& Ladies of the Maccabees
Knights of the Maccabees
Variously known as the Knights (and Ladies) of
the Maccabees, Maccabees of the World, Macabees, Womens Benefit Association.
The original early biblical
Maccabees were a priestly family of Jews who organized a successful rebellion against the
Seleucid ruler Antiochus IV and reconsecrated the defiled Temple of Jerusalem.
In 1896, the Knights of the Maccabees had a
membership of 209,831. The Knights of the Maccabees were a fraternal and
benevolent "legal reserve society." Families of deceased members received
benefits in the form of legal-reserve insurance. All white persons of sound health and
good character, from birth to 70 years of age, were eligible for membership. Their name
comes from the Biblical Maccabees. The order was founded in London, Ontario in 1878 and
reorganized in 1883. Before 1914, it was known as the Knights of the Maccabees. Subsequent
to 1914, it has been simply been called "The Maccabees". At one
time, about one third of membership was in Michigan. Thirty years ago, their
national headquarters was located at 5057 Woodward Avenue, Detroit, MI. From
"History of Genesee County, Michigan Vol. 1, - 1916": Knights of the Maccabees of
the World, organized originally in Canada, was incorporated in Michigan in 1884.
Originally it operated on an assessment basis; whenever a member died, each
living member was assessed 10 cents to go into a pot to provide the widow $1000.
After reorganization, it became much more sophisticated, collecting monthly
assessments based on payouts. By the 1890s it provided not only death benefits
but also sick benefits of $4 to $10/week; total and permanent disability
benefits of $50, $200, or $300 annually (depending on the size of your
assessment); $175-$2000 for loss of hands, eyes, feet, etc.; funeral benefits,
and so on. "Coal miners" - "aeronauts" and other dangerous
professions excluded. Manufacturers, sellers, and drinkers of alcohol also
excluded. The Maccabees were one of the more successful of fraternal benefit
societies which sprung up after the Civil War. Many insurance companies were not
interested in sales to ordinary people and there was little in the way of
"safety nets". Groups like the Maccabees, Foresters, Woodmen, and so
on provided a safety net along with pleasant social meetings and other
gatherings. Each had its own ritual legend -- the Foresters, Robin Hood, for
example, and the Maccabees the story of Mattathias Maccabee and his sons, the
leaders of the Jewish revolt against Syrian desecration of the Temple.
The insurance aspect of the
fraternity has always been paramount. Its fraternal aspect drew on the exploits
of the Jewish military genius Judas Maccabeus.
Knights of the Modern Maccabees and The Maccabees of the World have since consolidated and
were known simply as the Maccabees. Their fraternalism activities
ceased to exist in 1962 when they became a life insurance company.
Ladies of the Maccabees
Ladies of the Maccabees were organized in the mid-1880s and not at first
recognized by the Knights, but persistence paid off, and according to Albert C.
Stevens, (in 1896), "Its successful career has surprised many, even among
its well-wishers, and has shown that women may safely be entrusted with the
conduct and management of many of the broader business affairs of life."
In 1891, a young woman went to a summer picnic
that would transform her life as well as Port Huron's history. The woman, Bina
Mae West, was a prodigy. At age 18, she completed her studies at St. Clair
County Normal School and returned to her alma mater, Capac High, as a teacher
and assistant principal. At 20, she won a seat on the Board of County School
Examiners, one of the first women in Michigan to hold elected office.
The picture above and just below are from Karen Baker who
describes her female relatives that were members of Ladies of the Maccabees:
My Aunt Jean Drane Yott (with glasses) is on the far right, and my Grandmother
Jean Drane is beside her. The young girl kneeling in front of them them is my
mother, Elizabeth ("Bettie") Fettes Drane (Married name, Ferency).
The picnic, which she attended with an aunt,
was sponsored by the Maccabees, a fraternal benefit society led by Port Huron
native Nathan Boynton. Such societies offered social and self-improvement
activities as well as life and disability insurance at a time when neither was
On the spot, she decided she would change that.
Her motivation was the thought of two of her best pupils, whose mother had died
without insurance. The father had placed the children with well-to-do families -
the daughter as a domestic servant and the son as a stable boy.
As West saw it, the youngsters had been torn
from their family and denied a formal education because life insurance was
unavailable for women.
This photo is also from Karen
Baker. It was taken while on a Ladies of the Maccabees outing! Her
grandmother, Jean Drane is draped on the fender.
In his 1992 book, An Enduring Heritage,
Keith Yates quoted what West told her aunt as they left the picnic: "Aunt
Nellie, the fraternal benefit system is the greatest thing I've ever heard of. I
will make this my life's work. There is a great need, and I know I can fill it."
Over the next 56 years, West devoted herself to
WORKING FOR WOMEN:
In 1892, when Bina West Miller set up shop in the basement of the Maccabee
Temple to create an insurance organization for women and children, she unleashed
a revolution. From its humble start, what was to become the Women's Benefit
Association would claim more than 75,000 members in 42 states in just eight
years. Today, the Woman's Life Insurance Society has more than $180 million in
As state organizer for the Ladies of the
Maccabees, she built its membership from 319 in 1892 to 5,770 in 1894. The
organization, later renamed the Women's Benefit Association, had 75,224 members
in 42 states by 1900. Four years later, it had nearly 150,000 members and 40
employees at its Port Huron headquarters.
"In less than 12 years, (it) was no doubt the
great business movement of women in the world," Yates wrote.
The rapid growth led the Maccabees to build a
second temple in 1904 at the intersection of Huron and Pine Grove avenues. The
original temple, built in 1892 at Huron and Bard, was noted for its hive-shaped
brass domes. It became the Algonquin Hotel in 1906 and was destroyed in a fire
Port Huron's mayor declared a public holiday on
Oct. 22, 1915, when the cornerstone was placed for the association's
headquarters on Military Street. The structure, with an exterior of Indiana
limestone and Corinthian columns flanking its entrance, would be dedicated two
Bena West Miller
A sign in West's office gave the motto - "Hard
Work and Ever At It" - that she embraced until her retirement at age 81. She
died in 1954.
The Woman's Life Insurance Society, as the
association is known today, is still based in Port Huron. Janice Whipple, who
took over in 1990, is only its sixth president in more than a century.
Pictured above is a Past Presidents
pin for the Women's Benevolent Association. It could very well have
belonged to Bena West Miller the Founding President or possibly Francis
Partridge, as there have been but 5 past presidents of this organization in the
past century (116 years).
Ladies of the Maccabees Petition for Membership
This circa 1922 application for
membership in the Ladies of the Maccabees came from the family of Edward Ward.
Ladies of the Maccabees Charter
Click here to see an early music sheet
containing Maccabees Opening Odes, Closing Odes and Initiatory Odes.
Click here to see National Membership
Records for the Maccabees from 1917.
A special "Thank You" to Dan
Harrett, Director, Grand Blanc Heritage Association, Grand Blanc, Michigan for
the supporting links above!
the Maccabees Building in Port Huron, Michigan
We owe a special
"Thanks" to Richard C. Kelly, an amateur photographer who lives in Port Huron
for submitting the above picture.
Here is a collage of Maccabee
Founder Major Nathan S. Boynton and his commemorative plaque in front of the
"New Maccabees Temple" in 1938. The dome is smaller and the building is
facing in a southerly direction. The cornerstone is on the north-east corner,
or on the right rear of the building. The current building houses a law firm
and "Ladies of The Maccabees" is still on the front above the entrance.
The building on lower left is on the old site of the original temple, about 3
blocks south of the Boynton monument.
A special Thanks to Jim Cox for
submitting the above picture.
Nathan Boynton was a major and a
good deal other things besides the man who gave Boynton Beach in Florida his name. He was
born June 23, 1837 in Port Huron, Michigan. His direct ancestor John Boynton
emigrated to the New World in 1638 (a scant eighteen years after the Mayflower)
from Yorkshire, England and settled in Rowley, Massachusetts. Another ancestor,
Sir Matthew Boynton, was knighted by the Crown of England in the Seventeenth
Century for being the first to ship sheep and goats to America (think about THAT
the next time you smear some domestic chèvre on a cracker).
His father, Granville P. Boynton,
helped pioneer Michigan in 1827 and his mother's father, Captain Lewis Rendt,
fought in the War of 1812 - on the British side.
After graduating high-school,
Nathan S. Boynton worked as grocery-store clerk and a buggy-whip manufacturer
before making a tidy sum of money with his own grocery business. He invested his
savings in Michigan pine lands and was promptly wiped out by the Panic of 1857.
Over the next five years he lived
in Cincinnati, New Orleans and St. Louis working alternatively as a farmer's
work hand, carpenter and a salesman of electrical apparatus for "curative"
purposes (obviously this was before the FDA came into existence). Along the way
he married and had his first of six children, Charles Boynton, in 1860. He gave
his firstborn the middle name of Lincoln in honor of the newly elected president
who's strong anti-slavery position mirrored his own. It was also for that reason
that Nathan Boynton left his wife and child to enlist as a private in the Eight
Michigan Calvary of the Union Army.
And it was here that Boynton's
star began to shine. He was soon promoted to the rank of First Lieutenant and
with a detachment of 100 men cut off the retreat and accepted the surrender of
Confederate John Morgan after his devastating raid through Kentucky, Indiana and
Ohio. He served under Burnside In the campaign of East Tennessee and was in one
of the first units that marched Into Atlanta alongside General Sherman.
Returning to Port Huron as a Major
he became the editor and publisher of the Port Huron Press. Boynton was elected
mayor three times and served in the State Legislature. He also invented the
Boynton fire escape, the Boynton hook and ladder fire truck and the Boynton
system of rope trussing for fire ladders. Nathan S. Boynton was also a founder
of the Order of the Maccabees. Under his leadership the order's membership grew
from a handful to almost half a million.
In 1883 his health began to
deteriorate. Eleven years later he and his friend, Congressman William S.
Linton, traveled to Florida in search of a winter retreat from the harsh
Michigan winters. They sailed down the newly dredged Florida East Coast Canal
(the Intracoastal) in Fred C. Voss's launch "Victor".
Pausing at an area close to the
present-day Ocean Avenue, Nathan S. Boynton pointed around him and said, "I'll
It was as simple as that.
Linton bought the area further south that temporarily bore his name until it was
changed to Delray Beach.
Two years later Boynton began
construction of the legendary Boynton Beach Hotel that cemented his name to the
area and outlived its creator by fourteen years. He died in Port Huron at
11:30pm on Saturday, May 27, 1911. His last words were, "I am tired. I am ready
The above history
was written by David J. Castello.
The photos of
Boynton were submitted by Boynton's great great nephew Dennis Smith.
Knights of the Maccabees Ribbons
two ribbons above are 9 inches long overall, ribbon with gilt brass fittings, brass
fringe, celluloid emblems and embroidered flags. The second one is reversible, the back
being in black for funeral processions. Condition is very good, it does show some wear.
Makers card between the ribbons is "The M.C. Lilley & Co."
The medal is 4 inches long with a nice 1 inch
tin litho. The logo on the lower portion has some wear and reads: "Modern KOTM
Original Lodge 1881" Surrounded with the words: "Astra Castra Numen Lumen"
which means: "The stars my camp, the Deity my light" and Michigan at the
bottom. The silver plating has minor wear and tarnish. It has a pin on the top to hold a
ribbon and the other pin is broken off. Makers mark on back is "Whitehead & Hoag
Knights of the Maccabees
This Knights of the Maccabees medallion served
much the same purpose as the Mark Master Chapter Penny. It bears their Latin motto:
"Astra Castra Numen Lumen" which means:
"The stars my camp, the
Deity my light" and has an area on the reverse for engraving a name, camp and member
number. They were made by the Whitehead and Hoag Company of Newark, NJ.
Knights of the Maccabees
Dues Assessment Card and "Permit"
Pictured above is a Maccabee's "Permit"... It
shows how our ancestors had a sense of humor! It must have had several
names penciled in on it and erased over the years by the visible wear on the
paper! The other side I found interesting too! They wouldn't sell life
insurance to you if you were older than 51. The life expectancy at the time was
only about 47! People sure had a hard life back then!
A special "Thank You" to
Richelle Campbell for submitting the above pictures of her
Maccabee's Permit for our museum!
This is a standard member's piece--this one has
a past Commander's Jewel dangling from it. There were a lot of Maccabees and every
member had one of these.
the Maccabees Building in Port Huron, Michigan
The building did exist at one time in
Port Huron, Michigan as the above post card depicts. It was destroyed by a
fire after serving many years as the Algonquin hotel.
picture was taken looking northeast.
Note the Maccabee Temple with the domes. The Howard Furniture Co. and the Maccabee
Temple are no longer there.
