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Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Council 11582
   400 N. Whitetail Circle    Mount Zion, Illinois 62549    (217) 864-3467    
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What is a degree?

For lack of a better definition, a "Degree" can loosely be interpreted as "being introduced to a new principle". Being of a lower degree in the Knights does not really affect what you can be involved in or what activities you can contribute to. However, all officers and 4th Degree applicants have to have already obtained their 3rd degree.

In a degree ceremony you are introduced to one of four principles that the Knights of Columbus holds in high regard. In your first degree, you learn of the principle of "charity". In your second degree, You learn of the principle of "unity". In your third degree, you learn the principle of "fraternity". Finally, in your fourth degree, you learn about the principle of "patriotism". It's these four principles that we base all of our actions. To move forward, you must learn of each in detail.

First Degree Ceremony - Charity

The first degree ceremony is for prospective Knights that wish to enter the order. You must be over 18, Male, and a Catholic in good standing. An application needs to be filled out and submitted to a fellow Knight who will read it in at a business meeting. Once approved, the prospective Knight is sponsored and invited to attend the first degree ceremony.

Second and Third Degree Ceremonies - Unity & Fraternity

The second and third degree ceremony does not have any requirements or applications to fill out. (Your council dues cover the cost of the ceremony). The ceremonies are also typically done together, so a Knight will have jumped from a 1st degree to 3rd degree Knight by the end of the process. Since the ceremony is held usually at another council, Knights of our council usually carpool together in support of one another.

Fourth Degree Ceremonies - Patriotism

The 4th degree ceremony is a big moment for a Knight and his family. The prospective 4th degree candidate will be in a ceremony most for most of the day while his wife attends functions specially arranged for her. This day is for both the Knight and his spouse which includes activities for both. A black tie celebration for the Knight and his spouse is held that evening.

The 4th degree exemplification happens twice a year.

To apply for the 4th degree exemplification you have to have attained your 3rd degree and been a knight for at least 6 months. A application has to be filled out and degree fees have to be submitted. The ceremony and celebration after is a black tie event.

Certain members of the Fourth Degree serve as honor guards at civic and religious functions, an activity that has brought worldwide recognition to the Knights of Columbus. You may recognize 4th degree Honor Guard members as they wear a tux, colorful capes, chapeaux (feathered hats), white gloves, and a sword.


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 This site was last updated 07/29/12

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 Our Lady of the Holy Spirit Council 11582

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