Ancient Illustrious Order Knights of Malta
Ninth Degree – Knight of the Green

 Ceremony of Initiation
 
The previous Order of business having been disposed of, should there be one or more candidates to receive the Knight of the Green Degree, the Sir Knight Commander will say: Sir Knight Warder, what is the particular cause of our assembling here?
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, knightly association, the propagation of our Order, and the advancement of such worthy Companions as are desirous thereof.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knight Warder, ascertain if there be any such in the preparation room, by raising the wicket and inquiring of the Sentinel.
Warder, having done so: Sir Knight Commander, there are giving number.
Sir Knight Commander: Sir Knights Captain General, Senior and Junior Wardens, retire to the preparation room, prepare and introduce the candidate.
These officers then retire to the preparation room, and the candidate is prepared as follows: He is divested of his outer clothing, and invested with a green robe, and blindfolded. He is then conducted to the door of the Council Chamber. 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.
The Warder will then rap the number of the degree * on the door of the preparation room, to signify that all is in readiness in the Council Chamber. The Senior Warden then gives * loud rap upon the door of the Council Chamber, and the Warder says: Sir Knight Commander, there is an alarm from the Sentinel.
Sir Knight Commander: Ascertain the cause.
The Warder then gives * rap, opens the door of the preparation room, and says: Who comes here to disturb the peace and harmony of this duly convoked Commandery of Knights of the Green?
Senior Warden: A true and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first eight degrees of our Order, now desires to be advanced to the Knight of the Green Degree.
Warder: How does he expect to gain admission?
Senior Warden: By the benefit of a password.
Warder: Has he that password?
Senior Warden: No, but I have it for him.
Warder: Advance and give it.
Senior Warden gives entrance password to the Warder.
Warder: The pass is right. I will acquaint the Sir Knight Commander with his request.
Warder will then close the door.
Warder: Sir Knight Commander, there is without a true and worthy Sir Knight who, having received the first eight degrees of our Order, now desires to be advanced to the Knight of the Green Degree.
Sir Knight Commander: What recommendation has he?
Warder: The entrance password of this degree, which has been presented for him by the Senior Warden of this Commandery.
Sir Knight Commander: Being vouched for by our Senior Warden, his claim is just. You therefore have my command to permit the candidate to enter.
The Senior Warden and the candidate then enter the Council Chamber and pass once around the room, when they are accosted by the Generalissimo, who demands: Where are you from?
Candidate, prompted: The plains eastward of Eden.
Generalissimo: Whither are you going?
Candidate, prompted: To Mount Ararat.
Generalissimo: How do you expect to get there?
Candidate, prompted: By the benefit of a password.
Generalissimo: Will you give it to me?
Candidate, prompted: I will if you begin.
The Senior Warden and the Generalissimo then divide the password, and the Generalissimo says: The pass is right. Pass on.
The candidate is then conducted slowly around the room, the Prelate reading.
Prelate: And God saw that the wickedness of man was very great in the earth and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repenteth me that I have made them. But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. And God said unto Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth.
The candidate is then led before a transparency of “God tells Noah to build an ark,” the blindfold is raised and the Prelate continues reading, as follows: Make thee an ark of gopher wood; rooms shalt thou make in the ark, and shalt pitch it within and without with pitch. And this is the fashion which thou shalt make it of: The length of the ark shall be three hundred cubits, the breadth of it fifty cubits, and the height of it thirty cubits. A window shalt thou make to the ark, and in a cubit shalt thou finish it above; and the door of the ark shalt thou set in the side thereof; with lower, second and third stories shalt thou make it. And, behold, I, even I, do bring a flood of waters upon the earth, to destroy all flesh, wherein is the breath of life, from under heaven; and everything that is in the earth shall die. But with thee will I establish my covenant; and thou shalt come into the ark, thou, and thy sons, and thy wife, and thy sons’ wives with thee.
The blindfold is then lowered and the candidate is conducted slowly around the room and halted before the transparency of “Noah with his family and animals entering the ark,” The blindfold is raised, and the Prelate reads: And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. Of every clean beast thou shalt take to thee by sevens, the male and his female; and the beasts that are not clean by two, the male and his female. Of fowls also of the air by sevens, the male and the female; to keep seed alive upon the face of the earth. For yet seven days, and I will cause it to rain upon the earth forty days and forty nights: and every living substance that I have made will I destroy from off the face of the earth. And Noah did according unto all that the Lord commanded him.
The blindfold is lowered and the candidate is again conducted slowly around the room and brought before a transparency of “The interior of the ark,” the blindfold is raised, and the Prelate reads: And it came to pass after seven days, that the waters of the flood were upon the earth. In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, the seventh day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened. And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth. And the waters prevailed, and were increased greatly upon the earth; and the ark went upon the face of the waters; And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth and all the high hills, that were under the whole heaven, were covered. Fifteen cubits upward did the waters prevail; and the mountains were covered. And all flesh died that moved upon the earth, both of fowl and of cattle, and of beast, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth, and every man: All in whose nostrils was the breath of life, of all that was in the dry land, died. And every living substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man and cattle, and the creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven; and they were destroyed from the earth, and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark. And the waters prevailed upon the earth a hundred and fifty days.
