Royal Templars of Temperance
Ritual


1881


Opening Ceremonies

Seven members, five of whom must be Active members, being present, the S.C. takes the chair, and calls to order. *.
S.C.:
Officers and Members: I am about to open this Council for the despatch of business, and will thank you for your attention and assistance. Bro. Herald:
H.:
Select Councilor.
S.C.:
Your first duty in this Council?
H.:
To see the Council properly guarded.
S.C.:
You will station the Sentinel on duty, directing him to preserve order in our courts.
The Herald retires with the Sentinel, instructs him in his duties.
After entering, gives the signal, to which the Sentinel responds, when the Herald reports:
H.:
Select Councilor:
S.C.:
Bro. Herald.
H.:
That duty is performed.
S.C.:
Your next duty in this Council?
H.:
To see that all present are qualified to remain.
S.C.:
You will attend to that duty.
The Herald commences at the right and the Deputy Herald at the left of the Select Councilor and examines those present in password, grip and token. Should visitors fail to prove themselves Royal Templars, they will retire to the court, and await examination by a committee. Members reported without the token will square their account at, the Treasurerís desk and obtain it from the S.C. The Herald and Deputy Herald will meet in front of the Vice-Councilorís chair, and together they will approach the altar and the Herald will report:
H.:
Select Councilor.
S.C.:
Bro. Herald.
H.:
All present are Royal Templars.
S.C.:
It is well. We will now be clothed with regalia, and the officers will assume their respective positions. After which: Are the officers on duty?
The Herald reports the absent officers (if any), commencing with the highest, and when all are filled, reports.
H.:
They are Select Councilor.
S.C.:
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 the rules of order enforced, and to do all in my power to advance the interests of this Council and the cause of Temperance, 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 pervade our discussions, and let it be remembered that in union alone there is strength.
* * *.
S.C.:
Please sing our Opening Ode
This day let songs of joy arise
Throughout our favored land,
From all the trite and honest hearts
That loam our noble hand.
 
Our banners are unfurled to-day,
Our motto all my see―

Hope, Love and Truth ale now combined
With Faith and Charity.
S.C.:
You will now give attention to the services of our Chaplain.


Opening Prayer

Chap.:
Our Heavenly Father, we humbly implore Thy favor to rest upon the deliberations of this meeting. We are conscious of our many imperfections, and that all the good we do, and the evil we overcome, can alone be effected through the aid of Thy Almighty Power.
Help us to be the instruments of Righteousness and Truth, and grant that the cause of Temperance and the interests of suffering humanity may be advanced in our land. Bless the unfortunate; have mercy upon the erring; turn the hearts of evil-doers, and make us all more sensible of our dependence upon Thee. Be with us in all the duties of life, and prosper us in all righteous undertakings; hasten the day when the fatal scourge of Intemperance shall be driven from the land, and when we are done serving Thy righteous will on earth, may we be received into that temple not made with bands, eternal in the heavens. We ask it in the name of Thy dear Son. Amen.
S.C.:
Officers and members: You will come to order as Royal Templars. Attend the signs.
Vice-Councilor:
V.C.:
Select Councilor.
S.C.:
Are you a Royal Templar?
V.C.:
I am.
S.C.:
How do you prove yourself?
V.C.:
By salutations salutes, members follow and signs of distress give the distress sign, members give the same in concert.
S.C.:
And by proper signals gives the signal, which is responded to by V.C., Guard and Sent.
Herald, you will attend at the altar.
The Herald advances to the altar, opens and arranges the Bible, salutes and retires to his place.

I now declare this Council open for the transaction of business.
*.

The Guard will please notify the Sentinel.
The Guard gives the proper signal, and informs the Sentinel that time Council is open, requesting any who may be in waiting to enter.

 

Rite of Initiation


S.C.:
Bro. Herald:
H.:
Select Councilor.
S.C.:
You will repair to the court accompanied by the Financial Secretary and Deputy Herald, when, if the questions are properly answered, the Financial Secretary will collect the fee and report.
The Herald, Financial Secretary and Deputy Herald retire.

