Order of the True Kindred
Ritual of the True Kindred Degree


When ready for opening the Conclave, the officers will form in line in the preparation room. The Organist plays a march, at the sound of which members must stand while the officers are marching to their stations. Upon assuming her station, the Worthy Commander says: Officers and members, we are about to engage in the opening ceremony of a True Kindred Conclave. All who are not entitled to seats with us are kindly requested to retire.
Seats Conclave.
Senior and Junior Deacons, you will ascertain if all present are members.
Deacons immediately proceed to purge the Conclave. Senior and Junior Deacons advance to dais. Junior Deacon gives pass to Senior Deacon, who gives it to the Worthy Commander, who rises to receive it. Then, beginning at Counselor and Past Commander, respectively, Deacons take pass around the room, meeting in front of Vice Commander, who rises and gives pass to both Deacons.
Deacons then turn and advance to the Altar, salute Worthy Commander, and report as follows:
Junior D.: Safe in the South, Worthy Commander.
Senior D.: Safe in the North, Worthy Commander.
Deacons advance on square to their stations. When the Deacons are at their stations the Worthy Commander gives one blow of the gavel and Deacons and Guards immediately and without orders proceed with their floor work. When floor work is completed and Deacons and Guards are at their stations, the Worthy Commander then gives two raps of the gavel, which calls up the officers.
W.C.: Vice Commander, how many officers constitute a True Kindred Conclave, and to what do they correspond?
V.C.: Twelve officers, corresponding to the twelve tribes of Israel and other officers prescribed by the By-Laws, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Inner Guard, what are your duties?
I.G.: To guard the gate of the inner court of this Temple, and open only to those who give the proper signal and pass-word of the True Kindred, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Where is the Outer Guard stationed?
I.G.: At the outer gate of the outer court of this Temple, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Call her within.
Guards change places.
W.C.: Outer Guard, what are your duties?
O.G.: To guard the outer gate of this Temple, keep out the unworthy, prevent noise or confusion on the outside and see that all members wear their proper regalia, Worthy Commander.
W.C.:  Where is the Senior Deacon’s station?
O.G.: In the East in front of the Counselor’s station, Worthy Commander.
Outer Guard retires; Inner Guard re-enters.
W.C.: Senior Deacon, what are your duties?
S.D.: To introduce visitors and candidates and see that all are entitled to seats in our Temple, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Where is the Junior Deacon’s station?
S.D.: In the East in front of the Worthy Past Commander’s station, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Junior Deacon what are your duties?
J.D.: To assist the Senior Deacon in the duties of her office, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Where is the Secretary’s station?
J.D.: In the South-East, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Secretary, what are your duties?
Sec.: To keep a faithful record of the proceedings of this Conclave, the attendance of its officers and members, all moneys received and expended and receive and answer all communications, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Where is the Treasurer’s station?
Sec.: In the North-East, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Treasurer, what are your duties?
Treas.: To receive all moneys paid into the treasury from the Secretary, giving a receipt for the same, and pay all orders written by the Secretary and indorsed by you, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Where is the Counselor’s station?
Treas.: In the East at your right, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Counselor, what are your duties?
Coun.: To assist you when my help is needed, and advise with you in all matters pertaining to this Conclave, when requested, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: True, my Counselor, and I am stronger for your wise counsel. Where is the Vice Commander’s station?
Coun.: In the West, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Vice Commander, what are your duties?
V.C.: To preside in the West, see that the guards are at their stations and so aid you that no disturbance in the West may mar the peace and harmony of the East, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Your services, Vice Commander, make my duties more pleasant and our Temple more secure. Where is our Worthy Past Commander’s station.
V.C.: In the East, at your left, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Worthy Past Commander, what are your duties?
W.P.C.: My duties are light and pleasant; my position one of honor, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Your past services in the East entitle you to the honor you now receive. Vice Commander, where is the Worthy Commander’s station?
V.C.: The Worthy Commander’s station is in the East and her duties are to see that the laws and rules of our Order are obeyed and that peace, harmony and fraternal love prevail, Worthy Commander.
