Knights of the Golden Eagle
Revised june 1908
The Master of
Records presents to the Noble Chief tile name of candidates who have been
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Chamberlain, you will approach the altar, give the
Retiring Sign, and proceed to the ante-chamber, where you will prepare the
candidates for the Knights’ Degree.
Brother Sir Herald, you will give the Retiring Sign
and proceed to the ante-chamber, and receive from the Worthy Chamberlain the
names of the candidates in waiting.
The Sir Herald receives from the
Master of Records a list of candidates who have been elected, proceeds to the
ante-chamber, receives from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of those in
waiting, and compares them with those furnished by the Master of Records, if
correct, the Worthy Chamberlain provides each candidate with a black robe and
hoodwink, and sees that they are properly adjusted. The Sir Herald then returns
to the Castle gives the sign of courtesy, salutes as in the First Degree, and
says: Noble Chief, I find in waiting Brother ..., who
desires to receive the honors of the Knights’ Degree.
Noble Chief, arises and gives one
rap: We will now proceed to confer the coveted honor
upon Brother ..., who having proved faithful and passed a fair ballot, desires
to be initiated into the mysteries of the Knights’ Degree. Brother Sir Herald,
you will proceed, with our Brothers Ensign and Esquire proceeds
as in the First Degree to the ante-chamber and escort the candidate
to this post.
The procession having been formed
the same as in the First Degree, the Sir Herald gives a blast on his bugle and
knocks at the Castle gate.
First Guardsman, in a loud voice, through the
wicket: Who dares to demand admission to this Castle of the Golden Eagle
Sir Herald: Officers of this Castle with a Pilgrim who desires to know the mysteries
of the Knights’ Degree.
First Guardsman, salutes as in
First Degree: Noble Chief, qualified Sir Knights of our Order,
escorting a candidate for Knightly honors, desire admission.
Noble Chief: Admit them without further challenge.
The gate is opened. The Noble
Chief gives two raps. The procession enters and moves around the Castle (the
first verse of the Ode being sung) and halts in front of the Noble Chief. The
foot and sword movements are the same as in First Degree.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, this brother of the Pilgrims’ or Golden Chain Degree
desires to know the mysteries of our Knighthood bond, and awaits your command.
Noble Chief: Brother and candidate, for
the honors of the Knights’ Degree, before you can receive the honors emanating
from this chivalric Degree, it becomes my duty, as Noble Chief, to inform you
that you will again be called upon to assume an obligation, both solemn and
binding in its character which requires you to preserve forever secret all that
you shall see, hear, or be instructed in. You will be expected to observe, with
conscientious care and unwavering obedience, the teachings and principles
embodied in the lessons you will receive; principles which shown forth in
splendor through the dark clouds of ignorance, superstition and vice that, in
the early days of Christianity, had well nigh become universal; principles which
reflected the God-like attributes of the human race, and warmed into a fervid
glow the noble characteristics which shed their lustre upon the heart of man,
kindled afresh the latent spark of pure religion which lay smouldering upon the
deserted altars dedicated to the worship of the true and living God, and
reviving the dying virtues of the age, taught men to emulate and display with
heroism the sweet charm of courtesy and kindness to espouse the cause of
helpless innocence, and defend the weak from the oppressor’s wrongs, making
the true and valiant Knight breathe forth the graces and adornments of a noble
and generous heart and mind.
These, my brother, are the true principles of
chivalry. And may these teachings and symbols inspire in our hearts love and
enthusiasm for all that is holy and pure, retaining for our standard the
chivalric duties of Veneration for Religion, Fidelity, Valor, Courtesy, Charity,
Temperance and Hospitality—Virtues that give purity to enthusiasm, crush out
selfishness, teach the heart to expand like a flower in the sunshine, and smooth
even the rugged brow of war.
My brother, I assure you that nothing will be
required of you that does not tend to ennoble and refine. If you still desire to
proceed, you will raise your right hand. ‘Tis well. You will now be escorted
to our altar, where, in the presence of these valiant Knights, you will assume
the solemn obligation of the Knights’ Degree.
The foot and sword movements are
the same as in the First Degree. The procession moves around the Castle (the
second verse of Ode being sung), and halts in front of the altar. Sir Herald
gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, ‘Draw
swords, carry swords’. Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief,
salute and escort him to the altar (same as in the First Degree). The Past
Chief, High Priest, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, take their respective
positions at the altar. The Castle at this time is dark. Sir Herald and worthy
Chamberlain present and salute the High Priest, remaining at a salute while the
Sir Herald delivers charge.
