Loyal Order of Jonathan and David
First Degree Ritual


Working Degree
At the appointed hour of meeting the Commander will give the signal, when the Captain will advance with the salutation.
COMMANDER: Before the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David enters into executive session, it devolves upon you, Captain, to see that the Sentry is at his post of duty lest any pass to and fro who are not qualified to enter here, and mark the approach of any enemy and to sound alarm of his coming; and it is likewise incumbent upon you to have this immediate presence protected by a Guard, upon whom chiefly depends the preservation of the secrets of our Order from the inquisitive, the vulgar and the malicious. Retire, Captain, and make investigation as to whether this environment is properly protected, and report.
Captain salutes and retires.
COMMANDER: My trusted Armor-Bearer, ascertain whether there be any present not fully qualified to remain, and if so, forthwith report.
CAPTAIN: The Sentry is at his post and the Guard is on duty, loyal Commander.
COMMANDER: The Scribe will call the roll of officers, that the places of absentees may be filled.
If any be absent their places must be filled by the Commander, and this fact must be noted in the minutes.
COMMANDER: The chief purpose of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David is to cultivate in the hearts of its membership the noble qualities of Courage, Fidelity and Mercy, that so characterized the lives of the founders of our great institution; to plant the seeds of brotherly love, to elevate the morals of its members, to strengthen the weak, protect the frail, and by mutual friendship promote the interests and general welfare of each other. Especially is it the purpose of this great Order to relieve the distressed brother; and, finally, at all hazards, to minister to and befriend the widows and the orphans of deceased Loyal Brothers
SCRIBE: Courage, the first of the cardinal principles of our ancient and honorable Order, is the virtue that so marked the lives of Jonathan and David as to give them a distinction among their fellow men without compare, and which even unto the present time has not been equalled
TREASURER: Fidelity, the second of our cardinal principles, is emblematic of the endearing link that binds men of Courage and Honor together, as it bound Jonathan and David in bands stouter than ribs of steel, and more enduring.
SEER: Mercy is the last of the cardinal principles of our Order. It is the gem that radiates the constellation: Courage, Fidelity, Mercy—for “A merciful Heart maketh a cheerful countenance.” It is God’s smile upon human benefaction. Mercy is born of Love, and God is Love. Amen.
First Degree

COMMANDER: Most loyal Scribe, do the proceedings as kept of record in your office discover the name of any applicant for initiation into the mysteries of our ancient, beneficent and noble Order, who has been duly approved by this Lodge?
SCRIBE: Most noble Commander, the records show the name of … as having been elected to membership in the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David.
COMMANDER: Trusted Treasurer, have the entrance fees and other charges required by our laws been paid into your hands by this applicant?
TREASURER: The entrance fees and other charges required by our laws have been paid into my hands.
COMMANDER: You will retire to the ante-room, my most trusted Armor-Bearer, and make diligent inquiry concerning the present status, morally, of the applicant, and straightway make faithful report hither.
ARMOR-BEARER: I retire to do thy bidding, loyal Commander.
The Armor-Bearer will address the applicant as follows: Your application for initiation into the mysteries of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David has been duly considered and you have been elected to membership in this Order. It now remains for me to inquire of you whether, since the date of your application, any cause has intervened that would tend toward making you unworthy the love and fellowship of those with whom you are now about to plight your faith. If any impediment exists say so now, ere it be too late.
I will now make report of your answer to our Commander.
Armor-Bearer will give signal at the door, and advancing to front of altar will say: Since the entry of the candidate into the ante-room I have made diligent inquiry of him concerning the matters you gave me in charge, loyal Commander, and I am grateful to be able to report that he is now as worthy of our confidence and brotherly love as when, by our solemn vote, we decided to admit him here into full fellowship.
If report is adverse it will be submitted to Committee on Membership.
COMMANDER: Loyal Brothers, ye have hearkened unto the report of my Armor-Bearer. The candidate is worthy and awaits the revelation of our mysteries.
Captain, retire and discharge with fidelity your responsible duties.
Captain retires to ante-room and without comment blindfolds initiate, and by his left arm leads him to the door, which will be only partially opened on proper signal.
GUARD: Who comes there?
CAPTAIN: One whose merit has been tested and who has been pronounced worthy of our recognition.
GUARD: Let him enter, but woe be unto him and his posterity forever if he prove faithless to the solemn obligations he is about to assume.
