Welcoming in New Brothers through the Exemplification ceremony of Charity, Unity, and Fraternity
When it comes to ceremonies and tradition the Catholic Church, in general, and the Knights of Columbus, specifically, is not lacking. One of the most rewarding and informative ceremonies our order has is the Exemplification of the Third Degree. Since 2020 the order has changed the degree ceremony from three separate ceremonies to one. This made becoming a full brother knight more streamlined. The highlight of the ceremony are the three lessons: Charity, Unity, and Fraternity.
Without giving to much of the ceremony away the lesson on Charity exemplifies the idea that charity is not a feeling, or an act of almsgiving, or even volunteer work. But rather “The greatest act of charity the world has ever known is the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, who freely and willingly offered Himself for us on the Cross.” It is giving oneself to another for their sake, expecting absolutely nothing in return; a true act of love.
The old saying there is strength in numbers. But the truth is their is strength in unity. As a fraternal order of Catholic men we have one another’s best interest at heart. Being a knight is not something we do on Sundays or at our business meetings. Instead it’s a change in our hearts and minds. The lesson on unity focuses on the unity of the Church, the family, and our order. “Brother Knights and their families encourage one another to establish loving homes that cultivate virtue and holiness. In a divided world, where many find it difficult to truly encounter God, Knights of Columbus families live their faith, fulfill their mission, and evangelize the world.”
As stated above charity and unity change our hearts. But it is in fraternity that our united hearts come together in community. “United by Baptism and the Eucharist, Knights of Columbus stand ready as brothers to bear one another’s burdens. Where there is a spiritual or material need, we assist one another by prayer, counsel and practical support.” As a fraternal order we always seek to prefer our brother knights in our personal lives. We should always encourage one another to be better and to serve one another when the need is there.
Brothers, If you have not had the opportunity to attend the new Exemplification ceremony I highly encourage you to do so. Thankfully our “brother” council, St. John Neumann’s/Good Shepherd Council in Lords Valley, does the ceremony the last Sunday of every month at 1pm. Speak to the membership director, deputy grand knight, or grand knight if you are interested in attending as a guest.