Initiation Ceremony of the Order of the Amaranth
The time appointed in the By-laws, or named in the special notice, having arrived, all the officers will retire to the anteroom with exception of the Royal Patron, Associate Conductress, Musician (and Associate Patron, if this office is filled). These officers will assume their respective stations. The Royal Patron will call the Court to order with one blow of the gavel (*).
RP.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, ... Court No. ... is about to be opened. If there be any present who are not entitled to remain, they will please retire.
Honored Associate Conductress, invite the Royal Matron and the other officers to enter the Court room.
AC. retires and returns with the officers who enter in two lines.
RP. calls up the entire room: Honored Conductress and Associate Conductress, escort the Royal Matron and Associate Matron to their respective stations, on the throne and in the West.
After Conductresses have returned to their places in the line, RP.: Royal Matron, we welcome you with a cordial greeting, and request you to open this Court according to the forms and ceremonies of the Bite (hands her the gavel).
RM.: The officers will take their respective stations, and assist in the active duties of the Court.
When all officers are at their stations, RM.: Attention, you will unite with me in pledging allegiance to our country’s flag.
Marshal in the East ascends the throne, takes the flag and all officers step down on the floor. All place right hand over left breast.
ALL: I pledge allegiance to the Flag of, etc.
All unite in singing any appropriate patriotic song.
RM. seats the Court.
M. in E. replaces the flag in its holder on the throne and takes her seat.
RM.: Honored Warder.
RM.: We are about to open ... Court No ... for the transaction of business; inform the Sentinel and direct him to use proper vigilance in protecting us from interruption.
WAR., (gives three raps * * * which are answered by * * * from the Sentinel. Warder opens the door.): Sir Knight Sentinel, we are about to open ... Court and you are directed to use proper vigilance in protecting us from interruption.
WAR.: Your order has been obeyed, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Associate Matron.
AM. : Royal Matron.
RM.: Are all present entitled to the privileges of the degree?
AM.: I will ascertain and report. Honored Conductress, ascertain and report if all present are entitled to the privileges of the degree.
If there be a large gathering, the RM. may ask the Associate Conductress to assist the Conductress in taking up the password. The Conductresses will pass down the North and South sides of the room, taking the password and grip from any with whom they are not acquainted or certain. If there be any present who cannot give the password and grip, the Conductresses will so report to the AM. and if she cannot vouch for them, she wilt report to the RM. as follows: Royal Matron, an Honored Lady without the password and grip.
If the RM. or none in the Court can vouch for such person, the RM. will immediately appoint an investigating committee who will retire with such person, or persons, not vouched for, under escort of the Marshal in the East.
COND.: Honored Associate Matron, all present are entitled to the privileges of the degree.
AM.: All present are entitled to the privileges of the degree, Royal Matron.
RM.: I am pleased to extend a hearty welcome to all. Honored Warder, how are we protected?
WAR.: By a brother Sir Knight, faithful and vigilant, at the entrance to the Court room.
RM.: Inform us as to your station and duties.
WAR.: My station is at the portals of the Court room. My duty is to announce all persons duly vouched for seeking admission, so that none may enter our Court but those who are entitled to enjoy the privileges of the degree, and to perform such other duties as may best promote the interests of the Court.
RM.: Where is our Honored Lady Charity stationed?
WAR: At the Northeast corner of the altar, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Lady Charity, what are your duties?
CHARITY: To demonstrate that Charity, which is the bond of perfection, is kind and just, long suffering, tender and forgiving; also to assist in the benevolent works of the Court.
RM.: Where is our Honored Lady Wisdom stationed?
CHARITY: At the Northwest corner of the altar, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Lady Wisdom, what are your duties?
WISDOM: To explain the greatness and majesty of Wisdom, whose ways are ways of pleasantness and whose paths are peace, and to assist the Court in enlarging its power to do good.
RM.: Where is our Honored Lady Faith stationed?
WISDOM: At the Southwest corner of the altar, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Lady Faith, what are your duties?
FAITH.: To teach the importance of abiding faith in God, and confidence in our fellow creatures, and to aid the Court in performing deeds of kindness.
RM.: Where is our Honored Lady Truth stationed?
FAITH: At the Southeast corner of the altar, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Lady Truth, what are your duties?
TRUTH: To inculcate the force and grandeur of truth, which is eternal, all powerful, and fearless, and to assist the Court in maintaining equal justice to all.
RM.: Where is our Honored Herald stationed?
TRUTH: In the West in front, and at the left hand of the Honored Associate Matron, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Herald, what are your duties?
HERALD: To proclaim the God-like attribute Mercy, gentle and loving in all its acts, with tenderness watching over the distressed; to display the Standard of the Rite, and perform such other duties as may be required by the Court.
RM.: Where is the Honored Marshal in the West stationed?
HERALD: At the left and in front of the Honored Associate Matron in the West, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Marshal in the West, what are your duties?
M. in W.: To assist in the formation of processions and escort work, and to perform such other duties as occasion may require.
RM.: Where is the Honored Marshal in the East stationed?
M. in W.: In front of the throne, at the right of the Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Marshal in the East, what are your duties?
M. in E.: To assist in the formation of processions; display the Flag of our Country; act as an escort to the Royal Matron and to perform such other duties as may be required.
RM.: Where is the honored Chaplain stationed?
M. in E.: In front of the throne, at the left of the Royal Patron.
RM.: Honored Chaplain, what are your duties?
CHAP.: To lead in the devotional exercises of the Court when asked to do so by the Royal Patron, and have a watchful care over the spiritual needs of the members.
RM.: Where is the Honored Associate Conductress stationed?
