Independent Order of St. Luke
The Worthy Chief on taking the Chair gives one rap with the gavel, and says: Being about to open this Council, officers take your positions. Vice Chief, you will see that the entrance is closed and properly guarded.
The Vice Chief places the Sentinels at the doors, and receives the proper Pass Word, salutes the Worthy Chief and says: Respected Worthy Chief, the entrance is close(l and properly guided.
The Worthy Chief says: Vice Chief, you will please prove all present by the Pass Word.
The Vice Chief examines all in the room shaking the left hand of each member three times, and the member at the same time whispers the Pass Word in the ear of the Vice Chief; and if all present are in possession of the Pass Word, the Vice Chief reports: Most Respected Worthy Chief, all present are proved worthy members of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
If there are any present who cannot give the Pass Word, the Vice Chief must report the name of such member to the Worthy Chief, who must dispose of each case as the law directs. But in no case should a visiting member receive the Pass Word in ally Council except the one to which he (or she) belongs, or the one in which he (or she) has his (or her) certificate deposited, as the law directs.
Worthy Chief says: Junior Conductor, you will please ascertain if all the officers are at their positions, and invested with proper regalia.
The Junior Conductor having examined, reports: Most Respected Worthy Chief, all the officers are at their positions, and invested with proper regalia.
If any vacancies exist, the Junior Conductor will report them, and the Worthy Chief will fill them by temporary appointment, after which the Vice Chief will advance and salute the Worthy Chief, and then conduct each officer separately before the Worthy Chief, beginning with the Recording Secretary, and ending with the Worthy Father.
The Worthy Chief gives two raps with the gavel, which calls the officers up, and says: Worthy Vice Chief, what are your duties as Vice Chief of this Council?
W.V.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to assist you in opening and closing your Council; to examine all persons present before opening the Council, and report those who are without the proper Pass Word, and perform such other duties as you or the Council may direct, and in your absence take charge of the Council and act for you.
W.C.: Worthy Recording Secretary, what are your duties?
R.S.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to assist the Worthy Financial Secretary in the discharge of his (or her) duty, and keep a just and true record of all the proceedings; conduct all correspondence; make out and forward all reports and other official communications of the Council, whenever required, to R.W.G. Council.
W.C.: Worthy Financial Secretary, what are your duties?
F.S.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to assist the Worthy Recording Secretary in the discharge of his (or her) duty, and to keep the financial accounts of this Council regularly, fairly, and faithfully between the Council and its members; receive all moneys due the Council, and pay the same over to the Worthy Treasurer, taking a receipt for the same, and to balance the account with the Worthy Recording Secretary before the closing of the Council.
W.C.: Worthy Treasurer, what are your duties?
W.T.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to receive all moneys from the hands of the Worthy Financial Secretary; keep a just and true account of the same, and pay them out by order of the Most Respected Worthy Chief, signed by the Worthy Financial Secretary, with seal of the Council attached.
W.C.: Worthy Senior Conductor, what are your duties?
S.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to wait on the officers and members during the hours of meeting; prepare, conduct, and introduce all candidates during their initiation; see that all visitors attending the Council are properly seated, and perform such other duties as you or the Council may direct, and to see that your will and pleasure are punctually obeyed.
W.C.: Worthy Junior Conductor, what are your duties?
J.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to assist the Worthy Senior Conductor in the discharge of his (or her) duties; and in his (or her) absence, fill his (or her) place, and perform such other duties as may be required by you or the Council.
W.C.: Worthy Outside Sentinel, what are your duties?
O.S.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to take charge of the outer door, and to prevent any one from listening to what is going on inside of the Council; to keep out all intruders from the Council chamber door, and to allow no person to enter the ante-room during the hours of meeting without the proper Pass Word, unless ordered so to do by the Most Respected Worthy Chief.
W.C.: Worthy Inside Sentinel, what are your ditties?
I.S.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to take charge of the inner door during the hours of meeting, and assist the Worthy Outside Sentinel in the discharge of his or her duties, and when he or she is absent to officiate in that office; receive all messages from the Worthy Outside Sentinel, and report the same to the most respected Worthy Chief; see that all officers and members are clothed in proper regalia, according to their rank and positions in the Order, and in possession of the proper Pass Word, before entering the Council Chamber, unless by your permission.
