Methodist Order of Knights
Ritual of the First or Page’s Degree
Page’s Court Room
1 Ritual—This Ritual Book remains the property of the High Court, and must be returned to the Governor should the Court lapse or be suspended It is to be treated as confidential and only made accessible to members of the Order.
2 Abbreviations—The following abbreviations are used in this Ritual Bp , Bishop ; I.O., Installing Officer, K.C., Knight Commander, D.K.C. , Deputy Knight Commander; P.K.C,
Past Knight Commander, C.K., Chief Knight; K.Ch., Knight Chancellor, K.Comp, Knight Companion, P.M., Provost, Marshal, M., Marshal, K.E., Knight of the Entrance, K.M.
Knight Minstrel All except the Officers are called Companions.
3 Arrangement of Court Room—Before the Court is timed to open, the P.M , assisted by the M., shall arrange the room as in the diagram, placing Regalia on the chairs, and setting out the equipment detailed hereunder
4 Equipment—Correct Regalia shall be worn by all members. The Court Charter shall be prominently displayed at all meetings. On the K.C. ’s table shall be placed a Gavel, the Seal of the Court, and the Purple and Black Books. Before the K.C. . shall lie an open Bible. The D.K.C. . should also be provided with a Gavel, and the K E. with a Sword. The P.M. and M. shall each have a Stave (a wooden or metal rod five feet long).
The . K., K.Ch, and D.K.C. amp. shall be provided with Minute Book, Account Book, and Roll Book respectively.
The Siege Perilous is a chair draped with the National Flag
For the Initiation Ceremony the following equipment is also required A sack stuffed with paper, dry grass, or other soft material. A rough apron made of calico or hessian, and a blindfold. During the ceremony a Pledge Card and a copy of the Constitution shall be presented to each Candidate.
5 Procedure of Meeting—When ready to open the Court, the Presiding Officer knocks several times on the table with his gavel. The Officers and Companions take their seats, the K.E closing and guarding the door. Any vacant offices must he filled by Deputy-Officers before the Court is opened. These are appointed by the Presiding Officer to act until the ai rival of Officers, or during the Presiding Officers’ pleasure. There shall he no conversation or moving about once the assembly is opened, and the D.K.C. may call the Court to order should the K.C. . he otherwise engaged. None shall be admitted or permitted to retire whilst any business remains incomplete or ceremony is in progress Late-corners must wait until the place indicated in the Ritual before being admitted. No member shall leave the assembly without asking and obtaining the consent of the Presiding Officer, and saluting that Officer and the D.K.C. . Members wishing to address the assembly shall stand at the salute, but shall not speak until the Presiding Officer answers with the Counter Sign. The correct method of address is "Sir K.C." or "Sire."
Decorations awarded by the Local Court (e.g, Efficiency Badges, Silver Star) shall be worn in the left upper quadrant. Decorations awarded by the High Court (e g, Purple Cross) shall be worn in the right lower quadrant.
Al Officers wear the standard Gold Shield, with Collars of a colour corresponding to the Degree in which the Officer has attained Officers who have not progressed beyond the Pages’ Degree wear a White Collar.
6 Ceremonial—The Salute is the Pages’ sign, and must always be acknowledged with the Counter Sign.
To make Court Proclamations, and to assist at Installation Ceremonies, the C.K. shall appoint one of the junior members as Companion Herald.
General Procedure for the Conduct of the Meeting
K.C., one loud knock on table: Officers and Companions, assist me to open this assembly All except K.C. and Bishop stand.
K.C.: We cordially welcome you again to this assembly before opening our proceedings, however, let me earnestly remind you that, as courtesy is of the essence of knightliness, I must charge you in the name of the Order to observe that quality in this Court’s proceedings, that all may be done in the spirit of goodwill All give the sign of assent, which is to stand, give a light stamp with the right foot once, and then sit. In this instance, however, they remain standing.
K.C.: Sir D.K.C., what are duties of your office?
D.K.C.: To assist you, Sire, in the control of this meeting.
K.C.: Sn.K.E., what are your duties?
K.E.: To see that the door is properly guarded by knocks, password, grip and sign, Sire.
