Social Order of the Beauceant
Initiation Ceremony

This ritual dates from 1922.

Landmarks of the Order

A belief in the existence of Almighty God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe, and defense of the Christian Religion.
The name of the Order, signs and mode of recognition are unchangeable.
Cultivation of the spirit of Love for and Loyalty to each other, and the Order of Knights Templar;
recognition of the reciprocal duties due to that Order.
Its Obligation is based upon the honor of those who assume it, and sacredly binding upon them forever.
The ballot upon petitions for the Degree or membership shall be for the best interests of the Order, without debate and inviolably secret.
Every member of the Order is amenable to its Laws and subject to its discipline.
1. NECESSARY PARAPHERNALIA: For proper rendition of the work, it is necessary for, an Assembly to have Rituals, one copy of Secret Work; By-Laws; seal; ballot box; gavel; Bible; Altar; white Altar Cloth, upon which is worked a large red Templar Cross; a Beauceant, and Colors, mounted upon six-foot staffs of suitable size for carrying, and a cross mounted upon a handle, about ten inches long. For each candidate, a black robe; white robe with red girdle; black hood; black blindfold; wreath of white roses, and a small pin or pendant cross and crown. All officers should wear white robes, with a red cross upon the left breast; white dresses should be worn, by the officers until robes are procured.
2. RAPS OF THE GAVEL are indicated by *   *.
One * calls the Assembly to order, or seats the members.
Two *   * call up the officers.
Three *  *  * call up the members.
3: OPENING MARCH. The officers enter in two lines, from the doors in the West, in the order indicated and march to the east end of the hall; then diagonally to points north and south of the altar, interlacing on the way (in front of the altar). Then diagonally to the west end of the hall, interlacing on the way (back of the altar); then to the west arm of the cross and forward to positions in the cross. After the Color Bearer and Standard Bearer escort the President to the East, they take positions at the east arm of the cross. When the President orders the officers to their stations, all march toward the East; the Color Bearer first, and she leads to her left, then the Standard Bearer to her right (each followed by her own line), then to the West; then right and left, across the West end of the hall; then toward the East, and officers stop when opposite their stations. The Standard and Color Bearers proceed to the East, salute the President, then go direct to their stations. Square corners should be observed.
4. THE STATION OF SALUTE is three paces to the rear of a point, half way between the Standard Bearer and Color Bearer. All members entering or retiring during an Assembly, will go to that position and salute the First Vice President.
5. BALLOT. Before the President orders the ballot, she announces, “We are about to ballot upon the petition of Mrs. ... for membership in this Assembly. The white balls elect, the black cubes reject, be careful how you ballot.” When all, apparently, have voted, the Marshals go to the Station of Salute, and the President inquires, “have all members balloted?” (pauses a moment), “if so, I declare the ballot closed” (*) “Marshals, you will bear the ballot to the East.” After so doing, the Marshals face the Assembly. It is inspected by the President and First Vice President only. Then the President declares, “the ballot is clear and favorable,” if less than three black cubes appear. If three or more black cubes appear, she declares, “the ballot is unfavorable, and the petitioner is rejected”; provided that when three, negative ballots appear, the President, without announcing the result of the first ballot, may order the ballot spread a second time, which shall be final, and not reconsidered at any time.
COLLECTIVE BALLOT. When several petitions are to be balloted upon, a collective ballot may be taken, when all, or a part of them, may be balloted on at the same time; provided that when three or more negative ballots appear, a separate ballot shall then be taken on a less number, or on each petition.
Opening Ceremony
The Oracle is seated in the East and the Marshal and Director of Music are at their stations.
ORACLE: It is the hour for this Assembly to convene. Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will retire and inform the President and other officers, that we await them.
Oracle *  *  * as the officers enter. They march to positions in the Passion Cross.
ORACLE: The sisters, who bear our Standard and Colors, will escort the President to the East.
The Standard Bearer and Color Bearer escort the President to the East, then take positions at the east arm of the Cross, Color Bearer first.
PRESIDENT: Officers and Members, I am now about to convene ... Assembly No. ..., Social Order of the Beauceant. The officers will assume their respective stations, outlining a Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Worthy Second Vice President, you will ascertain if the Guards are at their stations, and in possession of the Passes and Salutes.
She fist salutes at the Station of Salute; ascertains, salutes and reports at same place.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: Worthy President, the Guards are at their stations and in possession of our Passes and Salutes.
