Knights of Tabor
Ritual of the Third, or Key Knight’s Degree
Form of Opening
Third Degree Lecture
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. .... If there are any persons present that are not members of this degree, or 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 possession of the Pass.
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 order from the Chief.
The C.D.M. places the C.St. outside of the door with instructions, closes the door and gives three raps; this is answered by the C.St. by three 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
Key Knight’s Degree
C.M.: I have been informed that Brother … is waiting in the preparation room to receive the Key Knight’s Degree. Sir D.M., you, with the assistance of the Chief Guards, prepare the candidate in regular form to receive the Key Knight’s Degree.
The D.M. prepares the Brother by blindfolding, and returns and takes his seat.
The C.G. gives three loud raps.
C.D.M. rises and says: Sir Chief, our Temple is assembled in Harmony for work, we hear an unusual loud call at our door.
C.M.: You will please answer the call and report the cause.
C.D.M. goes to the door and gives three loud raps, opens the door and says: Who is this that disturbs the Harmony of our Temple?
C.G.: A Brother Knight who has the Title and the Lock, and is now in search of the Key.
C.D.M.: What recommendations docs he bring?
C.G.: Greetings from Brother Knights of the Lock, and from the porch of the Temple.
C.D.M.: What word do you report from the Lock, what greeting from the porch?
C.O.: I have been taught to STAND TRUE to a Brother Knight; these are my greetings.
C.D.M.: You are right. I will inform the C. M. of your request, sad return you his answer.
The C.D.M. closes the door, approaches the C. M., gives three raps, which is answered by the C.M., who asks the same questions and answers returned at the inner door.
C.M.: Let him enter, and commence his pilgrimage in search of the Key. C.D.M. returns to the door and opens it and says: Brother Knight, enter and commence your pilgrimage in search of the Key.
When they enter, the C.M. gives three rape, and all stand. As the D.M. and Brother pass around three times, the following is read by the C.O.
Time is Flying
How long sometimes a day appears,
And weeks, how long are they?
Months move along as if the years
Would never pass away.
But months and years are passing by
And soon must all be gone;
For day by day, as minutes fly,
Eternity comes on.
Days, months and years must have an end;
Eternity has none;
‘Twill always have as long to spend
As when it first begun.
Great God, an infant cannot tell
How such a thing can be;
I only pray that I may dwell
That long, long time with Thee.
As the reading is ended, the D.M. and candidate are in the centre of the hall with the Chief Orator, and the other Knights form a circle around the three with hands linked together.
D.M.: My Brother, you have a dangerous road to travel. Before you start, let us kneel and pray. The C.O. prays slowly and solemnly:
O, God, whose mercy is everlasting and power infinite, look down with pity and compassion upon the sufferings of this, Thy servant; and whether Thou visitest for trial of his patience or punishment of his offenses, enable him by Thy grace cheerfully to submit himself to Thy holy will and pleasure. Go not far from those, O Lord, whom Thou hast laid in a place of darkness, and in the deep; and forasmuch as Thou hast not cut him off suddenly, but chasteneth him as a father, grant that he, duly considering Thy great mercies, may be unfeignedly thankful, and turn unto Thee with true repentanee nnd sincerity of heart, through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!
777: After prayer the Chief Guards lift him up and carry him to the preparation room and tie him to the cooler (a large arm-chair), the Guards carry him around the hall once an a
swinging motion; they rest the cooler at the first 777.
C.M., to Brother Knight: You are now upon the first entrance. Before going further you must answer this question: Do you promise to protect and defend a Knight of Phyletus?
The Brother Knight answers, prompted by the C. G.: I will, in every time of need.
333.: The Brother is carried to the next square.
C.M.: Will you befriend and aid a poor, distressed Daughter of the Tabernacle by your means and otherwise?
The Brother answers, prompted: I will, freely, as my ability will permit.
999.: The Brother is carried to the third square.
C.M.: Will you risk your life to save a Knight from death when he gives the Grand Sign of Distress or utters the Distress Word?
The Brother answers, prompted: I will, and use all the strength I have.
444.: The Brother is carried to the fourth square.
C.M. says: Will you keep the secrets of the Temple and the Tabernacle, and those of a Sir Knight and Daughter, when given to you?
The Brother answers: I will, with all any mind, with all any heart, and with all my will.
C.M.: You have said well. Sir C.G.’s, convey the Brother to the Vice-Mentor for examination. He is swung around the hall once, and stops at the V.-M’s station.
C.G.: Sir Vice, we are ordered to retort to you for examination.
