This is a booklet I have published for the Imperial Order of Constantine the Great and St. Helen for distribution to its new Knights. It is thought to be appropriate for anyone interested in Orders of Chivalary or courteous social behavior. It is approximately 45 pages in length and in this manuscript version, is devoid of many of the graphics. If you are not interested in the introductions to the Imperial Order but only my comments of chivalry, skip to Section 9, "So now your a Knight, What's nexr?" and read the balance of the paper from there.
1. Welcome from HE Michael Teilman
2. The Order by HG Michael, Duke of Gardham
3. Mission Statement
4. Vision Statement
5. The Modern Knight, a speech by HG. Michael
6. Church Recognition
7. Function of Orderly Knighthood
8. Levels of Knighthood in the Order
9. So Now You Are Knight
10. Chivalry of a Knight
11. Knight's Code of Conduct
12. Humility of a Knight
13. Loyalty and Honour
14. A Knight's Obligations to the Order
15. Service as a Knight
16. Knightly Attitude and Presence
17. A Knight Devotions
18. Uniforms of the Order
19. A Final Word
Good day Chevalier and Dame Knights
As I am an American, as I expect many who receive this pamphlet are also from that same culture, much of the discussion here is oriented to the American view of certain cultural nuances. Knighthood and titles are considered class issues and are devoid from our cultural experience. The question of title always makes for an interesting discussion among Americans. In simple terms, our Constitution has forbidden Congressional members from receiving titles. That prohibition does not apply to ordinary citizens. This is a complex and varied issue but this is the uncomplicated short version. We, as Americans, may be knighted as long as we are not serving in Congress or in high governmental positions. However, use of the title "Sir" or "Barron" or other such titles in public is not encouraged and is prohibited in Congress. Otherwise, if we are addressed by title, there is no expected consequence. It is recommended that you just refrain from using it in a professional situation.
As Americans we often are unprepared when passing into the realm of knighthood and titles. In fact, when knighted we are often expected to advance upward in class status in order to associate with those within the Order. The concept of chivalry was an integral part of the mores of the early European society and was internally understood within their cultures. In the early days of knighthood, young men had the distinct advantage of serving at the side of active knights, often spending many years learning the skills, ethics and graces of a knight. One had to earn his spurs through years of servitude. Pages advanced to squires; squires worked tirelessly for the knight to whom they were bound. Squires did not handle swords in battle, but only in practice, until they were presented with spurs and sword when knighted. To advance into knighthood was a considerable advancement in status or class. Men were often granted knighthood as appreciation for services in warfare and protection of the realm and it was a great honour. For many, knighthood was the first step in advancement to status as a noble, again which had to be earned at great sacrifice. Much was the same for young girls serving as ladies in waiting where they learned the courtesies of court.
In today's societies we come to knighthood without such preparation. We are educated, skilled in our trades and professions but have little opportunity to learn the meaning of knightly behavior or courtesies of court. For most of us, it is an advancement in class to serve as a knight. And, we should expect to work hard to attain those skills appropriate for walking in the knightly class. If we are to be successful in our role as Knight of the Order, we should plan to offer our services to the Order, to work hard in any manner which may be requested and expect nothing in return other than the appreciation of the Order, the fellowship amongst the Knights and Dames of the Order, and the knowledge that our sacrifice for the Order aids in the support of the charities which the Order has undertaken. We should expect to learn to improve our skills at courtly manners. This will be a different road for each Knight but remember that we were accepted into the Order and bestowed with the honour of Knighthood because we have demonstrated that we possess the norm of ethics and morals that qualify us for knighthood. But, dubbing is only the beginning.
This paper has been prepared to provide the new Knight with some guidelines but is not intended to serve as an instruction. Each Knight and Dame will come to the Order with different levels of class social skills and attainment of those ethics necessary to be a complete Knight or Dame. As I have said, it is some Random Thoughts and probably does not speak to all of the issues essential to the developing knight. It is the hope that herein there may be some information that will help with personal introspection and self-awareness that will aid each of us along the path to perfection. Understand that this is not a set of instructions but only some suggestions for each of us to consider. Enjoy the trip and Best Wishes
On behalf of His Grace Michael Schmickrath, Duke of Gardham, our Grand Prior General, welcome to the Imperial & Charitable Order of Constantine the Great & of Saint Helen.
Our Order was founded in the year 312 to enable Constantine the Great to recognize and honor those brave warriors who fought at his side against his perceived "forces of evil."
Its origins as a Military Order have also expanded into the civil side, allowing prominent citizens from all walks of life to become part of our knightly family.
21st Century members of the Order of Constantine and of it's companion Order of Saint Helen are recognized by induction into this ancient and honorable society based upon their adherence to the Chivalric Principals that include service to others and charitable support of those less fortunate.
Our Order is worldwide in nature, with functioning Grand Priories, Priories and Baileries in the United States, Canada, Finland, The Benelux Countries, Italy, France, Armenia, Japan, Australia, Estonia and Colombia.
I hope that you will find this organization of interest, and cordially welcome you to its membership.
H.E. Michael R. S. Teilmann, KGCl
Count of Esson - The Grand Chancellor
The Imperial & Charitable Order of Constantine the Great & of Saint Helen
'Duty is the most sublime word in our language; do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less'.
General Robert E. Lee
The Imperial & Charitable Order of Constantine the Great & of Saint Helen, nurtures the innovators of tomorrow by applying the noble principles of yesterday!
Though a Christian founded the Order, today the members are from all nationalities and religions. While we no longer are expected "to maintain a battle-trained horse, three lances and armor in good repair" after seventeen hundred years we retain our dedication to the concept which inspired those first knights to victory.
Our members goals are to be affiliate with a Chivalric and Charitable Order of Knighthood to develop loyalty, commitment and to extended a sense of belonging to improve the esprit-de corps and to help the less fortunate. The Order is a world wide Order and has Knights and Dames in more than 23 countries. We are an autonomous Order is in no way affiliated with Eugene Lascaris of Spain or any other of the six branches of this Order.
There is much confusion about the nature of Chivalric Orders in the USA and around the world. Many of the original Chivalric Orders arose in response to the Crusades, others originated due to the need for valiant Knights to serve and protect their Sovereign Lords, the weak and the less fortunate.
1560 to present. As monarchical orders became unnecessary, they turned into honorific orders, rewarding past behavior of the individual member bound together by a permanent rule of behavior and charitable goals.
Then there is the
We are a Private (fraternal) Chivalric and a Charitable Order. 501(c)3 and a Public Charity 509(a)2 by the Internal Revenue Code of the USA. Incorporated in the State of California, USA since 2003 and registered in the countries of Finland and Belgium, in addition we have members in Australia, Japan, Canada, Italy, Sardinia, Armenia, Romania, Estonia, The Democratic Republic of the Congo and in Columbia.
PRIVATE, As a group of people, moved by the same common goals, knighted by a Grand Prior General.
CHARITABLE, These are pure and authentic Orders, founded by a Noble as the Grand Master. A knight/Lady will prefer honor before worldly wealth and be just and faithful and in both words and deeds.
Thanks to our members, since my term as Grand Master and Grand Prior General, the Order has given a considerable amount to charity and continues to increase our charity donations as our membership grows.
The Imperial & Charitable Order of Constantine the Great & Saint Helen is a Order of Knighthood, founded in 312 A.D., whose members are dedicated to the chivalric principles of personal honor, courage, integrity, duty, and service. The Order creates a forum for the worldwide community by recognizing worthy men and women of exceptional accomplishment with an invitation to membership, without regard to race, religion, or nationality. We promote the expansion of chivalric principles through fellowship with other knightly orders. Through the work of our members and through our guidance of young people, we provide a model of leadership and strength of spirit which advances civilization.
