Knights of Honor
Ritual of the Degree of Manhood
The Lodge being open in the Third Degree, the Dictator will say: Guide,
you will retire and ascertain if there are any Youths in waiting to receive the
Degree of Manhood.
Guide retires, ascertains the name or names of any Youth or Youths in wailing, re-enters the Lodge, and reports as follows, saluting the Dictator:
Guide: Dictator, I find in the ante-room Youth …, who asks to have the Degree of Manhood conferred upon him.
Dictator: Financial Reporter, has the fee been paid?
Financial Reporter: It has.
Dictator: If there be no objections we will proceed to confer the degree, Guide, you will retire, prepare and introduce him.
The Guide retires, hoodwinks the candidate, invests him with a badge of the Second Degree, approaches the inner portal and gives the signal of the Third Degree. The Guardian opens the door and says:
Guardian: Who comes here?
Guide: The Guide, having in charge a Youth, who desires advancement to the Degree of Manhood.
Dictator: Let them enter.
Dictator: * * *.
ODE: "In manhood life is dreary," etc.
The Candidate is conducted to the Dictator’s station.
Dictator: My son, you are about to complete the period of Youth, but you are still in darkness concerning the state of Manhood. If you desire to be advanced to that high degree, enter now upon a journey through which you will be safely guided.
Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the altar.
Guide: Dictator, your orders have been obeyed.
Dictator: My son, you have passed the probation of Youth, and are now about to enter upon the state of Manhood, but before you can proceed further, it will be necessary to take an obligation pertaining to this degree, which I assure you will in no way conflict with your civil or religious liberty. Are you willing to proceed?
Then kneel before the altar which has witnessed the vows of your Infancy and of your Youth.
* * *.
Brethren (in concert): He that humbleth himself shall be exalted.
The Past Dictator takes position, and says:
Past Dictator: Repeat after me:
I do solemnly swear (or affirm),in the presence of the Supreme Dictator of the Universe, that I hereby renew the obligations I have heretofore taken as a member of this Order; that I will defend and protect a brother, and aid him in his necessities, afflictions, or adversities, according to my ability; I will always endeavor to so live and act that the great principles of charity and benevolence may be shown forth in my life, and so conduct myself that no reproach may be cast upon the Order through my unworthiness. I do further promise that I will always promptly, and at all hazards, respond to the distress call. I will endeavor, by my unwavering zeal and fidelity, to promote the objects, sustain the principles, and extend the influence of this Order, and conform to all its laws and usages. To the faithful performance of which I pledge my sacred honor. Amen. *.
Guide, restore the brother to light, and let him behold the source of all wisdom.
Guide removes the hoodwink and the Past Dictator points to the Open Bible, and says: If you would be truly wise, consult this Holy Oracle, and profit by the instructions it contains. Study its pages, and learn to live according to its precepts, as your rule of life and your solace in death.
Guide, you will now conduct the candidate to the Dictator for further instruction in this degree.
Dictator: As you have entered the state of Manhood, I will now clothe you in the proper badge of this degree.
Red is the emblematic color of Love, and as the great characteristic of true manhood is Love to the Master, and to all His creatures, it is meet that he who enters this high estate should wear upon his breast the celestial color. May you ever strive to make yourself more and more worthy to wear this badge.
It becomes a man to examine into the mysteries of matter and mind; it is his duty to continue the work begun in youth. With the higher wisdom of experience, are conjoined the obedience of youth, and the purity of infancy.
A red banner is displayed at the right of the Dictator, upon which appear the emblems of the degree. The Dictator, pointing them out with baton or sword, proceeds: The emblems of this degree are the Scepter, Sword, and Shield.
As men, we should aspire to the kingly office of ruling ourselves.
Let the Scepter stand before us as the representative of that honor which we may at last gain by unceasing effort.
The Sword teaches us that we should fight against evil; that we should he well armed with proper weapons for the warfare.
The Shield reminds us that we should guard against rashness, and ever be prepared to repel the assaults of vice.
Guide, you will now conduct the candidate to the Chamber of Reflection, where he will be taught a lesson of mortality.
The Guide conducts the candidate to the ante-room, hoodwinks him, and then conducts him to the Chamber of Reflection, situated at the right of the Assistant Dictator, where he causes him to be seated before a stand, upon which have been previously placed a …, lighted taper, and a card, upon which are inscribed the words, "Man, contemplate thyself in the presence of this emblem of mortality." The Guide, on retiring from the Chamber, instructs the candidate to remove the hoodwink. The Lodge room should be darkened, and remain so during the remainder of the scene, up to the point where the candidate is conducted to the Dictator.
