Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic
Initiation Ritual


Opening Services
President, *: Guard will secure the door. Conductors, are all present members of the Order?
As they receive the password from President, she hands to Conductor and Assistant the Rituals, Ode Cards and Officers' Badges which are to be distributed by them on their respective sides of the hall. Conductor receives password at right of the President, Assistant at left, and takes the same from every member. Should a member be present without password, Conductor says: Sister
President, I find Sister … without the password. If member is entitled to password, President instructs her to come forward and receive it. Conductor awaits return, of member and takes password from her before proceeding to next. All passwords are given with the grip. Conductors meet at station of Senior Vice-President, from whom Conductor takes password, then advances to rear of Altar, where Assistant salutes Conductor and says: Sister Conductor, I find all on the left entitled to remain.
Conductor, both salute President: Sister President, we find all present are members of the Order.
President: Secretary, you will call roll of officers and members.
Conductor rises and responds. President fills chair of officers as soon as vacancy is announced.
President, * *: Senior Vice-President, what are the duties of your office?
Senior Vice-President: The Senior Vice-President shall perform all duties required of her by the Ritual and in the absence of the President shall discharge all obligations appertaining to that office.
President: What are the duties of the Junior Vice-President?
Junior Vice-President: The Junior Vice-President shall perform all duties assigned her and fulfill in her absence, all duties of the office of Senior Vice-President.
President: Secretary, what are your duties?
Secretary: The Secretary shall keep a true record of the proceedings of the Circle, attend to all matters of correspondence ordered by the Circle, under the direction of the President, and draw all warrants for moneys ordered paid at stated meetings; she shall make all reports devolving upon her office and perform all other duties required by the Rules and Regulations.
President: Treasurer, what are the obligations of your office?
Treasurer: The Treasurer shall keep correct accounts between the Circle and each member, and notify members when in arrears for dues. She shall be the sole custodian of all Circle property, give receipts for all moneys received and pay all bills for which warrants have been properly drawn. She shall state at the close of each meeting the receipts thereof, and render to Circle and Department the itemized reports required by Rules and Regulations.
President: Chaplain, what is your work?
Chaplain: The Chaplain shall conduct the religious exercises of the Circle, prepare Memorial Day reports and assist at the burial services of members of the Order.
President: Patriotic Instructor, what is your duty?
Patriotic Instructor: To teach palriotism, and lessons of good citizenship, and to instruct the children of our land in the pledge to our Flag and the history of our Country.
President: Sister Registrar, what are your duties?
Registrar: It shall be my duty to properly record and file the eligibility of all members to the Circle and render a correct report to the Department Registrar.
Pesident: Historian, what are your duties?
Historian: The Historian shall write and preserve the history of the membership and activities of the Circle.
President: Conductor, what are your duties?
Conductor: The Conductor shall see that all present are members of the Order, prepare candidates for initiation and perfprm any other work required of her by the President.
President: Assistant Conductor, what is your duty?
Assistant Conductor: To assist the Conductor and in her absence, to attend to duties of that office.
President: Guard, what are the obligations of your office?
Guard: The Guard shall attend the inner door and admit none without the password, unless otherwise ordered by the President.
President: Assistant Guard, what are your duties?
Assistant Guard: The Assistant Guard shall attend the outer door and shall assume the duties of Guard in the absence of that officer.
At any alarm on outer door, Assistant Guard shall retire without advancing to Altar or saluting, returning shall be seated without ceremony.
President: Musician, what are your duties?
Musician: The Musician shall preside at the piano and lead the music for Circle services.
President: It shall be the duty of the President to preside at all meetings of the Circle and exact strict observance of the Rules and Regulations and Circle By-Laws, appoint all committees, and sign all warrants drawn on the Treasurer at regular meetings. She shall approve the quarterrly reports of the Secretary and Treasurer, and forward the same, with the per capita tax, to Department Secretary, and shall discharge all other duties of her office, according to Rules and Regulations and orders from superior officers.
President: * * *.
The Chaplain will read a Scripture Lesson.
Chaplain goes to the Altar without saluting President, reads scripture lesson, same having been selected by her before the opening of meeting. After which the Lord's Prayer is recited in unison. Chaplain returns to her station.
Opening Ode
Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is tramping out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored;
He hath loosed the fateful lightning of His terrible swift sword;
His truth is marching on.
Chorus: Glory! Gloryl Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujah!
Glory! Glory! Hallelujahl
His truth is marching on.
I have seen Him in the watch-fires of a hundred circling camps;
They have builded Him an altar in the evening dews and damps;
I can read His righteous sentence by the dim and flaring lamps;
His day is marching on.
I have read a flery gospel writ in burnished rows of steel;
As ye deal with my contemners, so with you my grace shall deal;
Let the hero born of woman crush the serpent with his heel,
Since God is marching on.
