Council of Malta
The Council being assembled, the Mayor shall arise and give one rap of the gavel.
MAYOR: I command this Council to come to order.
Marshal, see that all are properly clothed in the insignia or jewel of this Council.
MAYOR: Sergeant, see that all present are in possession of the current pass-word and the permanent pass-word.
Sergeant, assisted by the Marshal, takes up the word; Sergeant on the right, Marshal on left of hall. Both advance to altar and say: We find all present entitled to remain in this Council.
They then resume their stations at altar; Sergeant to right, Marshal to left of altar.
MAYOR: Sentinel, see that the outer door is closed, and properly guarded, and permit no one to enter who is not in possession of the proper pass-word.
SENTINEL: Your order shall be obeyed.
MAYOR: Doorkeeper, see that no one enters this Council until duly and regularly opened.
DOORKEEPER: Your orders will be obeyed.
MAYOR: Sergeant, is the Secret Symbol on the altar?
SERGEANT: It is, your honor.
MAYOR: You will hold it aloft. Does so.
MAYOR: Sergeant, what are your duties in this Council?
SERGEANT: To arrange the altar at the opening of the Council; to take up the pass-word, assist in the initiation ceremonies, collect the rituals and jewels at the closing of the Council, and obey your commands.
MAYOR: Marshal, what are your duties in this Council?
MARSHAL: My duties are to assist the Sergeant at the opening, assist him in the initiatory ceremonies of this Council, and obey your commands.
MAYOR: Sentinel, your station is at the outer portals, to guard the outer door against intrusion. Please resume your station.
MAYOR: Inner Doorkeeper, your station is at the inner portals. You must require all members and visitors to give their name and number of their Council, and the permanent pass-word, and that they have the proper jewel on before being admitted; and report all those who are not in possession of the proper pass-word. Take your station.
MAYOR: Judge, what are your duties in this Council?
JUDGE: My duties are to have charge of the inner portals, to appoint a minority on all committees, to preside over this Council in your absence, and obey your commands.
MAYOR: The Mayor’s station is in the executive chair of this Council. His duties are to preside over the deliberations of this Council with justice and impartiality, to appoint a majority of all committees─unless otherwise ordered by the Council─which I will faithfully perform to the best of my ability, asking your kind cooperation in the same.
MAYOR: Counsellor, what are your duties in this Council?
COUNSELLOR: My duties are to decide and try all complaints that may come before this Council, or questions appealed or passed over the mayor, as the case may require or the Council may desire; to assist in the work of this Council, to maintain peace and good, will among the members and perform such other duties as may be required of me.
MAYOR: Chaplain, what are your duties in this Council?
CHAPLAIN: To offer up invocations to the Supreme Being, administer the obligation, and such other duties as may be required of me.
MAYOR gives two raps of gavel, calling all the members to their feet, officers and members forming circle around the altar; Chaplain in front of altar, Mayor three feet in rear of Chaplain; Judge in front of altar; Counsellor to right of altar; Sergeant and Marshal to left.
MAYOR: Chaplain, you will now offer up the opening invocation.
CHAPLAIN: Almighty God, Ruler of heaven and earth, we invoke Thy blessings upon us while in discharge of our duties in the work of this Council. In all we do may we ever remember Thou seest all. Bless our Council, our members; may they have Thy protecting care, and if it is Thy will may our order grow and prosper. United may we be the instruments of doing much good to all needing our assistance and care. All this we ask in Thy name. Amen.
MAYOR calls all officers to their stations; all remain standing.
MAYOR: Please join the musician in singing the opening ode.
Air “Rock of Ages.”
Now the Malta circle binds
Helpful hands and kindred minds;
One another’s gains we share,
One another’s burdens bear.
Master, Thou of Life Divine,
Meet us here and make us Thine.
Thus we humbly clasp our hands;
Bow the head to Thy commands;
Wilt Thou draw divinely near,
Take away our every fear,
Seal this work to Thine Own will,
Let us feel Thy presence still.
MAYOR gives one rap, seating the members.
MAYOR: This Council will not admit of any partisan or sectarian debate. The Council will proceed to the transaction of such business as may come before it.
MAYOR: Marshal, you will repair to the ante-room and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting. Marshal advances to altar, salutes the Mayor with the salutation sign, and retires. He will then work his way into the Council, salute the Mayor, and report.
