Daughters of Isabella
Initiation Ritual

n.d.


Instructions
 
The Charter must be in the room during all meetings. Black dots in Ceremonial indicate the number of raps of gavel. All floor work is conducted with music. The use of the gavel is as follows:
1 rap calls the Circle to order, seats all, follows the announcement of each vote and closes each order of business.
2 raps, all officers arise.
3 raps, all members arise.
4 raps, all kneel in prayer.
Tardy members cannot enter the Circle during the opening exercises, reading of minutes or balloting for candidates.
I.G. and O.G. should be well instructed in the duties of their respective stations.

 
 
Initiation
 
When there is to be Initiation, each degree Officer shall take her respective station.
REGENT:
Sisters, are you ready for your work, and if so, what is the chief duty impending?
CUSTODIAN: I have the pleasure of announcing that desirable candidates, who have been duly examined under our rules and laws, ask to enter our ranks, and are now awaiting your pleasure.
I ask that they be permitted to enter under proper escort.
REGENT: My answer is that the candidates be at once prepared for entry, and if they are satisfactory that full rights of membership be granted.
REGENT: Sister Officers, retire, don your robes and prepare for this noble work.
Deputy or Past Regent then takes Regent's chair and Officers and Guard retire. Officers enter, carry lighted candles and form cross.
When Financial Secretary and Recording Secretary have collected the fee, the Monitor knocks on the inner door and announces to the Inside Guard that the candidates are about to enter.
INSIDE GUARD: Worthy Regent, the Monitor and candidates seek admission.
REGENT: Let them enter.
(Preceded by Choir.)
The Initiation Ode follows:

 
Initiation Ode
 
(AIR-Home, Sweet Home)
A stranger approaches who seeketh the light,
That in love and in friendship dispelleth the night,
Making life more delightful, the heart more sincere,
With kindliest wishes, we welcome you here.
May each lesson we teach find a home in your breast,
And its beauty and truth on your mind be impressed.
The order of march from ante-chamber is as follows: Choir, Monitor, Banner Bearer, First Guide, Candidates, and Second Guide. They pass in front of Vice Regent's station and in a straight line up to Financial Secretary's station, then in a circular line until back to Chancellor's station, where they form in a semi-circle and remain.
 
Instructions
 
Regent may appoint degree officers for Unity, Friendship, Charity and Sanctity from readers or elocutionists who are members of Circle, if necessary.
 
First Degree
Entrance to Chancellor
 
(AIR-Home, Sweet Home)
A stranger approaches who seeketh the light
That in love and in friendship dispelleth the night,
Making life more delightful, the heart more sincere,
With kindliest wishes, we welcome you here.
REGENT: Candidates, you are on the threshold of entering an association of Catholics who know but one faith and one Church, and to that Church we look for our spiritual consolation. Should you fail to comply with the requirements thereof, you will likewise cease to be a member of this Order.
REGENT: Chancellor, we await your wisdom.
CHANCELLOR: My nominated sisters, it is my pleasant duty to explain to you the purposes of our Society, and to declare its principles. We are banded together in a good and sacred cause. The moral and mutual uplifting of our co-religionists by good deeds and example. To love our God, and after Him, our neighbors as ourselves; to protect the weak and to curb the strong. Through Charity the heart is touched and won; through Unity its power for good is multiplied a thousand fold. Charity is so grand as to be beyond comparison.
Unity is defined as when many persons are of one mind and one determination in carrying out some noble work in the course of human progress. Friendship is one of the highest attributes of humanity, a jewel of unmeasured worth in which only the true of heart can share: its grandeur grows more beautiful as time tries it in the crucible of life. We, as a body, are striving to extend it in all its beauty and perfection.
These words constitute our motto: UNITY, CHARITY AND FRIENDSHIP. Our rules are just and are directed in the interests of faith, hope and truth, and must be remembered at all times and under all circumstances.
Your duty is not done when you hand a pittance to a shivering child of man: a broader field is open at all times. Solo. Sickness and sorrow summon the soft voice and tender hand of true womanhood, when the voice of duty calls our answer, 'We are here.' I trust the promises to be made by you will be faithfully kept.
Monitor and Guides, conduct the Candidates to our Worthy Custodian.
Monitor leads, then Banner Bearer, First Guide, Candidates and followed by Second Guide, pass to Custodian, marching in a circular line and standing in a semi-circle in front of Custodian's station.
CHANCELLOR to CUSTODIAN
CHOIR
(AIR-The Vacant Chair)
May the motto of our Order
Keep you true through every strife,
May our Chancellor's words be with you,
Charity ruling your life.
Thus prepared approach Custodian,
She stands waiting with the key,
And the bracelet of our Order
To share all its joys with thee.
Isabella, Queen most gracious,
We will strive to ever be
Worthy daughters, firm united,
In friendship and charity.
MONITOR: Sister in loyal companionship, I have the pleasure of presenting to you these candidates, and I most cordially recommend them to your kind consideration as practiced and approved by our code.
CUSTODIAN: My dear friends and prospective sisters, in my official capacity, as the custodian of the key which unlocks the first portal to our ranks, and our affectionate embraces, I stand and guard with zealous care and solicitude, its every honor. It is, therefore, my duty to submit to you five questions:
Q.: Are you a practical, obedient member of our Holy Church? Answer.
A.: Yes.
Q.: Do you promise to so continue?
A.: Yes.
Q.: Do you solemnly promise on your honor that the things revealed to you this day shall be sacred communication, intended only for those found upon due and thorough investigation worthy of the same, except to your confessor?
A.: I do so promise.
Q.: Do you make this promise without other reservation than the one stated?
A.: I do.
Q.: Do you promise to be loyal to the Daughters of Isabella?
A.: I do.
Your answers are the passports to our hearts, and in the name of our organization I now welcome you to our ranks.
Custodian then steps down from her station and requests candidates to extend right hands with open palm.
Custodian then clasps Jewel on arm of candidate.
CUSTODIAN:
In token of the generous deeds of Spain's once glorious Queen, who freely gave in friendship's name her fortune, yea, and offered up her crown, to aid the son of Italy, do I as freely share with you this jewel of our Order and in the full belief and fervent hope our compact made this day may be as binding as this gem is bright. With joy I send you onward to the one who will confirm our union.
Here Monitor leading, then Banner Bearer, First Guide, Candidates and Second Guide, pass in a circular line and stand in front of Vice Regent's station in a semi-circle.
CUSTODIAN to VICE REGENT
CHOIR

