Security Benefit Association
Initiation Ritual


Opening Ceremonies

Every officer should be present in the Council Chamber at least ten minutes before the time for opening. If any stations are vacant when the regular time for opening arrives, the President must promptly fill them by temporary appointment. While such temporary appointment is for the entire evening, it is an act of courtesy for the temporary appointee to relinquish the station when the regularly elected or appointed officer arrives.
The Council will come to order and the officers will take their stations.
Conductor, what are your duties?
To see that members have the passwords, attend the officers at installation and candidates at initiation.
Conductor, you will satisfy yourself that all present are entitled to remain in our Council.
Conductor takes up passwords and grip, and reports at Altar.
I find all correct.
Sentinel, what are your duties?
To watch the outer door, and see that none but members of the Order gain admittance to the ante-room.
You will attend to your duties.
Guard, what are your duties?
I have charge of the inner door; it is my duty to see that none but properly qualified members gain admittance to our Council.
Vice-President, what are your duties?
I take charge of the entrance to our Council, instruct the Guard and Sentinel in their duties, and see that no one enters or leaves during the opening, initiatory, or closing ceremonies.
Secretary, what are your duties?
I am Clerk of the Council; keep its minutes, do the corresponding, draw all orders as directed by the Council, and perform such other duties as our laws require.
Financier, what are your duties?
It is my duty to keep a full and correct account between the Council and its members; receive all moneys for the Council, deposit same each week in a depository designated by, and in the name of the Council, and report the same at each regular meeting of the Council. On or before the fifth day of each month, it is my duty to make a full report of all certificates taken up, suspended, annulled, or reinstated, during the preceding month, and to at once forward the same with all moneys due the National Council, to the National Secretary. Also to perform such other duties as are enjoined by the laws of the Order.
P., * * *:
We will now unite in singing our opening ode:

Opening Ode

Grand deeds of Chivalry,
Illumning history
With honor's light;
Must not be veiled by years,
Life's truth will banish fears,
And though the foe appears,
Heaven shields the right.

Knights dad in honor's might,
Once fought great wrongs to right.
Let us be true;
Clad in Hope's raiment fair,
Armed with all virtues rare,
To each dark, earthly care,
We'll bid adieu.

True to our Knighthood quest,
Life's toil will then be blest,
While here we stay;
May purest friendship guide,
While we in life abide,
Then shall the "Unknown tide"
Bring perfect day.
Prelate, what are your duties?
To conduct the devotional exercises of the Council and administer the obligations of the Order.
The members will be attentive.
Almighty God, our Heavenly Father, in whom is the infinite and perpetual fountain of all
Wisdom, Protection, and Security, guide us in what we shall say and do this hour. Let the light of Fraternity shine brightly in our Council Chamber.
Make us the worthy bearers of this great light to the needy world. Let Thy blessing rest upon us so that the world seeing our good works may be made to glorify Thy great name. Amen.
All respond:
Second Vice-President, what are your duties?
S. V.-P.:
To prepare the altar at the opening of the Council and at the initiation of candidates, and exemplify the signs of the Order.
Second Vice-President, you will prepare the altar and exemplify the signs of the Order.
S. V.-P. will open the Bible on the Altar and exemplify the signs of the Order from in front of his station.
Brothers and Sisters: It is my duty to preside in this Council, to conduct all business coming before it to a proper termination, to see that the rules of order are enforced, and to do all in my power to advance the interests of this Council, which duties I shall endeavor to perform with diligence. I trust, therefore, that the officers will be prompt in the discharge of their duties, and that the members will be obedient to the just requirements of the officers and Council. Let harmony prevail in our midst, let tolerance control our discussions, and let it be remembered that in union alone, there is strength.
I now declare this Council open, and ready for business.

Reception of Candidates

REMARKS—Time and conditions permitting, the Long Form of Initiation should be given every beneficiary candidate, and should never be dispensed with in class initiations. While the regular reception of candidates takes more time, and a little more labor, it is time well spent, and labor rewarded with more than pecuniary recompense.
A Degree Staff, or Guards, is always a valuable Council acquisition; a Degree Staff, specially drilled in the work of initiation, can always do better work than regular officers not so drilled. It is therefore recommended that the Degree Staff include the regular officers when practicable, but all competent beneficiary members of the Order are eligible to fill the chairs, and competent social members are eligible to floor work of the Staff.
During every initiation the officers and their aides should be clad in full uniform and regalia. Perfect order must be observed by all present; there must be no whispering, suppressed laughter, or moving about the room; those who are doing the work are entitled to and must have the close attention of every one present.
In Councils that have no Degree Staff, the Conductor should secure as many members as may be necessary to assist in properly conducting the candidates through the initiatory ceremonies.



