American Nobles


Opening Exercises

Eminent Protector, gives one rap:
Nobles and Ladies, you will come to order. Worthy Counselor, you will prepare the Council for my reception. Worthy Chaplain, accompany me to my chambers. Eminent Protector and Chaplain retire to ante-room.
Worthy Guide, you will see that the room is properly prepared for the reception of the Eminent Protector. Gives one rap on the floor. The officers will assume their stations. Guards, secure the doors.
Worthy Secretary, are all present in good standing in our order?
If Secretary is not so satisfied the Counselor will order the Guide and Assistant to take up the permanent pass-word from all present and report to the Secretary.
Worthy Counselor, all present are correct.
Worthy Guide, arrange the altar.
Flag at Past Protector's station, Bible at Chaplain's Station, and cross and crown at Counselor's station.
Guide proceeds to Past Protector's station, takes flag and places it on the altar, saying:
Over the altar of our Council, I place the American Flag, that represents those principles which our Heavenly Father implanted in the breasts of our Pilgrim Fathers, loyalty, equality, and protection, and because of these principles; is reverenced with true devotion on land and sea. May we ever sustain the flag in its purity, and bear well in mind that it is the emblem of Liberty, and that its sacred folds represent the highest hopes and the loftiest aspirations to which we as Americans are striving to attain.
Then taking Bible from Chaplain's station, says:
And upon this flag, I place the open Bible, the Holy Word of God, which at all times should be our guide.
Then taking cross and crown from Counselor's station, says:
Upon this Book of Books I place the cross, an emblem of our duties in this life, and a crown, as a symbol of the life beyond.
Worthy Counselor, the altar is arranged.
Captain, you will proceed with your duties. Captain forms staff in two lines in front of the Eminent Protector's chair.
Captain, you will inform the Eminent Protector, that the Council awaits his pleasure. Eminent Protector and Chaplain enter and pass between the lines and assume their stations.
Eminent Protector, the officers are in their proper stations, the Nobles and Ladies present are all in good standing.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Counselor, what are your duties in this Council?
As officers are called they rise and remain standing until all have recited their duties and are seated by the gavel.
Eminent Protector, it is my duty at all times to aid you in the performance of your duties, and to have charge of the doors of our Council; to advise the Guards in respect to their duties, and when you are absent, to preside in your place.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Secretary, what are your duties?
Secretary, rising:
All accounts, books and records are placed in my care, and it is my duty to keep minutes of all meetings; also to collect all dues from the members of the Council, and see that they are properly accounted for.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Treasurer, what are your duties?
Treasurer, rising:
It is my duty to keep and account for the funds belonging to this Council and to pay out the same only upon orders duly signed by the Eminent Protector and Secretary.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Past Protector, what are your duties?
Past Protector, rising:
My duties are to assist in the initiation of recruits, and to act as installing officer in the absence of a representative of the Supreme Council.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Chaplain, what are your duties?
Chaplain, rising:
My duties are to invoke divine assistance for our membership, and to assist in the initiation of recruits.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Guide, Guide rises. Your duties are to obtain the pass-word from all members; to see that they are furnished with the regalia and Odes of this Order; to have charge of the recruits during the initiatory ceremonies and to assist the Captain at all times where commanded.
Eminent Protector:
Inner Guard, I.G. rising. It is your duty to have in keeping the inner door; to admit none unless they have shown themselves to be in possession of the proper pass-word and to report applications for admission to the Worthy Counselor.
Eminent Protector:
You will now please summon the Outer Guard to appear and report. Guard salutes and retires. Outer Guard enters and salutes.
Eminent Protector:
Outer Guard, it is your duty to have in keeping the outer door, and permit no one to enter the same who is not in possession of the proper pass-word without instructions to that effect from the Counselor. Salutes and retires.
Eminent Protector, * * *:
Officers and Members, you will all join in singing the opening Ode.
Opening Ode
Around our ev'ning circle now.
We'll sing our opening song.
We'll sing it with a spirit that will start our cause along,
We’ll sing it with the music sweet that fills our hearts with song,
While we are working together.

Hurrah, Hurrah, we sing our jubilee,
Hurrah. Hurrah, the flag that makes us free,
And so we'll sing its praises on the land and on the sea,
While we are working together.

Yes and ther'll be many
Who will join our mighty throng,
When they know the reason that our Order is so strong;
They will come and help us to push the work along,
While we are working together.