V.-M.: Who are you that desire my permission to pass this road to the resting place of the Knights of Phyletus?
C.G.: We are Brother Knights, and have opened the first, second, third and fourth entrances. We promise to DEFEND, AID, OBEY, and be SILENT.
V.-M.: It is well done. Unbind our Brother and conduct him to the Chief Mentor, and inform him that this Brother Knight is prepared to receive the Key.
The C.G. and Brother march slowly around the hall, while the following is sung in a low voice:
THE GOODINESS OF GOD.
How kind in all his works and ways
Must our Creator be;
We learn some lessons of His praise
From everything we see.
The glorious sun that blazes high,
The moon more pale and dim,
With all the stars that fi1 the sky,
Are made and ruled by Him.
And this vast world of ours below,
The water and the land,
And all the trees and flowers that grow,
Were fashioned by His hand.
At the ending of the last verse the C. G. and Brother stop at the C. M’s station.
C.G.: Sir Chief, the Vice-Mentor sends this Brother to you with greetings, and he said to me to inform you that he was prepared to receive the Key.
C.M.: Thank you. Conduct him to the Temple House, and place him in proper position to take the obligation of a Key Knight. He kneels on both knees, with his left hand on the Bible, open at the sixth chapter of First Kings, in his right hand a sword.
C.G.: Sir Chief, the Brother Knight is in proper form to take the obligation of a Key Knight.
C.M.: Thank you. He gives three raps, and all the Knights form a hollow square around the Chief Orator, Chief Guards and Brother Knight.
C.O.: Brother Knight, you are now in position to take upon yourself the obligation of a Key Knight. You will please repeat your full name, and say after me:
I, …, in presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and these Key Knights, do most solemnly and sincerely promise and swear, in addition to my former obligations, that I will keep and conceal the secrets of this degree, and will not reveal them to a Brother Knight of the lesser degrees, except to assist in making him a Key Knight: nor to any person in the known world.
I further promise that I will obey the Constitution, Rules and Regulations and Edicts of the Grand Temple and Tabernacle; and the National Grand Temple and Tabernacle; the Constitution, Rides and By-Laws of this Temple, or of any other of which I may hereafter become a member.
I further promise that 1 will obey the Grand Sign of Distress, and go to the relief of the person that gives it. Should it be dark, and the sign cannot be seen, I will obey the hailing figure.
I further promise that I will not confer the Temple Degrees on a woman, an atheist, a fool, or madman.
I further promise that I will obey all signs of a Sir Knight or Daughter, when and wherever given, and also the Secret Lock.
I further promise that I will defend the good name of a Knight or Daughter at any time or place.
I further promise that I will aid and assist poor and indigent Sir Knights and Daughters: I knowing them to be worthy when I can do it without injury to myself or family.
I further promise that I will not debauch or violate the virtue of a Sir Knight’s wife, sister, daughter or widow, nor permit it to be done, if in my power to prevent it.
I further promise that I will not open and organize a Temple or Tabernacle unless I am legally authorized by the proper authority.
I further promise that if any part of my obligation is omitted at this time, I will hold myself amenable when informed thereof.
All of which I do most solemnly promise to fulfill, binding myself, render no less penalty than to have my bones broken and life crushed out, should I willfully break or violate this, my obligation, as a Key Knight. So help me God to keep the same.
The candidate is made to stand.
Sir Chief, to Brother: This far you have come.
What is your desire now?
Brother, prompted: I desire to see the Sir Knights and learn their friendly art.
Sir Chief: It shall be as you wish. Sirs, look well and make darkness light.
As the shock is given, the bandage falls from the Brother’s eyes.
Sir Chief gives one rap, and all the Knights are seated, except the C.G. and Brother. The Chief then instructs the newly initiated Brother in the signs, words and grips of the Key Degree; he reminds the Brother of his obligation, and tells him that he is about to be Knighted, and that true Friendship is the only road to perfect happiness.
CALLING SIGN: The fingers of both hands interlaced, dropped at full length of the arms and drawn up to touch the chin. This sign calls a Key Knight to you from any distance it can be seen.
HAILING SIGN: This sign is given with the left hand drawn across the mouth. It is the answering sign to the calling sign.
When a Knight receives the calling sign he hails it with the left hand, as above, this tells the Knight who gives the calling sign that you are a Key Knight, and that you are ready for a further test, either by lecture, or the grips and words.
GRAND SIGN OF DISTRESS: This sign is given by holding the right hand at arm’s length shove the head, thumb in the palm of the hand, and the four fingers open.
