Supreme Union of Ethiopia
Grand Union Ritual / Degree Ceremonies
At the proper hour the Grand Loyal Prince, or in his or her absence, the Grand Loyal Councilor, will call the Grand Union to order and preside over the meeting for the time being.
Immediately after the Grand Union has been called to order, all applicants and other persons not members, shall be excused and escorted to the waiting room. Peace, quietness and solemnity should prevail during the opening of the Grand Union, most especially when applicants are present to be admitted to the mysteries of the Grand Union.
The Grand Union having been called to order, G. L. Prince will say: G. L. Guardian, you will close the doors of the Court and cause those that are out to remain, and those that are in to remain, until further orders.
G. L. Guardian obeys the orders and says: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, L. Guardian, you may be seated.
G. L. Prince: G. L. Guide.
G. L. Guide answers by saying: G. L. Prince, what is thy will?
G. L. Prince: You will receive from all present the semi-annual password, and the password of the Grand Union. Those you find without them, you will cause them to come before the Holy Altar.
After all have been examined the G. L. Guide will report the results to the G. L. Prince, who will say to the G. L. Recorder, (if there be any without the proper words): How stand the members before the Altar on your records?
If found to be in good standing, the G. L. Prince will give them the password; if not, they will be required to straighten up or else be excused from the G. U., and those who are straight, the password will be given them and ordered to be seated.
G. L. Prince: G. L. Guardian, you may inform the G. L. Sentinel that the G. U. is about to open in Peace, and to admit none until further orders are given.
The G. L. Guardian obeys the orders and reports by saying: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, G. L. Guardian, you may be seated.
Members, let us be clothed in the proper regalia of our G. U.
All will put on badges, jewels or collars, as the case may be.
G. L. Prince announces: I declare the officers of the G. U.'s duties to be the same as the subordinates' or Provinces'.
Three raps and all members rise. Sing opening ode: Blessed Be the Tie That Binds Our Hearts in Christian Love.
Prayer: Oh God, the Father and Architect of the Great Union of which we are struggling and striving to symbolize in the building of the S. U., Sirs and Daughters of the Union of Ethiopia, we beseech Thee that Thou wouldst come and be with us in this meeting and cause our every act and deed to be done in peace. Supreme Ruler of the Universe, accept our humble praises for the many mercies and blessings which thy bounty has conferred upon us and especially for the friendly association with our Brethren. Endue us with divine wisdom whilst traveling on our pilgrimage; shield us from the power of the temptations that beset our pathway; and may we grow in grace and in the knowledge of the truth. Forgive our sins, we beseech thee; for Thine is the power, and Thine shall be the glory forever.
All: Amen, Amen, Amen.
G. L. Prince will say: Dear officers and members of this G. U., my station is in the East, there to seek wisdom knowledge truth and understanding, that I may know how to rule and preside over this G. U. with justice and impartiality to an of its members, and in the discharge or this sacred trust and duty. I ask and appeal to each member for their hearty support and earnest cooperation.
Members, may I expect your aid in this?
All members will say: Amen.
Two raps and all are seated.
G. L. Prince: In the name or the Great Architect and the departed friends of our glorious G. U. of Peace, I deciare this Grand Union duly opened for the transaction or such business as may legally come before it.
L, Guardian, you will please inform the L. Sentinel.
L. Guardian obeys the order, returns and says: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, L. Guardian; you may be seated.
G. L. Marshal, you will arrange the Altar.
White cover with Bible resting thereon, open at the 68th Psalm, sword pointing across the 31st verse.
L. Marshal obeys and says: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, G. L. Marshal.
Members, you can be at ease for a few minutes' chat.
One rap calls all back: to order.
Introduction of visitors. Should there be any, the G. L. Marshal will escort them to the Altar and give their names, after which three raps by the L. Prince, all members will rise and say: Our G. U. room and all its comforts are thine indeed. Two raps and all are seated.
