Fraternal Brotherhood
Initiation Ritual


Seating of Officers Before Opening of Lodge

Always seat the officers, if possible, at each meeting, even if you only have two escorts. It adds much to the interest of the Lodge and is a means of getting members there on time, as well as keeping your officers and escorts under drill.
The Sergeant and M.-at-Arms should pass to either side of the altar before halting, leaving officer to be seated below altar and a step or two in the rear of Sergeant and M.-at-Arms. Chords should not be given until the column of officers is in place below altar – that is, have none standing alongside of the room, making bend in column.
This is not secret work, and visitors or candidates may witness it. The escort can add to the march by giving a drill after the officers are seated, if they so desire.
President fills the vacant stations.
Officers form in ante-room in the following order:
An escort consisting of four, six or eight members in couples leading the march.
Sergeant Master-at-Arms
President Past President
Vice-President Chaplain
Secretary Treasurer

Inner Door Keeper Outer Door Keeper

Music should accompany all marches.
March around the hall and to the station of Vice-President, then to the center of the hall, escort halting between the altar and President's station, (four chords of music – 1st, Halt;
2nd, Open Order; 3rd, Inward Face; 4th, Form Arch) with officers below altar. President preceded by Sergt. and M.-at-A., passes through open column to station.
When escort closes ranks M.-at-A and Sergeant remain in position, and escort passes between them, when they fall in line behind escort and lead officers ·to next station. M.-at-A. and Sergt. may carry staffs.
Escort faces head of hall, closes ranks; 1st chord, break arch; 2nd, carry flags; 3rd, front face; 4th, close ranks and march to Chaplain's station· with officers following, cross to station of Past President and seat in the same manner as the President.
March to head of hall and turn at President's station and march to Vice-President's station, seating that officer then to Past President's Station and across to seat the Chaplain.
March to foot of hall, past the station of the Vice-President, turn and march diagonally across the hall, seating the Secretary and Treasurer at the same time. Examiner and Lodge Deputy in same manner.
March around hall to the corner diagonally opposite Doorkeeper's station, turn and march diagonally across hall and seat Doorkeepers.
March to station of Vice-President and then up center of hall seating M.-at-A. and Sergeant, escort dividing and marching to either side of hall, down side to stations of Chaplain and Past-President; then countermarching to seats below stations of Medical Examiner and Secretary.


Opening Ceremonies

Fill blanks with "Brother" or "Sister."
Members, you will come to order. Any who are not members of The Fraternal Brotherhood will please retire. Doorkeepers, you will approach this station and receive the password.
The Doorkeepers come forward from door and Inner Doorkeeper remains standing until Outer Doorkeeper has crossed in front of Vice President's station to the opposite side of room, and each approach the altar diagonally from either corner of room; turn at side of altar and advance diagonally to the stations of Secretary and Medical Examiner, then face and come together in front of President's station and receive password.
You will retire to your places; guard well the same, and allow no one to enter without giving the proper password except by my permission. Inner Door Keeper, you will allow no one to enter during the opening, closing or initiatory ceremonies.
Doorkeepers turn together, walk side by side to door, turning square corners at head of hall.

