Order of Mermaids and Neptunes
G.N.: As we are about to engage in the ceremonies of opening this Aquarium, all who are not members of the Order will please retire.
Allowing a reasonable length of time to retire.
G.N.: Brother Dolphin, you will retire to the Moss Cave and invite the Grand Mermaid and outer officers to enter the Aquarium and escort the Grand Mermaid to her station in the West, and seat her at my left.
The Dol. will say:
Dol.: Sister G.M., the G.N., invites you and other officers to enter the Aquarium.
G.N.: Sister G.M., it affords me much pleasure to present you the emblem of authority, and will ask of you to please assume control during the opening ceremonies.
G.N. presents gavel, both bowing at the same time.
G.M.: I thank you, Brother G.N. and will obey your request.
One rap of gavel to seat members. Officers remain standing.
G.M.: Officers and members, we are now to engage in the ceremonies of opening this Aquarium for regular business, and the members will kindly give me their attention. The officers will please assume their stations.
Two raps of gavel.
Open the Aquarium at this time by singing America. G.N. requesting all to sing.
God bless our native land:
Firm may it ever stand
Through storm and night.
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our Aquarium save
By Thy great might.
After song, seats Aquarium with ONE RAP OF GAVEL. As each officer is addressed he will arise to his feet and remain standing until all have responded and are seated.
G.M.: Sis. V.G.M., you will instruct the Moss Gate Sentinel to retire to the Moss Room and request the R.G. Sentinel to allow none to disturb the Moss Gate while we are engaged in the opening of this Aquarium.
V.G.M.: Bro. Moss Gate Sentinel, you will retire to the Moss Room and inform the Rock Gate Sentinel to guard well the Moss Gate, as we are now preparing to open this Aquarium.
The M.G.S. obeys the command of the V.G.M. and returns from the Moss Room and reports to the V.G.M.
M.G.S.: Sister V.G.M., your commands have been obeyed. The Rock Gate Sentinel will guard well the Moss Gate to our Aquarium and allow no disturbance while we are thus engaged.
V.G.M.: It is well.
G.M.: Sister C.M. and Bro. Dol., you will satisfy yourselves if all present are MERMAIDS and NEPTUNUS, and report to this station.
Both of them, the C.M. and Dol., having reached the East, they will walk on direct line, facing each other, in front of the V.G.N.'s station, where the Dol. will address the C. M. and state:
Dol.: S.C.M., all in the South are members of our Order.
Whereupon both face the West, and the C.M. salutes the G.M. and reports as follows:
C.M.: Sister Grand M., we find all in this Aquarium members of the Order.
G.M.: It is well.
At this time the Dol. and C.M. will resume their stations. Each turning at the same time and walking to the side of the Aquarium and then to station, and remain standing.
Each officer remember to end remarks with a slight bow.
G.M.S.: V.G.M., how many officers do we require to constitute an Aquarium of our Order?
V.G.M.: Sixteen officers, and may have a color bearer, Captain and Twenty-four guard escorts and a degree team, Sister G.M.
G.M.: Where are the Sentinels stationed?
V.G.M.: The Rock G. Sentinel is stationed inside the Moss Room to guard the Rock Gate of this Aquarium, and the Moss G.S. inside the Aquarium and at the Moss Room Gate, my Sister.
At this time the M.G.S. will retire to the Moss Room to look after the Rock Gate, allowing the R.G.S. to enter inside the Moss Gate to receive the charge, and remain standing at the inside the Moss Gate until the following has taken place:
G.M.: Bro. R.G.S., what are your duties?
R.G.Sen.: My duties are to guard well the Rock Gate to this Aquarium, allowing no unqualified persons to enter the Moss Room to disturb our devotional exercises, S.G.M.
G.M.: It is well. A good guard is always at the post of duty. You will retire to the Moss Room and request the Moss Gate Sen. to resume the inside station.
The R.G. Sentinel closes the Moss Gate and retires into the Moss Room to take care of the Rock Gate for the Moss G.S. to return and explain the duties thereof.
G.M.: Bro. M.G.S., what are your duties?
Moss G.S.: My duties are to guard well the Moss Gate to this Aquarium of fraternal love and truth; to allow none to enter during the opening, dosing or initiatory ceremonies of this Aquarium, unless so directed; to see that all who enter give the proper pass word, and if not properly given that I shall report the same to the V.G.N. for his decision, Sister G.M.
G.M.: You have defined your duties well. Perform them faithfully.
G.M.: Sister C.M., what are your duties?
C.M.: My duties are to assist with candidates for initiation, also introduce visitors to members of the Aquarium, and to see that all who are seated in the North of the Aquarium are members of our Order, Sister G.M.
G.M.: You are quite right. A graceful, courteous Coral M. does much to build up the dignity, beauty and harmony of our Aquarium.
G.M.: Bro. Dol., what duties have you to perform in this Aquarium?
Dol.: My duties are three-fold: First, to assist the C.M. in examination of all seated in the South. Second, to inquire of the R.G.S. if there are strangers seeking membership with us. Third, to obey your commands and to assist in introducing visiting members, and to make them welcome in this Aquarium, Sister G.M.
