Grand United Order of Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity of the United
States and Grand Republic of Liberia
Opening of Purity
The W. S. takes his seat and calls the whole Tabernacle up by two distinct raps. Ode and prayer. W. S. then says: Look well to the signs.
W. V. S., for what purpose have we met here?
W. V. S.: Our express object of meeting here to-night is to open … oh the United Order of Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity.
W. S.: W. V. S., your duty?
W. V. S.: I am to make myself satisfied that all present are members proper of our Order.
W. S.: W. V. S., are you satisfied?
W. V. S.: I am.
W. S.: Thank you.
W. L. S. and O. S., what is your duty?
W. L. S. and O. S.: Our duty is to guard the door and let none enter or pass out without due performance of action agreeable to the Order.
W. S.: Thank you.
Sister W. C., your duty.
W. C.: Respected brothers and sisters, I will now inform you that the W. S. is about to open … No. … of the United Order of Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity, and if there is any person or persons present not privileged by obligation to remain, they will please retire.
Officers and members will please clothe themselves in their Regalias and take their respective Stations in order.
W. S. says: Sister Conductor, please get the password, and report any who fail to give it.
W. S. then says: I now declare this Tabernacle open for the transaction of business, and we trust in union, friendship and love.
The candidate is vested in the ante-chamber by the W. V. S. and W. C., who ask these questions: 1st. Are you actuated by pure motives, before God, in joining this Order?
2d. Are you in sound and good health, and free from all bodily disease?
3d. Are you willing to be governed by the Constitution and By-Laws of this Order?
4th. Have you any malice or ill-feeling toward any member of this Tabernacle?
The W. V. S. and C. reports, and the candidate, if found worthy, is hoodwinked and the door is closely guarded. The Conductor tells the candidate to give two raps. Conductor’s alarm.
The Conductor says: W. S., the prodigal desires to return.
The W. S. says: Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The five wise virgins light their lamps, and the foolish say unto the wise, give us of your oil, for our lamps are gone out. The wise answer, not so, lest there be not enough for as and you. Go ye rather to them that sell and buy for yourselves. The candidate enters, and the foolish go out in search of oil. A noise is heard. Ode. The candidate is marched around the altar three times, and up to the W. V. S., and the W. C. says: Who hath trouble, who hath sorrow, who hath misery without end?
W. V. S. says: They that love dissipation and wine. Then cease to do evil and learn to do well, and you will prosper in this life and that which is to come. Sister C., you will pass the prodigal up to the W. S. for further advice, and his or her request granted. Ode.
Then the W. C. says: W. V. S., I here present to you these candidates asking a particular favor.
The W. S. says: Ask and you shall receive; seek and you shall find; knock and it shall be opened unto you.
The W. C. then prompts the candidate to say: I would like to see the Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity. At this moment a loud noise is heard.
W. S. says: The Brothers and Sisters will please assemble around, and let them see your good examples. All assemble except the officers otherwise employed. The bandage is removed with a shock and a loud noise is heard. The foolish virgins’ knocking is heard.
The W. S. says: What causes that alarm at that door?
The W. C. says: The five foolish virgins coming to the wedding.
W. S. says: Let them enter, and may they take heed how they enter.
And they enter. Ode. Singing: Then shall the Kingdom of Heaven be likened unto ten virgins, who took their lamps and went forth to meet the bridegroom, and five of them were foolish and five of them were wise.
The W. S. says: Behold, these foolish virgins who came unprepared and went out to get ready. But you see they are too late, and the door was shut and the marriage was over. You having become united with us shows that you are married to the good works of love and charity; and they said, Lord, Lord, open unto us; but He said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, I know you not.
Watch, therefore, ye know neither the day or hour when the son of man cometh. You also behold the five wise ones on my right, who came prepared with wisdom in their hearts. They went into the feast and were received with joy. So I trust it may be with you. Be ready at any time to assist a worthy brother or sister in distress, not knowing how soon you may need the like assistance yourself; for no one can tell what is to happen to us in our journey through this life from the cradle to the grave. And be sure you are not found like the foolish virgins, with lamps, indeed, but no oil in them; which means that they did not do their duty when they had au opportunity, and now, when they would wish to do it, every ray of hope is vanished. So keep your lamps filled and be always ready, and when it shall please our great W. S. in Heaven to call us from this lower Tabernacle to that one more perfect, I hope you will be found among the wise ones who took oil in their vessels, with their lamps ready to go into the feast, when the bridegroom shall come. I trust your works will show to the world that you are indeed a Brother or Sister of Love and Charity; and I would further remind you that you are to be gentlemanly and ladylike in your manner in and out of the Tabernacle, and avoid all matters that would have a tendency to injure your reputation or reflect any discredit on the Order which you have this night chosen to become united with.
To the W. C.: You will please pass the candidates up to W. Ch. with my compliments, and request him to obligate these candidates. Ode.
The W. C. says: W. Ch., the W. S. sends his compliments to yon and requests you to obligate these candidates.
I do solemnly promise and affirm that I will never divulge any of the mysteries or secrets of this Order to any person or persons not authorized by this Order to receive them, and I will never do or say anything to injure a Brother or Sister of this Order; and furthermore promise that I will assist a worthy Brother or Sister in distress, if the nature of the distress requires it. And, I furthermore promise and affirm that I will obey the Officers, likewise the Constitution, of this Order, binding myself under no less penalty than of having this pure water that is now poured on my head, together with my Brothers and Sisters, rise up in judgment against me at the last day should I violate this obligation wilfully, so help me God.
The W. Ch. then says: Sister C., you will please pass these candidates up to the W. S. with my respects, and tell him I have granted his request, and I now return them to him for instruction. Ode. W. S. then says: Brother or Sister, we have four secrets to trust, you with at present. They are, the Enter Sign, the Countersign, the Password and Grip. The W. C. will please teach them how to their way in and out of the Tabernacle. Brothers and Sisters, be pleased to receive the newly elected candidates. I will declare the candidates members of the … No. … of the U. O., and I hope you will respect them as the same.
The W. S. then says to the W. F. S.: What is the account of the evening?
The F. S. makes it known.
The W. S. then says: Thank you.
The Tabernacle is called up with two raps of the Gavel. Then the W. S. says to the Ch.: Sing the Ode: "Dismiss us with Thy blessing, Lord,"
W. S. then says: How do Brothers and Sisters of Love and Charity meet? In friendship and love. W. S. then says: How do they part? In peace and happiness. So let us part henceforth and forever.
W. S.: I will now declare this Tabernacle closed and shall stand closed until next session. Amen.
Opening of Purity