Knights Templar

The Knights Templar is unique because it is the only place in
the York Rite system that the candidate is be required to take a
“Christian” oath. The oath does not require one to be a
Christian, but only to be willing to defend the Christian faith above
all others, so many non-Christians have been welcomed into this rite
as well.

The ceremonies of the Knights Templar are conferred in Orders rather than degrees. There are three Orders of Knighthood which are conferred in a Commandery of Knights Templar:

  • Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
  • Order of the Knights of Malta
  • Order of the Temple

The Order derives its name from the historical Knights Templar. One theory of the origins of Freemasonry claims direct descent from the historical Knights Templar through its final fourteenth-century members who took refuge in Scotland, or other countries where the Templar suppression was not enforced. Although the theory may not be dismissed, it is usually deprecated on grounds of lack of evidence by both masonic authorities and historians.

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