Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias
Ritual of the Rank of Loyalty
Form of Opening
Officers and Knights being uniformed and equipped either in fatigue or full dress uniform, as may have been ordered, the Captain takes his station, and commands: Knights Loyal! Attention!
The Knights will, upon the command, at once take the position of "Attention," in front of the chairs about the Castle. The Captain will then announce:
Captain: This is a regular (or special) Assembly of … Company No. … of … for the transaction of such business as may legally be brought before it. Officers, repair to your stations; Knights Loyal, be seated.
The Officers take their stations, and Knights Loyal are seated, when the Captain addresses the Herald [Second Lieutenant]:
Herald, rising, drawing his sword, faces about, salutes and replies:
Captain: Visit the posts of the Guard and Sentinel and receive from them the Countersign, and instruct them that they shall guard well the entrances to this Castle, and admit none who do not come properly equipped as Knights Loyal and having the Countersign.
The Herald salutes, goes to the outpost, sees that it is clear, locks the door, notifies the Sentinel that the Assembly is about to be opened, and after receiving from him the C. S., instructs him that he shall detain all comers at the outpost until the Assembly is opened, then returns to the Castle. On entering he locks the inner door and receives from the Guard the C.S. He then advances to his station, salutes the Captain, and says:
Captain, acknowledges salute: Herald.
Herald: I have visited the posts of the Guard and Sentinel, and find them on duty at their respective stations, and in possession of the Countersign.
The Herald, on completion of his report, comes to a "carry," makes an about—facing the Altar—and then returns his sword, but remains standing.
Captain: The Lieutenant and Herald will receive from the Knights Loyal the Countersign of the term.
The Lieutenant passes from his station to a position in front of and near to the station of the Captain, but facing toward the station of the Herald. The Herald advances to the Lieutenant and both advance the right foot so that their right feet shall be side by side, each place the right hand on the left shoulder, when the Herald gives the Lieutenant the C.S. in a whisper, the Lieutenant then gives it to the Captain. Having thus verified the C.S, the Lieutenant and Herald face about and take up the C.S. from the Knights Loyal, the Lieutenant taking the right and the Herald the left side of the Hall. As the Lieutenant or Herald halts in front of a Knight, the Knight Loyal rises, and they assume the position defined for the Lieutenant and Herald, when communicating the C.S. The Knight gives the C.S. in a whisper, the right foot is brought back, the hands are dropped to the sides, the Knight Loyal takes his seat, and the Officer passes to the next, and so to each. When the Officers reach the lower end of the hall, they face about, advance to the Altar, draw swords, salute the Captain, and report:
Lieutenant: I report the Knights Loyal on the right of the Castle in possession of the Countersign.
Herald: I report the Knights Loyal on the left of the Castle in possession of the Countersign.
Captain: Officers to your posts, March!
At the command "March," the Lieutenant and Herald will resume their stations.
Captain: Attention, Knights Loyal, while the Chaplain invokes the blessings of the Deity.
The Knights will rise and stand at parade rest.
Chaplain: Almighty Ruler of the Universe, be Thou present within this Castle, to lead us by Thy Spirit in all that is here done, that it may be done for the best of all. Guide each Knight Loyal, that he may live honorably, walk justly, and be ever loyal to himself, his brothers in arms, his country and our God. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Captain: Attention! Herald, what is the first symbol of the Military Rank of Pythian Knighthood, and what does it signify?
Herald, turns toward the Captain, salutes, and says: Captain, the symbol is the single triangle, and signifies that the honor of a Knight Loyal should be as untarnished as was that of Damon, who preferred to lose his life, rather than violate his pledge to Pythias.
Captain: Worthy Chaplain, what is the second lesson taught in this Military Rank of Pythian Knighthood, and under what symbol?
Chaplain: We are taught equal and exact justice to all men, and for all men, rich and poor alike. The symbol is the double triangle, and signifies that Honor and Justice are united for our defense and protection.
Captain: Lieutenant, what is the highest and greatest virtue of Pythian Knighthood, and its symbol?
Lieutenant: Loyalty, and its symbol is the circle, Loyalty encompasses and enfolds all the other human virtues, and embraces our duty to ourselves, our fellow men, our country and the ever-living God.
Captain: Officers, you have each well said. There is no friendship without Honor, no hope for humanity without Justice, and no permanency in friendship or nations without Loyalty. Let the work of this Assembly be conducted on honor by all, with justice to each, and a loyalty that shall bind us faithfully one to the other. Captain addresses the Herald: Herald, you will notify the Sentinel and Guard to admit all qualified Knights Loyal, as this Assembly is regularly opened for such business as may properly come before it. Officers and Knights Loyal, be seated.