The Order's vision is to perpetuate and expand the knightly virtues, to encourage intellectual rigorousness, to recognize the exemplary conduct and achievements of its members, and to enhance society through our Leadership Program which nurtures, develops, and inspires the innovators of tomorrow.
Members will conduct themselves with personal honor, loyalty, discipline, and obedience to the constitution of the Order and to its superiors.
* Members will diligently provide service to others by offering assistance to persons in need without regard to race, religion, or nationality.
* Knights and Ladies of the Order will educate themselves and others about chivalric culture and values.
* The Order sponsors a Leadership Program for young men and women from 14 to 21 years of age. They will be known as "Squires" and "Ladies-in-Waiting." Through individual mentorship and group support, these young men and women will develop the chivalric values and modern skills which will deepen that young person's commitment to the guiding principles of the Order and help develop the leaders, innovators and peacekeepers of tomorrow.
Subdivisions in the Order may have additional goals particular to their needs and characteristics. These goals must be in accordance with the Order's constitution, be submitted in writing, and be approved by the Grand Council and the superiors of the Order
A speech by Grand Master,
H.G. Michael, Duke of Gardham
Byzantine Knights were appointed by their leaders in recognition of their valiant deeds in battles; protecting their emperor or other high-ranking nobleman. The earliest of knights were proclaimed the defenders of the empire well before the crusades from 312 AD after the battle of the Melvin Bridge and 1190 by the Byzantine Emperor Flavio Constantino I, Emperor Isaac II, as was the Holly Constantinian Order of St. Sofia. In 1290, these Chivalric orders continue until the fall of Constantinople on the 29th of May 1453. These Orders were held in trust by the Greek patriarch of Jerusalem after it was conquered by the emerging Ottoman forces lead by the Sultan Mehmet II, after an eight week battle in which the last Byzantine Emperor Constantine XI was capture blinded and was executed.
In 1291 after the Christian Crusades, the European Orders of Knighthood serving under its Grand Masters, had to find new missions for their existence since the Holy Land had effectively been lost. As most Orders were originally established as military and monastic Orders, and had the title bestowed upon them as Chevalier or Knight, some Orders became Monarchial. Others became Confraternal and Honorific. The Byzantine and Charitable Order of Constantine the Great, along with a small handful of other Orders, remain today as some of the oldest Orders, along with The Order of St. Michael 1171, St. Lazarus 1187, The Order of the Bear, 1213 by Emperor Federico II, the military Order of Jesus Christ, 1317 by Pope Giovanni XXII, The Equestrial apostolic Order of St. George of Bourgone, 1390.
In 1525, only four of the recognized Medieval Orders survived as their continuation had been thwarted by a number of territorial Kings, Prince Regents, and interfering and / or weak popes who continuously tried to dismantle most Chivalric Orders due to the fact that they had grown in size and reputation and had become much too powerful and wealthy, creating fear with in the Royals and the papal circles. The Orders had to be stopped!
In 1560, with the introduction of newer and more sophisticated weapons of war, and the formal establishment of Armies and Navies, many of the Monarchial Orders became unnecessary, and were transformed into honorific Orders where military and civic leaders rewarded the past deeds and service of distinguished individuals bound by a permanent rule of behavior and charitable goals.
The Orders now expanded in to the civilian side, allowing prominent citizens from all walks of life to become part of our chivalric families. Some Monarchial and governmental Orders still remains as of today, such as the Order of the Count de Lion 1745, Belgian Order of Leopold I 1832, the Order of the Crown 1897, the Order of Leopold the II, 1900,The legion d'Honeur of France, The Order of the Garter of England 1347, The Order of the Elephant 1458 of Thailand, the Order of Rizal of the Philippines and many other European and Asian Orders.
Then we have the modern Knights and ladies, selected from all professions and whose Orders have evolved into bodies dedicated to a return to the chivalric values of old, such as charity, educating, military service and the arts, all the while maintaining a sense of those great traditional noble values, that are needed today, perhaps more than ever in the history of mankind.
Many Modern Orders are patterned after a few ancient truly important Orders, and has many branches worldwide, Such Orders including our Orders of Constantine the Great and Saint Helen, the Knights Templar 1118, Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, Order of Malta, Orders of the Holy Sepulchers, Orders of St. Lazarus, The Order of St. Michael, the Order of St. George; just to mention a few.
Excluding these Orders associated with ruling Monarchs and the leaders of the world's leading religions, most of the remaining Orders, if not all, are Private and Honorific, even though this might not be an admitted fact.
Regardless to which Order one belongs, the modern Knights and Ladies of the 21st Century are expected and, by sworn oath, required to uphold certain traditional and historic values. During their ceremonies of investiture, the members pledged themselves to a Grand Master and to the Constitution of the Order and agree to follow its ideals of personal honor, courage and service to others.
So the tradition continues, they are conferred with the title of "Chevalier", or Knight for gentlemen and "Dame" for our Ladies which is an Honorary Title. Our Order is world wide in nature, with functioning Priories in more than 23 countries.
Since 2005, The Order has raised and donated a respectable amount and we will continue to do so with the help of our membership. The Order has an increased popularity in many countries and I have been interviewed and have been published in Turkey, Korea, Finland, Belgium and in the USA via the press and television shows.
The Order will petition the Catholic and Orthodox Church to be recognized as a Charitable Chivalric Order this year and with your help the Imperial & Charitable Order of Constantine the Great and of Saint Helene will continue to grow and prosper.
Be well and take good care of one another
I remain yours in chivalry
Modern Orders of Knighthood are disposed to connect their level of legitimacy upon the personages and organizations that recognize them. In the case of the Imperial Order, recognition is derived from a number of Archbishops of several established ancient churches. The following is a list of the first churches that offered recognition of the Order.
Who are knights and what is the function of orderly Knighthood?
Knights and noble Ladies are selected after demonstrating the depth of their faith, the complexity and purity of its ideal, and the grandeur of its art. They lived by the "Obiter dictum", " if needs must, to lay down your life ". They were "hired men of arms" who swore allegiance to a monarch or lord, soldiers whose high morals, military ritual, and rigid code of behavior became legendary and exemplified the sense of honor and duty known as "Chivalry".
Becoming a knight was not a widely attainable goal in the medieval era. Only the sons of a knight were eligible for the ranks of knighthood. Those who were destined to become knights were singled out: in boyhood, these future warriors were sent off to a castle as pages, later becoming squires. Commonly around the age of 20, knights would be admitted to their rank in a ceremony called either "dubbing" (from the French adoubement ), or the "Accolade."
Although these strong young men had proved their eligibility, their social status would be permanently controlled. They were expected to obey the code of chivalry at all times, and no failure was accepted. Although knights were men of war, they traditionally behaved in a courteous and civil way.
Knights trained in hunting, fighting, and riding. They were also trained to practice courteous, honorable behavior, which was considered extremely important. Chivalry (derived from the French word "chevalier", implying skills to handle a horse) was the main principle guiding a knight's life style. The code of chivalry dealt with three main areas: the military, social life, and religion
In Europe, a lady-in-waiting was often a noblewoman from a family highly thought of in good society, but who was of lower rank than the woman on whom she attended. Although she may or may not have received compensation for the service she rendered, she was considered more of a companion than a servant to her mistress. 'Lady-in-waiting' is often a generic term for women whose relative rank, title and official functions varied, although such distinctions were also often honorary. A royal woman may or may not be free to select her ladies, and even when she has such freedom her choices have historically been constrained by the sovereign, her parents, her husband or the sovereign's ministers as, for example, in the so-called Bedchamber crisis.
Ladies-in-waiting were companions of the Lady of the manor. It was a duty of a noble Lady to receive guests courteously and arrange for their accommodations. They were expected to spin wool and perform other household skills.
