Chivalric Titles of Office in the Knights Templar Order The Meaning & Correct Use of Authentic Templar Titles
The Order of the Temple of Solomon maintains the most ancient chivalric traditions, as practiced in accordance with the medieval formal protocols of Chivalry.
Despite many popularized misconceptions, there are no different types or levels of Knights, and ranks and degrees are technically not a part of chivalric knighthood. All of the traditional military-styled titles, and various “grand”-type titles, are actually not “ranks” of knighthood, but rather are properly a Title of Office, only used for a person serving in an official Office of Duty.
True to its medieval roots, the Order of the Temple of Solomon preserves its founding principles of Chivalry, which are based upon the ancient Arthurian “round table” concept. All Knights and Dames are equal, without any ranks or degrees, sharing the same highest level of sacred knowledge. All members are Brothers and Sisters in faith. No members are artificially held back, none are higher or lower than others in Chivalry, and all come to the table as colleagues for the higher purposes and professional missions of the Order. Thus, every Sergeant and Adjutante, Temple Guardian, Knight and Dame participates in full and equal membership, with open access to the highest levels of the collective Templar heritage.
In keeping with these principles, the modern Templar Order does not use any system of degrees or hierarchy for the chivalric aspect of the Order. Most special titles are used only by Crown Officers holding positions in the government, and most ranks are used only by career military or law enforcement officers serving under the Ministry of Security of the Order as a sovereign principality of statehood. Outside of the governmental sphere, only a select few titles are used in the chivalric side of the Order, only as Titles of Office related to actively serving in an Office of Duty.
This is a partial list of the authentic chivalric titles, in traditional hierarchy, of the original Order of the Temple of Solomon. The list includes only those titles that have the most relevance in modern society, and does not include various additional customary positions which may also be held.
Offices of Government of the Order
Grand Master – The Grand Master is the central authority for the Order as a sovereign subject of international law, serving as the Sovereign Head of State. Historically, he was analogous to “President”, empowered as the chief leader for autonomous ecclesiastical and operational governance, and also “Commander and Chief”, overseeing all missions and operations.
Grand Commander – The Grand Commander is the second highest authority of the Order, and the chief advisor, chief administrator, and acting substitute for the Grand Master as needed. Historically, he was empowered as the chief of strategy and logistics for missions and military campaigns, and overseeing the Grand Officers, other Crown Officers, and Grand Priors.
Grand Chancellor – The Grand Chancellor is the senior special Crown Officer representing the Grand Mastery, as the Chief Minister of State, supervising governor and Judiciary administrator, overseeing the Chancery of all foreign affairs and diplomatic relations, and other assigned projects or missions of the Order as a portfolio of one or more Ministries of the Government.
Grand Justiciar – The Grand Justiciar is the senior lawyer and legal advisor for the Government, managing legal strategies, overseeing, coordinating and supporting legal work by other Justiciars in all subdivisions. He is also the Chief Judge in charge of handling and resolving complaints or disputes involving members of the chivalric aspect of the Order.
Grand Regent – The office of Grand Regent, traditionally and in ideal conditions, should be held by a person who is a source of supplemental Sovereign or Ecclesiastical Patronage or Protection (in addition to the inherent sovereignty of the Templar Order). The Grand Regent provides assistance and oversight on matters of policy, ethics and governance of the Order as a historical institution, guiding the policy considerations of the Grand Mastery. The title of Grand Regent may be distinguished by a designation of territorial heraldic patrimony, or of a related or supporting historical institution.
Grand Canon – The Grand Canon is the Chief Advisor to the Grand Mastery on all canonical and ecclesiastical matters. This is a canonical Bishop of Apostolic lineage from a classical Church, exercising the Ecclesiastical authority vested in the Grand Mastery as its Coadjutoris Pontifex, serving as the Pontifical Prelate and Head of the Curia of the Ancient Catholic Church.
Grand Chaplain – The Grand Chaplain is the senior Priest for internal ecclesiastical affairs of the Order, overseeing its appointed Chaplains in all subdivisions, supporting the spiritual and religious activities of its Knights and Dames within the Ancient Priesthood of Solomon, and representing the Order’s religious denomination of Ancient Catholicism.