In the beauty of the lilies Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom that transfigures you and me;
As He died to make men holy, let us die to make men free,
While God is marching on.
President: *.
President: Guard will now admit any members waiting in the ante-room.
Members entering will advance to rear of Altar, salute the President and be seated.
President: Conductor and Color Guards will retire and present the Flag of our Country.
Conductor, Assistant Conductor and Assistant Guard, Conductor in center, salute from rear of Altar and retire.
When alarm is given, Guard ascertaining that the Color Guards seek admission, advances to Altar, salutes and says: Sister President, the Color Guards with the Flag of our Country.
President: You will admit them.
When the Flag is brought into the room, all members will give the "Silent Salute" by placing the right hand over the heart, holding the salute while the Flag is making the circuit of the Altar.
Musician plays appropriate music. Conductor, carrying the Flag, with Color Guards at either side. Makes circuit of Altar, Keeping Altar to the right, advances to rear of Altar and Color Guards salute. Conductor does not salute, and is silent during the service.
The "Silent Salute" is not given when a flag is used as an escort flag. The Assistant Conductor addresses the President:
Assistant Conductor: Sister President, The Flag of Our Country.
President: Sisters, the Flag of our Country.
Salute the Flag.
All give the salute of our Order.
President: We will now give Pledge to the Flag.
Patriotic Instructor advances from her station at the left of the Chaplain to the Altar and without saluting the President, repeats:
Let us be ever mindful of our duties as Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, to see that our Flag is never desecrated, and to teach the children of our land, what this means. Also to see that the children are instructed in the Pledge to the Flag, which is: "I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America , and Republic for which it stands, one Nation indivisible, with Liberty and Justice for all."
Members standing at "Attention" repeat the pledge with Patriotic Instructor.
One or more verses of "Guard the Flag" is sung.
Guard the Flag, guard the Flag of our native land,
Guard the Flag of liberty;
Guard well the Flag with heart and hand;
God save the banner of the free!
Daughters of the nation, hold it aloft,
Bravely its foes defy;
Our beautiful Flag, the hope of the world,
Ever shall wave on high!
Chorus: Guard the Flag, guard the Flag of our native land,
Guard the Flag of liberty;
Guard well the Flag with heart and hand;
God save the banner of the free.
Guard the Flag, guard the Flag that our fathers bore.
Let its pride our glory be;
Oh, let it wave o'er the sea and shore,
The starry emblem of the free!
Tho' 'neath it marching onward to war,
Tho' 'neath its folds in peace
Our motto shall be to still guard the Flag,
Never our vigil cease!
President: Conductor, place in position the Flag that we love.
Flag is placed. While Offlcers are still at Altar, the members repeat "The American's Creed" and "Good and Welfare," led by Patriotic Instructor.
I believe in the United States of America as a government of the people, by the people, for the people, whose just powers are derived from the consent of the governed; a democracy in a republic; a sovereign Nation of many sovereign states; a perfect Union, one and inseparable; established upon those principles of f reedom, equality, justice, and humanity for which American patriots sacrificed their lives and f ortunes.
I therefore believe it is my duty to my country to love it; to support its Constitution; to obey its laws; to respect its Flag; and to defend it against all enemies.
We, the mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, grand-daughters, blood kin nieces, grandnieces, and cousins of Union Veterans of the Civil War, with army nurses of that War, have formed ourselves into this permanent organization for the relief of all sick and needy comrades, or their dependent ones, holding ourselves in readiness at all times to render them any possible aid and comfort.
The Charity that is dispensed with the clasp of Fraternity, in a spirit of secrecy, which does not let ‘the left hand know what the right hand doeth,' is the mutual work of the Comrades of the Grand Army of the Republic and the members of our Order.
We are banded together to teach patriotism and lessons of good citizenship to the children of our land.
We are organized to preserve the memory of the patriots of this nation; to perpetuate and inculcate the ideals of this Republic for which they offered their lives, and to guard the results which are secured to us by their sacrifices.
The members of our Order are helpers of the Grand Army of the Republic. Our Motto, like theirs, is the glorious one, Fraternity, Charity, Loyalty. The Charity of the Grand Army and the work of our Order, is the golden link which binds Fraternity and Loyalty, and makes the bond as strong as consecrated lives can make it. This is the mission of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic.
Note: "The Pledge of Allegiance" is the Pledge to our Flag. "The American's Creed" is the Pledge to our Country. The "Good and Welfare" is the Pledge to our Grand Army of the Republic.
President: Conductor, Color Guards and Patriotic Instructor will resume their stations.
They salute and return to seats.
President: Guard will ascertain if any candidates are waiting in the ante-room for initiation.
At all times on leaving or entering hall, Guard advances to rear of Altar and salutes.
Guard: Sister President, I find Mrs. … in waiting.
