Note: This material was scanned into text files for the sole purpose of
convenient electronic research. This material is NOT intended as a
reproduction of the original volumes. However close the material is to
becoming a reproduced work, it should ONLY be regarded as a textual
reference. This version was scanned , edited and copyrighted at
Phoenixmasonry by Ralph W. Omholt, PM, Librarian in June 2007.
Prepared by RAY V, DENSLOW for the
Grand Commandery, Knights Templar of Missouri
An Encyclopedia of the Chivalric
Rite of Freemasonry
By RAY V. DENSLOW
The poorest informed Freemasons of the American or York Rite of Freemasonry
are those belonging to the Order of Knights Templar. The reason for this lack
of information is not the fault of the individual Templar, but because of the
failure of the Grand Encampment and Grand Commanderies to acquaint them with
the facts regarding the formation of the Order and its associated degrees (or
Orders as they prefer to call them). It is true there are encyclopedias of
Freemasonry, but the average Templar is not going to spend his time searching
through several thou-sand articles in an attempt to find something concerning
the Orders of Christian Knighthood. And again, he might not recognize a
Templar reference as such.
For the busy Templar, and we presume most of our co-laborers are
such—we offer this condensed encyclopedia which we hope may prove invaluable
to the Templar enthusiast, enabling him to answer some of those many requests
for information. The editor is not infallible and so will appreciate any
suggestions or corrections that our readers may find in any of the articles.
Many fallacies have crept into the story of Freemasonry and its
connection with the Crusades; we hesitate to debunk these various claims, yet
an Order founded on Truth and the practice of Christian virtues should be the
first to call attention to misstatements and misrepresentations.
In the first place, the Order of Knights Templar, as we know it
today, is not a direct descendant of the Ancient Templars who fought to wrest
the Holy Land from the Saracen. The so-called Charter of Larmenius, said to
convey the title to the "moderns" is generally regarded as a literary forgery.
The so-called list of Grand Masters of the Order, which many Grand
Copyright, 1951, by Ray V.
FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE [May,
in the appendix of their proceedings is a feeble attempt to tie up with our
Ancient friends and serves no useful purpose except to the printer who gets $6
or $7 per page.
The present day Templar, with the "Confederate Admiral's" chapeau
and its "flowing (sometime greying) plume" is a modern innovation! Can you
imagine one of our ancient brethren wearing one of these head-pinchers in the
tropical atmosphere of the Holy Land?
We do not know who formulated the ritual of the various Orders of
Red Cross, Malta and the Temple. Whoever he may have been, he was certainly
unacquainted with history or he would never have joined together such Orders
as the Knights Hospitaler, the Order of Templars, or the Order of Malta, for
history proves that they were rival and competitive Orders, having little to
do with each other—a feeling that resulted in many enmities and jealousies.
The ritual has undergone so many changes in the past century or more as to be
unrecognizable to our illustrious founders. Following World War I,
super-patriotic individuals added the pledge to the Flag, amplified and
modified from triennial to triennial, and so sectional as to make its use
impractical outside the U. S. A. Certainly it would not fit into the Mexican
or Philippine picture where the Grand Encampment has subordinates.
After all, it is immaterial whether we have direct connection with
the Ancient Templars, or whether we do not. We cannot live on the reputation
of our ancestors ! That has been tried out in Japan and in China; our
ancestors are just as good as they acted, and no better. Our Templar
antecedents were human beings—and history recounts they were exceedingly human
! Some of their exploits proved their bravery, but bravery without morality is
worthless. Instead of taking the Gospel of Christianity to the Holy Land, they
brought back all of the vices of the East.
Yet, we must pay tribute to their accomplishments, for out of all
this came the Reformation and the Renaissance.
The Crusades were great periods in our World History. We advise
our readers to study the forces at work. Here were a series of wars brought on
by religious zeal, encouraged by the Pope and the Roman Catholic Church;
encouraged, we are inclined to think, with the idea of taking away power from
GRAND COMMANDERY, K. T., OF MISSOURI 3c
various religious orders who were becoming strong numerically and financially.
Most foolish of all the Crusades was the Children's Crusade, organized under
the mistaken idea that God would intervene in behalf of the thousands of
children who set forth, never to return, on a foolish expedition planned by
But these facts and fallacies should not detract from a great
Christian Order founded on Truth, and teaching the Christian virtues of
Universal Brotherhood, Benevolence, and Hospitality. Of these virtues there
can be no criticism. The strength of Templary is not altogether in its
numbers, in its fulsome treasury, its waving plumes, or gaudy parades. Its
strength is in the hearts of those thousands of its members who strive
honestly and earnestly in their daily lives to exemplify those virtues taught
by Jesus Christ who wore neither uniform, plume, sword nor gauntlet, and who
carried no weapon to protect himself—no shield to defend his person.
Abbreviations: Freemasonry has a large list of
names, words and nomenclatures that are abbreviated; these are found in the
rituals, proceedings and correspondence of members. Here are some of the most
common abbreviations used in the Commandery:
A.O.: Anno Ordinis, the "Year of the Order."
C.G.: Captain General.
C.o.O.: Captain of the Outposts.
C.o.G.: Captain of the Guards.
Em.: Eminent, title applied to the office (not the man) of
Commander or Past Commander.
E.C.: Eminent Commander, the head of a Commandery.
E.P.: Eminent Prior, head of a Priory.
E.H.P.: Excellent High Priest, head of a Jewish Council.
G.: Grand, usually prefixed to title of officer to show
membership in a higher body.
H.P.: High Priest, officer of a Jewish Council.
I.O.R.C.: Illustrious Order of Red Cross.
J.W.: Junior Warden, officer of a Commandery.
K.M.: Knight of Malta.
K.T.: Knight Templar.
Lt. Corn.: Lieutenant Commander, officer of a Priory.
M.C.: Master of Cavalry, officer of Red Cross Order.
M.D.: Master of Dispatches, officer of Red Cross Order.
4c FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE I May,
M.F.: Master of Finance, officer of Red Cross Order.
M.I.: Master of Infantry, officer of Red Cross Order.
M.E.: Most Eminent, title applied to office of Grand Master
O.M.: Order of Malta.
O.R.C.: Order of Red Cross.
O.T.: Order of Temple.
Prel.: Prelate, officer of a Commandery.
P.C.: Prince Chancellor, officer of Red Cross Order. Also
Pr.: Prior, officer of a Priory.
P.M.P.: Price Master of Palace, officer of Red Cross Order.
Rec.: Recorder, officer of a Commandery.
R.E.: Right Eminent, title applied to a Grand or Past Grand
S.M.: Sovereign Master, presiding officer of Red Cross
St. B.: Standard Bearer, officer of a Commandery.
Sen.: Sentinel, guard to a Commandery.
Sw. B.: Sword Bearer, officer of a Commandery.
S.W.: Senior Warden, officer of a Commandery.
Treas.: Treasurer, officer of a Commandery.
V.E.: Very Eminent, title applied to Deputy Grand
Ablutions: An ablution is a ceremonial cleansing or washing
used as a symbol of purification. In all ancient mysteries the ceremony of
ablution was always necessary. Freemasonry, in many of its ceremonies, employs
the ceremony of ablution.
Adjourn: The Grand Encampment and the Grand Commandery do
not close—they adjourn.
Admiral: The third officer seated at the Table in the West;
he has no ritualistic duties.
Affiliation: One who desires to transfer membership from
one commandery to another does so through a Certificate of Good Standing or
Dimit; the act of petitioning another commandery, and election there, is said
to be an affiliation. Membership is completed when the electing Commandery
receives the Dimit of the petitioner.
Alarm: A warning sound to arouse attention; in case of an
enemy it is a summons to arms.
Alms: The Commander of a Commandery is charged with giving
alms to poor and weary pilgrims; the word alms is today referred to as small
amounts of money. This is a far change from its original meaning, which once
signified any sort of sympathy or merciful feeling, and which was undoubtedly
the intent of the early writers of our ritual.
Altar of Masonry: There is a legendary story that tells of
the ransacking of the Temple of Solomon, the carrying away of the
GRAND COMMANDERY, K. T., OF MISSOURI 5c
Vessels and Altar of Freemasonry. A reference is made to this legend in the
Order of the Red Cross.
Altar (Red Cross): The altar is referred to in the Red
Cross Or-der; the reference is to the Altar of Freemasonry, which, tradition
says, was taken out of Jerusalem when the Temple was burned.
Amadeus V, Duke of Savoy: The ritual says that in "1415 the
Turks laid siege to Rhodes . . . and were repulsed" and that "Amadeus V, Duke
of Savoy, having rendered timely assistance to the besieged Knights Hospitaler
during the attack, the Grand Master .. . caused letters to be added to the
Banner of St. John." Just how .Amadeus V (1285-1323) could have been present
at Rhodes in 1415 cannot be explained. It must have been Amadeus VIII
(1391-1451) who afterwards became Pope Felix V.
Amen: An expression of approval, used at the end of a
prayer or devotion. It means certainly, surely, truly. When used at the end of
a sentence it is said to confirm all other things heretofore ex-pressed.
Ancient and Honorable Institution: Words used by Darius in
his legendary discussion with Zerubbabel. He was referring to the institution
of Freemasonry. Actually Zerubbabel lived many centuries before Freemasonry
was established. The allusion is an attempt to establish connection with the
Anglo-Bavaria or England: The location of this langue is
not exactly clear, but undoubtedly included Bavaria and England.
Animate: Means to give life to or to heighten the powers of
nature; to stimulate or to incite. When used as an adverb it means alive.
Annual Conclave: Grand Commanderies meet once a year in
what is termed "Annual Conclave," at which time they transact all necessary
business and elect officers for the succeeding year.
Annual Returns: Each commandery is required to make an
annual report to Grand Commandery; this report covers all new members,.
affiliations, reinstatements, suspensions, expulsions, dimits, deaths, list of
officers, and a complete financial statement of the commandery affairs. This
is known as the annual returns, and from it a table is prepared by the Grand
Recorder giving a complete picture of the general condition of Templary in the
State as of any one year.
Apartment: When used in Templar ritual it refers -to a
room; for example, prelate's apartment; apartment of the commander, etc.
Apartment, Prelate: A room used by the Prelate in carrying
out the ritualistic duties assigned to him.
Apostles, The Twelve: A New Testament description of the
small number of men entrusted by Jesus Christ to disseminate his teachings
among mankind. Early in his ministry he decreed that twelve of his disciples
should be with him. These were the twelve apostles.
6c FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE [May,
Judas proved untrue, Matthias was selected his successor so that the number
twelve remained complete.
Aragon: The fifth of the leagues in which the Order of
Malta was divided. It was a region and ancient kingdom in northeastern Spain,
south of the Pyrenees. It was controlled by the Visigoths in the Fifth
Century; the Moors in the Eighth Century; united with Castile in 1479, it
merged with Spain in 1516.
Ascension: An event prominent in Christianity and referring
to the ascent of Christ into heaven as told in the Scriptures. It symbolizes
for the Christian the triumph of immortality over mortality.
Ascension Scene: Many commanderies show painted
representations of the Ascension of Christ, while other depict the Ascension
by illustrated slides.
Attention: The word is used as a word of command in
commanderies. The command is more than an order to give attention; it
re-quires that those addressed shall arise and remain standing.
Attributes (Templar): Qualities or characteristics
essentially necessary to the subject. Hence, the signs and words, together
with their explanation, are said to be attributes of the Order.
Audience Chamber: The room in which kings, potentates, and
others receive distinguished guests, or hold audience is termed an Audience
Chamber. This is the use of the word in the Order of Red Cross.