PRESIDENT: Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will give me the Pass.
They go to the East, give the Pass and the Grip.
PRESIDENT: Marshals, you will now ascertain if all present are members and in possession of this word.
They ascertain if all members have Pass and Grip, go to the Station of Salute to report, and the Assistant reports to the Marshal.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, we find all present are members, and properly informed.
PRESIDENT: Worthy First Vice President, how many officers has an Assembly of the Social Order of the Beauceant?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: Worthy President,. it has seventeen.
PRESIDENT: What are their titles?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: Their titles are: President, Oracle, First Vice President, Second Vice President, Preceptress, Recorder, Treasurer, Marshal, Assistant Marshal, Chaplain, Director of Music, Standard Bearer, Color Bearer, Mistress of the Wardrobe, Daughter of the Household, Inner Guard, and Outer Guard.
PRESIDENT: How are the officers stationed?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: As Mary and the other faithful, loyal and loving women were gathered around the Cross when Christ was crucified, so our officers are stationed around the Templar Cross, to symbolize our Faith, Loyalty and Love for God, the Order of Knights Templar, and each other.
PRESIDENT: Where are the stations of the Guards?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: At the door of the Assembly Hall.
*  *.
PRESIDENT: Their duties, Sister Inner Guard?
INNER GUARD: To securely guard the inner door and allow no one to enter without the Passes and Salutes.
PRESIDENT: Where is the station of the Daughter of the Household?
INNER GUARD: On the left of the Preceptress, in the West.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Daughter of the Household?
DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: To extend hospitality, and supervise the refreshments for the Assemblies.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Mistress of the Wardrobe?
DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: At the south-west point of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Mistress of the Wardrobe?
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE: To have charge of all robes and regalia used in our ceremonies.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Color Bearer?
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE: At the southwest angle of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Color Bearer?
COLOR BEARER: To assist in forming and leading the lines, and to display and explain our Colors.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Standard Bearer?
COLOR BEARER: At the north-west angle of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Standard Bearer?
STANDARD BEARER: To form and lead the lines, and to display and explain our banner, the Beauceant.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Director of Music?
STANDARD BEARER: At the north-west point of the Templar Cross?
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Director of Music?
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC: To provide music for our ceremonies, to complete their harmony.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Chaplain?
DIRECTOR OF MUSIC: At the north-east point of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Worthy Chaplain?
CHAPLAIN: To conduct the devotional exercises, and assist in our ceremonies.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Assistant Marshal?
CHAPLAIN: At the south-east angle of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Assistant Marshal?
ASSISTANT MARSHAL: To assist the Marshal in all her duties.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Marshal?
ASSISTANT MARSHAL: At the north-east angle of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Sister Marshal?
MARSHAL: To execute the orders of the President, and conduct candidates through the Ceremony of Initiation.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Treasurer?
MARSHAL: On the right of the President, at the east point of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Sister Treasurer?
TREASURER: To receive and hold in charge all money, keep and render an accurate account of the funds, and disburse them on the order of the President and Recorder, when authorized by the Assembly.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Recorder?
TREASURER: On the left of the President, at the east point of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Sister Recorder?
RECORDER: To keep a correct record of the proceedings, receive all moneys, deliver them to the Treasurer, and perform such other duties as pertain to my station.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Preceptress?
RECORDER: In the West.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Worthy Preceptress?
PRECEPTRESS: To assist the other principal officers, and during their absence to preside; to prepare the Assembly Hall and care for its properties.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Worthy Second Vice President?
PRECEPTRESS: At the south-east point of the Templar Cross.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Second Vice President?
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: To assist my superior officers; preside during their absence; see that the Guards are at their stations, and in possession of the Passes and Salutes.
PRESIDENT: The station of the First Vice President?
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: In the East, at the left of the President.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Worthy First Vice President?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: To assist the President, strengthen her with my counsel, and in her absence to preside.
PRESIDENT: The station of the Most Worthy Oracle?
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: In the East, at the right of the President.
PRESIDENT: Your duties, Most Worthy Oracle?
ORACLE: To aid the President with advice and information when requested, and assist in the work of the Assembly.
PRESIDENT: The station of the President?
ORACLE: In the East.
PRESIDENT: Most Worthy Oracle, the President’s duties?