Eminent Protector:
Let us attend while our Worthy Chaplain invokes the blessing of Deity.
We beseech Thee, our Heavenly Father, to be with us and bless us as we meet here in deliberation. Guide us, and grant that we may show a spirit of confidence, love and charity to our fellow men, in honor of Thee. Amen.
As Chaplain says "Amen," Staff all dip flags.
Eminent Protector:
I now declare this Council duly open in form. Inner Guard, you will notify the Outer Guard that this Council is now open and ready for the admission of all qualified.
Inner Guard, after giving notice to Outer Guard:
Your order has been obeyed.
The E.P. will seat the Council and proceed to take up the business in regular order.

Initiatory Ceremonies
Part One

Eminent Protector:
We are now ready to exemplify our ritualistic work and initiate all candidates found worthy and elect. Worthy Guide, you will ascertain if any such are in waiting.
The W.G. retires to the ante-room and makes a list of the names of all candidates in waiting, returns to the hall and advances to the altar, salutes the E.P. and says:
Eminent Protector, in the ante-room I find in waiting … Giving an names of candidates ready to enlist in our noble Order and await your instructions.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Guide, you will retire, require the necessary questions to be properly answered and introduce the candidates. Captain, you will take charge of the floor work.
The Captain takes general supervision of the floor work and sees that officers take their appointed parts in proper time. Lights are turned low. When candidate is prepared, Guide advances with him to inner doors and hails the inner Guide by three raps, twice repeated. The I.G. answers with one rap and opens door. The Guide with candidate halts at threshold of door as following is spoken:
Night's sable mantle falling, shrouds the earth and darkness reigns. Here in our Council fair the beacon-light of Truth illuminates our hearts and we are here to search the way and point all wanderers to the higher life. Here Guide, who has halted at the door with candidate, interrupts Counselor by rapping with foot or staff on the floor, three times.
Who disturbs the sanctity of this convocation ?
A recruit who desires admission to our Order.
Whence comes he?
From the outer world.
Where shall he find the key to our mysteries?
Beneath the rays of Truth's bright sun and in the hearts of all true Americans.
They who seek Truth with earnest heart, ever find entrance to our Council fair, but all who come from darkness into light are dazzled by Truth's blinding rays. Thus you see but as in a glass, darkly, and slowly comprehend the lessons we strive to teach. Your aim is a noble one, and is the very ground-work of our Order. Friend, you will meet many seeking the object you desire. Be just, upright, and honorable before men. Proceed and hearken to wise counsel. The Guide with candidate advances and is halted by guards with spears or Swords in position of ‘charge’.
Right Guard:
Halt! Who are thou?
Left Guard:
Stand and report. Why are you here?
With this friend, we seek light, that in more perfect knowledge we may do the right.
Right Guard:
None but Americans who stand erect and free are welcome here.
Left Guard:
No bending knee, no servile men gains favor here. By what right does he ask this?
By being an American, free born and of lawful age.
Right Guard:
The coward's doom is death; the patriot's path is bright.
Left Guard:
'Tis well, pass on. At words "path is bright" light is turned on full and the Guards resume their stations. Guide then escorts candidate to Eminent Protector's station and says:
Eminent Protector, this friend, found worthy of a place among our ranks, comes to you for advice as to his duties.
Eminent Protector:
My friend, your desire is a laudable one. Once it was, that to be a Roman was to be nobler than a king. A heritage far prouder is yours; you are an American; you bow to none but your Creator; you are the equal of all men before the law. While all men are not born equal in wealth nor are all equal in intelligence yet we strive to bring all on one common level; love of family, love of home, love of country, and love for our brother. No idle curiosity, no mercenary passion, no ambitious aim will be satisfied within our ranks nor beneath the banner of our Fraternity.
Stranger, it is my pleasure to greet you, but before I can extend to you the privilege of our noble band. I must be convinced that you come with a feeling of brotherly love toward all, and especially all members, and that you are willing to take a solemn obligation, in truth and honor, not to communicate any of the secrets of our Order, or anything that transpires with in our sacred halls. I wish to admonish you that nothing in this ob1igation shall conflict with your religious or political freedom. Do you still desire to proceed?
I do.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Guide, you will accompany the recruits to the ante-room and prepare them to receive the obligation.
Part two
A triangular altar with sides four to six feet, with a black cover trimmed with gold fringe, stands in the rear of the room. The entrance door is open and in it hangs a thin transparent curtain. The candidate is conducted to the entrance and looking through it he sees the whole inside of the lodge room dimly. The Staff surrounds the altar with their swords (or spears) at an Order. The E.P., Chap., and Counselor stand at the point of the Altar. Emblems on the Altar. The twelve candles burning, all other lights out. A U.S. flag stationed at the Altar, all surrounding the Altar, repeating the Lord's Prayer or singing one of two verses of some appropriate hymn. As the music ceases the Guide makes an alarm and is answered by the I.G.
Guide gives * * *.
Inner Guard:
Who seeks to disturb our solemn meditations?
A stranger who has received some light and now wishes to take the obligation and desires further lessons of our Order. The I.G. draws the curtain aside and the Guide conducts the candidate to a position at the Altar facing the Eminent Protector.
