Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule
Initiation Ritual


The Commander, at the hour for opening the Caste, will take his position, and will give one rap with the gavel and say: It is now the appointed hour for us to assemble in Council. None but members in good standing are entitled to remain during our deliberations. Herald, post the Sentinel and Warder, and proceed to ascertain if all present are entitled to remain, and make report.
Herald, after examining, presents himself at the Altar, salutes the Commander, and reports: Commander, the gates to the Castle are secure, the Sentinel and Warder are on watch, and all those present are entitled to remain.
Herald takes a position in front and to the right of the Commander.
Commander: The Secretary will call the roll of Officers.
After filling vacancies, the commander will proceed, *    * *: Knights and Ladies of the Castle will now take their respective positions for the opening ceremonies.

The Officers form in line in front of the alter, the Vice-Commander, Master at Arms and Sentinel on the left, the Prelate in the center, the Treasurer, Secretary and Warder on the right. The Warder and Sentinel lock the doors before coming forward. The members will form into side lines, extending from each wing of the officers’ line toward the commanders throne. When an are in position, the Commander says: Officers, upon you devolve the work of the Castle. You hold, each in your allotted sphere, so much of the peace and prosperity of the Castle in your hands. Prove that you are worthy of the confidence reposed in you. Be wise in counsel, courteous in demeanor, firm and vigilant in duty, and careful and considerate in debate, lest an excess of zeal and strong convictions betray you into unguarded expressions, and the peace and prosperity of our Castle be thereby endangered. And knights and ladies all, remember the pledge of secrecy to the outside world as regards the business transacted at our Councils. We will now sing the opening ode, after which the Prelate will invoke the Divine blessing.
Our gates are manned, our standard flies,
Free in the breeze its length unfurled;
Now let th’inspiring anthem rise,
And echo bear it round the world
In bright arrar, with purpose high,
We gather, loyal knights and brave;
We hear the mourner’s piteous Cry,
And come to succor and to save.
Moved by no sordid lost of gain,
No selfish thought, no idle dream,
May Friendship and Protection reign
Where’er our serried lances gleam.
Prelate: Merciful Father, we humbly invoke thy blessing on our fraternity everywhere. Grant that our deliberations on this and all occasions may 1)e peaceful and harmonious, an(l full of fraternal love and charity. May our labors be so directed that they will redound to the good of our fellow-men and to the glory of thy name. Grant that our Order may become a beacon to the wanderer, a shelter to the friendless, and a rock of safety to the faithful, and thy name shall receive all the praise, now and forever more. Amen.
All repeat: Amen.
Commander: Officers and members will now take their respective positions.
They take their several stations and remain standing.
I now declare this Castle duly open for the transaction of business. Advance the sign. They give the salutation. *.
Conferring the Order
Commander, *: Herald, attend.
Herald rises and salutes.
Commander: Retire to the outer gate and learn front the Sentinel if any one has ventured near the Castle.
Herald salutes the commander and retires, on reentering he says: Commander I find a stranger at the outer gate, under guard of the Sentinel.
Commander: Return and learn the purpose of this intrusion.
Herald retires.
Commander rises: Knights and Ladies, eternal vigilance is the price of peace and security. We should be ever on guard, whether the one who approaches be friend or foe. A friend will rejoice in our unity and strength; a foe will dread them. Let all, then, do their duty, as if the welfare of all depended upon each alone, and the visitor will find us a fraternal hand united by no common tie, but loyal, brave and strong. This should be the front we present to all who approach our Castle’s gate. Master-at-Arms, prepare our Knights and Ladies to receive the visitor. *    * *.
Master at Arms salutes Commander: Knights and Ladies, attention! Form in double column, march! … halt … open ranks.
The Knights and Ladies will be stationed in open order from the gateway to the altar, leaving a passage between them, the knights only having lances, which will he crossed from opposite sides forming en archway While the above s going on, the Herald interviews the sentinel or candidate in the ante-room.
In the Ante-Room
Herald: Sentinel, what report have you to make of this stranger?
