Ritual of the Subordinate Palace
Princes of Syracuse


Opening Ceremony
At the hour specified in the by-laws, the Prince Regent will assume his station and invest himself with jewel or gown. Members take their seats.
Prince Regent, *: Princes, the hour of assembly is at hand. Captain General, station the Guard Captain at the Palace door, and the Guard Lieutenant in the Outer Court; and see that their respective duties are properly understood.
Captain General arises, salutes and approaches altar, the Guard Captain and Guard Lieutenant joining him at left. The three give the Symbol of Syracuse, and Captain General conducts the guards to their respective stations, clears Outer Court and returns to altar.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, our Palace is now protected by the Guard Lieutenant in the Outer Court, and by the Guard Captain at the inner portal.
Prince Regent: Captain General, approach this station and prove yourself a Prince of Syracuse.
Captain General approaches Prince Regent and salutes with sword. He then communicates the password, in a whisper, to the Prince Regent and returns to his station.
Prince Regent: The Captain General having proved himself a Prince of Syracuse, he will see that all active members present are obligated Princes. * *.
Captain General salutes and proceeds to examine all voting members present in lodgeroom, as well as Guard Lieutenant. The password is given in a whisper. If all are in possession of the word, Captain General approaches altar, salutes with sword and reports:
Captain General: Prince Regent, I have examined all active members present and find them obligated Princes. Salutes and returns to his station.
If one or more members are not in possession of the password, Captain General reports: Prince Regent, I have examined all active members present and find them duly obligated, with the exception of Prince (or Princes) …
The Prince Regent, after satisfying himself that the member or members are entitled to the password, says: The Prince (or Princes) in default will approach this station and receive the word. They salute as they approach.
If any member is not entitled to the password, he will he instructed to report to the Minister of Finance, after which he will approach the Prince Regent as above.
If the Prince Regent is doubtful of the qualifications of any Knight present to sit in the assembly, he may instruct the Captain General to examine his Pythian receipt, or he may ask another Knight to vouch for him.
Prince Regent: Captain General, prepare the altar.
Captain General obeys and then approaches altar Warden respectfully advances and hands him the folded altar cloth, which is laid on the altar. Monitor then advances and hands him the closed Bible. which Captain General reverently opens near its center and places upon the altar cloth. Warden and Monitor remain at altar. facing Prince Regent. until Captain General salutes. Members maintain absolute silence.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, your order has been obeyed.
Prince Regent: Captain General, present the flag of our countrv.
Captain General retires to anteroom and secures flag. All members stand at attention. Captain General presents flag, unfurled, at altar.
Prince Regent: That flag is the flag of our country. May it never be unfurled except in the cause of liberty, for the maintenance of Justice, and the protection of its citizens! Let us defend it against all enemies, from within or without, and preserve to the utmost the nation it Princes salute!
All present give the usual military salute. Captain General then stations flag at right of Prince Regent and returns to his station.
If a flag of the Order us to be presented also, the Prince Regent will instruct the Captain General to “present the flag of our Order.” It is to be stationed at the left of the Prince Regent, who says: “Princes. the flag of our Order. Join me in salute.” All Princes give the Symbol of Syracuse.
Prince Regent: Officers, report!
Each officer of the Palace, except Guard Lieutenant, then steps quickly to the altar, lining up abreast thereat, the Vice Regent in center, Captain General at extreme left. They stand at attention.
Vice Regent: Officers, salute!
All officers give Symbol of Syracuse, except Captain General, who salutes with sword.
Prince Regent: As officers of the Palace, sworn to uphold and defend the Law and the Ritual, you are expected to be faithful in the performance of your duties; and especially to be an example to your brother Princes in obedience to every just command. We would have you regardful of the rights of others, kind to the unfortunate, charitable to the weak, a defender of the right. Thus may you fulfill the destiny of a Prince of Syracuse.
Vice Regent: Officers, salute!
All officers give Symbol of Syracuse, except Captain General, who salutes with sword.
Prince Regent: What are the cardinal principles of this Order?
All, in unison, while giving and holding the Symbol of Syracuse: Truth, Honor, Obedience.
Prince Regent: To aid us in the practice of these principles, the Monitor will offer prayer.
Monitor: Supreme Monarch of All: We humbly ask thy blessing upon this Order, its officers and members. Help us to walk in the light of Truth, to be honorable in every act, and to be obedient to Thy word. Guide us in the way of righteousness, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
All: Amen.
Prince Regent: Let us sing the Opening Ode.
Opening Ode
(Tune: America, or God Save the King.)
