Knights and Ladies of the Golden Eagle - KGE

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Above, is certainly one of the most impressive Past President’s jewel, silver and gold-plate on a large purple ribbon.  Most KGE pieces follow essentially the same pattern.  They were founded in 1873 in Baltimore, Maryland and had a militaristic/Christian perspective in its rituals and ceremonies.  They worked three degrees based on events and legends surrounding the Crusades of the Middle Ages.  According to Axelrod's International Encyclopedia of Secret Societies and Fraternal Orders the organization went extinct sometime during the 1960s-70s, however, current research has shown that this group is still active in three states providing scholarships to college students.  One unfortunate piece of history that still shadows the KGE is that one of their members was responsible for the assassination of President McKinley.   The woman's auxiliary was called the Ladies of the Golden Eagle. 

Here is What They Looked Like!

Here are a couple of handsome young fellows dressed in their Knights of the Golden Eagle regalia.

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First or Pilgrims’ Degree

  Revised June 1908

Opening
 
At the time prescribed for opening the Castle, the Noble Chief clothed in the regalia of his office, will take his post and give one rap of the gavel
Noble Chief: The officers and brothers will clothe themselves in their appropriate regalia and take their appointed posts. The Guardsmen will secure the Castle gates. The Sir Herald will satisfy himself that all present are in possession of the password and justly entitled to remain; he will also examine if all the officers are at their posts, and report.
The Sir Herald gives the proper passwords to the Noble Chief. The Sir Herald then receives from each member, including the Second Guardsman, the Semi-annual and Third Degree passwords. He reports all members without the passwords to the Noble Chief. If entitled thereto, the Noble Chief directs them to the Sitting Past Chief for instruction. Vouching is not permissible. Visitors must be in possession of the passwords. He also reports all posts found vacant, the Noble Chief filling them temporarily by special appointment. The Sir Herald then advances to his post, draws and carries his sword, salutes the Noble Chief and say: Noble Chief, I find all the brothers correct. He then brings his sword to a carry, present and returns it.
Noble Chief: The Worthy Chamberlain will direct the Second Guardsman to present himself, and will guard the outer gate until his return. The First Guardsman will pass the Worthy Chamberlain out and the Second Guardsman into the Castle.
The Second Guardsman, when entering, does so in a military manner, with sheathed sword. As soon as he arrives at the altar, he gives a military salute and proceeds with his charge.
Second Guardsman: Noble Chief, I await your instructions.
Noble Chief: What is your duty, Brother Guardsman?
Second Guardsman: To guard the outer gate; to permit none to enter without the semi-annual password, unless by you directed, and to see that the brethren in the ante-chamber do not disturb the opening, closing, or initiatory ceremonies.
Noble Chief: Advance and give the password. The Second Guardsman advances to the Noble Chief, and in a whisper, gives him the password. He then returns, with his sword at a carry. Upon returning to the altar, he immediately salutes—military—the Noble Chief when the latter proceeds with his charge. At its conclusion—after the word “Castle”—the Second Guardsman brings his sword from a salute and returns it, and them departs. Correct brother. Your duty requires, and we expect, that the outpost of our Castle will be faithfully guarded. The First Guardsman will pass the Second Guardsman to his post and the Worthy Chamberlain into the Castle. Pause until the Second Guardsman has departed and the Worthy Chamberlain has entered. The brethren will now sing the Opening Ode. Two raps.
 
Opening Ode
Hail, Brother Knights may we who meet
Here, with one heart agree—
Our work perform with concord sweet
And pure fidelity
Each in the other’s cares take part,
With sympathetic grace
Let love flame in each knightly heart,
Adorn each knightly face.
 
Within these Castle walls no sound
Of discord e’er may rise—
May faith and honor here be found,
With all their knightly ties
Love for one God, and love for all
Who bear his fair impress,
Will soothe us on this earthly ball,
And then in glory bless.
 
Noble Chief: Brother High Priest, you will now implore the blessings of the Deity upon our deliberations.
Sir Herald: Attention, Sir Knights; uncover.
Caps are to be removed and replaced at the word of command. Remove with the left hand, holding the cap to the right shoulder. Members without caps, keep their hands at their side.
High Priest:
O Lord! Thou ever merciful and ever righteous Father of Life, thou hast permitted us to assemble together this evening, having seen fit, in Thy goodness and compassion, to spare our lives during the week that has passed. We thank Thee for Thy tender care, and humbly invoke Thy blessing upon our labors this evening May peace and unity prevail during our deliberations, and may our coming together prove a blessing. Bless, we pray Thee, our Order. Help us to enlarge its borders, that we may become, if it is Thy will, a mighty benevolent institution. Hear us in these petitions, crown our labors with success, and may we ascribe to Thee all the glory, forever and ever, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
All respond: Amen.
Sir Hearld: Re-cover.
Three raps.
When directed by the Noble Chief to rehearse the duties of his post, each officer shall rise and salute the Noble Chief, as directed iii the diagram and instructions.
Noble Chief: Brother First Guardsman, rehearse the duties of your post.
First Guardsman: To guard the inner gate; to suffer none to enter who do not give the correct raps and pass words, unless directed by you; to permit no one to pass my post who is not clothed in the regalia of the Order; nor, under any circumstances, to admit a brother during the opening, closing, or initiatory ceremonies.
Noble Chief: Brother Sir Herald, rehearse the duties of your post.
Sir Herald: To satisfy myself that all present are true and loyal brothers of our Order, and if any be found otherwise, to report the same to you; to conduct all strangers deemed worthy of admission into this brotherhood through the initiatory formulas of our Order, and faithfully perform all other duties emanating from the commands of the Noble Chief.
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Chamberlain, rehearse the duties of your post.
Worthy Chamberlain: To have charge of all the secret work and properties of this Castle; to take special care of the regalia; to receive and prepare all candidates in the antechamber, and assist the Sir Herald in the discharge of his duties.
Noble Chief: Brother Esquire, rehearse the duties of your post.
Esquire: To have charge of the armor of this Castle, assist in the initiatory ceremonies, and act as special messenger to the Noble Chief.
Noble Chief: Brother Ensign, rehearse the duties of your post.
Ensign: To display the banner of our Order during the opening, closing and initiatory ceremonies, and on all formal occasions.
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Bard, rehearse the duties of your post.
Worthy Bard: To preside at the organ and have charge of all musical properties of this Castle.
Noble Chief: Brother Master of Records, rehearse the duties of your post.
Master of Records: To have charge of the archives of this Castle; conduct its correspondence; keep a correct record of its proceedings; make out the semi-annual returns and transmit the same to the Grand Castle, and faithfully discharge all other duties prescribed by the Constitution and By-Laws, or as may be directed from time to time by this Castle.
Noble Chief: Brother Clerk of Exchequer, rehearse the duties of your post.
Clerk of Exchequer: To keep just and accurate accounts between this Castle and its members; receive all moneys and pay the same to the Keeper of Exchequer, taking his receipt therefor; to present my report semi-annually, and perform all other duties required of me by the laws and regulations of this Castle.
Noble Chief: Brother Keeper of Exchequer, rehearse the duties of your post.
Keeper of Exchequer: To receive from the Clerk of Exchequer all moneys belonging to this Castle, giving my receipt therefor; to keep a true account of all funds so received, and make no disbursements thereof unless directed by the Castle, under an order from the Noble Chief, attested by the Master of Records, and present a correct report semi-annually.
Noble Chief: Brother Venerable Hermit, rehearse the duties of your post.
Venerable Hermit: To dwell in the solitude of yon mountain cave, keeping my lone vigil over the tomb of our patron knight; to receive all who shall be required by you to visit my drear abode, and teach them, from the example of the dead, lessons of eternal fidelity to the living.
Noble Chief: Brother High Priest, rehearse the duties of your post.
High Priest, advances to the front of the altar, opens the Holy Book, and arranges the altar by placing on the Bible, a Cross and Crown, also two swords, in the shape of a cross: To invoke the blessing of the Great Jehovah upon our brotherhood; to obligate upon this Holy Book all who desire to wear the armor of our Order, and faithfully perform all the duties pertaining to the post of High Priest of this Castle.
Noble Chief: Brother Vice Chief, rehearse the duties of your post.
Vice Chief: To occupy the second official post in this Castle; to assist you, Noble Chief, in preserving order and decorum, aid you in conducting the initiatory ceremonies, and have charge of the wicket.
Noble Chief: Brother Past Chief, rehearse the duties of your post.
Past Chief: To receive at my post all who desire to wear the armor of our order, instruct them in the secret signs, passwords and grips, and perform all other duties required of the Sitting Past Chief of this Castle.
Noble Chief, rises and remains standing until the Castle is declared open: What are the duties of the Noble Chief of this Castle?
Past Chief: To occupy the first official post; to preside over the deliberations of the Castle in a faithful, dignified and impartial manner, conducting all the ceremonies in a style comporting with the tenor of your installation vows, and perform all the duties and requirements of your post according to the laws and usages of this Order; all of which you are solemnly obligated to perform.
Sir Herald: Present swords
Noble Chief: Brother officers of ... Castle, you are expected to perform the several duties imposed upon you by the regulations of our Order in a dignified and serious manner, comporting with the tenor of the solemn obligations to which you gave assent upon entering the brotherhood; and the bonds by which you are thus held receive, if possible, additional importance from the high trust reposed in you by your associates, in selecting you for your several official posts. Let the religious execution of your various duties give proof of your honor, your faithfulness, and your truth.
Two raps.
Sir Knights and Brothers, in purity of heart, true patriotism, and brotherly love, let us devote the coming hours to the interests of our Order and mankind. Let dignity, true courage and uncompromising truth preside over our deliberations.
Sir Herald: Carry swords! Officers, about face, to your posts, march.
At the command ‘march’, the officers will return to their respective posts and face the altar.
Sir Herald: Return swords.
The officers will sheathe swords and remain standing until the sound of the gavel, to seat all.
Noble Chief: Sir Knights, present the Sign of the Crusader’s Degree.
I now declare this Castle open for the transaction of business, according to the rules and regulations of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle.
Three raps.
 
