Fraternal Order of Pilgrims
Initiation Ritual


Sovereign Master calls members to order with one rap of gavel. When quiet, will say:
Pilgrims, come to order; Officers, assume your stations.
When quiet and officers at stations, will say:
Marshal, you will present at this station the Guard and Watchman for instructions.
The Marshal will draw sword, salute Sovereign Master, proceed to outer and inner doors, return with the Guard and Watchman, will salute with the sword and say.
Sovereign Master, in obedience with your orders, I present the Guard and Watchman for instructions.
Guard, you are stationed at the outer door; your duties are to admit no one to the anteroom who is not in possession of the permanent password, unless otherwise permitted, to require each Pilgrim to be properly clothed before entering the Club, and to perform such other duties as may be required.
Watchman, you are stationed at the inner door; your duties are to allow no one to enter who does not give the last quarterly password and who is not properly clothed, unless otherwise permitted, and to perform such other duties as may be required.
Guard and Watchman, upon the faithful performance of your duties rests the security of our meetings. The Marshal will escort you to your stations, and, until further ordered, allow no one to enter.
The Marshal will salute with sword, Watchman and Guard with hands, march single file to the Inner and Outer doors, Marshal returning to station.
Senior Master, we are about to proceed with the opening ceremonies, and, to insure our safety, you will ascertain, through the proper officers, and report if all present are properly clothed and in possession of the permanent and last quarterly passwords.
Senior and Junior Escorts, approach my station and communicate to me the permanent and last quarterly passwords, and ascertain if all present are properly clothed and in possession of the permanent and last quarterly passwords.
Escorts, when addressed, will arise, together step in front of Senior Master's station, Junior communicating to Senior, the passwords. Senior communicating same to Senior Master. Escorts then pass along each side of hall, obtain the passwords; if without the passwords, he will be required to obtain same from Sovereign Master and communicate to Escorts. When finished, return to place in front of station of Senior Master, Junior communicating words to Senior, and Senior reporting to Senior Master as follows:
Senior Master, all present are properly clothed and in possession of the permanent and last quarterly passwords.
Sovereign Master, all present are properly clothed and in possession of the permanent and last quarterly passwords, and are entitled to remain.
SOVEREIGN MASTER, * * to call officers to their feet:
The Secretary will call roll of officers and note those present and absent.
The Secretary will then call roll of officers, noting those present and absent.
Sovereign Master, I find all officers present, except: ….
If any officers are absent, a pro-tem appointment may be made.
Officers, your duties are made known to you by the Ritual, Constitution and Laws of our Order, the performance of which you assumed by solemn obligation. As the success of our Order depends upon observance of your obligations and duties, may you be ever faithful.
Marshal, you will, with Escort, present the flag of our country. Three raps of gavel call all to feet.
The Marshal, with Escort, proceeds to anteroom, returns with flag, places it in standard to right of Sovereign Master; optional with Club as to method of bringing in flag, in so far as marching is concerned, or number participating. When flag is placed in standard, Marshal with Escort will face flag, Marshal with drawn sword at salute and while thus standing, Sovereign Master will say:
Officers and Members, join me in saluting the flag of our country. Using right hand military salute.
Marshal, you will shield the Altar and assemble the Pilgrims, preparatory to giving of the signs and devotion.
Marshal will place upon Altar, covering and Shield.
Sovereign Master, your order has been obeyed.
Pilgrims, hand to shoulder, while you are thus joined, may this union evidence a loyalty to each other, obedience to our obligations, and fidelity to our every trust, assuring fraternal aid, protection and service to our members and dependents.
How will we respond?
All answer:
We will be ever faithful.
To aid us in this, our Chaplain will invoke divine assistance.
Chaplain will step to Altar.
Ruler of All, we thank Thee for the many blessings which Thou hast bestowed upon us, and humbly ask assistance to carry out the great principles of this Order. Aid us to be loyal to each other, obedient to our obligations, and faithful to our every trust. Bless our officers and members and abide with us always. Amen.
Members respond "Amen." Chaplain will step back to position. Song may be used. Sovereign Master will say:
Pilgrims, give sign of the Order.
By virtue of the power in me vested, I now declare Pilgrim Club No … of … lawfully opened for the transaction of such business as may come before it.
Watchman, you will instruct the Guard that the Club is now open; you and the Guard are now permitted to admit all who are properly clothed and qualified.
Sovereign Master, the Guard has received your instructions.
The Sovereign Master, with one rap of gavel, seat officers and members.
Marshal, you will ascertain and report if there are strangers in waiting to be admitted to membership.
MARSHAL, arises, salutes with sword and proceeds to anteroom; obtains names, returns to Altar, salutes and says:
Sovereign Master, I find in waiting … reads names.
Salutes, returns to station and hands names to Secretary.
Secretary, have the strangers complied with our requirements?
Sovereign Master, they have (or he has).
Pilgrims, we will proceed with the initiation, unless there are objections.
If objection is made to anyone, his name is withdrawn, written charges ordered filed and referred to committee.
Senior and Junior Escorts, you will proceed to anteroom and present the strangers for examination and introduction.
The Escorts arise, proceed to Altar, salute and retire.

