Independent Order of Foresters
Ritual of the Juvenile Foresters
W. Commander: We are about to open this Court; all not members of the juvenile Department will please retire. The officers will please take their places in the Court. The Senior and Junior Conductors will give me the present quarterly password, then examine all present in the same, and report to the Vice-Commander.
The Conductors will first advance to the W. Commander and give him the password, after which they will commence the examination at the right and left of the W. Commander, and end at the Vice-Commander, to whom they will report.
Vice-Commander: Worthy Commander, all present are members of the Juvenile Department.
W. Commander: Brethren, before I declare the Court duly opened, it is my duty to remind you that our Obligation requires of us all to obey our laws, to he kind to each other, and to conduct our business with order and regularity. Let us now listen to our Chaplain while he leads us in prayer.
Chaplain: Our Father, who art in Heaven, We pray Thee to look down upon this Court of Foresters, and bless it; help each one of us to do what is right; give us strength both here and everywhere to avoid evil; give us wisdom to conduct our business aright; guide and direct our footsteps wherever we may go and Thine shall be the praise for ever and ever. Amen.
W. Commander: Please sing our opening ode.
Come, Brethren! let us all unite in noble purpose bound;
Let truth, and love, and heav’nly light,
In all our works be found.
Chorus: Then here’s a hand with heart sincere,
We ask a hand of thine;
In love we give the tokens here,
For days of auld lang syne.
While Courts shall stand in beauteous form,
Untouch’d by time’s decay,
We’ll fear no dark or threat’ning storm
To cloud our passing day.
W. Commander: I now declare the Court duly opened.
W. Commander: The Recording Secretary xviii retire to the anteroom rind see if there be any Candidates for Initiation, and if so report their names to the Court.
The R. Secretary will then retire and require each Candidate to Sign the Roll Book and pay his fees, and, on his return to the Court, reports as follows.
R. Secretary: Worthy Commander, I find Mr. … in the anteroom waiting to be initiated.
W. Commander: Recording Secretary, have these names been approved of by the Committee of Management?
R. Secretary: They have, Worthy Commander, and the Candidates have duly signed the Obligation and paid their fees.
W. Commander: The Senior and Junior Conductors will retire to the anteroom and introduce the Candidates.
The Conductors will then retire, and when ready give three loud knocks at the inner door.
S. Conductor: * * *.
S. Guard: Who comes there?
S. Conductor: The Conductors, with the Candidates for Initiation.
S. Guard: Wait till I report. Vice-Commander, at the inner door of the Court stand our Conductors, with the Candidates for Initiation.
V. Commander: Let them be admitted.
The Senior Guard will then throw the door wide open, and the Candidates will be conducted to the place immediately in front of the Worthy Commander.
S. Conductor: Worthy Commander, I beg to present these Candidates before you for Obligation.
W. Commander: You will place your right hand on your left breast, over your heart, and repeat after me our solemn Obligation.
I do solemnly promise, upon my sacred word and honor never to tell anyone who is not a member of the Juvenile Foresters any of the signs, passwords, or other secrets of the Order which may come to my knowledge.
I also promise to obey the laws of this Court; to be kind to all members of the Order, and do all that I can to advance the prosperity of the Juvenile Foresters.
I also promise not to use any profane words, to abstain from the use of tobacco in every form, also to abstain from the use of intoxicating liquors as a beverage.
Lastly, I promise to obey my parents in all things, as well as the officers of this Court in the discharge of their duties in the Order.
Superintendent: My dear young friends and brethren, you have pledged your sacred word and honor that you will do those things which you have just promised in our Obligation; should you ever be tempted to break any of your promises made at this time, I trust you will remember this night, and remembering this night you will say, My sacred word and honor was pledged, and I will never break my promise. In this Court of Juvenile Foresters you will meet with others whom you are to regard as brothers you will therefore be expected to be kind to each other, not given to quarrelling or speaking cross words, but in honor preferring one another. Here we hope you will learn many things which will be of help to you after you have grown up to be men; among them being the manner of conducting business at public meetings and in Societies. In this country government and society is so constituted that everyone who lives a sober and industrious life has a chance to reach the highest positions in the land. We hope, therefore, you will be diligent in your attendance here, and attentive to the lessons taught you in our Court; and in after years, when you have grown up to be men, and perchance are filling the highest stations in the gift of your fellow citizens, you will look back to this Court of Juvenile Foresters as the training ground where you received your first lessons of public life, and we trust of public usefulness. Let all of your thoughts and acts be founded on Truth, builded up and cemented by Love, and crowned by Fidelity to principle, and. so do honor to your beloved Parents, be a credit to this Order, and give us reason ever to be proud of you as our brethren. The Worthy Commander will now instruct you in the secret work of this Court.
The Worthy Commander will then give full instructions, after which he will proceed as follows.
W. Commander: Now, by the authority of the laws of the Independent Order of Foresters, I proclaim you members of this Court of Juvenile Foresters. Brethren, join with me in giving a hearty welcome to our newly initiated brothers.
W. Commander: Brethren, please give attendance while I close this Court. Brother Financial Secretary, what are the receipts of the evening?
F. Secretary: Worthy Commander, the receipts are $ ….
W. Commander: The Recording Secretary will enter the amount in the minutes, and the Treasurer will pay the same over to the Superintendent.
W. Commander: Please sing our closing ode.
W. Commander: You will now give attention to the Chaplain while he closes our meeting with prayer.
Chaplain: Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this meeting. Forgive us if we have said or done anything that is wrong. Help us to resist temptation, and do Thou guide us through life. Bless our parents. Prosper our Order and when our work is ended on earth receive us in Thine own Kingdom, and Thine shall be the praise, now and evermore, Amen.
W. Commander: I now declare our Court duly closed.