Assembly is safe and closed against the eyes and ears of the
EJG: Brother Knight
is the Knight Guardian at his post and armed with the Sword of Fate?
KIG opens the door and ascertains that the Guardian is at his
with a drawn sword.
KIG: EJG, Our Assembly
properly guarded and is both safe and secure.
EJG reports the same to the VEKFM.
VEKFM: Then Brother Knights, by my will and pleasure
authority vested in me as KFM, I hereby declare this Assembly of
Death, duly, regularly and lawfully open. Gives
VEKFM: Brother Knights, while so assembled, this
shall be our
Sign. Gives Sign of the Order, which is
copied by all
present, after which all take their seats.
VEKFM: Knight Clerk, do we have any business to
bring before the
Assembly, for consideration by the Knights?
KCk: None, other than
that I am
informed that without, there awaits at your pleasure, one who
advancement to the Order of Death.
VEKFM: By what proficiency does he hope to advance
and join with
us under the Banner of this Order.
KCk: By his proven
proficiency as a
Master Mason and his Knightly manner, him being a Knight of the
Order of the
VEKFM: Substantial as bis qualifications may be,
these are not
sufficient to enable advancement to this degree.
KCk: He also brings
with him the Pass
Word of a Knight of the White Cross.
VEKFM: Such would bring him to the portal of our
door but would
not entitle him to enter.
KCk: He would also
bring with him the
Pass Word of a Knight of Death.
VEKFM: Have you received such from the Stranger
KCk: I have not, but
Conductor bas given the Word to me on his behalf.
VEKFM: Knight Conductor, do you indeed speak for
Knight who now awaits without the door?
KCond: VEKFM, upon my
honour, I speak
for him as a worthy Mason and Knight.
VEKFM: Very well, Knight Conductor, but do you agree
that we must
expel you from our Knighthood, should this Stranger prove unworthy?
KCond: I so agree.
VEKFM: Then let the Stranger be admitted and
welcomed amongst us.
Knight Conductor you may now retire and introduce this Stranger
Conductor signs and retires, The Candidate is clothed in a coat
representing a shroud, and his hands are loosely bound with a
white cord. When
prepared, the Cand. is admitted info the Assembly without
and is led before the VEKFM, where he is made to kneel on both
knees white the
Prelate reads Matthew Ch. XXVII vs xxxii to xxxxvi and John Ch.
XIX vs xxviii to
xxx, After the reading the Cand. is raised and led around the
floor until he
returns again before the VEKFM.
VEKFM: Brother Knights, the Stranger Knight has
firm convictions and worthy intentions by his demeanour and
attention to the
readings from the Holy Word. I see no reason to doubt his intention
therefore suggest that it is not necessary to keep him bound and
that he should
be returned to liberty, do you agree?
All: We agree.
VEKFM: Then let his bonds be removed from his wrists
and let him
be refreshed after the manner of our Lord, such as we have now heard
The Chamberlain now comes forward with a small bowl of water and
[ln former times a mixture of water, vinegar and herbs was used
but this is no
longer deemed necessary.] The Cand. then draws moisture from the
motions to do so and afterwards is given a linen cloth to wipe
his face. The
Cham. then returns to his station with the bowl.
VEKFM: Stranger, being now refreshed and rested, how
Cand.: I am known as
Sir … Gives
birth or first name.
VEKFM: I am advised that you wish to advance to the
Death, do you still wish to do so?
Cand.: I do.
VEKFM: Then Knight Conductor, you will take Sir …,
in turn, to
the Eminent Junior & Senior Generals.
This is done and Cand. is placed before the JG.
EJG: Can storied urn or
Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath,
Can honour's voice provoke the silent dust or flattery
soothe the dull cold ear of death.
Cand. is led before the SG.
ESG: The boast of
heraldry, the pomp
And all that beauty that wealth e'er gave,
Await alike the inevitable hour,
The paths of glory lead but to the grave!
VEKFM: Knight Prelate, prepare the Altar. The
KP lights the seven candles on the altar and when they are fit,
lighting is extinguished. As the lights go out, all stand.
Sir ..., you will approach the Altar. Kneel on both knees, pause
place your left hand on the Scriptures and your right upon
that emblem of
mortality. You will now repeat I, Sir …, do, upon the Holy Word and
emblem of mortality, pledge my honour that I will from this day
forth be ever
mindful of my acts here on Earth, that I might be prepared when the
Death shall sound the trump that calls me unto him. l shall ever
remembrance the awful death of the Christ and strive to irritate His
example, doing good to all men. And should I violate this Obligation
may I be
placed upon a Cross of Infamy, my parched lips be fed vinegar and
hyssop when I
thirst and a spear of shame be thrust through my side and then my
body buried in
an unhallowed grave, where none will ever find it.
The members are seated.
VEKFM: You may now rise and be divested of your
garment then hear
the Lecture. The white coat is removed and
the Cand. is
dressed in the black man tie and cap of the degree.
ESG: You must be aware that man only transcends this
world for but
a brief period of time. Irrespective of his station in life, be he
pauper, he can no more affect his duration upon this earthly plane
than he can
affect the movement of the stars. You cannot avoid death the Great
since it is known that he is no respecter of personage or position,
eventually visit us all. Be certain then that when your time comes
calls, that your spirit and soul are such, that Death will have no
fear for you.
Brother Knight, in this degree there are several secrets which it is
pleasure to impart to you. The Pass Word is Consummatum est or It is
The sign is given by holding the right hand up to the mouth with
slightly spread as if holding the sponge of vinegar and hyssop. The
given by laying your right hand upon the others left side, in
allusion to the
spear thrust suffered by our Lord. The Grand Word is Momento Mori,
the method by which you took your vow of obligation. All these
allude to the pain and suffering which Jesus Christ endured for you
and I, and
should ever be kept in mind throughout your life. This degree is a
sorrowful journey and tends to teach Freemasons that all paths do
but lead to
the grave, hence, we should always be prepared for that journey and
within our hearts, that we are ready and willing to travel on that
The ceremony should further teach us that it is not the idle honours
life that count for anything in the scheme of eternity. It is only
spiritual, everlasting aspects of life which have any worthwhile
meaning. Let us
then, lay by a store from the light of Jesus Christ, against that
ESG resumes his place and the Cand. is congratulated and shown
to a seat.
Thereafter the Conductor resumes his place.
VEKFM: Knight Clerk, does this conclude the business
KCk.: VEKFM, I have
of import upon my table.
VEKFM: Sir Knights, do you have further business? There
being none. Then let us
Assembly and retire to our refectory. Em. Knight Junior General, is
Guardian still at his post?
EJG charges the KIG who raps and receives a response. KIG
EJG: The Assembly
remains safe and
VEKFM: Knight Chamberlain, are the effects of the
The Cham. rises, lifts the edges of the black cloth, covers over
K Ch.: Our effects are
VEKFM: Then Em. Knight SG, it is my will and
pleasure that this
Assembly of the Order of Death be closed and the Knights retired.
ESG: Sir Knights, by
the will and
pleasure of the VEKFM, it is declared and it is hereby declared,
Assembly is now closed. Gives *, repeated
Guardian and Sentinel.