Altar covered with the flag of the country in which the Company is stationed, and the Bible open on the flag. In conferring the Rank of Loyalty, all Officers and Knights Loyal must be equipped in the full uniform of their rank; the Major-General and Colonel may wear the fatigue uniform, with shoulder straps to indicate the rank. All who take part at the several stations in conferring the Rank must be at their posts. When, in the Order of Business. "Initiation of Candidates" is reached, the Recorder will announce the name of the candidate, or candidates, and the Commander will order the Castle prepared for initiation. The Officer of the Guard will form the line, and then seat them in order along the side of the Castle on which the candidate is to enter. In the formation of line, the Guards that will accompany the Herald should not included. If the Captain of the Company takes one of the ritualistic parts, the next officer in rank will act as Officer of the Guard. The Lieutenants, when not assigned to other duties, take their places with the Company as prescribed in the "Drill Regulations." While the preparations are being made, the Herald, taking with him the Trumpet and four Knights fully uniformed, will retire without ceremony to the ante-room, to take charge of the candidate or, candidates, The Herald has in his belt a laige envelope. When all is in readiness within the Castle to receive the candidates, the Guard will notify the Herald. As soon as the Herald is notified, and the candidate is ready, the Trumpeter, if there be one, will sound three challenges. The challenges having been sounded [if there be no Trumpeter, then the Herald will give three raps], the Guard rises, draws his sword, salutes the Officer of the Guard, and says:
Guard: A triple challenge at the outer gate.
Officer of the Guard, rises, draws his sword, salutes, and, addressing the Officer of the Day, says: Officer of the Day, a triple challenge at the outer gate.
Officer of the Day, rises, draws his sword, salutes, and, addressing the Commander of the Fortress, says: Commander, a triple challenge at the outer gate.
Commander of the Castle, rises, returns the salute with the right hand, and says: Officer of the Day, the triple challenge is given only by one who is to be numbered with the Knights Loyal and seeks admission to that end, or, the triple challenge may be given by those seeking mortal combat. You will, therefore, cause the Knights Loyal to assemble within our Castle to receive the challenger in a manner worthy of the true Knight, if he be such a one seeking the honors of a Knight Loyal; but if, perchance, this challenge shall be to test our powers on the field, let our foes know that we ever stand ready to defend our brothers in arms, our Castles and our land.
Officer of the Day, salutes the Commander, and says: Officer of the Guard, form the lines.
At this command, the Officer of the Guard commands:
Officer of the Guard: Knights Loyal! Attention! Fall in!
The Knights fall in at the command, in two ranks, across the hall, midway between the Altar and the station of the Officer of the Day When the line is formed, command: Draw! Swords!
The line being formed, the Officer of the Guard steps to his position in front of the center of the Company.
Officer of the Guard, draws his sword, salutes the Officer of the Day and says: Officer of the Day, the lines are formed.
The Officer of the Day acknowledges the salute and replies to the Officer of the Guard:
Officer of the Day: ‘Tis well,
Officer of the Day salutes the Commander, and says: Commander, your orders have b are formed.
Commander: Officer of the Day, order the Guard to ascertain and report from whom comes the triple challenge at our outer gate, and the cause thereof
Officer of the Day, when addressed, rises, salutes the Commander, when he has finished speaking, and says: Guard, it is the order of the Commander of the Castle that you ascertain and report who sounds the triple challenge at our gates, and the cause thereof.
Guard, opens the wicket and calls in a strange voice: Who dares sound the triple challenge at our gates and for what cause?
The lights are here turned low in the ante-room. The Herald takes the candidate by the right arm, the Trumpeter of the left of candidate, the escort in twos in rear of candidate, advance to the inner door, near enough for the candidate to hear what is said inside, but not able to see inside, when the Herald answers in a strong voice near the wicket.:
Herald: A Herald of the Knights Loyal, who prays that you send with all speed this message to the Commander of this Castle.
Hands official envelope through the wicket.
Guard takes envelope, and addresses the Officer of the Day: Officer of the Day, the triple challenge has been made by a Herald of the Knights Loyal, who gave me this message, praying that it be delivered quickly to the Commander of this Castle.
Guard leaves wicket open, hands envelope to the Officer of the Day. Officer of the Day takes envelope, leaves his station, advances to a position immediately in front of the Commander, salutes and says:
Officer of the Day: Commander, the triple challenge was made by a Herald of the Knights Loyal, who sends this message.
