Order of the Iron Chain
Rituals of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Degree


Opening Ceremony
Order of the Iron Chain Link No .... will come to order. Herald see that the portals are properly guarded and that all present are in possession of pass-words and entitled to sit in the Link.
NOTE: Herald having been tested by the E.R. will take up the pass-words from all present. Herald proceeds to center of hall, salutes E. R. and reports. Any member present who does not possess the pass-words shall be summoned to the E. R. station aud receive them if he be so entitled.
Exalted Ruler, your orders have been executed, the portals are guarded properly and all present are entitled to sit in the Link.
Again we are assembled, brothers of the Order of the Iron Chain, for council and a social hour. Forgetting life's toil and strain. Let friendship aud peace control all forming this Link of our chain aud charity, bond of perfection complete the work of the twain.


Prayer for Prelate in Opening Lodge

Eternal Spirit of the living God
In mercy hear us while we pray:
Detached from restless multitudes, shut in
From all the worldly, yet still are we impressed
That Thou, God, seest us. we can not hide
From thee. Nor would we cover aught from thy
Most Holy eyes; but crave Thy presence and
Thy power to guide our erring, finite minds.
Direct in all our deliberations. Rule
And over-rule in all our planning for
The highest good of men. O, graciously
Incline Thine ear, and to our prayor attend,
As now thy bounteous blessing we in voke
For all the race the rich and poor, the old
And young of every kindred, tribe and tongue
May ALL Thy favor share! O, Guardian power
Of nation's weal, preserve inviolate
Our Country's home and our Country's flag.
Make bare Thine own right arm her glorious name
To shield. And may her banner ever wave
Aloft unsustained, o'er ramparts won for Thee,
Or head the mighty phalanx of her hosts
Against the wanton citadels of wrong.
Great God, and Father, bless uor nation's homes!
Upon those anvils forge a nation's hope;
Let love and truth and loyalty combine
To form the bulwarks of this hope divine.
And may there from these sacred shrines ascend
The incense of perpetual praise to Thee.
O grant in very special way
To bless this inner circle formed alone
To further holy ends approved of Thee
Confirm the bonds of fellowship and love,
Which bind our hearts and form the Iron Chain
That makes us one. And seal, Great God, by Thine
Approving smile this sacred bond. Amen!
The E.R. has Herad distribnte the rituals and appoints officer's to fill vacant stations.

Duties of Officers
Ye Officers, Attention! All
Heed your Exalted Ruler's call.
Arise! Your minds anew impress
And each his duty now confess.
Vice Ruler, speak, Past Ruler, thou;
And Chancellor, your duties now.
Comptroller, Herald, now his Vice
Give us your duties in a trice.
Prelate, Magi, Chain Warden, speak;
And Ensign, make our list complete.
E. R. should use this stanza in calling on the individual officers as follows:
Vice Ruler, speak.
I keep the portals of our Chain;
Our friends receive and foes disdain.
And when your presence we're denied,
Exalted Ruler, I preside.
Past Ruler, thou;
To give instructions is my care,
Wise counsel give and truth declare;
To plead a cause or prosecute

The right defend, the wrong refute.

Chancellor, your duties now.
As Chancellor the records make;
Of books aud souls great care I take.
To correspondents I attend
All letters I receive and send.
I have the care of funds, and hold
The treasure of our boarded gold.
Thy page and herald, thee I serve;
Have care of floors, and calm preserve
When e'er the heart of novice throbs,
And keep the rituals and robes.
Now his Vice,
Give us your duties in a trice.
Vice Herald the Vice Ruler serves;
His wants attend as he deserves.

This does, and furthermore
Secure the safety of the inner door.