Auvergne: Second of the langues into which the Order of
Malta was divided; located in the south central part of France. It was
originally settled by the Averni, from whence it derives its name; they were a
Gallic people led by Vercingetorix and were defeated by Caesar in 475 A.D. It
became a part of France in 1527.
Ayah Salaam Aleckam: A Maltese expression meaning "We come
in peace," said to have been employed by the Knights in replying to an inquiry
by the native Islanders as to whether the Knights were coming in peace.
Babylon: An ancient city on the Euphrates River, located
about fifty-five miles south of the City of Bagdad. It probably existed as
early as the Fourth Century B.C., but is now in ruins. It was the capital of
the old Babylonian Empire and the chief commercial city of the
Euphrates-Tigris valley. It attained its greatest glory under Nebuchadnezzar,
was captured by Cyrus and later by Alexander. Cyrus the Great is referred to
in the ritual of the Order of Red Cross as having freed the Jews from bondage.
Bailiff: The fifth officer seated at the Table in the West
in the Priory of Knights of Malta; he has no ritualistic duties.
Baldric: A belt, sometimes richly ornamented, worn over one
shoulder and across the breast and under the opposite arm to sup-port a sword.
It is part of the costume of a Red Cross or Temple Knight and as such has a
Banner Guards: In conferring the Orders of the Red Cross,
1951] GRAND COMMANDERY, K. T., OF MISSOURI 7c
Temple the various banners are sometimes carried by members, who may, or may
not be, garbed in appropriate uniform. In some of the larger commanderies the
Banner is borne by one member and with him may be another member, similarly
garbed, who serves as a Guard to the Banner Bearer. Where there are many
workers this serves to add interest to the Order.
Banner of Malta:
The Banner of the Order of
Malta is a square banner upon the center of which is a Maltese cross in white
or silver; on a shield in the center of the cross is a shield in red with the
cross of St. John upon it. Forming an arch above the Maltese Cross is written
the legend "Rex regum et dominus dominorum." This banner, with that of the
Banner of St. John, is placed in the East of the Asylum. The latter represents
the original Order of St. John; the former was the banner of the Order after
it occupied Malta; thus are the past and the present linked together.
Banner of St. John: The banner of St. John symbolizes the
original organization of the Knights of St. John and is placed in the East of
every Malta asylum in memory of the ancient founders of the Order. It is a red
banner having upon it a Greek Cross of white with equal arms, or limbs. In the
center of the white cross is a figure of the Paschal Lambs. In each of the
four red squares, formed by the White Greek Cross, are the initials "F.E.R.T."
alluding to the Latin motto: "Fortitudo eius Rhodum Tenuit" (His courage saved
Rhodes). It refers to the Duke of Savoy, Amadeus, whose valor and timely
assistance preserved Rhodes from the Turks.
Banners: Jewish; Persian; Malta; Red Cross; Grand Standard;
St. John; Grand Standard; Cyprus; Palestine; Rhodus; Candia; Malta; Beauceant.
Battle Flag (Templar):
"When going into battle the
Templars carried a battle flag at the head of their troops. It was a simple
flag of black and white and had a highly significant meaning to them. See "Beauceant."
Bearers: See "Banner Guards." Beauceant: The Templars had a Grand Standard and
a Battle Flag; the latter was known as the Beauceant and was half white and
half black; the black was the lower part of the flag or banner, and these two
colors had great significance according to the Templars, for it signified that
they were fair and favorable to their friends, but dark and terrible to all
the enemies of Christ. Today it no longer bears the above import, but is borne
as an incentive to emulate the sacrifices and suffering of our ancient
forbears and as a tribute to their memory. The ritual spells the word
beauceant, but the 1934 Constitution of the Grand Encampment spells it
beauseant, and describes it to be silk, in two stripes of equal width running
horizontally, the upper stripe black and the lower white—six feet fly and 3
feet six inches on the staff, swallow tailed one-third its length; the edges
of the flag plain without fringe. The name of the
8c FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE [May,
Commandery on the upper stripe and its location on the lower stripe, lettering
being in contra colors to the field. The staff is 9 feet, including crosshead
which is of gold metal, consisting of a ball surmounted by Cross of Salem.
Cords and tassels of black and white attached to base of crosshead.
Belt: The belt is an indispensable part of the costume of a
Templar, for it is used to attach the sword and to carry its weight.
Benjamin: The least numerous of the tribes of Israel. It
gave the first King to the Jews—Saul, a Benjaminite. After the death of
Solomon, Benjaminites united with those of Judah in forming a new Kingdom.
Judah and Benjamin were the two leading tribes during the period portrayed in
the Red Cross Order.
Bible (Red Cross): There has been much discussion over the
use of the Bible in the Order of the Red Cross, especially those who drag out
the usual Bible with its New Testament section. At the time the Order of Red
Cross was said to have been founded there was no such thing as the Bible or
the New Testament. It is true the Bible is referred to as "the sacred
writings" of the Jewish people, but the average commandery drags out the Holy
Biretta: A square cap with three or four projections above
the crown, extending from the center outward and usually with a tassel at the
center; it is worn by certain clerics; different colors denote different ranks
of the clergy.
Birth: A significant word in the Order of Malta which
refers to the Birth of Jesus Christ.
Blade: The blade of the sword is used to convey certain
symbol-ism. In one place it represents the quality: Hope, Hope of Victory when
the sword is drawn in a just and virtuous cause. In another place it refers to
"Fortitude undaunted." Blessed Emmanuel: Also "Immanuel," and, in the English
translation, meaning "God with us." It is referred to in the Book of Isaiah:
"Behold, a virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name
Immanuel." Christians interpret the word to refer to Christ.
Boundary Line: Landmarks. Boundary lines are those which
mark the boundary; usually these boundaries are natural boundaries, such as
rivers, lakes, mountain chains, seas, or deserts.
Bread, Use of: Knights of old, when leaving for the Holy
Land on a Crusade, prepared themselves spiritually for the journey by a
general confession and the reception of the Holy Eucharist, followed by the
benediction of the church. During the ceremony they received the communion
bread from the point of the sword and wine from the blade.
Bridge: Bridges often marked the boundary lines of a
country; in many cases these bridges were guarded by sentries. Buckler: A
shield carried to protect the front of the body; it is
1951] GRAND COMMANDERY, K. T., OF MISSOURI 9c
usually carried on one arm, while the other arm grasps the sword.
Burning Taper: A taper is a small wax candle or any small
light. A burning taper is said to serve symbolically as a shining light to
others. It also symbolizes life and activity.
By-Laws: A by-law is a secondary or subordinate law; in
Ternplary, a Grand Commandery may have its by-laws, since it is sub-ordinate
to the Grand Encampment; all commanderies have by-laws. The by-laws are rules
for the handling of local affairs.
Caiaphas: Caiaphas was the High Priest who rent his clothes
and declared Jesus to be deserving of the death penalty. Jesus was taken
before him after he had been betrayed by Judas. He was de-posed as High
Priest, but we have no other record of him after that date.
Cambyses: The successor to Cyrus the Great. Cyrus had
favored the Jews and permitted them to proceed with the rebuilding of their
City and Temple, but when Cambyses came to the throne he proved to be
tyrannical and ordered the work of the rebuilding to cease. This is the
situation which confronted the Jews as brought out in the first section of the
Order of the Red Cross.
Candia: Candia is usually known by the name of Crete; the
Greeks called it Herakleion. The name Candia was given it by the Venetians who
occupied it in the Thirteenth Century. It is a Greek Island in the eastern
Mediterranean. In World War II it was in the news because of the first
successful use of airborne forces in a major campaign. It was at Castro (Kastro)
in the Island of Candia that the Order of Malta occupied the Island; from here
they went to Venice, Viturbo and other Italian cities.
Cap, Fatigue: To prevent the necessity of wearing on all
occasions the uncomfortable chapeau used for display purposes, a fatigue cap
is prescribed for ordinary occasions and sometimes worn in councils of the Red
Captain General: The Captain General of the Order of the
Temple holds a corresponding position in the Order of Malta; he is the third
officer of the Priory and is seated in the East. As the third officer of a
commandery of Knights Templar, he is elected annually. His duties are largely
military for he has charge of all formations. In the absence of the Commander
and the Generalissimo he assumes the duties of Commander; a rather
grandiloquent title for an under-officer?
Captain of Outposts:
An officer of a priory of Knights of Malta; his station and duties correspond,
in general, to those of the Junior Deacon of a Lodge.
Captive: One who is made prisoner and held under restraint.
Carry Swords: The ordinary manner of carrying the sword when it has been
withdrawn from its scabbard.
Castile: Seventh of the eight langues into which the Order
10c FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE [May,
was divided. It was a region in the central and north central part of Spain,
and an ancient Kingdom. The marriage of Isabella of Castile to Ferdinand of
Aragon united the two Kingdoms in '1469.
Castro: Our ritual improperly spells the name of this
Aegean seaport; it should be spelled Kastron or Kastro. It is located on the
west coast of the Island of Lemnos and today has a population of almost four
thousand. It might be noted that the Island of Lemnos was taken by the Greeks
from the Turks in 1912 and was used as the base for the British fleet in the
Dardanelles campaign of World War I.
Ceremonial: A ceremonial usage or formality of religious
observance according to a system of rules or forms established by custom, and
according to a ritual.
Certificate of Good Standing: Many Grand Commanderies
authorize the Certificate of Good Standing when transferring member-ship from
one commandery to another. This affords the petitioner continuous membership.
If a dimit was issued and the petitioner failed of election, it would leave
him without a Templar home.
Chaldees: The statement in the ritual that "Judah was made
desolate by the Chaldees" should no doubt read "by the Chaldeans." Chaldea was
the southern part of Babylonia and was occupied by the Chaldeans as early as
the 11th Century B. C. While ruled by Nebuchadnezzar they subdued Judea and
captured Jerusalem. The Chaldean Empire fell when the Persians captured
Babylon, 539 B.C.
Chamber: The room in which a portion of the Order of the
Red Cross is conferred.
Chamber of Reflection: A place wherein one may go to be
alone and to reflect without interruption.
Chancellor: The seventh officer seated at the Table in the
West in a Priory of Malta. He has no ritualistic duties.
Chapeau: The dictionary defines it as "a covering for the
head." In the plural form it is chapeaux. The Grand Encampment specifies the
hat worn by Templars as "a military chapeau," although it is similar in design
to the navy chapeau once worn by Admirals.
Chapel: The apartment in which the full ceremonial of the
Order of Malta is conferred is called the Chapel.
Chaplain: An officer of a Priory of Malta whose duties it
is to read the Sacred Scriptures and perform certain other ritualistic duties;
he corresponds to the Prelate in the Order of the Temple. His robe is
prescribed in the ritual of the Order; it is a modern, and not a middle-age
Charity: Charity is taught in all degrees of Freemasonry;
in the Templar system it is encouraged in many ways. Charity and hospitality
are characteristic of the Christian orders.
Christian Religion: Candidates for the Order of the Temple
GRAND COMMANDERY, K. T., OF MISSOURI 11c
to express their belief in the virtues taught by the Christian religion.
Denominational beliefs are not a matter for discussion within the asylums of
the Knights Templar.
Clemency: Disposition to forgive; mildness of temper;
leniency. The two words refer to the clemency of Darius towards Zerubbabel.
Constituent and subordinate commanderies close instead of adjourn as the Grand
Encampment and Grand Commandery do; they may close to meet on a certain day to
finish pending business.
Coat of Arms: In its original meaning a coat-of-arms was a
garment of light material worn over armor, and often bearing the insignia or
heraldic bearings of its owner. In this modern day it represents the device.