Syracuse, ‘tis of thee,
Land of fraternity,
Of thee we sing;
Land of the Princes’ pride,
Where love and faith abide,
From every mountain side
Let Friendship ring.
Monarch of all, to Thee,
God of fraternity,
To Thee we sing.
Long may our Lodge be bright
With Friendship ‘s holy light,
Perfect us in Thy sight,
Great God, our King.
Prince Regent: Attention, Princes! The Symbol of Syracuse!
All active members give this and the following signs.
Prince Regent: Give the Supreme Honors.
Give the Governors’ Honors.
The salute to the national flag.
The Symbol of Syracuse.
The voting sign.
The Princes’ Memorial.
Prince Regent: It is well. Captain General, display the coat-of-arms on the Palace door.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, your order has been obeyed.
Prince Regent: Guard Captain, inform the Guard Lieutenant that the Palace is now in order, and direct him to admit all who are qualified.
Guard Captain salutes and retires.
Guard Captain, at station, saluting: Prince Regent your order has been obeyed.
Prince Regent: * * *.
The Prince Regent then proceeds with the Order of Business.
Initiatory Ceremony
Section One
Under the proper Order of Business, the candidate being in waiting in anteroom, the palace will be “at ease” while officers and others don their appropriate gowns. If any money is due from candidate, the Prince Regent will direct the Minister of Finance to proceed to anteroom and collect it.
Lodge room lights should all be on.
Captain General, in anteroom, addressing candidate, while Guard Lieutenant, at attention, stands beside him: My friend, as your presence tonight indicates a desire to learn our mysteries, I place upon you the robe of innocence. It is your guaranty of protection while within the Palace walls, and indicates to members of this Order that a stranger is among them.
Captain General then places a regulation gown upon candidate and approaches inner door, giving thereon the raps of the Rank, which are answered from within in same manner.
Guard Captain, loudly: Who strikes upon the palace door?
Captain General: The Captain General, with a stranger, who desires to be elevated to the rank of a Prince of Syracuse.
Guard Captain, saluting: Prince Regent, the Captain General, with a stranger, who desires to be elevated to the rank of a Prince of Syracuse, applies for admission.
Prince Regent: Permit them to enter.
Guard Captain then throws door open. Captain General escorts candidate around the room to the station of Prince Regent. Music should be played during all marching.
Prince Regent, as they approach: Greetings, Captain General. What is your mission here?
Captain General, giving sword salute: Prince Regent, I present a stranger, who seeks to wear the purple of a Prince. Salutes.
Prince Regent: My friend, I welcome you as a stranger in our midst.
This Order, founded upon the principles of Truth, Honor and Obedience, opens its portals only to those who have fully proved their fitness, or shown themselves willing to profit by its teachings. We do not expect perfection, but we do insist upon a constant effort to attain it.
This Order, founded in Oak Park, Principality of Illinois, United States of America, on the twentieth day of February, 1923, takes its name from Syracuse, a city in Sicily, where the friendship of Damon and Pythias so nobly met the acid test of trial.
A Senator of Syracuse aspired to be and assumed the powers of Emperor. Damon, a fellow Senator, opposed his mad ambition and, as a result, was condemned to die.
Pythias, a soldier and bosom friend of Damon, knowing his love of home, begged the tyrant to grant his friend a respite, offering himself as pledge for his return.
Damon fearlessly returned in time to save his friend, though well he knew that death might be his fate.
At their mutual trust the tyrant wondered, finally renouncing his ambition and pleading to be admitted to their friendship.
Upon this, the most beautiful story of brotherly love in all history, was founded the Order Knights of Pythias, in the shadows of whose castle hall this palace exists, and to which order Princes of Syracuse become eligible when they have attained the age of eighteen.
With this explanation, I ask you, are you willing to aid us in our fraternal work?
Candidate: I am.
Prince Regent: Captain General, conduct the stranger to the Monitor, who will administer to him the obligation of a Prince.
Captain General salutes and escorts candidate to altar, facing Prince Regent. Monitor takes his position on opposite side of altar, facing candidate.
Captain General, saluting: Monitor, by order of the Prince Regent, I present a stranger, that you may administer to him the obligation.
Monitor: You will advance your left foot, place your hand over your heart in this manner and repeat after me:
Candidate gives and holds the Symbol of Syracuse.
Prince Regent: * *.
Monitor: I solemnly promise That I will forever keep within my heart, veiled from human eyes and ears, all the secrets, mysteries, passwords, signs and grip of the Order, Princes of Syracuse.
