Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
The Degree of Knight of St. John the Baptist


1994/2015


Compiler's Note: This short ceremony appears to have been a true Side Degree since it only involves three officers, the MASTER and two DEACONS. The degree may be conferred upon any Master Mason and notwithstanding the title of Knight, the ritual contains no Chivalric aspects. Other factors which point to the degree being, historically, a true side degree is the complete lack of accoutrements and the fact that a similar ceremony was recorded where the title was Master of St. John the Baptist, indeed this ritual appears to have been modified by only substituting the title Knight where the word Master or Brother previously appeared. The only addition which may have been made since it was first worked is the apron which is described as being of white with a triangular flap. Upon the flap is depicted a severed head, similar to the illustration on the apron of Elu of the Nine of the A&ASR. On the body of the apron is the depiction of a river with two palms, symbolic of the River Jordan. The Master is seated in the East and both Deacons in the West. The Second Deacon acts as the Conductor and the Cand. wears the clothing of a MM. He is also tested as such prior to the ceremony. The Meeting is held in a Lodge and is opened simply as follows:
 

Opening

MAST.:
By my right as Master, I declare this Lodge of Knights of St. John the Baptist duly opened. *.
FD: *.
SD: *.
Or. Kt. Master:
Brother Second Deacon, introduce the Candidate.
The SD leaves his place and returns with the Cand. who is hoodwinked, and introduces him thus:
2nd D or Kt. D:
Master, this is Bro. , who is a true MM and now seeks further light in this Lodge.
MAST.:
Can he give the password.
2nd D:
So far he cannot, but I will gladly give it for him.
MAST.:
Then approach me with that Word. SD does so and returns. The word is correct. Bro. , in order that we may proceed, it is essential that you take another obligation to keep the secrets about to be told to you, do you now agree or shall we bid you farewell?
CAND:
I agree.
MAST.:
Then you will take this Book of the Gospels in your left hand and place your right hand upon the page which is al St. Matthew Ch. III v xiii to xvii. and you will thereafter repeat your full names and say after me: I, , in the presence of the Great Architect and also of the Knights of this Lodge, do solemnly and profoundly swear that I shall never to any of the outer world, that which may now be divulged to me here within this Lodge. Further, that I will only assist in admitting another as a Knight, when he has been accepted as being a worthy candidate by all those Knights at that time being present and then only in the ancient manner conforming to the workings of this ceremony. Should I ever prove to be untrue in the keeping of this obligation may I ever be cast from the company of Masons and held in their contempt. So help me.
MAST.:
You will seal this obligation by kissing the forefinger of your right hand and thereafter impress it upon the Gospel. This is done. You will now listen while certain portions of that Book are read to you.
1st D or Kt. D, reads Matt. Ch III, xiii to xvii and then Matt. Ch XIV v i to x.
From these words you have heard of the honour and piety of St. John the Baptist who recognised that he was not worthy of baptizing our Lord and would not do so until our Lord himself had requested it and when it had been done, that God spoke unto Saint John. You have also heard of the treachery of Herod who was too great a coward to act himself and take the life of Saint John and hid behind the ambition of a woman and thus died the Prophet. In your life you must act to represent the godly conduct of Saint John at the River Jordan and you must also be certain never to engage in the treachery and cowardice so well illustrated by the tyrant Herod. Remember well, these teachings and let them guide your actions for if you so do, then no man, Mason or not, shall point an accusing finger at you and cause your face to burn with shame.
MAST.:
The secrets of a Knight of Saint John the Baptist are these: The Pass Word to gain entry into this Lodge is JUDEA. The token is to give the grip of a MM to prove that you are such and when this has been given in a manner to the satisfaction of both parties, then you will support this grip by cupping the left hand underneath it. In this way you will know that not only are you in the company of a fellow MM, but as a Knight of St. John the Baptist, he will support you further. as you will also do for him.
The sign of this degree is to cup the hands as if holding water to baptize another and the Word of a Knight is WATERS OF JORDAN.
I now clothe you with the apron of this degree which depicts the River Jordan where our Patron saved the souls of thousands through the act of baptism and on the flap we see his terrible fate at the hands of Herod the Tyrant.
MAST.:
Have you ought that you wish to say?
CAND responds as he wishes, after which he is seated.
MAST.:
By my right as Master, I declare this Lodge of Knights of St. John the Baptist, duly closed until we are next called together as circumstances and duty demand. *.
1st D: *.
2nd D: *.


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