Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta
Fifth Degree - Blue

This ritual dates from 1909

Ceremony of Initiation
The previous order of business having been disposed of, should there he candidates to receive the Blue Degree, the Sir Knight Commander will say: Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, what is the particular cause of our assembling here?
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, knightly association, the propagation of our Order, and the advancement of such worthy Companions as are desirous thereof.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, ascertain if there be any such in the preparation room, by raising the wicket and inquiring of the Sentinel.
Warder, having done so: Sir Knight Commander, there are.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knights Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens, retire to the preparation room, prepare and introduce the candidate(s).
These officers then retire to the preparation room and prepare each candidate as follows: He is divested of his outer clothing and invested with a pair of blue drawers or overalls. He is handed a small pickaxe, which he will carry upon his shoulder. He will also be blindfolded. The Captain General then leaves the candidate in charge of the Senior and Junior Wardens, re-enters the Council Chamber, and announces as follows: Sir Knight Commander, the candidate is duly prepared and ready to be received.
The Warder will then rap the number of the degree * * * * upon the door of the preparation room, to signify that all is in readiness in the Council Chamber. The Senior Warden then gives * * * * loud raps upon the door of the Council Chamber, and the Warder will say: Sir Knight Commander, there is an alarm from the Sentinel.
Sir Knight Commander: Ascertain the cause.
The Warder then give * * * * raps, opens the door of the preparation room and says: Who comes here to disturb the peace and harmony of this duly convoked Blue Commandery?
Senior Warden: A true and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first four degrees of our Order, now desires to be advanced to the dignity of a Companion of the Blue Degree.
Warder: How does he expect to gain admission?
Senior Warden: By the benefit of a password.
Warder: Has he that password?
Senior Warden: No, but I have it for him.
Warder: Advance and give it.
Senior Warden gives the entrance password to the Warder.
Warder: The pass is right. I will acquaint the Sir Knight Commander with his request.
The Warder will then close the door.
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, there is without a true and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first four degrees of our Order, now desires to be advanced to the dignity of a Companion of the Blue Degree.
Sir Knight Commander: What recommendation has he?
Warder: The entrance password of this degree, which has been presented for him by the Senior Warden of this Commandery.
Sir Knight Commander: Being vouched for by our Senior Warden, his claim is just. You have therefore my command to permit the candidate to enter.
The candidate is then admitted into the Council Chamber, and conducted slowly around the room, the Prelate at the same time reading as follows: And David lifted up his eyes and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then the angel of the Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an altar unto the Lord, in the threshing-floor or Ornan the Jebusite. * * * And David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the Lord: and He answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
As the Prelate reads, “by fire upon the altar,” etc , the room will he darkened and flue will be applied to gum camphor or alcohol previously prepared upon the altar, and at the same instant the blindfold will he removed from the candidate’s eyes a moment and then replaced. The candidate will then be conducted to a transparency of “The angel of the Lord with a drawn sword,” when the blindfold is again removed and the Generalissimo says: What do you now see?
Candidate, prompted: An angel standing between the earth and the heaven.
Generalissimo: What does it represent
Candidate, prompted: It represents the angel of the Lord who appeared unto David, the son of Jesse, and directed him to the place where the temple should be built.
The candidate is then blindfolded and conducted to the Sir Knight Commander, who wilt say: Companion, at the building of the temple, the three masters possessed a firm belief that if the children of Israel continued not in the belief of the Supreme Judge, and refused to obey His commands, their enemies would be let loose against them, their city and temple be sacked and destroyed, and themselves be carried into captivity; and thus the knowledge of the arts and sciences, together with the patterns and valuable models which were contained in the temple, and the original writings of Moses, would thus be forever lost. To prevent such a great catastrophe, they agreed to build a secret vault under ground, to lead from King Solomon’s most retired private apartment, in a due west course, and to end directly under the Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, the vault or passage to be divided into nine separate compartments or arches.