G.M.: You are quite right. Be careful, prompt and courteous in your duty.
G.M.: Past G.N., what are your duties and station in this Aquarium?
P.G.N.: My duties are to impart some important knowledge to new searchers after truth. My position is one of honor. My station is in the South, Sister G.M.
G.M.: My brother, the faithful performance of your duty in the West during your administration, entitles you to the exalted position which you now hold. Having proven your ability, you have won the honor, respect and confidence of all.
G.M.: Bro. Secretary, what are your duties?
Sec.: My duties are to keep a faithful record of the proceedings of this Aquarium; to receive all moneys from the members for their dues, and keep a record of all moneys expended, and to regularly report to the Supreme Aquarium, as required by their general laws; to receive and answer all communications. My station is in the West toward the South, Sis. G.M.
G.M.: Yours is indeed an arduous and responsible position. Fill it faithfully, ever being upon the alert and looking out for the prosperity of this Aquarium and it will increase in membership through you and bring forth the fruits of friendship, benevolence and charity.
G.M.: Bro. Treasurer, what are your duties, and explain your station?
Treas.: My duties are to receive all moneys paid into the Treasury from the Secretary; keep a correct account of the same, give the Secretary a receipt therefor; pay out the same only upon an order voted by the members of the Aquarium, with the endorsement of the Secretary and the Grand Neptune. To obey the constitution and laws of the Supreme and subordinate Aquariums, Sister G.M.
G.M.: An efficient Treasurer is a faithful steward. Guard well the financial interests of our Aquarium, my Brother.
G.M.: Sis. (or Bro.) Chaplain, what are your duties and station?
Chaplain: To invoke the Divine Blessing, to open and close the devotional exercises of this Aquarium, to dispense the light and teachings of God's Holy Word, and perform at all times the duties devolving upon me, as that of Chaplain, and the laws of the Order, Sister G.M.
G.M.: A good work, my Sis. (or Bro.). The sacred position which you occupy is highly commendable and should be filled with reverence, dignity and honor.
A sister or brother of the Aquarium may fill the station of Chaplain.
G.M.: Sis. V.G.M., you will explain the duties of your station in the East, that the members of this Aquarium may be enlightened thereby.
V.G.M.: My duties are to preside in the East and assist you in the West during the opening ceremonies. To see that the Moss and Rock G.S. are at their posts of duty and perform their work well. To aid you in every possible way, that love and harmony may prevail in this Aquarium, and to obey the laws of the Order and to fill your station when called upon, Sister G.M.
G.M.: Bro. Vice G.N., you will explain your duties in the East.
V.G.N.: My duties are to assist the G.N. and to fill his station when called upon and to take the station of G.N. in his absence, and to do all things necessary to promote peace and harmony in this Aquarium, Sister G.M.
G.M.: Sis. V.G.M., you will locate the G.N. station and define his duties in this Aquarium.
V.G.M.: His exalted position is one of great responsibility and trust. His station is in the West, ever reminding the members of this Aquarium that this illustrious Order, founded for the elevating of humanity, was founded on the Western Coast of the United States. His duties are to see that all the officers perform their respective duties properly and to see that the constitution and laws of the Supreme and Subordinate Aquariums are obeyed; to sign all orders drawn upon the Treasurer. To call extra convocations when necessary; to maintain peace, harmony and Fraternal Love and Truth; to act and judge impartially; to declare the results of all votes; to decide all questions of order and to look after and guard well the interests and welfare of this Aquarium, Sis. G.M.
G.M.: You have spoken well and as the devotional exercises devolve upon the Chaplain of this Aquarium, let us all unite with her (or him) in worshiping our God, and seeking that grace and wisdom that cometh from Him alone.
G.M. calls up the members of the Aquarium by giving two raps of the gavel.
Chaplain: Our Father who art in Heaven. Bless our convocation this evening and grant that our endeavors may be most potent for good. Enable us to grow into that wisdom that shall make us wise unto our every duty and save us from temptation.
Bless every member of this Grand Order everywhere, and enable us to carry into consecrated practice, all the good vows we have taken and grant our united labors in dissemination of fraternal love and truth, and when our earthly work is ended, take us home to Thine own Celestial Kingdom to live forevermore with God, our Father and Protector. Amen.
At the end of the prayer, every member in the Aquarium should repeat the word AMEN with much emphasis.
Any sacred song may be sung at this time. G.N. announces the hymn.
Thy Mercy, Lord, we humbly seek,
Thy blessing from above,
To Thee we now all power ascribe,
Thou source of life and love.
O! Let Thy blessing here descend,
To give our work success.
May many join our Aquarium band
And find true happiness.
G.M. seats the Aquarium by one rap of the gavel. At this time the Dol. arises and announces in an audible tone of voice the following:
Dol.: This Aquarium is now open for regular business, and the Moss G.S. will so inform the R.G.S.
One rap of gavel.
At this point the G.N. assumes the chair until the close of the meeting.
G.N.: Bro. Dol. you will retire to the Moss Room, ascertain, and report to my station if there are strangers desiring to be initiated into our Order.