… Secretary, call the roll of officers.
Secretary should rise to call roll of officers, also to read the minutes. M.-at-A. should rise at station and respond to the roll call of officers, answering for those present as well as for the absentees.
…Vice-President, we are now about to open this Lodge of The Fraternal Brotherhood. Satisfy yourself that all present are members of the Order.
… Sergeant and … M.-at-A, approach this station and communicate to me the password of the current term.
Each officer should rise when addressed. President and Vice-President pausing after each name until after the officer has risen.
M.-at-A. and Sergeant should take same line of march as Doorkeepers, only from opposite end of room, communicate password to Vice-President and take up password on either side of hall as they return to their stations, where they report to Vice-President, using the Address sign.
Ascertain if all present are in possession of the password.
Each member should be required to rise in giving password. If a member is found without the password, he should at once be reported to the President, who shall inquire, "Is … clear on the hooks?" If so, he is given the password by the President, and on his way back to his seat he gives it to the Sergeant or M.-at-Arms, so they can always make a clear report. The President shall not give password to member without his being vouched for by the Secretary or some member, or exhibiting his receipts. The password need not be taken from the President nor visiting officers seated upon the platform.
… Vice-President, all on the right have given me the password for the current term.
… Vice-President, all on the left have given me the password for the current term.
… President, all present are members of the Fraternal Brotherhood.
President, Vice-President, Sergeant, M.-at-A. should remain standing.
PRES., * * *:
The Chaplain will lead us in prayer.
The Chaplain leaves station, advances to altar, opens Bible, recites prayer and returns to station. Chaplain does not salute at altar.
Almighty and Most Merciful Father, we ask thy Blessing upon this Order. Make it an institution of great good. May the principles of fraternity be deeply rooted in our hearts. Lead us in the path of justice and rectitude, so that our conduct through life may meet with Thy Divine approval.
Together, members, give the signs:
1 Salutation Sign
2 Address Sign
3 Goodnight Sign
4 Voting Sign
5 Recognition Sign
6 Answer
The signs should be made continuous without dropping hands to the sides.
Let us all join in our opening ode.
Opening Ode

[TUNE, Auld Lang.Syne.]
In this Fraternal Brotherhood
We meet with souls sincere,
Again renew the bonds of love,
And shrines to friendship rear.
We'll give to each who wins success,
All honor for his meed;
And to the sick or fallen friend,
Assistance in his need.
May He who taught the human heart
The brotherhood of man,
Our homes protect, our children guard,
And lengthen out life's span;
And grant that hope may fill each mind,
And faith steadfast remain,
And may a spotless charity
O'er all our actions reign.
I now deciare this Lodge open for the transaction of such business as may be lawfully brought before it and for the diffusion of the principles of The Fraternal Brotherhood.
As we have met and opened in peace, let us work in harmony and part as friends.

Order of Business

… Secretary, you will read the minutes of the last meeting.
The minutes should be written in ink in the book provided for that purpose before being read and approved. No scratch copy can be legally approved. The President should sign the minutes before leaving the hall, being sure that any ordered corrections have been made.
2 PRES.:
Are there any errors or omissions?
None appearing, the minutes will stand approved as read.

3 … Treasurer, has the report and remittance for the last month been sent to the Supreme Secretary?
If so, state the amount remitted.