I lead in prayer praise God's name
And hang with wreathes his sacred fame.
Within the Link and at the grave
I supplicate the Throne to save.
Our cherished Link we Magi save
From base, unworthy men, who crave
Admittance here, the true induct.
In secret, magic work instruct.
Chain Warden, speak;
To me is given charge of chains
To bind our brethren with the claims
Of pure, fraternal love, and seal
Those bonds to our eternal weal.
And Ensign, now our list complete.
Beside the outer door I stand
With full regalia close at hand
Each member clothe with proper grace
With robe or badge as suits his place.
NOTE: Ther E. R. will have the members give the altar sign in unison aud after seating the Link may call on any member present to give the secret work.
I now declare our Link to be in form and ready for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it.
Initiation First Degree
Herald proceed to the ante room and report if there be any waiting for initiation into our order.
I find … waiting to be initiated.
Chancellor has the candidate named been duly proposed and elected and has he complied with the rules of the order?
The Vice Ruler and Chancellor will repair to the ante room and prepare the candidate tor initiation.
Candidute do you seek admission to our order through any other motive than mutual benefit and protection in the manner provided by the rules of the order?
CANDIDATE responds.
Before advancing do you upon your sacred honor promise you will never reveal to any one outside the order anything you may see, hear or learn during your initiation?
CANDIDATE responds.
You have been well recommended and elected to membership. I assure you there is nothing in our ceremonies that will conflict with your rrligious or political opinions.
On religious or political topics you are forbidden to speak in the link. Do you wish to proceed?
CANDIDATE responds.
Chancellor will see that the preliminaries are completed.
NOTE: V. R. enters lodge room aud reports.
Exalted Ruler, I have propounded the usual questions and find the candidate properly qualified.
CHANCELLOR, having collected fees enters lodge room and reports.
I desire to report that the candidate is duly qualified for initiation.
Herald repair to the ante room and conduct candidate to the council room.
NOTE: Herald salutes and retires and accompanied by the candidate gives ** * raps at inner door.
Who comes here?
Herald with candidate seeking admission.
Vice Ruler, Heruld with candidate seeks admission.
Admit them.
NOTE: As they enter E. R. calls all members to their feet. Herald conducts candodate around the room and soliloquizes as follows:

The shades of eve come slowly down,
The woods are wrapped in deeper brown;
The owl awakens from her dell,
The fox is heard upon the fell,
Enough remains of glimmering light
To guide our wandering steps aright,
Yet not enough from far to show

Our figures to a watchful foe.

With cautious step and ear awake,
We must climb the craig and thread the brake,
And not the summer solstice, there,
Tempers the midnight mountain air.
With every breeze that sweeps the wold,
Benumbs our drenched limbs with cold,
In dread, in danger, and alone,
Famished and chilled, through ways unkuown,
Tangled and steep, we journey on;
And here a rock’s huge point we turn,
A watch-fire close before us burns;
Beside its embers red and clear,

Basks in his plaid a mouutaiuoor.

HERALD, opens blind:
And up he springs with sword in hand.
Thy name and purpose, intruder, stand.
What dost thou require?
Rest and a guide, and food and fire,
Our life's beset, our path is lost,
The gale has chilled our limbs with frost.
Art thou friendly to the Iron Chain?
What ho! My lads he is a foe,
With Promethian chains let him be bound:
Securely fasten him to the ground.
Team chains him and lays him on back, during which the Magi continues:

Let vultures at his bowels tear,
Let lion leap from secret liar,
Let all the tortures known to art
Wring out the life blood from his heart,
Who comes to spy upon our cause,
And violates our sacred laws;
PRELATE: Back minions, back, holdest thou as naught
The lessous I've so often taught
That friends are made who love our cause,
By teaching; to them Holy laws:
Let Friendship, virtue, love and truth
Be the chain that binds the stranger youth;
And friendship, charity, and mercy show
To all God's creatures here below.
ALL, solemnly:
What says the Link, Is it not so?
Friendship, Charity and mercy show.
Then. links, unbind him, let him go.
Addressing candidate:
It rest with me to blow my horn,
Thou at with numbers overbourne;
It rests with me, here hand to hand,
Worn as thou art, to bid thee stand:
But not for e'en our order's cause,
Must we depart from honor's laws;
To assail a weaker man were shame,
And Stranger is a holy name:
Guidance and rest and food and fire,
In vain he never must require.
This lesson in your heart retain;
Our order is for mutual gain:
And friendship, charity, and mercy given,
Are keys that fit the gate of Heaven.
NOTE: Herald will conduct the candidate to the altar where the Prelate administers the oath.


