1. There has been a huge change to change to the way Knights will be initiated into the order. There will be one ceremony that will bring new members to full knighthood to replace the separate first, second and third degree ceremonies. In addition, there will be no veil of secrecy for this ceremony and families and the general public will be encouraged to attend.
2. Please don’t discuss the old ceremonies because councils still have them scheduled and they are still secret.
3. Under the new system, first and second degrees can attend the same ceremony as new members to become third degree knights. In the new ceremony, there will be a presenter for each ideal of the order, charity, unity and fraternity, an MC, a warden and a Priest or Deacon (if available). No memorization is required for those conducting the ceremony.
4. The idea behind the change: The old system began development in 1882 when the Knight’s of Columbus competed with other fraternal organizations. It’s initiation process and hierarchy was created to be similar to the other organizations. Although this served well for many years, it has been an impediment for new members in more recent times. The idea of this change was first discussed in 1988 so Supreme was slow to implement it, but they really saw a need at this time.
5. We will in the not to distant future hold the new degree ceremony. It will we for all new members as well as first and second degrees to get up to speed with the new combined degree rank. The only thing keeping us from scheduling it now is we need the training on how to do the new ceremony.
6. The ideal situation is to hold the degree ceremony in conjunction with the Mass.
The Fourth Degree has not changed.