In addition to writing the Boast and Scroll for Sir Ulrich’s, he also asked me to organize and script out his ceremony. In the MidRealm, the standard Peerage ceremony has someone of the peerage to be awarded to beg the boon, and then speakers, one from each of the other peerages, and sometimes a speaker from the populace.
So a standard knighting would go thusly:
- A knight begs the boon, usually for their squire.
- The Order of Chivalry is called up and affirms the decision to elevate the candidate.
- A Laurel speaks for the candidate’s art or science, a Pelican speaks for the candidate’s service, a Master of Defence speaks for the candidate’s courage, a Royal Peer speaks for the candidate’s nobility, and sometimes a member of the populace speaks for the candidate as well.
- The knight is presented with a belt, chain, spurs and sword
- The knight swears their oath of fealty
- The knight is dubbed and buffeted.
In this case, however, Ulrich wanted something a little bit different. Instead of having five speakers, he had seven — one for each of the Knightly Virtues. This spoke more to the feelings he wanted to evoke. Instead of having the Order affirm his elevation and then have the speakers, he wanted the speakers to present first, and the Order to affirm afterwards. This had two beneficial effects: first, it makes the speakers’ job more important — for perhaps if the Chivalry doesn’t like what they hear, they will change their mind! (They don’t.) But also, it cuts at least in half the amount of time the Order has to kneel. Another change made was that Ulrich was permitted to turn around and face away from Their Majesties, so that he could see the speakers as they said their words for him. And lastly, instead of being presented with spurs, Ulrich was given Arm Rings of Gold as a token of his new station, for as a good Danish lord, Arm Rings were a far greater indicator of high estate and nobility.
Most people in the SCA never achieve peerage, and most of those who do never achieve more than one peerage. I think it’s important to encourage vigilants to seek out and pursue the elevation ceremony they want, even if it means that it runs longer than the standard ceremony. It’s their special time. The audience will understand.