W.C.: Worthy Keeper of Wardrobe, what are your duties?
K.R.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, my duties are to take charge of the regalia and other properties of the Council, keep them in proper order, furnish visitors with regalia, if needed, arrange everything for the convenience of the Council previous to the hour of meeting, and at the closing of the Conned see that everything is disposed of, and report any loss or damage that may have occurred.
W.C.: Worthy Vice Chief, what are the rsvueti which should adorn the character of every true brother or sister of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
V.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, honor, temperance, faithfulness, obedience, meekness, charity and brotherly and sisterly kindness should characterize every true brother or sister of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
W.C. says: Let our lives and conversation, then, be ever such as to prove that we possess these virtues, not in name only, but as the governing principles of our actions, so that while here, in our Council, we may sustain, encourage, and strengthen each other in We pursuit of good, and. in our intercourse with the world impress upon others the value of our principles, and cause our Order to flourish and blossom as the rose.
The W.C. then gives three raps, and all the members rise and sing the opening ode:
Come brothers let us all unite,
To stay the hurtful tide,
Against the world we’ll bravely fight,
And spread our Order wide.
Where’er the sun in radiance beams,
Or man yet suffers woe
Our Order shall send forth its streams,
Till o’er the world they flow.
W. C. says: Brethren it is meet and right, and our bounden duty, at all times, and in all places, to give thanks unto the God of love and peace, in whom we live, move and have our continued being. Let us ascribe unto Him all honor and glory for the good he has enabled us to accomplish, and the many privileges of mercy we have enjoyed; and let us ask his protecting care for our present and future peace, success and prosperity. Worthy Chaplain, you will please lead us in prayer.
The following, or some other, may be used by the Worthy Chaplain (during prayer all will kneel): Almighty and ever living God, the creator and preserver of all mankind, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift, and without whom nothing can prosper. We thank thee most heartily for the preservation of our lives, and for permitting us to assemble again within these consecrated walls, dedicated to the practice of Love, Purity, and Charity. Pardon our manifold sins amid preserve our souls from everlasting punishment.
Keep us from all bitterness and prejudice, from malice and all uncharitableness towards each other. Defend and provide for the widows and orphans, and all who are sick and afflicted; help and comfort them in every time of need we ask thy blessing upon our present undertaking. Be with us while we are assembled here in our Council Chamber. Direct us in all our transactions with thy most gracious favor, and let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts, while we wait before thee, be, acceptable in thy sight. Bless, we most humble beseech thee, the officers and members of this Order and this Council; bless them spiritually, temporally, collectively, and individually, with lasting success, O, Lord, our strength and our Redeemer, we ask through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen. The members respond Amen and rise, the W.C. gives one rap, which calls all to their seats.
W.C.: Esteemed officers and brothers soliciting your assistance and attention in all matters that may be presented for our consideration, I now declare … Council, No. … duly opened.
Worthy Recording Secretary, please call the roll of officers and read the minutes of the last meeting.
After the roll of officers is called, the Inside Sentinel will admit those who may be in waiting in the ante-room. The Recording Secretary calls the roll of officers, and notes the absentees. After which the minutes of the previous meeting will be read. The W.C. will ask if there is any objection to the minutes. No objection being made, the W.C. says: The minutes stand approved.
The W.C. makes the following enquiries: Does any member present wish to report the sickness or distress of any member of this Council, or of the Order in general?
W.C.: Has any member a friend to propose for membership in this Council?
W.C.: Has any member any thing pertaining to the welfare of this Council, or the Order in general, to present?
Members answering the questions will address the W.Chief as follows: Most Respected Worthy Chief, I have. And then describe the nature of the case.
The Council will consider the several propositions, and dispose of each in order as presented, after all the questions have been asked, as provided for in the order of business.
Form of Initiation
W.C. says: Worthy Senior Conductor please retire to the ante-room and ascertain if the candidate is present.