Historically, the Lady took responsibility of the castle when their husbands were away or when the castle was under siege. They murdered no one, nor wounded, nor harmed, nor betrayed men. They did not pursue, nor seize anyone or any thing. They did not set houses on fire, nor disinherit men, nor poison, nor steal gold or silver. They did not cheat men of their lands, nor make false contracts, nor destroy Kingdoms, Duchies, nor Empires. Nor did they wage war and kill and plunder.
A noble-born boy, 7 years of age and who was to become a Knight was sent away to a nobleman's household to be a page. He learned a variety of skills and to become proficient in horsemanship. They were trained to serve a knight, to attend noble ladies and to learn the art of courtly manners and good behaviors. At 14, he was apprenticed to a Knight whom he served as a Squire. The word Squire comes from the French word "ecuyer", which meant "shield-bearer". He was taught how to handle weapons and how to look after his master's armor and horses. He followed his knight went into battle, helped the knight to put on his armor and assisted him if he was hurt or unhorsed. He learned how to shoot a bow and to carve meat for food. Successful squires were knighted when they were around 21 years old.
The "accolade" is a ceremony to confer knighthood that may take many forms, including, for example, the tapping of the flat side of a sword on the shoulders of a candidate or an embrace about the neck. In the Middle Ages a part of the ceremony of investiture was known as "the Vigil". During the Middle Ages, a squire on the night before his knighting ceremony was expected to take a cleansing bath, fast, make confession, and then hold an all-night vigil of prayer to God in the chapel, readying himself for his life as a knight. He would dress in white, which was the symbol for purity.
A squire finally became a knight at a ceremony of dubbing. This was originally a blow to the neck with the hand. By the 13th century the blow was replaced by a tap with the sword. Often the squire's master, or even the King, performed the dubbing. The "knight-elect" knelt in front of the monarch on a knighting-stool when the ceremony is performed. First, the monarch lays the flat side of the sword's blade onto the accolade's right shoulder. He then raises the sword gently just up over the apprentice's head and places it then on his left shoulder. The new knight then stands up after being promoted and the King or Queen presents him with the insignia of the order to which he has been appointed. The knight's sword and spurs were then fastened on, and a celebration might follow.
By the 17th century, warfare was becoming more and more the job of full-time soldiers and mercenaries. Knights occasionally fought as officers, usually of cavalry. The medieval fighting man is now only a memory. No longer was knighthood granted exclusively to sons of lords and knights. It has become an honor, a title is given to persons the monarch or lord thinks deserves recognition. This idea still continues in many places, but the knight of old was not forgotten. His image survives and still lives as simplicity and charity in the quality of our modern men and women of today. These are the goals of our Order.
Knights of the medieval era were charged to Protect the weak, defenseless, helpless, and fight for the general welfare of all. These few guidelines were the main duties of a medieval knight, but they were very hard to accomplish fully. Rarely could even the best of knights achieve these goals. Knights trained in hunting, fighting, and riding. They were also trained to practice courteous, honorable behavior, which was considered extremely important.
The order is conferred on both men and women. The grades conferred on the men are in the Order of Constantine the Great, while grades conferred on women are in the Order of Saint Helen.
The grades conferred on men are as follows:
Knight, Grand Collar, Order of Constantine the Great (KGClCG)
Knight Grand Cross-
Knight, Grand Cross, Order of Constantine the Great (KGCCG)
Knight Commander, Order of Constantine the Great (KCCG)
Knight, Order of Constantine the Great (KCG)
Squire, Order of Constantine the Great (SCG)
The grades conferred on women are as follows:
Dame Grand Cross-
Dame Grand Cross, Order of Saint Helen (DGCSH)
Dame Commander, Order of Saint Helen (DCSH)
Dame, Order of Saint Helen (DSH)
Lady-in-Waiting, Order of Saint Helen (LWSH)
Now that you are a knight, what's next. Of course, you are expected to act and to operate in a Knightly manner. But, what does that imply? First, you are bound by your vows of obedience towards the orders' Grand Master. You are also aware that this Order is not associated with regular fraternal or service organizations but is a legitimate and real Order of knighthood under the protection of a bona fide and true noble with the title of Duke to whom the care or management of the Order was passed from the previous Grand Prior and Grand Master in a succession of leadership that goes back to its date of origin in the year 330. And, the fons honorum, or source of authority, who, by virtue of his official position, has the exclusive right of conferring legitimate titles of nobility and orders of chivalry to other persons, which authority or title of nobility has been passed down through his family line and which originated from a sovereign monarch. .This is an extremely brief overview of the source of authority of our Order of Knighthood.
As you have read in the earlier portion of this manuscript, the Imperial and Charitable Orders of Constantine the Great and St Helen have enjoyed a long, unbroken chain of existence and activity from the early 300's and was a part of the Eastern (Byzantine) Holy Roman Empire founded by Constantine the Great several hundred years before the founding of the Western Holy Roman Empire. That's almost 1700 years of continued existence. Recently, however, under the direction of His Grace Michael, Duke of Gardham, the Order has been revitalized and the latter or modern day Imperial Order has become a charitable Order of Knighthood. In fact, many modern knighthoods in the world today are charitable Orders. Since there are no more dragons to slay or maidens to rescue from dastardly, cowardly tyrants, other than behaving in a civil manner amongst friends, family and the public, helping those in need is about the last real chivalric task left to require a knight's service. In addition to the work of charity, Knights also enjoy a high degree of fellowship and association of men and women of a like moral and ethical standard. Knights are expected to behave in public displaying attitudes of chivalry and the highest of moral and patriotic standards, to be humble and insightful in matters of importance in community affairs, to treat family and friends well and to be exemplary in all dealings with others. Knighthood represents a class of society that is a cut above commonplace. And, it is said to be a level of apprenticeship prior to advancement into nobility, if one can rise above that of middle class.
Who may become a knight in the Order? Perhaps a first order of business is to discuss who may become a knight or noble. Any man of good character with a high level of social skills, is educated, who has had a successful career and who has dedicated much of his life to the service of others may apply to the Order for Knighthood. Of particular interest to American Postulants is the matter of legality for American citizens to hold knighthood and noble titles. The Constitution of the United States reads:
No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.
"Office of Profit or Trust". It is this Section of the Constitution that is interpreted to refer to elected and appointed high government officials and members of the armed services who, during their tenure of service, are prevented from accepting noble or royal honors. However, once these persons are again private citizens, they are free to be honored, as, for example, with "honorary" knighthoods. The key difference seems to be that, unlike European honors, American honors carry postnominals (single letter abbreviations after the name which denote the honor conferred), not prenominals which are titles before the name. So, an American may be a PhD but not a Sir, when represented in Congress.
usually astonished to discover that one can be a solidly patriotic American and yet still belong to a royal house or hold a legitimate hereditary title or knighthood from the fons derived of a royal house. Perhaps Americans have the idea that the term democracy excludes the term royalty, but a hereditary and non-regnant royal house can exist very nicely within a democracy. And thus, under our code an American citizen may use any name or title he wishes so long as it is not presented as such to Congress. To be called "Chevalier" or "Sir" is not proper in Congress but it is appropriate in certain social situations
The Knights represent an assemblage of people who are well above the average man in aspirations to do good works and who have already achieved stature and position in one's own sphere. Essentially, as a Knight you will be associating and enjoying good fellowship with other Knights who are �at the top of their game�, and you will associate with those who share a common set of morals, ethics and values. This type of association is stimulating and inspiring and can be a great chance for exceptional social contact. Then, there is the reason of having a real opportunity to serve. Each Priory is expected to develop within its own set a group of talented and enthused Knights who will operate and conduct the Order's business. Leadership opportunities are a real article within the Priories and a demand that each Knight bring skills to the table as well as continue to develop those skills to benefit the Order.
On the matter of recognition: outside of the USA the title of �Sir� or �Dame� is recognized as a designation of honour. Among European societies in particular, it indicates that a member of Nobility or Royalty has recognized the bearer for his position, social behavior or good works and the title garners much respect. Even in the United States, among the upper class strata, knighthood is recognized and revered although it remains misunderstood among common people in the USA.