ORACLE: To preside over the Assembly, direct its ceremonies and supervise its affairs, so that its laws may be kept inviolate, and the principles of loyalty and friendship upheld.
PRESIDENT: Officers, let us see that our duties are faithfully discharged, and so act, and
 “So live, that every thought and deed
May hold within itself the seed
Of future good and future meed.”
The Marshals will now perform their sacred duty at the altar.
Marshals go to the west side of the altar, and together they open the Bible, which should have the open side toward the Marshal. With the left hand, she raises the Bible to a vertical position; the Assistant Marshal lays down one half of it, with the right hand; then the Marshal the other half. Together they salute, and step back to positions on either side and in the rear of the Chaplain, and there remain, until the Assembly is declared open.
PRESIDENT: We meet here in a spirit of fraternal friendship. We must be loyal to each other, and to our Order. That we may have Divine assistance in attaining these ideals, let us unite with our Chaplain in prayer.
Chaplain kneels at the west side of the altar.
CHAPLAIN: Our Father, Who art in Heaven, pardon we beseech Thee, whatever Thou hast seen amiss in us since we last separated. Make us more sensible of the renewed obligation we are under, to love Thee supremely, and be friendly and charitable to each other. May the blessing of Heaven rest upon us all, and the labors of our Order be productive of good results in our daily lives, and blossom in noble and generous deeds, which shall meet Thy favor. Amen!
PRESIDENT: Let us unite in singing our opening ode.
“Blest Be the Tie that Binds,” or other appropriate song.
PRESIDENT: I now declare ... Assembly No. ..., Social Order of the Beauceant, opened in form, for the transaction of business. Sister Inner Guard, you will so inform the Outer Guard.
INNER GUARD: Worthy President, the Outer Guard is informed.
The President now invites the Past Presidents to the East. and orders the Marshals to escort them.
Initiation ceremony
PRESIDENT: Worthy Second Vice President, you will retire to the ante-room, ascertain and report if there are any candidates waiting to receive our Degree.
Second Vice President salutes at the Station of Salute; ascertains, and reports at same place.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: Worthy President, I found in waiting, Mrs ... who has expressed a desire to be admitted to our Order.
PRESIDENT: Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will retire and satisfy yourselves that the candidate possesses the necessary qualifications.
Marshal and Assistant Marshal retire, and ask the following questions of the candidate.
MARSHAL: Do you believe in the existence of Almighty God, the Creator and Ruler of the Universe?
MARSHAL: Do you endeavor to keep His Commandments?
ASSISTANT MARSHAL: Are you willing to assume a solemn obligation to hold our secrets inviolate, provided they do not conflict with your duty to your God, your Country, your family, or your neighbor?
If the questions are satisfactorily answered, the Assistant Marshal dresses the candidate in a black robe, hood, and blindfold, while the Marshal returns to the Assembly hall and reports.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, the candidate is fully qualified to enter, and has signified her assent to our requirements.
PRESIDENT: Sister Marshal, you will retire and present the candidate for the Ceremony of Initiation.
Marshal retires, and when ready to return, gives *  *  *  on the door of the ante-room.
INNER GUARD: Worthy President, there is an alarm at our inner door.
PRESIDENT: Sister Inner Guard, you will investigate the cause.
Inner Guard goes to the door, opens it slightly and inquires: Who sounds the alarm at our door?
MARSHAL: The Marshals. We seek admission, accompanied by a worthy candidate.
INNER GUARD: My Sisters, you will await the pleasure of our President.
Guard closes the door and reports: Worthy President, the Marshals caused the alarm; they are accompanied by a candidate, who seeks admission to our Order.
PRESIDENT: Let our doors and hearts be opened unto her.
The Marshals enter at the southwest door, with candidate between them, first marching toward the East, on the south side of the hall, then by left turns around the hall to the Station of Salute. If there be two or more candidates, couples are formed, with one on the Marshal’s left, the other on the Assistant Marshals right; other candidates between, escorted by the officers in the West, until the blindfold is removed; soft music should be played during the march.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, we take pleasure in presenting this candidate, who is seeking admission to our Order.
PRESIDENT: The candidate will approach the East.
MARSHAL: Worthy President, she is unable to do so without our assistance, for she is in total darkness.
