The Web of Hiram

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English Masonic Knights Templar

Early Templar Ritual

1864 Statutes

The Masonic Order of Chivalry known as the Knights Templar

This document was printed by Order of the Grand Conclave of the Royal Exalted Religious and Military order of Masonic Knights Templar in England and Wales and dated the 6th Day of August 1812

Historical Prelude

Profane History gives us no account of these Knights anterior to the time of the Crusades; but the Revelation of Sacred History and Ancient Mystery, supposes them to have been orders in the degrees of the Temple, as they now assume to be in Masonry. The title of Hospitaller is traceable only to a provision for pilgrims journeying to Jerusalem in Palestine; while the distinction of Knights of Rhodes and of Malta was acquired in the crusade wars, by their Knights getting and defending the possession of those islands. They had two residences in London; that which is now called St. John's-square, and the Temple by the river.

Modern Varieties 

In the Masonic Degree of Knights Templar, the names of the officers vary in different Encampments. The following are found amongst them:- Grand Master, Grand Prior, Grand Sub-Prior, Grand Captains first and second, Grand Orator, Grand Prelate, Grand Chancellor, Grand Chaplain, Grand Recorder, Grand Drapers, Grand Preceptor, Grand Herald. Grand Equerries, Grand Almoner, Grand Councillor, Grand Admiral, Grand Treasurer, Grand Hospitaller, Grand Marshal or Grand Vice-Admiral, Grand Bailiff, Grand Commander, Grand Master of the Ceremonies, Equerries of the Outposts, and a Janitor or Tyler.

Some encampments make the Order of Malta to be distinct from that of the Templar; while others create a Knight at once as a Knight Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, of Palestine, of Rhodes, of Malta, and Knight Templar of Jerusalem.

The Signs of the Order.

The Penal Signs are the Chin or Beard Sign, which is a right hand thumb and finger stroking the chin or beard; and Saw Sign drawing, the thumb or finger across the forehead, indicative of the penalty of having the the skull sawn asunder. The. Grand Sign is emblematic of the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross, with arms extended, head dropping on the right shoulder, and the right over the left foot.

THE WORD is Emanuel. The Grand Word of all Adonai. The Word Necum, which signifies revenge, is also used by the Knights Templar on the Continent, and sometimes in this country.

THE GRIP is to grasp each other's arms across, above elbow, to represent a double triangle.

THE PASS-WORDS vary in encampments to the following extent: I am, that  I am, Jao-bul-on, Jerusalem, Calvary, Golgotha, Arimathea, Emanuel, Ehihu, or Elihu.

In the Maltese Order, Eli, Eli, Lama Sabaethani, are the grand words: and Gethsemane, Capharsoleum, or Caiphas and Melita, are with some the pass-words.

The Mediterranean Pass

There is a pass-word and grip called the Mediterranean Pass. These knights were in the habit of traversing the Mediterranean Sea. Such as had served a year against the Mahometans were entitled to the pass-word and grip, which enabled them to return free from molestation by their brother knights. The 
word is A-montra, a corruption of the French verb Montrer to shew, to shew a sign. The knights on one side hail, by a trumpet, those of the other with A-montra. It is answered the token, which is to seize a man by the thigh, as if in the to throw him. The real pass-word is Maher-Shalal-hash-baz also spoken through a trumpet.

The banners of the encampment are two the first, black with a white Maltese cross of eight points, which is called number of the Knights Hospitallers of St. John; the second, white, with a red cross, which is that of the Templar. The Grand Commander has his own family banner.

A candidate for installation is habited as a pilgrim, with sandals, mantle, staff, and cross, scrip and wallet, a belt or cord round his waist, with bread and water, and, in some encampments, a burthen on the back, which is made to fall off at a view of the cross. The whole ceremony is purely Christian, according to the vulgar notions and the literal sense of Chnstianity

In the following ceremony the officers are a Grand Commander, First and Second Captain, Past Grand Commander, Grand Prelate Grand Herald, Master of the Ceremonies, Grand.Registrar, and Grand Orator, Equerries of Outposts, and Janitor.

Ceremony or Form of Opening an Encampment

G. C. Does it meet with your approbation, sir knights, to open this grand Christian encampment?

Answer (All)  It does..

G. C. Sir knights, assist me to resume the duties of this grand Christian encampment To order, as Knights Templar (All draw their swords, and rest the points on the left hand.) Sir Knight First Captain, what is the first duty of Knights Templar met together in arms?

F. C. To see the grand Christian encampment well guarded both within and without, and the sentinels well posted.

G. C. Sir Knight First Captain, are the guards and sentinels well posted on their respective duties, and this grand Christian encampment secure?