The head of a commandery is known as the Commander. When addressing him we
call him Eminent Commander. He is elected annually by vote of the members of
the commandery and his term of office begins with his installation, ending
with the installation of his successor. He is responsible for the proper
con-duct of the affairs of his commandery, subject, of course, to the by-laws
of the commandery and the laws of the Grand Commandery.
Commanderies: There are two classes of commanderies: Those
under dispensation and those chartered. The first is a commandery working on a
temporary permit; the latter is a permanent organization. The word commandery
is used in connection with the Knights Templar, much as the word lodge is used
in the symbolic degrees, and chapter in the capitular degrees.
Committees: It is impossible, in the brief time occupied by
a Grand Commandery Conclave, for the entire group to give full consideration
to all matters; hence, it is found necessary to carry on much of the business
through committees. Most Grand Command-cries specify what these committees
shall be and have committees on Finance, Returns of Commanderies, Charters,
Jurisprudence, Credentials, Mileage and Per Diem, Appeals, Necrology. Then
there are special committees named for some particular purpose.
Communicate: The word means to share with another what is
properly regarded as one's own.
Companion Conductor: An officer of the commandery, working
in the Order of the Red Cross, whose duties are much the same as those of a
Senior Deacon in the Lodge. Actually he is the conductor of the candidate, the
title companion being prefixed. When the Order of the Red Cross has been
formed, the Companion Conductor be-comes known as the Master of Infantry. See
"Master of Infantry."
Companions: Members of a commandery sitting in the body of
a commandery open on the Order of the Red Cross, refer to each other as
Companion. This reference or use of the word Companion comes from the degree
of Royal Arch Mason where all members are simi-
12c FRATERNAL CORRESPONDENCE [May,
referred to. The word Companion is generally regarded as being of a closer
relationship than brother or friend.
Conclave: Commanderies hold conclaves—not meetings.
Concurrent Jurisdiction: This is a policy which has worked
very satisfactorily in most jurisdictions. Where this law is in force it
permits one to petition any commandery within the jurisdiction. In some
instances it is forbidden one commandery to go into the city limits in which
another commandery is located.
Confines: The boundary lines or limits of a kingdom.
Conservator: The fourth officer seated at the Table in the West. He has no
Constitution and Laws: A Constitution is the fundamental,
organic law of an organization. Only the higher, or parent groups, have
constitutions; other groups have by-laws and regulations.
Constitution, Laws and Edicts: The Grand Encampment is
governed by its own Constitution and By-Laws. Official pronouncements are
known as edicts.
Constitutional Number: Nine members constitute the minimum
number necessary for the formation of a commandery; a quorum.
Convene: Grand Commanderies and the Grand Encampment do not
open; they convene.
Council: The Order of the Red Cross is conferred in a body
known as a Council of the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross. It derives its
name from the fact that the Council which is convened for the conferring of
the first section of the Order represents the Grand Council which convened in
Jerusalem in the second year of the reign of Darius, King of Persia, to
deliberate upon the unhappy condition of the country and to devise means
whereby they might obtain the favor and protection of the new sovereign in
rebuilding the City of Jerusalem.
Countersign: See "Persian Countersign." Courage and
Constancy: Templars should possess the attributes of courage and constancy
which are the tests of an upright Knight.
Create and Constitute: The words are almost synonymous. The
first means to make, the latter to establish by lawful authority.
Cross: See "Passion Cross," "Malta Cross," "Templar Cross,"
"Salem," "Patriarchal." Cross of St. John: A passion cross, but inclined from
left to right and usually on a shield. Crucifix: A representation of Christ on
the Cross. Loose usage sometimes refers to the cross itself as a crucifix.
Cup: All Templars will recognize the use of this word. A
cup is a vessel for holding liquids. Jesus is said to have partaken from the
bitter "cup of death" from which no one is exempt.
Cuts: A stroke with the edge of a sword, as distinguished
from a thrust.
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Cyprus, Banner of:
In 1287 the Order of Malta established itself on the Island of Cyprus, having
been forced to evacuate Palestine; settling in Limisso. The name Cyprus and
the date 1287 commemorate the second place of the Order's sojourning and the
second epoch in their history.
The first Persian conqueror of Babylon and the King who issued the edict for
the restoration of the Jews to their homeland. As the first Gentile friend to
the stricken people of Palestine, who re-stored them to the land of their
nativity, he will ever rank high in history. He was truly Cyrus the Righteous.
An elevated platform, usually at the end of a hall or room to give distinction
or prominence to those who sit on it. In the East of every commandery asylum
should be a dais.
The King Darius referred to in the Order of the Red Cross is Darius Hystaspis,
who succeeded the usurper Smerdis and who reigned for a period of thirty-six
years. In the second year of his reign he issued the decrees giving the Jews
permission to proceed with the rebuilding of their City and Temple.
The imminence of death is brought to the attention of the candidate in many
Masonic degrees. The word is highly significant to the Templar, referring to
the death of Jesus. The word is used in the Order of Malta.
An order from one having authority to decide what is or what is not to be
done. An edict.
The Supreme Being under whatever name he may be called. The word is taken from
the Latin Deus, meaning God.
The delta is a Greek character commonly used to represent Deity. Its selection
as the triangle for a commandery asylum was not made without this thought in
A detachment is a small group taken from a complete body; it might be a squad,
a platoon, etc.
A form of prayer or worship; feelings toward God ex-pressed by acts of
When a member desires to withdraw permanently from a commandery he applies for
a Dimit, which is a form duly signed showing the former membership. Should he
wish to join (or affiliate) with another commandery, it is necessary that this
Dimit ac-company his petition for affiliation.
When a new commandery is organized it operates for a time by virtue of the
authority given it by the Grand Cornmandery; this authority is known as a
Dispensation. When the Grand Commandery meets, if it be satisfied with the
granting of the Dispensation and approves the work of the new commandery, it
may give permanent standing by issuing a charter. Chartered Commanderies
usually bear numbers.
The word display is used in commands given to the
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Standard Bearer; it means to show, to bring to the front where it (the banner)
may be seen.
Qualities attributed to Deity; Truth is regarded as a divine attribute.
A thing divine or superhuman; the Bible comes within this definition because
it is generally accepted as the word of God.
It becomes necessary at times to divide the uniformed membership into two or
even three sections for the various ceremonies. These sections are known as
divisions, and numbered accordingly.
The estate or domain of a feudal lord or king; that which is subject to
sovereignty or control. Darius properly refers to his Dominions.
A command necessary to order the sword taken from its scabbard.
Dubbed and Created:
The word dub is taken from a word which means to strike, and alludes to the
custom of creating knights by striking them a slight blow upon the shoulder
with the sword. The word means to invest with a new dignity or title; create
has the meaning of constitute.
According to the by-laws of his commandery, each member is required to pay an
annual amount, referred to as dues. The amount is usually sufficient for the
carrying on of the average activities of a commandery, including a per capita
tax paid to the Grand Commandery. Dues are also paid by the Grand Commandery
to the Grand Encampment on each member borne on the rolls as of December 31st
each year. The part paid to Grand Encampment, or to Grand Commandery, is
referred to as a per capita tax.
In all openings of Masonic bodies there is a section dealing with the duties
of the various officers. There is no exception to the rule in Templar bodies.
Here it is referred to as a rehearsal of duties.
Public notice issued by an official authority. The proclamation of a law or
rule of conduct made by competent authority.
The election of officers is provided by law. The first three officers of a
commandery, the treasurer and the recorder are required to be elected by
ballot; other stations may, if provided in the by-laws, be appointed. A
similar regulation occurs in Grand Commanderies, and in the Grand Encampment.
Any member of a commandery is eligible to hold any office to which his
associates may elect him.
Emblem of Faith:
The symbolism of
light requires no explanation for Freemasons. A burning taper is always an
emblem of light, and while the flame may be small, yet it signifies that faith
which hopes for an ultimate coming into the greater light.
Emblem of Innocence:
All through Masonic degrees white is re-
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as the color denoting innocence. In the lodge it is the white apron; in the
chapter it is the white veil; in the commandery it is the white robe.
Emmanuel: See "Blessed Emmanuel." Enmity and Ill Will:
Enmity and ill will do not become those who are accepted into Templar asylums.
A brotherhood cannot be a true brotherhood where such exist.
Equivocation: The word denotes the use of expressions
susceptible of double significance, and especially with a desire to mislead.
Esdras: Reference is made in the Order of the Red Cross to
the Books of Esdras. These books do not appear in the everyday Bible; they are
the 1st, 2d, 3d and 4th Books of Ezra, called, in the English version, the
Books of Esdras. They are the Apocryphal Books. The Books contain the story
which furnished the background to the Red Cross Order.
Eute Glict Al Glict: The Malta inquiry "Do you come in
peace?" asked of the Knights of Malta when they occupied the Island of Malta.
Excellent High Priest: A character in the first section of
the Red Cross; as such he is shown presiding over a representation of the old
Jewish Grand Council. It would seem much out of place for Jewish characters to
be introduced into a Christian Order, yet it should be known that the Order of
the Red Cross has no connection with the Order of the Temple, and the degree
would properly be placed in the degrees of the Capitular, or Chapter, system.
F. E. R. T.: The initials of the Latin motto Fortitudo eius
Rhodes tenuit." The words appear on the Banner of St. John. See "Fortitudo
Eius Rhodes Tenuit." Faith: A Divine virtue by which we accept and firmly
believe in the truths which God has revealed. Red Cross Knights are taught, by
the hilt of the sword, to have Faith in God. The initial "D" on the Red Cross
Banner symbolizes this Faith.
Faith and Humility: Faith and humility are essential to
those who seek Christian Knighthood. To be humble and to have Faith are rare
False Accusations: Human beings are subject to many faults;
but there is nothing worse than to accuse another falsely. To make such
accusations is contrary to the lesson taught in the Red Cross Order —Truth.
Fear Not: The expression is derived from the story of St.
Paul on the Island of Malta.
Fees: Money collected for the conferring of the Orders is
called fees, the amount varying in different commanderies because of the
difference in expenses necessary to carry on activities; the minimum fee for
the Orders is usually $30.00, but this does not include the uniform.
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Fetters: Chains or shackles for the feet.
First Among Equals: All men are supposed to be equal, and
yet there are some who rise above their equals in certain traits and ability.
Zerubbabel is said to have been such a character and to have been respected
because of these traits.
Flag: The flag of the United States of America is a part of
the necessary paraphernalia of every Templar asylum working under the ritual
of the Grand Encampment. The closing feature of the conferring of the Order of
Knighthood is a tribute to the Flag. This tribute is a modern innovation and
entirely out of place in those cornmanderies which exist in countries not a
part of the United States of America.
Force and Power: The words are synonymous; both are
desirable, but may be misused as was the case when the Jewish people were
stopped from building the Second Temple.
Fortitudo Eius Rhodum Tenuit: The Latin for the expression
"His courage saved Rhodes." It was a tribute to Amadeus, Duke of Savoy, who
led the gallant defense of the Island of Rhodes.
Forty Mile: Templars are urged to go any reasonable
distance to aid a distressed brother; it is the general opinion that forty
miles is the maximum distance to comply with the term reasonable.
Founders of Ancient Craft Masonry: The traditional Founders
of Ancient Craft Masonry are Solomon, Hiram of Tyre, and a third Hiram of the
Tribe of Naphtali. Due tribute is paid these founders in the Order of the
France: The third of the langues into which the Order of
Malta was divided. France was the Ancient Gaul and at one time a Province of
the Roman Empire.
Galley: An ancient seagoing vessel propelled by oars,
although often having a mast and sail.