I further promise that I will obey the laws of this Order, respect the officers thereof; assist a Prince who may be ill or in distress, so far as lies within my power; and that I will aid and protect, to the best of my ability, any child, girl or woman who may be in need of assistance.
In evidence of which I pledge my sacred word in Truth, in Honor and in Obedience. Amen.
All: Amen.
Prince Regent: * * *.
Monitor: You have now assumed the solemn obligations of this Order: obligations which impose upon you new duties and new responsibilities.
One of these obligations is that of Friendship. Not the type which feeds upon pretense and insincerity; but that of Damon and Pythias, which was at all times ready to aid and to sacrifice.
Do no act that will bring dishonor upon this Order. Let age and womanhood be treated with respect and courtesy, and graciously accept the advice of those who have your welfare most at heart.
In whatever position in life yon find yourself, be true to the trust reposed in you. Then, indeed, shall greatness come to you in fullest measure, and every friend of yours rejoice in your accomplishments.
There’s always a friend wherever you go,
There’s always a fellow who’s good to know;
A smiling eye and a helping hand,
These are dotting this good old land;
Most of the people who come and go
Are friendly folks who are good to know.
It all depends on the view you take,
And the sort of a goal that you wish to make;
Men will answer the way you speak,
And you’ll find the very things you seek;
Hate, and wherever you go you’ll find
Hatred and malice of every kind.
Travel the highways up or down,
On the village street or the busy town,
And you will find, whatever the place,
Men read your thoughts and they read your face;
If only the smile of a friend you show,
You’ll find it friendly wherever you go.
Captain General, conduct the stranger to a seat.
A seat is provided for him at right front of altar. After he is seated, all lights are extinguished.
Prince Regent (slowly): The darkness which entombs you typifies the sorrow of those who confess a wayward son. Then let us, by our conduct, drive away the clouds which envelop them, that the sunshine of trust and confidence may brighten their remaining days.
The gloom of night is symbolic of Evil, for the ways of righteousness know but the light of truth.
Truth, crushed to earth, shall rise again.
The eternal years of God are hers;
But Error, wounded, writhes in pain
And dies among its worshipers.
Evil knows no sacred place, and lifts its sombre head to poison and pollute. We find it even here!
A red spotlight is focused upon the spot where Mephisto will appear, a red fire cone is lighted, or a red electric light is turned on.
Mephisto enters.
Prince Regent, in surprise: Mephisto!
Mephisto: Who calls Mephisto: King of Evil; Prince of Darkness; Emperor of Sin?
I hail from Hades and my power is great! There is no human being on this hated earth with whom I have not visited, and there is none who hath not felt my presence. And yet, I must confess, there are those who prove themselves almost beyond me. Perhaps yonder stranger be one of these: eh-h-h?
But ah! mine arms embrace the world! I know not weakness nor Defeat! I knock upon man’s door and at my bidding doth he rise in suppliance! I fear no Code, no Law, no Writ: I am all powerful!
Men feel my spirit day and night, in places high and low. There is no hall, no temple, where my word meets unresponsive echoes from my hearers!
Men honor me, and ‘tis this very homage spurs me on to greater victories I Ha! Ha! They seek to kill me, yet for the cup I offer them they slay each other!
My mission on this earth is simple. Were it not for me, this world would be a paradise. I hate mankind and lure him on to his destruction. I cast upon his path the deadly reptile called “Temptation,” which, though good to look upon, hath fangs as poisonous as those of any cobra!
In the hearts of men I plant the seeds of Anger, Hate, Jealousy and Crime. It is my pleasure: nay, it is my whole existence: to stir men’s souls to sin and make them outlaws from the pale of codes divine and mortal!
Yonder sits a simple stranger. In his heart he feels himself above the petty jealousies that dwarf men’s souls. The counsels of his elders he ridicules and censures.
Hatred? Greed? Jealousy? He knoweth them not! And so he feels himself above these human weaknesses. Ignorance! Ignorance! Because he does not know or feel these things, he fondly imagines they do not exist. Thus he becomes an easy prey of Satan!
Ha! Ha! Ha! Beware! Beware! Beware!
Spotlight is suddenly shut off and lodge is in total darkness.
Vice Regent sounds three raps on bell or chimes. Diogenes enters from anteroom, wearing black gown and wig, leaning on a staff and carrying a small, lighted lantern. He advances slowly, painfully and noisily, muttering repeatedly to himself: “An honest man,” “An honest man.” Pausing, he sees Mephisto, who is about to retire.
Diogenes, angrily: Begone, thou enemy of righteousness!
Mephisto retires.
Captain General: Hail, Diogenes; what brings you here?
