Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
Degree of Knight of Palestine
Also known as the Knight of St. John

1995/2015


Compiler's Note: Those members of the Order of HRAKTP who are also members of the Masonic Order of the Red Cross of Constantine will recognise this ritual as being a similar, although greatly abbreviated version, of the third part conferred in a Commandery of St. John the Evangelist. This ceremony however, evidently dates from a time when the ritual was more closely associated with the Hospitaller Order than the R.C.C. as are several of the Appendant Degrees.
The meeting is convened in a Sanctuary and the Officers are the Most Enlightened Commander, two lieutenants, a Harbinger, a Chaplain and a Warden. Knights of the Order wear the clothing of Knights of Malta with the addition of the Jewel of the Order which is an enamelled Cross of Red, suspended from an open Bible and in the middle of the Cross is surmounted a horizontal unsheathed crusader sword. The jewel is suspended around the neck by a ribbon being white touched with red at the edges. An altar is placed in the East of the Sanctuary, being covered by a white linen cloth upon which are placed a goblet of wine and a salver of small portions of bread.

 

Opening

MEC:
***. All Rise. I declare this Sanctuary of Knights of Palestine, of the Order of St. John duly opened. Knight Harbinger, you will inform the Warden.
This is done and all resume their seats.

MEC:
Brother Knights, I bid you welcome in the name of our Patron. Let us now receive a worthy candidate who seeks admission into this Order.
Outside the door the Warden prepares the Candidate by placing a white mantle upon his shoulders, the Hospitaller mantle of the Candidate being already in the Sanctuary, he then conducts him to the door, and gives twelve raps ** * ** * ** * ** *. The Harbinger rises, salutes and says:
HARB:
MEC, there is an alarm at our portal.
MEC:
Knight Harbinger you will ascertain the cause.
Harb. salutes and goes to the door where he opens the same and enquires:
HARB:
Who are thou who causes this alarm to our Sanctuary?
WARD for the Cand.:
A worthy Knight Mason, of the Order of Malta and Rhodes, who seeking further advancement in our Mysteries, desires entrance into this Sanctuary of Knights of Palestine, of the Order of St. John.
HARB:
What has he to recommend his being thus advanced?
WARD:
The pleasing remembrance of duties cheerfully performed and the Word of this Order.
HARB:
Does he possess the Word?
WARD:
He does not yet, but for him I am pleased to deliver it.
HARB:
Then do so. The Word is exchanged. All is well but you must remain here while I report your application to the Most Enlightened Commander.
The Harbinger closes the door, salutes the MEC and reports thus:
MEC, a worthy Knight Mason of the Order of Malta and Rhodes, encouraged thereto by the remembrance of duties cheerfully performed and possession through the Warden, of the Word of this Order. seeks admission into this Sanctuary of Knights of Palestine of the Order of St. John.
MEC:
Let the applicant be admitted in the usual manner and form,
The Harbinger retires and places a copy of the Gospel of Saint John into the right hand of the Candidate. As the Harbinger leads the Candidate into the Sanctuary, they are met by the two Lieutenants who place the points of their drawn swords to the throat of the Candidate and demand of him the Word, which the Harbinger gives for him. The Harbinger then leads the Candidate once around the Sanctuary and on the second circuit halts in the East.
As the perambulation is taking place, the Chaplain recites the first two verses of the XLIV Paraphrase - Behold the Saviour on the Cross - when this is concluded the Harbinger causes the Cand. to kneel at the west side of the altar, and places the Gospel upon it.
MEC, stands and proceeds to the east side of the altar:
Knight , upon kneeling once more before this Altar, and prosecuting further your search into our sublime mysteries, I must congratulate you upon the zeal and perseverance which you have displayed thus far and I now ask you if you will, on your faith and honour as a Knight Mason, keep strictly inviolate the secrets of this Grade of Knighthood?
Cand, prompted by the Harbinger:
I will ever remain faithful and true.
MEC:
Then it will be my pleasing duty, in addition to the honours already conferred upon you, to admit you as a Knight of this Order. First Lieut. Calls all to attention. I do now dub and create you sword on head a Knight of Palestine of the Order of St. John. Be prudent, wise and valiant. sword touches right shoulder at each word, then the Harbinger causes the Cand. to rise. MEC continues: The words which were given for you at the entrance to this Sanctuary, Eloi, Eloi Lama Sabachthani, are the words of the Palestinian Order of St. John. We entrust them to your honour and require no further pledge of you concerning their disposition. The sign, given thus, touches breast. forehead and both knees with the first two fingers of the right hand will remind you that henceforth your Breast, Head and Knees should now be dedicated to the service of the Great Emmanuel whose titles were placed on the top of His cross, which is now the symbol of our redemption. The grip is given by the one Knight Placing his right hand on the left shoulder of the other and thereafter is the Word given, which is GETHSEMANE. The salutation is given by placing the right hand over the heart. This is all the information relevant to a Knight of Palestine of the Order of Saint John. The Brotherhood of Knights will now salute with seven. The knights touch their breasts, heads and knees seven times. You will now be united with us in that solid phalanx of Friendship which no foe can shatter; neither can the gates of Hell prevail against it.
The Knights form a hollow square around the altar. MEC and Cand. the most senior Knights being placed nearest to the MEC. The Chaplain then takes the cup and salver from the altar and takes up a place in the square to the left of The MEC. He offers the bread then the wine and after having partaken, the MEC says:
Eat ye all of this bread served in love that ye may leam to support each other. Drink ye all of the cup to ratify the vows ye have made and learn to sustain one another.
He then offers the same to the Cand. who in turn offers the same to the Knight on his right and so on until the cup and salver return to the Chaplain who again places them on the altar.
MEC, raises both hands and says:
Thanks be to Thee O Lord for all thy Mercies.
ALL:
So mote it be
MEC:
Amen. Knights resume your seats.
All do so with the Harbinger showing the Cand. to a vacant place, he then returns to his own seat.

 

Closing

MEC:
Our labours as Knights of Palestine of the Order of Saint John being truly concluded, I seal this Sanctuary until we are next called together. ** * ** * ** * ** *.
1ST L: ** * ** * ** * ** *.
2ND L: ** * ** * ** * ** *.
HARB:
** * ** * ** * ** * (On door).
WARD: ** * ** * ** * ** * (On door).
MEC: *.


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