M. in E. or CHAP.: In the North, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Associate Conductress, what are your duties?
AC.: To perform the constitutional requirements of my office, prepare candidates for the degree of this Court, and assist the Honored Conductress in the discharge of the duties of her office.
RM.: Where is the Honored Conductress stationed?
AC.: In the South, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Conductress, what are your duties?
COND.: To assist the officers of the Court in the performance of their duties, to see that none are present but those who are entitled to the privileges of the Court, receive and conduct candidates through the degree of the Court, and aid in extending the welcome due to visitors.
RM.: Where is the Honored Treasurer stationed?
COND.: At the Place of Finance, in the Northeast, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Treasurer, what are your duties?
TREAS.: To receive from the Secretary the monies of the Court, keep correct accounts of its financial affairs, and pay all bills ordered by the Court and approved by the Royal Matron.
RM.: Where is the Honored Secretary stationed?
TREAS.: At the Place of Record, in the Southeast, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Secretary, what are your duties?
SEC.: To observe the proceedings of the Court and make proper record thereof, to receive all monies belonging to the Court and pay the same to the Treasurer, taking a receipt therefore, and perform the constitutional duties of my office.
RM.: Where is the Sir Knight Associate Patron stationed?
SEC.: In the West, at the left of the honored Associate Matron.
RM.: Sir Knight Associate Patron, what are your duties?
AP.: To preside in the absence of the Royal Patron and assist in the discharge of his duties.
RM.: Where is the Honored Associate Matron stationed?
AP. or SEC.: In the West, Royal Matron.
RM.: Honored Associate Matron, what are your duties.
AM.: To assist the Royal Matron in the discharge of her duties, and in her absence to preside and perform the executive duties of her office.
RM.: Where is the Royal Patron stationed?
AM.: On the throne, in the East, Royal Matron,
RM.: Royal Patron, what are your duties?
RP.: To see that none of the requirements of the Court are omitted or slighted; to preside at the advancement of candidates, and to perform all other duties required by this Court and the Constitution and Regulations of the Supreme Council and Grand Court.
RM.: Honored Associate Matron, where is the Royal Matron stationed?
AM.: On the throne, at the right of the Royal Patron, Royal Matron.
RM.: What are her duties?
AM.: To preside at the business meetings of the Court; to assist at the advancement of candidates, and to perform such other duties as may be required by the By-laws of the Court and the Constitution of the Supreme Council and Grand Court.
RM., Court is called up * * *: Honored Associate Conductress, attend at the Altar, and display the Holy Scriptures, with the appropriate emblem.
AC. opens the Bible, on which she places the Amaranthine Wreath, salutes the RM., and resumes her place.
RM.: Royal Patron perform the services appropriate to the occasion.
RP. goes to the Altar, west side, facing the East, and repeats the following, or other appropriate prayer: Mighty and merciful God, give unto us a more thorough understanding of Truth, Faith, Wisdom, and Charity. Pour down upon us an abundance of Thy grace, and give us such a sense of Thy loving-kindness that our hearts may be enabled to show Forth Thy praise with our lips and in our lives, so that at last we may come into the eternal joy promised by Him Who hath taught us, when we pray, to say:
All repeat aloud the Lord’s Prayer.
RP. returns to his station.
RM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, join in singing our opening ode.
RM.: * (seats the Court): Honored Herald, make proclamation that the ceremony of opening ... Court No. ... on the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth is complete, and command that the utmost courtesy and decorum be observed by all present.
HERALD (steps to the altar with the standard): By order of the Royal Matron, I declare the ceremony of opening ... Court No ... on the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth complete. Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, let the utmost courtesy and decorum be observed by all present.
Places the Standard in the East and resumes her station.
RM.: And now, with absolute nobleness of purpose, let us place confidence in each other. Let the strictest courtesy be observed, joined with the most refined and delicate attention. Let all things said or done be so charged with unselfishness and guided by Truth, Faith, Wisdom and Charity that, when we depart hence, we may rejoice to say, it was good for us to have been here. Honored Warder, inform the Sentinel that the Court is now open.
WAR.: Sir Knight Sentinel, this Court is now open.
The Sentinel is informed, Royal Matron.
The Court is called to order, and proceeds with the regular business.
PRELIMINARY PREPARATIONS AND INSTRUCTIONS FOR CONFERRING THE DEGREE
The following properties should be at the proper places before the candidates are brought in so that there may be no confusion or waiting:
Chairs in the Northeast for the candidates and Conductresses. If folding chairs are used, they should be opened before the initiation starts to avoid unnecessary noise during the solemnity of the work.
SWORD for the accolade is at the station of the Royal Patron.
FONT with a small TOWEL for each candidate. Two small PATENS, or dishes, with small pieces of BREAD and SALT on a silver tray, and all covered with a white NAPKIN should be placed on the pedestal of the AC. where she can get them quickly and carry same to the Altar when instructed to do so.
If desired, two WREATHS may be used, one remaining on the Bible and the other on the Associate Matron’s pedestal.
If there is more than one candidate, the Associate Conductress will escort the last one in line.
offering her left arm to the candidate. The Conductress offers her right arm to the candidate she escorts.
In marching, always keep about three paces apart and turn square corners.
The Standard should be carried with the right hand close to the body, leaving the left hand free to hold the lower corner of the Standard and so keep it from swinging during the marching.
RM.: Honored Associate Conductress, retire and ascertain if there are candidates in waiting to receive the degree of the Amaranth, and report to the Royal Patron.
She hands the gavel to the RP. and he now takes charge.