Garb of Slavery: It waS the custom of Asiatic conquerors to
array the captives in a garb of slavery, which probably consisted of a cheap
rough garment. To show final degradation, these captives wore fetters or
Gauntlets: A glove of such material that it defends the
hand from wounds; it was sometimes made of leather and even chain mail, later
developing into articulated steel plates.
Generalissimo: The second officer of a commandery; he
succeeds to the duties of the Commander in the event of the Commander's
absence or inability to serve; he also acts as the Lieutenant Commander in the
Order of Malta and the Prince Chancellor in the Red Cross. His ritualistic
duties are few. His title, like that of the Captain General, is more than
Germany: The sixth of the langues into which the Order of
Malta was divided. It was never a part of the Old Roman Empire, but was known
as Germania and inhabited by the Teutonic peoples.
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Gethsemane: An enclosure or garden, situated on the Mount
of Olives, just outside Jerusalem; it is said to have been the scene of the
last few hours of the life of Jesus and where he was arrested.
Girded: To provide or equip, especially with a sword of
Golgotha: The Hebrew word for Calvary; the place outside
the ancient city of Jerusalem where Christ was crucified. The traditional site
is now within the walls of the modern city and is occupied by the Church of
the Holy Sepulcher; the actual site is uncertain. Because of its barrenness
and rounded shape it was often referred to as "the place of a skull."
abbreviation for "Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word." The use of the words are
questionable in view of the fact that many bodies of Royal Arch Masonry do not
use this expression.
Grand Characteristics: The Grand Characteristics of the
Order of Red Cross are set forth as Truth, Justice and Liberty.
Grand Commander: The executive head of a Grand Commandery
of Knights Templar. He serves one year and is rarely re-elected, in line with
the democratic policy of York Rite Masonry. He has certain powers set forth in
the Constitution and By-Laws of the Grand Commandery.
Grand Commandery: An organization made up of
representatives from various commanderies who make the laws for the government
of those bodies which operate within the State. Under Grand Commandery law
those who are a part of the Grand Commandery are the Commanders,
Generalissimos, Captain Generals, Past Commanders, or certain proxies. A Grand
Commandery usually meets in annual conclave for the transaction of necessary
business, and is presided over by a Grand Commander who serves for a term of
Grand Council: The first section of the Order of the Red
Cross is conferred in a body which represents the Grand Council of Jews
convened at Jerusalem in the days of Darius to deliberate upon the unhappy
condition of the country. The Grand Council concerns itself with means of
obtaining the favor and protection of the new sovereign who promises to be
favorable to the plans of the Jews to rebuild their Temple under the direction
of Prince Zerubbabel.
Grand Encampment: The governing body of Templary in the
United States of America, its territories and dependencies. It meets
triennially in various parts of the United States and is presided over by a
Grand Master whose term is for three years. It is made up of Past Grand
Commanders and the first four officers of each Grand Commandery. Grand
Commanderies, as such, have no authority in the Grand Encampment structure. It
is supported by funds raised in the form of a per capita and hospitality tax
which has been growing, until today it amounts to a levy of 15/c on each
member of the Order.
Grand Hailing Sign: A hailing sign is a sign with which one
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accosted, usually to discover whether friend or foe. Such is the case of the
Malta hailing sign.
Grand Omnific Royal Arch Word: See "Goraw." Grand Recorder:
The Grand Recorder serves as the secretarial officer of the Grand Commandery
and keeps their records, has them printed annually and mails them out to all
those interested. His duties are much the same as those of the recorder of a
Grand Sign: Templary has its Grand Word, Grand Sign, Grand
Standard, etc. In each instance it refers to the principal sign, word, etc.
Grand Standard: The Grand Standard of the Order of the
Temple is white in color. In the center of the standard is a blood red Passion
Cross. Over the cross are the words "In Hoc Signo Vinces," which is the motto
of the Templar, meaning "By virtue of this Sign you shall conquer." Under the
Cross is the motto: "Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis; Scd Nomini Tuo da Gloriam,"
meaning "Not unto us, Oh Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory."
Each commandery once carried a Grand Standard in parades; likewise the Grand
Commandery and the Grand Encampment had their grand standards, sometimes very
elaborate and expensive.
The Grand Encampment prescribes the Grand Standard to be of white
woolen or silk material 5 feet by 3 feet, tri-partite at the bottom; fastened
to top by nine rings; in the center a blood-red Passion Cross, over which is
the motto "I.H.S.V." and under "N.N.D.N.N.T.D.G." The cross to be 3 feet in
height and the upright bar 6 inches in width. On top of the staff a gilded
ball 4 inches in diameter, surmounted by the Cross of Salem, 12 inches in
height, the Cross to be crimson edged with gold.
Grand Token: A token is a signal or sign; it is something
given to or shown as a symbol of guarantee of authority or right. A Grand
Token would be the principal sign.
Grand Treasurer: The Grand Treasurer looks after the
financial records of the Grand Commandery, much after the manner the treasurer
of a conunandery looks after the finances and records of a cornmandery.
Financial officers are usually bonded and make annual re-ports. Most Grand
Commanderies and Commanderies have auditing committees.
Grand Word of Mediterranean Pass: It is not known as to
when this Word was instituted as the Word of the Mediterranean Pass, but it is
thought to have been established after the Knights occupied the Island of
Melita, later called Malta.
Great Captain of Our Salvation: An appellation given to
Jesus, "he being the bright and Morning Star whose rising brought health and
salvation to mankind." This is religious nomenclature raised to the nth power
and compares with the reference to the Great Architect of the Universe in the
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Greek Cross: The Greek Cross is a cross of equal arms and
angles; it appears on the Banner of St. John.
Green: Green symbolizes immortality; hence eternal
friendship referred to as "immortal green." Guard: The Guard in the Order of
Malta corresponds to that of the Sentinel in the Order of the Temple. He is
the same as the Tiler in the Lodge; His ritualistic duties are few.
Guard Room: A room in which the ceremonial of the
Mediterranean Pass takes place; it is simply furnished.
Guards: Sentries; Protectors. Both Jewish and Persian
Guards are referred to in the Order of the Red Cross.
In the Order of the Temple there are three ritual officers, known
as Guards, whose duties are very essential in carrying out the Symbolism of
Halt: The military expression for stop. It is used in
commanderies to execute a halt of either individual or group.
Hermits: Pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land were quite
frequently compelled to seek succor from pious anchorites, or hermits, along
the route to Palestine. While these hermits lived in very humble abodes, they
were willing to share bread and water, which was all they had to offer. These
hermits are represented in the Order of the Temple.
Highest Spire in Christendom: It is not known as to what
spire was the highest in Christendom during the period of the Crusades, at
which time the phrase originated. At any rate, it must have been well known,
and of such outstanding height as to make an impression on those who viewed
Hilt: The hilt of the Templar sword is endowed with the
quality of Justice impartial according to the ritual, although it is hard to
imagine any other sort of Justice. To the Red Cross Knight the hilt refers to
Faith—Faith in God.
Hiram of Naphtali: One of the traditional founders of
Freemasonry whose name is closely associated with that of King Solomon.
Hiram of Tyre: One of the traditional founders of
Freemasonry; there is no logical reason for bringing his name into the Order
of the Temple except to establish a so-called connection with Ancient Craft
Holy Eucharist: The Eucharist refers to the sacrament of
the Lord's Supper; it is the solemn act of commemorating the death of Christ
in the use of bread and wine as the appointed emblems.
Holy Evangelists: During the conferring of the ceremonies
of the Order of the Temple extracts are read from the Holy Evangelists; this
reference is to a class of Christian teachers who propagated the gospel of the
New Testament; these readings are largely from the Book of Matthew. In the
Order of Malta readings are taken from the Acts of the Apostles and the Gospel
of St. John.
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A sepulcher is a burial place; the Holy Sepulcher refers to the burial place
of the Saviour and is quite prominently referred to throughout Templar ritual.
Holy Sign: The Cross is the Holy Sign. The Knight was told
to protect the cross upon his breast at all hazards.
Holy Vessels: Such vessels are those used in the Temple of
Solomon, which were taken away when the Temple was burned; the story is that
these Holy Vessels, with the exception of the Ark of the Covenant, were
returned to Jerusalem by order of Darius.
Honor: That which rightfully deserves esteem or respect.
Hope: The blade of a sword of a Companion of the Red Cross
is endowed with Hope, Hope of Victory.
Hospitaler: The second of the officers stationed at the
Table in the West. He has no ritualistic duties.
House of the Lord God: The Temple of Solomon was truly the
House of the Lord, for in it was contained all those Holy Vessels used in his
worship, together with the Ark of the Covenant where God was said to dwell.
Human Hand and Serpent: A reminder of the incident of St.
Paul and the viper on the Island of Malta.
Hut, Humble: There is nothing more humble than the hut; yet
in a hut may be found sincerity and service.
I. N. R. I.: The initials of the Latin words,
Rex I udacorum
(Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews), being the letters set up over the cross
on which Christ was crucified.
Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudaeorum: The I.N.R.I. set up on the
cross upon which Jesus was crucified. It is the Latin words for Jesus of
Nazareth, King of the Jews.
Illustrious: Characterized by greatness or nobleness;
distinguished, noted, famous. The title is used as a prefix in the Red Cross
The word immaculate signifies without stain or blemish; we should therefore
expect such a word to be the name of one whose life was without stain or
blemish—and such it is.
See "Emmanuel." Immemorial Discussion: The words refer to the discussion as
related in the Books of Esdras, where the strength of Wine, the Power of the
King, or the influence of Women was the greatest. The word immemorial means
"whence the memory of man runneth not back." It is referred to in the Red
Green is the color of most living things; while trees, shrubs, grass and the
like may turn brown in the fall and wither, yet when spring comes again they
assume their greenish hue; not having died, they are assumed to be
immortal—hence immortal green. The sash of a Knight of the Red Cross is green,
the color symbolizing Truth.
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Immortality of Soul:
The Templar follows the Christian doctrine requiring belief in the immortality
of the soul.
Most Grand Commanderies forbid commanderies to incorporate. An incorporation
makes a legal entity of the body incorporated enabling them to sue and be
To teach and impress by frequent repetition or ad-monition; to instill into
Three is said to be the Indispensable Number, because, according to the ritual
requirements, three are absolutely necessary to form and open a commandery;
there is an additional restriction—that the three must come from three
separate commanderies and must act under a lawful warrant.
The Latin word for unbelief. The Divine Teacher said "Blessed are they that
have not seen, and yet have believed." Infidels: All men who did not agree
with the Christian doctrines were regarded as infidels. The word is derived
from the Latin word infidelitas, which means infidelity, unfaithfulness,
In Hoc Signo Vinces:
The Latin words for "In this sign you shall conquer." The Grand Motto of the
Templar Order and the Battle Cry of the Christian Warrior. The sign has to do
with the Passion Cross and the Crucifixion.
Failure to render justice is injustice; unfairness. Ternplars are taught never
to draw their swords in the cause of Injustice, it being below the dignity of
a member of the Order.
The care of the innocent and charity for the orphan and widow are cardinal
tenets of the Templar Order.
Distinguishing marks of authority office or honor; typical marks or signs by
which anything may be distinguished. In a commandery it may be the shoulder
straps of an office, a chevron, a baldric, or the like.
Insignia of Rank:
An emblem prescribed by the Grand Encampment to denote the rank of the officer
or member wearing it.
When an officer is elected or appointed to official station he does not
immediately take over his work; it is necessary that there be an official
record made and by an official authorized to supervise the change in officers.
This is called the installation, and certain forms are required to be carried
Darius uses the word instituted in connection with his founding the Red Cross
Order; it means to establish, or to set up as an institution.
