Order of Odd Fellows – Manchester Unity
Ritual of the Pink Degree for Odd Ladies’ Lodges
this Degree the Lodge shall be arranged in the usual form Past or present N.G.
The N.G., V.G., P.N.G., Chaplain, Conductor and Guard working the Degree or Degree team.
The current Password and the Password of this Degree will be taken previous to opening the Degree Lodge, by the Warden and Conductor, at the order of the Noble Grand.
The regalia will be the Lodge regalia, with a rosette or ribbon sash of pink added. If a ribbon sash, it shall be worn over the left shoulder. The officiating officers shall carry wands or swords.
N.G.*: Sisters, be upstanding, and assist me to open this Lodge in the Pink Degree.
N.G. to V.G.: What do the rules of our Fraternity teach us?
V.G.: To be Just and True.
N.G.: What is Justice?
V.G.: The right that every sister of this Lodge should receive at your hands.
N.G.: What is Truth?
V.G.: The only object worthy of the research of the truly wise.
N.G.: Since this is the case, officers and sisters, let Justice occupy our attention, both practically and theoretically, this night.
N.G. to CONDUCTOR: You will retire, examine and present any candidates that may be awaiting initiation in this degree.
Conductor retires; on returning, gives alarm.
GUARD to N.G.: There is an alarm.
N.G.: See to the cause.
GUARD: There is at the door of the Lodge a member who comes under safe conduct, and has been received with fraternal affection, instructed in principles of true friendship, cemented by love, and who seeks further instructions in the moral precepts of the Order.
N.G.: Admit her. The sisters will now attend the candidate. * Staff only.
NOTE: The sisters will attend the candidate or candidates, with wands or swords in procession, twice around the room, until she is placed before the Vice Grand, and form a circle around her, elevating their wands or swords above her head, the points to candidate so as to form a roof. *
CHAPLAIN: Immaculate and Holy Ruler of all things, look down with infinite mercy upon us; kindle in our hearts a feeling of love, which shall reflect that Divine attitude upon all who come in contact with us. Amen.
CONDUCTOR to V.G.: I present to you this sister who has been duly received as a candidate and seeks further instructions in the moral precepts of our order, and as she is as yet but a neophyte, she has requested me to intercede with, and answer to you, for her.
V.G.: Sister, what do you require?
Conductor answers for candidate.
V.G.: What do you conceive Justice to be.
CANDIDATE.: The reward of my merit.
V.G.: Sister, you have made a very fatal demand, for if your merits are to be weighed in these scales, you will assuredly be found wanting, and humiliation must be the result. You are now surrounded by sisters, to whom you must prove that, at least, you have some claim to support the demand you have made. Give us briefly an account of yourself, that we may judge of your
CANDIDATE: I have given myself up to search after true knowledge, which is to know myself. I have applied the lessons of instruction to practice, and discovered that Friendship and Love form the only real foundation on which human happiness can be based. Having, as far as possible, practically carried these principles out in my daily Communications with the Sisterhood, I thought I had a fair title to claim merit for what I had accomplished by my example and precept; and, in this belief, I asked for Justice, in recognition of what I had done.
V.G.: Sister , you have erred in Judgement in doing so; but as you seem to have profited by the instructions you have already received, and are determined to still persevere in the search of wisdom, I will take it upon myself to acquit you of presumption.
Companions, lower your wands or swords, and resume your places in the Lodge, and leave the candidate with me for further instruction.
V.G.: Sister …, you stated that your mind has grasped the truths of friendship and sisterly love, and your aspirations are for further knowledge, and in your zeal you have asked for Justice. Know, my sister, that Justice, to be useful in this world, must be combined with Charity, in order that it may be counter-balanced; for you must know that when power is vested in human beings, their prejudices often prevent them from doing Justice; their decisions are warped by selfishness. Remember sister, if you should be called upon to judge between sister and sister, in the execution of our laws, seek to divest yourself of all prejudices and partiality, giving latitude for the zealous, and bearing with the weakness of our fellow sisters, and by your decisions seek to bring them back to the paths of rectitude, in place of driving them from you.
