Independent Order of Odd Fellows Manchester Unity Friendly Society
Ritual for Conferring the Degree of Past Provincial Grand Master

 
1967


The following are the Ceremonies for use in Grand Lodge, particularly when assembled for the purpose of conferring the Degree of Past Provincial Grand Master.
The Ceremonies will also be used when the Degree is conferred in any authorised Lodge of P.P.G.M.s, subject to modification in the description of the Officers. For example, the Presiding Officer and his Deputy on those occasions will be addressed as "Most Worthy Master" and "Worthy Deputy Master," respectively.
Prior to the opening of Grand Lodge, members must be examined by the Guardian (who will be assisted as may be necessary) in the Password of the Degree. Candidates will only be admitted on production of the relative Certificate signed by the Secretary of the Order.
Candidates should, where possible, be placed behind the Chair of the G.S.

 
 
Opening
 
The Director of Ceremonies (from point of entry) will call the assembled members to order as follows:
Director of Ceremonies, *:
Sisters and Brothers, be upstanding to receive the Grand Master and Officers of Grand Lodge.
The Grand Master will take his seat after the processional entry, all other members will remain standing.
Grand Master, seated, *:
Officers, please take your respective situations. Guardian, tile the door.
Guardian:
Worthy Grand Master, the door is tiled.
Grand Master:
Officers and members. Please advance the Sign of the Purple Degree. Pause.
Each Officer, when rising to address the Presiding Officer, and when stating his duties, will give the Purple Degree Sign until the Lodge is opened in the Past Provincial Grand Master's Degree.
Grand Master:
Director of Ceremonies, examine every person in the Lodge, and if there be any of whom you have the least suspicion as not being entitled to be present, inform me thereof. Be particular in your examination.
Director of Ceremonies:
All correct. Worthy Grand Master.
Grand Master:
Please be seated. Pause.
Worthy Grand Secretary Grand Secretary rises, please read the Warrant issued for the holding of this Grand Lodge.
Grand Secretary reads Warrant.
Grand Master:
Worthy Immediate Past Grand Master Immediate Past Grand Master rises, what is your duty in the Lodge?
Immediate Past Grand Master:
To assist you, Worthy Grand Master, with my best counsel and advice in carrying out your duties during this meeting of Grand Lodge.
Grand Master:
Worthy Deputy Grand Master Deputy Grand Master rises, what is your duty in the Lodge?
Deputy Grand Master:
To act in conjunction with you, Worthy Grand Master, in restraining and suppressing disorder, to check anything improper and to keep a guard on the conduct of members during this meeting of Grand Lodge.
Grand Master:
Worthy Deputy Grand Master, examine your Supporters.
Deputy Grand Master:
Right Supporter Right Supporter rises, what is your duty?
Right Supporter, salutes Grand Master and faces Deputy Grand Master:
To officiate during your absence, when necessity or duty calls you out of the Lodge, and to assist you in the execution of the duties of your Office. Remains standing.
Deputy Grand Master:
Left Supporter Left Supporter rises, what is your duty?
Left Supporter, salutes Grand Master and faces Deputy Grand Master:
To act in conjunction with your Right Supporter and to officiate during his absence.
Deputy Grand Master:
My Officers are correct, Worthy Grand Master.
Deputy Grand Master and Supporters resume seats.
Grand Master:
Right Supporter Right Supporter rises and faces Grand Master, what is your duty?
Right Supporter:
To support you in keeping good order, to execute your commands and to see that all signs and tokens are given correctly remains standing.
Grand Master:
Left Supporter Left Supporter rises and faces Grand Master, what is your duty?
Left Supporter:
To act in conjunction with your Right Supporter and to officiate in his absence.
Supporters resume their seats.
Grand Master:
Director of Ceremonies Director of Ceremonies rises, what is your duty?
Director of Ceremonies:
To examine with care every person present before the Lodge is opened, to ascertain that the Lodge is in order and the Officers correctly robed, to place and replace the regalia in a careful manner and to report to you, Worthy Grand Master, any damage or loss that may occur.
Grand Master:
Guardian Guardian rises, what is your duty?
Guardian:
To receive the password or permission of the Grand Master, previous to admitting members, to guard the Lodge against intrusion, to prevent any person, other than a qualified member, listening to acquire a knowledge of what is going on in the Lodge and to act in conjunction with the Officers of the Lodge in the execution of your commands.
Grand Master:
Worthy Grand Secretary Grand Secretary rises, what is your duty?
Grand Secretary:
To enter every particular transaction or minute without prejudice and explain the same whenever required by you or a majority of the Lodge.
Grand Master:
Officers and Members: I hope and expect every Officer will do his duty and that members will be attentive to the business, harmony, or sentiment of the meeting, so that we may not be under the necessity of enforcing the restrictive rules or fines.
I shall feel it my duty to judge impartially of every transaction and trust you will act with prudence, zeal and integrity, as on these depend our pleasure and comfort, keeping in view the practice by which we hail and style each other as sisters and brothers, regarding ourselves as one family, whose actions are founded on pure principles, that we may be social, steady, consistent and humane.
Grand Master, rises:
Officers and Members, be upstanding. Pause: all rise. Assist my Right Supporter in opening the Grand Lodge.
Right Supporter
to Grand Master: In conformity with the Rules of our Society, it is now time that this Grand Lodge be opened for the purpose of spreading the principles of benevolence and charity, and for transacting any business that may occur, during which time we allow no discussion on matters of a political or religious character, or anything inconsistent with the Rules of the Order.
Grand Master:
I, therefore, declare this Grand Lodge duly opened. *.
Deputy Grand Master:
So it is. *.
Pause for Lights.
The Opening Ode.
All resume seats.
Grand Master:
Officers and Members, I shall proceed to Grand Lodge business; pay attention, and if you have anything to bring before me and the Grand Lodge, be as brief as possible. Supporters, I expect that you will strictly attend to your duties, that we may have no intrusion, delay or protraction.
Grand Master:
Worthy Assistant Grand Secretary Assistant Grand Secretary rises, I will thank you for the Minutes of the last Meeting of Grand Lodge.
Assistant Grand Secretary reads Minutes.
Pause for procedure of confirmation of Minutes.
Director of Ceremonies:
Officers and Members, be upstanding: Salute the Grand Master.
Members resume seats.
Grand Master:
Officers and Members, I shall now proceed to confer the Past Provincial Grand Master's Degree.
Guardian, rises:
I require from you an assurance that all present have received or are qualified to receive the Degree of a Past Provincial Grand Master.
Guardian:
Worthy Grand Master, I vouch that all present have received or are qualified to receive the Degree of a Past Provincial Grand Master.
Guardian resumes seat.
Grand Master, rises:
Sisters and Brothers, be upstanding. Pause. This Grand Lodge being duly constituted and legally convened in the name of Friendship, Love and Truth, I declare it open in the Degree of a Past Provincial Grand Master.
We are assembled on this occasion to renew our solemn vows and to receive into this Degree those who, by their zeal and diligence, have worthily earned our mutual esteem and association.
Please be seated.
The sign now to be used is that of the Past Provincial Grand Master's Degree.
Grand Master:
Worthy Grand Secretary Grand Secretary rises, do you vouch that all Certificates of the Candidates desiring to receive this Degree are in order and duly authorised.
Grand Secretary:
I vouch accordingly.
Grand Master, rises:
Candidates, be upstanding.
Pause.

