Supreme Union of Ethiopia or the Ethiopian Union of the World
Ritual for the Supreme Union Degree


 
1914


Supreme Opening Ceremonies

At the proper hour the Loyal King or Queen or in his absence, the Supreme Loyal Counselor; in the absence of that officer, any member appointed by the Supreme body will call the Supreme Union to order and preside over the meeting for the time being.
After this body has been called to order all applicants and other persons not paid will be escorted to the ante-room by the Supreme Master-at-Arm.
After which the Loyal King or Queen will say:
Supreme Loyal Guardian, you will close the. doors and cause those within and out to remain until further orders.
S. L. Guardian obeys and says:
Loyal Queen, your orders have been obeyed.
Loyal Queen:
Thank you Loyal Guardian, you may be seated.
Loyal Queen:
Supreme Loyal Guide.
S. L. G. answers:
Loyal King or Queen, I stand ready to serve.
Loyal Queen:
You will receive from all present the semi-annual pass-word, and the pass-word of the Supreme Degree. Those without them you will cause to come before the Holy Altar, who will be examined according to the financial records of the books in the office.
If financial, will pass to the Priest, receive same and this to the Guide for report, if not excused to the ante-room and appear before the Supreme Recorder for payments.

Supreme Loyal Guardian you may inform the Supreme Loyal Sentinel that the Supreme Union is about to open in Harmony and admit none until further orders are given.
The Supreme Loyal Guardian obeys and reports by saying:
Loyal Queen your orders have been obeyed.
Loyal Queen:
Thank you Loyal Guardian, you may be seated.
Members let us be clothed in the proper regalia for the Supreme Degree, (badges, etc.)
Three raps and all members rise; singing and praying by Supreme Loyal Prophet or any appointed.
Loyal Queen:
Dear officers and members of this Supreme Union my station is in the East, there to seek wisdom and knowledge, truth and understanding; that I may know how to rule and preside over this Supreme Union with justice and impartiality to all of its members and in the discharge of the sacred trust and duty. I ask and appeal to each member for his hearty support and earnest co-operation, for you are a link in this great chain, the strongest chain is no stronger than its weakest link; we need you; members, may I expect your aid in this?
All members give the salutation sign and say:
My heart is in perfect accord.
Loyal Queen gives two raps and all are seated:
In the name of the Great Architect and the departed links of this great Ethiopian chain of Harmony, I declare this Supreme Union duly opened for the transaction of such business as may legally come before it.
S. M. at A., you will inform the sentinel to admit members in waiting, one at a time, and you report members in waiting for the degree whose fees will be collected by proper committee and members turned to the Degree Master.
 

Instructions for the Degree Master

The degree master, attired in a white linen Toga with red silk sash across his left shoulder and fastened under his right arm about the waist line; should wear a necklace with a cross or crucifix suspended. The borders of his skirt should be trimmed with old gold or crimson lace, and the sleeves with old gold embroidery with gold fringes. He should bear a shepherd's staff, and should be escorted to the rostum by two young Ethiopian boys about the same age and size, not to exceed twelve years of age. These two escorts are known as Supreme pages who duty is to attend the degree master.
The Supreme pages should be attired in a rich hue of cream satin garments trimmed with deep green satin bordering. They should wear a girdle of red about their waist, and white shoes and stockings. Their garments can either be in knee trousers with long coats with cuffs trimmed in gold embroidery or Togas. Each should bear a vase of pure white flowers each in their right hands, and should accompany the degree master on either side, one until they reach the position upon the rostum where the degree master will deliver the degree, then they will take their places, seated one to the right and the other to the left of the degree master.
When the degree master and his retinue emerge from the ante room the Supreme Lodge should rise and immediately begin singing, 'Stand up, stand up for Jesus, ' until the position is reached by the degree master who then will command Sir Knights and Daughters of Ethiopia, by the raising of the right hand to cease singing-kindly be seated. He then will order the Supreme master at arms to see that all doors and exits are closed and allow no passing in or out until after the ceremonies.
After the degree has been administered, the Supreme grip and pass-word will be given to the Supreme pages in a whisper, who in turn will give them to the Supreme priest who will give them to the applicants. This degree should never be given outside the Supreme Lodge.



