The Ceremony of Illustrious Knights Templar
(There are 3 versions of this ceremony.)
The Temple is that of Egypt, octagonal with two pylons, six mirrors. The Canopy is of blue embroidered with golden stars. Above the mirrors are 77 lights with reflectors, each mirror having 11, and the pylon of the West 11 of larger size. Here hangs the Volume of the Sacred Law. Of the Altar it is not written.
The Knights are clad in the black or white velvet or silk tunics and knee-breeches and silk stockings of the fourth degree but instead of the mantle of green velvet is a mantle of black velvet. The garter is black with gold lettering: the shoes black with gold buckles. The collarette, eagle and sash of 30° are worn. The tassels of the mantle are of gold cord. The cap is that of a Templar, but black with the insignia in gold. Sword and belt are black and gold. The Ante-room contains the Tomb of J(acobus) B(urgundus) M(olensis) and is hung with black. The Chamber of Reflections contains a small altar or table on which is a skull and the ever-burning lamp. In the mouth of the skull is a green leaf. When more than 3 companions are present, they draw lots for the offices, the losers remaining without, on guard, under the direction of the Knight Sentinel.
G.C.: vvv vvv vvv
Sir Knights, assist me to open the Temple.
(All give sign.)
Sir Knight Sentinel, guard the approaches of the Temple.
(Sentinel goes out on guard after seeing that all give signs.)
Let us form the Mystic Triangle.
(The three companions, facing outwards with hands joined, surround G.C. and C.B. who exchange the Greeting M(outh) to M(outh). R(ight) H(and) to K(nee). L(eft) H(and) to A(nus). Change to EAGLEGRIP and exchange WORD.
WE INVOKE THEE, Three-in-One, Sol-Om-On.
1st companion: SOL.
2nd Comp.: OM.
3rd Comp.: ON.
All: SOL! OM! ON!
C.B.: The Temple is open!
G.C.: The God is in the shrine!
S.B.: vvv vvv vvv
K.S.: vvv vvv vvv
G.C.: Sir Knights, our Brother R.C. Sir, offers to share our burden, Brother, instruct Sir K(night) S(entinel) to admit him.
(He does so. G.C. and Companions proceed to anteroom where G.C. is then entombed. The Companions stand with drawn swords at head of tomb. S.B. takes empty cup C.B. and advances to foot of tomb.
C(andidate) introduced. The Roll of the Bath in on the tomb.)
S.B.: Whom have you there?
K.S.: A S(acred) P(rince) of R(ose) C(ross), who offers to share the burden of the I(llustrious) K(nights) T(emplar) of the O(rder) of K(adosch)
S.B.: Who vouches that he is properly prepared?
The Knight who can do so, replies: Admit him in due form.
(K.S. directs him to t(rample) and s(pit) on the c(ross).)
S.B.: Behold the tomb of your G(rand) M(aster), J(acobus) B(urgundus) M(olensis). Swear to break the bondage of vulgar error.
Cand.: I swear, etc.
C.B.: Swear unconditional and unswerving obedience to the G(rand) M(aster) B(aphomet).
Cand.: I swear, etc.
S.B.: Swear to serve the Order to the last moment of your time.
Cand.: I swear, etc.
S.B.: Swear to defend the Order with the last drop of your blood.
Cand.: I swear, etc.
(S.B. stabs Cand.)
S.B.: Swear to aid the Order with the last penny of your purse.
(K.S. takes any money and removes his insignia, garters and shoes.)
Swear to love the Order with Body and Soul in the p(erson) of any K(night) who d(emands) it!
Cand.: I swear, etc.
(A Kt, not his voucher, takes and gives kiss.)
S.B.: Swear to devote your whole energies to the Will of the Order and the Dominion of T(he) S(acred) L(aw).
Cand.: I swear, etc.
(Kisses V.S.L. 7 times.)
S.B.: If you break this oath, you will ever be pursued by the unsleeping vengeance of the Order; nay, the avenger shall arise, even from the Tomb.
(S.B. goes to Candidate’s left, as G.C. starts up (from the Tomb) T. In his hand is the Roll of the Oath.)
G.C.: You will seal this oath with your heart’s blood!
(K.S. draws C.’s blood with his stiletto (cutting) a St. Andrew’s Cross on right arm. S.B. receives it in cup. Cand. dips his thumb in the blood, and seals the Oath. K.S. binds up Cand.’s wound.)
G.C.: It is sworn. Follow me, that I may offer up the blood to Baphomet.
