The Centrality of the Resurrection
The very name of Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre of Jerusalem points to the central focus of its spirituality—the Sepulchre of the Lord—the place where the glory of the resurrection is specially celebrated.
These words of the Second Vatican Council seem almost purposely written for the members of the Order: “Each individual layman must stand before the world a witness to the resurrection and life of the Lord Jesus and as a sign that God lives” (Second Vatican Council, Lumen Gentium, Chapter IV, Laity, 38).
In light of these words, the Knights and Dames of the Order of the Holy Sepulchre—of the Resurrection—should take a special pride in their membership of this holy militia.
The Order, through its nature and its strictly religious and charitable purpose, does not participate in any movement or demonstration whatsoever of political character. The members of the Order cannot take part in activities of enterprises, organizations and associations whose character, purposes and programs contradict the doctrine and teachings of the Catholic Church, or partake in presumed Orders and Institutions of asserted knighthood character which are not recognized by the Holy See or not allowed by Sovereign States.
The spiritual life of the members is fostered by encouragement of prayer life and the sacramental system of the Church. In an old Constitution, attendance at daily mass was required, and although no longer prescribed, this practice is encouraged and actually performed by many knights and ladies throughout the world. Investiture in the Order is carried out in a solemn religious ceremony. Devotion to Mary is encouraged by daily recitation of the Memorare, an ancient tradition dating from the time of the Second Crusade, when Saint Bernard of Clairvaux is aid to have given this prayer to the Order. Pilgrimage to the Holy Land is encouraged. The Order’s most important decoration is the Pilgrim Shell, which is formally bestowed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem on any knight or lady who has made a pilgrimage to Jerusalem to pray at the Holy Sepulchre of Our Lord, that “Gloriously Empty Tomb of Christ.”