Obligation


All should be properly regaled; Supreme officers in their stations.
Degree Master:
Sir Knights and Daughters of Ethiopia, before receiving this degree, it is necessary for us, first to make a solemn vow to keep the secrets with which we are about to be intrusted. If you are willing to keep the secrets of this degree, let it be known by rising upon your feet, place your left hand over your heart and raising the right hand towards Heaven, pronounce your full name and repeat after me:
I, , in the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses, do solemnly declare nd affirm, that I will not divulge, nor make known in any way, nor cause to be made known, nor suffer to be made known in my presence is in my power to prevent, the secrets of this degree, except it to be to a Sir Knight or Daughter of Ethiopia whom I know to be a member of this degree and in good standing with the Supreme Union of Ethiopia. If I do, I am willing to be deprived, of all the benefits of the Supreme Union of Ethiopia, and be banished from the order forever. Let all say: So may it be.
Degree Master: Beloved citizens, take your seat and pay strict attention to what I have to say that you may be able to repeat this beautiful story of Ethiopia to your children from generation unto generation.


Supreme Union Degree

We know but very little, if anything, of the Ethiopian race before the flood. The Bible teaches us that the great deluge destroyed all races, all people from off the face of the earth, except Noah and his wife, and his three sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth and their wives. With exceptions of this family, all human beings, according to the Bible, were destroyed in the flood.
After the flood the family of Noah began to spread out. Shem and Japheth journeyed to the North and settled in what is now the continent of Europe and Asia, while Ham, the black son of Noah, settled in Africa.
The immediate offspring of Ham were Cush, Mizraim, Phut and Canaan. These hamitic people increased rapidly and spread out over the continent of Africa. Cush, the first born son of Ham, beget Nimrod, the mighty hunter before the Lord. Sacred history teaches us that Nimrod set up the first civil government among men. It was he who built the great city of Babel and set up the Babylonian Empire in the land of Shinar, Gen. 10:8, through which the Tigris and Euphrates flow, known as Chaldea. Out of that land went forth Asshur, the son of Shem and built Nineveh and three other large cities and set up the government of Assyria.
Mizraim, the second son of Ham, is the father of the Philistines. Those people settled in that part of Syria called after them Philistia, and afterward Palistine. They possessed only the portion of Palestine bounded by the holy countries of Ephriam and Judea, and extending, southwest to the confines of Egypt. Their capital, Gaza, is mentioned as early as 2218 B. C. They reduced the Israelites to subjection 1156 B. C., and held them as subjects until Samson destroyed their chef, nobility, by pulling down the great temple where they were assembled, thirty-nine year later. They offered the stiffest opposition to the Jews in trying to prevent them from invading the land of Canaan. They succeeded in invading Judea at various times and often taking many prisoners. At one time even they took the King's wives and sons and carried them away into captivity. They were finally incorporated in the Roman Province of Syria under Pompey. B. C. 62.
Phut, the third son of Ham, is accredited as being the father of the tribes from which came the Liberians, Zulu, Kaffir and Guinean. From these tribes the American Negro were mostly descendent.
The Canaanites came directly from Canaan, the fourth son of Ham. Some claim him to be the third and Phut the youngest of the four, any way the Canaanites formerly occupied the territory known m Biblical history as Palistine or the Promised Land. These people consisted of several tribes of Ethiopian, all living under one government. Their territory properly lay between the Jordan and the Mediterranean Sea and up to Sidon (Phoenicia).
The Hebrews gradually forced the Canaanites back into Philistia and north into Phoenicia where the latter, though confined to a very narrow strip along the mountainous coast of the Mediterranean, reached quite an advanced stage of civilization. The Canaanites were gradually submerged into the Phoenician race and thence forth lost their individual identity.
The Phoenicians invented the art of writing and were pioneers in commerce upon the high seas, carrying ontrade between Rome and Greece. Hiram Abif. of Hamitic decent, king of Phoenicia, furnished much material in the construction of Solomon's Temple.
As far back as history records we learn of the land of Ethiopia, known in ancient geography as the territory south of Egypt, embracing modern Nubia, Abyssinia and adjacent districts; but its limits were not clearly defined, however, we know that it embraced a great territory south of the Euphrates River and all of the territory lying to the south of Egypt.
About the 8th century B. C., the Ethiopians imposed a dynasty on lower Egypt, and acquired a predominant influence in the valley of the Nile. Even before this date Ethiopian princes had from time to time invaded Egypt, subdued the inhabitants, placing them under tribute.
From the visit of Magda, Queen of Ethiopia, to Jerusalem a marked epoch began in Ethiopian history. Having remained in Jerusalem six months in conference with Solomon, an alliance which was cemented by their marriage, was formed by the King and Queen. Whereupon, the two great empires, Israel and Ethiopia, became allies. The Queen now returned home and process of time gave birth to a son whom she named 'Bainelekhem, son of the wise man'.