What are the good works of a Knight? First, and most importantly, Knights are charged to exhibit their standards of morals, values and ethics in public to encourage others to behave in similar fashion. One's behavior in public is the most certain way to promote the values of the Order. While it is easy to criticize, it is often far more difficult to offer a positive reinforcement. Theodore Roosevelt said.
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.
Chivalry is a perception. Until recently, chivalry was a concept that was considered dead or simply ignored. It didn't seem to have any place in the modern world of business, sports, politics or relationships. However, in modern days more and more we realize that men need appropriate roles, and they need the desire to live and perform those roles. They need to be inspired to do so. Men need roles that are considered valuable and held to be worthwhile. Chivalry is an idea that evolved out of the dawn of civilization and represents the best dreams of mankind. At a time when men were violent and cruel to one another, when there was no thought about fairness or justice, when only the strong prevailed, a slim glimmer of hope for a better and civilized society had its genesis. And, as civilization matured it became imbedded into the fabric of civilized and gentlemanly behavior. That small germ of cultured enlightenment slowly became the essence of man's behavior and became the foundation of modern man's actions and deeds.
The special. purpose of Chivalry is not to focus so much on ourselves, but to relate well to other people and be aware of their needs. The benefits to us come from doing what is right from the fullness of our being. Chivalry comes to life when we gallantly take part in the harmony of life-with men, women, the world around us,
Origins. There are many diverse written definitions of chivalry. The word represents an attitude of behavior, a class of warrior knights, an ideal of behavior and a belief in an integrated system of fairness toward others. But, where did the idea of a knight originate? The word "knight" finds its origins in the Old High German knecht, (a word which, incidentally, remains the same in modern German), meaning "servant." When the word was assimilated into Old English (which shared common roots with Old High German), it became cnicht, which meant "boy" or "retainer." Interestingly, Norman French and Middle High German used the words chevalier and Reiter respectively, both meaning "rider." It is not until the emergence of Middle English as a language circa 1100 AD that we find knyght used to refer to a mounted warrior in English.
So a knight is one who is both a mounted fighter and a servant. The medieval knightly class was adept at the art of war, trained in fighting in armor, with horses, lances, swords and shields. Knights were taught to excel in the arms, to show courage, to be gallant, loyal and to swear off cowardice and baseness. Christianity had a modifying influence on the classical concept of heroism and virtue, nowadays identified with the virtues of chivalry with limits placed on knights to protect and honor the weaker members of society and also help the church maintain peace. The first noted support for chivalric vocation, or the establishment of knightly class to ensure the sanctity and legitimacy of Christianity was written in 930 by Odo, abbot of Cluny in the Vita of St. Gerald of Aurillac, which argued that the sanctity of Christ and Christian doctrine can be demonstrated through the legitimate unsheathing of the �sword against the enemy.� In the 11th century the concept of a "knight of Christ" (miles Christi) gained currency in France, Spain and Italy. These concepts of "religious chivalry" were further elaborated in the era of the Crusades, with the Crusades themselves often being seen as a chivalrous enterprise.
The Knights Code of Chivalry was part of the culture of the Middle Ages and, although not committed to writing, was understood by all. A Code of Chivalry was not documented until detailed in 'The Song of Roland' during the period of William the Conqueror who ruled England from 1066. The 'Song of Roland' describes the 8th century Knights of the Dark Ages and the battles fought by the Emperor Charlemagne, and then by other writers through out the ages. The code has since been described as Charlemagne's Code of Chivalry. The Song of Roland was the most famous 'chanson de geste' and was composed between 1098-1100. Roland was a loyal defender of his liege Lord Charlemagne and his Code of Conduct serves as a description of the meaning of chivalry.
A knight should be charitable and comfort those who are afflicted.
A knight will serve faithfully and defend his Grand Master and country courageously.
A knight will forgive the follies and offense of others and sincerely embrace the love of friends.
A knight will esteem truth and will never create nor participate in falsehoods.
A knight needs to avoid sloth and superfluous ease. He/she will spend his/her time in honest and virtuous action.
A knight shows reverence to magistrates and persons in authority and gives honor to those in authority.
A knight will eschew riot and detest intemperance in any form, whether in his/her personal life or in the eye of the public.
A knight will eschew dishonest pleasures and endeavor to do good to others.
A knight will accommodate himself/herself to the humor of honest company.
A knight will shun the conversation of perverse persons and behave in a modest way at all times.
A knight will be sober and discreet, no boaster of his/her own acts, and no speaker of himself/herself.
A knight will desire no excessive riches and patiently endure all worldly calamities.
A knight will undertake just enterprise and defend the rights of others.
If you don't quite understand the meaning of the word, don't be embarrassed, "chivalry" is a word not often heard today, and a lot of people really don't know what it means. Let's define it; Chivalry:
1. Gallantry, courtesy and honor.
2. The noble qualities a knight was supposed to have, such as courage and a readiness to help the weak.
More importantly, a knight will prefer honor before worldly wealth and be just and faithful in both words and deeds. The word chivalry goes back to the Latin word caballus, "horse, especially a riding horse or packhorse." Early concepts included "a body of armored mounted warriors serving a lord" and "knighthood as a ceremonially conferred rank in the social system." In our modern sense, "the medieval system of knighthood," could not exist until the passage of several centuries had allowed the perspective for such a conceptualization, with this sense being recorded first in 1765.
Gallantry and honor was expected of medieval knights. The ideal of courteous knightly conduct developed in the 12th - 13th century. It arose out of feudal obligation and stressed loyalty and obeisance by a knight to his God, his lord, and his lady, thus melding Christian and military virtues. Medieval writers often used the word shivalry, in meanings that changed over time, generally moving from the concrete meaning of "status or fee associated with military follower owning a war horse" towards the moral ideal of the Christian warrior ethos propagated in the Romance genre which became popular in the 12th century, and the ideal of courtly love propagated in the contemporary genres. By the 15th century, the term had become mostly detached from its military origins, not least because the rise of infantry in the 14th century had essentially confined knightly horsemanship to the tournament grounds, and essentially expressed a literary ideal of moral and courteous behavior.
Chivalry is a system of knighthood, originally a military organization in defense of Christianity against the infidel the spirit of which was of Christian derivation. It was, and is a profession which me come to of which the qualifications required were dignity, courtesy, bravery, generosity; the aim of which was the defense of right against wrong, of the weak against the strong, and especially of the honour and the purity of women.
It is the core beliefs of a culture that values home, family, country and God. In short, chivalry is a choice; the choice to do the right things, for the right reasons, at the right times. Perhaps, like those knights in shining armor hundreds of years ago, we want to experience the satisfaction of knowing that we have championed the right causes and embraced the right principles, not because we were told to do so, but simply because, as modern Knights we have chosen to follow that path. The modern-day knight needs to understand that he has a work to do that is in keeping with his inner design. This work is not just his profession or trade, but refers to work in his home, church, and community.
everyday activity. Particularly among Americans, our culture simply does not teach these tenants. We are raised up in a classless society, which lacks a certain refinement and does not demand certain social elegance. It takes practice to always show a gallant and courteous outward essence when in social settings. A Knight in training (and we are always in training) must practice these qualities of character, these traits of a noble class. Remember, Chivalry is the core beliefs of a culture that values home, family, country and God. "By your works shall ye be known". Always live a life true to our cultural values and uphold those standards of morals and ethics to be seen by all you pass. That being said, we all have different understandings of chivalry, which usually changes at various stages of life and with growing and developing knowledge. You may wish to improve your ideas of chivalry, to advance your personal goals of gallantry, your particular understanding of the goals of that ancient concept of ethics and morality. If so, it will be a valuable experience, long and arduous and extremely difficult to completely understand. But, well worth the voyage.
