Knights and Ladies of Honor
The Protector at the hour for opening the Lodge will approach the pedestal, and without being decorated with regalia, or seated will give one rap with gavel and say:
Protector: I am about to assemble the members of … Lodge, No. …, Knights and Ladies of Honor; all persons not qualified to remain will retire.
When satisfied that the Lodge-room is free from intrusion the Protector will don the regalia of office, take the chair and proceed as follows: Members, we have assembled this evening for the purpose of social intercourse and the transaction of the business of the Lodge. I expect the cooperation of every member in the fraternal work of the evening. Let all do their duty. Guide, see that the Guardian and Sentinel are at their stations; then ascertain if all present are entitled to remain.
The Guide will first go and see that the Guardian and Sentinel are at their posts. If either one or both are absent the fact must be quietly reported to the Protector, who will at once fill the vacancy. If both officers are on duty the Guide will so report from the altar, then approach the Protector and give that officer the permanent and semi-annual pass-words after which begin on the right and receive the semi-annual and permanent words from the members. During the examination any member found without the proper words must be sent to the Protector, who will communicate them, provided the Financial Secretary vouches that the member is in good standing. When fully satisfied the Guide will take position at the altar, salute and say: The entrances to the Lodge are securely guarded, ann. all present are entitled to remain.
Protector: The Secretary will call the roll of Officers.
When the Protector directs that the roll be called, the Guide will rise, and, without leaving official position, answer present or absent as each name is called.
The Protector will now fill vacancies if any Officers are absent.
Protector, * * *: Officers and members will now take their respective positions for the opening ceremonies.
The Protector and Guide remain it their stations, all other officers form in semi-circle in front of Protector’s pedestal, facing towards the altar, with the Past Protector in the center, the Vice Protector, Financial Secretary and Treasurer on the left, Secretary, Guardian and Sentinel on the right, the members forming in parallel lines on three sides of the altar, with the Chaplain at altar facing the Protector.
Protector: Officers and members, in the commencement of our ceremonies it is my duty to remind you that we have all taken an obligation to zealously perform our several duties, promised obedience to all lawful commands, pledged ourselves and to divulge the secret work or business transactions of the Lodge, and I now charge you to continue worthy of the confidence that has been reposed in you. We will sing the opening ode.
Come, Knights and Ladies, once again
To join in works of love,
To soothe all sorrow, case all pain,
And look for grace above.
Our Great Protector we revere
And on his help depend
We earnestly will labor here,
And trust him to the end.
The Chaplain will, at the close of the ode, invoke the Divine blessing without waiting for instruction.
Chaplain: We thank Thee, our Heavenly Father, for the happiness we enjoy in our meetings in this place; for the friendship which binds us together as members of this Order; and for all the opportunities of kindness and love which our friendly relations afford.
We entreat Thee to assist us to govern our hearts by the blessed law of Charity, that we may become, here on earth, more worthy of the glorious society in heaven, where Charity never faileth. Animated by this divine spirit, may our resemblance to Thee become continually more perfect, until at length we shall be prepared to dwell in Thy glorious presence, where there is fullness of joy forevermore. Amen.
Protector, *: Officers will now take their respective stations in the Lodge, and members resume their seats.
I now declare this Lodge open for the transaction of its business, and the diffusion of the principles upon which the Order is founded. Guide, retire to the anteroom and inform the members in waiting that the Lodge is open in regular form.
After a sufficient time has elapsed for all to enter, proceed whit the "Order of Business."
It should be impressed on the minds of members that their conduct towards applicants during the time of initiation should be governed by the same strict rules of etiquette that obtain in their own homes.
Protector, *: Guide, retire to the outer room and ascertain if there are any applicants in waiting to receive the Degree.
The Guide will salute at altar, and retire; upon returning will salute and say: Protector, I find in waiting … give names and sex, who desire to have the degree conferred upon them.
Protector: Financial Secretary, have the required fees been paid? If not, retire and collect them.
If the fees have not been paid, the Secretary will take the applications and retire with the Financial Secretary; upon returning they will salute, when the Financial Secretary will report that the collections have been made.
The Protector, being satisfied in reference to the payment of the fees, will say: The Past Protector and Guide will retire, examine the applicants, and prepare them for introduction.
The Past Protector and Guide now salute at altar and retire; the Past Protector must have the applications in hand.
Past Protector: Applicants will please rise.
Past Protector will exhibit each application separately, and says: Is this your signature?
When they have answered he will say: Do you agree that the covenants herein set forth are a contract between yourselves and the Supreme Lodge off the Knights and Ladies of Honor, and are you willing to take our obligation?
The applicants should answer in the affirmative.
You will now place your right hand over your heart, pronounce your full name, and repeat after me.
I, …, do most solemnly declare that I am not an expelled or suspended member of any Lodge of the Knights and Ladies of Honor, that I have not been rejected within the past six months either by any Lodge or examining physician, that I have sought admission to the Order in good faith, and will conform to all of its laws and usages, keeping inviolate its secrets and private transactions, with the help of God.
