Order of Knight Masons
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The Order of Knight Masons is a secular, chivalric Masonic order, open to all Master Masons who are also members of a Mark Lodge and a Royal Arch Chapter. Members of the order meet in Councils of Knight Masons which are governed by the Grand Council of Knight Masons based in Dublin, Ireland.
The Order of Knight Masons is a system of three degrees, namely Knight of the Sword, Knight of the East, and Knight of the East and West. Councils of Knight Masons are individually presided over by an Excellent Chief and the degrees are conferred separately upon candidates. The Degrees communicate the story of the efforts to build the Second Temple in Jerusalem. They complete the sequence of universal Masonic degrees that are conferred within the Irish system.
Councils of Knight Masons
Councils of Knight Masons are presided over by an Excellent Chief with two other senior officers, namely the Senior Knight and Junior Knight. When meeting officially, Knight Masons are permitted to form Councils of Knights of the Sword, or Councils of Knight of the East, or Councils of Knights of the East and West in order to confer those particular degrees, therefore the three degrees of Knight Masonry are conferred in three separate Councils, all operating within a Council of Knight Masons.
There are three degrees conferred within the Order of Knight Masons, all concerning the return of the Jewish people from the Babylonian captivity. The central character in all of the degrees is Zerubbabel. The three degrees are: Knight of the Sword, or Babylonian Pass, in which Zerubbabel seeks permission from King Cyrus to return to Jerusalem; Knight of the East, or Jordan Pass, which tells the story of Zerubbabel's return to Persia to seek the help of King Darius; and Knight of the East and West, or Royal Order, which represents the return of Zerubbabel to his countrymen in Jerusalem.
There are degrees of this nature in appendant orders within various Masonic systems throughout the world. For example, the Allied Masonic Degrees, America's York Rite, the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite and others have degrees that bear a close similarity to the Irish Knight Mason Degrees.
In Ireland the degrees were being conferred within Masonic Knights Templar Preceptories until 1923. When compared to similar ceremonies, the Irish version of these degrees are very elaborate and exceptionally detailed, and it was decided that they should be given their own governing body and be allowed to practice independently of the Masonic Knights Templars. In 1923 within Freemasons' Hall in Dublin the first meeting of the Grand Council of Knight Masons took place and the consecration of new Councils to preserve the Knight Mason Degrees was planned.
In the U.S.A., Knight Masonry quickly flourished and eventually some American Councils formed a separate Grand Council of the U.S.A. This Grand Council governs Councils within many States within the U.S.A., however access to American Councils is strictly by invitation only, within the York Rite.
Today, the Order of Knight Masons under the Grand Council of Knight Masons can be found all over the world. Councils can be found in across the globe in Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and India. New Councils continue to be founded, most recently in Bermuda, Greece and England. Qualification for membership is craft royal arch and mark mason.—
- Website of the Grand Council of Knight Masons
- Website of the Grand Council of Knight Masons for the USA