Ritual and Ceremonies of the Ladies' Militant

Dit rituaal dateert uit 1906 en is afkomstig uit de Verenigde Staten.



General Rules and Instructions
The purposes of the order of Ladies' Militant shall be to promote the growth of the Patriarchs' Militant army by creating greater enthusiasm, through affording social opportunities.
The persons herein specified shall be eligible to membership in a subordinate Fortress, subject to the laws governing the Supreme Fortress, and the Grand Fortress of the Jurisdiction in which application is made.
1. All those who have received the degree.
2. All Chevaliers in good standing.
3. The mothers, sisters, wives, widows, daughters and nieces of chevaliers in good standing.
4. All ladies who have received the decoration of chivalry.
Note: for membership one must be a white person.
In Fortresses where there are no chevaliers present all offices held by chevaliers may be filled by ladies by appointment, and all military commands may be omitted. General forms, however, must be adhered to.

Opening Ceremony

Commander, taking her station, and calling the meeting to order with one blow of the gavel: Officers and members, I am about to open ... Fortress No ... of the Independent Order Ladies Militant. The Officer of the Day will report at this station.
Officer of the Day, taking a position in front of the Commander, saluting:
Commander, I report for orders.
Commander, recognizing the salute:
Officer of the Day, you will see that the sentries are posted and the Fortress made secure.
Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Canton, you will post the sentries.
Officer of the Canton, saluting:
Chevaliers fall in.
The Chevaliers will escort the Sentries, marching in columns of twos. The method of performing the evolution of the Canton is left to the judgment of the Officer of the Canton. On arriving at the inner door the Officer of the Canton will command twos, right or left, and halt, and will say:
Outer Sentry Outer Sentry Salutes, you have charge of the outer gates of this Fortress. Be alert and attentive, and see that the Fortress is not disturbed. You will admit no one who is not in possession of the sign, without direction of the Commander. Retire to your post. Sentry salutes and retires to outer post.
Inner Sentry Inner Sentry salutes, you have charge of the inner door of this Fortress. Be vigilant and attentive. You will admit no one without the countersign, unless directed by the Commander. Retire to your post.
Inner Sentry salutes and takes position at inner door. Officer of the Canton commands Twos right (or left) and marches to a position in front of the Commander, and commands twos right (or left) and halt. Steps in front of his command, salutes the Officer o[ the Day with sword and says:
Officer of the Day, your orders have been obeyed.
Officer of the Day, acknowledges salute:
Dismiss the Canton.
Officer of the Canton:
Return Swords, dismissed.
Officer of Canton and Chevaliers will be seated.

Officer of the Day, saluting:
Commander, the sentries are posted.
Commander:
Officer of the Day the Officer of the Day salutes.
you will collect the sign and countersign.
Commander:
Officer of the Canton Officer of the Canton arises and salutes you will collect the sign and countersign on the left.
Officer of the Day and Officer of the Canton will proceed to collect sign and countersign. Meeting in front of the Lieutenant Commanderís station, will march to the center of the room, facing the Commander.

Officer of the Canton, are all correct on the left?
Officer of the Canton:
Officer of the Day, I find all correct.
Officer of the Day, saluting the Commander:
I find all in possession of the sign and countersign.
Officer of the Day and Officer of the Canton resume seats.

