The Commandery of Knights Templar is by far the most visible arm of the York Rite. Whether they be participating in parades, church services, or doing good works in the local community, the white plume and dark uniform of a Knight Templar is an unmistakable symbol of one of the most active branches of Freemasonry. The modern version of the Knights Templar work to promote a love of country coupled with a charitable mission based upon Christ’s teachings.
Today’s Knights Templar can trace their ideals directly to those valiant crusaders who sought to help pilgrims travel through the Holy Land. The Knights Templar of Pennsylvania are consistently one of the highest donors to the Knights Templar Eye Foundation, which provides national research grants to doctors to cure diseases of the eye. The Sir Knights also give generously so that each year local ministers may visit the Holy Land.
To be a member of Commandery one must first be a Master Mason as well as a Royal Arch Mason. They must also profess a belief in Christianity and be willing to defend the faith just as the Templars of old.
A candidate for Commandery, also known as Templary, will go through three Orders (similar to degrees.) These include the Order of the Red Cross, the Order of Malta, and the Order of the Temple. Each Order deals with specific periods of history in the rise of the Templar tradition. Once a candidate receives the Order of the Temple he is considered a full member and may participate in activities and meetings which might include parades, raising funds for charitable works, patriotic observances, and other brotherhood building events.
You can find out more about the individual groups of the York Rite by following the links on the left. If you’re ready to join head on over to the Join and Continue Your Journey section.