Dol.: G.N., I find in waiting, strangers desiring to be instructed in the lessons of our Order.
G.N.: It is well. Bro. Dol, you will escort the Secretary, Chaplain and the C.M., to the Moss Room, where you will assist them to prepare the candidates for initiation.
After the Dol. has conducted the above named officers to the Moss Room, the Chaplain will ask of the candidates the following questions:
Chaplain: My friends, you are seeking membership in our Aquarium. To join with members who are banded together for the promotion of peace, love and harmony, but before being admitted to our Order you must give certain assurances of the sincerity of your purpose. Are you willing to do this? Then you will place your left hand upon your left cheek and your right hand hold of this Bible, extended in this manner.
At this time the candidate will take hold of the Bible with right hand and extend it in front of the body on a line with the waist, palm down, left hand on left cheek.
Pronounce your name, and repeat after me:
Candidate: I do now most solemnly promise on my word of honor, that I will true answers make to such questions as may be asked of me, and keep secret all that I may see, hear or be informed of during my initiation, asking the Supreme Architect of the Universe to be my witness in this my solemn obligation, as a seeker after knowledge, truth and light, Amen.
1. Where were you born?
2. What is your age?
3. Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being as Maker and Ruler of the Universe?
4. Are you suffering from any hereditary or constitutional disease?
5. Are you, so far as you know, in good health?
6. Have you ever been rejected by an Aquarium of this Order?
The questions having been properly answered, and the correct fees collected and at least one month's dues, by the Secretary, the Chaplain at this time will remark to the candidate or candidates:
Chaplain: The ritual of our Order requires that you answer the questions which have been propounded to you, and as you have answered them in the affirmative, you now stand at the portal of our Aquarium, your social recommendations having been such as to make you a desirable addition to our membership.
The Chaplain will remark to the C.M.:
Chaplain: Sis. C.M., you will remain here with Bro. Dol., and prepare the candidate for initiation, while the Sec. and I return and report to the G.N.
At this time the Dol. will prepare the candidate for initiation and the Chaplain and Secretary, returning to the Aquarium, will present themselves in front of the Altar, and facing the G.N. will make the following report, giving the salute:
Chaplain: Bro. G.N., I, with the Sec. having been called upon to retire to the Moss Room for the purpose of propounding certain questions to candidates, now report that the strangers have answered the questions propounded to them in a satisfactory manner. The C.M. and Dol. are now ready with the candidates to enter this Aquarium.
Sec.: Brother G.N., the candidate has paid the initiation fee and dues.
G.N.: It is well. You may now resume your station.
The candidates having been prepared, the Dol. will give three distinct raps upon the Moss Room Gate, whereupon the M.G.S. will answer the same by a like number, and through the wicket inquire: Who causes the alarm at the Moss Gate?
Dol.: The Dol. of this Aquarium with strangers, who desire to be enlightened in our teachings.
M.G. Sent.: G.N., the Dol. of this Aquarium states that he has strangers inside the Moss Room desiring to be enlightened in our teachings.
G.N.: My brother, you will admit them, and open wide the inner gate of our Aquarium.
As soon as the inner gate is opened, the strangers and officers enter. The C.M. when marching into the Aquarium will resume her station. The Zephyr begins a march, ceasing when the officers begin to speak, and resuming music again when the officer ceases his remarks. When the Dol. and C.M. and strangers enter the Aquarium, march by way of the station of the C.M., where she will resume her seat, directly to the West, turning short corners, marching in front of the G.N. station, towards the South, turning all corners at right angles, marching past and around the Aquarium, and stopping in front of the Chaplain.
Dol.: Sis. (or Bro.) Chaplain, I am the Dol. of this Aquarium in company with strangers who are seeking knowledge, and as we are preparing to travel an unknown road, we desire you bless us, calling upon the Supreme Neptune, as no one should attempt to travel this unknown rough and rugged road without first receiving a blessing from you.
Two raps of gavel.
Chaplain: Our Great Divine Neptune of the Universe, we ask Thy Divine Blessing upon these strangers who are traveling through this Aquarium. May their path along this rough and rugged road be made one of happiness and pleasure, and when they have attained the high plains of the Mermaids and Neptunes, may they be taught to de dedicate their lives to a higher sphere. All of which we ask to the honor of Thy great name, Amen.
Seats members by one rap of gavel.
After the prayer has been concluded the Dol. will conduct the strangers to the V.G.N., observing the line of march and floor plan. If a degree team is used, they will always pass through and between the degree team, with their tridents in an arch shape. On the ends of the tridents shall be displayed the colors of the Order: two ribbons of a pale green and white, each about a yard and a half long, and an inch and a half wide. Stopping in front of the V.G.N. the Dol. will state:
Dol.: Bro. V.G.N., I have strangers here traveling from East to the West in search of truth, friendship and love, and ask of you a lesson that they may be benefited by your wise teachings.
The following lecture may be delivered by the V.G.N., but if so desired the V.G.M. may deliver same.