Captain conducts the candidate around the hall, during the song, “Saul has slain his thousands, David his ten thousands,”
SEER: In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth and the seas and all that in them is. The earth was without form and void and utter darkness hung over the face of the deep. And the Lord God divided the waters from the land. He set the several constellations in their respective spheres in the firmament, lighting the universe, and with the hand of Omnipotence He touched the earth as it swung upon its axis: it sprung into motion and there was life instant and eternal. And the great Jehovah, with a single glance of His Omnicient eye, compassed the universe with its myriad worlds and limitless proportions, and pronounced His handiwork good, when the morning stars sang together and all creation shouted for joy.
And the Lord God planted beautiful garden eastward in Eden, and He placed therein the Man He had made to dress and keep it. In that garden there was every fruit and herb baring tree, and the Tree of Eternal Life, and the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Such a garden was there as only the hand of God would plant. Therein was every growth that could contribute to the sustenance of man or minister to his pleasure. The senses were delighted with the presence of every flower. The air was filled with the melody of birds of every feather. The brooks therein that watered the vegetable and animal kingdoms laughed and sparkled in the virgin sunshine. Peace reigned supreme there. There God and Man communed together. But the Man and the Woman that God had given him fell from their high estate and were driven thence, the Man in sorrow and by the sweat of his brow forced to wring his living from the bosom of old Mother Earth for all coming generations.
When Man begun to multiply on the face of the Earth, the first subject demanding his attention was that of Architecture. The clefts in the rocks, the spreading branches of the trees and the circumscribed quarters of the cave, proved inadequate to cope with the elements of Nature. The scorching rays of the sun and the chilling blasts of winter, and the storms that swept the earth at all seasons, made it necessary that Man should provide shelter for himself. Accordingly, the rude hut was evolved, and finally the science of Architecture advanced to such a degree of perfection that even now the ruins of the Old World are the school houses of the modern architect.
Hand in hand with Architecture, the science of Government necessarily provoked the attention of Man. The safety of society demanded that his evil impulses be restrained. The law that Might makes Right bred discord and anarchy. Crime was unchecked and the weak receded before the strong. Hence, out the community of interests, Clans and Tribes were formed. The motives moving men to such combinations were varied. Under divers forms and for divers purposes they still exist. They will ever exist so long as Man feels the necessity for comradship with his fellows.

COMMANDER: You are now within the sacred precincts of an Order that antedates the founding of any other secret organization. While Solomon, during the building of the Temple, planted the seeds of brotherly hove among the toilers engaged on that structure, out of which a great secret order grew, King David, the father of Solomon, had already in his covenant with Jonathan, the son of King Saul, formed the nucleus from which was evolved the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, the same being the most ancient brotherhood known to man.
The Prophet Samuel, one of the Judges of Israel, became sorely distressed when the people of Israel besought him to give them a King to rule over them as other nations had. Samuel warned them of evil likely to overtake them under such form of government, but they were so importunate in their demand that Samuel, who had now become a Seer, invoked the direction of God. And it came to pass that the Lord bade him annoint Saul, the son of Kish, to be King over his people. Now, Saul was a young man of most pleasing appearance, but withal most powerful and large of stature, standing shoulders and head over any man of his race; and when Samuel annointed him, the people cried, “God save the King.”
Saul had three sons, the eldest named Jonathan, and two daughters. When he had reigned two years he organized his military forces, for himself reserving immediate command over two thousand men and placing Jonathan as Captain over one thousand men.
Shortly thereafter he became involved in war with the Philistines; and while the hosts of the contending armies were lying in their tents. Jonathan, accompanied only by his armor-bearer, stole away and by a difficult and dangerous path, entered the garrison of the Philistines. They made a terrific assault upon him as soon as they discovered his identity. There was a great tumult, and Jonathan with his own hands slew twenty of the enemy. The noise of the fight attracted the attention of Saul’s army, and it forthwith became engaged, with the result that there was a great slaughter there that day, the same being the first victory that Israel had won over the Philistines. The courage displayed by Jonathan was magnificent, and won for him great glory as a soldier. When Saul undertook to enforce his judgment of death against him for alleged breach of military discipline, in that he recklessly exposed himself as against great numbers, and without authority, the people protested, saying “Shall Jonathan die, who hath wrought this great salvation for Israel? God forbid: as the Lord liveth, not a hair of his head shall fall to that ground.” So the people rescued him, arid Saul suffered him to retain the position of Captain over a thousand.