Hands envelope to the Commander. Commander takes letter therefrom and reads aloud:
Commander: "A Herald of the Knights Loyal, with an escort of Brothers in Arms, having in charge … name of candidate, a worthy Knight of Pythias, now and at all times willing that his loyalty to friend and country shall be fully tested, prays admission to the Circle of the Knights Loyal, or Brothers in Arms, in the Military Rank of the Knights of Pythias."
Commander: Brothers in Arms, you have heard the cause of the triple challenge. Shall the Knight of Pythias be admitted?
All respond: Admit him.
Commander: So be it, and if he be found worthy, he shall receive the Honors of a Knight Loyal.
Addresses the Officer of the Day: Officer of the Day, return to your station and direct the Guard to admit the Herald with the Knight of Pythias in his charge.
Officer of the Day, salutes, returns to his station, and says: Guard, it is the order of the Commander that you admit the Herald with the Knight of Pythias in his charge.
Here all the lights are turned very low, just so an indistinct outline of the persons in the hall can be seen.
Guard, opens the door, and says: Herald, it is the order of the Commander of this Castle that you enter with your charge.
The Herald, candidate, Trumpeter, and escort in column of twos, enter the hall in order as stated. Immediately after all have entered the hall, and before passing in front of Officer of the Day, the Herald halts and addresses the Knight:
Herald: Knightly Sir, having entered within the walls of this Castle, it now rests with you, whether or not you receive the honors of this rank of Knighthood. The lessons and ceremonies through which you are to pass are not meaningless and idle forms. Ere you can receive the accolade which shall make you the peer of the Brothers in Arms, you must be fully imbued with the knightly spirit of those who have preceded you. There must be in your soul that loyalty to brothers Knights and to country that characterized our prototypes, Damon and Pythias. Do you fully comprehend the weighty responsibilities of your position?
Herald: Is it your desire to proceed?
Herald: Religion has, in all ages, been the Keystone of the Arch of Knighthood and Chivalry. A belief in an overruling, omniscient and omnipresent Creator, the ever-living God, has been its deep-laid cornerstone. Do you believe in the existence of such a God?
Herald: Having expressed your belief in Deity, look to that source for guidance, wisdom and strength in your journey through life, and for that moral courage that shall ever enable you to discharge the duties and trusts that will be confided to you as a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms.
The Herald, with candidate, advances in front of the Officer of the Day, and facing him, with the candidate, says:
Herald: Officer of the Day, I present this Knight of Pythias, seeking admission to the sublime Grade of a Knight Loyal or Brother in Arms in the Military Rank of the Knights of Pythias.
Officer of the Day: By whose order is he brought hither?
Herald: By order of the Commander of this Castle.
Officer of the Day: ‘Tis well. Addressing the candidate: As a Knight of Pythias you ask admission to the Circle of the Knights Loyal and Brothers in Arms. The Circle is a symbol of the universe and of eternity. It teaches us that our vows and obligations are as lasting as eternity, and are to govern our every thought and deed, until we shall have passed through the double triangle of our duties to our fellow men and God in this life, and have entered the infinite and eternal Circle of the life immortal. With this understanding of the nature of the vows you are about to take, do you still desire to proceed?
Officer of the Day: Herald, in the full belief that this Knight of Pythias appreciates the weighty obligations to be assumed as a Knight Loyal, the Circle will now be formed and you will then present him to the Commander of the Castle.
The Officer of the Guard now moves the Company into position to form circle about the Altar, and commands:
Officer of the Guard: Form Circle! March!
At the command "March," the leading file separates, marching around to the opposite sides of the Altar, leaving opening for Herald and candidate. As the last file has passed into the circle, the Officer commands: Halt! Inward! Face! Parade! Rest!
As soon as the circle is formed the Herald, with the candidate, Trumpeter and escort, move into position lacing the Altar, outside of the circle. The Herald salutes the Commander, and says:
Herald: Commander, by direction of the Officer of the Day, I present this Knight of Pythias for admission to the grade of a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms.
Commander: My brother, I bid you welcome as an aspirant for further honors in Knighthood. For centuries men have allied themselves with the Knighthood of all civilized countries and nations. Chivalry was the golden thread that ran through the middle ages, the corrective of vice, the personification of Honor, the bulwark of Justice, the strong tower of Liberty, which from that day to the present time has preserved the world from barbarism and led outward and upward to the light and knowledge of this, the great noontide of civilization. From you, if you receive the honors in the sublime Grade of a Knight Loyal and a Brother in Arms, may we expect an exemplification of these virtues of true Knighthood?