Strangers, it gives me great pleasure to welcome you to this, our Aquarium, and to try and impress upon you a few truths, that if followed out will bring to you great success and happiness in life, and cause you to rejoice that a Divine Providence led you to our Aquarium.
I have no de sire to burden your mind with too great a lecture at this time, but will say that Self Knowledge and Self Control are the two magic keys of our Glorious Mermaids and Neptunes. With these keys you may ride over the billows of life, and never fear the storms. The cultivation of Self Knowledge will keep your mind on noble things. The proper study of mankind is 'Man.' Man spiritual, man mental, and man physical, and the intelligent control of these three aspects of the one being, will demand of you your utmost power. Keep your eyes on the lighthouse of Truth that is ever shining across the dark waters of life, and like a true child of God, trust the Divine Hand that is steering you safely to the harbor, where we trust through the goodness and mercy of an all Wise Neptune, you will meet your Sisters and Brothers in the Grandest of Aquariums. That place we are told is not made with hands, the Divine Isles of the Blest, in the Aquarium of God.
Man cannot stand alone we know,
And in dark temptation's hour,
Remember this, Thy Plighted Vow
Call on Thy God for power.
Tis He who holds the Oceans
And this mighty Aquarium
In the hollow of his hand
Who, in Thy hours of weakness
Will give thee power to stand.
After this lecture has been finished by the vice officer the Dol. turns to the strangers and states:
Dol.: I feel stronger and encouraged to resume our journey, do you not, strangers, also?
At this point all members in chorus: After receiving such words of encouragement I feel stronger to proceed on my journey.
Dol. commands the strangers to forward march. Marching towards the Moss Gate, turning square corners towards the West, turning square corners at the West towards the South and at the South also marching in front of the P.G.N.’s station, where they will halt. If a guard team, observe same.
Dol.: P.G.N., I present you these strangers that they may receive from you a lesson in faith, modesty, unselfishness, endurance and courage.
P.G.N.: Faith is one of the great principles of our Order. We teach faith in Almighty God and the wisdom of His guidance. We teach that God is Infinitely wise and good and just. We know that everywhere there is sin and wrong, death and sorrow, yet we know that he leads the human race to a victory over all these, to final perfection.
We know not where his islands lift
Their fronded palms in air.
We only know we cannot drift
Beyond His love and care.
Modesty is another one of the fundamental principles of our Order, and it is a noble virtue and constitutes a silent, irresistible power in every well rounded life and character.
Modesty is like charity, it endureth much and remains kind. It does not exploit or praise itself; it is never presumptuous, obtrusive or forward. It trusteth, believeth and hopeth all things.
Another great principle of our society is unselfishness. It is one of the lofty eminences to which a mortal can attain. Those who serve mankind most and best are the unselfish, who find the abundant life in sacrificing the present with its transient delight. Unselfishness entombs itself in leper colonies. Its glorious presence is wherever the trembling hand of a fellow man in need is stretched appealingly towards his fellow beings.
Another cardinal virtue or principle taught in this Society is endurance. There are a thousand schools of thought among men and women, but we have only one philosophy that keeps us from charging God foolishly and that is Fortitude or Endurance.
To bravely endure or submit to what is necessary or inevitable to stand firm against the shock of disaster that must come to every one in the course of life.
The last of the great principles that we inculcate here is Courage. Courage is that quality of the soul which enables one to meet and overcome danger, physical or moral with calmness and firmness for a righteous purpose.
Therefore we welcome you to this our Aquarium. We share with you gladly the Ancient Wisdom of the past, that your feet may walk uprightly. We know that you will bring to this Aquarium your own store of gathered experiences, and we invite you to share with us all that we have labored to attain.
Sister and Brother, we have learned that he who loves, lives, but he who loves and lives only for himself is a very unhappy person: while he who lives and loves and strives to unite himself in fraternal love, with his Sister and Brother, will find rest and will live in peace.
We believe in the service of love, and the true Brotherhood of man. We believe in truth, justice and equity among men, and women and we strive to cause no loss or suffering to another.
By the light of wisdom we have learned that every man leaves behind him mighty influences (for good or evil) that never fully exhaust themselves, be they great or small, light or darkness in the daily life, or sp here in which he lives and moves, and Neptune teaches us that the echo of good words once uttered and kindly sympathy once exercised, continues to vibrate in space to all eternity.
True friendship is the costliest gem
That here on earth doth shine.
You cannot purchase it with gold,
'Tis rare and hard to find.
But here in our Aquarium Grand,
Deep as the dark blue sea,
Here lies the Jewel of Friendship,
And worthy may you be.
And last of all I wish to impress upon your minds our Great Motto: FRATERNAL LOVE AND TRUTH.
Now at this point the Dol. will state: We thank you P.G.N. for your kindly words of cheer. Now let us away that we may prepare for further advancement in this Aquarium.
The Dol. will now lead the candidates to the Moss Room, where he may be blind-folded (if a gentleman candidate) and brought in and conducted around the Aquarium, up the North side, down the West towards the South, and down the South towards the East, and towards the North in the East to the center of the V.G.N. and M.'s station, where they will be brought on a direct line in front of the Altar facing the West, where the Dol. will place them and remark:
For Neptunes Only
The preceding part of the Ritual is what should always be used and followed in initiating, obligating and perfecting the work of a Mixed Aquarium.