Worthy Commander rises and calls up the Conclave.
W.C.: Let the Altar be clothed.
High Priest and Vice Commander advance to the Altar with Chaplain, and when the Bible is opened, High Priest places: on left page and Vice Commander places: on right page, and then High Priest and Vice Commander take positions according to Floor Work.
W.C.: The Chaplain will lead us in our devotions.
Chaplain kneels with clasped hands on open Bible.
Our Father, Who art in Heaven, bless our coming together and grant that our deliberations may be potent for good. Bless every member of this Conclave and of the True Kindred and Masonic fraternity all over the world, and enable us to carry into consecrated practice the vows we have taken. Grant that our united labor in the dissemination of Faith, Hope and Love may ever continue. We ask this for Thy name’s sake. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
Chaplain, High Priest and Vice Commander return to their stations. Worthy Commander seats Conclave.
W.C.: Senior and Junior Deacons, you will retire with the Advisor and escort the flag.
Sisters and Brothers, you will unite with me in saluting the flag.
We will now sing our opening ode.
W.C.: I now declare this Conclave open for the transaction of business.
W.C.: Inner Guard, you will inquire of the Outer Guard if there are candidates in waiting.
Inner Guard gives two raps, Outer Guard gives three raps, opens door. Inner Guard inquires if there are candidates and the Outer Guard hands list of names written on paper.
I.G.: Worthy Commander, Mrs. ..., Mrs. ... and Mrs. ... are in waiting.
W.C.: Secretary, are these candidates entitled to receive the True Kindred Degree?
Sec.: They are, Worthy Commander.
W.C.: Counselor and High Priest, you will proceed with the preparation of the candidates.
Counselor and High Priest rise, meet at Altar, face east and salute, turn, walk to Vice Commander’s station and retire.
In the Outer Court of Temple, to petitioners, H.P.: Do you believe in a Supreme Being, in the Fatherhood of God, the Brotherhood of Man, and the Immortality of the Soul?
Answer: I do.
H.P.: My friend, you came here of your own free will, and thus far we have encouraged you because of good report concerning you, but, before allowing you to advance, it is my duty to warn you of what will be required.
Our Portals are closed to tale-bearers and wrong-doers.
We require solemn obligations from you and a vow taken in this Temple MUST BE SACREDLY kept. Your tongue must remain silent and your lips sealed. Violation of your vow merits expulsion. If, after this explanation, you do not wish to remain, DEPART IN PEACE, but if you are willing to proceed, place your right hand over your heart and repeat: “So help me God, I will remain true to my trust.”
Coun.: My friend, you must now be D.O.A.S.J.A.O. which you will entrust to me until later.
Counselor adjusts W.B. High Priest gives signal. Inner Guard takes position at door of Preparation Room.
W.C.: Sisters and Brothers, during the initiation let nothing else occupy your attention. Let perfect order and silence as far as possible prevail. A word, a whisper, even a look would break the harmony of silence, mar the solemnity of an obligation and confuse the holy instruction of our Bible lectures.
Inner Guard receives report from High Priest, opens wide the door and leaves it open. High Priest and Counselor advance to the Altar and salute.
Coun.: Worthy Commander, in obedience to your commands the candidates have been properly prepared.
Counselor and High Priest advance to their stations.
I.G.: Worthy Commander, there are strangers without who are worthy of sanctuary with us.
W.C.: Our gates are always open wide to the worthy. We will give them into our Deacon’s charge, who will guide them to our various Altars.
Deacons rise, walk on square to Altar, thence to Vice Commander’s station, and to door for candidates.
S. D.: Welcome to our Temple, strangers. Come with me and fear not, for we will safely guide you to our sacred Altars, and may the lessons there taught confirm your faith in God and strengthen your love for humanity.
Senior Deacon is on the left at end of line. Junior Deacon on the right at end of line. Guides offer right arm to candidates. Senior Deacon carries her staff in left hand, and Junior Deacon carries her staff in right hand. They march around the Temple to the Lecturer.
S.D. : Lecturer, we come to you for the Ancient Charge of the True Kindred.