Sisters and Brothers, the zeal and diligence you have displayed to promote the good and welfare of our great Order now permit you to participate in this Most Supreme Degree which Grand Lodge can confer.
The great demands that have necessarily been made upon your time and ability are in some measure rewarded by the proud position to which you have attained and the gratification you should feel with the result of your labours.
The Order has need of your continued assistance and it is to you who have faithfully served it in various capacities and bring a matured judgment as the result of long experience that we look to maintain our ancient Institution unimpaired.
It is a great privilege to confer upon you the highest Degree which Grand Lodge can bestow.
Associates, please be upstanding.
Director of Ceremonies:
Associates, to order.
Grand Master:
Candidates, please copy me.
Gives sign and describes it.

State your several names and repeat after me.
I, , hereby solemnly promise to maintain the honour of this Degree and at all times to promote faithfully the Unity of the Odd Fellowship wheresoever I may be. I further promise as an Associate of this Degree to strive to the best of my ability to remain true to the principles of our Order and never to fail in maintaining its integrity and good name.
May the Grand Master of the Universe assist me in my efforts. Amen.
Discontinue sign.
Candidates remain standing.

Associates, please be seated. Pause. The Deputy Grand Master will address you.
Deputy Grand Master, rises:
Candidates, you who have so closely entered into the spirit and purpose of Odd Fellowship need little reminding of our aims and objects or of the many Degrees and accompanying lectures which have marked your progress in the Order and so have qualified you to take this further step in Odd Fellowship.
Of all the Degrees and Lectures in which you have participated there is one which at this moment seems most appropriate to recall to your memory; the Charge you received and which, as a Provincial Grand Master, you gave, in the course of the Purple Degree.
You who are about to enter into this most honourable Degree be solemn and thoughtful remembering at this moment those sacred and holy things laid down in the unerring standard of Divine Truth and comprising your duty to God, your neighbour and yourself. May you and each one of us live as men and women conscious of the purpose for which the Supreme Being has created us.
May He give us wisdom to act aright in all our doings, strengthen and support us in all our difficulties and grant that we may agree together in brotherly love and charity. In all our dealings in this world may we do justice to all men, love, mercy, and walk humbly with our God.
Grand Master:
The Immediate Past Grand Master will address you.
Immediate Past Grand Master, rises:
Candidates, in the course of their lives in this world many men and women give their time, ability, counsel and often their means to attain an ideal. At your initiation you undertook to promote the prosperity of the Order and to foster its fraternal principles. In your association in the work of the Order you have learned to stretch out your hand to those in need, not only in genuine sympathy, but with practical help where that has been necessary. You have thus carried two burdens which is the basic reason for the password of this Degree.
In the fullness of time, Jacob, being conscious of his approaching end, called his sons together and addressed them jointly and severally regarding their characters, their strengths and their weaknesses; . . . he likened to a strong ass, couching down between two burdens, who saw that rest was good, and the land pleasant and so bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant unto tribute. Hence we have derived the password of this Degree which is .
Grand Master:
Sisters and Brothers, be seated. Pause.
1. The significance of the Password and the incident from which it is derived is of great importance in the conception of our Order was a man whom we should seek to emulate: modest, able and willing to labour, content with his lot and desirous of fulfilling his communal obligations.
2. Many of you have now reached the highest office in the Order to which you will be called. But do not think your work in Odd Fellowship has ceased. Indeed, if you have truly assimilated all that our lectures have intended to impart, you are but at the beginning of your usefulness. Like you have learned the virtue of honest labour and the pleasures of contentment, whilst retaining a sense of obligation to the Community.
3. It has been said that out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. This does not mean what a man professes but rather the things he does and in which he believes, often without conscious effort on his part. That which is unseen and is spiritual in man determines his outward and visible actions. Applying these thoughts to ourselves, we may ponder on the extent we have been influenced by the ritual, whether we are fully practising the virtues extolled in the lectures and if not, the extent of our failures.
