Fraternal Order of American Lions
Ritual for Subordinate Dens
Officers and members rise when addressed by the Commander, also when
desiring to address the Commander.
When the hour arrives for opening the Den, the Commander will call the Den
to order by one rap of the gavel, the officers present will take their
COMMANDER: The Den will please come to order.
All who are not members of the Order will please
If there are any vacancies in the offices, the Commander will make the
necessary pro tem appointments.
The Captain marches to the back of the altar, about faces and salutes the
Commander; about face again and calls the Lieutenants, who will immediately
arise, march to within three paces in front of the Captain, halt and salute.
CAPTAIN: Lieutenants, you will visit those present and
receive from them the password and satisfy yourself that all are qualified to
The Lieutenants will then give the password to the Captain, that he may be
satisfied that they are in possession the proper pass. They will proceed to
take up the password, the first Lieutenant commencing at the right and the
second Lieutenant at the left of the Commander. When they have completed and
reached the Lieutenant-Commander they will face the Captain, draw swords,
march up to and within three paces of the Captain, salute and report.
FIRST LIEUT.: Captain, I find those on the
right of the Den are qualified to remain.
SECOND LIEUT.: Captain, I find those on the
left of the Den are qualified to remain.
The Captain will about face, salute the Commander and report.
CAPTAIN: Worthy Commander, all present are entitled to
remain with us.
COMMANDER: It is well.
CAPTAIN, about faces: Lieutenants they
to your posts; march!
Lieutenants about face and march to their posts, and Captain then returns
to his post
If the Lieutenant finds that some do not have the
passwords he will
at once report the fact to the Captain, if a visiting member, name and number
of the Den to which the member belongs, and the Captain will report same to
the Commander before passing to the next member.
The Commander will ascertain of the Financial Secretary whether the member
who has not the semi-annual and permanent passwords, has paid all assessments
and dues and is clear on the books. If the Secretary’s report is favorable
the Commander will instruct the Cap tam to have the passwords given to him; if
the report is unfavorable the Commander will ask the member to advance to the
Financial Secretary’s desk and make a settlement of his indebtedness to the
Den, after which the Commander shall give him the password. A member who is
not clear on the books is not entitled to a seat in a Den.
COMMANDER: Inside Guard, you will relieve the Outside Guard
and direct him to report at your post.
The Inside Guard retires and the Outside Guard reports at the inner post.
O.G: Worthy Commander, the Outside Guard reports for
COMMANDER: Outside Guard, your post is in the ante-room Your
duties are to guard the outer door and see that no one enters who is not in
possession of the password, unless otherwise ordered by the Commander, and
require each one who enters to invest himself with the jewel of the Order.
Return to your post, relieve the Inside Guard, and until so ordered allow no
one to enter.
Outside Guard retires, Inside Guard returns to his post.
I.G: Worthy Commander, the Inside Guard reports for
COMMANDER: Inside Guard, your post is at the inner door; your
duties are to allow no one to enter the Den who is not invested with the
proper jewel of the Order, and who does not give the correct alarm and
Commander gives three raps, all rise.
COMMANDER: The Chaplain will lead in the opening prayer.
CHAP: Great and Merciful Father, we once more assemble
together in Thy holy name and humbly invoke Thy blessing upon this Den. We
pray Thee to incline our hearts to do Thy will; teach us to be wise, moderate
and just in all our actions; courteous and forgiving to one another and
lenient in condemnation of an erring member. Teach us to make truth, justice
and charity the groundwork of all our acts; and to Thee be ascribed all the
glory and praise, now and evermore. Amen.
COMMANDER announces opening Ode.
COMMANDER gives two raps with the gavel:
I now declare … Den, No. …, duly
Inside Guard, notify the Outside Guard that this Den is now opened, and to
admit any member of this Order who has the semi-annual password, and
properly communicates it to him.
INSIDE GUARD, opens the door:
Outside Guard, this Den is now opened, you will admit all members of this
Order who properly communicate to you the semi-annual password.
OUTSIDE GUARD: The order will be obeyed.
INSIDE GUARD: Most Worthy Commander, your
have been communicated to the Outside Guard, and will be obeyed..
COMMANDER: Lieutenant Commander, where is your station and
what are your duties?