The seventh order of business having been reached, the President will say, addressing Secretary;
Seventh order of business: Reception of Candidates. Secretary, have we any Beneficiary Certificates ready for delivery?
We have the following:
Reads list of names on a slip of paper and then gives the list to the President.
The Conductor will ascertain if any candidates await initiation.
Conductor retires to the ante-room; returning, reports to President, at the Altar.
The Conductor and Degree Staff will introduce the candidates.
The Conductor will arise immediately, receive from the President the list of names, and, without further ceremony, proceed to where the candidates are in waiting. Upon arriving in the waiting room, the Conductor will not exchange greetings nor enter into general conversation, but will at once inform the candidates that the Council is ready to receive them, and that as their names are read from the list they will respond by forming in single, or double file. The Conductor will read the name of the one elected to wear the initiatory garb first, and the others, with some regard to forming a uniform line. The Conductor will then address them as follows:
Ladies and Gentlemen: You are about to enter the Council Chamber of … Council No. …, The Security Benefit Association. Your general qualifications for membership in the Order are satisfactory to the members of this Council. It is both my pleasure and privilege to be the first to extend to each of you a friendly greeting, and most cordial welcome.
The Conductor now gives each candidate a warm grasp of the hand.
During this time the Degree Staff will be formed for the reception of the candidates upon entering the Hall.
Now follow me.
Conductor enters without rapping, candidates following in double file. Led by the Staff as advance guard, the Conductor and candidates will march around the room, past the station of the President, to the station of the Vice-President, file right, bringing the candidates into line in rear of the Altar and fronting the President. The President standing, the Staff forming a guard of honor in rear of candidates. This formation may be either as a triangle, the candidates being its base, a semicircle or a straight line in rear of candidates. One of these formations to be used at all stations.
Brother President, I have the honor of presenting to you these friends, who desire to be received into the Order, The Security Benefit Association, by way of … Council No. ….
My friends, you seek to gain admission to our Order; before doing so, justice to you, and protection to ourselves, demand that we make known to you our principles, and that they receive your cordial approval. We constrain no one's religious or political opinions. These rest with other tribunals, but we believe our highest duty is to God, and our fellowmen; to visit the sick, comfort the afflicted, and relieve the distressed. Are you willing to become one of us, to aid in the furtherance of these objects?
Candidates will answer:
I am.
You will now retire with the Conductor while we make ready for you a place among the members of The Security Benefit Association.
The Conductor right, or left, faces the candidates and follows the Guards, in double file, retiring by way of the door through which they entered.
The Guards will remain in the Council room and form in position to receive and lead the candidates upon re-entering.
The altar will be removed from the floor of the Council room.
If an Initiatory Robe is used, the Conductor will select the one to wear it, and place that one at the head; the candidates in double file.
The Council room will be darkened, and, when convenient, colored lights may be used.
When ready to enter, the Conductor will give the signal by one rap. When the Council is ready to receive the candidates the Musician will play a march, the door will be opened and the Conductor will enter with the candidates and, preceded by the Degree Staff, will march around the hall, past the President's station to the station of the Second Vice-President, file right, to front of Prelate's station. The Staff will then right and left countermatch the length of the column, inward face and form arch with rods. Candidates will pass under arch and form line fronting the Prelate.
This formation to be used at succeeding stations, the Staff always marching to the right.
Wisdom Divine, who tells the price
Of Wisdom's costly merchandise;
Wisdom to silver we prefer,
And gold is dross compared to her.
Prelate, I present to you these candidates who to know what you consider the most desirable thing in life.
I consider wisdom the greatest of human attainments. The Book of Books places no higher value upon any virtue possessed by men. Solomon instructed his son after this manner: "Wisdom is the principal thing, therefore get wisdom, and with all thy getting, get understanding . She shall give to thine hand an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she discover to thee."
Wisdom is power. By power, all things physical and spiritual are accomplished: The power which, ages ago, felled to earth magnificent forests, today turns the wheels of progress, making a great fraternity of all the world; the boisterous waterfall, by its power, is forcing a steady stream of electricity along a line of wire, and a city a hundred miles away is made luminous by night.
But whence this power? you ask. Wisdom is its source. Without an inspiration greater than the power itself, to discover, unite and employ these latent forces, they were inactive, lifeless, dark. It took the genius of a Fulton to employ this power, which for ages had lain silent in Mother Nature's treasure house; it took the wisdom of a Franklin and a Morse to "put a girdle 'round about the earth in forty minutes."
As the All-Wise Father protects his children, so may you protect and secure, through the bonds of this fraternity, those weaker than yourself, and thereby lift the fallen, assist the helpless, and aid the needy.
Conductor, you will present the candidates to the Second Vice-President for further instruction.
The Staff will form in close order, and precede the candidates to the station of the Second Vice-President.
Her hands are filled with length of days,
Fine riches and immortal praise;
Her ways are ways of pleasantness,
And all her flowery paths are peace.
Second Vice-President, I present to you these candidates, who desire to know what you consider the most desirable thing in life.
S. V.-P.:
I consider Protection most greatly to be desired. God's plans of protection are everywhere manifest.
The more precious the gift He has made to man the more carefully has He guarded and defended it from harm. Without protection there could be no life. The embryo tree is wrapped about with many coats that the germ of life may be tenderly shielded until the plant is able, for itself, to battle with the elements. The earliest development of animal life, in Nature's beautiful plan, is most carefully guarded and protected. The mother animal will endure any hardship, do battle with any foe, however formidable, that her young may come to no harm. With the human parent, as with the parent God, there should be one never-forgotten purpose, the protection of the weak, the young and the dependent.
The sense of being a protector arouses all that is best, strongest and noblest in the human breast; the inspiration of every man who labors nobly and well, is the fact that some one is dependent upon him for protection. There can be no greater satisfaction than this: that those who depend upon us shall ever find a protecting arm in time of need.
In danger, trouble or sorrow, we cry out to Him who has promised to be our shelter in time of storm; in the shadow of whose wing we may ever abide, because He has told us to fear no vil. It is the protection promised that makes us cling closely to our Heavenly Father. So, also, shall the members of our earthly household love most, him who best shields them from the storms of life, as the weak always pay homage to the strong, saying: "To your protection I commend me."
As in Wisdom there is power; so also in numbers there is strength. Thus, through our wise fraternal union, as sisters and brothers in this Order, the protection of the weak and dependent is made a thousand fold more secure.
Conductor, you will present the candidates to the Vice-President for further instruction.
The Staff in close order will precede the Conductor and candidates.
Happy the man who wisdom gains,
Thrice happy who his guest retains,
He owns, and shall forever own,
Wisdom and Love and Heaven are one.
Vice-President, I present to you these candidates who desire to know what you consider the most important thing in life.
The most important thing in life, to my mind is Security. To be secure from harm doth banish fear. Security embodies all that has been told you of both Wisdom and Protection. Only through wise provisions and choice of means can we protect ourselves until we are secure.
The most secure structure is no stronger than its foundation. The foundation of our Order is broad and deep, and we are secure within its walls.
We, co-workers in the building of this Order, are laying securely its foundation and walls, as we build it, stone by stone—walls, ornamented by social features, made massive and strong by its equitable reserve fund plan, the broad and deep foundation upon which the structure stands.
Our reserve fund is the leading feature of our Fraternity, which protects us from the storms without, and brings confidence, peace and Security to those within.
"Build today, then, strong and sure,
With a firm and ample base.
And ascending, and secure,
Shall tomorrow find its place."
Conductor, you will present the candidates to the President for further instruction.
The Staff will precede the Conductor and candidates.
Secure within fraternal fold,
We claim protection's tender care,
And to our members new unfold
The love we to each other bear.
C.: Brother President, I present to you these candidates, who desire to know what you consider the most important thing in life.
P.: The most important thing in life is Fraternity. You are being admitted into our Order. You have passed its threshold; you have learned the value of Wisdom, the beauty of Protection, the surpassing excellence of Security. The mystic words of our Order are Wisdom, Protection, Security, Fraternity.
But the greatest of these is Fraternity.
Wisdom is the basis, Protection is the object, Security the result guaranteed by our Order. Fraternity is brotherhood, brotherhood is charity, charity is love. Our quotation from the Holy Bible is "Love one another."
There can be no higher effort in life than that made in behalf of a brother. We are hers bound together by the ties of a fraternal society—ties making us members of one common brotherhood. My brother, (or sister,) we welcome you into our fraternity.
You will receive of our friendship in times of prosperity, and our assistance in times of adversity. You will soon be entitled to a place among us where you may give of your bounty to others.
May you so order your life, that the world will be the better for your having lived. May you stoop to raise the fallen, and so stand erect in the fullness of your own perfected manhood; thus compelling the recording angel to enroll your name on every page of honor, and the final Judge to place the crown of victory upon your brow; and when at life's close, your star shall set, may it not set like the evening star, behind a darkened west, but like the morning star, melt gloriously into the bright and perfect day.
Conductor you will present the candidates to the Prelate at the Altar for obligation.
The Staff, preceding the Conductor and Candidates, will file left, when near left of room file right, to Vice-President’s station, then file right and form hollow square enclosing Altar, Prelate and candidates.