The Senior Conductor salutes the Worthy Chief by touching the left breast with the right hand, then retires to the ante-room, where, if the candidate is in waiting, he receives his name, and returns to the Council chamber, salutes the W.C., and reports the name and number of candidates in waiting to be initiated as follows:
S.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, there are in waiting in the ante-room … here giving the name or names in full who desire to be initiated into the mysteries of the Independent Order of St. Luke, and become members of this Council.
W.C. says: Worthy Recording Secretary, has the application (or applications) been presented in due form, referred, reported upon, balloted for, and elected?
R. S. answers: Most Respected Worthy Chief, they have.
W.C.: Worthy Senior Conductor, you will proceed to prepare the candidates for the rights of initiation.
W.C.: Worthy Recording Secretary, you will accompany the Worthy Senior Conductor to the anteroom, and if candidates consent to the requirements of our Order, you will leave him in charge of the worthy Senior Conductor.
If there is more than one candidate, the W.C. will appoint an assistant conductor for each.
The Senior Conductor and Recording Secretary salute the W.C., and retire to the ante-room.
The Senior Conductor, upon entering the anteroom, calls the candidates by name and says: We have come to prepare you for the rites of initiation. Before proceeding, the Worthy Recording Secretary will have to ask the following questions Every Council must keep a book for this purpose:
R. S. to candidate: Are you desirous of being initiated into the mysteries of the Independent Order of St. Luke?
Candidate answers: I am.
R. S. to Candidate: Do you solemnly promise, upon your honor, that you make this desire of your own free will, and without any impure motive towards this Council or time Order in general?
Candidate answers: I do.
Recording Secretary addresses the candidate as follows: Strangers, allow me to inform you that the virtues which should characterize a true St. Luke are honor, temperance, faithfulness, obedience, meekness, charity, and brotherly and sisterly kindness; and to further this object the members of the Independent Order of St. Luke have mutually agreed to associate themselves together, and to make provision against the calamities of life, by visiting and administering to each other in sickness and distress. Are you willing to adhere to, cultivate and abide by these principles?
Candidate answers: I am.
The Recording Secretary must take the answers in writing as given by the candidate (every Council must keep a book for this purpose.) The answers having been given in the affirmative, the Recording Secretary will return to the Council chamber, salute the W.C., and report as follows: Most respected Worthy Chief, the candidates have consented to the requirements of our Order, and are now being prepared by the Worthy Senior Conductor.
The Recording Secretary then resumes his position.
W.C. says: Worthy Keeper of Wardrobe, you will arrange the Council chamber for initiation, and see that every implement needed is in its proper place.
The Keeper of Wardrobe will forthwith proceed to arrange the Council chamber for initiation, and see that everything is in place, so as to prevent confusion.
The Senior Conductor prepares the candidate, if a female, by removing her bonnet and shawl, or, if a male, remove his hat, coat and vest, collar and necktie, and blindfold the candidate.
In no case shall a male officiate in the preparation of a female candidate, nor a female officiate in the preparation of a male candidate.
During the preparation of candidates for initiation the members will ….
After the preparation the Senior Conductor leads the candidate to the Council door and says: Stranger, you are now standing before our Council chamber door; to gain admittance you must give one loud rap.
The alarm being given, the Inside Sentinel says: Most Respected Worthy Chief, there is a strange alarm at our Council chamber door.
W. C. says: Inside Sentinel, inquire into the cause of this strange alarm.
The Inside Sentinel opens the wicket, and, in a stern voice, demands: Who comes there ?
The Senior Conductor answers: The Senior Conductor, with a candidate, who has conceived a favorable opinion of our Order, and through time recommendation of a member asks to be initiated into its mysteries and become a member thereof.
Inside Sentinel says: Have you satisfied yourself of his fitness to enjoy this privilege?
Senior Conductor answers: I have, and find him worthy.
Inside Sentinel says: You will wait until I report your wishes to the Most Respected Worthy Chief.
Closing the wicket and turning to the W.C. he says: Most Respected Worthy Chief, the strange alarm was caused by a stranger, accompanied by the Worthy Senior Conductor, who, having conceived a Favorable opinion of our Order, now, through the recommendation of a member, asks to be initiated into its mysteries, and become a member thereof.
