Why have these changes been made?
The future of our Order depends upon growth, and to grow, we need a way to join that is inviting and accessible. The new combined ceremony removes the barriers of secrecy and commitment of time that inhibited many from joining our ranks. It also eliminates redundancies and presents the lessons of charity, unity and fraternity in a more clear and convincing way.
What is the difference between the new degree exemplification and the old ceremonies?
Instead of having separate closed-door ceremonies, all three degrees can now be conferred in a single ceremony held in the parish, or in a council chamber.
For more on the reason behind the changes, watch the supreme knight’s speech here.
Article originally published in Knightline, a monthly resource for K of C leaders and members. To access Knightline archives, click here.
Who can attend the new degree exemplification?
The new ceremony is open to guests, including the family and friends of current and new Knights.
Can we conduct the old degree ceremonies?
State deputies will direct the implementation of the new ceremony and the phase out of the old ceremonies within their jurisdictions. The old ceremonies may still be conducted if your state deputy allows. A final date for complete termination of the old ceremonies will be determined by the Knights of Columbus Board of Directors.
Should First and Second Degree members participate?
Encourage First and Second Degree members to participate in the Exemplification of Charity, Unity and Fraternity. These members should also be invested with a rosary and lapel pin, even though they received them at their First Degree ceremony. At the conclusion of the ceremony, they are Third Degree members.
Are online members allowed to participate?
Online members can participate and then transfer into your council. The transfer details can be handled afterwards. If an online member wishes to remain in the Online Division (Council), his wishes should be respected.
There is no pledge of secrecy in this ceremony. How do members handle the promises they made during the original ceremonials?
Promises made in previous ceremonies should be honored.
Will knighting be conducted using a sword?
Knighting with a sword will be reserved for Exemplification of Patriotism, when the member becomes a “Sir Knight.”
Do teams need to be certified?
With the simplicity of this ceremony, the decision was made that no certification would be required. The grand knight and district deputy are charged with making sure the ceremonial script is being adhered to. However, this would not prevent existing conferring officers and ceremonials directors from assisting as mentors and guides for the implementation of the new ceremony.
Should councils continue to assess an Initiation Fee?
Since the Candidate Kit (#531) is now the only cost to councils, lowering or eliminating the initiation fee are both acceptable options. To do this, councils must vote to change their by-laws, afterwards updating them at “By Laws Online" accessed through
Have more questions? Other frequently asked questions can be found here.
The first combined, public exemplification took place at St. Mary’s Church, the Order’s birthplace, on Jan. 1, 2020. Supreme Knight Carl Anderson was on hand for the historic event and greeted Knights and their families afterward.
“I liked the inclusiveness and incorporating our families. It was very welcoming. As Knights, that’s one of our key components: bettering ourselves, our families and parishes.” — Michael Shea, St. Francis de Sales Council 9 in Bristol, Conn.
“I appreciated that I could invite my wife and daughter to come and see the process of becoming a Knight.” — Jason Gamsby, Our Lady of the Rosary Council 3300 in East Haven, Conn.
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