Order of Business
1. Roll or officers called.
2. Absent officers fined 25c each, and places filled.
3. Reading of minutes of previous meeting.
4. Call roll of members and add new ones.
5. Communications and bills read.
6. Report of Special Committees.
7. Report or Standing Committees.
8. Initiation of Candidates.
9. Good of the S. U.
10. New Business.
11. Any sick, distressed or disabled members or officers?
12. Report of the receipt in details.
13. Report of disbursements.
14. Balance on hand in Treasury and Bank.
15. Miscellaneous Business.
G. L. Prince: If there be no further business, this G. U. will adjourn. G. L. Marshal, collect
the rituals, etc., and report them to my station.
L. Marshal obeys the order and says: S. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you.
Degree of Peace
When the time arrives for the conferring of the Degree, the L. Prince will say: G. L. Marshal, you will see that all stations are covered in white.
The L. Marshal obeys the orders and says: S. L. Prince, your instructions have been carried out.
G. L. Prince: Thank you G. L. Marshal, you may be seated. G. L. Guide, you will cause all officers and members to clothe themselves in white.
G. L. Guide executes the order and says: G. L. Prince, your will and pleasure has been fulfilled.
G. L. Prince: Thank you G. L. Guide, you may be seated. The lodge may be at ease for a few minutes; at the sound of the gavel, all shall come to order.
Conferring of the Degree
When the time arrives for the conferring of the Degree, the G. L. Prince will say: G. L. Recorder, G. L. Priest and G. L. Guide, proceed to the waiting room and propound the following questions to the applicants:
The G. L. Priest will say to applicant: Who prompted you to seek membership in our Order?
The candidates will answer, being prompted by the G. L. Recorder: A friend.
G. L. Guide will say: If you are admitted to membership in our lodge, will you prove a friend to them?
Candidates will answer: I will.
S. L. Priest: Candidates, are you sound in body and health?
Candidates will answer: We are.
G. L. Guide: Candidates, have you ever been convicted or any heineous crime?
Those that have not will say: No, and those that have will be excused, unless the fact shall have not been discovered before they were balloted for.
G. L. Priest: Candidates, are you married?
Those that are will answer Yes, and those that are not, will answer No.
G. L. Guide: Candidates, should it ever be discovered that you purged yourselves in answering any question asked of you now, or any question answered when filling out the application blanks, will you ever contend for any benefits whatever from our Order?
Candidates: I will not.
G. L. Recorder: Candidates, I hope that you will always remember your last answer.
Candidates: We will.
G. L. Priest will say: Candidates, will you live in peace with the members of our Order wherever found?
Candidates answer: I will.
G. L. Guide: Candidates, before you are admitted further, you are required to pay to our G. L. Recorder all or the balance or your G. U. Degree.
G. L. Recorder here collects the G. U. Degree from those required to pay.
The G. L. Recorder, G. L. Priest and G. L. Guide return to the lodge room before the G. L. Prince's station, and the G. L. Priest will say: G. L. Prince, we found candidates waiting who gave satisfactory answers to our questions and made the pledge required, and altogether paid $ ... to our G. L. Recorder which was the full amount due by them, and we recommend that they be further advanced in our G. U.
G. L. Prince: I thank you G. L. Recorder, G. L. Priest and G. L. Guide, you can be seated.
G. L. Marshal, take such help as may be needed and proceed to the waiting room and there hoodwink all candidates, after which place one behind the other, the one in front to have on a white robe, and others to have a sprig or evergreen in their right hands.
The G. L. Marshal obeys the order and then gives 1oeveral hard raps on the outside of the inner door. The G. L. Guardian will give several hard raps on the inside and say: Who dares to alarm the inner door or our G. U. in such a way as that?
The G. Marshal will answer and say: I have a number of strangers who say they have friends in our G. U., and if they are admitted to membership they will always strive to live in peace with them, and I recommend that they be admitted.
The G. L Guardian will say: Hold them fast until you are given further orders.
The G. L. Guardian will say to the G. L. Prince: That unusual alarm was made by persons who claim to have friends in this order and they desire to coma and associate with them. Shall they be admitted?
The G. L. Prince will say: You can order them admitted.
The G. L. G. will say to the G. L. M.: The order of the G. L. Prince is that the strangers be admitted.
The G. L. M. will say: G. L. Guardian, throw wide the door and let them in.