PRESIDENT: My Friend, your helpless condition is symbolic of our dependence upon God, and each other; even at the zenith of our strength and wisdom, our happiness and welfare depend upon Divine guidance and mutual assistance. Your eyes are blinded to teach you to conceal in your heart, our secrets, so that those who are in darkness outside our Order, may not behold them. Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will guide the footsteps of our friend to the East.
Marshals escort the candidate to the East, and remove the blindfold.
During the march, the Chaplain at her station, reads the following lesson, accompanied by soft music.
CHAPLAIN: “For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, neither hid, that shall not be known.”
“God is the light of Heaven and earth. Truly the light is sweet, and a pleasant thing it is for the eyes to behold the sun.”
“He that loveth his brother abideth in the light and there is none occasion of stumbling in him.”
“Beloved, let us love one another. Love is God and God is love.”

Pause until the Marshal removes the blindfold.
“The darkness is past, the light now shineth.”
“Lift up thine eyes round about and see.”
MARSHAL: Worthy President, I have the honor to introduce to you Mrs. ..., the wife (or widow) of a Knight Templar. She has been deemed worthy of receiving our Degree, confidence and esteem.
PRESIDENT: My Friend, we are pleased to receive you, and extend to you a cordial welcome to our Social Order of the Beauceant. We are the wives and widows of Knights Templar, an Order of Christian Knighthood, which unites its members by strongest bonds of friendship and fraternity. As the associations and interests of our husbands are mutual, it is fitting and proper, that we, their wives, should be associates and friends. We desire to admit those only, whose unsullied reputation and unimpeachable honor and integrity, entitle them to our confidence and esteem, for we wish to continue our Circle of Friendship unbroken.
“Fame  is the scentless flower with gaudy crown of gold,
But friendship is the breathing rose, with sweets in every fold.”
The mission of our Order is to promote loyal friendships, provide entertainment and recreation for our members, show by acts of loving kindness, our tender solicitude for those in need of our sympathy and consolation, and to render aid to the Knights Templar, when requested. While our Order is not primarily a relief or charitable organization, we are not unmindful of the poor and unfortunate, and we endeavor to be helpful in making life sweeter and better for others. You are now advised of the purposes of our Order. Do you still desire to be admitted? If so, answer, “I do.”
PRESIDENT: Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will guide the footsteps of our friend to the Mistress of the Wardrobe, that she may properly attire her for our ceremony.
During the march the following lesson is given.
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE: Worthy Friend, your black garments proclaim you a pilgrim from the outer world of darkness. To enter our world of light and knowledge, you will now be invested with a mantle of white. By accepting this emblematic robe, you solemnly pledge your life to this Order, with God’s help, in chastity, justice and charity.
MARSHAL: Mistress of the Wardrobe, you will attire our friend for the Vow of our Order.
While speaking, the Mistress of the Wardrobe unfastens the black garments, lets them fall to the floor; replaces them with a white robe, red girdle and wreath of white flowers.
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE: May the darkness fall from you, as this mantle.
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE: I robe thee in white, and girdle thee with red, to symbolize, that so long as thou art pure and loyal, thou wilt be encircled with our love. I now place upon thy head a wreath of white roses, to signify that a woman’s crowning glory is her purity and loyalty. Sister Marshal, you will now guide the footsteps of our friend to the altar.
PRESIDENT: *  *  *.
During the march, “Welcome, Welcome,” is sung.
March eastward, pass the President; when they approach the Chaplain, she rises, leads them through the Station of Salute, circles the altar, and stops at its east side, facing the candidate, who is west of the altar.
PRESIDENT: Officers, you will assemble around the Templar Cross, while our friend assumes our Obligation.
All Officers, except Oracle, and Outer Guard form Passion Cross around, and facing the altar.

CHAPLAIN: Place your right hand on the Holy Bible and repeat after me: “I, (repeat your name,) do most solemnly promise and vow, in the presence of Almighty God, and the sisters here assembled, that I will faithfully keep and conceal, all the secrets of this Order; that I will obey its laws and regulations; that I will, to the best of my ability, perform cheerfully, the duties assigned to me; that I will not be unkind or unjust to my sisters; that I will protect and defend their good name, and will use my best efforts to promote harmony and friendship among them; and I promise further, that I will not perform any act of injustice against a woman. Should I ever be unfaithful to my vows, may I be dishonored by my sisters, and deemed unworthy of their companionship. So help me, my Father.”
