I. C. S. Fraternity of the World
Ritual of the Matriculate Degree



All Supreme or Grand Deputies and Worthy Protarchs shall enforce strict adherence to the ritual and shall be responsible for any deviations from it that may occur in their respective jurisdictions. They shall not under any circumstances whatever allow any part of a ceremony or costume to be used other than those specified in the ritual.


The Verger, prior to the opening of the chapter, shall place the officers’ jewels at their respective stations, the gold jewel at the station of the Worthy Protarch, and the oxidized jewels at the stations of the Worthy Chancellor, Worthy Sage, Worthy Instructor, Registrar, Bursar, Verger, Dean, Proctor, and Sentinel He shall place the gavels on the stations of the Worthy Protarch, Worthy Chancellor, Worthy Sage, and Worthy Instructor; the flag at the station of the Worthy Instructor, the book at the station of the Worthy Chancellor, the emblem at the station of the Worthy Sage, and distribute the ode cards.
Before the opening of the chapter the Verger must examine the visiting cards of all visiting brothers present and compare the signatures on the cards with those on the visitors’ register. If they are entitled to admission according to the ritual, he must be prepared to introduce them to the chapter, when requested to do so by the Worthy Protarch.
If a visiting brother should present himself after the opening of the chapter, the Verger, by direction of the Worthy Protarch, shall retire and compare the signatures (as before stated). He will then conduct the visitor to the chapter room before the altar and introduce him according to the ritual. If in doubt, the Verger may submit to the brother such questions as "Can you describe the altar emblem," "Describe the hailing sign," etc, before bringing him into the chapter room.
The Verger will, when directed to do so by the Worthy Protarch, escort the visiting brother to a station before the altar, give the hailing sign and introduce him, giving his name and the name and number of his chapter.
The Verger shall answer the roll call of officers, and assist the four chair officers in such manner that they need not leave their stations He shall attend to the preparation and introduction of candidates, have charge of all floor work of the chapter and on all public functions he shall act as marshal. He shall, when directed by the Worthy Protarch, organize the chapter, see that the doors are closed, that the property used in conducting the meeting is in place, and that the officers are at their proper stations.
When conducting a candidate around the room the Verger and his assistants shall walk on the left of the candidate, and before the various stations they shall stand on the left side of the candidate.
The Verger shall collect the jewels, ode cards, rituals, emblem, book, flag, and other property used in conducting the ritualistic work of the chapter and deliver the same to the Sentinel


The Sentinel shall be the custodian of all property of the chapter placed in his care. He shall have all necessary paraphernalia ready for use, especially the property used in connection with Part II of the Ritual. At the close of the meeting he shall take proper care of the same.
After he is notified by the Proctor that all members must come within, the inner door must be closed and he shall not permit members to approach the inner door until notified that the chapter is regularly opened. Unless otherwise advised by the Proctor, he shall also prevent members from approaching the inner door during the reading of minutes, balloting for candidates, and during initiation.
When the chapter is opened he shall not allow any person to approach the inner door until he has examined his visiting card, which must show that the visitor is in good standing.
The visitors’ register shall be in the custody of the Sentinel, and he shall see that every visiting brother signs the same.
If a visiting brother presents himself while the chapter is in session, the Sentinel will examine his visiting card, and if the visitor is in good standing the Sentinel will cause him to sign the visitors’ register, and before permitting him to approach the inner door will compare the signature on the card with that on the book.


The Proctor will at all times carefully guard the inner door of the chapter and permit no brother to enter until he has given the correct knocks and given the password, unless otherwise directed by the Worthy Protarch. He shall not permit any brother to retire from the chapter while in session until he has first given the hailing sign at the altar and has been recognized by the Worthy Protarch or the Worthy Chancellor. He shall not permit any brother to enter or leave the chapter room during the reading of minutes, or while the chapter is balloting for candidates or initiation, except when the same can be done without disturbing the ceremony and then only when the Worthy Chancellor gives permission.

