Independent Order of Odd Fellows
Ceremonies for Conferring the Grand Decoration of Chivalry on a Chevalier


In conferring the Decoration of Chivalry upon a Chevalier the same ceremony shall be used as in conferring the Grand Decoration of Chivalry, omitting the word "Grand" wherever it occurs, and changing the titles of the officers in the text to conform to those of the Department Commander and his staff.
First Part
The Candidate must enter in full dress uniform.
Halt! Who comes here?
Escort to the Chevalier (candidate for the Decoration):
A Chevalier selected and recommended to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry.
Officer of the Guard!
Coming to a present then to a carry.
Officer of the Guard:
Sir. Saluting and advancing.
Admittance is desired by one who states he has been recommended to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry.
Officer of the Guard:
Sir, is it true that you have been selected to receive this high Decoration?
It is.
Officer of the Guard:
Sir, you will kindly present and allow me to examine your papers authorizing the conferring of the ceremony you have named.
Candidate presents Papers Patent, authorizing him to receive the Decoration, which the officer examines and returns.
Officer of the Guard:
Sir, preparatory thereto and before you can receive the Grand Decoration, you must pass through a primary ceremony, which will be fully understood as you proceed. Are you prepared to advance?
I am.
Officer of the Guard, taking position at right of candidate, both advance towards Captain in command of the Ceremonial Canton and halt, officer saluting and saying:
Officer of the Guard:
This Chevalier, bearing duly authenticated Papers Patent, presents himself to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry.
Captain to Officer of the Guard:
Resume duty at your post. Lieutenant, assume command of the Canton and prepare for reception.
Lieutenant in command of Canton:
Open Ranks, MARCH, FRONT, front rank, about, FACE; rear rank, cover, FILES.
Captain, taking Candidate by right arm, both advance to small table:
Sir, disarm and uncover, in signification of trust and respect.
Candidate surrenders sword and chapeau to the Captain, who places them upon the table.
Thus prepared, I will accompany you through the tines and present you at headquarters.
Lieutenant, form the arch.
Cross, SWORDS.
ADVANCE, Chevalier, and pass beneath this arch of steel.
Candidate advances through the lines, the Captain, passing behind the rear rank, meets the Candidate at the left of the line, the Captain steps to the side of Candidate and conducts him to the font of pure water and addressing him.
Sir, it is fitting that you should wash your hands in pure water, thereby signifying your desire to cleanse the body of the sins born in the flesh, as far as it may be possible for a human being so to do.
The candidate washes his hands and wipes them on a white towel.
Lieutenant, as Candidate passes left of line:
Carry, SWORDS; front rank, about, FACE; close ranks, left oblique, MARCH when Candidate commences to wash hands; right, FACE; forward MARCH thence moving Canton to desired position.
Lieutenant taking position in front and center of Canton which remains at this point, if in a hall, across floor space, fronting General Commanding’s quarters, during remainder of the First Part of the Ceremony; if on stage, Canton is moved from the stage.
Captain advances with candidate from water font, to position at left of floor space center, and addressing headquarters guard, on duty, as Guard advances:
Guard both saluting, Captain with right hand salute, Guard coming to a present, then a carry. Present my compliments and inform an Aide that a Chevalier accompanies me who prays an interview with the General Commanding.
Guard, left faces, to approach officers’ quarters, observes an advancing Aide, whom he salutes and is recognized by a right hand salute, he then says:
Sir, an Officer accompanied by a Chevalier, or another officer as the case may be is here and prays an interview with the General Commanding.
Guard returns to post; first position.
Captain both saluting, Sir, kindly indicate the nature of your call or reasons for an interview.
Sir, the name of this Chevalier (or officer) having been properly selected, based upon just reasons, regularly endorsed, presented and approved by The Sovereign Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows, now presents himself, without embarrassment, and as one duly qualified, to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry, and thus awaits the pleasure of the General Commanding.
Aide, draws sword, faces about, and addresses the General Commanding, approaching with Adjutant:
General both saluting, an Officer is here present, accompanied by a Chevalier or another officer as the case may be of whom he states that because of meritorious efforts in the fraternal and benevolent field of Odd Fellowship, his labors for humanity, and his efficiency within the militant lines, his name has been regularly recommended by his Canton, favorably endorsed by the Departmental Council — approved and presented to The Sovereign Grand Lodge omit in Decoration — the application has been granted and he bears Papers Patent qualifying him to receive the highest award of honor and merit, the Grand Decoration of Chivalry.
General Commanding, addressing Aide:
Sir, you will present the necessary credentials authorizing the conferring of the Decoration.
Aide secures Papers Patent from candidate and presents them to the General Commanding, who examines them and returns same to Aide, with instructions as to their disposition.
General Commanding, addressing candidate:
Sir, I am informed you have been selected to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry and the papers presented warrant the statement, but before you can receive this Honor, you must take the obligation thereunto belonging. Are you prepared and willing to take such an obligation?
I am.
