New England Order of Protection
Initiation Ritual


Opening Ceremonies
NOTE: At the time fixed for opening the Lodge the otiicers will assemble in the ante-room, and by proper signal given by the Guide will enter the hall, and assume their respective stations.
This ceremony may be onitted, or the order in which they shall assume their stations may be varied to suit the taste and wishes of the officers of the Lodge.
Upon the Warden assuming the chair he shall call the Lodge to order.
I am about to open … Lodge No. …, of the New England Order of Protection, in regular (or special) session. All persons who are not members of this Order in good standing will retire. Guide.
When the Warden addresses the Guide he shall arise and salute the Warden, and shall say:
You will ascertain if the Sentinel is at his post, and the Guardian at the inner door. You will examine every person present, and ascertain if they are qualified to sit in session with us, by receiving from them the mystic words.
After receiving the instructions from the Warden he shall salute and say:
I will perform the duties as directed.
If there is a large attendance at the meeting the Warden shall appoint some brother to assist the Guide to ascertain if all present are qnalified to sit in the session, directing such brother to examine on the left hand side of the hall.
Every one present must, rise and give the passwords.
Should there be any present whom, upon examination, are not qualified they will report such persons to the Warden, and if entitled to instructions to qualify them to remain, the Warden shall instruct them; if not entitled to instructions he shall request them to retire.
The Guide having ascertained that all are qualified to sit in the Lodge room, shall advance to his station in the Lodge, salute the Warden, and say:
Warden, the Sentinel is at the outer entrance of this Lodge, guarding it against improper intrusion.
The Guardian is qualified and at the inner door awaiting your instructions, and all present are entitled to sit with us.
Guardian, arises, salutes and says:
W., acknowledges salute, and says:
You have charge of the inner entrance lo this Lodge room, admit none without, the proper signal and pass, except by direction of the Vice-Warden. You will allow none to enter or, retire while calling the roll of officers, reading the minutes of the last meeting, or during the opening, initiatory or dosing ceremonies.
Guard, salutes, and says:
Warden, the inner entrance to this Lodge is safely guarded and your instructions will be obeyed.
W. calls up the entire Lodge:
Officers and members, we have assembled for the mutual exercise of fraternal aid and sympathy, and to unite in the protection of those most near and dear to us; as we unite our hearts and voices in renewing our solemn promises of fidelity to one another let us remember our motto, "Equity, Benevolence and Charity."
We will now sing the opening ode:
Band of members! let us be
Bound by cords of "charity;"
"Mercy " lend us fron above
With "Benevolence " and Love!
Plant in all these hearts of ours,
"Equity's " enduring flowers;
By the wisdom of our plans,
By the joining of our hands;
Hope's strong anchor here is laid
In uuselfish vows we'vw made;
That our loved ones, when we fall,
Share the fost'ring care of all.
Chaplain: Almighty Father, Creator and Ruler of the universe and the 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 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 Equity, Benevolence and Charity; and to Thy name be all the honor, praise and glory forever. Amen.
The members will now advance the sign of the Order. Sign given.
I now declare … Lodge, No. …, of the New England Order of Protection opened in legal form for the transaction of business and the diffusion of the principles of our Order. Seats the Lodge.
Guide, you will retire to the anteroom and inform the members, if any are in waiting, that the Lodge is now open for the transaction of business, and invite them to enter.

Guide, you will retire to the ante-room and ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting.
Guide salutes and retires. If there are candidates in waiting, he will write their names upon a slip of paper and re-enter in due form, and report from his station:
Warden, I find Mr. or Mrs. ….
The Secretary and Financial Secretary will retire and examine the applications, and ascertain if they are in proper form, and verify them by careful inspection, and collect the proper fees.
Secretary and Financial Secretary will salute and return to the ante-room.
The Secretaries will require every candidate to verify the petition, and collect all proper fees, and then report to the Warden from centre of room after being recognized by the Warden.
Warden, the applications are found, upon careful inspection, to be in proper form and duly attested.
Financial Secretary:
Warden, all proper fees have been collected.
Guide, you will place the petitions for membership upon the Junior Past Warden's desk, and retire, and introducι the candidate (or candidates).
The Guide will salute and retire, conduct the candidates (or candidate) to the inner door, and give the usual alarm (but much louder than usual) on the door. The Guardian will open the wicket.
Open wide the door that we may enter.
Who makes this demand?
Candidates (or a candidate) who desire to join our Order.
Why do they desire to join this Order?
