Knights of the Royal Arch  


Opening Ceremonies  
The Valiant Commander will give three raps with beetle and call the Knight to order and say to Grand Master of Ceremonies: Grand Master of Ceremonies, the hour has arrived and you will give notice to all present that I am about to open the lodge of the Grand Knights Elect.  
GRAND MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Knights Elect, I am commanded to inform you that the Valiant Commander is about to open this lodge of Grand Knights Elect, and that we must now attend to the duties of the hour. The officers will clothe themselves and proceed to their respective stations, and the Knights will prepare for labor.  
As soon as this is done the G.M.C. says to the V.C.: Valiant Commander, your request has been made and we are ready for labor.  
V.C.: Grand Master of Ceremonies, you will see that our sanctuaries are well guarded and that all present are qualified Knights.  
G.M.C. will exact password from all present, and when done will say: Valiant Commander, we are well guarded, and I find that all present are qualified Knights.  
V.C. will now give two raps and say: Attention Sir Knights, arise.  
First give me the sign of salutation.  
Now give me its answer.  
Now, the sign of warning.  
Its answer.  
Words of distress in the dark.  
What is its answer?  
The Valiant Commander will now ask the questions, to be answered by the entire lodge, how to test a Sir Knight Elect with questions and answers. After that has been done the Valiant Commander will say to the lodge: Now face each other by twos and demonstrate the grip, and how Sir Knight Elect password is given.  
This being done, they all remain standing until the Valiant Commander finishes the following lecture, and until the Valiant Commander declares the lodge open, at the same time lectures the Knights who have not learned secret work well, their duty, etc.  
V.C.: Sir Knights, we assemble here to-night to demonstrate the excellencies of our chosen fraternity. To once more refresh our memory in our obligation, the duty we owe to one another. May we avoid every evil by remaining steadfast in our duty and that no part of our conduct may in the least reflect discredit upon our illustrious order. By our harmonious actions school ourselves to control our passions by which means we are united to Virtue. May God protect us in our duty that we may concentrate our thoughts upon the business of the hour. We will now sing our opening Ode.  
All remain standing until L.C. finishes lecture.  
LIEUTENANT COMMANDER: As we are this night called from the busy scenes of life may the lessons of this occasion have an impression upon our hearts and awaken a fresh determination to be ever faithful to our craft, devoted to our loved ones and ever ready to defend each other against adversity and misfortune.  
The Valiant Commander gives one rap, followed by Grand Treasurer one rap, followed by Lieutenant Commander one rap, and then all are seated.  
V.C. will say to the G.M.C.: Grand Master of Ceremonies, are we well tyled in perfect security?  
G.M.C.: We are well tyled, Valiant Commander, and in safe security.  
V.C.: Grand Master of Ceremonies, since it is so, I declare this lodge of Grand Knights Elect open and ready for business.  
Initiation of Pilgrim  
V.C.: Grand Master of Ceremonies, you will retire to the anteroom, duly obligate the pilgrim, and prepare hint for the ceremonies of initiation.  
In ante-room G.M.C. will read the following to pilgrim: The ceremonies in which you are about to engage are calculated to deeply impress your mind, and I hope it will have a lasting effect upon your future character. You are about to associate yourself with friends who will insure to you their friendship and protection. They will expect you to imitate their example so that you will merit the approbation of every member of this fraternity. If you have sought to enter our sanctuaries with any improper motives, it would be better that you now retire. Consult your heart, and if you wish to proceed, pronounce your name and repeat after me:  
I, …, do solemnly promise and vow on my word of honor that I will never reveal the secrets or mysteries of this order to anyone, except it be to one whom I know to he a Sir Knight Elect in good standing and legally entitled to receive same. That I will not attach any blame to them for the acts or expressions during the ceremonies of initiation in which I am about to engage. I will wait with patience without until called on by a proper officer to he legally installed into this fraternity.  