Lecturer.: In the olden times, my friends, men and women thought deeply and seriously of such vows and promises as God will witness here tonight, and the same God who heard and blessed those who kept them and laid his curse upon those who trifled with them, is watching us tonight.
It is a great peril and danger to your soul to forswear yourself upon the Book.
A peril to the Soul; for he that breaketh his oath hath given his Soul to evil.
He was thought unfit to live, and was cast out from his brethren to become scorned of all men. For forsworn meant absolute disgrace, degradation and oftentimes death.
Forsworn means to swear upon the Holy Bible to do certain things and then fail to do them; and this is just as grievous a wrong today as it was hundreds of years ago.
These be the charges that these men and women of ancient times “swore upon a book” to keep, and which we, as their successors are sworn to keep today:
Ye shall be true to each other and to God.
Ye shall practice no treason.
Ye shall call each other sister or brother and no evil or unkind name.
Ye shall pay truly for all your food and raiment.
Ye shall not take any work or profit from each other, nor supplant each other in any way nor let one another suffer in their worldly goods through your actions.
Ye shall not slander others behind their backs to make them lose their good names, or their worldly goods.
Above all, ye shall keep counsel of all things spoken in your Temple, nor disclose any secret.
Ye shall attend your Conclave, if you receive warning of its assembly.
If ye find yourselves guilty of any wrong, strive to amend, lest failing, you disgrace your kindred.
These charges should be as sacredly kept by us today as they were of old, and I charge you that ye forget not that it is a great peril and danger to your soul to forswear yourself upon the Book.
Deacons conduct candidates around Temple to Vice Commander.
S.D.: Vice Commander, we seek your permission to proceed through the Temple.
V.C.: Travelers and friends, because of your Masonic kinship, you have my permission to proceed. I gladly direct you to greater achievements. As you advance in self-denial, putting away hasty words, anger and wrong thoughts, filling your life with good acts and fraternal love, you will be better prepared to enter that great Temple not made with hands. Naamah was Tubal Cain’s sister and the inventor of weaving. She had three brothers and these four were the founders of all crafts. From the beginning she was associated with them in all their arts, crafts and inventions. Miriam, sister of Moses, constructed his ark so skillfully that she saved his life, and with his mother made the ark plumb, level, square, arched and waterproof. Learn from these noble, self-reliant daughters of ancient times your responsibility and work in making the world better because you live, and earnestly strive to become worthy builders of the Temple of Justice, Truth and Right. We are in possession of certain secrets which are sacred to us, and must be kept sacred by all who are permitted to receive them. So we require an extremely solemn vow from you. This will not interfere with your duties to your family, your church, or your social position. Yet our vow, once taken, must be sacredly kept. If after learning this you desire to proceed, you will be conducted to the Altar of Love where the obligation will be administered to you. If not, you will be conducted to the outer court when you will be permitted to depart in peace.
Are you willing to unite with us in the building of this spiritual Temple, and do you wish to obtain the mystic recognition of the T.K.? If so, answer, “I do.”
Senior Deacon, you will conduct the candidates to the Altar, where the obligation will be given.
After the candidates have been placed in position, the Chaplain advances to her position at west side of Altar. W.C. calls up Conclave. Deacons escort the Worthy Commander to the Altar.
W.C.: You will say “I,” pronounce your name in full, and repeat after me the following obligation:
At close of obligation all members say: God keep them faithful to their trust.
Chap.: Let us pray.
We pray Thee, Almighty God, to witness these solemn promises, and strengthen these sisters (and brothers), to be forever faithful to Thee and loyal to us. Amen.
Members respond: Amen.
Guides remove the W.B., hand them to Chaplain, who takes them with her to her station.
Chap.: Rise, my sister (and brothers).
Candidates rise.
Initiation ode.
(Tune, What a Friend We Have in Jesus.)
God, our Father! with us ever,
Thou hast heard our solemn vow!
Seal our lips that we may never
Break the promise given now.
Fill our hearts with love for others,
From our thoughts bid evil flee;
May our tongues be silent ever,
Save in love and sympathy.