Constitution and Question Book

Each chapter must purchase from the Supreme Chapter a book containing the Constitution of the Supreme Chapter and the following questions:
(1) Mr …, are you desirous of increasing the scope of your education, of becoming fraternally affiliated with your fellow students, and of developing a more useful manhood? Answer: ….
(2) Are you a student or an employe of the International Correspondence Schools, of Scranton, Pa.? Answer: ….
(3) If a student, when did you enroll? Answer: ….
(4) What are your class letters and number (if more than one give all)? Answer: ….
(5) Are you willing to assume an obligation that will not conflict with your religious and political beliefs, or with your opinion on the subject of capital and labor? Answer: ….
(6) Are you willing to do all in your power to promote the welfare of this fraternity and its members, without injury to yourself? Answer: ….
(7) Do you now reside within the jurisdiction of this chapter? Answer: ….
(8) Have you ever been proposed for membership in any chapter of this fraternity? Answer: ….
(9) If so, what was the result? Answer: ….
Signature of Registrar as witness
Registrars must see that each candidate answers the foregoing questions and signs his name in the above book as a part of his qualification for initiation.

Arrangement of Altar

The Worthy Instructor, when placing the flag upon the altar shall drape it with the word "Fraternity" facing the Worthy Chancellor.
The Worthy Chancellor when placing the book upon the flag shall open it in the center and place it directly upon the monogram in the center of the flag with the top of the book toward the Worthy Protarch.
The Worthy Sage when placing the emblem upon the book shall see that the word "HABIT" on the base of the emblem faces the Worthy Protarch, and the words "INDUSTRY," "CONCENTRATION," and "SELF-RELIANCE" will then face the respective officers whose lectures are on these three subjects.

Costumes and Regalia

All officers must be costumed in the regulation student cap and gown, and the ten officers named in the ritual must wear their jewels during the chapter session.


The Verger shall prepare the ballot box when the chapter is about to ballot for candidates. He shall then pass it to the Worthy Protarch for inspection and ballot. He shall then proceed to the right and pass it to the Bursar, Worthy Sage, Proctor, Worthy Chancellor, Worthy Instructor, Dean, and Registrar. He will then place it on the altar and deposit his own ballot.
The brothers shall form in a single line commencing from the right of the Worthy Protarch, voting as rapidly as possible.
The Verger, during the ballot, shall take his position about six feet back from the altar to the left of the line of brothers who are voting, as shown in the diagram, and shall not permit any brother to pass him until the one preceding has deposited his ballot. When all brothers have voted, the Verger shall report to the Worthy Protarch, who shall declare the ballot closed. The Verger will then close the box and present it to the Worthy Chancellor for inspection, then to the Worthy
Protarch for verification. The ballot box shall then be placed upon the altar and the Worthy Protarch shall ask the Worthy Chancellor "How do you find the ballot?" He shall answer "The candidate has been elected (or rejected)."
The Worthy Protarch shall then say, "My Brothers you have elected (or rejected) Mr. … for membership in this chapter; do any of the members desire to examine the ballot?" or after the examination the Worthy Protarch shall say, "Brother Verger, you will destroy the ballot."

General Instructions

The Worthy Protarch must enforce the rule that smoking is prohibited during initiation. It is also his duty to see that members observe absolute quiet and order at all times, especially during the initiation.
When the Worthy Protarch sounds the gavel preparatory to opening the chapter, all officers will immediately take their stations and the members will be seated. All officers on entering and retiring from the chapter must give the hailing sign before the altar and can only retire when recognized by the Worthy Protarch or the Worthy Chancellor.
Before the altar means within six feet of the same.
Upon entering or Leaving the chapter while in session, brothers shall proceed directly before the altar and give the hailing sign. Officers and members must not cross the floor after the chapter has been opened without permission from the Worthy Protarch, and in no case shall they pass between the altar and the station of the Worthy Protarch, except when ordered to do so by the latter.
The Worthy Instructor and Worthy Sage must strictly enforce the orders of the Worthy Protarch when examining the members as to their right to sit in the chapter, and in case any brother fails to qualify correctly or to exhibit his membership card showing that his dues have been paid up to date they shall immediately inform the Worthy Protarch.
All officers are required to memorize their respective portions of the ritual within thirty days alter installation and any officer failing to comply with this requirement shall forfeit his office.
At the close of the chapter session each officer shall leave his jewel at his station to be collected by the Verger.

