Knights of the Maccabees of the World
Ritual of the First, or Degree of Protection
A new member must receive all three of the degrees before he can become a
Knight of the Maccabees and entitled to take part in the regular Tent work of
When one has received the first degree his insurance protection is in force
while he continues in good standing. It is intended that in ordinary practice
not more than one degree will be conferred upon a candidate on the same evening.
While this ritual contains a ceremony for "Communication" of the
Second and Third Degrees, it is hoped that this practice will only be resorted
to when absolutely necessary, and that every Tent will, as far as possible,
prepare itself to confer the dramatic or amplified work of the second and third
degrees, which is so beautiful and instructive.
It is courteously and earnestly recommended that all members of the Order
thoroughly familiarize themselves with the laws, rules and usages of the Order,
the By-Laws of their Tent, and Cushing’s Parliamentary Rules, not for the
purpose of acquiring brilliancy in debate, but for the purpose of quickly and
properly disposing of all the business coming before their Tent, and also for
the purpose of controlling a contentious class of members when they exist, since
the latter not only delay the work but actually threaten the prosperity of the
Promptitude should be a distinguishing quality of every Maccabee. Exactly
upon the hour for any review he should be present, ready and willing for
business and work.
Great pains have been taken to make the work plain, so that any person can
understand it; also, to interpose all the necessary directions as to floor-work,
delivery, and drama, so that the most unpretentious Tent may confer the work in
an effective and impressive manner. Explanation and directions (when they occur)
are printed in smaller type and enclosed in brackets, and should be carefully
studied and closely followed. It is recommended also that the amplified degrees
be used in all cases when at all practicable.
Officers of degree teams must memorize their respective parts, and they
should drill to perfection in the dramatic and private work before attempting
to, confer the degree on any candidate.
The use of uniforms, badges, emblems, and regalia is governed by the laws of
the Order. The use of costumes and paraphernalia in degree work, as well as the
proper arrangement of the floor, is fully described at the beginning of each
The utmost decorum and dignity should always prevail; and no boisterous,
profane, or other ungentlemanly conduct should be permitted in the hall, whether
the Tent is at work or not. This is imperative.
The head of the Tent is always where the presiding officer sits; the foot of
the Tent, the Sir Knight Sergeant’s station; the right of the Tent, the
station of the Sir Knight Past Commander; and the left of the Tent, that of the
Sir Knight Chaplain.
Nothing of a political, sectarian, or private character should be brought
before the Tent, except grievances; and those only in form and manner provided
in the laws of the Order.
All who have parts to commit to memory must do so perfectly, and then deliver
them with spirit and distinct pronunciation and not mumble, stammer, or recite
them after the manner of the school-boy speaker. Nothing is more impressive in
work of this kind than the energetic action, ready response, bright eye, and
impressive behavior of a man thoroughly in earnest.
Members desiring to cross the hall or go anywhere in the Tent during review
must be guided in their course as laid down in the Diagram. Square corners must
be observed at all times; and the walks are so arranged that a member, by
following them, can reach any part of the hall.
All Sir Knights moving about the hall should keep and turn to the right when
possible, unless there are instructions to the contrary.
The Master at Arms must have the Tent properly arranged for work before the
Commander proceeds to open the review. He should place in the inner ante-room
badges sufficient for all members. He should arrange the Altar, by placing
thereon the cover (if one is used), and also the book of the Maccabees and copy
of the Laws of the Knights of the Maccabees of the World, which should be
unopened and have the circle on top. He should also distribute the odes to the
members, and deliver the officers’ badges at their respective stations.
All members should be clothed with regulation badge, before entering the Tent
when at work, and must wear one of them during all reviews.
No Tent or body of members thereof shall be privileged to present in public
or in the presence of any person not a member of the Order, anything prescribed
herein to be done by a Tent of the Order, under penalty of losing its charter.
No candidate for the degrees must be subjected to any rude, ungentlemanly,
humiliating or boisterous treatment, and in conferring the degrees, nothing must
be done that might inflict any injury upon the candidate.
No Maccabean business can be legally performed except it comes under the
regular Order of Business as prescribed in the Third Degree. Therefore, every
review must be opened in the Third Degree and all degree work take place as an
order of business of that degree. In closing, however, it is not necessary to
pass from the degree in which the Tent may be working to the Third; the regular
closing may take place at the end of any degree.
When initiating candidates in the first or second degrees, unless the other
degrees are to be "communicated" on the same evening, it is advisable
to finish the regular "Order of Business" before taking up Degree
Work, so that the tent may be closed when the degree work is over without re
opening in the third degree—thus allowing newly admitted members to stay until
the Tent is closed in regular order.
All officers, when addressed by the Commander (or presiding officer), must
immediately arise and give the Token of Sincerity; this ceremony must be
observed by all Sir Knights when they wish to obtain the floor for any purpose.