The Council will sing the following, or one stanza of some other appropriate hymn:
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee,
E'en though it be a cross, that raiseth me;
Still all my song shall be, nearer, my God, to Thee,
Nearer, my God, to Thee, nearer to Thee.
Prelate, I present these candidates for obligation.
You will now place your left hand on the Bible, raise your right hand and repeat after me: In the presence of the members here assembled, I do solemnly promise upon my honor, never to reveal, either directly or indirectly, any of the ritualistic workings of this Order, neither password, sign, nor anything which should be kept secret, and that I will be obedient to all the laws now enacted, or that may be hereafter enacted. I further promise that I will, at all times, labor for the best interests of the Order, and to extend its limits. I also promise that I will not, knowingly, wrong a member of the Order, and that I will render such aid and assistance as I can without injury to myself or family.
I also most solemnly promise that I will speak no ill of a member, or one of his household; neither will I permit another to do so in my presence if in my power to prevent it. I further declare that this obligation is made with a full knowledge of its meaning, and of my own free will and accord. To the faithful performance of which I pledge thy sacred honor.
We are witnesses of this, your solemn obligation.
Blest be the tie that binds
Us in Fraternal love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
Conductor, you will present the candidates to the President for final instruction.
The Staff will precede the Conductor and candidates.
President, I present these candidates for final instructions.
My friend (s), this solemn initiation is designed to impress your minds with the importance of the great work in which we are engaged. It is my pleasure, as well as duty, to instruct you in the unwritten work of our Order. I will now give you such instructions.
Here give a complete exemplification of the unwritten work.