 
Initiation
 
Noble Chief, rises; one rap: The initiation of new members being now in order, the Worthy Chamberlain will give the retiring sign, repair to the ante-chamber and see if there be any candidates seeking admission into our Castle.
When the Worthy Chamberlain returns, he gives the sign of courtesy, takes two side-steps to the left, salutes the Noble Chief with sword, and announces if there are any candidates present. He then returns sword and occupies his post.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will give the retiring sign, proceed to the ante-chamber, return with the roll duly signed, and report to me for further orders.
The Worthy Chamberlain will retire and prepare the candidate for the solemn ceremonies of initiation. The Worthy Chamberlain, prior to retiring, gives the retiring sign.
The Sir Herald Receives from the Master of Records, a list of the candidates who have been elected, and conducts each one (separately) into the ante-chamber, where he reads to him the following questions contained in a book specially provided for the purpose. If his answers be correct he will be required to sign his name thereto.
Sir Herald: Before you can be admitted to membership in the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle, you must subscribe to the following questions:
1. Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, an Eternal and Everlasting God, and are you of the Christian Faith?
2. Are you desirous, from pure and honorable motives, of enrolling yourself under the banner of this benevolent brotherhood?
3. Are you free, to the best of your knowledge and belief from every physical and moral disability which deprives you of the means of procuring an honest livelihood?
4. Are you willing to stand pledged through life to preserve inviolate the secrets of the Order of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, upon the assurance that they are consistent with the principles of Charity, Purity, and the Laws?
5. Are you willing to stand pledged to obey all the laws emanating from the Supreme Castle and any Grand or Subordinate Castle of this Order of which you may become a member?
Each and all of these questions I do, upon my most sacred word of honor, and without mental reservation, answer in the affirmative, and as a pledge thereto do affix my signature.
Signature to be in red ink.
Should any candidate object to signing the roll, the Sir Herald will address him as follows:
Sir Herald: While we regret your dissent from the preliminary questions of our Order, we respect your candor and conscientiousness. I will now conduct you beyond the post of the Second Guardsman.
After the candidates in waiting have all been interrogated by the Sir Herald, and shall address those who sign as follows:
Sir Herald: It now becomes my duty to report the result of this examination to a higher power. I leave you for this purpose, and in a few moments will return to escort you to the commanding officer of this Castle.
As soon as the Sir Herald re-enters the Castle, the Worthy Chamberlain provides each candidate with a white robe and hoodwink, and sees that they are properly adjusted The Sir Herald, on re-entering the Castle, gives the sign of courtesy, takes two side steps to the left and salutes the Noble Chief with sword After being responded to by the Noble Chief, the Sir Herald returns the sword—this applies to each degree—and then presents the roll to the Noble Chief.
Noble Chief, rises; one rap: Sir Knights and Brothers reads name or names of candidate or candidates, candidate elect, has testified his readiness to comply with all the requirements of our Order in relation to the forms of initiation, answered all the preliminary questions in a satisfactory manner, duly signed the roll, and now seeks admission into our Castle. The Sir Herald, Ensign and Esquire these officers arise as their titles are announced, will give the retiring sign and proceed to the ante-chamber to receive the stranger and conduct him to the Noble Chief of this Castle.
When the Noble Chief has concluded his charge, the Ensign and Esquire form on a line with the Sir Herald, proceed to the altar, give the retiring sign, and depart in a military manner. This applies to each degree.
The procession having been formed in the ante-chamber, in the shape of a cross—Ensign in front, displaying the banner; Sir Herald on the left, Esquire on the right, and Worthy Chamberlain in the rear, with drawn swords—the Sir Herald gives order “Carry swords,” blows a blast upon his bugle, and knocks at the Castle gate.
Noble Chief, in a loud voice: Brother First Guardsman, what means this alarm at the Castle gate?
First Guardsman advances a few paces, facing the Noble Chief, salutes with sword, delivers charge, returns sword, and assumes his post. This applies to each degree where the First Guardsman has a charge to deliver to the Noble Chief: Noble Chief, qualified Sir Knights of our Order, escorting a Pilgrim are without, and demand admission into this Castle.
Noble Chief, two raps: Open wide the gate and let them enter, giving him safe guidance to this post. Let music with its sweetest strains attend them on their journey.
The procession moves around the Castle once, during which the first verse of Initiation Ode is sung, and halts in front of Noble Chief. As the procession approaches the Noble Chief, he arises, draws and carries sword. When the procession halts, the Sir Herald gives command ‘right face’. The officers and candidates assume position of company front, the Sir Herald to left of candidate. The Sir Herald, worthy Chamberlain and Esquire salute (swords) the Noble Chief. Ensign always salutes with right hand at same time other officers salute with swords. The Noble Chief then salutes and returns sword, after which the Sir Herald delivers charge (if any). All return to a carry, then form a hollow square as follows Ensign and Esquire forward two paces and about face, Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain backward two paces, on a line with Ensign and Esquire.
Noble Chief: Stranger, you have now entered the domain of the Golden Eagle Knights, having duly signed the articles presented for your consideration in the ante-chamber. You have thus signified your willingness to abide by all the laws and requirements of this Order. You are arrayed in a Pilgrim’s garb. I will explain why this is done. No object of great good can be attained in this life unless we assume the proper garb in which to seek it. The seeker after the immortal crown has been beautifully represented as a Pilgrim, and not until he has proven his faithfulness has he been clad in the armor of a Knight. So you must prove your fidelity to our forms before you can wear the armor and claim your title of Sir Knight. To accomplish this result, a pilgrimage you must undertake to all the posts within this Castle realm, at each of which you will receive suitable instruction, which will strengthen, encourage and make you faithful to the end. You must now proceed to the sacred altar of our Castle where you will be required to take upon yourself the solemn and binding obligation of the true knight’s first bond—Good Faith.
At conclusion of this charge, the Noble Chief draws and carries sword. The Sir Herald gives command ‘Attention’. Officers at this command dissolve hollow square and assume position of company front. The line officers present and salute the Noble Chief who answers in same manner, after which he returns his sword. The line officers then carry swords, and the Sir Herald gives command to left face, form cross, and march.
The procession moves once around the Castle (the second verse of Ode being sung) and halts in front of the altar. The Sir Herald gives orders to the Past Chief, Noble Chief, vice Chief and Venerable Hermit ‘Draw swords! Carry swords’. The Ensign and Esquire advance to she post of Noble Chief, and salute. The Noble Chief answers the salute of the Ensign and Esquire, when they carry swords The Noble Chief steps into line, and the Ensign and Esquire about face and escort him to altar This applies to each degree. The Past Chief, Vice Chief, High Priest and Venerable Hermit, take their positions at the altar at the same time. These movements apply to all degrees. The room is then darkened.
 