My brother you are about to take upon yourself a serious obligation and I trust you will weigh it carefully as the obligatiou is slowly read to you, and if after hearing it you desire to assume the obligation herein imposed your answer is "This I promise without equivocation or reservation." In the presence of these whitnesses I do, of my own free will and accord, most solemnly promise to respect and conform to all the laws, rules and regulations established by the Supreme Council of the Order of the Iron Chain or by any Link of which I may become a member, so far as they do not conflict with my civil or religious liberty, that I will hold allegiance to the Supreme Council as the supreme authority of the order; That I will never divulge anything which may transpire during my initiation or make known to any persou not entitled thoreto any of the words, signs, or secret work of the order, and should I ever he suspended or expelled from the order I will consider this obligation as sacred then as now. That I will never defraud or wrong the order or any of its members, or suffer it to be done if I am able to prevent it; That I will waru all brothers of approachiug danger and do all I can to protect them from injury or false accusations and should I see any of the signs of the order I will respond as quickly and efficiently as I can; That I will assist a distressed member or his family so far as in me lies without material injury to myself or family. Furthennore I promise to exercise a reasonable activity in promoting all helpful purposes and aims of the order, especially the employment feature. Do you thus promise?
This I promise without equivocation or reservation.
We are witnesses.
NOTE: Herald will uow conduct the candidate before the Exalted Ruler.


Lectur Number Two
Hail, solemn scene! Hail, Sovereign Power sublime!
As now thy mystic mantle falls, approach,
And grace by the majestic presence this
Occasion high, when we, a brother tried
And true as steel, into this deeper round
Of mystery and privilege induct.
My privilege, material progress hitherto
Has marked your word within the Iron Chain;
Encircled by this highly tempered bond,
Its virtues, verities and values you
Have felt. And now my pleasant duty is
Still further to instruct, and by the aid
Of symbols litly used, the mystic name