K.C.: Sir C K., what is the first duty of Officers and Companions in Assembly?
C.K.: Remembering that there was a traitor in the Order long ago, to see that none who have not been initiated into the degree of a Page are present, Sire.
K.C.: Sir P.M, have you the password and grip of a Page?
P.M.: I have, Sire; I pray you to test me.
K.C.: I will with pleasure. P.M. advances to right side of K.C., who whispers latter syllable; P.M. to complete. Grip given simultaneously.
K.C.: I acknowledge the correctness of this test, and now direct you to test your Marshal. This done. you will proceed to test those on my right, and the Marshal those on my left.
M. reports to P.M., who addresses K.C. thus:
P.M.: Sire, the Officers and Companions are all in possession of the grip and word of this degree.
K.C.: Sir K. Comp., what is our next care?
K.Comp.: To see that all are in possession of the sign of a Page, Sire.
K.C.: Officers and Companions, you will all stand to order with the sign of a Page. Give it, and remain with hand at last point of the sign till completion of devotions.
K.C.: I acknowledge the correctness of this test also, and salute you all with the counter sign. Sir Bp., will you please read to us from the Word of God, which is the Sword of the Spirit? Readings 1 Cor. 15:57-58, 13:3-7, or other suitable passages.
K.C.: Officers and Companions, this assembly is now regularly and fittingly opened, but before I proceed to declare it constituted in the First or Pages’ Degree, let us invoke the blessing of the Eternal King, under Whose command we fight, that He may be pleased to give us good success in all our undertakings. Let us bow for the benefit of prayer. All bow; Bp. or K.C. prays either extempore or as follows:
"Almighty God, we humbly beseech Thee to pour down on this assembly, gathered in Thy Holy Name, the grace of pure Christian love, in order that we may be loyal always to superiors, courteous to equals, and chivalrous to those who are weak or needy. We pray for Thy blessing upon all who fight to overcome evil, especially upon members of this Order. Grant unto them such valour that they may succeed in al; their adventures, whether for the conquest of evil in themselves, or the doing of good to others. Let Thy blessing also be upon our Church and Sunday School, of which we desire to be more worthy members ‘1’brough Jesus Christ our King."
All: Amen and repeat Lord’s Prayer.
K.C.: Now let us sing our opening hymn. Done,
K.C.: I now declare this Court constituted in the Pages’ Degree. Be seated, Officers and Companions.
K.C.: Sir K.E. you will please enquire if any seek admission, and inform them that they may now apply in the regular manner Door slightly opened and Password given in parts. Grip simultaneously. Door closed.
K.E.: Sire, Companion … name, of this Court, awaits admission (or) All are admitted, Sire.
K.C.: Admit, Sir K.E. Marshals hand late-comer his Regalia at the door, and escort him to a position behind the Marshals’ chairs, where he salutes the K.C. and D.K.C. before taking his seat. Marshals carry their staves throughout.
K.C.: Sir C.K., you will please read the record of the last meeting. C.K. reads. Has anyone aught to say as to the correctness or otherwise of this record? Then I shall ask those who believe this to be a correct chronicle of our last meeting, and are willing that I sign it on behalf of this Court of the Order, to signify by raising the right hand. Carried. K.C. signs and seals the record.
K.C.: Sir K.Comp, you will now proceed to proclaim the names. As names are called, members give rite Sign of Assent/ If they have apologies they rise give the Pages’ Sign, and announce the apology.
K.Comp.: The names are proclaimed, Sire.
K.C.: Sir K.Ch , you will now collect the dues. The roll-call or dues may be taken before the opening or after closing of meeting if more convenient.
Kt.Chanc.: The dues have been collected, Sire.
K.C.: Have you any correspondence, Sir C.K.?
C.K.: Yes, Sire. If any, it is read, "received" by motion, and then dealt with.
K.C.: Is there any business arising out of the records? If any, it is now attended to.
K.C.: Sir K.Ch., will you kindly present your report? Statement of fees outstanding accounts for payment, income and expenditure. C.K. notes cash in hand in Minute Book.
K.C.: Sir K.Comp., are any members sick? K.Camp. arranges for visitation.
K.Comp., if none ill: None reported, Sire.