 
 
High Priest: Valiant Knights, why does this procession approach the altar?
After the High Priest delivers his charge to the Sir Herald, the latter and the Worthy Chamberlain salute, remaining at salute until the Sir Herald delivers his charge, then carry swords.
Sir Herald: We come, Brother High Priest, by order of our Noble Chief, to present this Pilgrim to receive and take upon himself the vow of good faith.
High Priest: Stranger and Pilgrim through this knightly realm! Before I proceed with the solemn ceremonies observed by all who surround this sacred altar, it is proper to inform you that in the various obligations and formalities imposed upon our members, there is nothing that can conflict in any manner with your duty to your family, your country or your God; but the bond of secrecy can be safely given by the tenderest conscience and most fastidious prudence. After this serious explanation, in purity of heart and honesty of purpose, do you still desire to proceed? How say you— yea or nay? Let your answer be heard by all.
Answer
After the candidate has answered the High Priest, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain advances to the altar and assume proper positions, as represented in the diagram. Each member uncovers and the Vice Chief then removes the hoodwink.
High Priest. You will kneel. The High Priest will pause to allow the playing of a low dirge, if desired, after which he will proceed with his charge. When the High Priest directs candidate to kneel, the officers, except the High Priest, kneel, resting their heads upon the hilts of their swords in a reverential manner, and the utmost silence must prevail. The other members remain standing. Place your left hand upon the Bible, your right hand upon your heart, and repeat after me, in a distinct tone of voice, every word of the following obligation
 
 
Obligation
 
I, ... , do most solemnly promise and declare, in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, and the brethren here assembled, that I will never reveal any of the mysteries of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle—its initiatory ceremonies, unwritten forms, signs. countersigns, passwords or grips; its transactions, discussions or confidential charities—that have been or may hereafter be imparted to me, to any person not entitled to receive the same; nor will I write or indite the same upon anything, or cause or allow it to be done, if possible for me to prevent it.
Under the same high and sacred pledge, I also promise to assist a member of this Order, so far as is consistent with my duty, whenever or wherever I may find him in distress; that I will warn him of any danger which I may know to threaten him, or any member of his family, and will fly to his aid when in need thereof; that I will never knowingly wrong him or his, but will help him preserve the sacred rights of his household inviolate.
I also promise to observe all the rules and regulations required by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Castle, the Grand Castle of , the Supreme Castle, or any other Grand or Subordinate Castle to which I may here-after attach myself, and will abide by all the decisions thereof so long as I remain affiliated with the brethren. All of which obligation I now in good faith assume, and call upon the everlasting God to so guide my heart and mind that I shall ever faithful prove to this my vow.
All respond: Amen.
The Worthy Bard may play a low dirge, or the members sing in a low tone, “Nearer, My God to Thee,’’ or any appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of the organ After which, each member re-covers.
High Priest: Arise! When directed by the High Priest to arise, all the officers, including the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain, arise, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain, facing each other, at the altar, at a carry swords. Pilgrim in your journey through this Castle domain, there are different posts that you must visit ere you reach the end. In yon mountain cave a Hermit dwells. If your faith proves firm enough to reach that wild and weird place, a lesson you will learn of grave import. I pray you give earnest heed to all you see and hear, for he who dwells within that lone abode can words of wisdom speak, and advice give, that will stir your soul to good resolves. Proceed, and may kind Heaven bless you on your journey.
The Vice Chief adjusts the hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain assume positions on line with the candidate. Sir Herald gives order to the Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, “Return swords, officers to your posts, march”. The Sir Herald, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain do not return swords. Noble Chief is escorted to his post by the Ensign and Esquire. They remain, until he faces them, when they salute, which is acknowledged by him with the right hand. They then about face, and assume position in line with candidate. (This applies to each degree) Three raps. The procession is then reformed and marches twice around the Castle (the third and fourth verses of Ode being sung) to the Cave. The officers, on reaching the cave, assume position of company front. The Sir Herald gives one blast upon his bugle.
Venerable Hermit: Valiant Knights and weary Pilgrim, I welcome you to my drear abode, and bid you make your wishes known. Speak!
The officers salute the Venerable Hermit, remaining at the same until the Sir Herald has delivered his charge, when they carry swords.
Sir Herald: From the altar of our knightly realm, by order of our Noble Chief, we come guarding this Pilgrim, duly obligated under our solemn vow, Good Faith who desires to see and hear what all must know who wish to wear the armor of an Eagle Knight.
I pray you let the hoodwink be removed.
Venerable Hermit: Ho! Let the hoodwink be removed, and bid him look. The Sir Herald removes hoodwink and the officers form a hollow square. The Chapel bell strikes twelve, during which the Venerable Hermit pauses in the recital of his charge. The chapel bell peals forth the solemn midnight hour. All nature is hushed in death-like silence and repose. Come forth, thou valiant, faithful knight, whose name we bear, a Pilgrim stands Pilgrim stand before thy tomb. Door flies open, revealing scene. Pilgrim, behold the Eagle Knight, who, in his days of flesh and blood, gave constant proof of valor such as few could boast; whose courage was proof against all danger; whose lance, which you do see him hold fast in the clutches of his bony fingers, was ever ready couched to uphold the cause of right, to defend the helpless, and to save the innocent from wrong. See, now come from his grave, he wears upon his burnished shield, as in days of yore, the motto you must wear upon the tablet of your heart. Engrave it there, and it will ever prove a shield and breast-plate, invulnerable to all the assaults of foes combined of Earth and Hell. It embodies in its teachings within these walls, eternal faithfulness to each and every duty of your life; eternal faithfulness to your sacred vows this night assumed; strict and uncompromising adherence to all our laws and sacred forms; careful and exact observance of all the duties enjoined upon you by the knighthood regulations of this noble and benevolent Order. And now, Pilgrim, in the presence of this, our patron knight of mortality and its emblems, I conjure you by all held dear by you on earth—by your hopes of Heaven—keep ever bright upon the altar of your heart that motto, all life’s journey through, and rest assured in yon bright celestial world of never-fading bliss you will wear the conqueror’s crown when the last battle is fought and the victory won. Let the lesson you have learned this night be never banished from your mind. But ‘tis time for you to go; the torch begins to wane; the gray streaks of morn light up the eastern sky the lights are turned up gradually; the time is up. Away! Away! But ever keep the motto bright.
The Venerable Hermit retires. The Sir herald gives command ‘Attention,’ adjusts hoodwink, and then gives commands ‘Left face, form cross, march.’ The officers then conduct the Pilgrim to the ante-chamber. As soon as the Castle is ready, the procession re-enters in the usual manner (the Noble Chief giving two raps), and moves once around the Castle to the post of the Vice Chief, (the fifth verse of ode being sung). The foot and sword movements at the post of the Vice Chief are the same as at the post of the Noble Chief.
Three raps.
Sir Herald: Brother Vice Chief, from the Venerable Hermit’s cave we come, and present this faithful Pilgrim, to receive from you his passport to our Past Chief.
Vice Chief: Upon the assurance of our Sir Herald that you have received the lesson of Fidelity in the presence of our patron knight, I am happy to receive you at my post, and desire to congratulate you upon your advancement thus far in the formulas of our Order. As you have proven worthy, it becomes my duty to invest you with an emblem that will prove a passport to the post of our Past Chief, and enable you to receive from him the signs, counter-signs, passwords and grip of this our introductory degree. This emblem is a golden chain. It signifies that our members are united to our Order, and to each other, by the purest links and ties of Good Faith. Among the ancients this token was esteemed a mark of high honor, and was only bestowed upon those whose Fidelity reached far above the common standard. I sincerely hope that your unflinching Fidelity will ever wear the form and semblance of this chain, which, you see is firmly united, link to link. We could not present to your mind a more beautiful and forcible illustration, to impress you with our earnest desire to see each and every heart within the pale of this brotherhood so cemented that nought but death can burst the links asunder. Invests candidate with chain, steps back to his post, and resumes his charge. I now desire you safe guidance to the post of our Past Chief.
The procession moves around the Castle to the post of the Past Chief, the worthy Bard playing a march. The foot and sword movements on departing from the post of the vice Chief, and on arriving and departing from the post of the Past Chief, are the same as at the post of the Noble Chief.
Sir Herald: Brother Past Chief, I have the honor to present to you this faithful Pilgrim who wears the passport to your post and awaits your instructions.
Past Chief: Pilgrim, I am pleased to see you wear the emblem that enables me to grant your desire. As you have cheerfully subscribed to all the requirements, and faithfully received all necessary instruction, before you could be entitled to the signs of the Pilgrims’ or Golden Chain Degree, I will proceed to instruct you, and hope you will give most careful attention, so that you may learn them thoroughly and never forget them:
When you approach the outer gate you will give any alarm which will attract the attention of the Second Guardsman, who will place his ear to the wicket and receive from you these words.... He will admit you to the antechamber and provide you with appropriate regalia. You will then approach the inner gate and give ... raps and the degree passwords, which are ... one word for each rap. The gate will then be opened, and you will enter and immediately advance to the center of the Castle, in front of the altar, and salute the Noble Chief with this sign, ... which is called the Sign of Courtesy, and the meaning of which is.... It will be immediately recognized by the Noble Chief in this manner, which is the countersign, .... Should you wish to retire while the Castle is open in the Pilgrims’ Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ... signifying ...; the Noble Chief will answer you with the same sign, when you will immediately retire. The Grip is made in this manner, .... The Gavel—the emblem of authority is thus used: One rap calls the attention of the Castle; two raps call the members to their feet; three raps seat them.
There are other Degrees which you will be privileged to take, which will convey you further into the mysteries of this Order. I sincerely hope that you will favor us with your presence every session, or as often as you can conveniently attend, and that you will deem it a pleasure to introduce into fellowship with us those of your friends whom you may know to be worthy.
Brother Sir Herald, you will now remove the robe and chain, the Sir Herald returns his sword, removes the robe and chain, and brings his sword to a carry, after which the Past Chief continues his charge, and conduct the Pilgrim to the post of our Noble Chief.
The procession moves around the Castle to the post of the Noble Chief (the Worthy Bard playing a march ) The foot and sword movements on leaving tile post of the Past Chief and arriving at the post of the Noble Chief, are the same as previously defined.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, in obedience to your command, we have given this Pilgrim courteous escort to all our posts. He has been faithfully instructed, and now returns to you for final orders.
Noble Chief: Pilgrim! Brother! I hail with pleasure your safe return! Your pilgrimage is over, and your faithfulness tonight assures us that you will prove a faithful friend and valiant Knight. The lesson we teach in this Degree is the first requirement of this Order of Knighthood—Fidelity. He who receives this lesson with an honest heart and purpose, will never fail to perform the further duties and requirements of the higher degrees of this Order, for which you will be permitted in time to make application. And now, by virtue of the authority vested in me as Noble Chief, I declare you proven in the Pilgrim’s Degree, and a member ... Castle, No. ..., of the Knights of the Golden Eagle, of ...; an Order established to cultivate and enlarge the noblest feelings implanted by the Great Creator within the heart of man—to bind men together by the purest and most tender cords of affection. May we each strive the other to outdo in deeds of Charity and Love. Brother, it becomes my duty, while welcoming you to this fraternity, to invest you with the regalia of this Degree, the colors being Blue and Gold, signifying, respectively, fidelity and purity of motive. You will receive this badge in testimony of your fellowship with those who are banded together in this knighthood bond of Good Faith placing regalia. In assuming this, you will remember that all who wear this badge are pledged to you as friends, united in a holy cause. You will about face. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain will also about face.
Two raps.
Sir Knights and Brothers, with becoming courtesy, permit me the pleasure of introducing to you Brother ..., of the Pilgrims’ or Golden Chain Degree. You will advance and bid him welcome.
The officers return swords and dissolve hollow square without command. Three raps. Allow time for members to greet Pilgrim.
Noble Chief, one rap: The Sir Herald will retire with the Pilgrim to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the Castle.
 