In the pictures below you can see
the former Maccabees Headquarters being torn down after the fire in 2000.
The beautiful domes collapsed
into the building during the fire.
special "Thanks" to Dale McDonald who took the above pictures of the (Algonquin
Hotel) the original Maccabees Headquarters being torn down!
This is a Knights of the Maccabees goat riding
This is what
they looked like!
Above is an early
cabinet card photograph of a uniformed Maccabee. Their dress is very
similar to that of a Masonic Knight Templar.
Here is another
young Maccabee wearing his badge and hat.
Knights of the Maccabees of the World
Ritual of the First, or Degree of Protection
A new member must receive all three of the
degrees before he can become a Knight of the Maccabees and entitled to take part
in the regular Tent work of the Order.
When one has received the first degree his insurance protection is in force
while he continues in good standing. It is intended that in ordinary practice
not more than one degree will be conferred upon a candidate on the same evening.
While this ritual contains a ceremony for "Communication" of the Second and
Third Degrees, it is hoped that this practice will only be resorted to when
absolutely necessary, and that every Tent will, as far as possible, prepare
itself to confer the dramatic or amplified work of the second and third degrees,
which is so beautiful and instructive.
It is courteously and earnestly recommended that all members of the Order
thoroughly familiarize themselves with the laws, rules and usages of the Order,
the By-Laws of their Tent, and Cushing’s Parliamentary Rules, not for the
purpose of acquiring brilliancy in debate, but for the purpose of quickly and
properly disposing of all the business coming before their Tent, and also for
the purpose of controlling a contentious class of members when they exist, since
the latter not only delay the work but actually threaten the prosperity of the
Promptitude should be a distinguishing quality of every Maccabee. Exactly upon
the hour for any review he should be present, ready and willing for business and
Great pains have been taken to make the work plain, so that any person can
understand it; also, to interpose all the necessary directions as to floor-work,
delivery, and drama, so that the most unpretentious Tent may confer the work in
an effective and impressive manner. Explanation and directions (when they occur)
are printed in smaller type and enclosed in brackets, and should be carefully
studied and closely followed. It is recommended also that the amplified degrees
be used in all cases when at all practicable.
Officers of degree teams must memorize their respective parts, and they should
drill to perfection in the dramatic and private work before attempting to,
confer the degree on any candidate.
The use of uniforms, badges, emblems, and regalia is governed by the laws of the
Order. The use of costumes and paraphernalia in degree work, as well as the
proper arrangement of the floor, is fully described at the beginning of each
The utmost decorum and dignity should always prevail; and no boisterous,
profane, or other ungentlemanly conduct should be permitted in the hall, whether
the Tent is at work or not. This is imperative.
The head of the Tent is always where the presiding officer sits; the foot of the
Tent, the Sir Knight Sergeant’s station; the right of the Tent, the station of
the Sir Knight Past Commander; and the left of the Tent, that of the Sir Knight
Nothing of a political, sectarian, or private character should be brought before
the Tent, except grievances; and those only in form and manner provided in the
laws of the Order.
All who have parts to commit to memory must do so perfectly, and then deliver
them with spirit and distinct pronunciation and not mumble, stammer, or recite
them after the manner of the school-boy speaker. Nothing is more impressive in
work of this kind than the energetic action, ready response, bright eye, and
impressive behavior of a man thoroughly in earnest.
Members desiring to cross the hall or go anywhere in the Tent during review must
be guided in their course as laid down in the Diagram. Square corners must be
observed at all times; and the walks are so arranged that a member, by following
them, can reach any part of the hall.
All Sir Knights moving about the hall should keep and turn to the right when
possible, unless there are instructions to the contrary.
The Master at Arms must have the Tent properly arranged for work before the
Commander proceeds to open the review. He should place in the inner ante-room
badges sufficient for all members. He should arrange the Altar, by placing
thereon the cover (if one is used), and also the book of the Maccabees and copy
of the Laws of the Knights of the Maccabees of the World, which should be
unopened and have the circle on top. He should also distribute the odes to the
members, and deliver the officers’ badges at their respective stations.
All members should be clothed with regulation badge, before entering the Tent
when at work, and must wear one of them during all reviews.
No Tent or body of members thereof shall be privileged to present in public or
in the presence of any person not a member of the Order, anything prescribed
herein to be done by a Tent of the Order, under penalty of losing its charter.
No candidate for the degrees must be subjected to any rude, ungentlemanly,
humiliating or boisterous treatment, and in conferring the degrees, nothing must
be done that might inflict any injury upon the candidate.
No Maccabean business can be legally performed except it comes under the regular
Order of Business as prescribed in the Third Degree. Therefore, every review
must be opened in the Third Degree and all degree work take place as an order of
business of that degree. In closing, however, it is not necessary to pass from
the degree in which the Tent may be working to the Third; the regular closing
may take place at the end of any degree.
When initiating candidates in the first or second degrees, unless the other
degrees are to be "communicated" on the same evening, it is advisable to finish
the regular "Order of Business" before taking up Degree Work, so that the tent
may be closed when the degree work is over without re opening in the third
degree—thus allowing newly admitted members to stay until the Tent is closed in
All officers, when addressed by the Commander (or presiding officer), must
immediately arise and give the Token of Sincerity; this ceremony must be
observed by all Sir Knights when they wish to obtain the floor for any purpose.
The Commander should set the example and encourage all Sir Knights to wear their
"Sunday Clothes" at all reviews.
The Tent having been properly arranged by the Master at Arms, the Commander
opens the Tent in regular form.
COMMANDER, giving any number of raps with the gavel to secure order:
Sir Knights, let us come to order. The officers will take their respective
stations. This done
Sir Knight Record Keeper, call the roll of officers. Sir Knight Sentinel call in
After the roll call, the Commander will immediately fill all vacancies and the
Record Keeper will make the record read accordingly.
SERGEANT: Sir Knights Sentinel and Picket, advance and communicate to
me the Pass and Tokens. The two officers will advance
and communicate the Pass and the Tokens of the three degrees in a whisper and
return to the inner door without Orders.
COMMANDER: Attention Sir Knights! Three
raps. All present must arise and give the Token of Sincerity. Sir
Knight Record Keeper, are you satisfied that all present are qualified to
The Record Keeper may satisfy himself by inspection. If all present are entitled
to remain, he will report to the Commander:
RECORD KEEPER: All present are qualified to remain, Sir Knight
If he is not so satisfied, he will report as follows: I am in doubt,
Sir Knight Commander.
The Commander will then proceed as follows: COMMANDER: Sir Knights,
Right Face! For— ward—MARCH!
All present will march once around the room in single file. The Record Keeper
will pass each one positively known to be qualified to remain and cause those,
concerning whom he may be in doubt, to step out of the file and remain in front
of his station. The circuit having been completed, the Sir Knights will be
seated, provided there are many challenged, otherwise they must remain standing.
If the R. K. is absent or the Commander deems it necessary he should order the
Sergeant to take up the pass, when the following ceremony should be observed:
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Guards, communicate the passwords.
At the words, "Sir
Knight Guards," the Guards will respond with the "token of sincerity," and after
being instructed to communicate the passwords they should step down in front of
the Sergeant and communicate the passwords in regular form, after which they
should remain standing, facing Sergeant until further instructed.:
The words are correct. You will now ascertain that all present are
qualified to remain.
The First M. of G. then advances to head of Tent and commences taking passwords
from Lieut. Commander, working his way to foot of Tent, while the Second M. of
G. works his way from foot to head of Tent. Each member places his left hand on
the left shoulder of Guard, and whispers passwords in that officer’s left ear.
Members of Tent without passwords will be announced by Guard as follows: "Sir
Knight Commander, Sir Knight is without the passwords." The Commander inquires
of the proper officer: "Is Sir Knight … clear on the books and entitled to the
The officer reports "He is" or "He is not," as the case may be. If he is in
arrears and wishes to pay, the Commander will permit him to do so.
The Record Keeper having finished with the challenged persons, or the pass
having been taken, the Commander will say:
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, let us attend the Chaplain’s
All present must stand under the Token of Sincerity and remove any head dress
that may be worn. The Chaplain, remaining in his station says:
CHAPLAIN: Supreme Ruler, strengthen our hands in building up this
Order. Aid us in carrying out the great principles of fraternity which underlie
it. Assist us in bringing peace on earth and good will toward men. May the
deliberations of this body be conducted in that spirit of harmony so necessary
to success. May our Order grow and prosper. May its usefulness be enlarged and
its protecting arms extended so that we may be better able to provide for the
widow, protect the orphan, and care for those dependent upon us. May we so speak
and act as not to bring reproach upon the Order nor disgrace any of its humane
principles. Make us a power for good in this land, and worthy exponents of the
brotherhood of man.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, let us exemplify our secret work.
The Commander from his station calls for this work in the following order, and
all present must take part in it, following the Commander.
1. Step and Salutation Signs (3).
2. Recognition Sign; its answer.
3. Ladies’ Recognition Sign; its answer.
4. Token of Sincerity.
5. Degree Tokens. (Honor, Amity, Obedience)
6. Test word. (All say See – Bac - Cam.)
Master at Arms, attend the Altar.
MASTER AT ARMS advances to foot of Altar, gives Token of Sincerity, and placing
the Book of the Laws of the Maccabees of the World on the Altar, opens the
Second Book of the Maccabees at the third chapter, places the circle so that it
will rest equally on both books, salutes (Token of Sincerity), and retires to
Air:—"Battle Cry of Freedom."
We have gathered in our Tent, Knights, gathered once again,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ve resolved to be true, more knowledge to obtain,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:— United forever, we’ll by each other stand,
Protecting the helpless all over this land,
Yes, we’ll rally to our standard, so noble and so grand,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
With the stars for our Tent, and the Deity our Light,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ll battle for the widow, the orphans and the right,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc
Let harmony prevail in all that we may do,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Well labor for the right, the good, the grand, the true
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc.
COMMANDER: Now by virtue of the authority in me vested as Commander,
I declare this Tent regularly opened and ready for business.
The Tent is arranged as for a regular review. It is expected that the regular
officers confer the Degree, and occupy their regular stations.
Degree teams may be organized and for the purpose of conferring the degree work
the best talent in the Tent should be selected, that the work may be most
It is not only possible, but we advise that the Commander do all the work—give
all the lectures, ask all the questions, and give the obligation,—thus making it
necessary to have only himself and the Lieutenant Commander, thoroughly versed
in the "dialogue" Other members must help in the "discussion."
The text of the Initiation is in the singular number, but when more than one
Candidate is initiated, the officers must change the language so as to conform
to the plural number.
As soon as the ceremony proper begins, no one should leave the room except for
the most pertinent reasons. Those who are permitted to retire or enter must
attract as little attention as possible and report only to the Sergeant and
Lifting Machine, Stones, etc., etc. Water guns may be used with good effect in
the test of courage instead of stones.
Eli. A "trap or bench" that will guarantee the Candidate’s arising at the proper
time. When possible an electric battery and chair mat should be used.
If several are to be admitted at the same review, they may all be taken
together. When the Lt. Commander is ready to blindfold the Candidate he will
select one or more for that purpose. All the others may then be taken inside and
allowed to witness the "work" as it will be given the one or more thus selected.
When "questioning" is begun by the Commander all but the one to be thus
questioned and tested should be seated on one side of room, together if
possible, and they will remain seated until the obligation is to be given, when
they will join the others and go with them until after they have been
"welcomed." They will then be seated as before, only placing as many as possible
Having reached the sixth order of business, the Commander will proceed as
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Record Keeper, have we any Degree work tonight?
RECORD KEEPER, saluting: Sir Knight Commander, we have (number)
candidate entitled to the First Degree.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, you will ascertain if any candidate
is in waiting.
SENTINEL, saluting and opening the wicket will ascertain from the Picket who is
in waiting for the first degree and report as follows:
Sir Knight Commander, … name, candidate for
the first degree, is in waiting.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Record Keeper, retire and collect from the
Candidate what may still be due this Tent.
RECORD KEEPER, salutes, retires to the ante room and does as ordered; returns
from the ante room to his station, salutes and reports as follows:
Sir Knight Commander, … name, candidate for
the first degree, has been duly proposed, elected examined and approved, paid
all fees and is qualified and ready for his reception.
Takes his seat.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Master at Arms, attend the Altar.
I declare this review closed in the Third Degree and opened in the First Degree.