The blindfold is lowered and the candidate is again conducted slowly around the room and brought before a transparency of “The ark on the waters.” The blindfold is again raised, and the Generalissimo says to the candidate: Companion, what do you now see?
Candidate, prompted: The ark upon the waters.
Generalissimo: This represents the chosen vessel of the Almighty, in which was preserved all that remained alive of the human family at the flood.
The blindfold is again lowered and the candidate is conducted slowly around the room, the Prelate at the same time reading: And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that were with him in the ark; and God made a wind to pass over the earth, and the waters assuaged. The fountains also of the deep and the windows of heaven were stopped, and the rain from heaven was restrained, and the waters returned from off the earth continually; and after the end of the hundred and fifty days the waters were abated. And the ark rested in the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, upon the mountain of Ararat. And the waters decreased continually until the tenth month; in the tenth month, on the first day of the month, was the top of the mountain seen. And it came to pass at the end of forty days, that Noah opened the window of the ark which he had made: And he sent forth a raven, which went forth to and fro, until the waters were dried up from off the earth. Also he sent forth a dove from him, to see if the waters were abated from off the face of the ground. But the dove found no rest for the sole of her foot, and she returned unto him into the ark; for the waters were on the face of the whole earth. Then he put forth his hand, and took her, and pulled her unto him into the ark. And he stayed yet other seven days; and again he sent forth the dove out of the ark.
The candidate is then brought before a transparency of the “Return of the dove,” and the Prelate reads: And the dove came in to him in the evening; and lo, in her mouth was an olive leaf plucked off: so Noah knew that the waters were abated from off the earth. And he stayed yet other seven days, and sent forth the dove, which returned not again unto him any more. And it came to pass in the six hundredth and first year, in the first month, the first day of the month, the waters were dried up from off the earth; and Noah removed the covering of the ark, and looked, and behold, the face of the ground was dry. And in the second month, on the seven and twentieth day of the month, was the earth dried. And God spake unto Noah, saying: Go forth of the ark, thou and thy wife, and thy sons, and thy sons’ wives with thee. Bring forth with thee every living thing that is with thee, of all flesh, both of fowl and of cattle, and of every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth; that they may breed abundantly in the earth, and be fruitful, and multiply upon the earth. And Noah went forth, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons’ wives with him: Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark.
The blindfold is then lowered and the candidate is again conducted slowly around the room and brought before a transparency of “Noah’s sacrifice”. The blindfold is raised, and the Prelate reads: And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. And the Lord smelled a sweet savour; and the Lord said in his heart, I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; neither will I again smite any more every thing living, as I have done. While the earth remaineth, seed time and harvest, and cold and heat, and summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.
And God spake unto Noah, and to his sons with him, saying: And I, behold, I establish my covenant with you, and with your seed after you; And with every living creature that is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every beast of the earth. And I will establish my covenant with you; neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood; neither shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. And God said, This is the token of the covenant which I make between me and you, and every living creature that is with you, for perpetual generations. I do set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be for a token of a covenant between me and the earth. And it shall come to pass, when I bring a cloud over the earth, that the bow shall be seen in the cloud; And I will remember my covenant, which is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. And the bow shall be in the cloud; and I will look upon it that I may remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is upon the earth. And God said unto Noah, This is the token of the covenant which I have established between me and all flesh that is upon the earth.
The blindfold is again lowered and the candidate is then conducted slowly around the room and brought before a transparency of “The bow in the cloud”. The Generalissimo steps to the side of the candidate, the blindfold is raised, and the Generalissimo says: Companion, what do you see?
Candidate, prompted: The bow in the cloud.
Generalissimo: This bow in the cloud represents the covenant which God made with Noah to destroy the earth with water no more for man’s sake.
The blindfold is lowered and the candidate is then conducted to the altar and placed in proper position to receive the obligation of the Knight of the Green Degree. The Prelate then reads: God is not a man that he should lie; neither the son of a man that he should repent. Hath he said, and shall he not do it? Or hath he spoken and shall he not make good? Know that the Lord thy God, he is God, the faithful God, which keepeth covenant and mercy with them that love him and keep his commandments to a thousand generations.
Sir Knight Commander: * * *.
The Companions rise and advance the hailing sign of the Knight of the Green Degree. The Sir Knight Commander then advances to the altar and administers the following
 