 
Closing
 
Noble Chief, rises: No further business appearing before the Castle, we will proceed to close.
Brother Clerk of the Exchequer, I will thank you to announce the receipts of the evening.
Brother Master of Records, what are the expenses?
Each officer assumes his position as at opening and obeys the commands of the Sir Herald.
Noble Chief, two raps: The brethren will sing the Closing Ode:
Sir Knights, while hurried by the strife
That presses every active life,
Be ever guarded, never dare
To soil the armor that you wear.
 
‘Tis not the stain upon the sword,
But falsehood to our knightly word;
Our flag may fall, our swords may rust,
But spotless be each brother’s trust.
 
Noble Chief: The brethren will attend while the High Priest implores the blessing of Deity upon our brotherhood.
High Priest, advances to altar, when the Sir Herald gives
command ‘Attention, Sir Knights. Uncover!’: Guide us, O Thou Great Jehovah, during the hours that shall intervene between this and our next session. Grant us Thy divine grace, that we may so regulate our conduct that it may redound to Thy glory. Save us, we beseech Thee, from the dangers that lurk around us. Permit us to live together as brothers, united by Thy love. Sanction and assist our efforts to benefit our fellow-men, and finally, when it is Thy gracious will to call us from the shores of time, may we enjoy the blessings of that eternal home which Thou hast prepared for those who have loved and served Thee faithfully on earth, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
All respond: Amen.
Sir Herald: Re-cover. This command is given before the High Priest leaves the altar. The High Priest then assumes position in front of his post. Sir Herald proceeds: Draw Swords! Carry Swords! Present Swords!
Noble Chief: Brethren, having concluded our labors this evening, let us carry with us, on leaving this Castle, the spirit which prompted the foundation of our Order. Let no unguardedness of speech or gesture betray us into a forfeiture of that most solemn bond of secrecy which covers every word and every act that passes in this Castle.
I now declare ... Castle, No. ..., Knights of the Golden Eagle, of the State of ..., duly closed until our next regular session.
Sir Herald: Carry swords! Return swords!
High Priest Closes Bible.
Noble Chief: Brother First Guardsman, you will notify the Second Guardsman, to open the Castle gates, and permit the brethren to retire.
One rap.

