Knights of the Maccabees of the World
Ritual of the Second, or Degree of Friendship
The Tent is arranged to represent an open air Court within, or adjacent to,
the camp of Antiochus the Fourth. At the head of the room should be a platform
to represent an imp)rovised throne on which the king is to be seated. A thick
curtain extending across foot of room should. be so arranged as to be easily
parted in the centre. The king should be seated on the throne, the four soldiers
near him as a guard, and Eleazar concealed at foot of room. Nothing within the
Actors and Costumes
Sir Knight Commander as KING ANTIOCHUS IV. Crown, coat of mail reaching to
knees, official robe of office, gray or brown wig and beard, flesh colored long
hose or leggings, sandals strapped well up the calves, scepter in right hand.
Sir Knight Chaplain as ELEAZAR. Dressed in the garb of a priest, long flowing
white gown, white turban with cape to cover hair, long flowing gray beard, large
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander as JUDAS MACCABEUS. Dressed as a Jewish
peasant, black and white turban, tunic, hose and sandals.
Four selected Sir Knights as SOLDIERS. Wearing helmets, shields, coats of
mail reaching to knees, spears, tight fitting long flesh colored hose or
Two leather scourges, a metal dish or urn in which to burn the red fire
The preliminaries to be observed before the ceremony begins are exactly like
those observed in the First Degree, changing the wording and the dressing of the
Altar, etc., to fit the Second, instead of the First, Degree.
In dressing the Altar, the Master at Arms will remove the Altar to one side
of the Chaplain’s station.
COMMANDER as King Antiochus: Sir Knight Lt. Commander, be pleased
to retire and introduce our kinsman.
LT. COMMANDER as Judas, arises and salutes the Commander. He then retires to
the ante-room where the Candidate should be in waiting and addresses him as
follows: My Kinsman, having been found to be physically and morally
worthy, you received the First, or Degree of Protection, in this Order. You are
now entitled to be advanced to the Second, or Degree of Friendship. Nothing will
be required of you that a man in pursuit of the higher degrees of this Order
would hesitate of refuse to endure. I promise that I will accompany you in your
journey and be your special friend. With this assurance on my part are you
willing to proceed?
Candidate must answer in the affirmative. Then come with me.
Lieutenant Commander then enters the room with the Candidate and standing at
opening in curtain delivers the following in an earnest, impressive manner: I
trust you will thoughtfully observe, and vividly remember, all that you are
about to see and hear. In order to prepare you, in a measure, for what will soon
take place, allow me to call your attention to an event and happening in the
history of the human race that doubtless was one of the most pathetic, and, in
some respects, the most remarkable this world has ever seen.
About 175 years before the present era (over two thousand years ago, as you
have learned,) there ruled in Syria a king by the name of Antiochus the Fourth.
He was a most cruel and rapacious despot. After plundering the Holy City of
Jerusalem be issued a proclamation that all the people of Palestine should deny
the ancient faith and forsake their venerable forms of worship. Many, in order
to save their lives, obeyed the impious decree. There were some, however, who
preferred death to dishonor. One such was Eleazar, a doctor of the law. He not
only refused to obey the edict of the pagan king but determined to go to him and
personally make answer before him, according to his understanding of the Holy
At this moment, the curtain is drawn apart by a Sir Knight selected for the
purpose. The king and his Guards are seen at the head of the room. Eleazar,
erect and vigorous, emerges from the corner of the room near the foot and boldly
approaches the king and his Guards. The instant that Eleazar comes in sight, the
Lieutenant Commander will exclaim: BEHOLD THE MAN!
Eleazar reaches a point about ten feet distant from the king, whose
attendants meantime manifest much impatience waiting for his order to attack the
bold intruder. The king, who has been extending his scepter for some time, now
exclaims: KING: HOLD! His Guards instantly
carry or ground spears. Who art thou?
ELEAZAR: O King! My name is Eleazar. I am a doctor of the law. Bows
in a dignified manner.
KING, leaning forward, and critically looking over the venerable figure:
What wouldest thou before me, ANT IOCHUS. I have not sent for thee!
