Order of the Sons of Hermann


PRESIDENT gives sign to be seated, *: I request the officers and members to provide themselves with the insignia of the Order and be seated.
Brother (Sister) Inner Guide: Convince yourself that the Outer Guide is at his post of duty, ask for the password and close the door.
GUIDE goes to the center of the hall and says: Brother (Sister): I desire to report that all those present are entitled to take part in the proceedings.
PRESIDENT gives the sign to rise, *: Officers and Members: Let us now proceed with the transaction of business, without prejudice, selfishness or partyism, having in view only the weal and woe of this Lodge, and this Order.
Sign to be seated.

The Ex-President, Secretary and Guide retire to the ante-room, and let the candidate answer the required questions and sign the same.
The above named officers retire to the ante-room; the Ex-President reads from the book the prepared question to be signed by the candidate, and witnessed by the Ex-President and Secretary.
PRESIDENT: Officers and Members: You have decided to admit the candidate to membership in this lodge. He is present in the ante-room, and if there are no further objections, we will now proceed with the initiation. Pause.
EX-PRESIDENT in ante-room: I will again read the question which you signed in the membership register and ask you to answer:
1.   Is it your desire to become members of Lodge No, and of the Order of the Sons of Hermann? Will you voluntarily assume all the duties and obligations of membership?
2.   Are you, to the best of your knowledge, in good health?
3.   Are you a citizen of the United States of America?
4.   If not, do you promise to become a citizen as soon as possible,
5.   Were you ever a member of our Order, and under what circumstances did you relinquish your mem­bership?
6.   Were you ever rejected as an applicant for mem­bership in any Lodge of this Order, and on what grounds?
7.   Did you read the Constitution of our Order? Does it meet with your approval?
8.   You must also sign the following obligation:
I, the undersigned, hereby promise and agree that I will comply at all times with the Constitution and Laws of the Order of the Sons of Hermann in the State of Texas, as well as the  Constitution and By-Laws of … Lodge No …, and also with all changes in the Constitution and Laws that may be made while I am a member of this Order, and I hereby bind my self, my heirs, executors and administrators to make only such demands or claims against the Order, as are guaranteed to me by said Constitution and Laws.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF and as a full understand­ing and agreement between myself and … lodge No. … O.D.H.S. I hereunto subscribe my name in … Texas, this the … day of A.D. 192…
Recommended by Initiated by President
Ex- President                          Secretary