Scene One
Examination and Reception

All officers put on robes and caps.
Remove Altar from center of hall. Officers form a half circle in center of hall, facing station of Senior Master, as follows: Center, Sovereign Master; to his right, Senior Master and Chaplain; to his left, Exalted Master and Junior Master. Marshal will assume position to left of circle, near station of Junior Master, with drawn sword.
The strangers will be brought in by Senior and Junior Escorts, headed by Senior and followed by Junior, without being hoodwinked, proceed from anteroom, about one-half way to Chaplains station, thence across hall, face officers. Escorts will step forward about two paces in front of and at each end of line. When in position, Senior Escort will say:
Exalted Master when addressed, he will step to center of circle, I have the pleasure of presenting to you this stranger (or these strangers), who desires to become a member of our Order, for your examination.
Stranger (or strangers), when your application was received, and accepted, you were asked what the Order might expect of you, and to memorize your answers as a condition to be admitted to membership.
This was done to have you remember that at all times you are to be faithful, obedient, and to promote a spirit of harmony and co-operation.
No one is admitted to membership who does not meet these requirements and have these principles indelibly impressed upon his memory, neverno, neverto be forgotten.
I will now examine you. Each being examined, one question may be asked. If a class, each must make separate answers.
Upon being admitted to membership in the Fraternal Order of Pilgrims, what may the Order expect of you?
1. Faithful fraternal service to my fellow members.
2. Obedience to my obligations and loyalty to the Order.
3. Promotion of harmony and co-operation for mutual advancement and benefits.
The first letter of the words, Fraternal Order of Pilgrims, F. O. P., form the first letters of the words, "Faithful," "Obedience" and "Promotion."
EXALTED MASTER, will step back line, face and say:
Sovereign Master, the stranger(s) has (or have) been examined and found qualified to proceed.
SOVEREIGN MASTER, will step forward to a position in center of circle and address the Strangers as follows:
Strangers, having given your promise that we may expect you to render faithful service to your fellow members, and be obedient to your obligations, it is with pleasure that I welcome you, and commend your desire to seek membership in the Fraternal Order of Pilgrims, a fraternity of service that relieves its members in case of sickness and distress, assists in caring for the needy widows and orphans of its deceased members, and thus bring sunshine into the lives of others.
Here partisanship, sectarianism and politics are excluded, and all religious beliefs respected.
Strangers, as you proceed in search for knowledge, your Pilgrimage may be rough and fraught with difficulties, but all will be for your benefit.
SOVEREIGN MASTER: Senior and Junior Escorts. When addressed they will face the Sovereign Master, salute and stand at attention until after the command. You will return the Strangers to the anteroom, and there await our further pleasure.
Sovereign Master will step back in circle, Escorts in line, face Strangers toward the Senior Escort, and march, making a square turn to anteroom. Music should be provided.