MASTER AT ARMS, rises and salutes upon being addressed, advances to the foot of
the Altar and arranges it for the first degree. - He must so time his actions
that when the Commander says "closed," he will close the book, and when he says
"opened," that he will open the Book at the first Chapter of the Second Book of
the Maccabees and place thereon a small Black Stone. Having done so, he returns
to his station.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, retire and introduce the
LT. COMMANDER, rises, salutes, retires to the ante room and addresses the
candidate: My friend, you have been duly proposed, elected, examined
and approved for membership in this Tent, and having paid all fees, you are now
entitled to receive, at our hands, the degree of protection. HONOR is the first
and greatest qualification of this degree. In this degree your moral as well as
your physical qualifications will be given further and most searching
investigation. To reach the summit of Maccabean Knighthood is not the task of a
weakling; it is a work that demands the highest expressions of Honor, Courage
and Obedience. With this understanding, are you willing to proceed?
Candidate must answer in the affirmative. In token of your Courage,
and as an evidence of your willingness to obey, you must now suffer yourself to
be blindfolded, and follow me. Candidate is now
blindfolded. Lieutenant Commander then gives three raps at the inner door.
SENTINEL, partly opening the door: Who comes?
LT. COMMANDER: A friend who desires to unite with us in the cause of
SENTINEL, closes the door and reports: Sir Knight Commander, the
Lieutenant Commander, with a friend, who desires to unite with us in the cause
humanity, seeks admission.
COMMANDER: Let him enter.
SENTINEL, opening wide the door: Our Commander bids you enter with
Lieut. Com. enters with candidate and makes one complete circuit of the room by
way of the stations of Past Commander, Commander, Chaplain and, upon arriving at
station of Sergeant, turns square corner up center of room, halting at foot of
Altar facing Commander’s station. While this is being done, the following
responses are to be uttered in a clear, earnest tone of voice and so timed as to
conclude the moment the Candidate halts in the middle of the room. These
responses may be made by the Commander. The Lieutenant Commander must also so
time his steps as to make this possible without undue drag or hurry.
PAST COMMANDER: Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father
is this "To visit the fatherless and the widows in their affliction and to keep
himself unspotted from the World."
CHAPLAIN: "But if any provide not for his own, he hath denied the
faith and is worse than an infidel."
LT. COMMANDER, saluting: Sir Knight Commander, I have with me a
friend who desires to unite with us in the cause of humanity.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, why is your friend
LT. COMMANDER: As a token of his courage and as an evidence of his
willingness to obey.
COMMANDER: Your friend is now about to enter into a most important
contract relationship that means much to his loved ones as well as to himself— a
contract that shall continue through life—one that he should fully understand in
all its terms and conditions. No one should qualify for and complete such a
contact in the dark. He should have his eyes wide open and must have every
opportunity to know what he is doing. Let the blindfold be removed.
Lt. Commander now removes the blindfold.
COMMANDER, Lieutenant Commander and Candidate at foot of Altar, the Commander
will address the Candidate as follows. If the Commander is to give all the work
prescribed for Past, Com, and Chaplain, Lt. Commander should now conduct
Candidate to a seat a few feet in front of Commander:
My friend, as you are now about to take the first step towards the goal of
Maccabean knighthood it is proper at this lime, to impress upon your mind the
great objects of this Order as well as to call your attention to some of its
First, let me tell you something of the reason for calling ourselves The Knights
of the Maccabees of the World.
Nearly twenty-one hundred years ago, there ruled in the land of Syria, a
monstrous king, Antiochus the Fourth. Returning from an expedition into Egypt.
about the year 167, B. C., he passed by way of Jerusalem, where he halted for a
short time. Through the perfidy of a renegade Jew, he became informed of the
existence and location of a large sum of money which this people had accumulated
and from which they contributed, From time to time, to the relief of their
widows and orphans. King Antiochus returned about a year later and sacked the
Holy City. He burned the homes and palaces of the people, despoiled the Holy
Temple, and plundered the treasury in which was kept the widow and orphan fund.
We then desired to make Judea tributary to his kingdom and attempted to abolish
the worship of Jehovah and introduce the monstrous practices of Syria and
Greece. The prospect of another captivity and another loss of the ancient faith
brought on a most determined resistance. The War of Independence ensued, in
which the first family of Maccabees (Mattathias and his Five sons), so ably
distinguished themselves. Their wonderful achievements on the side of personal
independence, freedom of thought, and liberty of conscience the wise and
magnanimous uses to which they put their marvellous victories ; their provident
forethought in behalf of the widow, the orphan, and the disabled,— these are
some of the noble acts of that ancient and heroic family which prompted a just
and grateful posterity to recognize the MACCABEES among the first and greatest
of the benefactors of the race. Our Order takes its name from that famous
household. Like-them, we also wage a righteous warfare against the ills that so
constantly afflict humanity; we also care for the widow, protect the fatherless,
and assist the disabled; we too have a sacred treasury in which are kept immense
sums of money,—millions of dollars—from which we take, with liberal hands our
generous contributions to the widow, the orphan, the sick and to those in
Our principal object is to unite in fraternal fellowship all white men, within
certain age limits, who are socially, physically, mentally, and morally
acceptable and qualified under our laws, in order to properly as well as
fraternally, care for the sick, relieve the distressed and provide in a
substantial manner for the widows, orphans, and dependents of our members.
The Knights of the Maccabees of the World is a great business co-partnership.
All its members are equally interested in its welfare—all being equal under its
laws. It is not a cold hearted business corporation, organized and run for the
sole and sordid purpose of gain or profit; it is a business fraternity, or a
fraternal business, founded on HONOR in its highest and most chivalric sense.
Human honor is a sure and eternal foundation without which no superstructure of
genuine fraternalism or business conduct can be reared with safety. Honor alone,
in the governing body not less than in the humblest and most obscure member,
makes it possible for this society to guarantee to the future an enormous trust
fund involving hundreds of millions of dollars consecrated to the material
comfort and personal safety of hundreds of thousands of families.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the Past
Commander for further instructions.
PAST COMMANDER: The ordeal through which you are about to pass is not
an idle invention for the purpose of entertaining a selected audience at your
expense. Far from it! It is our aim to impress on your mind, in a manner so
forceful as to never be forgotten, the importance and nature of the relationship
upon which you are now entering.
In so far as our work involves the elements of life insurance, we must be
governed by strict business principles. We must know, beyond the shadow of a
doubt, that all who seek to unite with us are qualified along certain lines;
that they understand the contract they are making, and that they have fully,
understandingly, and truthfully answered all questions contained in their
We believe, and we teach, that it is the duty of every man, who has others
dependent upon him, to make as ample provision for them in the event of his
death, as his circumstances will permit. No man can wish to leave his loved ones
without substantial protection to be dependent upon others, or to take the
chance of having his good name discredited if not dishonored by failing to fully
and properly understand the relationship he is entering into for their
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the Chaplain
for further instructions.
CHAPLAIN: To honestly do your whole duty as a good Maccabee should,
you must be true to every vow taken, faithful to every trust imposed, and, for
the sake of your own good name and the welfare of those you ought to love above
every other being on earth, remain loyal to the Order until death bids you take
off your knightly armor! As long as you live like that, rest assured that you
will never lack for friends to comfort you in sorrow, assist you in adversity,
tenderly commit your body to mother earth when you die, keep green your memory,
defend your character, and, in a most fraternal sense, take your place so far as
that is possible, in the hearts of those who mourn your departure.
We have a right, to know with what manner of man we enter into such sacred
relations; and that is why we emphasize, in this degree, that highest of all the
HONOR is the essence of all the moralities. It is the crown of human excellence
because it demands the fulfillment of every duty we owe to God, to humanity, and
to ourselves. When HONOR speaks, her words ring clear and true as newly minted
gold, and every spoken promise becomes the equivalent of actual performance.
Blessed is the man, the society, the civilization whose master passion is HONOR.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, you will conduct your friend to the Commander
for further instructions.
Lieutenant Commander now conducts the Candidate to a point a few feet from the
Commander’s station and says:
If the Candidate has been seated in front of Commander’s Station, the Commander
will continue without being addressed by Lieutenant Commander.
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, my friend awaits your further
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, we are glad to welcome
your friend, but before we can extend to him the hand of fellowship we must know
that he is physically and morally fitted for membership, that he fully
understands the conditions of membership among us and that he is inclined to aid
us in the general service of humanity. We must also require of him a solemn vow
and we must be assured that he will remain true to his vow as long as he shall
live. Do you vouch for your friend in these things?
LT. COMMANDER: My friend will answer for himself. Let him be
COMMANDER, standing, asks Candidate to stand up, and then asks the following
questions and others if necessary to have Candidate fully understand the
contract he is now about to complete: Stranger, how old are you?
What is your business or occupation?
Are you physically and mentally sound?
Where were you born?
Is your sight or hearing impaired?
What is your weight? and your height?
Do you use intoxicating liquors?
Have you truthfully answered all questions in your written application?
What physician examined you?
Have you ever thought of taking your life?
Do you know that our protection does not extendlto the beneficiaries of those
who commit suicide?
Did you read your written application before signing it?
Do you know what it contains?
What does your application say about your engaging in prohibited and hazardous
Have you ever been finally suspended or expelled from membership in any
Do you hold membership in any other Order at the present time? Why do you want
to become a Maccabee?
Lieutenant Commander conducts Candidate to seat on Eli at left of Commander’s
station, facing the foot of the room, while he resumes his official station. It
is the business of the Master at Arms to have the chair ready, but no use should
be made of this chair now.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, you have heard the answers made to the
several questions asked. What is your judgment in regard to the Candidate’s
physical and mental qualifications, and as to his real motive and purpose in
presenting himself before us?
Here will follow a general and somewhat animated discussion of the answers
made by the Candidate. This discussion should be led by the Past Commander,
Chaplain and Record Keeper, and the defense should be led by the Lieutenant
Commander. Any member may take part in the discussion, and the Candidate himself
should be given a chance— even urged—to defend himself.
During the "speeches," frequent allusions should be made to the fact that "Honor
is the first and greatest qualification for membership in the Order."
The Record Keeper should always have a blank application on his table.
Among the points of controversy may be mentioned that he looks older than he
claims to be in his application. If over forty years of age, it is well to
question him concerning his family record of births, etc., especially if he is a
foreigner or of foreign descent or extraction. His weight, whether very heavy or
very light may be commented on. His calling may be of a hazardous nature, or
such as may be prejudicial to his best health, etc., etc. It not unfrequently
happens that men claim their eye sight to be perfect and yet wear glasses. He
may admit that he drinks a little, this may be inquired into almost to the
extent of impertinence. Should it appear that the answers made in the Tent
differ from those given to the doctor who made the medical examination, or the
one who took his application, both the Candidate and the doctor or the one who
took the application may be arraigned for a severe castigation. Sometimes it may
be suggested that the doctor tried to aid an unworthy man or foist a bad risk,
etc. Much questioning may be indulged in along that line so as to involve more
persons than simply the Candidate.
The Candidate may say that he answered all questions truthfully and yet be made
to admit that he did not read all the questions contained in the application
blank! If he says he knows what his written application contains, ask him to
tell a few of the things stated therein. He may admit that he does not know
exactly what it contains. In this event he should be severely criticised for
signing a document, the contents of which he does not know much about, etc. Or
he may be accused of a-willingness to sign most anything just to get into the
Order. In the application he says that he has reviewed all answers with the
doctor; press this matter with special reference to the subject of suicide and
make it very plain that the beneficiaries of a member who commits suicide will
get no benefits.
If he has ever been suspended or expelled from any Order this can be used with
powerful effect as indicating his real motive and his sense of honor. Never lose
a chance to ring in the changes on "honor" in all its expressions. If he broke
his promise with one Order, he would be likely to do the same in this Order;
what must be the attitude of such an one in a contract that is for life! If he
is a member of other Orders (and especially if a very active one) he may be
charged with being a spy, wanting to find out how we do our work, that he may
carry the information as news to others that he probably loves better, etc. Or
it may be charged that all he wants with us is to get "insurance," and that he
probably will never return to take the other degrees which would of course be
poor evidence of his honorable intentions; or that he will not be likely to live
up to the requirements of our Order since belonging to so many other Orders his
affection must be badly "split up." Make him promise that he will take the other
two degrees as soon as possible.
His reasons for "joining the Maccabees" must be handled critically and with
The above are only a few of the many suggestions that may he offered for
discussion based on his answers both in the application and while in the room.
The discussion while dignified and earnest must not descend to anything base or
vile or objectionably personal. The point being never to give the Candidate any
other thought than that his advancement in the Order depends upon his ability to
prove the purity of his intentions, his physical and mental health and that he
is not attempting to gain a membership by fraud, etc. It is one of the objects
of this part of the ceremony to get the Candidate to talk in order that
something may be learned of his coolness, courage, integrity, etc. To that end,
give him all the chance he wants to explain and argue and extenuate his
SERGEANT, arising: Sir Kinight Commander, it is probable that some
here desire to further express their opinions but do not care to do so in the
presence of the Candidate. I move that he be conducted to the ante-room until we
shall have finished our discussion.
