Fraternal Aid Union
Worthy President, *: Brothers and Sisters: I am about to open this Lodge, and you will please come to order. The Officers will assume their respective stations.
When quiet is secured.
Worthy President: Worthy Inner Guard, you will notify the Worthy Outer Guard that I am about to open this Lodge in regular form during which ceremony members will not be admitted.
Worthy President: The Worthy Guide will ascertain if all present are in possession of the password, and entitled to a seat in this Lodge. The Captain will assist him.
The Worthy Guide and Captain will take up the passwords from all present, (if a member should be without the password it should be called to the attention of the Worthy President,) passing down the sides of the room, meeting at the Worthy Vice President's station and advancing to the Altar where each will salute the other in unison.
Captain: Worthy Guide, all are in possession of the passwords and entitled to seats on the right of the Worthy President.
Worthy Guide: Worthy President, the officers are at their stations and all present are in possession of the passwords. Salutes and both return to stations.
Worthy President: Brothers and Sisters, it is well, we will proceed.
Worthy President: Worthy Past President, what are your duties?
Each officer should arise when name is called and remain standing.
Worthy Past President: Worthy President, it is my duty to have general supervision of the degree work in the Lodge, to administer the obligation of the Order, and to act as Installing Officer.
Worthy President: Worthy Vice President, what are your duties?
Worthy Vice President: Worthy President, it is my duty to supervise the entrance to our Lodge; to preserve decorum and to allow no one to enter or retire during the opening, closing or initiatory ceremonies, and in your absence to preside over the Lodge.
Worthy President: Worthy Chaplain, what are your duties?
Worthy Chaplain: Worthy President, it is my duty to invoke the blessing of our Heavenly Father upon all our members, and His watchful care over our deliberations here tonight and to assist in the initiatory ceremony.
Worthy President: Worthy Secretary, what are your duties?
Worthy Secretary: Worthy President, it is my duty to keep accurate accounts for this Lodge and its members, and receive all monies belonging to the Lodge, paying the same to the Treasurer and report all collections at each meeting. To attest all orders drawn regularly on the Treasurer and to keep accurate minutes of each meeting of the Lodge, and to make such reports as are required by the laws of the Society.
Worthy President: Worthy Treasurer, what are your duties?
Worthy Treasurer: Worthy President, to receive all monies from our Worthy Secretary, giving a receipt therefor; to deposit all funds so received in my name as Treasurer of the Lodge; and to honor all orders regularly drawn upon me, and to make such reports as are required by the laws of this Society.
Worthy President: Worthy Guide, what are your duties?
Worthy Guide: Worthy President, it is my duty to obtain the passwords from all members; prepare the Lodge room for the reception of candidates, and to conduct the strangers through the initiatory ceremonies, and perform such other duties as the ritual or the Worthy President may require.
Worthy President: Worthy Inner Guard, Inner Guard salutes 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 passwords and to report belated arrivals applying for admission, to the Worthy Vice President. You will now summon the Outer Guard.
Worthy Inner Guard salutes.
Worthy Outer Guard when summoned should step inside and close door.
Worthy President: Worthy Outer Guard, Outer Guard salutes 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 password without instructions to that effect from the Worthy Vice President.
You may now resume your station.
Worthy Outer Guard salutes and returns to anteroom.
Worthy President: Brothers and Sisters, it is my duty to preside over the deliberations of this Lodge, judging impartially all questions that may arise and to enforce the constitution and laws of our Order. As we have assembled for the purpose of transacting such business us shall lawfully come before us, let our work be done in a fraternal spirit and with a view of promoting the best interests of our Order …. Worthy Guide, you will arrange the Altar by placing there-on the flag of our Country, and the open bible.
Worthy Guide salutes and advances to station of the Past President, secures the flag, places it on the Altar, and says:
Worthy Guide: This is the Flag of our Country, emblematic of Union, Strength and Fraternity.
Worthy Guide goes to Worthy Chaplain, secures Bible and places it open on the Flag and says:
This is the open Bible and represents the law, as it is the book from which all laws of civilized nations were taken and without it no Lodge should be opened for the transaction of business.
Salutes and returns to station.
Worthy President, * * *: All members will join in singing the opening ode, America.
My country, 'tis of thee, sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing;
Land where my fathers died, land of the pilgrim's 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.
Let music swell the breeze, and ring from all the trees
Sweet freedom's song,
Let mortal tongues awake, let all that breathe partake,
Let rocks their silence break,
The sound prolong.
Worthy President: The Worthy Chaplain will lead us in prayer.
Chaplain, advances to, and in front of Altar: Let us pray. Our Heavenly Father, we thank thee that we are again permitted to assemble together around the Altar; we ask Thy blessing upon all our members whether present or absent; bless each one according to their needs. Give us ready hearts and willing hands to aid those in distress. Guide us in our deliberations here tonight; may everything that is done be for the best interest of our Order and to the honor of Thy name. Amen! Returns to station.
Worthy President: I now declare … Lodge No. … open for the transaction of such business as may come before it.