However, if the members so desire to produce a work for male members, where there may be some levity, the following Initiation may take place for the male member, allowing other candidates at this point to be seated in the Aquarium and witness the work of initiating one Neptune member.
G.N.: Bro. Dol., you will retire with our friend to the Moss Room and await instructions.
At this point of the initiation one member has been selected of the Neptunes to be put through the initiation, and after he has been conducted to the Moss Room, the Aquarium will be put in order for the ceremony, having No. 1839, paraphernalia properly put in place and two baskets or some object with something heavy placed therein, extinguishing all but one light on the Secretary's desk. When the Aquarium is in order, the Dolphin will retire to the Moss Room and work their way into the Aquarium in proper form.
Dolphin: My friend, before you take the journey through our Aquarium, I must require of you certain pledges.
First. Will you promise to obey all commands?
Candidate: I will.
Dolphin: Are you willing to submit to tests of your good intentions, and will you absolve all members from any blame should they in any manner displease or offend you in this initiation?
Candidate: I will.
Dolphin: Then submit to this hoodwink until I please to remove it.
The Dol. gives the alarm at the Moss Room Gate.
M.G. Sent. inquires: Who gives the alarm at the Moss Room Gate?
Whereupon the Dol. states: A stranger desires to enter this Aquarium.
Whereupon the gate is opened wide and they are admitted.
At the inside of the Aquarium and standing near the Moss Gate, should be the G.N., or someone to repeat the following: How dare a stranger enter this desolate place, and pray what do you seek?
Dol.: We are on a journey traveling from the East towards the West and have come this way to avoid the dense rocks and mountains whose inhabitants are more deceitful and dangerous than all the snares and evils ever planned by human mind. I beg you to be our guide, so while we traverse your domain, no harm can befall us.
G.N.: I will do so, but before starting, let us make proper preparations and take sufficient provisions. I see the stranger is provided with a hoodwink to shade his eyes from the glaring hot sun.
Always place sandals on candidates In Moss Room. Remove his shoes and bare his feet and buckle on sandals.
G.N.: We will now proceed. Stranger take hold of these baskets at your side and bring them along.
The Dol. will conduct the candidate around the Aquarium a couple of times until his burden becomes tiresome. All lights at this time are dim in the Aquarium. The attendant may raise his hoodwink when he so desires. Presently the rumbling of thunder is heard in the distance followed at intervals by dull flashes of lightning. The Dol. commences to groan, and all the members in the Aquarium begin to make strange sounds. The storm will continue to get worse and worse, until the vivid flashes of lightning and loud peals of thunder change into the sound of rain and wind.
The Dol. remarks to the G.N.:
Dolphin: Let us get away from this approaching storm; the air and ground seems filled with electricity.
At the above words spoken, the attendant must be ready to turn on the electricity in the candidate's sandals.
G.N.: The storm has changed its course, so that we are safe in resuming our journey. Gather up your provisions and follow.
The Dol. will drop the hoodwink over the candidate's eyes, and hand him the baskets to carry. The lights in the Aquarium should remain dim.
G.N.: We are now in the center of a dried up sea. Yonder remains the only well within many miles of us. Opens the hoodwink and shows the well to candidate and doses it again. Shall we not refresh ourselves?
Dolphin: Yes, this stranger is completely fatigued, and must be revived in order to finish our journey.
G.N.: I warn you, however, be very careful when approaching this well, and see that you keep straight in the path that I point out, or else you will encounter numberless reptiles of all descriptions ready to thrust their poisonous fangs into you.
After marching around the Aquarium another time, they will approach the well, remember to also touch up the candidate occasionally with an electric shock. Imitation reptiles having been placed on the path to the well.
G.N.: I have been to the well and satisfied myself with its pure sparkling water. You will perceive my foot prints leading to it. If you step in my tracks no danger will befall you.
At this time the candidate's hoodwink may be opened, that the candidate may see, the Aquarium being dimly lighted. At this time a quartet should be stationed at some point in the Aquarium and sing The Old Oaken Bucket. The candidate is then brought to the well, and the moment he attempts to drink from this bucket, a blank cartridge is exploded, and a shock given to him at the same time, after which the candidate will be returned to the Moss Room, to prepare himself to be returned to the Aquarium to receive the final charge. At this point all members, who have not received the final obligation will be brought in line with him for that purpose.
Dol.: Grand N., I present at the Altar these strangers in darkness, who are seeking true light and further knowledge.
If lady candidates omit hoodwink; the word darkness is appropriate whether blindfolded or not.
The G.N. leaves his station, approaches the Altar, facing the East, and delivers the following charge:
G.N.: My friends, you have come to us seeking membership in our Order and asking that you may be made one of our great benevolent organization; that we may extend to you the hand of Fraternal Love and Truth. Our Aquarium is based upon that great principle, Truth from which springs honesty, justice and cardinal virtue. Fraternal because we are brotherly. Charity because we extend charity.