4 … Secretary, you will draw an order on the Treasurer for the amount of the remittance, if the same has not been previously drawn.
5 Has the receipt for the remittance been received?
Nos. 3, 4 and 5 may be omitted at later meetings in the month; that is, after report has once been made.
6 Reading of communications, notices, and bills.
(All communications addressed to President, Secretary or Lodge should be read. Some· officers seem to consider letters referring to reports, etc., personal matters, and need not be read. Every letter or communication must be read; those requiring no action should be ordered placed on file and the others laid over and taken up under "New Business." Under ''Notices" all acceptances and rejections by the Supreme Medical Examiner should be read and records made in the minutes of the same. Notice should also be given to the Lodge of all money received for death, disability and accident benefits, and this also made a matter of record. The certificates received by Treasurer should also be announced and record made of number and name of person to whom issued. All certificates should be entered in roll book before being delivered. All bills should be read and referred to Finance Committee (temporary members
being appointed if regular ones are absent,) who should act on same at recess and report be taken up under No. 13- Standing Committees.)
7 Receiving and referring applications for membership.
(All applications for membership should be referred to a committee of three members appointed by the President, whether Lodge is working under an open or closed charter. The person presenting the application is not eligible as a member of such investigating committee.)
8 Reports of Committees on Investigation.
(The Committee may report at once, or if they wish more time to investigate, may hold the application over until the next meeting. In case the three members of the committee report unfavorably, the application shall be considered rejected and no further action be taken.)
9 Balloting for Candidates.
(A collective ballot may be taken in case no one objects. Any member, however, has the right to ask for a separate ballot on each name, and his request must be granted. A ballot with less than three black balls is a favorable ballot, and the President and Vice-President must not teil any one if one or two black halls appear. Each member should halt at least three feet from altar until the person in front has deposited ballot)
… M.-at-A., you will prepare the ballot.
M.-at-A. sees that the ballot box is empty and presents same to the President for inspection. President rises and holding the box, gives the following charge:
Members of … Lodge No. …, we are about to ballot on the application of … for membership in this Lodge.
Three black balls are necessary for rejection; white balls elect to membership; look carefully to your ballot, remembering your pledge at the altar that no personal feeling should influence your vote.
President then returns box to M.-at-A. who faces foot of the hall and presents ballot box over … shoulder for President to deposit … ballot; … then advances to the Musicians allowing … to ballot; then starts from Sergeant's station, advancing diagonally to the altar, pausing before altar facing President, and places box on the altar, with opening towards Vice-President's station; gives salutation sign and remains at altar.
First chord of music, Sergeant and all members on right of hall rise, and at second chord members face toward head of hall and march toward the head of hall, turning at Sergeant's station and falling in line. Sergeant leads march to foot of hall, then turning, marches diagonally across room to M.-at-A.’s station, each member balloting as he passes the altar. Sergeant turns at M.-at-A. station and leads line down side of room, then across back of hall and up side of half to seats. As march closes with chord, line halts, each one at … station; at second chord, face front, seated at third chord. The M.-at-A.
returns to place and Sergeant goes to altar and members at left of hall rise at first chord and face front at second chord and take same line of march only from opposite side of room. As this line is faced, and seated by chords, the M.-at-A. remains standing, and as Musician continues march goes diagonally from … station, takes ballot box as … passes the altar and marches to opposite corner of room, turns and passes to station of Vice-President and presents the ballot box, facing head of hall while Vice-President examines it. …then turns, takes the box and goes across the room to foot of hall, opposite … place, marches diagonally past the altar to Sergeant's place, turns and advances to President, presents the ballot box to President and stands facing foot of hall, while President examines it.
… Vice-President, how find you the ballot?
I find it favorable (or unfavorable.)
I, too, find it favorable. (If unfavorable: M. -at-A. you will prepare a second ballot.)
(Which is done in the same manner as before, and is final in its action. If ballot is favorable, President destroys the ballot, hands the box to M.-at-A. who places it on the Secretary's table and returns to … place.
10 Initiation of Candidates.
(See below)
11 Recess for payment of dues and assessments.
12 Reports of sickness and distress.
(All cases of accident should be at once reported to the Lodge and some member of the Sick Committee be delegated to call at once, as his testimony is sometimes needed in making proof. The President, Vice President, Chaplain, Sergeant, M.-at-A., I.D.K. and O.D.K. of a Lodge constitute the Sick Committee, and they should organize themselves as soon as possible and be ready to attend to this important duty promptly and systematically.)
13 Reports of Committees, standing and special.
(The standing committees are, Sick and Finance Committees and special committees, those appointed for temporary work; as by-laws, entertainment, etc.)
14 Unfinished Business.
15 New Business.
16 Reports of Suspensions and Reinstatements since last report.
(The attention of the Lodge should be frequently called to the steps necessary for reinstatement, and the President and Treasurer should be thoroughly familiar with this section of our laws. Reports of suspensions should be made at the first meeting of the month, and all members reported suspended, who have not paid for the month just closed.)

17 Does any one know of a member out of work who wishes employment?
18 Does any one present know of any work for a member who is out of employment?
(The Secretary should be notified of any vacant positions, and any member out of work could go to him for information at any time.)
19 Good of the Order.
(The President should be particular to ask visiting members to address the Lodge. He should also ask if there is any member [especially should this be done if there is any distinguished
or other person known to be a good talker, present] who has anything to say for the edification or instruction of the Lodge.)
(Every Lodge should have a correspondent to see that items of interest concerning the Lodge are put in the local paper, also that notes are sent to the Official Organ each month.)
20 Closing in due form.
(See below)