Worthy Inner Guard, you will so notify the Worthy Outer Guard and instruct him to admit all members in waiting. *.
Worthy President: Worthy Guide, you will retire and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting.
Guide retires and prepares report, writing names on slip of paper to avoid mistakes.
On re-entering Lodge proceeds to Altar and salutes.
Worthy Guide: Worthy President, I find in waiting Mr. … or Mrs. … etc.
Worthy President: Worthy Secretary, have the proper fees been collected? Secretary reports.
Worthy President: Worthy Guide, you will retire, properly prepare and introduce the candidates in due form.
Salutes and retires. Being ready for entry the Worthy Guide gives * * * on door.
Worthy Inner Guard, opens wicket and inquires: Who comes here?
Worthy Guide: The Worthy Guide of this Lodge with a stranger who has been properly prepared and desires to became a member of our noble Order.
Worthy Inner Guard: Worthy Vice President, the Worthy Guide with candidate seeks admission to our Order.
Worthy Vice President: Worthy President, the Worthy Guide and candidate seeking admission.
Worthy President: Has the candidate been informed as to the character of our Society and signified his willingness to comply with our laws and regulations?
Worthy Vice President: He has.
Worthy President: They may be admitted.
Inner Guard opens the door and the Worthy Guide conducts the candidate to a position at the altar facing the President and salutes.
Worthy Guide: Worthy President, I now present this Candidate for initiation.
Worthy President: My friend, before you can become a member of this Order, it will be necessary for you to take upon yourself a solemn and binding obligation. I assure you that in this obligation there is nothing to conflict with your duty to yourself, your family, or your religious or political principles.
With this assurance are you willing to proceed?
Worthy President: Worthy Guide, you will place the Candidate in proper position at the Altar to assume the obligation, with his left hand on the Holy Bible and his right hand with the tips of the fingers touching the center of his forehead.
Brothers and Sisters, raps * * *, you will assemble at our Altar, forming a circle and assist the Worthy Past President in administering the obligation.
Worthy Past President: You will say I, pronounce your name in full and repeat after me. I, in the presence of the members here assembled, do of my own free will and accord, solemnly promise, that I will never reveal any of the secrets of this Order to anyone not a member thereof.
That I will obey the Constitution and Laws of the Supreme Lodge, and the By-laws of … Lodge, No. … or any other Lodge of the Order of which I may become a member. That I will promptly pay all assessments which may be levied upon me, in accordance with its present laws, or those which may hereafter be enacted.
I will not knowingly wrong or defraud the Supreme or a local Lodge of The Fraternal Aid Union, or a member thereof, to the value of anything. Nor will I do anything tending to the injury of the good name or reputation of the Supreme or a local Lodge of this Fraternity, or their officers, or make false charges against a member of this Order, or otherwise do anything unjustly that would cause injury to their reputation or character. I will at all times endeavor to promote friendship and harmony among its members and ever stand ready to aid the sick and those in distress. To all of which I pledge my sacred honor.
Worthy Past President: May your obligation always abide with you in mind.
You may now resume your ordinary position.
Worthy Past President: Worthy Guide, you will now present the Candidate to the Worthy Chaplain for further instructions.
Worthy Guide leads candidates to right past the Worthy President's station to the Worthy Chaplain.
Worthy Guide: Worthy Chaplain, I present this Candidate for further instructions.
Worthy Chaplain: My friend, I congratulate you upon your progress thus far.
Behold this vacant chair. The tale it tells is oft repeated in our midst, another traveller has embarked on that ship which never returns.
Rememberance of the lives of those who have gone before are our beacon lights along the coast of time. We know not how soon our names may be stricken from the roll of the living and entered by the recording angel on high. It is appointed unto man, once to die. How soon, we know not. Let this lesson admonish you to be ever ready. While in full vigor it is your duty and privilege to provide for family and loved ones. This duty well done will serve as a silver lining for the cloud that sooner or later will intervene and separate us.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him, there will be one vacant chair;
We shall linker to caress him, while we breathe our evening prayer.
When a year ago we gathered, joy was in his mild blue eye,
But a golden cord is severed, and our hopes in ruin lie.
We shall meet, but we shall miss him, there will be one vacant chair;
We shall linger to caress him, when we breathe our evening prayer.
It is said in Holy Writ that, he who provideth not for his family is worse than an infidel. Let me therefore admonish you to be prompt in making your payments and all your financial obligations to this Order, to insure your loved ones the protection which this Order affords. "He that is a friend loveth at all times and a brother is proved in distress." We are bound by mutual ties: let us do our full duty to each other.
Guide, you will now present the Candidate to the Worthy Vice President.
Worthy Guide: Worthy Vice President, I present this Candidate for further instructions.
Worthy Vice President: My friend, in admitting you to this Order, we have given you our confidence and expect you in return to be true to the obligation you have taken and to always work for the best interests of our Order. We must be benevolently and usefully active; indolence subjects man to most of the sins of omission and commission, which retards the full development of the individual and the race. Before the Altar you have promised to obey our laws and conduct yourself in a manner that will honor the Order and yourself. Be true to your promises and you will win the respect of, and be a benefactor to those around you.