F. C. I will issue your commands to that effect. (First to the Second Captain)-See that the guards and sentinels be well posted on their respective duties, and that this grand Christian encampment be secure.

S. C. Trumpeter, sound the alarm. (This being done and answered by the sentinels, the Second Captain reports to the First) -The guards and sentinels are properly posted on their respective duties, and all is well.

F. C. Grand Commander, the guards and sentinels are properly posted on their respective duties, and all is secure.

G. C. What is it?

F. C. Faith in Jesus Christ, peace and good-will towards men.

G. C. Where is the Second Captain's place in this grand Christian encampment?

F. C. In the north-west.

G. C. (To the Second Captain.) Your Christian duty when there placed?

S. C. As Christ arose at high meridian and ascended into heaven to bring glad tidings to the believing world; so it is my duty to preside in the north-west, to call the sir knights from the field to refreshment, that the Grand Command may have the pleasure, and the sir knights the profit consequent..

G. C. You have a second duty.

S. C. To receive, obey, and disperse all general orders from the Grand Commander and the First Captain, and to see the duly executed. Also, to guard the entrance of the grand Christian encampment, that none pass therein, but those who are duly qualified.

G. C. Where is the situation of the First Captain in grand Christian encampment?

S.C. In the south-west.

G. C. (To the First Captain.) Your Christian duty when there placed?

F. C. Joseph of Arimathea, being a just and devout man went to Pilate to beg the body of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, which being granted he wrapped it up in clean linen and laid it in a new sepulchre where in never man was laid, and closed the entrance thereof, which closed the first day of man's salvation. And the First Captain guards this sepulchre.

G. C. You have a second duty.

F. C. To receive and dispatch all general orders from the Grand Commander to the Second Captain, and to see the same punctually obeyed.

G. C. (To the Past Grand Commander.) The Grand Commander's place in this grand Christian encampment?

P. G. C. In the east.

G. C. His Christian duty when there presiding?

P. G. C. Very early on the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to the sepulchre. And lo! there had been a great earthquake, and an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, rolled back the stone which covered the entrance to the sepulchre, and sat thereon. Which opened to us life from death: for as by the first man Adam, came death : so by the second Adam, came life everlasting. So it is the Grand Commander's place to preside in the east to superintend, govern, and regulate the grand Christian encampment, by projecting schemes and plans for its general welfare, and to see that all orders and distinctions are preserved and duly executed with every becoming warlike enterprise. To order the sound of the alarm to call the sir knights from refreshment to the field-to fight the battles of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, and, after the grand prelate has offered up his prayer, to open the grand Christian encampment.

The Grand Prelate prays thus :-O thou great Emmanuel and God of infinite goodness, look down upon this conclave with an eye of tender compassion, and incline our hearts to thy holy will, in all our actions, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (He, then reads the first six verses of the last chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark)

"And when the Sabbath was past Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had brought sweet that they might come and anoint him. And very early in the morning of the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun. And they said among themselves who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre? And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. And he saith unto them, be not affrighted : Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified : he is risen; he is not here behold the place where they laid him."

G. C. (The knights in the posture of the grand sign.) As our blessed Saviour's resurrection from the dead opened life and salvation unto men; and as all those who sincerely believe on him may rest assured of eternal life through his name; the life of grace with all its comforts here-the life of glory with all its unutterable blessedness hereafter, both being effectually obtained  by the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ who hath opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers. So, in his names of Christ our prophet, Christ our priest, Christ our king, I now open this grand Christian encampment, for the dispatch of such business as may come regularly and duly before us.

P. G. C. So mote it be.

(The swords of the G. C.  and the two captains are then placed in the form of a triangle, on the floor, opposite to the G. C. All the other Knights sheath their swords.)

N. B. In some encampments, the G. C. merely pronounces that it is his will and pleasure, that this grand Christian encampment be open for the dispatch of business. This is repeated by the two captains and the Master of the Ceremonies. After which, the G. C. pronounces it open in the name of Christ our prophet, Christ our priest, and Christ our King.

Ceremony or Form of Closing an Encampment

G. C. Sir knights, assist me in the duties of closing this grand Christian encampment. To order, as Knights Templar. (All draw their swords and rest their points on their left hands.) Sir Knight First Captain, what is the constant duty of Knights Templar when under arms?

F. C. To see the grand Christian encampment well guarded, both within and without, and the sentinels well posted.

G. C. Sir Knight First Captain, are the guards and sentinels well posted on their respective duties, and this grand Christian encampment secure?

F. C. I will issue your commands to that effect. (First to the Second Captain.) See that the guards and sentinels be well posted on their respective duties, and that this grand Christian encampment be secure.