The Past Protector will instruct the Guide to take charge of the applicants, the obligation closing the ante-room ceremonies. The Past Protector will now enter the Lodge-room.
Past Protector: Protector, the applicants have ratified the contracts and taken the obligation.
The Protector will now appoint an escort for each applicant, according to sex, and instruct them to repair to the altar and retire within the Past Protector.
Protector: Past Protector, retire with the escorts and conduct the applicants into our presence.
In the ante-room an escort will be assigned to each. When everything is in readiness the procession will form with the Past. Protector in advance, the Guide on time left of the first applicant and escort, the others following in their order.
Past Protector gives signal.
The Guardian, upon hearing the signal, will respond with the same signal, made as loud as possible.
Guardian: Vice Protector, an alarm at the door.
Vice Protector: Guardian, attend to the cause.
Guardian opens the wicket and says in a loud voice: Who comes here?
Past Protector: Officers of the Lodge, with applicants who wish to have the Degree conferred upon them.
The Guardian closes the wicket and says in a loud voice: Vice Protector, Officers of the Lodge, escorting applicants, desire admission.
Vice Protector: Protector, Officers and applicants are at the door; is the Lodge in readiness to receive them?
Everything being ready, the Protector will say: Vice Protector, the Lodge is ready.
Vice Protector: Guardian, admit the Officers and applicants.
The Guardian opens the door slowly and says: Past Protector, yon have permission to enter.
The Protector calls up the Lodge with * * * at the instant that the procession enters, and says: We will sing the Welcome Ode.
Joy! for our walls ore high and strong,
Our portals wide and fair;
Lift up the glad triumphant song,
Pour forth the grateful prayer.
Thanks to that God who is our stay,
Whose hand hath led us on;
Still may he guide us on our way,
Till Mercy’s work is done.
Protector gives * whilst the Opening Ode is being sung the procession makes two circuits of the room the singing of the ode and the movement of the procession should be so timed as to finish the ode when the Vice Protector’s station is reached on the second circuit.
When the procession reaches the Vice Protector’s station the applicants will be ranged in front of that officer, and the Past Protector will retire to official station the Guide will say: Vice Protector, these applicants are seeking the honors and privileges that the Degree confers. I present them to yuo for advice.
Vice Protector: Friends, our investigations have proved you worthy of membership, and it gives me pleasure to advise you at the commencement of your mystic journey. You are about to assume the duties of members and solemnly obligate yourselves to perform them; strive to comprehend our instructions, and weigh well the obligations you take, for both are of essential importance. During our progress tonight we will try to impress you with the wisdom of choosing a membership in an order that endows its adherents within manifold rights, and only asks in retain that they be constant to their vows. Go forward, but remember what you promise that you must perform.
Protector: Guide, present these friends to the Chaplain for obligation.
Just before the closing lines of the Vice Protector’s charge are spoken, the Chaplain will take position at the altar, facing the Protector, with the Holy Bible placed in appropriate position. At the word of command the Guide will conduct the procession by right angles past the Protector’s position down in the altar and place the applicants facing the Chaplain.
Guide: Chaplain, by instruction of the Protector, I present these friends to you for obligation.
Chaplain: Friends, in taking our obligation yourselves never to divulge any of the secrets of the Order, or the private transactions of the Lodge—never to use the mystic signs and pass-words except as instructed—to attend upon the sick, and assist in funeral rites, to defend and enforce the laws of the Order to the utmost of my ability, and do all things as members of the Order consistent with your religious and civil liberty. If you consent to these requirements and desire to voluntarily obligate yourselves to discharge the duties of members of the Order, advance to this altar, place your right hand upon the holy Bible, pronounce your full name and repeat after me.
Protector: * * *.
I, …, do promise to aid in carrying out the objects of’ this Order, and solemnly bind and obligate myself with the help of God to faithfully discharge, to the best of my ability, the duties of a member of the Order.
Protector, *: Guide, conduct the initiates to the ante-room.
The Guide will conduct the initiates and escorts up by the Protector’s chair, and thence to the ante-room, and there await instructions. When the room is free the lights should be toned down, the open casket placed on the altar, and a badge placed on the casket: the Past Protector will take position at the altar, facing the direction of entrance.
Protector: Guardian, inform the Guide that the Lodge is ready.
Guardian opens the door, and says: Guide, the Degree is ready for exemplification; enter.
Protector: * * *.
The Protector will instruct the members to commence singing the Presentation Ode as soon as the Guide enters, and will call op the Lodge as the Guardian opens the door.
To seek the widow’s lowly cot,
And cheer her dropping soul,
To soothe her sad and lonely lot,
Where sorrow’s billows roll;
To take the orphan by the hand,
And lead him on aright,
To point him to that "better land,"
Should be our great delight.
The Guide will make two circuits of the room during the singing, and at the close of the ode will place the initiates in position at the altar, facing the Past Protector; the escorts will now retire.
Guide: Past Protector, I present these initiates for instruction in the symbolism of the degree.
