Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta
Tenth Degree – Gold
This ritual dates from 1909
The previous order of business
having been disposed of, should there be a candidate or candidates to receive
the Gold Degree, the Sir Knight
Commander will say: Sir Knight Warder, what is the particular cause of out assembling here?
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, knightly association, the propagation of our Order, and the advancement of such worthy Companions as are desirous thereof.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, ascertain if there be any such in the preparation room, by raising the wicket and inquiring of the Sentinel.
Warder, having done so: Sir Knight Commander, there are giving number.
If there be any, the Sir Knight Commander will proceed.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knights Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens, retire to the preparation room, prepare and introduce the candidates.
The council chamber is then prepared as follows: The Sir Knight Commander is designated as King during the degree ceremonies, and is seated upon an elevation representing a throne. Ten Knights Princes take position, five on either side of the King, each clad in a long black robe edged with white, wearing a gold crown, sword and belt, and at his right foot a lighted taper. When the council chamber has been duly prepared, the Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens will retire to the preparation room and prepare the candidate as follows: He is divested of his coat and vest; his shirt sleeves are rolled up so that his arms are bare to the elbows, and he is given a pickaxe which he will carry on his right shoulder. He is then blindfolded and led to the door of the council chamber. The Captain General then leaves the candidate in charge of the Senior and Junior Wardens, re-enters the council chamber, and announces as follows:
Captain General: Sir Knight Commander, the candidate is duly prepared and ready to be received.
The Warder will then rap the number of the degree **** **** ** on the door of the preparation room, to signify that all is in readiness in the council chamber. The Senior Warden then gives **** **** ** loud raps upon the door of the council chamber, and the Warder says: Sir Knight Commander, there is an alarm from the Sentinel.
Sir Knight Commander: Ascertain the cause.
Warder: Who comes here to disturb the peace and harmony of this duly convoked Commandery of the Gold Degree?
Senior Warden: A true and worthy Knight of the Green, who, having worked in the quarries and assisted at the dedication of the Holy Temple, is now desirous of being further advanced in our sublime mysteries.
Warder: How does he expect to gain admission?
Senior Warden: By the benefit of a password.
Warder: Has he that password?
Senior Warden: No, but I have it for him.
Warder: Advance and give it.
Senior Warden gives the entrance password to the Warder.
Warder: The pass is right. I will acquaint the King With his request.
The Warder will then close the door and say: Most Gracious King, there is without, in waiting, a Knight of the Green, who has worked in the quarries and assisted in the dedication of the Holy Temple. He prays that you will advance him still further in our sublime mysteries.
King: Why does he expect so great a privilege?
Warder: Because he is in possession of the sublime keyword, and his valor has been tested on a trying occasion.
King: Admit him.
The Warder then opens the door and says: It is the order of our Most Gracious King that the candidate be admitted.
The companion is then conducted inside the council chamber, and, while low music is being played, he is left to wander about the room without a guide, care being taken that he does not injure himself. The Prelate reads: And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh returned, and departed from the children of Israel out of Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan, to go unto the country of Gilead, to the land of their possession, whereof they we re possessed, according to the word of the Lord by the hand of Moses.
And when they came unto the borders of Jordan that are in the land of Canaan, the children of Reuben and the children of Gad and the half tribe of Manasseh built there an altar by Jordan, a great altar to see to.
Captain General: Sir Knights Princes, Attention! Draw swords! Carry, swords! Forward, march!
At this command the ten Knights Princes at the right and left of the King march around the room, and when in front of the Generalissimo’s chair the Captain General will command: Sir Knights, Halt!
The companion is then conducted slowly around the room to the Generalissimo’s chair, the Prelate at the same time reading as follows: And the children of Israel sent unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, into the land of Gilead, Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest.
And with him ten princes, of each chief house a prince throughout all the tribes of Israel; and each one was a head of the house of their fathers among the thousands of Israel.