COMMANDER: Such will be taken as the will of all present unless there
is objection. Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, conduct your friend to the ante
room and there await our further pleasure.
Lieut. Com. without ceremony, conducts the candidate to the ante room (or to a
room adjacent to the Tent room in case another candidate is in waiting) and
remains with candidate until recalled. Everything being in readiness, the
Lieutenant Commander being notified by the Sentinel, enters with the Candidate
and advancing to the foot of the Altar says:
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander,
saluting my friend awaits your pleasure.
COMMANDER, rising: It is the purpose of this household of Fraternity
to judge fellowman with leniency—to study the conduct of men with reference to
the prompting motive. We are inclined to overlook mere irregularities or
clerical errors, where we are satisfied that the intention has been honorable.
Sir Knights, if you are satisfied that the motives of this candidate are
honorable and are willing to test his fitness to become one of us by the supreme
tests of strength, courage and liberality, rise to your feet.
Seated be. Addressing
Candidate: In order to ascertain your fitness
for membership in this Fraternal Household we shall give you ample opportunity
to prove yourself possessed of the necessary physical and moral qualifications.
Do you wish to avail yourself of these opportunities?
Candidate should answer in the affirmative.
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander, proceed with the tests.
The Candidate is now conducted by the Lieutenant Commander once round the room
while other members place lifting machine near the center of the room, to which
the candidate is conducted and made to stand on the platform, take hold of
handles and directed to lift as much as he is able. The members may crowd around
the machine and make all kinds of remarks as to his strength or weakness as the
case may be. When he has given sufficient demonstration of strength so as to
"discharge" the machine, the members may compliment him on his ability in that
connection and make other complimentary remarks which, would indicate that he
has demonstrated the possession of sufficient strength to show that he is in
good physical condition.
This test being completed the Lieutenant Commander conducts the candidate again
around the room to a position about midway between the Altar and the Sergeant’s
Station, where he is told by the Lieutenant Commander that his ‘courage" will
now be put to the test. A few good marksmen have been selected to throw a number
of stones at his body. He will be allowed the privilege of freedom, not being
bound in any manner, but that he will be put upon his honor and thus most
fittingly will his courage be tested. The marksmen will now post themselves at a
distance of six or eight steps in front of the Candidate, each one carrying a
genuine stone and also a small black sponge which has been saturated with water
and squeezed until nearly dry, and which he will, at the proper signal, throw
hard at the candidate.
Lieutenant Commander now takes position to one side, about half way between the
Candidate and the throwers, saying, "Are You Ready? I will count three and then
say FIRE! Upon the word ‘Fire,’ each of you will throw a stone at the body
before you, but not at any part he cannot protect with his hands. Are you ready?
(They say "Ready") "One— Two—Three—FIRE!" The Lieutenant Commander will say,
"Fire" very quickly after having counted three, or he may count very
irregularly, in order to arouse a feeling of unsafety in the mind of the
Candidate. The throwers must also be thrown off the "time" thus, so that they do
not all throw at the same time. Care must be taken that none throw other than
the imitation stones or doing anything that can injure the Candidate in any
Instead of using stones, the water guns are very effective for this purpose. Two
guns are provided, one shoots forward and the other backward. We use the Wm.
Tell act. Let Candidate stand as above, place an apple or block of wood on his
head and direct some good marksman to shoot it off, using forward action gun.
Then give the candidate a chance to "get even" by shooting the apple from the
head of a fellow candidate or some member, and while using the pretext of
reloading the gun, exchange it for the one with the back action, so that he will
get the "shot" when he discharges the gun.
If the Candidate has stood this ordeal without flinching or showing evidence of
fear, the Lieutenant Commander should congratulate him upon his coolness and
courage and tell him that the possession of such qualifications should make him
a good Maccabee. If, on the other hand, he has shown evidence of fear by dodging
or running away, the Lieutenant Commander should express his regret and admonish
him that he should know and henceforth remember that in a Tent of the Maccabees
he is among friends who would never do him harm or injury. These remarks are
addressed to him by the Lieutenant Commander as he conducts him to the foot of
the Altar facing the. Commander’s station, where the Lieutenant Commander will
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, my friend awaits your further
COMMANDER, arising and in tones of approbation: Sir Knight Lieutenant
Commander, your friend has demonstrated by tests most convincing that he is
indeed well fitted to join with us in the cause of humanity. Let him be placed
in position to take our solemn vow.
Lieutenant Commander causes Candidate to stand at the foot of the Altar, his
right hand resting upon the black-stone, his open left hand over his heart. By
this time the Chaplain will have arrived at the head of the Altar. The Candidate
and Chaplain being in position, the Commander will give three strong raps.
CHAPLAIN, addressing Candidate: You will repeat after me:
I do most solemnly vow, in the presence of these witnesses that henceforth, in
all matters pertaining to the Order of The Knights of the Maccabees of the
World, I will be bound by the laws of the Order in force from time to time.
That I will not make known to any one not a member of this Order, any of its
private work or any other thing that I may see or hear under cover of any Tent.
That I will never take part in any unlawful meeting with members of the Order,
nor will I publish, directly or indirectly, by spoken, written or printed words
anything calculated to discredit the influence or honor of any department of the
That I will not knowingly wrong or defraud a Tent, a member or any of his
family, nor permit it to be done by another if I can prevent it.
That I will be temperate in my habits, and upright in my conduct so as to
command the respect of all.
To all this I pledge my honor as a man to remain true and steadfast as long as I
ALL PRESENT: YOUR VOW SHALL BE REMEMBERED!
Commander gives one rap. The Lieutenant Commander will conduct the Candidate to
the station of the Commander.
LT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, thus far my friend has appeared
in the role of one who was anxious to know and understand our requirements and
who is willing to give every evidence of his qualifications as well as of his
good faith. He has taken our solemn vow and now desires to engage with us in the
great and glorious work of fraternity as taught and practiced by The Knights of
the Maccabees of the World.
COMMANDER: My friend, in order to engage upon such a high and noble
undertaking, you must be invested with the secret work of the Degree of
Protection. I take great pleasure in communicating this work to you.
To gain admission into a Tent open in the Degree of Protection, (the first),
give any ordinary alarm at the outer door. This will attract the Picket, who
will open the door or wicket, and to him you will give in a whisper, the Pass,
which, for this term, is … This will admit you into the ante room, advance to
the inner door and give one loud rap. The Sentinel will open the wicket and to
him you will give, in a whisper, your name and the Token of this Degree, which
is Honor. This will admit you into the Tent. You will now advance, by way of the
Sergeant’s station, to the foot of the Altar on which should rest a copy of the
Books of the Maccabees, opened at the first chapter of the second book—a small,
black stone resting on the open book. Finding the Altar so arranged, you will
give the salutation of this degree and the step, at the same time, saying, "Sir
Knight Commander!" to the presiding officer. You will be recognized by a nod of
the head, wave of the hand or gavel. You will then take your seat.
The sign is given by placing the left foot directly in front of the right, the
heel touching toe, thus.
The salutation is given by raising open hands, palms forward, on a level with
and about one foot distant from the face, as if shielding it from threatened
injury or assault.
The gavel is an emblem of authority when in the hands of the presiding officer
during any review of the Tent. Three raps, gives them
call all the members to their feet; one rap gives
it, causes all to be seated; two raps
calls to order.
The symbolic color of this Degree is black; it symbolizes the dark prospects
that surrounded Judas Maccabeus in the mighty struggle he waged in behalf of
physical, mental, and spiritual liberty.
I have now given you the regular work of our first degree.
ANY SIR KNIGHT: Sir Knight Commander! Haven’t you forgotten
COMMANDER: I presume that the Sir Knight alludes to the "grip!"
The Commander approaches the Candidate, and, taking him by the right hand, acts
as if about to give a very complicated grip. The Lieutenant Commander, at the
proper time exclaims loudly, "HOLD!" The Commander slowly releases the hand of
the Candidate and returning to his station says:
Our Order has no grip! That is one of its distinguishing features. Should any
one ever pretend to have, or give, the grip of this Order, you may safely regard
him an imposter, and engage in no further examination of him.
If a beneficial member, the Commander will proceed as follows. If only a social
member, omit the next paragraph:
Your insurance protection is in force while you remain in good standing, which
you have just promised to do as long as you live. Under our rules you should pay
your Monthly Rates to our Record Keeper before the end of each month. This is
necessary to keep in good standing.
You may not, however, take part with us in the regular work of our Tent, until
you have taken our second and third degrees, all regular work being done in the
If the second and third degrees are to be "communicated," that ceremony should
now take place, after which the Commander will conclude with "I welcome, etc."
This we hope you will do at your earliest convenience, that you may be a duly
qualified Knight of the Maccabees.
Taking Candidate by the hand.
I welcome, and at the same time, congratulate you upon your admission to
membership among us. We sincerely hope that the brotherly relationship
established here, at this time, may be a continuing one; that you may be a
regular attendant at our reviews, and that in the practice of the principles of
Maccabeeism you may find both pleasure and profit.
Causes Candidate to face Altar.
Brothers, please come and join me in giving welcome to our friend.
The Tent will be at ease for a few moments.
After all have had an opportunity to meet and welcome the new member, the
Commander will again give two raps and call the Tent to order, the Lieutenant
Commander conducting the Candidate to a seat on the Eli, which should be placed
beside the station of the Master at Arms. The Commander, as soon as quiet is
restored, will inquire if there is any further business to be transacted in this
degree before proceeding to close, when some one, who has been posted in
advance, will create a pretext for the purpose of raising a little money.
Sometimes an object of simple charity is advanced. A widow with sick children
has come to town, she is a widow of a Maccabee, and should be helped quickly, no
time for the usual proceedings, red tape, etc., etc. Sometimes it may be a sick
Sir Knight who is passing through town, and is in need of help, or it may be one
of the members of the Tent.
The Sentinel may announce that there is a visiting Sir Knight in the Ante Room,
and a committee may be appointed to wait on him and ascertain his wants. He may
be a member of the tent who is playing the roll of a "stranger," and if he is
not known to the candidate he may be invited in, and allowed to tell a "hard
luck" story, thus giving a pretext for raising some money. It may be for himself
or his family, or if in a small place where the candidate probably knows
everybody, the "committee" may simply report without bringing the stranger in.
They may say that he preferred not to come in while the tent was acting on his
Sometimes an appropriation for building purposes or for a worthy enterprise like
a church, a hospital, etc. Anything will do so that it is agreed upon in advance
and promoted with due earnestness and vigor. After there has been some little
discussion of the matter, the Commander will request those who will give $5.00
or $10.00 or even more according to the need of the case in hand to arise and
the Record Keeper will take their names. No one will rise in response to this
suggestion, but the Sir Knight who has charge of the "Eli" will work the lever
and as the result of which the new member will be compelled to rise to his feet.
The Commander will immediately step forward, and congratulate him upon his
The Candidate is now given a pocket coin, which he is asked to always carry with
him, not only as a reminder of his experience during his first evening among the
Maccabees, but as a means of identification.
The Candidate is being seated. If no other degrees are to be conferred on this
Candidate at this review, he is allowed to retire, after being requested to be
ready for the second degree at the next review. After the Candidate has been
excused the Tent will open again in the third degree and proceed with the
regular order of business. Care must be taken to know that the Eli is working
properly—and several members should be "posted" so that if for any reason it
does not work promptly they will arise so as to not have the "request for help"
fail and thus embarrass the Tent instead of the Candidate.
COMMANDER, rises: Master at Arms, That
officer rises and gives "token of sincerity," what is the last and
constant care of every Knight of, the Maccabees?
MASTER AT ARMS: To remember his pledges to the Order, and to protect humanity,
especially the widows and the orphans.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, never fail to discharge these important duties. Let us
now sing the closing ode.
Gives three raps with gavel.
Air: —Sweet Bye and Bye.
1. We now go from our labors tonight,
To our homes, to our hearths, to our rest
May our lives overflow with kind acts,
Our hearts full of joy and tenderness.
Chorus—Let us join in the song,
As it comes from that beautiful shore
Yes, we’ll join in the song,
As it floats from that beautiful shore.
2. When we meet in our Tent once again,
When we enter this guarded abode,
As brothers our work we’ll review,
And endeavor to lighten each load.
Chorus—Let us join in the song, etc.
3. When our life’s grand review shall be held,
In yonder grand mansion of rest,
All warfare and trials will be o’er,
In that beautiful land of the blest.