MARSHAL: Your honor, the Mayor, I found strangers loitering without the outer portals of our Council chamber. On investigation I found these strangers to be of a nearby tribe. They appeared to be of the better class, intelligent, honest and peace-abiding, Their spokesman stated their mission was to confer with you and this Council, having learned much concerning the good work of, and benefits to be derived from the order of Malta. They wished to unite with us if found worthy. I await your pleasure in granting them admission. Marshal remains standing.
MAYOR: Councillors and members, what is your pleasure in this matter, as reported by the Marshal; Shalt we admit them?
All answer: Yes.
MAYOR: Secretary, you will accompany the Marshal to the ante-room, collect the fees and have each stranger sign the preliminary obligation, see that they agree to obey the laws of this commonwealth and this government, be loyal and true to this society and do all in their power to promote and advance the interest of the Council of Malta. Secretary and Marshal salute and retire; reenter as before and report.
MARSHAL: Your honor, the Mayor, I have faithfully performed the duties entrusted to me, all having signified their willingness to obey all our lawful mandates. Salutes and both take their seats. Note: After the report, if Council has degree team, the Mayor will instruct the Marshal and Secretary to repair to the anteroom and present the candidates in front of the altar, after marching twice around the hall. If no team, the Mayor will say:
MAYOR: Marshal, you will repair to the ante-room, taking such assistance as you may require, blindfold the strangers and conduct them through the inner circle of this Council. Sergeant, you will be in readiness to receive them. Marshal salutes and retires. When all are in readiness, the Marshal will make an unusual noise at door by giving quick raps at inner door. Sergeant takes position in front of inner door to assist in the march around the hall twice, Sergeant in front, Marshal in rear of strangers.
DOORKEEPER: Your honor, there is an unusual alarm at the inner door.
MAYOR: Doorkeeper, you will ascertain the cause of this boisterous clamor at the inner portals, while this Council is in session.
DOORKEEPER, opens door slightly and says: Who dares to intrude at the portals of this Council at this late hour, disturbing its deliberations while in session?
MARSHAL: A stranger (or strangers) who are seeking protection and admission to the Council of Malta, and ask that they may be admitted, having promised obedience to all lawful mandates.
DOORKEEPER: The Marshal, in charge of strangers who seek admission to our Council.
MAYOR: Marshal and Sergeant, you will be held responsible if these strangers be found not worthy. Councillors, you will see that the interests of this Council are properly guarded.
FIRST COUNCILLOR: Strangers in our midst! What is the meaning of this?
SECOND COUNCILLOR: Strangers, how gained you admittance within this Council chamber?
THIRD COUNCILLOR: It seems to me these strangers gained admission through some selfish or mercenary motive. I for one wish to learn more in regard to this grave intrusion.
JUDGE: Too true; these strangers have crossed our threshold and stand in this Council chamber. The Sergeant, Marshal and Doorkeeper must be held responsible for them.
MAYOR: Councillors, seize the intruders and bind them with chains, and see to it that they escape you not. The six Councillors will rush upon the strangers and bind them with chains; the Sergeant and Marshal act as though trying to protect them, but shall be roughly pushed aside by the Councillors. After they have bound them the Councillors will step back and point spears at strangers, in lieu of degree staff.
MAYOR: Brothers and Sisters, what think you of these proceedings which you have just witnessed?
CHAPLAIN: What may your pleasure be in regard to these strangers?
COMPTROLLER: What punishment shall we inflict upon those who tresspass upon our hospitality?
JUDGE: Let the strangers be tested with the test of sincerity, and may justice be done as an example to those who may intrude in the future.
MAYOR: Whatever may be your desire I am here to enforce; our laws must be maintained.
MEMBERS: So say we all. As Mayor of this Council, you know your sworn duty. Perform it without fear or favor.