Sentinel: I found him (her, or them) at the moat, unarmed and bearing a branch of olive, when he (she or they) hailed me with friendly greeting, was admitted, and now awaits the pleasure of our Commander.
Herald, clothes the candidate in the stranger’s robe, and giving a twig of ever green to represent olive, says: Finding you here, I must present you to the Commander of the Castle. But before entering you must be clothed in the stranger’s garb, and take with you this branch of olive. Otherwise your life and mine would be in peril—yours as a hostile intruder, and mine for admitting you here. Herald raps at the door.
Warder, raises the Wicket: Who comes there?
Herald: Herald with the key to the Castle.
Warder: Advance, Herald, and give the key.
Herald gives the Key end Word in a Whisper, and adds aloud: I am escort to a stranger who asks admittance to the Castle hall, to confer with the Commander.
Warder: Noble Commander, the Herald is escort to a stranger who asks admittance.
Commander, *: Master at Arms, are you prepared to give the visitor safe conduct to our presence?
Master at Arms, salutes the Commander: We are prepared, Commander.
Commander, *: Warder, open wide the gate and let the Herald and his charge pass in.
The Warder opens the door and the Herald enters with the candidate.
Master at Arms, elevating his Sword and confronting the candidate: Halt!
Herald: Master at Arms, we enter the Castle by permission of the Commander.
Master at Arms: Are the approaches to the outer walls securely guarded?
Herald: They are well guarded, and all is secure.
Master at Arms: Then, Herald, under guard we will conduct the stranger to the presence of our Noble Commander. Knights, attention! Close ranks and form escort.
The Herald taking the candidate by the arm, the Master at Arms to the lead, they march through the open ranks of the guard and around the hall once or twice, followed by the guard, during which the ode is being sung or read, or, if the Castle has an organ, play an appropriate march, at the conclusion of which the Master at Arms and Herald, with the candidate, halt in front of the altar, where the guard form In a semi-circle in rear of the candidate.
Open the gate, let who will appear;
Our guards are alert—strangers to fear,
And Knights-at-arms, with buckler and spear,
Will answer every alarm.
We’ll hold our own ‘gainst every foe;
And our hapless wards shall never know,
The shadow of want, of grief or of woe,
We’ll guard them from every harm.
Our ladies fair, and our lancers strong,
Are mingled here in a happy throng,
To welcome friends, with bumper and song,
And with music’s sweetest strain.
We’ll proudly greet and gladly extend,
A welcome warm to every friend,
Who’ll bear a lance and our cause defend,
And in our service remain.
Master at Arms: Noble Commander, we present to you this stranger, who came to the Castle unarmed, bearing a branch of olive, and professing friendly intent.
Commander, leaves his throne, advances to the front of the altar, draws his sword and says: This token taking the branch of olive from the candidate insures you a hospitable welcome in our Castle; and this sword elevating it to a sword present, the physical emblem of those knightly virtues, JUSTICE, FORTITUDE and MERCY, guarantees your freedom and safety while within our domain. What is the purport of this visit, Master at Arms?
Master at Arms: Noble Commander, it is to solicit a conference, with a view to enlisting in our cause.
Commander, *: Knights and Ladies, retire.
They salute the Commander, and retire to their seats.
Herald, attend the stranger to our throne.
The Commander, resuming his station, says: Your name and purpose are in part revealed. The couriers of the Castle preceded you hither, and brought good reports concerning you. True, you come as a stranger, but we have reason to believe you true and honorable, and worthy of acceptance in our Order—an order established by good men and true for the advancement of those great principles—Friendship, Aid and Protection. Were you fully advised of these purposes before entering the Castle?
Candidate: I was.
Commander: Are you in sympathy with them?
Candidate: I am.
Commander: Is it, then, your wish to unite with us in a grand national effort to secure the benefits of this Order to ourselves and our posterity for ever?’
Candidate: It is.
