Order of the Sons of Temperance
National Division of Great Britain and Ireland
Initiation Ritual



Precisely at the appointed time the Worthy Patriarch should take the chair, and give *.
The Conductor, healing the rap, will rise and make proclamation, as follows:
The Worthy Patriarch is now about to open … Division, No. … in accordance with the established usages of The Order of The Sons of Temperance. If there be any present not justly privileged to remain, they will please retire. The Officers will clothe themselves in appropriate regalia and take their places.
The Conductor will see whether the Officers are at their appointed stations and report.
The Conductor will begin with the Sentinel, and examine each station up to the Worthy Patriarch and report vacancies, if any.
The Worthy Patriarch shall fill vacancies, and the names of the Members so appointed shall be entered on. the Minutes.
One rap.
The Members will remain seated until after the examination. The Conductor and Assistant-Conductor will now advance and give the Quarterly Password.
They advance and give the Password.
Correct. It is your duty to satisfy yourselves that all present are equally qualified. If any give more or less than, this, please report to me. You will now carefully perform that duty.
The Conductor will take the right, and the Assistant Conductor the left of the Worthy Patriarch, and examine carefully every one present. If any give more or less than the Quarterly Password, the Conductor or Assistant Conductor shall report the name and Division of the Member incorrect. If there be no voucher satisfactory to the Worthy Patriarch and the Division, the person must retire.
Worthy patriarch, All correct on the right.
Worthy Patriarch: All correct on the left.
Three raps.
Officers and Members: We meet to interchange the greetings of an exalted friendship; to counsel, admonish, and strengthen one another in the discharge of duty; and to deliberate on the means best adapted to promote the objects for which we are associated..
We may expect that matters will be introduced which will stroke our minds in different forms. It is our privilege to discuss such matters freely, but courteously; and our duty to yield a cheerful compliance to the constituted majority.
Our mission is one of benevolence; to destroy the destroyer of millions, to conquer the enemy of our people, and to promote the virtue and happiness of mankind.
Let us, therefore, be strong and temperate in our cause, prompt in the transaction of business, courteous in debate, charitable in our judgment of others, faithful to our vows, careful to avoid all wrangling and vain dispute, ever keeping in mind that he who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his own spirit than he that taketh a city.
Thus shall we most surely advance the interests of our Order, and illustrate how sweet and pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity.
Yes, we in those principles join,
And such shall our actions display;
Our hands and our hearts shall combine
To extend their beneficent sway.
Our laws we will ever respect,
Arise all contention above-
And stand by each other erect,
In Purity, Friendship, and Love.
Almighty God! our Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for sparing us to meet together once more in this Branch of our Organisation. Help us to be grateful to Thee, and to keep in mind the purposes for which we are met. May our hearts be more united than ever in every good work. Help us, by word and life, to rescue our fellow-men from the sin of intemperance. Bless all our brethren, whether present or absent, with every needful blessing. May we have a pleasant and profitable meeting. Forgive all our sins, for Christ our Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
One rap.
I now declare this Division open for the transaction of its appropriate business, and the dissemination of the principles of Temperance.
Proceed after this according to the Order of Business.
Note.: No retiring Password is to be used. The Worthy Patriarch may, under important circumstances, direct the Sentinel to permit no Member to leave the room.