Chorus—Let us join in the song, etc.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Master at Arms remove the circle; close the
book; collect the odes and place all in the depository of this Tent.
MASTER AT ARMS, after complying with the orders, returns to his station and
says: Sir Knight Commander, your orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, call in the Picket.
SENTINEL, after the Picket appears, says: Sir Knight Commander, your
orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: This Review is ended. Sir Knights, retire to your homes in
peace, and hold yourselves ever in readiness to serve our noble cause.
All clap hands, right hand above left; taking time from the Commander, he
leading. All bring hands nearly together twice, and the third time together at
once; and the review is ended.
Knights of the Maccabees of
Ritual of the Second, or Degree of Friendship
The Tent is arranged to represent an open air Court within, or adjacent to, the
camp of Antiochus the Fourth. At the head of the room should be a platform to
represent an imp)rovised throne on which the king is to be seated. A thick
curtain extending across foot of room should. be so arranged as to be easily
parted in the centre. The king should be seated on the throne, the four soldiers
near him as a guard, and Eleazar concealed at foot of room. Nothing within the
Actors and Costumes
Sir Knight Commander as KING ANTIOCHUS IV. Crown, coat of mail reaching to
knees, official robe of office, gray or brown wig and beard, flesh colored long
hose or leggings, sandals strapped well up the calves, scepter in right hand.
Sir Knight Chaplain as ELEAZAR. Dressed in the garb of a priest, long flowing
white gown, white turban with cape to cover hair, long flowing gray beard, large
Sir Knight Lieutenant Commander as JUDAS MACCABEUS. Dressed as a Jewish peasant,
black and white turban, tunic, hose and sandals.
Four selected Sir Knights as SOLDIERS. Wearing helmets, shields, coats of mail
reaching to knees, spears, tight fitting long flesh colored hose or leggings,
Two leather scourges, a metal dish or urn in which to burn the red fire during
The preliminaries to be observed before the ceremony begins are exactly like
those observed in the First Degree, changing the wording and the dressing of the
Altar, etc., to fit the Second, instead of the First, Degree.
In dressing the Altar, the Master at Arms will remove the Altar to one side of
the Chaplain’s station.
COMMANDER as King Antiochus: Sir Knight Lt. Commander, be pleased
to retire and introduce our kinsman.
LT. COMMANDER as Judas, arises and salutes the Commander. He then retires to the
ante-room where the Candidate should be in waiting and addresses him as follows:
My Kinsman, having been found to be physically and morally worthy, you received
the First, or Degree of Protection, in this Order. You are now entitled to be
advanced to the Second, or Degree of Friendship. Nothing will be required of you
that a man in pursuit of the higher degrees of this Order would hesitate of
refuse to endure. I promise that I will accompany you in your journey and be
your special friend. With this assurance on my part are you willing to proceed?
Candidate must answer in the affirmative. Then come with me.
Lieutenant Commander then enters the room with the Candidate and standing at
opening in curtain delivers the following in an earnest, impressive manner:
I trust you will thoughtfully observe, and vividly remember, all that
you are about to see and hear. In order to prepare you, in a measure, for what
will soon take place, allow me to call your attention to an event and happening
in the history of the human race that doubtless was one of the most pathetic,
and, in some respects, the most remarkable this world has ever seen.
About 175 years before the present era (over two thousand years ago, as you have
learned,) there ruled in Syria a king by the name of Antiochus the Fourth.
He was a most cruel and rapacious despot. After plundering the Holy City of
Jerusalem be issued a proclamation that all the people of Palestine should deny
the ancient faith and forsake their venerable forms of worship. Many, in order
to save their lives, obeyed the impious decree. There were some, however, who
preferred death to dishonor. One such was Eleazar, a doctor of the law. He not
only refused to obey the edict of the pagan king but determined to go to him and
personally make answer before him, according to his understanding of the Holy
At this moment, the curtain is drawn apart by a Sir Knight selected for the
purpose. The king and his Guards are seen at the head of the room. Eleazar,
erect and vigorous, emerges from the corner of the room near the foot and boldly
approaches the king and his Guards. The instant that Eleazar comes in sight, the
Lieutenant Commander will exclaim: BEHOLD THE MAN!
Eleazar reaches a point about ten feet distant from the king, whose attendants
meantime manifest much impatience waiting for his order to attack the bold
intruder. The king, who has been extending his scepter for some time, now
exclaims: KING: HOLD! His Guards instantly
carry or ground spears. Who art thou?
ELEAZAR: O King! My name is Eleazar. I am a doctor of the law.
Bows in a dignified manner.
KING, leaning forward, and critically looking over the venerable figure:
What wouldest thou before me, ANT IOCHUS. I have not sent for thee!
ELEAZAR, slowly and with much emphasis: No, O king! Thou hast not
sent for me. But I hear that thou hast commanded my people to forsake the sacred
law and deny its authority. It would be shameful in me to seek shelter at this
time, neither will I stain my age and office with hypocrisy. So I have come
before thee to say, that I will not obey thy commands,—I will not embrace thy
KING, seriously: Humph! Knowest thou the penalty inflicted upon ALL
who refuse to obey my will and commands.
ELEAZAR, with much fervor and dignity: Yea, O King; DEATH!
A pause. But what if I do escape thy punishment
at this time, I could never escape the Justice of Almighty God! And so I would
rather lay down my life now, for the sake of my country and its divine laws,
than leave to the young men of my nation pointing to
Candidate, an example of dishonor! O king, I would!
KING, talking to himself: This foolish old man shall be taken in his
own conceit. And yet I fear nothing in the earth so much as that kind of a
Rising suddenly and with much vehemence. Away with him! Let him be
scourged to death! Stands erect and defiant the very
picture of irresponsible power, while the following tableau is being enacted:
The Guards instantly seize Eleazar and rush him to near center of Tent. Two of
the Guards hold him while the other two mercilessly lash his back with the
leather scourges. Eleazar, writhing and groaning, drops limp in death at the
feet of the assassins. The king now descends his throne and stands at head of
body, chuckling with fiendish satisfaction, and folded arms; the Soldiers raise
their spears as if to pierce the corpse; those who did the scourging stand,—one
with the scourge resting on the body, the other with scourge raised as if about
to give another blow. At this Instant the red fire is lighted and
allowed to burn about one minute. The curtain is then
closed and the Lieutenant Commander says:
JUDAS: The fidelity of that man is a memorial of civil virtue and
personal heroism, not alone to his country and generation but unto all peoples
of every age,—as long as patriotism and piety and honesty shall be considered
honorable among men. Such sublime courage, such utter contempt of death, such
free will honesty, mankind will never willingly forget. It is just such heroism
as this that is the glory of our race.
If you are willing to assist in avenging similar dastardly assaults upon Honor,
freedom of thought, and liberty of conscience, follow me.
Candidate is conducted to ante-room and Lieutenant Commander returns to the
In this section, the Tent is supposed to
represent a scene in the vicinity, and within the walls of Jerusalem. Curtains
of the first section remain. The room should be lighted as in the preceding
Actors and Costumes
Sir Knight Commander as GENERAL. Dressed as was King Antiochus in first section,
except that the crown is removed for a helmet, the robe of office discarded, and
a short Grecian sword takes the place of the scepter. He should also carry a
scroll which he is supposed to be studying.
Lieuteuant Commander as JUDAS MACCABEUS. Dressed as usual but wearing a red
Master at Arms as FRIEND. Dressed as a peasant.
Four selected Sir Knights as SOLDIERS. Dressed as usual.
The Route. A strip of rough pathway composed of triangular or round pieces of
wood, about the size of a large marble; a mat so arranged that electrical
contacts may be used and a galvanic battery should be used in this section.
The Mossy Stone. A large sponge filled with ice water. This is to be placed on a
box or stool near foot of room opposite to or across from the inner door, or if
an electric battery is used this can be done away with and the "mat" substituted
for sponge which should be placed on a collapsible chair.
Tent. An actual tent or the picture of one on a curtain. It should be near the
head of the room. A few pieces of cord should be found within or near the tent.
Sheet. A piece of strong cotton, about ten feet square. Have this near the place
where it is most convenient to leave Candidate.
Book of Laws. A copy of the Laws of the Maccabees of the World, or a copy of the
Decalogue written in Hebrew. This to be in possession of Lieutenant Commander.
Blindfold. Anything ordinarily used for that purpose.
Bandages. These must be badly torn and blood stained. There should be one for
the head, another for the arm, and possibly one for the body or lower limbs.
Tunic for the Candidate, with inside pocket on left side. Also black and white
Tunic. A badly torn, blood stained garment.
When everything is in readiness the Lieutenant Commander retires to the place
where he left the Candidate, and asks him to change his coat for a tunic, then
placing a turban on Candidate’s head proceeds as follows:
LT. COMMANDER as Judas standing with Candidate at inner door wide open:
A short time ago you witnessed a most heroic sacrifice in the cause of civil and
religious freedom. You expressed a determination to assist in the avenging of
all such crimes against liberty of mind and conscience. The time for action has
come. Let us go tip to Jerusalem, join our fortunes with those of the kinsmen
and friends of Judas Maccabeus, for the house of Mattathias and his friends have
risen in revolt against the cruel and monstrous king Antiochus.
In order that nothing may impede the rapidity of , our movements, and also for
the purpose of avoiding, recognition, we have changed your clothes. My kinsman,
let us enter. Entering the room and halting immediately
within the inner door.
The way to Jerusalem is doubtless thoroughly guarded by the soldiers of
Antiochus. Unknown perils may thickly surround us. If captured, we must not
disclose our identity under any circumstances or certain death will be our fate.
We may never meet again. You have taken the Degree of Protection and are
entitled to that of Friendship. Here then! Produces the
‘Book of the Law.’ Take this sacred book as I take it and repeat
Each take book in left hand clasp right hands upon and over it saying:
In this solemn moment, and over this sacred volume, I promise to be, and to
continue, your friend no matter what danger, hardship, or loss may come to me on
account of this covenant. AMEN!
Now you may trust in my friendship. Therefore, with confidence, let me blindfold
you so that nothing may hinder you in relying upon my advice and directions.
Lieutenant Commander blindfolds Candidate. Lieutenant Commander then arrays
himself in the tattered, blood-stained garments and says: My friend,
thou hast mislaid the Book of the Law. Here it is. Keep it on thy person and
never suffer anything to part you from it. Carry it under thy coat, yea, over
thy very heart. Puts Book in Candidate's pocket.
Now let us start on our dangerous undertaking. We are now in the valley of
Jehosophat, near the brook Kedron; the road is rough and filled with sharp
rocks. We must proceed carefully.
He is quickly and vigorously accosted by the Master at Arms.
MASTER AT ARMS as Friend, placing hand on shoulder of Candidate:
Halt! Who are you?
JUDAS: A Friend.
FRIEND: Where are you going?
JUDAS: To Jerusalem.
FRIEND: For what purpose?
JUDAS: To join the kinsmen and friends of the Maccabees who have
risen in revolt against the atrocities of Antiochus.
FRIEND, with surprise and avidity: Ah-h! I too am on my way to the
Holy City for the same purpose! Let us make haste! Straight ahead!
The Lieutenant Commander and Master at Arms hurry the Candidate over the
‘route.’ This must be done diligently in order to somewhat tire the Candidate.
If the ‘route’ has plenty of electricity it will make the ceremony more
FRIEND: Thy friend seems tired; let him be seated a moment upon this
moss covered rock.
Lieutenant Commander and Master at Arms will see that Candidate sits down
properly on the "rock."
JUDAS: What! Rested so soon! My friend is impatient to reach the
city. And, if I mistake not, there is much evidence to indicate that foreign
soldiers have been here quite recently. Let us hasten.
Immediately there is a terrible din of shouting and clashing of weapons, with
all kinds of exclamations. The Candidate is rushed around the circumference of
the room at a breakneck rate of speed, but with great care not to injure him in
any manner, while his conductors exclaim, "A detachment of soldiers is upon us!"
"We are discovered!" "We shall be slain if captured!" "We are lost!" Then the
Lieutenant Commander and Master at Arms differ as to which way to run. One says,
"Let us go this way!" The other will say "No, this way!" While thus wrangling
and pulling the Candidate first one way then another, the Lieutenant Commander
becomes separated from the Candidate. The object of thus separating the
Candidate and the Lieutenant Commander will appear presently.
Master at Arms and Candidate now run right into the detachment of Syrian
soldiers, who set up a most derisive and cruel "horse laugh," and Master at Arms
drops out of play.
FIRST SOLDIER: Well, if we haven’t another of the rebels! And in
SECOND SOLDIER: Tear off his mask and lets see what he looks like!
Tears off Candidate’s
FIRST SOLDIER: Shall we kill him or take him to the General?