After the above questions and pledges have been signed the Ex-President says: Since you have properly answered all questions, we will now make report to the Lodge and recommend you for membership. You will therefore follow the Guide.
Ex-President and Secretary re-enter the Hall and report: Bro. President: Candidate … has
satisfactorily answered all questions and desires to be initiated.
PRESIDENT: He is welcome. Brother (Sister) Inner Guard, you will announce to the Guide in the ante-room, that the lodge is ready to proceed with the initiation of the candidate,
The Guide demands admission and while entering the president gives the sign to rise. The Guide escorts the candidate to the President and says: Brother (Sister) President: I introduce to you a candidate who wishes to become acquainted with the teachings of our Order.
The President gives signal to be seated.
PRESIDENT: My Friends: By reason of your admission into the Order of Sons of Hermann you are not required to change your attitude towards your family and fellow man, for the Order of the Sons of Hermann knows no distinction as to religion or politics: Any white person can become a member of this Order if he is honest in his intentions and of good moral character. Is it still your firm desire to become a member of this Lodge and the Order?
Brother (Sister) Guide: Introduce the candidate to the Vice-President who will take his obligation required for a member of this Order,
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Vice-President: Upon the request of the President I present this candidate who is willing to take a solemn pledge required of him to fully comply with all of the obligations which he is about to assume.
VICE-PRESIDENT: My Friends: If you are ready to take a solemn pledge, raise your right hand as a sign that you will fulfill the promise which I now ask of you.
You again obligate yourself in the presence of the Officers and members here assembled that you will faithfully fulfill all of the promises that you have made in the ante-room and to the Ex-President. You further promise that you will keep secret all of the signs and pass words of the Order which will hereafter be given to you, as well as the proceedings of this lodge, and that you will communicate them to no one.
President gives sign of gavel.
You promise that you will not wrong, nor cheat, nor harm any member in any manner whatsoever; but that you will warn him of danger and defend him against secret attacks and that you will assist him when necessary and protect him to the best of your ability.
Should any property of the Lodge ever be entrusted to you, you obligate yourself to safely keep it and upon request of the Lodge or Grand Lodge, promptly deliver it to any authorized member. Should you be expelled from the Lodge for valid reasons, or should your name be stricken from the roll of membership, or should you voluntarily resign, you will still obey these obligations and hold this promise as sacred and binding as though you had taken an oath in the court of justice.
Vice-President takes candidates right hand and says: With this grip you place your honor in the hands of the members that you will faithfully keep these promises.
President gives sign to be seated.
VICE-PRESIDENT: Brother (Sister) Guide: Introduce the candidates to the Secretary.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Secretary: The candidate is ready to sign the constitution of the Order and By-laws of the Lodge and to accept a copy thereof.
The candidate signs the constitution and by-laws and the Secretary hands him a copy.
SECRETARY: Brother (Sister) Guide. You will conduct the candidate to the chair of the President.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) President: I present this candidate for further instructions.
PRESIDENT: My Friends: Since you have taken the solemn obligations, it now becomes my duty to acquaint you with the aims and purposes of the Order as well as the signs and tokens we use. We Hermann Sons consider ourselves members of a large family, a genuine brother­hood, (sisterhood), and therefore expect that every brother (sister) shall not only demand his (her) rights, but that he (she) will also faithfully fulfill all duties which the Order requires of him (her).
First, we have a motto: “Friendship, love and truth,” which is explained as follows: Friendship we offer to those whom we honor and respect; love we give those to whom our friendship is extended; and truth we offer to every brother (sister) whom in Friend­ship we love until we follow him (her) to his (her) final place of rest; if we do this, we are true to the obligations we have assumed.
Second, We have an entrance sign which is used as follows: Should a member be late to a Lodge meeting, he (she) will find the door closed; he (she) gives a vigorous knock on the door; the Outer Guard steps to the door and opens it; you give him (her) your name, number and location of your Lodge and the pass word which I will communicate to you later, thereupon, he (she) will permit you to enter the ante-room. Here you will obtain the regalia to which you are entitled, and then the Inner guard will notify the Vice-President who will permit you to enter.
Third, the salutation sign. After you have entered, you step to the center of the hall which is indicated by a table or altar and give the following signs which mean:
The index finger of the right hand placed per­pendicular over the mouth, with the thumb under the chin (middle) means “secrecy” of all matters that come before the Lodge or in any other Lodge of the Order. Placing the right hand over the heart means love for the members, love for the Order and love for mankind. Dropping the open hand means that you are always ready to assist and help needy persons; it is especially your duty to assist a needy member as much as possible. Should you desire to leave the hall, you have to repeat the signs that you gave when you entered. Give Vice President the same sign.
Fourth: We have a voting sign for “yes” or “no,” “for” or “against; “that is, the right hand lifted to the height of the right ear.
Fifth: We have the sign of the gavel as given by the President, two raps (**) of the gavel is the sign for all members to rise from their seat. One rap (*) calls the Lodge to order, closes all debates definitely and signifies that all members must be seated.
Sixth: We have the handclasp. A Hermann Sons gives the whole hand, thumb against thumb.
As you have heretofore been told, we use, besides the signs, a pass word which I shall now communicate to you as a full-pledged member. Gives pass word This pass word which I have just given you can only be given by the President or his authorized representative, and you must always keep it secret. Should you at any time be authorized to give it, you are obligated to give it in the same manner as you received it.
Sign to rise * *.
PRESIDENT: Brother (Sister): I now invest you with the insignia of our Order, extend the hand, and hope that you will become a true and worthy member of our Lodge. By virtue of my office, I now declare you a regular member of … Lodge No. … , under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Hermann in the State of Texas.
Sign to be seated.
Brother (Sister) Guide: Introduce the newly initiated Brother (Sister) to the Ex-President, who will explain the origin and history of our Order.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Ex-President: Upon request of the President I present to you … for further information.
EX-PRESIDENT: …, as a member of our Order it will be of interest to you to know why we have adopted the name, Sons of Hermann, also the duties that you have assumed by joining our Order: The name was chosen to honor the memory of Herman the Cherusker, a noted hero in the early history of the German race known for Valor and unselfish devotion, ever ready to render assistance to those who were oppressed. Loyal to his duty, faithful to his friends, he inspired others to render service to their Fellow man. Follow his example, be ever ready to render service to your country and assistance to. a member and his family.
Be true to your promise, your family, the principles of our Order and the members. These attributes are essen­tial because we are a brotherhood in name and deed. To visit the sick and assist those in distress, as much as possible is one of our highest obligations. It is also our duty to pay homage to a member, whose spirit has de­parted to realms unknown, by accompanying his remains to its final place of rest. To provide for the widows and orphans of our brothers and to assist them in every way, is also one of the most important duties which the O.D.H.S. strives to perform, so that the widows and orphans may always find solace and hope in their bereavements.
I have confidence that you, as a member of our Order, will carry out these principles. I now offer you my hand and ask that you attend our lodge meetings as often as circumstances permit. Make an earnest ef­fort to carry out the principles of our motto; Friend­ship, Love and Truth, and your deeds will be crowned with success and prove you worthy of membership.
The Guide leads the new member to the center of the lodge room, facing the President, who gives the sign to rise.
EX-PRESIDENT: …, I bid you welcome to our beloved Order and hope and expect that you will not only cherish and follow the beautiful teachings that you have just received, but that you will also be, strive to remain, or become a true housewife under any and all circumstances; a true wife to your husband; a loving mother to your children and a worthy sister to your brothers and sisters. In that event, we will always look with pride upon you, and many sisters will emulate your example and try to act likewise. Therefore, work with us from this day, encourage the officers of this Lodge by being present in the meetings, and if possible attend all regular meetings; also visit the sick sisters, console and cheer them, also help them if in poverty as much is in your power and you will have the consolation that you acted as a worthy sister of Thusnelda, the beloved wife of Hermann the Cherusker.
Permit me, before I close, to explain the meaning of our beautiful motto: “Friendship, Love and Truth.” Friendship we offer those whom we exalt in the large family of mankind, whom, from the bottom of our hearts, we wish success and prosperity; whom we would warn of danger and whom we would assist and help if in need.
Love: Beloved is a person with whom we love to be and have with us, and with whom we love to associate; whom we wish to have all that is good, which we ourselves desire; for whom we would sacrifice all and for whom we would pledge our honor; that is Love.
Truth: Truthfullness in our words and actions, and truth even in our thoughts is to cherish and foster true friendship and love.
The Guide leads the new member to the center of the lodge room, facing the President, who gives the sign to rise.
PRESIDENT: Brothers (Sisters): I now commend you to the friendship of our members and declare an intermission for you to make their personal acquaintance.
PRESIDENT, gives sign to rise: Officers and Members: We now part in F. L. and T. and I declare this meeting duly adjourned until our next regular meeting.
President gives the closing sign.