The L. Marshal will advance in front of the strangers and lead the march around the Altar three times, and then stop, facing the G. L. Prince's station. The L. Marshal will say: G. L. Prince, before you stand strangers who desire to know the mysteries or our Order. What shall I do with them?
G. L. Prince says: You will cause each of them to bow on both knees with their left hand on their heart.
The L. Marshal obeys the order and says: G. L. Prince your will and pleasure have been fulfilled.
G. L. Prince: Thank you. G. L. Marshal; you will cause the members to quietly form a circle around the candidates.
G. L. Marshal obeys the order and says: G. L. Prince your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you G. L. Marshal.
G. L. Prophet. you will adorn yourself in the ceremonial robe (white) and proceed with me to the Holy Altar, and let us administer the obligation of the Degree to these waiting candidates.
G. L. Prince: Candidates. it is with pleasure that we admit you to this, our peaceful G. U. room. This, you know, is the first time during your natural life that you have had the pleasure to kneel at our most sacred and Holy Altar and we hereby remind you that it was upon your sacred word of honor that you enjoy this privilege.
We trust that you will never by any act or deed cause one of us to regret the confidence in you reposed, as an evidence of which you will please stand up.
Members in concert will say: So may it be. So may it be. So may it be.
G. L. Prince: Candidates, before you can be permitted to go further into the mysteries of our Order, you are required to take a solemn and binding obligation. Are you willing to take it?
Candidates being prompted will answer: I am.
G. L. Prince: Candidates, before taking this obligation, what do you most desire?
Being prompt, they will say: Light.
Here a great noise of some kind shall be made, and the hoodwinks shall be removed.
G. L. Prince: Candidates, behold your officers, members and the other beautiful inclosure of our G. U. room.
You may be seated in order that you may give strict attention to the obligations you are about to take.
G. L. Marshal provides seats for these candidates.
G. L. Prince: Officers and members, take your stations and be quiet as death, except when called upon to sing.
G. L. Prophet, you will please administer the following obligation to these candidates.
G. L. Prophet will say: Candidates, by direction of the G. L. Prince, I will proceed to obligate you in the Degree of our Order which is known as the Degree of Peace. This word 'Peace' was proclaimed by the Angels to the Shepherd, on the plains of Judea on that memorial night – the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Angels said to Shepherd: 'Peace on earth. good will to all mankind, for unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ Jesus the Lord.
Candidates, repeat your name and say after me: In the presence of God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth and all other beings and things known to the human family, and in the presence of these members, I do of my own free will and accord, pledge my sacred word of honor, the greatest pledge man can give, to forever keep inviolate the obligations I am about to make.
Let us sing: Ask the Savior to Help You, etc.
To Him That Overcometh God Giveth the Crown, etc.
Notice: The officers when propounding these questions to the applicants. should go slow in order that they may thoroughly understand what is being asked and what they are answering. Let the candidates answer as they desire but all must answer yes or no.
G. L. Prince: Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme Being!
Do you believe that there is a heaven?
Do you believe that there is a hell?
Do you believe that there is any reality in religion?
If you are not a member of any church, will you connect yourself to some one as soon as possible?
Will you serve in any office that you may be appointed or elected to in the Supreme or Subordinate Lodge of this Order?
Will you assist in the burial of our old decrepit members?
Will you give your trade to the members of our Order that are in business?
Will you ever try to defraud them or anyone else out of as much as one cent.
Will you protect the homes of the members of this Order?
Will you aid your children and neighbor's children in Attending Sunday School and public school?
Will you strive to live in peace with all mankind and Exercise patience with all things?
My friend, we hope that these obligations will not pass from you as an idle dream, but that they will always be before you as a great monument.
Let us sing, 'Ask the Savior to Help You, Comfort, Strengthen and Keep You,' etc.
Candidates, you will cement your obligations by kissing the Holy Bible and deliver to me the sprig of evergreen, that it may be deposited in the archieves of the Grand Union to be referred to hereafter, to remind you or the obligations you have just taken.
L. Prophet receives the sprig of evergreen and takes his station and says: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, G. L. Prophet. You may turn over to the G. L. Marshal the evergreen and instruct him to deposit it in the archieves of the Grand Union.