 

In the Court

H. to candidate:
Do you believe in the existence and power of a Supreme Being?
Can.:
I do
H.:
Do you come to us uninfluenced by improper motives, having formed a favorable opinion of the objects of this Order?
Can.:
I do.
H.:
You will be required to sign a Pledge of Total Abstinence, and to obligate yourself to labor for the promotion of the cause of Temperance. Are you willing to do so?
Can.:
I am.
H.:
It is with pleasure that we receive this acknowledgment of your sincerity. Our Council, believing your petition was presented in good faith, have elected you to membership among us. This you will esteem a great favor. As a further token of your sincerity, the Financial Secretary will receive your initiation fee.
The fee paid, the Financial Secretary and Herald re-enter the Council leaving the candidates in charge of the Deputy Herald, who will advance with them to the door and there await further orders. The Herald stops just within the inner door. The Financial Secretary advances to the altar, and, under the proper sign, reports:
Fin. Sec.:
Select Councilor:
S.C.:
Financial Secretary.
Fin. Sec.:
The fees are paid.
The Herald at the inner door reports.
H.:
Select Councilor:
S.C.:
Bro Herald.
H.:
All things are now ready.
S.C.:
Let silence reign in our Council.
Gives one sharp rap with his gavel: *.
D.H., in court, hearing the gavel, says:
Follow me and fear no evil.
The Deputy Herald gives one loud rap on the outside of the inner door, which is answered by the Herald in like manner.
H.:
Select Councilor:
S.C.:
Bro. Herald.
H.:
There is an alarm at the door.
S.C.:
Who dares intrude?
H.:
I will ascertain and report.
The Herald opens wide the door and asks:
H.:
Who seeks admission to our Council of Temperance?
D.H.:
Friends, who desire to be admitted in due and regular form.
H.:
By what right do they expect these favors?
D.H.:
By having complied with our established usages.
H.:
Have they passed a careful medical examination?
D.H.:
They have.
H.:
Do they come well recommended?
D.H.:
They do.
H.:
Are they willing to take at our altar, vows of Total Abstinence from all that can intoxicate?
D.H.:
They are.
H.:
In whom is their trust?
D.H.:
In God
H.:
Such being the case, they will wait until the Select Councilor has been informed of their request.
The Herald closes the door, advances to the altar, salutes and reports.
H.:
Select Councilor:
S.C.:
Bro. Herald.
H.:
There are friends without, who, having regularly presented their petitions, been balloted for and elected to membership in this Council, now desire to be admitted in due and regular form.
S.C.:
By what right do they expect these favors?
H.:
By having complied with our established usages, being tried and true, and willing to take at our altar vows of Total Abstinence.
S.C.:
In whom is their trust?
H.:
In God, who is the Supreme Ruler of all things.
S.C.:
Bid them come.
The Herald retires to the inner door which he opens, and says:
H.:
Come to our Temple of Safety.
After they have entered the room the Select Councilor calls up the Council.
The Herald, with the Candidates, followed by the Deputy Herald, march once slowly around the room, always keeping the altar to the left hand, and marching well up and turning the corners square. While passing around the following will be repeated.
Chap.:
"Who hath woe? who hath sorrow who hath contentions? who hath babbling? who hath wounds without cause? who hath redness of eyes?"
Members respond:
"They that tarry long at the wine; they that go to seek mixed wine."
Chap.:
"Wine is a mocker; strong drink is raging; and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise."
Members respond:
"Ye shall drink no wine, neither ye nor your sons, forever."
The Herald is to take the same time in going around the room as is occupied in the foregoing exercises, and when he reaches the proper position in front of the Vice-Councilor, facing the altar, a sharp blow from the gavel brings them to a halt, and at the same time seats the members. *.
S.C.:
My friends, it is with pleasure that we welcome you among us, but before we can proceed with your initiation it becomes my duty to inform you of the nature of the work we expect you to do. You are now upon the thresh old of this Loyal Temple of Temperance; you have come to its well recommended. It will henceforth become your duty to lift up the fallen, strengthen the weak, encourage the desponding, visit the sick and afflicted, especially those who are the victims of intemperance. To save and reform the wicked and the outcast, is a nobler object than to hate, despise or punish them. You will be required to labor for the advancement of the cause of Temperance, morally, socially and religiously, as far as lies in your power. Therefore, if you have been induced from mere idle curiosity to present your names here, be at once undeceived. We have no idlers here; all these you see around you are earliest workers, each performing their respective duties, with a view to the welfare and perpetuity of this Council and the cause of Temperance. Do you desire to aid us in this noble work?
Can.:
I do.
S.C.:
Herald, present our friends to the Vice-Councilor for further instructions.
Herald and candidates proceed to the Vice-Councilorís chair.
H.:
Vice-Councilor, I present to you our friends, who are desirous of learning more of the principles of our Order.
V.C.:
My friends, you have heretofore signified your willingness to sign our pledge of Total Abstinence. It now becomes my duty to repeat to you that pledge, so that you may not be ignorant of its requirements.
"I promise I will not make, buy, sell, use or give to others, as a beverage, any spirituous, fermented or distilled liquors, wines or cider; nor frequent places where such liquors are kept for sale; but will discountenance their manufacture, use and sale in the community, in all proper and lawful ways."
Are you willing to sign this pledge?
Can.:
I am.
V.C.:
Then, in the presence of the members of this Order here assembled, you solemnly assume the foregoing Pledge, in witness thereof you affix your name to this book.
Presents the candidates with a book containing the Pledge; while signing, the following Ode to be sung:

Weíll neither boy, nor take, nor give
The drunkards drink at all
We will not keep it where we live,
In cottage or in hall.
We will not make a single drop
Of Cider, Wine or Ale;
But break the drinking customs up
Where eíer our powers prevail.
You have now signed our pledge; but before you can enter into full membership with us it will be necessary for you to take upon yourselves a solemn and binding obligation to remain true to the principles and teachings of this Order, one which we have all taken, and of which no one need feel ashamed. This obligation is founded in right; it is as permanent as your intelligence, and its claims run parallel with your whole being. If you are true to your integrity, faithful to your conscience, and not regardless of your honor, this obligation will abide with you during your mortal career, and be cherished by you as a sacred promise, dear as your character itself. Are you willing to assume this obligation?
Can.:
I am.
Should any refuse they must leave the room as their initiation could not be proceeded with.
V.C.:
Herald, conduct our friends to the altar for obligation.
Herald conducts the candidates once slowly around the mom, stopping below the altar, facing the S. C.
* * *.
The V.C. takes his position just behind the candidates; the P.C. and Chap, take positions at the side of the altar nearest their stations in the Council, the members form in straight lines on each side and across the lower end of the Hall, thus forming an open hollow square; all members (unless previously excused) MUST take their place in the line; when thus formed the Herald and Deputy will leave their positions by the side of the candidates, and march to the platform of the Select Councilor face about, the S.C. will leave his station, and take position between the herald and Deputy, when they will march to the altar, after which sing the following ode:

God of mercy, be Thou near
While the vows are spoken here;
Shield, protect and safely guide
From temptations that betide;
Man may strive, but Thou alone
Must the final conquest crown.
S.C.:
You will assume this attitude and assent to the obligation of a Royal Templar.
Members assume the same attitude. The Herald and Deputy cross their staff over the Select Councilorís head.

 

Obligation

You, of your own free will and accord, in the presence of these witnesses, do solemnly promise that you will NEVER reveal any of the private work, ceremonies or business of this Council to any person not entitled to know the same; that you will not communicate any password, test, sign, signal, grip or token to any person except to be in the discharge of your official duties, within the body of a legally constituted Council; that you will abide by the Constitution, By-laws, Rules and usages of this Council and those of the Grand and Supreme Councils. You also promise that should any books, papers or other property belonging to this Council be placed in your hands, you will keep, preserve and protect the same, delivering them up when legally called upon so to do. You also promise that you will not knowingly present the petition of an improper person for membership in this Council; that you will not wrong a member, or see one wronged, if in your power to prevent it: that you will assist any worthy member who is sick or in distress; that you will use your moral, social and religious influence for the promotion of the cause of Temperance, the suppression of the rum traffic and the elevation of our race, and that you will not cease to labor (God giving you strength) while life shall last, or until the demon of intemperance is driven from our land. To all of which you each pledge your sacred honors. If so, answer, "I do thus promise."
Can.:
I do thus promise.
Members:
We bear witness.
S.C.:
Let us all kneel, while the Chaplain implores the Divine favor to rest upon us.