Commander: Officer of the Day, in ancient Chivalry what was the grade of a Knight Loyal or Brother in Arms, and its requirements?
Officer of the Day: It was the final grade of Knighthood, and was a solemn compact between individual Knights for mutual aid and defense, and for the defense of the Sovereign and Nation.
Commander: How was the compact made?
Officer of the Day: By an oath, administered by the Prior, or Chaplain, of the Castle, and under this oath the duty of the Knight Loyal or Brother in Arms was to defend his Sovereign and Nation, and Companions in Arms. The violation of this oath was held to be the greatest of
Commander to Candidate: Thrice since entering this Castle you have had explained to you the duties and vows of a Knight Loyal or Brother in Arms. Twice you have said that you would proceed For the third time I ask you are you willing to advance?
Commander: There can now be no retreat. Herald, place the candidate in position at the Altar to receive the obligation.
The Altar, flag thereon, open Bible, five swords in double triangle. Herald enters the circle with the candidate, Trumpeter and escort, and take their places at the Altar, opposite the Commander of the Castle Candidate’s right hand on sword, palm down. Left hand on left breast, over heart.
Officer of the Guard commands: Knights Loyal! Attention! Carry! Swords! Forward! March! Halt!
At the command "March," all the Knights Loyal close the circle around the Altar and candidate, leaving space in front of Altar for Chaplain.
Herald, salutes and addresses the Commander: Commander, all is in readiness for administering the vows.
Commander: Worthy Chaplain, perform the work of your sacred office, and may the God of Nations and of men give you grace in the discharge of this solemn duty.
The Chaplain, in robes, advances to the Altar. The organ plays solemnly and softly.
Chaplain to Candidate: Will you, as an honorable and just Knight, be loyal and true to the country or nation of which you are a citizen, ever standing ready to defend with your life, if need be, its constituted authority?
Will you maintain and uphold this chivalrous order of Knighthood, speaking naught but truth of your fellow Knights, and defend the honor and good name of each individual Knight Loyal, when unjustly assailed?
Will you succor and aid all Brothers in Arms, they applying to you as such, you finding them worthy and in need of aid?
Will you hold the secrets of a Brother in Arms inviolate and under no circumstances betray any trust confided to you under the Sign Manual of this Rank, treason and violations of the law of the land excepted?
Will you faithfully, honestly and truly protect and defend from all danger of whatever kind, if in your power so to do, the wife, daughter, sister or kinswoman of a Brother in Arms, and give needed aid to the widow or fatherless children of a deceased Brother in Arms?
Officer of the Guard: Knights Loyal! Lay On! Swords!
At the third command the Knights Loyal advance close about the Altar and lay the blade of each sword upon the right hand of the candidate.
Chaplain to Candidate: You will now repeat after me: I do hereby solemnly reaffirm the vows heretofore taken as a Knight of Pythias, and on my honor pledge that I will honestly and faithfully keep and maintain the same inviolate. I hereby renew my allegiance to the Supreme Lodge, Knights of Pythias, and on my oath most solemnly and sincerely pledge implicit obedience to all its laws and mandates.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Here, if there be a quartet of singers, an appropriate hymn or anthem may be sung It is suggested that in the United States the hymn should be "America".
Chaplain: May He, who was and is and ever will be, keep you steadfast, loyal and true.
Addresses the Commander: Commander, to this candidate I have administered here within the Circle, the oath of loyalty, which, as a triple band of steel, shall bind his conscience while life shall last. God and these Knights Loyal alone bear witness.
Here the Officer of the Guard raises his sword perpendicular, arm extended upward full length above the head. At this signal all the Knights execute the same movement and repeat in unison: We are all witnesses.
Swords are now brought to a "Carry’ without command, the Knights following the movements of the Officer of the Guard.
Commander: While life shall remain, so be it. Worthy Chaplain, your work is well done. Until your services shall again be required, resume your station. Let the Guard be dismissed. The honor of the Knight has been pledged, his spirit of justice will direct his way, and his loyalty shall ever keep him steadfast.
Chaplain resumes his station.
Officer of the Guard commands: Knights Loyal! Return—Swords! Reduce Circle! Right and Left! Face! Forward! March!
The Sir Knights will march to their seats, break ranks and be seated as they were before the candidate was introduced.