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Second or Knights' Degree

  Revised June 1908

The Master of Records presents to the Noble Chief tile name of candidates who have been elected.
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Chamberlain, you will approach the altar, give the Retiring Sign, and proceed to the ante-chamber, where you will prepare the candidates for the Knights’ Degree.
Brother Sir Herald, you will give the Retiring Sign and proceed to the ante-chamber, and receive from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of the candidates in waiting.
The Sir Herald receives from the Master of Records a list of candidates who have been elected, proceeds to the ante-chamber, receives from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of those in waiting, and compares them with those furnished by the Master of Records, if correct, the Worthy Chamberlain provides each candidate with a black robe and hoodwink, and sees that they are properly adjusted. The Sir Herald then returns to the Castle gives the sign of courtesy, salutes as in the First Degree, and says: Noble Chief, I find in waiting Brother ..., who desires to receive the honors of the Knights’ Degree.
Noble Chief, arises and gives one rap: We will now proceed to confer the coveted honor upon Brother ..., who having proved faithful and passed a fair ballot, desires to be initiated into the mysteries of the Knights’ Degree. Brother Sir Herald, you will proceed, with our Brothers Ensign and Esquire proceeds as in the First Degree to the ante-chamber and escort the candidate to this post.
The procession having been formed the same as in the First Degree, the Sir Herald gives a blast on his bugle and knocks at the Castle gate.
First Guardsman, in a loud voice, through the wicket: Who dares to demand admission to this Castle of the Golden Eagle Knights?
Sir Herald: Officers of this Castle with a Pilgrim who desires to know the mysteries of the Knights’ Degree.
First Guardsman, salutes as in First Degree: Noble Chief, qualified Sir Knights of our Order, escorting a candidate for Knightly honors, desire admission.
Noble Chief: Admit them without further challenge.
The gate is opened. The Noble Chief gives two raps. The procession enters and moves around the Castle (the first verse of the Ode being sung) and halts in front of the Noble Chief. The foot and sword movements are the same as in First Degree.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, this brother of the Pilgrims’ or Golden Chain Degree desires to know the mysteries of our Knighthood bond, and awaits your command.
Noble Chief: Brother and candidate, for the honors of the Knights’ Degree, before you can receive the honors emanating from this chivalric Degree, it becomes my duty, as Noble Chief, to inform you that you will again be called upon to assume an obligation, both solemn and binding in its character which requires you to preserve forever secret all that you shall see, hear, or be instructed in. You will be expected to observe, with conscientious care and unwavering obedience, the teachings and principles embodied in the lessons you will receive; principles which shown forth in splendor through the dark clouds of ignorance, superstition and vice that, in the early days of Christianity, had well nigh become universal; principles which reflected the God-like attributes of the human race, and warmed into a fervid glow the noble characteristics which shed their lustre upon the heart of man, kindled afresh the latent spark of pure religion which lay smouldering upon the deserted altars dedicated to the worship of the true and living God, and reviving the dying virtues of the age, taught men to emulate and display with heroism the sweet charm of courtesy and kindness to espouse the cause of helpless innocence, and defend the weak from the oppressor’s wrongs, making the true and valiant Knight breathe forth the graces and adornments of a noble and generous heart and mind.
These, my brother, are the true principles of chivalry. And may these teachings and symbols inspire in our hearts love and enthusiasm for all that is holy and pure, retaining for our standard the chivalric duties of Veneration for Religion, Fidelity, Valor, Courtesy, Charity, Temperance and Hospitality—Virtues that give purity to enthusiasm, crush out selfishness, teach the heart to expand like a flower in the sunshine, and smooth even the rugged brow of war.
My brother, I assure you that nothing will be required of you that does not tend to ennoble and refine. If you still desire to proceed, you will raise your right hand. ‘Tis well. You will now be escorted to our altar, where, in the presence of these valiant Knights, you will assume the solemn obligation of the Knights’ Degree.
The foot and sword movements are the same as in the First Degree. The procession moves around the Castle (the second verse of Ode being sung), and halts in front of the altar. Sir Herald gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, ‘Draw swords, carry swords’. Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar (same as in the First Degree). The Past Chief, High Priest, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit, take their respective positions at the altar. The Castle at this time is dark. Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain present and salute the High Priest, remaining at a salute while the Sir Herald delivers charge.
Sir Herald: Brother High Priest, by order of our Noble Chief, I present this candidate for Knightly honors, who desires to assume the solemn obligation of this Degree.
The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain advance to the altar and assume proper positions, as per diagram, and are handed torches. Each member uncovers, and the Vice Chief removes hoodwink.
High Priest: Brother, you are about to kneel before our altar, in the presence of the Great Creator of us all, to assume an obligation on this Holy Book, whose inspired pages speak to man and bid him seek immortal life beyond the tomb. Upon the Bible, you see, is placed a human skull; to remind you that although you hold that head of yours now proudly erect, yet it must surely come to this. The sword, which you must raise aloft, is also emblematic, and serves to convey to your mind the idea that you must fight your way through life to win valor’s golden crown. You are clad in a robe (robes) of black—a color signifying sorrow—denoting that the path to glory is sometimes dark and gloomy, and that you may be frequently compelled to wear the sombre mantle of sorrow. My brother, surrounded and impressed as you are, do you still desire the obligation of Knighthood to assume?
Candidate answers: I do.
High Priest: You will kneel. The High Priest will pause to allow the playing of a low dirge, if desired, after which he will proceed with his charge. When the candidate is directed to kneel, the officers, except the High Priest, kneel, resting their heads upon the hilts of their swords in a reverential manner, and the utmost silence must prevail. The other members remain standing. An extra sword, for the candidate should be provided, so as to avoid disarrangement of the altar.
Point with the index finger of the left hand to the skull. Raise aloft the sword with your right hand, and repeat the obligation in a distinct tone of voice, so that you may be heard by all.
 