G. L. Prophet obeys the order and says: G. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you G. L. Prophet, you may be seated.
G. L. Prince will say: Candidates, these wills in the obligations just made, cannot longer be postponed if you hope to be admitted to that glorious G. U. above, built, named and owned by God, and God alone, eternal in the heavens. You have cemented your obligations by kissing the Holy Bible, the great book of books, the anchor of the soul.
G. L. Marshal, you will escort these candidates to the Vice L. Prince's station for further instruction.
L. Marshal obeys the order and says: G. L. Vice Prince, by direction of G. L. Prince, I present to you these candidates for further instructions.
L. Vice Prince will say: I thank you my worthy Marshal. You will hold your positions and assist me in my duties.
Candidates, you claimed before you were admitted to these portals that you were seeking the association of your friends. I trust you have found them. If so, I hereby remind you that you will be looked upon hereafter not only to those you sought, but to the Order universal.
If so, the Order will look upon you as friends and help you remember the sacred obligations you have just taken and invoked God's blessings to help you keep the same. You will escort these candidates to the Holy Altar.
The G. L. M. obeys the orders and … will say: G. L. Prince, we present you these candidates at the Altar. They shall hereafter be known to us as friends.
G. L. Prince will say: I thank you my worthy …; you may be seated.
G. L. Priest and G. L. Guide, you will proceed to the Holy Altar and confer upon them the degree of peace.
L. Priest and L. Guide obey the order.
G. L. Priest will say: Candidates, it is with pleasure that we confer this Degree of Peace upon you; it is the link which binds our heart to hearts and unites us in the bands of harmony which teaches us to look after the interest of each other and bestow such deeds of kindness as alone capable of being bestowed by friends. We aid and assist the members of our Order, and especially do we feel bound to do so, as it is a duty that we as true friends cannot forget.
G. L. Guide will say: The Loyal Queen, the founder of our G. U. and of all humanity, spent her life in doing good and to crown her devotedness for the human race.
So we cannot greatly err in these chantable and benevolent emotions toward the members of our Order. Now, my friends, we trust that you will labor to carry out the principle of Peace and the obligations set forth in our Order. Then your lives will be crowned with usefulness and your rewards will be a perpetual Peace.
G. L. Priest and G. L. Guide will cause the candidates to advance to the G. L. Prince's station.
G. L. Priest will say: G. L. Prince, here stand before your station, candidates who desire to be further instructed in the secrets of our G. U.
Here the G. L. Prince will pause and ask the candidates if they desire to go further. If the candidates say Yes the L. Prince will order the L. Marshal to prepare the ordeal which will be a rack with a sword resting thereon pointing to the candidates, and a cable 12 feet long to be placed around the candidates' neck, and the candidates shall be compelled to come against the sword or else pulled up against it by someone. And should they refuse, the L. Prince will here remind them that they have broken their obligations, in that they promised to obey all orders, written or verbal, when given by the Local Grand or Supreme L. Prince.
But someone will here motion that the applicant be forgiven for the failure to obey this order, provided that they obey all orders given thereafter. But before voting on this motion, the members may have such fun and amusement with the candidate as they may desire. All candidates shall be carried through this progress of amusement and test, after which all the candidates shall be brought before the L. Prince's station by the L. Marshal.
The L. Marshal will say: G. L. Prince, before you stand a number of friends of our Order, who have stood the test and are still determined to go further in search of the secrets of our Order.
L. Prince will say: Candidates, is that your desire!
Candidates being prompted, will say: It is.
L. Prince: Candidates, I congratulate you upon the rapid advancement you have made in our Order. You will be no more known to us as candidates, but as Sir Knights and Daughters of Ethiopia. You will right-about face and gaze upon our Altar; upon it you will see the Holy Bible, which is our guide and anchor of hope. You will right-about face and look to the East; that Altar is dressed in white; you will see upon it the gavel; this is the emblem of authority; the white represents peace and purity, both being essential to your admission in our G. U. You will right-about face and look to the west; that Altar is dressed in white, the symbolism of which will be explained later on. You will now look to the south. That Altar is dressed in white, the symbolism of which will also be explained should you not become worried on your journey with us.