Because they desire its fraternal and social privileges, and would provide for those dependent upon them against death.
Is that all they have made known as to their desires and purposes?
It is.
Then they cannot be permitted to enter.
Their motives as expressed are purely selfish; they expect much, but offer to give nothing. I am not satisfied. You cannot be admitted, unless the caudidates have other purposes in view.
They have.
What are they?
They will be Fraternal and do Equity.
I admit you in Fraternity and Equity, but warn you that you will not proceed far unless you have greater and holier purposes to present.
Guardian will open the door, and the Guide, with caudidates, will enter.
The light in the Lodge-roum shall be turned down to a very dim light, and as the Guide enters, a slow march shall be played very softly. The Guide shall make a full circuit of the room, and as he is about to pass the Vice-Wardeu's chair the Vice-Warden shall tap and command.
Halt! How came you here?
By permission of the Guardian having charge of the inner entrance.
What promises gave you as to the service you would render if admitted?
We promised to do Equity.
Do Equity? Is it any merit to do that which in conscience should be done, and give that as a reason why you should be admitted to our sacred circle?
It is. Many promise it, but few remember their obligations.
True. It is indeed a meritorious action to do exact justice, regardless of all technicalities, and great is he who does. You have permission to pass; but do not expect to travel far unless you can give weightier and better reasons for your advancement.
Guide will advance as far as the Junior Past Warden, where he shall be halted by the Sentinel.
Two Sentinels should be appointed, one to be stationed at the J. P. W.'s, and the other at the Chaplain's side, who may be armed with swords or staves. They should each calculate the distance to the right of the officer, so that the centre of candidates, when halted, will be in front of the J. P. W. or Chaplain. These Officers may be screened by curtain, to be drawn at the time of introduction of candidates by Sentinel.
Halt. Why come you here?
To seek Protection.
To seek Protection? Know you not that before you can pass this station you must prove that you are worthy to pass? What can you urge?
That we will do Equity?
Do Equity? And what merit is there in that?
It is exact justice, regardless of all technicality.
Exact justice? Why, that is what the law enjoins on all, and to disobey the, law is scarcely less than criminal. What further can you urge?
We will do Equity and be Benevolent.
The screen will be drawn, ans the Sentinel will salute the J. P. W.
Junior Past Warden, these candidates have reached this station, in search of the fraternal and financial benefits which this Order affords; and urge as a reason why they should be allowed to pass, that they will do Equity, and be Benevolent.
J. P. W.:
Be Benevolent? What do you mean by being Benevolent?
To mutually co-operate and assist our members against the ills and hardships of life.
J. P. W.:
It is a noble purpose, to engage in works of Benevolence, and assist, co-operatively, our fellow members, and so protect one another against the ills and hardships of life. In the name of Equity and Benevolence you have permission to pass; but your journey will be short, as, you must give a holy reason before you will travel far.
Guide will proceed until he reaches the Chaplain's chair, where he must be emphatically halted.
Halt! Halt! You cannot pass this way. None may pass unless they can give a holy reason. How passed you thus far?
In the name of Equity and Benevolence.
Equity and Benevolence — worthy reasons they; to obey the laws, and to co-operate for strength to ward off the ills and hardships of life, is that which the most sordid mind would do if brought to a full knowledge of its pecuniary benefits. But you cannot pass here unless you have a holier mission.
We have. We will do Equity, be Benevolent, and practice Charity.
The screen will be drawu, and the Sentinel salute the Chaplain and says:
Chaplain, these candidates, who stand before you, are in search of the benefits and protection which our Order guarantees to its members, and urge as a reason why they should be allowed to pass this "Holy Station," that they will do Equity, be Benevolent, and practise Charity.
You have thus far passed in the name of Equity and Benevolence, and now promise to practise Charity if permitted to proceed on your journey. You promise well. Practise Charity out of a pure heart, with a good conscience and faith unfeigned. Give good gifts in season and out of season, with tenderness of thought, word and action, when time shall expire you shall be held in everlasting remembrance. Equity, Benevolence, and Charity.
A holy purpose. The foundation of civilization, and the three pillars of our Order. Guide, you will now present the candidates to the Vice-Warden.
Vice-Warden, by command of our Chaplain, I present to you these candidates for instructions.
Candidates, you have thus far travelled on your journey, and have giveu noble reasons and purposes why you should he permitted to be advanced to membership.