The Commander should set the example and encourage all Sir Knights to wear their
"Sunday Clothes" at all reviews.
The Tent having been properly arranged by the Master at Arms, the Commander
opens the Tent in regular form.
COMMANDER, giving any number of raps with the gavel to secure order:
Sir Knights, let us come to order. The officers will take their respective
stations. This done
Sir Knight Record Keeper, call the roll of officers. Sir Knight Sentinel call in
After the roll call, the Commander will immediately fill all vacancies and
the Record Keeper will make the record read accordingly.
SERGEANT: Sir Knights Sentinel and Picket, advance and communicate
to me the Pass and Tokens. The two officers will
advance and communicate the Pass and the Tokens of the three degrees in a
whisper and return to the inner door without Orders.
COMMANDER: Attention Sir Knights! Three
raps. All present must arise and give the Token of Sincerity. Sir
Knight Record Keeper, are you satisfied that all present are qualified to
The Record Keeper may satisfy himself by inspection. If all present are
entitled to remain, he will report to the Commander:
RECORD KEEPER: All present are qualified to remain, Sir Knight
If he is not so satisfied, he will report as follows: I am in
doubt, Sir Knight Commander.
The Commander will then proceed as follows: COMMANDER: Sir
Knights, Right Face! For— ward—MARCH!
All present will march once around the room in single file. The Record Keeper
will pass each one positively known to be qualified to remain and cause those,
concerning whom he may be in doubt, to step out of the file and remain in front
of his station. The circuit having been completed, the Sir Knights will be
seated, provided there are many challenged, otherwise they must remain standing.
If the R. K. is absent or the Commander deems it necessary he should order
the Sergeant to take up the pass, when the following ceremony should be
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Guards, communicate the passwords. At
the words, "Sir Knight Guards," the Guards
will respond with the "token of sincerity," and after being instructed
to communicate the passwords they should step down in front of the Sergeant and
communicate the passwords in regular form, after which they should remain
standing, facing Sergeant until further instructed.: The words are
correct. You will now ascertain that all present are
qualified to remain.
The First M. of G. then advances to head of Tent and commences taking
passwords from Lieut. Commander, working his way to foot of Tent, while the
Second M. of G. works his way from foot to head of Tent. Each member places his
left hand on the left shoulder of Guard, and whispers passwords in that officer’s
left ear. Members of Tent without passwords will be announced by Guard as
follows: "Sir Knight Commander, Sir Knight is without the passwords."
The Commander inquires of the proper officer: "Is Sir Knight … clear on
the books and entitled to the passwords?"
The officer reports "He is" or "He is not," as the case
may be. If he is in arrears and wishes to pay, the Commander will permit him to
The Record Keeper having finished with the challenged persons, or the pass
having been taken, the Commander will say:
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, let us attend the Chaplain’s
All present must stand under the Token of Sincerity and remove any head dress
that may be worn. The Chaplain, remaining in his station says:
CHAPLAIN: Supreme Ruler, strengthen our hands in building up this
Order. Aid us in carrying out the great principles of fraternity which underlie
it. Assist us in bringing peace on earth and good will toward men. May the
deliberations of this body be conducted in that spirit of harmony so necessary
to success. May our Order grow and prosper. May its usefulness be enlarged and
its protecting arms extended so that we may be better able to provide for the
widow, protect the orphan, and care for those dependent upon us. May we so speak
and act as not to bring reproach upon the Order nor disgrace any of its humane
principles. Make us a power for good in this land, and worthy exponents of the
brotherhood of man.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, let us exemplify our secret work.
The Commander from his station calls for this work in the following order,
and all present must take part in it, following the Commander.
1. Step and Salutation Signs (3).
2. Recognition Sign; its answer.
3. Ladies’ Recognition Sign; its answer.
4. Token of Sincerity.
5. Degree Tokens. (Honor, Amity, Obedience)
6. Test word. (All say See – Bac - Cam.)
Master at Arms, attend the Altar.
MASTER AT ARMS advances to foot of Altar, gives Token of Sincerity, and
placing the Book of the Laws of the Maccabees of the World on the Altar, opens
the Second Book of the Maccabees at the third chapter, places the circle so that
it will rest equally on both books, salutes (Token of Sincerity), and retires to
Air:—"Battle Cry of Freedom."
We have gathered in our Tent, Knights, gathered once again,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ve resolved to be true, more knowledge to obtain,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:— United forever, we’ll by each other stand,
Protecting the helpless all over this land,
Yes, we’ll rally to our standard, so noble and so grand,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
With the stars for our Tent, and the Deity our Light,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ll battle for the widow, the orphans and the right,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc
Let harmony prevail in all that we may do,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Well labor for the right, the good, the grand, the true
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc.
COMMANDER: Now by virtue of the authority in me vested as
Commander, I declare this Tent regularly opened and ready for business. One
The Tent is arranged as for a regular review. It is expected that the regular
officers confer the Degree, and occupy their regular stations.