General Commanding to Candidate:
You will now retire while preparations are made for the completion of this solemn ceremony.
All will retire or front curtain will be lowered. Aide will act as Escort to the Candidate. Captain will resume command of his Canton.
General Commanding:
Adjutant both saluting, Sound Assembly.
Adjutant to Bugler:
Sound Assembly. If Bugler is not present, same may be done by Band member, or in the absence of both, Adjutant will say: Guards, Officers, Banners, Flags, Assistants, Commands, Post.
Second Part
All on floor must be in full dress uniform. Captains will march Cantons to and take position. Chief of Staff marching Staff, with Lady Assistants, Miss and candidates, to positions. Aide places Bible and drum in center of space. General Commanding, preceded by colors, advance, colors taking place at center of Staff. Aide then advances and conducts candidate to floor center (at drum) and retains position three paces to the rear of the candidate.
If there be more than one candidate the others will take position, under direction of the Aide, but one candidate being desirable in front, if on stage. In a lodge-room all candidates may be placed in line. All candidates will assume the position indicated and repeat the obligation as given.
General Commanding, addressing candidate:
Sir, you will kneel upon your right knee, place your left hand upon the Bible which has been laid open upon a drum before him uplift your right hand, say I, give your name and title, and repeat the obligation:
Officers in Command of Cantons order:


I, …, of my own free will and accord, before these living witnesses, do thus voluntarily promise and obligate myself: To defend maidens, wives, widows and orphans in their rights; to relieve the distressed; permit no extortion, so far as I may be able to prevent it; to support those who are weak and powerless to maintain their rights, and to administer justice to the advancement of honor and the suppression of vice. All of which I, in this presence, do avow it my purpose and intention to perform, to the extent of my ability, under penalty which shall be no less than degradation caused by the loss of my personal and military honor, should I violate this solemn obligation.
General Commanding:
Officers and Chevaliers, ATTEST.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
RE-COVER; carry, SWORDS; advance, SWORDS.
All (Officers and Chevaliers):
Remember the oath.
Long roll of drums.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
Carry, SWORDS.
General Commanding:
Sir, our Lady Assistants each have a lecture appropriate to this ceremony and occasion, which they will now in turn deliver. The first Lady.
Charges by Lady Assistants
First Lady, on the left of, and nearest to, the General Commanding, stepping forward and addressing the kneeling candidate:
Sir, I, as a woman do commend your fortitude and noble purposes, and do beseech you to go on in the chivalrous work you have delineated; and further, do thus press a golden spur upon the heel of your right foot she presses a spring spur upon his right heel, thereby giving the instrument of coercion to the strongest member of the human frame, indicating that neither time nor opportunity should be lost in carrying out the purposes you have just avowed.
The first Lady returns to her station.
General Commanding:
Sir, arise. The second Lady.
Second Lady, on right of, and nearest to the General Commanding, advances with the Chevalier’s sword, and says:
Receive, sir, this, your sword Presents sword to him, unsheath it only in the right, and use it in defense and maintenance of the principles you have upon this occasion voluntarily espoused, never forgetting to grant honorable quarter to those whom you find no longer able to defend themselves.
The second Lady returns to her station.
General Commanding:
The third Lady.
Third Lady, on left of, and farthest fro in, the General Commanding, advancing and addressing the candidate:
Receive, sir, this steel gauntlet as a type of firmness, which most highly becomes a Chevalier (or officer) of your soldierly bearing. Presents gauntlet to Candidate. Be ever firm and true as steel to the obligation you have voluntarily taken, and forget not, in the administration of justice, to exercise mercy, as you in turn shall expect to receive it.
The third Lady returns to her station.
General Commanding:
The fourth Lady.
Fourth Lady, on the right of, and farthest from, the General Commanding, advancing and addressing the Candidate:
Receive, sir, this silken glove of white presents same symbolizing that however bold and firm may be your military life, you should never forget first to endeavor to administer justice by kindness and gentleness, and resort to arms only when compelled to enforce a right which cannot otherwise be obtained. It is but proper and right that such prowess as you shall exercise in defense of your good name should in courtesy and honor be used in protecting the rights of all women, even as you would for your mother, sister, wife, and daughter. Elevating her right arm Remember! Remember!! Remember!!!
The fourth Lady returns to her station.
Each Lady on advancing in front of candidate, may turn and salute General Commanding with right hand, which will be acknowledged, and at close of lecture, on first turning to retire, again salute.
General Commanding:
Sir, be bold, be just, and fear not; and know now and forever, that so long as you are true to the principles you have so openly affirmed, and to the obligation you have voluntarily assumed, you will receive the honorable regard of your fellow-men, and what is far more desirable, the conscious respect of your own self; failing to comply with your obligation, your spur will be stricken from your heel in disgrace, and you will be regarded as a dishonored Chevalier. Entertaining a belief that you will practice the lessons taught by these charges as based upon the obligation you have taken —
Officers in Command of Cantons:
Present, SWORDS.