One rap.
The Assistant Conductor will see if there are any Candidates to be initiated.
The Assistant Conductor will proceed to the anteroom, and if there are any Candidates will report as follows:
Worthy Patriarch, … is in waiting. Report the name in full.
Recording Scribe, has the Candidate been duly elected?
He (or she) has.
Assistant Conductor, you will now conduct our Worthy Associate to make the necessary examination.
While the examination is going on in the ante-room, the Conductor should see that the members and room are arranged to the best advantage, and that the Glasses and Water are in readiness, so that nothing shall occur to mar the ceremony.
My friend, you are at the threshold of an Institution whose central principle is Total Abstinence from all Intoxicating Drinks. You will be required to take a solemn pledge to abstain from the manufacture, traffic, and use as a beverage, of all Spirituous and Malt Liquors, Wine, and Cider. You will also be asked to pledge yourself to secrecy as to the rites and business of the Order, but this pledge will not conflict with the rights of conscience nor your duties as a citizen.
Is it still your desire to become a Member of our Order?
THE CANDIDATE (if willing):
It is.
Please be seated until I report to the Division.
The Assistant Conductor remains with the Candidates. The Worthy Associate re-enters the Division.
Worthy Patriarch, the Candidate is willing to proceed.
The Members will keep their places, and observe the utmost decorum during the Ceremony of Initiation. This is a most important service and merits our best attention.
Three raps.
Let the Signal be given.
The Sentinel gives ONE knock on the door. The Assistant Conductor, hearing the signal, leads the Candidate to the door, and gives two knocks.
The door being opened, the candidate is received by the Conductor and led to the centre of the room, facing the Worthy Patriarch.
Thrice welcome to the good and true;
We hail your advent here to-day;
And while we now the pledge renew,
We cheer each other on the way.
Sometimes the path is dark and drear,
And oft we falter on the road,
But when the light of heaven draws near,
We haste our steps in joyous mood.
Then, let not strife nor anger mar
Our peace, nor move our social band;
Our friendship is our beacon star,
Our motto: "Union: Hand in hand."
Worthy Patriarch, I have the pleasure of introducing … who has been duly proposed and accepted as a suitable candidate for initiation into our Order.
Respected friend, please place your right hand on your heart. Each Member will do the same as a token of Fidelity, I will now recite our pledge:
You, without reserve, solemnly pledge your honour, in the presence of these witnesses, that you will neither make, buy, sell, nor use, as a beverage, any Spirituous or Malt Liquors, Wine, or Cider.
Do you assent to that pledge?
I do.
Do you promise to keep our Business and Ritual private, to observe our Rules and usages, and to do your best to promote the reputation of The Sons of Temperance?
I do.
One rap.
The Worthy Associate rises. The Conductor presents the water bottle and a glass.
This is sparkling water, the beverage prepared by God Himself to nourish and invigorate His creatures, and beautify His footstool.
The Conductor pours the water into the glass.

As thus you see its countless drops unite, and blend in one, so may we blend together in one unruffled stream, whose purity shall wash away the stains of black intemperance.
The Worthy Associate returns to his station. The Conductor hands the glass of water to the Worthy Patriarch.
As one stain would discolour this element of purity, so would one unworthy Member bring reproach upon our Order.
Addressing the Division:
Bearing this in mind, let us be faithful to our obligations.
Now addressing the Candidate:
Confiding in your integrity, I now proclaim you a Member of The Order of The Sons of Temperance.
Welcome to this great Brotherhood. May you add strength and zeal to our Union, and may we find how helpful is true association for the common weal! Be a faithful Member, and as your light shall shine through your works for humanity, may our cause go on to prosper until the drink curse shall be no more.
The Past Worthy Patriarch here takes his place in front of the Candidate.
Past Worthy Patriarch, I here present Brother (or Sister) … who having been obligated, is respectfully referred to you for further instruction.
From a favourable opinion entertained of you by this Division, you have been admitted to the privileges of our Order, and as a mark of esteem and confidence we extend to you an earnest and cordial welcome.
You will be expected to attend punctually our stated meetings; and are bound to obey our Laws and observe our usages by the strongest of human ties: your sacred honour.
In the Division let your conduct exhibit f rankness and courtesy. Above all, be careful to cultivate a forgiving spirit. Write the errors of your fellow members in sand; but engrave their virtues on the tablets of enduring memory, that you may learn to imitate them.
In defence of our principles, remember that unwavering Fidelity is a better advocate than violent denunciation. Avoid whatever would excite a suspicion of your constancy. Mingle with the votaries of folly only to reform them.
Let no consideration of personal regard induce you to recommend unsuitable persons for membership of our Order. Neither wealth, influential position in society, nor the most commanding talents, entitle them to approach our Circle, if with these they are wanting in integrity; but the upright and honest, however humble their position, shall be welcome ; for integrity with us is of more price than silver and gold.
Ever bear in mind our Motto, as portrayed in the colours of the Order: the Red, the White, the Blue: expressive of Love, Purity and Fidelity
Love for your associates in sickness and in health; Purity of heart and life; and Fidelity to the solemn and binding obligations you have this night voluntarily taken upon yourself.
Remember that true intercourse is uplifting, and that there is no bond so sweet, yet so firm to unite us, as labour in our Master’s service. Let us so labour that conscience may brighten the way to the final yet everlasting reward.
MEMBERS SING, sitting:
May love unite us in one band-
Its gracious power infuse,
To urge our members through the land
Their strength and life to use.
The spotless robe of Purity
As mantle shroud the breast,
That when life’s work is finished, we
May enter into rest.
Fidelity to truth and love,
And all that’s good and pure,
Nor cloud, nor storm, can ever move
Whom Virtue makes secure.
Love, Purity, Fidelity,
A cord of threefold Strand,
Embrace us all in charity,