Loyal Prince, Bainelekhem, grew up in the palace at Axum. When he became of age he was told that Solomon was his father. Then, he with a retinue of young men journeyed to Jerusalem to see his father.
Solomon recognized his son and as he entered Jerusalem, the people bowed down and said, 'lo, the King'. Even Solomon exclaimed, 'Thou art like unto my father David in the flower of his youth'.
As a Prince he was taught all the Jewish laws. 'It were better for thee', said Solomon, 'to stay in this country where stands the house of the Lord, and also the tables of the law, For God dwells with us'.
But the loyal Prince besaught the King to send him back home for the pines for the mountains of the land of his mother, which resembled paradise. To this request Solomon consented, and gave Bainelekhem the sacred covering of the Ark of the Covenant, and chose two young priests, sons of all the councilors and judges and men of war to return with the Crown Prince, whose name had been changed by his father Solomon to David, and to rule with him in Ethiopia as their father ruled with Solomon in Israel.
The young men were sorrowful at leaving Jerusalem. The two priests, Azeareas and Elmeas, the sons of Zodac, the high priest, took council and refused to leave the Ark of the covenant for they believed Jehovah dwelt within it and they feared to lose the favor of the Almighty. Then the young priests stole the tables of the law from the Ark in the Temple and replaced them with boards of the same size. When this was done the Loyal Prince with his retinue, and the two young Priest and the young men and the sons of all the councilors left Jerusalem for Axum, the Ethiopian capital.
After the departure of the Crown Prince from Jerusalem all Israel grew sad, for some cause they knew not why. On investigation by the High Priests he found that the tables of the law had been stolen from the Ark.
They now set out in pursuit of them, but they could not come near the Crown Prince of Ethiopia for the Ark of the covenant blessed him; so he moved swiftly through Egypt and into his country. Thus the presence of the Lord and the tables of the law departed from Israel and abode with the Ethiopians. The Ark was placed in the Temple at Axum and the offspring of Bainelekhem, the King and the young men whom Solomon had sent with him, worship unto this day.
Ancient Ethiopia embraced much territory but we were unable to hold our own, and, like all other nations of antiquity we rose, reigned and fell; but this was not a complete fall, however we were diminished from time to time until we have only left modern Abyssinia. The government of Ethiopia has had its seat at Axum from the reign of Solomon to the present day; notwithstanding, we have been subjected to aggressive wars waged against us by European foes, yet we have succeeded in holding our government.
The Jewish kingdom has passed away and Empires have arisen and passed into the decades, hut Ethiopia still stands as she did three thousands years ago.
Why the white man excelled us? The answer is plain. While climatic conditions had something to do with our retardment, I rather think that our environments had more. We lived beneath the tropical torrid sun where winter was unknown, where the art of building was not practiced and clothing were not essential to health. We were not forced to make shift for our own living as the same was prepared by nature. We lived in the midst, as it were, in the Garden of Eden, where fruits and the essentials of life grew in perpetuity. Nature pampered us, we grew lazy and allowed ourselves to drift with the tide, while a few made progress and held a remnant of the ancient glory of empire building, the mases did content themselves with just what nature gave them and made no improvement. They retrograded, naturally as with all people who don't move forward they go backward. They became an easy prey to other nations.
When they were united, the four sons of Ham, Cush, Mizriam and Canaan, they were too powerful for the entire world, but when they became separated and torn asunder, they were not able to resist the incussions of their enemies.
The other peoples, the descendants of Shem and Japheth who settled m Europe and Asia, were not so blessed with the natural advantages as were the Hamitic descendants, but rather were subjected to the most severe winters and vicissitudes which forced them to desperate struggles for existence and compelled them to provide shelter from the icy hands of the frozen north. It also forced him to provide for the rainy day. The frost swept the fruits from the trees, and laid waste the unprotected vegetation, thus forcing thrift and economy upon them. The art of building found a hearty following, and wearing apparel became a necessity.
Succeeding generations carried the art of their fathers on; building villages with chapels, then towns with churches and finally cities with cathedrals with their towering steeples. When once the spirit of thrift and economy is implanted within the being of mankind it ever remains in a greater or less degree. The more a man has to depend upon himself the more he will give
thought to the question of how to obtain the best results. Thus the other races were not by creation superior beings to that of the Negro, but force of circumstances and natural surroundings tend to work advantage or determination of any people.