Commander to Candidate: Sir, you have now voluntarily bound yourself for all time, by the oath of a Knight Loyal. The fortunes of the Brothers in Arms are to be your fortunes. The principles here avowed, if faithfully kept, will lead you on to honors yet unattained. As in the past, so now, every true Knight Loyal should be endowed with the loftiest courage, he should be valiant as becomes a noble-souled man, despising death in a just cause, and confident as though it were impossible to be overcome. The feet of a Knight Loyal should be steady, his hands diligent, his eyes watchful and his heart loyal and resolute. In ancient chivalry the King alone could give to the Knight the honors royal, and place in the hands of those found worthy the sword and banner of the Knight Loyal. Modern knighthood brings the knightly soldier nearer to the General commanding the army, and so to our Commanding General belongs the duty and pleasure as well, of conferring the final honors of this rank of Pythian Knighthood.
Officer of the Day, to your care I consign this Knight until such time as he may be presented to the General in command.
Here have candidate seated to the right of the Officer of the Day, and Herald, Trumpeter and four guards return to the anteroom. Knights seated. When all is in readiness, the bugle sounds the "Assembly," in the anteroom, as the signal of the approach of the General. When there is no Trumpeter the Herald gives three raps on the door. The Guard opens the door and the Herald, unattended, enters and advances to the front of the station of the Officer of the Day, faces the Commander of the Castle, salutes, and says:
Herald: Commander, the Major General commanding-the Army approaches this Castle, and bids you make ready to receive him in manner due.
Commander: Herald, convey to the Major General our loyal and Knightly greeting, and say that he shall be received in manner befitting his rank and station.
Herald salutes and retires.
Commander: Officer of the Day, make ready the Castle for the reception of the Major General commanding.
Officer of the Day commands: Officer of the Guard, assemble the Knights Loyal to receive the Commanding General.
Officer of the Guard commands: Knights Loyal! Fall In!
The Company falls in in single rank on right of hall, facing toward the center of the hall, the right of the Company toward the end of the hall farthest from the presiding officer. A seat is placed to the right of the Commander for the General. The Commander of the Castle, with drawn sword, and the Chaplain, go near to the door of the ante-room, inside the hall, and facing the door. The Trumpeter sounds "Forward," in the ante-room, the Guard throws open the door, and the Major-General enters, followed by the Herald, Trumpeter and escort, marching in twos. Having entered the door, the Major-General halts, and the Commander of the Castle salutes the General, and says:
Commander: General, we bid you welcome, and pray you receive from us the command of this Castle.
The Officer of the Guard brings the Company to present swords The Commander of the Castle, taking his sword by the blade, extends it hilt first to the General, their all advance to the Commander’s station, passing in front of the Company line, the organ playing a march, On arrival at the Commander’s station, the General faces about and stands until the Commander of the Castle, the Chaplain, Herald, Trumpeter and escort have opened ranks and stand facing each other in front of and on each side of the station of the Commander The General then acknowledges the "Present" of the Company, the music ceases, and the Officer of the Guard commands:
Officer of the Guard commands: Carry! Swords!
General: Knights Loyal, honorable and just, I greet you, and thank you for your courteous reception. Commander of the Castle, be seated on my left, that we may the better converse of affairs that may be of import and interest to all; and you, Knights Loyal, dispose you as is your wont.
Officer of the Guard gives command: Return Swords, and orders Knights Loyal to be seated. Officers resume their stations. Herald, Guards and Trumpeter take their places in front of and on each side of General and Commander of the Castle.
Major General: To you, Commander of the Castle, and these Knights Loyal, I bring only messages of peace and good-will from all portions of our realm. Strong hands, loyal hearts and ever-watchful eyes, guard and keep our land secure, But before we discuss affairs of graver import, is there aught at this time that I may do for any within these Castle walls? Speak.
Commander, rises and salutes, and says: Most Worthy General, he is the greatest of all men, who, amidst the pomp and pride of power, or when burdened with the cares of great public affairs, can remember the faithful soldier and true Knight though in humble position, and all unselfish, give thought and wish for his happiness or betterment. We thank you, General, for your kind and timely interest in behalf of these Knights Loyal. We have here, O General, a gallant Knight, who, by loyal devotion to his friends and to his country has been admitted to our Chivalric Circle. He has taken the oath of a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms, and awaits from your hands the accolade and sword of a Knight Loyal.
We pray you, therefore, ere we enter upon matters of weightier consideration, that you confer upon him the rank and title of Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms.
