Rule of the Temple
“Here begins the prologue to the Rule of the Temple: We speak first to all those who secretly despise their
own will and desire with a pure heart to serve the Sovereign King as a knight and with studious care
desire to wear, and wear permanently, the very noble armour of obedience.”
(from the introduction to the Primitive Rule of St Bernard of Clairvaux for the Templars)
- On the Temple and its Service -
Remember that you are a Templar, an inheritor of the “Poor Fellow Soldiers of the Temple”, so called
because the first headquarters of our noble Order were in the precinct of the Temple in Jerusalem.
Think on the word “Temple” and its meaning continually. As divine scripture says: “One thing have I
desired of the Lord which I will require; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
to behold the fair beauty of the Lord and to visit his Temple.”
(Psalm27; verse 4)
- On Love for the Church -
Consider with joy “that we are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and
members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ
himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole building being bonded together grows into a holy
Temple to the Lord, and in whom we are built together as a dwelling of God through the Spirit.”
(St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians; chapter 2; verses 19 to 22)
- On Discipline of the Body -
Read over again the original Rule given to us by St Bernard of Clairvaux and seek to put it into practice
in modern life. With all thankfulness for God’s good gifts, resist temptation and be master of your body.
- On Knightly Combat -
Be mindful that you are on the crusade of the King of Kings. “Unless you take up your cross and follow
me, you have no part with me”, said our Master. (St Matthew’s Gospel: chapter 16; verse24) Do not be
afraid to confess the King who is like no other King.
May the white cloak remind you that we fight a holy war in all truthfulness; and may the red crosspattée
remind you that sacrifices must be made; for “we do not fight against flesh and blood, but against
potentates and powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, and against spiritual wickedness
in the cosmos.” (St Paul’s Letter to the Ephesians: chapter 6; verse 12)
- On Brotherhood -
Remember that you stand beside your brother at all times, as he fights under the same banner as you.
Obey your superiors, honouring Christ in them. We have only one Master, Christ; but we are all
brothers. Feel responsible for your brother, for God will also ask you one day: “Where is your brother?”.
As a knight, stand up for the weak, above all for women and children, widows and orphans who need
your help. Avail yourself of the worldwide community of the Order to correspond with your brothers and
sisters and visit them whenever you have the opportunity.
“Now we have told you the things which you should do and what you should guard against . . . and we have not told you everything we need to tell you, but you will ask it. And may God let you say and do well.”
source text and illustration osmth.org