So far we have, in a very brief way, reviewed the history of the ancient people, and compared the son of Ham with the offsprings of the children of Shem and Japheth; I would invite your attention to the Negro as the world acknowledges him in undisputed history in more recent times. Let us, for example, take the modern Abyssinians, view them with unprejudiced eyes and we find him, notwithstanding the aggressive wars waged against him by European foes maintaining a government of which any nation should feel proud. Their independence is universally acknowledged and their intellectual advancement compares favorably with European civilization.
The Liberian Republic is a splendid example of the American Negro tried out, as it were, to test his capability of self-government. How well he has succeeded stands as an open book to the whole world. Toussaint L'Oveture, the black French warrior, stired to deeds of immortal sphere, called together his comrades, defeated the flower of the French army, freed his people of French oppression and established a Negro Government in Hayti that stands today a credit to the dusky sons of Ham.
The American Negro in his debased and wrecked condition before the civil war proved his endurance to be infinitesimal. Though born down with the yoke of bondage upon his neck, he had embedded deep down in his heart a spark of the ancient respect of an empire; for when stirred to rally to the colors of his government though he was treated as a beast of burden, he was a daring soldier.
Since the chains of bondage has been severed him, he has written his name high upon the walls of fame. In every avenue of the white man, a civilization he has succeeded in spite of the hazard of almost universal prejudice. He has proven to the world that he is able to grapple with the vexing problems of today and master the situation.
Friends, the Psalmist tells us that princes will come out of Egypt, and Ethiopia shall stretch forth her hands unto God. Today this prophecy is being fulfilled. The great God of the universe declares, 'For as the rains cometh down, and the snow from Heaven, and returneth not thither, hut watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater; so shall my word be that goeth out from my mouth, It shall not return unto me void'.
One thing laketh yet, if we would enter into life. If we would return to the ancient ambition of our fathers whose spirits it were that raised empires, spanned rivers and scaled mountain peaks and whose armies were a terror to their enemies; if we would have history repeat itself and the Ethiopian race take its place among the several nations of the world and become a power as it was in days passed and gone; if we would take the offensive against the forces that are keeping us separated and torn asunder; then I would whisper to you this as a watchword to a workman upon the walls of time, repairing as it were the breach between ancient and modern Ethiopia.
Pass-word: Let us ever be unite.
Supreme Grip: When greeting a member of this degree: Let the thumb of the right hand fall between the thumb and first finger, lay the first and second fingers in the palm between the second and third fingers; the third and fourth fingers overlap to form a great union.
Salutation: Fold arms across breast in form of an x, make a polite bow, used on entering and retiring, or rising to speak.
How to enter when late: Any ordinary sound at the outer door and the semi-annual pass-word will cause the Supreme Loyal Sentinel to admit you to the ante room, where you will regale and give the Ethiopian rap, (Prov. Ritual) then to the Supreme Loyal Guardian give the Grand Union Degree pass-word (Upward), and the Supreme password, come to the altar after the manner of the Province 1st Degree entering form, reaching the altar give the Supreme Salutation to the Loyal Queen, answered by a thrown, then turn and give the Province salutation sign to the S. L. C.
Recognition
Press the fore finger of the right hand against the lips and look directly at the stranger who in turn will shake hands and give the Supreme grip.
Warning
Clasp both hands together in a tight fist, look at the stranger with a frown who answers by slightly drawing the shoulders and looking towards the earth.
Distress
Place both hands together, fingers upwards and eyes turned heavenward in met by a member
and taken through the test of our emblem: 'Can you carry the whole world?' 'I am only a link in the chain.'
The vote of the Supreme Union is same as Provinces: wave the right hand favors, wave the left opposes.
The gavel: 3 raps: all rise, 2 raps: all sit, 1 rap quiets the house, 4 raps: officers.


Closing Ceremonies

Loyal Queen:
If there is no further business this Supreme Union will adjourn.
S. M. at A. collect the rituals etc., and report at my station.
S. L. M. at A. obeys.
Loyal Queen:
Thank you.
Singing and prayer, Grand Loyal Prophet.
Loyal Queen:
Dear members we are about to leave this Supreme Union to mingle with the outer world for three years. We pray that your lives will be a drawing card; will impress the
world that negroes can get together and when we come to the river that marks an unknown shore, may we look over a pleasant life's journey. If we live in harmony with all, mankind will die in Union with God the Supreme Founder.
Let us give the closing sign, lock arms with those near, folding the hands across the breast, completing the chain with bowed heads, a minute of silent prayer; by the power vested in me by the Supreme Union, I hereby declare this session closed to meet the time designated by law, unless a special meeting.
S. M. at A. close the book of lessons, remove the sword, etc., inform the S. L. G. this session is closed and permit all to retire. Sounds the gavel.