Knights of Tabor
Ritual of the First Degree
At the proper hour the C. M. takes his seat and gives one rap. This calls the Knights to order and the officers and members to their seats.
C. M.: Sir Knights, we are preparing to open … Temple, No. …, in the First Degree. If there are any persons present that are not members of the Order, I will thank them to retire.
C. M. gives one rap. The C. D. M. advances to the Chief.
The Chief says: Sir D. M., you will please to attend and receive the word and report.
C. D. M. to C. M.: Sir Chief, I have visited all, and find each person in full uniform with our Order.
C. M.: It is well. Sir D. M., you will please to place the C. St. at his post and invest him, inform him that we are ready to open … Temple, No. …, and order him to let none enter or pass out until further orders from the Chief.
The C. D. M. places the C. St. outside of the door with instructions, closes the door and gives two raps, this is answered by the C. St. by two raps. C. D. M. gives one and C. St. answers by one.
The C. D. M. returns to the C. M. and says: Sir Chief, the C. St. is at his post with full instructions.
C. M.: It is well. Let us prepare in the regular form. The officers, members and visitors put on their regalia. The C. M. gives two raps and officers stand.
C. M.: Sir C. D. M., your duty in and about the Temple?
C.D. M.: My duty is to take charge of the inner door, to see that none pass or repass without permission from the Chief.
C.M. to C. D. M.: The C. St.’s post and duty?
C.D. M.: His post is at the outer door, duty to keep off all who are not members, take charge of and prepare the rooms for meetings.
C.M. to Sir C. G.: Your duty?
1st Guard answers: Our duties are to assist the C. M. in giving degrees and preserve decorum during the hours of business.
C.M.: Sir C. T., your duty?
C.T.: My duty is to receive all money and money orders, pay all orders properly drawn, and have my books and papers always ready for inspection.
C.M.: Sir C. S., your duty?
C.S.: My duty is to keep a record of the doings of the Temple, collect all dues and other money belonging to the Temple, pay the same to the C. T., repost quarterly to the C.G.M. and annually to the Grand Session.
C.M.: Sir V. M., your duty?
V.M.: My duty is to assist the C. M. in his presence, and in his absence perform all his duties.
C.M.: Sir V. M. the C. M.’s duty?
V.M.: His duty is to preside at all meetings of the Temple, call special meetings when business requires it, decide all questions of rules and regulations, see that the by-laws of his Temple. and the edicts of the Grand Temple and laws are strictly enforced, and represent his Temple at the Annual Sessions.
C.M.: Sir C.O., your duty? Gives three raps. all stand.
C.O.: My duty is to conduct the devotional exercises of the Temple, visit and give consolation to the sick, and attend to the funeral services of Sir Knights and Daughters.
C.M.: Sir Knights, assemble in form. They assemble on the square, face in.
C.M.: Sir Knights, to the right-about face deposit javelins, doff caps, left-about face, to your devotions.
The C. O. conducts as follows:
Come, let us join, our Lord to praise,
Whose mercy knows no end;
To Him our cheerful Voices raise,
Our father and our friend.
In tender infancy his care
Preserved our lives from harm;
And now He keeps us from the snare
Of sin’s deceitful charm.
O, Almighty God, .who has built Thy Temple upon the foundation of Thy Almighty Power and Word. The Messiah Himself being the chief head of the corner stone, the rock and keystone of our faith. Grant that we may be so joined together in the unity of spirit by Thy teachings that we may be made an Holy Temple acceptable unto Thee, our Lord and Savior. Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!
C.M.: Sir Knights, right-about face, recover javelins, cover heads, to the left-about face, march to seats and stand.
C.M.: Sir Knights, assist me in the signs. In the First Degree, the signs of that degree only are given.
C. M.: I now proclaim … Temple, No. … opened in the First Degree, in Friendship, Love and Harmony.
Sir D. M., you will notify the C. St., that … Temple, No. …, is now open; and if there are any members of the Order that wish to enter, admit them by the inner door and pass of this degree.
The C. M. says: Sir Knights, we have opened to give the First Degree to Mr. ….We will thank you to assist us. Attention! C. G., you will now prepare the candidate and introduce him. The three C. G’s repair to the adjoining room where the candidate is in waiting. and blindfold him, and conduct him into and around the hall once, and halt bun in front of the Temple House, where the C.O. is standing.