Guard resumes her station.
President: Secretary, has she been regularly elected to become a member?
Secretary: She has, Sister President.
President: Conductor, you will retire to the ante-room, meet the lady and inform her that the members of … Circle, No. …, are ready to receive her for initiation.
The Conductor salutes at the Altar and retires. The Assistant Conductor also retires when there are two or more candidates. Before re-entering the first lady takes Conductor's left arm and the Assistant Conductor takes the last lady upon her right arm. Circles may use Escorts to carry Flags in the Initiatory Service. The Conductor gives the alarm, and Guard admits them.
During passage of candidates around hall a slow march is played, they pass all the officers' stations, finally pausing at Chaplain's chair.
President: The Chaplain will now invoke the Divine blessing.
Chaplain: Be with us, Heavenly Father in the service of this hour; compose our thoughts into befitting solemnity, purify our hearts, elovate our desires. Bless, we beseech Thee, the work in which we are engaged, and give us strength to keep in faithfulness forever the obligation which we now assume. We ask it for Christ's sake. Amen.
All members respond: Amen.
Officers remain standing.
Conductor now escorts lady to Junior Vice-President, facing that officer; they pass the station of Senior Vice-President.
Conductor: Junior Vice-President, I have the honor of presenting to you this lady, who wishes some instruction regarding our work.
Junior Vice-President: We mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, grand-daughters, nieces, grandnieces, and blood kin cousins of soldiers, sailors and marines of the Civil War, with army nurses of that War, have formed ourselves into a permanent organization for the relief of families of those who fought in defense of our country who may need our aid. The Soldiers' Home and Soldiers' Orphans' Home will have our care. We also endeavor to educate in patriotism the children of our land. Understanding this much of the purpose of our organization are you ready to join with us in our work?
Lady: I am.
Junior Vice-President: Conductor, present the candidate to the Senior Vice-President, who will give her additional instruction.
Conductor takes lady to station of Senior Vice-President; they pass the President and Chaplain.
Conductor: Senior Vice-President, I now present this lady to you for further instruction in the duties and work of our Order.
Senior Vice-President: The Junior Vice-President having given you some knowledge regarding the nature of our organization, it becomes my duty and pleasure to instruct you still further in our work. You have been told that we labor for the soldier, sailor and marine. We have at heart the interest of the Grand Army of the Republic, and the Sons of Veterans should, of course, come under our fostering care. Our work is for each other, as well. You may be called to assist some member of this Order in sickness or trouble, and you are to hold yourseif in readiness to respond  with all possible aid and comfort.
We pledge ourelves to stand by you in sickness and trouble of any kind, holding ourselves bound to do for you all in our power. With this assurance, are you still ready to become a member of our order?
Lady: I am.
Senior Vice-President: Conductor, you will now present the candidatc to our President, who will further instruct her.
Conductor faces candidate toward the President's station, then advances with her to rear of Altar.
President: In succession, the Junior and Senior Vice-Presidents have spoken to you of this work in which you are about to engage; and under the rules the President is required to complete the general statement of our objects, and receive the pledge of membership. At the command of duty and their country's call, myriads went forth to meet their country'e enemy and offcrcd their lives for their country's redemption. Vast numbers gave their lives in battle by land or sea.
Age is coming on to all apace. Each year the veterans' ranks recruit the list of those who, in temporary trials, or constant want, may need to feel their country's gratitude and love. To all our heroes, and their dependent ones, let us be faithful in the name of Christ, the tounder of faith, equality and liberty. Are you now ready to take the obligation?
Lady: I am.
President: * * *.
The President advances to Altar, facing candidate; at the same time Junior Vice-President and Chaplain take position at their respective sides of Altar.
President: Place your right hand over your heart, pronounce your name, and repeat after me the obligation of our Order.
I, …, do solemnly promise, in the presence of God and these present, upon my honor as a woman, never to reveal any of the workings of this Order, neither passwords, signs, nor anything which should be kept secret. I faithfully promise, to do all in my power, to build up and advance, the interest of this Order. I also pledge myself, never to wrong any member of this Order, nor see one wronged, if I can prevent it, and that I will do all in my power, to promote peace and harmony, in the Order. All this, I promise most solemnly.
President: Conductor, confer the badge of our Order upon the new member and present her with a copy of the Rules and Regulations.
While Conductor is performing this duty the Badge Ode is sung.
Badge Ode
Sisters, take this Badge of Freedom
Our Republic gives.
Let it be the sign that honor
Ever loyal lives.
Chorus: Wear the Badge and keep it shining
All life's juurney through,
Ever as the glorieus emblem
Of the work we do.
Then, proud eagle, still soar sunward,
Flags, your folds swing loose;
Love shall shield the helpless orphans,
Fill the widow's cruse.
