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Constitution & Bylaws

Article the First

Of the Bylaws of the Order

These Bylaws and Constitution of the Confraternity, herewith is established THE SOVEREIGN JURISDICTION OF AMERICA OF THE SOVEREIGN CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX UNITED ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE AND THE ORDERS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST.

The Patron Saints of the Order are Saint Daniel the Archangel, Saint Constantine the Great, Saint Helen, and Saint John the Evangelist.

The Order exists as an institution in pleno jure (with full right), founded as a subject of canon law and sanctioned by:

  • The Chancellor of the Holy Chivalric Order of Saint Daniel the Archangel, His Eminence, Mar Frederick, of the Orthodox Eparchy of Nebraska, USA and Grand Master of the Order of St. Daniel, Catholicos, Chancellor and Prince of the Orthodox Church, ArchBishop of Saranda in partibus infidelium, Holy Orthodox Church of Epirus.
  • The Spiritual Protector of the Sovereign Christian Orthodox United Order of the Red Cross of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulcher and Saint John the Evangelist, His Eminence Bishop Spyridon Chaskos, Eparch of the Orthodox Eparchy of Nebraska, USA.
 

Article the Second

Of the Mottoes of the Order

In recognition of the fact that the Founders of the Order are principally Christian Orthodox Hospitaller Knights wishing to revive Orthodox Constantinian Knighthood, a normative Motto of the Confraternity shall continue to be of Byzantine character: “ΕΝ ΤΟΥΤΩ ΝΙΚΑ – IN HOC SIGNO VINCES”


These said nine cardinal principles of loyalty, piety, frankness, bravery, glory, honor, contempt of death, helpfulness towards the poor and sick, and respect for the Church shall form the whole basis of the aims and purposes of the Order, of the work of the Members, and of the life of the Confraternity.

 

Article the Third

Of the Aims and Purposes of the Order

Aside from its hospitaller work, the Order, will pursue the following program: 

    • to support the Church and its undertakings; 
    • to help people seek meaning to their lives through Christian education and moral virtues; 
    • to inculcate in all people the virtues of Christian chivalry and the nobility of spirit; 
    • to promote the cause of peace and goodwill among all  citizens of the world;
    • to organize conferences related to the aims and purposes of the Order and annual general  assemblies  of its members.

Furthermore, the Order promotes the continued improvement and understanding among Christian Churches, while preserving and sharing the traditions of Orthodoxy, and it actively seeks to enter into an understanding and cooperation with all other legitimate branches of the Hospitaller Order of St John.

 

Article the Fourth

Of Entry Into and Departure and Dismissal From the Order

All persons of good faith and exemplary life are permitted to join the Order in one of its categories of membership. Entry into the Order is based upon the demonstration of appropriate Merit to the satisfaction of the Sovereign Prince, the Agreement of the Orthodox Nicene Creed and a Solemn Obligation by the aspirant that he / she will respect and obey the Aims, Purposes, Bylaws, and the Constitution of the Order.

No person may be admitted into the Confraternity of the Order unless he /she has first signed the following Solemn Obligation: “I Solemnly and Sincerely Declare, by my Honor, that I intend to uphold all Chivalrous ideals and, by all my actions, to add Luster to THE SOVEREIGN CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX UNITED ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE AND THE ORDERS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST and to obey its Bylaws and Constitution.”

The Order is an active organization. Membership requires individuals to support actively to the best of their ability in word and deed, the good and charitable work of the Order. However, members are not required to contribute any fees to the Order. They are only requested to cover their personal passage-registration-investiture expenses which are determined by the Sovereign Prince of the Order.

The promotion for each Rank shall be deemed by the Grand Conclave and signed by the Sovereign Prince.

The spouse of a successful Applicant is not automatically Ennobled at the same Rank of membership, and is not entitled to any of the same Rights and Privileges thereof, nor is automatically a member of the Order. Knighthood in this Order is not inheritable. Persons wishing to depart from the Order shall inform the Sovereign Prince or his Designate Officer in the Grand Conclave in writing of their resignation.

Dismissal from the Order shall be invoked only for the gravest cause and for the most recalcitrant dishonoring of the Solemn Obligation and of the Aims and Purposes of the Order. Dismissal shall always be preceded by intervention with the Member concerned by the Sovereign Prince or his Designate Officer in the Grand Conclave in writing of their resignation. If, after informal efforts have been unsuccessful, it is determined that Dismissal is appropriate, the member concerned shall be informed by written Notice. Should the Member concerned request a Hearing before the Grand Conclave, such a Hearing will be convened at a place and time of reasonable convenience. Once the Motion of Dismissal made by the Grand Chancellor and the Answer given by the Member concerned have been heard, the Grand Conclave shall vote upon the Motion of Dismissal – and a majority vote shall decide the Issue.

 

Article the Fifth

Of the Governance of the Order

The Supreme Governing Authority of the THE SOVEREIGN JURISDICTION OF AMERICA OF THE SOVEREIGN CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX UNITED ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE AND THE ORDERS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST shall be the personal autocracy of the Sovereign Prince of this Jurisdiction.

