Great Southern Fraternal Union
Ritual of the First Degree of Adoption
Form of Opening
At the proper hour the G. M. or M. takes his or her seat and give£ one rap and says: We are about to open ... Court No … of the G. S. F. U. All persons who are not of this order will please retire.
G. M. to the G. M. A.: Please get the pass in the first degree and report to the G. Master or Mistress.
G. M. A.: I have visited all persons present and find them all in possession of the pass except those standing.
G. M. A. gives the names of those standing.
G. M.: Thank you. Are there any Sons or Daughters who can vouch for those without the pass word? If so, please stand and inform the G. M.
G. M. to the G. I. G.: You will give notice to the G. O. G. that we are about to open this the Court in … degree (name the degree.)
The G. I. G. gives the notice to the G. O. G. that the Sons and Daughters of the Great Southern Fraternal Union are about to open, and be on guard and do not permit any one until further notice.
The G. O. G. answers by one rap and says to G. M.: The Court is protected by Daughter or Son (giving his or her name) with full instructions.
G. M.: Thank you. Knowing that our Grand Court is well protected, let us put on our regalia and assit in opening the grand Court in the first degree. The members will all stand, with the G. M, in his or her station, and the following hymn is sung, lead by the Grand Chaplain:
Christian Soldiers we are marching to the Glory Land of song,
Though our path be dark and dreary; through, this world it won't be long.
We are marching on, we are marching on;
O praise the Lord, 'twill not be long,
We are marching on, we are marching on;
To the glory land of song.
Christian soldiers we are marching, though our path ways seemeth long,
We will triumph over Satan, who would ever lead us wrong.
Jesus ever keep and guide us, lest our feeble footsteps: stray,
He will be a strong Protector, and yill guide us all the way
When our earthly life is ended, and we come to death's dark tide,
He will guide us safely over in his presence to abide.
After the song is sung, the following prayer by the Grand Chaplain: O, God, the Protector of all who trust in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing wholly; increase our faith in thy mercy and grant that each of us may serve Thee out of a clean heart, and a clean conscience.
Make us better men and women. Grant this, o Heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, or Lord, Amen. Amen. Amen.
While the word Amen is spoken all members raise their right hand three times and repeat: Amen-Amen- Amen.
The G. M. says: Officers and members, please remain standing. Please notice; give the signs. If all the degrees are open, all the signs are given. The G. M. gives one rap and says: I declare this; the … Court No … is opened in the first degree in praise.
G. M. to G. I. G.: Please give notice to G. O. G. that the … Court No … is now opened in first degree.
The G. I. G. gives two raps at the door. The G. O. G. answers by one rap and opens the door and receives the instructions.
This ceremony must be gone through every time the door is opened.
The G. I. G. to the G. M.: Our Court is well protected by daughter or son … (giving their name.)
G. M.: We are prepared for work. We have assembled for the purpose of transacting such business as may legally come before this Court. I will thank you for your assistance.
First—Reading of Minutes of previous meeting.
Second—Calling the roll and collecting dues.
Third—Reports of committees, (except sick).
Fourth—Proposal of new members.
Sixth—If there are any candidates refer them to the proper committee.
Seventh—Report of sick committee.
First Degree of Adoption
The committee will please retire and prepare the candidate or candidates.
The committee haying prepared the candidates by blindfolding, conducts them into the Court, while the following hymn is sung:
Don't you want to go to that happy home on High,
Where the good shall meet, yes meet to part no more,
And shall live and reign far above the starry sky,
In that sunny cljme upon.the Golden Shore.
Don't you want to go? Don't you want to go,
While we plead and pray, make the start today;
Jesus bids you come to that happy home,
Don't you want to go, don't you want to go?
Think how many prayers have been offered up for you,
Often while you slept dear, mother's tears did flow;
Turn and seek salvation, O, to her love be true,
While your friends are waiting, don't you want to go?
Time is swiftly passing, and soon will close the gate,
Then your soul must sink in everlasting woe,
Give your heart to Jesus, for soon 'twill be too late,
Mother now is waiting, don't you want to go?
Could you stand in judgment if you should die today?
All that you have written you must face you know,'
Jesus now is pleading, He'll wash your sins away,
To that home in glory, don't you want to go?
As the singing is ended they stop in front of the G. M. He or she gives two raps. All the members stand.