LT. COMMANDER: My station is opposite that of
the Worthy Commander. My duties are to assist the Worthy Commander in
preserving order, to aid in conducting the ceremonies, to preside in the
absence of the Worthy Commander, to have supervision of the inner post, and to
perform all other duties required of rue by the Commander.
COMMANDER: The station of the Commander is in the executive
chair of the Den. It is my duty to preside over the Den, to preserve order
during the session and to perform all other duties required of me by the laws
of the Order. In the discharge of these duties I ask your cooperation.
COMMANDER: Worthy Lieut. Com., the doors of this Den are in
If visiting officers of other subordinate Dens are in waiting the Captain
meets them as they enter the inner door, they advance to the altar and
together give the salutation sign to the Commander, the Commander responding
with a slight inclination of the head, then their names and offices are
mentioned to him by the Captain, Commander says, ‘Welcome, Brother …’.
The Captain then escorts them to seats.
Instructions for Initiation
COMMANDER: Captain, you will please retire and learn if there
are candidates waiting for initiation.
Captain retires to the ante-room, returning advances to the altar, salutes
and reports: Commander, I find … in waiting
to be initiated.
COMMANDER: It is well. Officers will retire and prepare for
the initiatory ceremony.
COMMANDER: Financial Secretary, you will please retire, ask
the candidates the questions in the Ritual and collect the required fees.
The candidate being seated in the ante-room is interviewed by the
Financial Secretary, who asks him:
F. SECRETARY: Do you voluntarily offer
yourself a candidate for the mysteries of the Fraternal Order of Am. Lions?
CANDIDATE: I do.
F. SECRETARY: Do you believe in time existence
of a Supreme Being, the Ruler and Governor of the Universe?
CANDIDATE: I do.
F. SECRETARY: Do you promise, upon your honor,
a strict compliance with the constitution and laws, usages and customs of the
Fraternal Order of American Lions?
CANDIDATE: I do.
These questions having been answered affirmatively, the Financial
Secretary collects the fee. After the officers have returned to the Den
Chamber the Financial Secretary enters, advances to the Altar, salutes and
All should now be in readiness for initiation, the Financial Secretary
should make his report as to the number of candidates in waiting, giving their
names and state whether their fees have been paid. No candidate should be
initiated who has not paid the required fees.
F. SECRETARY: Most Worthy Commander, the
candidates have answered the questions satisfactorily and the fees have been
COMMANDER: Thank you, Worthy Secretary, you
may resume your station. The First Lieutenant will arrange the Altar,
placing upon it the American Flag and the Sword, after which the Lieutenants
and Lion Keepers will repair to the ante-room and introduce the candidate.
If the Den has a Uniform Rank among its membership, the Captain will now
enter with a company of sixteen men. They will form a hollow square, after
which they will divide, so that four men will be stationed in front of each of
the officer’s stations. When the Candidate is presented before each officer
the men will stand two on each side of and facing the Candidate with drawn
swords, in the attitude of charge swords.
All being now in readiness, the First Lieutenant gives three loud raps at
the inner door.
I.GUARD: Who comes there? Who seeks admission into this den
LIEUT.: A stranger, who humbly asks to be made acquainted
with the mysteries of our noble Order.
I.G.: Has he satisfactorily answered the usual
LT.: He has.
I.G.: Is he properly prepared?
LT.: He is.
I.G.: Let him await the pleasure of the Commander.
Inside Guard leaves the door open and reports: Most Worthy Commander, a stranger is at the door of our Den, seeking
admission into our Honorable and Beloved Order.
COM.: Has he satisfactorily answered the usual
I.G.: He has.
COM.: What recommendation does he bring?
I.G.: An honorable name and vouched for by two of our
COM.: This being so, you may admit him.
I.G.: It is the pleasure of our Commander that the
COM. gives three raps, all rise.
Initiatory procession enters, led by the Captain, after which come the
candidates blindfolded, marching by twos, with the Lieutenants and Keepers
conducting them. They march around the room twice, turning square corners.
During the first time around the room the following officers repeat each verse
as noted when the candidate is passing before his station.
P.COM.: Friendship is founded on love and truth. To have
friends you must prove yourself friendly.