If there be several candidates, all hut one should retire to the ante-room during this part of the ceremony.
Chaplain: Lord, thou hast been our dwelling; place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. Thou turnest man to destruction; and sayest, Return, ye children of men. For a thousand years in Thy sight are hut as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. Thou earnest them away as with a flood; they are as a sleep; in the morning they are like grass which groweth up. In the morning it nourisheth, and groweth up; in the evening it is cut down, and withereth. For we are consumed by Thine anger, and by Thy wrath are we troubled. Thou hast set our iniquities before Thee, our secret sins in the light of Thy countenance. For all our days are passed away in Thy wrath; we spend our years, as a tale that is told. The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away. Who knoweth the power of thine anger? even according to Thy fear, so is Thy wrath. So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.
After the Scripture lesson, the candidate is conducted past the Assistant Dictator’s chair, who says:
Assistant Dictator: Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.
Vice Dictator: For There is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither thou goest.
Past Dictator: Behold I show you a mystery.
An Evergreen, concealed in an alcove or curtained canopy, situated at the left of the Past Dictator, and illuminated with burning tapers, is here unveiled.
This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal put on immortality.
The Chaplain will then read as follows: And he shewed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. Iu the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it;
and his servants shall serve him; And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign forever and ever.
The candidate is here conducted to the Dictator, who will give him the following lecture:
Dictator: My Brother, you have had represented to you a solemn scene, to teach you that man is mortal, and that all things earthly are of a transitory nature. A great change awaits all men, which, to the natural mind, seems the end of existence, but which in reality is but the beginning of a more glorious hereafter.
The evergreen just displayed to your view shadows forth the great truth that man shall live forever. Its outer clothing fades and is renewed day by day, but through the varying seasons, its life flows on in a continuous stream.
So man, at the gate we call Death, casts off an ever-changing and worn-out garment, and continues to live in the world beyond. This great truth is taught us by instinct, by nature, and by revelation.
I will now instruct you in the work of the Third Degree:
Desiring to enter a Lodge of the Knights of Honor, working in the Third, or Degree of Manhood, approach the outer door, give a pull of the bell (if there be one), a rap, or any alarm that will attract the attention of the Sentinel who guards the door. He will open the wicket, or door (as the case may be), when, in a whisper, give him the semi-annual pass-word, which will be communicated to you later in the evening. This will admit you to the ante-room, where you will invest yourself with the proper badge of this degree, which is scarlet (to be attached to the left lapel of the coat). Then present yourself at the inner door and give four raps. The Guardian will report to the Vice Dictator an alarm at the door. The Vice Dictator instructs him to inquire and report the cause. The Guardian opens the wicket, when you will announce to him your name, name and number of your Lodge, and place of residence. (When visiting your own Lodge, it will only be necessary to give your name, as … of this Lodge). The Guardian closes the wicket, and reports your presence to the Vice Dictator, who directs him to admit you, if correct. The Guardian re-opens the wicket, when, in a whisper, you will give him the permanent password of this degree, which is …. This admits you to the Lodge room, when you will advance in front of he chair of the Vice Dictator, and thence to the altar, by right angles, and salute the Dictator (who is the presiding officer) with the salutation sign of this degree, which is made in this manner ….
The meaning of this sign is: Our hearts and purses are both pledged, and are at the service of our noble Order. You will be recognized by the Dictator with the sign of courtesy (a wave of the hand), thus …. You can then take your seat in the Lodge room. Should you wish to retire before the Lodge is closed, you must rise to your feet, salute and address the Dictator, and ask permission to retire. Should it be granted, you must advance to the altar, and retire under the sign.
Should you desire to address the Lodge, make or second a motion, you must rise to your feet and salute the Dictator with the salutation sign of this degree. In crossing the Lodge room, you must never pass between the altar and the station of the Dictator (except in the initiatory ceremonies). In passing the altar you must always give the salutation sign of the degree in which the Lodge is working (not waiting to be recognized by the Dictator, should he be otherwise engaged).
Should you be among strangers, and desire to find a Knight of Honor, we have a hailing sign, answer, grip, and words accompanying, which you would be at liberty to use. The hailing sign is made in this manner …, and is answered by …. Here exemplify sign, answer, grip and words. Should you be in distress or danger, and need assistance, we have a distress sign, word and answers, which you would he at liberty to use. The sign is made in this manner …, and answered by …. Should you be in the dark, or where the sign could not be made or recognized, you can use the distress word, which …. The answer is …. Should you see this sign given, or hear this word spoken, it would be your duty to immediately answer, and go to the assistance of the one giving it, and render all the aid in your power, consistent with your obligation as a Knight of Honor.