Diogenes: I seek one who radiates the light of Truth, and from whose lips fall words of cheer.
I seek one whose heart hath not been tarnished with dishonor: who would prefer the very hordes of Hades to trample him in mire and bog ere he would yield to beckoning depravity.
The game of life results in victory for those who play it fair, while those who cheat are by themselves defrauded.
Many commit their sins or crimes in ignorance; some maliciously; some in faith that skill and cunning may cause them to escape just punishment. But “the mills of the gods grind slowly, and the grist is exceedingly small.”
Prison walls─ the utter hopelessness of living death─ such is the lot of him who wrongs society. None can escape the fate which Evil makes inevitable. One may postpone, but lie cannot evade, the payment of his debt, for “whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”
As Aetna ‘s eternal fires purify the center of the earth, so let the flame of Truth and Honor purify the soul of him who seeks admission here.
Diogenes retires slowly, muttering “An honest man,” as before.
Lights are then turned on.
Prince Regent, rising: Mephisto, representing the spirit of Satan, boasts of his sinister power over man. But while we recognize its universal presence, let us each resolve to be master over Evil, rather than its victim or its slave!
Diogenes, wise with the wisdom of years, is foe to all that Mephisto typifies: a seeker after Truth, daring to order from his righteous presence the enemy of his philosophy.
He demands that those who enter here be purified by fire, and thus made fit to wear the purple of a Prince.
Stranger, like Diogenes, you have sought the Truth in darkness, and found in small degree the light of knowledge. We would have you truthful in all things; but, more than this, be true to yourself and in your friendships. Keep your thoughts free from evil, and your mind pure as the driven snow, that the bounty of a clear conscience may be yours.
Captain General, conduct the stranger to the Outer Court.
If no interruption is desired. Prince Regent may say, instead: “Captain General, conduct the stranger to a seat.’
Section Two
Lodge room should be lighted, but not too brightly. Warden will arrange three chairs, in the form of a triangle, in front of Prince Regent’s station. When all is ready, Captain General escorts candidate to a chair in front of Minister of Finance’s station, facing opposite side of room. The usual raps are given and answered.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, the candidate seeks further knowledge.
Prince Regent, rising: Stranger, all who seek admission here must learn the lessons of love, and life, and duty.
If all who hate would love us,
And all our loves were true,
The stars that swing above us
Would brighten in the blue.
If purses would untighten
To meet a brother’s need,
The load we bear would lighten
Above the grave of greed.
If hearts were only jolly,
If grieving were forgot,
And tears and melancholy
Were things that now are not─
Then Love would kneel to Duty,
And all the world would seem
A bridal bower of beauty─
A dream within a dream!
Here follow loud sounds of scuffling in anteroom. Guard Captain throws door open.
Enter CITIZEN OF SYRACUSE, without regalia of any kind, highly agitated. He shouts angrily at an imaginary accuser in anteroom a~ he slowly backs toward front of hall. Anteroom door should be partly open.
Citizen of Syracuse: You say it’s gone far enough! No! It hasn’t gone far enough! You’ve been telling me what’s wrong with me─now I’ll tell you what’s wrong with you!
You don’t know what I’ve suffered! Yon don’t know, I say─and what’s more, you don’t care! And you call yourself just and upright!
You’re nothing but a miserable prodder: a contemptible hypocrite─that’s what you are!
You believe in torture─that’s what you do!─you believe in torture and persecution! You never knew the meaning of sympathy and kindness! But you’ve got the law on your side─and you can have me locked up!
All right! But I’m going to tell you this─I’m going to stand here and tell YOU─have me locked up if you think I care! Come on and have me locked up!
A member designated in advance, seated at left of Warden and wearing only the regulation cap, quickly approaches Citizen.
Prince of Syracuse, saluting: Prince Regent, can it be possible that any friend of ours is being dealt with harshly and unjustly? Here and now I stand his bondsman─his surety and defender─for I am sworn to render aid to those whom I believe deserving of assistance.
Citizen of Syracuse: And who are you?
Prince of Syracuse: I am a Prince of Syracuse, who, recognizing wrong, am bound to raise my voice against it.
Wherever there is gross injustice, there shall our battle flag be unfurled against the foe!
The red in that flag sounds a warning! It typifies the princely courage which defies unjust aggression!
The gold in that flag stands for sympathy. It indicates that members of this Order are sworn to aid─to bring into unfavored lives the sunshine of fraternal love.
A Prince of Syracuse is always chivalrous: and chivalry never yet lent itself to meanness and dishonor.
Prince Regent, with your permission, the citizen will walk my way, that he may learn from me that sympathy and chivalry are still a mighty force! Salutes.
