Membership

In common with other Orders of chivalry founded during the Crusades, such as the Hospitaller Knights of Saint John and the Knights of the Holy Sepulchre, the Order of Saint Lazarus still aims to defend Christianity while expecting its members to practice the Christian tenets of protecting the weak, helping the sick, and promoting justice. A solemn undertaking to maintain this code of conduct through personal spirituality and observance of the Constitutional Charter is made publicly before God and the assembled congregation on formal admission to the Order.

Members of the Order of Saint Lazarus form a spiritual fraternity. The ceremonies of the Vigil and Investiture, the wearing of the mantle and the green Maltese cross are more than a ritualistic maintenance of an ancient tradition; they remain outward symbols of fraternity and dedication to Christianity. It is the sole Catholic Order of Chivalry to allow as members people from other Ecclesial Communities, each member living as faithfully as possible in their own tradition, whilst working and praying together for true unity.

All are asked to participate actively, according to their ability and means, in the spiritual and charitable work of the Order and some will take on committee work or ceremonial duties. The financial obligations are not onerous. It is, however, expected that every member of the Grand Priory of Great Britain will endeavour to support and attend events. These are open to guests, some of whom later apply to join the Order.

On nomination by the Grand Prior, suitable individuals may be invited to join the Order. Sponsored by an existing knight, dame or chaplain, they must be practising Christians, of good character and standing in the community, with a desire to help the needy.

Before the Grand Prior's Council can make its recommendation to the Grand Master, the candidate will have supplied proof of their Christian standing in the form of a certificate of Baptism or Confirmation and a reference from their priest or minister, together with a CV, passport photos and completed application forms (with proofs of nobility or ordination if appropriate).

Subject to the Grand Master's approval, and payment of the appropriate passage fee, the candidate then becomes a postulant until they are formally invested with the mantle and insignia of the Order during a church ceremony. The Order is not a secret society but has strict entrance criteria, and those who do not belong to one of the major Ecclesial Communities or who do not live in conformity with their Church may be associated with it as members of merit or companions.

Knighthood is a vocation which requires an ongoing commitment to sustain and promote the Order's aims through prayer, annual oblations and, as far as possible, by helping to organize and participating in its charitable events. Membership in any chivalric order is an honour, and promotion to higher grades of membership is awarded to reflect experience, commitment to charitable work or service in particular offices.

For further details please contact the Secretariat.