SECOND SOLDIER: Why take him to the General, of course, he may be a
spy! Ha, Ha.
The other soldier agrees with a hearty laugh, and they hurry the Candidate about
the room to head of Tent, where the General has meantime taken position before
his Tent, reading his scroll, or sitting on the platform and reading there.
FIRST SOLDIER, both giving military salute: General, we have secured
another captive. The foraging band you dispatched up the valley, came upon three
miserable looking peasants and proceeded to capture them. They offered
resistance. One was slain on the spot. One defended himself in a most remarkable
manner. One undertook to run away. We caught him and have him before you.
GENERAL, looking up from his paper wearily: Let him be searched.
The Soldiers search him, and finally discover the Book.
SECOND SOLDIER: General, we find nothing but this book full of all
kinds of strange markings.
The General takes the book and examines it quickly, for during the time the
second Soldier makes his response, the other two Soldiers are bringing the
Lieutenant Commander in.
GENERAL, excitedly: Why this is the Book of the Law. He is a Maccabee!
Let him stand aside until we find out what this struggle means.
Stand the Candidate on the Electric Carpet, and put same into action when
General orders him thrown "over the wall."
THIRD SOLDIER, panting and in broken sentences: General, the squad
you sent to forage the valley came upon three peasants. One we killed. The
other escaped. One of them seemed to have the strength of a lion and the skill
of David of old. Reinforcements came to our aid else we could not have taken
him. He is covered with wounds and almost ready to die from the loss of blood.
So we brought him hither. Thinking he might be of more value to you alive than
dead, we refrained from killing him.
We bound up his wounds. In his delirium he continually called for a friend. This
we do not understand.
Question him yourself. Here is his sword stained with the blood of our comrades.
GENERAL, takes the sword without examining it,—his eyes are fastened upon Judas,
the captive: My comrades, when I report this affair to his majesty
the king, it will please me to mention your valor and skill.
Addressing Judas the captive in loud rough tone of voice.
Stand up, you murderous rebel and tell me who you are!
Lieutenant Commander, sways from side to side as if about to faint; in a moment
he drops to the floor as if dead.
GENERAL: What, refuse to answer me. Ha! Ha! You shall be made to
speak. Guards bind him that he may be made ready for the torture.
Judas struggles feebly with the Guards, who bind him in
such a way that he can free himself.
GENERAL, turning to Candidate: You trembling poltroon, you must know
who this man is pointing to the prostrate body of Judas.
Your life depends upon your answer. If you do not tell me truly you shall be
tortured until your tongue is loosened. Speak
If he refuses, more emphatically: SPEAK, I SAY, and tell me who this
traitor is or you shall be made to stiffer as no mortal ever did before.
If candidate still refuses to disclose who his friend is the General says:
GENERAL: These fellows must be friends.
If Candidate tells who his friend is, then the General says:
GENERAL: Ah! You are not only a rebel but a traitor as well, who
would betray a friend and kinsman to save his own miserable life. Yours shall be
the fate of a traitor.
In either event the General now turns and looks at Judas a moment and then his
eyes fall upon the Grecian sword, which he has, apparently, without thought,
taken by the hilt with one hand and rested the point in the palm of the other
hand. He looks at it; turns it over; raises it high above his head in both hands
and with the most frightful outburst of indignant fury, exclaims: Why
this is the sword of Apollonius ! And that must be
pointing to Lt. Commander Judas Maccabeus who killed him!
He drops or casts away the sword, so that it may be found
in about the centre of room and exclaims: Accursed blade that thou
shouldst ever serve our foes! Quickly extending his
hands towards the Soldiers, who rush upon the prostrate form of the Lieutenant
Commander ready to hack it into pieces.
NO! Brave soldiers never mangle a fallen foe! Leave him as he fell; later we
must in honor return and give him a soldier’s burial,—for he was valiant and
The sword must be lost sight of or forgotten in the confusion.
General now turns to candidate and says: But as for this poltroon,
Guards let his eyes be blinded and his body thrown over the walls as food for
the vultures and hyenas. Let it be done!
Candidate is again blindfolded. Four soldiers take him and carry him around a
little ways and then with a "one, two three" signal cast him into the sheet held
by four or six strong Sir Knights, who carry and lay him down on Electric Carpet
near Judas, wrapping sheet about him and put on the current when Judas says,
An alarm is now heard and the general shouts.
GENERAL: Ah! The enemy is upon us. Away to your posts. The Power of
Antiochus shall be felt.
General and Soldiers rush out behind curtain at foot of tent.
A few moments are passed in perfect silence. Lieutenant Commander begins to move
a little, groans as if in pain, and slowly works himself into a sitting, then
standing posture. Slowly and painfully he staggers about and as if by accident,
he stumbles over the body of the Candidate. He tears off the blindfold, listens
to his heart, etc., and says:
JUDAS: My friend! My friend! And still alive. Fortunate indeed are we
to have escaped with our lives from those cruel barbarians. I was parted from
you against my will and in spite of my best efforts.
Come, let us hasten to join the forces of the Maccabees that we may aid in the
cause of humanity, and share in the glory of their triumph. The destiny of Judea
and the liberty of its people hang in the balance.
Takes Candidate’s right arm and as they approach the sword, Judas discovers it,
stops, and as he takes it from the floor, says: Ah ! here is my
trtisty blade again.
Judas and the General may here fight a duel with swords—Judas victorious.
Turning to Candidate and holding sword aloft in his right hand, left foot on
prostrate form of General, Judas says: Thou shalt yet listen to a
proclamation of Judea’s freedom, for unto the just belongeth the victory.
Candidate is then quickly conducted to the ante-room to be prepared for the next
In this section the room will be arranged as it was in the First Degree, Section
1, the Books of the Maccabees opened at the Second Chapter of the Second Book,
and lying diagonally across it a naked sword (the sword of Appollonius), with
its hilt pointing towards the upper left hand corner of the Altar, the same to
be observed from the foot of the Altar.
Actors and Costumes
Commander as MATTATHIAS. White flowing gown, white wig and beard, sandals,
Lieutenant Commander as JUDAS. Red turban, tunic, hose or leggings and sandals.
Past Commander as JOHN, son of Mattathias. Colored flowing gown, black turban,
black beard and sandals.
Chaplain as ELEAZAR, son of Mattathias. White flowing gown, white turban and
When the Lieutenant Commander is sure that everything is in readiness, he will
so inform the Commander and retire to the ante-room and introduce the Candidate
JUDAS takes Candidate by either arm and without saying anything to him, goes to
inner door, giving any number of raps.
SENTINEL, opens the door slightly and says: Who comes?
JUDAS: Judas of the house of Mattathias, with a friend.
SENTINEL: I will inform the Venerable Sire of thy presence.
Closes the door and striking the floor twice with his heel, says:
Venerable Sire, without the inner gate stands thy son Judas with a friend.
MATT.: Let him enter with his friend.
SENTINEL, opens the door wide: Thy father bids thee enter with thy
Lieutenant Commander enters with Candidate and both stand at foot of
JUDAS: Father, I have with me a Friend who having witnessed the death
of Eleazar, and himself experienced some of the atrocities practiced upon our
people, now desires to be more intimately and firmly bound unto us by a covenant
MATT.: My son, thy friend is welcome. His object is most worthy. But
first let him listen to the further teachings of this degree, because the
lessons we would have him learn from these thrilling experiences deal with the
most sacred relations of life, and teach loyalty to country, home and friends.
JOHN: Under the Tents of our beloved Order, men of every kind and
shade of religious faith, political opinion, and philosophical doctrine, come
together; at our Altars they make the same declarations and assume the same
vows,—promising to give the influences of their lives a new and different
direction; here all differences become merged into one great purpose and lofty
sentiment: Here is the "homing place" of many kindred spirits. The philosophic
truth that, things alike in all their parts are identical, finds its highest
expression in a place like this where the best things of the moral world are the
common aim of each and all. Here, the noble of heart reveal themselves to each
other in the many little kindnesses done in each others presence; the tender
hearted discover each other by the sympathy each expresses in the presence of
the other; brotherly natures find their affinities in those who never weary in
the saying and doing of fraternal things; friendly natures, sleeping in the
lives of all men, rise in majesty to meet and salute each other.
CHAPLAIN: But be not deceived; a friend is more than a mere
acquaintance and friendship is much more than external agreeableness. Your
friend is youl other self; neither chance nor change can ever lessen his
loyalty. A friend sticketh closer than a brother. So subtle, so transcendant a
thing is friendship, that you can never by seeking find it out,—it must find
you. And you will be most sure of possessing this pearl of inestimable price by
showing yourself a friend to that which is good, and true, and just, and
merciful in the sight of God and man. Marvel not then, if in adversity you find
yourself friendless, if you have been a counterfeit yourself. Nothing is truer
than that mercy begets mercy, justice begets justice, charity begets charity,
and FRIENDLINESS BEGETS FRIENDSHIP. When He, who spake as never man spake, would
promote His associates to the highest rank he could bestow on earth, He said to
them, "Henceforth I call you not servants but I have called you friends." "Ye
have not chosen me, but I have chosen you." And so, my friend, cast out of your
mind and heart and life, all envy, hate, fraud and the secret fault that no man
but yourself may perchance know, and fit yourself for the indwelling of the
spirit of universal fellowship,—FRIENDSHIP!
Judas, my brother, you will now place our friend at the Altar, where, after
proper reflection, if he so desires, he may be bound with us in a life long
covenant of friendship.
JUDAS conducts Candidate to foot of Altar and causes him to kneel on both knees
and says: Remembering your covenant of friendship with me,
if you are now willing to make a similar covenant with all Knights of the
Maccabees of the World, and I charge that you consider well what this may mean,
you will, when you are ready, arise and say aloud "I am."
When Candidate has arisen and said, "I am," Eleazar advances to head of Altar,
takes the naked sword, hilt in right hand, point resting in the palm of the open
left hand. Candidate is instructed to place his right hand on the naked blade
and his open left hand over his heart, Mattathias then gives three raps, and
while the obligation is being given he will remove wig and beard.
ELEAZAR: Repeat after me: I do now, sincerely and solemnly promise
That I will never fail this Order, my country, my friends, nor those of my own
flesh and blood in time of danger, need, or sorrow.
That I will comfort with my sympathy and assist with my substance all worthy
members of the Order, their families and dependents who may be in sorrow or
That of them I will speak no evil, and should I see, hear, or know of anything
that threatens harm them, I will give them timely notice or warning.
To all this, I pledge my sacred honor as a Maccabee.
ALL MEMBERS, in concert: THY PLEDGE IS RECORDED!
Commander now gives one rap. Lieutenant Commander conducts Candidate to station
of Commander who will instruct him in the secret work of the degree.
COMMANDER, rising: To gain admission into a Tent open in the Degree
of Friendship, give any ordinary alarm at the outer door, and to the Picket
answering it, the Pass, in a whisper, which for the present term is …
Then give two loud raps on inner door. To the Sentinel, who will open
the wicket, you will give in a whisper your name and the Token of this Degree,
which is Amity. Entering the room, proceed to the foot of the Altar in the usual
manner. On the Altar should rest a copy of the Books of the Maccabees opened at
the second chapter of the Second Book, and resting thereon should be a Grecian
sword with the hilt resting towards your left hand and the point diagonally
downwards and towards your right. If the Altar is so dressed, you will give the
step and the salutation of the Second Degree, which is made by placing your open
right hand on the naked blade of the sword before you, and your left hand, palm
open, over your heart.
The symbolic color of this degree is red. It symbolizes the zeal of Judas
Maccabeus in his struggles for the liberation of his people, and in defense of
country, home and friends taking Candidate by the hand.
On behalf of this Tent, as well as personally, I extend to you the warm and
generous hand of friendship, and bid you welcome to all the rights and
privileges of our Second Degree,—the Degree of Friendship. Again let me remind
you, that if you would have friends in the hour of need, you must be friendly,
you must be just and true.
Members may now come forward and congratulate the Candidate on his advancement,
the Tent being at ease for a few minutes. If the Candidate is not to receive the
third I degree at this review, when the Tent is called to order, the Commander
will explain to him that he should present himself as early as possible for the
final degree—and then excuse him.
Knights of the Maccabees of the World
Ritual of the Third, or Degree of Loyalty
In this section the scene is at Modin and represents the Temptation of
Mattathias and the revolt of his House. The curtains are to remain across the
foot of the room; they should have an opening in the middle. The Tent shows none
of the regular furnishings, and the official stations are not occupied. The room
should represent a market or other public place, in a dilapidated old Jewish
The floor should be devoid of all furniture, except a rude Altar, about eight or
ten feet from curtain at foot of Tent, around which are seated on mats, rugs, or
low camp stools, five persons, representing Mattathias and four sons. The
Lieutenant Commander, who represents Judas, is to be with the Candidate. A light
should be burning on, or in front of, the Altar, all others in the room turned
down not too low. A Sir Knight should be dressed as a peasant. The Sir Knight so
costumed should remain behind the curtains, near foot of Tent, with Apelles and
his soldiers, ready to come on the floor quickly with them.