Commander:
Lieutenant Commander, what are the duties of your office?
Officers will arise and salute as their names are called and remain standing.
Lieutenant-Commander:
My duty is to assist the commander in her office, and in her absence to assume her station, conducting the business of the Fortress in accordance with its laws.
Commander:
Adjutant, what are your duties?
Adjutant:
My office calls for an accurate record of all transactions of the Fortress. To write all official letters, sign all orders drawn on the quartermaster, take note of all monies received by me and at the close of each session to hand the same over to the quartermaster, taking a receipt therefor.
Commander:
Quartermaster, what are your duties?
Quartermaster:
My duties are, to act as banker for the Fortress, carefully guarding all money entrusted to me. Paying all orders when properly presented, and keep a careful record of all transactions of my office.
Commander:
Past Commander, what are your duties?
Past Commander:
My duties are to give such counsel and advice as my experience warrants, when called upon by the Commander, and such other services as may be required of me.
Commander:
Officer of the Day, what is your duty?
Officer of the Day:
It is my duty to meet the waiting candidates outside the gates and personally to conduct them through the ceremony of Muster and to perform such other duties as my office demands.
Commander:
Officer of the Canton, what is your duty?'
Officer of the Canton:
It is my duty to give proper military escort to the Officer of the Day and the recruits during the ceremonies of Muster and at other times when required by the Officer of the Day.
Commander:
Chaplain, what is your duty?
Chaplain:
As chaplain it is my duty to conduct the Devotional Exercises of the Fortress, to administer the obligations to Recruits, and perform such other duties as may be required of me.
Commander:
Officers and members, as Commander of the Fortress, I am to preside at all sessions of the Fortress, enforce due military and parliamentary observance of the Constitution and By-Laws. To see that the officers, committees, etc., perform their respective duties. To sign all orders drawn on the Quartermaster and perform such other duties as my office demands.
In the performance of which I ask your earnest and fraternal co-operation.
Calls up Fortress with three raps of the gavel:

Officers and members, be attentive while our Chaplain invokes Divine blessing.
Officer of the Day:
Chevaliers, uncover.
Chaplain:
Our Heavenly Father, we meet again to engage in a work of fraternal love. May our hearts be filled with a desire to act with justice toward all, thereby fulfilling the golden rule. May we be ever ready to respond to the calls of humanity; we ask Thy guidance in the work we have undertaken. Help us to exemplify in our daily lives the motto, Friendship, Love, Charity and Fidelity, Amen.
Officer of the Day:
Chevaliers, recover.
Commander:
I now declare ... Fortress, No ... of the Independent Order Ladies' Militant open for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it.
Gives one rap which seats the members.

Enrollment

Where there are both ladies and chevaliers to be admitted, the chevaliers will be escorted into the room first, by the Officer of the Day, and obligated, after which the ladies will be admitted under full escort and proceed with regular enrollment. A guard of honor of not less than four chevaliers and as many more as can be used, at the discretion of the Officer of the Day, should attend the candidates through the ceremony, under command of the Officer of the Canton.
Commander:
Officer of the day, you will report for orders.
Officer of the Day, saluting:
Commander, I have the honor to report for orders.
Commander, answering salute:
Officer of the day, you will retire and ascertain whether there are any recruits in waiting.
The Officer of the Day salutes and retires to the ante-room, making the usual alarm at the inner door, which is attended by the Inner Sentry.

Commander:
Inner Sentry, present my compliments to the Commander and inform her that recruits who have been elected to become members of this Fortress announce their presence and await her pleasure.
Inner Sentry, approaching the altar and saluting:
Commander, the Officer of the Day presents his compliments and reports that there are recruits in the anteroom, who having been duly elected to become members of this Fortress announce their presence and await your pleasure.
Commander:
Inner Sentry, instruct the Officer of the Day to seat all the recruits inside our gates, after which he will retire to quarters.
Inner sentry salutes, returns to station and instructs Officer of the Day.
Lieutenant Commander:
Officer of the Day, you will cause to be brought forth from the archives the insignia of authority, that we may receive the awaiting recruits with the dignity befitting this Fortress.
Officer of the Day:
Aides, you will retire to the armory and convey to, and deposit upon, the Altar, the insignia of authority.
The Aides of the Commander and Lt. Commander will retire to the ante: room and convey to, and deposit on the altar the drum upon which is placed the bible, cape and crown, all being covered with the canopy. The Aides will then resume their seats. The Aides to the Past Commander and Chaplain or four Chevaliers will then approach the altar each bearing a staff upon which they will suspend the four corners of the canopy, raising it above their heads. (This may be changed to suit conditions.)

Commander:
Officer of the Day, designate a guard of honor.
Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Canton, form a guard of honor.
Officer of the Canton:
Canton, fall in.
Canton will march in columns of twos from the Lt. Commander toward the Commander's Station, one fhe on each side of altar, halt and face inward, keeping altar in center of column from left to right, inward face, cross swords.

Officer of the Day, the guard of honor is formed.
Officer of the Day:
Commander, the guard of honor is formed.
Commander and Lt. Commander march to the altar between the lines.