After the G.M.C. gives pilgrim above obligation he will leave candidate and go into the lodge room and see that everything is prepared to receive pilgrim, then comes out and puts chain around pilgrim’s shoulders and arms, and advances with pilgrim to the door, first gives two soft raps, after a little while three or four very loud raps, and after waiting a few moments, gets impatient, and gives the door three or four very loud saps with his foot, and continues to do so until the C.G. opens the door.  
C.G., after waiting a while, opens door very little, when he asks the first question. As soon as that is done he opens the door wide and allows pilgrim and G.M.C. to step inside. They stand there until ordered by V.C. to retire and be presented in due form.  
C. of G.: Who is this that dares to disturb the sacred sanctuaries of the Grand Knights Elect?  
G.M.C.: Sir Knight, I have a poor, weary pilgrim who wishes to he examined, and if found worthy, to be admitted into the mysteries of your illustrious order.  
G.M.C. now comes inside of door with pilgrim, then Greek lights, or red lights, are lighted and kept burning until told by V.C. to retire with pilgrim to be presented in due form.  
C. of G.: Are you aware that you are making a very great request, that your weary pilgrim may never return, and that he who enters here must leave all hope behind?  
G.M.C.: He has resolved to undergo the trials and tribulations with firmness, even though his life may be forfeited by so doing.  
C. of G.: Since his motives are such, you will wait with patience until his sad request is made known to our Valiant Commander.  
C. of G. leaves candidate and advances to altar in front of V.C. and says to Valiant Commander: Valiant Commander, a weary pilgrim who has traveled for many weary miles, wishes to present himself before you, if found worthy, brave, and obedient, to be admitted into your illustrious order.  
V.C.: What proof can you give me of his sincerity?  
C. of G.: He is ready to swear by the living God to pay due obedience at all times and to never breathe or reveal the mysteries or secrets of the Sir Knights Elect?  
V.C.: Fortune decides in his favor. Let him retire and be presented in due form.  
Pilgrim is then taken to anteroom and told that when he sees the boys all standing around in a circle for him to sneak in and stand up with them. G.M.C. gives pilgrim a password, not right, with false face on so no one will know him, then when G.M.C. gets around taking up the password, of course pilgrim will not have the right word. All the lights should be now turned down very low.  
G.M.C., when he finds pilgrim, will say in a very loud voice to the Valiant Commander: There is an enemy in the camp.  
As soon as G.M.C. says “there is an enemy in camp,” three or four of the members immediately throw bag over pilgrims head, draw ropes tight at each end, the whole company then swing him, and make him believe they are going to throw him out of the window, or hang him, etc. Care must be taken not to hurt him in any way.  
One will say: You wolf in sheep’s clothing!  
Another will say: Thief and imposter.  
Another: Unfit to live among gentlemen!  
Another: Kill him! Let us string him up!  
Altogether will say: Yes, hang him!  
After that a short time, the Valiant Commander, in a very loud voice, demands that the pilgrim be brought before him, which will be done by several members in a very rough manner. Then the valiant Commander will reprimand him in this manner: My dear brother, men have fallen by the wayside before. You have this night broken your first obligation and caused a great commotion in the sacred sanctuaries of the Sir Knights Elect. Your indiscretion this night has caused many a brother, who would have been an ornament and support to our lodge, to fall. Lear in mind, brother, that the slightest indiscretion will infallibly undermine us and our illustrious order be buried in that horrible abyss from which no traveler e’er returns. If you still persist in your demands to see the true light in all its purity, you will be permitted to proceed, but do not defile our sanctuary by a spirit of idle curiosity. You will be required to make a solemn and binding obligation to keep inviolate anything that you may this night hear, see, or receive. You know the fate of the first man, Adam, by his perverseness in disobeying his Great and Awful Creator. You are to endeavor by every just means to regain our nights and to remember that we are joined together by a society of men whose courage merits good conduct. Avoid every evil by keeping your obligation, and wait that happy moment when we all shall be united under our Valiant Commander in the mansions of eternal bliss. If you wish to proceed, the Grand Master of Ceremonies will conduct you to the altar in due form.  