On all ordinary questions coming before the Lodge, we vote by answering yea or nay.
My Brother, it may now seem proper to you, after having passed through all these ceremonies, and having been intrusted with so many of our valuable secrets, that I should hail you as a Knight of Honor, but such is not the case. It now becomes my duty to inform you that you are not yet clothed in the full armor of a matured Knight of Honor. Before you can be recognized as such, you are required to pass through a fiery ordeal. Should you fail, the fatal consequence rests solely with yourself; if you pass through successfully, you will receive your reward.
Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the ante-room, where lie will be allowed time for reflection and preparation for the final test.
* * *. The Guide retires with candidate while the members chant the following stanza:
All through life’s restless fever,
Throughout its troubled dream,
Across Death’s surging river,
Beyond that sullen stream,
True "Knights of Honor" glory,
In Tenth’s unwavering light,
In word anti action carry
Their deep love for the right.
During the absence of the candidate, the Assistant Dictator has placed in triangular position (base towards the Lodge), before the Dictators station, three fire-stands, furnished with illuminating material, which, three brothers are appointed to ignite at the proper instant. When this preparation is completed, the Guide returns, with the candidate hoodwinked, and places him in a position at the centre of the triangle formed by the fire-stands, and facing the Dictator.
Guide: Dictator, the candidate, after mature reflection, has concluded to undergo the final test.
Dictator: My brother, while in your present blind condition, which do you prefer, darkness or light.
Care should he here exercised in doing everything in proper time. At this point, the Guide should stand ready to remove the hoodwink, the brethren should he in complete readiness to light the fire, hut all should await the command of the Dictator before doing anything.
Dictator: You have decided rightly, my brother; the wicked prefer darkness to light, because their deeds are evil. As you prefer light rather than darkness, we judge your deeds are not evil. I therefore command, Let there be light.
When the Dictator commands "Let there he light" the powder should he instantly lighted, and when lighted (not till then), the hoodwink should be removed from the eyes of the candidate, and when this is done (not till then), the Assistant Dictator, or some brother appointed for the purpose, will cry out the Distress Word from the rear end of the hall, to which all the brethren will promptly respond by word and action.
In the event that the candidate responds, the Dictator will call the Lodge to order, and the Guide having returned the candidate to the Dictator’s station, the Dictator will say:
Dictator: My brother, I congratulate you upon having so well remembered your obligation, by responding so promptly to the distress call. May you ever be thus ready to fly to the relief of a distressed brother.
If he fails to respond, the Dictator will demand:
Dictator: What means this confusion?
The brethren come forward and surround the candidate, and the Assistant Dictator, or some brother selected for the occasion, will answer substantially as follows:
Assistant Dictator: Dictator, this brother has solemnly sworn to respond to the distress call, at all hazards. In order to test his sincerity I gave the call, he has failed to respect his own voluntary obligation; he did not even attempt to respond. Now, sir, I desire to know if this is what we may expect of him in the future. I object to his further advancement.
Others respond: I object, etc.
Dictator: My brother, do you remember your obligation, that you would respond promptly, and at all hazards, to the distress call?
Dictator: Now, sir, why have you so soon violated this, your solemn vow?
Dictator: Brother Knights, arc yen satisfied with this brother’s explanation?
The brethren will be allowed to indulge in reasonable debate in regard to the matter, but, finally, the Dictator will say:
Dictator: What say you, Knights, forgive, or not forgive?
All respond: Forgive.
Dictator: As it is the unanimous pleasure of this Lodge, we forgive you, as we hope to be forgiven under like circumstances. Let this teach you our motto: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you," and impress upon your mind your solemn obligation.
A tri-colored banner, white, yellow and red, hearing the monogram of the Order, is displayed at the right of the Dictator.
Dictator: My brother, displayed upon the banner before you is the monogram of our Order. This monogram, and its explanation, is a secret to be made known only to members of this Order, and to be used only by them for fraternal purposes.
