14th Investiture of the
Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour,
April 14th, 2018
St. George´s Cathedral, Theresian Military Academie
A report by „Spectator“
Pictures by Hannes Hochmuth – Press photographer
After months of preparation and numerous meetings the probably most beautiful and most spectacular investiture in the history of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour took place on April 14th, 2018. This special event to celebrate the investiture 2018 in the historic St. George’s Cathedral, the last resting place of Emperor Maximilian, called “the last knight“, could take place at the invitation of the Austrian military bishop H.E. Dr. Werner Freistetter. This would not have been possible without the support of the Theresian Military Academy and its commander, MajGen Mag. Karl Pronhagl and his staff. So in this place a cordially and comradely “Thank You“.
The agenda was “monstrous“ and very long. Protocol officer and Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honoour Grand Marshal LtCol Rudolf Murth (retd) guided through the event, supported by CSLI Helene Kneidinger. The celebration commenced with an open-air concert by the Lazarus Union Music Corps, directed by band master Friedrich Lentner and vice band master Barbara Zisser, followed by an expert explanation of the coat of arms wall by Col Dr. Heinz Gerger (retd).
The investiture ceremony which consisted of three major parts began with the marching in of the flags and banners (there was a total of 43 different flags and banners lead by the flag of the Theresian Military Academy and our corps flag, presented by our Guard of Honour, and more than 350 guests of honour from various organisations), a welcome address from the host MjrGen Mag. Karl Pronhagl, accompanied by Lower Austria Military Commander Bgdr Mag. Martin Jawurek, Governor Dr. Erwin Pröll (retd), Minister (retd) and Lazarus Union Grand Protector Dr. Werner Fasslabend, and President and Chief Representative of the Lazarus Union Senator Prof.h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt. The initial part of the ceremony ended with the playing of the Austrian national anthem.
Entry, Welcome and Awards
Reg.Rat. Olt (retd) Franz Satzinger was awarded the Commander’s Cross for Science, Research, and Arts of the Lazarus Union Academy. The president of the “Anciens Combattants Délégué Géneral du Souvenier Francais“, Michele Lapierre, was awarded the Grand Star of the Flame of Mercy, and Prof. Hans König received a lifetime achievement award, the Lazarus Union Grand Gold Star of Honour with sash.
After an informed and most interesting talk on the history of the St. George’s Cathedral by Col Dr. Heinz Gerger (retd) Lazarus Union president Senator Prof.h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt held the “welcome address without names“. After welcoming
the high clergy
the representatives of the statutory city of Wr. Neustadt
the representatives from politics and economy
the officers of the Theresian Military Academy
the comrades from the Austrian Comrades Union
the Radetzky Order
the St. Michael Order of Knights
the Order of Saint Joachim
the Hospitaller Order of St. Lazarus of Jerusalem KMFAB
the Takovo Order
the privileged citizen corps of the statutory city of Wr. Neustadt
the Deutschmeister Riflemen’s Corps
the Hesser Guards
all uniform-wearing unions
especially comrades from the voluntary fire brigades
the representatives of the tradition unions
all our dear guests
the CANTEMUS Chorus
the Lazarus Union Music Corps
the comrades from the CSLI, the SOF and the UNITER Special Corps
the chapter of the Knighthood of Honour
the Grand Prefects from Canada, Germany, Turkey, and the Canarian Islands
the grand officers
the Dames and Knights of Honour
the Lazarus Union members from 14 different countries
as well as all flags and banners
but especially the postulants (as this day is for them and in their honour)
he stated the following:
“…now the most difficult part of this welcome address comes, which is welcoming all guests of honour by name. A most difficult protocolary task as anyone can confirm, who already has been facing this challenge. Tiny deviations in the sequence of those named, not to speak of the worst possible mistake of not welcoming or even forgetting somebody, could lead to series of tragedies. Scrupulously recording of who gets how much applause finally completes the frustration.
Yet I will try now to welcome our guests of honour and not forget any single one.
All of YOU, without exception, are our most revered guests of honour and in the name of the Lazarus Union I cordially welcome ALL of you and ask for a good applause to all of us…“
Next was a very dignified and atmospheric High Mass, framed musically by the Lazarus Union Music Corps, directed by CSLI Col Franz Lentner and the CANTEMUS Chorus, directed by Erich Klug, with the “German Mass“ from Schubert. The High mass was celebrated by our Federal Chaplain Pater Mag. Stephan Schnitzer OSB, assisted by Military Chaplain Mag. Dieter Altenburger SDB and Military Superior MMag. Stefan Gugerel. After the final blessings then came the third part, the 14th investiture of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour.
Investiture of the Knights of Honour
(the term “Knight of Honour“ of course also includes the “Dames of Honour“)
18 postulants were designated to become “Knight Expectant“ and “Dame Expectant“ and marched in together with the Grand Master, in presence of the chapter, the Grand Prefect, the Grand Officers, Commanders and 41 other Knights and Dames of Honour. CSLI Comrades from many countries were there to pay homage to the new expectants and Knights of Honour. A beautiful comradely gesture. The comrades came from: Germany, Finland, Hungary, England, Turkey, Spain, Canada, USA, Lithuania, Latvia, Switzerland, Ukraine and France.