It is fitting that you should make this request, for in the every day life there is strife. The Helping Hand, the Warm Heart, the Kindly Word, the love and assistance of Brothers and Sisters are ofttimes needed. We extend you this and more.
I wish to inform you that all here have taken an obligation binding us closer together, giving us a closer relationship with each other. This obligation, which you are now about to assume is a most solemn promise that you give to the members in this Aquarium under oath. I assure you that it will not interfere with the duties you owe your God, your family, your friends or yourself. With this knowledge imparted from me, are you willing to proceed?
Candidate: I am.
G.N.: Then place your left hand on your left cheek, your right hand palm downward on this Holy Bible and pronounce your name in full and repeat after me:
I, …, about to become a member and be vested with all the secrets of the Mermaids and Neptunes, being sound in mind and body, realizing and appreciating the sacredness of what I am about to do and believing in a Supreme Being, do most solemnly promise and affirm that I will never knowingly reveal to any person, any or the secrets or mysteries of this Order except to those whom I shall know to be entitled to the same. That I will at all times obey the general laws of the Supreme Aquarium and those promulgated by the. Subordinate Aquarium of which I am a member or may be visiting.
I further affirm, that I will never knowingly, defraud any member of this Order, or the Order to the value of one cent, and that I will never speak or write ill of a sister or brother of this Order. That I will inform a sister or brother of approaching danger, that may come to my knowledge. Further that I will always assist in the relief of a sick or distressed member of this Order so far as I can without injury to myself. That I will attend the meetings of this Aquarium unless some other duty of greater importance prevents the same. That I will never institute suit in any court against this Order until I shall have submitted my claim against the Order to three members of the Order, and they shall have determined that I am not entitled to the relief which I claim. And that I will never give the sign of distress except I am in imminent danger or in absolute need of assistance. Further, that I will never give the semi-annual pass word to any person, except in the manner I received it and as prescribed by the laws of this Order, and only then to those entitled to receive the same.
And further agree not to use or recognize another Ritual, other than this, except the same is endorsed by the Author of this one.
To all the above I pledge my sacred word of honor, calling upon the name of God, with my hand upon His Holy Word, asking that be may keep me steadfast in this my sacred vow under no less penalty than to be dishonorably expelled from the Order, should I violate this solemn obligation. Amen.
All members of the Order repeat in chorus: Grant that it may ever be.
After the obligation has been administered and just before the hoodwinks are removed, the following should take place. Omit hoodwinks if lady and gentleman are obligated jointly, Hoodwinks are used when men are obligated alone.
The Chaplain should step up near the Altar and recite the following:
Chaplain: May He who said 'Let there be light'
At this time the Dol., with such assistance as is necessary, removes all the hoodwinks at the word Light. The Chaplain will continue: ‘And there was light,' may the giver of this Light strengthen us and keep us firm in this our obligation through life and in our every duty we owe unto him, our homes, and the members of this Aquarium.
The members all join in the chorus Amen.
The above is appropriate and may be used even though you do not hoodwink the candidate.
At the end of the obligation and after the members have repeated in chorus Grant that it may ever be the G.N. shall announce to the audience:
G.N.: Sisters and Brothers, we will now form our circle and let us around our new members renew the vows which they and we have taken.
Two raps of gavel.
At this point the Grand Mermaid will call up the Aquarium. The Fraternal Circle is made by the entire membership present clasping hands around the Altar, arms crossed before the body, left arm over the right arm, and the Fraternal Circle should be always formed after the new members have received their obligation, and while in the Circle will be pronounced members of our Sacred Order. The G.N. will now announce:
G.N.: As this Fraternal Circle is now being broken at this time the members will drop their hands to their sides, with the new members inside the circle, still remaining standing we are only forming the stronger ties of FRATERNAL LOVE AND TRUTH around each other, and as we leave this Aquarium we are bound together yes, even until death.
All members repeat at this time: Yes, even until death.
G.N.: While throbbing hearts respond in love, let us in song uplift our united voices:
At this time any sacred song may be sung, but the following will be very appropriate, to the air of Auld Lang Syne, accompanied by the piano:
Clasped hand in hand like brothers,
Let Heart with heart unite,
To pledge our faith and honor,
To hold and guard the right.
Each voice and heart obeying,
Bursts forth in glowing song,
Through all the land resounding,
May it echo loud and long.
G.N.: Friends, as the blessed light falls fresh upon us, open our ranks and admit our new sisters and brothers into the chain of human links, which hath no end―the Circle of Fraternal Love and Truth, to unite us all together.
