Brotherhood of St. Paul
Ritual of the Second Degree or Order of Damascus
Full members of the church may take this Degree as soon as they have taken the First Degree and without election.
PRES.: You are now to be admitted to the second degree of the Brotherhood of St. Paul—the Order of Damascus.
The Secretary will read that part of our constitution which relates to membership in this order.
The Secretary reads from Article VII of the second degree: An order of Damascus, comprising all who as travelers in the way of life, have met Christ, and having accepted His love and undertaken His service, have united in full connection with His church and are connected with that local branch of the church to which the chapter belongs. Members of this order shall agree to endeavor to spread the gospel and to win men to Christ, to oppose manfully the saloon, the brothel, and every form of sin especially when organized and powerful. They shall promise to visit whenever possible poor and sick brethren and to relieve their distress; to attend the councils of the church and proclaim their faith, to assist in the same by their financial abilities, to aid by councils present, and by letters absent members of the order, and to uphold purity and Christianity in social, industrial, political and family relationships. They shall also seek to be of cheerful, contented and peaceful disposition, ever "endeavoring to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace" not envious or bitter toward any, neither self-seeking nor avaricious.
PRES.: You have heard our requirements of those who would be members of the Order of Damascus of the Brotherhood of St. Paul. The principles of this order are drawn from the words of Jesus and of Paul, which will in part be read to you.
The pastor reads: "There was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. The same came to Jesus by night and said unto him, Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come front God, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him. Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily. Verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God."—Juo. 8: 1-3,
An officer and the membership will read responsively: (* * *) "I verily thought myself that I ought to do many things contrary to the name of Jesus of Nazareth, which thing I also did in Jerusalem."
MEMBERS: "And many of the saluts did I shut up in prison, having received authority from the chief priests;"
O.: "And when they were put to death, I gave my voice against them, and I punished them oft in every synagogue, and compelled them to blaspheme,"
M.: "And being exceedingly mad against them, I persecuted them even unto strange cities."
O.: "Whereupon as I went to Damascus with authority and commission from the chief priests,"
M.: "At mid-day, O king, I saw in the way a light from heaven, above the brightness of the sun, shining round about me and them which journeyed with me."
O.: "And when we were all fallen to the earth, I heard a voice speaking unto me, and saying in the Hebrew tongue,"
M.: "Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? It is hard for thee to kick against the pricks."
O.: "And I said, Who art thou, Lord?"
M.: "And he said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest."
O.: "But rise, and stand upon thy feet; for I have appeared unto thee for this purpose, to make thee a minister and a witness both of these things which thou hast seen, and of those things in the which I will appear unto thee,''
M.: "Delivering thee from the people, and from the Gentiles, unto whom now I send thee, to open their eyes,"
O.: "And to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan unto God,"
M.: "That they may receive forgiveness of sins, and inheritance among them which are sanctified by faith that is in me."
O.: "Whereupon o King Agrippa, I was not disobedient unto the heavenly vision;"
M.: "But shewed first unto them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the coasts of Judea,"
O.: "And then to the Gentiles"
M.: "That they should repeat and turn to God, and do works meet for repentance."—Acts 26: 9-20.
Sing one verse "O Happy Day" or solo "Saved by Grace."
The officers shall read: (* *) "This I say then, walk in the Spirit and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit and the Spirit against the flesh, and these are contrary the one to the other; so that ye cannot do the things that ye would. But if ye be led of the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these: Adultery, fornication, uncleanliness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife; seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelings and such like; of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance: against such there is no law."—
Gal. 6: 16-23.
Brief address by president, pastor or a member if desired. Topic—"The Order of Damascus and its Meaning."
PRES.: We trust and make no doubt that you who stand here believe in, and have experienced the new birth, and are striving to walk in the Spirit. If so you will not find it difficult to say "I will" to the following questions:
1. Will you undertake to meet the requirements for membership in the Order of Damascus as read in your hearing, walking "in newness of life," and seeking "to be blameless" in your dealings with God and with your fellowmen?
2. Will you endeavor to be a cross-bearer for Christ and in the power of this emblem will you seek manfully to extend His kingdom?
3. Will you try faithfully to perform any duties which you have agreed to undertake, and will you be free from self-seeking and ambition?
4. Will you treat kindly the Brothers of this society and seek to advance the interests of the order?
5. Will you promptly resign if ever you should cease to try to live in accordance with the precepts of this order?
Brief prayer by pastor or member appointed by president.
PRES.: Let us unite in singing The Golden Chain.
How sweet, how heavenly is the sight,
When those who love the Lord
In one another's peace delight.
And so fulfil his word
When each can feel his brother's sigh
And with him bear a part!
When sorrow flows from eye to eye
And joy from heart to heart!
When free from envy, scorn and pride,
Our wishes all above,
Each can his brother's failings hide,
And show a brother's love.
Love is the golden chain that binds
The happy souls above;
And he's an heir of Heaven who finds
His bosom glow with love.
Closing Benediction by the Pastor: "Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen."
N. B. This initiation may be rendered more effective by having a tall gilt or red cross, 8 feet high, perhaps, or a small one. Then before Question 2.
PRES.: The Chairman of the Christian Work Committee will bring forward the emblem of this order.
This officer advances with the cross. If a large one is used the candidates will gather about it, putting their right hands upon it, when the president will ask Question 2, the whole membership rising at the close to sing, "In the Cross of Christ I glory," verse 1, Hymnal 204, or verses 1 and 4, Hymnal 211, "When I Survey." If a small cross is used it should be extended to each separately, while the President puts Question 2.
Initiation closes with Brotherhood Circle and "Blest Be the Tie."