AC. retires, and finding a candidate in waiting, obtains her name and ascertains that she has received the Eastern Star degree; AC. returns to the Court room and reports: Royal Patron, there is in waiting Sister ..., who has received the degree of the Eastern Star, and now desires to be advanced to the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth.
RP.: Honored Secretary, has this candidate been elected to receive the degree of the Amaranth?
SEC.: She has, Royal Patron.
RP.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, I am informed that sister ..., having received the Eastern Star degree, is in waiting to receive the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth. It, therefore, becomes my duty to assist in conferring this degree upon her. Honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald, retire to the anteroom, where you will find sister ..., to whom you will propound the usual questions required by the rules of the Order, and, if satisfactorily answered, prepare her for the ceremonies of this degree, and, when so prepared, apply for admission in due form.
Associate Conductress and Herald, taking Standard from the East, retire to the anteroom, where the AC. will address the candidate: Sister ..., before conducting you into the Court for advancement into our Rite, I am directed to propound to you certain questions, to which I expect decided and satisfactory answers. Do you present yourself here of your own free will?
CAND.: I do.
AC.: Have you carefully considered the step you are about to take?
CAND.: I have.
AC.: Know, then, that none can be advanced to the degree of the Amaranth except those who are earnest and sincere, whose benevolence is well assured, and whose zeal is untiring. Upon these conditions, do you desire to unite with us in our good work?
CAND.: I do.
The questions having been answered in the affirmative, the candidate is prepared by the removal of her hat, gloves, and coat, and led by the AC. to the inner door of the Court room. Herald gives * * * raps on the door, when the Conductress will announce: Honored Associate Matron, there is an alarm at the inner door of the Court.
AM.: Royal Patron, there is an alarm at the inner door of the Court.
RP.: Honored Associate Matron, ascertain the cause of the alarm.
AM.: Honored Conductress, ascertain the cause of the alarm.
Cond. proceeds to the door, gives * * * raps, opens the door, and asks: Why this alarm?
AC.: The Associate Conductress and Herald have in charge a candidate for the honors of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth.
COND.: Does she desire to continue to unite with us in our good work?
AC.: She does.
COND.: Has she carefully considered the step she is about to take?
AC.: She has so answered.
COND.: Has she been informed that none ought to enter here, except the earnest and sincere, whose benevolence is well assured and whose zeal is untiring?
AC.: She has.
COND.: Who vouches for her?
AC.: We vouch for her.
COND.: Wait until your request is made known and the answer returned. Closes the door Honored Associate Matron, the alarm was made by the Honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald, having in charge a candidate for the honors of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth.
AM.: Has she carefully considered the step she is about to take?
COND.: She has.
AM.: Does she desire to continue to unite with us in our good work?
COND.: She does.
AM.: Who vouches for her?
COND.: Our Honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald.
AM.: Royal Patron, the alarm was made by the Honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald, having in charge a candidate for the honors of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth.
RP.: Have all the necessary questions been asked in regard to her qualifications and her desire to unite with us in our good work?
AM.: They have, and her answers are satisfactory.
RP.: Who vouches for her?
AM.: Our Honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald.
RP.: Admit them.
AM.: Honored Conductress, admit our honored Associate Conductress and Honored Herald, together with the sister who comes so warmly recommended.
COND., opens the door and addresses the candidate: Your answers to the questions are satisfactory and evince the purity of your intentions; therefore, our Royal Patron orders that you be admitted. Be assured that a cordial welcome awaits you.
RP.: * * * (Court is called up).
Herald enters, leading the line of march, takes the Standard in her right hand, leads to the Font, forming a circle; candidates between Conductresses.
As they enter the Court room, following the Herald, the Conductress offers her right arm to the first candidate in line and the Associate Conductress offers her left arm to the last candidate in the line If there are more than two candidates, they marcn in twos and are instructed to take each other’s ann.
As soon as the line of march has entered, The door is closed.
When the music or song is finished, Cond. says: In the Ancient Mysteries, preparatory to initiation, the candidate was required to perform the Ceremony of Ablution, by washing of hands in pure water, as a symbol of the purification of the heart, and as a solemn pledge of future decorum and rectitude. If you are willing to give us the same pledge, do so by the same symbol.
Cond. pauses while all candidates step forward to the Font in a body, if possible. While candidates are performing this ceremony, Cond. says: I will wash my hands in innocency, and thus shall I accomplish Thy Courts, Oh, Lord.
The Conductresses now offer the towels to the candidates. If the class is too large to assemble around the Font at the same time, the Conductresses will divide them in groups and the Cond. will deliver her charge to each group as they perform the ceremony.
The line forms into marching formation, led by the Herald, followed by Cond. and first candidate in line, etc. to center of room between Altar and AM.’s station, facing East. The following, or other appropriate music:
TUNE: Downs. C. M.
Come, spirit of celestial love,
With might and pow’r divine,
Upon Thy servant from above
Let heavenly graces shine.
RP. *, Court is seated: Let the candidate journey from the West by way of the South to the East, and by the North to the West again, and thence to the Altar.
The procession proceeds, Herald leading, followed by Cond. and cand., and AC.
COND. (as they journey): May thy pathways be strewn with flowers. That which you find to do strive to do with your best ability, abandoning all anxiety for the results. The fruit of your toil is ever before you; reach out your hand and gather it.
The procession will halt before the throne without changing position, when the RM. will say: Our good deeds and kindly offices performed for others are the angels that watch over and smile upon us in our dreams. To thy faith add knowledge, to thy actions, love, and thy presence among people will be a benediction. Make good use of time if you value eternity. Yesterday cannot be recalled; tomorrow cannot be assured; today only is yours, which, if you procrastinate, you lose, which loss is forever. The common mind usually condemns those who have the courage to enter the field of progress.