Initiatory Prayer

Almighty God, King and Ruler of the Universe, to whom all hearts are open, and from whom no secrets are hid, bless, we beseech Thee, the promises that have just been rendered in Thy presence. Grant that these our friends may be filled with Thy Divine Spirit, that they may have Grace to perform all those things which may be acceptable in Thy sight, and to avoid all those errors that may be displeasing to Thee. Teach us all to reverence Thy will and to place our dependence on Thee. Bless us in the addition which has been made to our Council this night, and may we all become living stones, fitted for Thy great temple in Heaven; assist ns to be useful while we live, and finally receive us into Thy Holy Kingdom; which favors we ask for the sake of Thy dear Son. Amen.
S.C.:
My friend: This solemn form of initiation is designed to impress your mind with the importance of the great work in which we are engaged. These ceremonies are not wholly meaningless. You were at first required to acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being, which had you denied, you never could have gained admission to a Council of this Order. You were then required to contribute to the general fund, which is necessary for the support of the Council and for carrying on this work. You were then admitted to the Council Chamber, where, after listening to an appropriate lecture, you signed our Pledge of Total Abstinence. Had you desired to have withdrawn at that stage of your initiation, you could have done so; we should have interposed no hinderance; you would then have been pledged to total abstinence ; but you desired to advance still further, and voluntarily assumed the solemn and binding obligations of a Royal Templar of Temperance. It now becomes a duty as well as a pleasure for me to further instruct you in the principles of this Order. We have signals, pass-words, tokens, signs and words of distress, and a sacred word, which I will now give. Here gives a complete exemplification of the unwritten work. These sighs and words you will become familiar with, in your attendance upon the meetings of this Council. Use them prudently, for they are safeguards against intrusion and imposition.
The Select Councilor is escorted to his station by the Herald and Deputy, who then return and resume their positions by the side of the candidates, after which the Select Councilor seats the members.
S.C.:
You will now accompany the Herald, and prove yourselves Royal Templars.
The Herald, Deputy Herald and candidates pass around to the chair of the Chaplain.
Chap.:
Who approaches?
H.:
Friends.
Chap.:
How shall I know them to be such?
H.:
By the signal and the word.
Chap.:
Give me the signal. Herald and candidates give it. Give me the word. Herald and candidates give it. Welcome, Takes candidate by the hand thrice welcome, on your way. You have proved yourselves thus far. Allow me to congratulate you on your advancement. The official emblem of this office is the Bible. It should remind you of one of the cardinal principles of all good institutions, a foundation stone in this "Royal Temple," namely, Truth. Truth is a Divine attribute; to be good and true is one of the lessons taught in this Council. Therefore be ye true to this cause of your espousal. Remember that the all-seeing eye of God is ever upon us, and that he will reward our efforts to advance this noble work. Pass on.
Herald and candidates advance to the V.C.ís chair, who examines them in the working and distress signs.
V.C.:
Who passes?
H.:
Our new made members.
V.C.:
How shall I know them to be such?
H.:
By working and distress signs.
V.C.:
Give me the sign. Herald and candidate give it. Give me the distress sign. Herald and candidate give it. You have proved yourselves worthy of our confidence. The official emblem of this office is the Anchor, significant of Hope. Total Abstinence is the rock we have placed in the great sea of intemperance, and upon this rock are founded our hopes. Let us there firmly place ourselves, our families, our common brotherhood; and though the rains descend and the floods come, it will, with the blessings of God, remain immovable and unshaken. Pass on.
Herald and candidate proceed to the P.C.ís chair.
P.C.:
Halt! Whither goest thou?
H.:
To our Royal Temple of Temperance.
P.C.:
Are you a Royal Templar of Temperance Continues the examination. You have thus far proved yourselves Royal Templars, but one test further is required to satisfy me. Have you the grip ?
H.:
They have it not, but the Select Councilor has it for them.
P.C.:
Let me remind you of that free, open handed charity which should distinguish you from the rest of mankind. Love to God is the great lesson taught by this Order; it should be first in our thoughts, and supreme in all our actions; and next to this, love to our neighbor should engage our most earnest attention. Remember that God is love, and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him. Therefore love ye one another, for love is the fulfilling of the law. You will now accompany our Herald to the desk of the Secretary, sign our Constitution, and from thence to the Select Councilor for the closing lecture.
While the Constitution is being signed sing the following ode:

Now bound by Honorís sacred laws,
Oh, shrink not from thy chosen part,
Keep pure and undefiled the cause
Forever nearest to thy heart.
 