In a case where Dereliction of duty is alleged against any Officer, informal efforts to reach a resolution will always precede a Dismissal by the Grand Conclave. Dismissal itself cannot occur until the Officer concerned has been presented with the case alleged and has been given a reasonable opportunity to make an answer.

As all Officers of the Grand Conclave of this Sovereign Jurisdiction serve at the pleasure of the Sovereign Prince of this Jurisdiction, the immediately foregoing procedure assumes that the Sovereign Prince has determined not to dismiss an Officer about whom there is concern.

Normally, THE SOVEREIGN JURISDICTION OF AMERICA OF THE SOVEREIGN CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX UNITED ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE AND THE ORDERS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST shall be led and administered by its Sovereign Prince. Should circumstances warrant, an appointee may serve in the place of the Sovereign Prince and will be so designated by him in writing.

A Grand Conclave shall be suggested by the Sovereign Prince. The Grand Conclave shall assist in administering affairs and activities of the Confraternity of the Order, in accordance with the description of the Offices, the Articles and Bylaws of the Order and the Constitution and voted by the Grand Conclave, or other members.

Each Officer of the Grand conclave, including the Sovereign Prince or his designate, shall have one vote. Meetings of the Grand Conclave shall ordinarily be chaired by the Sovereign Prince, or in his absence by his personal designate, and tie votes shall be decided by the inclusiveness of the Grand Conclave.

The Ambassadors of the Order to various Nations of the given Jurisdiction shall constitute an Advisory Council to the Sovereign Prince.

The Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess holds the Office ad vitam and has the right to determine in writing the person that will inherit this Office in case it becomes vacant (e.g. due to death or resignation of the Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess). In case the Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess dies without having determined any person to inherit this Office, then the Grand Chancellor of the Grand Conclave acts as temporary Head of the Order, and he / she must – in ten days after the vacancy of the Office of the Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess – summon up all members of the Order in a Special Assembly in order to elect a new Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess. All members of the Order – apart from the honorary ones – have the right to vote. All members above the rank of Postulant are eligible for the office. The candidate who receives the most votes in the elections becomes the new Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess. If the first round of elections does not give a new Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess (because the most successful candidates have gained equal votes), then the new Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess is determined by drawing of lottery among the candidates who have gained equal votes.

 

Article the Sixth

Of the Titles of the Officers of the Order

To administer its affairs and to carry its worthy purposes, the Sovereign Prince shall, from time to time, appoint to Office some or all of the following Officers, who, acting together with the Sovereign Prince, shall constitute and shall form the Order’s Grand Conclave. The number of the members of the Grand Conclave is limited to fourteen.

Current members of the Grand Conclave may be found by clicking here.

 

Only a Knight or Dame holding at least the Rank of KCRCC / DCRCC may normally be appointed to serve as an Officer of the Grand Conclave.

While a period of Office may be pre-determined, Officers of the Grand Conclave serve at the pleasure of the Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess. However, the Sovereign Prince / Sovereign Princess must continuously keep the Office of the Grand Chancellor occupied by a suitable member of the Order.

 

Article the Seventh

Of the Office of the Sovereign Prince

The Sovereign Prince is the Judicial Head of the Confraternity of the Order.

The Sovereign Prince becomes a Judge of Rank upon Succession to Office.

It is the Office of the Sovereign Prince which Names and Appoints Officers of the Order and determines ad hoc and in writing the duties and the authorities of each and every one of the Officers of the Order.

Diplomas of Appointment are signed by the Sovereign Prince.

As the Order is sovereign and independent, its Head may appoint Ambassadors to other Orders, Sovereign Powers and Nations.

The Sovereign Prince is primarily responsible for the continuation and successful Conduct of the Order, while alive. The Sovereign Prince also acts as the supreme representative of the Order to other Orders regarding relations.

It is also the responsibility of the Sovereign Prince to ensure that a Successor stands ready in the Confraternity of the Order to assume Office at the time of the present occupant’s death.

 

Article the Eighth

Of the Ranks of Membership

The Order consists of six Ranks:

(1) Postulant

(2) Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine

(3) Knight Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine

(4) Knight Grand Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine

(5) Knight of the Holy Sepulcher and Saint John the Evangelist

(6) Sovereign Prince.


The Degree of Postulant of the Red Cross of Constantine (PRCC) is instructed in the principles of Christian Knighthood and learns that this Degree is devoted solely to the practice of the virtues, the defense of the oppressed, and the support of the unfortunate, all in the spirit of the Christian religion. The candidate, upon his / her installation, receives a certificate and brevet which refers to the meaning of this degree and is entitled to obtain the corresponding regalia.

Regalia: Breast regalia and lapel pin. The regalia consist of Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine.