And they came unto the children of Reuben, and to the children of Gad, and to the half tribe of Manasseh, unto the land of Gilead, and they spake with them, saying:
Thus saith the Whole congregation of the Lord, What trespass is this that ye have committed against the God of Israel, to turn away this day from following the Lord, in that ye have builded you an altar, that ye might rebel this day against the Lord?
As the Prelate concludes reading, the Generalissimo steps forward and says to the companion: Where are you from?
Candidate, prompted: The plains.
Generalissimo: Whither are you going?
Candidate, prompted: To Mount Gilead.
Generalissimo: How do you expect to get there?
Candidate, prompted: By the benefit of a password.
Generalissimo: Advance and give it.
The Senior Warden then gives the entrance password to the Generalissimo and the Prelate reads as follows: And the thing pleased the children of Israel; and the children of Israel blessed God, and did not intend to go up against them in battle, to destroy the land wherein the children of Reuben and Gad dwelt.
And the children of Reuben and the children of Gad called the altar Ed; for it shall be a witness between us that the Lord is God.
Captain General: Sir Knights Princes, Attention! Forward March!
At this command the ten princes march around the room to their positions at the right and left of the King, when the Captain General commands: Sir Knights, Halt! Return swords!
The companion then continues to wander around the room, until he reaches a representation of a cave, when he is directed to strike three times with his pickaxe, enter the cave, and bring out the treasure therein contained. The Prelate then reads: Now these are the things wherein Solomon was instructed for the building of the house of God. The Length by cubits after the first measure was threescore cubits, and the breadth twenty cubits.
And the porch that was in front of the house, the length of it was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the height was a hundred and twenty: and he overlaid it within with pure gold.
And the greater house he ceiled with fir tree, which he overlaid with fine gold, and set thereon palm trees and chains.
And he garnished the house with precious stones for beauty: and the gold was gold of Parvaim.
He overlaid also the house, the beams, the posts, and the walls thereof, and the doors thereof, with gold; and graved cherubims on the walls.
And he made the most holy house, the length whereof was according to the breadth of the house, twenty cubits, and the breadth thereof twenty cubits: and he overlaid it with fine gold, amounting to six hundred talents.
And the weight of the nails was fifty shekels of gold.
And he overlaid the upper chambers with gold.
And in the most holy house he made two cherubim of image work, and overlaid them with gold.
And Solomon made all the vessels that were for the house of God, the golden altar also, and the tables whereon the shewbread was set.
Moreover the candlesticks with their lamps, that they should burn after the manner before the oracle, of pure gold.
And the flowers, and the lamps, and the tongs, made he of gold, and that perfect gold.
And the snuffers, and the basins, and the spoons, and the censers, of pure gold: and the entry of the house, the inner doors thereof for the most holy place, and the doors of the house of the temple, were of gold.
The treasures are taken from the cave and then placed upon the arms and shoulders of the companion, and he is literally bowed down with gifts and presents, and conducted before the King, who says: Sir Knight Senior Warden, who have we here?
Senior Warden: Most Gracious King, one who has traveled through the wilderness, is vouched for by a Royal Marksman, and has the sublime keyword of a Blueman Master Builder. Moreover, he brings with him certain tokens of his handiwork, of which he asks your gracious acceptance. He is desirous of being enlisted among the chosen few who surround thy throne.
King: The boon he craves is a great one, and none but those of tried valor and strict integrity are admitted into our number. Let him advance.
The companion then advances and, assisted hy the Senior Warden, unloads himself of the treasures, and deposits them in front of the station of the King. After inspecting them the King says: Your credentials are satisfactory; let the ceremony proceed.
The companion is then invested with a black robe trimmed with white and he is directed to kneel on both knees, when the Prelate places a crown upon his head and says: By order of our Most Gracious Sovereign, I hereby crown you as a Prince of the Gold Degree, and welcome you to share in all its rights and privileges.