MAYOR: So shall it be. Strangers, you are now about to receive the test of the Council of Malta, Sincerity, that justice may be meted out to all transgressors of our unwritten law. If your motive has been for an honest purpose the application of this test will demonstrate it, but if, on the contrary, your motive has been selfish or unworthy, of mere idle curiosity, this test will demonstrate that fact. In that case, I, as Mayor of this Council, cannot be responsible, but should you pass through unscathed, the brand of a traitor will thereby be removed. Should you fail you will be forever barred from becoming a member of the Council of Malta. Before the test is applied we desire to know from your own lips whether any of you have any bodily infirmities that you have not made known to the Medical Examiner. Strangers answer We wish to know the true facts ere it may be too late, in case you should not be able to physically stand the test, that the responsibility may be removed from this Council. If you have answered truthfully, and so desire, we will then proceed. Strangers answer Brothers and Sisters, you have heard the strangers answer; shall we proceed?
MEMBERS: So it shall be to all who are so presumptions.
MAYOR: Brothers and Sisters, the strangers are prepared. Officers proceed with the ceremony. Room darkened, strangers marched in circle to center of hall, altar moved to one side, if Council has degree team they will take charge─see instructions in degree work. If not Sergeant with four members will form in line in lieu of degree staff; four members carrying a brother on stretcher, corpse-like, coat removed, flesh-colored paper across breast with Malta cross painted thereon; Sergeant in lead, the other four members following behind scene line of twos march around hall and scene and all is in readiness, placing scene on two chairs or horses, halting on right of scene opposite Chaplain’s station. Mayor at head, Judge at feet, members forming in double half circle. Six Councillors advance with drawn spears, pointing towards scene. Chaplain advances; hoodwinks are removed from strangers.
MAYOR: Thus you have traveled blinded through dangers which may have beset you. In your blinded condition you were compelled to draw upon your imagination, to some extent: From this moment let me impress upon your mind that there is a real. As you gaze upon that representation of immortality, realize, if you can, the difference between the real and the imaginary. It is my special privilege and duty to warn you of the dangers of prevarication and misrepresentation. To be forewarned is to be forearmed; and here now in the presence of life and death, I solemnly admonish you to beware of the statements which you may make during these ceremonies. Carefully weigh every word you speak. Speak nothing but the truth. Look upon that and answer the questions propounded to you.
CHAPLAIN: Have you at any time since you arrived at the age of accountability been addicted to any vicious or immoral habits, which, if you continue therein, would tend to injure you morally or physically?
MAYOR: Have you now any infirmities? And do you declare on your word of honor that you have truthfully answered?
JUDGE: ’TiS well you have thus answered. In your journey through life we will test the sincerity and truthfulness of these answers. May your travels through this Council be safe, and you be freed from all suspicion.
MAYOR: It indeed gives me pleasure to have the assurance from you of the noble and manly object which has moved your heart in the attempt to learn and know the principles of this order by uniting with us to help disseminate them. I will now give you the sign manual of this Council. After sign is given the hoodwink is replaced; then scene is removed balance of members forming in circle around the altar, Chaplain in front of altar. At this time disturbance is made on inner door, calling loudly for admission.
MAYOR: Doorkeeper, what means this unusual disturbance at this time? Doorkeeper opens wicket, learns the cause and reports.
DOORKEEPER: Your honor, there is a messenger at the door, who is a member of this Council, with a communication for the Mayor of this Council.
MAYOR: You will please notify him that we cannot receive communications at this time.
DOORKEEPER: The messenger insists he must deliver it in person at this time and for this occasion only.
MAYOR: If such are the facts, and requires my attention you may admit him. Messenger walks in, salutes the Mayor and delivers a letter, requesting him to read the same. Mayor opens letter and reads aloud the following, or something similar:
To the officers and members of this council;
Report is current that the parties, or party, you are about to initiate are not in all respects as they are represented to be; that they are not proper persons for this Council to accept as members, if rumors afloat are in any way to be relied upon. I would ask you to stop the ceremonies until you have such investigation made that may satisfy you and this Council, beyond any reasonable doubt, there is no foundation for these rumors, or that there may be some facts concerning them which would justify this Council from receiving them at this time. I therefore ask you in the name of the Council of Malta to interrogate them in regard to their habits; if they pay their honest debts; if their motives are pure in trying to unite with this order, and if they will do all in their power to advance the interest of a member at all times: everything being equal: and if they know the definition of charity.
Signed by (BROTHER OR SISTER).
Here pointed questions may be asked. If you know of any peculiar weakness or faults of candidate, If not too personal, bring them up. Be careful in all you do not to wound the feelings of candidate. No levity or foolish charges should be made; be earnest and discreet.
