It would be impossible to cite every rule governing every situation. The following suggestions are rather common and basic. Always apply common courtesy and you will never go wrong in those situations not covered in the booklet.
We should always display proper consideration for the office represented by the person. In no way should we let dislike for a person influence our respect for the office he holds.
The Grand Knight is the presiding officer in the council. When a member wishes to speak, he does so by rising from his seat, addressing the chair by saying "Worthy Grand Knight" and saluting at the same time. The Grand Knight will return the salute and acknowledge the member.
The Grand Knight should at all times refer to and address his officers by their proper title. He thus sets a good example for the council members to follow.
All members who are not officers should be recognized by name as "Brother .........." All speech must be directed to the chair (the Grand Knight), for example: "Worthy Grand Knight, may I ask the previous speaker to explain..."
The Grand Knight always speaks in the third person such as "The chair rules that..." or "Your Grand Knight reports that..."
Members should speak of the chair in the third person: "Worthy Grand Knight, will the chair please explain the effect of the pending motion/"
If a dignitary, Priest or special guest should arrive while a meeting is in progress, the Grand Knight should instruct the warden to escort him to the dais. Then the Grand Knight will rap the gavel three times for all to stand. The guest will occupy a seat of honor in the front of the room, facing the membership.
However, a state officer or district deputy, when present at his home council, need not be specifically recognized unless he has been invited or requests to be so recognized. This will allow the state officer or district deputy to engage in the regular business of his home council without involving the position he holds.
When a general agent of the Order's insurance program is present as a guest, he should be seated with and introduced with the dignitaries.
Such dignitaries may include Supreme Officers or Directors, State Deputy, Vice Supreme Master, State Officers, Masters Past State Deputies, Executive Staff members, District Deputies, Supreme Council Insurance Directors, State Directors, Chapter Presidents, State Chairmen, visiting Grand Knights, and Faithful Navigators.
At a meeting, banquet or other event, the first order of business is the invocation by a Priest if one is present. The next order of business is the Pledge of Allegiance or the National Anthem. All persons should stand and face the flag, and the right hand should be placed over the left breast for both the recitation of the Pledge and the singing of the Anthem.
When reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, there should be no pause between ONE NATION and UNDER GOD. This shuld be said as one phrase: ONE NATION UNDER GOD.
District deputies should be properly attired when attending meetings, wearing a coat and tie.
When a district deputy visits a council, he should always be seated in front, as near the Grand Knight as possible.
The district deputy should always be called upon to speak and all members should rise when he is introduced, unless the State Deputy is present; then only the State Deputy is risen for.
The district deputy should be seated at the head table at any council function, even if not on the speaking program.
Letters should be typed, when possible, on letterhead stationery. If the council does not have stationery, the name, address, with the proper zip or postal code, and telephone number should be shown in the heading.
Letters directed to the Supreme Office or the State Council should cover only one topic. If the writer of the letter wishes to present several different subjects, he should deal with them in a general manner in a covering letter and provide full details on separate inclosures. The council's full name and address as well as that of the correspondent should appear on each enclosure. The topic of discussion should be stated precisely and clearly on each enclosure. This procedure permits the recipient of the letter to forward the enclosures to the different departments or individuals who handle details of the topics under discussion.
Memos should be typed whenever possible. If handwritten, care should be taken that they are legible to the reader. A memo should deal with only one subject. It should be short, specific and informal.
Bulletins deal with many subjects. Each subject should be separated into a paragraph. Enclosures are used when the specific matter referred to is sufficiently important to warrant additional explanation.
Correspondence should be addressed to the individual, using his full, proper name (not his nickname), followed by his proper title, whether he be a Knight of Columbus, a priest or a businessman. If an individual has more than one title, the highest ranking title is always used. Names of civic and religious individuals are prefixed by such forms as: His Excellency, The Honorable, Reverend Mother, etc. Mr., Mrs., or Miss should always be used as a prefix to the name as appropriate. When addressing and individual as an official of an organization, the name of the organization should always be shown on the next line. For example:
The salutation in these cases would be "Your Eminence:"
Still another example of addressing correspondence in the proper manner is:
The salutation in this case would be "Worthy State Deputy:"
In the event that you have a close working relationsip with any officer, your letter need not be so formal. However you first must acknowlede the office he holds by a greeting such as "Worthy District Deputy and Dear Jack:"
The individual's full proper name and title are always shown of both the letter and the envelope.
When writing to a Past State Deputy, no matter what his present addtional title is, always put P.S.D. after his name:
All invitations should be sent in the name of and signed by the grand knight, although he may request that replies be directed to a chairman or committee member. The district deputy, as the special representative of the Supreme Knight and the State Deputy, should be invited to all council functions. It should be understood that his schedule may not permit him to attend every affair, in which case he would notify the Grand Knight in ample time.
Never give a blanket invitation to anyone. Always send each guest a personal invitation. If tickets are being used for a function, they should be forwarded, suitably marked, along with the invitation.
Invitations should be in the form of a letter when addressed to a specific person. Printed cards or general invitation notices may be used if the occasion warrants. A bulletin may be enclosed with the invitation if it gives more detailed information. It should not be used in lieu of an invitation. Such bulletins should never show the name of the person invited unless he has agreed to be present.
When an invitation is extended to anyone it should contain all details such as dress, extent of participation, etc. It is embarrassing for a guest to appear and find that he is the only one at the head table not in a tuxedo, or the only one present wearing one.
If women are to be present, the State Deputy's wife should be invited. Advise her of the proper dress and arrange for a ladies' committee to greet and welcome her.
