Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar
The Degree of Knight of St. John the Baptist
Compiler's Note: This short ceremony appears to have been a true
since it only involves three officers, the MASTER and two
DEACONS. The degree
may be conferred upon any Master Mason and notwithstanding the
title of Knight,
the ritual contains no Chivalric aspects. Other factors which
point to the
degree being, historically, a true side degree is the complete
accoutrements and the fact that a similar ceremony was recorded
where the title
was Master of St. John the Baptist, indeed this ritual appears
to have been
modified by only substituting the title Knight where the word
Master or Brother
previously appeared. The only addition which may have been made
since it was
first worked is the apron which is described as being of white
with a triangular
flap. Upon the flap is depicted a severed head, similar to the
the apron of Elu of the Nine of the A&ASR. On the body of
the apron is the
depiction of a river with two palms, symbolic of the River
Jordan. The Master is
seated in the East and both Deacons in the West. The Second
Deacon acts as the
Conductor and the Cand. wears the clothing of a MM. He is also
tested as such
prior to the ceremony. The Meeting is held in a Lodge and is
opened simply as
MAST.: By my right as
declare this Lodge of Knights of St. John the Baptist duly opened. *.
Or. Kt. Master: Brother
Deacon, introduce the Candidate.
The SD leaves his place and returns with the Cand. who is
introduces him thus:
2nd D or Kt. D: Master,
is Bro. …, who is a true MM and now seeks further light in this
MAST.: Can he give the
2nd D: So
far he cannot,
but I will gladly give it for him.
MAST.: Then approach me
Word. SD does so and returns. The
word is correct. Bro. …, in order that we may proceed, it is
that you take another obligation to keep the secrets about to be
told to you, do
you now agree or shall we bid you farewell?
CAND: I agree.
MAST.: Then you
will take this Book of the Gospels in your left
and place your right hand upon the page which
is al St.
Matthew Ch. III v xiii to xvii.
will thereafter repeat your full names and say
me: I, …, in the presence of the Great Architect and also of the
this Lodge, do solemnly and profoundly swear that I shall never to
any of the
outer world, that which may now be divulged to me here within this
Further, that I will only assist in admitting another as a Knight,
when he has
been accepted as being a worthy candidate by all those Knights at
being present and then only in the ancient manner conforming to the
this ceremony. Should I ever prove to be untrue in the keeping of
obligation may I ever be cast from the company of Masons and held in
contempt. So help me.
MAST.: You will seal
by kissing the forefinger of your right hand and thereafter impress
it upon the
Gospel. This is done. You
will now listen while certain portions of that Book are read to you.
1st D or Kt. D, reads Matt. Ch III, xiii to xvii and
then Matt. Ch
XIV v i to x. From these words you have heard of the
honour and piety
of St. John the Baptist who recognised that he was not worthy of
Lord and would not do so until our Lord himself had requested it and
when it had
been done, that God spoke unto Saint John. You have also heard of
of Herod who was too great a coward to act himself and take the life
John and hid behind the ambition of a woman and thus died the
Prophet. In your
life you must act to represent the godly conduct of Saint John at
Jordan and you must also be certain never to engage in the treachery
cowardice so well illustrated by the tyrant Herod. Remember well,
teachings and let them guide your actions for if you so do, then no
or not, shall point an accusing finger at you and cause your face to
MAST.: The secrets of a
Saint John the Baptist are these: The Pass Word to gain entry into
this Lodge is
JUDEA. The token is to give the grip of a MM to prove that you are
such and when
this has been given in a manner to the satisfaction of both parties,
will support this grip by cupping the left hand underneath it. In
this way you
will know that not only are you in the company of a fellow MM, but
as a Knight
of St. John the Baptist, he will support you further. as you will
also do for
The sign of this degree is to cup the hands as if holding water to
another and the Word of a Knight is WATERS OF JORDAN.
I now clothe you with the apron of this degree which depicts the
where our Patron saved the souls of thousands through the act of
baptism and on
the flap we see his terrible fate at the hands of Herod the Tyrant.
MAST.: Have you ought
that you wish
CAND responds as he wishes, after which he is seated.
MAST.: By my right as
declare this Lodge of Knights of St. John the Baptist, duly closed
until we are
next called together as circumstances and duty demand. *.
1st D: *.
2nd D: *.