Lieutenant Commander:
Commander outside our gates there await recruits. That we may do them the honor befitting their rank, that we may cause them to appreciate the dignity and seriousness of the work that they are about to undertake, that they may yield a willing obedience to the laws and rules of this Fortress as administered by your high office (Commander kneels), we place upon your shoulders this mantle of authority, and this crown, symbols of the corner stone of our order, Truth, and in so arraying you to greet the recruits, we hereby renew our pledge of loyalty.
Commander arises, and together with the Lt. Commander resume their stations. The Aides to the Past Commander and Chaplain lower the canopy and return to their stations.

Commander:
Officer of the Day, you will retire to the ante: room, and await the pleasure of the Commander.
The Officer of the Day retires.

Inner Sentry:
Commander salutes, the Officer of the Day awaits your pleasure.
Commander:
Inner Sentry, you will convey my compliments to the Officer of the Day and inform him that a guard of honor will be dispatched to escort the recruits to this station.
Inner Sentry salutes and returns to his station.

Inner Sentry:
Opening door.
Officer of the Day, salutes, which is returned by the Officer of the Day:
the Commander presents her compliments and directs me to inform you that a guard of honor will be dispatched to escort the recruits to her presence.
Commander:
Officer of the Canton, you will escort the awaiting recruits to this station.
Officer of the Canton salutes.

Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, carry swords. Right and left face. Forward, march. Column left, march. Column left, march. Column left, march. Column left. Halt. Inward face. Backward, guide right, march. Halt. Chevaliers, advance swords.
The Inner Sentry will open the door and the Officer of the Day with chevaliers will march between the lines, turning to the left when clear of the lines. Cross the hall to the left side, turn to the right and when about five or six feet past the altar turn to the right, march to the center, facing the Commander, when the recruits are in line the Officer of the Day will step to the right of line.

Officer of the Day:
Commander, I take pleasure in introducing these chevaliers (or the chevalier) who desire to become members of this Fortress.
Commander:
Sirs (or Sir) I am glad to welcome you to our Fortress and trust that you may receive from it increased inspiration for the work undertaken by this and the Patriarchs Militant order. Officer of the day, you will escort the Chevalier (or Chevaliers) to the Chaplain for the obligation.
Officer of the Day salutes. Officer of the Day escorts the candidates to the front of the Past Commander, facing the Chaplain. The Canton forming company front behind the candidate, facing the Chaplain.

Officer of the Day:
Chaplain, by direction of the Commander, I present these Chevaliers (or this Chevalier) for the obligation.
Chaplain:
You will please kneel, place your right hand on the Bible and repeat after me the following obligation:
Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, Uncover!
Chaplain:
In the presence of the Ladies and the Chevaliers of ... Fortress, No ... of the Independent Order Ladies Militant here assembled, I, ..., do solemnly promise that I will never unlawfully divulge any of the secret work of this degree, nor its signs, tokens, passwords, nor anything pertaining to them with which I may be entrusted. That I will be ever ready to aid and assist in promoting the comfort and welfare of my Comrades of the Ladies Militant. That I, as a Chevalier, will zealously guard and defend the honor and good name of my sisters of the Ladies Militant, I furthermore promise, to abide by the constitution, and laws of the Supreme Fortress, and of the Grand Fortress in whose jurisdiction I may be; and of this Fortress, or any Fortress of which I may be a member. To all secrecy and obedience I hereby pledge my sacred word of honor.
Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, Recover!
Chaplain:
Chevaliers, you will please rise.
Officer of the Day, you will seat the Chevaliers and report to the Commander for further instructions.
Officer of the Day advances to the altar and salutes the Commander.

Officer of the Day:
Commander, I report for orders.
Commander:
Officer of the Day, you will retire and introduce
the lady recruits.
Officer of the Canton, you will report for instruction.
Officer of the Canton:
Commander, I report for orders.
Commander:
Officer of the Canton, you will escort the awaiting recruits to this station.
Officer of the Canton proceeds as before, except that the ladies precede the Canton instead of following.