Initiation of Candidates

… Inner Door Keeper, are any candidates in waiting to be initiated?
Inner Door Keeper reports.
… Treasurer, you will retire to the anteroom, ascertain the names of the candidates in waiting and collect the required fees.
Treasurer retires without form and thereafter reports at altar; giving Salutation Sign. While waiting for Treasurer's report, it might be well to inquire: "Have we any visiting members present?" If so the President should ask them to give name, name and number of Lodge and if convenient declare a recess and introduce members to visitors.
… President, I find in waiting … who has been elected a member of this Lodge and bas paid the required fees.
… Treasurer has the applicant been examined by the Lodge Physician?
… has, … President.
… M.-at-A. and … Sergeant, you will retire and introduce the candidate.
The M.-at-A. will cross the room back of Sergeant's station, and come to the right side of Sergeant, when they will pass to ante room side by side. M.-at-A. will take candidate by the left arm and follow Sergeant; if more than one candidate, the President will appoint an escort for each additional one. M.-at-A. always at the rear. The Sergeant leads the line once around the room by way of the Chaplain's station, when at the Vice-President's station, turn to the left and go to the altar, placing candidates in line before the altar, with M.-at-A. and escorts standing back of them, and Sergeant at the left, one step in front.
… President, I now present to you this candidate who desires to become a member of this Lodge.
Is it your desire to benefit humanity while living, and to provide for dependent ones when dead, that prompts you to seek admission into this Order?
Candidate answers.
Do you promise to obey all the laws and usages of The Fraternal Brotherhood, and to keep all secrets that may be disclosed to you?
Candidate answers.
Have you carefully considered the responsibility that this step incurs? Not only the responsibility of paying regular monthly assessments, dues and other expenses, but the duty of visiting the sick, relieving the distressed, and assisting in many ways in building up this Order. Have you duly considered all these things?
Candidate answers.
Then let the circle of friendship and unity be formed.
The members will then form a circle around the altar with the President, Sergeant, M.-at-A. and candidate on the inside of the circle, each member advancing from … station towards the altar, as Musician plays softly.
You are now at the altar of the Fraternal Brotherhood. and about to be obligated as a member. In this obligation there is nothing that will conflict with your rights as an individual, nor with the duty which you owe to your family or yourself. If you are willing to proceed, you will place your left hand over your heart, and your right hand on the altar, say I, pronounce your name, and repeat after me: …, of my own free will, in the presence of the members here assembled, and within this circle, do hereby most solemnly promise and declare that I will comply with all the laws, rules and usages of The Fraternal Brotherhood; that I will recognize the supreme authority of the Supreme Lodge, and will obey all orders therefrom not in conflict with my rights as an individual; that I will not wrong or defraud this Order or any member thereof; nor will I suffer it to be done by others if I can prevent it; that I will assist and protect all worthy members of this Order and their families, so far as I can do so, without material injury to myself or others; that I will not discuss polities or religion in the Lodge; that I will not knowingly recommend to membership any one of unsound health or immoral character, nor will I oppose the admission of anyone solely on personal grounds; and should I be expelled, or suspended, or voluntary sever my connection with The Fraternal Brotherhood, I hereby pledge my word and honor that I will not disclose or make public its pass-words, signs, grip or secret work.
You have taken our obligation, surrounded by a circle of friendship and unity, which will ever be to you a protection and help, shielding you from harm, and strengthening you for the trials and responsibilities of life. You will now take your place in our circle, which always has room for one who is earnest in his endeavors, true to his obligation, and faithful to the sacred trust of friendship and brotherhood.
The President will turn to left and followed by Sergeant, M.-at-A. and escort with candidates will pass around the altar to an opening in the circle at the right of the Vice-President, the President standing next to Vice-President, then Sergeant, candidate, M.-at-A. When circle is complete, the following ode is sung:
(AIR-Home, Sweet Home)

