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Honorary Knighthood Order
Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union
Based on Article 05 of the Statutes of the Lazarus Union
Established according to the resolution from the Grandmaster in October 2020
The Knighthood of Honor Knighthood of the Lazarus Union recognizes that it is not a real Order of Knights, that means that there is no recognition by the Roman Catholic Church as a true Order of Knights.
The Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union recognizes that even today the virtues of old knighthood have lost nothing of importance. To strive for it, to act and to encourage others to do so is more than ever to be seen as necessary, even in times we are experiencing today.
As part of a voluntary, humanitarian, charitable and global organization, the Lazarus Union’s Knighthood of Honor also seeks to make a breakthrough on these chivalrous virtues (faith, hope, love, mercy, wisdom, justice, bravery and moderation) wherever possible and does so by the symbolic “Knighthood of Honor”.
Name and seat
(1) The Knighthood of Honor is named Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union.
(2) It is located at the place of the respective Grand Master and extends its activities to all the States of the world.
(3) Titular castle of the Knighthood of Honor is the Kreuzenstein Castle in Lower Austria.
Insignia of the Knighthood is a green eight-pointed cross with crossed swords on the green ribbon. In the middle of the insignia there is a small shield of arms in yellow and green, with two small crosses (= emblem of the Lazarus Union).
Knights of Honor wear the insignia with exaggeration (also named trophy or agraffe), Knight Expectants wear the insignia without exaggeration on the green-gold ribbon.
Knights of Honor also wear a black mantle with a black velvet collar and the symbol of the Knighthood of Honor fixed on the left shoulder of the mantle. Knight Expectants wear the ordinary mantle only with the two-colored emblem of the Lazarus Union.
Members of the Knighthood who do not belong to any Christian faith wear insignia without crosses or other Christian symbols. In the middle of the emblem there is only shown the awakening of St. Lazarus and our four principles of “tolerance, humility, mercy and charity.
Purpose of the Knighthood of Honor
(1) The knighthood that acts as a non-profit organization pursues exclusively and directly charitable and ecclesiastical purposes.
(2) The purpose of the Knighthood of Honor knighthood is, in particular, in respect of and following the more than eight hundred-year-old tradition of the Order of Knights of the Middle Ages and their successor institutions, the care and promotion of international understanding, the understanding between the recognized religious communities, the promotion of youth and elderly assistance, public health, humanitarian goals, the environment and the financial support of persons in need of help in the sense of Saint Lazarus.
(3) In order to achieve these purposes, the members of the Knighthood of Honor are obliged to work for these goals personally by chivalrous behaviour in all situations.
Types of members
(1) The members of the Knighthood of Honor can be categorised as
- Knight or Dame Expectant
- Knight or Dame Expectant Officer
- Knight or Dame of Honor.
(2) Young people from the age of 12 can be appointed as a squire of the Knighthood of Honor with the consent of their legal representatives, that has to be provided in writing. When they reach the age of majority, the chapter decides whether the squire is worth to continue to belong to the Knighthood of Honor.
Obtaining the admission into the Knighthood
(1) There are many applications for the admission into the Knighthood of Honor and it is likely that many of the application have to be rejected due to a quantitative limit of the number of Knights of Honor and thus possibly good Knights of Honor will not be admitted into the Knighthood of Honor. In order to ensure a fair selection of Knights of Honor to be admitted the chapter of the Knighthood of Honor has introduced a “patent and candidature on the Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union”.
(2) All members of the Lazarus Union as well as all other persons who want to admitted into the Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union, must look for a “godfather” from the Knights and Dames of Honor. Each Knight or Dame of Honor may take over not more than three godparenthood at the same time.
This “Godfather” makes the application to accept the candidate as “Knight Expectant” and “accompanies” this candidate until the final admission to the Knighthood of Honor.
The chapter decides on the admission as Knight or Dame of Honor during a Chapter Meeting by secret ballot and with unanimous agreement of the present members of the chapter. The chapter decides on the admission as an Knight or Dame Expectant by open vote and by simple majority. In case of a tie in the voting the vote of the Grandmaster decides.
(3) The candidate will then be accepted as an “Candidate for Knight or Dame of Honor” or “Knight or Dame Expectant” and can then prove himself in a (temporarily indefinite) “observation phase”.
(4) After an temporarily indefinite observation phase, a rankup to the rank of “Knight Expectant Officer or Dame Expectant Officer” can follow. This is decided by the Grand Master.
(5) After a further period of observation, the final acceptance into the Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union can be applied. This request can either be made by the candidate himself, or three Lazarus Union Staff Officers can make the application on behalf of the candidate or his/her “GODFATHER” makes the request to the Chapter.
(6) Purpose of the “observation period”:
The observation period gives the Lazarus Union and the Chapter, but also the candidate the opportunity to undergo an “examination period” for each other to get to know each other better and also to determine whether the mutual expectations are also true in order to avoid any wrong decisions concerning the final admission to the Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union.
(7) Early termination of the “observation phase”
This status of “candidacy” can be withdrawn by both the candidate himself and the chapter by a simple majority without a reimbursement of costs incurred, without giving reasons and without any further consequences. In this case, all insignia received must be returned to the Lazarus Union, whereby the costs incurred will be reimbursed if this items are returned safely.