A Code of conduct is a set of rules that outline the responsibilities and proper practices for a Knight. The Ten Commandments are, of course, the world's most widely known and understood code. In medicine, the Hippocratic Oath is an oath historically taken by doctors and other healthcare professionals swearing to practice medicine ethically. In fact, most codes are norms of ethical and moral behavior as is the Chivalric Code as it applies to Knighthood.
A new Knight or Lady joining the Order has indicated a wish to further the Chivalric Code Of Knighthood. The principles presented in the section on Chivalry are a guide to the new Knight or Lady and are based on the high standards that the knights of old strove to uphold. In earlier eras a knight was expected to have not only the strength and skills to face combat in the violent Middle Ages but was also expected to temper this aggressive side of a knight with a chivalrous side to his nature.
Knights Code of Chivalry dates back to the Middle Ages, A Brief Historical Perspective. The Age of Chivalry was also the age of the horse. Bedecked in elaborate armor and other trappings, horses were certainly well dressed, although they might have wished for lighter loads. That the horse should be featured so prominently during the Age of Chivalry is etymologically appropriate, because chivalry goes back to the Latin word caballus, "horse, especially a riding horse or packhorse." Borrowed from French, as were so many other important words having to do with medieval English culture, the English word chivalry is first recorded in works composed around the beginning of the 14th century and is found in several senses, including "a body of armored mounted warriors serving a lord" and "knighthood as a ceremonially conferred rank in the social system." Our modern sense, "the medieval system of knighthood," could not exist until the passage of several centuries had allowed the perspective for such a conceptualization, with this sense being recorded first in 1765.
The Knights Code of Chivalry was part of the culture of the Middle Ages and was understood by all. A Code of Chivalry was not documented until detailed in 'The Song of Roland' during the period of William the Conqueror who ruled England from 1066. The 'Song of Roland' describes the 8th century Knights of the Dark Ages and the battles fought by the Emperor Charlemagne. The code has since been described as Charlemagne's Code of Chivalry. The Song of Roland was the most famous 'chanson de geste' and was composed between 1098-1100. Roland was a loyal defender of his liege Lord Charlemagne and his Code of Conduct serves as a description of the meaning of chivalry.
The Duke of Burgundy described the chivalric virtues of the Knights Code of Chivalry in the 14th Century. The words he chose to use to describe the virtues that should be exhibited in the Knights Code of Chivalry were Faith , Charity , Justice , Sagacity , Prudence , Temperance, Resolution, Truth, Liberality, Diligence, Hope and Valour. These are equally valued amongst today's modern Knights.
Knights Code of Chivalry. The medieval institution of knighthood had an aristocratic military origin of individual training and service to others. There was not an authentic Knights Code of Chivalry as such - it was a moral system which went beyond rules of combat and introduced the concept of Chivalrous conduct - qualities idealized by knighthood, such as bravery, courtesy, honor, and gallantry toward women. The principles of Chivalry should guide Knights and Ladies in daily life and as members of the Order. A Knight will prefer honor before worldly wealth and will be just and faithful in both words and deeds
More specifically, the Knights and Dames of the Order should heed to the most vital values of Knighthood. They include:
Courage: Being a knight often means choosing the more difficult path, the personally expensive one. Be prepared to make personal sacrifices in service of the precepts and people you value. At the same time, a knight should seek wisdom to see that stupidity and courage are cousins. Courage also means taking the side of truth in all matters, rather than seeking the expedient lie. Seek the truth whenever possible, but remember to temper justice with mercy, or the pure truth can bring grief.
Prowess: To seek excellence in all endeavors expected of a knight, martial and otherwise, seeking strength to be used in the service of justice, rather than in personal aggrandizement.
Justice: Seek always the path of 'right', unencumbered by bias or personal interest. Recognize that the sword of justice can be a terrible thing, so it must be tempered by humanity and mercy. If the 'right' you see rings agrees with others, and you seek it out without bending to the temptation for expediency, then you will earn renown beyond measure.
Loyalty: Be known for unwavering commitment to the people and ideals you choose to live by. There are many places where compromise is expected; loyalty is not amongst them, and
Defense: The ideal knight is sworn by oath to defend his liege lord and those who depended upon him. Seek always to defend your nation, your family, and those to whom you believe worthy of loyalty.
These ideas about how a Knight should behave are presented here for your review and consideration. It is recognized that we each have different life experiences that influence our actions, different values and agenda that bring us to the table of knighthood. It is hoped that this exposition may stimulate a consideration of what might be the best course to be taken as a Knight and that it may assist in making one's way down that path toward a complete spirit as a functional Knight in the service of the Order.
Humility is a strange word in our American culture, as it is in many others. We understand the dictionary explanation of the meaning of the word but it is rarely truly integrated into our internalized behavior. We naturally wish for all who know us, or who know of us, to understand and respect all of our accomplishments and our good deeds, to admire our special achievements and to respect us as gifted individuals. When we made application for our acceptance into the Order we listed all of those accomplishments and only wished that we were allowed more pages so we could further elaborate. After all, we are great people and we want the world to know and respect our true, real self. Most of us have many accomplishments; have fulfilled numerous deeds of valor, have been successful in business and our various individual professions and undertakings. We may have been successful as heads in large corporations, in military rank, in the ministry. And, we want everyone to know who we are.
Well, forget it. We are all important people to someone and we all have important accomplishments in our repertoire. But, greatness to the extent that one may be outstanding is rare and may only occur once in millions of lives. Actually, we are not that great. We are all traveling in the herd and may have our heads a little above that of others from time to time. When you think of real genius, of true prominence in any given field, which is so far above anything we may achieve in our lives, that it is hard to imagine we are of the same species. Compared to the great scientists, mathematician, philosophers, warriors, explorers and so forth, we, even the best of us, are barely worthy of notice. There is little that separates the best of us from the most downtrodden. So, get over the need to be recognized, bow your head and plow forward. If you do truly good labor, then, by your works (not by your words) shall ye be known.
Narcissism. It seems that in most of us there is a natural leaning toward a certain narcissistic behavior to some extent. But, in order to become a humble Knight, this tendency needs to be overcome. In reality, especially among the Knights of the Order, none of us needs to be outstanding. It is important that our useful experience and special skills should be known to those who might benefit from them. But, there is a considerable difference between declaration of skills available and the blowing of one's own horn. What does it mean to be a humble Knight? What is Knightly humility?
Cardinal Rules. If you wish to improve your standing among your brother Knights and Dames there are a few cardinal rules to remember. First; A closed mouth gathers no foot. Funny saying but oh so true. Keep in mind the old proverb; "God, keep you arm on my shoulders and your hand over my mouth." If you wish to improve your status and to become recognized as a true friend, allow others to speak. Have you ever engaged in a conversation in which you hardly get an opportunity to speak, if at all? Of course, and, the others who dominate the conversation usually have nothing of importance to offer and certainly do not enhance the relationship with their consistent vocalizations. However, in normal interactions, practice allowing others to express their concerns over issues and listen to what they have to say. The amount and intensity of friendships you develop will be inversely proportionate to how much you say about yourself. In fact, if you ignore everything else in this treatise, this one skill, that of listening, will serve to advance your stature among your fellow Knights and Dames more than all else. Believe it.
Value First The Contributions Of Others. Do not boast of your own accomplishments. If your accomplishments are worthy, others will do this for you. Relate the deeds of others before those of your own, according them the renown rightfully earned through their virtuous acts. In this way the office of knighthood is well done and glorified, helping not only the gentle spoken of but also all who call themselves Knights.
Avoid exposition of your credentials and credits. Your friends will learn of them in due time and will not need to be impressed. Relationships are developed through a series of contacts and the more you display true humility the more you will be liked. It is interesting to watch certain individuals who work the room and flit about seeking attention from others in every corner. It is a waste of time if your intention is to create true bonding. Be interested in others; augment their experiences with support and concern, create an atmosphere whereby you will be recognized as the person most desired as a friend by being a friend, not by overwhelming others with nonsense.