In friendship and harmony,
All hearts here are bound,
With good deeds and kindnesses,
Our labors are crowned.
In trials and sorrows,
Whatever befall,
Fraternity's our watchword,
With charity to all.
As soon as ode is finished all will face to the left; the President will lead march around altar, via Chaplain's side – then towards Vice-President's station, turn to left and march around the hall until President's station is reached when President will take his station. Sergeant then leads column once around the hall, each officer and member stopping at proper station, and remain standing, Sergeant, M.-at-A. with candidate, escort, etc., stopping in front of President's station.
… President, I now present this … who has taken our obligation and awaits further instructions.
I will now instruct you in the secret work of this Order, and as I proceed to do so I admonish you to pay particular attention to what I disclose; for by these signs and pass-words only you will be able to visit a Lodge of The Fraternal Brotherhood when in session; and wherever you find a Lodge of this Order, the same secret work is used.
The Salutation Sign is made …, at the same time saying … President.
The answer is the same as the sign.
This sign when made by a member at the altar, signifies, "I am a member of The Fraternal Brotherhood and wish to be recognized as such;" and when made by the President in answer, "You are welcome, take your choice of seats among the members." This sign is never to be given as the sign of the Order outside of the lodge room.
The Address Sign is made … at the same time saying "…President.'' The answer by the President is the same as the sign except that he remains seated. In addressing an officer of the Lodge; use the name of the office, as, "… Secretary, " etc.
Address all others as Brother or Sister with the surname only.
The Good Night Sign is made ….
The answer to the Good Night Sign is ….
The Voting Sign: ….
The Sign of Recognition is made …. The answer is made ….
Wishing to be recognized as a member and desirous of ascertaining whether a person in your presence is a member of this Order, you will make this sign … and if he is a member, he will make the answer. You will then approach and say: "Are you a member of The Fraternal Brotherhood?" he will answer, "l am," and each give the grip. The grip is …. In making these signs outside of the Lodge, make them in a careless, easy manner, so as not to attract the attention of the uninitiated.
The Recognition Sign may also be used as a Warning Sign when one sees a member in danger and wishes to warn him of the same. In this case make this Sign and as soon as it is answered, turn and walk away. The member signaled will understand that he is to follow as soon as possible and learn what the trouble may be.
The Sign of Distress is made … at the same time saying ….
The answer is ….
This sign is never to be given except when a member is in imminent danger, or by the President in giving instructions.
It is the duty of every member recognizing this sign to go at once to the relief of the distressed member, answer the sign, and render all the assistance possible. It is important that you remember these signs and be able to give them should occasion require, and be able to answer should you ever see them given; you will, therefore, imitate me, beginning with the Salutation Sign.
As soon as the candidate has repeated the last word of the Distress Sign and not before, the members will all say – and in great confusion approach the candidate making it as jolly and confusing as possible.
PRESIDENT *, members will come to order at once.
… Vice-President, what is the cause of this confusion?
… President, the newly made member gave us the sign of Distress, and as true and faithful members, we have answered the sign, as we were instructed to do.
This is no idle ceremony; but is intended to teach you an important lesson, that of remembering and keeping your obligation. You were instructed never to give this sign except when in imminent danger. You thoughtlessly gave it when in no danger at all; and the instantaneous answer to your sign by the members present is to teach you that when and where duty calls upon you for action to act at once; and I hope the members present will always be as ready to respond to all duties connected with this Order as they have appeared to be on this occasion.
The Password of the current term is …. The permanent Password is …, which is given when visiting lodges other than your own, if required. Be careful to remember these Pass-words. The gavel is the emblem of authority in the hand of the President; three raps call up the Lodge; two raps seat the Lodge; one rap calls to order.
You will now be conducted to the Past President for further instructions.
The Past President is permitted to deviate from the following charge and improvise at his own discretion.
It is proper at this time to call your attention to some of the objects of our Order, and further to impress upon your mind the duties and responsibilities which you have assumed in taking our obligation. We are organized for the protection of not only ourselves, but those dependent upon us, and it will add to your peace of mind when you are called to the great beyond to know that your loved ones will be provided for, and that they will have friends who will help them bear the burdens and comfort them in their sorrows.
You have now become a member of this great fraternal family, and as such, are entitled to all its privileges and protection as fully and as freely as a child shares in the benefits of the home. You are also a factor in financial part of the organization, and it is your duty, and to your interest to aid in upbuilding and strengthening it in every possible way. The underlying principles of a fraternal organization are co-operation, helpfulness and charity.