W.C.: Worthy Inside Sentinel, have you satisfied yourself of this stranger’s fitness to enjoy this privilege?
Inside Sentinel answers: I have, Most Respected Worthy Chief and find him worthy.
W.C.: Worthy Inside Sentinel, receive the Pass Word from the Worthy Senior Conductor, and admit him.
The Inside Sentinel gives three raps upon time inside of the door, which is answered by the Senior Conductor with three raps upon the outside. The Inside Sentinel opens the wicket, and the Senior Conductor whispers the Pass Word through the wicket. The Inside Sentinel receives the Pass Word, closes the wicket and opens the door. Time Senior Conductor, with candidate, enters the Council and passes around three times. At the entrance of the candidate the Worthy Chief gives three raps, which calls up the Council. All rise and clap their hands three times, in rapid succession, and proclaim, "Welcome, stranger,’ and sing:
Welcome, stranger, true hearts greet thee
If thou by our precept stand,
Honor, Truth and Friendship greet thee,
Welcome to our happy band.
Welcome to our healthful fountain,
Mayst thou ever faithful prove,
Till from every vale and mountain
Roll the streams of peace and love.
At the conclusion of the ode the Senior Conductor, with the candidate, stops at the right of the Worthy Father’s station.
After which the candidate is conducted to the Vice Chief’s station. The Senior Conductor instructs the candidate to place both hands crosswise on the breast, and then introduces the candidate as follows: Worthy Vice Chief, this stranger seeks permission to be initiated into the mysteries and enjoy the privileges of our Order.
V.C.: Stranger, what is your name?
V.C.: What is your age?
V.C.: Do you enjoy good health?
V.C.: Are you willing to take a solemn obligation to keep secret the forms, ceremonies, entrance words, and other private business of the Order and this Council, of which you now request to become a member?
Candidate answers: I am.
V.C.: Stanger, every individual before being admitted to membership in this Order must prove his qualification by submitting his character to the scrutiny of those which he wishes to associate with, and all those whose characters cannot bear this scrutinizing test of our Order are at once rejected as being unworthy of enjoying its honors, rights and benefits. Stranger, the nearest approach to true happiness in this world is the wisdom, health and peace of mind which flows from a conscious rectitude of mind and conduct. The Great Creator has established certain laws upon which our happiness depends. The fundamental design of our Order is to promote vital piety. You have now been made acquainted with the nature of our obligations; are you willing to learn, practice and teach them, to the best of your ability, as far as you may be instructed.
Candidate answers. The answer being in the affirmative, the Vice Chief says:
V.C: Worthy Senior Conductor, you will conduct this stranger to our Most Respected Worthy Chief, that he may receive further instruction.
During this time the necessary arrangements will be made. The Worthy Chief having appointed three members to represent L. P. and C., these three being provided with ….
The candidate is conducted in front of the Worthy Chief’s station and caused to kneel. The members will arrange themselves in a semi-circle in the rear of the candidate. The lights will be lowered so as to make it gloomy and impossible to recognize any of the members. The Worthy Chief will say to the candidate:
W.C.: Stranger, what seek you here?
The Senior Conductor instructs the candidate to say "Light." At the word "Light" the Senior Conductor will remove the blindfold, when a flash is made with a combustible. The candidate is allowed to gaze upon L. P. and C., for a moment, after which the Senior Conductor replaces the blindfold. Then the lights are turned up bright, as usual; the fictures are put in their proper places, and the members will be seated in perfect silence.
The Senior Conductor then introduces the candidate as follows:
S.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, in compliance with the instruction of the Worthy Vice Chief, I present this stranger to you, who seeks for further instruction into the mysteries of our Order.
W.C. says: Worthy Senior Conductor, you will conduct this stranger to the alter and place him in the proper attitude to take the obligation of the Independent Order of St. Luke.
The Senior Conductor conducts the candidate to the altar, and at the same time the Past Worthy or Degree Chief comes forward and administers the obligation of the First Degree.