COM.: Obedience to all that is right and honorable is
the duty of all.
CHAPLAIN: Ambition to properly provide for and protect our
homes and loved ones is divine.
LT. COM.: Love endures hardship and suffering, if necessary,
for the object of its affections. “I live and die for those I love” is our
motto. The initials of these four words, Friendship, Obedience, Ambition and
Love are also the initials of our Order, F.O.A.L.
During the second time around the room the Initiatory Ode is song.
The Commander gives two raps and all are seated except those in the
The procession halts before the Past Commander’s station, the candidate
facing the Past Commander. The men of the Uniform Rank will stand two on each
side of and facing the candidate with drawn swords, while the Captain will
stand at the right, and the Lieutenants and Keepers in the rear. If there is
no Uniform Rank, thin the two lieutenants will stand on each side of and
facing the candidate with drawn swords and the Keepers will stand in the rear.
CAPT.: Past Commander, I present before you this
to be instructed in the duties, as a member of the American Lions.
PAST COMMANDER, speaking very clearly that all in the Den may understand: Stranger, the members of our Fraternity have elected you thereto, giving
me the pleasure in behalf of … Den, no. …, to welcome you to our numbers.
It is my duty to admonish you to be seriously attentive to the various
lectures that will be delivered during your progress toward the station of the
Commander, so that you may profit by the great lessons which they are intended
to convey and bear fruit in full measure of the ability with which you are
endowed. We sincerely trust that you will give us no cause to regret having
Captain, let the blindfolds be removed from the
stranger’s eyes, so that lie may see as well as hear the important lessons
he should learn. Hoodwinks
removed and the Past Commander continues.
The fundamental principles of all fraternal
societies is the great benefit accruing from co-operation in obtaining needful
protection for those near and dear to the members thereof. It is an axiom in
this life that we do not secure any benefit without some effort, or cost paid
on our own part as an equivalent; and these advantages are not an exception to
the general rule. The great lessening of expense for protection brought about
by our Order is to be directly credited to the fact that the work of the Order
is done and its business transacted by the individual members. You can readily
understand the duty imposed upon each member of exerting his or her highest
efforts and greatest influence in behalf of the work, not only in the prompt
and cheerful support given the officers of the Order in all their efforts for
the common good, but in continual personal work on its behalf; this can best
be done by bearing in mind that our Order must depend for its continued
existence upon the addition of new members. Having this thought before you,
labor earnestly to inform your friends and associates of the benefits to be
derived by membership in the American Lions; it is your privilege and duty to
present the objects and benefits of our Order to desirable persons and obtain
If any thing occurs during our ceremonies of
initiation which you cannot understand, we caution you, be not hasty in
forming an opinion; there is deep significance in our ceremonies, and at the
proper time all will be carefully explained to you.
Captain, you will present the stranger before our
Chaplain, that he may hear words of wisdom and knowledge.
Captain presents the candidate before the Chaplain’s Station, and
arranges them as at Past Commander’s station.
CAPTAIN: Chaplain, I present to you this stranger, to hear
words of wisdom and knowledge.
CHAPLAIN, speaking very distinctly:
My friend, attend unto wisdom and give heed unto my instruction, that thou
mayest regard discretion, and thy lips may keep knowledge. Hear me, Stranger,
and depart not from the words of my mouth, Protection, Charity and Brotherly
Love are the great laws in this, our Noble Order. What is so great as
friendship? Let us carry it with what grandeur of spirit we can; the true
essence of friendship is implicit trust. We have confidence in others; let
this faith in the friends who surround you teach you to give them that of
which you possess in greater measure when their cup is not full. Visit, and
extend the brotherly hand and dispense friendly love to those in need and
distress. Faithfulness to the individual is only one step in advance of
faithfulness to our trusts. Before going further in this important ceremony,
pause and consider, not only that you are binding yourself to deeds of
protection, charity and brotherly love to friends already in this fraternal
Order, but you must endeavor to perform faithfully all the duties and
obligations thus created upon you in this ceremony relating to bringing to
the fold and within the benefaction of this noble Order all whom you feel that
you can influence to see the good you yourself are enjoying. Be earnest,
stranger, be zealous, and, above all, let promptness guide your efforts. It is
better to be an humble Spirit with the lowly than to divide the spoils with
the proud. Remember that “Blessed are the humble and contrite of heart, for
they shall inherit everlasting life.” You are urged to be active and earnest
in extending the usefulness of our Order.