ELEAZAR, slowly and with much emphasis: No, O king! Thou hast not
sent for me. But I hear that thou hast commanded my people to forsake the sacred
law and deny its authority. It would be shameful in me to seek shelter at this
time, neither will I stain my age and office with hypocrisy. So I have come
before thee to say, that I will not obey thy commands,—I will not embrace thy
KING, seriously: Humph! Knowest thou the penalty inflicted upon
ALL who refuse to obey my will and commands.
ELEAZAR, with much fervor and dignity: Yea, O King; DEATH! A
pause. But what if I do escape thy punishment at this time, I could
never escape the Justice of Almighty God! And so I would rather lay down my life
now, for the sake of my country and its divine laws, than leave to the young men
of my nation pointing to Candidate, an
example of dishonor! O king, I would!
KING, talking to himself: This foolish old man shall be taken in
his own conceit. And yet I fear nothing in the earth so much as that kind of a
Rising suddenly and with much vehemence. Away with him! Let him be
scourged to death! Stands erect and defiant the very
picture of irresponsible power, while the following tableau is being enacted:
The Guards instantly seize Eleazar and rush him to near center of Tent. Two of
the Guards hold him while the other two mercilessly lash his back with the
leather scourges. Eleazar, writhing and groaning, drops limp in death at the
feet of the assassins. The king now descends his throne and stands at head of
body, chuckling with fiendish satisfaction, and folded arms; the Soldiers raise
their spears as if to pierce the corpse; those who did the scourging stand,—one
with the scourge resting on the body, the other with scourge raised as if about
to give another blow. At this Instant the red fire is lighted and allowed
to burn about one minute. The curtain is then closed and the Lieutenant
JUDAS: The fidelity of that man is a memorial of civil virtue and
personal heroism, not alone to his country and generation but unto all peoples
of every age,—as long as patriotism and piety and honesty shall be considered
honorable among men. Such sublime courage, such utter contempt of death, such
free will honesty, mankind will never willingly forget. It is just such heroism
as this that is the glory of our race.
If you are willing to assist in avenging similar dastardly assaults upon
Honor, freedom of thought, and liberty of conscience, follow me.
Candidate is conducted to ante-room and Lieutenant Commander returns to the
In this section, the Tent is supposed to represent a scene in the vicinity,
and within the walls of Jerusalem. Curtains of the first section remain. The
room should be lighted as in the preceding section.
Actors and Costumes
Sir Knight Commander as GENERAL. Dressed as was King Antiochus in first
section, except that the crown is removed for a helmet, the robe of office
discarded, and a short Grecian sword takes the place of the scepter. He should
also carry a scroll which he is supposed to be studying.
Lieuteuant Commander as JUDAS MACCABEUS. Dressed as usual but wearing a red
Master at Arms as FRIEND. Dressed as a peasant.
Four selected Sir Knights as SOLDIERS. Dressed as usual.
The Route. A strip of rough pathway composed of triangular or round pieces of
wood, about the size of a large marble; a mat so arranged that electrical
contacts may be used and a galvanic battery should be used in this section.
The Mossy Stone. A large sponge filled with ice water. This is to be placed
on a box or stool near foot of room opposite to or across from the inner door,
or if an electric battery is used this can be done away with and the
"mat" substituted for sponge which should be placed on a collapsible
Tent. An actual tent or the picture of one on a curtain. It should be near
the head of the room. A few pieces of cord should be found within or near the
Sheet. A piece of strong cotton, about ten feet square. Have this near the
place where it is most convenient to leave Candidate.
Book of Laws. A copy of the Laws of the Maccabees of the World, or a copy of
the Decalogue written in Hebrew. This to be in possession of Lieutenant
Blindfold. Anything ordinarily used for that purpose.
Bandages. These must be badly torn and blood stained. There should be one for
the head, another for the arm, and possibly one for the body or lower limbs.
Tunic for the Candidate, with inside pocket on left side. Also black and
Tunic. A badly torn, blood stained garment.