But before you advance farther, I must remind you that the first reasons which you gave for asking admission to this Order were, "Because you desired the fraternal and social privileges, and would provide for the loved ones dependent upon you against death," are its prime objects. In order to carry them forward every member has a duty to perform, and every member is expected to do his full part, and so all will equally enjoy the great blessings this Order gives. But before you can be admitted to membership you must take a solemn and binding obligation; one which we have all taken, but which does not conflict with the exalted duties you owe to your God, or the duty you owe to your fellow man.
Are you willing to be so obligated?
We are (or, I am).
V. -W.:
Guide, you will conduct the candidates to the Junior Past Warden for test and qualification, to ascertain if they are entitled to the obligations.
Junior Past Warden, by command of the Vice-Warden I present these candidates for test and qualification, to ascertain if they are entitled to our solemn obligations.
J. P. W., exhibiting applications for membership:
Did you sign an application for membership?
I did.
J. P. W.:
Have you made declaration of your desire to become a Relief and Benefit Fund member, and so provide for those dependent on you, after death?
Candidates will answer.
J. P. W.:
You who have expressed a desire to provide against the uncertainties of life, have done well. But have you examined and read the obligation which you signed in your petition for membership, and do you now, after more mature deliberation, solemnly promise to keep your obligation?
I do.
J. P. W.:
Ou your solemn promise to keep this obligation, I am satisfied that, as you journey onward, you will prove worthy of our confidence. But from the time of man obligations were exacted, to enforce compliance with, and fulilment of, promises given, and so you must take such an obligation before you can be admitted to full membership. Guide, you will present these applicants to our Chaplain for obligation.
Junior Past Warden hands Guide applications for membership.
Chaplain, by direction of the Junior Past Warden, I present these applicants for obligation.
Hands applications to Chaplain.
Have the applicants received proper instructions from the Vice-Warden?
They have.
Have they been properly tested and qualified?
They have. The candidates have testified that they have signed the applications, and been qualified by solemnly reaffirming the obligation.
Chaplain lays applications across the Holy Bible.
Candidates, it is my duty to now administer to you that solemn and binding obligation which we have all taken, and which can only be severed by death.
Before you, on this altar, is the Holy Bible. Across it is placed your application for membership.
Surrounding you are the members, bound together by the holy ties of this Order, in full strength and health. You will now place your right hand over your heart, and repeat after me, using your name, where I use mine.
Warden calls up the Lodge.

I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of the members of the Order here assembled, do solemnly promise that I will keep forever secret, and that I will uever improperly communicate to any person or persons the signs, tokens, or secrets by and through which they may gain admission into this Order.
I further promise, that I will not, in any way, communicate the sigus of recognition, the warning sign or word, and will in every way guard this Order and its members from imposition.
I further promise, that I will not defraud or wrong any departmeut of this Order, or any member thereof; or suffer it to be done by others if in my power to prevent.
I further promise, that I will warn members of approaching danger, and use all proper means to protect them from injury, defamation of character, slander, libel and false charges.
I further promise, that I will assist a distressed member, or a member's family, as far as in my power so to do, without material injury to myself or family.
And should I violate this my solemn obligation, may no less a penalty than the scorn and contempt of my fellow man be visited upon me.
May God, in His infinite mercy, ever keep me steadfast and true in this my solemn obligation.
This obligation has never been brokon by a true man or woman. Let us look to Him who can give us strength to keep it.
Let us pray.
Oh God, we draw near to Thee, Who art ever near to us. Help us to be true to our obligations, and faithful to the purpose which brought us together. A chosen membership around a common altar, we bow to Thee, and ask for light to see our duty aright, and for strength to help each other to make life's burdens lighter and easier to bear.
We pray for all our membership, bound together by the tender ties of a great Order; may we be each for all and all for each, now and evermore. Hear our prayrer, we beseech Thee. Amen.
As Chaplain of this Order, I charge you, by all that you hold most dear and true, to be faithful to your obligation. He wrongs you, and wrongs me, who wrongs himself; so I charge you, be a good member, and you will be at once an ornament and support to our Order.
Guide, you will conduct the caudidate (or candidates) to our Warden for final instructions.
Sing Presentation Ode.
The Guide will now conduct the candidates around the hall, and so time the marching that at the close of the song they will halt in front of the chair of the Warden.
Warden, by direction of our Chaplain, I bring these candidates before you for final instructions.
Warden seats the Lodge.
My friends, it is with pleasure that I welcome you to this, our sacred circle. We are an organization of many, yet a unit in purpose and action. There are some matters of a personal nature I must call to your attention. It should be your pride, as it is your duty, to maintain your character and conduct above reproach. Guard well the interests of this Order.