Commander of the Castle salutes and stands awaiting the decision of the General.
General: Happy am I, Colonel, that I can render so good service upon a Knight so well recommended. The day is well nigh spent; make haste, therefore, to present this worthy Knight and bid the Knights Loyal assemble to witness and render their aid in conferring the rank and title upon their Brother, this honorable and just Knight.
Commander: Herald, present the Knight at the Altar, to receive his honors; and Officer of the Day, direct the Officer of the Guard to assemble the Knights Loyal to assist the General in conferring the honors upon the Knight.
Herald and Knight take their places at the Altar. Officer of the Day takes his place in front of and to the left of the Altar, and commands:
Officer of the Day: Officer of the Guard, assemble the Knights Loyal at the Altar.
Captain of the Guard: Knights Loyal! Fall In!
At the command "Fall In," form in two ranks between the Altar and the station of the Officer of the Day, as at first, and form circle as before explained. In forming circle, leave opening in front of the Altar for the General and others to enter circle. The circle being formed, the Officer of the Day reports:
Officer of the Day: Commander of the Castle, your orders have been obeyed; the candidate is in position.
General: Honorable and just Knight, by the loyalty that guides you in your intercourse with your brother Knights, and that exalted loyalty to home and country which is the crowning glory of the subject and citizen as well as the true soldier, you are deemed worthy of the honors we shall here bestow. Remembering the obligations assumed in your progress to the position you now occupy, we shall expect you to devote your strength of body and mind to the care of your family, the good of your Brothers in Arms and to a loyal obedience to the laws of the land and to the defense of your country in time of need. Colonel, let the Knight be equipped.
Commander takes his place in front of Altar, and says:
Commander: Brothers in Arms, lend your aid in equipping this Knight for the General.
A Knight who has been selected for each part, each in his turn comes forward and performs his part. During the ceremony, on the organ, if there be one, may be played, softly, a solemn air.
First Knight Loyal, coming with two spurs, addresses the candidate: I place on you these golden spurs, which symbolizes energy and promptitude of obedience and action.
Kneels on one knee and candidate puts his right foot and then his left foot, alternately, on knee of Knight, while the spurs are put on. After putting on spurs, addresses the candidate: May they urge you on to deeds of Honor, Justice and Loyalty.
Second Knight Loyal, appears with uniform coat of the Knight; puts it on the Knight, buttons it, and says: This coat is your fortress and shall protect you against dishonor, injustice and disloyal hands.
Third Knight Loyal, with helmet: This white helmet, which I now place on your head, is the symbol of good works and noble aspirations.
Fourth Knight Loyal, with white gloves: These white gloves which I now present you, and bid you wear, are the symbol of untarnished honor and even-handed justice, which every Knight Loyal should maintain.
Guard, hands sword and belt to the Herald with these words: A belt of scarlet and a blade of steel may only the worthy wear.
Herald takes sword and belt, and says: Here on this Altar, I place the last and highest symbol of historic Knighthood, for consecration ere it shall be worn by this Knight.
The Chaplain, without orders, advances to the Altar, lays his hands on the sword, and pronounces:
Chaplain: Mayest thou never leap from thy scabbard except in the cause of Honor and Justice; mayest thou never shine but in the path of Truth and Loyalty; mayest thou be the defense of the weak, the terror of the enemies of this land and nation, the avenger of the oppressed; mayest thou be faithful to this honorable and just Knight, thy master, as he shall be faithful to his vows. Amen.
Officer of the Day takes the sword and belt and hands them to the General, saying:
Officer of the Day: Into your hands, O General.
General takes sword.
General: As an honorable and just Knight, with this consecrated sword you are to defend the weak and oppressed; you are to be courageous and loyal, to shun perjury and felony more than death, and to fulfill, even to your latest hour, your oath as a Knight Loyal. Now let the Knight be girded as a sign of security against his enemies and the foes of his country; let him be girded, also, as becomes the defender of the Knights Loyal and Brothers in Arms.
General draws sword from scabbard and hands belt and scabbard to the Officer of the Day, and he to Herald.
Herald, girds belt on candidate, saying: This scarlet belt symbolizes the blood, which you should be ready to shed, rather than violate any portion of the oath which you have taken as a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms.