 
Obligation
 
I, ..., in the presence of the Great Jehovah and these valiant Knights, do solemnly promise and declare, without any mental reservation whatever, that I will, while life and reason last, preserve and keep inviolate all the mysteries of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle pertaining to the Knights’ Degree; that I will ever strive, God being my helper, to obey the teachings of this Knighthood bond; that I will wield valor’s sword in defense of the principles of this Order or any of its members whom I may know to be worthy ; that I will sustain, counsel and aid a brother when overcome by the iron hand of adversity and misfortune, and will, to the utmost of my ability, assist him in his business relations when not inconsistent with my duty so to do; that I will, by courtesy and brotherly love, in my intercourse with my brethren, proclaim to the world that this Knighthood bond is not a myth, but a pure unselfish tie—a reality; and finally, with uplifted sword—fit emblem to remind me that I must fight if I would win—I pledge my sacred word that I will strive these duties to perform, and prove myself worthy to wear the armor of this Degree. So help me God, and make me faithful in this my Knightly vow.
All respond: Amen.
The Worthy Bard may play a low dirge, or the members sing in a low tone, “Nearer. My God to Thee,’’ or an” appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of the organ. After which each member ‘re-covers.’
High Priest: Arise my brother. The officers also arise, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain remaining at the altar, as in the First Degree, with swords pointing toward the candidate and torches held aloft. The High Priest relieves the candidate of the sword, which he subsequently returns to him as the “Sword of Faith.” May the obligation you have just taken be ever fresh in your memory. Let not the tempter’s insiduous wiles allure you from the path of duty. You are about to enter the dark valley of sorrow and temptation. Take this, the Sword of Faith, and this Holy Emblem, before whose potent charm the spirits of evil flee to their dark domain and lose their power to harm. Remember, that soon, if you but courageous prove, you can, with valor, fight the warfare through. Farewell! Your road for a time is dark and drear. Farewell!
When the High Priest concludes his charge, the Vice Chief adjusts hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain will be relieved of torches, carry swords and assume position in the line with the candidate. The Sir Herald gives order to Past Chief, Noble Chief, Vice Chief and Venerable Hermit ‘Return swords, Officers, to your post, march!’ The Sir Herald, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain do not return swords. The Noble Chief is escorted to his post by the Ensign and Esquire, as in the First Degree, who then return to the altar.
Three raps.
The Procession is reformed and escorts the Pilgrim to the antechamber—the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain remaining in the Castle and occupying their respective posts. The Castle being in readiness, the Sir Herald re-enters with Pilgrim and moves once around the Castle, the following chorus being recited or sung in a low tone:
“Whilst thou art a pilgrim here,
List not to the tempters wiles
Display thy Cross, thy spirit cheer
Nor heed the demon that beguiles.’’
A figure representing Satan, clothed in the garb of a Knight, approaches, and addressing the Pilgrim, says:
Lucifer: Mortal, I am the prince of the powers of this world. Go not with this Knight, thy guide, but follow me. Mine is a pleasant path, bestrewn with flowers, whilst this thou now dost travel is dark, thorny, and beset with trials, sacrifices and tribulations. I am Lucifer. Come, give me but a lease upon thy soul, and thou shalt enjoy pleasures unalloyed and unrestrained. Come, and I will make thee mighty amongst the sons of men.
When Lucifer has finished, the Pilgrim (under the promptings of the Sir Herald) displays the Cross, and Lucifer vanishes. He can enter the Cave. The Pilgrim is then conducted around the Castle to the Cave. The chapel bell strikes twelve, occupying time between Lucifer’s departure and reaching cave. The Hermit is standing behind a rude altar, upon which is phaced an open Bible and skull, with a lighted candle upon each side.
Sir Herald, presents and salutes the Venerable Hermit, then delivers charge, and comes to a carry: Venerable Hermit, I present you this Pilgrim, who through temptations sore has passed unscathed. He seeks to know the mysteries of thy drear abode.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, you have been conducted to this mysterious Cave at midnight’s dark and gloomy hour—the time best suited to receive the solemn lessons I teach. The obligation you have assumed requires you to pass through an ordeal that will put your boasted valor to the test. Seest yon arched gate, whereon doth hang that shield?
Candidate answers: I do.
Venerable Hermit: I command thee to take this shield. Give me thy cross; thy sword retain. Advance if thou dost dare, and strike upon that shield three blows with thy good sword.
The Pilgrim advances and strikes the shield. The gate flies open with a loud noise, revealing figure, who speaks in a hollow tone of voice.
Fallen Knight: Mortal, behold in me the spirit of a false and craven Knight; false to my sacred I vows; condemned for my foul crimes, done in my days of nature to wear these clanking chains and dwell in torments here. I once did wear the armor of an Eagle Knight, but only to disgrace the cause. My coward heart, my deeds of violence and wrong, my cruelty and injustice to my fellow-men, make up a catalogue of crimes so foul that my poor soul must here, upon this lake of fire, exist whilst countless ages roll their solemn rounds—no rest or solace know or feel. Oh! horror! even now the fiends laugh and shriek within the hollow chambers of my soul. Lost! lost! lost! forever lost! Mortal, thou has assumed thy Knightly vows—take warning! betray them not. Let thy life be one of faithfulness, valor and courteous kindness. Conquer first thyself; when that is done, thy valor is proof against all foes. Remember, and beware! let this be not thy doom.
At this time, Lucifer can enter on the scene, and finding that the Fallen Knight has been uttering a warning, becomes enraged, and placing his foot upon the prostrate Fallen Knight, raises his trident to pierce him, thus forming a tableaux. The door then flies to with a loud noise.
Venerable Hermit: Pilgrim, this terrific spectacle portrays to your mind the awful doom that awaits the warrior who proves false to his vows—a traitor to the cause of right which he has espoused—and who willfully neglects in this life the duties of a true Knight; Fidelity to his God and his fellow man, with all the attendant virtues recorded in his Knightly vows. This solemn, fearful scene, I sincerely hope, will be indelibly impressed upon your memory. The lessons we teach are full of wisdom, and proclaim, trumpet-tongued, to him who seeks to know the mysteries of this Degree, that it is not all of life to live, nor all of death to die. Let thy record, then, in this life be pure, that thy name may be recorded in the great book of life.
Pilgrim, you have shown by your conduct that you possess the requisite qualification to entitle you to wear the armor of this Order. That qualification is Valor, the first motto of this Degree. Nobly have you acted in facing the dangers surrounding you in this mystic Cave; therefore you are entitled to the full honors of Knighthood.
Brother Sir Herald, you will remove our brother’s robe of gloom the Sir Herald removes robe, as directed in First Degree. The candidate returns sword and shield and give him courteous escort hence. Farewell! Farewell!
When the Venerable Hermit has concluded his charge, the Ensign, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain assume position, with the Sir Herald and candidate, at company front. The lights are then turned up. The line officers salute and the Noble Chief gives two raps. The procession is re-formed and moves around the Castle (the third verse of Ode being sung) to the post of the Vice Chief. The foot and sword movements at the post of Vice Chief are the same as in First Degree.
Three raps.
Sir Herald: Vice Chief, this brother, having passed the ordeal of the Hermit’s Cave, desires to be further enlightened.
Vice Chief: My brother, the lesson taught by me constitutes one of the principal requirements of true Knighthood, and goes hand in hand with Valor. It is Courtesy, which is thus defined: Kindness, Civility and Politeness. The definition Kindness is that which I now desire to present to your mind as the second motto of this Degree. Your duty requires you to practice the charm of courteous kindness in all your intercourse with your brother Knights. Whenever grim visaged misfortune, with its iron grasp, seizes upon a member of this Order, it becomes your duty to hasten to his rescue. Whenever disease or sorrow bows down his heart with weight of woe, be thou ever ready1 with acts of kindness and words of love, to cheer his heart; and if thy foe should be in thy power, revenge not thyself upon him, but, by thy courteous kindness, make him thy friend. So let thy action show to friend and foe that this chivalric charm is as potent in its power for good as mighty Valor, with its sword and shield.
Brother Sir Herald, you will now conduct the brother to the altar of our Castle, where he will be received into full fellowship.
The foot and sword movements at the post of the Vice Chief are same as in First Degree The procession moves around the Castle (the fourth verse of Ode being sung) to the altar The candidate will be relieved of sword arid shield by the Floor Director, which are placed at the altar, where is also placed a regalia, helmet and pair of spurs The Noble Chief gives two raps The officers draw and carry swords without command. The Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar, same as in First Degree. The Past Chief, Vice Chief and High Priest take proper positions in front of their respective posts, facing altar, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain at left and right of the Vice Chief.
Noble Chief, after having returned his sword: Brother, you are about to receive the honors of this chivalric Degree. You now fully understand its ceremonies, as you have been clearly and faithfully instructed—our first requirement being Fidelity; our second, Valor and Courtesy—the three signifying with us; unwavering fidelity to our Order and its members; unflinching valor in maintaining the principles we are obliged to uphold; of assisting each other through the struggles and vicissitudes of life, and by courteous kindness to strengthen and encourage each other in sickness and sorrow. May you ever remember the warning in the Hermit’s Cave, and by your Fidelity, your Valor, and your Courtesy, avoid the doom of the false and traitorous Knight. Our Past Chief will now instruct you in the secret signs, passwords and grips of this Degree.
The Noble Chief will draw, carry, present and salute the Past Chief, who responds in same manner, both carry, arid the Past Chief returns his Sword and delivers his charge, standing near the altar, in front of his post.
Past Chief: Brother, at the outer gate you will proceed to work your way into the ante-chamber as you have been instructed in the Pilgrim’s Degree, where you will be provided with appropriate regalia, and immediately apply at the inner gate giving ... raps and the Degree passwords, which are .... The gate will then be opened and you will enter and immediately advance to the center of the Castle, in front of the altar, and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ..., which is called the sign of Courtesy and the meaning of which is .... It will be immediately recognized by the Noble Chief in this manner, which is the countersign, ..., signifying .... The Shield Sign, or Sign of Valor, which you will be required to present on certain formal occasions, is given thus ..., signifying .... The Grip is made in this manner, .... Should you wish to retire while the Castle is open in the Knights’ Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ... signifying ..., the Noble Chief will answer you with the same sign, when you will immediately retire.
The Past Chief will draw and carry sword, and salute the Noble Chief, who responds and returns his sword. The Past Chief conies to a carry. The Sir Herald gives order, ‘uncover’ (all members do so) ‘Present swords’. It is only necessary to knight one candidate, if there should be more than one. The Noble Chief does not uncover.
Noble Chief: You will kneel upon your left knee. By virtue of my authority as Noble Chief of this Castle, I now invest you with the regalia of this Degree. Place upon your head the Helmet of the Eagle Knights Take this, thy Shield, and these, thy Golden Spurs, and this, thy Sword, which according to ancient custom. I present, first giving thee three blows with its naked blade gives three blows on the shoulder of the candidate pronouncing thee, in the name of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle, a true and valiant Knight of this Degree. Arise, Sir Knight.
In presenting the sword of the Eagle Knights, presents him with the sword, I desire to impress on your mind the solemn emblematic significance with which it is endowed. In grasping its handle—the Cross—be ever reminded of that symbol of faith, the Christianis hope and the Christian’s trust, and ever cling with unwavering faithfulness to the first requisite of the Christian warrior—Fidelity to God and your fellow-man. The Blade, when forth from its scabbard drawn, will remind you of the valor and heroism to be displayed by you in the struggles and combats of this life, in which you must a conqueror prove to win the immortal crown. The Scabbard will remind you that when the last battle is fought and the victory won, you can return this blade of Valor to this its sheath, and close your eyes to sleep in peace until the archangel’s trump shall summon you before the Immortal Chief of the Universe to hear the joyful plaudit “Well done, thou faithful, valiant life warrior! enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Be sure, my brother, you stain not your armor. Permit not your shield to be reversed, nor let your sword to its scabbard return whilst there is a foe to fight, or cause of right to defend. Remember, the obligation of Valor binds you never to fly from your enemies. With this admonition, I declare you fully armed and equipped to maintain the doctrines and principles of our Order until death.
Sir Herald gives order: Recover Carry swords! Return swords.
Sir Knights, you will advance the Sign of Valor, ... Down. The armor is removed from the candidate by the Floor Director. You will now advance to greet with courtesy this brother Knight, for which purpose I declare an intermission until the sound of the gavel at my post.
One rap.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will retire with the Knight to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the Castle.