Captain, present the candidate to our Lieut.
Commander for instruction.
Captain and Lieutenants lead and arrange them as at Past Commander’s
CAPT.: Worthy Lieutenant Commander, I present to you this
stranger for instruction.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: You have heard the words of
wisdom and knowledge, and are soon to receive the passwords, signs and other
secrets of our Order, but you must first take upon yourself certain
obligations which all have assumed and which I assure you will in no wise
with your duty to your God, your personal liberty or your self-respect. Being
thus assured, are you willing to proceed?
CAND.: I am.
LT. COM.: Then do you solemnly promise never improperly to
disclose the words and signs of our Order, nor the rites and ceremonies in
connection with it, and that you will consider this promise as binding out of
the Fraternal Order of American Lions as in it?
CAND.: I do.
LT. COM.: We are assured of your sincerity and faith, and
will advance you in our cherished fraternity. Captain, you will lead the
stranger to the station of our Commander to be introduced into our mysteries
and receive the passwords, signs and grip of the Fraternal Order of American
The Captain, Lieutenants and Keepers and candidate advance in order to the
Commander’s station, halt and arrange themselves as before.
CAPT.: Most Worthy Commander, I present to you this
stranger to be instructed in the passwords, signs and grips of the American
Three raps by the Commander.
All rise Captain, Lieutenants and candidate advance to the Altar.
Candidate stands before the Altar, and facing the Commander’s station, right
hand uplifted and the left resting on the sword and flag.
COM.: Brother Chaplain, you will administer the
Commander and Chaplain advance to positions before the Altar.
CHAP.: You will say your name and repeat after me,
I, …, of my own free will and accord, do solemnly
and sincerely promise that I will never reveal any word, sign, grip or token,
or any unwritten or other private work of the Fraternal Order of American
Lions, which shall now or may hereafter be communicated to me, to any one in
the world unless it be to a member in good standing who is authorized by the
Rules and Usages of the Order to receive the same.
I also promise to do all that lies in my power to
alleviate the needs, advance the welfare and protect the honor of the
members of this Order and their families.
I further promise to bear true allegiance to The
Den and to be governed by its Constitution and Laws, Rules and Usages, now in
force or which it may hereafter enact or establish.
Lastly, I promise that, should I ever cease to be a member of the
Order, my obligation of secrecy shall remain binding and in full force.
For the faithful observance of all these promises I hereby pledge my
to all present: Friends, you have heard this solemn obligation voluntarily assumed by
the candidate you all bear witness.
members in unison: We do.
You will please notice the emblems upon the altar—the American flag and the
sword. The flag represents the liberty and equality among men in this, our
beloved land, and the sword is the emblem of defense. Ever stand ready to
protect your country, your home and loved ones and your fraternal brothers and
their families. May these emblems ever remind you of the duties of life and
the obligations here assumed.
Lieutenant Commander gives
two raps. Commander and Chaplain return to their stations.
are seated except the candidate, Captain and Lieutenants these will move
to and halt before the Commander’s
station. Commander remains standing and addresses the candidate.
My Brother (or Sister), for having been duly obligated and your name placed
upon our rolls, you are no longer a stranger, but our own Fraternal Brother
My Brother (or Sister), mutual protection is the cornerstone of all
fraternal structures even in the darker ages of human history men formed
themselves into societies for the mutual protection and welfare of their race,
and they were compelled to guard their designs by the adoption of certain signs,
passwords and grips. Such has been the progress of these orders that
they now wield a powerful influence throughout the world.
