Jackson Commandery No. 9

Jackson-Coolidge Masonic Temple
355 Napoleon Rd.
Michigan Center, Michigan 49254-1264
(517) 764-9962

The Orders of Knighthood conferred by Commandery #9, Knights Templar

The first Order of Commandery , the Illustrious Order of the Red Cross, provides a bridge with Ancient Craft Masonry and the Chivalric Orders of Commandery.  In this Order, the story of the Jewish Prince, Zerubbabel, and his efforts to secure permission of the Persian King Darius to rebuild the Temple at Jerusalem are presented.  The last two Orders of Commandery mark a divergence from Ancient Craft Masonry in that they refer to ideals and practices of chivalry and Christianity.

The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
This Order consists of two sections.  The first depicts Zerubbabel's (the candidate) admission to the Jewish Council at Jerusalem, in which he is invested with permission and authority to travel to Babylon and attempt to obtain leave from King Darius to stop the enemies of the Jews from hindering their progress in building the Temple, as well as to recover the holy vessels of the Temple which were taken as booty to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar when he destroyed the First Temple. 

The second section takes place at the Court of Darius.  There Zerubbabel renews his earlier friendship with the King, and is granted a position in the royal household.  He then participates in a friendly contest with other nobles of the realm regarding the question: "Which is greater, the strength of wine; the power of the king; or the influence of woman?"

The Order of Malta
This Order is actually a combination of two others: The Order of St. Paul (sometimes called the Mediterranean Pass), which is a preparatory order, and the Order of Malta.

The Order of St. Paul is based on the story of Paul's shipwreck on the island of Melita (Malta). The candidate represents a knight about to depart for the Crusades in the Holy Land.  The Order of Malta presents the history of the Order as an opportunity to discuss the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  It is a suitable preparation for the Order of the Temple, in that it provides the candidate with additional New Testament instruction, particularly in the eight Beatitudes.  

The Order of the Temple
This Order begins with the candidate, a Knight of Malta, who, after a vigil, seeks to unite with a Commandery of Knights Templar. To test his faith, the candidate is instructed to perform a number of years of pilgrimage.  After assuming an obligation, he is then required to undertake a number of years of knightly warfare, as a test of his courage and constancy.  Having satisfactorily performed these, he is admitted to the Asylum of the Knights Templar.  The candidate is then required to perform a time of penance in token of his humility.  Following this, sealing his membership in the Order, he is duly dubbed a member of the Valiant and Magnanimous Order of the Temple.