 

The Degree of Knight of the Red Cross of Constantine (KRCC) / for Ladies, Dame of the Red Cross of Constantine (DRCC) is instructed in all that might prove beneficial for the general welfare and especially those things which alleviate human misery. All Knights are required to use all means in their power to effect a more universal well-being. The candidate, upon his / her installation, receives a certificate and brevet which refers to the meaning of this degree and is entitled to obtain the corresponding regalia.

Regalia: Breast regalia, riband neck medallion, and lapel pin. The regalia consist of Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine. The riband medallion has a red ribbon.

 

The Degree of Knight Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine (KCRCC) / for Ladies, Dame Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine (DCRCC) refers to Emperor Constantine's soldiers and particularly to the creation of the first Order of Christian Knighthood based upon the legend of Constantine's vision of the Cross just before the Battle of Saxa Rubra in 312 A.D. The KCRCC / DCRCC is instructed to to take up his / her Cross and follow in the footsteps of the Lamb. The candidate, upon his / her installation, receives a certificate and brevet which refers to the meaning of this degree and is entitled to obtain the corresponding regalia.

Regalia: Breast regalia, riband neck medallion, and lapel pin. The regalia consist of Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine. The riband medallion has a red ribbon.

The Sovereign Prince / Princess can appoint Honorary Knights-Companions of the Red Cross of Constantine (HKCRCC) or, for Ladies,  Honorary Dames-Companions of the Red Cross of Constantine (HDCRCC) and offer these titles to persons of any religious (Christian or non-Christian) background if they have contributed to the promotion of peace and understanding among the different religious and cultural communities of the world and have endorsed and promoted chivalric ideals. The recipient of this honor receives a chivalric brevet and a breast jewel. Even though, he / she is not a regular member, he / she is to be honored and accepted at events and meetings of the Order. However, honorary members cannot be elevated to higher ranks of Chivalry, and they cannot become Officers or Ambassadors of the Order.



The Degree of Knight Grand Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine (KGCRCC) / for Ladies, Dame Grand Companion of the Red Cross of Constantine (DGCRCC) is instructed to obey the New Law, to take up his / her Cross and follow in the footsteps of the Lamb by which means alone Christian Knights hope to rebuild in their hearts the Temple of God. This degree allows greater authority of office and may be elevated to higher ranks of Chivalry. The candidate, upon his / her installation, receives a certificate and brevet which refers to the meaning of this degree and is entitled to obtain the corresponding regalia.

Regalia: Breast regalia, riband neck medallion, and lapel pin. The regalia consist of Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine. The riband medallion has a gold ribbon.

 

The Degree of Knight of the Holy Sepulcher and Saint John the Evangelist (KHSSJ) / for Ladies, Dame of the Holy Sepulcher and Saint John the Evangelist (DHSSJ) refers to the meaning of esoteric Christian Knighthood, and the candidate represents symbolically an aspirant who hopes to be enrolled in the ranks of those valiant Knights who guard the Holy Sepulcher. After symbolically defeating the infidels in battle, he / she returns and in humility presents his / her spoils and honors upon the Holy Altar. Additionally, he / she travels symbolically to the Holy Sepulcher, learns of the seven corporal works of mercy, and receives a new Word – the Gospel of Christ. This degree alludes to the spiritual battle that a Christian must conduct in order to cleanse his / her mind and make it suitable to receive the Uncreated Grace of God. Furthermore, this Degree refers to the integration and completion of the old Temple and city of Jerusalem with the New Temple of Christ and the Heavenly Jerusalem. Thus, the candidate is invited to think of himself / herself as the Temple of God. The candidate, upon his / her installation, receives a certificate and brevet which refers to the meaning of this degree and is entitled to obtain the corresponding regalia.

Regalia: Breast regalia, riband neck medallion, and lapel pin. The regalia consist of Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine. The riband medallion has a gold ribbon.

 

The Degree of Sovereign Prince, Knight Grand Master of the Red Cross of Constantine (KGMRCC) / for Ladies, Sovereign Princess, Dame Grand Master of the Red Cross of Constantine (DGMRCC) is held by a single person ad vitam. The responsibilities peculiar to this Office have been described in previous articles.

Regalia: Purple patriarchal sash, riband neck medallion with purple ribbon, breast regalia, and *a collar with a pendant displaying Crosses Flory in red enamel with gold ending and the initials IHSV (In Hoc Signo Vinces) and the crown of St Constantine suspended from a gold chain collar.

For purchase of the relevant Regalia, please click here to go to the Dubsar House web site.

Regarding promotions – promotions are voted by the Grand Conclave on a basis of continued participation, works, involvement, etc.

 
 
 

© 2009, 2014 The Sovereign Christian Orthodox United Order of the Red Cross

of Constantine and the Orders of the Holy Sepulcher and St John the Evangelist.

 
 

THE GRAND PROTECTORS OF THE SOVEREIGN CHRISTIAN ORTHODOX UNITED ORDER OF THE RED CROSS OF CONSTANTINE AND THE ORDERS OF THE HOLY SEPULCHER AND SAINT JOHN THE EVANGELIST