"So live, that when thy summons comes 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.''
Worthy Guide, you will now present these friends (or friend) to the Worthy Past President for further instructions.
Worthy Guide: Worthy Past President, I present this friend for further instructions.
Worthy Past President: My friend, you have assumed your vows, take warning; betray them not. Let your life be one of usefulness, and courteous kindness; conquer first thyself, when that is done, you will be proof against all foes. As an American gird on your armour 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.
"For what is life so brief at best?
An awakening between rest and rest,
An insect's trail upon the sand,
A gem's bright flash upon the hand.
A breath upon a frosted pane,
A moment warmed then chilled again,
A wave line traced on ocean's shore,
Just rippled there then seen no more,
A fleecy cloud, a passing haze,
Dissapated by the Sun's warm rays,
Canst think of aught more brief more fleet?
To image forth times' flying feet?
Yet in a moment, in a breath,
Our love awakes which knows no death,
And life which seems so brief to be,
Is crowned by Immortality."
Worthy Guide, you will present our friend to the Worthy President for final instructions.
Worthy Guide: Worthy President, I now present this friend for final instructions.
Worthy President: My Brother, for I can now call you Brother, I welcome you to this station. This 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 confined in this bundle. Remember then this lesson as it exemplifies the strength of unity, so we should always be united in our work. In your progress here you have learned many valuable lessons, strive to keep them in memory, and when death's dread summons comes to you as it must to all, the All-wise Father may be able to say, "Well done good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of the Lord.''
I will now instruct you in the secret work of our Order. Wishing to visit your Lodge when in session you will give any alarm at the outer door that will attract the attention of the Worthy Outer Guard who will open the wicket or door and to him you will give in a whisper the permanent password which is …. This will admit you to the ante-room where you will attach the Badge of the Order. You will then advance to the inner door and thereon give * * * raps: this will attract the attention of the Worthy Inner Guard who will report to the Worthy Vice President, the alarm at the door. You will be admitted if in the possession of the password, being required, at the wicket to give the annual word in a whisper, which for the current term is …. If visiting any other than your own Lodge you will give your name, and the name and number of your Lodge, which is … Lodge, No. … and the passwords, also tender your last receipt for inspection. If correct and in order you will be admitted.
When admitted to the Lodge room you will advance to and in front of the Altar facing this station and give the Salutation sign. This sign may also be used as a recognition sign as between members, and is also used where a salute is called for in the ritualistic work or opening and closing ceremonies, and is made in this manner: Bend the head slightly forward, touching the center of the forehead with the tips of the fingers of the right hand. Drop the hand to the side. The meaning of this sign is; I bow my head to the Holy Book and salute the American Flag. The Worthy President will answer by a wave of the hand when you will be seated.
In balloting on candidates you will advance to the Altar by line of march, salute the Worthy President with the sign and deposit your ballot, allowing no personal motive or unjust prejudice to influence your vote. In voting upon questions not requiring a secret ballot you will vote by voice: aye or nay.
In crossing the hall during a session of the Lodge you should never pass between the station of the Worthy President and the Altar, except in conferring degrees or in open meeting, at all other times you will pass in the rear of the Altar.
The gavel is an emblem of authority in the hands of the President. One * calls the Lodge to order or seats the members; two ** calls the officers to their feet; three *** calls up the entire Lodge; one * seats them.
The Worthy Guide will now conduct you to the Secretary's desk, where you will receive your certificate and sign the roll as a member of this Order.
Guide then conducts the brother to Secretary's desk, and then in front of Worthy President's station, facing Altar.
Worthy President * * *: Brothers and Sisters, I take great pleasure in introducing to you who has been regularly admitted according to our established custom and who is ready to receive the hearty welcome which I am sure you are ready to give him. The Lodge will be at ease till the sound of the gavel.
After a recess the Lodge will be called to order and proceed with the regular order of business.
Worthy President: Brothers and Sisters, I am about to close this Lodge. Worthy Vice President, do you know of any business neglected or duty unperformed by us at this meeting?
Worthy Vice President: Worthy President, the work is finished. We desire to depart to our homes and seek repose. All is well.
Worthy President: It is well. We will now join in singing our 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.
Home! Home! Sweet, Sweet Home!
Be it ever so humble, there's no place like home.
Chaplain advances to the Altar and prays: Our Heavenly Father, we humbly ask Thy blessing for all our members. Shield them from all harm, make us true to our Brothers and Sisters, loving in our homes; loyal and obedient to the law, and worthy members of our Order, Keep us from evil ways, and when our arch enemy. Death shall close our eyes and still our hearts forever, may we be ready to enter Thy Celestial Kingdom. Amen!
Worthy President: Worthy Guide, you will collect the Rituals and Odes and attend the Altar. Worthy Guide then stands attention.
I now declare this Lodge closed until our next meeting, and bid you all Good-night.
Members respond: Good-night.