After taking the obligation, the candidate is reconducted to the Worthy Chief by the Senior Conductor, who introduces him as follows:
S.C.: Most Respected Worthy Chief, I now present you brother … for the second time, who has been duly obligated as a member of this Council, for further instruction.
The W.C. calling the candidate by his name, says: My brother …, I rejoice to take you by the hand and bid you welcome to our beloved Order. You have taken upon yourself our solemn obligation, without any compulsion on our part. Let it be forever sacred. I hope you will never bring reproach upon this Council, or upon the Order, by conduct unworthy a brother, and thus incur the scorn of the world. Flee from evil associates and sin as you would from the deadliest poison. Seek in our Order peace and rational enjoyment. Remember, my brother, that in all situations, and under all circumstances, the voice of kindness falls upon the hardest heart even as the rod with which Moses smote the rock in Hebron amid caused the pure stream to flow out. My brother, hoping that your initiation may have its desired effect upon your mind and future conduct, I now proclaim you a duly initiated member of … Council, No. … Independent Order of St. Luke, and commend you to the affection of the Order.
The Worthy Chief then says: Worthy Senior Conductor, you will now proceed to instruct brother … how to enter the Council chamber and address the proper officers. The Senior Conductor will retire to the ante-room, when the following or some other will be sung:
A charge to keep I have,
A God to glorify;
A never-dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky.
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill―
Oh! may it all my powers engage
To serve my Master’s will.
Help me to watch and pray,
And on thyself rely;
Assured if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die,
In the ante-room the Senior Conductor will see that the candidate is re-invested with such clothing, as may have been removed preparatory to initiation, after which the Senior Conductor instructs the candidate how to gain admittance into the Council, address the officers, &c.
Form of Closing
When the business of the Council is concluded, or the hour of closing, according to law, has arrived, the Worthy Chief says:
W.C.: Worthy Vice Chief, is the business of the Council concluded?
V.C. answers: Most Respected Worthy Chief, as far as practicable at present.
The W.C. gives two raps which calls the officers up. The Worthy Chief then says:
W.C.: Worthy Financial Secretary, what is the amount of receipts collected?
The Financial Secretary must keep the accounts so arranged as to state the amounts collected for fines, taxes, and monthly dues separately, then stating the total amount collected.
W.C.: Worthy Recording Secretary, are your books correct?
R.S.: They are, Most Respected Worthy Chief.
W.C.: Worthy Keeper of Wardrobe, it is your duty to take charge of the regalias and other properties of this Council; see that you discharge that duty.
Keeper of Wardrobe answers: I will, Most Respected Worthy Chief.
W.C: Let no one leave this Council with the bitter spirit of animosity or envy in their hearts; but let our Order ever send forth the Streams of benevolence, and our lives exemply the principles of honor, truth, and friendship.
The W.C. then gives three raps, which call all the members up.
The W.C. says: Brothers, we are now about to go out from or private labors into the world. Let us not forget that our most zealous efforts are needed. Let us seek to save the erring, to reform the lost. Under all circumstances, then, even at the mouth of the frowning cannon, be faithful to your obligation.
All answer: We will be faithful.
The Council sings the parting ode, or some other hymn.
Good night, good night to every one,
Be each heart free from care,
May every one now seek their homes,
And find contentment there.
May joy beam with to-morrow’s sun,
And every prospect shine,
While dearest friends laugh merrily,
And keel in view the sign.
Lord bless the Council,
Keep them all together,
In this sacred temple,
In one mind together here.
In a social band let love and union be
Sounding through creation;
Come and join with me―
And when we are all done
Meeting here together.
Let us meet together in that Grand Lodge above.
Descend now and fill
This Council with thy glory,
Our hearts with goodwill.
Preside at our meetings,
Assist us to find,
True pleasure in teaching
Good will to mankind.
At the close of the singing time members give the closing sign. The Worthy Chief says: I now declare this Council closed.
Benediction by the chaplain as follows: The Lord bless you and keep you and be gracious unto you. May the Lord lift up His fatherly countenance upon you, and give you peace now and evermore. Amen.
Members respond: Amen.