Commander: You have answered well, but appearances are sometimes delusive. Hence it is incumbent upon me, as the first officer of this castle, to require you to undergo an ordeal. But we will not, in administering this test, subject you to humiliation or danger, nor exact any pledge or promise you cannot conscientiously make. Are you willing to proceed?
Candidate: I am.
Commander: Herald, conduct the stranger to the Vice-Commander for further instructions and admonitions before being admitted to our sacred penetralia.
Herald salutes.
Beautiful Hope! an angel thou,
In robes supremely bright;
Knights and Ladies are joyous now,
In thy delicious light.
With thee the sweetest flowers bloom,
The brightest joys appear;
With thee we rise above the gloom
That oft surrounds us here.
Bravely Hope will cheer us on,
O’er life’s bewild’ring way;
Nor gallant Knight nor Lady fair
From post of duty stray;
And though we linger here awhile,
Still thou our hearts dost cheer,
For like a spirit thou dost smile
O’er all our wand’rings here.
Escorts the candidate around the hall while the Ode is being sung or recited, or slow music is played on the organ, halting in front of the Vice-Commander says: By order of the Commander, I present this stranger, who desires to become a member of our Order. Your long experience and ripe judgment render your advice and admonition of great value, and hence it is our Commander’s courteous request that you speak with him upon the seriousness of the step about to be taken.
Vice-Commander: Friend, not all who come with professions of friendship, and bearing in their hands, olive branches are friends, hence we have a test which proves the true and condemns the pretender. When once you have passed the Ordeal, and are admitted to full fellowship with the loyal Knights and Ladies of our Castle, we will grapple you to our souls with the links of the Mystic Chain, but not till then. You came among us clothed in the garb of a stranger, in which there is a typical significance. Upon the one side, we see you as in the broad glare of a noonday’s sun, and you appear fair enough—white being emblematic of Innocence, Truth and Virtue. On the other side, we find the sombre symbolism of all that is dark, impenetrable, mysterious, and we turn away with doubt. In this garb you represent a dual character—the lights and shades that make us what we are—sometimes joyous and happy; anon, churlish and morose. We have on the one hand fair promises and smiles of approval; on the other the gloomy doubts that are born of suspicion and uncertainty. We do not expect you to be perfect. In that you could be more than human. But it is only those who strive with honor and courage to attain the highest excellence that we admit to full fellowship among us. Within the precincts of this castle there is the hallowed Fane of Purity, where day and night presides a weird priest, with occult lower to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart, distinguishing from magnamity of soul the venom and deceits of treachery. It is the Commander’s order that you be conducted blindfold to the Sacred Fane, and suffer there the test of purity. Herald, conduct the stranger to the Fane of Purity, and there have the Master at Arms assemble our most noble Knights and Ladies to attend the solemn rite.
Herald: Master at Arms, attend with your Knights and Ladies at the Fane of Purity, and guard the altar from profane touch or word during the solemn rite there to be administered.
Master at Arms: Knights and Ladies all, assemble as a guard at the Fane of Purity.
Commander: *    * *.
The candidate is blindfolded; the Master at Arms forms the Knights and Ladies in single file and marches them around the hall once, and then they form around the candidate, whom the Herald Escorts to the altar, on which a goblet containing water has been placed. The lights are turned very low, and the Prelate, who will officiate as the Priest approaches with a lamp, and conducts the ceremonies. In the castle has an organ, play slow, solemn music.
The ode should be recited if not sung
AIR—Pibroch of Donuil Dhu.”
Brave Knights and Ladies fair,
Come to our altar?
Welcome the stranger there—
Let no one falter!
Gather our noble band,
Sister and brother!
Pledged are we, heart and hand,
All for each other.
Here in our Castle walls,
Bravely defended,
Honor and Truth and Love
Proudly are blended.
Pass through our solemn rite,
Fearing no danger;
True hearts and arms to-night
Welcome thee, stranger.
Herald: Venerable Father, it is the courteous request of our noble Commander, that this stranger receive from your reverend hands the solemn rite of Purity.