Chivalry is a code of behavior designed to make us better people in all aspects of our lives. Not superior, or special, or to gain recognition. A well-rounded life has to be simpler than that. Simplicity is the key for truly chivalrous behavior. The Order calls on all men and women to take seriously the effort of keeping Chivalry the pure and positive influence for good that it can be. This should be our greatest charge, other than our own compassionate dealings with other people.
Use Humility As A Tool. It is usually a longer course but will bring the proper attention to you and your cause more directly by those whom you most wish to associate. Be selective in how you give your favors, that is, favors of your friendship and attention. It is the quiet one who will outlast them all as others will seek you out for support, advice and friendship. The narcissist will loose in the end.
So, if you want to be recognized as a Knight or Dame of value, be humble, do what is right, be virtuous and principled in all of your acts such that you will be known for your moral and ethical stance in all matters. Stand as a principled Knight and work for the benefit of all.
Honor, Trust, Loyalty, Respect. This should be each Knight's personal Code of Conduct
Code of the West Throughout history there have been are many Codes of Loyalty. Some were written, others simply understood. Zane Gray listed many in his Code of the West including these few:
Loyalty to the Order. An order of Chivalry requires a high degree of loyalty and honour on the part of the gentleman and ladies who have been honored with knighthood in that Order
"Mine honour is my life; both grow in one; Take honour from me, and my life is done."
"He has honor if he holds himself or herself to an ideal of conduct though it be inconvenient, unprofitable or dangerous to do so."</DI
Honor is an internalized quality. A code of ethics is a set of principles to live by, that is: honesty, fairness, or integrity in one's beliefs and actions: It includes a sense of high respect, demonstrated by actions and speech. A man's honour, is his highest principal. It may be defined by factors such as religion, providence, spirituality, or morality as a person or society sees it. Morals are used as a compass to define right and wrong, and loyalty to these morals will stop someone from doing what they see as immoral. Many see the rule of law as an ethical code, while others define their code in a way that expresses their individuality.
In truth, Honour is that internalized need to do what is good, a virtuous conduct and personal integrity in all matters. It is the implicit rather than explicit primal code of behavior that defines the duties of an individual within the Order; is defined in relationships to "reputation" and as "respect". The concept of "credibility" also resembles that of honour. This sort of honour is a function of moral or ethical excellence, as it is a consequence of how one engages interactions amongst Knights and Chiefs of the Order. As a true and honoured Knight of the Order, walk upright in the gaze of God and your fellow Knights, live an honorable and distinguished life and maintain .vigilance in your loyalty to your fellow Knights and to the order.
The Honour Of Having Been Dubbed. When you knelt before the alter of the Order and received the honour of having His Grace dub you with sword on shoulder and head, you took a solemn oath. That oath was not a casual saying to which you simply listened. It was a serious and grave promise you made to His Grace and to the Order, to stand in defense of the Order, of His Grace and of your fellow Knights, to use all of your talents and skills to support and promote the mission and objectives of the Order and to stand out in your community as an example of knighthood, thus to bring honour to the Order. Your first dispatch is to always act with honour.
Loyalty to the Order. Loyalty to the Order and His Grace is analogous to that of honour. Without loyalty to the Order, one does not have his compass focused on that, which is important in life, as a man and as a Knight. Loyalty provides that vital and central bond among fellows and brethren in arms, that essential purpose for assembling and being tied together. To trust our fellow Knights is something that is paramount among our fraternity, that which is supreme in our personal interactions, one with another.
Service to your brother and sister Knights. From time to time you should ask, �What have I been doing to serve my fellow Knights?� Remember, knighthood is an ongoing and continuous obligation of service and the first requirement is that you serve those Knights around you. It is suggested that you maintain a list of Knights and regularly contact them, if not in the flesh, then at least by phone (in this case, email is not adequate. Do not treat an e-mail like a conversation.) In normal conversation we use the feedback of body language and inflection to modify our message, pace, tone, and emphasis in order to maintain clear understanding of another's meanings. In e-mail we do not have this real-time feedback. You should maintain constant awareness as to the health and activities of your fellow Knights. You have a responsibility to be ready to render any assistance, if needed; to be available to act as a friend and confidante, to share in the life of your brethren, to take up arms, or other necessary tools if necessary, to defend and support a fellow Knight.
Communicate. As a Knight of the Order, it is imperative that you stay in constant contact with His Grace and the other leadership, either by phone or electronically. Communication these days is a relatively simple matter and you, as an honored Knight, are responsible to maintain a program of regular contact. It is this way that you can frequently receive input as to how your particular talents may benefit the Order and your fellow Knights. When speaking to a fellow Knight, always use direct terminology, speak in a clear and direct manner and waste not your fellow Knight's time or patience by insisting on belaboring matters of little or no consequence. Deliver such elaboration that shall be necessary to clearly explain a situation or circumstance. And, if the situation requires, be patient to listen to your fellow Knight's exposition, as it may also be a means of dispelling stress or anxiety.
effort to get to know them personally and individually. The real advantage of a social institute such as the Order is the opportunity to become acquainted with some quality members; friends; contacts such as those Knights of the Order. In our usual travels among regular folks we rarely have such an opportunity to meet and to bond with such a quality group of diverse and interesting people. The real key is BONDING. It is the unique contacts and relationships that make your investment of time and talent into the Order worthwhile. Be a Knight worthy of that trust placed upon your shoulder, be a friend and companion to all Knights with whom you may associate.
Be An Ambassador Of Good. You should never need to tell those around you that you are a Knight. Assume the role of a diplomat and act as an Ambassador of the Order, and you will be readily recognized. By your actions, be someone whom others admire. An ambassador is the highest-ranking diplomat who represents an organization. These are big "PR" responsibilities and sometimes involve working on substantive issues between the Order and outside groups or individuals. As an Ambassador, there are many doors that will present themselves to you. You can promote and support many existing good organizations within your community. The list is endless but may begin with Boy and Girl Scouts, Cubs and Brownies, Big Brothers and Big Sisters, any adult friends of youth program, and many less well known organizations that work to support and assist specific needs. These organizations are always in need of help and your shining face can give them a great lift, only if you offer your assistance periodically. They are encouraged to know that good folks from other organizations recognize their efforts and are thus positive about continuing the good work they are doing. Be an Ambassador of good will and represent the Order in a Knightly manner. Display a sense of gallantry and always be supportive. Frankly, the discussion of the good one can do as a positive Ambassador can go on for pages. But, the point is made. Go to work, get out among those working in your community to aid those in need, support their efforts and give as much time as you can. Nuff said.
A Knight's Responsibilities. In those early days, knights did indeed have several responsibilities. Not only were they beholden to their liege lord from whom they held their title and estates, knights were also responsible for protecting their own vassals. In times of war, it was a knight's responsibility to fight for his liege lord. In times of peace, it was his duty to shield the commoners under his care from brigands, and sometimes from other knights. An ideal medieval knight was a consummate warrior, a loyal servant of his liege, and one who treated others with respect. A knight was a noble, whose rank conferred privileges as well as responsibilities. Occasionally, a knight would also be a sort of civil servant.
When the modern man finds the courage to face his weaknesses and finally takes the plunge on the path to knighthood, he must find and carefully choose an Order with which he is comfortable, and with whom there can be a connection and a relationship. And when he does, he must enter into knighthood therewith wholeheartedly. He should be willing to embrace and understand about the Order its aims, teachings, fees, rules, structure, dress code, activities and the like, before immersing oneself. And, once done, there can be no later regrets. For it is to these men, this band of brothers, that he must closely bond and concern himself. They will be his mentors, and assistants, critics and friends in whom he confides and places his trust. It is a two-way path. The Knight will receive and must readily give in kind.