When everything is in readiness the Lieutenant Commander retires to the place
where he left the Candidate, and asks him to change his coat for a tunic, then
placing a turban on Candidate’s head proceeds as follows:
LT. COMMANDER as Judas standing with Candidate at inner door wide open:
A short time ago you witnessed a most heroic sacrifice in the cause of civil and
religious freedom. You expressed a determination to assist in the avenging of
all such crimes against liberty of mind and conscience. The time for action has
come. Let us go tip to Jerusalem, join our fortunes with those of the kinsmen
and friends of Judas Maccabeus, for the house of Mattathias and his friends have
risen in revolt against the cruel and monstrous king Antiochus.
In order that nothing may impede the rapidity of , our movements, and also
for the purpose of avoiding, recognition, we have changed your clothes. My
kinsman, let us enter. Entering the room and halting
immediately within the inner door.
The way to Jerusalem is doubtless thoroughly guarded by the soldiers of
Antiochus. Unknown perils may thickly surround us. If captured, we must not
disclose our identity under any circumstances or certain death will be our fate.
We may never meet again. You have taken the Degree of Protection and are
entitled to that of Friendship. Here then! Produces the
‘Book of the Law.’ Take this sacred book as I take it and repeat
Each take book in left hand clasp right hands upon and over it saying:
In this solemn moment, and over this sacred volume, I promise to be, and to
continue, your friend no matter what danger, hardship, or loss may come to me on
account of this covenant. AMEN!
Now you may trust in my friendship. Therefore, with confidence, let me
blindfold you so that nothing may hinder you in relying upon my advice and
Lieutenant Commander blindfolds Candidate. Lieutenant Commander then arrays
himself in the tattered, blood-stained garments and says: My friend,
thou hast mislaid the Book of the Law. Here it is. Keep it on thy person and
never suffer anything to part you from it. Carry it under thy coat, yea, over
thy very heart. Puts Book in Candidate's pocket.
Now let us start on our dangerous undertaking. We are now in the valley of
Jehosophat, near the brook Kedron; the road is rough and filled with sharp
rocks. We must proceed carefully.
He is quickly and vigorously accosted by the Master at Arms.
MASTER AT ARMS as Friend, placing hand on shoulder of Candidate:
Halt! Who are you?
JUDAS: A Friend.
FRIEND: Where are you going?
JUDAS: To Jerusalem.
FRIEND: For what purpose?
JUDAS: To join the kinsmen and friends of the Maccabees who have
risen in revolt against the atrocities of Antiochus.
FRIEND, with surprise and avidity: Ah-h! I too am on my way to the
Holy City for the same purpose! Let us make haste! Straight ahead!
The Lieutenant Commander and Master at Arms hurry the Candidate over the ‘route.’
This must be done diligently in order to somewhat tire the Candidate. If the ‘route’
has plenty of electricity it will make the ceremony more interesting.
FRIEND: Thy friend seems tired; let him be seated a moment upon
this moss covered rock.
Lieutenant Commander and Master at Arms will see that Candidate sits down
properly on the "rock."
JUDAS: What! Rested so soon! My friend is impatient to reach the
city. And, if I mistake not, there is much evidence to indicate that foreign
soldiers have been here quite recently. Let us hasten.
Immediately there is a terrible din of shouting and clashing of weapons, with
all kinds of exclamations. The Candidate is rushed around the circumference of
the room at a breakneck rate of speed, but with great care not to injure him in
any manner, while his conductors exclaim, "A detachment of soldiers is upon
us!" "We are discovered!" "We shall be slain if
captured!" "We are lost!" Then the Lieutenant Commander and
Master at Arms differ as to which way to run. One says, "Let us go this
way!" The other will say "No, this way!" While thus wrangling and
pulling the Candidate first one way then another, the Lieutenant Commander
becomes separated from the Candidate. The object of thus separating the
Candidate and the Lieutenant Commander will appear presently.
Master at Arms and Candidate now run right into the detachment of Syrian
soldiers, who set up a most derisive and cruel "horse laugh," and
Master at Arms drops out of play.
FIRST SOLDIER: Well, if we haven’t another of the rebels! And in
SECOND SOLDIER: Tear off his mask and lets see what he looks like!
Tears off Candidate’s
FIRST SOLDIER: Shall we kill him or take him to the General?
