I will likely be petitioning a commandery near me. Before doing this, however, I’ve been asking around and researching Masonic Templarism. I’ve found some strange points that I need clarifying. In fact, from what I hear from some other Sir Knights, I’ve been made a little more reticent to join than during my initial inkling to petition.
I've decided to present my wants and don’t wants in a list.
- To learn about chivalry.
- To practice chivalry.
- To feel close to my paternal grandfather who was a Sir Knight.
- To be an honorable man and true to his word through the lessons of knighthood.
- To carry a sword because, well, it’s freakin’ cool to carry a sword.
- To learn about the history of early knighthood, and what it meant to be an historical knight.
- To present papers on topics of Chivalry.
- To do an excessive amount of drill.
- To join an evangelical Christian organization.
- To be a Civil War Re-enactor.
- To join a Masonic body that believes all Masons should be Christian.
- To swear an oath to harm others of a different religion.
For me, I chose to go through the York Rite first. My paternal grandfather was in the York Rite while my maternal grandfather was in the Scottish Rite. I really had no idea which was better and Chapter and Council had moved to Farmington so it was an easy choice, at least for convenience sake. I have really enjoyed my time in Chapter and Council and love the challenge of making the Farmington York Rite viable. In my opinion, all Master Masons should go through the Capitular degrees, at a minimum, because I really do believe that the Royal Arch has something to say to them. Some days, I wash we lived in the English system of conferring only the Holy Royal Arch (as they call it) degree without the Mark, Past, or Most Excellent Master degrees being conferred previously because it would make that degree even more essential to the understanding of Masonry and would ease the pressure on Chapters in general. I finally have the time to “complete” the York Rite which is why of come to this series of questions and concerns.. (I’ve spoken with many companions who remind me that the three bodies are separate, so it’s not a completion of a Rite at all.)
I’m concerned that should I join the Knights, I will be joining an organization that I will demit from immediately. I was really struck by something that Worshipful Brother Ray Hayward wrote in his monthly message for Minnesota. He said that, “[s]peculative Knights Templar are those people who take the moral and spiritual aspect of the historical Templars and apply them to lead a fuller, more meaningful life.” I really hope that this will be my experience. I want to hold my sword before Circe, as Odysseus was instructed to by Hermes, using the lessons of speculative knighthood to be more assertive within my life.
In fact, I have used quite a bit of Worshipful Brother Ray’s writings to justify, for the most part, my decision to join a commandery. You can find his papers here. Worshipful Brother Ray is a very wise man and a brilliant teacher of those lessons we find within the York Rite.
So that’s where I stand right now. If you can help me out with my quandary, that would be great. Please leave a comment below or send me an email.