Our noble Order is named after the Lion, the king of all beasts. As the
Lion is the emblem of majesty and royalty, so is it our ambition to make our society the king of all fraternal
That the lion will protect with its
life—blood those it loves
is a well-known fact, and that he does not forget a kindness can be best
illustrated by a true story of the Roman period:
Many hundreds of years ago, when the Roman Empire was at its height, a
certain slave was condemned to death. In some manner he escaped and found his
way into the wilderness and desert. Finally, overcome with fatigue and seeking
a place of security, he crawled into a cave to rest. He was soon disturbed,
however, by the sounds of some being or animal in distress, and was startled
by the sight of an immense lion making its way toward him in the cave. As the
lion came near him, lie held up his paw, in which was imbedded a thorn. The
man withdrew the thorn from the lion’s paw and did what lie could to relieve
The lion, to show its gratitude, went out, and, after a short time,
returned with a kid it had slain, and divided its meat with the man. This lion
and man lived together in the cave for many days, but finally he was again
captured and tried, convicted and sentenced to death in the arena.
When the day of his execution arrived he was brought into the arena at
Rome, and an immense lion was released from one of the dens. The beast made
for the poor convict, but when he was almost upon him he suddenly stopped
and then approached the man and began to lick his hands and feet.
Immediately there was a great tumult of excitement and applause, the
multitude crying, “A miracle! A miracle” and holding their thumbs up as a
signal that the man’s life should be spared. The Emperor thereupon released
him and, pardoning him, presented him with the lion which had saved his life. And
it is said that this man with his lion were a common sight upon the streets of
Rome for many years, the lion having
become perfectly tame through his love for the man who had been kind to him in
We expect of you that you that you will ever prove
true and faithful to your fellow Lions and at all times ready to assist,
defend and protect them and their loved ones when in trouble and distress.
My friend, having taken upon yourself our solemn
obligation. I will now entrust you with the unwritten work of the Order.
Guard them sacredly, that no unworthy person may gain knowledge of the same,
through any want of caution on your part.
The first sign is called the Salutation Sign, and
is given thus:
The Countersign, or answer to it, is given thus:
The Sign of Distress is given thus:
The answer to it is given thus:
The Words of Distress are as follows:
The Sign of Recognition is given thus:
The answer to it is given thus:
The Warning Sign and Danger Signal are given thus:
The Retiring Sign is given thus:
The Token is given thus:
The answer to the Token is:
The Grip is given in this manner:
The Gavel in the hands of the Officers conveys a
certain meaning to the Den. In the hands of the Commander, three raps call
up the whole Den; two raps seat the Den; one rap calls to order. In the hands
of the Lieut. Commander one rap calls to order two raps, in answer to the
alarm at the inner door, is an order to the Inside Guard to attend to the
To enter a Den Room while in session proceed as
At the outer door give any usual alarm, such as
knocking or ringing the bell, the same as at the door of a neighbor.
If required by the officer in charge, give the
Permanent Password. The Permanent Password is … This will admit you to he
ante-room. There clothe yourself in proper regalia. At the Inner door give
…, and to the officer in charge
give the current Semi-Annual Password, which is … This will admit you to the
Den. Advance to the centre of the Room, below the Pedestal, and, facing the
Commander, give the Salutation Sign. He will answer you by giving the
Countersign, upon which you will take your seat.
If you are visiting a Den, at the inner door give,
in addition to the Semi-Annual Password, your name, The name and number of
your Den and your rank, if any, in the Order.
If you desire to address the Den, rise in your
place and face the Presiding Officer and give the Token, at the same time
saying, “Worthy Commander,” and when you have received the answer to the
Token from the Commander, proceed with your remarks.
Whenever you cross the room from one side to the
other, unless you are an officer entitled to a seat on the Dais, cross below
the Pedestal, and when in front of the Commander turn toward hint and give the
Salutation sign simply, without saying, ‘‘Commander.”
If you desire to retire before the Den has
regularly closed, proceed to the “Saluting point’’—just below the
Pedestal—turn toward the Past Commander and give the Retiring Sign and say,
“Past Commander, permit me to retire.” The Past Commander, if it is proper
for you to retire then, will answer you with the Countersign, upon which you
will retire without further ceremony.
The Honors to visitors of rank are given as
follows, the Den in each case being called up:
The Inside Guard announces the visitors, giving names and rank.
COM.: Brother Captain, you will escort the honored
visitors into our Den.
All rise and stand at attention and remain standing until the Supreme
officers are seated. The Captain and visiting Brothers enter and advance by
the way of the Lieutenant Commander’s station to the altar and salute. The
Commander responds with the same sign, saying: Most
Worthy ........ rank
and name, it gives us great pleasure to welcome you to our Den. May
I have the honor of your presence at the seat on my right (and left).