Fraternity Flag and Floral Emblem

The Fraternity flag shall have a royal purple field in the center of which shall be the I. C. S. monogram and on the bottom shall be the word "Fraternity." The monogram and the word "Fraternity" shall be in old gold and the flag shall have a white border.
The floral emblem of the order shall be the "Forget-me-not," and shall be used at all funerals.

Visits of Supreme or Grand Deputies or Other Officers

When any Supreme or Grand Deputy or other Officer visits a subordinate chapter, he shall be received in a befitting manner. After he is announced by the Verger, the Worthy Protarch shall call up the chapter and the officer thus presented shall be saluted by the brothers with the hailing sign of the Fraternity.

Opening Ceremonies
The chapter will please come to order.
The Proctor will direct the Sentinel to invite all brothers to come within.
Worthy Protarch, your orders have been obeyed.
Brother Registrar, are all persons present members in good standing?
Worthy Protarch, with the exception of the visiting brother (or brothers) all are so qualified.
The visiting brother (or brothers) will please arise and be presented by the Verger.
* * *.
The Verger will escort the visitor (or visitors) to the altar, where he (or they) will salute the
Worthy Protarch by giving the hailing sign.
Worthy Protarch, I have the pleasure of introducing to you and to the members of this chapter, Brother …, of … Chapter, No. … (and Brother, etc.) of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World.
Brother …, on behalf of … Chapter, No. …, I bid you welcome, and extend to you the rights and privileges of our chapter. We owe to you the same fraternal consideration that we do to one another, and trust that your visit will result in mutual benefit. The brothers will now take you under their care.
Brother Registrar, how further shall we safeguard our Fraternity?
Worthy Protarch, the brothers assembled should submit themselves to the required tests of membership.
The Worthy Sage and the Worthy Instructor will now examine the cards of membership, receive the password and the grip, and report the result.
The Worthy Sage and the Worthy Instructor shall advance to the front of the altar, salute the Worthy Protarch, then advance to his station, give him the password and the grip and show him their membership cards. They will then proceed to obtain the password and the grip and examine the membership cards of the members upon their respective sides of the room, the Worthy Sage beginning at the right of the Worthy Protarch, and the Worthy Instructor at his left. After they examine all members they will then advance to the front of the altar, where the Worthy Instructor will report to the Worthy Sage, and the Worthy Sage will report to the Worthy Protarch.
Worthy Protarch, we find all present to be brothers, and entitled to a seat in this meeting of the chapter.
Brother Proctor, what is your duty?
To guard the purity of our Fraternity by excluding from our chapter all persons not properly qualified.
Brother Bursar, what are your duties?
To account accurately for all moneys received and disbursed, and to render a statement thereof whenever required by the chapter.
Brother Verger, what are your duties?
To examine and introduce visiting brothers, to assist in the initiation of candidates, and in such rites and ceremonies as are prescribed in our ritual, and to see that the mandates of the Worthy Protarch are properly and promptly executed.
Brother Dean, what is your duty?
To explain the mysteries and to communicate the secret work; to instruct matriculates in the privileges, obligations, and ideals of our Fraternity.
Brother Registrar, what are your duties?
To keep carefully the accounts and records of the chapter, to assist my brothers in their studies and in securing employment and promotion, and to perform such other duties as pertain to this office.
Worthy Instructor, what is your duty?
To study the records of history and the facts of experience; to learn therefrom the strength and dignity of Industry; to impart such truths to all who seek a place in our Fraternity.
Worthy Chancellor, what is your duty?
To understand the possibilities of the human mind and the power of the human will; to learn therefrom the necessity and value of Concentration, and to impart such truths to all who seek a place in our Fraternity.
Brother Verger, what further duties shall the Worthy Chancellor perform?
He shall have the honor of assisting the Worthy Protarch in the business of the chapter, of presiding in his absence, and of aiding him in the performance of such duties as may unduly burden his time or strength.
Worthy Sage, what is your duty?
To discover and measure the resources of human nature; to learn therefrom the might and glory of Self-Reliance; to impart such truths to all who seek a place in our Fraternity.
Worthy Chancellor, what are the duties of the Worthy Protarch?
To penetrate the mysteries of universal law, to trace the forces that fashion human destiny; to learn therefrom the dominance of Habit; to impart such truths to all who seek a place in our Fraternity.
Brother Registrar, what are the further duties of the Worthy Protarch?
To protect the well-being of our noble Fraternity, to conduct its affairs with discretion, to interpret its ideals with dignity.
* * *.
Brothers, what obligations do you expect the Worthy Protarch to fulfil?
To live honorably, to act justly.
What pledges do you give to the Worthy Protarch in the performance of his duties?
Honor; Obedience; Loyalty.
As sign and seal of our fidelity, the symbols will be displayed.
The Worthy Sage shall elevate the emblem, so as to display properly the same; the Worthy Instructor s all a the same time display the flag of the Fraternity, while the Chancellor displays the book of knowledge in like manner; the entire brotherhood shall accept this as a signal and without announcement shall sing the opening ode.

