Independent Order of Rechabites Salford Unity
Tent Ritual


Opening Ceremony

At the time for opening the Tent, the Chief Ruler (or in his absence the Deputy Ruler or the Past Chief Ruler) will take the Chair, and call the Tent to order *.
We are now about to open this Tent; all not members of our Unity will please retire. The Officers will take their respective positions and clothe themselves with the regalia of their offices. The Deputy Ruler will see that the Guardian is at his proper place, and that he is correct in the Password and Signal.
The Guardian is at his place, and is correct in the Password and Signal.
The Chief Ruler will now appoint pro term Officers to fill the vacant chairs.
The Levite will communicate to me the Password, after which he will ascertain and report if all are in possession of the same.
Chief Ruler, all are correct in the current Password.
We will now open the Tent by singing our Opening Ode.
Opening Ode I
Each effort to redeem our race,
Who by intemperance are made slaves,
To lead them back to paths of peace,
The blessing of our God receives.
And if our labour He approves,
Success upon it will attend;
And we, in this employ of love,
Our happiest hours on earth shall spend.
The following Opening Address may be used instead of singing the Opening Ode.
Brethren, Almighty God has permitted us to re-assemble for the transaction of the business of this Tent. Let us endeavour so to discharge the duties devolving upon us, that we may confidently ask the blessing of the Great Ruler of the universe on our endeavours to promote the welfare of this our honourable Order. I declare this Tent duly opened.
So it is.
The Chief Ruler will now order the Guardian to admit all who have been waiting during the opening of the Tent, and Proceed with the usual order of business.

Initiation Ceremony.
When the Tent is ready for initiation, the Chief Ruler shall desire the Levite to ascertain if there are any Candidates waiting. The Levite on returning shall report; and if there is, he shall hand to the Secretary the Name and Surgeon’s Certificate relating to the health of each Candidate. The Secretary shall audibly and distinctly read the medical certificate to the Tent, after which the ballot shall be taken, and, if elected, the Chief Ruler shall desire the Levite to introduce the Candidate. Before the Candidate is introduced the Proposer and one of the officers should retire and get the Declaration properly filled up ready for signature. The Levite introducing the Candidates shall give the Tent door one loud rap, when the Guardian will admit them.
As the Levite enters with the Candidate, the following Ode to be sung.