You will place your left hand on your heart, raise your right hand, and repeat after me: I, … (your name,) of my own free will and accord, do solemnly promise that. I will not reveal but ever hold in strict confidence, all the mysteries and secrets of this Order, of which I am now possessed or may be possessed, and will endeavor to promote friendship and harmony among its members. And I will to the best of my ability, aid in all proper ways to promote the interests of this Order, and that I will be faithful to, and abide by the Fundamental Laws, Rules and Regulations of the Supreme and Subordinate Councils, to all of which I pledge my sacred honor.
You may now resume your ordinary position.
Eminent Protector:
You see before you the Altar of our Order and the emblems thereon. They are explained as follows:
The black Altar cloth represents the unknown future, dark and mysterious. It may be that it brings you joy and triumph, or it may be that sorrow and defeat will be your lot.
The open Bible represents the law, as it is the book from which all laws of civilized nations are taken.
It teaches peace, charity and protection.
The cross is the Emblem of our duties in this life.
The crown is a symbol of the life beyond.
The Bundle of Sticks is an emblem of Unity, separate one stick from the others and it is easily broken in the hands, but our combined strength would not be sufficient to break those remaining while contained in the bundle. Remember then, as members of this order we should always be united in our work.
The Burning Candles represent the blessing and power of the Christian age in which you live, the pure, refining knowledge which flows through every lesson taught from our Ritual; and so bountiful that every one may drink of its limpid streams, and thus receive that "great light" which is shedding its rays into every dark corner and lighting the whole earth as with a glory borrowed from a brighter world.
Their number, twelve, was not chosen without significance. One for each month in the year. Each one to remind us of our duty each month to contribute our proportioned amount for the upbuilding of our noble Order among the living, and the distribution of its benefits to the families of the dead.
The passing of the months and the consuming of the candles Suggests our mortality, and as each burning candle, of whatever length or brilliancy, by the very giving of its light consumes itself and disappears, so likewise whatever brilliancy may radiate from each it but leads to the grave and illustrates the eternal truth "That as for man his days are as grass, as the flower of the field he so flourisheth, for the wind passeth over it and it is gone and the place thereof knoweth it no more."
This taking skull in his hands reminds us where the soul of mortal man once dwelt.
Behold this ruin, 'tis a skull,
Once of etheriel spirit full,
This narrow cell was life's retreat,
This space was thought's mysterious seat;
What beautious visions filled this spot,
What dreams of pleasure long forgot,
Nor hope, nor joy, nor grief. nor fear .
Has left one trace on record here.
Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shown the bright and busy eye;
Yet start not at the dismal vold!
If holy love that eye employed,
If with no lawless fire it gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed,
That eye shall be forever bright,
When stars and sun are sunk in night.
Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift and tuneful tongue.
If falsehood's honey is disdained.
And when it could not praise was chained;
If bold in virtues cause it spoke.
Yet gentle concord never broke.
That silent tongue may plead for Thee
When time unveils Eternity.
Past Protector:
My friend, remember that life's length is not measured by its hours, days or years, but by that which we have done therein for our country and kind. His life is short who exists for self alone, should he live a century, while he who does all he can to help make the world better for having lived in it, will ever live in the hearts of his fellow men. If you would live, live so that the page of life's actions will show you loyal to country, home, family and self.
My friend, be not a dreamer, be an actor in this world's great drama. Do not live, die and sink into oblivion .without leaving some remembrance that will reflect a glory as from heaven.
"Lives of great men all remind us
We can make our lives sublime.
And departing, leave behind us
Foot prints in the sands of time,"
He who lives for self alone is like the tree that cumbers the ground without seed or fruit. All may not accomplish equal results, but all can be helpful according to ability and opportunity. He will hardly find the way to heaven who desires to tread the way alone.
Necessity rules in the affairs of men, but each in his station can help his brother, each can protect his own. He that places parents, wife, and children and dependent ones beyond want is no less a patriot than he who bares his bosom to the foe in the ranks of his countrymen.
Eminent Protector:
You now see the circle of Fraternity of which you soon will form a part, and your country's banner, which towers over you and protects you.
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty.
Of thee I sing.
Land where my fathers died,
Land of the Pilgrims' pride,
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring.
My native country, thee,
Land of the noble free
Thy name I love;
I love thy rocks and rills,
Thy woods and templed hills;
My heart with rapture thrills
Like that above.
One of the Staff:
My friend, standing before the Altar of Fraternal Love, we greet you. Look upon that tri-colored flag and learn a lesson from each hue. Loyalty, Equality and Fraternity are each signified there. And we trust that your life will prove that all are united in your character.
In this fraternal brotherhood place your trust; in your country's banner, your pride; in the emblem of liberty, your hope, and in the lessons taught this night, your duty.
Eminent Protector:
Nobles and Ladies admit our newly obligated recruit within our Fraternal Circle.
There's a band that is loyal and true,
The Nobles and Ladies who stand
'Neath the folds of the red, white, and blue,
To protect and to watch o'er the land.