Prince Regent: Prince, you wear the purple as well becomes one who has assumed our obligations. Permission granted. Go in peace.
Prince throws his arm about Citizen’s shoulders, and the two retire slowly to anteroom.
Citizen of Syracuse, as he retires: Tell me, kind sir, of Syracuse,
The city of Brother and Friend;
Does it lie in the peaceful mountain vale,
Or stand at the Rainbow’s end?
Its streets, I hear, are paved with gold,
The gold of a righteous deed,
And its temples are temples of love, they say,
That nestle ‘mid flowery mead.
Where the golden sun of a glad new dawn
Gives rise to an endless day,
Where all may bask in the light of Truth,
With Error driven away.
Where the darkness of Evil hides its face,
And righteousness shines supreme.
Tell me, kind sir, of Syracuse,
Or is it but─a dream?
Prince Regent, *: Tonight, a candidate for princely honors stands at the portal of Syracuse, and our ceremonies have been rudely interrupted. Let us proceed. Captain General, summon the Magistrates.
Captain General salutes and approaches an anteroom door, giving thereon the raps of the rank, which are answered from within in same manner.
Captain General, loudly: The Prince Regent desires the presence of the Magistrates.
First Magistrate, from within: The wishes of the Prince Regent shall be obeyed.
Door opens and Magistrates, following First Magistrate, march out in single file. They line up abreast at altar, give Symbol of Syracuse (which is answered by Prince Regent), and repeat in unison: “In Truth, in Honor, in Obedience.” They then pass to the left in single file to the chairs provided for them. When all are in position, they sit down.
Prince Regent: This council has been assembled that it may look upon a stranger from the outer world, who seeks to wear the purple of a Prince. What may your pleasure be?
First Magistrate, rising and saluting: Prince Regent, the drawbridge that protects this place from the outer world is never lowered, save to admit one who has proved his right to mingle with us.
We were placed in this beautiful world for a purpose. It was intended that we should progress, serve and achieve. We must not then, prove unfaithful to our trust, but mindful of the duty that is ours, inspire others, by our example, to lives of usefulness.
Many go forth in the light of day, amid the darkness of evil thought and evil deed, seeking their own selfish pleasures to the detriment of others. Such as they cannot succeed, for “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
A Prince of Syracuse will not maliciously do injury to any living thing, nor be the source of sorrow or regret. He is obedient to law, regardful of the rights of others, loyal to the Order, honorable in every act.
This candidate stands now at the portals of our Order, but, before accepting him, I urge that he be purified according to our ancient custom! Sits down.
Second Magistrate, rising and saluting: Sir, the stranger, it may be, possesses the virtues of Truth, Honor and Obedience; but, shall we accept him solely upon faith? No! He who wears the purple of a Prince must prove his right to royal garb!
Fire is the one element that purifies matter. It destroys the dross and leaves the good and pure.
The lighted torch has ever been the emblem of purity. It indicates that loftiness of purpose essential to admission here.
It is but fitting, then, that he who seeks the purple mantle, be purified by fire, and thus made fit to share the honors of a Prince.
Away with him, Prince Regent! Let him be bound and hoodwinked, so that in utter helplessness the rite may be imposed. Thus may we prove his character and confidence before accepting him in Syracuse. Sits down.
Third Magistrate, rising and saluting: If it please you, sir, my brother Magistrates demand that this candidate be purified by fire, believing that no one should pass our portals until he has shown himself worthy of princely honors.
The stranger has been permitted to enter here without test or trial to ascertain his fitness. We are asked to accept him into this great brotherhood upon a basis of equality, and yet, we know him not!
Let him be so thoroughly imbued with the principles of Truth, Honor and Obedience that the lessons of our Order will remain a lasting memory.
As men of old were cast into the fiery furnace, to suffer for their sins or crimes in agony of spirit, so let this candidate for princely honors be purified by fire! Sits down.
Prince Regent, rising: As the Magistrates have spoken, so shall it be.
Captain General, conduct the stranger to the Outer Court, there to await our further pleasure.
If it is desired that there shall be no interruption, the Prince Regent says instead: “Captain General, conduct the stranger to a seat.”
Section Three
The Magistrates, wearing proper gowns, are seated in the form of a triangle in front of Prince Regent, an unlighted candle in a glass candlestick beside the chair of each. A candle must also be placed beside the Warden and Monitor. A small silk flag should be at hand for Captain General to present to candidate. Altar is moved aside.
The usual raps are given and answered. Captain General presents candidate at station of Prince Regent. Candidate wears regulation gown.
