Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
Knight of the White Cross of Torphichen

1996/2015


Compiler's Notes: This is the only complete text of a ritual found for this ceremony and it would certainly appear to be one of those which originated in Scotland before being transferred to the North East of England.
The Order meets in a Commandery under the presidency of a Grand Knight Commander who is assisted by a Seneschal, a Chancellor, 8 Knights of the Points, a Guard and a Sentinel.
Knights wear the regalia of Knights of Malta with the addition of a pair of white gloves and a Thistle pinned to the cap. The Cand. wears the same regalia but with no thistle and black gloves on his hands.
On the floor of the room must be chalked, marked or laid out with the aid of ribbons or tapes, large enough to allow for the Knights to assume the points with ease, the outline of a Cross of Malta.

 

Opening

GKC, gives knocks * ****** *:
Sir Knights are you ready to undertake the work of the Lord and St. John?
All:
We are.
GKC:
Knights of the White Cross of Torphichen, let us now open the Commandery and undertake the good works. Knight Guard, is all secure at the Portal?
Grd, goes to the door, looks outside and responds:
Grand Knight Commander, the Sentinel is at his Post and all is secure.
GKC:
Knights, draw you Swords and make your Cross.
All stand with the Sign. hold it for a few moments and then bring swords to the carry.
GKC:
Knights of the Points, take up your stations. The eight Knights so appointed do so and when they are in place, the GKC assumes his station in the midpoint of the X, from which he turns to face each Knight as the
interrogation proceeds .)
GKC:
Sir Knight of the First Point, how do you dwell?
K1P:
Grand Knight Commander, I dwell in the Faith.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Second Point, what is your desire?
K2P:
Grand Knight Commander, I desire Wisdom.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Third Point, what do you practice?
K3P:
Grand Knight Commander, I practice Brotherly Love.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Fourth Point, how do you treat the afflicted?
K4P:
Grand Knight Commander, I treat them with Compassion.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Fifth Point, how do you assist the poor?
K5P:
Grand Knight Commander, I assist them with Charity.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Sixth Point, how do act towards a valiant foe?
K6P:
Grand K night Commander, I treat him with Clemency.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Seventh Point, how do you rule?
K7P:
Grand Knight Commander, I rule with Justice.
GKC:
Sir Knight of the Eighth Point, how do you defend the Lord and St. John?
K8P:
Grand Knight Commander, I defend them with Strength.
GKC, raises his sword from the carry above his head:
This Order will always defend the Cross of our Patron. - CRUCIS JOHANN'S SANCTUS CUSTODIAE.
Gives * ****** * on the door which answered by the Sentinel. After the knocks, the GKC departs the Cross and resumes his Throne, when he is seated the others resume their places but remain standing.
GKC:
I declare this Commandery duly open.*. Knights, sheath your swords and be seated. Done.
 