Deacons escort Worthy Commander to dais, and then conduct candidates toward High Priest’s station and to Worthy Past Commander.
S.D.: Worthy Past Commander, we would learn the narrative of this degree and its teachings.
W.P.C.: Sisters (and Brothers), the journey you have traveled through life is long compared with the journey you take in our Temple. You will here meet those who are loyal to Friendship and Kin; those who scorn the unworthy scandal-mongers, who look for the best there is in others and speak not of their faults and follies. Know ye that the narrative of Ruth and Boaz, the foundation arid keystone of this degree, teaches us to cherish in our hearts the virtues of Fidelity, Faithfulness, Hospitality, True Love for God and one another. Ruth, after burying her husband, accompanied her mother-in-law into Bethlehem. Being destitute, she went to glean in the barley fields of Boaz. At noon, when the sun was high, she became tired and hungry and sat down under a palm tree to rest. There, alone in all her modesty, Boaz saw her, and so attracted was he that he reached her parched corn and she did eat. He afterwards married her, and King Solomon, the builder of the Temple, was a direct descendent of Ruth and Boaz. In building this temple he caused two large pillars to be erected in the porch, naming them Jachin, meaning “beauty,” which represented Ruth, and Boaz, meaning “strength.” Solomon represented Wisdom. So, my dear Kindred, we surround you with the representation of Wisdom, Strength and Beauty. Treasure them in your life while you like Ruth, gather wisdom from your kin. Walk in love with God, whose choicest blessings shall be yours. You will now proceed to the East, where our Worthy Commander will exhibit our most valued treasures.
Deacons conduct candidates past the High Priest, then east of Altar and march directly abreast to Worthy Commander’s station.
S.D.: Worthy Commander, we seek the treasures of the T.K. at your altar.
W.C.: Dear Kindred, you come to me for that knowledge which is the privilege of only a few to receive. None but those who are deemed worthy by our committee, and who have assumed our obligations are so favored. I will now instruct you in the secret work.
Secret work.
W.C.: You will now listen to the advice of our Counselor.
Deacons conduct candidates around the Temple to the Counselor’s station.
S.D.: Counselor, we present these new Kindred to receive your counsel and advice.
Coun.: Sisters (and Brothers), you no doubt have realized in your journey around this Temple that every act and word has been a lesson of wisdom for your good. You will also understand that the reason for your being D.O.A.S.J.A.O., before being permitted to enter our court, was to teach you the lesson of equality. In this Order we know no castes for neither gold, elegant attire, or precious jewels form the stepping stones to membership. Individual worth is the only wealth recognized, while true merit, coupled with Chastity, Purity of Heart, Fraternal Love, and Open-handed Charity to all mankind are the jewels to be worn in actual service by all who enter the inner court of this Temple. Kindred, let these cardinal virtues govern your lives; Fortitude that you may resist temptation, Prudence that you may regulate your conduct by the dictates of reason, Temperance to govern your passion, and Justice, by which you must direct your duties toward all mankind. I now restore to you, your J’s, and rejoice that you will follow the Great White Light.
Deacons conduct candidates around Temple to High Priest.
S.D.: High Priest, we come to you for the badge of this degree.
H.P.: My Sister (or Brother), I now present you with this . It is the symbol of the priceless jewels of Purity and Chastity. Never, as you value your vow, soil the one, nor cast aside the other. It is also the distinguished badge of the True Kindred.
Whatever of good or seeming ill the coming years may hold for you, we do not know, for we cannot read the future. We trust it may be your privilege to drink deeply at the “Fount of Inspiration,” and so excel in all that you worthily undertake.
You may succeed in placing your name high above all others upon the scroll of Fame. Decorations of Merit and Jewels of Worth and Beauty may be yours, but even so, you would not be the proud possessor of the equal of that which you have just received.
Although possessing no real monetary value, yet, pause my sister (my brother), if tempted to think lightly of this our simple token. It has values that cannot be represented by gems or gold.
Emblematically within the warp and woof of this small piece of linen white, angel hands have woven innocence, purity, chastity and all the virtues with which mortal may be endowed. Let its pure whiteness ever remind you of all that is good, true and ennobling.