S. C. Trumpeter, sound the alarm. (This being done and answered by the sentinels, the Second Captain reports to the First.)-The guards and sentinels are properly posted on their respective duties; and all is well.

F. C. Grand Commander, the guards and sentinels are properly posted on their respective duties; and all is secure.

G. C. With what is it secured?

F. C. Faith in Jesus Christ, peace and good will to all

G. P. (Praying.) May the blessing of our Heavenly Captain descend upon us, and remain with us now and ever more, Amen. (Reads the last six verses of the fifteenth chapter of the Gospel according to St. Mark.)

"And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the Sabbath, Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable councillor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marveled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. And he brought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him, in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus beheld where he was laid."

P. G. C. So mote it be. (The Knights in their grand sign Posture)

G. C. When our Saviour's agony was at the summit, and he knew that all things were accomplished, having received the vinegar, he said  it is finished. He then bowed his head, gave up the ghost, surrendered that life, which otherwise could not have been taken from him, as a ransom for many, and freely resigned his soul into his father's hands. The work of redemption completed - the full atonement made-all the types and prophecies fulfilled - the laws magnified by a perfect obedience unto death-the justice of God satisfied, and salvation to sinners secured. Thus was our great surety laid under the arrest of death, and consigned to the silent mansions of the grave, that make the clods of the valley sweet to us; prepare our bed of dust, perfumed with his own glorious body, and comfort us in the reviving hope of following him through the grave; the gate of death, into a joyful immortality. After our blessed Saviour's example, may we, by faith, when time shall be no more, cheerfully commend our departing souls to our heavenly Father's keeping, until the happy resurrection morn, when fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, our sleeping ashes shall be reanimated. that we may then be taken to dwell with him in his eternal kingdom, where all terrestrial things will close. So, in names of Christ our prophet, Christ our priest, and Christ our king, I now close this grand Christian encampment. until that time you are next summoned to attend by my orders from the Grand Registrar.

P. G. C. So mote it be.

Ceremony of the Installation 

Preparation of the Candidate

.Habited as a Pilgrim, with sandals, mantle, a belt or cord round the waist, a staff with a cross, scrip and wallet, with bread and a bottle of water, having been elected by ballot, or otherwise, according to the custom of the encampment, the candidate is conducted by the Master of the Ceremonies to the entrance of the encampment. On the approach, an alarm is sounded with a trumpet, and a report is made within by the Second Captain.

2nd C. Grand Commander, an alarm at the outpost.

G. C. Ascertain the cause, and accordingly report.

2nd C. (To the equerry without.) See who approaches our encampment.

E. Who comes here?

C. A pilgrim, on his travels, hearing of a Knights Templar's Encampment, has come with a hope of being admitted.

E. From whence came you?

C. From the wilderness of Judea, which I have traversed, exposed to great danger, until I met with this worthy knight, who promised me protection and safe conduct to the Holy City.

E. Do you come of your own free will?

C. I do.

E. What are you desirous to do?

C. To devote my life to the services of the poor and the sick for the sake of Jesus Christ, and to pray for my own sins with those of the people.

E. What recommendation have you?

C. The Sign and Word of a Royal Arch Mason.

E. Have you worked at the second temple?

C. I have.

E. Have you received Christian Baptism?

C. I have.

E. Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost?

C. I do.

E. Do you believe that God the Son was made man to save us?

C. I do.

E. Do you believe in the inspiration of the Holy Ghost?

C. I do.

E. Are you willing to protect the Christian Faith, at the expense of your life?

C. I am.

E. Wait while I make a report to the grand Christian encampment. (Reports to the Second Captain.) A weary pilgrim from the wilderness who claims attention, and craves admission to join the encampment.

2nd C. Is he worthy of admission?

E. I have put to him the usual probationary questions, and have received satisfactory answers and proofs.

2nd C. Grand Commander, a poor weary pilgrim from the wilderness craves admission.

G. C. Is he worthy to be admitted?

2nd C. He has given satisfactory answers.

G. C. Let him be admitted under the proper form. (The candidate is admitted : a saw is applied to his forehead at his entrance by the 2nd Captain. All the sir knights appear under arms.)

2nd C. (To the candidate on his entrance.. with the saw to his forehead.) Who are you that dare approach thus into our encampment? 

C. A poor weary pilgrim from the wilderness of Judea.

2nd C. Have you come of your own free will?

C. I have.

2nd C What are You desirous to do?

C. To devote my life to the service of the poor and sick for the sake of Jesus Christ, and to pray for my own sins with those of the people.

2nd C. What recommendation have you?