The pilgrim is now blindfolded, and form march as follows: The G.M.C. walks on the right of pilgrim and the Captain of the Guards on his left. They march the pilgrim several times around the room, walking him over several obstacles, assisted by the other members of the lodge, after which the pilgrim is halted before the altar by the Valiant Commander, hitting him very hard on the shoulders with both hands, exclaiming in a loud and abrupt manner, Halt!  
Valiant Commander will say the following to pilgrim: You are about to take a solemn and binding obligation which will not in any way interfere with the duty you owe to your country, your religion or your Maker. If you are willing to proceed, you will pronounce your name and say after me, otherwise you are at liberty to withdraw.  
As soon as pilgrim announces his name, some brother will say to V.C.: Valiant Commander, I will not consent to have this degree conferred on the pilgrim to-night.  
V C. will, in a surprised manner, say: Why?  
Brother: He is an habitual drunkard, also I know that he consorts with women of a bad character, and a brother tells me that he has slandered the good name of one of our prominent Knights.  
The Valiant Commander will, of course, take pilgrim’s part and do all he can for him , also the Grand Master of Ceremonies will assist the Valiant Commander in so doing; but at last he will be tried and condemned, found guilty, and fined by setting up the drinks and cigars, or for each Knight present to give him a bump. Pilgrim is to be placed on hands and knees and bump is to he given, or, if he will give $2 into general banquet fund, bump will not be given. If the members do not think best to make any complaint or accusation against his character, then some member will say: “I don’t think it is fair treatment towards the members of this lodge to allow this man to be initiated until he receives the same penalty you gave us.” Then the members will all join in together and insist that the pilgrim shall receive the penalty, which consists of him having to pass through the needle’s eye and his stern attended to in a proper manner.  
After he has passed through the needle’s eye they then take blindfold off of pilgrim and all form and march In the following manner to altar before V.C., where pilgrim now takes final obligation, the C.G. taking the lead, then the G.M.C. follows with the pilgrim on his left, all the members of the lodge forming in twos behind them. They all march around the hall twice, going to the right, on coming in front of the V.C.’s station the third time, the C.G., with the G.M.C. and pilgrim, continue around the hall to the L.C. station, but the members of the lodge column right at V.C. station and march down the center of the hall to the L.C. station until all have passed in turn, after which they halt and face each other and form an open column, the opposite members forming arch by clasping hands when the C.G., G.M.C., and pilgrim reach the L.C. station, the C.G. marches directly under the arch formed by the members, followed by the G.M.C. and pilgrim to the altar. As the G.M.C. and pilgrim pass under an arch the members forming the arch fall in directly after them. When the C.G. and G.M.C. and pilgrim reach the altar they halt, the members dividing, the right column proceeding to the right of the altar and the left column going to the left and forming a semicircle around the pilgrim and altar The C.G. and the G.M.C. form an arch by crossing swords ever the pilgrim’s head. All the members take hold of the chain, the pilgrim holding each end of the chain. The pilgrim is now in position to take the obligation, after washing his hands in a bowl of water, which will be prepared and sitting on the altar. The V.C. now says as follows:  Before taking your obligation you are required to wash your hands in this pure water, in token of the purity of your intentions. Let it represent to you that you have resolved with clean hands and pure heart to consecrate yourself to the service of the Sir Knights Elect.  
Now pilgrim takes hold of Each end of the chain while taking the obligation.  