Sir Herald: Brother High Priest, by order of our Noble Chief, I present this
candidate for Knightly honors, who desires to assume the solemn obligation of
The Sir Herald and Worthy
Chamberlain advance to the altar and assume proper positions, as per diagram,
and are handed torches. Each member uncovers, and the Vice Chief removes
High Priest: Brother, you are about to kneel before our altar, in the presence of the
Great Creator of us all, to assume an obligation on this Holy Book, whose
inspired pages speak to man and bid him seek immortal life beyond the tomb. Upon
the Bible, you see, is placed a human skull; to remind you that although you
hold that head of yours now proudly erect, yet it must surely come to this. The
sword, which you must raise aloft, is also emblematic, and serves to convey to
your mind the idea that you must fight your way through life to win valor’s
golden crown. You are clad in a robe (robes) of black—a color signifying
sorrow—denoting that the path to glory is sometimes dark and gloomy, and that
you may be frequently compelled to wear the sombre mantle of sorrow. My brother,
surrounded and impressed as you are, do you still desire the obligation of
Knighthood to assume?
Candidate answers: I do.
High Priest: You will kneel. The High Priest will pause to
allow the playing of a low dirge, if desired, after which he will proceed with
his charge. When the candidate is directed to kneel, the officers, except the
High Priest, kneel, resting their heads upon the hilts of their swords in a
reverential manner, and the utmost silence must prevail. The other members
remain standing. An extra sword, for the candidate should be provided, so as to
avoid disarrangement of the altar.
Point with the index finger of the left hand to the
skull. Raise aloft the sword with your right hand, and repeat the obligation in
a distinct tone of voice, so that you may be heard by all.
I, ..., in the presence of the Great Jehovah and
these valiant Knights, do solemnly promise and declare, without any mental
reservation whatever, that I will, while life and reason last, preserve and keep
inviolate all the mysteries of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle
pertaining to the Knights’ Degree; that I will ever strive, God being my
helper, to obey the teachings of this Knighthood bond; that I will wield
valor’s sword in defense of the principles of this Order or any of its members
whom I may know to be worthy ; that I will sustain, counsel and aid a brother
when overcome by the iron hand of adversity and misfortune, and will, to the
utmost of my ability, assist him in his business relations when not inconsistent
with my duty so to do; that I will, by courtesy and brotherly love, in my
intercourse with my brethren, proclaim to the world that this Knighthood bond is
not a myth, but a pure unselfish tie—a reality; and finally, with uplifted
sword—fit emblem to remind me that I must fight if I would win—I pledge my
sacred word that I will strive these duties to perform, and prove myself worthy
to wear the armor of this Degree. So help me God, and make me faithful in this
my Knightly vow.
All respond: Amen.
The Worthy Bard may play a low
dirge, or the members sing in a low tone, “Nearer. My God to Thee,’’ or
an” appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of the organ. After which each
High Priest: Arise my brother. The officers also arise, the Sir Herald and Worthy
Chamberlain remaining at the altar, as in the First Degree, with swords pointing
toward the candidate and torches held aloft. The High
Priest relieves the candidate of the sword, which he subsequently returns to him
as the “Sword of Faith.” May the obligation you have just taken
be ever fresh in your memory. Let not the tempter’s insiduous wiles allure you
from the path of duty. You are about to enter the dark valley of sorrow and
temptation. Take this, the Sword of Faith, and this Holy Emblem, before whose
potent charm the spirits of evil flee to their dark domain and lose their power
to harm. Remember, that soon, if you but courageous prove, you can, with valor,
fight the warfare through. Farewell! Your road for a time is dark and drear.
When the High Priest concludes
his charge, the Vice Chief adjusts hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy
Chamberlain will be relieved of torches, carry swords and assume position in the
line with the candidate. The Sir Herald gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief,
Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit ‘Return swords, Officers, to your post,
march!’ The Sir Herald, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain do not return swords.
The Noble Chief is escorted to his post by the Ensign and Esquire, as in the
First Degree, who then return to the altar.
The Procession is reformed and
escorts the Pilgrim to the antechamber—the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy
Chamberlain remaining in the Castle and occupying their respective posts. The
Castle being in readiness, the Sir Herald re-enters with Pilgrim and moves once
around the Castle, the following chorus being recited or sung in a low tone:
“Whilst thou art a pilgrim here,
List not to the tempters wiles
Display thy Cross, thy spirit cheer
Nor heed the demon that beguiles.’’
A figure representing Satan,
clothed in the garb of a Knight, approaches, and addressing the Pilgrim, says:
Lucifer: Mortal, I am the prince of the powers of this world. Go not with this
Knight, thy guide, but follow me. Mine is a pleasant path, bestrewn with
flowers, whilst this thou now dost travel is dark, thorny, and beset with
trials, sacrifices and tribulations. I am Lucifer. Come, give me but a lease
upon thy soul, and thou shalt enjoy pleasures unalloyed and unrestrained. Come,
and I will make thee mighty amongst the sons of men.
