Order of Italian Sons
At the hour fixed for the meeting and with the presence of not less than ten members of the Lodge (see General Laws) The Venerable, invested with the proper regalia, shall say from his chair:
VEN., *: Brothers, come to order. The Officers shall invest their regalia and take their places. The Officers present will follow these orders. Brothers Masters of Ceremonies, put the ritualistic question to those present.
The Masters of Ceremonies upon meeting at the Altar and saluting the Venerable, will proceed on their respective sides of the Hall and ask the pass word of all the members individually. Upon ascertaining that those present are entitled to remain in the Hail they shall again advance to the Altar and the first Master of Ceremonies, with his hand on his heart, shall say:
MAS. of CER.: Worthy Venerable, there is no stranger within our Temple.
VEN.: Brother First Master of Ceremonies, what is the Sentinel doing?
MAS. of CER.: The Sentinel is keeping watch.
VEN.: Resume your places. The Masters of Ceremonies salute and return to their places.
VEN.: Brother Recording Secretary, call the roll of the Officers. The Rec. Sec. calls the roll and the first Mas. of Cer., standing, answers for all. The Rec. Sec. records the absentees and announces the names to be substituted temporarily.
VEN.: Brother Assistant Venerable, upon what principles is our Order based?
ASS. VEN.: On the principles of LIBERTY, EQUALITY, and FRATERNITY, and its insignia is a Golden Lion on a white field.
VEN.: Brother Orator, what does our Order intend to do?
ORATOR: The Order intends to unite in one family all those Italians residing throughout the United States of America and the Dominion of Canada, provided they have the requisites as stated in the by-laws. The Order respects any religious, philosophical, or political opinion of its members but insists in the conception of God, Country, and Nation, and that they do not profess any doctrines whose tenets would tend to disrupt the existing social order. The Order encourages its Brothers to become American citizens (or Canadian) and to take an active part in American civic life.
VEN.: Brothers, will you always uphold these principles?
ALL: Yes, Worthy Venerable.
VEN.: Brothers, in conformity with our bylaws, I declare … Lodge regularly and legally opened. Order! *
ALL: Worthy Venerable.
VEN., *: Brother Recording Secretary, are there any candidates to be initiated?
REC. SEC: Yes, Worthy Venerable.
VEN.: Brothers Masters of Ceremonies, secure the list of the Candidates to be initiated from the Recording Secretary, retire to the waiting room and conduct to us those who are awaiting initiation.
The Masters of Cer., after the usual salute, leave the Hall. When reentering with the Candidates they must give the secret knock. The Sentinel will announce them. Meanwhile the Ven. will have chosen from among those present, Including non-members of the Lodge, a brother to act as Herald. In choosing he must take care to select the highest ranking member in hierarchy, or the best qualified brother present.
VEN.: Brother , you will please assume the duties of Herald and wear the insignia. The Herald obeys and stands before the Altar.
HERALD: Worthy Venerable, I am at your orders.
SENTINEL, recognizing the knock at the door will say: Worthy Venerable, the Masters of Ceremonies have returned.
VEN.: Admit them, and remember that during the initiation no one shall be allowed to enter or to leave the Hall. At this point the Hymn of the Order is sung; the Masters of Cer. enter; the Candidate or Candidates between them, and lead them towards the Altar stopping about 3 feet away from it. The Herald advances and addresses the Candidate.
HERALD: Welcome, Brother, to the Temple of our faith. Thereupon he extends his arm to the Candidate and conducts him once around the space between the Altar and the Ass. Ven. as the Masters of Cer. follow. Then he advances to the Altar, leaves the Candidate in the center and he moves one step to the left. The Masters of Gee. remain a short distance behind. if the Candidates are two or more, they shall follow the first candidate in Indian fashion placing the left hand on the left shoulder of the one in front of him. Following the above mentioned march around the Candidates are stationed on both sides of the Altar. On such occasions the Herald stands in the center before the Altar followed by the Masters of Cer..
HERALD: Worthy Venerable, the Candidate (or Candidates) in your presence is qualified for membership and therefore he is worthy of being enrolled in our family.
VEN.: He is welcome among us, provided he learns and remembers that the existence of our beloved Order is based upon the devotion and the loyalty of its members for this Great American Country (in Canada, for this great Canadian Country) and its Institutions; upon a spiritual cult for the traditions of Italy, brilliant radiator of civilization throughout the centuries; upon national consciousness, racial pride and a fervent desire for group solidarity. Is he willing to bear with us tenaciously towards the realization of these fulgent principles?
CAND., prompted by the Herald: Yes, Sir.
VEN.: Then, Brother Herald, conduct our new-corner to the Worthy Officers who will impart to him the fundamental principles of our Order.
HERALD salutes and then conducts the Candidate to the ex Ven., and after saluting him accordingly says: Worthy Brother ex Venerable, will you please explain our conception of LIBERTY to the Candidate?
EX VEN.: We want a free country as it was conceived by the founders of this nation: we want freedom from moral, intellectual, and economic slavery for our Brothers and we shall do all in our power to help them attain this end. We want individual freedom of mind and thought but, once in our midst, we desire that the Brothers fulfill their duties in accordance with the tenets of the Order. This is the conception we have of LIBERTY. The Herald salutes and proceeds to the Ass. Ven.