(8) The insignia within the “observation phase”
As an external sign, the “Expectant” receives the neck cross of the Knighthood of Honor (without exaggeration (trophy) and the cross arms without investiture ceremony. The Officer’s sign has the same kind like the cross but is used as a chest cross. For this purpose, the “Simple Mantle” (= Knight’s mantle without the emblem of the Knighthood of Honor) with the CSLI emblem is used . The acquisition of the insignia and the mantle are in this case an essential requirement.
The Investiture Ceremony
An Investiture Ceremony usually consists of the following parts:
- a) Public concert of the Music Corps of the Lazarus Union
- b) Procession and ceremonial entry
- c) Handing over of the banners
- d) Renewal of the Officer’s Promise
- e) Ceremonial application of the Knights of Honor and possibly Expectants
(f) Promotions and rank-ups
- g) Awards
- h) Commemoration of the Dead
- i) Ceremonial leaving
Admission of the Knights of Honor
(1) The Investiture Ceremony of the Knights of Honor is a continuation of the traditional accolade. The “attitude” that stands BEHIND this accolade is MORE IMPORTANT than the ceremony itself. It therefore does not claim authenticity, nor should similar ceremonies of other associations and organizations be “imitated”.
At the Investiture Ceremony, candidates do not have to kneel before the “Grand Master” and similar “notables” if they do not belong to the clergy of a religious community while getting the accolade.
(2) The Grand Cross Knights, Grand Commanders, Commanders and Knights of Honor present form if there is sufficient space a semicircle. In the middle stands the sword-bearer, to his right the Grandmaster and the Deputy Grandmaster or the highest-ranking, senior member of the Knighthood of Honor. To the right of the Grandmaster stands the ensign with the banner of the CSLI Knighthood of Honor.
(3) The Grandmaster opens the Investiture ceremony:
“On behalf of the LAZARUS UNION and its Knighthood of Honor I would extend a warm welcome to all those present to the following Investiture of our Knighthood of Honor on this day. All candidates who receive dignity and rank today were unanimously deemed worthy to be publicly honored with this Investiture after thorough examination by Chapter of the CSLI Knighthood of Honor.”
(4) The candidate is called by the Master of Ceremonies and, after mentioning his name, appears before the semicircle. During the TOTAL ceremony he remains there. “Dear ……. (here the forename is used!), you have been unanimously and after secret vote deemed worthy by the chapter of the CSLI Knighthood of Honor to belong to our community as ………. (here the rank and the position will be mentioned in which the candidate will be accepted or promoted). Step forward!”
(5) The Grandmaster asks the candidate whether he would like to be a member of the CSLI Knighthood of Honor with the following words:
“I therefore ask you in front of the assembled congregation: Do you want to be of your own free will as …….. (here the rank and position where the candidate is accepted or promoted will be mentioned) a part of our community and to acknowledge our principles?”
(6) The candidate replies:
“I want it with all my heart!”
(7) The Grandmaster asks the candidate:
“Are you aware of what it means to be a member of this community?”
(8) The candidate replies:
“Yes, I am!”
(9) The Grandmaster then says:
“So be welcomed by heart in our Knighthood of Honor and receive the insignia of your new dignity: the sword, the mantle and the insignia(s) of the Knighthood of Honor of the LAZARUS UNION.”
(10) While the Grandmaster speaks, the sword-bearer hands over the sword to the Grandmaster, who hands it over to the candidate. At the same time, the mantle is put on the candidate. The Grandmaster then hands over the insignia(s) to the candidate with the words:
“Receive now the outer signs of your new dignity. May these signs always remind you of the eight virtues of a knight and may you give you the strength given the strength to act accordingly.”
(11) The Grandmaster then again takes the sword and takes out the (symbolic) accolade with the following words, first touching the right shoulder, then the left shoulder, and finally touching the candidate’s apex while speaking the following words:
“By virtue of the office entrusted to me, you are a member of our Knighthood of Honor and I hereby I welcome you fraternal among us.”
(12) The Grand Master hands out the sword back to the sword bearer and gives the new Knight of Honor triple brotherly (right, left, right).
(13) If a priest is present and the candidate wants to he will stand before the priest, kneels down and asks for the blessing of God with the following words:
“I ask God for His blessing, that He may give me the strength to be also worthy of this high honor.”
(14) After the blessing, the new Knight of Honor enters the semicircle of the knights after having received the decree (This Ceremony is for each candidate!) When all the applications have ended, the Grandmaster says the following prayer:
O Lord, make us the instrument of your peace,
that we practice love, where one hates oneself,
that we forgive where one is offended,
that we connect where there is conflicts,
that we tell the truth where the error reigns,
that we may bring faith where the doubt expresses,
that we awaken hope where despair is tormented,
that we may light a light where darkness reigns,
that we may rejoice where sorrow dwells.
Lord, let us seek:
not that we are comforted, but that we may comfort;
not that we are understood, but that we understand;
not that we are loved, but that we love.