Next was the commemoration of the dead. To the sounds of “Closer my God to thee“ the Music Corps sutlers Dame Edith Lentner and Dame Erni Lentner carried the mourning banners for the corps flag and CSLI Bettina Heindl carried a picture of her partner CSLI Col Manfred Renner, who died way too early in 2017.
Then the Music Corps played “Once I had a comrade“ while the flag of the academy, the corps flag and all other flags and banner were lowered in honour of all comrades who already left us.
After the commemoration of the dead the corps flag stepped forward and the officer’s promise was renewed by the designated officers by putting their hand on the flag pole and after Chev. CSLI LtGen Wolfgang Leithner said the promise they reinforced it with the words “Yes, this we promise“.
The overture from F. Handel’s “Music for the Royal Fireworks“ was the bridge to the formal investitures, the climax of the ceremony.
A great experience was the address of Governor Dr. Erwin Pröll (retd) as a Grand Commander and Founding Member of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour (membership no. 3!) to the postulants. He stressed the meaning of tolerance, humbleness, mercy, and charity as important components of a working society and stressed the world-wide activities of the Lazarus Union with its more than 23,000 members all over the world in more than 120 countries for humans as a UN NGO with special consultative status. “…otherwise the Lazarus Union would hardly have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize 2017…“. The clear and humane words impressed everybody present.
Next the new postulants to the Knighthood of Honour were accepted. With the question from the Grand Master: “I ask you in front of the assembled Dames and Knights of Honour: is it your free will to aspire the LAZARUS UNION Knighthood of Honour?“, the postulants answered: “By my honour, so is it!“ Then the candidates received the plain coat and the cross with the words:
“So receive the formal signs of your new position: The plain coat and the cross. May you prove yourself worthy during your candidature to be then finally accepted into our Knighthood of Honour. Be welcome!“.
The following Lazarus Union members were accepted as postulants for the Knighthood of Honour (alphabetically by their first name):
Thomas Draxler Dr.
All were honoured with the “knight‘s fanfare“.
This was the sign for the postulants to prepare for their investiture. Ceremony officers were the two sword bearers Bgdr (retd) Chev. Ewald Angetter and Chev. Mag. Markus Wanderer. Grand Chancellor Chev. Oliver Gruber-Lavin put the coats on the postulant’s shoulders and Grand Commander Chev. Dr. Erwin Pröll fixed the clasp. Grand Prefect Chev. Ludwig Brunner handed the Knight’s Cross over to Grand Protector Chev. Dr. Werner Fasslabend, who put it around the neck of the postulant.
The postulants were called one by one by the Grand Marshal with the words
“Dear … .You have come before the Chapter of the CSLI Knighthood of Honour and by SECRET ballot you were UNANIMOUSLY deemed worthy to belong to our community as a Knight (Dame) of Honour. Come before us!”
The two questions of the Grand Master
“I ask you therefore, before the assembled congregation: Do you of your own free will as … … .. (here the rank and position to which the candidate is to be commissioned is used) want to belong to our community and accept our mission?“
“Are you aware what it means to be a member of this community?”
are answered with. “I want it with all my heart!” and “Yes, I am!”
The Grand Master then says:
“Into our Knighthood of Honour we wholeheartedly welcome you. Receive the insignia of your new dignity: the sword, mantle, and the insignia of the LAZARUS UNION Knighthood of Honour.”
After handing over the formal signs of the knighthood (sword, coat, and knight’s cross) the candidate is knighted with the words:
“Receive now the outward sign of your new dignity. Always remember the character of the eight virtues of a knight, and may you be given the power to act on them. Through the power of the office entrusted to me you are, with this symbolic accolade, from this moment a member of our Knighthood of Honour, and I hereby bid you fraternally welcome to our circle.”
Now every new Knight resp. Dame of Honour is payed homage to with the knights fanfare and presented to the auditorium with the words:
“Dear attendees, friends, comrades: here is our new Knight (Dame) of Honour, we applaud him (her)”
The following Lazarus Union members were appointed as Knights resp. Dames of Honour (alphabetically by their first name):
Alexander Wolfgang Wallinger Prof.Dr.MMMag.
Guido Mancusi Prof.Mag.
The “Prayer of Saint Francis“ and the music “Prayer from the Austrian Military Tattoo“ marked the protocolary closure of the investiture. More music (the march “Sword of Austria“) led over to the promotions part.
Knight Expectant Leopold Volnhals and Knight Expectant Friedrich Ehn were promoted to Knight Expextants Officers. Chev. Danny Koch was promoted Commander of the Knighthood of Honour, Chev. Ludwig Brunner to Grand Commander of the Knighthood of Honour, Chev. Bernd Höhle-Kleinertz to Grand Commander and Grand Prefect SOF of the Lazarus Union.
