WHAT IS THE ORDER?
Simply put, the Order of St. Adrian is a modern-medieval, fighting household within both the Society for Creative Anachronism (S.C.A.) and Medieval Scenarios and Recreations (M.S.R.), centered in the greater NYC area. Yet, the brothers assert that the Order is much more than that.
The Order of St. Adrian has been described in many ways—fraternity, fighting company, and religious order. It is all of these and more, but it is important to put these various aspects in perspective, lest one arrive at a skewed view of the Brotherhood.
Religious order? The Order of Saint Adrian was created in the likeness of the historical military-religious orders, such as the Templars, the Hospitallers, and the Teutonic Knights. Though the Templars remained the primary model for almost every subsequent military order, the Order of St. Adrian borrows from many orders. Historical concepts from various orders were fused with our own ideas and the practical necessities of modern-medievalism. The result is unique.
Though the brothers portray fanatical Roman Catholic warrior-monks, and though there are some devout Christians in their ranks, the true religious element of the organization is largely window dressing. It is important to understand that we are not true clergy and do not intend to pass as such. Furthermore, the Order does not advocate any particular religion. For our own entertainment and edification, we portray a militant Judeo-Christian order of gentlemen. Thus, we do a great deal of religious pomp and ceremony, for in the Middle Ages life revolved around the Church. However, the ceremonies are not sacramental, and they are designed neither to advocate nor mock true religious rites. They are designed to add atmosphere so vital to a recreation group. The Order shall only accept people who shall take no offense to such ritual.
Having read all of this, note that not all the religious aspects are artificial. The brothers wholeheartedly embrace the ideals of kindness, charity, humility, righteousness, fortitude, and respect—ideals rarely attained by self-proclaimed Christians throughout history, but ideals central to Judeo-Christian doctrine itself. Though these ideals often elude the brothers, they strive for them nonetheless.
Fighting Company? The fighting aspect is both a game and a hobby—or rather an expensive and extreme sport more invigorating than bowling or fishing. Yet, while the Order’s “enemies” are really friends and the “wars” are bloodless, the rigor and energy put into training is very real. The sense of accomplishment and camaraderie derived from the trials and tribulations of fighting is significant. The brothers attempt to echo their historical predecessors in determination, intensity, and ironclad willpower. Mental resolve and physical fitness are honed by years of training and fighting. Rattan combat is used as a vehicle for self-improvement.
Fraternity? The term fraternity often triggers negative images of hazing, false friends, and debauchery. Unlike many of its college counterparts, the Brotherhood is a true fraternity—a ring of friends so close that they have become family. True friends are worth their weight in gold—at middle age, most people are lucky if they have but one. The brothers of St. Adrian cherish the ideal of true brotherhood. Though aware of the tremendous time and effort required to maintain deep relationships, every brother of St. Adrian has pledged to make that commitment. Having once paid the price of lax selection criteria, the Order has long abandoned the days of mass recruitment. Opting for quality over quantity, the brothers select members very carefully, lest the family become divided.
Fraternity, fighting company, and religious order—the Brotherhood of St. Adrian is all and more. Forged of strength and tempered by Judeo-Christian ideals, this ring will not be broken.