Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule
The Commander, at the hour for opening the Caste, will take his position,
and will give one rap with the gavel and say: It
is now the appointed hour for us to assemble in Council. None but members in
good standing are entitled to remain during our deliberations. Herald, post
the Sentinel and Warder, and proceed to ascertain if all present are entitled
to remain, and make report.
Herald, after examining, presents himself at the Altar, salutes the
Commander, and reports: Commander, the gates to the Castle are secure, the
Sentinel and Warder are on watch, and all those present are entitled to
Herald takes a position in front and to the right of the Commander.
Commander: The Secretary will call the roll of Officers.
After filling vacancies, the commander will proceed, *
Knights and Ladies of the Castle will now take their respective positions for the opening ceremonies.
The Officers form in line in front of the alter, the Vice-Commander,
and Sentinel on the left, the Prelate in the center, the Treasurer, Secretary
and Warder on the right. The Warder and Sentinel lock the doors before coming
forward. The members will form into side lines, extending from each wing of
the officers’ line toward the commanders throne. When an are in position,
the Commander says: Officers, upon you devolve the work of the Castle.
You hold, each in your allotted sphere, so much of the peace and prosperity of
the Castle in your hands. Prove that you are worthy of the confidence reposed
in you. Be wise in counsel, courteous in demeanor, firm and vigilant in duty,
and careful and considerate in debate, lest an excess of zeal and strong
convictions betray you into unguarded expressions, and the peace and
prosperity of our Castle be thereby endangered. And knights and ladies all,
remember the pledge of secrecy to the outside world as regards the business
transacted at our Councils. We will now sing the opening ode, after which the
Prelate will invoke the Divine blessing.
Our gates are manned, our standard flies,
Free in the breeze its length unfurled;
Now let th’inspiring anthem rise,
And echo bear it round the world
In bright arrar, with purpose high,
We gather, loyal knights and brave;
We hear the mourner’s piteous Cry,
And come to succor and to save.
Moved by no sordid lost of gain,
No selfish thought, no idle dream,
May Friendship and Protection reign
Where’er our serried lances gleam.
Prelate: Merciful Father, we humbly invoke thy blessing on
our fraternity everywhere. Grant that our deliberations on this and all
occasions may 1)e peaceful and harmonious, an(l full of fraternal love and
charity. May our labors be so directed that they will redound to the good of
our fellow-men and to the glory of thy name. Grant that our Order may become a
beacon to the wanderer, a shelter to the friendless, and a rock of safety to
the faithful, and thy name shall receive all the praise, now and forever
All repeat: Amen.
Commander: Officers and members will now
take their respective positions.
They take their several stations and remain standing.
I now declare this Castle duly open for the
of business. Advance the sign. They
give the salutation. *.
Conferring the Order
Commander, *: Herald, attend.
Herald rises and salutes.
Commander: Retire to the outer gate and learn front the
Sentinel if any one has ventured near the Castle.
Herald salutes the commander and retires, on reentering he says: Commander I find a stranger at the outer gate, under guard of the
Commander: Return and learn the purpose of this intrusion.
Commander rises: Knights and Ladies, eternal
vigilance is the price of peace and security. We should be ever on guard,
whether the one who approaches be friend or foe. A friend will rejoice in our
unity and strength; a foe will dread them. Let all, then, do their duty, as if
the welfare of all depended upon each alone, and the visitor will find us a
fraternal hand united by no common tie, but loyal, brave and strong. This
should be the front we present to all who approach our Castle’s gate.
Master-at-Arms, prepare our Knights and Ladies to receive the visitor. *
Master at Arms salutes Commander: Knights
and Ladies, attention! Form in double column, march! … halt … open
The Knights and Ladies will be stationed in open
order from the gateway to the altar, leaving a passage between them, the
knights only having lances, which will he crossed from opposite sides forming
en archway While the above s going on, the Herald interviews the sentinel or
candidate in the ante-room.
In the Ante-Room
Herald: Sentinel, what report have you to make of this
Sentinel: I found him (her, or them) at the moat, unarmed
and bearing a branch of olive, when he (she or they) hailed me with friendly
greeting, was admitted, and now awaits the pleasure of our Commander.