They proceed by way of the North to the West.
COND. (as they proceed): Those who look only for the evil will find the evil; but the life of those who look only for the good and the pure, the unselfish and noble: the truth of all things: becomes a living fountain of wisdom and understanding.
Halt before A M., who will say: The light of the body is the eye. If, therefore, thine eye be just, thy whole body shall be full of light; but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. God gives to large and expansive minds broad and lofty views. Advanced thought and ideas are enlightening the world. Marty great heralds of truths in the past have suffered a martyr’s doom, to end in an overwhelming defeat to their enemies: for God is just.
COND. (as they turn and approach the Altar): A cheerful smile and kind word linger long in memory, gilding with beauty the .darkest hours of life.
The second verse is sung: Remove afar all dread or fear,
All doubt and burdened care;
Protect her as she enters here
In all our work to share.
COND.: Royal Patron, it is my privilege to introduce to you Sister ..., who has been initiated in the degree of the Eastern Star, and her desire is to be advanced into the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth, and be acknowledged a member of this Court.
RP.: Sister ..., as a welcome guest, you stand before our Altar. You see spread open thereon the inspired Word of God, the fountain of grace, and love, and truth, and the Amaranthine wreath appropriately rests thereon. Your desire is to participate in the privileges of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth. What motives induced you to seek admission into this Order?
CAND. (prompted by Cond.): The desire to acquire knowledge and make progress in the ways-of wisdom, benevolence, and virtue.
RP.: Do you feel that you are endowed with sufficient fortitude to meet difficulties and enlarge your sphere of usefulness, by means of your virtues and our example, your labors with our assistance?
CAND.: I do.
RP.: Will you be able to endure the sarcasms of the ignorant, who will be the more inclined to make you their victim because the principles we inculcate are unknown to them?
CAND. (prompted by Cond.): I believe I will be able to do so.
RP.: What do you deem to be your duty to your neighbor?
CAND. (prompted by Cond.): To do unto others as I would that they should do unto me.
RP.: You have answered our questions in a manner that assures us of your sincerity and inspires us with confidence in your fidelity and courage. It is therefore eminently proper that we should receive you among us. We cannot enlist too many such laborers in our good work. Having been vouched for in terms which the usages of the Order require is proof to us that you will render valuable aid to our cause. Being satisfied with your qualifications and earnestness, the Court is united in granting your request. With this knowledge of our noble purposes are you willing to assume the obligations and responsibilities that may be required of you by the rules of the Order?
CAND.: I am.
RP.: Honored Conductress and Honored Associate Conductress, prepare the Candidate to be obligated.
RP. * * * (Court is called up).
Cand. will stand at the Altar, with left hand on the Bible and right hand on left breast. Cond. on the left and AC. on the right, one step in the rear; Herald, with standard, in the center; Truth, Faith, Wisdom, and Charity, right and left; all forming a tableau. RP. steps to the altar, and says: That you may truly represent the Order, maintain its honor, and faithfully preserve its secrets, join with me. I, pronounce your name in full, do voluntarily and without reservation, in the presence of these witnesses, and under all my previous obligations, solemnly promise that I will never reveal to any person, or persons, the secrets of this degree, except in a lawful manner.
That I will not aid in conferring the degree upon any person who is not entitled to receive the same.
That I wall conform to the constitution and regulations of the Grand Court in whose jurisdiction I may be, and the by-laws of the Court of which I may be a member.
That I will, so far as in my power assist in promoting the interests of the Court and the general good of the Order, so long as I may be a member.
That I will not criticize the actions of my associate members in a spirit of unkindness but will render assistance to their necessities according to my ability.
That I will regard the obligations, now
voluntarily assumed, binding upon me, though my membership in the Order may
All these pledges I promise faithfully to keep, under penalty of suspension or expulsion from the Order.
These are the covenant vows of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth, which we are all under obligation to keep.
RP. returns to the throne, * Court is seated. Group remain at the altar.
RP.: Honored Associate Conductress, present the sacred emblems.
AC. brings forward the emblems: the patens containing bread and salt on a salver, covered with a white napkin; and places them on the altar, Cond. at the left and AC. at the right of the candidate, and other officers in semicircle, as before. RM. descends from the throne to the altar.
RM.: The ceremony in which we now ask you to engage is to partake with us of the sacred emblems of Friendship and Hospitality: bread and salt. (AC. uncovers patens of bread and salt.) Bread is for nourishment, and salt for preservation. When the Master formed the prayer, the model of supplication for all ages, He taught us to say:
“Give us this day our daily bread.” This ceremony was practiced by the Ancients, and is used to this day among many peoples. You will easily comprehend its significance. To share bread and salt with another is to exchange confidence and pledge hospitality. In thus partaking with you of these emblems, it is with the wish that you may be nourished by the true Bread of life, and that your days may be prolonged and made happy, even as you shall strive to nourish others, and practice the noblest deeds of charity, in your daily intercourse with the world. If you can, in truth and sincerity of purpose, fulfill these sacred requirements, partake with us of these emblems, and we will in the same spirit share them with you.
RM. and cand., Cond., and AC. partake of the bread and taste the salt.
RM.: By this act we, in behalf of this Court, seal and make perpetual our mutual bond of friendship.
AC. removes the patens. RP. descends and conducts the RM. to the throne.
RP. * (Court is seated).
Cond. escorts cand. to the northeast part of the room, and all are seated.
RM.: Honored Ladies, who form the square near the Altar, respectively, and in due order, explain to the candidate the beauties and usefulness of this degree, and the practical lessons which it inculcates.