(Air-Santa Lucia)
Sisters, now lead them on
To our Vice Regent's throne,
For their fidelity
Is now to us shown.
Gladly we welcome thee,
Faithful sisters to be,
National Circle Daughters of Isabella.
CUSTODIAN: Vice Regent, with due respect and in all sincerity, I now entrust these deserving candidates to your tender care and guidance.
VICE REGENT: Do you promise me, and through me this sisterhood, that you hold yourself in honor bound to regard with due respect the teachings and will uphold the honor and principles of our Order?
A.: I do.
VICE REGENT: In consideration of your promise, I grant you the right to pass the last barrier that separates you from full membership in our sisterhood. I will now give you the Permanent Password.
V.R. gives permanent password (secretly).
VICE REGENT:
The Monitor will lead you to our Worthy Regent.
Monitor, Banner Bearer, First Guide, Candidates and Second Guide march around the chamber and go to Regent's station.
(AIR-Home, Sweet Home)

There is honor and friendship awaiting you there,
Where the Regent most worthy her wisdom will share,
While the mystic unfolding may dazzle your view,
The prize is most precious we grant it to you.
Then welcome again to our Circle are you
Since we find you so eager our path to pursue.
In the cause of our Order its aims and its end,
We welcome you here as a sister, a friend.
REGENT: In the sunny land of Spain there dwelt a glorious Queen, beloved by all and honored everywhere for her many and shining virtues. We take her for our model. Her goodness of heart, her splendid mental poise and her mighty sacrifices stand forth to-day as bright and beautiful as on that day when she laid aside the pomp and glitter of a golden throne to listen to, and aid the patient Genoese; and, by the magic of her queenly name, three ships were sailed ; the sea was crossed; this land was found and you and I are free. And every true daughter of Isabella will breathe a heartfelt prayer for her departed soul. Eternal rest unto her, O Lord.
MEMBERS: And let perpetual light shine upon her. Amen.
Solo.
REGENT:
The mission of this society is to enumerate the worth and preserve the memory of this brilliant woman, Isabella of Castile. To be a noble woman is the highest human excellence. To this, by worthy deeds do we aspire, and, as a body, are seeking to accomplish.  Many defects and many obstacles will impede and obstruct our way, yet we will win the goal. To gain this end we must have a sublime faith and render dutiful obedience thereto.
We must love our neighbor as ourselves and with TRUTH, HONOR, MERCY, JUSTICE and CHARITY, we hope to establish that harmony and beauty of life that makes the world the better for our being. We ask your aid and in return we pledge our own.
 'Glad be thy heart, and happiness thy lot,
All wrongs forgiven and all faults forgot.
Our Circle wide with open arms extend
Its welcome and its shelter to thee, Friend.'
The Worthy Monitor and Guides will now conduct the candidates to the ante-chamber to prepare for the Second Degree.