Visitors then advance and are assigned to seats at the right hand (and
left hand) of the Commander. While yet standing they face the Den Chamber, and
are thus presented by the Commander of the Den in order of precedence and by
title and name. Then at a signal by the Commander, all the members of the Den
give them the Supreme honors, giving the military salute with the right hand,
while the left hand is held over the heart, this being recognized by an
inclination of the head by the Supreme Den officers Commander gives two raps
and all are seated.
COMMANDER: Now, by the authority vested in me by the
Constitution and Laws of the Order, I proclaim you a Brother of the Fraternal
Order of American Lions.
The Lieutenants will escort our Brother to a seat
in the Den.
If ladies have been initiated at this lime, they will be seated among the
members, as the second and third degrees are given to male candidates only.
The company of sixteen men of the Uniform Rank, with Captain and
Lieutenants, will at this time give an exhibition drill, and ending by going
through the formation of the letters F, O, A and L, successively, before
retiring from the floor.
COM.: Brothers let us greet our new members. *.
Members are at
ease to welcome the newly initiated brothers.
If the second and third degrees are to be given at this time, they will be
proceeded with at once.
The candidates are brought in blindfolded and marched once around the
room, escorted by Captain and two Lieutenants. As soon as they have passed
Inside Guard and entered the Den Chamber the procession is interrupted by the
1ST KEEPER: Halt! Who goes there?
CAPT.: This is our friend, who wants to be a Lion, and
assist us in our good work.
1ST K.: Friend, step forward and give me the password, and
you may proceed.
Candidate gives password, and is escorted once around the room, halting at
the altar, facing the Commander.
CAPT.: Worthy Commander, our friend wishes to be admitted
to the mysteries of the Second Degree of our Order.
COMMANDER: Very well, remove the covering from his eyes and
let him he seated in front of this station.
The hoodwinks are removed and candidate is seated in front of the
The other Candidates are seated at one side of the room.
COMMANDER: We are glad to welcome your
friend, but before we can advance him in the mysteries of this degree we
must know that be is physically and morally fitted for membership that lie is
inclined to aid us in the general service of humanity, and that he is brave
enough to defend a brother or sister in distress, and that he will remain true
to his vow. Do you vouch for your friend in these things?
CAPT.: My friend will answer for himself. Let him be
COMMANDER, standing up, asks candidate to stand up, and then asks the
following questions, and others if necessary:
Stranger, how old are yon?
What is your business?
Are you physically and morally sound?
Where were you born?
Are your sight and hearing good?
Are your lungs sound?
Are you nervous?
We must be very particular as to whom we admit into
our Order. Are you willing to be tested to prove your fitness?
What is your weight?
Do you use intoxicating liquors?
Have you truthfully answered all questions in your
What physician examined you?
Have you ever thought of taking your life?
Do you know that our protection does not extend to
the beneficiaries of those who commit suicide?
Do you hold membership in any other Order at the
Are you willing to help a fellow-member or his
family when in distress?
Would you fight for him if necessary?
Here the questioning is interrupted by an alarm at the door.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Guard, please learn the cause of
INSIDE GUARD: Most Worthy Commander, a brother
with a message to our Den.
COMMANDER: Let him he admitted.
I.G.: He says he prefers to wait outside until it has
been acted upon.
COMMANDER: The Second Lieutenant will please turn the letter
over to the Recording Secretary, who will read it. The candidate will be
REC. SECY. reads letter: To Den No …, F. O. A.
L. Dear Brothers and Friends;—It is not an easy thing for one who was never
obliged to do so before to ask for aid, but as I have been out of work for a
long time and being unable to get anything to do, things are getting
My family is starving, and as we have sold everything saleable to buy bread,
I am now obliged to appeal to you for assistance. I do not wish to sign my
name, but the officers at the doors of the Den can vouch for me.
COMMANDER: Friends, what is your pleasure in regard to the
Brother in distress?
MEMBER: I move we take a collection.
ANOTHER MEMBER: I second that motion.
COMMANDER: It is moved and seconded that a collection be
taken for the brother in distress. All in favor give the usual sign. Carried.
