Sons and Daughters of Liberty
Initiation Ritual

No date

The officers to preside are the Councilor, Vice-Councilor, Associate Councilor and Associate Vice-Councilor. In the absence of these the oldest Ex-Councilor or Ex-Associate Councilor present shall preside. The opening hour having arrived, the presiding officer will ascend the rostrum and give one rap of the gavel, when all shall be silent, then proceed.
This Council is about to begin its work; if any are present who are not qualified to remain they will please retire. The members will clothe themselves in regalia and the officers will take their stations.
The C. will fill by appointment the stations of all absent officers and continue.
The Guide will arrange the Altar, and then give me the Check and Password.
The Guide will place upon the Altar a Bible and Flag, leaving the Bible closed. After the Check and Password have been given, the C. will say:
You will examine all present, see that each is clothed in proper regalia and qualified to remain.
The Guide takes up the Check and Password, reporting all who are without these words. If the Financial Secretary declares that these are entitled, the C. will give to them the words, which they will then give to the Guide. Having examined all as to words and regalia, she steps to the Point of Salutation, salutes and reports:
Sister Councilor, I have examined all present as directed, and find them correct.
The Guide will take her station. The A. V. C. will examine the Guards and ascertain if they are qualified to protect the Council properly.
The A. V. C. will examine the Guards in the Check and Password, step to the altar, salute and report:
A. V. C.:
Sister Councilor, the Guards are qualified to protect the Council properly.
Should either of the Guards be without the Check and Password the A. V. C. will so report, and they must be instructed therein.
The A. V. C. will read a lesson from the Scripture.
The A. V. C. will open the Bible and read, leaving it open, and at the conclusion of the reading resume her station, when the Councilor will proceed:
The members will now repeat the Lord's Prayer in unison (the Councilor leading).
Our Father, who art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. They kingdom come. They will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses. As we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
We will sing the Opening Ode:
My country, 'tis of thee,
Sweet land of liberty,
Of thee I sing:
Land where my fathers died!
Land of the Pilgrims' pride!
From every mountain side
Let freedom ring.
Our fathers' God l to thee,
Author of liberty
To thee we sing;
Long may our land be bright,
With freedom's holy light;
Protect us by thy might,
Great God l our King!
Sisters and Brothers, I greet you in the bonds of our patriotic fraternity. We have met not only for the transaction of business, but to commemorate the deeds of those patriots who suffered and died that our Republic might become a reality. It is our sacred duty to assist in the development of a true spirit of Liberty and freedom, without which our beloved land would fail in its mission. The fruits of our forefathers' labors and sufferings we now enjoy as a priceless heritage. Let us be thankful that we have been born in this fair land of liberty, and may our lives add dignity and honor to American citizenship. Let all our business be done in a spirit that shall harmonize and strengthen the bonds of our patriotic Order. The members will please give the signs.
The Councilor will call for each sign in its order, and give the instruction for its formation as laid down in the private work, herself leading.
Countersign, made by ….
Hailing Sign, made by ….
Recognition Sign, made by ….
Distress Sign, made by ….
Answer, made by ….
The members will now salute the Flag.
The Flag to be placed at the side of the altar to the right of the Councilor on a staff and the members will salute it by raising the right hand, palm outward on a line with the ear, repeating:

I pledge allegiance to my flag and to the Republic for which it stands, one nation, indivisible, with liberty and justice to all.
Move the hand in direction of flag, then drop the hand to the side.
I now declare … Council, No. …, opened now in regular form.
The Inside Guard will admit members in waiting, but no one shall enter or retire during roll call, reading of the minutes, initiation or when balloting for candidates.
This latter does not apply to initiatory officers or teams while engaged in that work.