Scene Two

Arrangement of hall: Place old table in center of hall, upon it skull, several pieces of ancient warfare, old books, candlestick candle, and a tablet, with the following questions upon it, to be answered by candidate:
Question: Will you aid others in need when requested, if within your power so to do?
Answer: ….
Question: Will you help advance the principles of our Order?
Answer: ….
Dated, …, 193...
Signed, ….
Candle to furnish only light for candidate’s use. Lights in hall out. Bench or old chair for candidate to sit on.
Plato, dressed in ancient Greek costume of Plato's period.
If class, all required to write answers to questions before entering hall, except one upon whom work done. Questions answered to be given Sovereign Master. When ready, Senior Escort will lead and Junior Escort follow candidates. A rope (one-half inch) may be used, extending from Senior to Junior, each candidate to take hold of same. Each candidate with coat removed, blindfolded and in stocking feet. Upon entering they will be escorted around hall, upon a journey, over pieces of timber and under bars with short pieces of rope hanging between them, to make journey somewhat rough, not to injure them.
Before proceeding, Sovereign Master will request all present to remain quiet.
Lights dim while marching around hall and out when candidate seated. Spotlight dimly on Plato. Candle lighted. Senior and Junior Escorts, with candidate on entering hall, stopped by Watchman, who will say:
Who comes here?
A stranger (or strangers) upon a Pilgrimage, seeking knowledge.
A worthy cause. You may proceed, though your path may be rough.
Escorts will proceed with stranger around hall, passing Chaplains station first, over rough path and under passageways. When at station of Junior Master, Escorts will be stopped.
Senior and Junior Escorts, who have you?
A stranger (or strangers) upon a Pilgrimage seeking knowledge.
Stranger(s), you are to be congratulated. Fraternalism is a system of education. It teaches the best ideals, social and moral, and fills a place in civilization which cannot be otherwise filled. I bid you proceed.
Escorts proceed, meeting several barriers and are stopped at station of Senior Master.
Senior and Junior Escorts, who have you?
A stranger (or strangers) upon a Pilgrimage seeking knowledge.
Stranger(s), you are to be commended upon your mission. Here we cultivate social relations, aid in educational advancement, extend a spirit of benevolence and charity, by assisting those in need. I bid you proceed.
Senior and Junior Escorts, after seating class, removing hoodwink, conduct one candidate, hoodwinked, to table, seating him.
Stranger, you are now seated at a place representing a period of time 429 years B. C., where the principles of our Order were founded, in a school of philosophy, and made practical through the teachings of Plato.
You will find lying in front of you, a tablet upon which are two questions that read:
Will you aid others in need, when requested, if within your power so to do?
Will you help advance the principles of our Order? You will write your answers to them, "yes" or "no." At the stroke of the gong, you will remove the hoodwink and proceed to write your answers to the questions. When you have finished, sign your name and extinguish the candle.
Escorts will leave candidate seated at table after candidate answers questions and extinguishes candle. Plato carrying lighted candle [if a dim spotlight could be used it would be better] with Senior and Junior Master entering from anteroom, walking leisurely toward table. Plato returning to his study from an extended Pilgrimage, and as they approach table:
I am glad to return to my study after these long weary months of Pilgrimage.
Plato approaches table and lights candle thereupon from flame of the candle which he carries, and then hands the candle to the Senior Master. This light enables him to discover for the first time that someone is occupying his study. He cautiously approaches table and. feels the head and shoulders, and arms and hands of the stranger, looks him over carefully, in surprise, though fatigued, and then says:
Stranger, I take thee as such; seeking knowledge? He that knows that he knows nothing is disposed to seek, and only those that seek will find.
The seeking mind attains, if not knowledge, yet a new standard of knowing.
Truth and Good should be the basis of all men's actions.
They err from not seeing the Good, and not because they will not follow it, if seen.
Vice is ignorance! Virtue is knowledge! Ah! I see, you have been writing. Let me see it.
Plato examines questions and answers, holds conference with Senior and Junior Masters as to what it may mean and its effect, then continues. Plato retains writing until finished, then hands it to Sovereign Master.