Ode II
Welcome! welcome to our circle,
Love awaits you—friends surround;
Firmly in this world-wide union
May each heart with ours be bound.
Join with us the hand in friendship,
Let our noble pledge be yours;
Yours the name of our loved Order,
Yours the blessing it secures.
May you faithful still abiding,
All the joys of union prove;
Ever giving arid receiving
Trust for trust and love for love.
White-robed Temperance smiles upon you,
As you pledge the heart and hand:
We, her children, bid you welcome
To this true fraternal band.
While the Ode is being sung, the Levite conducts the Candidate to the centre of the room, facing Use Chief Ruler.
Note: Officers will observe that where the words are in italics in this Initiation Ceremony, it will sometimes be necessary to vary the language. For example, when more than one Candidate is being admitted, instead of saying "this friend who is," it must be "these friends who are," and similarly throughout.
Chief Ruler, Deputy Ruler, Officers and Members, I have the pleasure of introducing this friend who is desirous of becoming a member of our honourable Order.
Have you signed the Total Abstinence Pledge from all Intoxicating Liquors? Have you ever been a candidate for membership, or have you ever been initiated into the Independent Order of Rechabites previous to this? If so, what was the cause of your leaving? Are you prepared to sign the Declaration submitted to you?
Levite, conduct the Candidate to our Deputy Ruler.
Respected Friend, The Independent Order of Rechabites is an association of persons united together for purposes of mutual benefit and help during times of affliction and at the period of death, and for the promotion of the great principle of Abstinence from all Intoxicating Liquors. Are you willing to abide by, and in all things to yield a cheerful obedience to, the Rules of our Order, the Rules of the District, and Rules of this Tent ? If so, answer, "I am."
I am.
You will now be required to take upon yourself and to observe faithfully, so long as you remain a member of this Order, our Solemn Pledge or Covenant. If you break the Covenant you are about to enter into with the Independent Order of Rechabites, you will forfeit all claim to their assistance and protection and lose all right to the funds which are raised for the relief of the members in case of sickness or death.
Worthy Friend,------Put your right hand upon .your left breast, and assent to the following Covenant.
You hereby declare that you will abstain from all Intoxicating Liquors, all British and Foreign Fermented Wines, except in religious ordinances, or when prescribed and furnished by a legally qualified medical practitioner during sickness which renders you incapable of following any employment. You promise that you will not give nor offer them to others; that you will not engage in the traffic of them, that you will in all possible ways discountenance the use, manufacture, and sale of them, and to the utmost of your power endeavour to spread the principles of Abstinence from all Intoxicating Liquors. You also promise not to make known the private affairs of our honourable Order; that you will promote the well-being of every member, that you will not knowingly defraud a member, nor allow one to be defrauded by any other person; and that you will do all the good you can. Do you thus promise? If so, answer, "I do."
I do.
LEVITE (and the Tent in concert):
We are witnesses of your Covenant.
Levite, you will now conduct our Friend to the Secretary to sign the Declaration, and then to the Chief Ruler.
When Rechab’s sons, in days of old,
Abjured the ruby wine,
And filled their cups of flashing gold
With nectar more divine.
They quaffed their liquid diamonds then,
And o’er life’s journey trod,
A noble race of spotless men—
The chosen sons of God.
Brave men of old, the world shall own
The greatness of your fame,
And o’er Inteinp’rance prostrate throne
Shall blazon Rechab’s name.
Our men your word shall ne’er forget,
As custom’s chains they break;
And all our race shall echo yet,
"The wine we ne’er will take."
No more shall the sons of Rechab dwell
Alone in the eastern clime;
But their fame shall rise, while their children tell
The deeds of the olden time.
From the drifting sands and sea-girt shores,
To the snows of our northern hills,
They have passed, and lo! their mighty breath
The wide earth round now fills.
Three thousand years, and the sacred lights
Have died on Judah’s hill;
And the tones that thrilled with love or mirth
Are hushed in death—and still.
But the sons of Rechab still are met,
As their fathers met of yore;
And their vow among them lingers yet,
To touch the wine no more.
They meet on Asia’s arid plains,
Broad, boundless, wild and free;
And they meet on Britain’s broad domains,
Those sons of Liberty.
Noble sons, they shall rise, a plant of fame,
To brighten and bless earth’s sod;
And may Rechab’s sons all bear the name
Ere long of—" The sons of God"!
Chief Ruler, by direction of our Deputy Ruler, I present this Friend for further instruction.
Where there are no badges, C.R. should commence after the word "world."
The Levite will invest our Friend with the badge of the Order. White is an emblem of purity, as we read in Revelations, 7th chapter, 9th, 13th and 114th verses: —"I beheld, and lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands. And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, ‘What are these which are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they?’ And I said unto him, ‘Sir, thou knowest.’ And he said unto me, ‘These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.’ Prom which we learn that white is an emblem of purity. The white badge, therefore, is to remind us that our lives should be pure, and free from immoral blemishes; and I trust that while you wear this emblem of purity, you will keep yourself unspotted from the world. The members will now form our circle of fellowship.
* *.