Opening Ode
How strong are the bonds of a friendship fraternal
When based on a quest for the noblest of gain:
A quest that admits our relations supernal,
And adds to the vigor of body and brain.
A brotherhood faithful and true and enduring,
Where all are for each and each is for all;
A union like ours cannot fail of securing
The noblest success that to manhood can fall:
The truest of friendship, the science-bound friendship
The I. C. S. friendship, uniting us all.
Long, long may our order continue to flourish,
And honor its founder who fashioned the plan
Of helping the toiler to strengthen and nourish
The powers that count in the make of a man;
And long may our order believe in and cherish
The strength from the union of many in one,
Assured of the fact to divide is to perish,
That earth’s great achievements by union are done.
The truest of friendship, the science-bound friendship
The I. C. S friendship, uniting us all.
The officers in their respective order will now arrange the altar.
WORTHY INSTRUCTOR, placing flag on altar:
This is the flag of our Fraternity; the purple signifying Royalty, the highest type of which may be won by Industry; the white signifying the purity or singleness of purpose, known as Concentration; the gold signifying the value of our personal powers realized by Self-Reliance.
WORTHY CHANCELLOR, placing the altar book upon the altar:
This is the symbol of our Fraternity: the Book of Knowledge: hi which the experience of the Past is tested and extended by the experiments of the Present, and upon which the progress of the Future rests.
WORTHY SAGE, placing emblem upon altar:
This is the emblem of our Fraternity: the Globe declaring its universality, and the Lamp revealing the Hope and Confidence inspired by our ideals.
The brothers will give, the Fraternity sign.
I now declare … Chapter, No. …, of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, regularly constituted.
Brother Verger, you will retire to the anteroom and ascertain whether there are any seekers after knowledge.
Worthy Protarch, I find in waiting student ….
Brother Registrar, you will retire to the anteroom where you will find student …, whom you will qualify for the Matriculate Degree.
Worthy Protarch, in the anteroom I find student …, who, having answered the preliminary questions and met the necessary requirements is now qualified for the Matriculate
Degree; be awaits your pleasure.
Brother Verger, in accordance with the laws and customs of our Fraternity, you will prepare the candidates for the rite of initiation.
* * *.
Brothers, as we proceed to confer the Matriculate Degree upon the candidate presented, you will as gentlemen and students keep in mind the solemnity of the event and the significance of the ceremony: you will conduct yourselves with the dignity inspired by our ideals and with the respect implied in our vows; you will receive the professions of the candidate as sincere and sacred; and give close attention to the counsels and instructions of your officers as become searchers after the light of learning.
The Proctor will inform the Verger that the chapter will receive the candidate.
The Proctor shall so inform the Verger. The Verger, with the candidate in charge, shall approach the inner door and knock for admission.
The Proctor shall respond and partially open the door.
Who comes there?
The Verger with a candidate who seeks admission to our Fraternity.
Worthy Protarch, the Verger is at the gate accompanied by one who asks the aid of our Fraternity in his quest for wisdom.
His name?
Who becomes sponsor for this candidate’s identity?
The Verger.
Admit the candidate.
The Verger will conduct the candidate around the room, passing along the right of the room close by the station of the Worthy Instructor, before the throne of the Worthy Protarch, to the station of the Worthy Sage.
Progress, my brother, is ever slow and arduous; all paths that lead to worthy goals are beset with obstacles. Have Courage; have Patience; have Perseverance.