 
Second Degree
CHARITY
 
Lead, Kindly Light, amid th' encircling gloom, lead Thou me on.
The night is dark and I am far from home, lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene, one step enough for me.
I was not ever thus nor prayed that Thou shouldst lead me on.
I loved to chose and see my path, but now, lead Thou me on.
I loved the garish day and spite of fears,
Pride ruled my will. Remember not past years.
The order of march from ante-chamber is as follows: Choir, Monitor, Banner Bearer, First Guide, Candidates and Second Guide. They pass in front of Vice Regent's station and in a straight line up to Financial Secretary's station, then in a circular line until back to Chancellor's station, where they form in a semi-circle and remain.
CHANCELLOR:
Candidates, you have come hither inspired by the desire to do good. Learn then that friendship cannot exist or unity survive unless the soul of charity lives within both. The law of charity requires that we should take an equal interest in our neighbor, and especially in our sisters of this Order.
We should be practical observers of the Golden Rule, and 'do unto others what we would have them do unto us'. 'Charity is patient, is kind.' 'It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.' The practice of charity stamps one as possessed of the essence of true Christianity, therefore let the best attribute and aspirations of your nature always be in evidence, especially among the poor and lowly.
Do all in your power to lighten the burdens of those whose path through life is strewn with sorrow and affliction. Respect the aged, protect the young from the evil influences that on every hand beset their paths. Remember that charity does not consist alone in almsgiving, but the greatest charity sometimes is shown in bridling the tongue.
The dropping of an evil word at an opportune time has often brought sorrow to a household, made hearts bleed, and not infrequently blasted what otherwise promised a brilliant future. We can scarcely enjoy a sweeter satisfaction than that which results from a good deed generously performed, or a kind word unselfishly spoken.
Everything that we can do by word or by act to promote one another's welfare should be gladly performed, and then we shall be assisting one another individually and collectively. We shall not only be sowers, but also reapers of a rich harvest.
Monitor will now conduct you to the Custodian.
 
FRIENDSHIP
 
CUSTODIAN: Dear friends, you have heard the eloquent charge of our worthy Chancellor, in which she has reminded you that life means the opportunity to do good. The highest good is to create and foster friendship, especially among the sisters of this Order. We can and should be mutually beneficial to one another.
'Partaking not of selfish aims, withholding not
The word that strengthens and the hand that helps;
Who waits and sympathizes w1th the pettiest life,
And loves all things, and reaches up to God
With thanks and blessings-she alone is living.'
Christ taught us friendship when He said: 'You must love one another, as I have loved you.'
Friendship must be something more than a mere profession of lips, and an exterior manifestation of kindness; it must take root in the heart.
If within your hearts abides ill feeling to anyone, especially to a member of this Order, resolve that henceforth you will banish from your mind all ill feeling that you may have at any time entertained against any of its members, because the aim of all is to help and assist; because the success of one is sweet pleasure to all.
May your entry into this Order mark a new era in your life and may your future be attended and surrounded by joy and contentment.
Monitor leads candidates to Vice Regent
(Air-Harp That Once, Etc.)

Ring out the welcome news to all
A haven's near at hand
And fellow man will kindly call
Us to the smiling land.
And as we clasp each other's hand
In love, in unity,
We keep in sight the shining light
Of God-like Charity.
 
UNITY
 
VICE REGENT: You have listened to the beautiful words on Charity delivered by the worthy Chancellor, and Friendship by the Custodian, and you have no doubt been favorably impressed by the dignity of the same. Let this lesson be foremost in your minds on all occasions when you are furthering our cause of fraternity.
I will now point out to you the necessity of practicing Unity. Our aim is one-that of furthering the cause of Christian Catholic womanhood.
I stand before you as one of you. We are sisters. Our interests lie along the same lines when we are gathered together under the banner of sisterhood, with the emblem of our great Order before us, and realizing that we are not alone in upholding the high ideals which we hear proclaimed. The love which binds us together must not be severed by trivial personalities. For in united effort only can we hope to accomplish what may seem to be impossibilities. In my hand you will behold a single strip of elm, susceptible to the strength of my fingers and easily broken because of its lack of support. Too weak to resist breaking efforts. And now you behold several strips closely and firmly bound together, united as one bundle, and because of that Unity they are not easily broken. They resist every temptation. Such is the powerful influence of our Order. The strength, the influence, the character which belong to it are enjoyed by each and all of us. There is not one of us but would gladly do all in her power to help and assist any member of our Circle in time of need. Therefore
I admonish each and every candidate, and likewise every member of our Order to uphold the principles of the National Circle Daughters of Isabella, so that its influence may always be felt, its name never die and its roll of honor never be tarnished.
Explanatory note regarding arrangement of hall for the exemplification of sanctity.
Arrange table in center of hall, cover with altar cloth, placing one lighted candle on each of four corners of table. Set crucifix in center of table. Lights are turned off while candidates are marching into hall and this attracts their attention to the table and objects thereon.
Hall is dark while Appointed Officer is giving charge.

