El Camino Real
Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus
Huntington Beach, CA
Sir Knights of the Fourth Degree, deem it an honor and privilege to carry our TRIAD EMBLEM, which features The Dove, The Cross, and The Globe. Our Honored Order cherishes as its Patron, Christopher Columbus.
The Fourth Degree ritual added patriotism to the three original principles of the Order: charity, unity and fraternity. Any Third Degree member in good standing, is eligible for membership in the Fourth Degree. The primary purpose of the Fourth Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship and a love of and loyalty to the Knights' respective countries through active membership in local Fourth Degree groups called assemblies. Fourth Degree members must retain their membership as Third Degree members in the local council to remain in good standing.
The Color Corps is an ELECTIVE division of the Fourth Degree, whose distinctive presence in parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, Confirmations and other Catholic functions is a visible reminder of our service to the community. The tuxedo, chapeau, cape and sword worn by the Color Corps were inspired by 19th century naval uniforms, with different cape colors representing nine different program ranks. The ceremonial sword symbolizes Christian Knighthood, and is carried to signify reverence to Church, Eucharist, country and freedom.
Spiritually, the sacred symbols fashioned on our sword and lapel pin, typify the union of the Three Divine Persons in one Godhead The Most Holy Trinity.
- The Globe: God the Father, Creator of the Universe.
- The Cross: God the Son, Redeemer of Mankind.
- The Dove: God the Holy Spirit, Sanctifier of Humanity.
In the early years of the Fourth Degree, members met as part of their councils, mostly after meetings. In 1910, during a reorganization of the Order's leadership, the first Assemblies were created. Additionally the position of Supreme Master was established to lead the Fourth Degree internationally. Vice Supreme Masters lead Provinces and Masters head Districts. This system has spread and flourished as Sir Knights not only serve their local Church through their service to local councils but also their joint efforts in these Assemblies. The Honor Guard, first called for in 1886 was officially formed in 1902, for ceremonial purposes. Since that time, the uniforms of the Color Corps have varied, however all have shared the similar theme of mariners. Most noticeable in today's current uniform is the chapeau worn with ostrich feathers.
The first Exemplification of the new Degree was scheduled to be held in the Astor Hotel in New York City on February 22, 1900. However, there were so many candidates, the Exemplification had to be moved to a larger venue. Therefore the site was moved to the Lenox Lyceum. At this first Exemplification of the Fourth Degree 1,100 members of the Knights of Columbus, being in good standing "took their fourth." The second Exemplification, held in Boston on May 8, 1900 saw another 750 Third Degree knights join the ranks of Sir Knights.
and Vice Color Corps Commander
The Color Corps is an ELECTIVE division of the Fourth Degree, whose distinctive presence in parades, wreath-laying ceremonies, Confirmations and other Catholic functions is a visible reminder of our service to the community. The tuxedo, chapeau, cape and sword worn by the Color Corps were inspired by 19th century naval uniforms, with different cape colors representing nine different program ranks. The ceremonial sword symbolizes Christian Knighthood, and is carried to signify reverence to Church, Eucharist, country and freedom. Color Corps members wear the colors with pride, knowing they represent the very best of the Knights of Columbus.
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- The official dress for the Fourth Degree Exemplification is black
tuxedo, black bow tie, plain white tuxedo shirt (NO wing tip shirts),
black shoes, cummerbund . Religious and members of the armed services
may wear their clerical garb or dress uniform respectively. Members
shall wear the official dress plus social baldric, lapel pin and jewel
- Starting at the Supreme level there is
the Supreme Master and the Supreme Board of Directors. The next level of
the structure is broken into provinces of which there are twenty. Each
province is lead by a Vice-Supreme Master. The Vice-Supreme Master wears
a light blue lined cape and chapeau. There are currently 15 provinces in
the United States, 4 in Canada, 1 in Mexico and 1 in the Philippines.
province is then broken up into districts. Assembly 85 is in the
Junipero Serra Province.
Most districts are either an entire State or a section of a
larger State (i.e. California has three districts - North, Central
and South). A Master (jewel pictured left) is in charge of a
District and wears gold lined cape and chapeau. Master's are responsible
for overseeing the Installation of 4th Degree Assembly Officers, The
Renewal of Obligations in January, and holding at least one 4th Degree
Exemplification each year.
a Master usually has a District Marshall (jewel pictured right)
to assist him. The District Marshall wears a green lined cape and
chapeau. Faithful Navigators wear a white cape and chapeau.
The Jewel for the 4th degree officers are suspended from a red, white,
and blue ribbon. Each contains the 4th Degree Emblem and title of the
Officer's position. The Assembly is structured in much the same manner
as a Council. Below is a chart that shows the 4th Degree Assembly
Officer's title and the 3rd Degree Council equivalent.
Explanation of the colors of capes and chapeau worn by the Fourth Degree when in full regalia, and what these colors signify. They are as follows:
Vice Supreme Master Light Blue Master Gold District Marshal Green Color Corp Commander Purple Faithful Navigator White General Membership Red Cape-White Plumes
Once a Sir Knight attains an office, he is entitled to wear the colors of that office until elected or appointed to a higher office, except for the Marshal [appointed by the Master of District] and the Color Corps Commanders [appointed by the Faithful Navigator] who are appointed for a specific term and then revert to their previous colors when that term expires.
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Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus