About the Masonic Order of the Knights Templar
Early masonic references to the Order of Knights of Malta date from 1777, but the first formal creation of a “Grand Conclave” to govern this and the Templar Degree came about in 1845.
Now known as the United Religious, Military and Masonic Order of the Temple and of St John of Jerusalem, Palestine, Rhodes and Malta in England and Wales and its Provinces Overseas, the Order is led by the Most Eminent and Supreme Grand Master, presently Most Eminent Knight Paul Raymond Clement, GCT.
The Order has no direct historical connection with the medieval Knights Templar and Knights Hospitaller, but our ceremonies echo their history and ethos.
Members of the Order meet in Preceptories, presided over by an Eminent Preceptor, and with an Officer structure similar to that in Craft Lodges.
The regalia is most impressive, taking its pattern from the medieval Knights and comprising a tunic and mantle; cap, sash, belt and sword; and a breast jewel and star of special significance.
The Degree ceremony sees the candidate received into a Knight Templar Preceptory as a Pilgrim, seeking refuge and enlightenment. After a period of figurative pilgrimage and a solemn vow, the candidate is instructed as a Soldier of the Cross. A trial of his courage culminates in a period of meditation and reflection before he is fully received, clothed, armed and proclaimed to be a Knight of the Temple and Holy Sepulchre.
A separate, but intimately linked, Order of the Knights of Malta allows the candidate to further his Knightly journey.
Initially receiving the “passing” Degree of Knight of St Paul, he learns of the travels undertaken by St Paul culminating in his arrival on the island of Malta.
Subsequently admitted into a Priory of Malta, he is instructed by the Eminent Prior in a ceremony that details the prolonged struggle against the infidel by the Order of the Knights Hospitaller, from their origins in the Holy Land, across the Mediterranean, and finally settling and heroically defending the island of Malta.
The closing of the Priory brings to his full attention the importance of a serious consideration of and reflection on the Life, Death and Resurrection of our Saviour.