Lights are all on.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, I present the candidate.
Prince Regent: Stranger, you seek to claim the honors of a Prince. All who aspire to such exalted rank must learn: Ambition leads to fortune and to fame; it also beckons us to dangerous and unfamiliar cliffs, where one misstep may send us tumbling back into the depths below.
While ever seeking higher things, let us not be induced by any primrose promises, to travel paths unknown and foreign to us; but let us with each forward step be sure of that on which we stand, and though our progress be both slow and difficult, let it be based upon that certainty which knowledge brings.
Captain General, conduct the stranger to a seat.
He is seated in front of M of F. Captain General remains beside him.
Vice Regent strikes three times upon bell or chimes, whereupon each Magistrate, including Warden and Monitor, rises and holds candle out in front of him. Captain General proceeds to light each candle.
All other lights are then extinguished, and Captain General returns to former position beside candidate.
Magistrates, following the lead of First Magistrate, then march in single file around the room, Warden and Monitor falling in line, spacing themselves until they appear in the form of a large, moving circle. They march around the room, and as the leader reaches the station of Vice Regent the second time, all halt and face inward, forming a complete circle, about 15 feet in diameter. Music should be played during the march.
Prince Regent: Captain General, present the candidate.
Captain General sheathes his sword and escorts candidate to a position in center of circle.
Prince Regent: Stranger, this Order lives under the flags of two sister nations, which, by a strange coincidence, contain the same colors─Red, typical of valor on the field of battle; White, symbolic of peace and progress; and Blue, indicative of justice.
These flags float over peoples one in faith, hope, purpose and patriotism─ a living guaranty of freedom and protection.
They are, and ever will be, the emblem of a nation’s greatness─the hope of the oppressed; the despair of the despot.
Every citizen must uphold the right, that justice may prevail. He who defies the law, defies the people; and his act becomes a menace to society, a detriment to others.
Captain General: Stranger, before you may receive the honors of a Prince, you must be in possession of the flag of your country. You will kneel upon your right knee.
Captain General presents flag to candidate. Flags should also be presented the remaining candidates to be retained by them as a memento of their membership. Assistants may be used for this purpose.
Captain General: It is my proud privilege to present to you the flag of our country. Remember that, as part of this nation, it is part of you. May it ever encourage you to a full performance of the duties of citizenship, and to the defense of all that it represents!
You will repeat after me:
I solemnly promise that I will be loyal to my country and my country’s flag; that I will love and cherish both, defending them if need be, with my life. So help me God. Amen.
Stranger, you will now arise.
Prince Regent: Princes, join me in saluting our country’s flag!
All members then give the usual military salute (excepting those with candles, who hold same above their heads), retaining the salute until the sound of the gavel, as given below. Captain General salutes with sword.
Members with Candles, in unison: In Truth, in Honor, in Obedience; loyal to flag and country; devoted to our Order and to each other. So may it ever be! Amen.
All: Amen.
Prince Regent: * * *.
Vice Regent strikes three times upon bell or chimes. Those with candles execute “left face” and, following lead of First Magistrate, march around room in the form of a circle as before. When First Magistrate passes station of Vice Regent the second time, he marches in a straight line down left side of hall. When he reaches a position about six feet in front of desk of Minister of Records, all halt and execute “right face,” so as to face towards altar.
First Magistrate: In the name of Truth, I deposit my torch.
He then places his candle on floor in front of him and stands back in place. Each of them, after speaking, does the same. Candles must be in a straight line, four feet or more apart.
Second Magistrate: In the name of Honor, I deposit my torch.
Third Magistrate: In the name of Obedience, I deposit my torch.
Warden: In the name of Courage, I deposit my torch.
Monitor: In the name of Confidence, I deposit my torch.
If more than one candidate is in the room, the Prince Regent now says: “Guard Captain, you will escort the candidates not in the custody of the Captain General, to the Outer Court, where they will remain in charge of the Guard Lieutenant.”
As soon as the candidate in custody of Captain General has been “purified” as provided below, each of the remaining candidates will be brought in alone and subjected to the same ceremony, beginning at this point.
Prince Regent, *: Stranger, the Magistrates demand that you be purified by fire, with its attendant cruelty and danger.
This may seem to you to be the acme of injustice; yet this Order cannot permit any candidate for the Rank to pass its portals who is lacking in moral courage.
The pillars of fire with which you are confronted serve to warn you that there is danger and death in many things which seem at first but harmlessly alluring. We would have you ever careful of your conduct, actuated solely by the flame of an honest purpose.