Chaplains serve as internal Priests for the Order, empowered to administer holy rites, hear confessions and give absolution for sins. Historically, Templars were forbidden to give confession to any priest other than a Templar Chaplain without special permission (called “dispensation”) from the Grand Master. This role made the Templars spiritually independent from the Church, as well as politically autonomous, making the role of Chaplain one of the most important positions in the Order.
Grand Preceptor – The Grand Preceptor is the senior academic and educational director for all historical, theological and cultural research, publications, teaching materials and training programs of the Order, developing strategies and policies for its internal educational functions.
Grand Almoner – The Grand Almoner is the traditional form of Chief Treasurer, managing all financial and tangible assets of the Treasury of the Grand Mastery of the Order, including real estate properties, and upholding and enforcing contracts related to such assets or deeds and easements on such properties.
Grand Seneschal – The Grand Seneschal is the senior advisor and project manager for both the Grand Master and Grand Commander, coordinating general internal operations for the effective functioning of the Order. The Grand Seneschal Provides strategic and operational development of the Order for its public relations and contributions to society.
Grand Marshall – The Grand Marshall is traditionally the chief administrator supporting the Nobiliary Court of the Grand Mastery, directing and coordinating projects and missions of the Order, overseeing the Marshalls in all subdivisions, and serving as the chief of protocol administering the proceedings of ceremonial events. The Grand Marshall is generally in charge of public relations and membership recruiting campaigns, in the sense of “marshalling the troops” to support the humanitarian missions of the Order.
Crown Officer – Crown Officers are appointed by the Prince Grand Master to perform any function of secular governance or administration of the Order as a sovereign subject of international law, as may be necessary or appropriate from time to time, whether holding a Title of Office or as a general Magistral Officer performing specific official functions.
Offices of Chivalric Order
Grand Prior(ess) of a Grand Priory – A Grand Prior(ess) (sometimes called “Provincial Master”) is the supervising authority for a geographic region (“province”) of the relevant Grand Priory, which can be designated for a regional, national or multinational territory, or named for its international non-territorial mission of Templar heritage. The primary responsibilities of a Grand Prior(ess) include serving as a public figurehead for the Order, supervising all officers within the Grand Priory, and recruiting new talents into the Order.
Prior(ess) of a Priory – A Prior(ess) (sometimes called “Master”) is the supervising authority for a local area of the relevant Priory, which can be designated for a local or regional territory, or named for its non-territorial mission. A Priory is usually a subdivision under a Grand Priory, managing activities within its local area or sphere of operations.
Chancellor – A Chancellor is a special Crown Officer representing the Grand Mastery as a supervising governor and Judiciary administrator, overseeing assigned projects or missions of the Order, often heading a Chancery as a portfolio of one or more Ministries of the Government.
Justiciar – A Justiciar is a lawyer and legal advisor, and also a Judge for resolving complaints or disputes involving members of the chivalric aspect of the Order. A Justiciar may serve the Order at large, or may be assigned to serve under a Grand Priory, Priory, Commandery or Preceptory.
Chaplain – Historically, instead of serving as a Knight on missions and quests, ecclesiastical scholars inclined to ministry and priesthood could serve as Chaplain, administering spiritual and religious rites and ceremonies, and mentoring the members of the Order in spiritual pursuits. Chaplains may serve the Order at large, or may be assigned to serve under a Grand Priory, Commandery or Preceptory. Because of the strategic ecclesiastical autonomy that Chaplains provide for the Templar Order, Chaplains rank higher than Commanders.
Commander (of a Commandery) – A Commander is in charge of a local Commandery, which operates either as an autonomous outpost under the Grand Mastery, or under the sponsorship of a Grand Priory. Traditionally, a Commandery is a central base of operations consisting of working facilities with residential accommodations, usually consisting of a manor, castle, or former monastery or church complex. A Commandery functions as an “Embassy” officially representing the Order, such that the Commander is also a local diplomatic “Envoy” of the Grand Mastery and “Attaché” to the Grand Prior. Historically, Commanders had complete command authority on the battlefield, giving orders to all other military ranks of Knights.
Preceptor (of a Preceptory) – A Preceptor is a supervising academic educator, as a leading instructor for traditional nobiliary knowledge and chivalric skills training, often heading a Preceptory as a local training facility, or overseeing a network of Preceptories in multiple territories. A Preceptory can be a small subdivision designated as a military base, university campus, church or monastery, or corporate headquarters.