You will right-about face and pay good attention, as I shall proceed to give you the signs, alarms, passwords, grips. token, etc., of this Degree, whereby you may be able to enter your own lodge, as well as gain admission to any other, should you go abroad. Should you desire to gain admission to this Grand Union, always look just above the wicket and if you see a white flag displayed, you will know that the Grand Union is working in Peace.
This is used as a token of Peace. Now, should you desire to gain admission, you must give one rap on the door and you will be answered from within by the L. Guardian with one rap. He will then raise the wicket and you will whisper the password of this degree,
which is upward; then you will be admitted to the waiting room where you will dress yourself with the emblem of this Degree, which is a dove; then you will come to the inner door and give to raps; the wicket will be opened and you will whisper the password of this Degree and the semi-annual password, which will be given you later on, and you will be admitted to the G. U. room. You will come directly to the Holy Altar with your left hand directly over your heart and salute the G. L. Prince, who will salute you, which will indicate that you may be seated, but before being seated, you must give the G. L. Marshall the semi-annual password.
The sign of recognition is given thus: left hand over your heart. The answer will be by the right, ... of the person you are trying to test.
The sign of caution is given thus: Quick look at member, and slowly turn away. In case you are not recognized you will say be ever mindful. And when you get the attention of the person you are trying to warn, you will walk off and they will follow;
then you can explain to them the danger they were about to enter.
The grip of this Degree is given thus: The first forefingers of right hands locked together. The word is younudinp success.
After which you may have a chat on such subjects as may be desired, always keeping the G. U. in view.
Here is our gavel; it is the emblem of authority. You must always remember your obligation to obey all orders when given, written or verbal, coming from the chief department of our Order. One rap of the gavel means order. Two raps means rise. Three raps means be seated.
Our voting sign is given thus: By the lifting of the left hand for the proposition, and the raising of the right hand against.
Our distress sign is given thus. Both hands locked together in front of you, hanging down in full length, constantly locking and unlocking them until you get the attention of some member, should anyone be near you. The distress word to this sign is, in case you do not see any member of our Order or cannot use your hands, you will say, I am a link. Keep repeating
this until you get an answer, which will be So am I, and the member answering will come to your relief, if in his power and means to do so or die.
My dear friends, you will right-about face and be introduced to the members of our G. U.
G. L. Recorder, please call each name of the new members, and they will answer as called. Members come forward and greet them with the grip and password of this degree. Meanwhile, all will sing, Jerusalem, My Happy Home, after which the newly made members will be seated by the G. L. Marshal.
Sing closing ode: God Be With You 'Till we meet Again.
God, Father of the Character upon which our Noble Order is founded, we thank Thee for Thy presence during our meeting. We beseech Thee that Thou go with us wherever we may go, and help us to live that strangers will praise us and long to be members of our Order. We further beseech Thee to strengthen every effort we put forth in the uplift of the Grand Union of Ethiopia and as we constantly grow fraternally, may we also grow spiritually, this becoming a standard of mankind. All of which we ask in Thy divine name.
All: Amen, Amen, Amen.
S L. Prince: Dear members, we are about to leave this Grand Union to again mingle with the outer world. We entreat you to live, that your deeds will impress others to become members of our order and when we come to the river that marks an unknown shore, we have no unpleasant recollections of our journey through life. If we live in peace with all mankind, we will die in union with God, the builder of our glorious Grand Union.
Let us give the closing sign which is given thus: First two fingers of right over the mouth with a salute to the G. L. Prince.
Then he will say: By the power vested in me by the Grand Union, I hereby declare it duly closed, to meet again on the time of law, at which time I hope to meet you all again, unless a special meeting is called; if so, you will be notified as far as possible.
G. L. Marshal, close the book or lessons, remove the sword, coverings and shield, and inform the L. Guardian that the Grand Union has closed, and permit all to retire.
Loyal Marshal obeys orders and says: S. L. Prince, your orders have been obeyed.
G. L. Prince: Thank you, S. L. Marshal.
All Station Officers give one rap.