Welcome to the threshold of our Fraternity: Knowledge must be sought; it never comes without effort; success must be won, it never comes unearned. Difficulties vanish and impediments are overcome when met with Industry, Concentration, and Self-Reliance. Confidence is the child of courage. Ideals inspire Hope; Hope creates Ambition; Ambition cultivates Diligence; Diligence develops Power. To these virtues this Fraternity is dedicated. Pass on.
The Verger and the candidate continue their march, passing the Worthy Chancellor and on to the station of the Worthy Instructor.
The Worthy Sage has uttered wisdom. To win and wear such virtues is worthy of your highest efforts. The secret of strength is in unity, the basis of unity is fraternity. The ideals of our Fraternity will aid you in forming the habits of Industry, Concentration, and Self-Reliance.
Worthy Instructor, the candidate seeks further counsel.
History affirms the truth which the Verger has uttered, and experience shall now add confirmation. In order to demonstrate to you the value of unity: suppose you should take your single card of enrolment in the I. C. S., which is the symbol of your ambition and your purpose. If you should attempt to tear it you would find the task an easy one; but suppose you take a hundred of such cards bound together representing the membership in the I. C. S. Fraternity, and attempt to tear them, you would find the task impossible; from this parable you will learn that security and success are guaranteed by unity.
The Verger will lead the candidate to the station of the Worthy Chancellor.
The rule and glory of our order is fraternity. You have been instructed in its purpose and power; that; you may enjoy it fully, guard it securely, and extend it universally. Attend to the counsels of the Worthy Chancellor.
In becoming a member of this noble Fraternity, its lofty principles and sublime ideals will be committed to your keeping; cherish them ardently, guard them jealously. Within this brotherhood are men of various political views and religious beliefs, men who command and men who obey; men who labor chiefly with their brain and men who labor mainly with their muscle; men who have already accomplished and men who are exerting their earliest endeavors; men of different language, temperament, and heritage. Yet within this Fraternity, Peace and Harmony must reign.
The Verger will now proceed with the candidate to a position in front of the altar.
VERGER to candidate:
We are now approaching the altar of the Fraternity. Prepare your mind to give heed to the questions of the Worthy Protarch.
VERGER to Worthy Protarch:
Worthy Protarch, I present to you this candidate, …, who having heard the admonitions and satisfied the scrutiny of your examining officers, is prepared to take the oath of fealty and to assume his place within our Fraternity.
…, have you so understood the purposes and the objects of this Fraternity that you can enter it without hesitation and submit to its Constitution and Statutes without reserve?
I have.
Being assured that there is nothing in the ideals or laws of this Fraternity that can be at variance with your political or religious principles, or inconsistent with the laws of your country, are you still willing to assume the required obligations?
I am.
The Verger will conduct the candidate to the anteroom and prepare him for the further rites of initiation.
Having escorted the candidate to the ante-room, the Verger will wait until the chapter is ready to receive the candidate, whereupon he shall knock for admission.
Who comes there?
The Verger with a candidate who presents himself for instruction in the mysterious and secret work of our Fraternity.
Has he overcome all obstacles, met all tests, and given ample guarantees of worthiness?
He has.
Let him enter.
The Verger will lead the candidate about the room proceeding as before, passing along the right side of the room by the station of the Worthy Instructor and Worthy Protarch to a position in front of the altar.
The officers and members will surround the altar and assist in the ceremony.
