International Order of Rainbow for Girls
Ritual of the Grand Cross of Color
An Honorary Degree
Master of Ceremonies, who occupies the station of Worthy Advisor in the East of the Assembly room.
Sister of Truth. who occupies the station of Hope in the South of the Assembly room.
Sister of Vision, who occupies the station of Charity in the North of the Assembly room.
Sister of Victory, who occupies the station of Worthy Associate Advisor in the West of the Assembly room.
Grand Chaplain, who occupies the station of Chaplain.
Grand Marshal, who occupies the station of Drill Leader.
Grand Organist, who occupies the station of Organist.
Grand Keeper of the Door, who occupies the station outside the closed door.
Flower Girls. Seated in West, one on the north side of Victory and one on the south side.
Instructions for Grand Cross of Color
As the Grand Cross of Color does not provide for an opening or closing ceremony, it will be necessary to make all preparation before beginning the exemplification of the degree. An opening march may be used.
At the station of the Master of Ceremonies there should be a medallion. The Cross used to designate the candidate may be about ten inches in length. Flower girls are in charge of the Cross and the Crown of Roses.
The open Bible is placed on the Altar.
At the Station of Vision there should be a lighted candle.
The Book of Vows is closed and placed on the Altar at the left of the Bible.
There should be a gavel at the following stations: Master of Ceremonies, Truth, Vision and Victory.
The Designates, or those receiving the degree, to be known as Masters of the Grand Cross of Color.
The Lodge room or Chapter room wherever the degree is exemplified, symbolically represents
"A Temple of Silence in God's Great Out-of-Doors".
This honor is conferred by the Founder, in recognition of services rendered the Rite, known as the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, whose jurisdiction embraces the entire world, upon members of the Order in good standing, members of Advisory Boards, and other sisters and brothers who have rendered distinguished service to the Order. Such service is to be determined by members of Advisory Boards of local Assemblies throughout the various jurisdictions, and the names of such Designates to be certified by the Advisory Board to the Supreme Inspector or Deputy. The designation of any girl for this signal honor, or of any sister or brother, shall be made known in public.
In preparation for the degrees, the Book of Vows should be placed on table in the Preparation Room with a burning taper near the Book. The designates should be conducted in silence into this room by the Marshal.
The Master of Ceremonies will be in the Preparation Room East of the table and candidates will be assembled in the West.
Master of Ceremonies to Designates: My Sisters and Brothers, before you were given permission to enter our 'Temple of Silence' and take upon yourselves the solemn vows of service and sacrifice, you signed the Book of Vows. You did this calmly and deliberately and placed after your name some individual mark which will be known as your mark of distinction and which may appear upon all insignia worn or used by you. This ceremony has a double significance; one of its purposes is to cause you to pause and reflect over your own name in the hope that you may resolve to keep it pure and clean. The other is that you will endeavor to add lustre to that name by a renewed life of service.
Sister Grand Marshal, the Designates have signed the Book of Vows, you will now bear this Book of Vows into the Temple of Silence where you will place it upon our Altar in preparation of our ceremony.
The Grand Marshal picks up the Book of Vows, closes it, and takes it in to the Assembly Room, placing it at the left of the Bible, then returns to the Preparation room. The open Bible may be carried at this time by Chaplain, and she will also return to Preparation Room.
Grand Marshal: Master of Ceremonies, the Book of Vows has been safely placed upon the Altar in the Temple of Silence and the doors of the Temple are now open for the ceremony.
Turning to designates she says: You may soon enter this Temple of Silence, symbolic of God's great out-of-doors, and stand before its Altar, in order that you may be proclaimed and designated as one of the mediums through which the True Light may shine into the hearts of all mankind.
Master of Ceremonies: You will now be left alone in this chamber of reflection in silence until the Grand Marshal returns with my command for you to enter.
The Master of Ceremonies and Grand Marshal, with other officers enter in regular form, take their stations and proceed with the Ritual. An opening march may be used. The Master of Ceremonies shall make the following proclamation:
Master of Ceremonies: Sisters and Brothers, we have met in this place which we designate as 'A Temple of Silence,' symbolic of the out-of-doors, where the voice of nature is closely linked with that of the voice of God, in order that we may do honor to those to whom honor is due.