C. The Sign and Word of a Royal Arch Mason.

2nd C. Give me that sign and word. (He gives them). Have you worked at the second temple?

C. I have.

2nd C. Have you received Christian Baptism? 

C. I have.

2nd C. Do you believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost?

C. 1 do.

2nd C. Do you believe that God the Son became man to save us?

C. I do.

2nd C. Are you willing to protect the Christian Faith at the expense of your life?

C. I am.

(This examination is repeated by he F. L. and G. C.) The candidate is ordered to kneel on both knees for the benefit of a prayer, and the Grand Prelate prays thus :-O Emmanuel, our great heavenly captain, look down, we beseech thee, on this encampment of thy devoted servants, and impart thy holy  Spirit to the candidate now before us, that he may become a good and faithful soldier in thy service, and be worthy of thy acceptance and salvation.

P. G. M. So mote it be.

G. C. As we must have a further trial of your faith, you must perambulate the encampment seven times, in order to prepare yourself, by meditation, to take a solemn obligation.
(This is done.)

G. C. You must now kneel on 'both knees, take the gospels in your hand, and receive the obligation from our Grand Prelate.

G. P. Pilgrim, you are kneeling at the altar for the purpose of taking a solemn obligation, appertaining to the degree of a Knight Templar. If you are willing to proceed, repeat your Christian and surname, and say after me:-

Obligation

I, A. B., in the name of the Blessed Trinity, and in commemoration of St. John of Jerusalem, that first faithful soldier and martyr of Jesus Christ, do most solemnly promise and swear that I will never illegally reveal the secrets of a Knight Templar to a Royal Arch Mason, nor to any person beneath the dignity of this noble order. nor aid in the installation of a Knight Templar, unless five are present, under the penalty of all my former obligations.

(The pilgrim's staff and cross are taken away, and. a sword placed in his hand by the Grand Commander, who says)-In the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I arm you with this sword, which you will employ in the defense of the Gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, against all opposers.

I do furthermore swear, that with this, the sword of my faith, I will guard and defend the sepulchre of our Lord Jesus Christ, against all Jews, Turks, infidels, heathens, or other opposers Gospel.

I do furthermore swear, that I will never knowingly draw the blood of a brother Knight Templar, nor cause it to be drawn in wrath; but will espouse his cause, knowing it to be just, thoughi I should endanger my own life. Even when princes are engaged in war, I will not forget the duty which I owe to him as a brother. If ever I wilfully violate this my solemn compact, as a brother Knight Templar, may my skull be sawn asunder with a rough saw, my, brains taken out and put in a charger to be consumed by the scorching sun, and my skull in another charger, in commemoration of St. John of Jerusalem, that first faithful soldier and martyr of our Lord and Saviour. If ever I wilfully deviate from this my solemn obligation, may my light be put out from among men, as that of Judas Iscariot was for betraying his Lord and Master.

(Here the sword is taken from the candidate, and a skull placed in his hand.)

Furthermore, may the soul that once inhabited this skull, as the representative of John the Baptist, appear against me in the day of judgment, so help me God, our Lord Jesus Christ, and keep me steadfast in this my solemn obligation of a Knight Templar, and of St. John of Jerusalem.

(The Grand Prelate then directs the candidate to kiss the Gospels seven times, to rise, to deposit the skull on the triangular table, resume the staff, and thus addresses him:-)

Pilgrim, thou hast craved admission to pass through our solemn ceremonies, and enter the asylum of our encampment by the sandals, staff, and scrip I judge thee to be a child of humility: charity and hospitality are the grand characteristics of this most Christian order. In the character of Knights Templar, we are bound to give alms to the poor and weary pilgrims travelling from afar, to succour the needy, feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and bind up the wounds of the afflicted.

As you are desirous of enlisting in this noble and glorious warfare, lay aside the staff and take up the sword, fighting manfully thy way, and with valour running thy course: and may the Almighty, who is a strong tower and defence to all those who put their trust in him, be thy support and thy salvation.

I now place in your hand a lighted taper, and admonish you to perambulate the encampment five times in solemn meditation; and if you have any prejudice or enmity with any Christian man, as a qualification for further honours, it is necessary you should forgive, otherwise fly to the desert; and rather than appear unworthily among us, shun the knights of this order.

(At the end of this perambulation, the candidate stops before a cross, when his wallet or burthen is made to fall from his back. He is then divested of the pilgrim's dress conducted to the Grand Commander, and required to kneel. The Grand Commander lays his sword on the candidate's right and left shoulder and on the head, and says - I hereby install you a Masonic Knight Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta, and also a Knight Templar. The Grand Commander then takes the candidate by the hand, and says - Rise, Sir Knight A. B; receive a hearty welcome into the Christian Order, which will be ever ready to defend and protect you.)