The C. M. claps his hands and all rise to their feet. The candidate standing in front of the C.O. during the reading.
The C.O. reads as follows: My son, if thou wilt receive my words, and hide my commandments with thee;
So that thou incline thine ear unto wisdom, and apply thine heart to understanding;
Yes, if thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding;
If thou seekest her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasures;
Then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.
The candidate is conducted around the Temple three times, and halted at the first square. He is placed on the number 777.
The C.O. speaks slowly, as follows; My son, forget not my law, but let thy heart keep my commandments;
For length of days, and long life, and peace shall they add to thee;
Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck, write them upon the tablet of thy heart;
So shalt thou kind favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man.
The candidate is carried by the Guards to the next square, 333, and, he standing on it, the C.O. speaks: As a bird that wandereth from her nest, so is a man that wendereth from his place;
Ointment and perfume rejoice the heart; so doth the sweetness of a man’s friend by hearty counsel;
Thine own friend, and thy father’s friend, forsake not; go into thy brother’s house in the day of calamity, for better is a neighbor that is near than a brotlhr far off;
All this I have proved by wisdom. I said, I will be wise, but it is far from me;
That which is far off, and exceeding deep, who can find it out?
I applied mine heart to know, and to search, and to seek out wisdom, and the reason of things.
The candidate is carried to the third square, 999, and, he standing on it, the C.O. speaks: Let not mercy and truth forsake thee; bind them about thy neck; write them upon the tablet of thy heart;
So shalt thou find favor and good understanding in the sight of God and man;
They are all plain to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledge;
Receive my instruction and not silver, and knowledge rather than, choice gold;
For wisdom is better than rubies, and all the things that may be desired are not to be compared with it;
Wisdom dwells with prudence, and finds out knowledge of witty inventions.
The candidate is carried to the fourth square, 444, and, he standing on it, the C.O. speaks: Wisdom gives length of days in her right hand, sad in her left hand riches and honor;
Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace;
She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her, and happy is every one that retaineth her;
The Lord by wisdom lath founded the earth; by understanding hath He established the heavens;
By His knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew;
If thou sayest, behold, we knew it nut; doth not He that pondereth the heart consider it? and He that keepeth thy soul, doth not He know it? and shall not He render to every man according to his works?
My son, eat thou honey, because it is good, and the honeycomb, which is sweet to thy taste;
So shall the knowledge of wisdom be nub thy soul; when thou last found it then theme shall be a reward, and thy expectation shall not be cut off.
C.O. to candidate: You have passed every square. Remember the instructions and keep the advice given, and you will prosper in all your undertakings, and be an honored Brother among us. Sir Guards, yen will conduct the candidate to the Temple Rouse, and place him improper position to take the obligation.
The candidate is conducted slowly around the hall while the following is read. The V. M. reads as follows:
1.How long shall earth’s alluring toys,
Detain our hearts and eyes,
Regardless of immortal joys,
And strangers to the skies?
2.These transient scenes will soon decay,
They fade upon the sight;
And quickly will their brightest day
Be lost in endless night.
The candidate is placed in front of the Temple House, his right hand raised palm out, with the three evils and four good standing behind him. The members standing with their toes touching the sides of the square. The C.M. administers the following obligation. He says to the candidate: Please repeat after me:
I, ..., in the fear of the Lord, and in His presence, do, with sincere truth, promise that I will keep the secrets of the Order of (12) Twelve and those of a Brother Friend and Daughter of the Tabernacle.
Furthermore, I promise that I will come to the call of every sign of a Brother Knight.
Furthermore, I promise that I will contribute of my means to assist a Brother Knight in distress; I will advise and give him aid.
Furthermore, I promise to obey all laws, rules and regulations of the Order of Twelve, and will be regular in attending all meetings of the Order.
I further promise and swear that I will obey the call of every sign of a worthy Daughter of the Tabernacle.
I promise and swear that I will all and help a worthy Daughter of the Tabernacle in her distress, with my money, by advice, and use all honorable means to give aid.
I further promise that I will defend the good name of a worthy Brother Knight and a Daughter of the Tabernacle wherever assailed, in any place and at any time.
To all of which I do most earnestly promise and affirm, binding myself under the penalty of having my body quartered and consumed by fire. So help me Lord, and keep me firm.
