The Chevaliers
Initiation Ritual of the Chevalier’s Degree


Bugle Call Without.
Chevalier, sharp rap of gavel or tap of drum:
Worthy Keeper, who challenges the castle at this hour of peace?
Keeper, sharp rap of gavel:
Worthy Warder, who challenges the castle at this hour of peace?
Warder examines and reports: Worthy Keeper, it is our Worthy Master-at-Arms, accompanied by Count Roland and his kinsman, Esquire …, who crave audience of our Noble Chevalier.
Noble Chevalier, it is our Worthy Master-at-Arms, accompanied by Count Roland and his kinsman, Esquire …, who crave audience of our Noble Chevalier.
Worthy King-at-Arms, you will summon the full guard and escort Count Roland and his kinsman to our presence.
Guard forms and marches to inner gate. Warder opens door.
Enter Count Roland and Esquire … as honored guests of this castle.
Guard escort them once around the room and in Front of Chevalier. Chevalier dismisses guard leaving Master at Arms, Roland and Candidate standing.
Count Roland:
Craving pardon my noble liege I present again my kinsman, who has served faithfully as an esquire and borne himself well against the enemies of his king, and who now desires to receive the stroke of knighthood from your gracious hand.
Count Roland, my brother, this is a worthy ambition – doubly worthy, for it ennobles the individual and ennobles his cause. But as the highest honor of our order, it must be given only to the worthy, and that worthiness must be determined, both by what one has done and what he is willing now to do. Has Esquire … been willing to serve and to learn?
Count Roland:
He has.
Is he of good courage?
Count Roland:
He is.
Has he made suitable advancement in the duties of an esquire?
Count Roland:
He has.
Has he been loyal to our order and has he proved his power by some knightly deed?
Count Rowland:
He has.
We are glad to note the progress of our friends, and their growth in the principles of our order. Count Rowland, let me welcome you to our council and assure you that no greater pleasure can be ours than to receive into our fellowship the brave and the deserving.
Seats Roland at his left.

Esquire …, you have come before us well recommended. Are you willing to take an obligation binding you to the service of truth and our order?
I am.
Are you willing to abide by the rules and regulations of the Chevaliers so long at they do not conflict with your conscience or your duty to others?
I am.
Are you willing to undergo the preparation for knighthood in due and ancient form?
I am.
Worthy Master-at-Arms, you will place Esquire … in position for the Chevalier's obligation.
Master at Arms conducts candidate to the altar.
Master-at-Arms gives candidate a small box or locket containing the emblem of his line of fellowship.

You will close your left hand over this token, which is of great importance to you, and hold it upon your heart.
You will receive this sword in your right hand and raise it, point up, above your head. Face the Noble Chevalier and stand erect.
Noble Chevalier, your orders have been obeyed.
Chevalier, calls up:
Worthy officers, guards and Chevaliers, you will again assist me in the solemn rite of obligation.
Triple circle formed as before. Guards with spears or swords at carry.