Past Protector: Initiates, you have been well advised and truly obligated, but before you can be conducted to our Protector and taught the last lesson in our mystic work it devolves upon me to illustrate the principles that give strength and beauty to our fraternal structure; these bright symbols represent the six great qualities of’ the Degree. Here in the sanctuary of our Lodge, that sweet CHARITY that begins in the thought of home and loved ones makes itself manifest in countless ways. HONOR clad in invulnerable armor is the protecting champion of VIRTUE. Constant, faithful LOVE cements the bonds of our fraternal fellowship. JUSTICE weighs every right in balanced scale, and HOPE anchors a multitude of blessings in the safe haven of mutual protection.
Past Protector will now take up the jewel, hold it in plain view and say: This is the jewel of the Order, wear its counterpart exposed to view, and wherever you may go in this broad land it will command aid and protection for you.
Past Protector will now take the regalia and while pointing it on the initiates, says: We hope that you will ever remain honored members of our Order, and in token of our confidence I now decorate you with our regalia and proclaim you members of the Order of the Knights and Ladies of Honor. Guide, you will now present these new members to the Protector for final instruction.
The lights should now be turned up full and bright.
Guide: Protector, I present to you these new members for instruction in the secret work.
Protector: As members I am pleased to greet you, and will now instruct you in the signs, signals and pass-words. This is the sign of salutation: …. It means, my heart is in the work. It is used in addressing the Protector, at the altar upon entering or retiring, whenever you rise to speak, and in changing locations in the Lodge-room. Its answer is …, and is always given by the Protector in response to a member making the sign.
This is the sign of recognition …, and means, have you taken the obligation? It is used to ascertain if a member of the Order is in your vicinity. A challenged member will reply by extending the right hand and naming his …, when you, in turn, will name yours, as hand are grasped.
This is the sign of warning, …. It means, I owe yon a duty, and should be used to caution or warn a fellow-member of impending danger.
This is the sign of distress, …, and means, remember your vows. It is used to obtain assistance from members of the Order whenever it may be needed. At night the word … may be used for the same purpose.
Wishing to enter a Lodge when it is opened with its duties, you will give any alarm at the outer door, and to the Sentinel you will give the semi-annual pass-word, which is changed on the fist meetings in January and June of each year, and can only be procured from the Protector. For the present term this pass-word is …. In the ante-room you will decorate yourself with appropriate regalia, and signal at the Lodge-room door by giving … distinct raps. When the wicket is opened by the Guardian, you will give your name and the permanent pass-word, which is …. This will admit you to the Lodge-room. You will advance to the altar, face the Protector and give the salutation sign, after the response you will be at liberty to be seated.
Should you desire to retire during a session, you will advance to the altar and give the same sign, and having been recognized, you will be at liberty to retire.
On all ordinary questions coming before the Lodge we vote by answering Yea or Nay.
The monogram of the Order is a triangular jewel, such as was displayed by the Past Protector at the casket, and bears on its free the letters O.M.A., the initial letters of the words that express the true spirit of our society. These words are …, the last word of which is the permanent pass-word that has been heretofore given to you. This monogram can only be used for fraternal purposes.
Takes the gavel in hand.
This is the gavel or tongue of the Lodge, and is an emblem of authority when in the hands of the proper officer. You will now about face and witness its power.
The Guide will see that the candidates are properly faced towards the body of the Lodge.
Two raps call up the officers. * *.
Three raps call up the entire membership. * * *.
One rap commands silence or seats the Lodge.
The Lodge should promptly obey the gavel, so as to impress it on the minds of the candidates.
This ends your instructions. We are pleased to hail you as members of our Order, and I now proclaim a recess that all may give you greeting. *.
All movements of officers and members on the Lodge-room floor during a session should be on lines at right angles with each other. Members should not be permitted to cross the room between the Protector’s station and the altar. During the initiatory ceremonies all other business must be suspended and perfect decorum enforced in the Lodge-room.
Protector, * * *: Knights and Ladies of Honor, I am about to close this Lodge. I trust we are wiser and better for the teachings of our Order, and the social privileges we have enjoyed together. As we separate, bear in mind that the world will judge of our Order by the acts of its members; therefore, in your daily walks of life Practice virtue and the principles of the Golden Rule. We will now sing the closing ode.
Were are parting now, but let us say
That in our lives we’ll bear
Sweet incense from our "O.M.A.,"
As summer fills the air.
Oh! may we seek, through faith, to wear
The "Mystic Badge" above
To meet in yonder Eden Lodge,
Where none need part who love,
Chaplain: Now, may the choicest blessings of the most Supreme Protector of the Universe rest on all the Knights and Ladies of Honor here assembled, on their loved ones, and their friends, and may the peace that passeth all understanding and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be and abide with us all forever more. Amen.
The members all respond: Amen.
Protector: I now declare this Lodge closed until the day and hour named in its by-laws for the next regular meeting. *.
As soon as the Lodge is closed the members should direst themselves of their regalia and place it in the hands of the Guide; this officer is charged within the safety and care of the Paraphernalia, and should have the assistance of the members in securing it. Officers are responsible for the Rituals they use, and should place them in the hands of the Protector.
The Protector, before leaving the Lodge-room, should b satisfied that all the property of the Lodge has been cared for.