This union of our hands is a type of that union of the heart which ought to exist between every member belonging to our honourable Order; for when mankind are only externally united, we find that "trifles light as air" frequently separate man from man, and cause them to become enemies to each other; but when mankind are united in heart and life, nothing on earth can separate them — nothing but death can dissolve the friendship that is cemented between them. In our unbroken unity our strength consists. Banded together as we are for the God-like purpose of banishing the drink curse from our country, and for helping each other in time of need, let us remain true to each other, steadfast to our principles, and faithful to Him whose allegiance we own; being governed by Truth in our conduct and conversation, supported by Fortitude under trials and afflictions, and Justice being found in all our dealings with mankind. Thus acting, long may you, with us, be a sharer of the blessings pronounced upon the sons of Rechab, as recorded by the Prophet in the 35th chapter of Jeremiah, 19th verse, "Therefore, thus saith the Lord of Hosts, the God of Israel, Jonadab, the son of Rechab, shall not want a man to stand before Me for ever."
We have a Signal, Test and Password, a Sign of Recognition and a Grip, which I will now give you. In entering a Tent you will give the signal at the door thus, three distinct raps, the signification of which is Truth, Fortitude, and Justice, and to the Guardian the current Password. You will then be admitted to the Tent-room, when you will take your seat among the members. Should you wish to retire before the Tent is closed, you will ask permission from the Chief Ruler or presiding officer, who, if in order for you to retire, will authorise the Guardian to allow you to out. In addition to this we have a Sign of Recognition. The first part is given by the person challenging thus
If the person you are testing is a Rechabite, it will be answered thus . . . You will then give the party responding our Rechabite Grip thus . . . The Password is used for entering any Tent in our Order, and is changed half-yearly. It is never given by one member to another, but only by the presiding officer in a whisper. For this term the Password is . . . We have also a Testword; it is the word . . . Should you wish to use this, you will give the party you are testing the last . . . letters of the word, thus ….
If the party is a Rechabite he will give you the first letters of the word, thus . . . so completing the word, but neither of you pronouncing it. Worthy Levite, conduct our newly-initiated member to our most worthy Past Chief Ruler.
Worthy Brother, you are now admitted a member of an Order which has for its object the promotion of principles, great, wise, and virtuous, and therefore one of the most honourable in existence.
I give you a most cordial welcome on behalf of the Tent. The P.C.R. will here give the right hand of brotherhood. Thrice welcome to our world-wide brotherhood! Welcome to the circle of Rechab’s sons! "Come with us and we will do thee good," were the words of invitation given by Moses. This inviting welcome we give to you. Be at home amongst us. Our Tent should be the abode of harmony and fellowship. Remain with us, for the destroyer can never enter here. If you remain faithful to your Covenant, you will be instrumental in helping to drive from the land of your fathers the greatest curse that ever afflicted this nation; and when you have run the race of life, in your dying moments you will be comforted by the cheering recollection that you have laboured to promote the sobriety and happiness of your country. As this Order is composed of those who differ in their religious sentiments and also in their political opinions, we cannot allow any religious or political discussion, apart from the promotion of Temperance, as it would tend to disunite us, and destroy that harmony which ought to reign in our Tents. I trust your admission will be for the good of our honourable Order. We invite you, therefore, to do all you can to extend our ranks, and especially to safeguard the future of the nation by introducing children to our Juvenile Section, that your conduct will be such as to merit the esteem of all. Ever have before you the golden rule, "Whatsoever ye would that others should do unto you, do ye even so unto them." Thus you will live to a good and noble purpose, the memories of the past will be pleasant, and our future glorious. You will be expected to pay strict obedience to the presiding officer; and I hope you will ever prove yourself worthy of the confidence we have reposed in you. The Levite will give you a place in our midst. We will now sing our Ode of Welcome.
Ode V
Thrice welcome, brother, to our Tent,
Through life with us remain;
Bound to our cause by Temperance links,
In Rechab’s world-wide chain.
May Fortitude support each breast
In sorrow’s darkest hour,
And Justice o’er our deeds and words
Exert controlling power.

Closing Ceremony

The receipts of the evening will now be declared.
Chief Ruler, the cash received is £ s. d.
Has the Treasurer received the same?
Chief Ruler, I have.
I am now about to close this Tent. I thank you for your presence and attention this evening, and shall expect to see you all on our next Tent night. As we now go forth to discharge our various duties in society, let us be ever mindful of the Covenant we have entered into, and exhibit by our lives and conduct that the teachings of our Order are not in vain. We will now sing our Closing Ode.
Swiftly our moments pass away,
And soon they all will disappear;
May we endeavour, while ‘tis day,
To stop the drunkard’s mad career.
Soon will the final hour arrive,
When all our care and toil will cease,
Oh! may we each with ardour strive
To dry the springs which banish peace.
The following Closing Address may be used instead of singing the Closing Ode.
Brethren, the business for which we were assembled having been attended to, let us invoke the blessing of the Almighty on our efforts to extend the usefulness of our Order, until the whole human family have accepted and embraced the beneficent truths on which our Order is founded. I declare this Tent duly closed.
So it is.