Let it be a liberal collection. The Lieutenants will take up the
contributions. Please do not forget the new members.
Members may be provided beforehand with metal cheeks about the size of
quarters and halves, which should he contributed liberally. The collection
may be taken with the ballot-box, so that candidates cannot see the kind of
money that is being put in. All the real money collected from the candidates
and others to go to a special relief fund of the Den.
COMMANDER asks the candidate in front of him to stand up again: Friends, you have heard the answers to the questions asked. What is your
judgment regarding the candidate’s fitness and his real motive in seeking
admission to this Den?
Here follows a discussion, which should be general and some-what animated,
of the answers made by the candidate. The discussion is lead by die Past
Commander, Financial Secretary and Chaplain, while the Captain tries to defend
the candidate. Any member can take part in the discussion, and the candidate
should be given a chance (and even urged) to defend himself. While it is
to confuse the candidate, care should be executed that nothing is said that
may injure or offend anyone present.
When the discussion has gone far enough the Commander will proceed as
COMMANDER: I believe our friend here is perfectly sincere,
and that he would prove a true Brother on any occasion. He came liberally to
the assistance of the Brother in need a few moments ago, so I will ask all
who are in favor of accepting him to rise to their feet.
Every one stands up. Two raps, all are seated. My Brother, I congratulate you, the Den is unanimously in your favor.
You may now retire for the third degree.
The Captain escorts the candidate toward the door, but before reaching
there the Inside Guard salutes the Commander and says:
I. G.: Worthy Commander, I regret to inform you that our
new member communicated the password to an un-authorized person as he came in.
COMMANDER: If that is so, you should have reported it before.
The member has now been accepted by a vote of the Den, and that makes it
necessary for us to try him on the charge, and if he is found guilty he will
have to be punished according to the degree of his offense. Captain, you will
take him before the Past Commander, and I will appoint the Past Commander,
Brother … and Brother … as a jury to hear the evidence in the case. I will
appoint Brother … as counsel for the defense and Brother … for the
The evidence of the Inside Guard, first Keeper, Captain, Lieutenants and
candidate is heard, candidate found guilty and sentenced by the Commander to
be put in the lion’s cage.
The candidates are then all taken to the ante-room to prepare for the
The ‘Lion’s Den’ is set up and when everything is in readiness the
convicted candidate is brought in between two guards with rifles. The room
should be darkened so that the illusion of the lion in the cage may have the
proper effect. The Lion Keepers will stand at either side of the cage with
forks in their hands and be ready at the proper lime to open the door so that
the candidate may be put in. One man with bandages and red marks on his face
and arms may sit near by to give the impression of having had an encounter
with the animal.
CAPT.: Commander, this is the new member who was found
guilty of failing to properly guard the passwords and sentenced to the
SOME MEMBER: Worthy Commander, can’t we let
him off this time, it being his first offense; besides, the lion is in a bad
humor tonight. See what he did to the poor fellow who helped to bring the cage
comments by other members.
COMMANDER: I am sorry for him, but we must carry out the
sentence now. Fasten a long rope to his waist, so that he can be pulled out of
the cage in case the situation becomes too dangerous. Which is done. Captain, you will proceed.
CAPT.: Forward, Guards. Keepers, be in readiness to open
the door at the proper time. When I say “three,” in he goes. Now, one,
As soon as the candidate is inside, the member who took the part of the
lion throws off the lion skin and taking the candidate by the hand says:
MEMBER: My brother, when you are in this Den of Lions you
are among friends.
COMMANDER: The brother, for such he now is, has fully proven
his fitness for membership in our Fraternal Order. Let him now be seated among
Lung Tester and Chair.
CAPT., brining in candidate: This
is our friend, Mr. … I believe this is the gentleman that
there was some doubt about passing him on account
of his lungs.
MEMBER: If the doctor had any doubts about him, why did he
FINANCIAL SEC’Y.: I suggest that his lungs be
tested. If he can register 50 I would recommend him as all right.
CAPT.: Are you ready to take the test?
COMMANDER: Let the candidate be tested.
The members should refrain from smiling or laughing until after the
COMMANDER: His lungs are first-class. Captain, you will now
conduct the brother to a seat.
