Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
Knight of the Holy Grave
Compiler's Note: Those members of our Order who also belong to
the Order of
the Red Cross of Constantine will quickly determine the
this ritual and that of parts of the associated ceremonies of
that Order. There
can be little doubt that all have a common ancestry and that in
forms they represent differing branches on a common trunk.
Knights of the Holy
Grave assemble in a Council, said to represent a Cathedral.
The altar is covered in black and on it should be placed a three
candle stick with candles and the emblems of mortality. The
Officers are, the
Knight Prelate who presides, the Knight Verger who acts as the
Knight Harbinger who acts as the Asst. Conductor, a Knight
Beadle who acts as
Inner Guard and a Knight Warder or Outer Guard. Members are
known as Knight
Priests of the Holy Grave.
The regalia consists of an apron of white with a black
triangular fall or
flap. On the fall is a white passion cross and on the body are
emblems of mortality in outline. The Knight Prelate carries a
A platter of bread and a large goblet of wine should be provided
during the ceremony and seven swords must be available for the
Crescent Banner and suitable pole should be standing in the SW
of the meeting
place and if possible, seven green cloaks and eastern swords.
KP: Knight Priests of
the Holy Grave,
I am about to open this Council of our Order and therefore demand
attend in ample form. The Knight Priests
form a large
circle around a central altar which is completed when the KP
joins it in the
West carrying his staff in his left hand and a Bible in his
right. He then says:
Let us pray.
O King of Kings and Lord of Lords
let thy Blessing fall upon this Sanctuary,
Let Thy light brighten our Path
and let thy Wisdom guide us.
The members may then sing:
Hush, hush the Heavenly Choir,
They cleave the air in bright attire
See, see the lute that each angel brings,
And so divinely thus they sing.
To Thy Power divine,
All glory be given,
By mankind upon this earth
and a host of angels in Heaven.
ALL: Amen and Amen. So
mote it ever
be, world without end. Amen
KP steps up to the altar, lays down the Bible thereon and lights
candles and then raises his staff and intones: Kyrie
Eleison, Khristo Eleison, Kyrie Eleison Amen Gloria Tibi Domino. I
declare this Council of Knight Priests of the Holy Grave opened in
requiring all present to observe this occasion and govern themselves
to the Chivalric and Priestly requirements of this Order. Officers
Priests, take up your respective stations. Gives
* * *
* * * with his staff and all take up their stations. The KP in
the NE, the
Verger and Harbinger in the West and the Beadle at the NW comer,
Priests array themselves in the South and the North and all are
According to time immemorial custom, seven Novices, no more no
always be admitted without exception, therefore it is permitted
Priests may make up the number of Novices to seven should this
be required. The
seven Novices are led to the door by the Knight Warden, who
gives * * * * * on
KV: Knight Prelate, there is an alarm at the portal.
KP: Attend to the alarm
KV proceeds to the door, opens it and looks out to ascertain the
cause of the
alarm and thereafter reports: Knight
there stand without the portal seven novices who solicit your
permission to enter this Council and seek admission as Knight
Priests of this
KP: Knight Verger, on
what is their
KV: On true Christian
serve this cathedral and all its members, by performing the seven
works of mercy and to protect and guard the Holy Grave of our Lord
Jesus Christ from the destructive actions of our enemies.
KP: Admit them. that we
may hear them
and know them.
The seven are admitted and stand in the West. The KV stands at
the S end of
the line and the KH at the N, when they are addressed by the
thus: Are you followers
of the Captain
of our Salvation and the Light of our lives?
KV, for the Novices: We
KP: Attend then to the
words of our
Master, Jesus Christ: "Thou shall love the Lord thy God. with all
heart, with all thy mind, with all thy soul and with all thy might."
is the first great commandment and the second is also like unto it;
shalt love thy neighbour as thyself would be loved". Are you all
follow these teachings? All assent.
