Damascus Commandery No. 1, Knights Templar
The Commandery confers Orders, not Degrees. The orders represent a new line of Masonic thought and experience, in that they no longer refer to Ancient Craft Masonry, but to ideals and practices of ancient chivalry and Christianity. The first Commandery order, The Order of The Red Cross, presents the story of the Jewish Prince, Zerubbabel, and his efforts to secure permission of the Persian King Darius to rebuild King Soloman’s Temple. The next order, Knight of Malta, is a departure from Masonry based on the Old Testament and is the first Christian Order. Here, the candidate represents a knightly warrior of the Crusades and is preparing for a trip to the Holy Land. The last order is that of Order of The Temple or Knight Templar, the crowning glory of York Rite Masonry. Again, in this totally Christian Order, the candidate represents a knightly warrior who desires to unite with a Commandery of Knights Templar during the era of the Crusades. After several trials to test his faith, courage, and humility, he is rewarded by achieving his desire. Let us look at these orders in more detail.