K.C.: Is any Companion seeking employment? If any, particulars should be given to the C.K.
K.C.: Officers and Comps., have you anything to say for the good of the Order in general, or this Court in particular? General business now dealt with.
K.C.: What more can be done to promote the welfare of our Church and Sunday School?
K.C.: Are there any citizens desirous of joining our Order?
Companion: I nominate … name.
Companion: I second the nomination.
K.C.: Can you both vouch that he is a regular attendant at a Methodist Church or Sunday School, and is of good character?
Each Comp.: I can.
K.C.: Does any Companion desire to be promoted to the rank of an esquire? If any, continue thus: We are glad to hear of your ambition, and we direct you to report to the K.Comp., who will arrange for your examination by the Court of Honour.
K.C.: Officers and Companions, we will now proceed with the Order of the Day.
K.C.: We are now ready to proceed to the business of initiating a stranger into this Court of the Order. Sir C.K., will you kindly proclaim the name of the stranger whom we have agreed to initiate at this assembly?
C.Kt.: Citizen … State name.
K.C.: Sir P.M. and Sir M,, I now direct you to take your staves and go outside, where you will at once prepare the stranger for his initiation. When ready, you will give the proper knock. Having blindfolded the stranger securely and received his initiation fee, they knock.
K.E.: Sir K.C., there is the knock of a Page at the door. Is it your will that I attend to the knock?
K.C.: Yes, please attend to it, Sir Kt. K.E. slightly opens door and receives fee from P.M.
K.E.: Sir K.C., outside stands a young citizen who craves a boon of the Order of Knights, by whose permission he comes.
K.C.: Has he the password?
K.E.: No; but he has handed me his initiation fee in place thereof. Hands it to K.Ch.
K.C.: As none who has not been regularly initiated into our mysteries may enter this assembly without being blindfolded, I must require you first of all to see this none; then he may enter.
K.E.: The young citizen is blindfolded, Sire. Candidate admitted, and door closed. Escorted, with a Marshal each side of him, who carry their staves on the shoulder. They stand immediately in front of K.C.’s table, entering the Court on the K.C.’s right.
P.M.: Sir K.C., I present to you a young citizen, who, being hungry and in need, appeals to you for your knightly assistance.
K.C.: Sir P.M., we welcome him heartily. This Order lives to help the wronged, to assist the needy, and to show kindness to all. What is the youth s name and his request?
P.M.: He begs that you will permit him, at present, to conceal his name. His request is for work in your employ as a Page
K.Ch.: Hark! What mystery! He has been in mischief somewhere and has run away.
K.C.: A .goodly youth, to whom we would gladly have granted more. The Kt.Ch. is your master. Your boon is granted
K.Ch.: Oh, he will learn early enough that I am his master.
C.K.: Sir Kt.Ch., you may know a good dog and a good horse, but I doubt if you know a good youth when you see one I like his looks; treat him with all grace. If you do not, the day may come when you will regret it.
K.Ch., roughly: Come along, you runaway scapegrace; look lively, get this apron on P.M. puts apron on him. Come, now, tuck up your sleeves. P.M and M. push sleeves up to elbow.
K.C.: Sir C.K., you will now lead the Knight’s Law for this friend’s information. He will please pay careful attention K.C. knocks. All stand.
1. A Knight is a sincere believer in the Lord Jesus Christ as Saviour and King, and is a member or adherent of the Methodist Church.
2. A Knight regards the true purpose of life to be the constant endeavour to live up to the best of which he is capable—physically, mentally, socially, and spiritually—by the help of Jesus Christ.
3. A Knight is loyal to the King, to all duly constituted authority in Church and State, and to the officers and members of the Order.
4. A Knight is honourable in all his dealings, fulfilling his promises and pledges faithfully, and speaking and acting with a strict observance of truth.
5. A Knight acknowledges the responsibilities of his citizenship and seeks to prepare himself for the social duties which lie before him.
6. A Knight is courteous and kindly in his relations with all people, whether they be rich or poor, remembering that "One is our Master, and all ye are brethren."
7. A Knight is chaste in conversation and conduct, and ever seeks that personal purity without which no man can see God.
K.C.: Do you agree to try as far as you are able to abide by these laws?