The discharge of firearms, or any imitation thereof, is positively forbidden.
The Guide will retire to the ante-room and ascertain if any candidates are in waiting.
The Guide retires without form, returns and reports.
Sister Councilor, I find … in waiting to be initiated to membership in this Council.
Should no candidate be in waiting the Guide will report: "Sister Councilor, I find no one in waiting."
Sister Recording Secretary, has this person been elected to membership?
R. S.:
She has.
The Financial Secretary and Guide will retire to the ante-room. The Financial Secretary will collect the fee, and after the Pledge Book has been satisfactorily signed, the Guide will prepare the candidate for initiation.
The F. S. and G, retire without form, the F. S. collects the fee causes the candidate to sign the Pledge Book, returns, salutes and reports.
F. S.:
Sister Councilor, the fee has been collected, the Pledge Book has been signed, and the Guide has prepared the candidate.
The Council Chamber will be darkened and when all is ready the C. will proceed:
Let the signal be given.
The I. G. will give one rap which will be responded to by the G. with two raps, when the I. G. will partially open the door and ask:
I. G.:
Who seeks admittance?
The Guide with candidate.
I. G.:
Sister Councilor, the Guide with candidate, seeks admittance.
Let them be admitted.
The I. G. opens the door and the Guide enters with candidate and conducts her around the room, a march being played on the organ. After having made a full circuit of the room, the Guide will conduct the candidate to the altar, and say:
Sister Councilor, I present to you this candidate for obligation.
By our usual form and ceremony you have been conducted to our altar to take upon yourself the obligation of our Order. In this obligation there is nothing that can conflict with your duty to your God, your country or your family; with this assurance are you ready to proceed ?
I am.
The Guide will place you in position to take upon yourself the obligation.
The Guide will cause the candidate to grasp the American Flag with her left hand placing it upon the Bible, elevate her right hand and say:
Sister Councilor, the candidate awaits the obligation.
* * *.
Immediately the Council will sing:

This pledge we give to thee,
Binds all our hearts as one,
If you take it, never break it,
Till life on earth is done.
Pay strict attention to the obligation you are about to take. Repeat after me:
I, …, of my own free will, in the presence of God, and these witnesses, do most solemnly promise on the Holy Bible and Flag of my country, that I will keep secret and never reveal to any person, any part of the Ritual of this Order. I will never make known to those not members any of the business transacted by this or any other Council of the Order. I also promise to comply with and abide by all the laws and rules of the Order, which may now be in effect, or which may hereafter be adopted by the legislative bodies of the Order in a legal manner. I will yield prompt obedience to the constituted authorities of any Subordinate Council, State Council, or the National Council. I will never speak slightingly of this Order, or any of its members, and I promise never to wrong any Council of the Order, or any member in his name, purse or family. I will consider it my duty to aid members who may be in sickness or distress so far as I can without injury to myself or family, and to aid members of the Order who may be in search of employment in obtaining the same, and I will give an American Protestant the preference in business so far as lies in my power. I further promise never to begin civil suit against any Council or department of this Order, or any member thereof, until I have exhausted the tribunals of the Order on appeal, and should my connection with this Order cease, I will consider this Obligation as binding on me as when a member. All this I affirm.
Sister Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the ante-room and upon proper signal being given, return for the first lesson in the motto of our Order.
The Guide conducts the candidate to the ante room and the first tableaux is arranged. The central figures are one patriot soldier with his wife in the act of buckling on his sword; to another soldier a woman is handing the true and tried musket. The first soldier stands to the left of the group and second to the right of the group. The woman who is buckling on the sword is dressed in red, while the one who is handing the musket is dressed in blue, while in the background is a woman clad in white kneeling and engaged in prayer with uplifted hands. In front of the tableau is a curtain divided in the centre, and so arranged that it can be instantly drawn aside. The tableau may be lighted in any manner, but the best and cheapest light is a magic lantern. As soon as the tableau is formed the signal is given and the Guide enters the room and conducts the candidate in front of it. The tableau is exposed and immediately the soldier's wife says:
S. W.:
Courageous fidelity is proof against all danger.
Immediately the Council will sing:

God bless our native land:
Firm may she ever stand,
Through storm and night;
When the wild tempests rave
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do Thou our Country save
By Thy great might.
The following charge will be delivered by the Associate Vice Councilor:
A. V. C.:
Behold! a scene ever to be cherished in your memory. It is an illustration of the first word of our motto, Fidelity, as exemplified in the faithfulness of woman. In the hour when freedom first dawned on American soil, and the call came for her sons to rally in its defense, American women belted the sword about the forms or placed the well tried musket in the hands of their husbands, fathers brothers and sons, and urged them to join the fray while their prayers ascended to the God of battles for ultimate success. Was it any wonder that victory crowned soldiers fighting under such auspices or that a nation such as ours was born to the world. But this scene is intended to teach a still deeper lesson. While the sword is a weapon of death wielded in the cause of justice it becomes a wall of protection, if Fidelity be its crowning watchword. Thus the lesson comes to us that with fidelity to our obligation, fidelity to our fellow members, fidelity to all those attributes that tend to make a noble womanhood and noble manhood our Order becomes a wall of protection that shall afford succor in many a dark and trying hour.
Sister Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the next post of illumination for the lesson in the second word of our motto.
The Guide will conduct the candidate to the ante-room and the second scene will be formed. In the center is a cannon mounted on a carriage, (This can be cut from thin board as a side view is all that is required.) The woman holds the rammer in the act of ramming a charge in the cannon. Under the muzzle of the cannon lies a wounded soldier in the uniform of a patriot; at the breech of the cannon stands another soldier, also in the uniform of a patriot, ready to fire the gun as soon as it is loaded. The curtain is arranged in front as in first tableau. This scene is intended to represent Moll Pitcher at the battle of Monmouth. As soon as the tableau is ready the signal is given and the Guide enters with the candidate. When all is ready the tableau is exposed and Moll pitcher will say:
M. P.:
When America's sons fall before their foes American women will take their places.
Immediately the Council will sing:

For this glorious gift of our sires,
This beautiful land ever blest,
Patriotism forever inspires,
A love for it in ev'ry breast.
For this land, for this land,
We will stand by our colors so true,
In this land, in this land,
'Neath the folds of the red, white and blue.
The following charge will be delivered by the Associate Councilor:
A. C.:
The scene we now present to you is illustrative of the second word of our motto,
Patriotism. It is from the battle of Monmouth, fought June 28th, 1778, when brave Moll Pitcher, having seen her husband, who was a cannonier in the Continental army, shot down at his post, hurried to the spot, seized the rammer of the gun from his dying hands and throughout the fiercely raging battle, with bullets flying like hail about her and brave men falling on every side remained at the post of danger, discharging the duties of a soldier until victory crowned the American arms, willing, even after the great loss she had already sustained, to sacrifice her own life, if need be, in the cause of her country. This is but one of the many incidents that so oft recur on the pages of our country's history, yet it serves to exemplify the spirit which actuated the hearts and controlled the actions of those noble women who lived amidst the dark and stirring scenes that characterized the struggle for American Independence, and who, by their many sacrifices, contributed so largely to its glorious ending, and to the blessings and happiness we now enjoy beneath the protecting folds of the Stars and Stripes. The foes of American Liberty still exist; therefore you should study this lesson well, to the end that should the occasion arise, it will find you ready to emulate the example of this heroic woman, to dare death in the cause of Liberty, ever remembering that next to the reverence due your creator, the greatest virtue you can cultivate is that of Patriotism.
Sister Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the third post of illumination for the third lesson in our motto.
The Guide will conduct the candidate to the ante-room and the third tableau will be formed at the door leading to the ante-room, when possible, but not the door used for the admission of members.
A Council may use scenery to represent a cabin, if so desired. Over the ante-room door or the door to the cabin shall be an American flag. This scene is intended to represent the home of an American woman. Across the room and out of sight of the candidate when she enters, is an American soldier, behind him are grouped the British soldiers ready to pursue him when he runs. Curtain as before. When all is ready the Guide conducts the candidate in front of the tableau. The scene is exposed to view and the Council sings:

Oh! Columbia, the gem of the ocean,
The home of the brave and the free;
The shrine of each patriot's devotion,
A world offers homage to thee.
Thy mandates make heroes assemble,
When Liberty» form stands in view.
Thy banners make tyranny tremble
When home by the Red, White and Blue.
The following charge will be delivered by the Jr. Ex-Associate Councilor.
Jr. Ex-A. C.:
The scene about to be presented to your view exemplifies the third and last word of our motto, Integrity. During the contest that gave freedom to America, a patriot soldier, closely pursued by a party of the British, sought the protection of an American wife and mother.
The American soldier runs across the room and through the cabin door The woman appears at the door in the attitude of protecting her home.
Jr. Ex-A. C.:
Hardly had she effected his concealment in her own apartments, before his pursuers, who were following closely after him, made their appearance.
The British soldiers run across the room and the leader says to the woman:
L. of B. S.:
Woman, deliver to us the American soldier who has just sought shelter in your home. If you do not do so we will burn the house without delay.
Never. Tomen of honor the home of a lady should be sacred, I will defend it though I perish ; you may succeed in obtaining an entrance but it will be over my dead body, for the Integrity of an American woman would count any sacrifice too small to keep plighted faith with those who have entrusted their liberty and life it may be to her keeping.
Jr. Ex. A. C.:
The moral grandeur of integrity is the sublimest trait of mankind. Practice this virtue in your intercourse with your fellow members and of you it can in truth be said:
"Was ever such near approach to the celestial kind;
By Fidelity, Patriotism and Integrity of mind?"
Jr. Ex-A. C.:
Sister Guide, you will conduct the candidate to the ante-room, and upon proper signal return, that she may witness an illustration of the crowning event in our country's history.
The Guide retires and the fourth tableau is formed. In this scene Cuba, in her struggle for freedom from tyrannical Spain, appeals to fair Columbia for aid. Columbia is shown prohibitiously pointing at Spain with the American Flag spread over the shoulders of Cuba. Columbia interposes her person to receive the blows tor Cuba, and calls for Uncle Sam, who appears with a soldier and sailor, (representing the American Army and Navy.) Spain's dominion in the West Indies is at an end and Cuba is free. Curtain as before. When all is ready the signal will be given and the Guide will conduct the candidate in front of the tableau. The curtain will be drawn and Columbia will say:
Behold the crowning event in your country's glorious history.
Immediately the Council will sing:

In the beauty of the lillies
Christ was born across the sea,
With a glory in His bosom
That transfigures you and me.
As He died to make men holy,
Let us died to make men free,
While God is marching on.
Glory, glory, hallelujah! glory, glory, hallelujah!
Glory, glory, hallelujah, His truth is marching on.
The following charge will then be delivered by the Jr. Ex. C.
Jr. Ex-C.:
The preceding scenes have outfined incidents of the Revolutionary War, that struggle which made possible such a country as ours. The trials endured by our immortal Washington and his compatriots nerved them to greater deeds of valor, and resulted in the formation of our American Republic; the wonder of the world; founded upon the lines of evil and religious liberty. After peace was declared the young nation made wonderful strides, and its success soon convinced the world that republics were a blessing to humanity, and that a government "of the people, by the people, and for the people," was the only true form. France followed our lead, and other nations are trending toward our form.
Just out in the Atlantic ocean to the south of us, there lies a country which sought for many years to enjoy our form of liberty, but it was under the tyrannical and despotic rule of the once powerful Spain. In the scene before you, Cuba is represented as appealing to Columbia for protection from the oppressions of Spain. America summoned its army and navy to the rescue, and a brief but decisive struggle resulted in freeing that beautiful island from the grasp of its brutal oppressors, and the Republic of Cuba, under the guiding hand of the American people, took its place among the nations of the earth. This scene is intended to teach you that it is the duty of an American to support any movement tending to spread the blessings of liberty as inculcated by our form of government. It also shows the FIDELITY of our country to the principles on which it is founded; its PATRIOTISM in carrying those blessings to others, and its INTEGRITY in keeping its pledge to surrender the territory when its people were able to govern. It should also teach you to follow the lessons of our Order, and thus divest yourself of those faults and frailties which so often exist where only fraternal kindness should hold sway.
In the furtherance of the exemplification of Liberty in its broadest sense our Country entered into the great world war at a time when disaster threatened the allied nations of Europe and at a time too when autocracy and world domination appeared to be on the verge of success and the subjugation of the peoples of the earth to the iron rule of the proud, despotic, autocratic and tyrannical Ruler of Germany imminent, and once again the God of our fathers brought victory to our arms and to the beleaguered and subjugated nations Peace and Liberty and the government of the people by the people for the people.
Jr. Ex-C.:
Sister Guide, you will conduct the candidate to our Sister Councilor for instructions in the unwritten work of the Order.
The curtain is drawn in front of the tableau, the sisters and brothers in the scene retire to the ante-room and prepare to return to the Council chamber. Lights are turned up and the Guide conducts the candidate to the Councilor, saying:
Sister Councilor, by direction of the Jr. Ex-Councilor, I have conducted this candidate to you for final instruction in the unwritten work.
The instruction which you have received has prepared you to receive the unwritten work, or secrets of this Order. The Obligation you have taken binds you never to reveal them. It also binds you to comply with all the laws, rules and regulations of the Order, and to an honest treatment of all its members, and to render them such assistance in time of need as may be in your power to give. We have all taken the same obligation and bear the same relation to you that you do to us.
The posts of illumination have instructed you in the motto of our Order, and in the crowning event in our country's history. Glance at our motto: Fidelity, a faithful adherence to the right;
Patriotism, a passion which actuates one to serve her country; Integrity, which means freedom from every corrupting influence or motive. Is it not a gem? The illustration of the crowning event in our country's history should impress you that we must be as unselfish in our dealings with others as our country has been in dealing with the unfortunate "Gem of the Antilles." A faithful adherence to your obligation, and the practice of the virtues represented by our tableaux (scenes) will make you a true member of this Order, and cause you to be respected and esteemed by your fellow members; but should you prove unfaithful to the trust we have reposed in you, it will brand you as one unfit for association with faithful women and honest men.
I will now make you acquainted with the private work, and ask your close attention. Should you wish to enter a Council, you will approach the outer door and give any alarm to attract the attention of the Outside Guard who will present herself, and to her you will give the check, which the Guide will now give you. This will admit you to the ante-room, when you will clothe yourself in regalia, advance to the inside door and give one rap, the Inside Guard will reply with one rap, and you will then give two raps; the Inside Guard will then present herself at the wicket, and to her you will give your name, and the name and number of the Council to which you belong, which is … Council, No. …. She will report you to the Associate Vice Councilor, who will order your admission if correct in the password. The Inside Guard will return to the wicket, and you will give to her the password, which the Guide will now give you. This will admit you to the Council chamber, when you will advance and occupy the Point of Salutation, denoted by a rug of some kind, and salute the Councilor or the Associate Councilor with the countersign, which is made in this manner …; if given correctly, either of these officers will return the sign in the same manner, after which you will be seated.
Should you wish to retire while the Council is in session, you will take position as on entering salute the Vice-Councilor with the countersign, and upon being recognized by her you are at liberty to retire. The Guide will now instruct you how to give the grip. The voting sign is the elevation of the right hand in this manner. The Check and Password can be given by the Councilor and never by one member to another except as provided in the opening ceremonies, when you will give it to the Guide on her official tour, or to the Guards on entering the Council chamber, and must ALWAYS be given in a low whisper. The check, password and countersign are never to be used outside a Council chamber. Members shall remove their hats or bonnets before entering the Council chamber, and must never pass between the Councilor's station and the Altar. The Guide will now invest you with regalia, which, I trust, you will wear with pleasure to yourself and honor to the Order. I will instruct in the use of the gavel; two raps * * call up the officers, three raps * * * the entire Council.
The Guide will cause the candidate to face the Council when the Councilor will proceed:
Sisters and Brothers, I have the pleasure of introducing to you Sister …, whose initiation you have just witnessed, let us labor for her interest as well as for our own, and while we sing our song of welcome let us extend the hand of friendship and all be true to the vows we have taken.
The C. and A. C. taking the lead, the members will march around the room from right to left passing in front of the newly initiated sister and greeting her with the grip of the Order, while the Council sings:

Welcome sister, welcome ever,
To this social, friendly band,
Nothing can the bonds dissever,
Which unite us heart and hand.
Here we meet thee,
Here we greet thee,
With united heart and hand.
After all have greeted the initiate, the Councilor will proceed:
One rap * seats the Council when standing and also demands order. The Guide will conduct you to the Recording Secretary, where you will sign the obligation book, after which she will instruct you to work your way out of and into the Council. You will then take your seat as a member of … Council, No. …, Sons and Daughters of Liberty.
It appearing that there is nothing further to require our attention, I shall proceed with the closing ceremonies.
The Financial Secretary will state the receipts of the evening and the Recording Secretary will note them.
This having been done, the Councilor will give * * *.
Sisters and Brothers, our labors for this session are over, and as we leave this Council to again take part in the vocations of life, let us not forget our American Public School System, the lessons we have here learned, nor the duties we owe to the Order and each other; ever remembering that it is our duty so to live, as to show to the outside world, that noble principles characterize the lives of those who carry out in practice the precepts of the Sons and Daughters of Liberty.
We will now sing our Closing Ode:
Let us cherish our friendship through, Life's chequer'd way,
T'will brighten our journey with joy's sparkling ray;
And when from earth's scenes we are called to remove,
May we meet in that Council, the Heaven of love.
Home, Home! Sweet, Sweet Home!
Our Council is pleasant,
But 'tis not like home!
The A. V. C. will invoke divine blessing.
The A. V. C. will advance to the Altar and read the following prayer:
A. V. C.:
Our Heavenly Father, author of all good, we ask thy blessing upon the labors of the members here assembled. Be pleased to prosper this Council and every branch of our Order.
May the labors of the session we are now closing be pleasing in Thy sight and the means of some good to humanity, in the name of the cause of Liberty, Freedom and Justice. We humbly ask Thee to bless our Public School System, that the little children whom Thou dost love may be taught those things that shall make their lives pure and pleasing in Thy sight. Guard the best interest of our Republic from foreign and domestic foes; further the cause of true freedom, and make our fair land the humble instrument to carry liberty to the people of other lands. Guide our National Rulers and the officers of our organization! protect us all until our next assembling, and, if it be Thy will, permit us again to meet, an unbroken circle of sisters and brothers. We ask it all in the name of Jesus, our Saviour.
Members in unison:
The A. V. C. will close the Bible and return to her station.
The Guide will now convey to me the private work.
The Guide having returned to her station, the C. will proceed:
I now declare this Council closed.