The investing of a candidate with certain words, signs, or jewel, is called an
Inviolate, to Preserve:
To preserve inviolate means to keep with-out revelation that which one is in
honor bound to hold secret; to keep without violating any of the terms under
which a thing may be held.
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fourth of the langues into which the Order of Malta was divided. The location
of the headquarters of the Malta Knights at Venice and other Italian cities is
the sole reason for mention in the Malta ritual .
Jewel of Office:
An emblem prescribed to be worn by an officer or to designate the office held
by him. It is worn only during his incumbency in office .
A banner used in the Red Cross Order to denote Jewish territory. The usual
banner used in commanderies has four quarterings in which appear the emblems
of Judah, Ephraim, Reuben and Dan. It may not be historically accurate, but
few there be to question it .
Jews, Liberation of:
The liberation of the Jews constitutes a theme which appears and reappears in
Masonic ritual; reference to the liberation is contained in the Order of the
Red Cross .
Most rituals require a symbolic journey on the part of the candidate. Templary
is no exception as the rituals of the Red Cross and Order of the Temple will
The duties of a conductor of candidates is shared by two officers, the Senior
and Junior Wardens. In the Order of the Red Cross, the Junior Warden becomes
the Companion Conductor and later the Master of Infantry .
Fairness. Justice is one of the grand characteristics of the Order of Red
Cross, together with Truth and Liberty; there is no such thing as Justice
without Truth. Justice cannot be dispensed except by those who are free .
Refers to reobligating a Knight Templar and correcting whatever had been amiss
at the time of his creation as a member .
House of Judah:
All members of the Royal family descended from Princes or Rulers of Judah .
The JHVH, or Jahveh, of the Jews; the name by which God is said to have made
himself known under his covenant with the Jewish people. Synonym of God .
Jerusalem: A city of Palestine, situated on two rocky
hills, thirty-five miles from the Mediterranean and thirteen miles west of the
north end of the Dead Sea. It was the Holy City, not only of the Jews, but of
the Christians and Moslems. It is referred to as the "City of David," the
"Holy City," "City of the Great King," and occasionally as "Zion," Zion being
the hill on which was erected the Holy Temple, hence the synonym for
Jerusalem. The scene of Christ's crucifixion .
Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews:
Jesus is quite frequently spoken of as "Jesus of Nazareth" to distinguish him
from other men of the same name; Nazareth refers to the place of his birth and
was the home of Joseph and Mary during his childhood; it was captured several
times during the Crusades; its Christian inhabitants were
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murdered in 1263. The authorities in Jerusalem, in an attempt to ridicule
Jesus, set up over his head, at the time of the crucifixion, a placard reading
"Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum," meaning "This is Jesus of Nazareth, King of
History tells us that guards were stationed at certain strategic points
throughout the Kingdom of Judah and Benjamin, and that they were charged with
halting all who attempted to pass without permission .
This is the Pass required of those who traversed the Jewish dominions of Judah
and Benjamin. Most military passes are given with cuts of the sword .
Ancient Kingdom in southern Palestine between the Mediterranean and the Dead
Sea. It was the southern kingdom of the Jews when the northern part broke away
in 933 B.C. The kingdom came to an end with destruction of Jerusalem by
Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. See "Benjamin." Judas Iscariot: The disciple of
Jesus who proved unfaithful, creating a vacancy among the twelve disciples.
This event is brought to the attention of a Templar candidate in a very
striking way, especially the selection of Judas' successor. An extinguished
taper on the triangle is symbolic of the vacancy created among the apostles by
the unfaithfulness of Judas .
The jurisdiction of a Grand Commandery is the territorial limits of the State
in which it exists. See "Concurrent Jurisdiction." King of Kings and Lord of
Lords: The equivalent of the Latin words "Rex Regum et Dominus Dominorum."
This is the wording which appears on the Banner of Malta, and refers to Jesus
of Nazareth who was the King of Kings and Lord above all other Lords .
King of Persia:
There are two Kings of Persia referred to in Commandery ritual: Cyrus and his
successor Darius. Both Kings proved friendly and favorable to the work of the
Jews in rebuilding their national shrine—Solomon's Temple .
Kings, Power of:
Esdras, the Biblical historian, tells us of a discussion which occurred among
the Princes of one of the Royal households, wherein there existed differences
of opinion as to what was the greatest, the power of the King, the strength of
wine, or the influence of woman. Woman was decided to be the greatest of these
A mounted man-at-arms serving a king or other superior, commonly in return for
land; he was often of noble birth; he was dubbed and created by his superior
King or lord with certain ceremonies. See "Sir Knight." Knights of Malta: An
Order founded in 1118 and known as the Knight Hospitaler; it was a rival of
the Knights Templar. Its life ended with the capitulation of Malta in 1798.
Mackey says of the
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"How anything so anomalous in history as commingling in a body of Knights
Templar and Knight of Malta, and making the same person a representative of
both orders, first arose, it is difficult to determine." Knight of the
Mediterranean Pass: This is termed a "degree," officially the "Degree of
Knight of St. Paul or the Mediterranean Pass" and regarded as a Pass degree to
the Order of Malta .
Knight of St. Paul:
See "Knight of the Mediterranean Pass." Knights Templar: A rival of the
Knights of Malta; it was founded in 1118 during the Crusades; its history
ceased with the death of DeMolay who was elected Grand Master in 1297 and who
was burned at the stake by Order of King and Pope .
In many Masonic degrees we have, as a symbol, the ladder. In Templary, the
ladder has certain symbolic meaning, especially to events connected with the
life of Jesus .
The Order of Malta was divided, for military purposes, into langues—not
languages as stated by the ritual. It is true that a langue was composed
largely of people who spoke the same language, but it was a military division
and not one of language or race. There were eight langues: Provence, Auvergne,
France, Italy, Germany, Aragon, Castile, Anglo-Bavaria-England. The eight
officers at the Table in the West are the Marshal, Hospitaler, Admiral,
Conservator, Bailiff, Turcopolier, Chancellor and Treasurer. These eight
officers represent the eight langues into which the Order was divided during
the 18th century .
Reference is occasionally made to the "sound of the last trump," alluding to
the day of Resurrection when, according to Biblical legend, a trumpet shall
blow, summoning all, both dead and living, to appear in final judgment .
The Latin.,Cross, known as the Passion Cross, is used in the Order of Malta
and the Order of the Temple, where its meaning is fully understood. See
"Passion Cross." Lawful Warrant: A warrant is a written authority, usually to
form a commandery of Knights Templar. A lawful warrant would be one which
complied strictly with the regulations and laws of Templary .
Laws and Regulations:
In founding the Red Cross Order, Darius is said to have set forth certain Laws
and Regulations which all members of the Order were required to assent to
through a solemn vow .
Much of the ritual of the Templar and Malta Orders is taken from the New
Testament; it is not at all surprising to note that throughout the ritualistic
work, the Prelate is asked to read aloud certain Lessons as taken from the
Holy Evangelists .
The last and most important of the vows made in the Templar Order.
The giving of toasts, or tributes, to the Founders of
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Templary, or to those who have been active in its history, is a custom among
Templars. These toasts are referred to as libations .
The Latin word for Liberty, which is one of the out-standing characteristics
of the Red Cross Order.
One of the great characteristics of the Red Cross Order, coupled with Trust
and Justice. Its Latin equivalent is Libertas .
The title given the second officer in a Priory of the Order of Malta; he is
the Generalissimo when working in the Order of the Temple, or Prince
Chancellor in the Order of the Red Cross.
Life: A significant word in the Order of Malta, dealing
with the Life of the Saviour .
There is much antagonism to the granting of life membership unless sold for an
amount sufficient to maintain the membership through a natural lifetime. Many
commanderies have been financially ruined by the life membership feature, and
many times the poor member has to carry the burden of those more able to pay .
Limisso: An ancient seaport on the Island of Cyprus. See
"Cyprus." Lines: Whenever a Templar body prepares for certain of its
ceremonials, or whenever it prepares for military movement, it is said "the
lines are to be formed," a necessary procedure before carrying out any
L'Isle Adam: Grand Master of the Malta Order at the time
Malta was occupied as headquarters of the Order .
Magna Est Veritas Et Praevalebit: Latin words for "Great is
Truth and it shall prevail," very properly taken as the motto for the Banner
of the Red Cross Order, the principal teaching of which is the almighty force
and importance of that virtue .
Magnanimous Order: Magnanimous is that which exhibits the
nobleness of soul. Templars are charged with being magnanimous, or great in
mind; the Order teaches justice, equity and tolerance, therefore it may be
regarded as magnanimous .
Maher-Shalal-Hash-Baz: This is a name, said to be the
longest in the Scriptures. Translated literally, it means "He hasteth to the
spoil," and is the name Isaiah was to give a son which was to be born to him.
Just why the name should be singled out for Templar ritual is unexplainable,
except for the fact that it deals with the spoils of war and is a term easily
connected with warriors .
Malta: An island in the Central Mediterranean, about
fifty-eight miles south of the Island of Sicily; it is the largest of a group
of islands known as the Maltese Islands, which constitute a British Colony.
Its harbor of Valetta has been known through the centuries as one of the
strongest naval bases in the world. The ancient name of the Island was Melita.
It underwent more than twelve hundred air
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during World War II, but was never taken away from the Allies. On March 24,
1530, the Island was ceded, by Emperor Charles V, to the Knights of St. John
on condition that they would defend it and repress the ravages of the Moorish
rovers who, at the time, infested the southern Mediterranean ports. From this
gift the Order acquired the new name of Knights of Malta. There is a legend
connected with the arrival of the Knights of this Island which has be-come a
striking part of the ritual. The Island proved to be the last and final
stronghold of the Order and the ancient name of the Island is still
commemorated in the ritual of the Order.
Malta, Cross of: The eight-pointed cross is the Maltese
Cross. It appears as the central figure of the cover of the Table in the West.
It designates the uniform of the Knight of Malta; it appears on the Malta
Jewel. The eight points symbolize the eight beatitudes; it also represents the
eight langues into which the Order was divided.
Malta, Jewel of: Every member is entitled to wear the jewel
of the Order of Malta; it is the eight pointed cross, or Cross of Malta. The
eight points refer to the eight beatitudes.
Malta, Order of: The second Order in the Templar system,
following the Order of the Red Cross and immediately preceding the Order of
the Temple. The Grand Encampment prescribes a short form ceremonial for this
Order which is most generally used.
Maltese Cross: See "Malta, Jewel of." Mantle: A mantle is a
loose sleeveless garment worn over other clothing; a cloak. The mantle is worn
by officers of the Order of Malta.
Marshal: A high officer charged with the arrangement of
ceremonies; an officer of highest rank in armies. An officer of the Order of
Malta or Order of the Temple.
Mary Magdalene: An important witness to the last hours of
the Saviour and to his resurrection.
Master of Cavalry: The Senior Warden of the commandery
be-comes the Master of Cavalry in conferring the Order of Red Cross. (Do not
pronounce it Calvary.) Master of Dispatches: The Recorder carries the title of
Master of Dispatches in the Order of the Red Cross, and as such has a small
Master of Infantry: The Junior Warden of the Commandery is
known as the Companion Conductor, or Master of Infantry, when working in the
Order of the Red Cross; he is actually the conductor of candidates through
certain sections of the work. See "Companion Conductor." Master of Finance:
The treasurer of a commandery bears the title of Master of Finance in the
Order of the Red Cross; he has no speaking part in the degree, but is assigned
a duty which requires him to become a floor officer.
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Mediterranean Pass: See "Knight of the Mediterranean Pass."