C.M. says: Let the candidate see light; stretch out your hands and assist me. One, two, three: Light. The bandage drops. The members are all seated, except the GOOD and EVIL. The C.M. tells the candidate to look! The first he sees are the great evils, which are thus explained:
ENYY, dressed in a green robe with a green false-face; he walks to the front of the candidate and speaks: I represent Envy; I come to teach an important lesson. The Great Dispenser of Gifts to Mankind has given to man as it pleases Him, and if you do not improve the talent He has given, and others do better than you do, do not envy them, but try to do your part in the great world you live in. To envy another the possession of anything is an evidence of a small mind and mean disposition: Envy walks slowly away.
FALSEHOOD, dressed in a black robe streaked with red; black false-face dotted with red; he walks slowly to the front of the candidate: I represent Falsehood. It tells of deceit, dishonesty, deception, untruthful and treacherous lying to mislead. I admonish you never to be gully of a falsehood; no, never. Falsehood walks slowly away.
COVETOUSNESS, dressed in a white robe spotted with black. False-face spotted. Walks to the front of the candidate: I represent Covetousness. It means desire. It teaches you that it is not honorable to covet that which is another’s, but in life’s pursuits you should acquire wisdom, virtue, honor and friends. Remember the three evils. May they never be found in you. Covetousness walks away.
The Four Good Lessons
The four good walk to the front of the candidate together. The C.M. explains as follows: Look at these, my friend, and learn what they teach:
JUSTICE: Justice, covered with the white robe, represents the true and just that are innocent of all wrong-doing, and recommend that you remember it.
LOVE: Love, covered with the blue robe, teaches you to love the Brother Knights as thyself, and that Love is the base of our Order, upon which the superstructure of Knighthood is built.
TEMPERANCE: Temperance, in robes of drab, teaches you that you should have an even temper, and govern the mind, body and appetite.
TRUTH: Truth, dressed in robes of scarlet, tells us of that Divine Being who proved His true friendship for man on Calvary’s hill. It tells us to be true to a Brother Knight.
May you remember these four good lessons, and may Justice. Love, Temperance and Truth be your companions through life. They walk away.
C. M. to C. G.: You may conduct our Brother to the C.O. for further instruction.
The C. G. conducts the candidate around the hall, while the members sing as follows: God gives us friends, who seek our good,
And strive to make us wise;
His bounteous hand provides our food,
And all our wants supplies.
They halt at the Chief Orator’s station.
C. G. to C. O.: Sir Chief sends this new Brother to you for instruction in the language of the Temple.
C. O. to C. G.: The Chief’s orders shall be obeyed. To candidate: You are about to be invested with the language of the Order, so as to make yourself known as a Sir Knight in any land or country, which you must not forget. Be careful and attentive to the instruction, for by it you will be known and received as a Brother Friend.
Brother and Friend, we speak by signs. The signs in the Degree of Tabor are the test signs, and are given as follows:
THE TEST: The first sign is given by closing the three last fingers of your right hand, letting your elbow rest on your hip, the index finger; this is the sign of admission and tells that I have been admitted and made a Knight of Tabor: this is also the saluting sign to be given when the Temple is open in the First Degree.
SECOND SIGN: The sign of silence is given by laying the open left hand on the mouth, fingers pointing to the nose, this is the answering sign to the test, and tells that I am a Knight of Tabor, it is also a warning sign to warn a Knight that he is doing or saying something that will injure him, and it admonishes him to look well to what he is doing or saying.
SIGN OF DISTRESS: The sign of distress is given by raising the right hand above your head, the thumb and two lingers open, and the last two fingers closed. This sign is given when you need counsel, aid or advice.
THE TOKEN: This sign is given by advancing toward each other under the test sign, and grasping the fore finger of each other, the other fingers closed, and the thumbs pressed close to the hands, side by side, pointing to the wrist. The first says, Firm. The second says, Friendship. The first answers, I greet you, Brother Friend.
THE MEMORIAL WORD.: The scenes that were enacted around and about Mount Tabor 1296 years before the birth of Christ, were mainly instrumental in founding the Taborian Knighthood. In this, the First Degree, the pass-word that we use is TABOR. This word will admit you into a Temple that opens in the First Degree. You give this word if you are present when the Temple is opening in the First Degree.