Herald, clothes the candidate in the stranger’s robe, and giving a twig
of ever green to represent olive, says:
Finding you here, I must present you to the Commander of the Castle. But
before entering you must be clothed in the stranger’s garb, and take with
you this branch of olive. Otherwise your life and mine would be in
peril—yours as a hostile intruder, and mine for admitting you here. Herald
raps at the door.
Warder, raises the Wicket: Who comes there?
Herald: Herald with the key to the Castle.
Warder: Advance, Herald, and give the key.
Herald gives the Key end Word in a Whisper, and adds aloud: I am escort to a stranger who asks admittance to the Castle hall, to
confer with the Commander.
Warder: Noble Commander, the Herald is escort to a
who asks admittance.
Commander, *: Master at Arms, are you prepared
to give the visitor safe conduct to our presence?
Master at Arms, salutes the Commander:
We are prepared, Commander.
Commander, *: Warder, open wide the gate and
let the Herald and his charge pass in.
The Warder opens the door and the Herald enters with the candidate.
Master at Arms, elevating his Sword and confronting the candidate: Halt!
Herald: Master at Arms, we enter the Castle by permission
of the Commander.
Master at Arms: Are the approaches to the outer
walls securely guarded?
Herald: They are well guarded, and all is secure.
Master at Arms: Then, Herald, under guard we
will conduct the stranger to the presence of our Noble Commander. Knights,
attention! Close ranks and form escort.
The Herald taking the candidate by the arm, the Master at Arms to the
lead, they march through the open ranks of the guard and around the hall once
or twice, followed by the guard, during which the ode is being sung or read,
or, if the Castle has an organ, play an appropriate march, at the conclusion
of which the Master at Arms and Herald, with the candidate, halt in front of
the altar, where the guard form In a semi-circle in rear of the candidate.
ODE—OPEN THE GATE.
Open the gate, let who will appear;
Our guards are alert—strangers to fear,
And Knights-at-arms, with buckler and spear,
Will answer every alarm.
We’ll hold our own ‘gainst every foe;
And our hapless wards shall never know,
The shadow of want, of grief or of woe,
We’ll guard them from every harm.
Our ladies fair, and our lancers strong,
Are mingled here in a happy throng,
To welcome friends, with bumper and song,
And with music’s sweetest strain.
We’ll proudly greet and gladly extend,
A welcome warm to every friend,
Who’ll bear a lance and our cause defend,
And in our service remain.
Master at Arms: Noble Commander, we present to
you this stranger, who came to the Castle unarmed, bearing a branch of olive,
and professing friendly intent.
Commander, leaves his throne, advances to the front of the altar, draws
his sword and says: This token taking the branch of olive from the candidate
insures you a hospitable welcome in our Castle; and this sword elevating
it to a sword present, the physical emblem of those knightly
virtues, JUSTICE, FORTITUDE and MERCY, guarantees your freedom and safety
while within our domain. What is the purport of this visit, Master at Arms?
Master at Arms: Noble Commander, it is to
solicit a conference, with a view to enlisting in our cause.
Commander, *: Knights and Ladies, retire.
They salute the Commander, and retire to their seats.
Herald, attend the stranger to our throne.
The Commander, resuming his station, says: Your
name and purpose are in part revealed. The couriers of the Castle preceded you
hither, and brought good reports concerning you. True, you come as a stranger,
but we have reason to believe you true and honorable, and worthy of acceptance
in our Order—an order established by good men and true for the advancement
of those great principles—Friendship, Aid and Protection. Were you fully
advised of these purposes before entering the Castle?
Candidate: I was.
Commander: Are you in sympathy with them?
Candidate: I am.
Commander: Is it, then, your wish to unite with us in a grand
national effort to secure the benefits of this Order to ourselves and our
posterity for ever?’
Candidate: It is.
Commander: You have answered well, but appearances are
delusive. Hence it is incumbent upon me, as the first officer of this castle,
to require you to undergo an ordeal. But we will not, in administering this
test, subject you to humiliation or danger, nor exact any pledge or promise
you cannot conscientiously make. Are you willing to proceed?