After the Babylonish captivity of threescore and ten years, the children of Israel returned and rebuilt their temple, and in doing so they discovered this secret vault, and the treasures it contained. Companion, you will now travel through the nine arches in search of those valuable treasures and records, which were once lost to the world for upward of seventy years.
The candidate will then be conducted to the entrance to the vault or archway, and instructed how to proceed, by striking the first arch with his pickaxe, and in passing through the other arches, which must be traveled on his knees.
After passing through the nine arches, the hoodwink will be removed, and he discovers the ark of the covenant, in which he will find the Holy Bible between the square and compasses, tied together with blue ribbon.
After taking them in his hands he will rise to his feet, and the Sir Knight Commander will address him, saying: Companion, the treasure which was there discovered was the Holy Ark, on which was engraved the name of God, and in which was found the only remaining book of the law, which had it not been for the wisdom of King Solomon, in building this secret vault or treasure house, would have been lost forever. Companion, if you still desire to further advance in the mysteries of this degree, it now becomes necessary that you be re-blindfolded and placed in proper position to receive the solemn obligation of this degree, by kneeling on your right knee, with the back of your left hand resting on your left knee. A square will be placed on the palm of your left hand, and on the square will be placed the Holy Bible, on which will be laid a pair of compasses, and upon the compasses you will place your right hand, palm down, the square, Bible and compasses thus being between your hands.
The Senior Warden should see that the above instructions are complied with at the moment the Sir Knight Commander utters them.
Sir Knight Commander, * * *: Companion, if you are willing to take the obligation of this degree, repeat your name in full and say after me:
I, your name Knight, do solemnly and sincerely vow and swear, by what is above, below, betwixt and between, that I will ever conceal and never reveal, nor in any way make known, any of the signs, secrets or mysteries of the Blue Degree to any one who is not entitled to receive the same. I also swear that the sacred word given, which was lost and found, shall never be revealed by me to any one except to a Companion of this degree; and to him only after strict trial and due examination, so that I shall be fully convinced that he also has traveled through the nine arches and gazed into the Sanctum Sanctorum. So help me God, and keep me faithful in this my solemn vow.
Sir Knight Commander: Companion, kiss the Holy Bible which is between your hands.
The Senior Warden will remove the blindfold and assist the candidate to rise, placing him so that he will stand facing the Sir Knight Commander who will say: Companion, notwithstanding your efforts, you have not as yet attained all the mysteries of this degree. The volume you have just discovered is the infallible Word of God. We seek, however, still greater results we are striving to find, if possible, the source of all truth, the foundation of supreme consolation, which as yet is but imperfectly revealed. Companion, will you assist me in this work?
Candidate, prompted: Most cheerfully.
Sir Knight Commander: Companion, you will now be again blindfolded, to represent the spiritual darkness in which you are enshrouded, and you will then travel in search of Light and the True Word.
The Senior Warden will reblindfold and then conduct the candidate slowly around the Council Chamber, the Prelate at the same time reading: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod the King had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him. And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not least among the princes of Juda, for out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.
As the Prelate concludes his reading, the candidate will he conducted to a transparency of the star, the blindfold will he removed, and the Generalissimo asks the candidate the following questions: Companion, do you see anything?
Candidate, prompted: I do.
Generalissimo: What do you see?
Candidate, prompted: A star.
Generalissimo: Of what is the star an emblem?
Candidate, prompted: The child’s star, or the star which guided the wise men of the east to Jerusalem, and stood over where the young child lay.
The following ode is then sung:
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came down,
And glory shone around.
To you in David’s town this day
Is born, of David’s line,
The Saviour who is Christ the Lord,
And this shall be the sign.
After the singing of the ode, the candidate will be again blindfolded and conducted to the ark, on each of the four corners of which is a light. The candidate should stand facing the Sir Knight Commander. The Prelate will then read: In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
As the Prelate concludes his reading, the Senior Warden removes the blindfold, and the candidate beholds the ark and four lights properly arranged:
Sir Knight Commander: Companion, how many lights do you see?
Candidate: Four.
Sir Knight Commander: These four lights represent the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are also the number of this degree.