CHAPLAIN: Our Father, we beseech Thee to cast the Light of Thy favor upon this Order. Pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of Love, the bond of peace and all virtues. Grant that we may avoid those things contrary to our profession, and strengthen us by Thy grace, that We may increase daily in noble and generous deeds that will meet Thy favor; through Jesus Christ, our Lord, Amen!

Members are seated, officers remain in position in the Cross.
The Chaplain passes around the altar to the right, takes the new sister by the hand, assists her to rise, and greets her with a verse; the President and other officers follow promptly in order from the east, north, south, and west arm of the cross. When greeting the new sister, all officers proceed from North to South, then back to positions in the cross.
CHAPLAIN:  “Arise, be loyal, strong and true,
Faithfully keep your solemn vow.
We share with you this sacred pledge,
We greet you as our sister now.”
PRESIDENT: “Be what thou seemest, live thy creed,
Hold up to earth the torch divine
Be what thou prayest to be made,
Let the Great Master’s steps be thine.”
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: “He liveth long, who liveth well,
All else is being flung away.
He liveth longest, who can tell,
Of true things, truly done each days”
STANDARD BEARER: “Bearing with patience life’s burdens,
With charity and love for all,
Will save many heart-aches and sorrows,
And harsh words beyond recall.”
DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: “Friendship above all ties
Does bind the heart,
And faith in friendship
Is the noblest part.”
TREASURER: “Live for those who love you,
For those who know you true,
For the Heaven that smiles above you,
And the good that you can do.”
COLOR BEARER: “Show your colors to the world,
The Red, the Black, the White,
Let your banner be unfurled,
You’re standing for the right.”
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT:  “Give an arm of aid to the weak,
A friendly hand to the friendless,
Kind words so short to speak,
But whose echo is endless.
The world is wide, these things are small,
They may be nothing, but they are all.”
RECORDER:  “Let each day record some kindness,
Some service of love by you.
Help make some sad life worth living,
And to thine own self be true.”
INNER GUARD:  “Keep your face with sunshine lit,
Laugh a little bit.
Gloomy shadows oft will flit,
If you have the wit and grit,
Just to laugh a little bit.”
PRECEPTRESS: “We have an Holy House to build,
With love its corner-stone.
‘Tis built of deeds for human needs,
With acts of kindness shown.”
MISTRESS OF THE WARDROBE:  “Look on the bright side every time,
Don’t waste your time repining.
When any cloud looks dark and dull,
Turn out the silver lining.”
ORACLE, in the East: “Cast thy bread upon the waters,
Far and wide the treasure strew,
You may think it lost forever,
But as sure as God is true,
In this life and in the other,
It will yet return to you.”
When the Oracle begins her verse, all other officers face the East.
ORACLE, *  *  *: Officers and Members, let us form our Circle of Friendship around the Templar Cross.
The Circle of Friendship in the Initiation Ceremony is formed by the Standard Bearer marching west of the altar, to the right side of the Color Bearer; when she passes the altar, the Marshals with the candidate promptly follow. The Standard and Color Bearers, side by side, and by left turns, lead to the East, where officers take positions as follows, and all facing the altar:
The Standard Bearer stands at the President’s left, the Color Bearer at the left of the Standard Bearer, and the Oracle at the left of the Color Bearer.
The Marshal stands at the right of the President, with the candidate at her right, and the Assistant Marshal to the right of the candidate.
The first Vice President, Recorder, and Second Vice President take positions in the Circle, on the south side of the altar. The Chaplain, Treasurer, and Daughter of the Household stand in the Circle, on the north side of the altar.
The Inner Guard, Preceptress, and Mistress of the Wardrobe stand in the Circle, in the West, and the members complete the Circle, between the four groups of officers. The Outer Guard remains at her station, to guard the door. All join upraised hands as in Closing Ceremony.
MEMBERS: “Thus our circle still extends,
Linking sworn and faithful friends.”
Led by Standard and Color Bearers, members march around the hall, greet the new sister and resume seats.
Marshals and candidate face the East with the Standard Bearer at the south end of the line Marshal next to her; then candidate, Assistant Marshal, Color Bearer at the north end of line.