Candidate: I am.
Commander: Herald, conduct the stranger to the Vice-Commander
for further instructions and admonitions before being admitted to our sacred
Beautiful Hope! an angel thou,
In robes supremely bright;
Knights and Ladies are joyous now,
In thy delicious light.
With thee the sweetest flowers bloom,
The brightest joys appear;
With thee we rise above the gloom
That oft surrounds us here.
Bravely Hope will cheer us on,
O’er life’s bewild’ring way;
Nor gallant Knight nor Lady fair
From post of duty stray;
And though we linger here awhile,
Still thou our hearts dost cheer,
For like a spirit thou dost smile
O’er all our wand’rings here.
Escorts the candidate around the hall while the Ode is being sung or
recited, or slow music is played on the organ, halting in front of the Vice-Commander
says: By order of the Commander, I
present this stranger, who desires to become a member of our Order. Your long
experience and ripe judgment render your advice and admonition of great value,
and hence it is our Commander’s courteous request that you speak with him
upon the seriousness of the step about to be taken.
Vice-Commander: Friend, not all who come with
professions of friendship, and bearing in their hands, olive branches are
friends, hence we have a test which proves the true and condemns the
pretender. When once you have passed the Ordeal, and are admitted to full
fellowship with the loyal Knights and Ladies of our Castle, we will grapple
you to our souls with the links of the Mystic Chain, but not till then. You
came among us clothed in the garb of a stranger, in which there is a typical
significance. Upon the one side, we see you as in the broad glare of a
noonday’s sun, and you appear fair enough—white being emblematic of
Innocence, Truth and Virtue. On the other side, we find the sombre symbolism
of all that is dark, impenetrable, mysterious, and we turn away with doubt. In
this garb you represent a dual character—the lights and shades that make us
what we are—sometimes joyous and happy; anon, churlish and morose. We have
on the one hand fair promises and smiles of approval; on the other the gloomy
doubts that are born of suspicion and uncertainty. We do not expect you to
be perfect. In that you could be more than human. But it is only those who
strive with honor and courage to attain the highest excellence that we admit
to full fellowship among us. Within the precincts of this castle there is the
hallowed Fane of Purity, where day and night presides a weird priest, with
occult lower to discern the thoughts and intents of the heart, distinguishing
from magnamity of soul the venom and deceits of treachery. It is the Commander’s
order that you be conducted blindfold to the Sacred Fane, and suffer there the
test of purity. Herald, conduct the stranger to the Fane of Purity, and there
have the Master at Arms assemble our most noble Knights and Ladies to attend
the solemn rite.
Herald: Master at Arms, attend with your Knights and Ladies
at the Fane of Purity, and guard the altar from profane touch or word during
the solemn rite there to be administered.
Master at Arms: Knights and Ladies all, assemble
as a guard at the Fane of Purity.
Commander: * * *.
The candidate is blindfolded; the Master at Arms forms the Knights and
Ladies in single file and marches them around the hall once, and then they
form around the candidate, whom the Herald Escorts to the altar, on which a
goblet containing water has been placed. The lights are turned very low, and
the Prelate, who will officiate as the Priest approaches with a lamp, and
conducts the ceremonies. In the castle has an organ, play slow, solemn music.
The ode should be recited if not sung
AIR—Pibroch of Donuil Dhu.”
Brave Knights and Ladies fair,
Come to our altar?
Welcome the stranger there—
Let no one falter!
Gather our noble band,
Sister and brother!
Pledged are we, heart and hand,
All for each other.
Here in our Castle walls,
Honor and Truth and Love
Proudly are blended.
Pass through our solemn rite,
Fearing no danger;
True hearts and arms to-night
Welcome thee, stranger.
Herald: Venerable Father, it is the courteous request of
our noble Commander, that this stranger receive from your reverend hands the
solemn rite of Purity.
