Independent Afro-American Relief Union
Initiation Ritual


no date

At the time of opening when the members are present the lodge shall be called to order by the president with one rap of the gavel and the officers will take their respective stations.
The president will say, is the outer guard present? If so, let him approach the altar. The president will then give him his orders.
The brother or sister will come before the altar and put on a due-guard of a Independent Afro-American Relief Union. The president will say:
Your station—outer door of the lodge room; your duty is to keep off all cowards and eaves-droppers and see that none pass or repass except those duly qualified and have permission from the president and take charge of the door,
The inner guard station is at the inner door of the lodge and your duty is to admit all on the proper password and to see that all are properly clothed.
The conductor's station is at the left of the president. Your duty is to take up all passwords and report the same by saying: Mr. President, I find all with the proper password, but those standing. Then the president will inquire of the secretary of such member or members standing and if in good standing the password shall be given them by order from the president. Then the chaplain will come before the altar and sing Hyma No. 295, "And Are We Yet Alive." After singing the chaplain will pray, then read scripture lesson from Saint John, chapter 3. After reading, attend signed the lodge is seated and the president will declare the lodge open for business.


The President will say:
Sister or Brother Conductor, is there any candidate waiting for initiation? If so take with you the necessary help and escort the candidate to the ante-room and prepare the candidate for initiation.
Then the President will ask the following questions:
My friend, is it of your own free will and accord that you come here?
It is.
Do you promise that you will be loyal to the rules and regulations of the union?
I do.
Then the candidate is hoodwinked. The Conductor alarms the door by three raps without, answered from within by two raps.
The Inner Guard will say:
Who comes here, a stranger? Has he got the password?
No, but I have it for him.
Inner Guard:
Advance and give it to me. Done. The password is right; let him enter.
The Conductor will lead the candidate around the lodge room three times; in the meanwhile the scripture is read from the tenth chapter of St. John. Then the candidate is caused to ascend to a height of three steps and descend down hurriedly at the same time. All members stamp of the floor rapidly, then the candidate is conducted to the Vice-President. The Vice-President places the candidate in order at the altar to take upon himself the oath and obligation of an Independent Afro-American Relief Union. When the candidate is in order the Vice-President goes to the altar and says:
My friend, you are kneeling at the altar of relief to take upon your self the solemn oath of an Independent Afro-American Relief. Are you willing to take it?
I am.
If so, say I and repeat your full name and say after me: in the presence of Almighty God and these brothers and sisters assembled of my own free will and accord I do most solemnly and sincerely promise that I will stand to and abide by the rules, laws and regulations of this lodge and uphold the laws of the Grand Lodge; further that I will aid and assist all poor distressed sisters or brothers of the union, knowing them to be such if in my power to do so; all of this I do solemnly and sincerely promise with a firm and steadfast resolution to perform the same, so help me God and ever keep me steadfast in due performance of the same. You will detach your left hand and kiss the Bible on which they rest one time. Friend, in your present condition, what do you most desire?
Light, sisters and brothers. Come forward and stretch forth your hand and assist me in bringing this newly brother or sister to light. In beginning God created the Heaven and the earth and the earth as without form and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And God said: Let there be light and there was light. Now my brother or sister, on being brought to light, I, as President of this lodge, congratulate you by giving you the grip and sign and password of the Independent Afro-American Relief Union. The grip is given thus: catch the hand of opposite person’s right hand resting from each other’s third finger. Say as follows: Where did you come from? The answer is: From the … governor beyond the river.
Where are you going to? The City of Jerusalem. What did you find in Jerusalem? The walls of the city broken down and the gates … burned with fire.
Well, I do … understand you to be a Babylonian? I am not, I was brought tot Babylon by Jerusalem. What did you return to Jerusalem for? To release my people. Then you are a burden bearer, are you not? I am and we all should be. Well, how do we help bear one another’s burden? By helping when in need.
Will you do so? I will, so will I.
The dueguard is given thus: stretching out your right hand and placing the left hand on your right breast, let them fall gracefully.
The distress word is: My head, my head, my head, three times. The answer to this word: I am the man of God.
The distress signal is given thus: place your right hand on right hip and left hand on left hip. The opposite person will answer you by placing the right hand on right hip with thumb showing in front.
The calling signal is given thus: wave the three first fingers on the right hand across the right eye. It is answered by the opposite person by waving the three first fingers on the left hand across the eye.
Our motto is: caution, bravery and protection, and thus explained: caution that I will ever be cautious in my dealings with mankind, and more especially with a sister or brother of this Independent Afro-American Relief Union. Bravery, that I will not hesitate to go to the assistance of any sister or brother when they did not bring it on themselves, whether dark or bright. Protection, that I will protect the union and the good name of a worthy brother or sister wherever I go, if in my power to do so.
The rule and compass is to lay out and circumscribe, that none who do not come under the rules and bounds of these two implements are not worthy of becoming members of the union.