MAYOR: Brothers and Sisters, this seems incredible, coming as it does after the strangers have successfully passed through the examinations and tests so far. I can hardly believe it, yet I suppose we must investigate. Brothers and Sisters, resume your stations. I will appoint Brothers or Sisters 3 members who will make the investigations at once. But first, strangeers, what have you to say as to the truthfulness of this communication? Committee hands report, after consulting together a few moments, to the Mayor.
MAYOR: Brothers and Sisters, I do not think the charges are well-founded, and unless there are objections we will proceed. Officers, resume your positions around the altar. Worthy Sergeant, remove the chains, and restore the stranger to light.
CHAPLAIN: Stranger, you have sought to enter and know the Secrets of the Council of Malta, but before you can proceed further you must take a solemn obligation of this order. I assure you that it will in no way interfere with your religious, political or domestic relations. Having this assurance, are you willing to take this obligation?
Answer: I am.
You will raise your right hand palm outward, your left hand across your breast, and repeat your name in full:
I, …, do most solemnly promise, before this Council here assembled, never to make known any of the secrets of this Council, its signs, passwords, grip, or anything connected with this Council, to any person or persons not members in good standing in the Council of Malta; or to write, print, or cause to be written or printed, any word or sentence in relation to them. That I will not wrong or defraud this society or any member thereof, nor will I suffer it to be done by others, if in my power to prevent it. That I will assist and protect all members and their families as far as lies in my power, without injury to myself or others. I further promise to defend a brother or sister and this society when unjustly assailed, and that I will do all in my power to advance the interests of this society and its members. And that I do further promise and agree not to recommend any one of unsound health or of immoral character for membership in this society, knowing them to be such. I also bind myself to abide by the constitution, laws, rules and regulations of this society and of the Supreme Council; and should I violate this, my solemn pledge and promise, I hereby consent to be expelled from this Council and society. This obligation I make without any mental reservation whatever, and I solemnly promise to keep the secrets of this Council inviolate. I also promise not to betray a confidence placed in me by a member, whereby it might be to his injury by so doing.
You will now resume your position.
Stranger, now that you have so earnestly taken the obligation required by this society, you will be permitted to proceed; but before you do so, let me advise you to pay strict attention to all you see and hear, for there are noble lessons to be learned in your circuits in this Council. And now, worthy Marshal, I direct you to journey on. Marshal conducts stranger to Ex-Mayor.
Ex-MAYOR: Stranger, you have now successfully crossed the threshold and entered the portals of our noble order. You are, therefore, prepared to receive the noble lesson which it imparts and appreciate the blessings which it provides. You have witnessed the reaper going forth to gather the harvest; how with stalwart arm he swings the glittering sickle to and fro among the golden grain, and you have observed, no doubt, the number of beautiful flowers that are cut down and lie withering at the foot of the windrows; or, walking forth in the season of the brown and russet leaf, when the frost has silently spread its silver mantle o’er the earth, the little flowers that long had startled the grassy woodland with their beauty, now robbed of their rich coloring and fragrance, in humility lie perishing beneath the autumn sun. It was a scene like this in the mind of Job when he said of man: “He cometh forth as a flower and is cut down.” I have seen the mighty eagle spring forth from his rocky aerie and spreading his long and sweeping wings upon the breeze, soar upward and gaze with undimmed eye upon the very sun. I have seen the tiny arrow let slip and the proud bird of Jove lay lifeless at the feet of the archer. I have heard man in the pride of his manhood and strength, boast of his physical capacity; of the wonders in art and science he was able to accomplish; of his mighty exploits by land and sea; the cities he had built, the vast schemes accomplished in engineering and machines. A few brief days and the funeral car, the tolling bell, the coffin, the rattle of clods upon his breast, and his life was as a tale that is told. The busy scenes of the world rolled on, the seasons came and went and he was forgotten; the places that knew him in life will know him no more forever. Death is inevitable; it is the common lot of all. It is the Great Judge’s final decree in equity beyond which there is no appeal; merely a span between the cradle and the grave. We presented to your gaze an imaginary scene of death as you entered this Council chamber. You will now journey on: we have other lessons to impart. Halts in front of Judge’s station.