Always advise the State Deputy and head table guests of the proper dress for the affair.
Determine his time of arrival and arrange to greet him. On his arrival at the site of the affair, the Grand Knight and his committee should greet the State Deputy. He should be properly introduced to the other dignitaries in attendance. The committee should attend to all of the State Deputy's needs and comforts.
In recognition of his high office, special appreciation should always be expressed to the State Deputy for his visit to the council.
Arrange proper speaking facilities, including podium, podium light and microphone.
The State Deputy is the highest elected official in the jurisdiction and proper attention must be given to seating arrangements.
If there is additional entertainment after the banquet, a special table for the State Deputy should be arranged so that he will be with the grand knight and other dignitaries.
The toastmaster should be provided with a resumé of the state deputy and other head table guests so that he can make proper introductions. If glossy photographs are required for publicity purposes, they should be requested directly from the guest.
If some other high-ranking official, other than the stae deputy, is invited to attend a council function, the sponsoring organization should extend the same courtesies as those suggested for use with the State Deputy.
Guests should not be left talking among themselves. They usually do
not know many of your council members, and therefore should not be left alone
for any period of time. Various persons should be alerted to converse with and
keep company with guests during their visit
In introducing someone to a group, avoid running through all the names without a break. It is better to introduce two or three people at a time, so that names can register properly. This is where use of name tags is most effective.
A form of acknowledgement used chiefly when meeting a group is repeating the name of the person to whom you have just been introduced.
Before introducing dignitaries at the head table, be certain names are spelled correctly and proper titles are used. It is a good idea to check the pronunciation of any names to be announced. The order of rank should be observed scrupulously. A person who has been elected but has not yet taken office is called by the title of that office with -- "elect" after the title. A monsignor is not addressed as "Father" and a state officer is not addressed as "Brother." Remember, if you don't announce the name and title to the gathering, how can they be expected to know who the person is?
A state officer or district deputy should always be given an opportunity to speak whenever he appears in an official capacity at a function or meeting. When more than one are present then only the senior ranking officer should speak. In any case, all should be recognized and accorded proper respect.
A general agent also should be accorded the opportunity to speak, particularly when he is present at official meetings of the state or a local council. If several general agents are present, one should be invited to speak for the group.
The main etiquette problem posed by councils is that of handling speakers and speeches. When the speaker is not a member of the Knights of Columbus or a personal friend, the chairman owes it to him to:
Seating at the head table should be arranged by rank from the middle out to either end -- with the highest ranking official seated at the middle of the head table. If other State Officers are present besides the State Deputy, they may be seated at the head table if there is room, otherwise they should be seated with their wives at a table directly in front of the head table. Guests should be introduced from right toward the middle, then from left toward the middle, regardless of rank, and no one should be excluded, including those who will speak later. Dignitaries in the audience should be introduced from the highest to the lowest. NOTE: When there is no head table, such as the Installation of Officers, and all dignitaries are seated in the audience, then introductions are made from the lowest up to the highest, who would be called on to speak.
For speaking programs, guests are introduced from lowest rank up to the main speaker of the occasion. A person of junior rank should never speak after someone with a higher office unless he has been selected specifically as the speaker for the occasion. Persons introduced from the audience should be ranked from top down as opposed to speakers who appear from the lowest up.
The Toastmaster should always be seated next to the podium and not at a seat at the end of the table. This is simply done so that he will not be running back and forth after each speaker is introduced. Toastmasters should familiarize themselves with Knights of Columbus titles and protocol. They should also know the background of speakers at the head table and should use the proper salutations for titles when they first take over the podium.
When introducing Past State Deputies or Past Grand Knights, the Immediate Past State Deputy or Past Grand Knight is introduced first and then the others are introduced by seniority, with the most senior one being introduced first and the least senior being introduced last.
All should rise when dais members enter and remain standing until they are seated at the head table. All should rise when the Hierarchy, Clergy, State Deputy and Honored Guest get up to speak and should rise again when they leave the podium to be seated.
The chairman of the banquet should open by calling on the Chaplain to give the invocation. The chairman should advise all to place their hand over their hearts and then lead in singing the National Anthem and reciting the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag. All will then eat, after which the chairman will introduce the Toastmaster. The Toastmaster will say, "Thank you Mr. Chairman" and will then proceed to acknowledge the dignitaries. The entire list in the order of precedence should not be given but only those who are present.
When the flag is displayed horizontally or vertically against a wall, the stars should always be at the observer's left.
When a Fourth Degree member attends an official function of the Order where Fourth Degree dress is requested, he may wear the jewel of his current office around his neck, be it an assembly or council jewel, together with the social baldric. If a council officer is not a Fourth Degree Knight, he should wear his jewel of office without the baldric. A Supreme Director should not wear the social baldric if he is wearing his jewel of office, since the jewel features both the emblem of the Order and the Fourth Degree emblem.
A Past State Deputy, Past Grand Knight, Past Faithful Navigator, Former Vice Supreme Master, Former Master or Former District Deputy is authorized to wear the miniature jewel of these offices on the left breast pocket of his jacket. No other type former officer jewels should be worn at any time. The miniature jewels, approved by the board of directors, allow those who have served the Knights of Columbus in a position of authority to wear the jewel that acknowledges their contribution, while at the same time giving due and proper credit to the current officer. No specific order of precedence is prescribed, but the following is suggested: Past State Deputy, Former District Deputy, Past Grand Knight, Former Master and Past Faithful Navigator.
Mark Twain summed up the situation when he said: "Always do right. You will please some people and astonish the rest."