The Worthy Protarch will leave his station, take his position behind the altar and address the candidate Lights all out.
Mr. …, with pure intention and with earnest purpose, do you still desire to take the vows of the Matriculate Degree of the I. C. S. Fraternity?
I do.
Let us reverently follow the invocation of the Worthy Dean.
Let us pray.
Creator and Father of all, we implore Thee to look with favor upon Thy children here assembled. We beseech Thee to bestow Thy blessings upon this Brother as he takes the vows of our Fraternity. Teach him the nobility of true and upright living, the value of wise and inspiring companionship; the necessity of correct and diligent habits. Stimulate him to Industry, endow him with discretion, equip him with courage. Give unto him the willingness and the ability to use aright the powers and faculties with which Thou hast enriched him, that not only in this life but also in that to come, he may merit and obtain the crown of success. Grant that this Fraternity may be a constant source of strength to him in realizing the ideals he is now to adopt under solemn oath; grant that his fidelity and devotion to the interests of our Fraternity may aid in extending our influence throughout the world.
Graciously continue to prosper our beloved Fraternity: defend it from perversion: direct its leaders: and so bestow Thy favor upon all its chapters and members that it may be a lamp of hope wherever men aspire and strive to achieve. This we ask in all humility. Amen.
If the candidate is ready to take the solemn oath of allegiance and become a member of our Fraternity, he will place his left hand over his heart, raise his right hand, and repeat after me the following obligation:
I, …, with the approval of my conscience, and in the presence of the Supreme Being, and before the members of this Fraternity, do solemnly promise and swear, upon my honor and upon my manhood:
That I will obey the Constitution, Statutes, Rules and Regulations of the Supreme and Grand Chapters of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, and the By-Laws of … Chapter, No. …;
That I will regard every member as a brother and aid him to the best of my ability in accomplishing any worthy object; and under all circumstances, except in case of treason or crime, I will shield, protect, and aid any brother requiring my assistance;
That I will endeavor to honor and advance the interests of this Fraternity; respecting and obeying the orders of my superior officers, cultivating in myself the habits of Industry, Concentration, and Self-Reliance.
That I will obtain and study diligently the commentary upon this ritual, entitled: "The Ideals of the I. C. S. Fraternity," until I am familiar with its contents.
That I will never reveal the proceedings or the secret work of this Fraternity.
That I will never wrong or allow others to wrong any member of this Fraternity; his wife, mother, sister, or child.
That I will never knowingly introduce into any Chapter or meeting of this Fraternity anything of a partisan or sectarian character, or any other question that will cause strife and division.
If I violate this my solemn and binding vow, may I be held unworthy of fellowship with true and upright men, and may I be cast forth from this Fraternity with dishonor. May the Supreme Power aid me to keep in violate this sacred obligation. Amen.
Remember your vow.
My brother you are now a member of … Chapter, No. … of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, sworn and bound by an oath stronger than any material bond. We shall now restore to you the sight of which you have been deprived.
The Worthy Protarch and officers will return to their respective stations, except the Dean and Verger. Members encircling the altar, facing the candidate.
At the signal of the gavel, the Verger will remove the blindfold.
* * * *.
The Worthy Protarch will rap four times, whereupon the Verger shall remove the blindfold.
Without further signal, the members shall sing in unison the I. C. S. Ode of Welcome.