At this point the Fraternal Circle is re-enforced as before, the candidate participating being placed in position by the Dol. The Circle will remain unbroken until the G.N., standing inside of the Circle, delivers his closing charge, as follows:
My Sisters and Brothers; you are standing tonight on the shore of a greater Future than ever before; an opportunity to study and to learn from the lives of others, a Truth. a combination of what a large body of men and women can do. To make the Sea of Life more joyful to sail over, has yet to be proven; but we are assembled here for that purpose, to learn and to teach, to cultivate the plant of friendship, to share with each other joys and sorrows, TO LEND A HELLPING HAND TO THE UNFORTUNATE in the hour of need, to pay attention to the needs of our Sister Mermaids and Brother Neptunes, that we may help them more intelligently. Long ago it was asked, 'am I my brother's keeper’ and we know that it is our duty to surround him with influences that shall keep him on the right path and to warn with gentle words when we see him steering towards the rock where many fine sailors have been wrecked. From the rock of indolence, and selfishness, be on your guard. From the fogs of forgetfulness, of your Sisters' and Brothers' welfare, be on your guard. Keep a constant sense of your membership in this our Aquarium, remember that we are many in one, and the good of the one is the blessing of all and the combined efforts of all, shall bring blessings to you and your family in the hour of darkness that comes to us all alike. In the day of your greatest need, may the friendly clasp of the Mermaids and Neptunes never fail you. May they do more than they have promised and be blessed in the doing.
At this time the G.N. will remark:
G.N.: Bro. Dol., you will conduct our newly obligated members to my station in the West and the members will kindly be seated.
G.M. gives one rap of the gavel.
My friends that we may the better perform the duties thrust upon us as a secret order, without hindrance or interference from the outside world, we have certain signs, signals, pass words and grips whereby one member may make himself known to another.
1st. The first sign is the hail or pass word of the Rock Gate Sentinel, who is stationed inside the Moss door to attend the Rock Gate. Make any ordinary alarm at the outside Rock Gate, whereupon the wicket will be opened, and you will give to the sentinel the semi-annual pass word, and if required by the Sentinel you will produce your receipt for dues (which receipt must not be more than thirty days old) to admit you into the Aquarium. If the pass word is properly given, you will be admitted into the Moss Room.
2nd. The Hail or Pass word of the Moss Gate Sentinel is one rap, followed by two in quick succession, whereupon the wicket will be opened and through it you will give in a whisper your name and number of your Aquarium, and permanent pass word, which is never changed. This information will be communicated to the V.G.N., and if it is properly given, you will then he admitted through the Moss Gate into the Aquarium.
3rd. The Sign of Courtesy is made in the following manner: After having been admitted to the Aquarium, you will advance on a direct line to the altar, and facing the Past Grand Neptune, place your left hand on your left cheek and your right hand extended over the Holy Bible, which is the same position in which your hands were placed when you took the solemn obligation. This sign will be answered by the Past Grand Neptune, by a waive of the hand, which permits you to be seated. Remember to walk and turn at right angles in the Aquarium.
4th. Retiring Sign. When you desire to retire from the Aquarium, or to pass from one side of the Aquarium to the opposite side while the Aquarium is in session, you will advance to the altar, facing the Past Grand Neptune, placing the last three fingers of the right hand with the thumb over them, forming the fish hook with the index finger, and placing the finger directly between the eyes in the center of the forehead, which permits you to retire, after having received a waive of the hand from the Past Grand Neptune.
Note. You should never retire from the Aquarium or move from your se at during initiation, speech making or any other business, requiring perfect quietness in the Aquarium without
first receiving permission from the G.N. (or G.M.) and in case necessity demands you to leave the Aquarium, under such circumstances you will give the G.N. (or the G.M.) the sign
of courtesy, advance to his station, and so inform him of such circumstances, to receive permission to leave the Aquarium.
5th. The sign of membership given at the opening of the Aquarium or when communicating the semi-annual Pass Word, must always be given in the following manner.
The members will rise to their feet, place their left hand upon the left shoulder of the officer to receive the pass word, and the officer places his left hand upon the left shoulder of the member, each grasping hold of the right hands. Whereupon the member will communicate the semi-annual pass word to the officer. This Pass Word shall never be given except in a whisper; neither shall it ever be given, except to an officer of the Aquarium, or for the purpose of demonstrating in the Aquarium under any circumstances.
6th. The Sign of Recognition: close the first three fingers of the right hand, placing the thumb over them, with the little finger extended, then touching the left side of the forehead over the eyes and move around the forehead to top of the right ear letting the hand fall upon the left wrist. The answer to this recognition is made in the same manner by the left hand.
7th. The signal of distress is made by raising the right hand above the head, and touching the top of the left side three times in quick succession. Any member seeing this sign will immediately respond by giving the same sign with the left hand, and come to your relief. The cry of distress may be used, if the signal of distress for any reason cannot be seen. The cry of distress is "dolphin come to me" and the reply is made by the member who may hear you give this distress signal by answering dolphin I swim to thee".
This distress signal you will never use, e:wcpt when you are in real distress or in imminent danger, or in absolute need of assistance.
8th. Grip and dialogue. This grip is made by shaking the right hand in the ordinary manner, letting the hand slip slightly apart with the fore fingers fishhook inside of the hands gripped. The dialogue recited with this grip to test the brother or sister is "Oh! you can swim, I see". If the party of whom the test is applied is a member they win answer by stating "yes, but not as well as some Mermaids you see."
9th. Voting Sign of the Order is made by placing the last three fingers of the right hand, thumb over them and forming the fish hook with the right fore fingers extended on a level with the head.