King: Sir Knights Princes, Attention! * * * Be witnesses with me of the obligation of this Christian Knight.
The ten princes rise and stand in front of the King’s station with lighted tapers at their feet. The Captain General will then command: Sir Knights Princes, Attention! Draw, swords! Cross, swords! Form arches of steel.
At this command, the ten Knights Princes cross swords, forming five arches of steel in front of the King. The candidate then places his left hand flat upon an open Bible and a sword is placed in his right hand, which he raises over his head as high as possible. The Prelate will then administer the following
I, ..., Knight, bind myself, by my honor and good name, without any hesitation, mental reservation, or secret evasion, never to reveal, by hint, word, writing, or in any manner whatever, to any person not justly entitled to receive the same, any of the secrets of the Gold Degree. I do further solemnly promise that 1 will not make any intelligible extract from the rituals or lectures which may come into my possession whereby any of the secrets belonging to this or any other degree of the Ancient and Illustrious Order of Knights of Malta may be unlawfully obtained.
To all this I swear, as I am, and hope to continue to be, a man of honor.
You will now kiss the holy Bible.
Captain General: Sir Knights Princes, Present, swords!
King: Sir Knight, what do you most desire?
Candidate, prompted: Light.
The blindfold is then removed and the candidate will see the King with five Princes on each side of him, each with a lighted taper at his right foot. The King then steps forward to the candidate, and, taking him by the right hand, raises him to his feet, saying: Sir Knight, I greet you as a Companion of the Gold Degree.
Captain General: Sir Knights Princes, Carry, swords!
King, *: Sir Knight Senior Warden, place the companion in proper position.
Captain General: Sir Knights Princes, Return, swords!
The King will then address the companion as follows: Sir Knight, you now represent the point within the circle. It is the boundary line beyond which you are never to suffer your passion to betray you. Familiarize yourself with the holy scriptures, which teach us that while we are guided by its precepts it will be impossible for us to materially err. By the exercise of brotherly love we are taught to regard the whole human species as one family: the high, the low, the rich, the poor: who, as created by one Almighty Parent, are to aid, support, and protect one another. To relieve the distressed is a duty incumbent upon us, who are linked together by an indissoluble chain of sincere affection. Regulating our conduct by the divine attributes of truth, sincerity and plain dealing distinguish us, and the heart and the tongue join in promoting one another’s welfare, and rejoicing in one another’s prosperity.
The King then instructs the companion in the grip, hailing sign, raps and passwords of the Gold Degree, and the Senior and Junior wardens will repeat the
S.W.: Why do you wear that Crown?
J.W.: What Crown?
S.W.: That Golden Crown.
J.W.: As a token of the Gold Order.
S.W.: From this I perceive you are a Companion of the Gold Degree?
J.W.: I am taken and accepted as such by all Gold men.
S.W.: What color do you choose?
S.W.: Why do you take gold for your color?
J.W.: Because as gold is the purest of all metals when when freed from dross, so should Gold men be pure when tried in the furnace of affliction.
S.W.: Where are you from?
J.W.: The plains.
S.W.: And whither are you going?
J.W.: To Mount Gilead.
S.W.: How do you expect to get there?
J.W.: By the benefit of a password.
S.W.: Have you that password?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: Will you give it to me?
J.W.: I Will if you begin.
S.W.: Why do you take E... for your password?
J.W.: Because it is the name of the pillar that was raised on the banks of the Jordan to distinguish the nine tribes and a half from the two tribes and a half: the tribe of Reuben, the tribe of Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.
S.W.: Have you a number?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: What is your number?
S.W.: What ten?
J.W.: The ten Princes who wore ten crowns of beaten gold. Moreover, they wore robes of black edged with white.
S.W.: Have you the central password of a Gold man?
S.W.: V... Why do you as a Gold man take P... as your central password?
J.W.: Because it was from P... that King Solomon obtained the gold to make the vessels for the Lord’s house, which shows that the gold from P... was the purest of all gold.