You say you will aid others in need; that you will help advance the principles of our Order; these sentiments are commendable.
The principles of this Order are founded upon my, Plato's, philosophy and teachings, that now are to come to you.
Stranger, the distinctive features taught in our school of philosophy are MENTAL WISDOM, WISE ACTION and TRUE VIRTUE, but only to those who are bound to us by a solemn pledge.
We doubt your sincerity, until so bound. Senior and Junior Masters, let us bind the stranger with chains of steel, to be released only when bound to us by higher ties.
Stranger, hoodwinked and placed upon stretcher, to be carried by Senior and Junior Masters and Senior and Junior Escorts from hall. When stranger is bound, and lying on stretcher upon the floor, Plato will say:
Stranger, when bound by that higher tie that is broken only by death, we will then be PILGRIMS to travel a great common road, and the journey will be easy to none.
We must succor the weary and lift the load of the Pilgrim whose courage is done.
Let us proceed.
All march slowly to the anteroom. Music.

Scene Three

Chains to remain on one for Altar.
Strangers in anteroom, in charge of Escorts. When ready, Marshal forms officers in hall, in front of Sovereign Master's station, as follows: Marshal, leading, Exalted and Sovereign Masters, Senior and Junior Masters, Altar Candle Escorts (4), Altar Bearers (2), with shield and Altar cloth, walking side by side, followed by Chaplain in center. Facing Marshal, Exalted Master, Senior Master, to left Sovereign Master, and Junior Master to right.
All march slowly around hall; when passing anteroom door, Escorts with strangers, two by two, will follow officers.
When officers arrive in front of Sovereign Master's station, they will turn and march down center of hall, stopping at about center. Strangers will pass on by and down the side of the hall to rear and form a half circle at rear of hall, facing Sovereign Master's station, Senior Escort at one end, Junior Escort at other. Officers open file. Altar Candle Escorts, with candlesticks and lighted candles, walk through open line of officers, so they will stand, two (2) on each side, about six feet apart, facing one another. Altar Bearers pass between Altar Candle Escorts and form living Altar. Chaplain will follow and stand in front of living Altar. Marshal at left of officers and opposite station of Junior Master.
When in position, stranger to be used at the Altar will fee escorted there by Marshal, and other strangers will stand so that they will have their right hand on each other s left shoulder, close enough to Altar for one to have his right hand upon left shoulder of one at Altar. When in position, Chaplain will say:
Marshal, you will cause the stranger to place his left hand over his heart. Extend right arm forward and downward, palm open, upon the emblem of our Order.
Stranger (or strangers), from time immemorial, pledges were required of those who entered upon the discharge of duties for others.
Citizenship is evidenced by a pledge. Family ties are created at the Altar by a most solemn and sacred pledge, and thus the sanctuary of the home created.
In keeping with this time-honored and ancient custom, you will be required to give a pledge as a condition to membership in the Fraternal Order of Pilgrims.
Am pleased to advise you, it will not conflict with duties you owe to others or country.
With this information, if you are willing to proceed, you may repeat the pledge as I communicate it to you.
Music softly.

I DO SOLEMNLY promise and pledge:
THAT I WILL NEVER REVEAL, copy, alter, transpose, add to, or take from, any part of the secret work or Ritual, now or hereafter, connected with the Fraternal Order of Pilgrims.
I WILL NOT COMMUNICATE to any person, or persons, the permanent or quarterly password, except when acting as an officer, authorized so to do, or when communicating or receiving same, under orders of the Sovereign Master, Supreme Sovereign Master, or their duly authorized Deputy.
I WILL, IN CASE OF TROUBLE, sickness, or death of a member of this Order, or his family, promptly tender my services and render all help possible to relieve, aid, comfort, and assist them, whenever within my power so to do.
I WILL BE FAITHFUL in the performance of my financial obligations to the Order and with the members thereof.
I WILL AT ALL TIMES faithfully observe the Constitution, laws, rules and regulations of the Order and respect and obey the mandates of its officers.
TO ALL OF THIS, I most solemnly promise earnest and faithful obedience, under penalty of forfeiting my membership, rights and benefits, and consent that my name may be dishonorably stricken from the roll of membership.
IN THE PRESENCE OF THESE WITNESSES, and in the name of Honor and Loyalty, may I always be true and faithful in the observance of this solemn pledge.
Yon will remove your hand from the emblem. Marshal, yon will remove the chains.
Song may be used effectively here, "Blest Be the Tie That Binds."