G. C. I now invest you with the paraphernalia of the order. 

First, I clothe you with a mantle. Receive it as the Lord's yoke; for it is easy and light, and will bring rest to your soul. As a habit, it is of little worth, and we promise you nothing but bread and water.

Secondly, I invest you with apron, sash, and jewel. The emblems within the triangle, the star on the sash and the Maltese cross jewel, you will have explained in the lecture.

Lastly, I present you with a shield and sword, which, in the hand of a Christian Knight, is endowed with three most excellent qualities. Its hilt with justice; its blade with fortitude; its point with mercy; which gives this important lesson, that having faith in the justice of our cause, we must press forward with undaunted fortitude, ever remembering to extend the point of mercy to a fallen foe.

I shall now make you acquainted with the signs, words, and tokens, and our Grand Herald will then proclaim your installation.

The motto of a Knight Templar is, In hoc signo vinces.

Our worthy companion, the Grand Herald, will now proclaim. your installation.

G. H. In the name of the Holy Trinity, and by order of the Grand Commander: hear ye, Sir Knights, that I proclaim Sir Knight A. B. to be, duly installed Knight Hospitaller of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta, and a Knight Templar. (To be thrice proclaimed.)

In some encampments, the following is a concluding part of the ceremony:.

One of the equerries, dressed as a cook, with a white night cap and apron and a large kitchen knife in his hand, suddenly makes his entrance, and kneeling on one knee before the new Sir Knight, says: Sir Knight, I admonish you to be just, honourable, and faithful to the Order, and not to disgrace yourself, or I, the cook, will hack your spurs from off your heels with my kitchen knife. He then retires.

At the conclusion of the ceremony of installation, it is usual for bread or biscuit to be handed round to the Sir Knight. A cup of wine is presented to the Grand Commander, called the cup of brotherly love. He drinks, and desires the Sir Knight to pledge him in that cup of brotherly love, in commemoration of the last supper of our grand heavenly Captain, with his twelve Disciples, whom He commanded thus to remember Him. (The cup is passed round.)

The Grand Orator usually delivers the following charge

Charge.

G. O. Sir Knight Companion, as you have passed the first degrees of Masonry, and have been balloted for, admitted and dubbed a Knight Companion of our most Christian and sublime Order, you are to mark and learn all those parts of our rules and mysteries which you will find to be ingeniously calculated to form and qualify you to engage in services of great moment. We have been informed that you earnestly desired and sought to be admitted, initiated, and united to our Christian order; and that from free and disinterested motives, abstracted from pecuniary or secular views; so we kindly entreat you to receive the instructions which we do now or may hereafter inculcate and enjoin. However strange and difficult our ceremonies may at first appear, we trust that you will persevere with unremitting zeal, and expect that you will be modestly inquisitive and uniformly attentive, in order to acquire such pleasing instructions as will be most expedient to forward the great purposes of rational and social converse.

From what has been suggested, it appears that the order of Knights Templar is universally acknowledged to be the most sublime and refined, the most Catholic and efficiently useful department of Freemasonry. Its votaries are formed into a select body, self-existing and self-dependant only, being under no subordination whatever, the great and immutable scheme of Christian morality excepted.

As we are orderly assembled for the most valuable of all purposes, so we are likewise enlightened in a peculiar manner and strongly connected in the bonds of brotherly love, governed by certain and allowed rules, supported by decency, guarded by secrecy, skilled in mystery, both delightful and instructive, possessing the affection of each other, and seriously devoting ourselves thereto at stated times and seasons, apart from all temporal concerns; conversing together without dissimulation or reserve, and abounding in mirth, affability and good humour. We conceive you to be well informed in the three great qualifications which are essential to form the character of a grand Mason-morality, secrecy, and brotherly love, and shall not therefore rehearse them here.

We expect that you will join with us in all things, in labour and refreshment, in silence and mirth, always rejoicing with us in prosperity, and sympathizing with us in adversity, and to be, like the rest of your brethren, obedient to the Grand Commander, or his Deputy, respectfully attentive to all the presiding, officers, decent and diligent while in the encampment, and always ready either to give or receive instruction. You are on no account to disobey the summons of your Encampment; but, if your time will possibly allow, be punctual to the hour appointed. To all these promises, we expect that you will cheerfully comply, and we sincerely wish you much success in the issue of your labours.

As an earnest of your desire to fulfil the respective duties which you have just heard proposed you will be pleased to attend to the Grand Commander, who will question you on the great subject of Christian charity, that great scheme of brotherly love, which has been framed by the all-wise Providence, to procure for mankind, and more especially for Masons, the highest happiness. In the course of your answer, you shall have requisite assistance.