(G.C. goes to temple and enters. S.B. and K.S. remaining in their stations within and without. Temple is lighted only by the Sanctuary lamp. The three companions form the triangle about the Candidate. G.C. goes to C.B. and kneels, offering Cup. C.B. drinks, lifts kirtle from which he takes the phial of oil.)
G.C.: (Within triangle. Anoints crown of C.’s head.)
By the authority of the G(rand) M(aster) B(aphomet) and by virtue of the Powers vested in my person, I create thee, now and for ever, a Knight Templar.
(Gives the accolade on b- c- a-s saltire.)
G.C.: You will now retire without the portal of the temple, there to be invested with the insignia of your rank.
(All leave the temple, and all assist in this. G.C. places the shoes upon C.’s feet, kissing them in token of humility.)
I now proceed to entrust you with the secrets of this degree.
(All retire and prepare for Second Point. K.S. wears crown, a companion of the papal tiara, while the other companions wear the robes of familiars of the Inquisition. No Templar jewel or ensign must be shown. C.B. is in Temple as Baphomet.)
On the 13th day of October 1307 the Grand Master of the Temple Jacobus Burgundus Molensis or Jacques de Bourg Molay and many of his brethren were arrested through the treachery of two apostate brethren (They appear) who inspired the Pope Clement V and Philip le Bel, King of France, to crush the Order. These tyrants stripped him of all the signs of his high rank (done by Pope and King) and had him bound hand and foot (done by familiars) and cast into prison on a charge of heresy and immorality; and indeed our Master was sworn to bring Light and Freedom in to those ages of ignorance and slavery.
Here he was put to the torture (Cord round Can.’s forehead until he screams) but not all the ingenuity of the tormentors could cause him to utter a cry of pain, much less to recant.
On the 14th day of March 1314, he was bound to a stake surrounded by combustible materials, and the torch of the executioner applied.
With his last words he invoked vengeance on his murderers, who died within a year and a day, as you shall do if you ally yourself with tyranny and superstition.
Sir Knight, roll on the ground these emblems, and cry: ‘Down with tyranny! Down with superstition!’
The vengeance of the order was executed even sooner upon the traitors, who were stabbed in the throat within a fortnight of the murder of our master.
Lay your hand upon your heart, the fingers apart, in memory of the flames which curled about his noble heart; grasp your right knee, raising the foot as if ready to trample on tyranny; then take this dagger and pierce the throats of traitors, crying: ‘Wekam, Adonai!’, which means ‘Vengeance, O my Lord!’ This vengeance has been accomplished. Light and Freedom have slowly penetrated, and today we are at liberty to love the Light of Life.
(All resume insignia in ante-room.)
Noble Sir Knight, I now re-invest you with the Insignia of Our Order. This Ring of Profession is always to be worn on the right thumb (Note: it usually only worn at lodge meetings). Its inscription V.D.C.A. stands for Vult Deus Sanctum Amorem, and for certain other words which will one day be communicated to you.
This Eagle is that of Frederick of Prussia II, who first shook the power of the Papacy. The insignia are black, particularly the mantle, which though white within, a symbol of our light and purity, shows that we must still walk in a cloak of darkness and secrecy. The point within the circle, the eye within the triangle is thus: The outer circle represents Freemasonry, or the triangle the 3 degrees of masonry, the shield which the illustrious brethren must hide within. The point or eye is the fulcrum of the order, the illustrious Knights, about which the outer circle rotates but is unaware of the true Guiding Light of the lodge, which seeing itself is illumined; for Light and Freedom are not fully ours. Yet in secret we may still worship as we will.
(All officers resume places in temple. G.C. passes in giving sign, grip and word. Cand. follows him.
Temple is now in light.)
‘Behold our God, Baphomet, the unutterable one, the bearer of the Light.’ Kneel, Brother, as a lover kneels at the shrine of the Beloved!
(Done. G.C. solemnly dips the lance-point in the cup. C.B. gives Cand. the Cup and he drinks. He then raises him and greets him with the secret grip, as in the Opening, within the triangle of Companions, or in any case with the accolade.)
‘Sir Knight, you are now at liberty to retire. On your return you will partake with us of the Mystic Feast of the Sabbath’.
(Companions conduct new Knight from the Temple.)
(The Knights assemble to the W. of the Tomb of J.B.M. The Temple is dark but for sanctuary lamp.)
G.C.: Brethren, to Order! Let us celebrate the Mystic Feast of the Sabbath.
(He leads procession. G.C., C.B., 3 Companions, S.B., K.S. new Companion last. They go 7 times round the Tomb, counter-clockwise; then all enter but K.S. who bars new Knight. K.S. directs him to knock, short, long, short, short.)