You will now heed the words of our Senior Master.
SENIOR MASTER: Strangers, you will observe that the emblem of our Order is the Norman shield. The letters F. O. P. are the initials of the words Fraternal, Order, Pilgrims. In the center, and within a white circle, a Mural crown with cross staffs.
The Mural crown was anciently used as a reward for service, and the wearing of that emblem by the members is emblematic of a reward of, and stands for, service.
The staffs, within the Mural crown, represent support and protection.
The Latin inscription, ecce signum, within the white border, means "Behold the sign."
The Latin inscription, pro aris et focis, means "For our altars and firesides."
When giving your sacred pledge, the emblem was resting upon a living Altar, formed by two Pilgrims.
No pledge can be more binding than one taken upon an emblem, representing service and protection for our Altars and firesides.
Our colors are Green and Old Gold, the combination of which forms a harmonious blending that is emblematic of nature's wonderful foliage that covers Mother Earth under a golden ray of sunlight.
The green represents the foliage of nature's beauty at spring time.
The old gold represents the golden rays of the rising and setting sun, that illuminates a path over which we pass from the cradle to the gravethe border line of the Great Beyond.
As the sun rises to open and sets to close the day upon Mother Earth's mantle of green, let us be ever mindful that it daily marks a milestone of our earthly existence.
Marshal, you will escort the pledged strangers to the anteroom and there await the further pleasure of the Sovereign Master.
Marshal will form a line of march with officers, proceed around hall; when passing anteroom door, candidates pass out with Junior and Senior Escorts; other officers to stations.

Scene Four

Officers at stations. Altar in center of hall with emblem. When ready, Sovereign Master will say:
Marshal, present the pledged strangers to our Junior Master for further instructions.
Marshal arises, salutes and proceeds to anteroom; returns with Escorts and candidates, marches and forms semicircle in front of Junior Master. Marshal will say.
Junior Master, I present the pledged strangers for further instructions.
I will now instruct you in the secret work. You will follow me in all signs that I will give you. To gain admission to a Club when open, make yourself known to the Guard, who will open the door, to whom you will give the permanent password, which is ….
You will then approach the inner door, and upon it give one rap, which will be answered from within by one rap. The wicket will then be opened, and through it you will give the Watchman your name, club number and quarterly password, which will be communicated to you later.
If correct, you will be admitted.
If you are not in possession of password, communicate such f act to the Watchman.
He will communicate same to the Senior Master. If you are entitled to admission, you will be admitted. You will then approach the Altar, at right angles, salute the flag, right hand military salute, and give the sign of the Order as follows: ….
If the sign is correct, the Sovereign Master will recognize the same by a wave of the hand or a nod of the head, indicating you may be seated.
If you desire to retire while Club is in session, approach the Altar, salute the flag, and give the same sign that you gave upon entering. If correct, Sovereign Master will recognize same by a wave of the hand, or a nod of the head, indicating you may retire.
The grip is given by a clasp of the right hands, in the ordinary way, when shaking hands, as follows: ….
Supreme Honors are given by the interlocking of the fingers of the right and left hands and bringing the forearms across the breast, with elbows extended.
At the opening of the Club, you will assemble along each side of Altar, with right hand upon the left shoulder of the Pilgrim next to you, and when asked, "How will you respond?", you will answer, "We will be ever faithful."
You will then face the Sovereign Master and give the sign as follows: ….
The sign represents the position your hands were in when giving your pledge.
Gavel Instructions
One rap calls members to order and seats them.
Two raps call all officers to their feet.
Three raps call officers and members to their feet.