 

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Third or Crusaders' Degree

Revised June 1908

Ode of the Crusaders Degree.
 
Jehovah, Lord, our Shield,
May we for glory wield
Our sword and lance.
In faith our hearts unite,
With val’rous zeal to invite,
Each courteous Eagle Knight
Our cause to advance.
 
In Thee, oh Lord, we trust;
Let not our armor rust,
But keep it bright,
Our honor to maintain,
Our banner ne’er to shame
Thy glory ever claim
By deeds of right.
 
And when the crusade’s done,
The battle fought and won,
The cross laid down,
Oh, Saviour, Lord, with Thee,
In Thy blest world so free,
May we Thy glories see,
And wear the crown.
 
The Master of Records presents to the Noble Chief the names of candidates who have been elected.
Noble Chief: Brother Worthy Chamberlain, you will approach the altar, give the Retiring Sign, and proceed to the ante-chamber, where you will prepare the candidates for the solemn ceremonies of the Crusaders’ Degree.
Brother Sir Herald, you will give the Retiring Sign, proceed to the ante-chamber and receive from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of the candidates in waiting.
The Sir Herald receives from the Master of Records a list of candidates who have been elected, proceeds to the ante-chamber receives from the Worthy Chamberlain the names of those in waiting, and compares them with those furnished by the Master of Records, if correct, the Worthy Chamberlain provides each candidate with a white robe and hoodwink, and sees that they are properly adjusted. The Sir Herald then returns to the Castle, gives the sign of Courtesy, salutes as in the First and Second Degrees, and says: Noble Chief, I find in waiting Sir Knight ..., who desires to be initiated into the solemn mysteries of the Crusaders’ Degree.
Noble Chief, one rap: Brother Sir Herald, you will proceed, with our Brothers Ensign and Esquire proceeds as in the First and Second Degrees giving the Retiring Sign, to the ante-chamber, and escort the candidate  in waiting to the altar of our Castle.
The procession is formed in the same manner as in the First and Second Degrees. The Sir Herald gives a blast upon his bugle and knocks at the Castle gate.
First Guardsman, in a loud voice, through the wicket: who dares demand admission into the hallowed precincts of the Crusade Knights?
Sir Herald: Officers of this Castle, with a Sir Knight of our Order, who desires to know the mysteries of this Degree.
First Guardsman, salutes as in the First and Second Degrees: Noble Chief, officers of this Castle, escorting a Sir Knight, desire admission.
Noble Chief, rising: Admit them without delay or hindrance, and let courteous escort be given him to the altar of our Castle, there to be duly and solemnly obligated.
Two raps.
The procession moves once around the Castle (the first verse of the Ode being sung) and halts in front of the altar. The Sir Herald gives orders to all officers, except Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain, ‘Draw swords Carry swords’. The Ensign and Esquire advance to post of Noble Chief, salute and escort him to the altar, the same as in the First and Second Degrees. The other officers, except the Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain, take their respective positions at the altar. The room is then darkened. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain salute the High Priest, remaining at a salute until the Sir Herald delivers his charge, then carry swords.
Sir Herald: Brother High Priest, by order of our Noble Chief, I present this Sir Knight  who desires to assume the solemn obligation of the Crusaders’ Degree.
High Priest: Sir Knight, before proceeding with the ceremonies of this Degree, are you willing to bind yourself by a solemn obligation never to reveal any of its secrets?
Candidate answers.
The Sir Herald and worthy Chamberlain then advance to the altar, and assume proper position. Each member uncovers, and the Vice Chief removes hoodwink.
High Priest: You will kneel. The High Priest will pause to allow the playing of a low dirge, if desired, after which he will proceed with his charge. When the candidate is directed to kneel, the officers, except the High Priest, kneel, resting their heads upon the hilts of their swords in a reverential manner, and the utmost silence must prevail.
The other members remain standing. Place your left hand upon your heart, and with your eyes fixed upon and your right hand pointing with its index finger to the cross, repeat after me every word of the following solemn and binding obligation:
 
 
Obligation
 
I, ..., in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and the Crusade Knights here assembled, do solemnly and sincerely declare, without any mental reservation or evasion whatsoever, that I will, through life, preserve and keep inviolate all the mysteries of the Order of Knights of the Golden Eagle, pertaining to the Crusaders’ Degree: that I will never reveal the same, or any part thereof, to any one except to those legally authorized to receive the same; that I will guard with fidelity the honor of a brother, as well as that of his household; that I will make such sacrifices as may be necessary, and the interests of myself and family will allow, to promote the welfare of my brethren and the Order generally; and no qualified member of this Degree shall ever call upon me for assistance and leave my presence without help, if in my power to grant it. All of which obligation I pledge myself to fulfill, as far as my circumstances and ability will permit, with Fidelity to the principles of our Order; with Valor in the cause of Truth and Justice; with gentleness of heart and courtesy of manner, trusting in the Great Chief above to bestow whatever Honor and Glory he may see fit to give at the close of this Knightly Crusade. So help me God, and keep me faithful.
All respond: Amen.
The Worthy Bard may play a low dirge, or the members sing, in a low tone, ‘Nearer My God to Thee,’ or any appropriate hymn, to the accompaniment of the organ. Each member re-covers.
High Priest: Arise! The officers also arise, the Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain remaining at the altar facing each other at a “carry swords.” Brother Sir Herald, you will now conduct our newly obligated Sir Knight to the post of our Noble Chief for further instruction.
The Vice Chief replaces hoodwink. The Sir Herald and Worthy Chamberlain assume positions in line with the candidate. The Sir Herald gives orders to all officers, except the Esquire and worthy Chamberlain, ‘Return swords, Officers to your post, march’. The Sir Herald, Esquire and Worthy Chamberlain do not return swords. The Noble Chief is escorted to his post by the Ensign and Esquire, same as in the First and Second Degrees, who then return to the altar (THREE RAPS.) The procession moves once around the Castle to the antechamber, the Worthy Bard playing a slow march. the white robe is removed and black substituted, the procession re-enters the Castle (the second verse of Ode being sung) and halts in front of the post of the Noble Chief. The foot and sword movements at the post of the Noble Chief are the same as in the First and Second Degrees.
Noble Chief: Sir Knight, before you can be received into full fellowship with the Crusade Knights of the Golden Eagle, a few lessons of instruction must be given you, to which we ask your serious attention. Let these lessons sink deeply into your mind, and manifest themselves in your life and conduct.
Brother Sir Herald, you will conduct this candidate to the next post.
The procession moves around the Castle (the Worthy Bard playing a dirge) to the First Scene at the Cave, the Castle at this time being darkened. The line officers, upon arriving at the cave, proceed as in the First Degree by saluting, the Sir Herald removes the hoodwink, and the officers form a hollow square.
Venerable Hermit: Sir Knight! Brother! We beseech your serious attention to the scene before you: not for its intrinsic beauty, but for the thoughts and memories suggested by the solemn tomb, the mournful cross, Behold the apparent end of a life of wondrous sacrifice—a life sacrificed for the salvation of a race which met its Saviour with the basest in gratitude and the most inhuman treatment. Yet was it a life of honor, unsurpassed by that of any mortal, however great. ‘Tis an honor to devote one’s time and labor, to sacrifice one’s life, one’s all, for the benefit of others—not always an honor in the view of surrounding men; not always an honor in the regards of our dearest associates; but an honor in the sight of Him whose eyes penetrate each heart and reads that which passes within its innermost recesses, The Saviour of mankind appeared upon earth as a Sacrifice, by whose life men might be taught to live so as to secure the approbation of the Lord of the Universe, by whose sufferings and fearful death they might be atoned for and
blessed, man’s last enemy conquered and an erring race brought back to the gracious smiles of the Heavenly Father.
We teach no sectarian doctrines; we encourage no bigotry. In this Degree we recall the life and struggles of the Crusaders, whose grand object in life was to battle against those Moslems who had invaded the precincts hallowed by the remembrance of a life and death so dear, so sacred, so inexpressibly touching. They fought to wrest that spot, if possible, from the defiling hands of the Saracen hosts, and to plant, where waved the Crescent of Infidelity, that which was the symbol of their own holy faith—the Banner of the Cross. But to you my brother, there remains a grander conquest. A world is to be won from Crime and Sin, and conquered for God and Truth; for sin holds the human heart with tighter grasp than do Moslem hands the Holy City. The banner of evil is a far greater curse in the sight of the Holy One of Israel than even the Crescent of Mohammed waving over the spot where stood the Temple of the Living God. To battle against injustice and iniquity: to wage valiant warfare against impurity and corruption in humble or high places; to crush out of existence the monster Sin, where’er he shows his hideous front, is a grander crusade, and to obtain victory in such a warfare a more glorious triumph, than was ever known to the mailed warriors and cross-bearing Knights of the earlier Christian centuries. But for this warfare you are not fully qualified until you have won the first citadel —YOUR OWN HEART. Fight valiantly until you have driven therefrom the foe who has so insiduously planted thereon his hateful flag. Then, with the Cross—the emblem of purity—and with purity of heart and purpose, you can do such mighty warfare as will help to win this world for Good, for Glory and for God.
Brother Sir Herald, you will conduct the Sir Knight to the next post for further illumination.
At the conclusion of his charge the Hermit retires The Sir Herald then gives command ‘Attention,’ adjusts hoodwink, and proceeds as directed. The procession moves around the Castle (the Worthy Bard playing a dirge) to the second scene at the Cave—the Castle at this time being darkened. The font and sword movements of Vice Chief and line officers at the Cave, are the same as at the post of the Noble Chief, in the First and Second Degrees. The Sir Herald removes hoodwink prior to formation of hollow square.