O the red, white and blue!
It shall wave o'er the brave ever more.
O the red, white and blue!
It shall wave o'er the brave ever more.
My friend, you have entered upon a noble work. We strive to inculcate the great principles of Loyalty, Equality, and Fraternity.
To every sphere and station of life, you will find active members of the Order who place country before party and whose watch-word is God, our Country, and our Order. In the name of this great Fraternity, I greet you and charge you to be faithful.
Past Protector:
My friend, as an American citizen you stand as the citizen of no other country on the globe―Joint heir in the heritage of Liberty. Patriots gave this country to mankind and unfurled to heaven kissing winds the proudest emblem of Liberty that floats over land or sea. It is a fault of men to lightly value the things they have and forget the struggles of the past, whereby they were obtained. Look well, my Friend, lest you fail in your duty.
One of the Staff:
You have taken upon yourself a sacred obligation in a noble cause. The Recording Angel has al ready winged his way to the courts of Heaven and registered the same against your name. For a faithful performance you will be held accountable. While you may sink to rest less honored than others, yet, if faithful, your name will be inscribed on the roll of patriots, whose motto is, "Union and Liberty, now and forever."
Eminent Protector:
History informs us that secret societies are of ancient origin, and that members in times of great ignorance and superstition defended the oppressed, protected virtue and honor. It is certain that our forefathers bound themselves together by vows to secure their homes from the rule of tyranny. It is for us to emulate the example of our forefathers, and transmit to posterity the liberties we enjoy.
This regalia with which I clothe you in is symbolic of your country's flag, in hue and design. As the warrior of old went to battle under his banner, so will you, as an American, gird on your armor and dare to do right. The age of chivalry has passed, but man's duty remains to protect the weak and defenceless and guard family and home. No knight of old had a nobler mission than you. Let your life be a credit to yourself, your country and this Order.
My friend, you stand before us clothed in the regalia of this order. May you ever wear it in the full consciousness of an American, loyal to country, loving to family, faithful to friend, and true to a Noble.
One of the Staff:
You now stand at the Altar which symbolizes home, the protection of which is the keystone of our fraternity, on it the open Bible, which points out the way that leads to God.
The aim of final instruction you will now receive is to more firmly impress upon you lessons taught here. Of patience and duty are Angels made. It is the problem of each man and woman to patiently perform the duties that confront them, an obligation that pursues us ever. It is with us in this life, will be with us in the close. Men are not judged by their intentions, but by the results of their actions. Be noble, and the nobleness that lies in other men, sleeping, will rise in majesty to meet thine own.
"The wealthiest treasure to his lot shall fall
Whose heart, receiving, still returneth all."
The great law of equality is fittingly represented by clasped hands of brotherly love. While each one has his station to fill in the drama of life, yet all Americans are equal. Let this thought be graven on your memory, ever pointing you to nobler deeds and actions and to love thy brother as thyself.
One of the Staff:
The duties of life are more than life,
Whatever toll our hands may find.
The grandest and the best
Is that which raises up man kind
And sees his wrongs redressed.
Past Protector:
As you meditate upon this great Truth, may it cause you to remember that each has a duty to perform―that of protecting loved ones. By no process of moral reasoning can we evade this obligation. You, by your act to-night, have taken upon yourself an obligation as a member of this Order, with Loyalty, Equality and Protection as the motto on your shield.
Officers return to their stations. Captain now conducts the Staff to the Eminent Protector's Station. Guide conducts the candidate to the foot of the lines.