Priest, standing at the altar: When duty calls, both loyal knight and priest devout obey. My son on this sacred shrine of Purity stands a chalice, of whose charmed contents you must drink. If you are true and courageous, no harm will follow. But if you are a spy, and have evil designs against this knightly realm; or if you are wanting in those noble qualities that must fit you for the toils, privations and hardships of our high emprise, this liquid will at once reveal your true character. There are few who deserve the description given by the good King Arthur, when struck to the soul by the treachery of his most trusted knight: “What is man” asks his stern warrior, Stoneheart. The monarch answered from a wounded heart: “Young without obedience, old without honor, rich without compassion, poor without humility, wise without good works, a soldier without truth, a deceiver without remorse.” Removes the hoodwink. If you are of these, this test will show. Taking up the goblet. It is a charmed distillation, discovered by an ancient sorcerer, and its ingredients are unknown, save to one who shall be nameless here. It has battled all the arts of the chemist. ‘Tis bitter as wormwood to the taste of one who is false at heart; but if hottest, true and brave, it is in sweet accord with both the blood and palate. If you are what you profess to be, fear not to drink, and all will be well. Gives him the goblet.
Candidate sips from the goblet and hands it to the Priest, who passes it on the altar.
Priest: Well done, my son. The poison is only in a guilty conscience, which shrinks from the touch of what is pure. Your truth and courage stand approved. Good Knights and Ladies of the Castle. in the name of Purity, I pronounce this friend true and brave, and worthy of the honor and confidence of your goodly realm.
All knights and Ladies: Welcome, thrice welcome to our Castle.
Priest: And now, my son, as gold front the refiners tire, keep thyself pure! The step you have taken marks an important event in your life. Let your endeavor always be onward and upward, and God in His mercy will give you strength to overcome every obstacle. The Herald will now accompany von to the Commander, who will further advise you.
Commander, *: Knights and Ladies retire.
They take their seats. Herald conducts the candidate around the Hall while appropriate music is played on the organ, and halts before the Commander’s throne. The Prelate takes off his robe.
Herald: Noble Commander, I have again the honor of presenting this friend, who has bravely borne the test, and stands approved by the venerable Priest at the Fane of Purity.
Commander: It is well! Our ranks, invincible though they be, are still further strengthened by accessions of the brave and true. Our holy Prelate will administer to you our solemn obligation, and prepare you to receive the insignia of your rank.
Herald: Reverend Prelate, by order of the Commander I present this novice for confirmation in our service.
Commander: *    * *.
Prelate: Place your right hand upon your heart, raise your left, and listen attentively while I repeat the Obligation of the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule, to which you must give full, free and unreserved assent before advancing further.
The candidate does not repeat.
In the presence of the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule here assembled, you do solemnly declare and say:
That you will not reveal the mysteries, secret work, or confidential concerns of this Order to any person not entitled by its laws to know the same;
That you will yield implicit obedience to the Constitution and General Laws of the Order so far as they shall come to your knowledge, faithfully obey all its properly constituted authorities, and conform to its usages, rules and regulations;
That you will, at all times, use your influence to promote its best interests;
That you will not countenance any movement or scheme that may have a tendency to weaken the securities that hedge and protect the Knights’ and Ladies’ Benefit Fund;
That you will oppose any and every effort, by whomsoever made, to create discontent in our ranks, or a division of our Knighthood;
That you will not attempt the addition of degrees unknown to the Constitution of the Order, and will discourage innovations of the hind on the part of others;
That you will hold in honor and preference all true and worthy Knights and Ladies of the Order;
That you will discountenance slander, and protect worthy Knights and Ladies from defamation and injury to the best of your ability;
That you will not recommend for membership persons of unsound mind or body, or of bad moral character; and
That you will pay all lawful assessments made upon you for the Knights’ and Ladies’ Benefit Fund; will practice Justice, Fortitude and Mercy—our cardinal virtues—and always deport yourself as a true, faithful and loyal member of our noble fraternity.
Do you, upon your sacred honor, and of your own free will and accord, assent to be bound to the foregoing vows required of all Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule?