SECOND SOLDIER: Why take him to the General, of course, he may be
a spy! Ha, Ha.
The other soldier agrees with a hearty laugh, and they hurry the Candidate
about the room to head of Tent, where the General has meantime taken position
before his Tent, reading his scroll, or sitting on the platform and reading
FIRST SOLDIER, both giving military salute: General, we have
secured another captive. The foraging band you dispatched up the valley, came
upon three miserable looking peasants and proceeded to capture them. They
offered resistance. One was slain on the spot. One defended himself in a most
remarkable manner. One undertook to run away. We caught him and have him before
GENERAL, looking up from his paper wearily: Let him be searched.
The Soldiers search him, and finally discover the Book.
SECOND SOLDIER: General, we find nothing but this book full of all
kinds of strange markings.
The General takes the book and examines it quickly, for during the time the
second Soldier makes his response, the other two Soldiers are bringing the
Lieutenant Commander in.
GENERAL, excitedly: Why this is the Book of the Law. He is a
Maccabee! Let him stand aside until we find out what this struggle means.
Stand the Candidate on the Electric Carpet, and put same into action when
General orders him thrown "over the wall."
THIRD SOLDIER, panting and in broken sentences: General, the squad
you sent to forage the valley came upon three peasants. One we killed. The
other escaped. One of them seemed to have the strength of a lion and the
skill of David of old. Reinforcements came to our aid else we could not have
taken him. He is covered with wounds and almost ready to die from the loss of
blood. So we brought him hither. Thinking he might be of more value to you alive
than dead, we refrained from killing him.
We bound up his wounds. In his delirium he continually called for a friend.
This we do not understand.
Question him yourself. Here is his sword stained with the blood of our
GENERAL, takes the sword without examining it,—his eyes are fastened upon
Judas, the captive: My comrades, when I report this affair to his
majesty the king, it will please me to mention your valor and skill. Addressing
Judas the captive in loud rough tone of voice.
Stand up, you murderous rebel and tell me who you are!
Lieutenant Commander, sways from side to side as if about to faint; in a
moment he drops to the floor as if dead.
GENERAL: What, refuse to answer me. Ha! Ha! You shall be made to
speak. Guards bind him that he may be made ready for the torture. Judas
struggles feebly with the Guards, who bind him in such a way that he can free
GENERAL, turning to Candidate: You trembling poltroon, you must
know who this man is pointing to the prostrate body of
Judas. Your life depends upon your answer. If you do not tell me
truly you shall be tortured until your tongue is loosened. Speak
If he refuses, more emphatically: SPEAK, I SAY, and tell me who
this traitor is or you shall be made to stiffer as no mortal ever did before.
If candidate still refuses to disclose who his friend is the General says:
GENERAL: These fellows must be friends.
If Candidate tells who his friend is, then the General says:
GENERAL: Ah! You are not only a rebel but a traitor as well, who
would betray a friend and kinsman to save his own miserable life. Yours shall be
the fate of a traitor.
In either event the General now turns and looks at Judas a moment and then
his eyes fall upon the Grecian sword, which he has, apparently, without thought,
taken by the hilt with one hand and rested the point in the palm of the other
hand. He looks at it; turns it over; raises it high above his head in both hands
and with the most frightful outburst of indignant fury, exclaims: Why
this is the sword of Apollonius ! And that must be pointing
to Lt. Commander Judas Maccabeus who killed him! He
drops or casts away the sword, so that it may be found in about the centre of
room and exclaims: Accursed blade that thou shouldst ever serve our
foes! Quickly extending his hands towards the Soldiers,
who rush upon the prostrate form of the Lieutenant Commander ready to hack it
NO! Brave soldiers never mangle a fallen foe! Leave him as he fell; later we
must in honor return and give him a soldier’s burial,—for he was valiant and
The sword must be lost sight of or forgotten in the confusion.
General now turns to candidate and says: But as for this poltroon,
Guards let his eyes be blinded and his body thrown over the walls as food for
the vultures and hyenas. Let it be done!
