When you’re alone Sir Knight and weary of battle, And your steed has been branded and driven like cattle; When the proud castle walls around you seem bare, And your lance has been broken and you don’t seem to care.
When the cross that you carry seems too heavy to hold, And the knights that surround you seem nameless and old; When your armor is rusted and creaks in the mist, And your palm of brotherhood returns in a ﬁst.
When each morning light refuses to shine, And the vows that you made walk too ﬁne a line; When your bridge over pain grows feeble and weak, And you fear our ideals are not what you seek.
Well, then, you must rest Sir Knight and begin once more, Your heart can open as it closed before; You must varnish your shield and sharpen your sword, Yet respect the gentle and honor your Lord.
Remember each failure and conquest you’ve made, And the knights who have fallen and given you aid; Be bold and conﬁdent in what lies ahead, Lead others behind you as you have been led.
Finally young man, as you begin your task, You must search for the answers to the questions you ask; The journey is eternal and surpasses each border, And so must a Knight of the Kappa Alpha Order.
Brothers are listed by initiation date
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Chapter of Sorrow
Before the ceremony, each brother takes from a basket on a table at the entrance to the chapter room, funeral home, church, or graveside, a sprig of evergreen, wrapped with florist tape, with a crimson rose (evergreen sprigs alone may be used.) The Number IX, or an alumnus, shall make preparations.
Number I, or an alumnus in charge: Brothers, the roll of the chapter has been called, and one has (some have) failed to answer. May he (they) answer that heavenly summons to life everlasting! We have gathered here to honor our deceased brother. As a brother of Kappa Alpha Order he has lived having faith in God, been a good man, brave knight and brother faithful until death. The name and KA record of the deceased brother shall be read.
Number III or alumnus: Remember now thy creator, in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh when thou shalt say, I have no pleasure in them. While the sun, or the light, or the moon, or the stars, be not darkened, nor the clouds return after the rain.
In the days when the keepers of the house shall tremble and the strong men shall bow themselves, and the grinders have ceased because they are few, and those that look out of the windows be darkened, and the doors shall be shut in the streets, when the sound of the grinding is low, and he shall rise up at the voice of the bird, and all the daughters of much shall be brought low.
And also they shall be afraid of that which is high, and fears shall be in the way. And the almond tree shall blossom, and the grasshopper shall be a burden, and desire shall fail: because man goeth not to his long home and the mourners go about the streets. Or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the well broken at the cistern. Then shall the dust returneth to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return to God who gave it. Vanity of vanities, all is vanity!
Rejoice, O young man in thy youth! Let thy heart cheer thee in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of thy heart, and in the sight of thine eyes! But know thou, that for all these things God will bring thee into judgment. Therefore remove sorrow from thy heart, and put away evil from thy flesh: for childhood and youth are vanity. Ecclesiasts 11:9-12:8.
Number II or alumnus: Trust in the lord, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shall be fed.
Commit thy way unto the lord; trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noon-day.
Rest in the lord, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass. The steps of a good man are ordered by the lord; and he delighted in his way. Though he fall, he shall not be utterly cast down: for the lord holds him up with his hand.
I have been young, and now I am old: yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread. Various from Psalms 37.
Number I: We come now to proclaim our love and honor to the memory of our friend and brother who has been called away from us. Coming here, we are in solemn remembrance of the ties and ideals which bound us so closely together with him.
Our friendship with him had, as its incentive, the challenge of climbing higher. Even as the knights of old despised that which was low, and readily cast aside those things which hindered them in scaling the heights of greater things, so did we, along with our brother(s), endeavor to strengthen one another in order that we might achieve some higher plane in mortal life.
But even as the knights of long ago were conscious of human weakness and frailty and therefore reached up for something greater than mere material strength in those things which have ever lifted up the hearts of men. In our love with this brother we honored the cross, for in it we see the sufferings and triumphs of him who once bore it up the steps of the Calvary.
Together we honored the ideals, which underlie purity of mind and heart; realizing that the great battles of life are fought within a man’s own soul. With courage, then, we fought, remembering always that there is no lost cause in this war. Together we honored the sweet spirit of hope, helping one another to find and grasp those things, which, though unseen, are nevertheless real. We experienced that happiness which comes from doing good, and striving, daily, to be more like the deity, with whom this brother will spend eternity.
As members of Kappa Alpha Order, we are all taught to despise what is low, and to act ever upon the belief that a man’s mind is superior to matter, the spiritual to the physical. It leads us onward and upward to the skies from whence we spring. As always the ascent was difficult. We, along with this beloved brother, have overcome many obstacles remembering that the acquisition of wealth is nothing compared to knowledge, development of character and the unending task of living a good life in the eyes of God, and that the true character of a good man is formed by his associations.
Our hearts are sad at this parting. Yet there is no bitterness in our sadness, for in the very presence of death, we claim the triumph of our belief that the spirit of man is greater than his flesh; that the mind of man is greater than matter; that the soul of man is greater than his body; and that love, purity, and holiness are better than malice, lust, and wickedness. These virtues do not die. They survive the grave. So also is it with those who emulate them. Then with unfaltering trust in Christ our king, we wait the day to hear him say, “I am the resurrection and the life.”
To our departed brother, we say this: as we have welcomed you into Kappa Alpha Order with our hearts and you have committed your life to our keeping, and wore the cross upon your breast, we now share our talisman with you one more time.
All brothers present form a procession two by two and place their talisman on the bible on the altar, the ranking officer to be last. At the funeral home, or graveside, the talisman should be placed in a receptacle near the casket, directly on the casket itself, or in the grave.
Number I: We commit our brother into the hand of our Almighty God. Your past has been noble; your accomplishments many and you have enriched our lives by sharing your life with us.
Let us pray: our Father, we give you thanks for the breath of life so we may come before you to celebrate the life of our brother. Take him into your loving care, and lead him as he completes his life’s journey to your everlasting kingdom. Grant him eternal rest, O Lord, and let your light perpetually shine upon him.
Now the hour of final adjournment has come. May the lord be with this brother and all of us and keep us in sickness and in health, in prosperity and in adversity and even unto death.
We ask these things in your name who taught us how to pray, saying:
Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Go in peace brothers, and let the light which shined through this departed brother, shine in your hearts.
In case of a funeral service, this program is to always be coordinated with the minister or officiate in charge. The ceremony may be used at a chapter meeting, a banquet, an alumni meeting, a meeting of the court of honor, or any formal occasion.
*From the Devotional Guide (Kappa Alpha Order, 2012).