Proper protocol should be followed by all fraternal
Protocol, by definition, is basic common courtesy.
The Knights of Columbus Protocol Handbook
(#1612) contains specific information governing many
types of situations where protocol is involved. Keep in
mind, however, that where there is no specific rule
governing a situation, you will not go wrong by
employing common courtesy.
Invitations— Guests should be sent proper invitations in
writing well in advance (at least six weeks before the event).
All invitations should be sent in the name of and
signed by the grand knight, district deputy or state
deputy, respectively. Replies may directed to a chairman
or committee member.
The invitation should let the guest know timing, agenda,
dress and any special expectations.
Your district deputy, as a special representative of the
supreme knight and state deputy, should be invited to all
council functions. However, it is not proper protocol to
send a “blanket” invitation to your district deputy with
the expectation that he will attend each event. It should
be understood that his schedule may not permit him to
attend all affairs, in which case he would notify you in
Speakers— Speakers for an event should be notified well
in advance that they are expected to speak. A courteous
fraternal leader does not approach a guest just before or
during a program and ask if he wants to talk. This gives
the impression that you would prefer he did not speak,
but if he wanted to talk, you would permit it.
Head Table— Seating is usually arranged by the highest
rank from the middle out to either end. Guests are
introduced from the right toward the middle then from
the left toward the middle, excluding speaking members
at the head table. The wives of all those seated at the head
table should also be included in the dais. The following
priority list should apply for speaking programs and
seating arrangements: clergy, Knights of Columbus (in
ranking order), civic dignitaries and other fraternities.
When more than one priest is present and a speaker does
not wish to mention each by name, he should say “Rev.
Monsignori” and/or “Rev. Fathers.”
Never use “Reverend Clergy” unless clergymen of different faiths are represented.