Admission

GKC:
Sir Knight Chancellor, you will list our business The business is then transacted.
GKC:
Sir Knight Chancellor, do you have ought else to bring before our Commandery?
KCH:
There is nothing but there stands at the door a Pilgrim who seeks to enter.
GKC:
How does he hope to gain entry here?
KCH:
By possession of the Word of a Knight of Jerusalem, Rhodes and Malta.
GKC:
Sir Knight Seneschal, you will retire and satisfy yourself of the claims of the Pilgrim, if he does so, you will veil his head and bind him with a cable tow around the waist until we can further satisfy ourselves of his intent.
Sen. stands, draws and salutes with his sword, returns the sword to the carry and retires. He ascertains that the Pilgrim is clad as a Kt. of Malta wearing the Black Gloves, and that he wears his sword. When he is satisfied, he enters the Commandery without an alarm and perambulates around the floor three times, after the third time the Sen. stops before the GKC and says:
KSN:
Grand Knight Commander, I have brought before you this Knight of Malta who, after defending the Faith in the Holy Land and in Africa, has now undertaken a private Pilgrimage to his own land, I have walked with him throughout our Commandery and he has made no attempt to see ought of our business, nor has he attempted to escape my escort.
GKC:
Then let his eyes be not covered and his hands be freed. Sen. removes the veil and bands.
GKC:
Sir Knight, as you see we also wear the dress of your Order, why do you now make this pilgrimage?
KSN:
While serving in the Desert land of Nubia, we chanced upon a Band of Christian Pilgrims who were under attack from Infidels who were superior in number and in arms. I called upon the Knights and Men-at-Arms of my entourage and we at once attacked. In a short space of time the Infidels fled before our swords. Several of the Pilgrims were grievously wounded and we took those upon our steeds in order we could take them to our Hospital with all dispatch. It was only some time later, when the disease had already begun to afflict me, that I determined that the Pilgrim that I had rescued was indeed a leper and that I had also been struck by the dark cloud of that disease. Our Prior, who was also well versed in medicine, treated me as best he could but since leprosy does not so quickly advance in the cooler climes of Europe, he ordered me thence. So I come here to Torphichen, to seek solace and perhaps, hope.
KGC:
Sir Knight, since we are indeed a Hospitaller Order, we make you welcome but as we have taken the further oath of this inner Order of The White Cross of Torphichen, are you also prepared to take such an oath?
Cand.:
I am.
GKC:
Then you will kneel on your left knee, place your left hand upon this Cross of Amalfi and the right upon the Bible. and repeat this Oath.
Seneschal leans over and appears to be in whispered conversation with the Cand.
KSN:
Knight Grand Commander, this Knight hesitates to place his leprous hands upon these artefacts for fear of contamination.
GKC:
Let him fear not. For nothing in this world can count against either of these symbols of our Faith. Sen. advises Cand. to place his hands as required. I, , do give this Oath, that l will always honour our Lord in Heaven, will protect the memory of St. John, that I will dwell in Faith, seek Wisdom, practice Brotherly Love, espouse Compassion, deliver Charity and Clemency, rule with Justice and defend our Lord, Patron and Order with Strength. In the name of the Father, His Son and the Holy Ghost, I do solemnly make this Oath.
GKC, draws his sword and administers the accolade of Knighthood, over the Altar, by dubbing on both shoulders:
Arise Sir Knight . As a member of this Order you must always observe your Knightly Virtues. Sir Knight Seneschal, you will escort this knight around our Priory and let him discover as he will, of our way of life and our routines.
GKC resumes his throne and the Sen. Perambulates around the Commandery until he brings the Cand. to the sack. The Cand. is quietly advised to put his hands into the sack where there should be a pair of white gloves and a Cross. He should change the black gloves for the white and then withdraw the cross held in bath hands. As he does so the Seneschal says:
KSN:
The Mercy of the Lord and St. John is upon you! The Cand. is then lead back to the East. The Chancellor rises from his place and stands before the Cand. and Seneschal.
KCH:
When the lands of the Temple were ordered to be given to the Knights of St. John, a sacred relic was found in the vaults of the castle at Torphichen. This was a portion of the Cross of Amalfi, a city in Italy. The Cross had been taken by the Templars during one of the many petty quarrels that took place between the Orders of the Temple and the Hospital in the Holy Land.
The Cross was taken to Jerusalem by merchants from Amalfi and after receiving a Blessing from the Patriarch of the Holy City, was given to the Hospitallers as their Standard. Many years later, a Knight of the Order of St. John, whom you today have represented, was sent to Torphichen as he was greatly afflicted with leprosy with which he had been smitten during a raising in the Northern part of Africa, which is called Nubia. One day white at prayer in the Chapel at Torphichen, the Knight chanced upon the portal of the vault. When he entered therein, be found among the rubbish, a sack containing the Cross. As he took the Cross into his hands, he found that the leprosy was cured and he then gave thanks to the Lord. On hearing of this miracle, the Prior of Torphichen gave permission for an Order to be formed within the Order of St. John in Scotland, ever to honour that Cross, as the Cross of our Patron, St. John.
Therefore, to this day, members of this Order may only be admitted from the ranks of the Order of Malta and must always take an Oath to serve the Cross through Faith, Wisdom, Brotherly Love, Compassion, Charity, Clemency, Justice and Strength, each one of these virtues being memorialised by one point of the Cross, The Sacred Motto of the Order of the White Cross of Torphichen is Crucis Johannis Sanctus Custodiae, which means Keepers (or Guards) of the Cross of St. John. This is the only Word that distinguishes you as a Member of this Order for all other Words are as those of a Knight of Malta. The Initials of this Motto, CJSC, appear our on our banner. The sign of a Knight of the White Cross of Torphichen is given by drawing your sword, reversing the same so that the hilt forms a cross. The hilt is then kissed with the lips.
The Chancellor retires to his place and the Cand, is presented with at thistle by the Seneschal, which he is told to pin to his cap. When he has done this he is given a seat in the Commandery after which the Seneschal resumes his own place.

 

Closing

GKC:
Sir Knights of the Order of the White Cross of Torphichen, we shall now close the Commandery. Knights of the Points take up your stations.
The closing is the reverse of the Opening, with the interrogation beginning with the Knight of the Eighth Point and finishing with the Knight of the First Point. When the interrogation is complete the GKC dismisses the Knights of the Points to their places, resumes his throne and says:
GKC:
This Commandery is closed * ****** *, repeated by the Guard and the Sentinel.


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