At the close of the Singing, President, Junior Vice-President and Chaplain return to their stations.
President, *: Conductor, you will attend while the new member signs the roll and then present her at this station to receive the secret work of our Order.
Conductor faces member toward President.
President: Having taken upon yourself our solemn obligation, it becomes my duty to instruct you in the unwritten and secret work of our Order.
To enter the hall at any time while the Circle is in session you will give any alarm at the outer door which will be answered by the Assistant Guard, to whom you will give the National password.
Advancing to the inner door you will give our alarm. The rap is one, quite loud, followed by two, soft. This will be repeated from within by the Guard, who will raise a wicket, through which you will give in a whisper the Department password. If the opening services of the Ritual have been concluded, you will be admitted.
You will advance to rear of Altar, salute the President in this manner: The salute is made by raising hand: to head; first finger touching eyebrow, then out and down to side. The President will return the salute, when you wil! be seated. To leave before close of meeting you will pass to rear of Altar, salute and retire.
Should you wish to address the President or take part in any debate, you will always rise, salute the President and receive rccognition before speaking. You are not to pass between the President and the Alter, except during Service of Initiation, Flag Service, receiving the new password and at election. The passwords are never to be given by one member to another, but by the President alone.
In visiting any other Circle of this Department you will advance to the inner door in same manner and give to Guard your name, the name and number of your Circle and the Department password.
This will be reported to the President, who will order your admission.
Should you wish to visit any Circle outside of the Department of …, you will present to the
Inner Guard your visiting card, and when it has been read by Secretary to Circle and proper action taken, you will be admitted.
We have two passwords, the National, which I now give you …, is only given at the outer door. The Department password … is given at the inner door of all Circles in the Department of ….
You will observe that I have given you the passwords with a handclasp. This is our secret sign or grip, and must always be given Conductor with the password.
The grip is given by pressing third finger with thumb and first finger.
And now I am happy to greet you as a sister of our Order. Fraternity, Charity and Loyalty is the motto of this Order. Friendship and Loyalty to each other will promote loyalty to the work in which we are engaged. In woman the highest loyalty to country is in f aithf ui execution of the duties of home; in caring for the husband, who is its head, and in fostering, educating and bringing up the children, who are to be the country's stay in the next generation. As charity begins at home, in consideration and kindness toward its members, so loyalty begins at home. Second to this, and without neglect to home duties, we are banded, not for self-seeking, but
"To hold our own as in trust,
For our great Veteran Band."
President gives * * *.
Conductor faces member toward Circle.
Members of … Circle, No. …, Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, I have the pleasure of introducing a new sister. Sisters, salute.
Previous to singing the Initiation ode, the officers will step out in front of their stations, and with the members, remain standing while singing.
Initiation Ode
With warm and kindly greeting,
We gladly welcome you;
Each heart responsive beating,
In friendship tried and true.
A high and noble purpose
Moves every heart and hand;
We work for those whose valor
From treason saved our land.
For those, alas, whose numbers
Grow less each passing year;
For those who fought to save us
The homes we hold so dear,
We work for those brave martyrs,
The army of the slain,
Whose nameless graves are scattered
O'er many a Southern plain.
For widowed ones and orphans,
Left to our loving care,
Our hands will gladly labor,
Our hearts their sorrow share.
Then once more kindly greeting,
And welcome we extend;
May each and all prove worthy
To be the soldier's friend.
President gives * * * *.
Members led by the Secretary, form a march of greeting as the Musician plays appropriate music. After Secretary greets new members, using the grip of this Order, she makes a circuit of the hall, returning to her station and all members follow her lead and greet the new members, taking their places in turn, until all have returned to their seats, and stand until seated by gravel rap of the President.
Closing Services 
President: Color bearers, guard the Flag.
They do so to music, advance to rear of Altar and salute; Conductor takes Flag out of socket and holds it over the Altar while members sing "The Star-Spangled Banner." When singing the National Anthem the members will place the right hand over the heart. Conductor carrying Flag, and Color Guards make circuit of Altar as in presenting Plag and retire, placing Flag in place prepared for it in ante-room. As they return to the room Circle sings.
Closing Ode
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 raountain slde
Let freedom ring.
Our father's God to thee,
Author of liberty,
To thee we sing.
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light,
Protect us by Thy might,
Great God, our King.
Chaplain advances to the Alter repeats the closing prayer, reverently closes the Bible and returns to her station.
Chaplain: And now may the grace, mercy and peace of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the
Communion of the Holy Spirit and the bleasings of God, the Fathehr, be with each and every one of us. Amen.
Members all respond: Amen.
President: Conductors, you will collect the Rituals, cards and officers' badges and deposit them on this desk.
Circles may use a special march by officers to deposit their badges at President's desk.
President: I now declare this meeting of the Ladies of the Grand Army of the Republic, closed.