Benevolent Order of Deer
Ritual of the Degree of Purity


1913


President: Messengers, you will retire to the anteroom and ascertain if there are any Candidates waiting instructions in the Degree of Purity.
Messengers, after saluting the President will pass to the ante-room and take the names of those in waiting for the Degree of Purity. Will re-enter the hall and pass to the altar and salute the President and say:
Brother (Sister) President, we find Ö giving the names of Candidates who are waiting to receive the Degree of Purity.
President:
By virtue of the authority in me vested, I now declare the Degree of Purity opened for the transaction of business in this degree.
All:
It is our pleasure, so be it.
President:
Messengers, you will see that the Candidates are duly prepared and bring them in to receive the Degree of Purity. Messengers salute and retire to prepare the candidates by putting a white robe on each.
Guard of Purity:
Brother (Sister) Vice-President, our Messengers are at the wicket with candidates who desire to know the mysteries of the Degree of Purity.
Vice-President:
Admit them.
President gives 3 raps, calling up the members and the members will all sing the degree song, soft and low, as the Messengers and Candidates enter the hall. The Members will file in line, by twos, just after the candidates pass their seats and march around with them and dividing, pass around the altar and form a ring around the altar, with the President, Vice-President, Past-President, Chaplain, Messengers and Candidates inside of the ring. The Officers should pass to the altar just after the President calls up the Association.
Messengers pass to the altar, and say:
Messengers:
Brother (Sister) Vice-President, we present these Candidates who want to know the Degree of Purity.
Vice-President:
Candidates, you will learn in this degree, that a pure life is rather to be chosen than riches. Love, Purity and Truth are the three fundamental principles of this Association. It is useless for me to tell you, if you have Love, purity and Truth, you will not defraud your brother or sister; you will not make any false reports about them, nor will you seek to injure the sanctity of their home. These facts are too well known to be the opposite of Love, Purity and Truth. "Blessed shall see God."
Messengers:
Brother (Sister) Past-President, we present these Candidates to you who desire to know the mysteries of the Degree of Purity.
Past-President:
Candidates, you must learn this lesson of Purity: Purity of thoughts, actions and words. "A pure life is rather to be chosen than great riches. "Love, Purity and Truth are the three great fundamental principles of our Order. A heart that is overflowing with Love, Purity and Truth cannot go astray. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God."
Messengers:
Brother (Sister) President, we present these Candidates to you with the desire to know the mysteries of the Degree of Purity.
President:
Purity of thought, purity of words and purity of action you must bear in mind, ever remembering the Golden Rule. We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths; in feelings, not in figures on a dial. We should count times by heart-throbs. He lives longest who thinks most, feels the noblest, acts the best.
Messengers:
Brother (Sister) Chaplain, we present these candidates who desire to know the mysteries of the Degree of Purity.
Chaplain:
Candidates, you have taken the Fraternal Degree in this Association, the object of which was to teach you that friendship, comradeship and assistance to others elevate mankind, and selfishness never makes happiness. You are taught in that degree that man does not live for himself alone. In this degree, you will learn to keep your lives unspotted from the baser things of the world, and look to things that will help you to live virtuous and noble lives. The Master said: "Consider the lily, how it grows." The lily is emblematic of purity. How does it grow? It must take from the earth, water and air just those things which make lilies. If it is placed upon rocks, it withers and dies; as it cannot assimilate rocks, it fails to find those things there which produce lilies. Just so with the growth of the human soul; it can only feed and grow upon higher thoughts, and noble aspirations. Malice, envy, hatred and all ignoble and groveling thoughts shrivel the soul. It cannot grow upon such food. Then what is life? Life is something grand, noble and beautiful. It is searching out the Divine guidance of the Holy Spirit. We should learn to appreciate and enjoy Godís world in all its beauty. The Golden Age is before us. The age when the Golden Rule, and not the Rule of Gold, is what we will have.
Let us then be up and doing,
With a heart for any fate,
Still achieving, still pursuing,
Learn to labor and to wait.

Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
Is the destined end or way,
But to act that each tomorrow
Finds us farther than today.
Messengers, you will prepare the Candidates for further test in the Degree of Purity.
Messengers will conduct the Candidates to the ante-room.
While the Messengers are out with the Candidates, all lights should be turned out, except one near the altar, and the canvas showing the woman and child, in different position, and thunder sheet, should be stretched across the corners in the rear of the hall, and when the Chaplain comes to the part that mentions them, let him point to them. Messengers will bring the Candidates in. The Chaplain can step in front of the altar.
Messengers:
Brother (Sister) Chaplain, we present these candidates. Will you demonstrate to them the earthís greatest lesson in Purity?
Chaplain: I have seen an orator with a tongue of fire make men think his thoughts, obey his commands, and follow his ideals; I have seen the warrior with his face scarred and disfigured with shot and shell receiving the huzzas of applauding admirers. I have seen almost an entire city become prey to laughing, sarcastic flames. I have seen the flames crack the very stones, melt the iron, and go with their roar of victory to peaceful homes where men, women and unconscious babes slumbered on the lap of night. I have seen the dauntless firemen mount the quivering walls, and while the hissing forked to tongues of hell beat him back time and again, from the jaws of the monster, scorched and bruised, he brings a loved form.
I have seen the earth hushed to sleep by the voiceless choir of the night, and I have seen it tossed, rocked and kicked about as if it were a babeís toy; I have seen it stagger as a drunkard and tremble as Mount Sinai. I have seen the oncoming storm. Have a thunder sheet; one that will show the lightning plain, stretched across one corner of the halt. Behind the sheet, have a wind a rain machine, and have an electric light that can be worked easily to make the lightning. Have the parties to work this scene behind the thunder sheet and all lights turned off in the hail. This scene is to be acted only a few minutes. I have heard it shout defiance to the rocky mountains and the unfathomable ocean; I have seen its lightnings fight each other, and dance with intoxicated glee over the sobbing heavens, writing with its fiery finger the power of God on the midnight darkness. I have heard the eternal growl of its thunder, as though its wrath could not be pacified; I have seen the wings of the wind encircling all living things, and the waves of the ocean lift their hands in vengeance. I have looked at the blue dome of the heavens and the under-floor of the houses of many mansions, and saw it flash out the gleamings of immortality; I have heard all seen and unseen things declare the glory of God. I have seen the sun as it peeped from behind the peaks at Asheville bowing to the far-way landscapes, and throwing kisses of love to the clear sky. And then, I have seen Old Sol look westward, but leave a trail of light to guide weary pilgrims home, and cause all of Godís hidden stars and lighting lights to go on dress parade, led by the soft rays of the moon, and followed by the twinkles of the Milky Way. Pointing to the canvas that show the Mother and Babe in the two forms, all lights must be turned off except the lights behind the canvas.
But the grandest sight I ever saw was a blue-eyed darling nestling in a motherís bosom listening to a story its childish mind could understand. Then I have seen her eyes of love weep tears of joy as she kissed the lips not tainted with sin, then kneeling by the trundlebed, his quivering lips breathed out his first lesson in theology.
Now I lay me down to sleep,
I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I should die before I wake,
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
That was the grandest sight I ever saw. I doubt not but that the angels hushed their harps, the songsters of the sky lost their chords, and floral bill and highland of glory caught up the refrain, while God and heaven said: "Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven." The Chaplain will pass to his seat. All lights turned on now.
The Messengers will present the Candidates to the President:
Brother (Sister) President, we present these Candidates for further instructions in the Degree of Purity.
President:
Candidates, I welcome you and hope that you will prove yourselves worthy of the confidences and esteem we have placed in you, but before you can proceed further, there is a test in this degree that we require each candidate to take. Messengers, you will take the Candidates to the ante-room and prepare them for the final test in this degree.
While the candidates are out, all preparations for the final test must be arranged, according to the side degree selected. After the side degree is over, the Messengers will conduct the Candidates to the altar and will say:
Brother (Sister) President, we present the candidates for the final instructions in the Degree of Purity.
President:
Allow me, Brothers and Sisters, for such I have the honor to call you now, to congratulate you on your noble efforts to learn this Degree of Purity.
I will instruct you in the work of this Degree.
The Degree word is: Purity; and when used in working into an Association it is to be lettered at all times, thus, P ─ U ─R ─I ─T ─Y. This degree sign is to be made thus: fold your arms across your breast crossed, meaning remember the cross.
The answer is the same as the sign. The color of this degree is pure white: emblem of purity.
Messengers you will conduct our Brothers and Sisters to the ante-room, and assist them to re-enter the hall. Messengers will conduct the Candidates to the ante-room and assist them to re-enter the hail, by giving the passwords and signs.


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