Grand Knight’s Elect Obligation  
I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of these Knights present and Almighty God, do hereby and hereon most sincerely promise and vow upon my sacred word of honor, that I will not reveal the secrets of this order to anyone in the known world except it he to one whom I know to be a Sir Knight Elect in good standing, and legally authorized to receive same. I further promise and vow that I will not wrong a Brother Knight of this order out of the value of anything or suffer it to be done by any other person if in my power to prevent it. I will not slander the good name or speak evil of a Brother Knight or any member of his family or suffer the same to be done. I will support the laws, rules, and regulations and constitution of this order, and will pay all just demands made upon me for the payment of its expenses. I will not strike a member of this order or draw one drop of his blood in anger, and should I see him in difficulty, I will render him every assistance in my power to extricate him from same. I will assist a Brother Knight in preference to other persons in my financial dealings, also in sending him custom when not detrimental to my own interests. I will never revile a Brother Knight or suffer others to reflect upon his good manner in his absence, but will, at all times, when he has justice on his side, defend him against his enemies. I promise to visit the sick, especially when called on to do so by any member of the sick committee, when in my power to act. I will assist in the obsequies of the deceased Knights and render their widows and orphans such assistance as my circumstances will permit. I will keep sacred a brother’s secrets when such is required for his welfare, when same is delivered to me by the sacred and true grip of a Sir Knight Elect. I will never debauch, or suffer it to he done by others, any of his female relations, but will protect their chastity and virtue when in my power to do so. I will hold myself bound to pay all just debts due a Brother Knight in as equitable and prompt manner as possible. I vow to observe the most sacred union of sentiment and brotherly love in giving and finding a Sir Knight Elect employment in preference to others when not detrimental to my business. I further promise and vow should I intentionally violate this my most solemn and binding obligation, may I become devoid of all decency, honor, and respect, and expelled from the order as unworthy of recognition from members of the Knights of the Royal Arch, and be branded as a perjurer, dishonored, and unfit to live among my fellow-men. In token of my sincerity, I now seal the same by extending to you the right hand of fellowship.  
The V.C. then responds with pilgrim by a firm and hearty shake of the hand.  
The Valiant Commander will then anoint him with oil by dipping point of sword in vessel of oil and place same on forehead, and in a very grave voice say: I anoint you with this oil on thy forehead as a token of remembrance of your obligation, that you may live up to its precepts; that we may all meet around the throne of our Great Commander in that eternal city where the Lord redeemeth the soul with his presence as a shining monument of God’s glory.  
Valiant Commander will now say to Grand Master of Ceremonies, same time also addressing the pilgrim: You will now divest the weary brother of those chains, which are representatives of ancient times. When the Gauls went into battle they chained themselves together so that if they were defeated they would all die together. Thus let us bind ourselves together with chains of fidelity, so that we may be unconquerable in this great battle of life. If you ever desert a fellow Knight in trouble, may you be treated as the only survivor of that glorious battle at thee pass of Thermopylae, when a body of fourteen hundred Spartans withstood a party of a million and a half Persians, and this great army had to resort to treachery to overcome them. When he, the only survivor, returned home, he was treated as a coward, and scourged front the country in disgrace for not dying with his fellow knights. May this lesson teach you to stand firm and steadfast in all your actions that you may never be called a coward or be found wanting.  
V.C. now invests pilgrim with the secret work: To enter the lodge room at the outside door, you will give two raps, or ring a bell, and give to the Grand Tyler the outer door password. In visiting another lodge, give your name, number of lodge, and location of same. Then advance to inner door and give three raps, which will be responded by two raps from within by the Captain of the Guards, and to hull give your name, number of lodge, and location, if visiting another lodge, and the semiannual password. He will report same to the Valiant Commander, and if Recorder finds you are in good standing, he will order you to be admitted. You will then proceed to the altar in the center of the room, and salute the Valiant Commander with salutation sign. When answered, you may be seated. Wishing to leave the lodge room you must proceed in the same manner, by advancing to altar and salute the Valiant Commander. When answered you can then retire. Wishing to change your location in the hall, or speaking before the lodge, you will arise and salute the Valiant Commander. He will answer in the same manner. You must then say before addressing the lodge, “Valiant Commander”; then you can address the lodge or make a motion.  