PRESIDENT: My Sister, the First Vice President will now instruct you, that you may fully understand, and appreciate the purposes, teachings, and symbols of the Social Order of the Beauceant.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: My Sister, our Order teaches us to be faithful, loyal, and loving in all of life’s relations, with our God, Country, neighbor, and home; to be woman’s true friend, and thus increase the happiness and welfare of each other. Its purposes are noble and unselfish: its lessons like those of the Knights Templar are from the Master and the Cross. Had there been no Savior who gave His life for others, there would have been no Brotherhood of the Poor Fellow Soldiers of Jesus Christ. That Brotherhood originated about 1118, after the First Crusade, when nine noble French Knights dedicated their lives to the defense of the Holy Places sanctified by our Savior; and to the protection of thousands of men, women, and children, who were exposed to terrible dangers and hardships, during their pilgrimage to and from the Holy Shrine. They rendered such valiant service in warfare, that the King of Jerusalem gave them habitation in the Temple on Mount Moriah, which was then believed to be King Solomon’s Temple. They became known as Knights of the Temple or Knights Templar. They were robed in white to symbolize their purity and candor; on the left breast they wore a red cross, to signify their willingness to shed their blood for Christianity. The splendor of their glorious deeds will ever gleam, as does the Holy Cross on our distant mountain side.
Standard Bearer, you will now explain our Banner,
STANDARD BEARER: My Sister, our Banner is the Beauceant. Its origin is ancient and honorable: it was the battle flag of those valiant Templars of old, and was carried by them, in all their warfare for Christianity. You will observe that the upper half is black, and the lower half is white with a brood red cross. For them its significance was dark and terrible to the enemies of Christ, but fair and favorable to friends. It was their battle cry, and their most sacred oath was by the Beauceant. Those days of chivalry and warfare unto death, are past, but we keep this Banner ever before us, to remind us of our duty to God and each other; for there is still need of defense of the Cross, the helpless and unfortunate, and still evil and darkness to overcome. It is from this ancient and historical Banner that our Order derives its name.
The Color Bearer will now explain to you our Colors.
COLOR BEARER: My Sister, the Colors of our Order are Black, White, and Red, surmounted by the Flag of our Country. The ancient Beauceant often was in the form of two parallel bars, one black, the other white; to that banner we have added a bar of red. Red symbolizes love for God and each other; White, the faith and purity of life, which our Order teaches; Black represents the darkness, sin, and sorrow of the world, which our love and faith may in a measure alleviate.
Worthy Second Vice President, you will further instruct our Sister.
Second Vice President takes a position by the side of the First Vice President.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: My Sister, the days of the Crusades, with all their valor and pageantry, have faded into the dim past; but their influence still lives, and the Knights Templar of today valiantly wield their swords in defense of woman, of the innocent and helpless, and the Christian religion. While we have no part, except as we are the objects of its defense, we have great appreciation of the noble work of the Knights Templar, and it inspires us to render loyal assistance in feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and binding up the wounds of the afflicted.
Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will now guide our sister to the Preceptress.
Standard Bearer and Color Bearer lead the line to the West, where the Standard Bearer is at the north end of line, Marshal next to her. etc. During the march, the Chaplain at her station, reads the following lesson: “But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping; and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre. Jesus smith unto her, Woman, why weepiest thou? Whom sleekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, smith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away. Jesus smith unto her, Mary. She turned herself and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master.”
MARSHAL: Worthy Preceptress, I now present this sister to you for instruction.
PRECEPTRESS: My Sister, Freemasonry and its many beautiful lessons of life and immortality are taught by symbolism and allegory, founded upon the building of King Solomon’s Temple. The thousands of workmen employed on the Temple were Master Masons, every man a builder, skilled in all the arts of temple-building, as well as home-building. The Knights Templar were defenders of the sacred temples, defenders of the pilgrims, and defenders of unprotected womanhood. We, therefore, as wives of Masons and Knights Templar, share jointly in the home-building and home-defending. Let our influence in the home become an armor of strength and protection against evil and temptation, and like unto a pillar of cloud by day and of fire by night, shielding our loved ones from harm. Our influence is far-reaching, none but the Heavenly Father knows how far and how wide. Each day of life, we build with God-given material. Let the temples we build, our homes, grow more and more like the “House of many mansions in Heaven.” Each year of life let us say:
“Build thee more stately mansions, O my Soul!
As the swift seasons roll.”
The Daughter of the Household will further counsel you.
DAUGHTER OF THE HOUSEHOLD: My Sister, “Apply thine heart to the words of instruction, and thy ears to the words of knowledge.”
“A virtuous woman, her price is far above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.”
