Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta
Fifth Degree - Blue
Ceremony of Initiation
order of business having been disposed of, should there he candidates to
receive the Blue Degree, the Sir Knight Commander will say:
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, what is the particular cause of our
Sir Knight Commander, knightly association, the propagation of our Order, and
the advancement of such worthy Companions as are desirous thereof.
Knight Warder, ascertain if there be any such in the preparation room, by
raising the wicket and inquiring of the Sentinel.
having done so:
Sir Knight Commander, there are.
Knights Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens, retire to the preparation
room, prepare and introduce the candidate(s).
officers then retire to the preparation room and prepare each candidate as
follows: He is divested of his outer clothing and invested with a pair of blue
drawers or overalls. He is handed a small pickaxe, which he will carry upon
his shoulder. He will also be blindfolded. The Captain General then leaves the
candidate in charge of the Senior and Junior Wardens, re-enters the Council
Chamber, and announces as follows:
Sir Knight Commander, the
candidate is duly prepared and ready to be received.
will then rap the number of the degree * * * * upon the door of the
preparation room, to signify that all is in readiness in the Council Chamber.
The Senior Warden then gives * * * * loud raps upon the door of the Council
Chamber, and the Warder will say:
Sir Knight Commander, there
is an alarm from the Sentinel.
Sir Knight Commander:
Ascertain the cause.
then give * * * * raps, opens the door of the preparation room and says:
Who comes here to
disturb the peace and harmony of this duly convoked Blue Commandery?
Warden: A true
and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first four degrees of our
Order, now desires to be advanced to the dignity of a Companion of the Blue
How does he expect to gain admission?
Warden: By the
benefit of a password.
Has he that password?
No, but I have it for him.
Advance and give it.
gives the entrance password to the Warder.
The pass is right. I will acquaint the Sir Knight Commander with his request.
will then close the door.
Sir Knight Commander, there is without a true and worthy Sir Knight who,
having received the first four degrees of our Order, now desires to be
advanced to the dignity of a Companion of the Blue Degree.
recommendation has he?
The entrance password of this degree, which has been presented for him by the
Senior Warden of this Commandery.
vouched for by our Senior Warden, his claim is just. You have therefore my
command to permit the candidate to enter.
is then admitted into the Council Chamber, and conducted slowly around the
room, the Prelate at the same time reading as follows:
And David lifted up his eyes
and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the earth and the heaven, having a
drawn sword in his hand stretched out over Jerusalem. Then the angel of the
Lord commanded Gad to say to David, that David should go up, and set up an
altar unto the Lord, in the threshing-floor or Ornan the Jebusite. * * * And
David built there an altar unto the Lord, and offered burnt offerings and
peace offerings, and called upon the Lord: and He answered him from heaven by
fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
Prelate reads, “by fire upon the altar,” etc , the room will he darkened and
flue will be applied to gum camphor or alcohol previously prepared upon the
altar, and at the same instant the blindfold will he removed from the
candidate’s eyes a moment and then replaced. The candidate will then be
conducted to a transparency of “The angel of the Lord with a drawn sword,”
when the blindfold is again removed and the Generalissimo says:
What do you now see?
angel standing between the earth and the heaven.
What does it represent
represents the angel of the Lord who appeared unto David, the son of Jesse,
and directed him to the place where the temple should be built.
is then blindfolded and conducted to the Sir Knight Commander, who wilt say:
Companion, at the
building of the temple, the three masters possessed a firm belief that if the
children of Israel continued not in the belief of the Supreme Judge, and
refused to obey His commands, their enemies would be let loose against them,
their city and temple be sacked and destroyed, and themselves be carried into
captivity; and thus the knowledge of the arts and sciences, together with the
patterns and valuable models which were contained in the temple, and the
original writings of Moses, would thus be forever lost. To prevent such a
great catastrophe, they agreed to build a secret vault under ground, to lead
from King Solomon’s most retired private apartment, in a due west course, and
to end directly under the Sanctum Sanctorum or Holy of Holies, the vault or
passage to be divided into nine separate compartments or arches.