Officer of the Day, salutes:
Commander, I have the pleasure of introducing to you, Miss (or Mrs.) ... who desires an audience.
Commander:
Lady (or Ladies), it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to our Fortress. May I inquire the reason for this visit?
Officer of the Day:
This lady has (or these ladies have) been informed that affiliated with the Patriarchs Militant is a noble army of ladies which shares with them the labors of the Militant cause, and being duly qualified, desires to be enlisted in its ranks.
Commander:
My friend (or friends), I esteem your desire most worthy, but it will be my duty to inform you, that in becoming a member of the Independent Order Ladies Militant, you are expected to visit the sick, to sympathize with the bereaved, or in some way to relieve distress. You will be expected, should occasion arise, to loyally defend your sister or an absent Chevalier in all that is just. Do you feel that under all circumstances you will remain steadfast and true to the Militant cause, you are about to espouse?
The Recruit:
I do.
Commander:
If you have any doubt as to your ability to conform to the vows you must take upon yourself in becoming a member of the Militant body, you have permission at this time to reconsider. If you wish to retire, you are at liberty to do so. Your actions in this must be free and voluntary, for you must remember, that you are about to take upon yourself obligations which will end only with death. Do you wish to proceed?
The Recruit:
I do.
Commander:
Ladies and Chevaliers, this lady has entered our portals and requests admission to our ranks. Is it your wish that she enter our Militant circle?
Lieutenant Commander:
Commander, we have all heard your words of admonition and advice to this lady (or these ladies), and it is our wish that she be made a member of our order. As one of us she will find kind hearts and willing hands ever ready to endeavor to lighten any burden she may be called upon to bear. We feel confident that she (or they) will be an ornament to our circle, and we ask you to confer upon her (or them) the degree of Lady of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant.
Commander:
Lady (or ladies), you have listened to the words of our Lieutenant Commander, who voices the sentiments of all our members and if you are still determined to proceed you will be presented to our Chaplain for obligation.
Officer of the Day, under proper escort you will present the lady to the Chaplain, with the request that the Militant obligation be administered to her.
The aides to the Past Commander and Chaplain or the Chevaliers will proceed to raise the canopy over the altar as before described. The ladies and Chevaliers circle around the altar, the ladies forming the inner circle and the Chevaliers the outer. The officer and recruit on one side of the altar, the Chaplain on the other. The recruit is instructed to place the right hand on the open Bible.

Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, draw swords; present swords.
Officer of the Day:
Chaplain, by order of our Commander, I present this (or these) lady to you for obligation.
Chaplain:
My friend, you will please repeat after me:
In the presence of the Chevaliers and Ladies of ... Fortress, No ... of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant here assembled I, (your name in full) do solemnly promise that I will never divulge unlawfully any of the secret work of this degree, or its signs, tokens, passwords, or anything pertaining to them with which I may be entrusted. That I will be ever ready to aid and assist in promoting the comfort and welfare of my comrades, and the Chevaliers under whose protection I may place myself. That I will ever strive through purity of life, through zeal and devotion to the cause I now espouse, to be worthy of the protection of those chivalrous knights, the Patriarchs Militant. That I will ever cherish and defend the character and good name of a Chevalier or Lady Militant. I furthermore promise to abide by the Constitution and Laws of the Supreme Fortress and of the Grand Fortress in whose jurisdiction I may be and of this Fortress or any Fortress of which I may be a member. To all secrecy and obedience I hereby pledge my sacred word of honor.
Chorus of Members:
Remember, we are witnesses to your solemn obligation.
Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, Carry swords; return swords.
Chaplain: You are now obligated as one of us; let me exhort you to be strictly attentive to the sessions and work of the Ladies Militant. Be punctual in attendance, be faithful in action, be true to your obligation and all committed to your charge. Officer of the Day, you will now present the Ladies and Chevaliers at the Adjutant's quarters, there to sign the roll of membership, after which, you will seat the Chevaliers and present the ladies to our Commander for further instruction.
The officer and recruits pass from circle up the center of room and to Adjutant, while the other members pass to their seats. After signing the roll, the ladies are presented to the Commander.