To render a service which has no other incentive than that of an unselfish work is a blessed and golden thing to do. Such service will live throughout all eternity, even though we do not take recognition of it while passing by. In the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, throughout its many Grand Jurisdictions, are those loyal girls, as well as sisters and brothers of its Sponsoring Bodies, who have given of their time and their talent to make its program possible, and to insure its success. They have responded to its call both day and night, and it is a very great privilege and honor to announce the names of the Designates, and to invite them to enter this Temple in order that we may crown them with a crown suited to the distinguished service they have rendered.
Master of Ceremonies: Sister Grand Marshal.
Grand Marshal: Master of Ceremonies.
Master of Ceremonies: You will read the names of the Designates recommended to receive this honor.
Grand Marshal reads the list of Designates.
Master of Ceremonies: Sister Grand Marshal, you will retire and invite these Designates, who are in waiting to receive this signal honor in recognition of their services, to enter this Temple of Silence.
Grand Organist plays some suitable march. Grand Marshal leaves her station and goes to the door of entrance, opens the door and makes the following proclamation:
Grand Marshal: Sister Grand Keeper of the Door, does any one await admission to this Temple of Silence?
Grand Keeper of the Door: Sister Grand Marshal, Sister … (name of active designate) and others have been designated as suitable persons to receive honor at the hands of the Supreme Assembly and they now await your will and pleasure.
Grand Marshal: By order of the Master of Ceremonies of this Temple of Silence, symbolic of God's great out-of-doors, you may enter and stand before its Altar, in order that you may be proclaimed and designated as one of the mediums through which the True Light may shine into the hearts of all mankind.
Grand Organist plays some suitable march as Designates enter, led by Grand Marshal. Grand Marshal seats all but one Designate. She conducts this Designate to the Altar, and stands facing the East.
Grand Marshal: Master of Ceremonies, your order has been obeyed.
Master of Ceremonies: My Sister, you stand before our Altar in this Temple of Silence, symbolic of God's great out-of-doors, in order that you may receive a portion of the wages for which you have toiled in this life. In designating you for this honor, we are to remind you of the fact that countless hundreds pass through life, rendering a service equally as distinguished as that which you have rendered, and then pass into the Great Life beyond, without one word of recognition. For that reason, we designate this place where we are to honor you as a Temple of Silence, reminding you of the fact that it is a human frailty, one in which we all engage, to allow our friends to toil and labor unselfishly, and yet, never so much as say one single word in recognition of their service.
This place symbolically represents God's great out-of-doors, for the reason that any service rendered unselfishly needs no attendant at the altar of any cathedral, or temple, but as certainly
as the Great Teacher from God declared that not even a sparrow falls to the earth without receiving recognition, neither is there an act performed in the interest of another that is not universally acclaimed and recognized by divine authority, even though there may be no priest at the altar, or an altar upon which to make the offering.
My Sister, you will kneel at the Altar, and before the Holy Bible opened thereon, repeat after me the vows of the Grand Cross of Color:
Raps Assembly up.
Master of Ceremonies leaves station and advances in front of Altar.
I, … Designate pronounces name, vow that I will ever be loyal to the Order of the Rainbow for Girls and to its State and National program. I vow that I will redouble my zeal so far as it is possible in the cause of this Order, and therefore, in the cause of every noble work that will assist the girlhood of my country in her efforts to serve her community and her country. I vow this upon my honor as a worker for the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, and may God aid me to keep these vows. Arise my sister.
Designate arises. Master of Ceremonies returns to her station. One rap seats Assembly.
Service, my sister, is immortality, and in order that you may be impressed more fully with the honor that we are about to confer upon you, I shall ask the Grand Marshal to conduct you five times about the Assembly room, that you may represent symbolically the years of 'teen' life denominated by that of the active age of a Rainbow girl, and, in order that you may be impressed with the thought that the whole of your life is largely made up of the lessons received during these impressionable years of which these five circuits are but a symbol.
Master of Ceremonies: Sister Grand Marshal, you will conduct this Designate on her journey of five circuits about the Assembly room, advancing first to the East, then to the South, West and North.
Officers arise as she passes the Station of Vision. On her first round they give one rap of the gavel, starting with the Master of Ceremonies, increasing the raps until each one gives five raps of the gavel which indicates that the Designate has made the five circuits and is now returning to the East in order to receive the lessons indicated by the five circuits. Officers are seated when Grand Marshal passes Vision's Station. Flower girls march to East as Marshal passes station of Vision.