When Lucifer has finished, the
Pilgrim (under the promptings of the Sir Herald) displays the Cross, and Lucifer
vanishes. He can enter the Cave. The Pilgrim is then conducted around the Castle
to the Cave. The chapel bell strikes twelve, occupying time between Lucifer’s
departure and reaching cave. The Hermit is standing behind a rude altar, upon
which is phaced an open Bible and skull, with a lighted candle upon each side.
Sir Herald, presents and salutes
the Venerable Hermit, then delivers charge, and comes to a carry: Venerable Hermit, I present you this Pilgrim, who through temptations
sore has passed unscathed. He seeks to know the mysteries of thy drear abode.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, you have been conducted to this mysterious Cave at midnight’s
dark and gloomy hour—the time best suited to receive the solemn lessons I
teach. The obligation you have assumed requires you to pass through an ordeal
that will put your boasted valor to the test. Seest yon arched gate, whereon
doth hang that shield?
Candidate answers: I do.
Venerable Hermit: I command thee to take this shield. Give me thy cross; thy sword retain.
Advance if thou dost dare, and strike upon that shield three blows with thy good
The Pilgrim advances and strikes
the shield. The gate flies open with a loud noise, revealing figure, who speaks
in a hollow tone of voice.
Fallen Knight: Mortal, behold in me the spirit of a false and craven Knight; false to my
sacred I vows; condemned for my foul crimes, done in my days of nature to wear
these clanking chains and dwell in torments here. I once did wear the armor of
an Eagle Knight, but only to disgrace the cause. My coward heart, my deeds of
violence and wrong, my cruelty and injustice to my fellow-men, make up a
catalogue of crimes so foul that my poor soul must here, upon this lake of fire,
exist whilst countless ages roll their solemn rounds—no rest or solace know or
feel. Oh! horror! even now the fiends laugh and shriek within the hollow
chambers of my soul. Lost! lost! lost! forever lost! Mortal, thou has assumed
thy Knightly vows—take warning! betray them not. Let thy life be one of
faithfulness, valor and courteous kindness. Conquer first thyself; when that is
done, thy valor is proof against all foes. Remember, and beware! let this be not
At this time, Lucifer can enter
on the scene, and finding that the Fallen Knight has been uttering a warning,
becomes enraged, and placing his foot upon the prostrate Fallen Knight, raises
his trident to pierce him, thus forming a tableaux. The door then flies to with
a loud noise.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, this terrific spectacle portrays to your mind the awful doom
that awaits the warrior who proves false to his vows—a traitor to the cause of
right which he has espoused—and who willfully neglects in this life the duties
of a true Knight; Fidelity to his God and his fellow man, with all the attendant
virtues recorded in his Knightly vows. This solemn, fearful scene, I sincerely
hope, will be indelibly impressed upon your memory. The lessons we teach are
full of wisdom, and proclaim, trumpet-tongued, to him who seeks to know the
mysteries of this Degree, that it is not all of life to live, nor all of death
to die. Let thy record, then, in this life be pure, that thy name may be
recorded in the great book of life.
Pilgrim, you have shown by your conduct that you
possess the requisite qualification to entitle you to wear the armor of this
Order. That qualification is Valor, the first motto of this Degree. Nobly have
you acted in facing the dangers surrounding you in this mystic Cave; therefore
you are entitled to the full honors of Knighthood.
Brother Sir Herald, you will remove our brother’s
robe of gloom the Sir Herald removes robe, as
directed in First Degree. The candidate returns sword and shield and
give him courteous escort hence. Farewell! Farewell!
When the Venerable Hermit has
concluded his charge, the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain assume
position, with the Sir Herald and candidate, at company front. The lights are
then turned up. The line officers salute and the Noble Chief gives two raps. The
procession is re-formed and moves around the Castle (the third verse of Ode
being sung) to the post of the Vice Chief. The foot and sword movements at the
post of Vice Chief are the same as in First Degree.
Sir Herald: Vice Chief, this brother, having passed the ordeal of the Hermit’s
Cave, desires to be further enlightened.
Chief: My brother, the lesson taught by me
constitutes one of the principal requirements of true Knighthood, and goes hand
in hand with Valor. It is Courtesy, which is thus defined: Kindness, Civility
and Politeness. The definition Kindness is that which I now desire to present to
your mind as the second motto of this Degree. Your duty requires you to practice
the charm of courteous kindness in all your intercourse with your brother
Knights. Whenever grim visaged misfortune, with its iron grasp, seizes upon a
member of this Order, it becomes your duty to hasten to his rescue. Whenever
disease or sorrow bows down his heart with weight of woe, be thou ever ready1
with acts of kindness and words of love, to cheer his heart; and if thy
foe should be in thy power, revenge not thyself upon him, but, by thy courteous
kindness, make him thy friend. So let thy action show to friend and foe that
this chivalric charm is as potent in its power for good as mighty Valor, with
its sword and shield.