The chain has ever symbolized
Security. Know, hence, our lofty aim
Aspires at binding in fraternal bonds
Of sympathy and love yet more and more
Securely, heart to heart, and hand to hand,
Of members who our worthy order form.
With chains the prisoners most desperate
Confined in penal vells are made secure
And safely fastened by this final bond,
With chains the mighty ocean vessels heaved,
And tossed, and dashed by raging waves
Are bound securely to the steadfast rocks
Deep down beneath the tempest frenzied sea.
These types suggest the nature of the bonds
Which you have entered friendship firm, and love
For one another which doth dominate
The memhers of our Order, and zeal
And aid that we expect from you henceforth,
With us uniting in this holy aim.
Learn, too, from parallels in Nature's realm
The marvelons powerr which unity of thought
Exerts, the force concerted action wields.
Within the now far-famed Mesaba’s range
For ages lay the loose, ferruginous dust
Devoid of value or utility
To man unstable as the shifting sands
Which sweep across Sahara's arid plains.
Each molecule alone, distinct and free,
Disintegrated, separated from
Its kind, or bound to them by gravity
Alone could not subserve man's interests.
But when transferred to smelting plants
Of huge enormous size, and thereby man 's
Ingenuous art transformed, subjected to
Extraneous powers applied, the slag removed,
When furnace fires and forge the molecules
By chemical affinity compact,
Behold a product unsurpassed in point
Of high utility and strength. It forms
The stiffened fingers pointing out
The course of dashing iron steeds across
The plains. Upon its massive shoulders rest
High arched cathedral domes. It spans the floods,
And in a thousand other ways it serves
The purposes of human kind.
So man, abandoned to himself, or left
Alone to struggle 'gainst all overwhelming tide,
Drifts on in utter helplesnes, exists,
But little more. Incompetent to stem the flood.
Himself he cannot raise, much less assist
Like-plighted fellow men. But bound
By mutual love that love the members of
Our cherished order bindis man transformed
And made a being strong and well equipped
With greater possibilities for self,
As well as usefulness to fellow man.
This age may well be termed the "Iron Age,"
Utility is king. And so we hope
And shall expect that you with us shall be
By this Our Iron Chaiu more firmly bound
Together in a broader, larger hope
Of usefulness and benefit to man,
For thus alone we typify the age.
Herald, you will now conduct the candidate to our worthy Vice Ruler who shall further instruct him.
My Brother:
Scarce need we urge, dear friend, on thoughtful mind
The greatness of the dangers which we find
Surrounding every avenue of life,
Where frenzied powers engage in mortal strife.
The forked lightning flashing from the sky.
Whenn hurled from natnre's reservoirs on high,
Escaping now as fluid death from wires
Which form the track of these infuriate fires,
The fiery deluge sweeping all the ground,
The yawuing maelstrom of the seas profound,
The sweeping railroad train, the factory
With wheels, and saws, and belts, and vast machinery
A sudden break or force mis-applied,
Or clash of bridled powers for man to ride,
Add daily to the dangers of the way,
And tremblingly are we impelled to say
That to himself alone man liveth not,
Nor to himself alone he dies forgot;
For pitable indeed is he whose strong
Right arm supports and shields no cherished form.
And who if crippled or called hence would be
Unmissed, unsought throughout eternity.
Nor pain, nor deat.h, nor hell your fears control
For iron nerves have steeled your manly soul;
But needful, welcome sustenance to find
For members and their care are we combined.
Aud by uniting with us you shall share
The benefits of mutual love and care,
The freaks of fields fortune and the strange
Vicissitudes of life so quickly change
Man's state that opulence today full feel
Tomorrow may be forced to beg its bread.
And he who finds that work he need today
Tomorrow's sun may see him idle lay.
We may not love the work or gold,
But nothing dearer doth ambition hold,
'I'han some sure means of competence for self
And his and e'en the luxuries of wealth.
And second only to provision made
The weak and injured and bereft to aid,
We aim to find employment again
When once its lost and sought but sought in vain.
Should you assistance need along this line,
To render it with speed our hearts incline.
And now we hope and shall expect that you
Reciprocation make and strive to do
Your part toward brethren in the Iron Chain.
And then be sure our hopes will not be vain.
Your judgment we commend and power to think
And bid you hearty welcome to our Link.
Herald. You will conduct the candidate to the Chain Warden who will continue the instructions.
The portiers, which hide from view
Of unitiated eye
The mysteries of the O. I. C.
Were drawn aside to let you by,


And now a quite important link,
Have you become within this chain;
Then keep your metal burnished bright,
That beauty, strength and power remaiu.
Guard well this emblematic bond
Of strength and true fraternal love.
The tenets of our order keep,
As the jeweled firmament above.
Upon the nature of their links

Material chains depend;
Likewise each member of this band

Must needs an influence exteud,
The highest purpose, pride and joy
Of each should therefore be
Our worthy band to serve, support
And aid with full ability,
"An oath" says Bacon, "Ne'er can bind
A man to sin or wrong to do."
And none his oath or teachiug's here
Received to license can coustrue.


"To thine own self be true, and as
The night retreating day pursues
To none canst thou be false." Protect
Thyself, nor help to any man refuse.


Material emblem have we none,
Too sacred ours for humun arts

We do regard, but rather bind

lt on the tables of our hearts.
Thus may the sight of any chain

Suggest to you the loyal love

Which brother binds to brother true
And makes our earth like Heaven above.
Now, Herald, to the ante room
Conduct this friend to be
Prepared by you in proper way
To receive the next degree.