Marshal of Court – Marshals of Court are Crown Officers in charge of organizing and administering the proceedings of activities and events of the Order on behalf of the Nobiliary Court of the Grand Mastery. Marshals are also charged with conducting active public relations and membership recruiting for the Order. Historically, a Marshal was primarily responsible for strategies and tactical maneuvers, as well as equipment and working resources, in connection with battle plans and operational missions.
Titles of Chivalric Service
Knight / Dame of the Temple of Solomon – Knights and Dames are the pillars of an Order of Chivalry, chosen for demonstrated merits and accomplishments, upholding and representing the traditions of the Order, and collectively leading its humanitarian missions for advancing civilization. Historically, Knights and Dames were the highly trained monastic warriors of superior skills, strength and personal power, whose dedication made the Order a legendary institution of world history.
Knight / Dame of the Order of Saladin – Muslims participate in all general membership activities and events as Brothers and Sisters among Templars, through parallel membership in the autonomous affiliate Order the “Knights of the Order of Saladin”, under Sovereign Patronage of the Templar Order. Knights and Dames of the Order of Saladin may also hold various secular Titles of Office within the Templar Order.
Donat of Devotion – Donats of Devotion are Patron sponsors contributing substantial financial donations to support the humanitarian missions of the Order, in full participation of membership as Templar Brothers and Sisters, but without any requirement of active service.
Temple Guardian – Temple Guardians are prominent members of major achievements or capabilities which carry inherent benefits to the Templar Order, who are engaged in active service as Templar Brothers and Sisters supporting the missions of Knights and Dames. Temple Guardians are generally nobility, celebrities, public figures, or especially active members, who are dedicated to infrastructure development or high profile networking for the Order, as guardianship for preservation of Templar heritage for the benefit of humanity.
Sergeant / Adjutante Templar – Sergeants (men) and Adjutantes (women) constitute the primary general membership of the Order, in active service with full participation as Templar Brothers and Sisters, as skilled professionals directly assisting and supporting the missions of Knights and Dames.
Squire / Lady in Waiting – Squires, or Ladies in Waiting, are children not yet of age for full participation in membership, but who are considered to have a chivalric character and are expected to thrive as titled Knights and Dames in the future. This can be children who embrace the chivalric culture of their parents, or who demonstrate an independent passion for history and noble pursuits. A Squire or Lady in Waiting must join and participate together with a parent, legal guardian, or selected mentor approved by a parent, who must be a titled Knight or Dame of the Order.
Proper Use of Knightly Titles of the Order
In the Templar Order, all Knights are simply “Knight of Temple of Solomon” (KTS), and all Dames are simply “Dame of the Temple of Solomon (DTS)”. All Knights and Dames Templar can use the respective post-nominals “KTS” or “DTS” after their names.
If a Knight also holds a Title of Office, then “KTS” is still used as a post-nominal indication, and then the Title is used on the following line. Thus, members of the Order holding an Office of duty can formally present themselves in the following format:
[Title] of the Temple of Solomon
Accordingly, a Templar priest would write his titles as:
“John Smith, KTS; Chaplain of the Temple of Solomon”
For the affiliated Muslim Order of Saladin, all Knights use the title “Knight of the Order of Saladin”, with the post-nominal letters “KOS” after their names, and any Title of Office is used on the following line. Thus, members of the Order of Saladin holding an Office of duty can formally present themselves in the following format:
[Title] of the Order of Saladin
Accordingly, a Saladin commander would write his titles as:
“Ahmed Suleiman, KOS; Commander of the Order of Saladin”
It is important to remember that there are no “ranks” or types of knighthood in the authentic Templar Order, as historically all Knights and Dames are equal. Therefore, for casual or shortened reference to one’s status of knighthood in nobility combined with a Title of Office, the title should never be used as a descriptive adjective.
Thus, in English the Title of Office should never be placed before the word “Knight” or “Dame”, but only after it, properly indicating that it is a secondary title and not a modifier of the knightly title. (Note: Some foreign languages may reverse the placement of adjectives vs. modifiers, so this rule could be the opposite in the native language of certain countries.) Thus, members of the Order holding an Office of duty can present themselves in the following casual format:
[Name], Knight [Title]
Accordingly, a Knight Templar who is a Marshall would be:
“John Smith, Knight Marshall”
Similarly, a Dame Templar who is a Commander would be:
“Mary O’Malley, Dame Commander”