Degree teams may be organized and for the purpose of conferring the degree
work the best talent in the Tent should be selected, that the work may be most
It is not only possible, but we advise that the Commander do all the work—give
all the lectures, ask all the questions, and give the obligation,—thus making
it necessary to have only himself and the Lieutenant Commander, thoroughly
versed in the "dialogue" Other members must help in the
The text of the Initiation is in the singular number, but when more than one
Candidate is initiated, the officers must change the language so as to conform
to the plural number.
As soon as the ceremony proper begins, no one should leave the room except
for the most pertinent reasons. Those who are permitted to retire or enter must
attract as little attention as possible and report only to the Sergeant and
Lifting Machine, Stones, etc., etc. Water guns may be used with good effect
in the test of courage instead of stones.
Eli. A "trap or bench" that will guarantee the Candidate’s
arising at the proper time. When possible an electric battery and chair mat
should be used.
If several are to be admitted at the same review, they may all be taken
together. When the Lt. Commander is ready to blindfold the Candidate he will
select one or more for that purpose. All the others may then be taken inside and
allowed to witness the "work" as it will be given the one or more thus
selected. When "questioning" is begun by the Commander all but the one
to be thus questioned and tested should be seated on one side of room, together
if possible, and they will remain seated until the obligation is to be given,
when they will join the others and go with them until after they have been
"welcomed." They will then be seated as before, only placing as many
as possible on Eli.
Having reached the sixth order of business, the Commander will proceed as
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Record Keeper, have we any Degree work
RECORD KEEPER, saluting: Sir Knight Commander, we have (number)
candidate entitled to the First Degree.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, you will ascertain if any
candidate is in waiting.
SENTINEL, saluting and opening the wicket will ascertain from the Picket who
is in waiting for the first degree and report as follows:
Sir Knight Commander, … name, candidate
for the first degree, is in waiting.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Record Keeper, retire and collect from the
Candidate what may still be due this Tent.
RECORD KEEPER, salutes, retires to the ante room and does as ordered; returns
from the ante room to his station, salutes and reports as follows:
Sir Knight Commander, … name, candidate
for the first degree, has been duly proposed, elected examined and approved,
paid all fees and is qualified and ready for his reception.
Takes his seat.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Master at Arms, attend the Altar. Three
raps. I declare this review closed in the
Third Degree and opened in the First Degree. One rap.
MASTER AT ARMS, rises and salutes upon being addressed, advances to the foot
of the Altar and arranges it for the first degree. - He must so time his actions
that when the Commander says "closed," he will close the book, and
when he says "opened," that he will open the Book at the first Chapter
of the Second Book of the Maccabees and place thereon a small Black Stone.
Having done so, he returns to his station.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, retire and introduce
LT. COMMANDER, rises, salutes, retires to the ante room and addresses the
candidate: My friend, you have been duly proposed, elected, examined
and approved for membership in this Tent, and having paid all fees, you are now
entitled to receive, at our hands, the degree of protection. HONOR is the first
and greatest qualification of this degree. In this degree your moral as well as
your physical qualifications will be given further and most searching
investigation. To reach the summit of Maccabean Knighthood is not the task of a
weakling; it is a work that demands the highest expressions of Honor, Courage
and Obedience. With this understanding, are you willing to proceed?
Candidate must answer in the affirmative. In token of your
Courage, and as an evidence of your willingness to obey, you must now suffer
yourself to be blindfolded, and follow me. Candidate is
now blindfolded. Lieutenant Commander then gives three raps at the inner door.
SENTINEL, partly opening the door: Who comes?
LT. COMMANDER: A friend who desires to unite with us in the cause
SENTINEL, closes the door and reports: Sir Knight Commander, the
Lieutenant Commander, with a friend, who desires to unite with us in the cause
humanity, seeks admission.
COMMANDER: Let him enter.
SENTINEL, opening wide the door: Our Commander bids you enter with
Lieut. Com. enters with candidate and makes one complete circuit of the room
by way of the stations of Past Commander, Commander, Chaplain and, upon arriving
at station of Sergeant, turns square corner up center of room, halting at foot
of Altar facing Commander’s station. While this is being done, the following
responses are to be uttered in a clear, earnest tone of voice and so timed as to
conclude the moment the Candidate halts in the middle of the room. These
responses may be made by the Commander. The Lieutenant Commander must also so
time his steps as to make this possible without undue drag or hurry.
PAST COMMANDER: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the
Father is this "To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction
and to keep himself unspotted from the World."
CHAPLAIN: "But if any provide not for his own, he hath denied
the faith and is worse than an infidel."
LT. COMMANDER, saluting: Sir Knight Commander, I have with me a
friend who desires to unite with us in the cause of humanity.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, why is your friend
LT. COMMANDER: As a token of his courage and as an evidence of his
willingness to obey.
COMMANDER: Your friend is now about to enter into a most important
contract relationship that means much to his loved ones as well as to himself—
a contract that shall continue through life—one that he should fully
understand in all its terms and conditions. No one should qualify for and
complete such a contact in the dark. He should have his eyes wide open and must
have every opportunity to know what he is doing. Let the blindfold be removed.
Lt. Commander now removes the blindfold.
COMMANDER, Lieutenant Commander and Candidate at foot of Altar, the Commander
will address the Candidate as follows. If the Commander is to give all the work
prescribed for Past, Com, and Chaplain, Lt. Commander should now conduct
Candidate to a seat a few feet in front of Commander:
My friend, as you are now about to take the first step towards the goal of
Maccabean knighthood it is proper at this lime, to impress upon your mind the
great objects of this Order as well as to call your attention to some of its
First, let me tell you something of the reason for calling ourselves The
Knights of the Maccabees of the World.
Nearly twenty-one hundred years ago, there ruled in the land of Syria, a
monstrous king, Antiochus the Fourth. Returning from an expedition into Egypt.
about the year 167, B. C., he passed by way of Jerusalem, where he halted for a
short time. Through the perfidy of a renegade Jew, he became informed of the
existence and location of a large sum of money which this people had accumulated
and from which they contributed, From time to time, to the relief of their
widows and orphans. King Antiochus returned about a year later and sacked the
Holy City. He burned the homes and palaces of the people, despoiled the Holy
Temple, and plundered the treasury in which was kept the widow and orphan fund.
We then desired to make Judea tributary to his kingdom and attempted to abolish
the worship of Jehovah and introduce the monstrous practices of Syria and
Greece. The prospect of another captivity and another loss of the ancient faith
brought on a most determined resistance. The War of Independence ensued, in
which the first family of Maccabees (Mattathias and his Five sons), so ably
distinguished themselves. Their wonderful achievements on the side of personal
independence, freedom of thought, and liberty of conscience the wise and
magnanimous uses to which they put their marvellous victories ; their provident
forethought in behalf of the widow, the orphan, and the disabled,— these are
some of the noble acts of that ancient and heroic family which prompted a just
and grateful posterity to recognize the MACCABEES among the first and greatest
of the benefactors of the race. Our Order takes its name from that famous
household. Like-them, we also wage a righteous warfare against the ills that so
constantly afflict humanity; we also care for the widow, protect the fatherless,
and assist the disabled; we too have a sacred treasury in which are kept immense
sums of money,—millions of dollars—from which we take, with liberal hands
our generous contributions to the widow, the orphan, the sick and to those in
Our principal object is to unite in fraternal fellowship all white men,
within certain age limits, who are socially, physically, mentally, and morally
acceptable and qualified under our laws, in order to properly as well as
fraternally, care for the sick, relieve the distressed and provide in a
substantial manner for the widows, orphans, and dependents of our members.
The Knights of the Maccabees of the World is a great business co-partnership.
All its members are equally interested in its welfare—all being equal under
its laws. It is not a cold hearted business corporation, organized and run for
the sole and sordid purpose of gain or profit; it is a business fraternity, or a
fraternal business, founded on HONOR in its highest and most chivalric sense.
Human honor is a sure and eternal foundation without which no superstructure of
genuine fraternalism or business conduct can be reared with safety. Honor alone,
in the governing body not less than in the humblest and most obscure member,
makes it possible for this society to guarantee to the future an enormous trust
fund involving hundreds of millions of dollars consecrated to the material
comfort and personal safety of hundreds of thousands of families.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the Past
Commander for further instructions.
PAST COMMANDER: The ordeal through which you are about to pass is
not an idle invention for the purpose of entertaining a selected audience at
your expense. Far from it! It is our aim to impress on your mind, in a manner so
forceful as to never be forgotten, the importance and nature of the relationship
upon which you are now entering.
In so far as our work involves the elements of life insurance, we must be
governed by strict business principles. We must know, beyond the shadow of a
doubt, that all who seek to unite with us are qualified along certain lines;
that they understand the contract they are making, and that they have fully,
understandingly, and truthfully answered all questions contained in their
We believe, and we teach, that it is the duty of every man, who has others
dependent upon him, to make as ample provision for them in the event of his
death, as his circumstances will permit. No man can wish to leave his loved ones
without substantial protection to be dependent upon others, or to take the
chance of having his good name discredited if not dishonored by failing to fully
and properly understand the relationship he is entering into for their
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the Chaplain
for further instructions.