Ritual of the Second Degree Work
NOTE: The candidate is ushered to the ante room during the preparation of the council room, Place the swing in position and see that the slide is in working order. The Magi will prepare his work aud be in readiness to receive the candidate.
The Herald will uow retire and properly blind-fold the candidate, bring him to the inner door and give the regular raps for admission.
VICE RULER, in loud voice:
Who seeks admission?
The Herald of this Link of the Iron Chain with candidate seeks further instruction in the mysteries of our Order.
Worthy Vice Ruler, the Herald with candidate seeks admission.
The Link is in readiness, admit him.
NOTE: Herald and candidate enter arm in arm and commence their journey around the hall. Passing the Vice Ruler’s chair the Vice Ruler halts them roughly and asks:
Herald has this candidate duly passed the First Degree of our Order?
He has.
Very well, proceed.
NOTE: Continue the march around the hall to the Prelate’s chair who will halt them and say:
Herald, has the candidate in your charge been duly obligated?
He has, worthy Prelate.
Proceed, Herald, proceed.
NOTE: Coutinue the march around to the Past Ruler where they are again halted as before.
Herald, has the couraga of this candidate been carefully tested?
HERALD, hesitatingly:
Worthy Past Ruler, I believe it has not.
NOTE. Groans from the the members and rushing of feet.
Order! Order! Brothers uncover the bottomless pit. Let the candidate be hoisted in the midair above it and we will see how he acquits himself. Candidate, hear me!
At the sound of the bell far below you you will at once release your hold upon the ring which I now place in your hands and trust to the friends to preserve your uninjured from the fall.
NOTE: Place the ring in the candidate's hands, sound the large bell as a signal to hoist, then the brothers swing the candidate off the floor and hoist him about one foot from the floor and continue an undulating motion as though the candidate were really being hoisted upward. During the hoisting process and while candidate remains suspended absolute silence should prevail. After a few seconds give signal on tiny bell for him to drop. To the lodge is left the sequel.
The Herald again takes charge of the candidate, and proceeds around the hall, stopping in front of the Exalted Ruler.
Herald, remove the hood-wink. My friend, I will now instruct you in the secret work of the order. If you wish to enter a subordinate link while in session you will give any ordinary alarm at the outer door. The Ensign will open the wicket and greet you with the syllable …, you will respond …, thus completing the word … the very foundation upon which the principles of this order are based and our permanent pass word. You will then be admitted to the ante room where you will don your regali and proceed to the inner door where you will give three raps in order thus … forming the telegraphic … which is the beginning of every chain. The chain that binds us heart to heart; the chain that binds us hand to hand; and the chain which binds the traitor. 'I'he wicket will then be opened by the Vice Herald to whom you will whisper the semi-annual pass word which is ….
MAGI, rising:
Exalted Ruler, what assurance have we that this candidate, will be able to keep the secret? Allow me, I crave by virtue of my office, to test the candidate before proceeding further.
Magi, your demand is just and in perfect accord with the rules and etiquette of our order. The candidat is at your service, for such tests as you see fit to impose.
My friend, self assurance in most cases is a laudable thing. You no doubt feel capable of retaining my secret with which you may be trusted, but before testing you on our pass word I wish to impress upon your mind, if possible, the fact that you have entered here upon a new and mysterious life where your very thoughts and desires are an open book to our order through the great eye of their servant, the Magi. You may pass to the Chancellor’s desk and write there a word or words, allowing no one to see you write, now tear of the leaf, fold it, fold it again, and again. You may now seal it, place it in your breast pocket, and proceed with the Herald, but guard your secret well.
NOTE: Returning before the Magi after one or more rounds of the hall.
Have you still possession of your paper?
I have.
Has any person other than yourself seen it?
No sir.
Does auyoue beside yourself know the contents of that paper?
No sir.
I am about to prove to you the truth of my assertion that you cannot be one of us and expect to hide from the great eye of the Magi of the Iron Chain anything which it is for the good of the order or yourself that he should know. Behold I have written upon this paper that which you have carefully guarded, (or better, let the Magi whisper the word or words) am I not correct? But I have not yet begun the test to determine whether or not you can sufficiently control the motive agency of your mind as to enable you to guard secrets from escaping through the motor nerves; that is through the medium of the pen or pencil. Many a man with giant will has discovered to his horror that this inherent weakness had hitherto escaped his observation and at same unexpected time the unruly muscles had caused him to write that which his reason revolted against. We trust that you have not this weakness but I shall require you to step again to the Chancellor's desk and write there your name and address. You may use the Chancellor’s slate for the purpose if he will loan it to you Let me caution you first, not to write the permanent password with which you were lately entrusted, no matter how strong the inclination to do so.
NOTE: Candidate now proceeds to write and is instructe to close the slate, carefully tie it up, place it under his arm, and in company with the Herald make one turn around the hall, halting before the Magi, slate is untied and examined. Magi will now show the slate to the candidate and asks him if that be his writing.
Candidate answers.
MAGI, shouts excitedly:
Failed! Exalted Ruler, the candidate has failed. He has written the pass word.
NOTE: The members here rush at the candidate with threats and imprecations, rattling chains etc. etc.
EXALTED RULER, calls Link to order with gavel:
Be not to hasty brothers, far be it from us to dondemn without a hearing. Resume your stations! Herald, conduct the man to the elevated chair and we will hear his defense.
NOTE: Have candidate ascend the stairs and instruct him to be seated while he speaks.
Now sir, whnt have you to say?
NOTE. Allow candidate to make his own defense, the Magi acting as his accusor, at the proper time.
Herald will conduct the candidate to the ante room while the lodge floor is cleared in readiness for the third degree.