Captain General, you will apply the hoodwink and bind the hands of the candidate, so that, in utter helplessness, the rite maybe imposed!
Captain General then securely blindfolds candidate and binds his hands behind him. As soon as candidate is blindfolded, Magistrates and the others quietly extinguish candles.
Lights are turned on as soon as candidate is blindfolded.
Captain General escorts candidate to Candle nearest station of Vice Regent.
Prince of Syracuse, quickly approaching from his seat and saluting: Prince Regent, is it right that we should add to human suffering? Shall we require this candidate to pass with faltering feet over these pillars of fire? NO!
He came to us in confidence. Then let us show our confidence in him. Let us accept from him the pledge, whereby he consecrated himself to the defense of flag and country! All who subscribe to such a pledge deserve admission here!
Prince Regent: Prince, your voice is ever lifted, as it should be, in the cause of humanity, but obedience to our laws and customs requires that the candidate be purified by fire, that he may prove his confidence in us.
Captain General: proceed! * *.
Captain General: Stranger, you are instructed to step carefully over each of these pillars of fire, remembering that the slightest misstep on your part may cause the inflammable gown that you wear to burst into flame. We do not wish any harm to befall you. You are therefore cautioned to exercise the greatest care in your progress.
Captain General, taking candidate by the arm, proceeds from one candle to another, stopping at each to permit candidate to step over it. He may say, No. 1,” “No. 2,” etc., or “Step up.” If candidate should knock over any of the candles, Captain General will make haste to right it.
When the last candle is passed, Captain General will face candidate towards the line of unlighted candles and remove gown and blindfold. Members applaud. If other candidates are to be “purified,” the gown will be taken to anteroom and placed on next candidate. Otherwise, Magistrates march out, Monitor returns to his station, and Warden removes chairs and candles, and replaces altar.
Prince Regent, *: Captain General, conduct our friend [or “friends”] to the Vice Regent for instruction in the secret work.
All candidates will be presented to the Vice Regent in a body.
Captain General, saluting: Vice Regent, by order of the Prince Regent, I present a friend for “these friends], for instruction in the secret work.
Vice Regent, rising: My friend, should you desire to enter the Outer Court when the palace is open in form, you will give the Guard Lieutenant the semi-annual password.
The Guard Lieutenant will admit you to the Outer Court, when you will approach the inner door and give thereon a secret alarm, thus: … This rap represents the letter … and will be answered in same manner.
Through the wicket you will give your name, rank and palace. This is reported to the Vice Regent, who will order you admitted if qualified.
The wicket will again be opened, and through it you will give the semi-annual password.
After entering the Palace, you will approach the altar, upon which you will find a circular scarf in the colors of the Order.
Upon this scarf will rest the Book of Truth, opened near its center, indicating that the palace is open in form.
At the altar you will give a military salute to the national flag, and will then give to the Prince Regent the Symbol of Syracuse which is made thus: …, holding the sign until acknowledged.
The Prince Regent will respond in same manner which indicates permission to be seated.
Now if, on the other hand, when applying for admission to the Outer Court, you should be without tile password, you will so inform the Guard Lieutenant.
He will report the fact to the Guard Captain, who will report it to the Vice Regent.
The Vice Regent will ascertain if you are in good standing, and if so, will order the Guard Lieutenant to admit you.
If you are NOT entitled to the password, the Guard Lieutenant will be so informed, and von cannot enter until you have qualified.
After entering the Palace, you will advance to the station of the Prince Regent and receive the word. You will then approach the altar, salute the flag and give the Symbol of Syracuse to the Prince Regent.
Should you wish to retire while the Palace is open in form, you will approach the altar, salute the flag and give the Symbol of Syracuse to the Prince Regent, as before.
The coat-of-arms on the outer side of the inner door indicates that the Palace is open, or being opened, in form.
The Supreme Raps are given in this manner: …
The Voting Sign, which is used both for an affirmative and negative vote, is made thus: …
The Prince’s Memorial, which is used in the Memorial Service, is made thus: …
The Grip is given in this manner: …
The gavel represents the authority of the Prince Regent. One rap calls the members to order, two raps call them to their feet, and three raps seat them.
The Supreme Honors, to which Supreme and Grand officers are entitled, are given thus: …
The Governor’s Honors, to which members of any Governor’s Council are entitled, are the same as the Symbol of Syracuse, except that the sign is held until the visitor has approached the altar and saluted the national flag, or until he has retired, as the case may be.
No one, except Knights of Pythias in good standing, associate members and candidates for the Rank, under escort, can be permitted to enter, or to remain in a Palace open in form, unless he is in possession of, or entitled to, the semi-annual password.