G. C. Wherein doth Christian charity, or the love of which you have just now heard, consist?

Sir Knight. In doing, all the good offices for, and shewing unfeigned kindness towards a brother. If he be virtuous, it will make us esteem him. If he be honest, but weak in judgment, it will raise our compassion to commiserate and aid him. If he be wicked, it will line us to give him pious admonition and timely exhortation, in order to reclaim him : and if he reform, it will augment our happiness. But if through perverseness and self-will, he continues in an idle course and evil habit, it will excite our pity to pray for him, and if possible to administer to his necessities. It will at all times throw a veil over the reproach he may deservedly incur; but if his character shall at any time suffer violence without a just cause, I will then exert my best abilities to wipe off every unjust apersion by openly vindicating his character in a fair and honourable way. if from birth, honour, state, or wealth, lie is my superior, it will teach me to be attentive, tractable, obliging, and modestly submissive. If he be my inferior, it will make me affable, courteous and kind. If he be my equal, it will teach me to preserve equity and candour towards him, in a social way. Lastly, if I receive good from him, it will make me thankful and desirous to requite it. lf I receive evil at his hands, it will make me slow to anger, easy to be entreated, and of long forbearance, when impelled to exact restitution. In this last act of infliction, mercy shall always triumph over judgment, to my brother's edification and enlargement.

G. C. I thank you, Sir Knight Companion, for the ready earnest which you have so cheerfully given of your intention to serve your brethren, with respect to your abilities and their several necessities and conditions in life. The Grand Registrar will now read the rules of our Grand Christian Encampment, in order that the Knights Companions may be more fully informed of their whole duty, and become better prepared to acquit themselves agreeably to the houourable and friendly confession, which our worthy companion and the rest of the Knights have already made..

G. R. Sir Knight Companion, the Grand Commander has signified his pleasure to me, that the rules be now read, which have been subscribed by all the Sir Knights Companions of this Grand Christian Encampment. Hear ye, hear ye, each and all, Sir Knights Companions present, the whole of the rules of your Grand Christian Encampment, as they have been written for your own good peace, order, and pleasure, and afterwards distinctly heard, assented to, and freely subscribed, not by another, but by and for yourselves.

All answer, We will hear.

G. R. And, whereas, the Sir Knights Companions of this most Christian Order and Encampment of High Knights Templar have drawn up, approved, and agreed to the following rules, the better to prevent feuds, controversies, animosities, or debate, with a single eye to the glory of God, the honour of his Majesty, the welfare and prosperity of the kingdom, and the well-being and happiness of each other, all of which they profess most religiously to observe they are now to be declared and known.

Laws and Regulations 

To be observed by the Knights Companions of the Conclave.

I. That the Encampment submit to the Grand Encampment of England, under the command of his Royal Highness the Duke of Sussex, our most Eminent Grand Master, and his successors.

II. That the Eminent Grand Master of this Encampment be elected annually, on the Encampment next following the -- . And that he may be re-elected by the Grand Council, as often as they shall think proper so to do.

III. That on the evening of the election, none attend but the Grand Council.

IV. That as soon as the Grand Master,, has entered upon his office, he be empowered to choose his Council, which do consist of - Sir Knights, of' good character and education, who shall wear Gold Crosses; the other Companions crosses of Silver only.

V. That the Eminent Grand Master do elect his officers of various rank out of those Councillors who shall have attentively served in that exalted capacity at least one year.

VI. That no candidate be received into this Royal Encampment, unless it he satisfactorily proved that he has behaved like a faithful brother, and has been a Royal Arch Mason at least -; unless, for particular reasons, a dispensation should be granted by the G. M. or his Deputy.

VII. That on all occasions a regular ballot be instituted, and that -- exclude a candidate ; and be it observed, that a second ballot may take place, on the suspicion that a mistake has been made by a companion; provided that such second a ballot take place on the same evening, the result of which be
final and decisive.

VIII. That the admission-fee be not less than -- registering in Grand Conclave -- and other customary fees; and that this rule be subject to such alterations as the Grand Council may at any period find expedient to make.

IX. That such R. A. Masons who may belong to any, other Encampment shall not be allowed to visit, unless subject to visiting fees ; and should they wish to become members they become subject to a ballot, and charges. of reception.

X. That the property of the Encampment be managed by the Grand Council, but that the whole Encampment be consulted whenever any weighty matter should come before the Council, which might cause an extraordinary expenditure of the funds.

XI. That the Chancellor of the Encampment be allowed a Vice-Chancellor to assist him in the accounts of the Conclave; and that a regular statement of such accounts be laid before the Conclave, on the Encampment following the -- in every year.