Candidate: I do.
Commander: *
The Knights and Ladies take their seats.
Prelate places his hands on the candidate’s head: Well said and nobly done. May God bless you and keep you ever true. Master at Arms remove the stranger’s garb, and under the shield of our Order, as required by an ancient custom, conduct him again to the Commander.
Master at Arms removes the robe and under cover of his sword conducts the candidate to the commander: Noble Commander, I present to you this new recruit, who has voluntarily assumed the duties and obligations of our Knighthood, and is now prepared for the accolade and to be decorated with the badge of our Order.
Commander: You have done well, and we welcome you to our Castle. You will now break bread and take salt with us. Hands candidate bread and salt. Having thus shared the hospitality of our roof and board, you are one of us, and dare not prove recreant to your vows of duty, fealty and friendship. Our Herald will now place you in a suitable position to receive at our hands the mark of distinction admitting you to full and equal rights with all loyal Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule. Master at Arms, assemble as a guard of honor all the Knights and Ladies of the Castle, to witness the solemn ceremony. *    * *.
Herald places candidate in position, to-wit A gentleman resting with one knee on the floor, body erect; a lady remains standing, both face the Commander.
Master at Arms: Knights and Ladies, attention! Form in double-column at the Commander’s throne and witness the solemn ceremony there to be performed.
The Knights and Ladies form in a semi-circle behind the candidate facing the Commander.
Commander: By virtue of the power vested in me by the Supreme Commandery, I create gently touches the crown of the candidate’s head with the hat of the sword, constitute touches left shoulder, and adopt touches right shoulder thee Knight Comrade of the Chivalrous Order, Knights of the Golden Rule. Takes candidate by the hand.
“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” Arise! Attaches the badge to Knight and white rosette to Lady. You are now a member of the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule, with all the rights and privileges appertaining thereto. Remember well the wise precepts you have heard in your progress hither, and let all your actions be governed thereby. The castles we erect are not built of stones and mortar—these may be reared by barbarians. The true citadel is that habitation builded by the living soul, and is the better part—the life and character of man or woman, rounded into perfect symmetry by deeds of beneficence and of valor by a blameless life; by the cheerful performance of every duty; by the continuous development of unselfish love and friendship, and the exercise of that greatest of all virtues, Charity. Your whole duty is summed up in these words: “As ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This Divine injunction, which embodies the spirit and purpose of our Order, embraces not only Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule, wherever they may be, but also those who are dependent upon them, and who, when we are called to mourn a Comrade or Sister, look to us for the faithful fulfillment of the pledges we have made to them and the obligation we have taken at our sacred altars. Our shield, therefore, covers, not you alone, but all whom you place under our protecting care. About face.
I now proclaim the liberty of the castle hall to our courteous Knights and Ladies, that they may give a joyous greeting to our new-made companion.
The Knights and Ladies march in a single file from right to left, and give the fraternal grip to the initiate If the Castle has an organ play an appropriate air.
Commander, *: Herald, present our new-made member to receive instruction in the secret work.
Herald presents the initiate.
Secret Work
Commander: I will now give you the secret work of the Order. Approaching the outer gateway, you will make any noise to attract the attention of the Sentinel. He will open the door or raise the wicket, as the case may he, when you will advance, and, in a low whisper, give your name and the key to the outer gate, which is (1) The Sentinel will then admit you to the ante-room, where you will decorate yourself with your appropriate badge and give (2) upon the inner door, thus (3): The Warder will ask : “Who comes there?’ You will answer: “A Knight (4). The Warder raises the wicket and says, “Advance Knight and give the key.” You advance and give your name and whisper in a low tone, so that none others can hear you, (s). He says, “the key is correct; give me the (6) ,“ when you will give in a whisper (7). He will then admit you to the Castle hall when you will advance to the altar in the center of the room and salute the Commander in this manner: (8). You may then take a seat.
If you should visit a castle where you are not known, you must produce an official receipt for last assessment and dues, or otherwise establish your identity and right to admission.