After communicating the semi-annual pass-word, and explaining the meaning of the monogram, the Dictator takes the Guide’s baton, or sword, in his hand, and pointing to the several parts of the body of the initiate, as indicated in the lecture, continues as follows:
Dictator: I will now consecrate and dedicate you to the noble work of the Knights of Honor. Your head, your heart, your hands, your feet. Your head, that it maybe quick to conceive plans of charity; your heart, that it may overflow with love toward your brethren; your hands, that they may always abound with means to relieve distress; your feet, that they may be swift to run on errands of mercy. And may the Most High so guide and direct your onward journey through life that when you come to pass over the dark river, and approach His presence, you may hear the glorious declaration: "Inasmuch as ye have done" it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me," and now, with this hand, I bid you welcome to our ranks, and pronounce you a Knight of Honor, and, as such, entitled to all the rights and privileges of our Order. Gives the grip. Chaplain, you will invoke the Divine blessing.
* * *.
Chaplain: Our Father, who art in Heaven, grant that we may improve by the lessons which we have received at this time. Help us to realize the importance of contending valiantly against evils from within and without. Make us true Knights, in the conflict of truth against error, and faithful to each other and to Thee. Amen.
Brethren (in concert): Amen
The Guide will face the candidate to the Lodge, and the Dictator will introduce him to the brethren, as follows:
Dictator: Brethren of … Lodge, No. …, it is with pleasure that I now introduce to you our new-made Brother …, whom you have received into the Degree of Infancy, instructed in the Degree of Youth, and advanced to the Degree of Manhood. As a further token of our esteem and confidence, let us extend to him the bond of united fellowship.
Here the Dictator, bearing the banner of the Third Degree, will head a procession, all the brethren between his station and the Assistant Dictator’s following in single file; then the Assistant Dictator, with the First Degree banner, followed by the brethren between his station and the Vice Dictator’s; then the Vice Dictator, with the Second Degree banner, followed by the brethren between his station and the Past Dictator’s; then the Past Dictator, with the tri-colored banner, followed by the brethren between his station and the Dictator’s. This procession will march slowly around the Lodge, singing the Welcome Ode, and each member will shake hands with the brother as they pass him. Ho remains standing in front of the Dictator’s station. When all have thus greeted him, the procession will halt, with the standard-bearers opposite their proper stations, face to the centre, and conclude the singing, after which the Dictator will call to order, and all will be seated.
With Truth’s proud banner o’er us,
Our creed, The Golden Rule
Bright Honor’s shield before us,
United heart and soul,
We know an sect or faction,
No deeds that shun the light,
But firm in truthful action,
Trust God and do the right.
We, "Knights of Honor;" tender
To you our hands and hearts;
No matter where you wander,
Through life’s distracting marts.
Your loved ones with affection
We'll shield from grief and care,
And pray for your protection
From every sin and snare.
Then caring not for sorrow,
We cheerfully can say,
Let the uncertain morrow
Bring with it what it may,
In mutual faith abiding,
With Hope’s glad promise blest,
In brother’s love confiding,
We’ll find sweet Peace at last."
The candidate will repair to the Reporter’s desk and enter his name, when the Order of Business will be resumed.
Dictator: I am about to close this Lodge. We will now sing the closing ode. * * *.
To beds of pain and scenes of woe
The true Knight cheerfully repairs,
And with the gifts his hands bestow
He wipes away the sufferer’s tears;
The orphan’s heart he fills wills joy,
The widow’s mourning soul makes glad,
And fervently all good men pray
For God’s choice blessings on his head.
True wisdom early sought and found,
In age will give us peaceful rest;
Should we improve life’s fleeting morn,
We’ll find its evening sweetly blest.
This he the burden of our prayer,
And our loved ones with us will be
Protected, shielded from all care,
And blessed through all eternity.
Dictator: Chaplain, you will now invoke the Divine blessing.
Chaplain: Almighty God, we recognize Thy authority in all our ways, and earnestly thank Thee for Thy loving-kindness to us, notwithstanding our waywardness. Grant that we may comprehend Thy truth in all its purity; refrain from bowing down to the idols of our own hearts; never approach Thee or use Thy great name with unholy familiarity, and honor Thee above every other being. May we respect the rights of others as we would have our own respected, and may all our thoughts be brought into conformity with Thy Divine will.
Watch over and protect from evil all our loved ones, and enable us to practice all those virtues most acceptable to Thee, and becoming to true Knights of Honor, and Thine shall be the praise for evermore. Amen.
Brethren (in concert): Amen.
Dictator: I now declare this Lodge closed until … night. Guide, collect the rituals and odes. *.
NOTE: The brothers after the Lodge is closed, should divest themselves of their regalia, and the Guide see that it is properly secured.
The Lodge being open in the Third Degree, the Dictator will say: Guide,
you will retire and ascertain if there are any Youths in waiting to receive the
Degree of Manhood.