Ode of Welcome
O searcher for the light,
Turning from error’s night
Our aid we lend
Welcome to friendship’s band,
Welcome with us to stand,
Welcome with heart and hand
We now extend.
Your feet no more should stray
Or tarry on the way
Of ignorance:
But traveling in the road
These brothers all have trod,
For knowledge onward plod
With firm advance.
Our mystic circle here
Inspires with hope and cheer
To noblest toil
Our helpful I. C. S.
Will all our brethren bless
And guide them to success
That naught can spoil.
Our friendship from today
Will steadfast be alway:
Both leal and true
Guard them with jealous care
This treasure rich and rare,
In all your actions share,
Our trust in you.
With the last notes of the ode the lights shall be turned up.
The Dean will now instruct you in the secret work of our Fraternity.
My brother, you have been accepted by the members of this Fraternity as worthy of their confidence. That you may enjoy its benefits and privileges at any time and in any place wheresoever a chapter is instituted, I shall now proceed to give you the secret work of the Fraternity.
The gavel in the hand of the Worthy Protarch is the emblem of his authority.
One rap of the gavel calls the chapter to order or seats it when standing; two raps call up the officers; three raps the entire chapter, and four raps will be the signal to remove the blindfold.
The voting sign of the Fraternity is the uplifted right hand.
The grand hailing sign, or evidence of brotherly love is ….
In order to gain admission to a sister chapter, or to your own chapter while in session, you will advance to the outer door and rap thus …. You will be admitted without delay to the anteroom, where you will give the Sentinel, if you are not known to him, your name and the name and number of your chapter. The Sentinel will examine your visiting card, and if it is found correct, you will advance to the inner door, giving raps thus …. These will be answered by the Proctor from within with …. You will then reply with …, whereupon the Proctor will raise the wicket, and you will give him in a whisper the password. If found correct, you will be admitted. You will then advance to the center of the room in front of the altar, facing the Worthy Protarch, and to him you will give the hailing sign, thus …. You will then be at liberty to be seated.
Should you desire to retire while the chapter is in session, you will approach the altar and give the hailing sign to the Worthy Protarch or the Worthy Chancellor: upon recognition by either of them you will he at liberty to retire.
The Verger will now give you the grip. The password for this year is …, and is given only in a whisper: never by one member to another, except when necessary in case of test.
Should you be asked whether you are a member of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, your answer will be … and if the person addressing you should be a member, his reply will be …. This together with the grip, will complete the test. It will then become your duty to examine the brother’s visiting card and thus find out whether he is in good standing in the chapter from which he hails.
Brother Verger, you will now conduct the brother to the presence of the Worthy Protarch, whose words should be to him as refined gold.
Worthy Protarch, I present this brother to you that he may learn life’s greatest law, that he may glean from your lips the secrets of high achievement.
My brother, our Fraternity is educational in its spirit and purpose. This ideal must never be obscured. The primary function of education is to give men the power to achieve a desirable end, and that is the object of the I. C. S. Fraternity.
Power resides in character: character is the product of habit. Therefore, my brother you will devote the closest attention to the formation of habit. Within the recognized limits of human influence, man is his own creator: the man forms the habit, and the habit fashions the man. We form the habit of thought or action by thinking or doing the same thing frequently; habit is the involuntary tendency to repeat a previous action. The trend of human nature is to repeat what it has already done, and each repetition makes the effort easier. In course of time the sense of effort ceases entirely, and the desired end is reached unconsciously.
Modern science and philosophy agree that habit is the deepest law and the strongest force in life. Its sway is universal.
Therefore, give serious and earnest heed to these words of warning. Beware of cultivating slothful, useless, or pernicious habits. Guard yourself against the thoughts and acts and dispositions that form them.
In a fraternity whose members are dedicated to the task of realizing every worthy possibility, it is imperative that each brother should know that habit may be his most faithful ally. A good habit is powerful with the momentum of every good act and thought which went to its making.
Experience teaches that it is no more difficult to form good habits than bad ones, or wise habits than foolish ones, or productive habits than wasteful ones. The first steps in the making of any habit are difficult, the later ones are easy. In order to reach the laudable objects to which you have already pledged yourself, you must carefully cultivate the habit of Industry, the habit of Concentration, and the habit of Self-Reliance, the cardinal elements which combine to make success. You may rest assured that if you do, you will be able to remove all obstacles that bar your progress, bear whatever temporary reverses may come to you in the course of events, and win and enjoy such rewards as nature has placed within your reach. Brother Verger, you will now conduct the brother to the Worthy Instructor for counsel in the habit of Industry.
Worthy Instructor, our brother would learn of you the value of Industry.