Officers rise, successively, step to the corner of the Altar, near their stations, and repeat the following:
TRUTH: The Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth is practical in all its parts, teaching benevolence, honor, the purest morality, and the strictest adherence to TRUTH. As you advance in this degree you will find at every turn new incentives to goodness. The allegories and traditions embodied in its lectures are full of instruction.
The broad streams of knowledge that are open to all inquirers in the present age must be traced to their sources if you ‘would acquire the genuine meaning of their symbols and the mystic forms that make up this system.
From the earliest records of time, and following the course of history, we find everywhere the elements of Truth: the universal principles of human thought and action. Generation after generation passes away, but Truth remains forever the same. It is the life-blood of human power, the intellectual air we breathe. Without this attribute society could not subsist for a single hour; governments, laws, institutions, religion, the manners and customs of humanity, all bear the indelible imprint of its universality and indestructibility. Then let Truth be the beacon-light upon which your eye is fixed. It will surely guide you over the stormiest seas. There is wondrous vitality in error, and against it we must ever be on our guard. Truth may conquer slowly; violence and Falsehood may impair it for a time, but its future cannot be destroyed.
“The eternal years of God are hers.”
This degree, as before said, is practical. It calls the attention of the wise to subjects rare and elevating. It instructs the illiterate, extends consolation to the unhappy, material aid to the needy, and, finally, it offers bonds of friendship interwoven with the purest principles of Truth and Morality.
Truth resumes her seat. Faith steps forward, and says: In the daily affairs of life you should have a constant FAITH. A faith in God, Who rules in all things; a faith in your own ability, which insures success. Our faith is all our own, held direct from God. Though all the changes of an uncertain world our faith in an overruling Providence must never be shaken. It must be strong and permanent. A confidence in the assistance and protection of an Almighty Being naturally produces patience, hope, cheerfulness, and all other happy dispositions of the mind that alleviate those calamities which we are not otherwise able to remove.
In times of adversity, amid the scenes. of poverty and affliction, and even in the gloomy hour of death, the possession of this virtue brings comfort and hopeful resignation. A breach of faith is a crime that brings a stain on a nation, for faith ought to be kept even with an enemy.
The age of chivalry was the age of undeviating faith and unblemished honor. It was the period when the word was as strong a bond as the oath. Among the sublime principles of chivalry it held in faithful reverence the protection of woman. To us has been handed down this sacred trust in its purity, and it becomes our highest honor to maintain and perpetuate it.
We claim honor and integrity as essential qualities in the Ladies and Knights of the Amaranth. While you possess them you will be worthy of the title: a peerless dignity: the most distinguished in our power to bestow.
Faith resumes her seat. Wisdom steps forward and says: Wisdom embraces the whole of practical knowledge. It is that perfection of an intelligent agent by which he is enabled to select and employ the most useful means in order to accomplish proper and substantial results. An ancient lawgiver, being asked if his code of laws was the best that could be given his countrymen, replied:
“it is the best they are capable of receiving”: a profound utterance, easily comprehended and applicable to human life in our day.
“There was a little city,” says the Preacher, “and few men within it; and there came a great lung against it and besieged it, and built great bulwarks about it. Now, there was found in it a poor wise man, and he, by his wisdom, delivered the city; yet no man remembered that same poor man. Then, said I, ‘Wisdom is better than strength’; nevertheless, the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are not heard.”
Should your efforts of usefulness be met by indifference and ingratitude, be not discouraged thereby. The code of regulations of this degree makes the moral obligation absolute; and, therefore, the practice of the moral virtues essential. We would unite to elevate and purify the standard of good in an evil world. This we propose to do by putting pure and noble ideas into practice, and inculcating the best precepts at our command. We are advocates of the nobility of labor. Rank and title, however honorable, are not incompatible with efficient work with hand and brain. Many great deeds have their inception in the small struggles of life. There are noble and mysterious triumphs which no human eye beholds, which no renown rewards, which no flourish of trumpets heralds.
He most lives, Who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
Wisdom resumes her seat. Charity steps forward, and says: Charity stands as the pearl of great price among the virtues: “for the greatest of these is Charity.” It beautifies all our actions and enlarges the desires of the heart to do good. That Charity is enduring which flows from an innate sense of duty. That Charity is truest and noblest which treads in secret the paths of poverty, unseen and unproclaimed; but, like the great laws of nature, does the work of God in silence, looking only to a better world for its reward. It is the attribute of divine love, and the most universal religion of mankind. There is no law that circumscribes the compensation that may result from a single good deed. The smallest actual good performed is better than the most magnificent promise.
The benefits produced by our labor
relate to the present and the future. There is a beautiful thought conveyed in a
legend, that on the shores of the Adriatic Sea the wives of the fishermen, whose
husbands have gone far off upon the deep, are in the habit, at even-tide, of
going down to the seashore and singing the first verse of a favorite hymn.
After they have sung it, they listen till they hear, borne by the wind across the desert sea, the second verse, sung by their husbands as they are tossed by the gale upon the waves, thus rendering happiness to all.
Perhaps, if we listen, we, too, may hear, in this desert world, some whisper borne from afar, to remind us that there is a heavenly home; and when we sing a hymn upon earth, it may be we shall hear its echo breaking in sweet melody upon the sands of time, cheering the hearts of those who, perchance, are pilgrims and strangers, looking for a city that hath sure foundations.
Honored Ladies and Sir Knights of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth will deserve this title if they have strength, faith,, and energy to obtain a glorious victory in the achievement of good works.
