Sons of Temperance
Ritual of the Purity Degree
The Prefect gives one rap and says: Brethren, We are now about to open a Purity Degree.
The officers, and brethren, will clothe themselves in Purity Degree regalia, and take their places.
The First Herald will see if any of the officers are absent, and report.
The First Herald reports, and the Prefect fills their places.
Prefect says: The First, and Second Herald, will examine all present, in the pass word of the Purity Degree.
The Heralds examine all present; if all are correct, they give the Prefect the sign, and answering sign of the Purity Degree; if any are incorrect, they omit the signs. All present, who cannot give the pass word most retire to be reported by the Warders, and vouched for by a member present, before the Prefect can admit them.
First Herald says: The brethren are all correct, in regalia, and in their proper places.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: The noblest work in God’s great plan,
Doth stand the pure and honest man;
With open heart, and fearless eye,
He lifts his forehead to the sky.
Tho’ ere so humble be our lot,
Our honor bright we will not blot;
But true to all our pledges be,
In friendship, love and purity. Prayer.
Prefect calls down, and says: I now declare this Degree duly opened.
Prefect gives one rap, and says: The Heralds will see if there are any candidates in waiting to be initiated into the mysteries of the Purity Degree.
First Herald says: Brother … is in waiting to be initiated.
Prefect says: Brother Auditor, is brother clear of all charges on the books.
Auditor of Accounts says: He is clear.
If he reports him in arrears, he cannot be initiated until all arrears are paid.
The Heralds clear the ante-room, and conduct the candidate to the inner door. The candidate gives … raps The Second Warder answers with raps.
Second Warder says: Who knocks?
First Herald says: A brother who seeks admittance into the mysteries of the Purity Degree.
Second Warder says: Who vouches for him?
First Herald says: The brethren of the Love Degree.
Prefect says: Admit him.
Prefect calls up as the candidate enters; members sing: Row perfect are the pure in heart,
How blest and honored they
Who on the darkened world impart
The spirit’s brightest ray.
The cloud which sin’s malignant curse
Around the soul bath spread,
Before its glorious beams disperse,
And error hides its head.
During the singing the candidate is led round the room, and in front of the Prefect.
Prefect calls down. First Herald says: Prefect, I have the pleasure of introducing you to our worthy brother …, who desires to be initiated into the mysteries of the Purity Degree.
Prefect rising says: The brethren of the Purity Degree, require of you a solemn pledge of honor; are you willing to take that pledge?
Candidate says: I am.
Prefect says: Place your right hand on your left breast, and repeat after me the words of our obligation.
I solemnly pledge my sacred honor as a man, to the brethren of the Purity Degree, that I will neither make, buy, sell, nor use as a beverage, any spirituous, or malt liquors, wine, or cider. I will discourage their use, as a beverage, in others, and I will use every lawful means in my power, to banish it forever from society.
I furthermore pledge myself, that I will not associate with the abandoned, nor frequent the haunts of iniquity and vice. I will never bring dishonor, nor disgrace, upon the high and honourable name of Purity Degree brother, which I have this night voluntarily taken upon myself.
I furthermore pledge myself, that I will be true and just in all my 4ealings; I will endeavour to keep my character withQut spot or blemish, and my honor white as snow.
And lastly, I pledge myself, never to reveal to any one not entitled to receive them, any of the signs, pass-words, ceremonies, or other private affairs of the Purity Degree, but seal my lips with silence, while I hide them in my heart.
To faithfully keep all these my binding pledges, I solemnly promise.
Officers say: We solemnly promise.
Members say: We solemnly promise.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: Tho’ all the notes of partial fame,
For thee be only told
And wealth with diamonds write thy name
Upon her page of gold.
Yet if the heart unpolished be,
And still the soul impure,
That wealth is nought but poverty,
And all that fame obscure.
During the singing, the candidate is led round the room, and in front of the Chaplain.
Prefect calls down.
Chaplain, with an open Bible before him, (rising) says: Brother, in this sacred volume, laying his hand upon the Bible you will find written: ‘With the pure thou wilt show thyself pure’; ‘As for the pure his work is right’; ‘Be thou an example in word, in conversation, in spirit, and in purity.’
Brother; guard against all impurity in thought, word and deed. Banish every impure idea from your mind. Let no foul word pollute your lips; nor an impure action degrade the august majesty of your soul, made in the image of its Maker. Shun the impure; they are moral lepers; they poison the heart, and kill the soul with second death, from which there is no resurrection. Bear ever in your mind the words of this sacred Book: ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.’
Prefect calls up. Members sing: In mountain streams that glow with light,
And flow to seek the sea;
We see an emblem sparkling bright
Of crystal purity.
May we, as life’s swift waters dash
Towards a shoreless sea,
Shine, like the mountain streamlet’s flash,
In stainless purity.
During the singing, the Candidate is led round the room, and in front of the Past Prefect.
