Vasa Order of America
Initiation Ritual

 
1952


Opening a meeting
 
Chairman, *: We are about to open this meeting. Persons present who are not members of the Vasa Order of America are requested to withdraw from the lodge room. Officers and members will invest in their proper regalia and be seated.
If any of the officers are found absent, their places should be filled by appointing substitutes.
Vice Chairman! Ascertain if the Guards are in their respective stations. If either is absent, appoint some other member to fill the vacancy and provide instructions for fulfilling duties.
Vice Chairman: Chairman! The Guards have taken their stations.
 
 
Receiving pass-word
 
Chairman, ***: If visiting members are present they should give pass-word to Master of Ceremonies. Also name and number of lodge to which they belong and where located.
Master of Ceremonies! Ascertain if all persons present are in possession of the pass-word for the current term.
After the pass-word has been received, the Master of Ceremonies shall salute and report to the Chairman before the altar.
Master of Ceremonies: Br. (Sr.) Chairman! All persons present have given the pass-word for the current term.
Chairman: May we unite in singing our opening song.
Chairman: We shall now hear the Chaplain's message.
Chaplain: Fellow Members! 'Let us now and always remember our obligations to the Order, and let us strive to strengthen our friendship and have full confidence in each other, that we may work together in unity for the common interest of all members of our Order. May we take an active part in this meeting, and let us always show a spirit of Friendship, Tolerance, Truth and Unity, bearing in mind that in Unity there is strength.
Chairman: Members of the Vasa Order of America ! I extend to you, one and all, a most cordial welcome. As chairman of this lodge, it is my duty to impartially lead the proceedings of this meeting, and it is my earnest hope that our deliberations shall teach us to still more appreciate the ideals and activities of our Order.
I now declare this meeting duly opened. *.
 
 
Initiation
 
Chairman: Master of Ceremonies and Past Chairman! Retire to the ante-room with the applications. Note the name (s) of the waiting candidate(s) and prepare them for initiation.
The Financial Secretary shall before initiation collect any remaining initiation fees.
 
 
Preparation in the ante-room.
 
Past Chairman: Honored Candidate(s)! It gives me great pleasure to bring you a cordial greeting from Lodge in which you have been granted membership. It is my duty to assure you of the integrity of our order and to prepare you for initiation. Before you can become a member of this lodge, you must make a sincere and binding promise, which, after it has been made, is never broken by a good Vasa member. This promise does not conflict with religious belief or common law. Are you willing to make such a promise ? If so, answer "I am."
The Past Chairman gives the usual signal on the door. The Inner Guard opens the door. The Past Chairman and Master of Ceremonies re-enter the hall, walk up to the altar and salute the Chairman.
Master of Ceremonies: Br. (Sr.) Chairman! The following candidate(s) is (are) waiting in the ante-room: .
Past Chairman: Br. (Sr.) Chairman! The candidate(s) is (are) willing to assume the obligations of our Order.
The Past Chairman and Master of Ceremonies return to their stations.
 