Candidate is again blindfolded. Four soldiers take him and carry him around a
little ways and then with a "one, two three" signal cast him into the
sheet held by four or six strong Sir Knights, who carry and lay him down on
Electric Carpet near Judas, wrapping sheet about him and put on the current when
Judas says, "Still Alive."
An alarm is now heard and the general shouts.
GENERAL: Ah! The enemy is upon us. Away to your posts. The Power
of Antiochus shall be felt.
General and Soldiers rush out behind curtain at foot of tent.
A few moments are passed in perfect silence. Lieutenant Commander begins to
move a little, groans as if in pain, and slowly works himself into a sitting,
then standing posture. Slowly and painfully he staggers about and as if by
accident, he stumbles over the body of the Candidate. He tears off the
blindfold, listens to his heart, etc., and says:
JUDAS: My friend! My friend! And still alive. Fortunate indeed are
we to have escaped with our lives from those cruel barbarians. I was parted from
you against my will and in spite of my best efforts.
Come, let us hasten to join the forces of the Maccabees that we may aid in
the cause of humanity, and share in the glory of their triumph. The destiny of
Judea and the liberty of its people hang in the balance.
Takes Candidate’s right arm and as they approach the sword, Judas discovers
it, stops, and as he takes it from the floor, says: Ah ! here is my
trtisty blade again.
Judas and the General may here fight a duel with swords—Judas victorious.
Turning to Candidate and holding sword aloft in his right hand, left foot on
prostrate form of General, Judas says: Thou shalt yet listen to a
proclamation of Judea’s freedom, for unto the just belongeth the victory.
Candidate is then quickly conducted to the ante-room to be prepared for the
In this section the room will be arranged as it was in the First Degree,
Section 1, the Books of the Maccabees opened at the Second Chapter of the Second
Book, and lying diagonally across it a naked sword (the sword of Appollonius),
with its hilt pointing towards the upper left hand corner of the Altar, the same
to be observed from the foot of the Altar.
Actors and Costumes
Commander as MATTATHIAS. White flowing gown, white wig and beard, sandals,
Lieutenant Commander as JUDAS. Red turban, tunic, hose or leggings and
Past Commander as JOHN, son of Mattathias. Colored flowing gown, black
turban, black beard and sandals.
Chaplain as ELEAZAR, son of Mattathias. White flowing gown, white turban and
When the Lieutenant Commander is sure that everything is in readiness, he
will so inform the Commander and retire to the ante-room and introduce the
Candidate as follows:
JUDAS takes Candidate by either arm and without saying anything to him, goes
to inner door, giving any number of raps.
SENTINEL, opens the door slightly and says: Who comes?
JUDAS: Judas of the house of Mattathias, with a friend.
SENTINEL: I will inform the Venerable Sire of thy presence.
Closes the door and striking the floor twice with his heel, says:
Venerable Sire, without the inner gate stands thy son Judas with a friend.
MATT.: Let him enter with his friend.
SENTINEL, opens the door wide: Thy father bids thee enter with thy
Lieutenant Commander enters with Candidate and both stand at foot
JUDAS: Father, I have with me a Friend who having witnessed the
death of Eleazar, and himself experienced some of the atrocities practiced upon
our people, now desires to be more intimately and firmly bound unto us by a
covenant of Friendship.
MATT.: My son, thy friend is welcome. His object is most worthy.
But first let him listen to the further teachings of this degree, because the
lessons we would have him learn from these thrilling experiences deal with the
most sacred relations of life, and teach loyalty to country, home and friends.
