Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
The Degree of Knight of the Black Cross


Compiler's Notes: Knights of the Black Cross assemble in a Conclave of the Order and the Officers are the Most Wise Sovereign, SW, IW, Prelate, Conductor, Captain and Lieutenant of the Guard and the Sentinel, once again the Members are known as Perfect Knights. The Altar, which is centrally placed, should be covered with a white cloth on which is a black cross, and on it are placed a Bible and an unsheathed sword. Knights wear the Mantle and Cap of the Temple with the addition of the Sash of the Degree which is white on which is embroidered a black passion cross with P, in gold, surmounting the upright of the Cross. All Officers, with exception of the Prelate, should wear swords in frogs.


MWS gives ***, all rise:
Perfect Knight Senior Warden, it is my will and pleasure that this Conclave of Knights of the Black Cross be now opened.
Perfect Knight Junior Warden, it is the will and pleasure of the Most Wise Sovereign, as it is also mine, that this Conclave of Knights of the Black Cross be now opened.
Perfect Knights, it is the will of the M.W.S., as it is of the Perfect S.W. and it also mine, that this Conclave of the Knights of the Black Cross be now opened. Perfect Knight, Lieutenant of the Guard you will be pleased to inform the Perfect Knight Sentinel.
LotG opens the door slightly and so advises the Sentinel. When done he closes the door and addresses the MWS:
M.W.S., the Sentinel is at his post and awaits your pleasure.
Then I deciare this Conclave of Black Cross Knights duly and truly opened. Perfect Knight Conductor, attend to the Altar.
Conductor opens the Bible at Mark XV and places the sword across the Book.
SW: *******.
JW: *****.
LotG: ***.
Sent.: *.
Jesus, Saviour of Men. Pause Perfect Knight Prelate, Offer a prayer in his Name.
O Prince of Light and Son of God, do thou now bless this Conclave which gathers in Thy Name and works by Thy will. Amen
MWS gives * and all sit.


The Conductor retires and ensures that the Candidate is prepared by being clothed as a Knight Templar, then leads him to the door where he gives *, the door is opened a little by the LotG who demands:
Who are you who causes this alarm at the door of our Conclave?
A Knight of the Temple who is also well skilled in other Orders of Chivalry.
What seeks he here?
Further progress as a Knight and Mason, by being created a Knight of the Black Cross.
By what right does expect to obtain that honour?
By virtue of the Word of a Black Cross Knight, which I give for him.
Then give it to me.
Cond. gives the Word Praetorium.
Abide here while I report to the M.W.S.
LotG closes the door, marches to the centre of the floor on the West side of the altar, gives the Sign and says:
M.W.Sovereign, at the door stands a Knight of the Temple who seeks further advancement by virtue of the Word of a Black Cross Knight and awaits your pleasure.
Admit the Applicant in regular form. Perfect Knights, prepare to receive the Stranger.
All rise, the LotG returns to the door and opens it. The Conductor and Cand. enter and the CotG and the LotG then take up position and follow in procession with swords drawn. As the procession reaches the East, the Prelate begins to read l Timothy Ch. VI v. xi to xvi, then Mark Ch, XV, v, xvi and xxxxiii to xxxxvi. As near as can be done, the Cand. should be placed before the altar as the Prelate finishes. Once there, he should be instructed to kneel by the Cond. to take the Obligation.
The CotG and the LotG then cross their swords over the head of the Cand.
Place your right hand on the Holy Bible and with your left, hold this sword, point downward, so that the cross piece is level with your eyes. You will now repeat after me, using your Christian name in the appropriate place.
I, , a true Knight of the Temple, do hereby solemnly swear and pledge that I will never reveal to anyone, less he be a fellow Knight of this august Degree, and shall have received it in the same legitimate manner as I, the Secrets of a Perfect Knight of the Black Cross. Nor shall I conjoin, in any manner, in admtting another to this Degree, unless in a constitutional Conclave of the Order. All this I swear and pledge under no less a penalty than that of forever being deprived of the rights of Masonry and being branded an unscrupulous Brother. You will now seal this Oath by kissing the crosspiece of the sword which represents that Cross on which our Prince of Light was crucified. At this point, a transparency or picture of the Crucifixion is illuminated or uncovered. Gaze now upon the suffering of our Lord and forever remember your oath. The Cand. is left in silence for a few moments to meditate upon the Crucifixion.
Since all aspirants to this Degree must be Knights of the Temple of Solomon, we therefore deem it unnecessary that you must be dubbed again. Therefore let me present you with the Sash of a Knight of the Black Cross, which as you can see is white with a black cross emblazoned upon it, upon which the letter P in gold is surmounted. The white represents the innocence of the Lamb, the black cross the instrument of His suffering, the letter P represents the Praetorium which was the place into which Jesus was taken before he was crowned with thorns. Thus, as I invest you with the Sash, so do I invest you as a Knight of the Black Cross, with the rights and privileges of the same.
The ceremony, as you have seen, is commemorative of the Crucifixion, that great expiatory offering wherein our Gracious Emmanuel, the Great Captain of our Salvation, gave His own life, to ransom ours. I will now instruct you in the Secrets of a Black Cross Knight. The sign is given by placing the right arm over the left, grasping the arms at the wrist as if encircling and lowering a body from the Cross. The Pass Word is Praetorium, which meaning you have already heard. The Grand Word is King of Kings and Lord of Lords, a title of our Emmanuel. The grip is given by taking the other's hands, left to left and right to right, the right uppermost, and thus forming a cross. Thus, endowed with the Secrets of our Knighthood, you may now take up your rightful place among us. Cond. takes Cand. to a vacant place and resumes his station.
Perfect Knights, the labours of the day having been satisfactorily concluded, let all hear that it is my will and pleasure that this Conclave of Knights of the Black Cross be now closed. *.
Perfect Knights of the Black Cross, you have heard the will and pleasure of the M.W.S. and in obedience to his wishes, I do now stand down the Sentinel. Opens the door and advises the Sent. and thereafter doses the door.
Sent.: *********.
LotG: *******.
JW, *****:
Consilio et animis
SW, ***:
Consilio et prudentia
MWS, *:
Constantia et virtute.