G. M. reads the following: Matt. 9th chapter, 20-30th verse: And behold, a woman, which was diseased with an issue of blood twelve years, came behind him and touched the hem of his garment. For she said within herself, if 1 may but touch his garment, I shall be whole.
But Jesus turned him about, and when he saw her he said, daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith hath made thee whole. And the woman was made whole from that hour. And when Jesus came into the ruler's house and saw the minstrels and the people making a noise, he said unto them, give place: For the maid is not dead, but sleepeth. And they laughed him to scorn. But when the people were put forth, he went in, and took her by the hand, and the maid arose. And the fame hereof went abroad into all the land. And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying and saying, thou Son of David, have mercy on us. And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him; and Jesus said.unto them, believe ye that I am able to do this?
They said unto him, yea, Lord. Then touch he their eyes, saying, according to your faith be it unto you. And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straighily charged them, saying, see that no man know it.
The G. M. gives further instructions. As the members go around the hall they clap their hands together three times, until they arrive in front of the V. G. M.
The G. M. gives, one rap and all the members are seated except the G. M. and the candidate.
The V. G. M. then reads: Behold, what manner of love the Lord has bestowed upon us that we should be called the Sons and Daughters of Great Southern Fraternal Union. Therefore, the world knoweth us not because it knoweth him not. Beloved, now we are the Sons and Daughters of the Great Southern Fraternal Union, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be.
After the V. G. M.'s instructions, the G. M. says to the candidates: Before you can proceed, you must take a binding obligation such as all Sons and Daughters of the Great Southern Fraternal Union have heretofore taken.
Obligation to the Candidate
G. M.: You will please state your name and then repeat after me:
I, … (state name), in the fear of the Lord, and in the presence of these sons and daughters, do most earnestly promise that I will keep the secrets of the Sons and Daughters of the Great Southern Fraternal Union. I further promise that I will defend the good name of a Son or Daughter, either in their presence or absence. I further promise that I will obey the laws, rules and regulations of this Grand and Noble Order, or any other of which I may be a member.
This is the word that admits your solemn obligation.
I, before these Sons and Daughters, bind myself, under the dreadful penalty of having my right arm cut off should I willfully reveal any of the secret work given to me. May the wonder-working God help me to keep my oath. Amen! Amen! Amen! by all the members.
Presiding officers get in front of the candidates and have them to rise and repeat: With your own free will and accord you come into our midst to become a Son and Daughter of G. S. F. U. Now we admit you in our rank. Every member will link their little finger together as a link of chain and open their rank and receive the Candidate, and say, we admit you as one of us. We pray God that you will never break this link as long as you live. God help you to be governed by the laws.
At the Words Praise God; be true, the explosive shock all courts must get one is given and the hoodwink is dropped from the candidate's eyes.
The pass word is given. The sign is used as a grip in shaking hands. It can be given at any time when clasping hands with any person, and if the grip is returned you can test the giver by the word: "I am satisfied." The second says: "With the Great Southern Fraternal Union."
The G. M. then gives two raps and all the members form a circle and lay their hands over their hearts and say: Praise God! Praise God! Praise God! and then they clasp their hands together three times and say: Welcome, welcome, welcome. This makes a fullfledged member in the Sons and Daughters of G. S. F. U. in the first degree.
G. M.: Are you adopted in the Sons and Daughters of the G. S. F. U.?
Ans.: I have advanced to the Great Healer and ready against the second day.
G. M.: What invitation did you receive?
Ans.: Praise God! Praise God! Praise God!
G. M.: What answer did you give?
Ans.: I fell down at his feet and told the whole truth, the words of greeting from the Sons and Daughters of the G. S. F, U. We call it, I am satisfied.
G. M.: The words are right. Will you continue in the praise of God?
Ans.: Yes. I will receive the moral lessons of truth through the Great Revealer, the Son of God.
G. M.: Will you give me the test?
Ans.: I will, with your rassistance.
The grip is given. First is this: I am satisfied. The second will say with Great Southern Fraternal Union.
Distress Signs: A slap on the right elbow with the left hand, and a scratch on the left arm with the right hand in this manner.
The member that sees this sign answers by laying his right hand on their left shoulder.
You must go to the person giving this sign at the risk of your life. This sign, is only to be used in case of necessity.
Form of Opening