JUDGE: Let me ask you to pause a moment to contemplate the humble home of the widowed wife, with dependent little ones clinging to her for support. She is but the representative of a numerous class of unfortunate wives and mothers, left by improvident husbands and fathers to grope their way as best they can through the dark lanes of poverty. The heart of that unfortunate mother goes out for those pledges of her maternal affection as a mother’s heart only can. She engages in unremitting toil to keep her dear, dependent ones together, and to provide for them the bare necessities of life. This divine unfolding of a mother’s love for her offspring actuates her in her effort to keep her beloved ones together rather than trust them to the cold, uncertain charity of the world. Her careworn features tell a story that she cannot express in words nor publish to the world her sad complaint. What a sad picture to contemplate! Stranger, do riot forget this. You will journey on. Halting in front of Mayor’s station.
COUNCILLOR: Stranger, you have just listened to a lesson drawn from experience and observation which should make a lasting impression upon your mind. Let me now call your attention to a case in happy contrast to that which you have just listened and one that is more pleasing to contemplate. It is that of a lady, wife of a deceased member of this order. She represents in her case the needs supplied by the beneficent provisions of this order for the families and dependents of the members thereof. She cherishes through the mist of tears an undying memory of him, who, in life, was her protector, for, though dead, he yet speaketh in that he still provides for her and her children. Memories of the departed are held dear for various reasons: for friendships, for social or business qualities─ but no memory is held more sacred than that of one who, as in this case, by the promptings of a generous and loving heart, out of his earnings during life made provisions for keeping the remnant of his little family from penury and want. Let me invoke you, then, in all things to love and cherish those that are dear to you, and to make provisions for them while in life and health, that your memory may be cherished as a fragrance when you are gone. And now, stranger, as you further advance in your travels around this Council chamber, remember the lessons you have been taught and give earnest heed to those you yet shall learn. You will now journey on to the Chaplain’s station. Representation of blind man.
CHAPLAIN: Stranger, halt! Pointing to blind man Look on that man and tell, if you can, what has befallen him? He seems well attired and contented. When you entered this hall you were blindfolded. This, in your case, was hut temporary, because as soon as the obstruction to your vision was removed, you could see all around and about you, and yet you experienced, no doubt, a very disagreeable inconvenience from the temporary obstruction of your vision. But consider how it would he if your vision was permanently destroyed. This disability, with others of like character, often compels the person to seek assistance and from necessity to throw himself upon the public charity, and many times he is jeered at and coldly passed by when perhaps he needs the generous aid that charity should give. It is to he hoped that you will always extend the helping hand in all such cases. Members in this beneficent order in good standing, having such misfortunes befall them, do not need charitable donations, for our society provides security for them. The picture you have before you represents the bright side of life’s disabilities; for he was a representative of our order and was amply supplied by its generous provisions. You will now journey on to the worthy Mayor’s station.
MAYOR: This, my friend, holding out the golden chain is the golden chain of our order. Each link represents a member of this Council who has passed this altar and has taken this obligation before you, and they are numerically kept by the individual’s name upon the records of our Council. A few are here tonight to welcome you; many are absent; some, perhaps, are in foreign lands, others detained by the cares incident to life, and, it may he, some have passed the threshold of that door which swings forever inward but never out. Here have stranger attach an open link to the chain. That link, my friend, will represent you in the chain. May you ever he able to point to it with pride, and the members of the Council of Malta to regard it as one of the brightest and best in the aggregation. But should we he deceived in your character, and, after an impartial trial are compelled to sever your connection with the order as one unworthy our confidence, your representative link will he detached from the combination, and that chain may not he severed through your crime. It will he united again by a hit of black cord and the missing link sent you, that our members in the future may, gazing upon the broken chain, he reminded of the magnitude of the crime of confidence betrayed ; while the link to you may, through its constant reminiscenses, become a monitor, which by its silent, yet impressive, lesson, may lead you through the “Valley of Mara” to a better life. My friend, this order conforms to law, religion, justice, friendship, sincerity and charity. We demand from our members, whom we style as brothers and sisters, the most exact compliance with our obligation and with our duties. Here honor lives and asserts her sway. We purpose instructing you by practical lessons how to acquire it; what character and reputation are, how to retain them, and what their acquisition will secure for you in your future life. I trust you will receive them in the same fraternal spirit in which we tender them, and may they prove useful to you in after life. Worthy Marshal, you will conduct the brother to the ex-Mayor, where he will receive one of the many lessons we have to impart.