The former governor and Grand Commander of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour since 2011, Dr. Erwin Pröll, was the fourth person world-wide to receive the honour of “Grand Gross Knight of the Lazarus Union Knighthood of Honour“.
So the third part of this celebration ceremony ended and all participants walked to the memorial of Empress Maria Theresia (who founded the Theresian Military Academy, the oldest military academy world-wide) to make the obligatory group picture. This was followed by an agape in the premises of the academy, where a “military goulash“ and a “military vegetable stew“ were served. The quality of the food was found to be excellent. Thank You and kudos to the academy kitchen!
Refreshed and sustained the visitors could now prepare for the final highlight of the day.
Presenting the flag streamers and the “Great Lazarus Union Tattoo“ played by the big brass band of the Lazarus Union Music Corps, directed by bandmaster CSLI Bgdr Friedrich Lentner, our Lazarus Union Music Chief.
The academy commander’s wife visited our ceremony to celebrate with us despite her birthday being on this very day. The Music Corps played a serenade for her and the president presented her with a rose.
As a sign of appraisal the Lazarus Union decided to dedicate the world premiere of its Grand Tattoo to the Theresian Military Academy and its commander MjrGen Mag. Karl Pronhagl. The president of the Lazarus Union presented the corresponding document to the commander of the academy as a sign of solidarity.
Course of the Ceremony
Marching in of the units
Report and defilee
Address of the Lazarus Union President Senator Prof.h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt
Address of the mayor of the town of Wr. Neustadt Mag. Klaus Schneeberger
Address of the academy commander MjrGen Mag. Karl Pronhagl
Handover of the streamers
Marching in of the torchbearers
Begin of the musical Tattoo part
The Great LAZARUS UNION Tattoo is based on historic and traditional elements. It shall explicitly be no “military“ but a “traditional and ceremonial“ frame or closure of a large ceremony (e.g. investiture, inauguration and discharge of LAZARUS UNION dignitaries, honour for special guests, etc.).
Part 1 „Tradition“
The introduction depicts the marching band, approaching from the distance together with the camp guards, as they might have sounded around 1700. Drums, quiet at first and then louder and louder, accompanied as it was common by then by flutes, oboes, clarinets, and trumpets, play the tattoo from those times. A drum roll leads to the old Austrian bugle signals “Habt Acht!“, “Vergatterung“, “Sturm!“, “Beschleunigung“ and “Attacke!“, played by two solo trumpets. Then drummers play the Retraite and the signal “Last Post“ is played in concertante performance. Two marches round up the first part (the “Lazarus Union Marsh“ by Johann Hausl and the “UN Marsh“ by Robert Stolz).
- Pappenheim fanfare
- Old tattoo (historic instrumentation)
- Old tattoo (modern instrumentation)
- Bugle signals: HABT ACHT, VERGATTERUNG, STURM, BESCHLEUNIGUNG, ATTACKE
- Drummer’s march
- Last Post (orchestral)
- Lazarus Union March
- Three general rifle salutes
The first salute by the privileged citizen corps of the statutory city of Wr. Neustadt, honouring Wr. Neustadt. The second salute by the Hesser Guards, honouring the military academy. The third salute by the Deutschmeister Riflemen’s Corps, honouring the Lazarus Union.
- Transition to the
- UN March
Part 2 “Spiritual“
First the “prayer“ is taboured, then the band plays “We Gather Together“. Now the bugle signal calls for prayer and the commanding officer of the ceremony calls for attention. The uniformed units knee down in parade mode and the soldier’s song “Battle prayer“ is sounded after the solo trumpet sounds from the distance. Finally the troops are released and from the distance the solo trumpet sounds the signal “Last Post“.
- Prepare to pray (Drummers march)
- Prepare to pray (1. bugle signal)
- We Gather Together
- Prepare to pray (2. bugle signal)
- Battle prayer
- Last Post (solo trumpet)
Part 3 “Finale“
A bridge passage leads to the climax of the ceremony: the troops are commanded “attention“ while the national anthem and the county anthem are played. After a fanfare and the closing sounds from the solo trumpet the orchestra closes the musical ceremony with drums. The commanding officer reports finishing the act and asks for further instructions.
- Prelude to the national anthem
- National anthem of Austria
- County anthem of Lower Austria
- Finale (fanfare and closing sounds)
- Request for further instructions
- Marching out with defilee of units
Finally the comrades of the Lazarus Union Sword of Freedom presented a certificate to the president where it was confirmed that the Lazarus Union “…is the official (and only) force behind the term KNIGHTHOOD OF HONOUR…“ and the president of the Lazarus Union Senator Prof.h.c. Wolfgang Steinhardt is nominated commander honoris causa of the Lazarus Union Sword of Freedom (SoF). Surprised yet delighted the president accepted these high honours.
After this seven-hour event all participants (actors and guests) were quite exhausted and the evening was concluded in the officer’s mess of the Theresian Military Academy in a comradely atmosphere, so providing a worthy and relaxing closure of this eventful day.
A cordial and honest Thank You to all participants (regardless of how large or small their part was). Especially to the photographers who never get photographed because of their job behind the camera.