Candidate: I do. K.C. knocks. All sit.
K.C.: I have now to inform you that a solemn pledge is required of all who join our Order, that our secrets will never be divulged by you. We require you to pledge this upon the Word of God and upon your honour. You are required to pledge yourself before God by placing your hand upon HIS WORD. When a Knight says, "Upon my honour, I promise," he means that he gives the most sacred pledge of the truth. If a Knight broke his word after saying, "On my honour," he was expelled from the Order. Are you, … candidate’s name prepared to make this very solemn promise?
Candidate: I am
K.C.: Then you will kneel upon your left knee before my table, place your left band on this Bible thus K.C. puts Candidate’s left hand on it, and repeat after me this solemn pledge. Knocks. All stand with bowed heads and at salute. Marshals, with crossed staves, stand just behind kneeling Candidate.
PLEDGE I promise to honour the Lord God and to be reverent in His House. To be kind and helpful to everybody, and to show particular courtesy to women and children and the infirm or aged. /To endeavour to be a good example to all I meet. To stand by brother Companions, and the Order in weal or woe and never improperly to divulge the secrets of the Order.
K.C. to candidate: You will now repeat after me the Knights’ motto "Live pure, speak true, right wrong, follow the Christ, the King. Else wherefore born?"
Be seated, Companions.
P.M. raises candidate to his feet. If there be more than one candidate, then at this stage all except one are taken ant of the room, attended by a Marshal, until sent for.
K.C.: Sir C K., assist the D.K.C. to show the Candidate what Sir Gareth experienced on the first evening that lie was made a Page. They firmly grip the Candidate under the arm-pits, and slowly lead him around the room twice. As they do so, the K.Ch. repeatedly flings an impediment under the Candidate’s feet, causing him to stumble, but not to fall. Each time he stumbles, all give one clap with hand and one stamp simultaneously with foot. He is then brought before K.C.’s table. If there be more than one Candidate, he shall be given a seat amongst the Companions, whilst the remaining Candidates are admitted one by one, and pass through the adventure. All the Candidates are then brought before the K.C.’s table. When quietness has been restored, the K.C. continues as follows:
K.C.: Marshals, remove the badge of darkness and ignorance, and let us welcome in the light our newly-initiated companion Without further announcement all the Companions sing the first verse of the hymn, "Lead, Kindly Light,".
K.Ch. In such a manner did the Pages of King Arthur provoke novices in the King’s service. Gareth, however, took it all in good part, and by showing a pleasant temper, won their affection. By this experience we would remind you that life’s journey is beset by many a pitfall. But ever bearing you up are the "Everlasting Arms" of your Eternal Father, and every Companion of the Order is pledged to give you brotherly support.
K.C.: Sir P M, you will conduct the Candidate to a seat while the lecture is given. P.M.M. retire to seat. D.K.C. may stand opposite the candidate to deliver lecture.
D.K.C.: Gareth, whom you represent in this ceremony, was a noble-minded young prince, the son of King Lot and Queen Bellicent. His palace home was very comfortable and luxurious, but he knew that true life consisted not in selfish indulgence. Honour and Truth were the goals for which good men lived, so he decided to become one of King Arthur’s Knights of the Round Table. His mother, however, wished him to remain at home and spend his days in idle pleasure. She reminded him that though a prince, he would first be compelled to serve as a Page, and perform menial services, before being admitted to the Knighthood, thus hoping to dissuade him. But realising that to do such tasks was not degrading, he set out f or the Court of King Arthur, and was made a Page Though Sir Kay, the Master of the Pages, did not like him, his work pleased the Chief Knight, Sir Lancelot, and he was soon promoted to the rank of an Esquire.
Now, the Pages were under the care of a Governor or Knight Commander, who taught them the elementary truths of religion, respect for ministers and superiors, and who initiated them into the ceremonies of the Court. Their duties were to carve, wait on table, and perform other menial services, which now are often wrongly considered humiliating Later they were admitted to the Second Degree, of which you may learn more if you prove yourself a worthy Page. We must remind you that before the Knights of old were permitted to bear arms they had to pass through two stages. of which these preliminary degrees are an illustration.