Vice Chief: My Brother Knight! an end will one day come to this Knightly warfare, which you have pledged yourself  to wage until death, when, he who has borne the Cross upon earth, shall enter a brighter world, that is without a shadow, without a cloud, radiant with the brilliancy, and bright with the splendor of the throne of God. Then when you shall have covered yourself with honor by the courage with which you have fought, you shall lay down the armor of battle and receive the golden crown of victory—the emblem of eternal glory—which awaits every true Knight who here does faithful and continuous service. Remember the Degrees in which you stand covenanted with your fellow-members; be faithful to the cause you have espoused, and to the banner under which you stand enlisted; be valiant in the discharge of duties you owe in the ranks of the pure and the good; be gentle and courteous in your commingling with those around you, and endeavor to instill into their hearts and lives those sublime principles which will make them good and faithful Knights; let HONOR inspire your soul in all your actions, so that you may occupy that level which is reached only by the pure and true—and fear not. You will have your reward in that everlasting GLORY which awaits the faithful, the valiant, the honorable Knighthood which stand in solid rank under the banner of the Cross.
You will now be escorted to the post of our Past Chief for further instruction.
The lights are turned up and the candidate disrobed. The Sir Herald sheathes his sword and removes the robe, then carries sword, and the officers take leave of the Vice Chief, as in First and Second Degrees The procession moves once around the Castle (third verse of Ode being sung) and halts in front of the post of the Past Chief. The foot and sword movements, at the post of the Past Chief, are the same as in First and Second Degrees.
Sir Herald: Past Chief, by order of our Vice Chief, I present this Sir Knight for further instruction.
Past Chief: Brother Knight, feeling assured, from the impressive scenes which have been presented for your serious attention, that you are prepared to unite with us in hearty sympathy and co-operation, I will now enlighten you in reference to the signs, passwords and grip of the Crusader’s Degree.
When you approach the outer gate, you will give any alarm which will attract the attention of the Second Guardsman, who will place his ear to the wicket and receive from you these words, ...; he will then partly open the gate and require of you the semi-annual password, which is ...; given in a whisper. The password proving correct he will admit you, when you will be provided with appropriate regalia. You will then approach the inner gate and give ... raps and the Degree passwords, which are .... The gate will then be opened, and you will then advance to the center of the Castle, in front of the altar, and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ..., which is called the Sign of Courtesy, and the meaning of which is .... It will be immediately recognized by the Noble Chief in this manner, which is the countersign ..., signifying .... Should you wish to retire, while the Castle is open in the Crusaders’ Degree, you will advance to the front of the altar and salute the Noble Chief with this sign ...; signifying .... The Noble Chief will answer you with the same sign. The grip is made in this manner .... The sign of recognition is given thus, ... signifying ...; its answer is ... signifying ...; There are also signs of Distress—Inaudible and Audible. The Inaudible Sign is thus given ... signifying ...; its answer is thus made ... signifying .... The Audible Sign is ...; its answer is .... These signs, if you should be in danger will bring to your assistance any member of the Order who may be near. The Voting Sign is thus given .... In voting by ballot, .... The Grand Honor Sign is given thus ... and is only to be used when receiving the Supreme or Grand Officers on official business. The gavel
—the emblem of authority—is thus used: One rap calls the attention of the Castle; two raps call the members to their feet; three raps seat them. With these signs you will be able to work your way into any Castle assembled in this Degree.
I will now recommend you to the post of our Noble Chief for final instruction; but, before taking your departure, listen to a few words in reference to the character of our Order: Remember that its principles are sacred and ennobling. Let no one, by your ballot, be admitted within our Castle Walls whose worth and merit of character are not such that you would feel free to admit him to the privacy of your family circle. Let our Order be an Order of Merit, an Order of Virtue, and not merely an Order of numbers.
Brother Sir Herald, you will resume your march and conduct this Sir Knight to the post of our Noble Chief.
The procession moves around the Castle to the post of the Noble Chief, the Worthy Bard playing a march. The foot and sword movements, at the posts of the Past Chief and Noble Chief, are the same as in the First and Second Degrees.
Sir Herald: Noble Chief, by order of our Past Chief, I present you this Sir Knight for final instruction.
Noble Chief, rising: Sir Knight, after your long journey, I am pleased to greet you. I trust you are deeply impressed with the lessons taught in the various Degrees of our Order. Remember the vows you have taken, and may our mottoes be continually before you. And now, my brother, stand arrayed in this, the regalia of the Crusaders’ Degree uncovering, and may the Almighty Ruler aid you in your grand and never-ending crusade.
Vice Chief, rising and uncovering: May the Lord bless thee and keep thee.
Past Chief, rising and uncovering: The Lord make His face to shine upon thee and be gracious unto thee.
High Priest, rising and uncovering: The Lord lift up His countenance upon thee and give thee peace.
Two raps.
All, uncovering: The Lord preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth and even for evermore.
Noble Chief: Be faithful, be valiant, and full of the spirit of true honor, until the end of the conflict, when the Supreme Chief of the Heavenly Castle shall say; “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things. Enter thou into the joy of thy Lord.”
Each member recovers.
Sir Knights, I now declare Sir Knight  duly proven in the Third or Crusaders’ Degree, and a member, with this rank, of ... Castle, No. ..., Knights of the Golden Eagle, of .... That you may give him a fraternal welcome, I now declare an intermission until the sound of the gavel, when you will resume your respective posts.
Officers will return swords and dissolve hollow square without command.
One rap.
Noble Chief: The Sir Herald will retire with the Crusader to the ante-chamber, and assist him in working his way into the Castle.
 

 

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