I will now instruct you in the signs and tests of this fraternity:  
First—Salutation sign and its answer.  
Second—Sign of warning and its answer.  
Third—Words of distress in the dark and its answer.  
Fourth—How to test a Sir Knight Elect.  
Fifth—Grip and Password and how given.  
V.C. will now say to the G.M.C.: You will now conduct the pilgrim to the Lieutenant Commander for further instructions.  
All form in line and march as before to the L.C. station.  
L.C.: I congratulate you upon having been found worthy to become a member of this honorable order. Let it impress upon your mind that it is your duty to endeavor to have your conduct among us such as may be an honor to yourself, that you may live respected and have the confidence of every member of this fraternity. With us you will find friends who will administer to your afflictions and distresses and insure to you their friendship and protection. We hope it will be your constant care to prove yourself worthy of the confidence reposed in you in admitting you into this fraternity. You must be clothed with charity, humanity, and hospitality, so that you may help the weary pilgrim, traveling from afar, and who may chance to sojourn in our midst; feed the hungry, bind up the wounds of the afflicted and care for the sick. Should envy traduce your good name and malice persecute you, yet may you have confidence that among Sir Knights Elect you will find friends who will administer to your comfort in time of trouble. The escort will now conduct von to the Grand Treasurer for further instructions.  
The pilgrim is now blindfolded and brought before the Grand Treasurer.  
G.M.C.: Worthy Grand Treasurer, in this hour of human events I present before you a stranger with coin, who wishes to ascertain if there is any coin in the treasury, any wherewith to pay gas bills, ball rent, and meet the electric current expense of our illustrious order.  
G.T.: WHAT? Who have you there?  
G.M.C.: A stranger with coin.  
G.T.: Has he any prayers to make, any word to leave to family or friends should he succumb to the horrible perils that await him in this howling wilderness? Answer quick. Harshly.  
G.M.C.: I submit him into your tender care, Grand Treasurer.  
G.T.: I command you to rob him; kill him if necessary; go into the deepest recesses of his trousers and produce his coin, it shall be ours; nevermore will he need it again.  
Four or five now seize him and rob him of every valuable he has, money, watch, etc.  
G.T.: Away with him, hasten the stranger to the tortures awaiting him.  
Stranger is immediately escorted in a rapid movement around the hall, stumbling over boxes, chairs, etc , horns blowing in his ears, and general confusion. After once or twice around the hall, halts before Chief Orator.  
C.O.: Stranger, it may be well to impress upon your mind that life at best is not a bed of roses; that fragrant couch lies above the clouds where angels tread. To achieve it, you must encounter tortuous paths; many snares and pitfalls will beset you in your journey. If it is your heart’s desire to reach the flowery throne in all its glory you will be required to kneel on both knees and bow three times in humble submission to the edicts of the Grand Knights Elect.  
Directions: when he bows the second time give him the spanker when he arises the Chief Orator will say: Refresh yourself with this libation.  
Then give him a cup to drink out of.  
After that, recess for refreshments and congratulations of the newly made Knight, then closing ceremonies.  
Closing Ceremonies  
V.C.: Has any of the Knights present anything to offer for the good of the order? If not, I shall give notice that this lodge of Sir Knights Elect is going to be closed in due form.  
V.C.: Lieutenant Commander do you know of any reason why this lodge should not be closed in due form?  
L.C.: I know of no reason, Valiant Commander.  
V.C.: Captain of the Guard, please give notice to the Grand Tyler that we are about to close this convention of the Sir Knights Elect.  
C. of G.: Valiant Commander, your request has been made known.  
V.C.: Sir Knights Elect, it is time to close our labors of the hour. Let us now depart and may we sustain each other against the attacks of our enemies and endeavor to inspire them with the desire of knowing the pure source of all perfection. And may the Valiant Commander of the universe fill us with joy and prosperity. Arise, we will now sing the closing ode.