Captain General, conduct our friend [or “friends”] to the Prince Regent.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, by order of the Vice Regent, I present the candidate [or “candidates”] for final instruction.
Prince Regent, rising: My friend, I welcome you to Syracuse! While this Order is based, in a measure, upon a royal court, yet we would have you remember that all men are created equal, and that science itself cannot determine a particle of difference in the blood of the potentate and that of the humble peasant. In the sight of the Supreme Monarch, who created Prince and Peasant alike, character is the real distinction of the man.
Though you may reach the height of Fame or Fortune, let your heart be tempered by the thought that greatness and power have become yours: not by the heritage of birth: but by the exercise of will; and let your conduct towards others not so favored as yourself, be measured by that modesty, kindness and sympathy which are considered the mark of true distinction.
Your star, now rising in the sky of life, is bright with promise. Let not its light be dimmed by thoughtless, unkind deeds. So live that when at last you are called to render account of your stewardship, it may in truth be said, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”
I now confer upon you the rank of Prince, in the order Princes of Syracuse.
Invests candidate with official lapel button.
Our insignia should be worn proudly. It symbolizes your desire to live in Truth, in Honor and in Obedience, and indicates that you have taken solemn vows before God and these witnesses: vows that always should be kept inviolate.
The Semi-Annual Password, to which you are now entitled, is, for the present term, …
Where there is a large number of candidates, the Prince Regent may require the Captain General to assist him in giving the password.
Captain General, face the Prince to the Palace. * *.
My brothers, I take pleasure in presenting to you Prince … The palace will be at ease.
Members then gather about candidate and offer congratulations, after which the officers assume their stations, the Prince Regent gives one rap, and the palace proceeds with the Order of Business.
After completing the Order of Business, the Prince Regent will arise and give one rap.
Prince Regent: The business of … Palace No. … Princes of Syracuse, having been concluded, we will proceed to close. Vice Regent, how should we conduct ourselves in our daily lives?
Vice Regent, rising and saluting: In Truth.
Prince Regent: Monitor, how should our relations with others be carried on?
Monitor, rising and saluting: In Honor.
Prince Regent: Warden, in what spirit should we consider the voice of conscience?
Warden, rising and saluting: In Obedience.
Prince Regent, * *: What are the cardinal principles of this Order?
All in unison, while holding the Symbol of Syracuse: Truth, Honor, Obedience.
Prince Regent: The Monitor will ask the blessing of the Supreme Monarch.
Monitor: Supreme Monarch of All: May Thy blessing rest upon the officers and members of this Order. Help us to be true, honorable and obedient, and to do unto others as we would have others do unto us. Show us the way of righteousness, and lead us not into temptation, for Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever. Amen.
All: Amen.
Prince Regent: Let us sing the Closing Ode.
Come, brother Princes, now we must
Give each the parting hand,
Beseeching God in whom we trust
To freely bless our band.
So here ‘s a hand, my princely friend,
Give me a hand o’ thine
Let princely voices all ascend:
“Long live our Order fine.”
Prince Regent: Captain General, return the national flag to the Outer Court.
Captain General secures flag and presents it at altar.
Prince Regent: Wave on in glory, thou symbol of our country─
Flag of the brave heart’s hope and home,
By angel hands to valor given;
Thy shades have lit the welkin dome,
And all thy hues were born Ill heaven.
Princes, salute!
All present give the usual military salute. Captain General then retires to anteroom with flag. Returning, he advances to altar and salutes with sword.
If a flag of the Order is present, the Prince Regent instructs Captain General to “return the flag of our Order to the Outer Court.” Princes give Symbol of Syracuse as in Opening Ceremony.
Prince Regent: Captain General, remove the coat-of-arms from the Palace door and collect the rituals and jewels.
Captain General delivers the rituals and jewels at the station of the Prince Regent and approaches altar.
Captain General, saluting: Prince Regent, your order has been obeyed.
Prince Regent: Captain General, close the Book of Truth with all due reverence and remove the altar cloth.
Members maintain absolute silence. Captain General places his hands under Bible at each side and slowly closes it. He hands it carefully to the Monitor, who advances to receive it. He then removes and carefully folds the altar cloth, hands it to the Warden, stands back and salutes with sword. Warden and Monitor take positions at altar as in Opening Ceremony.
Captain General: Prince Regent, your order has been obeyed.
Prince Regent: And the night shall be filled with music,
And the cares that infest the day,
Shall fold their tents, like the Arabs,
And as silently steal away.
The Palace is now closed. Guard Captain, notify the Guard Lieutenant. *.