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The Rule of the Knights Templar

Initation Rites

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Initation Rites

"The admission of postulants took place at weekly chapters. If a majority of the brethren agreed, the candidate was brought into the chapter to be examined by two or three senior brothers. If his answers were satisfactory, which meant that he was a free man, noble, fit and of legitimate birth, he was brought before the master..." - Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

"The initiation ceremony, over which great secrecy prevailed, took place almost invariably in a copy of the rotunda of the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Many Templar churches and chapels were build round with this in mind, and in their center, as at the Templar Vera Cruz Church of Segovia in Spain, there was often an actual model of the tomb of Christ, in the form of a two-storied structure with steps leading up. At some stage the special ceremony was devised for initiated members of the order whereby they were given a momentary glimpse of the supreme vision of God attainable on earth, before which they prostrated themselves in adoration." - Ian Wilson, The Shroud of Turin - The Burial Cloth of Jesus Christ?

"Knights were initiated into the temple in a secret ceremony held at night in the guarded chapter house. The great prior would ask the assembled knights several times if they had any objections to admitting the novice to the order. Hearing none, he reviewed the rules of the order and asked whether the novice had a wife and family, debts or disease, and if he owed allegiance to any other master. Having answered in the negative, the novice knelt, asking to become a 'servant and slave' of the temple and swearing obedience by God and the Virgin Mary. " - Ancient Wisdom and Secret Sects

"During the ritual of admission to the Order, reference was made to the immortality of God and so to the intactness of the Son of God. John of Cassanhas, Templar Preceptor of Noggarda, tells how the leader of an admission ritual declares, 'Believe thou in God, who has not died and will never die.'" "When the moment came for the postulant to take his vows, he was required to place his hand not on the Bible, which was the usual practice, but on the Missal open at the point in the Mass where the body of Christ is mentioned. Several brother priests, such as Bertrand de Villers and Etienne de Dijon, both from the diocese of Langres, said that at the point in the Mass where the Host is consecrated they were told to omit the words Hoc est enim corpis meum." "...He then vowed...to follow the usage and custom of the house; and to help to conquer the holy Land. After this he was formally admitted to the order, and the white mantel was placed on his shoulders. The brother-priest then spoke Psalm 133:" - Noel Currer-Briggs, The Shroud and the Grail - A Modern Quest for the True Grail

"Ecce quam bonum et quam jocundum habitare fratres in unum - Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is like precious oil poured on the head, running down on the beard, running down on Aaron's beard, down upon the collar of his robes. It is as if the dew of Hermon were falling on Mount Zion. For there the LORD bestows his blessing, even life forevermore." - Psalms 133 - a song of ascents (of David)

According to George Sassoon (co-author of the Manna Machine, this psalm refers to a ritual relating to the mana machine, a high tech device which purportedly fed the ancient Israelites during their exodus from Egypt. Imbued with mysterious powers, it was venerated as the Ark of the Covenant.

"Another pools of recruits was provided by the poor knights who lacked the funds to acquire horses, armour, and weapons. All of those things would be given to them upon their entry, along with personal attendants and servants. They were certain of adequate food and a place in which to live. Their self-respect, no matter how low it might have sunk, would be instantly restored....(A heavy war-horse cost roughly the equivalent of four hundred days' pay for a free labourer)." John J. Robinson, Dungeon, Fire and Sword (1991)

"By the thirteenth century...an aspirant was required to be a knight, the son of a knight and his lady. Villein descent was a bar to entry as a knight; it was also a bar to the priesthood, so the Military Order was no exception. An excommunicated aspirant was to be brought first to the bishop and he could be received into the Order only if the bishop would absolve him. It seems from the Statues of the Order that recruiting went on among knights who had been found guilty of serious moral offences, a well-known rule in the French version directs to Templars to frequent and recruit from gatherings of excommunicated knights. That the Latin version of the rule gives the directly opposite injunction, not to frequent such gatherings, probably shows the tension between the official clerical attitudes to the Order and the vernacular military culture which lay alongside it. Opinion was divided to the end; at the time of the trial and dissolution of the Order it was being said that it was a disgraceful thing that robbers worthy of death had been admitted to the Order." - Peter Partner, The Murdered Magicians

 

 

RECRUITMENT AND ADMISSION


There were many different sorts of people in the Order of the Temple. Because the
Order's central function was to protect Catholic Christians, the most important
members of the Order were the warriors. The higher-status warriors were knights,
who had received this status in some sort of formal or semi-formal ceremony. When
the Templars first began, in 1120, the concept of knighthood was still fluid and
many knights were not of high social status. But by the time the Order was dissolved
in 1312 knightly status had become socially important in the Christian West, and
only brothers whose parents came from knightly families were allowed to enter the
Order as knights.
Warriors who were not knights were called servientes in Latin or sergents in
French, generally translated as 'sergeants' but literally meaning 'servants'. They
supported the knights on the battlefield, but not all of them were warriors. The same
term was applied to brothers of the Order who did not fight but who served the
Order as craftsmen or labourers.
The Order also had priest-brothers, who served the spiritual needs of the
members, hearing confessions, celebrating mass, and praying. In Europe there were
also some sisters. There were one or two nunneries under the Order's supervision, as
well as some women called 'sisters' living near to or in male houses of the Order,
who had made religious vows and followed a religious lifestyle, but who were
segregated from the brothers of the Order. The role of these sisters was to give
spiritual support to the warriors by praying for the work of the Order. They were
never expected to fight; they followed a lifestyle like that of traditional nuns. In
addition, there were various associate members, men and women, attached to the
Order who made regular donations and possibly hoped to join the Order in the
future, but had not taken full religious vows.
The vast majority of the Order's members joined as adults. The rule of the Order
stated that children should not be received as members. Although some children
were brought up within the Order's houses (for example, because their parents had
died and entrusted their children to the Order's care), they were not obliged to join
the Order when they grew up. The founders of the Order intended that only adult
men who were able to fight should join the Order. Most men joined in their mid- to
late 20s, but a significant minority joined in their teens, and a few joined as early as
ten years old. At the other end of the age spectrum, some joined as old men, after a
career as warriors and administrators in secular society. They would not normally
fight for the Order, but ended their days peacefully in one of the Order's houses in
the West. It was also possible for men to join the Order for a short period as
'brothers for a term' and then return to their homes and families. -- From Osprey Warrior #081 Knights Templar 1120 - 1312

 

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