After the Babylonish
captivity of threescore and ten years, the children of Israel returned and
rebuilt their temple, and in doing so they discovered this secret vault, and
the treasures it contained. Companion, you will now travel through the nine
arches in search of those valuable treasures and records, which were once lost
to the world for upward of seventy years.
will then be conducted to the entrance to the vault or archway, and instructed
how to proceed, by striking the first arch with his pickaxe, and in passing
through the other arches, which must be traveled on his knees.
through the nine arches, the hoodwink will be removed, and he discovers the
ark of the covenant, in which he will find the Holy Bible between the square
and compasses, tied together with blue ribbon.
them in his hands he will rise to his feet, and the Sir Knight Commander will
address him, saying:
Companion, the treasure
which was there discovered was the Holy Ark, on which was engraved the name of
God, and in which was found the only remaining book of the law, which had it
not been for the wisdom of King Solomon, in building this secret vault or
treasure house, would have been lost forever. Companion, if you still desire
to further advance in the mysteries of this degree, it now becomes necessary
that you be re-blindfolded and placed in proper position to receive the solemn
obligation of this degree, by kneeling on your right knee, with the back of
your left hand resting on your left knee. A square will be placed on the palm
of your left hand, and on the square will be placed the Holy Bible, on which
will be laid a pair of compasses, and upon the compasses you will place your
right hand, palm down, the square, Bible and compasses thus being between your
Warden should see that the above instructions are complied with at the moment
the Sir Knight Commander utters them.
Commander, * * *:
Companion, if you are
willing to take the obligation of this degree, repeat your name in full and
say after me:
Knight, do solemnly and sincerely vow and swear, by what is above, below,
betwixt and between, that I will ever conceal and never reveal, nor in any way
make known, any of the signs, secrets or mysteries of the Blue Degree to any
one who is not entitled to receive the same. I also swear that the sacred word
given, which was lost and found, shall never be revealed by me to any one
except to a Companion of this degree; and to him only after strict trial and
due examination, so that I shall be fully convinced that he also has traveled
through the nine arches and gazed into the Sanctum Sanctorum. So help me God,
and keep me faithful in this my solemn vow.
Companion, kiss the Holy Bible which is between your hands.
Warden will remove the blindfold and assist the candidate to rise, placing him
so that he will stand facing the Sir Knight Commander who will say:
notwithstanding your efforts, you have not as yet attained all the mysteries
of this degree. The volume you have just discovered is the infallible Word of
God. We seek, however, still greater results we are striving to find, if
possible, the source of all truth, the foundation of supreme consolation,
which as yet is but imperfectly revealed. Companion, will you assist me in
Companion, you will now be again blindfolded, to represent the spiritual
darkness in which you are enshrouded, and you will then travel in search of
Light and the True Word.
Warden will reblindfold and then conduct the candidate slowly around the
Council Chamber, the Prelate at the same time reading:
Now when Jesus was born in
Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the King, behold, there came wise men
from the east to Jerusalem, saying, Where is he that is born King of the Jews?
For we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship him. When Herod
the King had heard these things, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.
And when he had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people
together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. And they said unto
him, In Bethlehem of Judea: for thus it is written by the prophet, And thou
Bethlehem, in the land of Juda, art not least among the princes of Juda, for
out of thee shall come a Governor, that shall rule my people Israel. Then
Herod, when he had privily called the wise men, inquired of them diligently
what time the star appeared. And he sent them to Bethlehem, and said, Go and
search diligently for the young child; and when ye have found him, bring me
word again, that I may come and worship him also. When they had heard the
king, they departed; and lo, the star which they saw in the east went before
them, till it came and stood over where the young child was. When they saw the
star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the
house, they saw the young child with Mary, his mother, and fell down, and
worshipped him: and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto
him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.
Prelate concludes his reading, the candidate will he conducted to a
transparency of the star, the blindfold will he removed, and the Generalissimo
asks the candidate the following questions:
Companion, do you see
prompted: I do.
What do you see?
prompted: A star.
what is the star an emblem?
child’s star, or the star which guided the wise men of the east to Jerusalem,
and stood over where the young child lay.
ode is then sung:
While shepherds watched their flocks by night,
All seated on the ground,
The angel of the Lord came
And glory shone around.