My brother, it is my duty to counsel you in the potency of Industry, the habit of performing a useful or productive task, whether mental or manual. Work is the natural expression of power, the engagement of our energies in the manner for which they were created. Idleness is wastefulness. Not to use our intellectual and physical resources is to lose our most precious possessions. "If you have great talents, Industry will improve them; if you have but moderate talents, Industry will supply their deficiency. Nothing is denied to well-directed labor; nothing is to be obtained without it."
When the habit of Industry is ingrained in your nature, you have laid the foundation for a useful and happy and honorable life. Labor is essential to self-development, work is the secret of self-respect. Slothfulness is a disease that is always fatal to success. Ambition is a mockery, desire is a delusion, ideals are a burden, unless supported by Industry. Industry is the wise economy of time, and time is the only gift of Providence that cannot be taken from us. A worthy life is one in which the hours are well spent and the days are well filled.
Therefore, my brother, recognize the duty and the dignity of Industry: cherish and foster and practice it with ardor: encourage it wherever found, and honor it wherever exercised.
Brother Verger, you will now conduct the brother to the Worthy Chancellor for instruction in the habit of Concentration.
Worthy Chancellor, our brother would learn of you the value of Concentration.
My brother, it is my duty to instruct you in the potency of Concentration, the habit of gathering the forces of your nature under the command of your will and holding them steadily upon one occupation for the accomplishment of a definite purpose. Our senses, faculties, and powers are many and of various uses: when separately engaged upon many objects at the same time, each utilizes only its own strength; when massed and brought to bear persistently upon one occupation, each adds force and effectiveness to the others. A man using his entire power is irresistible. Concentration implies that you realize the worth of the object you wish to attain. You must learn to master your moods, to live for the future rather that the present, to spurn all temptations that would divert you from your purpose, to find your chief pleasure in overcoming obstacles and conquering difficulties. You will need infinite patience and tireless persistency.
Therefore, my brother, you must cultivate resolution and self-command; you must make your will master over all your powers and faculties, so that whether in study or in work, the habit of Industry may be made triumphant by the habit of Concentration.
Brother Verger, you will now conduct the brother to the Worthy Sage, for instruction in the habit of Self-Reliance.
Worthy Sage, our brother would learn of you the value of Self-Reliance.
My brother, it is my duty to instruct you in the potency of Self-Reliance, the unshakable confidence a man should have in his own powers Capacity is not to be estimated by what we have done, but by what we believe we can do. You have within you the foundations of future success and you may be certain that they are capable of indefinite increase by proper exercise. Your natural abilities are large enough for any structure you have the confidence and courage to build. Self-distrust will fill you with fear; it will deter you from attempting anything greater than you have already accomplished. Self-distrust is the beginning of self-neglect; self-neglect is the forerunner of inevitable failure.
Therefore, my brother, you must cultivate the habit of Self-Reliance; have faith in yourself, trust your own abilities; regard yourself as qualified to accomplish a successful career.
Brother Verger, you will again conduct the brother to the throne of the Worthy Protarch.
Worthy Protarch, I present this brother for final instructions.
My brother, a knowledge of the laws and principles upon which our noble fraternity is founded has been placed in your keeping. Think not lightly of them. You are solemnly bound to put them into practice: do it with the full realization of the sacredness of the trust reposed in you.
Having been instructed in the secrets and ideals of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, and having vowed to promote its welfare and that of every brother within its bounds, you will now reverse your position and be received by the membership of … Chapter, No. … in proper form.
WORTHY PROTARCH, * * *, to Chapter:
How shall our Fraternity receive this brother?
MEMBERS IN UNISON giving hailing sign:
By the right hand of fellowship.
The brother will again face the Worthy Protarch.
My brother, I extend to you the right hand of fellowship and welcome you as a member of our Fraternity. I now declare you a member of … Chapter, No. … of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, and entitled to all its rights and privileges. You will now sign the constitution and laws at the Registrar’s desk, and will then take your seat in full fraternity.
Closing Ceremonies
Brother Proctor, has the integrity of our Fraternity been securely guarded?
It has.
Brother Verger, has this chapter conformed to the constitution of the Fraternity?
It has.
Brothers, what are the virtues we are pledged to cultivate?
Industry, Concentration, Self-Reliance.
What is the law by which these virtues are made effective?
What is the spirit in which they should be practiced?
The Verger will remove the emblems and collect the symbols, while we sing the closing ode.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
And auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
For auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet
For auld lang syne.
We twa hae run about the braes
And pulled the gowans fine;
But we’ve wandered mony a weary foot,
Sin’ auld lang syne.
We twa hae paidl’d in the burn
Frae morning sun till dine;
But seas between us braid hae roared
Sin’ auld lang syne.
Without further ceremony, I now declare … Chapter, No. … of the I. C. S. Fraternity of the World, closed until our next regular session.