Esquire …, you will repeat after me:
In the presence of God and this fellowship, I do solemnly re-affirm my obligation as an Esquire and make these additions. That I will keep the secrets of a Chevalier, confided to me as such, when not criminal, from all the world: That I will to the best of my ability help any brother or sister in distress: That 1 will always answer the danger signal and give aid if in my power; and that I will never knowingly wrong a brother or sister.
I promise that I will obey all the laws, rules and regulations of the Supreme Council of the Chevaliers and of the Castle. to which I belong; and that in all my relations to the order I will seek to promote its interests.
I furthermore promise that I will not reveal any of the secret work of this order made known to me, to any one not entitled to the same; and that I will consider this part of my obligation binding even if my membership in the order ceases.
As a Chevalier I promise to obey the laws and protect the rights of my country, and in all my dealings with others to hold honor as dear as life itself. So may I be steadfast.
Chevalier retires to station and seats Castle:
Worthy Master-at-Arms you will conduct the Esquire to the Past Noble Chevalier for counsel.
Master-at-Arms, march to Past Noble's station:
Worthy Past Noble, by order of the Noble Chevalier I present to you Esquire … for your words of counsel.
Past Noble:
My brother, every advancement carries with it responsibility. Duty and opportunity seem inseparably connected. You will find this always true as you continue to advance. Wherever you see clear opportunity for great good in social, political or industrial life, that is a trumpet call to duty.
Men are not as a rule called to great achievements until they are proficient in little things. As an esquire you have been willing to serve and to learn, and this has prepared you for the weightier duties of a knight.
As a Chevalier the honor, the dignity, the success of our order will be largely in your keeping. You will have increased opportunity to extend its blessing of protection, to strengthen its influence, and to defend its integrity. May you be loyal at all times and meet every new opportunity with its corresponding duty.
Worthy Master-at-Arms, you will present our bother to the Worthy Chaplain for further instruction.
Master-at-Arms march to Chaplain:
Worthy Chaplain, I am directed to present to you Brother … for further instruction in the duties of a Chevalier.
The brotherhood of man is the watchword of our day, and in the light of fraternal love the world's perplexing problems can be solved. One of the encouraging signs of our times is that men and women all over the world are banding together in such fraternities as
ours to care for their own and each other's welfare.
As a Chevalier you are now pledged to this great work; and upon the fidelity with which we keep these vows depends our own and other's happiness. Be always ready to defend, to help, to encourage a brother or sister. The whole world is brightened by the smiles of our friends. Have faith, faith in yourself, in your power to accomplish. Have faith in your brethren; in their goodness, in their sincerity. And my brother have faith in God-faith that He leads' the world, and that in all the changing scenes of our lives His eternal purposes of good come true.
Worthy Master-at-Arms, you will conduct our brother to the Noble Chevalier for his commands.
Master-at-Arms, march to Chevalier:
I am directed to present Brother … before you for your commands.
My brother, you have heard words of wisdom and encouragement from others. It is my duty now to direct you to the accomplishment of your desire. No man may receive the crowning honor of knighthood who has not proved his courage in the field of human action. This you have done. You have been admonished of the virtues that knighthood must cultivate, and we trust you will be obedient to this counsel. Remember that he who serves the world best in its highest need is earth's greatest hero.
For short form omit from here to the prayer.

In the olden days a severe preparation was sometimes required of the candidate for knighthood. He exposed himself to great dangers. He fasted long and spent his nights in watching and in prayer. The night before the final ceremony he kept a midnight vigil over his armor alone before the altar of the dark cathedral or in the deep recesses of a somber forest, exposed to the attacks of savage beasts and dangerous men. In remembrance of those days, before you can be made a knight, you too must pass over a difficult road where there are dangers seen and unseen and where death may lurk at every step. You too must keep the midnight vigil of guard and meditation.
Twice you have stood within the triple circle, and though you do not yet know what that may mean, you should have faith that your own prudence, courage and skill shall help bring you to
a successful conclusion. Heretofore you have had brothers to guard you and to pray for you; now you must guard your own body and pray for yourself. You will therefore leave your guide, salute at the altar and pass out the inner gate to meet whatever may befall you. And now go with brave heart my brother; and in all your journey and in your midnight watch forget not that the circle of God's love is as boundless as infinity.
Candidate passes alone to the altar, salutes and goes to inner gate, and as the gate is opened for him be meets Merlin.
Whither goest thou, my son?
He goes by order of the Noble Chevalier to tread the path of difficulty.
Alone! This must not be. I know that you go to your knightly vigil for I saw the altar prepared far in the forest: but the way there is full of danger. There are pitfalls that only the practiced eye can see; there are hissing serpents that crawl across your path; there are robbers whose prey is human life; there are dragons that lie in wait to blast you with their breath. I myself will guide you there else you must die.
Walk slowly on.