Voting Sign

The voting sign for affirmative and negative voting will be that of the uplifted right hand, or in such other form as the Club may determine by motion or resolution prior to the taking of vote upon any matter pending before it.
Marshal, you will conduct candidates to the station of the Sovereign Master.
Candidates, you will now heed the word s of our Exalted Master.
The following should be delivered slowly, dramatically, and with feeling.
During your Pilgrimage, surrounded by darkness and in solitude, you voluntarily made answer, in writing, to these questions and signed your name.
"Will you aid others in need when requested, if within your power so to do?"
"Will you help advance the principles of our Order?"
You then extinguished the candle that furnished the only ray of light that aided you to see.
Your signed promises will become a part of our official record.
Your act in executing these written promises typifies a well-spent life in the performance of duty and rendering of service to others.
The extinguishing of the candle, the passing to a well-earned reward for service rendered.
The path traveled upon your Pilgrimage may have seemed hard and difficult, but it was intended to teach you that Life's journey is likewise hard and difficult, and must be traveled by all.
If we smilingly, patiently, and courageously meet its difficulties and perform our duties as Pilgrims, our efforts will be rewarded.
Each passing year brings, in its outstretched hands, golden opportunities and leaves behind priceless memories.
There is no jewel more precious and no treasure more endearing than the rendering of service to others and obedience to our obligations.
May these, in all their fullness, be yours through the coming years.
For the test of the heart is trouble,
And it always comes with the years,
And the smile that is worth the praises of Earth
Is the one that shines through tears.
As we journey through life, let us deal with each other with a mercy that shall never fail, and He down to our dreams with a conscience at rest, when we come to the end of our Pilgrimage.
Having confidence in your integrity, and believing you will faithfully perform your every pledge and promise here made, I will now proceed to create you a Pilgrim. You will kneel on your left knee. Interlock fingers of both hands and bring them across breast, elbows extended.
Lights dim, call members to their feet, extending arms, and say:

By virtue of the power in me vested, and in the name of Honor and Loyalty, I now create you a Pilgrim; and, upon signing our Roster, you will become a member of Club No. ….
Seat members.
Marshal, conduct the Pilgrims upon a final Pilgrimage to inscribe their names upon our Roster. Music.
Marshal escorts Pilgrims with Escorts to Secretary's desk, by proceeding around Altar in front of Senior Master, past Chaplain to Secretary's desk, where they will sign the Roster. When finished, Marshal, with Senior and Junior Escorts, form Pilgrims in front of Sovereign Master.
Marshal will say.
Sovereign Master, the Pilgrims have signed the Roster and are now members of Club No. … and are entitled to all benefits and privileges.
Pilgrim (or Pilgrims), I will now communicate to you the quarterly password.
When communicated, will say:
Pilgrim(s), you will face the members.
Call members to their feet, and say:
Members of Pilgrim Club No …, I have the pleasure of introducing to you our newly created Pilgrims name them, and ask that you extend congratulations.
The members will be at ease.

No further business appearing, we will proceed to close.
Watchman, you will instruct the Guard that we are about to close, and direct him to admit no one until further ordered.
Watchman opens door and gives instructions to Guard, then reports:
: Sovereign Master, the Guard has received your instructions.
Marshal, you will, with Escort, return the flag of our country to its resting place. Three raps of gavel, calling all to feet.
Marshal with Escort will form in front of flag, preparatory to taking it from standard. Sovereign Master will say:
Attention, Pilgrims. Salute the flag of our country.
When done, Marshal with Escort will remove flag, return and take stations.
Pilgrims, hand to shoulder, as we depart and our union thus formed broken each member will remove hand from shoulder, may we be secure, through our Fraternal Union, to be loyal to each other, obedient to our obligations, and faithful to our every trust.
Pilgrims, how will we respond?
All answer:
We will be ever faithful.
To aid us in this, the Chaplain will implore the blessing of Deity.
Chaplain will take position at Altar, offer the following prayer:
We thank Thee, Ruler of All, for the time spent in happy companionship, and as we go forth, may we be prepared to do unto others as we would that others should do unto us. May we be ever loyal to each other, obedient to our obligations, and faithful to our every trust.
Shield us from all harm, and be with us now and ever more. Amen.
All members respond:
Chaplain will step to station; a suitable song may then be sung.
Attention, Pilgrims. Give the sign of the Order.
Marshal, collect all Rituals and Jewels from all officers.
Sovereign Master, I have in my possession all Rituals and Jewels.
I now declare Pilgrim Club No … of … duly closed.
Watchman, inform the Guard that the Club is now closed.
The Sovereign Master will give one rap of the gavel.