 
Obligation
 
I, ..., Knight, do solemnly and sincerely vow and swear, that I will ever conceal and never reveal the signs, secrets or mysteries of the Knight of the Green Degree to any one not entitled to receive the same; that I will ever remember and keep the promises and vows I have made to this religious and fraternal Order, and that I will preach the high precepts and practise the lofty principles that make this Order God’s chosen institution; and now, in the presence of these sworn Companions, I swear that I will be loyal and true to the Protestant religion, to the Order of Malta, and to each and every individual member thereof. So help me God, and keep me faithful to this my solemn vow.
You will now kiss the holy Bible.
Sir Knight Commander: Companion, in your present position, what are you most in need of?
Candidate, prompted: Light.
Sir Knight Commander: And God said, Let there be light, and there was LIGHT.
At the word “light” the blindfold is removed and all Companions clap their hands. The Sir Knight Commander then advances the grip of the Knight of the Green Degree, and raises him to his feet, saying: I greet you as a Knight of the Green. *.
The Sir Knight Commander then instructs the candidate in the grip, hailing sign, raps and passwords. The Senior and Junior Wardens, or other Companions, will repeat the
 
 
Lecture
 
S.W.: Why do you wear that ribbon?
J.W.: What ribbon?
S.W.: That green ribbon.
J.W.: As an emblem of the Knights of the Green.
S.W.: By this I perceive you are a Knight of the Green.
J.W.: I am always taken and accepted as such by all regularly initiated Knights of the Green.
S.W.: Where are you from?
J.W.: The plains.
S.W.: What plains?
J.W.: The plains eastward of Eden.
S.W.: And where are you going?
J.W.: To Mount Ararat.
S.W.: How do you expect to get there?
J.W.: By the benefit of a password.
S.W.: Have you that password?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: Will you give it to me?
J.W.: I will if you begin.
S.W.: L...
J.W.: A...
S.W.: B...
J.W.: Y...
S.W.: S...
J.W.: C...
S.W.: T...
J.W.: W...
S.W.: A...
J.W.: A...
S.W.: F...
J.W.: O...
S.W.: T...
J.W.: E...

S.W.: Have you a number?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: What is your number?
J.W.: One.
S.W.: Why do you take one as your number?
J.W.: In representation of the one window in the ark.
S.W.: Have you another number?
J.W.: I have.
S.W.: What is it?
J.W.: Three.
S.W.: What three?
J.W.: The three sons of Noah.
S.W.: Name them.
J.W.: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
S.W.: What did you do at Ararat?
J.W.: Searched for the Mediterranean password.
S.W.: Did you find it?
J.W.: I did.
S.W.: Will you give it to me?
J.W.: I will; but you must first answer me a question or two.
S.W.: What are those questions?
J.W.: Where was the one window of the ark placed?
S.W.: In the southeast corner.
J.W.: For what purpose?
S.W.: That Noah might see when the waters were assuaged from off the earth. Now that I have answered these questions, will you give me the Mediterranean password?
J.W.: I will if you begin.
S.W.: T...
J.W.: B...
S.W.: I...
J.W.: T...
S.W.: C... Why do you as a Knight of the Green take T... B... I... T... C... as your Mediterranean password?
J.W.: Because it contains all the colors I am entitled to wear; moreover it contains green.
S.W.: Of what was it a token?
J.W.: The covenant.
S.W.: What covenant?
J.W.: The covenant that God made with Noah, saying, “I will no more destroy the earth with water for man s sake; in token thereof, I do set my bow in the cloud.”
S.W.: Give me the central password?
J.W.: T...
S.W.: C...
J.W.: E...
S.W.: N...
The Sir Knight Commander will then deliver the
 
 
Charge to the candidate

SIR KNIGHT: In the destruction of the earth by the flood we possess a witness of the truth of Jehovah’s declaration, “My spirit shall not always strive with man, and also of the faithfulness of God to those who obey and put their trust in Him. What hardness of heart and of unbelief did not the antediluvians exhibit! When Noah spake, the people mocked; they went on in their blindness, reveling in the sinful pleasures of this world, and heaping up unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath.
At length the windows of heaven were opened, the waters began to descend, the floods rose higher and higher; the people then fled to the rocks for shelter and to the mountains for protection. Still the waters continued to rise above the trees of the forest and beyond the hoary hill, until the whole earth was submerged, and no living thing remained alive save Noah and those with him in the ark. It was then that the spirit of God, symbolized by the dove, moved ,a second time upon the face of the waters and called forth the earth into renewed and more glorious existence. What a solemn warning to us should not this dispensation of God’s providence become! The day will come when the earth shall undergo the purifying influence of fire; when the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall come forth, some to the resurrection of eternal life, and others to the resurrection of damnation. Having drowned our sins in the purple flood, let us enter into Christ the everlasting Ark, through faith, and, turning our eyes Cross-ward, behold the sign of our sure Covenant, and the seal of our adoption into His heavenly kingdom. Soon may the whole earth display the glories of the new creation, and the heavenly hosts sing joyfully on account of the triumphs of regeneration from the rising to the setting of the sun. Amen.
The Commandery will now be at ease for congratulations.

 

 

 

         

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