KNIGHT COMMANDER

COURT OF HONOUR

  The first of the honours of the Court of Honour is the Knight Commander.  It was a designation conceived by Grand Commander Albert Pike to honor men of outstanding ability and commitment. A Brother must have been a 32 Mason (a Master of the Royal Secret) for at least 46 months before the Supreme Council can vote on his nomination for the honour. In order to nominate a Brother, the Sovereign Grand Inspector General or the Deputy of the Supreme Council in whose Orient the Brother has his primary membership fills out a form, giving the Brother's name, Masonic and other history, and the reasons for his nomination. He then submits the form in advance of the Biennial Session to the Supreme Council. The vote of the Supreme Council must be unanimous.

  It should be noted again that the designation Knight Commander of the Court of Honour (almost always abbreviated as K .:. C .:. C .:. H .:.) is not a Degree. The K.C.C.H. is not conferred upon a Brother; he is invested with it. The best known piece of the regalia of the K.C.C.H.  is the cap (photo above). This description of the cap is adapted from the Statutes of the Supreme Council. 

  The cap is circular, 3 I/8 inches high, and made of heavy red grosgrain silk. There is a band of red grosgrain silk, l 1/4 inches wide finished, with a cord welt above and below the band. There is gilt wire lace at the top and bottom of the band, leaving an interval of 9/16 inch showing on the band between the lace. On the center, in front, is a representation of the Knight Commander jewel. A regulation gilt bullion double over cord is fastened at the lower edge of the cap with a gold-plated metal button, embossed with a double-headed eagle emblem.

 

The Jewel of the K.C.C.H. is a Passion Cross, Fitched.  It is a Passion Cross because the arms are not of equal length, and it, therefore, resembles the cross on which Jesus of Nazareth suffered the Passion. The term "Fitched" refers to the treatment of the ends of the bars. See "Cross Patee Fitched" in Appendix IV, "The Rite Crosses." The cross rests on a circle of laurel leaves. On the cross is a raised gold circular plate, with gold beads around the circumference. The plate is enameled in white. On the white plate is a green trefoil (a shape like a shamrock). Around the trefoil, in letters of gold, is KT.-.COMM.-.COURT OF HONOUR. The jewel is worn on the left breast, suspended by a white ribbon.

  The trefoil is a very old symbol of spirituality. Essentially, it illustrates the reconciliation of opposites and, thus, represents unity or balance. It reminds us of such triads as body-mind-spirit, active-passive-interactive, Father-Son-Holy Ghost, Brahma-Vishnu-Shiva, and many others. In the most simple terms, the trefoil reminds us that there is a connection between the human and the divine and that it is our task to be aware of that connection.

  There is another emblem of the K.:.C.:.C.:.H.:. called the "Synthetic Badge."  That word seems strange to our ears, accustomed as we are to synthetic fabrics and other materials. It conjures up for us thoughts of something a little inferior or artificial. But when this badge was designed, more than 150 years ago, there were no synthetic fabrics or foods. The jewel is called the "Synthetic Badge" because it synthesizes, brings together, the teachings of Masonry. Or, in the words of the ritual, "so called because like the points of the compasses, the tenets of Masonry are contained within its bounds. It is a rectangle of gold, one inch long and one-half an inch wide, in the form of a double square [see facing page]. In it are imbedded three sparkling diamonds, in the form of a triangle with three equal sides, the apex pointing upward. Its form will remind you of the first steps in Masonry: the oblong square of the step of the Entered Apprentice. Its gold base, the metal of the sun, itself a symbol of intellectual light and knowledge, as its genial warmth is of loving-kindness and sympathy, may suggest to you your continuing duty to spread the blessings of education and abound in charitable deeds; while the triangle of reflected light will impress you and each of us that the highest teachings of the fraternity of Freemasons is symbolized by the triangle. The badge sums up all Masonry, and we should wear it as a constant reminder of our duty to be a true Mason.

The final piece of regalia of the K.:.C.:.C.:.H.:. is the sword belt. Just as the bestowal of the belt was the final act of making a knight, so it is in this ceremony.

Here are the new Scottish Rite Jewels available today!

A special "Thanks" to our Secretary and Brother Jerry Stotler, who is also a K.C.C.H.  Brother Jerry supplied the pictures and descriptions of his hat and jewel for our museum.  Thanks Jerry!

 

         

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