Brother Sir Herald, you will now conduct the
brother to the altar of our Castle, where he will be received into full
The foot and sword movements at the post of the Vice Chief are same as in
First Degree The procession moves around the Castle (the fourth verse of Ode
being sung) to the altar The candidate will be relieved of sword arid shield by
the Floor Director, which are placed at the altar, where is also placed a
regalia, helmet and pair of spurs The Noble Chief gives two raps The officers
draw and carry swords without command. The Ensign and Esquire advance to post of
Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar, same as in First Degree. The
Past Chief, Vice Chief and High Priest take proper positions in front of their
respective posts, facing altar, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain at left
and right of the Vice Chief.
Noble Chief, after having returned his sword:
Brother, you are about to receive the honors of this chivalric Degree. You now
fully understand its ceremonies, as you have been clearly and faithfully
instructed—our first requirement being Fidelity; our second, Valor and
Courtesy—the three signifying with us; unwavering fidelity to our Order and
its members; unflinching valor in maintaining the principles we are obliged to
uphold; of assisting each other through the struggles and vicissitudes of life,
and by courteous kindness to strengthen and encourage each other in sickness and
sorrow. May you ever remember the warning in the Hermit’s Cave, and by your
Fidelity, your Valor, and your Courtesy, avoid the doom of the false and
traitorous Knight. Our Past Chief will now instruct you in the secret signs,
passwords and grips of this Degree.
The Noble Chief will draw, carry, present and salute the Past Chief, who
responds in same manner, both carry, arid the Past Chief returns his Sword and
delivers his charge, standing near the altar, in front of his post.
Past Chief: Brother, at the outer gate you
will proceed to work your way into the ante-chamber as you have been instructed
in the Pilgrim’s Degree, where you will be provided with appropriate regalia,
and immediately apply at the inner gate giving ... raps and the Degree
passwords, which are .... The gate will then be opened and you will enter and
immediately advance to the center of the Castle, in front of the altar, and
salute the Noble Chief with this sign ..., which is called the sign of Courtesy
and the meaning of which is .... It will be immediately recognized by the Noble
Chief in this manner, which is the countersign, ..., signifying .... The Shield
Sign, or Sign of Valor, which you will be required to present on certain formal
occasions, is given thus ..., signifying .... The Grip is made in this manner,
.... Should you wish to retire while the Castle is open in the Knights’
Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and salute the Noble Chief
with this sign ... signifying ..., the Noble Chief will answer you with the same
sign, when you will immediately retire.
The Past Chief will draw and carry sword, and salute the Noble Chief, who
responds and returns his sword. The Past Chief conies to a carry. The Sir Herald
gives order, ‘uncover’ (all members do so) ‘Present swords’. It is only
necessary to knight one candidate, if there should be more than one. The Noble
Chief does not uncover.
Noble Chief: You will kneel upon your left
knee. By virtue of my authority as Noble Chief of this Castle, I now invest you
with the regalia of this Degree. Place upon your head the Helmet of the Eagle
Knights Take this, thy Shield, and these, thy Golden Spurs, and this, thy Sword,
which according to ancient custom. I present, first giving thee three blows with
its naked blade gives
three blows on the shoulder of the candidate pronouncing thee, in the
name of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle, a true and valiant Knight of
this Degree. Arise, Sir Knight.
In presenting the sword of the Eagle Knights, presents
him with the sword, I desire to impress on your mind the solemn
emblematic significance with which it is endowed. In grasping its handle—the
Cross—be ever reminded of that symbol of faith, the Christianis hope and the
Christian’s trust, and ever cling with unwavering faithfulness to the first
requisite of the Christian warrior—Fidelity to God and your fellow-man. The
Blade, when forth from its scabbard drawn, will remind you of the valor and
heroism to be displayed by you in the struggles and combats of this life, in
which you must a conqueror prove to win the immortal crown. The Scabbard will
remind you that when the last battle is fought and the victory won, you can
return this blade of Valor to this its sheath, and close your eyes to sleep in
peace until the archangel’s trump shall summon you before the Immortal Chief
of the Universe to hear the joyful plaudit “Well done, thou faithful, valiant
life warrior! enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Be sure, my brother, you stain not your armor.
Permit not your shield to be reversed,
nor let your sword to its scabbard return whilst
there is a foe to fight, or cause of right to defend. Remember, the obligation
of Valor binds you never to fly from your enemies. With this admonition, I
declare you fully armed and equipped to maintain the doctrines and principles of
our Order until death.
Sir Herald gives order: Recover Carry swords! Return
Sir Knights, you will advance the Sign of Valor,
... Down. The
armor is removed from the candidate by the Floor Director. You will
now advance to greet with courtesy this brother Knight, for which purpose I
declare an intermission until the sound of the gavel at my post.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will retire with
the Knight to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the