 
Initiation Ceremonies
 
Chairman: Master of Ceremonies! Make the necessary preparations for initiation.
Master of Ceremonies covers the altar with a cloth on which he places a candelabra with lighted candles the candles facing Chaplain.
Master of Ceremonies: Br. (Sr.) Chairman! The preparations for initiation have been made.
Chairman: Master of Ceremonies! Retire to the ante-room and escort the candidate(s) into this room and present him (her) (them) to the Vice Chairman.
Master of Ceremonies turns about, facing the Vice Chairman, and the Banner Bearers take stations, one on each side in such a manner that the Banner with cross will be on the right of Master of Ceremonies. Salute is given the Vice Chairman, after which the Master of Ceremonies is escorted to the door by the Banner Bearers and retires to the ante-room. When ready to enter with candidates, he (she) will give signal on the door to the Inner Guard.
Inner Guard, answering signal: Who comes there ?
Master of Ceremonies: The Master of Ceremonies accompanied by candidate(s) seeks admission.
Inner Guard: Vice Chairman! The Master of Ceremonies accompanied by candidate(s) seeks admission.
Vice Chairman: Inner Guard! Admit them.
The Inner Guard opens the door, and the Master of Ceremonies enters followed by candidates. The Banner Bearer carrying banner with cross steps in front and leads the procession. The Standard Bearer carrying banner with sheaf falls in line at the end of the procession. While music is played and members sing the first of the initiation odes, the procession marches around the lodge room and stops, facing the Vice Chairman with the altar between the candidate(s) and said officer.
Master of Ceremonies: Vice Chairman! I present to you this (these) candidate(s) who is (are) prepared to take the obligation required by our Order.
Vice Chairman: My Friends! In the presence of here assembled members of the Vasa Order of America, I call upon you to sincerely assume the obligation of our Order. Raise your right hand and give your consent to the following obligation: You promise to abide by the Constitution and Regulations of the Vasa Order of America, and the by-laws and decisions of this lodge. You promise to promote by word and deed the advancement of the Order; to strive to preserve and perpetuate the noble qualities that are so typical of our people; to discourage envy, slander, and everything that tends to degrade and humiliate. You promise, to the best of your ability to assist your fellow members in sickness and distress, to visit the sick when so requested, and whenever possible, follow departed members to their graves. You promise to keep secret for all times our signs and ceremonies, even though you should become separated from our Order. Do you solemnly agree to keep this obligation? If so, answer 'I do'.
For the faithful performance of this obligation you pledge your word of honor.
Master of Ceremonies! Escort the candidate(s) to our Chaplain.
The Master of Ceremonies will escort candidate(s) around the hall, until they face the Chaplain, the altar standing between candidate(s) and said officer. An appropriate march is played.
Master of Ceremonies: Worthy Chaplain! I present to you this (these) candidate(s).
Chaplain: My Friends! Among the many virtues connected with the name of Vasa we have placed highest in our motto, Generosity, Truth and Unity. It is our duty to daily live up to these high and noble aims. As the great Gustav Vasa united his people, so does the Vasa Order unite men and women in its purpose, to contribute to happiness in life, and to assist each other in sickness and distress.
The banner of the Vasa Order, with the golden cross on deep blue background, is a heritage from our forefathers. We should keep this heritage in solemn memory by working for understanding and knowledge of our ancestor's land and culture.
At the Vasa Altar you have promised to remain steadfast to our ideals and to live up to your obligations as members of the Vasa Order until the day, when your life's journey is completed and fellow members carry you to your last resting place.
Master of' Ceremonies! Escort the candidate(s) to our Past Chairman.
The candidates are escorted around the hall until they face the Past Chairman with the altar between candidates and said officer.
Master of Ceremonies: Past Chairman! I present to you this (these) candidate(s).
Past Chairman: My Friends! The path of Unity is easy to follow if we avoid discord and censure. It leads to happiness, satisfaction and success in our endeavors. It is our duty as members of this Order to have faith in each other and we should never hesitate to seek or give assistance and advice. Unity is the outstanding Vasa Virtue that binds and holds our organization together. The sheaf, which is the symbol of our Order, reminds us of Unity. Just as the grain is bound into a sheaf, so that the individual straws may not be lost to the wind, so should we be bound together in the Vasa Order. May Generosity, Truth and Unity always guide your endeavors, for your own welfare and for the progress of our Order.
Master of Ceremonies! Escort the candidate(s) to our Chairman.
The candidates are again escorted around the hall until they face the Chairman, with the altar between the candidates and said officer.
Master of Ceremonies: Br. (Sr.) Chairman! I have the honor to present to you this (these) candidate(s).
Chairman: My Friends! Before our Altar you have taken a solemn and binding obligation which admits you to membership in our Order, with all the privileges as well as duties and responsibilities connected with such membership.
The purpose of the Vasa Order is to help its members in sickness and distress, to promote good citizenhip, and to preserve the cultural heritage of our forefathers. Built on these solid foundations, the Vasa Order has grown to a highly recognized organization with lodges in America, Canada, and Sweden.
The Vasa Order has adopted certain secret signs and pass-words which are alike for all lodges within the Order. This is done to promote and strengthen the solidarity among the members and to prevent those not affiliated with our Order from taking advantage of the benefits which rightfully go with membership.
We use two pass-words. The first is permanent; the second pass-word is changed every term.
The permanent pass-word is Generosity. This pass-word is used at the outer door when you seek admission. The pass-word for the current term is required at the inner door. It is also communicated to the Master of Ceremonies during the opening ceremonies. Only the Presiding Officer is authorized to give the pass-word.
This salute is used during the meeting.
The Chairman executes a military salute.
If you enter the lodge room after the meeting has been opened, you proceed to the Altar and give the salute to the Chairman. It is also given to the Vice Chairman should you desire to leave the lodge room during the meeting.
We also have a greeting, which is a handshake with a light pressure between the thumb and the forefinger.
When, during the meeting, the outer door is closed, you may gain admittance to the anteroom by knocking twice on the door and then give the permanent pass-word to the Outer Guard. To gain admittance into the lodge room, knock three times on the door, wait a moment, and then knock twice. Give the pass-word for the current term to the Inner Guard. You will then be admitted. Upon entering the lodge room, you shall walk up to the Altar and salute the Chairman. After he has answered your salute, you may be seated.
My Friends! You should always remember our motto: Generosity, Truth and Unity. If you sincerely live up to the promise you have given, our Order will be strengthened and its reputation will gain.
You have now been accepted as member of Lodge, No and I extend to you a most cordial fraternal greeting.
The Master of Ceremonies will at this time in vest the candidate(s) in regalia, if such are used. ***.
Brother(s) (Sister(s))! I now declare you duly accepted members of this lodge. Fellow Members! Let us extend to our new members our Vasa greeting.
All members present give the salute, at the same time saying in unison "Welcome." *.
Master of Ceremonies! Escort the new member(s) to this station to receive the pass-word and then seat them among us.
The Chairman gives the pass-word and greets the new members using- the Vasa Handshake.
The Master of Ceremonies removes the candelabra from the altar and the Banner Bearers resume their stations.
 
 
Closing
 
Chairman: We are about to close this meeting. Let us all join in singing the closing song. ***.
We shall now hear the Chaplain's closing message.
Chaplain: Let us always remember that Unity gives strength and as all of us desire to reach the goal set before us, it becomes our duty to keep secret our pass-words and signs, assist our fellow members in sickness and distress, visit the sick and whenever possible follow departed members to their final resting place. It is also our duty to aid, to the best of our ability, in the advancement of our Lodge, our Order, and our fellowmen.
Chairman: Master of Ceremonies! Collect rituals, song cards, regalia, and other material at the close of the meeting. The next meeting of this lodge will be held at o'clock. You are requested to be present to thereby give encouragement to your Officers, strengthen our fraternal brotherhood, and make more secure the future of our Order.
I now declare this meeting closed. *.


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