I thus set before you this excellent example of one who was faithful in that which is least, and believe me, that is ever the surest way to fame and honour. For it has the effect of forming your character in such excellent fashion that when the way opens for more important service you are well qualified for that day of opportunity.
The two watchwords of this degree are HUMILITY and FIDELITY
K.C.: Sir Bp., kindly read for us an appropriate lesson from the Scriptures. Knock, all stand at salute, reads Matt. 25 19-21. Now give us the benefit of prayer.
Bp.: O Lord our God, we implore Thy blessing upon this our new Companion. May he be a blessing to our Order, and may our Order be a blessing to him. Help him to love honour above his very life, and to find in the smallest and humblest tasks a road to greatness of character. May he ever perform his daily duties with a kind and smiling lace. Let cheerfulness abound with industry, and each night bring him to his bed, content that he is not dishonoured, growing more and more worthy of greater attainments, through Jesus Christ our Lord and King.
K.C.: Be seated, Officers and Companions
K.C.: Sir P.M., will you now conduct the new Companion to my table? To Candidate: I am now permitted to impart to you the secrets of this Degree, which are a knock, sign and counter-sign, grip, password, and the Pages’ mark.
The knock, which must be given by all late-comers, is ―.―, these at an interval of a second or so. If any business is incomplete or a ceremony in progress, the K.E. will give to signify "wait".
The sign is by running the fingers of the right hand …. The counter-sign is to do similarly with the left hand on the left-hand side.
The grip consists of ….
The password is …. This is never given but in a whisper, and then only in syllables the challenger being required to give one syllable before you give the other. If challenging, you must always give the last syllable first. For your instruction I will challenge the M.
K.C.: Sir M, give me the password.
M.: I will if you begin.
M.: Because you are the challenger.
K.C.: Very well
K.C.: The Pages’ Mark is …. It is used on correspondence between members.
K.C.: Behind you stands the Siege Perilous, a solemn symbol, the meaning of which will be explained to you in the higher degrees. You must regard it with the greatest reverence. This is our Charter. You thus see that we are a properly constituted Court of the Order
The Order of Knights was founded that the boys and men of our Church might realise the fellowship of a common ideal of service. The first Court was opened at Hurstville, N.S.W., in 1914, and three years later the movement was adopted by the Young People’s Department. We gratefully acknowledge the debt we owe to the founders of the Order and to those who have established its traditions. May YOU enrich the record of its achievements.
K.C.: Thus, Companion, is the ceremony of your initiation as a Page complete, and I now invest you with the Regalia of this degree. I may tell you that Sir Gareth, of whom you have heard so much tonight, became one of the best, mightiest, and most successful of King Arthur’s Knights. Be faithful in menial tasks, and you will merit the higher honour of being made an Esquire, and at length the glorious honour of Knighthood. Shakes hands. I congratulate you. He signs the pledge card. Given a constitution.
K.C.: Sir P.M., you will now conduct the Companion around the assembly As he passes, each Companion rises and shakes his hand, and says, "Congratulations, Companion." He is then given a seat among the Companions.
K.C.: Let us give our new Companion Welcome Honours. Knocks on table. Stand. Counts
Quickly. When x appears it means that all give a simultaneous clap and stamp. Only one.
1 2 3 4 5 6 x
1 2 3 4 5 x
1 2 3 4 x
1 2 3 x
1 2 x
Then a general clapping of hands. No feet. K.C. calls for immediate silence by knocking once on table.
K.C.: The Candidate will remember that 7 was the perfect number in Scripture, and we used it then to indicate that we give him a most perfect welcome into our midst. Be seated, all.
Closing the Meeting
K.C.: Officers and Comps. assist me to close this assembly all stand. Let us sing our closing hymn.
Bp., taking the open Bible in his hands, he slowly closes it and says: Companions, as we close this Book, so may we close our lips on all we have said, heard, and done here to-night, as we have solemnly promised May we be true to God, to our vows, and to each other when we part. Let us unite in the Mizpah Benediction.
All join hands in a circle and say together: The Lord watch between me and thee when we are absent one from the other. Amen.