The General leaves his station and advances to the Altar, Knight’s sword in his hand, addresses the Knight:
General: Kneel on both knees. The sword is given the Knight Loyal, that he may maintain Honor, Justice and Loyalty. By the sword the Knight Loyal is made and I do now, in the name of Honor strikes on left shoulder, of Justice again give stroke, and of Loyalty again give stroke create and declare you a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms in the Military Rank of the Knights of Pythias. The two edges of the blade signify right and law, and that the weak are to be defended and the poor succored; never draw save in a just cause never sheathe except with honor. Arise, Knight Loyal, and receive your sword. General hands him sword. Herald, make proclamation.
Organ ceases. Herald signals Trumpeter, who sounds "Attention," all stand at "Attention," when Herald announces: … Name of Knight is by the grace of the Knights Loyal and the pleasure of the Major General commanding, this day made a Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms. Let him be so received.
All the Knights, looking toward the newly made Knight Loyal, without command, come to a "present" and say: Hail, Knight Loyal!
General, Commander of the Castle, Chaplain and Officer of the Day take their stations. Herald remains with candidate.
General: Let the Circle be dissolved; Brothers in Arms, your work for the day is done.
Officer of the Guard dissolves the Company by the commands: Company! Right and Left! Face! Forward! Column Right and Left! March!
Circle is dissolved as before explained and the Company is moved to former position at the side of the hall; ranks are broken and Knights seated as at first.
General, addressing candidate: My Brother in Arms, I doubt not the story of the honor and justice of Damon and Pythias, as shown in the preceding Ranks of the Order of Knights of Pythias, must be yet fresh in your mind, and I charge you to keep the remembrance thereof sacred. The greatest virtue, however, of our Pythian prototypes, so much greater, indeed, that it embraced and encircled all other virtues, was Loyalty, loyalty to each other, and loyalty to their land and country.
General, addresses the Herald: Herald, escort the Knight Loyal to the Officer of the Day, for instruction in the secret work of this Rank.
Herald, when addressed, salutes the General, and, escorting the newly made Knight Loyal to the Officer of the Day, says:
Herald: Officer of the Day, by order of the General I present this Knight Loyal for instructions in the secret work of this Rank.
Officer of the Day: My Brother in Arms, give heed to what I shall say. The meetings of this Rank are designated as Assemblies. The signs are two in number, viz.: First, Sign of Courtesy; second, Sign of Recognition.
The Sign of Courtesy is: the right hand salute as defined in the tactics of the Uniform Rank.
This sign is given the Captain commanding the Company on entering or retiring from the Armory during the Assemblies of the Company. When given, you should take your place in the center of the Armory and facing the Captain. The Captain will respond by rising and returning the salute.
The Sign of Recognition is made in this manner. The challenging party will place the right hand on breast, forming a triangle with thumb and forefinger.
The party challenged, if he be a Knight Loyal, will respond by placing left hand in same manner, completing a triangle.
After which he advances and gives grip of this Rank. The grip of the Rank is made in this manner: interlock the index fingers of the right hands, the other three fingers clasping the hand, no shake, only a firm grasp, thumbs parallel.
We have a countersign, which is given at the inner door, and is changed semi-annually, on the 19th day of February and the 30th day of August of each year, the first being the Anniversary of the Order of Knights of Pythias, and the second the Anniversary of the establishment of this Rank by the Supreme Lodge.
On entering an Assembly, while it is in session, you give any alarm at the outer door, when you will be admitted to the anteroom by the Sentinel. You will then equip yourself in the Uniform of this Rank, advance to the inner door and there give … raps. To the Guard you will give your name and the name and number of your Company. This will be reported to the Lieutenant, and he will order you admitted if you are in good standing and are correct in the Countersign. The Guard will open the wicket, and to him you will give the Countersign in a whisper. You will then be permitted to enter, and will advance and salute the Captain as heretofore instructed.
If you are visiting a Company other than your own, you will not be required to appear in the full uniform of the Rank, but must be in possession of the Countersign, or present your Official Receipt, with an order for the Countersign, all of which must be reported to the Captain of the Company, and he will appoint a committee of three to examine you in the work of the Rank, and if found correct you will be admitted in due form.
The manner of voting is Aye or No.
The sign manual orally is, "In the Circle ;" written it is, O.
In the Armory or on duty, you will address all officers by their titles, and the members as "Knights Loyal."
In the days of chivalry an honorable life, justice between man and man, and a steadfast loyalty to a brother Knight and to sovereign any country were essential prerequisites. So we, in this Rank of modern Knighthood, have made the motto of the Rank: HONOR, JUSTICE and LOYALTY.
These virtues once lost, not all the wealth nor power of kings can again purchase nor possess them; yet valuable as they are, and above all price, you can never lose nor be robbed of them, save by your own consent.
