Patrons of Husbandry - Grangers
Third Degree – Harvest
Instructions on Degree Work
This degree symbolizes Autumn on the farm, when the ripened grains and fruits are garnered.
Court Robes—Buff Trimmings: Ceres, yellow; Pomona, green; Flora, pink. Tam o’Shanter caps, with russet trimmings, are appropriate.
The A. S. shall prepare:
1.: A small bunch of gleanings made of wheat or rye, constituting the sheaves of grain for each lady member in the Harvest March.
2.: Medium sized gilded or silvered sickle for each male member in Harvest March.
3.: A bright miniature sickle should be on the desk of the M.
In first part of degree, after instruction in the U.W., the candidates are sent to the preparation room. As soon as they leave the hall the altar is moved up close to the platform in front of C.
All is then in readiness for the execution of the Harvest March, which constitutes one of the most beautiful features of the entire degree work, and which should be carried out in all Granges with the utmost care and in accordance with the printed instructions below.
THE HARVEST MARCH
A group of selected members (three to six couples as desired) form two and two in front of L. facing the O. Sisters all carry gleanings and brothers sickles. These represent the harvesters coming in from the field, at the close of the day, bearing the fruits of their labor.
All being ready, they march once completely around the hall, everyone singing the “Harvest Song”. As they pass the Inner Gate the second time it is opened and the candidates led by A.S. and L.A.S. enter and join in the procession. The third time around the bunches of gleanings are deposited in front of C, thus forming a complete sheaf of grain (C. assisted by P. and F. will immediately assemble the gleanings in sheaf form, tying same securely with appropriate yellow ribbon). The line then continues around the hall to station of S., turns left and proceeds diagonally across the hall to station of M. opens to the right and left, passes down back of center single file until the heads of columns again reach the station of S. This will bring the candidates in the rear up between the two columns to the M., who now exhibits the sickle with its accompanying lecture, followed by the chorus by all, “Then Glory to the Steel,” after which the congratulations of C., P. and F. are offered, as in the Manual.
The couples who are to execute the Harvest March should be as carefully trained as the officers; should be seated together and in close proximity to station of L., to facilitate prompt and quiet formation for the march; and at its conclusion they should pass quietly from station of S. (where march ends) to their former seats.
It is now considered to be the hour of sunset, the day’s work is over, and the Harvesters and Gleaners are all assembled on the lawn in front of the Master’s office.
CANDIDATES—HARVESTERS AND GLEANERS
SYMBOLS—Autumn—Manhood—Flowers—The Fruit—The Ripened Grain
SCENE—A Farm in the Harvest Season
The candidates are assembled in the Preparation room in charge of A.S. and L.A.S. and are tested on their knowledge of the Declaration of Purposes, as commanded in Previous degree. Alarm from the A.S.
S.: Worthy Overseer, an alarm at the Gate.
O.: See who approaches.
S.: Who comes?
A.S.: Brothers and Sisters who, having served faithfully as Laborers and Maids, Cultivators and Shepherdesses, desire to be instructed and receive employment as Harvesters and Gleaners.
S.: Tarry until I make their request known to the Worthy Overseer.
Worthy Overseer, brothers and sisters seek employment in the harvest field.
O.: Let them be admitted, that we may learn their qualifications.
Steward op ens the Inner Gate, the line will march once around the hall and halt at the station of the Worthy Steward.
S.: Brothers and Sisters, since the last degree the seasons have changed again. In the First Degree, Springtime, you prepared the soil with FAITH in God In the Second Degree, Summer, you planted and cultivated, nurturing HOPE It is now the Autumn, or Harvest time: The yellow grain is waving for the reapers and gleaners; the rustling corn is hastening toward ripeness; the fruits of the orchard are coloring in succession and bid busy hands to gather them. All these changes should possess your minds that you may enjoy your advancement and feel as well as hear the attendant lessons. We must reap for the mind as well as for the body, and from the abundance of our harvest, in good deeds and kind words, dispense CHARITY. You will now be conducted to the Worthy Overseer.
A.S.: Worthy Overseer, I bring brothers and sisters for the harvest field.
O.: Brothers and Sisters, is it of your own free will that you desire to enter the harvest field?
Candidates in unison: It is.
O.: Have they been duly examined as to their knowledge of our Declaration of Purposes?
A.S.: They have.
O.: Have they been taught how to select good seed, and how to plant it?
A.S.: They have.
O.: It is well. You will conduct them to our Worthy Master and secure his approval.
A.S.: Worthy Master, in compliance with the Overseer’s command, I present these brothers and sisters for instruction as Harvesters and Gleaners. I vouch for their qualifications, by reason of faithful performance of their duties in the previous degrees, and the exemplification in their lives of the lessons of Faith and Hope.
M.: Your recommendation is sufficient to insure them favor More assistance is needed in the fields, the grain is ripe and ready for the harvest. It is, however, important that none but intelligent and skillful laborers be employed Before they enter upon their labors, it will be necessary for them to receive instruction, and, first of all, to give a pledge of secrecy and fidelity. Brothers and Sisters, this pledge will not conflict with your social, religious, moral or political duties. With this assurance, are you willing to proceed?
Candidates in unison: We are.
M.: You will be conducted to the altar and there renew your obligations.
When candidates are in position at altar O. calls up.
M.: You will repeat after me this Obligation: I solemnly promise to keep sacred the pledges of the previous degrees of this Order and hereby pledge my sacred honor that I will faithfully observe the precepts and injunctions of this degree, reveal none of its secrets and assist in promoting the welfare of the Order according to my ability.
O. calls down.
M.: Brothers and Sisters, as Harvesters and Gleaners in our Order, gather only the good seed Our associations in life are the fields in which we reap. Use judgment, and while you glean let your example be such that others may profit by it. You will now be conducted to our Worthy Lecturer.