MARSHAL: Permit me to introduce you to … , a worthy brother who seeks further instructions in what pertains to forming a character, which, when followed, will make him a power among men.
Ex-MAYOR: Brother, I welcome you. Before you can he enrolled upon the roster of this Council in our order it will be necessary for me to give you such instructions as will prove to be useful to you in after life. In the first place, character, which you must have to he a true man, amounts to nothing, can do nothing, unless backed by decision. You can do nothing without decision, and will amount to nothing without character. Learn what I mean by this: That a man without decision can never he said to belong to himself, since, if he dared to assert that he did, the puny force of some cause may make a seizure of the helpless boaster the very next moment, hind him in chains too strong to be broken, and contemptuously exhibit the futility of the determination by which he was to have proved the independence of his understanding and his will. A man of decision is a man of deeds. A man’s deeds are his only property. His thoughts may not live; his words may die; his actions, however, follow him beyond the grave. Character is the result of action. Sum up the deeds of life and the total is man. Every man is what his conduct has made him. “Do noble things; do not dream them all day long.” Be true to yourself, to those you hold most dear. Be true to the members and this order; do all you can to promote the interests of a member; show that you are a brother in all that the name implies. Worthy Marshal, you will conduct the brother to the worthy Mayor for final instruction.
MARSHAL: Worthy Mayor, permit me to introduce to you …, a worthy brother, who, having been taught the lessons of decision and of character, now seeks further instruction at your hands.
MAYOR: In conformity with your request, I would admonish you never to complain of your birth, your training, your employment, nor your hardships. Never fancy that you would be something if a different lot or sphere were assigned you. Choke the envy that may gnaw at your heart because you are not in the same lot with others. Bring down your soul and there you shall find that your condition is never opposed to your good, hut really consistent therewith. Man seeks to live for himself; God made him to live for others. How swells the mother’s heart with joy when she can make her children happy. What a thrill of delight comes with a look of gratitude: those tears of love and joy: which are all that the widow and the orphan can tender to their benefactors. Always speak the truth. Keep good company or none. Make few promises. Live up to your engagements. Keep your own secrets; make confidants of hut few, if any. Your friend of today may he your enemy tomorrow. Never place yourself in a position by making confidants that, by betrayal, would work to your injury. Keep your tongue free from slander. Better let your blood he poisoned than your principles. Remember that many good purposes lay in the church-yard. A fawning world is worse than a frowning world. Virtue is hut a medicine while vice is a wound. As charity covers, so modesty prevents a multitude of sins. So long as you are innocent, fear nothing. Most of our misfortunes are more supportable than the comments of our friends upon them. The light of friendship is like the light of phosphorus: shines plainest when all around is dark. Scandal is a hit of false money and he who passes it is as bad as he who originally utters it. These are a few of the maxims I wish you to remember, for if you will you will be spared much vexation of spirit and will he a better man. Before instructing you in the secret work I will ask the Secretary to hand me your preliminary obligation before you entered this Council. Secretary hands same This is your signature? Stranger answers yes You agree to stand by what you have endorsed on there? Answers yes; Mayor reads same My friend, this is not done to trifle with your feeling or exact a compensation, but to teach a lesson that may be of practical use to you in after life. Never sign any paper or document without first reading every word carefully, and by so doing you will save yourself much trouble and money. Many good men have lost their all by being too careless and trustful. Be on your guard at all times. I will now instruct you in the unwritten work of this order. This society takes its name from an ancient organization noted for its deeds of daring, defending the weak and the helpless. They defended their little island, which was captured several times by foreign invaders, but in 1600 they retook the island and drove the invaders across the channel. They established a united colony, banded together as brothers, forming a republic which still exists. They are far advanced in art, literature and education. We do not claim any allegiance to this ancient body, or pretend any particular significance in assuming the name, only as a modern society to protect and help the needy, the widows and the orphans, and the aged and afflicted of our members: which we aim to do. If the Council is in session you will make any kind of alarm at the outer door; pull the hell or