For the emblem of this Rank we have adopted the White Lily, a flower that has been held in mysterious veneration by all nations as the symbol of three of the greatest virtues of humanity—Honor, Justice and Loyalty.
This, Knight Loyal, completes the secret work of this Rank.
The Officer of the Day, having completed instructions in the secret work, addresses the Herald:
Officer of the Day: Herald, escort the Brother in Arms to the General, and report that he has been instructed in the secret work.
Herald salutes, takes the candidate once around the hall [organ playing] to the General, and saluting, says:
Herald: General, this Brother in Arms has been instructed in the secret work of this Rank, and I present him to you for final admonition.
General to new Knight Loyal: My Brother in Arms, through the various ranks of Pythian Knighthood by which you have come to your present exalted position, you have been taught the lessons in the order of Ranks, Friendship, Charity, Benevolence, and now, in this Rank, Honor, Justice and Loyalty. This last is justly the greatest of all virtues, for it embodies all, and without it all the others are but idle pretensions Let your love for your fellow men be so loyally tine, that none shall ever doubt or deny it. Ever remember the lessons you have received in the preceding Ranks of Knighthood, and to that loyalty of Pythias to Damon that led him to place in jeopardy his life for the life of his friend, add the loyalty of Damon to Syracuse, wherein he counted life as not worth the living, if his country were lost. Give to your land and nation the strongest, the highest, the best of your life. Seek in all honorable ways to bring renown to your country and people, and thereby you will most benefit and befriend your fellow men. He who adds glory to his country gives to it that which is more valuable than any acquisition whatever. Glory can not be taken away by time or accident ships, territories and possessions may be wrested from a nation, but the mode of acquiring them can never be forgotten, and the glory of the conquest is independent of all accident. The glory of the achievements of her brave and loyal sons shall adhere to the nation’s name, and is immortal. May your life be so interwoven with the life of your country that you would yield up all, aye life it elf to save it Remember, "He who lets his country die, lets all things die, and all things dying, curse him; he who saves his country, saves all things, and all things saved bless him." Bring hither the banner of the Knights Loyal.
The Color-Bearer presents the banner to the General, salutes and returns to his station.
General to Candidate: Knight Loyal, I now place in your hands the banner of the Knights Loyal and Brothers in Arms. The white symbolizes the unsullied honor of the true Knight; the blue his even-handed justice, tempered with mercy; the red the greatest of Knightly virtues—loyalty to friend and country. Mark you well the Coat of Arms emblazoned thereon, and crowning all, your country ‘s flag, and ever remember your vows of Honor, Justice and Loyalty. Hands banner to candidate. Herald, give this Knight Loyal and Brother in Arms a seat worthy his Rank. Herald seats candidate at right of Officer of the Day.
Commander and Brothers in Arms of this Castle, I congratulate you upon your prosperity, and enjoin upon you that you be diligent and faithful as becomes Knights Loyal. Affairs of importance demand that I tarry no longer; you will give me escort to the outposts. Commander, I again place in your hands the command of this Castle.
Commander: We thank you, General, for this visitation, and as Knights Loyal will escort you on your way.
Commander then commands: Knights Loyal, Attention. Honors to the General.
Lines are formed, escorts and attendants the same as upon entrance of the General The Officer of the Guard commands.
Officer of the Guard: Present! Swords!
The Commander, Chaplain, Herald and Trumpeter precede the General to the door of the ante-room, and the escort follows the General; organ playing a march. The Herald, Trumpeter, General and escort pass through the door to the ante-room. Commander and Chaplain return to their stations, and ranks are broken and order of business proceeds.
Form of closing
Captain: Knights Loyal, Attention.
Knights Loyal stand at "Attention" as at opening. Officers rise and remain standing at their posts.
Captain: No further business appearing to claim our attention, we will proceed to close. Recorder, read the receipts and expenditures of this Assembly.
Recorder reads; makes necessary corrections, if any.
Herald, salutes with hand: Captain.
Captain: You will notify the Guard and Sentinel that this Company is about to conclude its business.
Herald executes order and returns to his station.
Herald, salutes with hand: Captain.
Herald: Your order has been communicated to the Guard and Sentinel.
Captain: ‘Tis well. I now declare … Company No. … ,of …, Uniform Rank, Knights of Pythias, formally closed until our next regular Assembly, unless otherwise ordered.
Company, Break Ranks—March!
At command "Break Ranks," all salute, looking toward the Captain, and at command "March," disband.
Form of Opening