What is Knights Templar?

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

Generally, individual Commanderies operate under the Jurisdiction of the Grand Commanderies of their respective states – they, in turn, under the Grand Encampment of Knights Templar of the U.S.A. In the Commandery, the Chivalric Orders of Christian Knighthood are conferred as follows:

The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross is founded upon Truth – a divine attribute, the foundation of every virtue. The Order of Knight of Malta, first called Knights Hospitaller of St. John of Jerusalem, is known to have existed as early as 1099 A.D. It was the first organized body whose avowed purpose was the succor and care of the injured on a battlefield. The teaching of Christian application of Masonic precepts begins with this Order. The Order of the Temple is the crowning glory of York Rite Masonry; many have characterized it as the most solemn and impressive experience in Masonry.

Here, the aspirant progresses step-by-step, the way trod by Jesus of Nazareth, until the empty tomb joins with the sprig of acacia to teach that as last, we shall dwell forever in realms of life and light eternal.

“The only argument which can be used against Knightly Orders as component parts of the Masonic System is that they are essentially Christian in their Character and scope. This arises, however, from the circumstances which are inseparably interwoven in the world’s history and which, therefore, cannot be annulled. We have inherited from the fathers’ aforetime an organization which, has for its symbol, the triumph of the Cross and which commemorates the deeds of its defenders. Having accepted the inheritance, we must adhere to the fact that was sealed in blood amid the din of arms and the carnage of battle.”

– Warvelle

While Freemasonry demands only a belief in God, while Hindu, Mohammedan, Jew, and Gentile may worship around its altars, it cannot be deemed inconsistent that the Christian Freemason should establish a branch of the fraternity where he may be free to interpret the symbols of the Blue Lodge according to his religious belief. Thus, the Masonic Orders of Christian Knighthood are the logical outcome of the Christian Mason’s belief in Christ as the Lion of the tribe of Judah, whose hand will raise the dead to life and in whose Holy Name the True Word is found and restored at last. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Every Christian Mason should be a Knights Templar.



Royal Arch


Cryptic Royal and Select Masters


Grand York Rite of California