Charity resumes her seat. Cond. and cand. rise, and Cond. says: Royal Matron, our sister has voluntarily accepted the covenant vows of the Amaranth, and now stands pledged before you.
RM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, the earnest and devout manner in which this sister has assumed the solemn vows of the degree assures me that we may safely receive her into full membership with us. Therefore, in behalf of the members of this Court, and of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth, I will proceed to confer its honors upon her. Honored Conductress, accompany our sister to the proper place for that purpose.
The candidate is conducted via the North to the west side of the Altar, facing the East.
RM.: Honored Conductress, the West is the place of the setting sun, the verge of the twilight gloom, and darkness of the night. In its uncertain light, amid the shadows of the declining day, the beauties of our work cannot be revealed. It is the rising, not the setting, sun that we adore. I pray you do not tarry there.
Cand. is conducted via the South to the East, in front of the throne.
RM.: The East is that quarter from which the bright morning star heralds the approach of day, and the proper place for honorable advancement. Before the rising sun, darkness disappears, and light covers the surface of the earth. Here, the light, arising from the blessings of our Order as the radiance from the morning sun, awaits the neophyte. Place our sister in the proper position, to receive the dignified honor of the accolade.
Cand. is caused to kneel on a cushion at the foot of the throne.
RP. * * * (Court is called up).
AC., Faith, and Charity on the North side; Truth, Wisdom, and Warder, on the South side, form a semicircle behind the candidate. Herald, with Standard, forms the center of the tableau.
RM. wears a crown and represents a queen.
RP. hands a sword to RM.
RM.: The ceremony by which Knighthood is conferred is called the accolade. Conforming to this custom, and by the authority vested in me, I receive you places the sword on the left and right shoulders, and on the head of the candidate, and confer upon you the dignity of a Lady of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth carries sword; and as the Amaranthine flower is typical of undying friendship and eternal truth, so with this right hand accept our pledge of an abiding trust, and a cordial reception into our fellowship. Assists her to rise.
The sword is a weapon of warfare. It teaches us to be always watchful in the battle of life, and with the Sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, to guard every approach to the heart, that the evil tendencies of our nature may not overcome the good. Let us strike valiantly against vice that de. grades; against ignorance that blinds, against prejudice that warps our judgment, and against hatred and malice that bring only discontent and misery.
Keep this lesson ever before you, and by the symbolic use of this glittering blade cover your name with honor, and become a blessing to those with whom you are associated. Conduct the candidate to our Honored Associate Matron, for additional honors.
Cond. escorts cand. to the West, followed by AC., Herald, with standard; Truth, Faith, Wisdom, Charity and Warder. Cond., in passing, takes the wreath from the Altar to the AM., unless two wreaths are used and one is already on the AM.’s pedestal.
COND.: Honored Associate Matron, by order of the Royal Matron, I present our sister to you for additional honors.
AM.: The order of our Royal Matron shall be obeyed holding up the wreath. The Amaranthine wreath is the peculiar emblem of the Order. Because of the lasting nature of its bloom, the Amaranth was regarded by many of the ancients as the symbol of immortality. The possession of its early blossoms inspired the belief that the soul would enjoy eternal rest in the realms of the Celestial Home. And now, as an additional memento to confirm our friendship, we crown placing the wreath on the head of the candidate you with the emblem of the Crown of Life.
This is no diadem of gold; no cincture of pearls; no regal tiara; no frame-work of gems, velvet-lined, like that which so often presses upon the aching brows of royalty. That is a badge of power, frequently empty, unsubstantial, and delusive. But our crown and our act of coronation have a higher and a nobler meaning. We crown you as being eminent for virtue, zeal, and well-doing, showing charity to the destitute, and faithful in every walk of life.
May all your footsteps fall upon flowers. May all your good intentions be fraught with success.
May your last days be your best. We crown you in the hope of immortality, where is no death to the pure and loving. May your admission to the land Celestial and Everlasting be sure, and your entrance full of delight. And as the years roll along and bring about the great consummation for which we all hopefully wait, may your ransomed spirit be crowned with the never-ceasing favor of Almighty God.
The following, or any appropriate hymn, is sung by the Court.
TUNE: Coronation. C. M.
Oh, crown immortal, wreath sublime,
That speaks the joys unseen;
Its leaves defy the frosts of time;
‘Tis heaven’s unfading green.
RP. * (Court is seated).
Officers, except Cond. and Herald, with Standard, return to their stations. Cond. returns the wreath to the Bible unless two are used, and escorts cand. to west of Altar, facing the East, when the RM. will say: My sister, in addition to your obligation of secrecy, you are required to protect and defend the Standard of the Order. Honored Herald, place the Standard in charge of our newly advanced sister.
Herald hands the Standard to cand., who grasps the staff with the left hand, her right hand on her left breast; Cond. at her left and Herald at her right, two steps back. Herald goes to her station and gets the flag and returns to right of cand. RP. steps from throne and says: My sister, it is the high privilege of my office to portray to you the significance of the Standard you now hold. It is the Grand Standard of our Rite of Adoption. Among the earliest assemblies of men for purposes of peace or war, some conspicuous emblem was adopted, expressive of the common sentiment, around which they might rally for mutual protection or special interest. The tribes of Israel had each its banner, corresponding with those used in the present day. Out of the ancient practice grew the custom, which is now universal, of using standards bearing emblematical figures, sacred or warlike, to distinguish private and national associations.