XII. That each companion provide himself with a Shield, Cloak, and Sword, and wear in Conclave all the insignia of his rank.

XIII. That due respect be paid to the laws of the Supreme Grand Conclave of England, and to the regulations of this Encampment; and that disobedience be punished in the following, manner;- First offence, by reprimand in Conclave. Second offence, by suspension, for a certain period, from appearing in arms.  The third offence, expulsion-according  to the usage of chivalry. This last punishment to be likewise resorted to on any occasion of bad conduct against the laws of the country which protect us, or for any other weighty crime. 

XIV. That particular attention be paid to that most excellent Masonic virtue, which is silence; and should any Companion of the Encampment be found guilty of disclosing the otherwise innocent transaction of the Conclave, even to a Knight Companion not a member, he be amenable for such conduct to the Grand Council, and be judged accordingly.

XV. That each Companion inscribe his name in the list of Sir Knights, suspended in the chapter-house of the Order.

XVI. That the quarterly fees be regularly discharged; and that any Companion who shall omit faying four succeeding fees, in quarterly payments, shall no longer be considered a member ; and that it be considered as a point of honour not to quit the Encampment until all the fees be fully and regularly discharged.

XVII. That visiting fees be charged

XVIII. That the Sir Knights celebrate one day in each year in festivity, by dining together.

XIX. That a committee be appointed by the Grand Council, consisting of six Sir Knights and the Chancellor, or his Vice-chancellor, to regulate the affairs of the Order, and that five out of seven be competent to act.

XX. That each Knight Companion supply himself with a copy of the rules, and do make a good use of the same.

Lecture.

Q. Where were you prepared to be made a Knight Templar?

A. Adjoining a Grand Christian Encampment.

Q. How were you habited?

A. As a pilgrim, with sandals on my feet, a mantle on my shoulders, a staff with a cross in my hand, a belt round my waist, a scrip and wallet, with bread and a bottle of water.

Q. How were you introduced?

A. In that condition I was led towards the entrance of the Grand Christian Encampment, by the Master of the Ceremonies, and a trumpet was sounded.

Q. What followed?

A. I was challenged by an Equerry.

Q. What was this challenge?

A. Who came there.

Q. Your answer?

A. A pilgrim, on his travels to the holy city, hearing of  a Knights Templar Encampment, has come with a hope of being admitted.

Q. What other questions were put to you ?

A. I was asked from whence, and if I came of my own free will, and what I was desirous of doing.

Q. Your answer to these questions?

A. That I came of my own free will from the wilderness of Judea, which I had traversed, exposed to great danger until I was met by the worthy Knight who accompanied me, and who promised me protection and safe conduct to the holy city; and that I was desirous to devote my life to the service of the poor and the sick, for the sake of Jesus Christ, and to pray for my own sins with those of the people.

Q.  Were you further examined?

A. I was asked what recommendation I brought with me.

Q. Your answer?

A. The sign and the word of a Royal Arch Mason.

Q. Were they called for?

A. They were.

Q. How were you further tried?

A. In being asked if I had worked at the Second Temple., if I had received Christian Baptism ; if I believed in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost; if I believed that God the Son was made man to save us; if I believed in the inspiring power of the Holy Ghost; and if I was willing to protect the Christian faith at the expense of my life. To all which I answered in the affirmative.

Q. What occurred next?

A. I was ordered to wait until a report had been made to the Grand Commander and the Sir Knights of the Encampment.

Q. How were you admitted?

A. A saw was placed to my forehead by the Second Captain, after examining me over again on the same subjects presented by the Equerry. I thus entered the Encampment, and found the Sir Knights under arms. I was subjected to the same examination by the First Captain and by the Grand Commander; after which, I was ordered to kneel on both knees, and receive the benefit of a prayer from the Grand Prelate.

Q. What was further said to you?

A. The Grand Commander said, we must have a further trial of your faith. You must perambulate the Encampment for meditation and further preparation.

Q. What was done with you then ?

A. I was conducted to the west, desired to kneel on both knees, with my face to the east, my hand on the gospels; in which position I received the first part of my obligation.

Q. Be pleased to repeat it.

A. I, A. B., in the presence of the Holy Trinity, and in memory of St. John of Jerusalem, that first faithful soldier and Martyr in Christ Jesus, do most solemnly promise and swear, that I will never illegally reveal the secrets of a Knight Templar to a Royal Arch Mason, nor to any person beneath the dignity of this noble order; nor aid in the installation of a Knight Templar unless five are present, myself included, under the penalty of all my former obligations.