Melita: The ancient name of the Island of Malta. See
One who has received the Chivalric Orders and who is in good standing in his
commandery is said to be a member. If he has taken a withdrawal card, or dimit,
he is a dimitted member. If he has not paid his dues, and has been suspended
by his Comiiiandery, he is said to be a suspended member. If he comes from
another Commandery, he is said to be an affiliated member. There „ no
distinction between an affiliated member and any other member. While officers
of a Commandery are necessary, the support of the loyal member is even more
necessary for the support of a Commandery.
Membership: When one has been affiliated as a member, or
when he has received the Order of the Temple, he is said to have membership.
Mental Reservation: A withholding, or failing to disclose
some-thing that affects a statement, promise, etc., and which, if disclosed,
would materially change its import.
Messina: Our Malta ritual refers to Messina, which was a
Province of Ancient Italy. Inasmuch as the name occurs along with the names of
several other Italian cities, it is evident the name should have been Messana
or Messene, which are Italian cities in Messina Province.
Minister, to: To attend at the altar; contributing to the
welfare; in a Commandery the prelate ministers at the altar, thereby
contributing to the religious atmosphere of the occasion.
Moors (Moorish): Arabs who lived in the Northern Sudan;
they were known as terrible thieves and raiders without conscience.
Mortality, Emblem of: Anything reminding one of Death is an
emblem of mortality. A skull, or a skeleton, is regarded as such. Those who
receive the Order of the Temple are brought face to face with the imminence of
Mortality of Body: All Templars are taught that the body is
mortal and that only the soul is immortal.
Most Excellent Grand Master: A title given to King Solomon,
who was the first traditional Grand Master of Freemasons.
Music: Music is highly regarded by commanderies, yet the
difficulty of securing musicians and proper music will always be a problem;
this has been relieved in recent years by the use of victrolas and amplifiers.
The ritual specifies certain music for use in the Order of Malta, but the
instruction ceases there.
New Testament: The section of the Bible dealing with the
New Covenant and the teachings of Jesus, hence its use in commanderies of
Knights Templar. The term New Testament has been in use since the third
Nine: The By-Laws of a Grand Commandery require the
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nine members of the commandery in order to constitute a quorum for the
dispatch of business.
Nomenclature: The honorary title of the Grand Commander is
"Right Eminent," and his official title is "Grand Commander"; the honorary
title of the Deputy Grand Commander is "Very Eminent," and his official title
is "Deputy Grand Commander"; the honorary title of the remaining Grand
Officers, Past and Present Commanders is "Eminent."
Non-Affiliation: One who is voluntarily non-affiliated has
no Templar rights, except the right to petition for affiliation.
Non Nobis, Domine, Non Nobis, Sed Nomini, Tuo Da Gloriam:
Translated this means "Not unto us, Oh Lord, not unto us, but to thy name give
glory." It is the motto of the Templar Order and appears on the Grand
Notice: A notice is required by law to be written.
Number: There are certain legal requirements fixing the
number of Templars necessary for legally proceeding with their work. See
"Constitutional Number," "Indispensable number."
Objection: Before a candidate is admitted into any of the
Templar Orders, inquiry is made as to whether there is any objection. An
objection made up to that moment is sufficient to stop the conferring of the
Open: Commanderies open; Grand Encampment and Grand
Oppression: Templars are taught never to wield their swords
in the cause of oppression. The word oppression means unjust or cruel exercise
of authority or power.
Order of Malta: See "Malta, Order of."
Order of the Red Cross: The first of the Orders conferred
in asylums of Knights Templar. It deals with an interesting period of Jewish
history and serves to connect the Royal Arch degree with the Templar system.
Order of Temple: See "Temple, Order of."
Palestine: Palestine was the ancient Canaan; it is located
in south-western Asia, bordering the Mediterranean; to the north is Lebanon;
eastward is Syria; southwestward is Egypt; the Capital is Jerusalem. It is the
Holy Land of all Christian peoples. The chief river is the Jordan. When it was
not being invaded by the Chaldees, the Babylonians, the Assyrians and the
Persians, it was being attacked from the southwest by its hereditary enemy,
Egypt. The Order of Malta was established in Palestine in 1099 through the
association of a number of pious Knights with the members of St. John's
Hospital, an establishment existing at that time for the relief of pilgrims
who had come to Jerusalem to worship at the Holy Sepulcher. The name
commemorates the country of the Saviour's nativity, the place where
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Order was founded and the first epoch in its history. The Knights were
compelled to evacuate Palestine and, in 1287, went to Cyprus. See "Cyprus."
Pall: A pall is a heavy black cloth thrown over a coffin,
tomb or hearse; hence, it is a covering which conceals something.
Paschal Lamb: The word "paschal" refers to anything
connected with the Passover. The Paschal Lamb is the lamb slain and eaten
during the period of the Passover; hence, Christ, referred to as Agnes Dei,
the Lamb of God.
Pass: As a rule a pass refers to more than one word as
distinguished from a password. Again, many passes are given with cut of the
sword. A pass is usually given by one who is en route, especially on a
Passion Cross: The Passion Cross is the Latin Cross upon
which the Saviour was crucified; the reference is, of course, to the passion
of the Saviour on the cross. See "Latin Cross."
Passports: Passports are written evidence of authority to
travel from one place to another. These are still essential in this modern
Past Rank: One who has filled, by installation and service,
the station of Grand Commander, Deputy Grand Commander, Grand Generalissimo,
or Grand Captain General retains the title of the highest office attained by
him and is permitted to add the word "Past" immediately preceding the official
title. One who has filled, by installation and service, the station of
Commander becomes a Past Commander. The commander of a commandery under
dispensation does not become a Past Commander when the commandery is
Patience and Perseverance: The pilgrimage of life is truly
a trial of one's patience and perseverance.
Patriarchal Cross: It was borne before the Patriarch of the
Roman Church, whence its name. It is formed by two horizontal bars crossing an
upright bar, the top bar being shorter than the lower. It is worn by officers
of the Grand Encampment.
Peace, Come in: The inhabitants of the Island of Malta
viewed with alarm the approach of the Knights of St. John to their Island. On
finding the Knights coming not for warfare, they spoke to them in their native
language, inviting them to come in peace and due hospitality would be extended
Peculiar Mark: The green sash presented to a candidate in
the Red Cross Order is said to denote the peculiar mark of esteem of the
giver. It is peculiar in that it constituted no actual monetary value and as a
gift there was, at the time, a question as to its worth.
Penalty (of Vow): Templary exacts no penalties from its novitiates; all its
obligations, pledges or vows are taken freely and
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voluntarily and failure to keep them is a matter for the individual
conscience. The only penalties in the Order are suspension, expulsion or
Penance: Penance is necessary for all mortal men, for few
there are who live a life without having committed some misdeed. Penance is a
trial of our faith and humility.
Permanent Member: Only Past Grand Commanders are regarded
as permanent members of the Grand Encampment. Past Commanders are permanent
members of a Grand Commandery.
Persia: An ancient Kingdom, known today as Iran. The
Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great extended from India to the Mediterranean.
It was organized by Darius I, at which time began the Persian Wars. It was
officially named Iran in 1935. See Darius, "King of Persia." Persian Banner: A
banner used to designate the boundary line of the Persian Dominions. It is
usually green in color and bears emblems of sun, moon, stars, etc. It, like
the Jewish Banner, may not be entirely accurate historically, but is only a
Persian Countersign: Used in a military sense as a secret
signal, word, or phrase, communicated to sentries or guards, which must be
given by one before being permitted to pass. Persian countersign would be one
required by the Persian guards.
Persian Guards: Officers in the Order of the Red Cross,
whose duty it was to protect their country from entrance by intruders or those
not carrying the necessary passports.
Peter: An apostle of Jesus, who, because of his dignity,
success in propagation of the Gospel, and part taken in the Master's affairs,
was made the outstanding apostle, particularly by the Catholic Church, which
makes the claim of superiority of Peter over the other apostles (without
Petition: Application for membership in a Commandery is by
petition, whether it be by affiliation or for the Orders. Prescribed forms are
supplied by the recorder of each Commandery for those desiring to petition.
Petitioner: One who petitions for membership or for the
Orders is said to be a petitioner.
Philip the Fair: As a tool of Pope Clement V he assisted in
the persecution of the Templars through the Inquisition, resulting in the
martyrdom of Jacques de Molay.
Pilate: Pontius Pilate was the sixth Roman Procurator of
Judea, serving under the Roman Emperor Tiberius. Jesus was brought be-fore him
for trial because the Romans ruled Palestine at that time. Pilate had no
desire to engage in the internal disputes of the He-brew people.
Pilgrimage: A symbolical journey or pilgrimage is part of
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initiatory ceremonies of most fraternal societies. Templary too has its
Pilgrim Garb: The pilgrims of old were known because of
their garb which consisted of rough material, sandals, staff, scrip, and a
pilgrim's hat which was often adorned with a shell.
Pilgrim Penitent: Penance is necessary for those who would
learn the lessons of faith and humility; after learning the lessons of
patience, perseverance, courage and constancy, the lessons of faith and
humility complete man's struggle for immortality.
Pilgrim Penitent Word: Legend tells us that those who
traveled to the Holy Land were invested with a word by which they might be
distinguished upon their arrival at the Holy Places of Palestine. Their
journey often ended at Golgotha, scene of the crucifixion, which, because of
its rounded barren shape, is yet known as the place of a skull.
Pilgrim Warrior: We are all pilgrim warriors, symbolically
war-ring with the lying deceits and vanities of this earthly existence. Those
valiant knights of medieval days were pilgrims and warriors, for such they had
to be in order to gain the Holy Land.
Pledge: There is a slight difference between the use of the
terms obligation, pledge and vow, as found in the various Masonic degrees. The
word "pledge" is the more simple of the three.
Point: The word is used in connection with the sword, where
reference is made to the point. The point of the sword is said to be endowed
with Charity for a fallen foe; in other places it is to Mercy unrestrained.
Pope Clement V.: It was he who conspired with Philip the
Fair, of France, to extinguish the Templars through what was termed the
Inquisition, a period of history not at all to the credit of the Church or
Post Sentinel: The command to "post the sentinel" is to
ascertain whether he who is acting as the sentinel is properly placed and at
Prayer: The Templar Order teaches the value of prayer; many
of the prayers are ritualistic, for the reason that very few members are
qualified to offer public prayer. After all the value of a prayer is dependent
upon the spirit behind those who offer the prayer.
Preceding Degrees: Reference is made in the ritual to
"preceding degrees." As now interpreted, it refers to the degree of Royal Arch
Mason and the symbolic degrees. It once included the degree of Past Master,
but Pennsylvania took that degree from the Capitular system, whereupon the
Grand Encampment changed its ritual.
Prelate: An officer of a commandery who carried on the duty
of a chaplain. In ecclesiastical circles he is regarded as a high church
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Preparation Room: The ante-room in which a candidate is
prepared for the ceremonies of Knighthood.
Present Swords: Swords are drawn and a salute is given by
bringing the hilt to a point just in front of the eyes, retaining that
position until some other command is given. The command "present" is usually
for the purpose of saluting.
Prince Chancellor: A secretary, and especially a nobleman,
who acted as a secretary to the King; sometimes the principal minister of
State. The second officer in the drama of the Red Cross Order.
Prince Master of the Palace: Officers of the Persian Court
were usually princes of the royal blood. One of the chief of the princes was
usually assigned the duty of serving as Master of the Palace, supervising the
affairs of the Royal household. He is the third officer in the Red Cross
Prince of Peace:
Because of Christ's doctrine
of Love, which is the foundation of all peaceful movements, he is called the
Prince of Peace.
Prior: The superior of a Priory; an ecclesiastic of high
rank. The chief officer in a Priory of the Order of Malta.