The Flag is the symbol of a Nation. To dishonor it is to insult the Nation. Beneath its folds the weakest are protected, while the strongest must submit to the authority of which it is an emblem. It canopies, with its protecting plications alike, the humblest hut and the loftiest mansion. In the distant regions of the globe the traveler, at the sight of his country’s flag, is reminded of home and Herald solemnly waves flog over head of cand. until end of RP.’s speech. Then returns flag to holder at her station its endearing associations. The excitement of that moment, crowded with its heartfelt emotions, can never be forgotten.
The following is sung by the Chapter or a choir:
HOME, SWEET HOME
‘Mid pleasures and palaces though we may roam, Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home. A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there, Which, seek through the world, is ne’er met with elsewhere.
Home! Home! Sweet, sweet home!
There’s no place like home!
There’s no place like home!
RP.: Bear in mind, my sister, that the Standard of the Order is no holiday standard, gorgeously emblazoned for gayety or vanity. No! It is the synonym of the banner of Eternal Truth. The All-Seeing-Eye upon it, with the winged messenger bearing the emblem of peace, should encourage you to walk in the path of virtue. You are required to defend the Standard on every proper occasion, and to be always faithful to the sublime principles of the Order, which, being founded on Truth and Charity, will ultimately spread through every land and among every people.
RP. returns to the East and ascends the throne. Herald takes the Standard from the candidate and leads the Cond. and candidate to seats in the Northeast, where they may be seated. Herald then replaces the Standard in the East and marches to her station by way of the South.
My Sister, it devolves upon me to explain the secret words, signs, and grip of this degree. With these you will be able to make yourself known as a member to those who have in like manner received the degree.
When undergoing an examination, you will be required to give answers to particular questions. That you may fully understand the whole system of examination, I will, with the assistance of the Conductress, rehearse the manner of examination. You will carefully observe my questions, and her answers, as her answers would be yours, were you undergoing an examination.
Conductress rises and stands at the foot of the throne, facing the candidate, so that the candidate may see and hear.
RP.: My Sister are you a member of the Royal and Exalted Degree of the Amaranth?
Cond.: I am.
RP.: By what right did you receive that honor?
Cond.: By having been initiated in the Eastern Star; by receiving ablution; participating in the ceremony of Friendship and Hospitality; receiving the sacred accolate and being crowned with the emblem of the crown of life.
RP.: What motives induced you to seek admission into this Order?
Cond.: The desire to acquire knowledge and make progress in the way of Wisdom, Benevolence and Virtue.
RP.: What further evidence can you give to prove that you are in possession of the secrets of this degree?
Cond.: I can give the signs, words, and grip belonging to the degree.
RP.: Give me the Sacred Word
RP.: Unfading. Give me the Motto of the degree.
Cond.: Dolce nella Memoria.
RP.: Sweet in memory. Give me the Secret Word.
Cond.: I will with your assistance.
RP.: How can I assist you?
Cond.: By giving the first three letters of the word.
RP.: You begin.
RP.: What is this word?
Cond.: A divine attribute and the foundation of every good.
RP.: What are our chief duties as members of the Amaranth?
Cond.: To speak the Truth; to have Faith in God; Wisdom to understand His word; and Charity toward all mankind.
RP.: Have you a Test Word?
Cond.: I have.
RP.: Will you communicate it to me?
Cond.: I will if you will give me the first syllable.
RP.: You begin.
RP.: What does the word denote?
Cond.: The proper use of knowledge.
RP.: The Grip is given by taking the right hand of the person opposite in the ordinary manner of shaking hands; interlace the little fingers between the third and fourth fingers; the thumbs across the fingers between the first and second knuckle joints.
Honored Conductress, show our sister how to give the grip. Done.
The Sign of Recognition is given by placing the first two fingers of your right hand over your right eye, the thumb and lost two fingers closed; then drop the hand to the side. Observe the honored Conductress and follow her. Cond. and candidate give the sign.
It is answered in the same manner. RP. gives the sign.
The Sign of Salutation is given by placing the right hand, palm inward, horizontally on the forehead, throwing the hand off in a graceful manner. Observe the Honored Conductress and follow her. Cond. and candidate give the sign.
It is answered by the presiding officer in the same manner. RP. gives the sign.
The Sign is always to be given by members on entering, or retiring, from the Court while in session.
The Grand Hailing Sign of distress is given by placing the right hand back of the head, palm to the head, the letting the hand drop to the side. This is done three times. Observe the Honored Conductress and follow her. Cond. and candidate give the sign.
The Words of Exclamation are: ‘Help, our Standard is in Danger!’
The Grand Honors are given by crossing
the hands over the breast then throwing them off gracefully with a bow. Observe
the Honored Conductress and follow her. Cond. and
candidate give the sign.
RP.: The Royal Matron will now address you (hands the gavel to the RM.).
RM.: My sister, you have been regularly inducted into the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth. We have joined in a bond of mutual friendship; our mysterious accolade has fallen upon you, we trust never to be recalled; the hand of fraternal welcome has been enclasped in yours, accompanied by the heart’s holiest greeting, and you have been crowned with the emblem of the Crown of Life.
These ceremonies being completed, it is now my pleasing duty, in behalf of this Court, to congratulate you upon your reception. Your worthiness has entitled you to our distinguished consideration, and gives us confidence that by your life you will prove deserving of the favor we have at this time bestowed. May that life be prolonged in honor and usefulness. May you long continue a member in active fellowship, ever a faithful defender of the principles it inculcates.
You will now be conducted to the Place of Records, where you will sign the By-laws of the Court, and become entitled to all the privileges of membership, after which you will be reconducted to your present position.
The cand. is conducted to the station of the Secretary, where she will sign the roll of membership. Returning to the foot of the throne, the RM. will say: My sister, in the name of ... Court, No. ..., we receive and welcome you as an active member. May your name, now placed in our Book of Records, ever remain there, with increasing brightness, until such time as it shall be entered for perpetual record in the Everlasting Book of Life.