THE GRIP, with the touch of detection: This grip is given by the common shake of the hand, hut with the thumb below the knuckles; this is the first part of the grip. The second part of the grip is to touch the little finger of the one you are shaking hands with; if he is a Knight he will open his little finger and let yours in.
THE GRAND WORD: U-O-Y-H-T-I-W-M-A-L
THE ANSWER: H-T-A-E-D-L-I-T-N-U.
THE PASS-WORD: S-U-T-E-L-Y-H-P.
This is the word you give when you wish to enter a Temple that is opened in the Key Knight’s Degree; it is the pass that is given when opening a Temple in the Third Degree.
THE SECRET LOCK: 999: Are only to be used when you want to send a message to a Knight, to let him know that you demand his presence immediately.
The three nines were sacred numbers, used by the magicians of ancient India in the Pehlvi language, which signifies Priest. The magicians claimed to have the gift of prophecy, and power to control the secret forces of nature. They had for years an unbounded influence over the people. The mysteries of Magnus consist of nine degrees. They used their sacred numbers, 999, to summon members to assemble. If a member, after receiving three, failed to meet, he suffered death, and was seen no more. We use these numbers to summon a Knight. This summons must be obeyed when it is received. Knights are instructed not to use this summons unless the presence of a Knight is absolutely required. It can be used in sickness or distress. The manner of sending this summons is as follows: Write 999, and under the figures your address, and send it by man, woman or child to the Knight you wish to see. If you are a stranger, you can inquire if there is a Temple of the Knights of Tabor; on being informed that there is, tell your messenger to find one of the members, and give the summons to him.
444: These are only to be used when all other signs fail. They are the grand hailing figures.
Searching the mysteries of Mithra, we find the figure 4 one of their mystic numbers; they worshiped Deity under the name of Agla. The followers of Mithra were numerous and
powerful during the time that Phrygia flourished as a kingdom. When necessary for them to assemble, the trumpet was sounded 4-4-4, each four sounded separately and distinctly. It made no difference what the member was doing, everything was abandoned to obey that call. The figures were used when a member was in danger and needed protection. When the 4-4-4 were heard the followers of Mithra never stopped or paused until they found the person that uttered them, and they were prepared to defend him with their lives, or die by his side. You will notice that the name of God was pronounced three distinct times: that is, that the 4-4-4 calls thrice on the Sovereign Ruler of the Universe to witness that you are obeying your obligation. Remember the oath that you have taken.
777: The figure 7 has in all ages been received as a perfect number. The world we live in was created and made by the Supreme Master Builder of the Universe in seven days. Running all through the pages of holy Writ we find the symbolized figure 7. The Jews, when they wished to express the divine essence of Deity, used the figure 7. J-E-H-O-V-A-H. In the study of the Odinic rites we find the mysterious triple sevens emblazoned on their banners. When their banners wale hoisted and waved, it was a call to assemble, which all obeyed. We use the three sevens (777) as an important emblem. The C.S. of the Temple is required to have the 777 printed in green, and keep them in his office. When these figures are used, all members are required to attend their Temple in a called session, and imperatively demand their presence. The C.S. puts the date and hour on the card, with the 777, and hands or sends it to the member. When a member receives this summons, he must attend. No excuse bat sickness can be taken. If he fails to be present at the appointed hour, he violates his obligation, and, on conviction, will be expelled.
333: When given properly, the order is absolute. The voice that utters it must be found at all hazards.
The mystic figures, 333, the mysterious unity in the Godhead: the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit: these three are one. The component parts that are found in a human being are three: the Body, the Soul, the Spirit. The three necessaries of life: the Earth, to give us food; the Water, to give us drink; the Air, to give us lift. The ancient Druids, when initiating a novice into their mysterious rites, whispered I O W, the name of the Omnipotent and Eternal Power. This symbol of the 3, when repeated three times, the Druids believed would cure all manner of diseases, and was the key that admitted a soul to the land of bliss. The emblematic symbol used in the Ethiopian mysteries was 333, in a triangular form The first 3 parts which the candidate was required to pass through for purification were air, fire, and water. The second part of the ceremonies was divided into 3 parts. He found himself in a subterranean chamber, overhung with black, he was instructed that black was an emblem of sorrow and trouble, though he had become pure, yet it was the lot of mortals to have sorrow and trouble all the days of their lives. The second chamber was hung with white and black. He was instructed that that was an emblem of the world we live in. The white symbolized life, health, pleasure and happiness. The black symbolized life, sickness and distress. The third chamber was hung with pure white. He was instructed that this chamber was an emblem of a mortal that lived a pure life. Now his days are almost ended on earth. Visions of eternal glory fill his thoughts. He sees the luminous 333 on the door of the chamber that he is soon to enter. He hears a sweet, musical voice, saying: "Knock, and it shall open to you." He gives three knocks and repeats in the name
Elion, Eloi, Noil. The door silently opens and a voice most thrillingly says: Enter the last step, when he drops the garments of mortality; at the second step he is clothed with the white, glittering robes of immortality; at the third step he is crowned with the jeweled crown of eternity, the heavenly land, his home forever. The scenes that open to his view are beautiful beyond description.