CHAPLAIN: To honestly do your whole duty as a good Maccabee
should, you must be true to every vow taken, faithful to every trust imposed,
and, for the sake of your own good name and the welfare of those you ought to
love above every other being on earth, remain loyal to the Order until death
bids you take off your knightly armor! As long as you live like that, rest
assured that you will never lack for friends to comfort you in sorrow, assist
you in adversity, tenderly commit your body to mother earth when you die, keep
green your memory, defend your character, and, in a most fraternal sense, take
your place so far as that is possible, in the hearts of those who mourn your
We have a right, to know with what manner of man we enter into such sacred
relations; and that is why we emphasize, in this degree, that highest of all the
HONOR is the essence of all the moralities. It is the crown of human
excellence because it demands the fulfillment of every duty we owe to God, to
humanity, and to ourselves. When HONOR speaks, her words ring clear and true as
newly minted gold, and every spoken promise becomes the equivalent of actual
performance. Blessed is the man, the society, the civilization whose master
passion is HONOR.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the
Commander for further instructions.
Lieutenant Commander now conducts the Candidate to a point a few feet from
the Commander’s station and says:
If the Candidate has been seated in front of Commander’s Station, the
Commander will continue without being addressed by Lieutenant Commander.
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, my friend awaits your further
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, we are glad to welcome
your friend, but before we can extend to him the hand of fellowship we must know
that he is physically and morally fitted for membership, that he fully
understands the conditions of membership among us and that he is inclined to aid
us in the general service of humanity. We must also require of him a solemn vow
and we must be assured that he will remain true to his vow as long as he shall
live. Do you vouch for your friend in these things?
LT. COMMANDER: My friend will answer for himself. Let him be
COMMANDER, standing, asks Candidate to stand up, and then asks the following
questions and others if necessary to have Candidate fully understand the
contract he is now about to complete: Stranger, how old are you?
What is your business or occupation?
Are you physically and mentally sound?
Where were you born?
Is your sight or hearing impaired?
What is your weight? and your height?
Do you use intoxicating liquors?
Have you truthfully answered all questions in your written application?
What physician examined you?
Have you ever thought of taking your life?
Do you know that our protection does not extendlto the beneficiaries of those
who commit suicide?
Did you read your written application before signing it?
Do you know what it contains?
What does your application say about your engaging in prohibited and
Have you ever been finally suspended or expelled from membership in any
Do you hold membership in any other Order at the present time? Why do you
want to become a Maccabee?
Lieutenant Commander conducts Candidate to seat on Eli at left of Commander’s
station, facing the foot of the room, while he resumes his official station. It
is the business of the Master at Arms to have the chair ready, but no use should
be made of this chair now.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, you have heard the answers made to the
several questions asked. What is your judgment in regard to the Candidate’s
physical and mental qualifications, and as to his real motive and purpose in
presenting himself before us?
Here will follow a general and somewhat animated discussion of the answers
made by the Candidate. This discussion should be led by the Past Commander,
Chaplain and Record Keeper, and the defense should be led by the Lieutenant
Commander. Any member may take part in the discussion, and the Candidate himself
should be given a chance— even urged—to defend himself.
During the "speeches," frequent allusions should be made to the
fact that "Honor is the first and greatest qualification for membership in
The Record Keeper should always have a blank application on his table.
Among the points of controversy may be mentioned that he looks older than he
claims to be in his application. If over forty years of age, it is well to
question him concerning his family record of births, etc., especially if he is a
foreigner or of foreign descent or extraction. His weight, whether very heavy or
very light may be commented on. His calling may be of a hazardous nature, or
such as may be prejudicial to his best health, etc., etc. It not unfrequently
happens that men claim their eye sight to be perfect and yet wear glasses. He
may admit that he drinks a little, this may be inquired into almost to the
extent of impertinence. Should it appear that the answers made in the Tent
differ from those given to the doctor who made the medical examination, or the
one who took his application, both the Candidate and the doctor or the one who
took the application may be arraigned for a severe castigation. Sometimes it may
be suggested that the doctor tried to aid an unworthy man or foist a bad risk,
etc. Much questioning may be indulged in along that line so as to involve more
persons than simply the Candidate.
The Candidate may say that he answered all questions truthfully and yet be
made to admit that he did not read all the questions contained in the
application blank! If he says he knows what his written application contains,
ask him to tell a few of the things stated therein. He may admit that he does
not know exactly what it contains. In this event he should be severely
criticised for signing a document, the contents of which he does not know much
about, etc. Or he may be accused of a-willingness to sign most anything just to
get into the Order. In the application he says that he has reviewed all answers
with the doctor; press this matter with special reference to the subject of
suicide and make it very plain that the beneficiaries of a member who commits
suicide will get no benefits.
