Joining the Order – The Knights’ Oath
Anyone that is to become a knight must first serve a period as a squire of a knight, under one, or several, Knight-masters. This term will normally be one year, but this period may be shorter or longer if the knight-master(s) and the Grand Master agree.
As part of his reforms of the Order, Grandmaster Brond also changed the oath the Knights must swear. In 1117, when the Order moved to the Dragons, Grandmaster Huntington changed it again, removing references to fealty to Crowns, and – as Dragons kneel to no-one except ancestors – changing who the squire kneels to.
At the end of the term, the knight-to-be will be presented to as many members of the Order as is practicable at the time, to be sworn in. He/she will be asked to state what he/she values above all else. They will then swear to uphold what is good and right. They will swear never to deviate from the path of good and right, even for some greater good. Each other knight present will state what they value above all else, and will be given the opportunity to state any objections that they may have to the individual becoming a knight.
If there are no objections, the Grand Master will proclaim the individual to be a knight of Celestial.
Ceremony of Knighting
With the Order gathered:
Knight-Master: “[Name of Squire] come forth and kneel before the Symbol of Celestial.”
(Sword, Armour, Shield (if used) and tabard are placed nearby. Grandmaster stands to one side of the symbol being used.)
Knight-Master: ” Let it be known to all that I, [name of Master], am minded to raise [name of squire], by virtue of their honour, loyalty, valour and skill, to the high rank of the Order’s Knighthood.”
Grand-Master:[Name of squire], do you acknowledge the Order and the Grand-Master to be your true and lawful liege, and so swear?”
Squire should answer affirmatively.
Grand-Master: “Let this be the last blow that you receive without just recourse.”
The Grand-Master strikes the squire across the face or on the shoulders. The squire kneels before the symbol of Celestial with arms crossed over their chest and head bowed.
The Grand-Master puts his hand on the head of the squire.
Knight-Master: “Repeat after me.
I [name] do solemnly swear and pledge my sword to the Order of Celestial,
to defend and obey the Order until the Order is no more or death shall take me,
and to uphold the honour of the Order’s Knighthood.
Furthermore, I swear to protect all those that require my protection,
not to slay an undeserving or defenceless adversary,
not to take part in a false judgement or treason,
or to withdraw if it cannot be prevented, to never give evil counsel,
and to help, if possible, a fellow being in distress.”
Squire repeats using his own name.
Grand-Master: “And I, for my part, do swear to defend and honour [squire] as befits a true Knight of the Order.”
Grand-Master: “We are all expected to uphold the virtues of generosity, energy, modesty, duty, justice, mercy and valour. Is there a virtue, either amongst these or without, that you would take to your heart, to be your guiding principle in all things?”
Grand-Master: “Let us now support (name) in the values he has chosen to uphold by affirming our own values.”
[Grandmaster states what they value above all else. The other Knights assembled then do the same. If a Companion has chosen a pre-eminent virtue they should also state it now.]
Grand-Master: “I turn again to those assembled to ask… You have heard that [name of Master] is minded to raise [name of squire] to the rank of Knight. You have heard [name of squire] swear to uphold the virtues of the Order. Do any of those here assembled have reason to object?”
There is a pause for those present to use respond.
The Grand-Master then takes his sword and taps the squire lightly on both shoulders with it, ensuring that they never step in front of the symbol of Celestial.
Grand-Master: “I dub thee [name], Knight of the Order of Celestial.
Receive now your right to suitable arms [Knight Master replaces armour],
your robes and symbol of your station [Knight Master replaces tabard]
and take this, the Sword of the Order [Grand-Master gives sword to squire], to your side to serve and defend the Order well.
[name of squire],may you always uphold what is good and right;
May you never deviate from the path of good and right, even for some greater good;
May your service to Celestial continue as it has begun.
I now proclaim you to be a Knight of the Order of Celestial. Arise Sir [name], brother/sister/sibling knight”