I am Merlin, called of old the great enchanter. I have power and wisdom given me that I may defend the truth. It was I who led King Arthur from boyhood up and taught him how to rule. I built his palace and fashioned the round table where his noblest knights were seated. I have seen kings and princes arise and sweep nations away, and I have seen the scepter of Charlemagne crumble into dust. O! I have lived long years upon the earth, and my experience and my wisdom come to this, my son: Error dies, truth lives. A little while the world may go madly after injustice, and wrong may be enthroned, but it is the eternal fiat of the Almighty that only good lives on forever. Keep your vows and thereby make your life and the world's life better.
Now we are entering the "vale of serpents." Hear them hiss! Tread carefully and let none strike its poisonous fangs into your flesh.
We are now through this dreary vale and are in a pleasanter land. Behold! here is a marvel – a sword imbedded in the stone. Read the inscription.
Candidate reads:
"Who from the stone this sword can free, A true and upright knight is he."
Lay hold, my son, and draw it from the stone and prove your title as a knight.
Nay, be not so timid. A knight must fear no danger. Be bold and determined and you shall succeed.
Mow, by this token you shall be a true knight. So did King Arthur when he was yet an esquire. He found a famous sword deep thrust into a stone with an inscription saying that whoever could withdraw it should be king of all England. Arthur drew it forth, bound it about him, and with it struck great blows against the heathen and for the right. Buckle this by your side and lay it with your armor; and may it deal as valiant blows for justice and be wielded by as true a hand as Excalibur of old.
Go further on.

Here is a fountain where we may slake our thirst. And see! In it's depths a treasure! Long ago, after the days of Siegfrid, the Bold, I took the treasure of the Nibelungen and hid it in this enchanted field, that it should work no more havoc among men. Since then parts of it sometimes appear in this fountain and then it is good fortune to the knight who can lay hold of any portion of it. Thrust in your hand and seize whatever you can and bear it with you.
Nay, try again.
Never give up without a third trial.
Let this teach you persistence in all right endeavor. See here is a flower that I will pluck and fasten upon your robe in token of your victory. We are now past the enchanted field, and I have led you in safety. We have now a short but dangerous path before us, and that you may not be terrified by what you see I will place this hoodwink over your eyes. Clasp my hand firmly, step carefully, but have no fear.
You are now before the altar where you must keep your vigil. Kneel upon both knees. Upon the altar is the Holy Bible, the anchor of our hope. You will place your right hand upon it, and your left hand upon your armor, which lies beside it. I will unbuckle your sword and place it there also. And now fare well, my son. You are to spend the hour in meditation. Think not of darkness but of light; think not of failure but of success, and in this quiet hour lift up your heart to truth and purity and the love of God. Farewell.
After a few moments silence the choir will take a place near the altar and sing softly the altar hymn. Tune; Soldier's Farewell, "When youth's bright day is breaking, etc.
Master-at-Arms and two guards arrive at altar.
This is the altar of vigil, and here is our brother. Brother …, your watch is over. You will rise and follow us into the presence of the Noble Chevalier.
guard well all the avenues of your life that no folly or vicious habit shall have dominion over you.
The shield was the knight's means of defense. Let it stand to you for the integrity of purpose, the upright character that is man's best defense against all enemies.
The sword is the weapon of attack. Let it never be drawn but in the defense of truth and right, and let it never be sheathed so long as there are comrades to defend, innocence to protect, or injustice to destroy.
You are now prepared as a knight, but what is the emblem that I see upon your robe?
Master-at-Arms, hands to Chevalier:
Noble Chevalier, it is a part of the treasure of the enchanted fountain which he by his own persistent efforts has secured.
This is an emblem of courage, and is the badge of a Chevalier. Since you won it by your own courage it shall henceforth be yours to wear in all proper times and places.
Master-at-Arms fastens upon robe again.