I will now instruct you in the secret work of this Order. The gave1 is the instrument of authority of the E.P., and should at all times command strict attention and prompt obedience. Two raps call up the officers; three raps call up all members; one rap seats all and also calls to order. Wishing to visit or gain admission to any Council, you will give an alarm at the outer door. The door being opened by the Keeper of the outer door, you will give the permanent pass-word, which is …. When admitted you will approach the inner door and give three raps, followed by three raps.
The Inner Guard will announce to the Counselor, "An alarm at the door." The Counselor will direct the Inner Guard to inquire the cause; the Inner Guard will raise the wicket, whereupon you will give your name and number of your Council. The name and number of this Council is …, No....
This will be reported by the Inner Guard to the Counselor, who will instruct the Inner Guard to admit you if correct. The I.G. will then again raise the wicket and you will give him in a whisper the semi-annual pass-word of this Order, which is …. Upon entering you will advance to the center of the room, stand in front of the Altar, facing the Eminent Protector's station, and give the sign of courtesy which is given as follows:
The Eminent Protector will acknowledge the signal with the same sign, after which you will be at liberty to take you seat. Should you be present at the opening of the Council, you will give the Semi-Annual pass-word.
The word of recognition is as follows: The person challenging will ask: Are you an American Noble? The other will answer: Even so.
The word of distress is: Elbon. The answer is: Noble.
The grip is as follows: Press the wrist with your forefinger while hands are clasped.
Voting, on all kinds of business, is done by raising the open right hand.
All applications are elected by ballot, three or more black balls rejecting.
Eminent Protector:
Look upon this emblem of your nationality; the spirit that presides over our destinies as a nation; the bright Goddess in whose shield is woven the glorious trinity of Freedom's imperishable colors. As you look upon it may it cause you to remember that we are citizens of one common country; that the shadows of the same flag falls on our homes. In reflection such as these let the value of fraternity take deep root in your nature; let your affections be concentrated in your God, your country, your home and your Order. This morning's sun reddened the shores where the cradle of Liberty was rocked to the sound of Atlantic thunders, and the parting beams still crimson the shores of our country where the Golden Gate opens into the Pacific.
You have been instructed as an American citizen. Be yours the duty to perform.
"So live, that when thy summons come to join
The Innumerable caravan that moves
To the pale realms of shade, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams,"
Guide will face candidate to the audience.

Nobles and Ladies, these recruits, having fully conformed to all the requirements of our Order, I now declare them members in good and regular standing, and you are invited to extend to them a courteous greeting.
Eminent Protector will call up members and all will march around in front of candidates, each introducing himself and welcoming the new members.

Closing the Council

After the regular order of business is concluded.
Eminent Protector:
Is there any further business to transact, or any other duty yet to be performed before closing this session?
There being none the officers and members will assist me in closing the Council. * * *.
The Nobles and Ladies will join in singing the closing ode.
'Mid pleasures and palaces, though we may roam,
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home!
A charm from the skies seems to hallow us there,
Which seek, through the world, is not met with elsewhere

Home! Home! Sweet, Sweet Home!
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.

An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain:
Oh! give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
The birds singing gaily, that came at my call;
Give me that peace of mind, dearer than all.

Eminent Protector:
Officers and members, I thank you for your attendance this evening and the assistance you have rendered me in this session. As we are about to leave the protection of our Council, let us not forget the lessons we have learned here tonight, or the duties we owe to each other and the Order. May we go forth with renewed interest and zeal for our work, and may our conduct and actions be such as lo induce others to seek enlistment in our ranks. You are all invited to attend our future sessions and help to make the moments spent here both pleasant and profitable.
Father, be with us as we go out from the protection of our Council. Help us in our daily life to spread abroad the glorious doctrine of the fatherhood of God and the brotherhood of man. Teach us to walk uprightly and to keep Thy perfect law, and may our hearts be filled with that great fraternal love that binds us together in one common brotherhood. Help us ever to cast our anchor before we reach the danger line, and may our motto be God, our country and liberty.
Eminent Protector:
Worthy Guide, you will now perform your final duty for the evening.
By order of the Eminent Protector, I declare this Council closed until the next night, at which time it will be reopened for the transaction of business and for the promulgation of the principles of fraternity. *.