Are you all willing to assume the Vow of the Knight
assent. Then gaze upon
the High Altar,
advance and kneel before it and conjoin yourselves with us as one
The Novices approach the altar and kneel to the West of it and
by the KH to form themselves in the shape of a chevron and
thereafter kneel. The
KB then places himself at the N side of the altar and kneels,
the KV does the
same on the S side and finally the KP does so at the W side. The
KP, KV and KP
cross the arms over their breasts left over right, with the hand
on the opposing
shoulder and the KH instructs the Novices to do likewise. The KP
KP: Using your
Christian name after
the word I, you will repeat after me. I, …, in the Name of the High
Undivided Trinity, do promise, swear and vow, that I will keep, hold
conceal the high mysteries of this Noble and Invincible Order of
of the Holy Grave of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by acts of
courage and charity, and its members by performing the seven
corporeal works of
mercy and that as far as it within me lies, I will defend the Church
of the Holy
Grave or Sepulchre and violence and pillage by unbelievers and
and protect pilgrims on their way to and from the Holy Land, and if,
I do not
perform this, my vow, to the very best of my ability, them may I
Interlace the fingers of your hands with the Knights on either side
thus: The KP, KV and KB do so and then the
KV and KB
join with the Novices at the extremes of the line until all are
in one Knightly Bond around the altar. You will! now
say with us - DE
MORTUIS NIL NISI.
After this The Knights arise but the Novices remain kneeling
bowed. The KH collects seven swords and stands at the N. end of
Meanwhile seven Knight Priests, who have been previously
Turcomans and wear green coats or tunics, assemble in the SW
corner around a
staff on which is hung the Crescent Banner of the Musselmen, who
swords. When they have gathered, the KV orders the Novices to
rise. The KH then
places a sword in the right hand of each one and takes up a
station at the N.
end of the line again.
KP: Take these swords
onwards - Guard the Holy Grave - Defeat the enemies of Christ and
the Church –
Unfurl the banner of the Cross everywhere.
The KP, KV and KB resume their places. When they have done so
the KH commands
the Novices to turn left and follow him around the Council and
forward to the SW corner where they enjoin a battle with the
some time the Crescent Banner is taken and the Turcomans flee.
They disrobe and
return to the Council. The KH leads the Novices back to the
Council, the first
in line carries the banner. The KH leads them before the altar
Crescent Banner is deposited, the seven Novices are then seated
in the West
between the KV and KH.
KP reads John XX v i to xiv after which the members may then
Creator of the Radiant Light
Dividing day from sable night
Who, with the Light's bright origin
The world's creation didst begin.
KP: Let our prayers
come before Thee
and let our undertakings be acceptable in Thy Light. The
seven are then made to kneel at the base of the High Altar. The
KP then passes
along the line with a platter of bread and asks each of the
seven to take a
piece. He then says: Brother
eat ye all of this bread in Love that you may learn to Support one
The KP then passes the Goblet of wine along the line and the
seven each cake
a sip in turn, thereafter: Drink
of this cup that you may leam to Sustain one another and ratify that
you have made.
Bow now your heads in prayer that ye may thank the Lord for the
friendship of each other. The KP then
raises each one
in turn by interlocking the fingers of his hands with each
Novice rigjt to right
and left to left with the left the uppermost and to each he
Priest, I greet thee as a Knight Priest of the Order of the Holy
Grave – Go
feed the hungry; Give drink to the thirsty; Clothe the naked with a
Visit and ransom the captives; Harbour the harbourless; Give the
orphan wherein to lay their heads; Visit and relieve the sick; Go
and inter the
dead The KP then passes down the line
again making the
sign of the cross on the forehead of each Novice and says:
IN NOMINE PATRIS, FILLI ET SPIRITUS SANCTI AMEN.
Knight Priests, you have been amply admitted to this high estate by
of the Order made thus, by crossing the arms, left uppermost and
the fingers of your hands. The method of proving a Knight Priest is
enquiring brother to raise the initial finger of the right hand
challenged brother replies by holding up the middle finger and the
brother responds by holding up the third finger, thus signifying
in One God, the Undivided Trinity. You will now retire to the West
Knight Beadle will deliver a lecture to you.