Prefect calls down. Past Prefect (rising) says: Brother: You have solemnly pledged your honor, and your reputation to the brethren of the Purity Degree. A double duty now devolves upon you; be doubly watchful and vigilant in your conduct; doubly active in the great Temperance cause and in promoting the interest of our Order. Let your conduct through life be ever pure and unsullied.
May you as life’e swift waters dash,
Towards a shoreless sea,
Shine like the mountain streamlet’s flash,
In stainless purity.
Before the Past perfect stands a small table; on it the book of Initiation, (a blank book,) and the book of the Constitution; also pen and ink.
First Herald, opening the book of initiation, says: Brother: Write your name in this book.
Candidate writes his name.
Second Herald says: Brother: Blot out your name from that book.
Candidate blots out his name. Prefect, rising says: Why has our brother blotted out his name?
Past Prefect, rising, says: Thereby to remind him when he goes out into the world, that he alone can blot out his name from our records, and erase it from our hearts.
Candidate signs the Constitution.
Past Prefect says: Brother, May we always find it there, without a blot or blemish, and may the recording angel write it in the Lamb’s book of Life.
The Candidate is then led to the Prefect. Before the Prefect stands a small table; on it a pitcher of water, and three glasses.
First Herald says: Water is the emblem of Purity, pours out a glass and gives it to the Candidate. It is also the symbol of the Purity Degree. Pours out a glass for himself. It purifies the body and invigorates the soul. It gives life and, strength to every living thing.
Second Herald (pours out a glass for himself,) says: It is also an emblem of our strength in union.
A single drop of water is weak and feeble; unite them in myraids, and ho! the cataract sweeps with resistless might. Alone, like water drops, we are weak and feeble; united, we are stronger than the cataract, to sweep Intemperance away.
Prefect (rising) says: Brother: Pour out the water in your glass.
Candidate pours it out on the floor.
Prefect says: Brother: The emblem of Purity that just sparkled in your glass, now lies, defiled by dust. Its crystal brightness gone, its stainless purity lost for ever. This is to remind you that a single act of yours, may sully the brightness of your honour, and stain your name for ever.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: Hail I brother of the White Degree,
The emblem of that purity
Of heart, and soul and mind.
And may the tie created here
Still growing stronger every year
Our blessed union bind.
During the singing, the Candidate is led round the room and to the Vice Prefect.
Prefect calls down.
Vice Prefect (rising) says: By authority committed unto me, and in virtue of mine office, I now clothe you clothes him in the white regalia of the Purity Degree: and declare you, in the presence of these brethren, a Purity Degree brother of the Order of the Sons of Temperance. Brother: when the journey of life is over, may you be clothed in a spotless robe of white, in the mansions of the blest where perfect Purity and joy, shall reign for ever..
The candidate is then led to the Past Prefect.
Past Prefect (rising) says: Brother: I will now instruct you how to enter a Purity Degree.
The pass word and explanation of the Purity Degree are … whispers them. The entering signal is … raps. On entering a Purity Degree, you will advance to the centre of the room, and salute the Past Prefect thus: …, emblematic of pure hands and an upright heart. The Past Prefect will do the same; then clothe yourself in Purity Degree regalia, and take your seat. The Heralds will now conduct you out and teach you how to work your way into a Purity Degree.
The Heralds conduct the Candidate out; after he has worked his way, they present him to the Prefect.
Prefect (rising) says: Brother: I will now instruct you in the sign, and answering sign of the Purity degree; and also teach you how to examine and prove a Purity Degree brother.
The sign is … gives it. It signifies ‘Water, the emblem of Purity, encircles the earth.’ The answering sign is … gives it. It signifies ‘So may purity encircle you.’
The pass-word and explanation combined, are given in syllables, one syllable alternately, as follows: …. You ask for the pass-word, your brother says ‘You begin.’ You say ‘I’ll divide it with you.’ Your brother says, ‘You divide it.’ You say: … here the Prefect instructs the Candidate how to divide the password, and explanation, combined. He who begins the examination, must always give the first syllable, you then give the next; and so on. If he makes any mistake, or cannot give the proper syllable, you must neither correct him, nor instruct him, but end the examination. This examination must always be made in a very low tone, beyond the hearing of others, and with extreme caution. Always be exceedingly cautious when you syllable the password, and explanation, combined.
For your instruction, the Heralds will now give the sign, and answering sign, of the Purity Degree. They give them. They will also conduct an examination in a low tone. The Heralds examine each other.
Prefect calls up, and says: And now, brother, having duly initiated, and instructed you in the mysteries of the Purity Degree, I give you the right hand of fellowship. ‘Welcome brother.’ The officers will do the same.
The officers advance, shake hands with the Candidate and say, Welcome brother.
The members will do the same. The members advance and do the same.
Prefect calls down.
Prefect calls up. Members sing: We would not break our solemn pledge,
For sparkling gem, nor golden wedge;
For all that mighty power can win,
Or write, upon the page of sin.
May the recording angel write
Our names upon his pages bright;
Those spotless names may spirits see
Where all is Love, and Purity. Prayer.
Prefect gives one rap, and says: I now declare this Degree closed.