Let me, therefore, say: Judge with candour and reprehend with mercy. I shall now give you the password of this degree. It is … (suppressed).
V.G. to CONDUCTOR.: You will conduct the sister to the Noble Grand for further instruction.
NOTE: Conductor marches candidate around the room while the Noble Grand steps to the altar, finally stopping candidate at altar, facing the Noble Grand.
CONDUCTOR to N.G.: Most Noble Grand, I have been requested by the Vice Grand to present sister … to you, in the name of Justice, for further instructions in this degree.
N.G.: My sister, your desire for instruction has rendered you guilty of presumption.
Know that Justice and equity are reflections of Divine attributes, and in our human existence are only capable of being faintly reflected and judged of by comparison. Remember, if your demand for justice could have been fairly tested by your fellow sisters, you have to show that you have deserved it, and to prove this you must have been faultless; that you have never in word, thought or deed, injured anyone. You must bear in mind, that, however much you may regret an evil deed, or repent of injury done, it does not remove the crime. Hence, all sisters are more or less guilty, and are not prepared to demand Justice, in the real sense of the word. This consideration must teach humility to all; and while endeavoring to be just and good to all, we must be ever ready to bear and forbear: remembering that when our tempers are tried by the taunts of the worthless; that the wise King of Israel says, "A soft answer turneth away wrath, but grevious words stir up anger".
Sister ..., you are now in this conclave of sisters, asking for instructions in the paths of virtue. Let your future conduct prove that you have benefitted by the teachings of this Degree. I now demand from you a further promise.
Kneel before the Divine Law and repeat after me:
CANDIDATE, repeats: I, ..., in the presence of this assembly, with the prospect of the great judgment in my mind, do most solemnly promise and swear that, avoiding all evil thoughts and acts towards the sisters of this Degree, I will, as far as my example and authority will permit, seek to carry out in my daily occupation the precepts of the Degree.
N.G.: Arise, Sister .... We all have our besetting sins that attach themselves to us; when you have discovered the sin, be firm, strong and steady, to deliver it up to Justice, and thus you will gain the respect of all good women, and the peace of mind resulting from an approving conscience. Sister ..., I shall now request the Past Noble Grand to invest you with the clothing of this Degree.
P.G.N.: By desire of the Noble Grand, I crown you with a chaplet of laurel, in token of the victory you have won over your evil habits. Justice is the Standard of right which enables us to render to every Sister her just due. This virtue is not only consistent with divine and human laws, but is the support of civil society and as Justice in a great measure constitutes the real good woman, so should it be the practice of every Odd Lady to deal Justice to all, either friend or foe. A fourfold tie now binds you to our Fraternity, viz.: Sisterly love, with truth, friendship and Justice combined.
Chaplain, reads Matthew VII: 1-5: Reflect, my Sister, on the words recorded by the Holy Evangelist. Let them sink deep into your heart; let them be the guide of your' life; then your last days will be crowned with everlasting peace. The sign of this Degree is thus given, displays it and the grip thus .... The Emblems belonging to this Degree are several, and are intended to represent the weighing of our good and evil actions in the scales of truth, the judging of them by the Laws of God, and the determination to sacrifice our evil habits by the sword of Justice.
The Emblems of this Degree are the Two-Edged Sword, Scales of Justice, and the two Tables of the Law.
There's a wideness in God's mercy
Like the wideness of the sea
There's a kindness in His Justice
Which is more than Liberty,
For the love of God is broader
Than the measures of mankind
And the heart of the Eternal
Is most wonderfully kind.
CHAPLAIN: Great Creator of all things, bless the means we use in impressing the minds of those assembled here this night with their duty towards the Most High and their fellow creatures. Amen.
CHAPLAIN to CONDUCTOR: You will seat the sister.
N.G.: Our labors in this Degree being ended, I declare this Degree Lodge closed until the Noble Grand shall issue her warrant for holding another.
V.G.: And so it is, Noble Grand.