General Commanding:
I now, as (or representative of) the General Commanding of the Patriarchs Militant, do proclaim and pronounce you a proper Chevalier to receive the Grand Decoration of Chivalry.
Triple flourish of trumpets.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
Carry, Swords.
General Commanding:
Adjutant both saluting, Sir, have you prepared a proper jewel to be bestowed upon this Chevalier (or officer) as a Decoration, an appropriate testimonial of his chivalrous worth?
The Adjutant steps forward on a line with the General Commanding.
Adjutant, addressing General Commanding and saluting:
General, I have prepared this jewel exhibiting it, an emblematic Decoration suspended from a brilliant representation of light, typical of the age of civilized chivalry, embodying enlightenment and justice, being a white cross of ancient design, having mounted upon the face a scarlet hearty and bearing a golden crown; and inscribed upon the back, the motto of action, "Be just, merciful, honorable, and brave." The interpretation of all which is: The enameled whiteness representing the purity upon which, as a basis, all justice is built; the scarlet heart, representing the heart of man, from which flows the fountain of mercy; the golden crown being indicative of the crowning virtue, honor, when practiced with the moral courage and bravery to defend all women and not oppress the weak.
Hands jewel to General Commanding.
General Commanding:
Chaplain-General both saluting, Sir, it is fitting that such a Decoration should be placed upon the bosom, containing a noble heart, by pure hands.
General, anticipating your purpose, I sought of her mother this young Miss, who, in her purity, is a type of loveliness and innocence, and I present her as one unsullied and maidenly pure, and ask that she, as the Maid of Honor, shall place the Decoration.
The young Miss should be dressed in white and may wear a suitable head-dress trimmed with white ostrich plumes and embroidered with silver.
General Commanding:
Sir, as an emblem of this chivalrous Ceremony, of the high moral character you have publicly assumed, and the duties under voluntary obligation espoused, I would now bestow upon you a fitting Decoration. Sir, you will kneel. The General Commanding leads the Miss to the kneeling Chevalier, gives her the Jewel to pin on the coat as per P.M. Code, Section 23 6, and says: I now, by the hands of innocence and purity, thus invest you with the Decoration you are entitled to wear. Be brave, chivalrous, just, merciful, and true; whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely; if there be any virtue, if there be any praise, think on these things.
General Commanding: Chaplain-General both saluting, Sir, at this point, it is fitting that you invoke Divine blessing.
The Chaplain-General steps forward on a line with the General Commanding.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
Order, Swords; UN-COVER.
Great Commander of all men, Sovereign of the universe, extend Thy helping hand to this suppliant Chevalier; aid and assist him in the chivalrous and righteous work he has undertaken, and give him, O God, the strength and power to keep the obligation he has voluntarily assumed. Possess him with the courage to advance the right with a strong arm and conscientious heart, and so let him live as to enjoy the blessings of Thy creation, and obtain the glories of the unfathomable hereafter. Amen.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
RE-COVER; carry, SWORDS; present, SWORDS.
General Commanding:
Sir, being thus decorated on the field of honor, made so by the exalted purposes espoused, I now, in this presence, recognize your excellence, and do thus publicly create you a Knight of the Grand Decoration of Chivalry gently striking the Chevalier between the shoulders twice with flattened sword. Arise, and receive the plaudits of friends and comrades.
Officers in Command of Cantons:
Carry, SWORDS.
The decorated Chevalier arises to his feet and receives the congratulations of the General Commanding and others. The banners and flags wave amid a continued flourish of trumpets and roll of drums and after such suitable demonstration, the band strikes up a martial air, and the Cantons are marched through the hail and dismissed.
A very impressive ending of the ceremony and a magnificent exit can be made by the dramatis personæ passing in review before the Chevalier just decorated, as follows: The General Commanding, after congratulating the Chevalier, rakes position on his right; the Lady Assistants move forward, congratulate the Chevalier, and take position on his left in the order of their numbers; the Staff, under command of the Adjutant General, with senior officers on the right, wheels into columns of three, is marched around the hail so as to allow the floor Canton to form column of threes and close in on its left; the second and third Cantons form column of threes, and as the augmented command passes they successively close in on the left in the order of their numbers; and the Battalion thus formed passes in review before the General Commanding and newly-decorated Chevalier; and the Band, retaining its position in front of the line of tents, renders an appropriate march during the movement of the troops. After passing in review, the Adjutant-General moves the command off the floor, dismisses the Canton, marches the Staff back, and forms line in front and facing the General Commanding; and, passing by the rear of the officers, takes position in the center of the Staff, and commands:
Forward, Guide Center, MARCH; the Band plays a suitable "advance strain"; the Adjutant-General commands:
Staff, HALT; the music ceases, the officers halt and salute with right hand, the hands remaining at peaks of chapeau until the salute is acknowledged, and then drop at the same time with General Commanding’s, who thanks them for their assistance; whereupon the Staff breaks ranks, the Band plays, the officers congratulate the decorated Chevalier, the ladies are escorted to seats, and the ceremony ends with a display drill by one or more of the Cantons.