Co-operation is the foundation upon which the structure of fraternalism has been erected and upon which it must depend for its future stability. Charity is the center around which revolves the lodge system. lts object is the betterment of the condition of mankind, and where all strive to add to the sum total of human happiness as is the case in true fraternalism, these principles are eternal. In order that this Lodge may derive the greatest benefit from the principle of co-operation, your presence is needed at the Lodge meetings and your officers should have your encouragement and support.
Your sympathy and assistance should be ever ready for a Brother or Sister in time of sorrow or distress, for in bearing one another's burdens do we best fulfill the great mission of human life.
You can rest assured that the members of this Order will carry out their obligations, and it rests with you alone to see that your obligation is fulfilled.
When the time comes for you to answer the summons to go to the mysterious beyond, see to it, my …, that the assurance given many years ago, is repeated to you, ''Well done, good and faithful servant, thou bast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many."
You will be re-conducted to the President for final instructions.
… President, I present to you … for final instructions.
In every Lodge of this Order there is an outer and an inner door, and between them a room called an ante-room. At the outer door an officer is placed, called an Outer Door Keeper and at the inner door, an officer called an Inner Door Keeper. Wishing to visit a Lodge while in session, you will announce yourself at the outer door by giving any usual alarm, when the Outer Door Keeper will open the wicket and require of you the first word of the current term Password, in a whisper, which, if correct, will admit you to the ante-room.
You will then approach the inner door, and give thereon three distinct raps. When the business of the Lodge is such that it is not in order for you to be admitted at that time, you will be answered by the Inner Door Keeper, who will give one rap on the door. If it is in order for you to be admitted at that time, the Inner Door Keeper will open the wicket and you will give to him, in a whisper, the full Password of the current term. If correct, you will be admitted to the Lodge room, approach the altar in a direct line, face the President, give the Salutation Sign, and say "… President"; the President will answer by giving the same sign; and you will then be at liberty to take your choice of unoccupied seats with the members. Or, if an officer of this Lodge, you will take the proper station of such officer.
Wishing to make a motion, or to address the Lodge, you will arise in your place, give the Address Sign, and say, "… President" and if in order, the President will recognize you by pronouncing your name and answering the sign. In changing your seat or in going anywhere about the Lodge room, you should pass in the rear of the altar. Wishing to retire from the Lodge before it is closed, you will go to the altar, face the President, and give the Good Night Sign. If the President permits you to retire at that time, he will give the answer, when you will be at liberty to retire. If the President objects to your retiring at that time, he will so state and give his reasons therefor, and you will again resume your seat.
You will now retire with the M.-at-A. without form, and work your way into this Lodge.
Sergeant retires to station and M.-at-A. returns from ante-room after candidate has entered.
I congratulate you upon being able to work your way into a Lodge of the Fraternal Brotherhood.
... Sergeant you will present the member at this station. Taking candidate by the hand. I welcome you as a member of this Order, and take pleasure in investing you with our badge which I trust you will ever wear with satisfaction to yourself and honor to our cause. You will also be presented with a copy of our Constitution and Laws, in which you will find, not only your duties, but your rights and privileges as a member.
I now declare a short intermission for the purpose of greeting our new member, and the payment of dues and assessments. *.
After initiation new members may be brought to the front of hall and greeted cordially by old members – all marching around room, starting from Secretary's station and going toward Past President and shaking hands with new members as they pass them. It might be well to ask any visiting members to be introduced at the same time and in the same manner.


Closing Ceremonies

…Vice-President, is there anything further to come before this Lodge?
Nothing, … President.
… Treasurer, what are the receipts since the last report?
Treas. reports.
… Secretary you will enter the amount upon your minutes.
Reports in full at each meeting.
We will proceed to close. * * * We have met in peace, worked in harmony, and, I trust, we part as friends; and as we go hence, let us show, by our daily intercourse with the world, and by our rectitude of life, that we are better men and women because of belonging to The Fraternal Brotherhood.
I thank you for our attendance this evening, and invite you to come again as often as you can make it convenient to do so.
… M.-at-A., after the Lodge is closed, collect the property of this Lodge, and put it in its proper place.
Sing first verse of America.
I now deciare this Lodge closed in due form.