These signs and words you will become familiar with in your attendance at the meetings of the Council; use them prudently, for they are our safeguards against intrusion and imposition. I hand you a copy of the Constitution and Laws of the Order, which you are to study carefully; also an application card, that you may fulfill your obligation to extend the limits of the Order.
Conductor, you will present these new members at the Altar for final assembly of the Council.
While the Conductor, preceded by the Staff, is performing this service, the entire Council will gather at the Altar, the Pres., V.-P., 2nd V.-P., Prel., and Conductor with candidates, in the center.
The Staff and members of the Council in an outside circle—with hands joined.
I congratulate you upon your near approach to our inner circle; the union of hands is a fit emblem of the union of hearts. You will now join hands in the circle and become one of us.
Here hand in hand, firm linked at last,
And heart to heart enfolded all,
We'll smile upon the trouble past,
And wonder why we feared at all.
Let the Council be supported.
Members will place their right hands on each other's shoulders.
Behold our Council! Its corner stones are Wisdom—
S. V.-P.:
And Fraternity.
Its pillars, these, our brothers and sisters, adorned by their many virtues. Who, beholding so noble a structure, can doubt its protecting power?
"Be as the Pillars of the globe for firmness; be as the arch of heaven for beauty."
I now declare out brothers and sisters entitled to full membership in The Security Benefit Association.
Conductor, you will now assemble our new members in front of the President's station, for introduction to members of the Order.
The Council, preceded by the Staff, will pass in front of and be introduced to the new members. The new members will then sign the Membership Roll at the desk of the Secretary, pay their assessments to the Financier, and sign and take up their certificates.
During this time the Captain will form the Staff and proceed with an exhibition drill.


Closing Ceremonies

Officers and members, we are about to close this meeting. I thank you for your presence and attention; let us now listen to the parting counsel.
* * *.
S. V.-P.:
Brothers and Sisters, let us not forget the principles enjoined upon us by our Order. As we go to our homes, let us take with us the lessons of Wisdom and Fraternity here taught, and practice that charity that suffereth long and is kind, hopeth all things, endureth all things.
We must now separate to mingle again in the pursuits of life, in our respective callings. Let us shun evil, practice gentleness and truth, and deal with integrity and fraternity with our brothers and sisters.
We will unite in singing our closing ode.

Closing Ode

Heavenly Father, give Thy blessing,
While we now this meeting end;
On our minds each truth impressing,
That may to Thy glory tend.
Save us from all selfish motives,
Keep us all in harmony;
May our lives reveal Thy teachings.
Wisdom, Grace and Charity.
Almighty God, we thank Thee for having permitted us to meet again and labor together in the great harvest field of Fraternity. Make us to take note of our fleeting hours, so that we shall apply ourselves more and more to lofty labors of love, while time and opportunity are ours: For the night cometh in which no man can work. Abide with us, guide us, and receive us at last. Amen.
All respond:
We now bid adieu to the peaceful scenes of our Council Chamber, to mingle again in the strife and competition of the outer world. Let us be patient under trial, firm under temptation, and ever zealous in the blessed work of Fraternity.
The Conductor will collect the rituals and odes.
I now declare … Council No. …, The Security Benefit Association, closed.