The Captain conducts him to the ‘Chair of Rest’, which is in
readiness; one of the members being seated in it so as not to arouse any
CAPT. to member in the chair:
Brother, kindly let our friend have this seat now.
Candidate is seated. First Lieutenant slips behind the chair and takes
hold of rope.
CAPT.: Please put your hands up over your head and repeat
after me “I hope”.
CAND.: I hope.
CAPT.: We will now.
CAND.: We will now
CAPT.: Drop the subject
CAND.: Drop the subject.
Lieutenant pulls the rope and drops the subject with a loud report, after
which he is allowed to take a seat among the members.
In this part the Captain will be assisted by the two Lieutenants and the
Two of the candidates are selected to undergo this test. They are brought
before the altar.
CAPT.: Worthy Commander, here are two oh our friends who
have promised to defend and protect their fellow-brothers in the Order.
COM.: My friends, if it were necessary, would you be
willing to fight to defend a brother from harm?
COM.: Brothers, you have heard the answers of the
what is your pleasure?
MEMBERS: Let them be tested to demonstrate their fighting
qualities and courage.
COM.: Lieutenant, bring in the boxing gloves and let
them give us an exhibition of their skill and courage.
Lieutenants retire and get the boxing gloves, two pairs for the
candidates, also two belts with long straps attached to them.
Lieutenant secures two extra gloves with strings fastened to them; these he
must keep out of sight so that candidate shall not see them. Candidates are
seated on chairs, one at each end of the room. The members will make various
remarks as to the possible fighting qualities of the candidates, etc. After
the gloves have been put on their hands, they are asked to stand up and the
belts are fastened around the waist and the long strap securely fastened to
the rear of the belt. One of the keepers will take hold of the strap of one of
the candidates and the other Keeper will take the other. The duties of the
Keepers will be to hold time candidates so that they will not injure each
other or anyone else.
CAPT.: Worthy Commander, the friends are ready.
MEMBER: It is a shame to let them fight that way, they
might hurt each other.
COM.: Well, Brother, what would you suggest?
MEMBER: Let them be blindfolded so that they can’t see
COM.: That is a good idea; Lieutenant, get the hoodwinks
and make sure that they cannot see.
They are blindfolded.
CAPT.: Now, when I say “shake hands,” you will shake
hands; when I say “fight,” you will fight, and when I say “time,” you
must stop. Are you ready?
The Lieutenants now stand in the centre of the room, each of them with one
of the odd gloves. As the candidates advance to the middle of the room they do
not shake hands with each other as they suppose, but each one shakes hands
with one of the boxing gloves held by one of the Lieutenants.
CHAPLAIN: Our Father, who art in Heaven, we bow again in
humble submission before Thy Throne of Grace. We implore Thy direction and
blessing upon all our efforts to advance the principles of our Order; and we
earnestly beseech Thee to grant to all members of this Den, wisdom and strength
to walk in the paths of peace, virtue and morality; to be courteous and
forgiving, and lenient in condemnation of an erring member. Guide our
footsteps in safety to our homes; through the journey of life ever lead us; and
finally, through Thy infinite mercy, bring us to Thy Heavenly Court above, and
to Thy holy name be all the glory and praise now and for evermore. Amen.
CAPT.: Shake hands. Fight.
Each Lieutenant, keeping out of the way of his man, gives him an
occasional tap in the face or on the head with the glove, either holding the
glove in his hand or swinging it by its string. Care must be taken not to
injure any one. After a few moments the Captain shouts “time,” and the
candidates are allowed to rest. After two or three rounds the candidates are
brought together and allowed to shake hands with each other, and their
blindfolds and other trappings removed.
COM.: My Brothers, you have certainly proved yourself in
every way worthy of members in our noble Order. You have the necessary valor
and manhood. I congratulate you on the manner in which you have stood the
tests imposed upon you. You will now take a seat in the Den as our equals. To
the members: Brothers and friends, you are at liberty to welcome
our new members.
After a short intermission the den is called to order to proceed with
COMMANDER, three raps announces Ode.
COMMANDER: Attention, while the Chaplain invokes Divine
CHAPLAIN offers prayer, all members responding here, and always to the
prayer an audible ‘Amen.’
COMMANDER: I now declare the Den duly and legally closed.