What is the flower upon your robe?
It is a flower that Merlin found growing by the fountain.
What have you in your hand that you guard so carefully.
Noble Chevalier, it is the token of his fellowship.
Give it me.
Candidate give s it to Chevalier, who opens and exhibits it.

The token is a …, and the flower by the fountain was a …. By these signs I know that your fellowship is of the …. I therefore direct that Chevalier … be recorded in the line of the …,
and that his nearest kinsman in fellowship is Chevalier …. Your emblem is the …, and this you are entitled to place upon your banner or wear upon your person at all times, or otherwise use as you may see fit.
Worthy Master-at-Arms, you will now seat the brother for instructions.
Chevalier returns to station. Guards are seated. Master-at-Arms places two chairs before Chevaliers station. Escorts and seats candidate.
March by a circuitous way around lodge room to altar in center.
Noble Chevalier, our brother has kept the ancient vigil and now awaits your pleasure.
Brother …, you will kneel at the altar before you and attend prayer.
Calls up.
Almighty and all-wise Father, we pray Thy blessing upon him who kneels at Thy altar tonight. Bless him in this new relation and in all the relations of life. May he be true to every obligation and to every trust. Give him courage, hope and helpfulness. As he bows his head for the stroke of knighthood may he bow heart and soul before Thee in devotion to duty that shall make his life bright in the annals of our Castle and in the record of Thy children. Bless us all, our Father, and make us useful to each other, helpful in Thy kingdom.
Bless our Order we pray Thee. Enlarge and strengthen it, and in Thy providence make it a help and a blessing among men. Amen.
So be it.
Master-st-Arms removes hoodwink.
Brother …, you have fulfilled all our ancient usages that have been apportioned to you, and you have come to our highest honor. You will now bow your head in token of homage and receive the accolade.
"In the name of God, of St. Michael and St. George, I dub thee knight. Be brave, be bold, be loyal."
Three strokes of the flat sword across the shoulders as the words are spoken. Roll of drum. ·

Arise, Chevalier …, and be invested with the armor of a knight.
Master-at-Arms and guards put on spurs, breastplate, shield, belt and sword.