C. O. to C. G.: Sir Guards, please conduct this Brother Friend to the Chief Mentor; he will give further instruction.
The C. G. conducts the Brother Friend once around the Temple Hall and halts in front of the C. M.’s station, and calls
his attention by one rap on the floor with the Guard’s javelin. Sir Chief, the C.O. sends this Brother to you with proper
C.M.: Look well and bear your part of the chain that has no end. May you prove true to the obligations you have taken, for when they are once taken they ought never to be broken. They bind you for life to the Order of Twelve. I take pleasure in presenting to you this collar. The Guards will place it properly upon you. The color is scarlet, an emblem of zeal, and typical of firm friendship. May you zealously guard the good name of the Order of Twelve. Be firm and unchangeable in your friendship for every member.
I present to you this javelin. It is an instrument of war, used by the ancient Knights as a weapon of attack and defense. In the hands of those old warriors it was a terrible weapon, especially in a charge of armored soldiers when meeting in a hand-to-hand fight. It is to remind you that you have to defend a Brother Friend when he is in danger.
C.M. gives three raps, all stand: I now announce that ... has been regularly inducted into the First Degree of Tabor. He is now a Brother Friend, with all the honors of firm friendship; he is one of us in the bonds that must not be broken. C. G., please seat our Brother Friend. One rap seats all.
Lecture of the First Degree, or some part of it, must be rehearsed before closing in this degree.
Lecture, First Degree
Q.Have we ever met before?
A.We may have, as we have tray dud considerably.
Q.In what places have you traveled?
A.I have traveled in the land of Judea, and other historical places.
Q Did you visit any mountains in Judea?
A.Yes; I have visited mountains in Judea.
Q.Can you name it?
A.Perhaps I can, with your assistance.
A.If you will tell me the last grand scene that transpired upon the mountain, I will give you the name.
Q.It was the transfiguration of the Messiah.
A.The name of that mountain is Tabor.
Q.What road did you travel to arrive at its summit?
A.I encircled the mount three times and passed every square.
Q.What was said to you at the first square?
A.It was said: My son, forget not my laws.
Q.What was said to you at the second square?
A.Thine own friend and thy father’s friend forsake not.
Q.What was said to you at the third square?
A.I was told to seek out wisdom and the reason of things.
Q.What was said to you at the fourth square?
A.Behold, I build an house to the name of the Lord, my God, to dedicate it to Him. For great is our God above all gods.
Q.What further was done with you?
A.I was placed in front of the Temple House, where I took a solemn obligation, which makes me a Brother Friend.
Q. After the obligation what was done with you?
A.I was caused to see light.
Q.What did you first see?
A.Good and Evil.
Q.Can you name them?
A.I can, with your assistance.
Q.Do you know anything about evil?
A.Falsehood comes next.
Q.I was taught not to covet.
A.But to give justice: love a Brother Friend: be temperate in all things and speak the truth at all times.
Q.Have you the testy
A.I have been adorted.
Q.I am silent. ~
A.Give me your hand, Brother. They give the grip and word.
Q.I am glad to meet you.
If there is no further business, the Temple closes as follows:
C.M.: Sir Drill Master, you will please inform the Chief Sentinel that … Temple, No. …, now open in the First Degree is about to close, to stand so until ….
The C. D. M .goes to the door and gives three raps. The C.St. answers by three raps and opens the door just wide enough to hear. The C. D. M. delivers the C. M.’s orders and closes the door and gives one rap, the C. St. answers by one rap, the C. D. M. returns to his station and reports: Sir Chief, the C. St. is at the post with full instructions.
C. M.: I thank you. Attention, Brother Friends. Three raps are given, and all stand and uncover.
C. O. delivers the following (or some other suitable)
Almighty God, the preserver of all who trust in Thee, we bless Thy great name for the mercies bestowed upon us and for the harmony vouchsafed to us in our enclosure during this meeting, and as we are now about to disperse let Thy mercies continue with us, and guide us through life and in Heaven save us. Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!
The signs in the First Degree are given from last to first.
C. M.: I now declare … Temple, No. … closed until in Love, Friendship, Peace and Harmony. One rap. Sir Drill Master, please inform the Chief Sentinel that the Temple is closed, to stand so until ….