Officer of the Day:
Commander, by order of our Chaplain, I present these ladies to you for further instruction.
Commander:
Comrades, we have listened to your solemn vows, which now bind you as they have all of us; we have implicit confidence that you will demonstrate the spirit of your obligation in your daily life. While we do not look for perfection in any one, we trust that you will strive to emulate that which is truest and best, keeping as your guiding star our motto: Friendship, Love, Charity, Fidelity. Officer of the Day, you will please conduct the recruit to the Past Commander, for further instruction.
Officer of the Day, saluting:
Past Commander, by order of the Commander, I present this lady for instruction.
Past Commander:
The Jewel of this degree is a blending of symbols which will now be illustrated by the aides.
Right Aid to the Commander:
The white rose is symbolical of purity. The delicious fragrance that it yields, its spotless purity, its symmetry of form, all serve to impress us that, in our daily lives, our words and our actions should be such, that, like the rose, we shed around us a halo that is felt, and that falls upon our fellows as does the fragrance of the flower unseen, unheard, yet sweetly refreshing. It is the emblem and standard of what our thoughts should be, and reminds us that in all things it is possible to draw around us the mantle of purity. As the rose withers and fades away, so should we be ever reminded that we should strive constantly to make brighter and happier the lives of others, remembering that our days are numbered, hence our good deeds and our labors of love should be performed now. The white rose also teaches us gentleness, the most beautiful attribute of woman's nature.
Left Aid to the Commander:
The shepherd's crook reminds us of the many degrees through which the chevaliers have passed in order that they might wear the plumes of knighthood. It also signifies gentleness, for by it we are reminded of the age when men dwelt in tents and watched the flocks and herds. It was then that the crook was used to rescue the lambs that, straying from the flock were lost among the mountain crags.
So should we, taught by these lessons, be ever ready to extend the hand of helpfulness to those who require it, always remembering that the strong must ever support the weak.
Right Aid to the Lieutenant Commander:
The sword reminds us that our homes and our families are always protected by the chevalier and that his knightly hand is every ready to wield the sword in our defense. It signifies strength and valor and reminds us that for the protection that it affords, we should exercise kindness and justice and at all times by influence for good, so fill the human heart with the spirit of helpfulness and fraternity, that we may look forward to the prophecy of old, When the sword shall be beaten into a ploughshare, and the spear into a pruning hook.
Left Aid to the Lieutenant Commander:
The crown illustrates the compensations of life, and signifies that our rewards are measured by our deeds and that if we would be crowned with happiness we must, in turn, strive to make others happy. It also reminds us of the eternal crown of glory that is given as a reward for a well spent life and if we would obtain an eternal life we must practice the lessons taught by the Great Master.
Past Commander:
The Cross of St. John, or the Geneva Cross, is the hospital badge for it signifies help and shelter.
Upon the field of battle, surrounded by the dead and the dying, amid the clouds of desolation and despair the sight of this cross, upon the arm of a sister has aroused the fallen soldier to a consciousness that all was not lost but that through the blackness and gloom there yet shone the bright rays of hope.
To us it signifies that wherever we find suffering we must be ready to extend the hand of assistance.
The letters I. O. L. and M. represent the name of our Order, Independent Order Ladies Militant.
The simple lessons conveyed by this emblem should be taken well to heart, and graven on your mind, that your future may be benefited by our teaching, and our emblems serve as an inspiration to a higher and nobler life. Officer of the Day, please conduct all the recruits to the Commander for final instruction.
Officer of the Day:
Commander, I now present to you the ladies and chevaliers for final instruction.
Commander:
My comrades, to the lessons already imparted I have but little to add. In this degree we have no secrets, our shake of the hand is one of honest sincerity, we have no mystic symbols with which to cumber you. But as our homes are made sacred from the intrusion of the stranger and the curious, so we protect our Fortress from unwelcome visitors by the Sign and Countersign. The sign is the semi-annual password, and is changed twice a year. It is ....
Wishing to enter the Fortress when in session, you will give one rap at the outer door, when the sentry will challenge you through the wicket, with 'Who comes there?' To which you will reply by giving the name and number of the Fortress to which you belong. He will at once open the door and say; 'Advance, comrade, and give the sign.' When you will give him the password I have just communicated to you. You will then pass to the inner door and give two raps, where you will be challenged in like manner by the inner sentry, to whom you must give the countersign or permanent password, which is ....
This word is never changed. You will then advance to the center of the room and salute the Commander with a military salute: that officer will acknowledge it in like manner, and you will then be seated. The annual or traveling password is .... This word is only to be used when visiting Fortresses in Jurisdictions other than your own.
When visiting a Fortress in another Jurisdiction you will announce your presence to the Outer Sentry by giving your own name, and rank and the name, number and department of the Fortress of which you are a member. The Outer Sentry will report your presence to the Inner Sentry, who, in turn, will enter the armory and inform the Commander that a visitor awaits her pleasure. The Officer of the Day will be dispatched to the inner gate to whom you will communicate the word I have just given you, together with the countersign or permanent password.
You will then be escorted within the Armory by the Officer of the Day and presented to the Commander in proper form. Wishing to leave the Fortress when in session you will advance to the center of the room and salute the Lieut. Commander, who will acknowledge the salute, you will then be at liberty to retire.
You are now instructed in all our usages and rites. Therefore, ladies, in the name and by the authority of the Supreme Fortress, I declare you to be a Lady of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant entitled to all the rights and privileges accruing therefrom and in token of this honor, the highest in our power to bestow, I present you with this pure white rose as an emblem of purity, of steadfast loyalty and fraternal love. And you, Sir Knight of the noble order of Patriarchs Militant, in the name and by the authority of the Supreme Fortress, receive from me the added honor of the degree of Chevalier of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant. In token of this honor, the highest in our power to confer on a Chevalier, I herewith present to you your Sword. May you never unsheathe it except in defense of the weak and oppressed, and in vindication of Truth and Righteousness.
Recruits should here face the altar.