Grand Marshal: Master of Ceremonies, your order has been obeyed.
Master of Ceremonies, steps down from dais: I crown you with this crown of roses which is symbolic of the crown of womanhood and which to you is the symbol of victory, because it represents beauty and glory crystallized and drawn out from among life's thorns. It is symbolic of the fact that out of suffering and sorrow there comes the White Light of Truth and Victory.
You will ever be known as Master of The Grand Cross of Color, and this Cross holds up cross before candidate will symbolize the high rank and station to which you have been elevated.
Returns Cross to flower girls and ascends dais. Flower girls retire to the West.
Sister Grand Marshal, you will conduct the Designate to the Station of Sister of Truth where she will receive additional instructions.
Grand Marshal conducts Designate to station of Truth.
Sister of Truth: My sister, the Order of the Rainbow for Girls is an institution designed to impress the girlhood of America with the dignity and beauty of human character. It is an organization sponsored by two great time-honored Fraternities that from their very inception have had the education and enlightenment of the people as one of their aims and objects.
Because of the service you have rendered in this Order, we wish to remind you of the truth that human life, as it passes through that period known as youth, is a bit of clay in the hands of the Potter. Almost unconsciously that clay is shaped into honor or dishonor. It can be made into a divine image, or it can be marred, distorted and made ugly; its lines may be perfectly formed, and its countenance delicately penciled, or it may become a crumpled mass wherein shall be established the spirit of selfishness, and the sensual life shall prevail over that which was intended to be beautiful and Godlike. At this station, you are reminded never to forget this truth, and in the future when you shall see either in the street, the home, or any other place, the girl between the ages of twelve and twenty, who may know nothing of the value of life, see in her the divine image, and if possible, help shape and create that life that we may have a sweeter womanhood, a better citizenship and a more noble country. You will now set forth on your journey, and as in former admonition, you will heed the lessons of Vision and Victory.
Sister Grand Marshal, you will conduct the Designate to the station of Sister of Vision, where she will receive additional words of instruction.
Grand Marshal conducts Designate to station of Vision.
Sister of Vision: My sister, at this station you are asked to reflect for a moment upon the mature side of life as indicated by the maximum years which we may serve this Order.
To pass the portals of the nineteenth year, in the life of a girl, may be done with little ceremony. To leave this wonderful temple of 'teen' age, and go out into the world of maturity and majority, may seem at the time a very small and insignificant step, but how glorious and important.
I picture before you this moment, the life of two girls. One, during her 'teen' age was privileged to live in the presence of the noble, the just and the beautiful. She drew her inspiration from the trees, the flowers, the running brooks and the hills. She had as her associates both books and people whose thoughts were lifted toward the clouds; people who knew the higher things of life. and spoke the language of the spirit. Out of this Temple of Beauty, she passes into womanhood to become the mother of men, and to become a leader and a teacher.
I would paint for you the picture of the girl who passes through her 'teen' age, receiving her inspiration of life on the streets. In her idleness, as she moves to and fro as a shadow, she catches up the seamy side of life and becomes acquainted with its dark threads. She listens to unholy conversation, and words that spoil and dull the soul. She becomes sensual, the flesh of her body predominates and overcomes her spirit. It destroys her image. She cannot see beauty in the trees, the flowers, the running brooks and the hills. She knows nothing of life as developed in the finest of human character, and to her the spirit world is as a sealed room and an unknown sphere. Out of this world she passes into womanhood to become the mother of men.
Let that picture be forever effaced from your mind, and as a symbol that it is now, or shall be forever erased, I extinguish the light of the candle which burns at this station. Henceforth, you are to know only that life, that human character which lifts itself up to heights sublime and beautiful.
You will now be conducted to the station of Sister of Victory, where you will receive additional words of instruction.
Grand Marshal conducts Designate to station of Victory.
Sister of Victory: My sister, I observe that you are wearing upon your head a crown of roses which you have been taught is symbolic of a life of beauty emerging from a life of toil and sacrifice. In olden times those who returned from fields of battle victorious, had placed upon their heads crowns designating temporal victories, and these honors were conferred while yet the smoke of battle hovered over the Nation.