For whoever gives receives.
Whoever forgets himself, finds;
Whoever forgives will forgive:
And whoever dies awakens to eternal life!
(15) The ceremony has then came to an end. If it is possible and if the opportunity is available, this ceremony can also be decorated with music (f.e. CSLI Fanfare and CSLI March etc.)
(16) In addition, the annexed application, which forms part of this order, shall apply.
The admission of the Knight Expectants
(1) The ceremony of the candidates for “Knight Expectants” or “Dame Expectants” usually takes place during the Investiture of the Knights of Honor but shall nevertheless be a very special moment in the life of the candidate and has the following procedure:
(2) The candidate usually sits to the right of the “godfather” as far as there is enough space. The “Master of the Candidates” or the Protocol Officer applies to the candidate with the following words:
“Dear…….. ! Your “godfather” proposed to accept you as “Knight Expectant” (Dame Expectant) of our Knighthood of Honor and the chapter has answered this request. Step forward!”
(3) The “godfather” and the candidate andidate place before the Grandmaster (the “godfather” stands behind the candidate and has the mantle his hands). The Grandmaster now asks:
“I ask you in front of the present Knights and Dames of Honor: Is it your free will to aspire the Knighthood of Honor in the Lazarus Union?”
(4) The answer is:
“On my honor, yes, it is!”
(5) The Grandmaster then says:
“Now receive the outer signs of your new rank: the simple mantle and the cross. May you prove yourself in your candidature in order to be finally accepted into our Knighthood of Honor and be welcomed!”
(6) Then follows the brotherly kiss.
(7) Afterwards, the Knight’s fanfare of the Lazarus Union is performed. (It is also possible that the Knight’s fanfare will be performed at the end for all Knight or Dame Expectants.)
(8) After that, the “godfather” and the new “Knight Expectant” and the new “Dame Expectant” returns to their seats.
Termination of affiliation
(1) The membership of the Knighthood of Honor expires by death, by exclusion or by decision of the chapter to release the Knight/Dame from the affiliation. A unilateral exit is not possible.
(2) A Knight/Dame of Honor may be excluded if he/she does not comply with his/her other duties established in this order or behaved dishonorably. In the case of dishonest behavior, the exclusion shall take place immediately.
(3) The Knighthood of Honor of a Knight or Dame of Honor can only be denied by the Chapter (unanimously and secretly).
(4) The exclusion must be notified to the member in writing, stating the essential reasons.
(5) The exclusion can be objected to within 14 days from the knowledge of the exclusion. The time limit is governed by the rules of civil law. A simply registered letter is considered having been received seven days after having been sent by post. The opposition must be addressed in writing to the Grandmaster. The Grandmaster decides on the appeal. Until his decision, the opposition has no suspensory effect.
Rights and duties of the members of the Knighthood of Honor
(1) Each member shall be entitled to participate in all events of the Knighthood of Honor.
(2) Each member may make an application to the Chapter.
(3) All members are obliged to:
(a) respect this order and any additional arrangements and to comply with the decisions and orders of the Chapter and the Grandmaster;
(b) promote the interest, aims and purposes of the Knighthood the Honor according to their possibilities and to neglect everything that could damage the reputation and purpose of the Knighthood of Honor.
Organs of the Order
Organs of the Order are
(a) the Grandmaster;
- b) the Chapter
The Grand Master
(1) The Grandmaster represents the Knighthood of Honor.
(2) The Grand Master issues the Order of the Knighthood of Honor, which is only valid within the Lazarus Union and has no external Impact.
(3) The Grandmaster of the Knighthood of Honor will be elected by the General Assembly of the Lazarus Union AND all the present Knights of Honor and has the status and rank of a (3rd) Vice-President of the Lazarus Union, unless he occupies a higher rank.
(4) The Grand Master appoints the Chapter.
(5) The Grandmaster determines the rank of a candidate who has been accepted into the Knighthood of Honor.
(6) All awards and award levels, that can only be given by the Grandmaster, is given by him with the sole responsibility.
(7) The Grandmaster is the only Knight of Honor to wear a red mantle as a sign of his dignity.
(1) The chapter is appointed and dissolved by the Grandmaster.
(2) The number of the members of the Chapter is determined by the Grandmaster.
Tasks and responsibilities of the Chapter
(a) decides unanimously on the admission to the Knighthood of Honor and dismissal from the Knighthood of Honor,
(b) discusses about amendments of this Order,
(c) discusses the requests submitted in writing and submits a proposal for a decision to the Grandmaster,
(d) advises the Grandmaster on honors and awards to be awarded,
(e) prepares the Investitures, together with the Grand Master and assists him in its implementation,
(f) selects a speaker who is the mouthpiece of the Chapter for the Grandmaster.
The Presidium of the Lazarus Union may propose to the Grandmaster a person who, as Grand Prefect, is to represent the Knighthood of Honor of the Lazarus Union and the Union itself against hostility from within and outside. The appointment shall be made by the Presidium according to the statutes of the Lazarus Union. The final award and removal of this protectorate shall be effected according to the statutes of the Lazarus Union by decision of the General Assembly.