If he has ever been suspended or expelled from any Order this can be used
with powerful effect as indicating his real motive and his sense of honor. Never
lose a chance to ring in the changes on "honor" in all its
expressions. If he broke his promise with one Order, he would be likely to do
the same in this Order; what must be the attitude of such an one in a contract
that is for life! If he is a member of other Orders (and especially if a very
active one) he may be charged with being a spy, wanting to find out how we do
our work, that he may carry the information as news to others that he probably
loves better, etc. Or it may be charged that all he wants with us is to get
"insurance," and that he probably will never return to take the other
degrees which would of course be poor evidence of his honorable intentions; or
that he will not be likely to live up to the requirements of our Order since
belonging to so many other Orders his affection must be badly "split
up." Make him promise that he will take the other two degrees as soon as
His reasons for "joining the Maccabees" must be handled critically
and with proper emphasis.
The above are only a few of the many suggestions that may he offered for
discussion based on his answers both in the application and while in the room.
The discussion while dignified and earnest must not descend to anything base or
vile or objectionably personal. The point being never to give the Candidate any
other thought than that his advancement in the Order depends upon his ability to
prove the purity of his intentions, his physical and mental health and that he
is not attempting to gain a membership by fraud, etc. It is one of the objects
of this part of the ceremony to get the Candidate to talk in order that
something may be learned of his coolness, courage, integrity, etc. To that end,
give him all the chance he wants to explain and argue and extenuate his
SERGEANT, arising: Sir Kinight Commander, it is probable that some
here desire to further express their opinions but do not care to do so in the
presence of the Candidate. I move that he be conducted to the ante-room until we
shall have finished our discussion.
COMMANDER: Such will be taken as the will of all present unless
there is objection. Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, conduct your friend to the
ante room and there await our further pleasure.
Lieut. Com. without ceremony, conducts the candidate to the ante room (or to
a room adjacent to the Tent room in case another candidate is in waiting) and
remains with candidate until recalled. Everything being in readiness, the
Lieutenant Commander being notified by the Sentinel, enters with the Candidate
and advancing to the foot of the Altar says:
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, saluting
my friend awaits your pleasure.
COMMANDER, rising: It is the purpose of this household of
Fraternity to judge fellowman with leniency—to study the conduct of men with
reference to the prompting motive. We are inclined to overlook mere irregularities or
clerical errors, where we are satisfied that the intention has been honorable.
Sir Knights, if you are satisfied that the motives of this candidate are
honorable and are willing to test his fitness to become one of us by the supreme
tests of strength, courage and liberality, rise to your feet. All
arise Seated be. Addressing
Candidate: In order to ascertain your
fitness for membership in this Fraternal Household we shall give you ample
opportunity to prove yourself possessed of the necessary physical and moral
Do you wish to avail yourself of these opportunities? Candidate
should answer in the affirmative.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, proceed with the tests.
The Candidate is now conducted by the Lieutenant Commander once round the
room while other members place lifting machine near the center of the room, to
which the candidate is conducted and made to stand on the platform, take hold of
handles and directed to lift as much as he is able. The members may crowd around
the machine and make all kinds of remarks as to his strength or weakness as the
case may be. When he has given sufficient demonstration of strength so as to
"discharge" the machine, the members may compliment him on his ability
in that connection and make other complimentary remarks which, would indicate
that he has demonstrated the possession of sufficient strength to show that he
is in good physical condition.
This test being completed the Lieutenant Commander conducts the candidate
again around the room to a position about midway between the Altar and the
Sergeant’s Station, where he is told by the Lieutenant Commander that his ‘courage"
will now be put to the test. A few good marksmen have been selected to throw a
number of stones at his body. He will be allowed the privilege of freedom, not
being bound in any manner, but that he will be put upon his honor and thus most
fittingly will his courage be tested. The marksmen will now post themselves at a
distance of six or eight steps in front of the Candidate, each one carrying a
genuine stone and also a small black sponge which has been saturated with water
and squeezed until nearly dry, and which he will, at the proper signal, throw
hard at the candidate.
Lieutenant Commander now takes position to one side, about half way between
the Candidate and the throwers, saying, "Are You Ready? I will count three
and then say FIRE! Upon the word ‘Fire,’ each of you will throw a stone at
the body before you, but not at any part he cannot protect with his hands. Are
you ready? (They say "Ready") "One— Two—Three—FIRE!"
The Lieutenant Commander will say, "Fire" very quickly after having
counted three, or he may count very irregularly, in order to arouse a feeling of
unsafety in the mind of the Candidate. The throwers must also be thrown off the
"time" thus, so that they do not all throw at the same time. Care must
be taken that none throw other than the imitation stones or doing anything that
can injure the Candidate in any manner.
Instead of using stones, the water guns are very effective for this purpose.
Two guns are provided, one shoots forward and the other backward. We use the Wm.
Tell act. Let Candidate stand as above, place an apple or block of wood on his
head and direct some good marksman to shoot it off, using forward action gun.
Then give the candidate a chance to "get even" by shooting the apple
from the head of a fellow candidate or some member, and while using the pretext
of reloading the gun, exchange it for the one with the back action, so that he
will get the "shot" when he discharges the gun.