We seek to impress upon you here at this station the lesson of a victorious soul. Victory, my sister, may not always be proclaimed aloud, for in human life most of the victories are celebrated in silence. When you are strong enough to live above temptation; when you are able to say to the tempter, 'I will not yield'; when you are strong enough to keep your step in the straight and narrow path that leads to life, the voice of victory will be hidden within you, and the silent victories will not be proclaimed from the house top. At this station, we would admonish you to learn this one lesson, that the approval of your own inward conscience is the supreme voice of victory.
Sister Grand Marshal, you will conduct the Designate to the station of the Master of Ceremonies where she will receive her signal honor and the final lesson of instruction.
Grand Marshal: Master of Ceremonies, your order has been obeyed.
Master of Ceremonies: My sister, you have received the very solemn admonitions of the Sisters of Truth, Vision and Victory. We believe that you have heard them because your life has been one of service, therefore, you are fitted and prepared to become the in-dwelling of such words and such lessons, and it is because of this service that you are designated, and are to become known in the future, as 'Master of the Grand Cross of Color'.
Sister Grand Marshal, you will cause the Designate to face the Holy Altar for the prayer of consecration.
Remains in East but turns to face Altar. My sister, to the Designate, you will please kneel and place your right hand over your heart.
Three raps of the gavel. The Grand Chaplain goes to the Altar, kneels and offers the following prayer of consecration:
Grand Chaplain: Consecrate this (or these) Designate, gracious Lord, as one of Thine own. She seeks through a life of service to glorify Thee. She has not been unmindful of the words of the Great Teacher, 'in as much as ye have done it unto one of the least of these, ye have done it unto me'. Devote her life to a greater and broader exemplification of service. Cleanse it from all selfishness and human prejudice. Anoint it as a Temple in which the True Spirit of Light and Love may shine. Amen.
Designate arises, Chaplain returns to her station. Designate faces Master of Ceremonies. Assembly is seated.
Flower girls start toward East as Chaplain passes Vision's station.
Master of Ceremonies steps down from dais: I now remove this Crown of Roses which you have worn during the ceremony. After this, you are not to expect words of encouragement or decorations from the hands of men. Henceforth, you are to be satisfied with recognition of the fact that you have rendered service, with no voice to proclaim the deed. Thus, shall we fulfill our purpose and thus shall we prove that this is "A Temple of Silence,'' symbolic of God's great out-of-doors.
I now designate you as a Master of the Grand Cross of Color, The Master of Ceremonies takes cross and touches Designate on left shoulder and proclaim you as such touches Designate on right shoulder wherever our Order is known touches Designate on crown of head.
Receive now this Cross of Color Invests her with medallion and ever wear it worthily that it may remind you of two important lessons; first, that it is a symbol of suffering, sorrow and sacrifice. Second, that you may glorify it with every color of the rainbow by a life of active service.
Flower girls retire. Master of Ceremonies ascends dais.
You will now be conducted once again to the Altar before which you have taken your vows and where has been offered a prayer of personal consecration and here you will find the Book of Vows which you have signed and affixed your mark of distinction closed and sealed forever from the eyes of the profane.
Sister Grand Marshal, you will now proclaim and designate these sisters and brothers as members of the Grand Cross of Color throughout all Jurisdictions. The Designates will please stand. Make proclamation at Altar.
Grand Marshal: By authority of the Master of Ceremonies, I declare you … giving the name of candidate, as well as each member of this class, as members of the Grand Cross of Color of the Order of the Rainbow for Girls, and do by authority of the Supreme Assembly and command of the Master of Ceremonies, commission you to declare the principles of our Order and designate you as heralds of good will for our order to all Grand Jurisdictions.
Grand Marshal will then instruct the candidates to be seated. Conducts designate to seat, returns to her station and remains standing.
Master of Ceremonies: Sister Grand Marshal, you will now proclaim the doors of the Temple of Silence closed and our work ended. Let all go forth in peace, yet all take notice that they go forth into active service consecrated to a greater and higher mission throughout all Grand Jurisdictions.
Grand Marshal: By order of the Master of Ceremonies. I now proclaim the doors of the Temple of Silence closed. Go forth in peace but be reminded that you are disciples of the Light and Truth throughout all Grand Jurisdictions.
One light rap of gavel by Master of Ceremonies. Retiring march may be used.