A firm united band.

While we rejoice at our own deliverance, let us remember that the world has claims upon us. Intemperance is peculiarly a social evil. We therefore resist its terrible power by a social and fraternal combination. We join hand in hand, and heart to heart in this Institution, to protect ourselves and meet a common foe with the victorious power of organisation.
In the Members here assembled you behold a type of our mission’s fulfillment. This is a sober world in miniature: and we seek to enlarge this circle of sobriety, until it shall embrace the entire Brotherhood of Man.
I now give you the password for the current Quarter …. To obtain admission to a Division, you give one rap on the door. This is the entering signal. The door will be opened by the Sentinel, to whom you give the Password. This will admit you to the Division. After you have entered, advance to the front of the Past Worthy Patriarch, and salute him thus right hand on left breast. It will be acknowledged by a slight bow. Then you will take your seat.
The Password and the Entering Signal, and the Salutation, will admit you during the present Quarter to any Subordinate Division of our Order. The Password is changed every quarter, and must be procured from the Worthy Patriarch.
The words and salutations are never to be given out of a Division.
Thus we close our ceremony. You see that our methods are simple, and our objects such as we may ask God to bless. May He bless you, and give us all devotion of life to secure the deliverance of our people from the folly and wickedness of drink.
The Members greet you gladly, and will now take a recess, while you sign our roll and receive the congratulations of the brethren.
Should you wish to retire while the Division is in session, you will salute the Past Worthy Patriarch in the same mariner as when you entered.


Financial Scribe, I will thank you to name the receipts of the evening?
Have you paid the amount to the Treasurer?
After the Financial Scribe has announced the receipts, the Recording Scribe should enter them on the minutes.
Three raps.
Officers and Members: I thank you for your attention this evening, and solicit your continued presence as the best safe-guard of your own happiness, the interests of the Division, and the vows of those who look to you for an example.
The business we have transacted, and the sympathies and resolves we have cherished, will, I trust, contribute to our individual and mutual advantage and to the prosperity of our noble Order.
Let us retire with kindly feeling towards each other.
Remember the pledge. Be faithful to your duties, and zealous in doing good.
We will now sing our closing ode:
A goodly thing it is to meet,
In Friendship’s circle bright,
Where nothing stains the pleasure sweet?
Nor dims the radiant light.
No happier meeting earth can see
Than where the joy we prove
Of Temperance and Purity,
Fidelity and Love.
Good-night, good-night to every one,
Be each heart free from care;
Let every brother seek his home,
And find contentment there.
May joy beam with to-morrow’s,
And every prospect shine;
While wife and friends laugh merrily,
Without the aid of Wine.
You will now please give attention to our Chaplain.
Our Father, which art in Heaven, we thank Thee for Thy goodness unto us since we came together at this time, and we pray Thee to forgive all our sins, and bless and help us in every good work. If any of our Members are in sickness, we pray Thee, if it be Thy Holy will, to bless the means employed for their recovery. As we are about to separate, go with us to our homes, and make us all useful and good, for Christ our Redeemer’s sake. Amen.
I now declare this meeting closed. One rap.