Priory: When a Commandery is assembled for the purpose of
conferring the Order of Malta, they are said to form a Priory, which was the
old name for the organization conferring this Order. In England and Scotland,
to this day, the Templars are formed into a Supreme Priory and the name
Commandery is unknown. Even Canada has its Supreme Great Priory.
Procession: The ceremonial procession of the Order of Malta
is an outstanding feature of the Order. Officers of the Priory, in full Malta
costume, enter and leave the hall in a full ceremonial which adds to the
beauty of the Order.
Proclaim: To proclaim is to announce; to make known.
Protection: The Standard Bearer of a Commandery is charged with the protection
of the banner of the Order.
Provence (pronounced pro vans): First of the eight
langues into which the Order of Malta was divided. It was a section in
south-eastern France, bordering on the Mediterranean.
Provinces: See "Langues."
Certain officers, who have votes in Grand Encampment, or in a Grand Commandery
are authorized to name one to act in their place; such an authority is termed
a "proxy." Question and Answers: All candidates for the Orders of Knight-hood
are required to answer certain questions in writing, the questions having to
do with their religious belief and practice.
Quorum: The quorum for a conclave of the Grand Commandery
consists of nine members entitled to vote therein, including an officer
authorized to convene the same; three commanderies must
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represented. Grand Encampment law requires a constituent or subordinate
commandery to have at least three Knights Templar, hailing from three separate
commanderies, or at least nine Templars residing in the jurisdiction, before a
commandery can be formed or opened, but when only three Templars there must be
a lawful war-rant from the Grand Master or from the Grand Encampment. The
usual quorum required by Grand Commanderies for a commandery, is nine Knights
Templar, all of whom must be members of the same Commandery.
Readings: Whenever the word "reading" is employed in
Templar ritual, it refers to readings from the New Testament.
A realm is a kingdom or territory; it is usually descriptive of a country
ruled by a King, for the word has in it the connotation of royalty.
Reballot: Under certain regulations a reballot may be taken
on a petition for affiliation or for the Orders. Authority to do so is hedged
about with certain necessary requirements.
At the opening of a commandery, the members are lined up in certain form
awaiting the arrival and reception of the Commander and his escort.
Recognition, Means of:
When Darius established the Red Cross Order, he ordained that certain signs
and words should become the means of recognition among its members.
An officer of a commandery charged with the responsibility of making and
preserving the records of the commandery. The successful commandery is quite
often a success by reason of the activity and service of a competent recorder.
The duties of a recorder are set forth in the by-laws of the commandery and by
laws of the Grand Commandery under which it works.
Records of Our Fathers:
To the Jews, the record of the fathers is the Old Testament. To the Christian,
the New Testament is so considered.
When the chapeau or hat is removed on command "uncover," it is replaced at the
command "recover." Red Cross, Banner of: It is of green color, green being the
color usually assigned to Truth which is the specific virtue exemplified in
the Order. There is a Star of seven points on this green field, and within is
a Red Cross of equal arms and angles; around it is the motto "Magna est
Veritas, et praevalebit." On each of the four arms of the Cross are letters
D.T.J.L., referring to the grand characteristics of the Order. See "Magna est
Veritas, et Praevalebit."
Red Cross, Order of:
The first of the Orders conferred in a Commandery of Knights Templar. The
Order has a Jewish and Persian background, which is seemingly out of place in
a Christian Order.
Regularly and Duly Constituted:
No commandery may be fully
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authorized to carry on its activities until it has been regularly and duly
constituted—that is according to the forms and ceremonies laid down by the
Rejection: One who petitions for affiliation or for the
Orders, and who is not elected is said to be rejected; the act of doing so is
termed a rejection.
Relics: A word used to describe all that is left of this
earthly body after the spirit has gone forth, a process which we call death.
The Catholic Church employs relics as a part of the furniture of every church,
a bone or a skull being required under every altar.
Response: A response is a reply to a challenge, or it is
the response to the pass.
Those who by virtue of their rank as Grand Commander, Deputy Grand Commander,
Grand Generalissimo, Grand Captain General, or their authorized proxies, are
en-titled to seats in the Grand Encampment, are referred to as representative
When a member dropped from the rolls for any reason whatsoever applies for
reinstatement to his former status, and is elected, it is called a restoration
(to good standing) or a reinstatement.
Resurrection: The word refers to the Biblical story of the
resurrection of the Saviour after his crucifixion. It is unnecessary to go
into detail concerning this for it is the basis of Christian teaching.
When the swords are drawn, they are returned to their scabbards by the command
"return swords." Revenue: The recorder is charged with the responsibility of
collecting all amounts due the commandery, referred to in ritual as
"collecting the revenue." Rex Regum et Dominus Dominorum: The Latin for "King
of Kings and Lord of Lords;" used as the motto on the Banner of Malta.
Rhodes, Banner of: The banner commemorates the stay of the
Knights on the Island of that name. It was an island in the Aegean Sea off the
southwest coast of Turkey in Asia; it is a part of the Dodecanese group. It
was returned to the Greeks in 1945. The chief city is named Rhodes and it has
two fine harbors built mostly by the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem (also
Rhodes); its mediaeval appearance and fortifications have been little altered.
It was captured by the Knights of St. John in 1310, held against the Turks,
and finally evacuated in 1522, after a heavy siege by the Saracens under
Solyman II; few stones were left of the old fortification and such was their
valor they were permitted to withdraw unmolested. This was the third place of
the sojourning of the Knights of Malta.
Ritual: The ritual is the foundation upon which a fraternal
society is erected. Templary has its ritual, written largely in cipher. It has
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much changed over the years, but it still retains evidences of what our
ancient forbears might have employed in their ceremonies. Robes: The only
robes used in Templary are those employed in conferring the Order of the Red
Cross, where Jewish and Persian robes are worn by the participants. The robes
of a Royal Arch Chapter usually supply these robes and we are not unaccustomed
to be-hold Persian robes in a Jewish council chamber.
Royal Household: The Royal Household comprised all those
who assisted the King in carrying on the general duties required in a Palace.
It included all the Princes, the Chancellor, the Master of the Palace and
See "Zerubbabel." Royal Robe: Those who enter a Royal Court are required to be
properly costumed. Those upon whom the King may bestow princely honors are
entitled to be clothed accordingly.
The Royal Court of Darius of Persia was made up of Princes of the Royal family
and Rulers of his Provinces.
Rules and Regulations:
When Darius established the Order of the Red Cross he is said, traditionally,
to have established certain Rules and Regulations for the government of the
St. John, Ancient Order of:
The Order was founded in 1099 in Jerusalem for the relief of pilgrims coming
to Jerusalem; a hospital was established at this time; the organization had a
troublous career and gradually retreated to Cyprus, Rhodes, Candia, and
finally to Malta. After this last settlement, the Order assumed the name of
Knights of Malta. There is in existence at this time a Catholic Order of the
Knights of Malta. There is also a Protestant Order by the same name.
St. John the Baptist: His parents were Zacharias and
Elisabeth, the latter being a cousin of Mary the mother of Jesus. As an
apostle he called upon the Jewish people to repent, warning them of the
destruction which might follow if they did not do so. He was be-headed at the
order of Herod.
St. John's Hospital: A Hospital of the St. John's Order
still exists in the Holy City and is supported by the Supreme Great Priory of
St. Paul: A native of Tarsus, of Jewish descent but with
Roman citizenship because of his father. He was one of the twelve disciples.
Sacred Mystery: The converting of water into wine is
referred to as the Sacred Mystery.
Sacred Writings: Generally regarded as the writings of the
Old Testament. The term is used by Darius and refers to the sacred writings of
the Jewish people of that day whatever they might have been.
Salem, Cross of: Sometimes called the "Pontifical Cross"
and borne before the Pope. It is formed by three horizontal bars cross-
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upright, the top and lower bar being shorter than the middle bar. It is worn
by the Grand Master and Past Grand Masters of the Grand Encampment.
Sandals: In the days before modern shoes were manufactured,
and in hot countries, the use of the sandal was current.
Saracens: A name given by the Christians to their arch
enemies of the Moslem faith.
Sash: The green sash is used in the Red Cross Order. See
"Green." Scabbard: The receptacle for the sword. A Templar is urged to let his
sword remain in its scabbard until consumed by rust rather than draw it in the
cause of injustice, falsehood or oppression.
Scrip: A small bag; the name is applied to the small bag
carried by pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land.
Scripture: All Masonic degrees contain excerpts from the
Scripures. Freemasons rarely refer to the Holy Writings as Scriptures, but to
the Holy Bible, Book of the Sacred Law, or, as our English friends say, the
Volume of the Sacred Law (VSL). which includes any of the Holy Books of any
Second Temple: The Second Temple at Jerusalem is referred
to in the Order of the Red Cross. It was built after Cyrus had liberated the
Jews in 536 B.C. He ordered all the Holy Vessels returned which had been taken
out of the First Temple. Hindrances were placed in the way and it was not
completed until 520 B.C. It was on the site of the first Temple, but many were
moved to tears when they beheld it for it was not so impressive as the First.
And again, it lacked the Ark of the Covenant.
Secret Evasion: Evasion is the act of avoiding; a
subterfuge. Those who take the obligations of Templary are bound to practice
no secret evasion of their pledges or promises.
Senior Warden: The ritualistic work of the Temple is
assigned to various officers; the two wardens are entrusted with duties
similar to those of a Senior Deacon in a lodge, but in commanderies the work
is divided between the Senior and Junior Wardens. Both are officers of a
Sentinel: One who watches or guards; a soldier placed to
guard an army against surprise and to give notice of danger; also applied to a
sentry. An officer of the Red Cross and Order of Temple.
Sepulcher: A grave, tomb, or burial vault. In Templary the
sepulcher is the place wherein was interred the remains of the Saviour.
Shetharboznai: One of the Governors of the Persian Kingdom,
resident in Syria, who, with Tatnai, came to Jerusalem under orders to
investigate the charges made against the Jews. The name means "shining star."
Short Ceremonial: The Grand Encampment ritual provides for a short form
ceremonial for conferring the Order of Malta. Signs, Due: Each of the Orders
conferred in a Commandery has
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signs and words, used only for the purpose of providing membership in the
Order. The word due has reference to lawful, regular or legal.
Sign, Grips and Words:
Templary has its sign, grips and words, which, of necessity, may not be
Simon of Cyrene: The only thing to distinguish this Simon
was the fact that he was a bystander during the travel of Jesus along the Via
Doloroso, and was forced to bear the Master's Cross. Templars hold him in high
esteem and commemorate his service in a distinctive ceremony.
A grandiloquent title for which there appears no authority. The word Sir is a
title prefixed to the Christian name of a Knight, as Sir John Jones. A Knight
is a Sir when created a Knight so that the use of two forms, similar in
meaning, to show Knighthood is without historical authority. However, it
appears as such in the rituals and laws of the Grand Encampment and as such
must be used until legally changed.
One of the emblems of the Malta Order is the human skull, split in twain with
a scimitar or sword; it is a grim allusion to the judgment which befell
traitors in mediaeval days.
Slave: Captives were generally regarded as slaves. There
are many instances in which captives received excellent treatment, depending
much upon the character of the ruler in whose country they were captive.
Darius was well known for his treatment of captives, hence, we find Zerubbabel
admitted into his presence as a captive and a slave.
Sojourner: One eligible to petition for the Orders of
Knighthood who presents his petition to a commandery which has no territorial
jurisdiction over the petitioner.
An ancient Jewish King; the traditional founder of Freemasonry.
Emperor of the Turks at the time the Island of Rhodes was besieged by Turkish
forces. He was successful in taking the island after a memorable defense by
the Knights; appreciating the gallant manner in which they had defended the
island, he permitted them to depart without molestation.