RM. * * * (Court is called up; cand. is caused to face the West).
RM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, no one has appeared before us with higher claims to honorable recognition than the sister who now stands before you. We will, therefore, welcome her as an active member of this Court.
The following or other appropriate hymn may be sung.
Thrice welcome to our band,
By all our precepts stand,
Find here a home.
Be faithful, good, and true,
All Virtue’s paths pursue,
Then we will stand by you
Whate’er may come.
RM.: Honored Associate Matron, call the Court to recreation, to resume at the sound of the gavel in the East.
AM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, by order of the Royal Matron, you will now be at recreation, to resume at the sound of the gavel in the East. *
The entire company join in giving a hearty welcome to the candidate. After a brief period, the RM. will call the Court to order, and proceed with business.
RM.: Royal Patron, have you any further business to offer before the Court is dosed?
RM.: Honored Associate Matron, have you any business to offer before we close?
RM.: Has any Honored Lady or Sir Knight anything to offer before we close? (Response or no response.) Honored Secretary, read the minutes of this communication.
The minutes are read and approved.
RM.: Honored Herald, proclaim to the Honored Ladies and Sir Knights that I am about to close this Court.
Herald marches to the East, making square corners, takes the Standard and marches to a position between the East and Altar. Rests the Standard on the floor and remains in this position until the Court is closed.
HER.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, by order of the Royal Matron, I proclaim to you and each of you that this Court is about to be closed.
RM.: Honored Warder, make known to the Sentinel our commands, and bid him see that no interruption from without shall mar the solemnity of our closing ceremonies. (The order is obeyed.)
WAR.: Royal Matron, the Sentinel has your commands, and they will be obeyed.
RM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, it is proper that this Court be now closed. Honor us with your courteous attention, for the formula we present expresses some of the purest sentiments of our Order. In the prosaic affairs of human life the culture of noble and advanced thoughts must often be suspended for the exercise of sterner duties. Such is the case at present. This assembly, however delightful to mind and heart, however instructive as a school of courteousness and decorum, must be terminated. We must part, and this chain of sacred friendship must, for the time, be broken. It is, therefore, our request that a brief interchange of the courtesies of the Order be observed. By these we shall soften toil, lessen the hardships of fife, and secure hopes of reunion. Royal Patron, you will lead in our parting ceremony.
Two blows of the gavel (* *) call up the officers, who remain standing until the Court is closed.
RP.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, in the light of the King’s countenance there is life; and his favor is as a bright bow after the latter rain. May the dews of heaven fall lightly upon us, until We meet again.
AM.: Those who have friends must show themselves friendly. May the spirit of pure friendship guard us on the right hand and on the left, until we meet again.
AP.: May we be guided only by the highest, noblest and purest things in life, until we meet a gain.
COND.: May the kingdom of God, which is righteousness and joy, and peace, rest and abide with us, until we meet again.
AC.: Being rich in good works, unto the pure all things are pure. Whatsoever things are honest, just, and of good report let us accept and promote, until we meet again.
TREAS.: He that gains wisdom, loveth his own soul. He that keepeth understanding, shall find good. May the All-Wise inspire us to secure that wisdom that is from above, that is full of mercy and good fruits, until we meet again.
SEC.: He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty. And he that ruleth his spirit is greater than he that taketh a city. May we have command of the tongue, and never inscribe words except such as tend to peace, until we meet again.
RM.: What are the chief duties of members of the Royal and Exalted degree of the Amaranth?
TRUTH: To speak the words of truth. The language of truth is pure and simple. Those who have truth in their hearts will not veil or lessen her beauty by deceitful decorations.
FAITH: To cultivate abiding faith, for faith is the golden chain that binds humanity to Divinity.
WISDOM: To acquire the wealth of wisdom. Wisdom’s ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. It is our best interest to pursue the path of wisdom, having no regard to the obstacles which may lie in our course.
CHARITY: To overlook the errors and faults of others, and practice acts of charity, the crowning glory of our Order.
HER.: To carry glad tidings to the afflicted.. If an enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink.
M. in E.: May we be true to one another and loyal to the Flag of our Country.
M. in W.: May we be faithful in the performance of every duty, for a good name is better than riches.
CHAP.: As the history of our lives is written so may each moment be filled with thoughts of kindness and fraternal love.
WAR.: To carefully guard every avenue to the heart, and in the performance of the divine precepts expressed, let us continue vigilant and steadfast, until we meet again!
RM. * * * (Court is called up): Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, unite in singing our closing ode.
Praise God from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Or some appropriate ode
RP., raising his hands, will repeat the following, or other appropriate benediction.
RP.: The Lord bless and keep you. The Lord lift up the light of His countenance upon you, and give you peace, now and evermore.
ALL RESPOND: Amen.
RM.: Honored Associate Conductress, attend at the Altar and close the Sacred Volume.
AC. approaches the Altar slowly and closes Bible, then returns to her station.
RM.: Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, this Court is closed until our next regular meeting, unless sooner convened, in which event every member will have due and timely notice. Go in peace, and may all the recollections of this meeting be fragrant in our memories until time shall be no more.
RM. gives the sign of the degree, and all the members respond: Sweet in memory.
RM.: I now declare ... Court No. ... closed.
RM.: Honored Warder, inform the Sentinel that the Court is closed and see that the portals of the Court room are opened.
WAR.: Sir Knight Sentinel, this Court is now closed.
Honored Ladies and Sir Knights, Farewell. *