knock, as the case may he. The Sentinel will open the wicket; you will give him your name and the number of your Council, if visiting another besides your own. The Sentinel will close the wicket, report you to the Judge, who will order you to be permitted to enter if correct (by giving the permanent password). You will enter inner anteroom, clothe yourself with the jewel or regalia of the order, then make raps in this manner …, which will be answered thus: … The Doorkeeper will open the wicket; you will give to him in a whisper the permanent password. In this manner you will then advance at right angles opposite the altar in center of hall and make this sign to Worthy Mayor, and say: “Your Honor, I greet you with the sign of a Malta.” Mayor will answer by wave of right hand and reply: “I greet you to our Council.” You will then he seated. This is the salutation sign, which must be given on entering or retiring. If you are present at opening of Council, you will arise and give both passwords to Sergeant-at-Arms or Marshal, as the case may he. Recognition sign is made in this manner …; the answer in this manner … Danger signal in this manner …; answer in this manner … The cover key to this sign is …; answer is … Voting sign is made thus … Grip is given thus … Brother, you are now in possession of the signs and passwords and mysteries of this order. In confiding to you these mysteries, we do so with the full assurance that you will be found worthy to ever retain, and never reveal them. Remember, also, that you have given us your solemn word of honor; one of the most solemn pledges that can he given or received. Permit me to advise you to be in attendance at our meetings unless detained by sickness or press of business, and thereby help us in our work of ameliorating and benefiting mankind. Be courteous and fraternal with the officers and members of this Council, and do your utmost to promote love and harmony. Do your best to help build up this Council by bringing in some worthy people to help us to be just, friendly and sincere. (Colors of the order red, white and blue.) Relying upon your honor and sincerity, and that you will be found worthy of us in the future as at present, permit me to introduce you to the members of the Council of Malta. You will face the Council. Brother does so. Worthy Mayor calls Council to their feet.
MAYOR: Brothers and Sisters of Council … No … permit me to introduce to you Brother … who having been found worthy of becoming a member of this Council, now seeks your fraternal greeting. Members all march in circle and shake the new-made brother’s hand, giving grip at same dine. Welcome ode can be sung.
MAYOR: The Council will please come to order. * *.
MAYOR: Officers and members, the work of this Council is now about completed. I thank you all for your kind cooperation in conducting the business this evening, and hope to see you all present at our next meeting. Clerk, what are the receipts of this evening or previous meetings, not reported?
Treasurer, have you received the same?
Officers and members will gather around the altar in double circle, Mayor in center front of circle and altar: Join with me in giving the sign manual of this order.
Officers and members, in closing this Council let me adjure you, by your solemn obligations and by all you bold near and dear, to cherish and practice the lessons you have been taught within this Council; to labor incessantly for the growth and prosperity of the order, and sacredly keep its secrets and commands. Especially do I beseech you to be courteous, charitable and generous in all you do; lend a helping hand to the unfortunate brother or sister in need of help; be a true Malta in all that the name implies. Be present at all meetings whenever you can; your presence adds strength and encouragement to the officers of this Council. Remember that by your attendance at the Councils you become more thoroughly imbued with its teachings. Let each member try to induce some worthy person to cast in his lot with us, for by so doing you not only better his condition, and that of his family and dependents, but assist in preparing him for greater usefulness as a member of society. You will now please join with me in singing the closing ode.
In trust and truth we meet,
In peace and justice we part;
And thus this Council tie complete
That joins us heart to heart.
Our sorrows we divide,
Our joys we double here,
In fellowship of help allied
And Malta’s bond sincere.
Homeward our footsteps go;
O Lord of Life, we pray,
Keep Thou our faltering feet, and show
To all the Malta’s way.
MAYOR: Chaplain will now offer up invocation.
CHAPLAIN: Almighty, Thou giver of all good, we bow in humble gratitude for the blessings Thou has seen fit to bestow upon us in this Council chamber. May we have Thy care, now and during the time that shall intervene between this and the future assembling of this Council.
Give our members Thy divine power, that we may be the instruments of doing much good. All this we ask in Thy name. Amen.
MAYOR: I now proclaim this Council closed until the next regular meeting night … at … or subject to call. * *.
Sergeant and Marshal will collect the rituals and jewels and place them in the repository.