My brother, the spurs were worn by the knight in all his waking hours that he might be in readiness at any time to spring upon his horse and ride forth to battle. Let them be to you a remembrance that you must be in constant readiness for duty and be swift to help a comrade.
The armor was intended to give protection to the vital parts of the body. Let it teach you that you should
Chevalier, you are now entitled to all the rights and privileges of a Chevalier, and you must so understand our work that you can travel among your brethren and make yourself known at any time.
We have in this degree a password, a degree word, a grip, a sign, a challenge, and a signal of distress.
The password is given at the portal, or outer door, and is changed every six months. The word at present is ….
The degree word is given at the inner gate, and is never changed. It is ….
The grip is the same in all degrees. It is the grip given you as an esquire, and is a perpetual reminder of the first obligation that you took in our Order.
The sign of this degree, known as "the knight's true sign," is made in this manner, …. This sign is given at the altar in this degree and whenever called for by the proper officers. The sign of salutation is the military salute …, and is used when addressing the presiding officer and in ordinary salutation.
The challenge is made in this manner …. It is answered in the same manner. Should the challenger wish to be further satisfied he then says …. The party challenged answers …. The
first party then says …, to which the second party answers by giving the emblem of his line. These questions may be asked also when one wishes to ascertain the line of fellowship of a friend.
The danger signal, or signal of distress, is given only when one believes himself to be in great danger from any cause. When given it must be instantly answered by every Chevalier who recognizes it. It is made in this manner …. If the sign cannot be seen the person calls out …. A Chevalier who sees or hears this signal must answer … and hasten to the relief of the one so giving it.
Should you wish to enter a Castle while in session, you will approach the portal and give any alarm, and to the Sentinel you will give the password. This will admit you to the ante room, where you will clothe yourself with the proper regalia. If the Castle is in council, which is this degree, you will advance to the inner gate and give …, which will be answered from within by the Warder with …. The Warder will then raise the wicket and you will give him the degree word and your name (if visiting a Castle, the name and number of your Castle, also). He will then announce you to the Noble Chevalier. If the Chevalier orders you admitted, you will advance by a right angle to the altar and salute the Chevalier with the sign of this degree, which he will acknowledge with the salutation, after which you will be seated in the Castle. Should you wish to retire before the Castle is closed. you will salute the Chevalier and ask permission to retire. If granted, you will pass to the altar, give the degree sign and pass out.
You will ascertain the degree in which the Castle is working by the banner hung out in the ante-room beside the inner gate. There are three forms of banner in our Order, as there were three in ancient knighthood. The long triangular banner, known as the "pennoncel," was the standard of an esquire, and as such was carried by some of the bravest men in history. This banner hangs by the inner gate during the Esquire's degree.
The standard of the knight was a forked banner or double pennoncel. This hangs beside the gate while the castle is in council, or the Chevalier's degree.
The third standard was the square banner of the barons or feudal lords. Any knight who had won renown at arms or who had a sufficient number of followers was given permission by his sovereign to use the square banner. He was then called a "knight banneret."
The square banner will be displayed at all meetings of the knights banneret or uniform rank.
These banners may be of any color, but the official colors of the Chevaliers are blue and gold.
Lines of Fellowship
The members of each Castle are divided into lines of fellowship that begin with the Supreme Council. These lines when once established, go on in perpetual succession. Each member holds his fellowship from his nearest kinsman in the line, and bestows it upon some member whom he may secure or select. A member who bestows fellowship upon another must consider himself the adviser and instructor of that one in things pertaining to the order, and must endeavor to keep him in good standing in the order, that the line of fellowship may not be broken.
If the line should be broken by death, withdrawal or expulsion of a member the line will be closed up, the one immediately below such member holding fellowship from the one immediately above. Should the chief of any line die, the one next in succession according to date shall be named the chief, and shall receive all the honors belonging thereto.
You will show zeal for the line of the … by transmitting your fellowship, and thus enlarging your line.
You have passed through various ceremonies since you entered our halls, each of which has a meaning. In most cases, this meaning is already plain to you.
The triple circle within which you have stood signifies protection. Its three lines represent your own Castle, the Supreme Council sustained by the laws of the state, and the great circling power of the Infinite.
Your obedience, your courage, and your confidence in your brethren were all put to the test in the ordeal.
The vale of serpents, the enchanted field and the road of difficulty through which you have passed represent the ages of fear and force, the centuries of superstition, and the days of conquest and achievement through which the world has moved in continual progress.
The vigil and the accolade are patterned after the ancient days.
There are many things yet to be explained, but these you will learn as you continue with us. You will now rise and receive the charge.
Calls op.

Chevalier's Charge

My brother the elements of chivalry have been known to all ages and among all people. Courage and achievement are the very foundation of progress. Honor and courtesy to womanhood were known in the German forests centuries before the Christian era. To these were added culture, refinement, gentleness, chastity and temperance to make the knight of the middle ages. Chivalry as a system has passed a way, but it has left a lasting impress upon the world and today to say that a man is chivalrous is to give him many of the manliest virtues of our race. In bringing into our order the lessons of chivalry it is to emphasize the thoughts of courage and honor and brotherhood and protection. As a Chevalier you are the sworn champion of your brothers and sisters, of truth and every right.
It is your privilege to extend the principles of our order and teach fraternity amidst the jarring and discordant elements of life. It is your privilege so to live among men that it shall be said of you as it was of an illustrious Chevalier of other days, "He was a knight without fear and without reproach."
Join heartily with us. Give us of your strength and take of ours. Keep the vows you have made with us all the journey of your life, till in some brighter sphere the Spirit's mighty accolade shall name you champion of yet higher truth.
Seats Castle.

Worthy Master-at-Arms, you will seat our brother, Chevalier ….