A Knight is obligated to live a moral life with high values; he or she becomes the focus of attention of their family and community. Uncommon men have a purpose in life. They have a plan to seek significance and have a strong desire to live a life of strength and honor. They place high value on responsibility and commitments. It becomes important for the Knight to conduct oneself with care in the eyes of the public. This Quest we set ourselves on is not easy, as we are after all human, and are guaranteed to make mistakes. Generally the wise knight will avoid scandal wherever possible and be on the lookout for snares that may be deliberately set up to trap us on points of public contention. We should adopt the view that our personal opinions as our own and private, and not significant to the cause of chivalry. Modern knights with nine-to-five jobs may not be covered in sweat and gore, but they can and still are knights in shining armor. Chivalry is more than bravado, strength and daring-do; it is also found in those who respect the law, honor their commitments and refuse to compromise their high ethical standards - even when nobody else is watching. The Code of Chivalry is often difficult and inconvenient to follow in the workplace, but the virtues of knighthood such as honesty, perseverance and fairness can sometimes be vital to an arduous situation. There are always people who depend on you to be industrious, attentive and honest in what you do. People from all walks of life would take comfort in knowing that their chivalrous knight will keep them safe and secure with their lives and possessions. A man whose greatest reward is knowing that he helped someone without that person necessarily even being aware of it.
Evolution of Knighthood and Chivalry. Knighthood increasingly became a professional estate tied to the exercise of the art of warfare and the official recognition of ritual dubbing. That honor gave rise to the ethos to justify savage warfare, �lead to the rise of the definition of the miles Christi, the true soldier who followed a certain code of behavior, which we now call chivalric�. But it seems the development of gunpowder and more powerful archery meant that the use of cavalry to charge enemy lines and gain a swift victory became less possible. Consequently, the use of armored cavalry began to decline and finally came to an end. Even though martial knighthood did come to an end, its chivalric ideals continued to endure.
Heroic Knights. History has depicted the Knight as provided with an extremely heroic disposition. The Knight is depicted as the type of person who will save your life and never ask for anything in return. He is the most admirable man imaginable, because although he has achieved everything, he doesn't boast about it, nor does he consider himself better than anyone else. The knight is an elite warrior sworn to uphold the values of faith, loyalty, courage and honour. This special social aura provides the Knight with an attitude of elegance without extravagance.
Moral Life of Knighthood. When one determines to live a moral life with high values to aspire to, one becomes the focus of attention of their family and community. Generally the wise knight will avoid scandal wherever possible and be on the lookout for snares that may be deliberately set up to trap him on points of public contention. He should adopt the view that his personal opinions are his own and private, and not significant to the cause of chivalry. It is important that we make sure that we fully understand the concepts of virtue and what each one entails. The Code of Chivalry is often difficult and inconvenient to follow in the workplace, but the virtues of knighthood such as honesty, perseverance and fairness can sometimes be vital to an arduous situation.
Conduct in Public Life. Chivalry is more than bravado, strength and daring; it is also found in those who respect the law, honor their commitments and refuse to compromise their high ethical standards - even when nobody else is watching. A Knight's appearance is clean and neat at all times and his attire simple and modest. We are all moving about in a modern day society that needs the sanity of a well disciplined mind and outlook, not ostentatious or loud - as people sum him up initially on appearance - and first impressions are always the lasting ones. He speaks his truth quietly and honestly, is observant for the opportunity to do good, fair and tactful and is humble in all things
Knightly Presence. There has already been much said about the manner of Knightly presence. However, attitude is always an issue in endeavors of service to one's fellow man and it does merit a few specific comments. To be regarded as a person of astuteness and wisdom, it is essential that one develop certain attitudes that lead to a perception of humbleness and modesty. This does not usually come easy and requires constant.
He has to be constantly vigilant that he is not seduced by the things around him, both tangible and intangible. He must project confidence, for every knight is and should be a leader for those not familiar with the Quest. People only follow a leader that is sure of his course. He is not necessarily a physically tall, well-built, fighting machine, but he may be an intellectual giant.
All knights stand straight up and they walk with confidence. He is not an overbearing bombastic, person, but he also will not allow the uninitiated to assert dominance over him, or those he wishes to protect.
He is also a man of humility and justice and is willing, if not always able, to defend the weak and what is right. He is kind and compassionate; he readily forgives, as no knight can ask for forgiveness if he is not willing to forgive others also. He must however, also be wary of being "proud of being humble" for that can also throw him off course.
A Knight should offer companionship and fellowship freely. He is of cheerful disposition and always offering encouragement to others, and more so in hard times, for he knows that life is a journey of discovery and that adversity either brings out the best or worst in us. Very often we also discover things about ourselves when we are faced with hardships and difficulties. Adversity and hardships are the only time we can grow and strengthen our character.
Chaucer describes the Knight as the perfect noble knight. The Knight's true love is of chivalry and honor. He is depicted as a warrior who does his duty, because it is right. He believes in what he does, and isn't a warrior for any other reason. The Knight's intentions were always noble. The Knight never had any hidden agendas, and never fought for the prospect of material or social advancement.
And so, to walk in those ancient honored spurs, to serve your fellow man, to exude the special appearance and quality of that knightly eminence born out of antiquity, one must radiate the many attitudes relevant to service as a Knight of the Order. So, if you choose to be an example of ancient honorable knighthood, you might review these various chapters and keep in mind that the accomplishments of all of these qualities require attention, awareness and constant diligence to the task. None of this is natural to the human psyche nor does it come easily to the front. But if you work hard, develop each of these qualities one by one and continue to make small advances in your attitude toward the great qualities of knighthood, it is a surety that you will become a comely Knight worthy of the honour bestowed upon you.
It has been said that A knight must have faith in his beliefs, for faith roots him and gives hope against the despair that human failings create.</DI
Our ancient brethren in the knighthood were servants of God. Their Orders were largely fashioned by the church and they were expected to be examples of Godly behavior. Not much has changed in modern times. A man's faith is his grounding in his moral and ethical construct. His religion becomes the cornerstone of his chivalric code and the foundation of all social moral behavior. Increased faith is not a destination, rather a lifetime quest to follow God's lead. Life surrounds us with all kinds of temptation and we are all vulnerable. We all have a point where we may need help resisting temptation. For the faithful, knowing God and strengthening that relationship with an increasing faith is the foundation, not only for a Christian knight, but also for a purposeful life. And, even for the Knight that does not profess a belief in the Almighty, it is recommended that he or she keep an open mind to such and be willing to accept that quality in those who look up to you as a Knight.
George Washington, the founding father and Patriot of the American Revolution was certainly a Modern Day Knight. Was he a religious man? The truth is that Washington was vague about his faith, perhaps intentionally evasive. However, during that conflict the following statement was issued:
"The General hopes and trusts, that every officer and man, will endeavor so to live, and act, as becomes a Christian Soldier defending the dearest Rights and Liberties of his country." - General Orders, July 9, 1776, George Washington</DI
It was not so important to know if he was a believer but only to understand that he respected that belief in his soldiers and encouraged his men to act according to that belief. So it is with us.
Respect The Religion Of Others. As a Knight of the Order and to set an example in our community, it is essential that each of us holds a high regard and respect for the faith of others. If you are a believer, by all means, attend your local place of faith and engage in your devotions. If you are ambivalent about the matter, attend anyway. It can be a great source for social interchange and you can expand your opportunity to display the Knightly Code of Conduct. Same is so if you are not a true believer. Usually the music is good and the classes often engage in interesting discussions regarding current issues in the community. Get involved and let others know of what a Knight is made.