May the color of its embroidered symbols impart to you a fervency and zeal in attaining all the graces bestowed by Love Divine.
And when the end of your pilgrimage draws night and your weary feet falter upon the river’s brink, when you no longer find strength or skill within your palsied hands the Distaff still to use and hence must cease to weave the pattern of your Life’s Design, then in the silence of the night, when comes the pale messenger of death, may the sweet consciousness be yours of having well wrought out in daily life the lessons of our Order, and spotless kept your badge of membership. May the Jewels of a pure and blame less life like rainbow hues illumine your spirit when it seeks admission to the Conclave Triumphant, whose members all as Kindred True of the King of Glory, are bound by no ties but those of love and who will there accord to you the Royal Honors.
Deacons conduct candidates to Chaplain.
S.:D.: Chaplain, we come to you for the Emblem of this degree.
Chap.: The Emblem of this degree is the ... It is emblematic of woman’s work, as the trowel is of man’s. We are told that Naamah invented the art of weaving, but even before that she had used the ...,
which is that part of the ancient spinning wheel which held the prepared flax. From the ... the flax was taken to the spindle and made into thread, fine or coarse, rough or smooth, according to the work of the spinner. This thread was used for warp and woof in the looms and the women wove fair white webs of linen of various designs. We use this emblem as a sign that we are willing workers for the good of humanity. Idleness palls upon a brave heart. Work comes to us as a wind visits a forest and stirs our faculties to greater activity. It puts a zest into life that awakens ambition. As we pass through this world we should never miss an opportunity to say a kind and encouraging word, help or protect our fellowman, share another’s burden, soothe their sorrows and plant a loving thought, or twine a rose upon the terrace of tomorrow. May you, dear Kindred, earnestly strive
“To weave in the web of life
A bright and golden filling,
And do God’s Will with a heart sincere,
And hands that are brave and willing!”
Deacons conduct candidates around hail to west of Chaplain’s station, directly west of Altar and abreast to Vice Commander’s station.
S.D.: Vice Commander, we seek an explanation of the Square and Compasses as used by the True Kindred.
V.C.: The Square and Compasses are symbols of the oldest and grandest body of workers the world has ever known.
What they mean in all their fullness can never be known to any but those who have traveled the path, received the instruction, performed the work, made the demonstrations, and had the personal experiences.
From the beginning to the end of our labors we are building the “Temple of Human Character” which is founded upon the solid rock of enduring Truth, and, when completed stands as a column of unfading light to illumine the pathway of life to all who travel that way. Try to gain the full knowledge of our beautiful teachings by practical work in our Order.
Senior Deacon, you will conduct these new Kindred to the Secretary’s desk that their names may be enrolled with those of the H.H.O.T.F. and thence to the Worthy Commander for final instruction.
Deacons conduct candidates past High Priest to Secretary; then around Temple again to the Worthy Commander.
S.D.: Worthy Commander, we are now prepared for your final instructions.
W.C.: Dear Kindred, you have tonight taken a solemn vow that binds you to us for life.
For life you have sworn to be true to us in thought, word and deed to look for, and to speak only, of the good that is in each one of us, be it much or little.
To be a friend, nay more, a True Kindred in all that the name implies.
From this day forth, new principles, principles and precepts that may not easily be practiced, must enter into your life.
A guard must be placed upon your lips, for a silent and truthful tongue must be yours.
A clean life is demanded of you; and above all, remember that while you wear the True Kindred emblem, that bears the Square and Compasses, you are not to enter any place, speak any word, or commit any act that would cause your True Kindred to blush for you.
Remember, that from this day forth, we are your true friends, proud of your good repute, rejoicing in your good fortune, ready to shield your name from any aspersion that may be cast upon it, and aid you, when needed, as far as our ability permits.
Be worthy of our trust, learn the secret meaning of our beautiful Order, and above all, show in word and deed, that the mystic tie that binds you to us is the most honorable link in the chain of your life.
May God keep you faithful to your trust. and may the unseen hand bestow naught but blessings upon you and yours!
Senior Deacon, you will retire with our new Kindred and enter with the usual formalities.
