Order of the Iron Hall
The Chief Justice will take her seat and call the Branch to order, and rising, will say:
C. J., *: Herald, you will apply the test to all present and satisfy yourself that all are entitled to the privileges of the Order of the Iron Hall.
Herald (after investigation): Chief Justice, all present are of the true metal.
C. J.: * * *.
An Opening Ode is sung.
C. J.: The Prelate will now invoke the Divine blessing:
Almighty Father, Creator and Ruler of the Universe and Director of the destinies of men, we thank Thee that Thou hast again permitted us to assemble at this time for the transaction of the business of our Order. We beseech Thee to preside over our deliberations; aid us to so guard our lives and actions that the bonds of union which unite us may be strengthened; grant us Thy protection as we journey amid the dangers of life's pathway, and imbue us with a true spirit of forbearance toward each other as Thou dost forbear with us. Help us to so live that when done with this world and its cares we may be received into and dwell in Thy Kingdom, and to Thy name be all the honor, praise and glory forever. Amen,
C. J.: Friends, advance the sign of this Order.
C. J.: The Branch is ready to proceed.
Which is repeated by the Vice-Justice.
The Herald retires and introduces the stranger, presenting her at once to the Prelate, who offers the following Invocation:
O, Thou Great Jehovah, who didst create and adorn earth; Thou who hast provided so bountifully all things necessary for the support and comfort of all mankind, grant Thy blessing upon us at this time, and do Thou especially impress this stranger who desires admittance into our Order with the solemn responsibilities of the obligation she is about to take, and grant that she may find acceptance with us, and enjoy our future prosperity. Amen.
An Initiatory Ode is sung.
C. J.: Herald, conduct the stranger to this chair for instruction. *.
C. J.: Stranger, your petition for membership having been properly presented, duly executed and favorable action taken thereon by the members of this Branch, you are entitled to membership in this Order, and thus secure to yourself all the rights, benefits and privileges thereof: Provided, however, that you shall first voluntarily take upon yourself the obligations, and pass through all the ceremonies of our Order without hesitation, and be successful in mastering and overcoming all difficulties. Shall we proceed ?
Stranger: We shall.
C. J.: Herald, conduct the candidate to the altar fo obligation. * * *.
The stranger is conducted to the altar, placed so as to face the Vice-Justice, and places both hauds, palms downward, upon the Constitution and Emblem of the Order—which is printed on the cover—when the Vice-Justice will advance to the altar and administer the obligation (not to
be repeated by the candidate).
V. J.: Do you, in the presence of the Most High, who created the Universe, and all living things, in infinite goodness and wisdom, and conducts all things with justice and forbearance, and in the presence of these witnesses, solemnly affirm and sincerely promise that you unite with this Order of your own freewill and accord, and with pure motives? and do you also solemnly affirm that you will never betray or communicate any of these secrets or ceremonies, or any part thereof? and do you further affirm, that you will never violate this obligation, and will not, either in consideration of gain, interest or honor, nor with good or bad designs, take more than is justly your own from any member of this Order, nor permit it to be done by others? Do you further promise and affirm that you will not take any of the secret work of this Order, should any be in printed form, from this hall, unless as an officer thereof? Do you further most solemnly promise aud affirm that you will support and abide by the Constitution and General Laws of the Supreme Sitting, and all the By-Laws, Kules and Kegulations of this or any other Branch of the Order of the Iron Hall of which you may be a member ? All this do you most solemnly promise, with a fixed and steadfast purpose to keep and perform the same, under the penalty of being forever debarred from all the rights and privileges of the Order? Do you so promise and affirm?
What is your answer?
Stranger: I do.
C. J.: Herald, conduct the stranger to this chair for further advancement.
The Obligation Ode is sung.
C. J., *: My friend, the following instructions will enable you to work your way into a Branch hall: Approach the outer door and give an alarm thus: …. The Vedette will respond, to whom you will give semi-annual password, which for this term is …. If given correctly, you will be admitted to the anteroom, where you will invest yourself with the Emblem of the Order, which is to be worn in a conspicuous place on your person. Then approach the inner door and give one knock. The watchman will open the wicket, to whom you will give your name, rank and the number of the Branch to which you belong, and communicate in a whisper the permanent password, which is …, when you will be admitted to the hall. You then advance to the center of the room, facing the Chief Justice, who will recognize you by poising the gavel perpendicularly, hammer uppermost, in this manner . You will about face, and be recognized in the same manner by the Vice-Justice, stationed at the opposite end of the room, after which you will be seated. Should you wish to retire during the evening, arise in your place and advance the sign to the Vice-Justice, which is made in this manner …. If in order, that officer will answer by poising the gavel, when you can retire. In visiting another Branch you will give your name and the number of the Branch to the Vedette, who will admit you to the anteroom, and report the same to the Chief Justice, when that officer will appoint a committee to retire, examine and introduce you in proper form.
* * *.
My friend, we hope you will remember these instructions, that you will endeavor to be present at all our meetings, and that you will ever have in mind onr motto: Union, Protection and Forbearance. I now present to you the laws of the Order that you may become familiar therewith. Presents Constitution and Laws.
C. J.: Herald, you will conduct the stranger to the Vice-Justice, for the closing charge.
V. J.: My friend, you have thus far traveled well the circuit of our Branch. The lessons of our Order are to be plainly presented, and their importance must be impressed upon all who enter here. The various fraternities composing the Order of the Iron Hall have one common object: which is protection to those we love and have promised to protect. The expensive experiences of the past have taught us the value and worth of our noble Order, thus grouped together in unison of purpose, to extend to ail worthy members, coming from ail parts of the world, a material protection, a life blessing and a sure reward. Let me impress upon you, as you love and admire the motives, to remember your obligations and protect its principles.
C. J.: Herald, retire to the anteroom with the stranger and give instructions how to enter the hall.
Herald retires to the anteroom with the stranger and instructs her how to enter the hall. After salutation both will face the Chief Justice who will then ask the following questions:
C. J.: My friend, you have assumed an obligation which you have promised to hold sacred forever. Was the obligation read in your hearing in the ante-room before being admitted, and did you give your assent thereto?
C. J.: Do you remember any portion of that obligation?
C. J.: I now present to you the same obligation, with the request that you in the presence of the members of this branch assembled, shall sign said obligation in recognition of its acceptance by you.
The candidate will then sign the obligation record. The Friends will be instructed when the signature is affixed, to all exclaim, "We have all witnessed your signature to this obligation." The Chief Justice will then order the Herald to present the stranger to the Past Chief Justice for the closing charge.
P. C. J.: My friend, you have passed through our ceremonies, and consented and affirmed to all requirements made of you. That you may prove yourself worthy of membership in the Order of the Iron Hall, it is necessary for you to be faithful in complying with the Constitution, Laws and Regulations thereof. Be firm, steadfast and immovable, and be careful at all times and in all places to consider the solemnity and binding force of the obligation you have voluntarily taken upon yourself. If it is essential that you always keep your dues and assessments promptly paid, that you may be kept in good standing; for, while forbearance is one of our mottoes, justice to our membership demands that you, as well as those who have preceded you, should be prompt in the payment of all moneys due the Branch of which you may be a member.
C. J.: Herald, you will now present our friend to the Accountant's desk that she may sign the roll-book of membership.
Candidate will now face the members.
C. J.: Friends, I now introduce to you, as a member of the Order of the Iron Hall, and declare a short recess that you all may be able to extend a hearty welcome. *.
C. J.: Friends, advance the sign.
C. J.: I now declare this Branch adjourned until … night, at … o'clock. *.