All lights in the room will now he turned low, and a transparency of the square, compasses and letter G will be shown in front of the candidate, and if possible it should be over the Sir Knight Commander’s station The Sir Knight Commander will then say: Companion, the symbols of this degree, which you see displayed before you, are the square, compasses and the letter G. They refer to the treasure discovered in the secret vault beneath the Sanctum Sanctorum; the book of the law, represented by the letter, being found between the square and compasses. The letter G is also an emblem of the great and mighty grand password of this degree, as will be explained in the lecture.
The entrance password of this degree is ... In using it, your mind will recur to the scenes of Bethlehem to the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and to the early life of our Divine Lord upon earth. Our likeness unto Him in humanity will be demonstrated thereby; and our confidence be increased to go daily unto Him, and to seek His assistance in leading a pure and holy life. I will now instruct you in the remaining secret work of this degree.
The Sir Knight Commander then instructs the candidate in the grip, hailing sign, raps and passwords. The Senior and Junior Wardens, or other Companions, will repeat the
S.W.: Why do you wear that Robe?
J.W.: What Robe?
S.W.: That Blue Robe?
J.W.: As a sign or token of the Blue Order.
S.W.: Where are you from?
J.W.: The east.
S.W.: And whither are you going?
J.W.: To the west.
S.W.: Did you see anything as you travelled?
J.W.: The star that guided the wise men from the east and stood over where the young Child lay.
S.W.: Have you the entrance password of the Blue Degree?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: Will you give it to me?
J.W.: I will if you begin.
S.W.: T...
J.W.: C...
S.W.: J... Why do you, as a member of the Blue Order, take T... C ... J... for your entrance password?
J.W.: Because he was the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning Star.
S.W.: Did David see more than any other man?
J.W.: And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand and stretched out over Jerusalem.
S.W.: Have you a number?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: What is your number?
J.W.: Four.
S.W.: What four?
J.W.: The four evangelists.
S.W.: Name them.
J.W.: Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
S.W.: Did they receive any commission?
J.W.: They did.
S.W.: What was it ?
J.W.: Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, beginning at Jerusalem.
S.W.: Have you the sacred word of the Blue Degree?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: W ill you give it to me?
J.W.: No; but, finding you to be a true and worthy brother, I will letter it; so you begin.
S.W.: G...
J. W.: N...
S.W.: C... Why do you take G... for the sacred word?
J.W.: Because G... was the Word that was lost, and G... was the Word that was found.
S.W.: Where was it lost and found?
J.W.: It was lost at the building, and repairing of King Solomon’s temple.
S.W.: How was it found?
J.W.: There occurred an upheaval of the earth which rent the temple in twain, and one of the men employed in repairing the rent found a scroll on which was written “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
S.W.: Have you the central password?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: Give it to me. J.W.: H...
S.W.: U...
J.W.: T...
S.W.: L...
The Sir Knight Commander will deliver the following
Charge to the Candidate

Sir Knight Commander: Companion, the degree you have just received relates especially to the birth of our Divine Lord at Bethlehem in Judea. It is calculated to bring us into more immediate contact with the Church of Christ, and is the most important and glorious in its results to the human family of all those you have hitherto received. Man, by nature prone to sin, at the time of our Saviour’s advent was steeped in iniquity and vice; when God, remembering His promise to Abraham that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed, sends His only Son into a sinful world, subjects Him to the temptations of Satan, to become in the end a sacrifice for our sins, and the means of our redemption. How great the love and goodness of the Almighty, as evinced by this act of parental care of His people! In a previous degree you have seen how, with signs and wonders, He guided Israel to the promised land. You have now seen how His angel indicated to His servant David the very site where the temple was afterward erected. You have also seen how the only remaining book of the law was preserved to the world, through the wisdom of King Solomon, and have also beheld the star which guided the wise men of the east to the manger where was laid the infant Jesus, the true Word, who Himself becomes the “bright and morning star” to guide the whole human race who put their trust in Him to the Christian’s land of promise, eternal in the heavens.