Q. After you had received the first part of your obligation. what was then done with you ?

A. My staff was taken from me, and I was presented with a sword as a substitute, with my hand still on the Holy Gospels, and in this prostrate form I was taught to repeat the second part of my obligation.

Q. Be pleased to deliver it.

A  I furthermore swear, that, with this the sword of. my faith, I will guard and defend the tomb and sepulchre of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, against all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heathens, and other opposers of the gospel.

Q. After you had taken the second part of your obligation, what did the Grand Commander do with you ? Did he not address you on the presentation of the sword? 

A.  He said, in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, I arm you with this sword, as a distinguishing mark of our approbation; and I am persuaded that you will only employ in defence of the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, against all those who may oppose the same.

Q. Be please to conclude the obligation.

A. I do furthermore swear that I  will never knowingly draw the blood of a Brother Knight Templar, nor cause it to be drawn in wrath; but will espouse his cause, knowing it to be just, though I should endanger my own life. Even when princes are engaged in war, I will not forget the duty which I owe him as a, brother. If ever I wilfully violate this my solemn compact, as a Brother Knight Templar, may my skull he sawn asunder with a rough saw, my brains taken out and put in a charger to be consumed by the, scorching sun, and my skull in another charger, in memory of St. John, of Jerusalem, that faithful soldier of our Lord and Saviour. If ever I  wilfully deviate from this my solemn obligation, may my light be put out from among men, as that of Judas Iscariot was for betraying his Lord and Master; furthermore, may the soul that once inhabited this skull, as the representative of St, John the Baptist, appear against me in the day of judgment: so help me God, and keep me stedfast in this my solemn obligation of a Knight Templar.

Q. Was anything added?

A. I  was ordered to kiss the gospels seven times, and received the charge of the Grand Prelate, Who exhorted me to fight manfully and run my course with valour, trusting in our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.

Q. What were you then desired to do?

A. I was then ordered to take a lighted taper in my hand and to perambulate the encampment five times, in solemn meditation, with the admonition, that if I had either prejudice or enmity towards any man, I was to dismiss it as a necessary qualificatioii for further honours; and that, if I would not forgive my enemies, I had better fly to the desert, to shun the sight of the Knights of this order, than to appear so unworthily among them. This I promised to do.

Q. How were you then disposed of?

A. The veil was taken from the cross, at the sight of which my burthen fell from my back.

Q. And then?

A. I was divested of my pilgrim's dress, desired to kneel, and to receive the order of Knighthood.

Q. How was that done?

A. The Grand Commander laid his sword on both my shoulders and my head, and bade me rise a Masonic Knight Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes, and Malta, and also a Knight Templar: giving me a hearty welcome into the Christian Order, that would be ever ready to defend and protect me.

Q. What followed?

A. I was intrusted with the signs, words and tokens. clothed with the mantle of the Order, at which I was told to receive the Lord's yoke, for it was easy and light, and would bring rest to my soul, and that I was promised nothing but bread and water, with that habit of little worth.

Q. What next?

A. I was invested with the apron, sash and jewel.

Q. What was then explained to you?

A. The Encampment and its furniture. First, the three Equilateral Triangles representing the Trinity in unity in the centre of which was placed the omnipotent and all seeing eye. Second, the figure of St. John of Jerusalem holding out the Cup of Salvation to all true believers. Third, the Cock which was a memento to Peter. Fourth, the Lamb. Fifth, the Cross on Mount Calvary. Sixth, the Five Lights on the New Testament, as emblematical of the birth, death, resurrection, and ascension of our blessed Redeemer. Seventh, the Sword and Sceptre. Eighth, the Star which appeared at the birth of Jesus. Ninth the Ladder with the Five steps. Tenth, the Saw. Eleventh, the Sepulchre and Gospels. And Twelfth, the Cup.

Q. What was then explained?

A. The seven agonies of our Saviour. First, that which he experienced in the Garden of Gethsamene. Second, being seized as a thief or assassin. Third, his being scourged by the order of Pontius Pilate. Fourth, the placing on his head a crown of thorns. Fifth, the mockery and derision of the Jews by putting on him a scarlet robe, and a reed in his hand as a sceptre. Sixth, nailing him to a cross; and Seventh,, the piercing of his side.

Q. What was finally done?

A. My installation was thrice proclaimed by the Grand Herald, and I partook of bread and wine, in commemoration of the Lord's Supper, with the whole of the Sir Knights in the Encampment drinking from the cup of brotherly love.



Home Lectures of the Craft Lectures of the Holy Royal Arch Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite The Royal Order of Scotland York Rite Side Degrees English Knights Templar Order of Women Freemasons Walter Leslie Wilmshurst

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