Comrades, it affords me great pleasure to introduce to you (give names) who because of their (or her) great merit have received the degree of Lady and Chevalier of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant. You will unite with me in according them (or her) a hearty welcome and resume business at the sound of the gavel.
The Fortress may be at ease for ten minutes for the purpose of greeting the new comrades.

If the visitor to a Fortress is an officer or Past Officer of the Grand or Supreme Fortress, the Commander shall instruct the Officer of the Day to cause a guard of honor to escort the visitor within the gates. The guard of honor shall form in twos at the inner gate, and advance swords. The visitor accompanied by the Officer of the Day shall enter, under the arch of steel, the guard after the command carry swords shall march by twos and company front" behind the visitor, facing the commander. The commander shall call up the Fortress when the visitor enters, and after reception shall order Comrades salute, and the officer of the Canton shall order present swords, after which canton may be dismissed.

Ceremony of Enrollment for a Chevalier

Where there are Chevaliers only, to be enrolled, the following form shall be used:
Commander:
Officer of the Day, That officer steps to the front of the Commander and salutes you will prepare and introduce the chevaliers in waiting.
Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Canton, you will furnish an escort.
A Canton of not less than four will be formed and will march to the inner door, escorting the Officer of the Day.

Inner Sentry, you will inform the chevaliers that are without that we are ready to conduct them through the ceremony of initiation and you will bid them enter.
The Inner Sentry salutes and opens inner door:
Sirs, the Fortress is in readiness and the Officer of the Day awaits to escort you through the ceremony of initiation.
The Chevaliers and Officer of the Day are preceded by the Canton escort, commanded by the Officer of the Canton. The Canton will march to the front of the Commander and will form company front facing that officer. The Officer of the Day and candidates two paces in front of Canton.

Officer of the Day:
Commander, I take pleasure in introducing these chevaliers (or this chevalier), who desire to become members of this Fortress.
Commander:
Sirs (or Sir), I am glad to welcome you to our Fortress and trust that you may receive from it increased inspiration for the work undertaken by this and the Patriarchs Militant order. Officer of the Day, you will escort the chevaliers (or chevalier) to the Chaplain for the obligation.
Officer of the Day salutes. The Officer of the Day escorts the candidates (or candidate) to the front of Past Commander facing the Chaplain. The Canton forming company front behind the candidate facing the Chaplain.

Officer of the Day:
Chaplain, by direction of the Commander, I present these chevaliers (or this chevalier) for the obligation.
Chaplain:
You will please kneel, place your right hand on the Bible and repeat after me the following obligation.
Officer of the Canton commands uncover.