JOHN: Under the Tents of our beloved Order, men of every kind and
shade of religious faith, political opinion, and philosophical doctrine, come
together; at our Altars they make the same declarations and assume the same
vows,—promising to give the influences of their lives a new and different
direction; here all differences become merged into one great purpose and lofty
sentiment: Here is the "homing place" of many kindred spirits. The
philosophic truth that, things alike in all their parts are identical, finds its
highest expression in a place like this where the best things of the moral world
are the common aim of each and all. Here, the noble of heart reveal themselves
to each other in the many little kindnesses done in each others presence; the
tender hearted discover each other by the sympathy each expresses in the
presence of the other; brotherly natures find their affinities in those who
never weary in the saying and doing of fraternal things; friendly natures,
sleeping in the lives of all men, rise in majesty to meet and salute each
CHAPLAIN: But be not deceived; a friend is more than a mere
acquaintance and friendship is much more than external agreeableness. Your
friend is youl other self; neither chance nor change can ever lessen his
loyalty. A friend sticketh closer than a brother. So subtle, so transcendant a
thing is friendship, that you can never by seeking find it out,—it must find
you. And you will be most sure of possessing this pearl of inestimable price by
showing yourself a friend to that which is good, and true, and just, and
merciful in the sight of God and man. Marvel not then, if in adversity you find
yourself friendless, if you have been a counterfeit yourself. Nothing is truer
than that mercy begets mercy, justice begets justice, charity begets charity,
and FRIENDLINESS BEGETS FRIENDSHIP. When He, who spake as never man spake, would
promote His associates to the highest rank he could bestow on earth, He said to
them, "Henceforth I call you not servants but I have called you
friends." "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." And so,
my friend, cast out of your mind and heart and life, all envy, hate, fraud and
the secret fault that no man but yourself may perchance know, and fit yourself
for the indwelling of the spirit of universal fellowship,—FRIENDSHIP!
Judas, my brother, you will now place our friend at the Altar, where, after
proper reflection, if he so desires, he may be bound with us in a life long
covenant of friendship.
JUDAS conducts Candidate to foot of Altar and causes him to kneel on both
knees and says: Remembering your covenant of friendship
with me, if you are now willing to make a similar covenant with all Knights of
the Maccabees of the World, and I charge that you consider well what this may
mean, you will, when you are ready, arise and say aloud "I am."
When Candidate has arisen and said, "I am," Eleazar advances to
head of Altar, takes the naked sword, hilt in right hand, point resting in the
palm of the open left hand. Candidate is instructed to place his right hand on
the naked blade and his open left hand over his heart, Mattathias then gives
three raps, and while the obligation is being given he will remove wig and
ELEAZAR: Repeat after me: I do now, sincerely and solemnly promise
That I will never fail this Order, my country, my friends, nor those of my
own flesh and blood in time of danger, need, or sorrow.
That I will comfort with my sympathy and assist with my substance all worthy
members of the Order, their families and dependents who may be in sorrow or
That of them I will speak no evil, and should I see, hear, or know of
anything that threatens harm them, I will give them timely notice or warning.
To all this, I pledge my sacred honor as a Maccabee.
ALL MEMBERS, in concert: THY PLEDGE IS RECORDED!
Commander now gives one rap. Lieutenant Commander conducts Candidate to
station of Commander who will instruct him in the secret work of the degree.
COMMANDER, rising: To gain admission into a Tent open in the
Degree of Friendship, give any ordinary alarm at the outer door, and to the
Picket answering it, the Pass, in a whisper, which for the present term is … gives
it. Then give two loud raps on inner door.
To the Sentinel, who will open the wicket, you will give in a whisper
your name and the Token of this Degree, which is Amity. Entering the room,
proceed to the foot of the Altar in the usual manner. On the Altar should rest a
copy of the Books of the Maccabees opened at the second chapter of the Second
Book, and resting thereon should be a Grecian sword with the hilt resting
towards your left hand and the point diagonally downwards and towards your
right. If the Altar is so dressed, you will give the step and the salutation of
the Second Degree, which is made by placing your open right hand on the naked
blade of the sword before you, and your left hand, palm open, over your heart.
The symbolic color of this degree is red. It symbolizes the zeal of Judas
Maccabeus in his struggles for the liberation of his people, and in defense of country, home and friends taking Candidate by the
On behalf of this Tent, as well as personally, I extend to you the warm and
generous hand of friendship, and bid you welcome to all the rights and
privileges of our Second Degree,—the Degree of Friendship. Again let me remind
you, that if you would have friends in the hour of need, you must be friendly,
you must be just and true.
Members may now come forward and congratulate the Candidate on his
advancement, the Tent being at ease for a few minutes. If the Candidate is not
to receive the third I degree at this review, when the Tent is called to order,
the Commander will explain to him that he should present himself as early as
possible for the final degree—and then excuse him.