Priest, standing at the altar:
When duty calls, both loyal knight and priest devout obey. My son on this
sacred shrine of Purity stands a chalice, of whose charmed contents you must
drink. If you are true and courageous, no harm will follow. But if you are a
spy, and have evil designs against this knightly realm; or if you are wanting
in those noble qualities that must fit you for the toils, privations and
hardships of our high emprise, this liquid will at once reveal your true
character. There are few who deserve the description given by the good King
Arthur, when struck to the soul by the treachery of his most trusted knight:
“What is man” asks his stern warrior, Stoneheart. The monarch answered
from a wounded heart: “Young without obedience, old without honor, rich
without compassion, poor without humility, wise without good works, a soldier
without truth, a deceiver without remorse.” Removes
If you are of these, this test will show. Taking
It is a charmed distillation, discovered by an ancient sorcerer, and its
ingredients are unknown, save to one who shall be nameless here. It has
battled all the arts of the chemist. ‘Tis bitter as wormwood to the taste of
one who is false at heart; but if hottest, true and brave, it is in sweet
accord with both the blood and palate. If you are what you profess to be, fear
not to drink, and all will be well. Gives
Candidate sips from the goblet and hands it to the Priest, who passes it
on the altar.
Priest: Well done, my son. The poison is only in a guilty
conscience, which shrinks from the touch of what is pure. Your truth and
stand approved. Good Knights and Ladies of the Castle. in the name of Purity,
I pronounce this friend true and brave, and worthy of the honor and confidence
of your goodly realm.
All knights and Ladies: Welcome, thrice welcome to
Priest: And now, my son, as gold front the refiners tire,
keep thyself pure! The step you have taken marks an important event in your
life. Let your endeavor always be onward and upward, and God in His mercy
will give you strength to overcome every obstacle. The Herald will now
accompany von to the Commander, who will further advise you.
Commander, *: Knights and Ladies retire.
They take their seats. Herald conducts the candidate around the Hall while
appropriate music is played on the organ, and halts before the Commander’s
throne. The Prelate takes off his robe.
Herald: Noble Commander, I have again the honor of
this friend, who has bravely borne the test, and stands approved by the
venerable Priest at the Fane of Purity.
Commander: It is well! Our ranks, invincible
though they be, are still further strengthened by accessions of the brave and
true. Our holy Prelate will administer to you our solemn obligation, and
prepare you to receive the insignia of your rank.
Herald: Reverend Prelate, by order of the Commander I
present this novice for confirmation in our service.
Commander: * * *.
Prelate: Place your right hand upon your heart, raise your
left, and listen attentively while I repeat the Obligation of the Knights
and Ladies of the Golden Rule, to which you must give full, free and
unreserved assent before advancing further.
The candidate does not repeat.
In the presence of the Knights and Ladies of the
Golden Rule here assembled, you do solemnly declare and say:
That you will not reveal the mysteries, secret
work, or confidential concerns of this Order to any person not entitled by its
laws to know the same;
That you will yield implicit obedience to the
Constitution and General Laws of the Order so far as they shall come to your
knowledge, faithfully obey all its properly constituted authorities, and
conform to its usages, rules and regulations;
That you will, at all times, use your influence to
promote its best interests;
That you will not countenance any movement or
scheme that may have a tendency to weaken the securities that hedge and
protect the Knights’ and Ladies’ Benefit Fund;
That you will oppose any and every effort, by
made, to create discontent in our ranks, or a division of our Knighthood;
That you will not attempt the addition of degrees
unknown to the Constitution of the Order, and will discourage innovations of
the hind on the part of others;
That you will hold in honor and preference all true
and worthy Knights and Ladies of the Order;
That you will discountenance slander, and protect
worthy Knights and Ladies from defamation and injury to the best of your
That you will not recommend for membership persons
of unsound mind or body, or of bad moral character; and
That you will pay all lawful assessments made upon
you for the Knights’ and Ladies’ Benefit Fund; will practice Justice,
Fortitude and Mercy—our cardinal virtues—and always deport yourself as a
true, faithful and loyal member of our noble fraternity.
Do you, upon your sacred honor, and of your own
free will and accord, assent to be bound to the foregoing vows required of all
Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule?
Candidate: I do.
The Knights and Ladies take their seats.
