The 4th Degree

Knights of Columbus Golden Sierra Assembly 3345

Assembly 3345 Meetings are held on the 4th Thursdays of the month at 6:30PM in Gurnell Hall at St. Patrick’s in Placerville. All 4th Degree Sir Knights are encouraged to attend.

The Assembly is comprised of 4th Degree Sir Knights from:

St. Patrick’s in Placerville
St. James in Georgetown
Holy Trinity in El Dorado Hills
St. Katherine Drexel in Amador County
St. Teresa in South Lake Tahoe

These Men They Call “Knights”

The Fourth Degree: Patriotism

I have approached a number of brother knights recently, asking are you a Fourth-Degree Knight and for those who are not and respond with why I should join/become a Fourth-Degree Knight, let me respond.

When you joined the Knights of Columbus, at your First-Degree exemplification, you received the booklet titled “These Men They Call Knights” a basic handbook for a new brother knight, which provides information to guide each brother. (The Vision of Father McGivney, Principles of the Order, What the Order stands for Today, Structure of the Order and Benefits of Membership are some of what is covered in the booklet).

Principles of the Order:

  • Charity is the first principal of the Order. Knights are followers of Christ and men of faith.  As St James reminds us, “faith without works is dead.”  Therefore, as Knights we are committed to charity, easing the plight of those less fortunate.  This is the focus of the First-Degree Exemplification.
  • Unity is the second principal of the Order. In Unity there is strength. This is the focus of the Second-Degree Exemplification
  • Fraternity is the third principal of the Order. To band together as brothers to help one another in times of distress, sickness and death. This is the focus of the Third-Degree Exemplification.  At this event we are knighted and declared a full degreed Knight of Columbus.
  • Patriotism is the fourth principal of the Order. One of the reasons the Order was founded was to emphasize that Catholics are proud citizens of their countries.  Today Fourth Degree Knights in full regalia, the visible arm of the Order, serve to witness the values of devotion to God and country, the bedrock of patriotism.  At the Fourth-Degree Exemplification, we are knighted a “Sir Knight”.

In our First-Degree, we are urged to continue our journey as a brother to the full status of knighthood by continuing and completing the Second- and Third-Degree Exemplifications and to join the Fourth-Degree.

The Patriotic Degree

Until 1900 the principles of the Order were charity, unity and fraternity.  On February 22 of that year patriotism was added with the first exemplification of the Fourth Degree, it is open to Third-Degree Knights in good standing who are members of the Order.

The primary purpose of the Patriotic Degree is to foster the spirit of patriotism by promoting responsible citizenship, loyalty to country and love of God. (This is the answer to all who ask the question why I should join the Fourth Degree?)

The basic unit of the Forth Degree is called an assembly.  It serves one of more local councils (Holy Trinity 12393 was assigned to Golden Sierra Assembly #3345 (Placerville) when it was formed a few years ago).  Fourth Degree members are referred to as Sir Knights and they may choose to join the assembly’s color corps (this is a personal choice and not mandatory), which serves as an honor guard at religious (Eucharistic Adoration, Laying of Cornerstones, Dedication of a Church, Wake, Funeral, Cremation Services, Funeral Escort & Graveside Honors) and at civic functions.  The assembly also participates in paying tribute to our armed forces (Armed with the Faith a Catholic Handbook) and participating in and supporting our veterans on Memorial and Veterans Day and other functions to honor their service.

The Official Regalia dress (Members) of the Fourth-Degree is navy blue blazer, Fourth-Degree gray trousers, neck tie, white dress shirt, plain black shoes and socks, Fourth-Degree lapel pin.  Color Corps also wear the Service Baldric with sword, white gloves and Fourth-Degree Beret. A tuxedo is no longer the dress regalia for members and color corps.

On the passing of a sir knight and brother knight upon the request of the family, and permission of the District Master/Marshal, the Fourth-Degree Color Corps will provide wake, funeral/cremation services with funeral escort and graveside honors.

Each assembly also has a tradition of procuring chalices for members of the clergy who may be in need.  On the passing of a sir knight, the name of the sir knight is engraved on the base of the chalice, when the chalice has four engravings, it is complete and is donated to a specific priest, dioceses or to a missionary to use in the Eucharistic celebration.  Thus, our brother sir knights are remembered and prayed for whenever the chalice is used in celebration of Mass.  At the funeral of a deceased sir knight the assembly will make a chalice presentation to the widow and family of the sir knight to show our respect and to honor the service of the deceased sir knight along with a resolution of condolence from the assembly.

Thus, I encourage all brother knights to fulfill their commitment as a Knight of Columbus by joining the ranks of the Fourth-Degree Knights.  We welcome your participation.

Our next Fourth-Degree Exemplification to be held in Sacramento will be April 27th at the DoubleTree Hotel.  Please contact me to complete the Form 4 and start your journey as a Fourth-Degree Sir Knight.

SK Gene Savage
Faithful Captain
Membership Chair
Golden Sierra Assembly #3345
530 391-3688