The sublime lessons taught by the symbolized 333, and the cabalistic names of Deity are recommended to your serious and earnest study. We use the 333 in the Daughter of the Tabernacle degrees as the hailing figures of danger and distress. You are instructed, when you hear the hail 333, to not pause or stop until you find the person who gives that hail: you are obligated to save him at the risk of your own life, and to relieve him if in distress. Remember the 333.
C. M. gives three maps, and all Sir Knights assemble on the line. The Chief says: Sir Knights, our Friend and Brother has made a good report of his travels and earned the good title of a Knight of the Lock and Key. You will form the Lock, and we will admit him within the chain.
The Brother kneels on his right knee on the circle "O," with his right hand holding the book, his left hand on him breast.
Sir Chief, with the sword in proper position, says: By tire power and authority in me vested, as C.M. of a chartered Temple, I now and here declare … a Knight of T. of D. of P. Arise, Sir …, and fulfill the duties of true Knighthood.
The Sir Knights answer: Amen! Amen!! Amen!!! May the Lord keep him in Union, Friendship and Honor.
The sword is placed in his hand, and he repeats as follows: "With the hilt of the sword in my hand, and with the point toward an enemy, J promise to defend a Sir Knight, his wife, daughter, sister and widow, until the last enemy is conquered."
C.M.: Attention, Sir Knights. Handle swords, draw swords, present swords, return awards, to the right-about face, march to seats.
C.M. to C.G.: Sir Guards, you will please conduct Sir ... to the Chief Orator for further instruction. The C.M. takes his seat, and the Guards march once around the hall and halt in front of the C.O.
C.G. to C.O.: Sir Orator, the Chief ordered Sir ... to appear before you for instruction.
C.O.: Sir Guards, the Chief’s orders shall be obeyed. Sir ..., you have had a long and toilsome journey; many and varied were the scenes you have passed through. You first represented one of the ten thousand armed men of the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulon, who fought and conquered Jabin’s host, and freed the captive Israelites. Passing down through several centuries, you again come to the front us a representative of King Solomon’s guard of honor, who were most trusted and nearest his person. They were present at the building of the great temple and at its dedication. They were with the king when he received Africa’s intelligent and
intellectual queen. It was their privilege to listen to the questions and answers of these great monarchs. Solomon was a wise descendant of Shem, and the illustrious queen of Ethiopia, a wise descendant of Ham, traveled hundreds of miles to test the wisdom of Solomon. They met; it was a battle of giant intellects. The queen returned home satisfied that she had met the most learned man living.
You represented the armed warriors that defended Jerusalem when it was captured. and the great temple was destroyed, and the Jews were made captives and carried to Babylon, where they remained for seventy-two years, until Cyrus, king of Persia, restored them to liberty, and ordered them to return to Judea and re-build the temple at Jerusalem. The edict of King Cyrus was not heeded until after his death. When Darius ascended the throne, he confirmed the decree of Cyrus: 42,362. The tribes of Judah and Benjamin, under command of Zorobabel, the governor; Joshua, the high priest, and Ezra, the scribe, journeyed from Babylon to Jerusalem. Seven months after the arrival of this host in the ancient city of Jerusalem, the foundation of the second temple was laid with great ceremonies. You, of the Key Knights Degree, represented the Knights of the Temple. The builders were surrounded by enemies, who tried to stop the workmen. These Knights were compelled to work with their swords girded at their sides, ready for battle.
You have traveled from Mount Tabor to Persia, and there learned the mysteries of Mithra, and received the meaning of true friendship from Dalmon and Phyletus. You have been permitted to lift the veil of the mystic theology of the ancient world. You have had a look at the symbols and rites of the mysteries of Ethiopia, Egypt, Persia, India, Greece, Phoenicia, Assyria, and their cabalistic and mystical mode of explaining the sacred and spiritual work of Deity. You have found the symbolic Lock and Key, but before you can use the symbolized Key effectually and usefully, you must travel further and learn its ineffable name.