Prelate places his hands on the candidate’s head: Well said and nobly done. May God bless you and keep you ever true. Master
at Arms remove the stranger’s garb, and under the shield of our Order, as
required by an ancient custom, conduct him again to the Commander.
Master at Arms removes the robe and under cover of his sword conducts the
candidate to the commander: Noble Commander, I present to you
this new recruit, who has voluntarily assumed the duties and obligations of
our Knighthood, and is now prepared for the accolade and to be decorated with
the badge of our Order.
Commander: You have done well, and we
welcome you to our Castle. You will now break bread and take salt with us. Hands
Having thus shared the hospitality of our roof and board, you are one of us,
and dare not prove recreant to your vows of duty, fealty and friendship. Our
Herald will now place you in a suitable position to receive at our hands the
mark of distinction admitting you to full and equal rights with all loyal
Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule. Master at Arms, assemble as a guard
of honor all the Knights and Ladies of the Castle, to witness the solemn
Herald places candidate in position, to-wit A gentleman resting with one
knee on the floor, body erect; a lady remains standing, both face the
Master at Arms: Knights and Ladies, attention!
Form in double-column at the Commander’s throne and witness the solemn
ceremony there to be performed.
The Knights and Ladies form in a semi-circle behind the candidate facing
Commander: By virtue of the power vested in
me by the Supreme Commandery, I create gently
touches the crown of the candidate’s head with the hat of the sword,
left shoulder, and adopt touches
right shoulder thee Knight Comrade of the Chivalrous Order, Knights
of the Golden Rule. Takes
candidate by the hand.
“As ye would that men should do to you, do ye
even so to them.” Arise! Attaches
the badge to Knight and white rosette to Lady. You are now a member
of the Knights and Ladies of the Golden Rule, with all the rights and
privileges appertaining thereto. Remember well the wise precepts you have
heard in your progress hither, and let all your actions be governed thereby.
The castles we erect are not built of stones and mortar—these may be reared
by barbarians. The true citadel is that habitation builded by the living soul,
and is the better part—the life and character of man or woman, rounded into
perfect symmetry by deeds of beneficence and of valor by a blameless life; by
the cheerful performance of every duty; by the continuous development of
unselfish love and friendship, and the exercise of that greatest of all
virtues, Charity. Your whole duty is summed up in these words: “As ye would
that men should do to you, do ye even so to them.” This Divine injunction,
which embodies the spirit and purpose of our Order, embraces not only Knights
and Ladies of the Golden Rule, wherever they may be, but also those who are
dependent upon them, and who, when we are called to mourn a Comrade or Sister,
look to us for the faithful fulfillment of the pledges we have made to them
and the obligation we have taken at our sacred altars. Our shield, therefore,
covers, not you alone, but all whom you place under our protecting care. About
I now proclaim the liberty of the castle hall to
our courteous Knights and Ladies, that they may give a joyous greeting to our
The Knights and Ladies march in a single file from right to left, and give
the fraternal grip to the initiate If the Castle has an organ play an
Commander, *: Herald, present our new-made
member to receive instruction in the secret work.
Herald presents the initiate.
Commander: I will now give you the secret
work of the Order. Approaching the outer gateway, you will make any noise to
attract the attention of the Sentinel. He will open the door or raise the
wicket, as the case may he, when you will advance, and, in a low whisper, give
your name and the key to the outer gate, which is (1) The Sentinel will then
admit you to the ante-room, where you will decorate yourself with your
appropriate badge and give (2) upon the inner door, thus (3): The Warder will
ask : “Who comes there?’ You will answer: “A Knight (4). The Warder
raises the wicket and says, “Advance Knight and give the key.” You advance
and give your name and whisper in a low tone, so that none others can hear
you, (s). He says, “the key is correct; give me the (6) ,“ when you will
give in a whisper (7). He will then admit you to the Castle hall when you will
advance to the altar in the center of the room and salute the Commander in
this manner: (8). You may then take a seat.
If you should visit a castle where you are not
known, you must produce an official receipt for last assessment and dues, or
otherwise establish your identity and right to admission.