The token of Recognition is make with the (9) in this manner (10). The answer is (11). The Warning for a Knight is the word (12) which signifies (13). Hearing the word and knowing its meaning, you will answer by saying (14) and placing (15) thus (16) across your (17) Either the Distress word and answer, or the Distress token may be used when it is imprudent or impracticable to use the other. The word is (18) and the answer is (19). The sign is made with the (20) in thus manner (21) and is answered with the (22) in this manner (23). Hearing the word or seeing the sign, it is your duty to respond if possible. It is not expected, however, that you will endanger life or limb, hut that you will at all times be courageous and prudent, as becomes a true and loyal Knight of the Golden Rule.
Voting Sign: Close thumb of right hand in palm; close three last fingers over thumb, index finger extended, and bring the hand in perpendicular position to side of face, point of index finger on level with eyes, until counted.
Use of Gavel: One rap [*] calls to order. Two raps [**] calls up officers. Three raps at intervals [*    * *] calls up castle, and one rap [*] seats all.
Crossing Hall: The space between Commander and altar is sacred, and never to he crossed except in conferring the Order or by the Herald and Master at Arms in the discharge of their official duties. Comrades must pass around and salute in passing.
Desiring to retire, you will rise ask permission of the Commander, which being given, you will present yourself at the altar, facing the Commander, whom you will salute before retiring.
Grand Honors: The Commander raps all officers and comrades to their feet, announces that a Grand Knight is in waiting, when all place the right hand to the forehead, as in saluting, and maintain that position until rapped down.
Supreme Honors: Give the Knight’s salute and bring right hand to a position of sword present, and remain thus until rapped down.
After instructing the candidate, he will be required to retire to the ante-room with the Herald, and work his way in. While he is oat, the hail should he put in order, and the lances, robes, wig, goblet, etc., put away.
After instruction, the candidate will be required to retire to the ante-room with the Herald and work in according o the usual form. While doing so, the hall should be put in order, and the lances, robes, goblet, etc., put away.

Commander, *: There being no further business before our council, we will proceed to close the Castle for the evening. Knights and Ladies, bear in mind that among the first promises you made on becoming members of our Order, was one that you would do all in your power to widen the field of our usefulness and promote the interests of our noble fraternity. This may be accomplished in many ways, but chiefly by using your influence in prevailing upon good and worthy people to join in our efforts and participate in the bounties and benefits secured to ourselves, and also by giving practical illustration in the uprightness of our lives that we inculcate and practice virtue, honesty, sobriety and the principles of the Golden Rule. Remember that these are landmarks in the daily walks of our lives.
We hope to see you all here at our next council, and that each may have some good report to make.
*    * *. We will now sing the Closing Ode.

Father of all,
On Thee we call—
In mercy hear our prayer;
We humbly bow
Before Thee now,
And seek Thy love and care.
And now we’ll part
In joyous heart—
With naught to give us pain.
Dear comrades true,
To all adieu
Till we shall meet again
Knights and Ladies, now we sever,
Trusting all again shall meet,
Strengthen’d in our high endeavor,
Life is made more fair and sweet.
Kindly words and acts fraternal
Render dear our castle hail,
Yielding fruitage bright, eternal,
While we cleave to duty’s call.
Though our earthly labors wear us,
Trustful of the One to save,
Let our mortal lives prepare us
For the life beyond the grave.
Comrades Sisters, now we sever,
Saying each to each adieu,
It we meet again, or never,
Still we’ll prove to honor true!
Commander: The Prelate will now invoke the Divine blessing.
Prelate: Gracious Father, whose infinite wisdom and goodness we recognize in all thy works, we ask thy blessing on the labors of this council. Watch over, guide and protect us through all the paths of this earthly life, and finally, when our race is run, admit us through the pearly gates of the Heavenly Castle into life and bliss eternal. Amen.
All repeat: Amen.
Commander: The Herald will collect the Rituals, Odes and Badges, and place them on the altar.
When the Herald is through the commander adds: I now declare this Castle closed until next … evening, at … o’clock. *.