To you in David’s town this
Is born, of David’s line,
The Saviour who is Christ
And this shall be the sign.
singing of the ode, the candidate will be again blindfolded and conducted to
the ark, on each of the four corners of which is a light. The candidate should
stand facing the Sir Knight Commander. The Prelate will then read:
In the beginning was the
Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the
beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any
thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men.
And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not.
Prelate concludes his reading, the Senior Warden removes the blindfold, and
the candidate beholds the ark and four lights properly arranged:
Companion, how many lights do you see?
four lights represent the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They
are also the number of this degree.
All lights in
the room will now he turned low, and a transparency of the square, compasses
and letter G will be shown in front of the candidate, and if possible it
should be over the Sir Knight Commander’s station The Sir Knight Commander
will then say:
Companion, the symbols of this degree, which you see displayed before you, are
the square, compasses and the letter G. They refer to the treasure discovered
in the secret vault beneath the Sanctum Sanctorum; the book of the law,
represented by the letter, being found between the square and compasses. The
letter G is also an emblem of the great and mighty grand password of this
degree, as will be explained in the lecture.
The entrance password of
this degree is ... In using it, your mind will recur to the scenes of
Bethlehem to the infant wrapped in swaddling clothes, and to the early life of
our Divine Lord upon earth. Our likeness unto Him in humanity will be
demonstrated thereby; and our confidence be increased to go daily unto Him,
and to seek His assistance in leading a pure and holy life. I will now
instruct you in the remaining secret work of this degree.
Knight Commander then instructs the candidate in the grip, hailing sign, raps
and passwords. The Senior and Junior Wardens, or other Companions, will repeat
Why do you wear that Robe?
That Blue Robe?
As a sign or token of the Blue Order.
Where are you from?
And whither are you
To the west.
Did you see anything as you travelled?
The star that guided the wise men from the east and stood over where the young
Have you the entrance password of the Blue Degree?
Will you give it to me?
I will if you begin.
J... Why do you, as a member of the Blue Order, take T... C ... J... for your
Because he was the root and offspring of David, and the bright and morning
Did David see more than any other man?
And David lifted up his eyes, and saw the angel of the Lord stand between the
earth and the heaven, having a drawn sword in his hand and stretched out over
Have you a number?
What is your number?
The four evangelists.
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
Did they receive any commission?
What was it ?
Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature, baptizing
them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, beginning at Jerusalem.
Have you the sacred word
of the Blue Degree?
W ill you give it to me?
No; but, finding you to be a true and worthy brother, I will letter it; so you
C... Why do you take G... for the sacred word?
Because G... was the Word that was lost, and G... was the Word that was found.
Where was it lost and found?
It was lost at the building, and repairing of King Solomon’s temple.
How was it found?
There occurred an upheaval of the earth which rent the temple in twain, and
one of the men employed in repairing the rent found a scroll on which was
written “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the
Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by
Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”
Have you the central password?
Give it to me.
The Sir Knight Commander will deliver the following
Charge to the Candidate
Sir Knight Commander:
Companion, the degree you have just received relates especially to the birth
of our Divine Lord at Bethlehem in Judea. It is calculated to bring us into
more immediate contact with the Church of Christ, and is the most important
and glorious in its results to the human family of all those you have hitherto
received. Man, by nature prone to sin, at the time of our Saviour’s advent was
steeped in iniquity and vice; when God, remembering His promise to Abraham
that in his seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed, sends His
only Son into a sinful world, subjects Him to the temptations of Satan, to
become in the end a sacrifice for our sins, and the means of our redemption.
How great the love and goodness of the Almighty, as evinced by this act of
parental care of His people! In a previous degree you have seen how, with
signs and wonders, He guided Israel to the promised land. You have now seen
how His angel indicated to His servant David the very site where the temple
was afterward erected. You have also seen how the only remaining book of the
law was preserved to the world, through the wisdom of King Solomon, and have
also beheld the star which guided the wise men of the east to the manger where
was laid the infant Jesus, the true Word, who Himself becomes the “bright and
morning star” to guide the whole human race who put their trust in Him to the
Christian’s land of promise, eternal in the heavens.