Heed not the shafts of error cast
The foul or hissing bolts of scorn;
For with the right shall dwelt at last
The victory of endurance born.
H.:
Select Councilor.
S.C.:
Bro. Herald.
H.:
Our friends having complied with all that our laws demand, having passed a careful examination by the proper officers, now come to you for the closing lecture.
S.C.:
My friends. You have now entered upon a great and important work. Let me remind you of the three great duties of life, which you are strictly to observe and inculcate: your duty to God, your neighbor and yourself. To God by never mentioning His name but with reverential awe, imploring His aid in all laudible undertakings, and esteeming His favor as your chief good. Ever remember that obedience to His laws is of first and paramount importance. The duty you owe to God is imperative, and must be performed. Your duty to your neighbor requires you to observe the "Royal Law," "Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Upon this law was erected and now securely tests this Royal Temple of Temperance. Ever have before you the example of the Good Samaritan, who forgot not his brother by the way-side, but who had compassion upon his sufferings and alleviated his distresses. Your sympathies should not be confined to the relief of individual cases of want and misery, but should be touched whenever and wherever the wail of sorrow is heard; where humanity suffers or death claims a victim, be it yours to comfort and help. The duty you owe to yourself is just as imperative; you must avoid the company of those who are intemperate, vicious or immoral, and take care of the body for it is the casket of the soul. The color which you are entitled to wear in this Council is white―emblem of purity―and its language is faith in God, who is the fountain of all truth, and who from the realms of light will smile upon our labors, arid crown our efforts with success Clothes the candidate with regalia. Wherever this color meets the eye, be reminded of your vows, and remember all your covenants and responsibilities.
I present you a copy of our Constitution, which you are to study carefully so as not to be ignorant of its requirements. I now welcome you to full membership in Ö Council, No. Ö, with the true fraternal grip of a Royal Templar. Gives the quarterly token. Let your daily work be a daily sacrament, and life itself a psalm of gratitude and a prayer of aspiration.
* * *.
Candidates face the Council.

Brothers and Sisters: You will extend to these new associates your fellowship and regard. Unite with them in advancing the cause of Temperance, in enlarging the sphere of human charity, and in a firm and implicit reliance upon infinite power and infinite mercy. You now have the liberty of the floor.
The members march around the room each shaking hands with the new made member.

 

Closing Ceremonies

S.C.:
Vice-Councilor: The hour for adjournment has arrived. The members will listen to your parting advice.
* * *.
V.C.:
Officers and members: We are again to mingle in the pursuits and temptations of life. Amid its perplexities and trials, forget not the duties you have heard so frequently and forcibly recommended in this Council. Around this altar have been recommended our sacred promises to abstain from the use of all that can intoxicate, anti to prevent by all just means in our power, the growth of intemperance. Remember your obligations; be diligent in your respective callings, consistent in all your dealings, and exhibit by your faithfulness and integrity that the labors of our Council have not been in vain.
S.C.:
Please sing our closing ode.
Now we must close out labors here,
Though sad it is to part,
May Hope, and Love, and Truth sincere
Unite each memberís heart.
Now to our homes weíll haste away,
Each filled with peace and light,
Amid may our hearts in kindness say,
Dear friends a kind good night.
S.C.:
You will give attention to the closing prayer by our Chaplain.


Closing Prayer

Chap.:
Gracious and most merciful God, we thank Thee for the privilege of the present meeting. and for whatever good we may have been enabled to accomplish. Assist us with Thy holy Spirit; impart to our feebleness strength, to our counsels wisdom, and to our efforts patience and for bearance. Bless our Order and every instrumentality whereby men are made better and Thy kingdom extended. As we are now about to separate go with and guide us. Receive us at last, and to Thy Name will we ascribe the glory. Amen.
S.C.: Come to order as Royal Templars; attend the signs after which the closing signals are given same as at opening.
S.C.:
Herald, you will attend at the altar.
The Herald closes the Bible on the altar and resumes his proper place.
S.C.:
I now declare this Council closed until our next regular meeting, unless sooner convened for the transaction of important business, in which case all members will receive due and timely notice.


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