Actors and properties
APELLES—Dressed as Antiochus in the first section, without cloak or beard and
wig, with helmet instead of crown and with short sword hanging at side in belt.
MATTATHIAS—dressed as was Eleazar in the second degree, but wearing white wig
and long flowing white beard without turban and with staff.
HIS FOUR SONS—dressed as priests.
JUDAS—as in the second degree, third section.
SOLDIERS—as in the second degree.
SIR KNIGHT—as Jewish peasant.
CANDIDATE—as Jewish peasant.
SENTINEL—as a Jewish peasant armed with spear.
By the time the Candidate is ready, the floor should have been arranged. Curtain
parted at foot of Tent.
COMMANDER, as MATTATHIAS: Sir Knight Lt. Commander, be pleased to
retire and introduce the Candidate.
LT. COMMANDER, as JUDAS, rises, salutes, retires to ante room and addresses
Candidate as follows: Having served satisfactorily in the Degrees of
Protection and Friendship, you are now entitled to receive the final and highest
Degree of our beloved Order, that of LOYALTY or KNIGHTHOOD. Let us enter.
Judas takes the Candidate by the arm, and, without any side conversation, jests,
or suggestion of any kind, but in a sober and dignified manner, leads him to the
inner door, and knocks several times.
SENTINEL, opening the door slightly, says: Who comes?
JUDAS: Judas, of the house of Mattathias, with a friend.
SENTINEL: I will inform the Venerable Sire of thy presence.
Closes the door and, advancing to the opening in curtain at foot of the Tent,
strikes the floor twice with the end of his spear, saying:
SENTINEL: Venerable Sire, without the gate stands thy son Judas, with
MATTATHIAS: If he be Judas, my son, let him enter, and present his
SENTINEL, returns and opens wide the door and says: Judas, thy father
bids thee enter, and present thy friend.
They enter quietly, and stand before the opening in the curtain at foot of Tent,
and wait until Mattathias has finished his lament.
MATTATHIAS, in tones of deep distress, with head bowed on left hand:
Oh, Jerusalem! The Holy! Thy sanctuary is laid waste; thy feasts are turned into
mourning; thy Sabbath into a reproach; and thy honor into contempt. Wherefore
was I born to see this misery of my people, and the sad day when the Holy City
should be delivered into the hands of the enemy? To what end should we live any
JUDAS, as soon as all is quiet in a low voice says: Father, I have
with me a friend, who, having witnessed the death of Eleazar and having
experienced some of the atrocities practiced upon our people, bound himself
firmly unto us by a life long covenant of friendship, and who now desires to
actively engage with us in the cause of humanity.
MATTATHIAS (Those at Altar rise, the sons assisting Mattathias who tremblingly
leaning on his staff, In a feeble voice says): My son, thy friend is
welcome; but, before we accept him let him truthfully answer me.
says: Art thou true and loyal to thy home
and friends? Candidate
answers. Dost thou love thy country?
Art thou zealous of its laws? Candidate
answers. Dost thou observe them thyself?
Further art thou willing to yield up thy life, shouldst thy country or its
institutions require such a sacrifice?
Candidate answers. Kinsman,
adversity surrounds us, and the hand of calamity lies heavily upon us. Who knows
how soon thy assurances may be put to the test? Perchance, this very night ! If,
therefore, thou wouldst recall or modify them, do so now before it is too late.
At this moment a flourish of trumpets occurs, with
commotion, cheering, etc. Mattathias continuing says: The hour has
Apelles and his soldiers, also Peasant, advance from the 2 corner near the foot
of the enclosure toward the corner near the head of the enclosure. Soldiers
seize and set up Mattathias’ Altar in front of Apelles, and then take places.
There should be a small urn with alcohol burning on this altar, also some red
fire which the Peasant will light when he offers sacrifice. Then Apelles says:
APELLES: Hear ye! Hear ye! Men of Judea!
The King makes proclamation unto you. Unfolds a scroll
"I ANTIOCHUS, would have all my kingdom one people. Now, therefore, unto you it
is commanded, If that all your former laws and customs shall cease;
The Maccabees contemptuously turn away that you
shall forthwith set up Altars to Almighty Jove; and that you shall not
henceforth discriminate against the flesh of swine. In token of your compliance,
you are commanded to sacrifice before the reader these presents.
I, ANTIOCHUS, have spoken!" Folds the Scroll.
During the reading much dissatisfaction is expressed or manifested by the crowd.
Mattathias and his sons appear indignant and behave almost with daring. Apelles
looks about him and continues: By the authority in me vested by my
Illustrious Sovereign, Antiochus, I invite the men of Judea to advance and
He then places one of the red fires in the urn and burns it. None advance. Then
in a louder and more mandatory tone: In the name of the Great King, I
command that ye burn incense on this Altar!
None come forward. Apelles now seems to discover the patriarchial form of
Mattathias in the crowd.
Behold the noble Mattathias! Come venerable sire, thou of the priestly line of
Joarib, set thou an example of obedience to thy hesitating kinsmen!
MATTATHIAS in a calm but determined tone of voice: I cannot obey the
order of your king. Soldiers now pass into the crowd as if soliciting men to
advance and sacrifice.
APELLES, extending his right hand quickly, as if in warning:
Mattathias! Think first, and then make answer! Hast thou not heard why and how
the venerable Eleazar perished? Advance and sacrifice!
MATTATHIAS: All Judea hath heard of his fidelity to God and native
land, and his dying groans will echo throughout the world while time lasts. God
forbid that any of us who remain should deny what he died for. I and my house
will remain steadfast!
APELLES, argumentatively: The people of other countries have
obeyed—yea even Jason the High Priest at Jerusalem and many more of thine own
people have obeyed. Thou art a Father in Israel— thou art a man of influence and
crowned with wisdom and Honor. Bow before this Altar and thou and thy house will
find favor with the King; receive royal reward; be counted among his friends;
never want for power or gold—
Between each sentence the officer must pause an instant as if studying the
effect of the bribe on Mattathias. The proffered bribes and fulsome flattery
only serve to increase the resistance of the Maccabees. At last, interrupting
the speaker when he says "gold."
MATTATHIAS, with tremendous emphasis: I know how Joshua became High
Priest and why the vile traitor calls himself Jason! Officer of the King,—though
all the nations of the earth should obey Antiochus, and all the children of
Israel abandon the faith of our Fathers, I and my house will remain steadfast.
During this response the Apostate Jew has been preparing himself to offer
sacrifice, and now steps toward Altar sand says:
APOSTATE: General, I crave the favor of your great King Antiochus,
and would burn incense on this Altar.
He now steps forward to the Altar and as he lights the red fire and steps back a
few feet and kneels, Mattathias exclaims with tremendous emphasis:
MATTATHIAS: Traitor, thou must DIE!
So saying he brings down his staff upon the offender. Apelles leaps over the
prostrate body of the Apostate as if he would protect him and is felled by a
blow intended for the Apostate; instantly the four sons engage with the soldiers
who have taken up the attack. The lights are turned very low and the red fire is
diligently kept burning. Then the scene becomes stationary: The soldiers stand
with raised spears as if to hurl them at Mattathias, who throws back his body
and holds aloft his staff as if to protect himself; the four sons stand also in
an attitude of defense with raised If cudgels; standing thus in tableau for a
few moments, the curtain is closed and Judas addresses Candidate as follows:
JUDAS: The scene you have just witnessed, represents the revolt at
Modin. The Venerable Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, was the first man
to actively oppose the mandate of the pagan king. He not only scorned the bribes
and flatteries of the king’s officer but in a moment of uncontrollable
indignation he slew the Apostate Jew in the act of sacrificing to strange gods,
and likewise the king’s officer when he attempted to protect the miserable
traitor. Do not mistake the significance of this scene. From the heights of
Sinai the thunderous command of Jehovah still echoes through the known world.
Yes, "Thou shalt not kill," but the staff of Mattathias was not the weapon of a
murderer. Its deadly blow was not struck with the fell purpose of the assassin.
Rather did it speak the sudden impulse of the patriot, driven to desperation by
the wrongs inflicted upon his country and his people, maddened by the craven
hypocrisy of an erstwhile Friend and follower, and fired with an unselfish zeal
to strike for the liberty of his countrymen, avenge their wrecked hopes and
ruined homes, and hold aloft the sacred traditions of his fathers.
Learn from this terrific scene a lesson in genuine - patriotism, and see in it
your duty to uphold and defend the rights of liberty and conscience when they
are threatened by irresponsible power in any form, regardless of what the
destroyer would promise or give in its stead. Let us retire.
Judas retires to ante-room with Candidate and returns to the room to prepare for
the next section.
This section represents a scene in the valley of Jehosaphat not far from the
brook of Kedron. It is assumed that, an interval of three years has elapsed
since the first journey towards Jerusalem, dramatized in the Second Degree,
Section 2. The room must be very bare of furnishings, and, if possible, made to
look like the natural scenery of a rocky valley. Light quite low.
Actors and Costumes
Selected Sir Knight as GHOST. Dressed, or wrapped, in a white mantle and wearing
on his head an Effigy of a grinning skull; on hands, pair of white gloves. One
of the qualifications for the part, is the possession of a deep voice that can
be heard and understood in all parts of the room.
Lt. Commander as JUDAS MACCABEUS. Dressed in the garb of a warrior returning
from the conflicts and hardships of three years war.
CANDIDATE—In garb of a Jewish soldier of lesser rank than Judas.
The Altar erected near middle of room and covered with a large square piece of
black cloth, split at the head so as to easily inclose the "Ghost."
When everything is in readiness, the Lt. Commander retires to where the
Candidate is in waiting and, conducting him into room without ceremony, says:
JUDAS: My friend: It is supposed that a period of three years has
passed, and the solemn events of a bloody war concluded, since we last entered
the valley of the brook Kedron.
During all of this response, the Lt. Commander and Candidate will slowly pass
around the circumference of the room. He must point out the various objects
How dark the night is, and yet, how familiar the surroundings seem! Can we ever
forget the night we first traveled this way! The rough road we tried to follow;
the moss cushioned stone; our capture by a band of bloodthirsty pagans; the
cruel tortures they inflicted; the death of one of our number; our miraculous
escape! Tonight we return by the same route, but in very different spirits. The
war has ended, the tyrant has been overthrown, and the Light of Liberty is about
to dawn upon our beloved land.
At this time, it is proper to imitate the dawn by increasing the light in the
We must be nearing the brook Kedron. Is not that dark object against the eastern
sky, the wall of Solomon.
They halt and look towards the reddening sky. At time the Chorus to "The Holy
City" could be sung with effect. After this they resume their walk and on co
within a few steps of the draped Altar, Lt. Commander says: AH! Not
all of the Altars of our Fathers have been overthrown! Shall we not tarry a
moment and offer up our devotions before this sacred shrine?
They kneel upon both knees. At that instant the "Ghost" slowly rises and in
slow, distinct whisper, if possible says:
GHOST: O my friends, I am glad of your return. I am he that was
ELEAZAR. Ye saw me scourged to death. Here now lie my bones. Beneath many Altars
like this one, repose the bones of count-less widows and orphans, still the
constant care of the Maccabees! Ye return from many a hard fought battle and
about to take part in giving to Judea her first independence and to the world
the first Republic. Great shall be your well earned reward! Go now and give what
remains of life to the noble work of perfecting constitutional government and
universal liberty. Neglect not the cry of the widow, the plaint of the orphan,
the silence of disabled warriors. GO! GO!
JUDAS asks Candidate to repeat after him: Venerable spirit of
Patriotism, Piety and Humanity! W shall heed thy counsel till the night of death
closes over us!
They rise and silently retire to ante-room.
This section of the work can be made very impressive and beautiful. No effort
should be spared in dressing and conferring it in keeping with its
possibilities. Nothing, except the financial strength of the Tent, should limit
the amount or the quality of the display. Let these directions then be carefully
studied, and the dramatic part thoroughly mastered.
The Tent should be cleared of everything used in the preceding sections and
arranged as for general reviews. The banners should be on each side of the
Actors and properties
COMMANDER—wearing the costume of Antiochus; but having, instead of the crown, a
rich turban, and without beard and wig.
PAST COMMANDER—In rich costume, as high priest.