 
 
Third Degree
 
SANCTITY
So far you have been taught the nature and the value of the three virtues that form our motto. You have progressed along the great and glorious highway of our society and its noble patroness. But one step more awaits you before you attain the goal. One step, but that the most important of all!
For as the foundations are laid for the superstructure,
and the seed is planted for the fruit; so you have been urged to plant Charity and Unity and Friendship and cultivate them carefully and constantly in your souls that you may be enabled to grasp fully and practice fervently the lesson of the cross. Picks up cross, and sings O What Could My Jesus Do More?
 
O WHAT COULD MY JESUS DO MORE?
Solo--(Air, same music)
O what could my Jesus do more,
Or what greater blessings impart?
O silence, my soul, and adore,
And press Him still nearer thy heart.
And gaze on the Cross of thy God,
'Tis here from my labor I'll rest;
Since He makes my poor heart His abode,
To Him all my cares I'll address,
And speak to the heart of my God.
In life and in death Thou art mine,
My Savior, I'm sealed with Thy blood,
Till eternity on me doth shine,
I'll live on the flesh of my God.
In Jesus triumphant I'll live,
In Jesus triumphant I'll die,
The terrors of death calmly brave,
In His bosom breathe out my last sigh.
Look upon this emblem of your salvation and of mine. Note the crown of thorns, the jagged
wounds in hands and feet and side. Gaze with awe and reverence upon that sacred countenance so pained, so agonized, so tortured, so tormented.
Here is a story indeed-the sweetest, saddest story ever told! What lesson does it teach? What message does it carry? It speaks, for one thing, of the fickleness of man; but it speaks also of the love of Him whose image is portrayed. It speaks of the ingratitude of men; but it speaks also of the plenteous redemption there is with Him.
Oh, it teaches countless lessons; but before, and above, them all it teaches the supreme lesson of the perfect Christian; not my will, but Thine be done.
To do the will of our heavenly Father; to seek first His will in our every act-in the smaller round of personal and family life as well as in the larger circles of business and social activities that is the crucial test of every Catholic and especially of every follower of our most Catholic Queen and patroness, Isabella.
Plant deep, then, in your heart the lesson of the cross. Follow bravely whither it leads you in life; embrace it courageously in death, whence it will be a beacon of salvation to your departing soul and a crown of glory to your immortal spirit.
The Vexilla Regis is sung.
VEXILLA REGIS PRODEUNT
Solo (Air, O Salutaris Hostia, by A. Werner)
Abroad the Regal Banners fly,
Now shines the Cross's mystery;
Upon it Life did death endure,
And yet by Death did life procure.
Who, wounded with a direful spear,
Did, purposely to wash us clear
From stain of sin, pour out a flood
Of precious Water mixed with blood.
0 lovely and refulgent Tree,
Adorned with purpled majesty;
Culled from a worthy stock to bear
Those limbs which sanctified were.
Blest Tree, whose happy branches bore
The wealth that did the world restore;
The beam that did that Body weigh
Which raised up Hell's expected prey.
Blest Trinity, salvation's spring,
May every soul Thy praises sing;
To those Thou grantest conquest by
The Holy Cross, rewards apply.
REGENT: You now join with us in this loving work. May your strength be equal to your tenderness of heart, and your firmness of purpose. We join hands with you all join bands with one another and form a circle and in the clasp of fraternity we accept you in our sisterhood and through my voice I now proclaim, declare and hail you as a chosen member of our band with every right that we possess and every honor open to your winning. In testimony of which pronouncement,
I now invest you with the CROWN OF ISABELLA, emblematic of every virtue.
Regent now places crown on bead of each candidate and presents her to Circle, individually and collectively.
 

Obligation

 
I, , in the presence of Almighty God, and these witnesses, do pledge upon my sacred honor that so long as I remain a member of this Circle, I will abide by its laws, rules and usages, and that I will never reveal any of the work or secrets of the Circle to any person not a member
of the Circle.
And that should I at any time cease to be a member, for any cause, I will never reveal any of the work or secrets of the Circle to any person or persons unless to my confessor.
I promise I will do all in my power to promote the growth and prosperity of this Circle and, when possible, will attend the meetings of this Circle.
Regent: The State Regent or the Past Regent of the Circle will now instruct the new members bow to gain admission to the Circle when in session.
After this she will give new members the current password now being used.
Countersign, grip and sign of recognition between the members are to be given by S.R. or P.R. In absence of these officers the Regent exemplifies.
Holy God, we praise Thy Name.
Lord of all, we bow before Thee,
All on earth Thy Scepter claim,
All in Heaven above adore Thee.
Infinite Thy vast domain,
Everlasting is Thy name.
 
Hark! The loud celestial hymn
Angel choirs above are singing.
Cherubim and Seraphim
In unceasing chorus praising
Fill the heavens with sweet accord,
Holy! Holy! Holy God!


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