Order of Knight Masons
The Order of Knight Masons was formally constituted in Ireland in 1923 to look after the degrees which were previously worked by Royal Arch chapters, commanderies (known as preceptories in Europe and Canada) of High Knight Templars, and even a Rose Croix chapter. These “Green” degrees are ancient and are, in essence, Old Testament based. The degrees are three, in addition to the chair degree. They are:
Knight of the Sword (formerly the Red Cross of Daniel or Babylonian Pass): The candidate, representing Zerubbabel, seeks admission to come before King Cyrus. The King relates the details of a dream to his courtiers and then permits Zerubbabel to enter. Zerubbabel requests liberty for the captive Jews and gives a signal demonstration of his fidelity. The King, being impressed, grants Zerubbabel and his company permission to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple. He invests him with a sash, a sword, and a password.
Knight of the East (formerly Jordan Pass): The time is now 16 years after the action of the previous degree. Zerubbabel now returns to Persia from Jerusalem to request King Darius continued support in building the Jewish Temple, and his aid in driving away from the enemies who are frustrating their efforts. Darius grants the request and appoints Zerubbabel as a palace guard. Before retiring, the King proposes the discussion of the relative strengths of wine, women, or the king. Zerubbabel and two other guards contend via argument, with Zerubbabel coming out the victor. He is then escorted safely back to Jerusalem.
Knight of the East and West (formerly Royal Order)In this degree, Zerubbabel returns in triumph to Jerusalem and reports to the Sanhedrin, or Jewish Council. As a recognition for his valor and constancy, he is created a Knight of the East and West, and is invested with a sash and apron.
Installed Excellent Chief (a chair degree of the presiding officer)
They are not to be confused with the degrees which may have similar names in other Orders.
The Grand Council of Knight Masons of the United States of America, in consideration of its origin strives to:
Perpetuate the ancient rituals of the Irish Masonic Canon, (the "Green" degrees) by promoting their frequent and regular conferral inits constituent councils, and by its expectation that such conferral will be executed with an accuracy, a precision, and a dramatic power congruent with the highest traditions of the Masonic institution.
Elevate to membership in its constituent councils only those Freemasons who in their character and persons have amply and thoroughly demonstrated in their Masonic lives, by means of a faithful attachment to the institution, a true and honorable record of service to its goals, and a genuine dedication to its high ideals.
Foster in its constituent councils the regular exploration and studyof the Masonic Tradition and Heritage by means of an aggressive program of scholarly inquiry and research, and to pursue that Masonic learning in the spirit of our Celtic forbears who kept the light of faith burning in times of darkness.
Encourage its constituent councils to discover in the pleasures and diversions of the festive board that warm fellowship and that joyous fraternity, which have ever characterized and actuated the great spirit of this Ancient Craft.
Promote the charitable dimension so central to, and inherent in, Masonic life and tradition by obliging its constituent councils to contribute with customary Masonic liberality to those institutions, both Masonic and non-Masonic, which serve the needs of the greater community.