10th. Grand honors to a Supreme Officer. When a Supreme Officer comes and announces his presence at the outside gate, the Sentinel will inform the Grand Neptune, who will instruct the Dol. to retire to the Moss Room and escort the Grand Officer into the Aquarium. At this time the Grand Neptune will call up the members to their feet by two raps of the gavel. As the Grand Officer is escorted to the altar and places himself in position to give the Sign of Courtesy to the Past Grand Neptune, every member in the Aquarium will place both hands, palm down on their shoulder, and as he gives the sign of courtesy, they shall bring their hands together with a dap, three times in quick succession. Remember that the clap three times of the hand in succession shall be given just as the Grand Officer drops his hands to his side.
G.N.: This, my friends, ends the secret work of our Order, and for your benefit the Grand Mermaid will deliver you her final lecture.
Grand Mermaid's Lecture
G.M.: My friends you have floated and swam the length and breadth of this Aquarium, gaining knowledge and have come to me for final instructions. This vast body of Mermaids and Neptunes banded together, by our obligations for the uplifting and upbuilding of humanity, for mental, moral and spiritual growth and for the divine attributes of Fraternal Love and Truth.
The moment a person becomes a member of this Order, that moment you become a part or factor, your comments, your efforts are the essence of the work. It is a necessity to the Order's vitality, if we are to succeed or fail, for its members may praise or criticize; therefore enter into this work with your whole heart and soul, remembering the bond which unites us to confidence and that you are another link in that beautiful chain of integrity. The beautiful Creed of our Order is not to keep our love and tenderness sealed up until our Brothers and Sisters are gone.
Do not keep the alabaster boxes of your affection sealed and laid away until your sisters and brothers are dead. Fill their days with tenderness. Speak your words of love while their ears can hear them. The kind things you mean to say when they are gone, say before they go. The flowers you mean to send for their caskets, send to brighten and sweeten their homes ere they go out of them.
If you've a tender message, or a loving word to say,
Don't wait till you forget it, but whisper it today.
We live but in the present, the future is unknown,
To-morrow is a mystery, today is all our own.
The tender words unspoken, the letter never sent,
The long forgotten message, the wealth of love all spent,
For these some hearts are breaking, for these some loved ones wait,
So show them that you care for them before it is too late.
G.N.: Bro. Dol, you will now conduct our new members to a seat.
Closing the Aquarium
G.N. gives gavel to the G.M. and requests her to close the Aquarium.
Calls up officers with three raps of the gavel.
G.M.: Sis. V.G.M., have you any other business to bring before this Aquarium?
V.G.M.: Sis. G.M., of my knowledge there is no further business.
G.M.: Has any member any business to bring before this Aquarium?
G.M.: There being no further business to come before this Aquarium, we will now proceed to close.
G.M.: Bro. M.G.S. you will inform the R.G. Sent. that we are now about to engage in the ceremonies of dosing this Aquarium and to allow no disturbance while we are thus engaged.
The M.G.S. will give three distinct raps on the door, and after receiving three distinct raps from inside the Moss Room will deliver the following charge:
M.G.S.: Bro. R.G.S., we are now engaging in the ceremony of closing this Aquarium and by order of the G.M., you will see that our devotional exercises are not disturbed while we are thus engaged.
M.G.S.: Sis. G.M., your instructions have been conveyed to the R.G. Sent. and there will be no interruptions during the closing ceremonies.
G.M.: We will now all unite in singing our closing ode.
Two raps of gavel.
G.M. calls up Aquarium. The G.N. announces the hymn and requests all to join in singing.
G.M.: Sis. (or Bro.) Chaplain, we will join with you in invoking the Divine Blessing.
At this point the Chaplain will approach the Altar, facing the West, bow the he ad over the Holy Bible with arms folded over breast, and repeat the following
Chaplain: Father, King of the Universe, whom we thank for the privilege of meeting together in Thy Name in this Aquarium and learning lessons of fidelity, wisdom, truth and love from Thy Holy Word.
Enable us to realize that we have only to ask in perfect faith of receiving Thy guidance, grace and wisdom.
Impress upon us the binding obligation of our vows and duties and responsibilities, respect and friendship we owe each other.
Keep us as we go hence to our homes for the active duties of life, inspire us to emulate the goodness which Thou dost possess. Preserve us in the integrity of our duty and from temptations, and will Thou be pleased to bless our members everywhere, and bind us together in love, harmony and fidelity.
And finally may our work be so done as to meet Thy approval and when life's duties are all over, call us to Thee in peace.
We ask in Thy name.
After the prayer is finished, the entire membership will repeat: And so may it ever be. AMEN.
G.M.: Sis. C.M., you will please attend our Holy Bible.
She walks to the altar, salutes the G.M. and slowly closes the bible and remains standing, one pace back of altar.
G.M.: Sisters and Brothers, we are now about to swim from the Aquarium out into the chilly waters of life. Let us remember our obligations and keep perfect faith, and strive to do good to these noble causes, never forgetting that it is our duty to remember our solemn pledges, and never let any envious shadow dim the light of Fraternity.
The Aquarium now stands adjourned.