S.B.: V(ery) I(llustrious) G.C., there is an alarm at the door.
G.C.: Inquire who demands admission.
S.B.: Sir K(night) S(entinel), who demands admission to the Sanctuary of the Holy Grail?
K.S.: A K(night) T(emplar) of the O(rder) of K(adosch).
(S.B. rends veil. All menace new K(night) with their swords.)
G.C.: What is your name?
K.S.: (For Knight.) I have no name.
G.C.: By what right do you demand admission?
K.S.: (For Knight.) I have no right.
G.C.: Who has the right?
K.S.: No one has the right.
(All drop swords. Kt. enters as all retain station. K.S. at mirrors by W. S.B. to left of G.C.)
G.C.: Sir Knight, you will lead the procession. Let us travel in the Path of the Serpent!
(Knight leads deosil. At each outward curve, new Knight — and all —sweep down and out with thumb.
They go round 7 times.)
G.C.: Unveil the Graal!
(All sheathe swords. C.B. takes cup, drinks and offers to G.C. Each, as he drinks says: To the Glory of our Master Jacobus Burgundus Molensis. To the Glory of the Grand Master Baphomet.
G.C.: Sir Knight, you will lead the procession. Let us travel in the path of the Sun!
(New Knight leads deosil, in the sign of Good Shepherd. All draw swords.)
G.C.: As these 8 pillars support the roof of this holy temple, so do the 8 letters of the name Baphomet support the heaven of heavens the throne of Sol Om On. Brethren, let us utter this holy word. (Every Knight utters his letter in silence. New Kt makes B with his lips, instructed by S.B. and K.S. who show him how to act.)
1st Comp.: P.
2nd Comp.: H.
3rd Comp.: E.
(All make letter in silence; swords meet, l(eft) arm bent supports brow; l(eft) hand grasps r(ight) arm.)
G.C.: Now there is nought but death in this holy temple.
Draw up the life-force from thy feet.
To where the Eight in Nothing meet!
(All attempt to do so. If it fails:
1st Comp.: V(ery) I(llustrious) G.C., the Light abideth indeed in the darkness, but the darkness comprehendeth it not!
3rd Comp.: Let us sacrifice to the Lord of Light!
G.C.: Brethren, to order!
(All to order. K.S. goes out and brings in the c(up) or b(owl) whose t(op) he c(overs). C.B. gathers b(roth) of which all drink in turn, G.C. last; for the c(up) passes counter-clockwise.
All now recite the Chapter of Unity from Koran; Qol: Hua Allahu achad: Allahu assamad; lau yalid walam yulad; walam yakum lahu kufwan achad.
Each, as he feels the necessity, makes the sign of the 5°. When all have done so, the mantra stops.)
G.C.: Sir Knights, let us utter the holy word!
(Light. New Knight says B. as before, but remains standing and throws off mantle.)
S.B.: (Says.) A (And initiates action.)
3rd. Comp.: (Says.) P (And initiates action.)
K.S.: (Says.) H (And initiates action.)
G.C.: (Says.) O (And initiates action.)
2nd. Comp.: (Says.) M (And initiates action.)
1st. Comp.: (Says.) E (And initiates action.)
C.B.: (Says.) T (And initiates action.)
(All advance and form Circle of Light.)
(All resume mantels and stations; but K.M. changes place with new Knight.)
G.C.: Lord of Light, I blaze above.
S.B.: The Lord of Life!
C.B.: The Lord of Love!
K.S.: I am he that guards the Three. I am Lord of Liberty.
Comps.: We who reign and rule the State: We complete the circle of eight.
G.C.: The sacred lance shall never fail.
C.B.: Veil and unveil the Holy Grail.
Its wine and blood be freely poured
Eternally before the Lord!
S.B.: I bear the sword to be your ward.
K.S.: And ever faithful I will guard.
The Portal with the Poniard!
All: AUM! AUM! AUM!
G.C.: vvv vvv vvv
Sir Knights and Dames, assist me to close the Temple.
(All give signs.)
Sir K.S., guard the approaches of the Temple!
Let us form the mystic square!
(The four companions face outward with hands joined, while G.C. and C.B. exchange greeting (? T.), eagle grip, and words. Sign of Baphomet whom he invokes in silence.)
G.C.: Peace from the Sun! And from the G(rand) M(aster) B(aphomet.)
C.B.: The Graal is veiled.
(G.C. and C.B. leave the Temple followed by others all arm in arm; S.B. and K.S. bring up the rear, disrobe in the anteroom.)