“She will do him good and not evil all the days of her life.”
“She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy.”
“She looketh well to the ways of her household, and eateth not the bread of idleness.”
“Her children arise up, and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praiseth her.”
“Give her of the fruit of her hands and let her own works praise her in the gates.”
Sister Marshal, you will guide our sister to the President, for the final lesson.
While the Marshals and candidate, led by the Standard and Color Bearers, return to the East, the Chaplain at her station, gives the following lesson:
CHAPLAIN: One of the rare instances, in which woman is mentioned in connection with Masonry, is given in an ancient Masonic legend.
When the Queen of Sheba first beheld the glory and magnificence of the Temple of King Solomon, which was so deftly fitted and joined, as to look like one marvelous piece of masonry, she raised her hands and eyes to Heaven, in wonder and admiration, and exclaimed, “Rabboni;” which means, “A most excellent Master bath done this.”
MARSHAL: Worthy President, I present this sister to you for the final lesson.
PRESIDENT: My Sister, you have assumed our obligation, which is binding upon you, till the mantle of earthly life falls from your shoulders, and you put on the garments of life eternal. You have assembled with us around the Templar Cross, as we symbolized our Faith, Loyalty, and Love, and have been admitted to our Circle of Friendship. The symbolism of our Banner and Colors has been imparted to you; I will now make known and explain to you our Signs and Passes.
Should you wish to enter the hail after the Assembly is convened, give the signal thus, ... at the door. This Sign is given to the Outer Guard, .... Advance to the Inner Guard and give this Sign, .... The interpretation of the Sign is .... The Pass which is given to the Inner Guard is .... After giving the Sign and Pass to the Inner Guard, advance to the Station of Salute, and salute the First Vice President .... Should you wish to retire before the Assembly is closed, go to the Station of Salute, and give the same Sign to the First Vice President, who will respond as before.
The Grip of the Order is given .... The Marshal will now give you our Grip. The Password is never given aloud, you will now receive it from the President .... Our Motto is ....
And now, my Sister, you are invested with all the secrets of the Social Order of the Beauceant. Let me impress upon you, the importance of the duties which you have thus assumed. Friendship, one of the noblest sentiments in woman, is the foundation-stone of our Order. It is a moral free-masonry. In our friends we seek truth and sympathy, and those influences, which will banish envy and distrust. We look through the glass of charity, with the eyes of love, and all that is beautiful is rendered radiant. We need the joy of social life, and here we find it among our friends.
You will now kneel.
By virtue of the power and authority in me vested, I now create and constitute you a Sister of the Social Order of the Beauceant.
Touches the candidate with the Cross on the left and the right shoulder, then on the head.
I place upon your breast this Cross and Crown, which henceforth you should wear. They symbolize, that she who bears the cross, will wear the crown of life, which awaits those who are faithful. Now my Sister, with this right hand, I extend to you all the rights and privileges of the Order. Rise.
Sisters Marshal and Assistant Marshal, you will conduct our sister to the Recorder to sign our ByLaws, then to a seat in our midst.
Marshals escort the sister to the ante-room and remove the robe, before seating her.
Closing Ceremony
PRESIDENT: Officers and Members, I am now about to close this Assembly. I thank you for your presence, attention and assistance. May we return to our homes better and happier, because we have met together here. That the bonds of friendship and loyalty may be strengthened, let us form our Circle of Friendship, around the Templar Cross, and listen to the parting counsel of our Chaplain.
Chaplain kneels at the west side of the altar.
The Circle of Friendship is formed, by all joining hands around the altar, with hands uplifted to the level of the shoulders. The Officers stand in the Circle, near their respective stations.
*   *   *.
CHAPLAIN: Our Heavenly Father; we thank Thee for the privilege of so pleasant an Assembly, and for whatever good we have been enabled to accomplish. May the Lord be with us, and support us ,all in the coming time, as in the past. Amen!
PRESIDENT: Let us unite in singing.
God Be With You Till We Meet Again,” or other appropriate song.
PRESIDENT: The Marshals will now perform their duty at the altar.
Together, they close the Bible, reversing die order in Opening Ceremony, and take same positions as in the Opening Ceremony.
President returns to the East.
PRESIDENT: Adieu, my Sisters.
PRESIDENT: I now declare ... Assembly No. ..., Social Order of the Beauceant, closed. Sister Inner Guard you will so inform the Outer Guard.