A Commandery of Knights Templar is traditionally the final York Rite body that a member joins. While you “Receive the Degrees” of both the Royal Arch and the Royal and Select Master; as a Sir Knight, you are given Orders. Our constituent commanderies operate under the Grand Commandery of Knights Templar of New Mexico, which in turn operates under The Grand Encampment Knights Templar.
While the other three bodies of the York Rite (including “blue lodge”) require their candidates to believe in a Supreme Being, the Commandery requires that a Sir Knight be ready to defend the Christian faith. During our regular year, we observe Easter, the Ascension and Christmas, in addition to honoring the Saints John.
These York Rite Commandery Orders include:
- The Illustrious Order of the Red Cross
- The Passing Order of St. Paul, (or Mediterranean Pass)
- The Order of the Knights of Malta (or simply Order of Malta)
- The Order of the Temple
August 21, 1901 saw the several initial New Mexico Commanderies form the Grand Commandery of New Mexico. These included:
- Santa Fe Commandery No. 1
- Las Vegas Commandery No. 2
- Pilgrim Commandery No. 3
- McGrorty Commandery No. 4
- Aztec Commandery No. 5
- Rio Hondo Commandery no. 6
This was celebrated by holding the first Conclave of the Grand Commandery on that date. The first Annual Conclave was held later in October of 1901 in Albuquerque. Past Eminent Commander Edward L. Bartlett of Santa Fe represented the Grand Master, Most Worshipful Brother Reuben H. Lloyd, and convened the Grand Conclave. A Constitution, Bylaws, and Rules of the Order were adopted and an election of Grand Commandery Officers was held under it. Sir Knight Bartlett was elected the first Grand Commander of New Mexico.