Knights of St. Crispin
Ritual


1869


Opening Lodge
 
Lodge called to order with one rap with gavel.
S.K.:
Brother craftsmen, I am about to open this Lodge of Knights of St. Crispin.
Please, come to order, and give your attention.
S.K.:
The ushers will see that all present are members of the Order.
U.:
S.K., all present have the password.


Opening Ode


Come, brethren, now agree,
In songs of melody
Our voices ring.
May all our hearts united
In battling for our right,
"Protect us by thy might,
Great God our King."

May we be ever found,
In duty, honor bound,
Protect our cause.
May all our councils be
In perfect harmony,
In union then may we
Obey our laws.
S.K.:
R.S. will please call the Roll of Officers.
All vacancies filled by appointment.
S.K.:
A.U., what is your duty?
A.U.:
My duty is to ascertain if all have the password at the opening of this Lodge, and to conduct candidates on their road through the mysteries of initiation into this Order.
S.K.:
U., what is your duty?
U.:
My duty is to ascertain if all have the password at the opening of this Lodge, and to conduct candidates on their road through the mysteries of initiation into this Order.
S.K.:
R.S., what is your duty?
R.S.:
To carefully and accurately record the proceedings of this Lodge.
S.K.:
F.S., what is your duty?
F.S.:
My duty is to keep a true and just account of all moneys paid to this Lodge, and give the same to the Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor.
S.K.:
C.S., what is your duty?
C.S.:
My duty is to attend to all matters of correspondence connected with this Lodge.
S.K.:
T., what is your duty?
T.:
My duty is to receive all moneys, pay all bills of this Lodge approved by the S. K. and R.S., and one Trustee, and render a true and just account to this Lodge.
S.K.:
K., what is your duty?
K.:
My duty is to assist the S.K. in preserving order, to assist at initiation of candidates, and to preside in his absence.
S.K.:
What is the duty of the S.K.?
K.:
The duty of the S.K. is to open this Lodge, set the Brother Craftsmen to work, to decide all questions of debate, preserve order, and to close the Lodge, as specified in By-laws.
 

Initiation

S.K..:
U. will proceed to anteroom, and ascertain if there are any candidates waiting to be initiated.
By direction of the S.K., the U. and K S. will proceed to the anteroom, where the F.S. shall collect the fee, and the U. read the Charge; and if the candidate answer affirmatively, they shall proceed to further steps of initiation.
U., to candidates:
Have you ever longed to this Order before?
U.:
Have you been proposed within six months?
Usherís Charge
Gentlemen, before you proceed farther, I must explain briefly the principles and purposes of this Order. You well know our trade has become unreliable and fluctuating, that our wages are reduced on the slightest pretexts, and that at no season of the year do we receive fair compensation for our toil; therefore, we have handed ourselves together for the purpose of securing identity of interest, and unity of action among those of us employed on the various parts of boots or shoes. But, in order to accomplish this purpose, we deem it of the utmost importance to keep all our doings to ourselves; and you will not, under any circumstances, be permitted to disclose to any one, not a member of the Order (except to your religious confessor), any of its doings.
The obligation we impose on you is the same we have all taken, and does not conflict in any way with the, strictest moral or religious principles, nor in any way affect your social standing.
If you now wish, you can proceed.
Will you do so?
U. then conducts the candidates to the door, and gives * * * *.
I.S.:
Who dare approach the gates of our Temple?
U.:
Craftsmen, applying for admission.
I.S.:
Are they duly prepared?
U.:
They have wrought the required time.
I.S.:
Let them enter, and perform a trial of their skill.
 

Initiation Ode

Strangers and friends, we bid you come,
And join our noble band;
Our cause is just, our hearts are strong;
Welcome, we give the hand.
No more oppressionís power to dread,:
Nor at its altar bead;
By toil we earn our daily bread,
In justice have a friend.

Capital and Labor must unite,
Join hands, and be at peace;
Each guarding well each otherís right,
All strife and envy cease.
St. Crispin is the name we take;
May we now be inclined
His virtues all to imitate,
In him a pattern find.
The candidates then enter, accompanied by their guides, march and countermarch around the hall to the S.K.
U.:
S.K., from the outer world, these crafts have dared to approach, and now seek protection in this Order.
 

Sir Knightís Charge

Brothers, as you have wisely resolved to join this Order of ours, and thus aid us in the work of rescuing our labor from its present depressed condition, and secure through organization that degree of independence that justly belongs to us, and believing that it can be secured only by a rigid adherence to our principles, we must require you to take upon yourselves the same solemn obligation we have all taken.
Candidates here lay their left hands on their heart, and raise the right.
At three strokes of the gavel, all the members rise, and stand while the obligation is administered.

 

Obligation

You, each and all of you, solemnly and sincerely pledge yourselves, your sacred word and honor, before God and these witnesses, that you will not divulge any of the secrets of this Order to any whom you do not know to be a member of the Order in good standing (except your religious confessor); that you will not make known any of the signs or passwords, or any of the modes of recognition, or anything that may be done in the Lodge-Room. You further pledge yourself, that you will not teach, or cause to be taught, any new hands any part or parts of the boot or shoe trade, without permission of the Lodge of which you are a member; and if a brother is discharged for refusing to teach a new hand, you will under no circumstances, take the place of such discharged brother without his consent.
You further agree, that if the wages of a brother shall be reduced, or if he shall demand an increase of wages, and such demand shall be refused, that you will not take the place of the brother who refuses to works at the rate of wages offered, until the brother or the Lodge shall give permission. You also agree to be governed by the will of the majority legally expressed, and to comply with all the requirements of the Constitution.
This obligation you agree to keep inviolate, whether you remain a member, or not. So help you God.
 

After the Charge by the S.K.

Now, by sacred honor bound,
Ever faithful to be around;
All our thoughts and actions be
Guarded by true honesty.

Then, may we all hope to gain
Honor for our cause and name;
Hoping, trusting soon to see,
Happy year of jubilee.
S.K. now explains the unwritten work of the Order.
The S.K. extends the right hand of fellowship in these words:
Brothers, it becomes my pleasant duty to extend to you this right hand of fellowship. We bid you a cordial welcome to the Order of the Knights of St. Crispin; we trust and believe you will always prove true and faithful to the obligations you have this night taken upon yourselves. That you will labor to promote the interest of the Order and its members; and prove yourselves worthy of admission to all the Lodges of the Order as honorable and faithful Knights.
 

Closing Ceremonies

S.K.:
Has any one anything to say for the good of the Order? If not, I will proceed to close.
Three raps, and all rise to their feet.



Closing Ode

Brothers, now, before we part,
Pledge anew each otherís heart;
Then, as brothers stronger be,
Working out our destiny.
To each other let us be
Kind and faithful; then may we,
All united, hope to win,
Shouting victory while we sing.
S.K.:
I now declare this Lodge duly closed until next Lodge night.


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