If the Candidate has stood this ordeal without flinching or showing evidence
of fear, the Lieutenant Commander should congratulate him upon his coolness and
courage and tell him that the possession of such qualifications should make him
a good Maccabee. If, on the other hand, he has shown evidence of fear by dodging
or running away, the Lieutenant Commander should express his regret and admonish
him that he should know and henceforth remember that in a Tent of the Maccabees
he is among friends who would never do him harm or injury. These remarks are
addressed to him by the Lieutenant Commander as he conducts him to the foot of
the Altar facing the. Commander’s station, where the Lieutenant Commander will
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, my friend awaits your further
COMMANDER, arising and in tones of approbation: Sir Knight
Lieutenant Commander, your friend has demonstrated by tests most convincing that
he is indeed well fitted to join with us in the cause of humanity. Let him be
placed in position to take our solemn vow.
Lieutenant Commander causes Candidate to stand at the foot of the Altar, his
right hand resting upon the black-stone, his open left hand over his heart. By
this time the Chaplain will have arrived at the head of the Altar. The Candidate
and Chaplain being in position, the Commander will give three strong raps.
CHAPLAIN, addressing Candidate: You will repeat after me:
I do most solemnly vow, in the presence of these witnesses that henceforth,
in all matters pertaining to the Order of The Knights of the Maccabees of the
World, I will be bound by the laws of the Order in force from time to time.
That I will not make known to any one not a member of this Order, any of its
private work or any other thing that I may see or hear under cover of any Tent.
That I will never take part in any unlawful meeting with members of the
Order, nor will I publish, directly or indirectly, by spoken, written or printed
words anything calculated to discredit the influence or honor of any department
of the Order.
That I will not knowingly wrong or defraud a Tent, a member or any of his
family, nor permit it to be done by another if I can prevent it.
That I will be temperate in my habits, and upright in my conduct so as to
command the respect of all.
To all this I pledge my honor as a man to remain true and steadfast as long
as I shall live.
ALL PRESENT: YOUR VOW SHALL BE REMEMBERED!
Commander gives one rap. The Lieutenant Commander will conduct the Candidate
to the station of the Commander.
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, thus far my friend has
appeared in the role of one who was anxious to know and understand our
requirements and who is willing to give every evidence of his qualifications as
well as of his good faith. He has taken our solemn vow and now desires to engage
with us in the great and glorious work of fraternity as taught and practiced by
The Knights of the Maccabees of the World.
COMMANDER: My friend, in order to engage upon such a high and
noble undertaking, you must be invested with the secret work of the Degree of
Protection. I take great pleasure in communicating this work to you.
To gain admission into a Tent open in the Degree of Protection, (the first),
give any ordinary alarm at the outer door. This will attract the Picket, who
will open the door or wicket, and to him you will give in a whisper, the Pass,
which, for this term, is … This will admit you into the ante room, advance to
the inner door and give one loud rap. The Sentinel will open the wicket and to
him you will give, in a whisper, your name and the Token of this Degree, which
is Honor. This will admit you into the Tent. You will now advance, by way of the
Sergeant’s station, to the foot of the Altar on which should rest a copy of
the Books of the Maccabees, opened at the first chapter of the second book—a
small, black stone resting on the open book. Finding the Altar so arranged, you
will give the salutation of this degree and the step, at the same time, saying,
"Sir Knight Commander!" to the presiding officer. You will be
recognized by a nod of the head, wave of the hand or gavel. You will then take
The sign is given by placing the left foot directly in front of the right,
the heel touching toe, thus.
The salutation is given by raising open hands, palms forward, on a level with
and about one foot distant from the face, as if shielding it from threatened
injury or assault.
The gavel is an emblem of authority when in the hands of the presiding
officer during any review of the Tent. Three raps, gives
them call all the members to their feet; one rap gives
it, causes all to be seated; two raps gives
them, calls to order.
The symbolic color of this Degree is black; it symbolizes the dark prospects
that surrounded Judas Maccabeus in the mighty struggle he waged in behalf of
physical, mental, and spiritual liberty.
I have now given you the regular work of our first degree.
ANY SIR KNIGHT: Sir Knight Commander! Haven’t you forgotten
COMMANDER: I presume that the Sir Knight alludes to the
The Commander approaches the Candidate, and, taking him by the right hand,
acts as if about to give a very complicated grip. The Lieutenant Commander, at
the proper time exclaims loudly, "HOLD!" The Commander slowly releases
the hand of the Candidate and returning to his station says:
Our Order has no grip! That is one of its distinguishing features. Should any
one ever pretend to have, or give, the grip of this Order, you may safely regard
him an imposter, and engage in no further examination of him.
If a beneficial member, the Commander will proceed as follows. If only a
social member, omit the next paragraph:
Your insurance protection is in force while you remain in good standing,
which you have just promised to do as long as you live. Under our rules you
should pay your Monthly Rates to our Record Keeper before the end of each month.