A.S.: Worthy Lecturer, our brothers and sisters come to gather words of wisdom from you.
L.: Brothers and Sisters, as Harvesters and Gleaners, reap for the mind as well as for the body. Natural history is replete with both the wonderful and beautiful, and its study enables us the better to carry out the principles we inculcate of Faith, Hope and Charity. Cultivate an observing mind. It is delightful to acquire knowledge, and much more so to diffuse it. It is sad to think that any human soul should fail to perceive the beauty that everywhere abounds. Nature preaches to us for ever in tones of love, and writes truth in all colors, on manuscripts illuminated with stars and flowers.
“Be faithful, be hopeful, be charitable,” is the constant song Nature sings, through warbling birds and whispering pines, through roaring waves and howling winds. As Harvesters and Gleaners of this wisdom, teach others how beautiful, how angelic, seems every fragment of life which is earnest and true.
A.S.: Worthy Overseer, our brothers and sisters come for further instruction.
O.: My Brothers and Sisters, all honest labor is honorable. God, who made the earth, set the example of labor, and sanctified it, and made it the necessity of His creatures. Inasmuch as it is of God’s example and design, it is our duty to honor and dignify it, and make it conducive to the advancement and happiness of all God’s people.
You are now about to enter the harvest God loveth a cheerful giver, and no less a cheerful worker; for work is prayer. Labor with cheerfulness. A merry heart doeth good like a medicine. The truest balsam for injured minds is cheerful labor. Cultivate the habit of looking for better and brighter days, instead of mourning over the past.
While you strive to make labor honorable, exert yourself to make it pleasant and cheerful for all around you.
Worthy Assistants, you will now conduct our brothers and sisters to the Worthy Chaplain.
A.S.: Worthy Chaplain, I present our brothers and sisters for instruction.
Chap.: Brothers and Sisters, the fields of our labor are ever “white unto the harvest;” and in them “he that reapeth receiveth wages and gathereth fruit unto life eternal; that both he that soweth and he that reapeth may rejoice together.” Take heed, therefore, and beware of covetousness; for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of things he possesseth, but in the right use of God’s blessings. Say not, therefore, “Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years—take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry” for our Heavenly Father placed us here to be “laborers together with Him,” and raises up the ever-ripening harvest, that we may be the stewards of His bounty, and so partake of His blessedness in being beneficent. Therefore, be ye helpers one of another, for we are all brethren.
And forget not CHARITY. As flowers and vines cover the rough places in nature, so I charge you, cover the faults and failings of others with the mantle of CHARITY. Speak good of others, rather than evil. Gather up memories of others’ virtues, and pass by their faults in pity. The tears of the compassionate are sweeter than dew-drops falling from roses on the bosom of the earth.
Such are the great aims, labors, and rewards of the true Harvester and Gleaner; and to these I bid you welcome. Be faithful in gathering, that you may be liberal in dispensing.
A.S.: I will now present you to our Worthy Master.
A.S.: Worthy Master, our brothers and sisters come for instruction in the secret work of this degree.
M.: I will now give you the signal of this degree; also, the degree words, sign and salutation. Imparts secret work.
You are now Harvesters and Gleaners in the Third Degree of our Order. The salutation of this degree signifies that a member of this degree “places Faith in God, nurtures Hope, and dispenses Charity.” To A.S.: As the day is far spent, you will conduct the brothers and sisters to the gate of the harvest field, and there join the harvesters as they return from their labors.
Candidates are conducted to anteroom and preparations made for Harvest March.
Harvest March and Song.
M., calls to order: I now exhibit to you the Sickle. Like all the tools we use, it is ancient and honorable; as an emblem of our Order, there is none more so. It speaks of peace and prosperity, and is the harbinger of joy. It is used not merely to reap the golden grain for the sheaf, but, in the field of mind and heart and soul, to gather every precious stalk, every opening flower, every desirable fruit. Thus shall the implement prove a reminder of honorable employment, preaching its sermon of present prosperity and peace, and its prophecy of future plenty and re-sowing.
Chorus By All:
Then glory to the steel
That shines in the reaper’s hand,
And thanks to God, who has blessed the sod
And crowns the reaping band
M.: Brothers and Sisters, your task for the day is over; you have labored diligently, and I gladly commend your faithfulness. Let me urge you to continue with the same diligence until the harvest is finished. I now greet you as Harvesters and Gleaners, and trust that your faithful work will soon entitle you to still further advancement.
Music—If candidates march.
Candidates will be marched once around hall and hatted before Graces; except that in case of a small or very crowded hall. Graces may give their charges while candidates remain in position before station of M. Same rule obtains after charge of F.
L.A.S.: Let our Worthy Patron Ceres greet you.
C.: Brothers and Sisters, happy are they who see in the matured harvest not only the product of human skill and labor, but the reward of Faith in God’s promise of the seed-time. From the abundance of good things which, with God’s blessing, your labors in Faith and Hope have produced, forget not to dispense Charity in word and deed.
L.A.S.: And now listen to Pomona.
P.: Brothers and Sisters, the harvest of fruits will soon claim your attention. May it prove so abundant as to add gratitude to the Hope inspired by the blossoms of the early Summer.
L.A.S.: And now Flora will add the closing charge.
F.: That you may enjoy your rewards dispense Charity, the flowers of brotherly love, as freely as Nature spreads her flowery carpet over all the earth. And let your Charity extend to all humanity.
“While in Faith and in Hope this world may disagree,
All mankind is concerned in Charity.”
Music—If candidates march.
M.: And now, Worthy Assistant and Lady Assistant, please introduce our brothers and sisters to the members of the Grange—for which purpose I declare a recess.