Deacons conduct candidates to the Chaplain’s station, then west of Altar, face west and walk to the Vice Commander’s station, thence to the door.
Guides do not leave the room, but walk by way of V.C.s station to Altar and separate to their seats.
Deacons and candidates give proper signals, and the Inner Guard reports in the usual manner.
I.G.: Vice Commander, Sisters (and Brothers) of this Conclave with the pass.
V.C.: Admit all, if correct.
Deacons and candidates enter in single file by way of High Priest to Altar, salute, Senior Deacon seats candidates in North-East corner of Temple.
Custodian presents token. Leaves her station as Deacons ground their staffs. When she reaches candidate, says: Sisters, accept from us as your True Kindred the emblem of hospitality extended to the gentle and humble R... as she sat alone in the barley fields of B... (S.W.).
When Custodian reaches her seat, the Deacons walk to the Altar. Senior Deacon places her right hand, palm upwards, on the Bible and says: Worthy Commander, I now declare (giving names) fully instructed in the mysteries of the True Kindred degree, and duly initiated into ... Conclave No ...
True Kindred, State (or Province) of ...
Worthy Commander closes initiation with gavel.
Advisor’s Lecture
My Sisters and Brothers:
You are now a member of the True Kindred and entitled to all the rights, benefits and privileges that go with membership in this splendid fraternity.
In your True Kindred experience you are the captain of your own destiny. The amount of satisfaction you will derive rests solely with yourself. The rendition and interpretation of our sublime ritual and ceremonies may well inspire your greatest efforts. Its social and fraternal contacts will bring you happiness and add to the joy of living. But the greatest of all, it will afford you the opportunity of giving expression to your charitable impulses.
You have taken the first step. There remain the Heroine of Jericho and the Good Samaritan degrees, in which you will find further opportunity for progress in the True Kindred philosophy of life.
You must always remember that we owe our existence and inspiration to the Masonic Fraternity, which from time immemorial has stood for Justice and Equality among men, and has taught, by precept and example, the principles of Brotherly Love, Relief and Truth. Its record is unblemished and the lustre of its achievements undimmed. Membership in the True Kindred imposes on you the solemn obligation to so conduct yourself that Free Masonry may never suffer or be disgraced by any act of yours.
And now, may the God of our Fathers let the light of His countenance shine upon you and bless you, and bless the work of your hands. May your labors be fruitful and bring you satisfaction and the joy that passeth all understanding, so that when the time shall come, when the faltering steps you descend the Western Slope, towards the setting sun, with the shadows lengthening behind you, travelling onward to that land from whose bourne no traveler returns, you may pause near the end of the day, and look back over the pathway you have trod, and see the road lined with good deeds, with kindly thoughts and with happy memories. That, my friends, is all that matters. Wealth, Honors and Titles will all fade into oblivion. A friendly spirit dispenses kindness wherever it goes, and the memory of it lives forever; and a life spent on this earth, spreading sunshine and gladness, will obtain all the reward there is to be had, beyond the veil.
W.C.: Does any member know of any further business which should be attended to at this meeting?
There being no further business, we will proceed to close.
Worthy Commander calls up Conclave.
W.C.: Members will assume the “Due Guard” and repeat the pledge.
In the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses I now repledge myself to work for the good of the Order, and earnestly strive to keep my True Kindred Vow.
High Priest, you will deliver the parting injunction.
H.P.: Officers and members, we have now repledged our fidelity to each other, to labor for the good of the Order and keep inviolate the obligation we have taken. Kindred, remember your vow and its penalty.
W.C.: Let us unite in singing our closing ode.
W.C.: Let the Altar be unclothed.
Altar is unclothed by Vice Commander and High Priest removing the ..., Chaplain closes the Bible, then raising her right hand, prays: O Lord; when our earthly work is ended take us home to Thine own kingdom to live forever, where sorrow, parting and death shall come no more. Amen.
All respond: Amen.
W.C.: I now declare this Conclave closed. Good night, Kindred.
All respond: Good night, Worthy Commander.
Worthy Commander sounds gavel.