CHAPLAIN—as priest in first section, but without beard.
LIEUT. COMMANDER, MASTER AT ARMS, SERGEANT, and CANDIDATE—as warriors, dressed
as soldiers were in first section.
RECORD KEEPER, and PHYSICIAN, as priests in white robes, MASTERS OF THE GUARDS,
and SENTINEL— as peasants.
All in this procession must wear at least a gown and a turban.
Furniture—consists of number of imitation palm branches, spears, swords,
cymbals, tambourines, reeds, trumpets, etc.
When everything is in readiness, Sir Knights in costume should form in double
file in order, leaving a space for the Lieutenant Commander and Candidate to
fall into the ranks behind M. of G. The musician takes his place at the
instrument; the Sentinel and the Picket remain at their stations. At a given
signal, the inner door is thrown wide open. Lieut. Commander with Candidate
comes marching in and join the ranks.
A triumphal march is played. The "Coronation March," from Meyerbeer’s Opera,
"The Prophet," is appropriate; or "The Conquering Hero Comes," will be found
very easy to sing and very fitting. The procession then starts.
They should be about two paces apart in the line and should march around the
hail twice. In the second circuit, the officers, as they reach their respective
stations, step out of the ranks and occupy them, Past Commander first. At the
end of the circuit, all will have taken their places, except the Lieut.
Commander and Candidate, who, when they reach the Sergeant’s station, wheel to
the right and march straight up to the Altar.
In lieu of a "march" the following, from the Oratorio of Judas Maccabeus, may be
See the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Songs of triumph to him sing.
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Songs of triumph to him sing.
Or the following:
HAIL, VALIANT CAPTAIN!
Hail, valiant captain, hail
Lay down thy coat of mail,
Assume thy right.
And now in many a fold
The angry war clouds rolled,
Enter with joy untold,
In Honor’s might.
CHORUS— Lion of Judah, hail!
And let thy name prevail
From age to age.
And with the rolling years,
Claim for thy own the spheres,
For great is Judas, strong and brave—
Victor in this great war,
We hail thy rising star
Of fame and renown.
Blow loud the trumpet, blow,
Wider yon portals throw,
Enter triumphant now,
Accept thy crown!
If the above song is sung, the marching should be in perfect step with it and
both so timed, or a verse of the chorus repeated, as to enable the procession to
pass around the room twice. The second round having been completed the Lieut.
Commander will proceed to the foot of the Altar with his charge and face head of
room. The ceremony continues as follows:
COMMANDER, one rap: Welcome, Judas Maccabeus, thrice welcome art thou! What
tidings from the front?
JUDAS, saluting: Sir Knight Commander, the power of Antiochus has been broken!
His cruel reign is over! The light of liberty has dawned and the night of
bondage is past! JUDEA IS FREE!
The musicians now start a verse or two of "America," or any patriotic song, in
which all present should join.
My country, ‘tis of thee—
Sweet land of liberty—
Of thee I sing!
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrim’s pride,
From every mountain side,
Let freedom ring.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble, free,
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills,
My heart with rapture thrills,
Like that above!
Our Father’s God, to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom’s holy light,
Protect us by thy might,
Great God, our King!
COMMANDER, one rap: To the patriotism of thy father, Mattathias, we
owe the beginning of the great war, but unto thee, Judas Maccabeus, is due the
honor of having achieved its victories. How can we best express our gratitude
and the acclaim of generations yet unborn, for this blessed occasion?
JUDAS: Let us not mar the glory of our miraculous triumph by
indulging in any vain praise or empty ceremony. Let us perpetuate the virtues
which our fathers have worshipped for a thousand years and which destiny has now
placed as a sacred trust in our keeping,—freedom of man’s body, mind, and soul
and, the spirit of a universal brotherhood. Let us strongly bind ourselves in a
bond of fraternal love in order to better aid one another and protect the widows
and orphans of our departed brothers. Let us make a covenant with all mankind
that as long as Knights of the Maccabees live in this world, the divine
endowment of genuine fraternalism shall not perish in the earth!
And I crave the privilege, Sir Knight Commander, to recommend for the honors of
Maccabean Knighthood, this friend—tried and true—who has journeyed with me under
the silent stars and stood by my side in the shock of many a bloody battle.
COMMANDER: This last act of thine is greater than any victory thou
didst ever win in battle. To defer to a friend is nobler than to wear a crown;
and he that ruleth his own spirit is greater than he that taketh a city! Friend
of Judas Maccabeus, if you would accept this generous offer, you must first be
bound with us in a never ending covenant of loyalty to the principles for which
Maccabeeism stands. Are you willing?
Each Candidate answers, "I am."
Lieut. Commander causes Candidate to stand with his left foot advanced, right
hand resting on book and circle, left hand over heart. Commander gives three
raps. All Sir Knights rise, give "token of sincerity," and stand with left foot
Chaplain advances to head of Altar. At this moment the members and musicians
will sing the following ode. After the ode, the obligation:
HEAR OUR VOW.
Father, hear this solemn vow;
Grant thy presence near us now!
On Honor’s mountain heights display
Thy Justice of the better day,
The Justice of this latter day!
CHAPLAIN: You will now repeat after me. "I voluntarily promise, in
the presence of these Sir Knights, that I will be as true to my faith, my
country, my people, and myself as was Judas Maccabeus to his religious,
political, and personal duties,—and like him, to the best of my knowledge and
ability, I will ever defend what is just, and right, and true.
Further: I will always uphold the dignity, good name, and influence, and will
never impugn the motives of a member, here or elsewhere, nor permit it to be
done by another person without protest.
Further: I will bear with modesty and administer with strict integrity each and
every trust, official or other, committed to my care or confidence.
Should I intentionally ever violate this my solemn vow of Knighthood, may the
fingers of my left hand be struck off at the knuckle joint, and I thus forever
afterwards be unable to prove myself a Knight of the Maccabees of the World!
The choir again sings, "Hear Our Vow," after which the Commander seats the
members. Chaplain returns to his station. Lieutenant Commander seats Candidate
in front of Commander’s station who immediately instructs him in the
COMMANDER, arises: I will now instruct you in the secret work of this
(1) To gain admission into a Tent open in the Degree of Loyalty, give any number
of raps at the outer door. The Picket will open the door, or wicket, and to him
you will give in a whisper, the Pass—which for the present term is …
This will admit you into the ante-room, where you must place on your left breast
the regulation badge, then give three loud raps on the inner door. The Sentinel
will open the wicket and to him you will give in a whisper, your name, and the
Token of this Degree, which is Obedience. This will admit you into the Tent.
(2) If you are within the Tent when the same is being opened in this Degree, you
will, at the proper time and when so requested, give both the Pass and
the Token to the Record Keeper or Guards as the case may be.
Having been admitted into the room, advance by way of the Sergeant’s station
(turning square corners) to the foot of the Altar on which should rest a copy of
the Laws of the Order, a copy of the Books of the Maccabees opened at the Third
Chapter of the Second hook and a circle resting on both books. If the Altar is
not so arranged, give no sign, but ask why the Tent is not opened in regular
form. If correctly arranged, give the step and salutation sign of this degree to
the Sir Knight Commander, at the same time saying: "Sir Knight Commander." He
will recognize you by a nod of the head, or a wave of the hand or gavel. Then
you will be at liberty to take your seat.
(3) The Salutation sign of this degree is given by clasping the two middle
fingers of the left hand with the thumb, extending the two outside fingers and
raising the hand to the level of the face, palm of hand to the front, the arm
forming a right angle. This is also the voting sign.
(4) The Recognition sign is given by clasping the two middle fingers of the left
hand in the palm with the thumb extending the index and little fingers and
placing the hand in any position in which it can be plainly seen. The answer is
made by clasping the index and little fingers in the palm and extending the two
middle fingers, thus—.
(5) The Ladies Recognition Sign, used by members of The Ladies of the Maccabees,
and Knights of the Maccabees in common, is made by clasping the third or ring
finger of the left hand with the thumb, extending the other three fingers as
much as possible, and placing the hand in any position in which it can be
plainly seen, thus . This challenge is used by the ladies only. The answer is
given in the same manner.
(6) The Token of Sincerity is made by placing the open left hand over the heart
thus ... It must always be given standing and when addressed by, or when you
yourself are addressing any officer of the Order within a regularly opened Tent.
(7) When you wish to make or second a motion, or address the Tent, you must rise
to your feet, give the Token of Sincerity and say: "Sir Knight Commander." You
have no right to begin to speak until you have so addressed the presiding
officer and been recognized by him.
(8) The test word is Seebaccam, which is Maccabees spelled backwards; and, in
testing a stranger, he must commence the spelling. He gives the first letter,
and you the next; and so on, turn about, until spelled. Then pronounce in
syllables; he, the first syllable, you the next, and so on. And, when finished,
he pronounces the whole word. For your instruction I will test the Sergeant.
The Commander and the Sergeant should then go through with the test word.
(9) Grind Honors, given to Supreme or Great officers, are made by giving the
ordinary military salute with the right hand and at the same time giving the
Token of Sincerity.
(10) White is the particular color of the Third Degree and symbolizes the
unsullied character of Judas Maccabeus, who conducted to a successful
termination a most cruel and bloody war without having committed a single crime!
(11) The emblems of our Order are the circle and the Globe. The circle is
universally regarded as symbolic of eternity,—it has no ending. So let it be
with the vows you have taken and noble duties you have assumed. Keep inviolate
every promise you have made to us and then, wherever you may find yourself on
the face of the Globe and find another who has taken the same vows, you will
always find a brother.
You will now listen to the counsel of our Past Commander.
Lieut. Commander conducts Candidate to Past Commander’s station and seats him.
PAST COMMANDER, arises: My brother, in the First Degree you were
informed that The Knights of the Maccabees of the World is a great fraternal
business co-partnership founded on HONOR. In that Degree, your first step on the
way to Maccabean Knighthood, we magnified the sentiment of HONOR and emphasized
some of the more pertinent rules and laws of good business; for without HONOR
there can be no Fraternalism that is worthy the name, and without the strict
observance of certain regulations and principles there can be no safe business
conduct. Therefore we make HONOR the central thought of the Degree of
Protection, because it is the foundation of the Mystic Temple we call our Order.
In the Second Degree, we sought to impress upon your heart and mind the
importance and power of FRIENDSHIP. We make FRIENDSHIP the governing ideal of
the Second Degree, because it is the Mystic Temple we build on, the enduring
foundation of Human Honor.
In this, the Degree of Loyalty, we teach, both by precept and example, the hard
but glorious lesson of OBEDIENCE. We inculcate and demand an obedient and hearty
allegiance to every duty which you, as a rational being, owe to God and to
humanity. We expect you to faithfully keep every vow taken at our Altar. We
expect you to respond like a man to every demand of righteousness, civil duty,
human affection, and personal purity. He who is obedient to the behests of these
duties, and honestly tries to discharge them, is Truth’s knight militant and
God’s ambassador to needy humanity. He who bravely tries to live like that, will
walk with steady tread along the lofty pathway of self denial and universal
service, first trod by the Son of Man. Me who thus diligently strives, though he
may not fully achieve, will yet be crowned of God and surely live in the
affection of those who come after him. This is not the work of a sluggard or a
coward, but of a genuine man. We make OBEDIENCE the Master Key of the Degree of
Loyalty, because it is the Soul of our Mystic Temple built on the enduring
foundation of Human Honor.
Would you become one of earth’s truly great ones? Make HONOR your teacher. Would
you make joyous and straight the crooked paths of sorrow and hardship? Be
FRIENDLY,—Be Kind. Would you be a leader in the Republic of Man? Be the
faithful, honest servant of everything that is good and just and true. Let now
this Trinity abide with you; HONOR, FRIENDSHIP, OBEDIENCE—But the greatest of
these is OBEDIENCE.
Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, conduct our kinsman to the Commander’s station,
there to receive Knighthood.
Lieut. Commander conducts Candidate to Commander’s station, causes him to kneel
on his left knee, with his right knee raised in front of him and his right hand
resting thereon, removes helmet, and says:
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, our kinsman awaits your
COMMANDER: In commemoration of the Valor,
touches Candidate’s right shoulder with blade of sword Friendship
touches Candidate’s left shoulder with blade of sword
and Obedience touches top of Candidate’s head with
blade of sword and allowing it to rest there until he orders him to arise,
of Judas Maccabeus, one of the first fruits of genuine chivalry, and by the
authority in me vested as Commander of this Tent, I now dub, create and proclaim
you a Knight of the Maccabees of the World. ARISE, SIR KNIGHT, and stand erect
among your equals.
Returns to his station and declares a short recess. During which the Sir Knight
should receive the congratulations of the members.