The token of Recognition is make with the (9) in
this manner (10). The answer is (11). The Warning for a Knight is the word
(12) which signifies (13). Hearing the word and knowing its meaning, you
will answer by saying (14) and placing (15) thus (16) across your (17) Either
the Distress word and answer, or the Distress token may be used when it is
imprudent or impracticable to use the other. The word is (18) and the answer
is (19). The sign is made with the (20) in thus manner (21) and is answered
with the (22) in this manner (23). Hearing the word or seeing the sign, it is
your duty to respond if possible. It is not expected, however, that you will
endanger life or limb, hut that you will at all times be courageous and
prudent, as becomes a true and loyal Knight of the Golden Rule.
Voting Sign: Close thumb of right hand in palm;
close three last fingers over thumb, index finger extended, and bring the hand
in perpendicular position to side of face, point of index finger on level with
eyes, until counted.
Use of Gavel: One rap [*] calls to order. Two raps
[**] calls up officers. Three raps at intervals [*
* *] calls up castle, and one rap [*] seats all.
Crossing Hall: The space between Commander and
altar is sacred, and never to he crossed except in conferring the Order or
by the Herald and Master at Arms in the discharge of their official duties.
Comrades must pass around and salute in passing.
Desiring to retire, you will rise ask permission of
the Commander, which being given, you will present yourself at the altar,
facing the Commander, whom you will salute before retiring.
Grand Honors: The Commander raps all officers and
comrades to their feet, announces that a Grand Knight is in waiting, when all
place the right hand to the forehead, as in saluting, and maintain that
position until rapped down.
Supreme Honors: Give the Knight’s salute and
bring right hand to a position of sword present, and remain thus until rapped
After instructing the candidate, he will be
required to retire to the ante-room with the Herald, and work his way in.
While he is oat, the hail should he put in order, and the lances, robes, wig,
goblet, etc., put away.
After instruction, the candidate will be required to retire to the
ante-room with the Herald and work in according o the usual form. While doing
so, the hall should be put in order, and the lances, robes, goblet, etc., put
Commander, *: There being no further business
before our council, we will proceed to close the Castle for the evening.
Knights and Ladies, bear in mind that among the first promises you made on
becoming members of our Order, was one that you would do all in your power to
widen the field of our usefulness and promote the interests of our noble
fraternity. This may be accomplished in many ways, but chiefly by using your
influence in prevailing upon good and worthy people to join in our efforts and
participate in the bounties and benefits secured to ourselves, and also by
giving practical illustration in the uprightness of our lives that we
inculcate and practice virtue, honesty, sobriety and the principles of the
Golden Rule. Remember that these are landmarks in the daily walks of our
We hope to see you all here at our next council,
and that each may have some good report to make.
* * *. We will now sing the Closing Ode.
Father of all,
On Thee we call—
In mercy hear our prayer;
We humbly bow
Before Thee now,
And seek Thy love and care.
And now we’ll part
In joyous heart—
With naught to give us pain.
Dear comrades true,
To all adieu
Till we shall meet again
Knights and Ladies, now we sever,
Trusting all again shall meet,
Strengthen’d in our high endeavor,
Life is made more fair and sweet.
Kindly words and acts fraternal
Render dear our castle hail,
Yielding fruitage bright, eternal,
While we cleave to duty’s call.
Though our earthly labors wear us,
Trustful of the One to save,
Let our mortal lives prepare us
For the life beyond the grave.
Comrades Sisters, now we sever,
Saying each to each adieu,
It we meet again, or never,
Still we’ll prove to honor true!
Commander: The Prelate will now invoke the Divine blessing.
Prelate: Gracious Father, whose infinite wisdom and goodness
we recognize in all thy works, we ask thy blessing on the labors of this
council. Watch over, guide and protect us through all the paths of this earthly
life, and finally, when our race is run, admit us through the pearly gates of
the Heavenly Castle into life and bliss eternal. Amen.
All repeat: Amen.
Commander: The Herald will collect the Rituals, Odes and
Badges, and place them on the altar.
When the Herald is through the commander adds: I now declare this Castle closed until next … evening, at …