SCRIBE: For a time Saul made a wise and just ruler, but finally, failing to obey the commandments of the Lord, Samuel was directed by the Divine Spirit to annoint another to be ruler over His people; and under Heavenly inspiration he besought Jesse, the Ephrathite, who had eight sons. Now, Jesse’s house was the humblest of the humble tribe of Bethlemite; and when he found him, Jesse caused seven of his sons then present to pass before Samuel, but the Prophet said he did not recognize in any of them the Lord’s annointed. So, the youngest of the sons of Jesse— David—who was then absent tending his father’s sheep, was sent for, and when he passed before Samuel, the Prophet was greatly impressed, and the spirit of the Lord directed that he annoint the had to be King over Judah, and Samuel did so annoint David. Straightway he returned to the care of his father’s sheep. Neither Samuel, Jesse, David or his brothers thereafter made mention of what had transpired.
Shortly after this occurrence Saul made another invasion against the Philistines, and the brothers of David joined the hosts of Saul. The legion of the Philistines were drawn up in battle array, led by the mighty giant. Goliath of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span, and who wore a helmet of brass upon his head and who was armed with a coat of mail, the weight of which was 5,000 sheckels of brass, the staff of his spear being hike a weaver’s beam and the head of his spear weighing 600 shekels of iron, and having one bearing a shield to go before him. this giant stood forth and cried unto the armies of Israel: “Why are you come out to set your battles in array? Choose you a man and let him come down to me. If he be able to fight with me and to kill me, then will we be your servants, but if I prevail against him and kill him, then shall ye be our servants and serve us.” Saul’s armies were greatly alarmed, for there was none who dared to do him battle.
Finally, it came to pass that David’s father sent him to the trenches where Saul’s forces hay to carry food to his brothers and to learn how they were faring. When David had reached the trenches, behold, Goliath, the giant, again appeared before the hosts of Israel arid repeated his threats against and challenge to Saul’s armies; and again there were none to do him battle. David then cried out: “What have I done? Is there not a cause?”
TREASURER: When Saul, who was then present in chief command of Israel’s forces, heard of David’s words he sent for him, and David said “Thy servant will go out and fight with this Philistine.” “But,” said Saul “thou art not able to go and fight against him, for thou are but a youth and he a man of war.” “Thy servant,”’ answered David, “kept his father’s sheep and there came a lion and a bear that took a lamb out of the flock. I went out after them and smote them and delivered the lamb out the mouth of the lion. When he arose against me I caught him by his beard and smote him and slew him. Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear. Moreover,” continued David, “the Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion and the paw of the hear, will deliver me out of the hands of the Philistine.
Whereupon, Saul armed David with his own armor, and he put a helmet of brass upon his head, and armed him with a coat of mail, and David girded the King’s sword about himself. Thus equipped he essayed to go as Saul had bidden, but he finally told Saul he could not go thus armored, as he had not proved them. He therefore put them aside, and, taking his staff in his hand and choosing five smooth stones from the brook, he put them in the shepherd’s hag which he wore, and with his sling in his hand he stepped forth to meet the mighty Goliath of Gath. The giant disdained the youth, scoffed at him, and at first refused to do battle, but David advanced upon him, and, taking from his bag a stone, slung it and smote the Philistine in the forehead, when he fell upon his face to the earth. Thereupon, David ran and stood upon the Philistine, and, with the giant’s own sword, which he drew from its sheath, he cut off his head and bore it back to Jerusalem.
COMMANDER: Saul took David that day auth would not let him return to his father’s house. As they journeyed homeward from the field of battle, Saul and David, the multi-tuck shouted and the women sang: “Saul has killed his thousands, David his ten thousands”.
This grand demonstration by the people in honor of David excited the fear and jealousy of Saul, although he was not yet aware that David was of God’s annointed, to supersede him in his kingdom. But as to Jonathan, the son of Saul, there was naught in his heart but love for David. Immediately that they saw each other, the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David; and they made a covenant, because they loved each other as their souls. Jonathan stripped himself of his robe and put it on David, giving unto him even the sword that he wore. That day they wore a mighty oath of fidelity to each other, mo their kindred, and even unto their posterity, forever And thus was the most ancient Loyal Order of Jonathan and David established, which has been perpetuated even unto the present day.