HERALD: Worthy Brother Assistant Venerable, will you please explain our conception of EQUALITY to the Candidate?
ASS. VEN.: We believe in the equality of men with relation to the civil and moral law; we want to be equal in the exercise of our rights and equal in the fulfillment of our duties so that the benefits of human progress may be derived and enjoyed by all without racial discrimination. This is the conception of EQUALITY. The Herald salutes and proceeds to the Orator.
HERALD: Worthy Orator, will you please explain our conception of FRATERNITY to the Candidate.
ORATOR: The spiritual essence and the very soul and structure of the Order is founded in our conception of Fraternity. We affectionately offer a hand to the humble, to the good, and to the suffering without discrimination and without prejudice. We protect the widows and the orphans of our Brothers; to the indigent and to the aged Brothers, economically destitute we offer all the assistance we possibly can Looking ahead to a more brilliant future, we cling to the traditions of our Italian origin, and from them we gain inspiration, hope, and faith. This inspiration, this hope and this faith we want to be integrated in a glory of our people throughout the world. This is the conception we have of FRATERNITY.
The Herald salutes and returns to the Altar with the Candidate.
HERALD: Worthy Venerable, the designated Officers have explained the fundamental concepts of our Order.
VEN., ***: Mr. …, are you willing to accept the basic concepts of the Order which you have just heard, bar none?
CAN.: Yes, Sir.
VEN.: Brother Herald, before the emblem of our Order, symbol of courage and strength, read the oath to the Candidate.
HERALD reads: I do solemnly swear to accept and respect the principles upon which the Order Sons of Italy is based; the laws of the Supreme Lodge; of the Grand Lodge; and of my Lodge and those amendments which may be approved in the future.
I promise to respect the deliberations of the majority; to obey the orders of the Supreme Venerable and of the Grand Venerable; to help needy Brothers, needy orphans and widows of our Brothers; and finally never to reveal any of the secrets of our Order.
The Herald will ask the Can, to raise his hand towards the American banner and then will say: Are you ready to swear on your honor that you will faithfully conform to what you have just heard?
CAN.: I swear. Raising his hand towards the banner.
HERALD: Worthy Venerable, the Candidate has taken the formal oath.
VEN.: Brother ..., may God help you keep your oath inviolable, and with this in mind, I declare you a bona fide member of the … Lodge under the jurisdiction of the Supreme Lodge and of the Grand Lodge of the State. Brother Herald, will you please instruct our new Brother in the preliminary secrets of the Order. *
HERALD, addressing the Novice: The first secrets which every Brother must know are these:
1: How to knock at the door in order to be announced.
2: The pass word in order to be admitted.
3: The hand shake in order to be recognized.
The Sentinel always stands at the entrance and upon a knock at the door, will open the same to you. The Herald shows him. Whenever it is requested of you and in order to gain admission, you must give this pass word to the Sentinel. The Herald tells him the pass word. You must remember also that the pass word is changed every six months by the Supreme Venerable. In order to become acquainted with the other Brothers, the hand shake is this. The Herald teaches him the hand shake.
There are also some formalities which are to be practiced in the Lodge:
1: On entering the Lodge, when it is in session, you must advance to the Altar placing your hand on your heart and standing erect, salute the Venerable with the words: “Worthy Venerable”. Then you will be seated in any one of the empty seats, and remembering above all never to walk across the space between the Altar and the Venerable’s Chair because such space is inviolable. On retiring from the room for any reason, having asked and secured the permission of the Venerable, you will advance to the Altar and repeat the same salute.
2: When requesting the floor in your own Lodge, you raise your hand or request it aloud. In other Lodges, with the permission of the Venerable, you may speak after the Business of the Day is over, that is, when the “Good and Welfare of the Order” is reached.
3: The Venerable’s gavel is the symbol of authority: when the Venerable raps once he means to call the Brothers to order or to have them be seated; when he raps twice, he means to honor the visiting Venerables of other Lodges or he may also be asking the Officers to stand. Three raps calls for the entire Lodge to stand or to honor visiting Grand Officers and the Grand Deputy of the Lodge, providing that the Grand Venerable or a Supreme Officer is not present. Four raps honor the Supreme Officers and the Grand Venerables as well as other honorary Members, but such honors are riot to be exercised when the Supreme Master is present. You will do well to remember these preliminary instructions and observe them. Then addressing the Venerable. Worthy Venerable, the new Brother has been instructed in the preliminary secrets.
VEN.: Brother Herald, I thank you for the cooperation given in behalf of the Lodge.
The Herald salutes and conducts the new Brother first to the Venerable for the hand shake and then to the Financial Secretary to ascertain his financial standing with the Lodge.
VEN., ***: Before proceeding to the Closing of the Lodge is there anything of importance which has not been discussed?
If no one answers the Ven. will continue: Having completed the business of the Lodge, according to the Laws of the Order, and in the name of the Grand Lodge of this State and of the Supreme Lodge, I now declare this meeting officially closed. *
All salute from their places and, with hand on heart, say: Worthy Venerable.