KB: Knight Priests, on
high office you have become members of the Order of the Holy Grave
and as such,
you occupy a dual position being Knights charged to protect and
guard the Holy
Grave or Sepulchre and defend pilgrims coming to and from the Holy
Land. and as
Priests, charged to attend to the spiritual needs of your fellow
Order was instituted by Saint Helena, the Royal Princess and mother
Emperor Constantine in the year 302 anno domini and its foundation
and warranted by his Holiness the Pope Marcellinus in 304 anno
domini. It was
instituted to commemorate the discovery made by Helena in the year
296, of the
Cross upon which our Saviour died.
In that year, after levelling the hillocks in and around Jerusalem.
obliterating the Temple of Venus, there were discovered not one but
crosses. Not knowing which of the three was the one she sought she
ecclesiastical advice and by order therefrom, the crosses were taken
bedside of a woman who had long been visited by sickness and now lay
point of expiration. The woman placed her hands on the first two
neither rendered her any service but when she laid her hands on the
cross she was therewith restored to her former sound health. She
giving glory to God saying, He was wounded for our transgressions,
bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our sins lay upon
Him and with
His stripes we are healed, and God hath laid upon Him all our sins.
By a prearranged plan with her son, Helena, immediately that the
Christ had been distinguished, had a great fire lighted on the
highest hill in
the vicinity. Similar fires had been prepared all along the way to
Constantinople and as each watcher saw the smoke from the preceding
miles away, he lighted his pyre.
Tradition informs us that in a short space of a few hours,
Great knew that his mother had discovered that for which she had for
sought and much rejoicing filled the Christian world of that period.
On the spot
where the crosses were discovered, Saint Helena erected the Church
of the Holy
Sepulchre, which stands today though it has been rebuilt and altered
to time. The original edifice was a stately structure, one hundred
and sixty wide. The east end took in the place where the crosses
the west, by the levelling of the hills, contained the Sepulchre,
above the floor of the church like a grotto. It was twenty feet from
to the top of the rock and a beautiful cupola was made over the
the aisle are the tombs of Godfrei and Baldwyn, Kings of Jerusalem.
The Order of Knights set to guard the Sepulchre became known as the
Priests of the Holy Grave and similar Orders are perpetuated by both
at Rome and the Eastern Orthodox Church. Freemasonry early created
Masonic Knighthood, having the Holy Sepulchre as a central theme and
particular Order commemorates the deed of Helena. To us it is a
ordination to become a Knight Priest of the Tomb of our Lord and we
feel that in
fact, this Ordination comes from on High.
The token of a Knight Priest is given by each interlacing the
fingers of the
hands and in this stance giving the word SEPULCHRUM. In some places,
may be made before entry into Council is permitted, you may be
asked, Who do
come to guard, to which the correct response will be, He who is the
Lamb of God.
Hereafter the new Knight Priest or Priests
KP: Knight Priests, I
am about to
close this Council, you will form the Eternal Circle about the High
present do so, and interlace the fingers with the KP on either
side, they bend
the arms at the elbow and raise the hands and all say
SEPULCHRUM. the KP then
KP: Gloria, Patri et
ALL: Sicut erat in
nunc, et semper et in secula seculorum. Amen.
KV: Blessed be Thou, O
Lord our God,
Great Cause and Governor of all things. Thou created the world with
bountiful hand and sustained it by Thy wisdom, by Thy goodness and
by Thy mercy.
It cometh to pass that seed time and harvest never fail. It is Thou
every good and perfect gift. Blessed by Thy name for ever and ever.
ALL: So be it ever.
KP: Knight Priests,
this Council is
closed, depart in peace and ever practice prudence, justice,
Gives * * * * * * with his staff.
The KP closes the HG and snuffs out the candles. He then
retires. When he
passes out of the room, the others likewise retire in order of