Sovereign Great Priory:
Some of our foreign brethren refer to their parent organization as Sovereign
Great Priory, a name not known in this county, where the parent organization
is either a Grand Encampment or a Grand Commandery.
A reference by Zerubbabel to
Darius, King of Persia. As Darius had conquered Judea, he was the "Sovereign
Lord" over the Jewish people.
The principal character in the Order of the Red Cross; he is Darius, King of
A Grand Commandery may be called into ses-
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at, other than the time of the annual conclave; when such is done, it is
referred to as a special conclave. When commanderies meet on a date other than
that set forth in their by-laws, the meeting is referred to as a special
Every candidate is symbolically invested with the Spur; the spur is worn by
those who ride horses, the sharp prongs of which act as a goad to urge the
horse on. Likewise it is supposed to goad the individual Knight on to more
Square and Compasses:
These are "the symbols of your ancient craft" referred to in the Order of the
Red Cross. They are primarily the symbols of Freemasonry and are so used in
the Red Cross Order; their use must be regarded as legendary and traditional.
Pilgrims are said to have carried the staff, a long pole, sometimes forked,
and which was often serviceable to those who went on long journeys.
See "Maltese Cross." Standard Bearer: An officer designated to carry the
official standard of the Order. An officer of a commandery.
Stated Conclave: Commanderies usually set out in their
by-laws the time of their regular meetings; these are called stated conclaves
because the time is stated. When held on dates not set forth, they are
referred to as special conclaves.
Stations: To each officer, irrespective of rank, is
assigned a place or station. These stations are variously located in and out
of the asylum, depending upon the requirements of the office.
Statutes, Rules and Regulations:
Statutes are something laid down or declared fixed by a conference between
interested parties; an agreement. The Order of Malta has its Statutes, Rules
Stole: A stole is a vestment worn around the neck and over
the shoulders by bishops and priests. It is prescribed as a part of the
official uniform of the Chaplain in the Order of Malta and is made of white
satin or similar material, lined in white; it is made in a single piece and
with a circular collar fastened behind; edged in white gold lace with fringe
across the bottom; it has three black Maltese crosses on the front.
Summons: A warning or citation to appear at some spot or
place at a designated time. Members of a commandery are under obligation to
respond to all summons sent out by lawful authority.
Conclaves are forbidden to be held on the Sabbath Day; commanderies may
assemble for worship or for funeral purposes.
When one has violated rules laid down for the government of a commandery, he
may be tried and, if found guilty, may be suspended or expelled according to
the gravity of the offense. When suspended the act is called suspension. There
are certain ways in which the suspension may be removed and this is called
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Failure to pay annual dues is a minor offense and may result in sus-pension,
but ordinarily payment within a certain period restores to former standing.
A trusted military lieutenant, who, in ancient times, carried his master's
sword. An officer in a commandery. Sword, Naked: A sword without a scabbard.
There is little difference between the Templar Sword and other swords, except
that the hilt of the Templar Sword is often formed in the shape of a cross in
allusion to the Passion Cross on which Jesus was crucified.
Sword, Wield: The sword is worn by members of the Red Cross
Order and the Order of the Temple. Templars are urged to wield, or use, their
swords only when need be, and then in behalf of worthy causes.
Swords, Draw: Officers engaged in carrying out their
ritualistic activities usually have their swords drawn, especially in
executing some command. When in line, the swords are withdrawn on the command
"draw swords," the movement being executed at the second command.
Suitable Array: Before any of the Orders are conferred it
is necessary that the asylum or hall be in readiness for the work, or for the
reception of the officers. The expression "in suitable array" is used in
directing the proper arrangement of the asylum.
Syracuse: One of the Italian cities occupied by the Knights
of Malta previous to their occupation of Malta.
Table in the East: In the Malta Order there is located a
Table in the East, at which are situated five of the principal officers of the
Priory. The table is arranged in the form of the upper part of the Latin
Table in the West: At the Table in the West are situated
the representatives of the eight langues into which the Malta Order was
divided. On the Table is a large Maltese Cross with certain emblems arranged
in the four quarterings of the circle, superimposed upon the Cross. These
emblems have certain significance in connection with the history of the Order
and are explained to the candidates in the lecture.
In general, the word tactics specifies all those instructions necessary for
the carrying out of floor movements by Templar or Red Cross bodies. The
tactics are usually published in book form and distributed among those who
make up the list of officers and drill teams.
An extinguished taper (candle, or small light) represents inactivity or death.
The extinguished taper in the Templar asylum represents one of the apostles
whose activity came to an end with his betrayal of the Saviour.
A taper usually represents a person or thing.
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burning it symbolically represents activity and life; when extinguished it
represents inactivity or death; the twelve tapers referred to in the Order of
the Temple are representative of the twelve apostles. When one taper is
extinguished, it represents the unfaithful apostle, Judas.
Tatnai: The Persian meaning of the name is "gift." He was a
Persian Governor who ruled over Samaria. With Shetharboznai, another Persian
Governor, he went to investigate charges against the Jews. They served under
Darius, and his report to King Darius is said to be a model of accuracy and
Templar Cross: The Templar Cross is defined by the Grand
Encampment as a Cross Patee with straight lines. The Cross Patee is defined as
having arms narrow at the center and expanding gradually toward the ends.
Temple, Order of: The last of the three degrees, or Orders,
conferred in a commandery of Knights Templar.
Tent, Warrior: The ancient Crusaders were warriors and
lived in tents while on their various Crusades. It is not at all surprising to
find representation of these tents in the Order of the Temple.
Throne: A throne is symbolic of royalty, because he who
constitutionally heads a monarchy is seated upon the throne when he gives
forth orders and receives distinguished personages. Darius, principal
character in the Red Cross Order is traditionally seated upon a throne placed
in the East of the Asylum.
Title: The title of a Grand Commandery is expressed by the
Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of the State of . . . . . . "
That of the Grand Encampment is
"The Grand Encampment of
Knights Templar of the United States of America."
A synonym for traveling or journeying.
Treasurer: The financial officer of a commandery.
Treasury: The nomenclature of the Templar Order refers to
the "treasury" and not to the treasurer.
Triangle: There is no explanation as to the use of a
triangle in the Templar Order, except the possibility that it may have
originated from the triangle which was a Delta, and which in Masonic
symbol-ism was always representative of Deity. It constitutes the principal
piece of paraphernalia in a Templar asylum, corresponding to the altar in the
Trumpet: The trumpet is one of the most ancient of musical
instruments. The Templars preserve the name of trumpet and employ the
instrument in summoning members to assemble.
Truth: The Order of the Red Cross is founded upon Truth,
which is declared to be a Divine Attribute and the foundation of every virtue.
Turbans: Peoples of the East wore as headgear a roll of
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sometimes several yards in length, which were wound round the head and tucked
under, forming protection from the heat of the sun. These were later developed
into fixed rolls, known as turbans, and they are in use to this day.
Turcopolier: Actually, a turcopolier was a light armed
infantry-man; the name is taken from the Greek, meaning son of a Turk, but
altered to mean an officer of the Order of St. John of Jerusalem, and an
ex-officio commander of a cavalry unit. An officer at the table in the west in
the Order of Malta.
Unbelief: Unbelief is quite the opposite of belief; in the
Templar orders it has the sense of agnosticism, or doubt.
Uncover: To uncover the head is, at least in modern custom,
a method of showing respect. Templars uncover (remove their chapeau) when
lessons are read from the Holy Scriptures, and also under certain other cases
set forth by the tactics.
Uniform: The full dress uniform of a Templar proved to be
unsatisfactory except for ceremonial use, hence the adoption of a more
comfortable dress. The Order of the Temple is conferred by officers and
members garbed in Full Templar costume. Much difference of opinion exists as
to what constitutes the full dress uniform; those anxious to know more about
this phase of Templary may well consult their by-laws defining not that of the
ancient day Templar, but a modern innovation. There are three types of
uniform: The fatigue, the full dress, and the Malta. Again, there are the
robes necessary to confer the ritual section of the Red Cross Order.
One of the things devoutly hoped for and the ultimate goal of the Templar.
A place of sojourn of the Knights of Malta; it is known in Italy as Venezia.
It is a city in the northeastern part of Italy, being located on 118 islands
in the Lagoon of Venice. Venice emerged from the Fourth Crusade (1202-04) as
the ruler of a colonial empire which included Crete, the Ionian, and several
other islands and countries of the Mediterranean.
Veritas: Latin word for Truth, which is the principal
teaching of the Red Cross Order.
Vested: The By-Laws of the Grand Commandery vests certain
authority in the officers of a commandery, one of which is to create Knights
of the Templar Order. When a Commander dubs the new Knight he refers to the
power "in him vested." Villa Franca: An Italian city in which the Knights of
Malta sojourned for a brief period. Actually, its name is Villa Franca di
Verona. It is in the northeastern part of Italy, ten miles southwest of
Villaret: Guilleume de Villaret was Grand Master of the
Order of St. John of Jerusalem in 1296; he came to the head of the
organization when its affairs were at low ebb, securing from the Pope and
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kings and princes many valuable contributions of land and money; he effected a
drastic reorganization in the period 1300-04.
Viper: A venomous snake is usually referred to as a viper.
Visitation: In general, the holder of a commandery receipt
for cur-rent dues is sufficient documentary evidence to secure admission to a
commandery as a visitor. However, the right of visitation is not an inherent
right and the commandery is not bound to receive visitors.
Viturbo: Our ritual refers to this Italian city as Viturbo;
actually it is Viterbo. It is the Capital of Viterbo Province and its ancient
name was Vicus Elbii. It was the place of sojourn for the Knights of Malta
before taking over the Island of Malta.
Vow: A vow is a solemn promise; it is an act whereby one
consecrates himself wholeheartedly to some act of service; a pledge of
constancy or fidelity. It is used throughout the Templar Order in lieu of the
Warder: One who wards off; a keeper of a gate; an officer
in the commandery who keeps watch over all who enter the asylum. An officer of
the Council of the Red Cross.
Warfare: With the lying deceits and vanities of the world,
life is a continual warfare. This warfare is symbolized by the journey of the
candidate through the Templar Order.
Warrant: The word is synonymous with the word "authority."
Our ritual specifies that commanderies must "act under a lawful war-rant,"
meaning that they are irregular when acting without some evidence of where
they acquired their right to exist. See "Lawful Warrant." Widows and Orphans:
Templars regard themselves as special protectors of the widow and orphan,
especially when they are destitute and alone.
Wine: Wine is prominently mentioned throughout the Bible,
and there appear to be many kinds and varieties, according to the method of
manufacture. As we find wine used in certain ceremonial observances of the
church, so do we find a similar custom in some of the Masonic bodies.
Commanderies which use grape juice will find no cause for criticism.
The Book of Esdras tells of the discussion which took place in the Royal Court
as to whether Wine, the Power of Kings or Women was the greater. It is said
that while the supereminency of Woman was above that of Kingly power or effect
of wine, yet he who had proposed the discussion had overlooked the importance
Words: Templar Orders lay much stress upon the
communication of certain words. An examination of these words will show no
super-natural power by reason of possession of them. Most of them are
identified with certain phases of the ritual and are used solely for the
purposes of identification.
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Work: An expression used to define the ritual or the manner
of conferring the Templar Orders.
Zerubbabel: One of the great historical characters in
Free-masonry; the outstanding character in the Order of the Red Cross. He was
a Royal Prince of the House of Judah, son of Shealtiel, and leader of the
first group of Jews permitted to return to Jerusalem, carrying with them
certain of the Holy Vessels. He was hindered in his work by the Samaritans and
appealed to Darius for assistance, which was readily granted.