The Captain will now retire with the initiate.
SCRIBE: You are now about to take upon yourself the solemn pledge that will make you one of us. If you feel that your courage is equal to the ordeal, so indicate, for if you are weak and timid you now have the opportunity to withdraw from this presence, first giving your word of honor that under no circumstances will you ever reveal what has transpired here. This opportunity is offered because no coward is admitted here.
Repeat alter me the pledge that will place you in fellowship with the dear friends that now surround you.
“By the Holy Word of God, that I pray henceforth may be my guide through life, I do solemnly promise to keep sacred and inviolate, the pass-words, signs, grips, signals and all secrets of this Order, so help me, God.”
SEER: Courage. This is one of the cardinal principles of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David. As this virtue is typified in the lives of the founders of this Order, so we hope to emulate it, and may he who withholds effort in that behalf have his right hand forget its cunning and his tongue cleave unto the roof of his mouth. By a faithful adherence the grand and lasting principles of our Order, we hope to better our several conditions, elevate mankind, and glorify our Heavenly Commander.
My Brother, for such we now call you, would admonish you that those who have lived long in the land which God hath given us, have found that Man is the best study of Mankind. I have applied myself to hum, to his deeds and the motives that control his conduct rather than to the sophistry of books or the cunning of logicians, and scanning the horizon of the centuries for that Quality that more greatly ennobles Man in the esteem of his fellows, I find that it is his Courage. Without this virtue there can be no greatness. Divest the human soul of Courage and you have void. Fill the craven breast with Courage and it is no longer daunted. God has endowed Man with certain attributes, but if he lack Courage to maintain those qualities he becomes a thing of shame to his Creator and a nameless moral excresence.
One of the chief objects of this Order is therefore the stimulation of the God-given attribute of Courage. While physical prowess has at all time; and among all peoples received the roost magnificent plaudit, it is not, by any means, confounded with harsh or cruel barbarity. But true Courage is that virtue that will maintain the right at all hazards, as did David, when he rescued the lamb, the personification of gentleness and timidity, from the monarchs of the forest , and, again, when he saved his people from destruction by a mighty host. Likewise, the entry of Jonathan, into the garrison of the enemy was reckless, but none the less a display of well nigh unequaled Courage. Those are instances of perfect physical Courage.
There is a spirit of Moral Courage, however, that transcends in grandeur all the deeds of physical valor that may be crowded in the compass of the ages, which this Order would especially infuse into its membership Moral Courage is that quality that nerves the mind and heart of Man to see, to know, to do the right. Moral Courage is to the true Man what the rudder is to the ship. Moral Courage enables him to discern the true path of life and to pursue it though the way be strewn with dragons’ teeth and heated plowshares, and though the air he breathes on his journey he freighted with the noxious and withering scorn of his fellows. Moral Courage brings strength to the weak, comfort to the afflicted and fills the soul with a manly self-respect that riches and position can never give.
Admonishing you, my Brother, to cultivate in your heart the great virtues of Courage and revere it wherever you find it, I would assure you of the abiding faith I have that the lessons you have learned here will prove of incalculable benefit to you in your intercourse with the world.
TREASURER: You have received with much profit, no doubt, our teachings, as have the countless thousands who have preceded you in these mysteries. David admonished his people to be strong and of good Courage and to dread not nor be dismayed; for the Lord had mole of him a witness to the people, a header and a Commander thereof His leadership consisted riot alone in a display of Courage in warfare, but in the exercise of Courage in the manifold affairs of life. He had that Courage which makes for progress and on which achievement is founded. It is the Courage that saves talent from drowning in the great sea of timidity. It is the Courage of determination that fosters faith in one’s own plans and his ability to press them forward to a glorious fruition. It was Moral Courage that inspired the industry of genius out which has sprung the magnificent in architecture, in the arts, in science and in mechanics, until Man has subdued the forces of Nature to his own use, verifying the acclaim of David when he said that God made Man little lower than the Angels, and hath crowned him with glory and honor, giving him dominion over the works of His hands and put all things under his feet.
COMMANDER: It now becomes the duty of the Commander to instruct you in the secret work of the Loyal Order of Jonathan and David, after which you will take your place in the membership; and while you are now a Brother of the Order, you will have become a Loyal Brother when you shall have received the two remaining Degrees in this Initiation.