4. It may be asked at this stage, do you regard the Order merely as a commercial organisation with charitable leanings, or as something more, namely, a Society that apart from its financial activities regards itself as responsible for the good and welfare of its members? On your answer to this question depends the attitude you will take in our counsels and your future work for the Order.
5. It may seem too much consideration has, in the past, been given to our financial stability, but time was when our benevolent efforts were in jeopardy and our forbears are to be congratulated for their anxiety and their efforts to achieve actuarial solvency, a state which it is our duty to maintain even though for the time being that phase of anxiety caused by possible financial instability has passed. With the passing of that anxiety another peril confronts us, because there has been left an aftermath of caution and possible source of selfishness. It is our duty, guided by the precepts of our ritual, to administer our funds wisely and well, not selfishly, foolishly or extravagantly.
6. Our Ritual presents the objective of our Order as a mysterious Temple, not built with hands but existing in the hearts and minds of Odd Fellows throughout centuries, to encourage mankind in their striving towards ideals of perfection and so prepare for that great divine event to which all creation moves.
7. Many associations exist with like purpose, and although they may vary in their expression yet we all move as one family towards the attainment of that grand ideal.
8. Even as our Order in its earliest days promoted benevolence as a natural sequence of the high principles it professed, so these other associations are fulfilling their part in a vast and beneficent effort towards the good and welfare of mankind.
9. In your District you are already regarded as a leader; it should be your ambition to become a leader in the wider sphere of the Order. Study our constitution, seek to discover how far our practice falls short of our professions and endeavour by word and deed to remedy any shortcomings you may discover.
10. Let it be your aim to foster good fellowship, to be helpful to your juniors and to reconcile differences. Bear in mind that the original aim of the Order was benevolence and how important it is that it should be practised by all who are actively engaged in Lodge and District. Encourage visitation of the sick to discover their needs and, if possible, provide for them. The aged among our brethren require our special attention.
Ascertain whether they lack companionship or are worried by financial difficulties or other problems. Endeavour to relieve them either personally or through the Order according to their several necessities.
Remember the widow and orphan that they may lack nothing which the Unity can provide.
Please be upstanding.
Director of Ceremonies:
Associates, to order.
Grand Master:
11. Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, even so do unto them. Whoso hath this world's goods and seeth his brother hath need and shutteth his compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him. While we have time, let us do good unto all men.
12. Finally, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
13. May God grant that the Spirit of infinite Goodness bless our efforts and preserve our beloved Order. Amen.
14. Please be seated. Pause.
At the discretion of the Grand Master, an appropriate address may be given here.
Grand Master:
Is there any further business requiring the attention of this Grand Lodge?
Deputy Grand Master, rises: It appears not, Worthy Grand Master.
Grand Master:
Please be upstanding. Pause.
Worthy Deputy Grand Master, please close the Lodge.
Deputy Grand Master:
By command of the Grand Master I hereby declare this Grand Lodge in the Past Provincial Grand Master's Degree duly closed until such time as he shall issue his Warrant of which notice will be duly given.
All:
And so it is.
Director of Ceremonies:
Officers and members, please be seated.
 
 
Closing
 
Grand Master, rises:
Officers and Members, I thank you for your attendance and hope and trust that we shall merit a continuance of your visits on the next occasion on which I shall issue my Warrant for the purpose.
Officers and Members, be upstanding. Pause.
Assist my Right Supporter in closing this Grand Lodge.
Right Supporter to Grand Master:
It is by the desire of the Grand Master that this Grand Lodge close now and be opened again when he shall issue his Warrant for the purpose, when we shall be happy to have the attendance of as many qualified Officers and Members as can make it convenient.
Grand Master:
I declare this Lodge closed until the aforesaid time. *.
Deputy Grand Master:
So it is. *.
Pause for Lights to be extinguished.

Parting Ode.


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