Keep in mind that any action on your part is of your own volition. If you wish to improve your understanding of your roll as a Knight, if you desire to get more involved in your neighborhood, if you chose to gain more friends and greater fellowship among your local faithful community, get involved and expand your level of devotion. You can advance the morals and ethics of Knighthood by mingling and sharing such values with others. If appropriate, be Godly, but modestly. In this instance you are not sent out as a salesman to force our values down the gullets of the uninitiated. Be an example of humility and serenity, support the values of your fellows and bring happiness to others, as a Knight.
Origins. The Orders of Knighthood evolved out of the European culture of "servant", then to "mounted soldier". Having a genesis of a military order, it has been from the beginning of time under strict control and design to wear the assigned uniform. The statement "uniform" is the operative word, meaning everything according to design and all alike. It is considered appropriate to dress for certain ceremonial functions as prescribed and, when in uniform, devoid of any personal embellishments or decorations. In keeping with the true spirit of the Order, one should wear a complete uniform according to the demands of the Order. To wear it otherwise would be considered rude, disrespectful and out of character of a true Knight of the Order. A newly made Knight may wear a formal black tuxedo to Order events until he acquires a complete uniform of the Order. No partial uniform should ever be worn as it is considered discourteous and degrading. Appearance, uniform fit and grooming shall reflect pride in the Order. A proper wearing of the uniform of the Order parallels commonly accepted professional civilian dress and military standards and the word uniform implies consistence and conformance to certain standards of the Order. Ethnic, religious, or other apparel, or personal display items shall not be considered a standard part of the uniform and shall not be worn on the uniform of the Order
Knights are authorized to wear only uniforms appropriate to their rank in the Order as directed by the Grand Prior General. This section will describe the basic uniform requirements. Further instructions may be obtained from the Grand Prior General. This represents full dress regalia including white gloves, swords, miniature military medals, aiguillettes, large jewels and medals of the Order as appropriate and permitted. The uniforms described herein are addressed to the male Knights. Ladies shall wear formal gowns with medals and mantles where appropriate.
Formal - Class A
Dinner Dress Jackets: A standard (Navy) White Mess Jacket with wide lapels, two gold buttons down each forepart with gold buttons attached to each end of a gold chain using the buttonholes on each forepart to close the jacket. Prescribed for formal occasions, all year round
Sleeve Lace: Knights shall wear a red lace appropriate for level of Knighthood. The first row of sleeve lace is 4 inches above the cuff.
Insignia: Hard shoulder boards on each shoulder to designate rank of Knighthood.
Trousers: Shall be standard military formal dress slacks, high waisted, of plain design, black color no cuffs without back pockets and a gold stripe down each outer leg.
Shirt: The shirt is a standard formal tuxedo shirt with front pleat soft front with wing-tip collar and worn with black or Imperial Order design studs down the front. Cuffs to be standard button type. French cuffs may be worn if cuff links are appropriate design for the occasion.
Cummerbund: Pleated black cummerbund, 5 inches high made of satin appearing material, worn with pleat openings facing upward.
Tie: A black bow tie of plain style with square ends, not to exceed 2 inches in vertical width, is worn. It may be hand tied or clip-on.
Shoes: Shall be black, low cut, of plain style, without decorations. There shall be no stitching or seams across the toe. Heels to be no higher than 1 inch, sole edges, heels and laces must be black.
Breast Insignia Device: Any miniature medals achieved in the military active duty, reserve or auxiliary shall be placed on the left lapel as shall miniature medals or jewels of other legitimate Orders of Chivalry. Ribbons and nametags are not worn. One miniature operations insignia may be worn above the miniature medals. No decorations shall be worn on the right lapel.
Jewels of the Order: Two neck jewels may be worn. The jewel of the Imperial Order shall be worn around the neck, suspended from a red ribbon and displayed on the front of the shirt. The jewel of the Order shall be worn higher than that of any other Order jewel worn. The Jewel of Rank shall be worn on the left forepart of the jacket in a buttonhole for the purpose. Jewels of other Orders may also be worn on the left forepart and right forepart if space is required. Only three such jewels may be worn, two on the left forepart and one on the right forepart, to symbolize a Christian cross.
Mantle: The mantle or cape shall be full bodied of a white material extending down to within 4 inches of the floor, shall have on each forepart at the closure a 1 1/2 inch wide trim and a collar of red, with a closure button at the neck and an emblem of the Order on the left breast. The Red Cross of Constantine the Great shall appear on the left forepart over the breast. The mantle shall be worn at ceremonies of the Order, when visiting a church and when ordered by the Grand Prior. It shall be buttoned at the collar, shall drape straight down, fully cover the body and shall not be thrown back over one shoulder. It is a ceremonial dress part of the uniform and all Knights and Ladies shall wear the mantle as prescribed.
Men's Alternate Formal Dress
Dinner Dress Jackets: A standard (Navy) Blue Winter Short Mess Jacket with wide lapels, two gold buttons down each forepart with gold buttons attached to each end of a gold chain using the buttonholes on each forepart to close the jacket. May be worn during winter months as prescribed by the Grand Prior General. All other apparel and accouterments shall be as shown above except,
Kilt. Men with a Scottish connection may wear full formal kilts with all accouterments unless directed otherwise by the Prior or Grand Prior General. Scottish attire shall be worn with appropriate mess jacket and accessory apparel as prescribed. No partial uniforms may be worn under any circumstances.
Men's Casual Uniform - Class B
Note. A casual events uniform in currently under consideration. It will consist of a uniform blazer with contrasting trousers. A similar uniform for ladies is also being considered. This portion will be filled in as plans are brought to conclusion by His Grace.
Evening Gown: Ladies shall dress in floor length formal evening gowns. There is no prescription of color except to note that dresses shall be simple in design, of undecorated material except subtle in design. Modesty is recommended with shoulder cover being preferred, and no pants suits or similar casual clothing may be worn at formal ceremonies or banquets of the Order.
Jewels of the Order: The ladies jewel is worn on left breast and displays a ribbon color appropriate to the Rank of Knighthood.
Mantles. The mantle or cape shall be full bodied of a white material extending down to within 4 inches of the floor, shall have on each forepart at the closure a 1 1/2 inch wide trim and a collar of a pale blue, with a closure button at the neck and an emblem of the Order of St, Helen on the left breast. The mantle shall be worn at ceremonies of the Order, when visiting a church and when ordered by the Grand Prior.
The real meaning of knighthood can suggest various things to various individuals. To some, it is a game involving dragons and dungeons, to others; it is dressing up in medieval costumes and play-acting. For those of who are members of authentic knighthoods and have been dubbed by a true noble or royal, it means quite something else. It is most importantly about service and courtesy. But a true modern-day knight has put his sword away and has become a man or woman of humility and justice, is willing to defend the weak and does what is right. He or she is kind and compassionate and readily forgives. And, while certain of these patterns of social behavior may not necessarily be integrated into the very social order from which we may have come, it is a high ambition, qualities we can acquire through diligent learning and practice.
Each of the attributes listed herein are recognized as important qualities of knighthood. We may presume that we possess those qualities. However, it is the responsibility resting upon each of us to closely survey our innermost being to determine if there may be some shortfall. And, then to work to improve those characteristics.
I have tried to identify necessary qualities for a true Knight of the Order. Then, to clarify it's meaning followed by an exposition of the meaning of each individual characteristic. As you read through this explanation of knightly characteristics, if you should think of others that have been omitted, or if some have been slighted in the presentation, please make notes and get back to me with your thoughts. This is a work in progress and I would greatly appreciate of any input or comments on the subject. We are all walking the same path and whatever we can do to assist and support one another will benefit us all. My contact information is shown below.
In the meanwhile, I hope this has been helpful and that you can bring it out every now and again to help you in your improvement of yourself as a Knight. Be well, have lots of fun in your service to the Order, and take real good care of one another.
I remain yours in chivalry and in knightly service
Robert Keller, KCCG
Chevalier of the Order