This is necessary to keep in good standing.
You may not, however, take part with us in the regular work of our Tent,
until you have taken our second and third degrees, all regular work being done
in the third degree.
If the second and third degrees are to be "communicated," that
ceremony should now take place, after which the Commander will conclude with
"I welcome, etc."
This we hope you will do at your earliest convenience, that you may be a duly
qualified Knight of the Maccabees.
Taking Candidate by the hand.
I welcome, and at the same time, congratulate you upon your admission to
membership among us. We sincerely hope that the brotherly relationship
established here, at this time, may be a continuing one; that you may be a
regular attendant at our reviews, and that in the practice of the principles of
Maccabeeism you may find both pleasure and profit. Causes
Candidate to face Altar.
Brothers, please come and join me in giving welcome to our friend.
The Tent will be at ease for a few moments.
After all have had an opportunity to meet and welcome the new member, the
Commander will again give two raps and call the Tent to order, the Lieutenant
Commander conducting the Candidate to a seat on the Eli, which should be placed
beside the station of the Master at Arms. The Commander, as soon as quiet is
restored, will inquire if there is any further business to be transacted in this
degree before proceeding to close, when some one, who has been posted in
advance, will create a pretext for the purpose of raising a little money.
Sometimes an object of simple charity is advanced. A widow with sick children
has come to town, she is a widow of a Maccabee, and should be helped quickly, no
time for the usual proceedings, red tape, etc., etc. Sometimes it may be a sick
Sir Knight who is passing through town, and is in need of help, or it may be one
of the members of the Tent.
The Sentinel may announce that there is a visiting Sir Knight in the Ante
Room, and a committee may be appointed to wait on him and ascertain his wants.
He may be a member of the tent who is playing the roll of a
"stranger," and if he is not known to the candidate he may be invited
in, and allowed to tell a "hard luck" story, thus giving a pretext for
raising some money. It may be for himself or his family, or if in a small place
where the candidate probably knows everybody, the "committee" may
simply report without bringing the stranger in. They may say that he preferred
not to come in while the tent was acting on his appeal.
Sometimes an appropriation for building purposes or for a worthy enterprise
like a church, a hospital, etc. Anything will do so that it is agreed upon in
advance and promoted with due earnestness and vigor. After there has been some
little discussion of the matter, the Commander will request those who will give
$5.00 or $10.00 or even more according to the need of the case in hand to arise
and the Record Keeper will take their names. No one will rise in response to
this suggestion, but the Sir Knight who has charge of the "Eli" will
work the lever and as the result of which the new member will be compelled to
rise to his feet. The Commander will immediately step forward, and congratulate
him upon his promptness.
The Candidate is now given a pocket coin, which he is asked to always carry
with him, not only as a reminder of his experience during his first evening
among the Maccabees, but as a means of identification.
The Candidate is being seated. If no other degrees are to be conferred on
this Candidate at this review, he is allowed to retire, after being requested to
be ready for the second degree at the next review. After the Candidate has been
excused the Tent will open again in the third degree and proceed with the
regular order of business. Care must be taken to know that the Eli is working
properly—and several members should be "posted" so that if for any
reason it does not work promptly they will arise so as to not have the
"request for help" fail and thus embarrass the Tent instead of the
COMMANDER, rises: Master at Arms, That
officer rises and gives "token of sincerity," what is the
last and constant care of every Knight of, the Maccabees?
MASTER AT ARMS: To remember his pledges to the Order, and to protect
humanity, especially the widows and the orphans.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, never fail to discharge these important duties. Let
us now sing the closing ode.
Gives three raps with gavel.
Air: —Sweet Bye and Bye.
1. We now go from our labors tonight,
To our homes, to our hearths, to our rest
May our lives overflow with kind acts,
Our hearts full of joy and tenderness.
Chorus—Let us join in the song,
As it comes from that beautiful shore
Yes, we’ll join in the song,
As it floats from that beautiful shore.
2. When we meet in our Tent once again,
When we enter this guarded abode,
As brothers our work we’ll review,
And endeavor to lighten each load.
Chorus—Let us join in the song, etc.
3. When our life’s grand review shall be held,
In yonder grand mansion of rest,
All warfare and trials will be o’er,
In that beautiful land of the blest.
Chorus—Let us join in the song, etc.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Master at Arms remove the circle; close the
book; collect the odes and place all in the depository of this Tent.
MASTER AT ARMS, after complying with the orders, returns to his station and
says: Sir Knight Commander, your orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, call in the Picket.
SENTINEL, after the Picket appears, says: Sir Knight Commander,
your orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: This Review is ended. Sir Knights, retire to your homes
in peace, and hold yourselves ever in readiness to serve our noble cause.
All clap hands, right hand above left; taking time from the Commander, he
leading. All bring hands nearly together twice, and the third time together at
once; and the review is ended.