It is only for our members, and those dependent upon them, that we labor here. To them and their families alone belong the benefits to be derived therefrom.
We provide a fund for the relief of those dependent upon deceased members, thereby cultivating a spirit of charity, which tends to soften the severest bereavements. The dying member knows that there are tender hearts and kind hands to help and assist those near and dear to him.
Never propose for membership any but persons known to you to be good and true. I will now disclose to you the secrets of this Order, which stand between it and improper intrusion.
To enter a Lodge of this Order, give any alarm at the outer door that will attract the attention of the Sentinel, who will open the wicket, when you will give, in a whisper, the semi-annual password, which is …. If correct, you will be permitted to enter the anteroom, where you will clothe yourself with the badge of the Order, advance to the inner door and give …. This alarm will attract the attention of the Guardian, who will open the wicket, when you will give your name and rank, the name, uumber and location of the Lodge to which you belong. This is … Lodge, No. ….
The wicket will then be closed and report made to the V. W., who will direct the Guardian to admit you; if correct, the Guardian will re-open the wicket, when you will give, in a whisper, the password of the Order, which is Dpthsx. If the password is givon correctly, you will be admitted to the Lodge-room. Advance to the centre of the room, facing the Warden, who is the presiding officer, and give the salutation sign, which is made in this manner …; when recognized by the W. … you will take your seat.
Should you wish to retire before the close of the session, advance to the centre of the room, salute the V. W. with the salutation sign; when recognized by that officer you will retire.
Should you desire to cross or re-cross the room, you will do so between the centre of the room and the station of the V. W.
When the Lodge is called to order, the Guide will be instructed to ascertain if all present are qualified to sit in the Lodge. On being approached by the Guide you will rise and give, in a whisper, the semi-annual and permanent passwords.
We have a grip that you are privileged to use, which is made as follows …. The answer is the same. Should you desire to warn a member of approaching danger or any other purposes, you will use the sign of caution, which is made by …. If you are so situated that you are unable to make the sigu so as to be seen, you may use these words, Vgn gzr ldqbx. Should you be among strangers and wish to find a member of the Order, we have a recognition sign, answer and words that you may use. This sign is made thus …. The answer is made by …. The challenging member will advance and give the grip, and on receiving it in reply will say, Mdv dmfkzmc, to which the challenged member will respond, Oqnsdbshnm. This will be sufficient to recognize each other as members of the Order.
The tokens of our Order are a cross, anchor and heart, signifying Faith, Hope and Charity.
The motto of our Order is Equity, Benevolence and Charity.
The monogram of the Order is the letters E. B. C., the initial letters of our motto.
The jewel of the Order is a six-pointed star with the monogram in the centre, and the abbreviation of the names of the six New England States, one on each point.
On all ordinary questions we vote by answering Aye and No. Should you wish to speak, make or second a motion, rise in your place, salute and address the Warden; when recognized you will proceed.
This is the gavel, and is an emblem of authority when in the hands of the proper officer. … calls the Lodge to order or seats it when standing. … calls np the officers. … calls up the entire membership.
Present the candidate with constitution and blank application.
Carefully study these laws that you may fully understand the mutual obligatiou of the members of this Order.
It is expected that you will present the application for membership suitably filled out by an applicant for admission to membership in this Lodge.
I now declare a recess, that you may be introduced to the members present.
Closing Ceremonies
The Lodge must be closed in due form except in extreme cases, and in no case shall it close wilhout the report of Financial Secretary.
Members, I am about to close this Lodge, in the trust that each one has learned some important lesson at this session. We will now sing our closing ode:
Members of our sacred Order,
Each his heart with care inspecr,
Succor all within our border,
Th'hungry feed, the poor protect:
As you leave these sacred portals,
Mingling with the outer World,
Raise the standard, hear it proudly,
Let your banner be unfurled.
Heaveu guide us as we journey,
'Mid the scenes of pain and woe;
May our hearts with love and pity,
Shower sunshine where we go;
Bless our parting and our slumbers,
Fill our basket and our store!
Peace abound in all our numbers,
'Till we meet to part no more.
Warden calls up the Lodge.
Heavenly Father, be with us as we separate and depart to our several homes. Guide and direct us in paths of virtue and right. May Thy choicest blessing rest upon us and our loved ones; and grant that we may be permitted to reassemble in future, meeting in health and strength, to honor and glorify Thy great name.
I now declare this Lodge closed until our next regular meeting.