Holy Royal Arch Knight Templar Priests
Knight of the Three Kings


2015


Compiler's Notes: The origin of this ceremony would appear to have been North America. It is still not without doubt that the title original was NIGHT of the Three Kings in reference to the time frame mentioned in the Lecture. The original ritual is poorly written and has the form of a text that was once presented as a lecture rather than a participatory ceremony. The following ritual has again been amended to present a ceremony of Knighthood, but barely so! Originally the degree was conferred in a Lodge but in this version the Knights meet in a Chapter.
The degree appears only to have a Commander who sits in the North and Knights (Master & Brethren in the non-chivalric version). There is an altar upon which is a V.S.L. The apron of the degree is said to be black with white edging, on the body of which is a candle in white with a yellow flame.

 

Opening

All Knights of the degree assemble and take their places with the Commander in the East. One Knight is appointed as Conductor, one as IG and one as OG and another as an Umpire - see text. One Knight remains outside.
Comm.:
I declare the Chapter open. *, repeated by IG and OG, then all sit.
Comm.:
Let the Candidate be admitted. One Knight retires and returns with the Cand. who is made to kneel at the altar. The Commander gives * and all stand.
Comm.:
Brother you will repeat after me. I, , of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God, and these witnesses, do hereby and hereon, solemnly promise and swear, that I will not confer the degree of Knight of the Three Kings upon any person unless he be a worthy Master Mason. I furthermore promise and swear, that I will not confer this degree unless the applicant is accepted by the unanimous consent of all Knights present.
At this point, the Knight who remained outside now enters and moving to the altar exclaims:
Kt.:
How is this? I have not consented that this degree should be conferred upon this Brother!
Comm.:
I did not expect that you had any objection to the candidate and therefore commenced to give the oath. You should have made your objection known before we entered the Chapter.
Kt.:
I did make my objection known. I have previously stated that there was difficulty of a very serious nature which existed between this Brother and myself. I further stated before others that should he fail to give me satisfaction, I should oppose him.
Comm.:
I am of the opinion that this difficulty should be settled for it is regrettable that two Brothers should quarrel and even more so that such prejudices are brought into the Chapter.
At this point, the Knight who acted as conductor to the candidate, encourages him to rise and state that he knows nothing about any matter between himself and the dissenting Knight. The latter then relates the supposed grievance, this may be that the Candidate is a drunkard, or mistreats his wife or has spoken disrespectfully of Masonry etc. The Candidate is then told to refine whatever charge is made against him. The dissenting Brother then says that he will not withdraw his objection for he knows the Candidate to be just the type of person who would do such a thing!
At this point, several of the other Knights enter forcefully into the debate, some supporting the Candidate, others supporting his accuser. The Commander then bangs the gavel *** and cries.
Comm.:
Enough, enough. This is unseemly behaviour within the Chapter. You Brother the dissenter and you Brother the Candidate will retire to the SW corner and remain there until you have resolved your differences. The two do so and the remaining Knights are at ease and talk among themselves. After a short time one Knight calls over:
Kt.:
Have you agreed?
Diss. Kt.:
The difficulty is not settled and neither is it likely to be!
Again the two are left in the corner to attempt an outcome. After another short interval the Knight again calls:
Kt.:
Have you now agreed?
Diss. Kt.:
No, but the other brother has suggested that we submit our cases to a Knight to decide upon their merits, and both of us have agreed to abide by his decision. Both then return and stand before the altar facing the Commander.
Comm.:
What is the outcome of your discussions.
Diss. Kt.:
We have not resolved our differences but we agree to submit to another Knight our cases and that we will abide by his decision. We choose Knight X to settle the matter. The Knight chosen rises and goes to the East side of the altar. At his signal all the lights are extinguished and he takes up two candles and lights them, then holds up in one in each hand over the VSL.
Ump.:
Brother, by the light of this Candle, do you agree that you can see the Holy Gospel.
Diss. Kt.:
I agree, that this is so.
Cand.:
I also agree. The lights are turned on.
Ump.:
Then if you can agree in the dark, certainly as Brother masons you must agree in the light of God's Word. The dissenting Knight offers his hand to the Cand. The Cand, accepts and the Diss. Kt. returns to his seat accompanied by the Umpire.
Comm.:
Brother. Now that your differences are settled, you will again kneel before the altar. Cand. does so and all rise. You will now undertake the remaining part of your Obligation by again repeating after me.
I furthermore promise and swear that I will never confer this degree for fee or reward. To all of the aforementioned I do solemnly promise and swear, with a firm and steady resolve to keep and perform the same, binding myself under no less a penalty than crucifixion and to die a lingering death upon a cross. So help me God and keep me steadfast.
Cand. salutes VSL once and is advised to rise, when he has done so the Umpire stands and says:
Ump.:
Commander, let the Candidate and he who opposed his receiving the degree now approach each other and meet upon the Five Points of Fellowship and this shall balance any difficulties that once existed between them.
Done.
Comm. or another delegated to do so, now gives the Lecture.

 

Lecture

Masonic tradition informs us that the circumstances upon which the ritual of this degree is founded, are briefly this:
At the dedication of the Temple. King Salomon invited all the eastern Kings and Princes to attend and assist in the ceremony. It so happened that two of the Kings were at war. Salomon repeatedly attempted to effect a reconciliation between them but to no avail, whereupon he determined to effect by force what he could not by argument. He therefore invited the two kings into a small apartment in the Temple, locked the door and left them to meditate in silence, telling them that whenever they settled their differences and agreed to live in peace, they would be liberated and until that time they would be given only bread and water as sustenance. The next day Salomon visited them and asked if they reached agreement. They advised him that they had not. He visited them again on the second day and again enquired if they had resolved their differences and again he was told that they had not and were unlikely to do so. Salomon then withdrew the bread and water and ordered that the shutters on the window be closed so that the room was in total darkness. When this was done he again withdrew, telling them that he would return again the following day.
On the third day Solomon opened the door and the kings informed him that they had indeed reached agreement. Solomon took a candle in each hand and entered the darkened room saying, Then if you can agree in the darkness, you can also do so in the light, after which he gave a short bow to both.
From this circumstance comes the sign of the degree, by holding both hands in front of you with fists clenched as if holding a candle in each hand. The Penal Sign is given by extending both arms as if upon a cross. The Watch Word and the Word of Caution is AGREED. You may now be seated.
If such is used, the apron is fitted before the Cand. is seated.
Comm.:
The Chapter is closed *.


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