In the presence of the ladies and the chevaliers of ... Fortress, No ... of the Independent Order of Ladies Militant here assembled, I (full name) do solemnly promise that I will never unlawfully divulge any of the secret work of this degree, nor its signs, tokens, passwords, nor anything pertaining to them with which I may be entrusted. That I will be ever ready to aid and assist in promoting the comfort and welfare of my comrades of the Ladies Militant. That I as a chevalier will zealously guard and defend the honor and good name of my sisters of the Ladies Militant. I furthermore promise to abide by the constitution and laws of the Supreme Fortress, and of the Grand Fortress, in whose jurisdiction I may be; and of this Fortress, or any Fortress of which I may be a member. To all secrecy and obedience I hereby pledge my sacred word of honor.
Officer of the Canton commands Recover.

Chevaliers, you will please rise.
Officer of the Day, you will present the chevaliers (or chevalier) to the Commander for further instructions.
Officer of the Day salutes. The candidate (or candidates) is escorted to the Commander. The Canton forming behind them facing the Commander.

Officer of the Day:
Commander, by direction of the Chaplain I present these chevaliers (or chevalier) for the final instructions.
Commander will here give instruction in secret work as before given.

You are now instructed in all our usages and rites and therefore, Sir Knight of the Noble Order of Patriarchs Militant, in the name and by the authority of the Supreme Fortress receive from me the added honor of the Degree of Chevalier of the Independent Order Ladies Militant. In token of this honor, the highest in our power to confer on a chevalier, I herewith present to you your sword. May you never unsheathe it except in defense of the weak and oppressed, and in vindication of Truth and Righteousness.
Recruits will here face altar.

Comrades, it affords me great pleasure to introduce to you (names) who because of their (or his) great merit have (or has) received the degree of Chevalier of the Independent Order Ladies Militant. You will unite with me in according them (or him) a hearty welcome and resume order at the sound of the gavel.
The Fortress may be at ease ten minutes for the purpose of greeting the new comrades.

Closing Ceremonies

Commander: Officers and members, I am about to close ... Fortress, No ..., of the Ladies Militant. The Officer of the Day will advance and receive orders.
Officer of the Day, advancing to the front of the Commander and saluting:
Commander, I await your orders.
Commander:
Officer of the Day, you will see that the sentries are relieved, the gates unlocked, but remain closed until the conclusion of the closing ceremonies.
Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Canton, you will relieve the sentries and unlock the gates.
Officer of the Canton, saluting:
Chevaliers fall in.
The Officer of the Canton will proceed in the same manner as at the opening, marching to the outer door.

Sentries dismissed. Fall in.
Officer of the Canton will march the Canton to a position facing the Commander, salutes the Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Day, your orders have been obeyed.
Officer of the Day:
Officer of the Canton, dismiss the Canton.
Officer of the Canton:
Chevaliers, return swords; dismissed.
Commander:
Officers and members will form around the altar.
The Officer of the Day leading, Chevaliers falling in by file. The Commander steps down and takes her place beside the Officer of the Day, all other ladies falling in on right of Chevaliers. Having made the circle of the hall the column turns left at the Commander's station, then circles to the right, which brings the ladies to the inner circle. Each Chevalier takes position directly behind the lady he is escorting. The Chaplain takes position at altar directly in front of her own station.
Officer of the Day:
Inward face.
Commander:
Members, be attentive. Chaplain, you will please invoke Divine blessing.
Officer of the Day:
Chevaliers, uncover.
Chaplain:
Heavenly Father, we ask Thy blessing upon us. May all our words and actions be to Thy glory and to the promotion of human happiness. Protect us with Thy care, enrich us with Thy helpfulness, and so guide our footsteps here that our march may lead us on to Thy eternal kingdom, where safe within the Fortress of Heaven, we may forever rest. Amen.
Officer of the Day:
Chevaliers, recover.
Commander:
Officers and members, return to your stations.
Chevaliers and ladies continue the march, each officer leaving the column when opposite her station, until each has assumed her respective chair.

Commander:
Officers and members, we are about to mingle again with the outer world, with all its conflicting conditions, therefore I enjoin you to be faithful to your obligation, ever keeping in mind the lofty sentiments of our motto, Friendship, Love, Charity and Fidelity. You are dismissed.
Gives one blow of the gavel.


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