Third Degree work
NOTE Candidate is again conducted before the Exalted Ruler.
Brother, you have at last reached the end of your journey. You have acquitted yourself in a manner acceptable to us. It is unnecessary to again remind you of your most sacred oath given in the presence of these witnesses at our beloved altar. You already understand that the slightest willful violation of that oath, either in its letter or spirit, would be all offense which the Chain will never forget or forgive.
Your character and integrity was carefully weighed before you were admitted and we feel certain that you are worthy of the trust. Are you ready to receive it?
I am.
Keep it; Guard it with your life.
In giving the grip aud accompanying sign both hands are used indicating your readiuess to use all your energies to promote the welfare of a brother. It is given thus: clasp hands in the usual manner and give … with the thumb. This calls attention and if a brother, he will glance at your left hand, which if not encumbered you will … he answers also by … his haud. If either has his left hand engaged he will say … if a further test is desired you will say … he will answer with the … of our order.
The hailing or greeting sign is made by giving … in the same order as the inner alarm is given thus …. The answer is the same. In the absence of a … a corresponding movement will suffice. The warning signal is used only to apprize a brother of impending danger or serious mistake about to be made on his part. It is gien thus …. The Distress signal is used only in case of imminent danger of life or great bodily distress. The penalty for using this unnecessarily or frivolously or of misusing or neglecting to answer it when possible shall be expulsiou from the order. It is given thus … at the same time repeating the words … The answer is … with the altar sign to remind of the oath to assist and protect. When circumstances will not permit of using the full signal, either may be used separately.
You have already been instructed as to the manner of entering a link while in session as far as the inner door. I will now give you the semi-annual pass word which will admit you to the council room is …. You will then proceed at once by right angles to the altar where facing the
Exalted Ruler you will make the altar sign thus … which will be answered by the Exalted Ruler thus …, you may then take your seat. If you wish to retire while the Link is in session, proceed to the altar and give the altar sign as on entering. Upon receiving recognition from the Exalted Ruler you are at liberty to retire.
My brother, you are now a member of the Order of the Iron Chain. I congratulate you upon your success in having reached our goal. Your admittance to our order and your elevation to the third degree is an accomplishment of which you may well be proud. You stand before God and the world as an exemplary citizen. You intentionally aadmit none other into our order. Take the symbol, wear it with pride and may you never bring disgrace upon yourself or dishonor to the frateruity.
Be seated with the brothers.
The Link will now be at ease.
Closing Ceremony
We are about to close this session of the Link. Vice Ruler have you anything further to suggest that should have our attention?
VICE RULER reports.
Chancellor have you anything further to offer?
Has anyone anything further to bring to our notice?
Are all Officers mindful of their duties?
We are and will faithful1y perform the same.
Herald collect the rituals and Link property.
Brothers we are about to leave this Link of our noble order, whose chain we are welding stronger and better with each meeting of this Link, and I sincerely trust we may leave it feeling assured of its brotherly love and protection and feeling that we must and will be present at each meeting, doing all in our power to forward the best interests of our noble chain, which "Must, not be broken."