I present to you this collar and apron. It is worn in this way. Its color is scarlet, ornamented with twelve stars, the color and stars of a Key Knight. I entrust to your care this sword and belt. They are worn inn this way. The sword is an emblem of Knighthood. This cap, wear it; it is an emblem of dignity, and of your Knightly position of Tabor, Dalmon and Phyletus. On it is the symbol T. D. P.
C.O. to C.G: Sir Guards, you will please conduct Sir … to the Chief, and inform him that I have given Sir … full instructions. They march once around the hail, and stop at the C. M.’s station.
C.G. to C.M.: Sir Chief, the Chief Orator sends greetings to tell you that he has fully instructed Sir ….
C.M.: Thank you. He gives three raps, all stand. Sir Knights, handle swords, draw swords, carry swords, present swords. I now and here declare that Sir ... has received the Key Knight’s Degree, and is in possession of the Secret Lock and Mystic Key. Sir Knights, salute they salute three times. Sir Knights, carry swords, return swords.
The C.M. gives one rap, and all are seated. He says: Sir Guards, conduct Sir ... to a seat.
C.M.: Sir D.M., we are about to close … Temple, No. …, to stand closed until …, unless summoned earlier. Please give notice to the C.St.
The C.D.M. gives the notice in proper form, returns and says: Sir Chief, the C.St. is at his post, with full instructions.
C.M.: I thank you. Attention, Sir Knights. Three raps are given, and all stand.
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 within us, and guide us through life, and in Heaven save us. Amen! Amen!! Amen!!!
The signs are all given.
C.M.: I now declare … Temple, No. ..., closed until, in Love, Friendship, Peace and Harmony.
The following lecture, or some part of it, must be repeated before closing:
Q. Are you a Key Knight?
A.I am; test me.
Q.By what will you be tested?
A.I will be tested by the Secret Key.
Q.Where did you receive that Key?
A.In a regular chartered Temple.
Q.What number constitutes a Temple?
A.The number twelve.
Q.Why do you use the number twelve?
A.Because it is the mystical number of the Order.
Q.How do you apply that number to our Order?
A.Before I could become a perfect Knight, it was necessary that I should be invested with twelve points.
Q.What are the twelve points?
A.1st, Application; 2d, Recommendation; 3d, Election; 4th, Entrance; 5th, Passing the Squares; 6th, Obligation; 7th, Signs; 8th, Pass: word; 9th, Instruction; 10th, Secret Lock; 11th, Secret Key; 12th, Knighthood.
Q.Where were you prepared to be made a Key Knight?
A.In the cooling room, near a chartered Temple.
Q.How were you prepared?
A.The cooling chair was my bed.
Q.What was then done with you?
A.I was swung around the Temple three times and halted at the first square.
Q.What promise did you make?
A.To defend and protect a Sir Knight whenever and wherever line needs my aid.
Q.What was your second promise?
A.At the second square I promised to befriend and aid a Sir Knight by means or otherwise when in distress.
Q.What will yon obey?
A.All calls of the Temple or Tabernacle and of a Sir Knight or Daughter properly given.
Q.What did you promise to keep?
A.The secrets of the Temple and Tabernacle and those of Knights and Daughters given to me.
Q.What was then done with you?
A.I was released, having cleared every square, and conducted to the C.M., where it was declared that we promise to defend, aid, obey, and be silent.
Q.What did the C. M. do with you?
A.I was made to kneel upon icy knees and look upon myself the binding oath and obligation of a Key Knight.
Q.What did the C.M. say to you?
A.Thus far have you come, what is your desire now?
Q.What was your answer?
A.I desire to see the Sir Knights and learn their friendly art.
Q.What was there done with you?
A.I was brought from darkness to light.
Q.What instructions did you receive?
A.I was instructed in the signs, words and grips of the Key Degree.
Q.Have you the sign?
A.I have those which were given me.
Q.Will you give them?
A.I will, in this way signs are here given.
Q.Can you give time grip and word?
A.I will, with your assistance they are given.
Q.Have you the Secret Lock?
A.I have, and am willing to be tested.
Q.When and where is the Secret Lock to be given?
A.When all other signs fail, and in any place.
Q.By whose authority were you Knighted?
A.By the authority of the C.M. of a chartered Temple.
Q.How were you taught to use the sword?
A.I was taught to grasp the hilt, and hold time point towards arm enemy, and, therefore, defend a Sir Knight, his wife, mother, daughter or sister.
Form of Opening
Third Degree Lecture