Order of the Maccabees
Initiatory Ceremony


COMMANDER: Sir Knight Picket, advance to the altar, sound the trumpet and retire.
COMMANDER: Attention, Sir Knights, At this command all members give ‘token of sincerity’ prepare for action.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight R. K., call the roll of officers.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sergeant, report to this station, and communicate the passwords.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight First Master of the Guard, take this station.
COMMANDER: The words are correct; return to your station.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sergeant, have the Sentinel and the Picket been placed?
SERGEANT: They have, Sir Knight Lieut. Commander.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Are they in possession of the passwords?
SERGEANT: I will ascertain and report. Sir Knight Sentinel, relieve the Picket and instruct him to report to this station.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Picket, the words are correct. Relieve the Sentinel and instruct him to report to this station.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Sentinel, the words are correct. Return, guard well the inner door, allow no one to pass without giving the proper signal and password or obtaining permission.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, the Sentinel and the Picket are in possession of the proper passwords.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: ’Tis well. See that the approaches are continually guarded. Allow no one to pass the inner door not in possession of the passwords, without permission. You will now ascertain, through the Guards, that all present are qualified to remain.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Guards, communicate the passwords. The words are correct. You will now ascertain that all present are qualified to remain.
FIRST MASTER OF GUARD: Sir Knight Sergeant, I have examined my charge and find all in possession of the passwords.
SECOND MASTER OF GUARD: Sir Knight Sergeant, I have examined my charge and find all in possession of the passwords.
SERGEANT: ‘Tis well. Return to your stations.
SERGEANT: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, alt present are qualified to remain.
COMMANDER: Attention, Sir Knights, attend the Chaplain’s invocation.
CHAPLAIN: Supreme Ruler, strengthen our hands in building up this Order. Aid us in carrying out the great principles of fraternity which underlie it. Assist us in bringing peace on earth and good will toward men. May the deliberations of this body be conducted in that spirit of harmony so necessary to success. May our Order grow and prosper. May its usefulness be enlarged and its protecting arms extended so that we may be better able to provide for the widow, protect the orphan, and care for those dependent upon us. May we so speak and act as not to bring reproach upon the Order nor disgrace any of its humane principles. Make us a power for good in this land, and worthy exponents of the brotherhood of man.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, join in the opening ode,
Opening Ode
Air:— “Battle Cry of Freedom.”
We have gathered in our Tent,
Knights, gathered once again,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ve resolved to be true, more knowledge to obtain,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, we’ll by each other stand,
Protecting the helpless all over this land,
Yes, we’ll rally to our standard, so noble and so grand,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
With the stars for our Tent, and the Deity our Light,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ll battle for the widow, the orphan and the right,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc.
Let harmony prevail in all that we may do,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
We’ll labor for the right, the good, the grand, the true,
Singing the joyful song of gladness.
Chorus:—United forever, etc.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, take this station. Sir Knight Past Commander, Chaplain, and Sergeant, advance to the altar, while all unite in giving the signs and words.
COMMANDER: Step and Salutation sign.
COMMANDER: Recognition sign.
COMMANDER: Its answer.
COMMANDER: Token of Sincerity
COMMANDER: What is the permanent password?
COMMANDER: When is it to be used?
SERGEANT: When visiting a Tent, if required.
COMMANDER: Give me the test word.
SERGEANT: F; Com., M; Serg., M; Com., Y;
Serg., R; Com., H; Serg., H; Com., R; Serg., U.
COMMANDER: ’Tis well. Return to your stations.
The four officers resume their stations, by the way they came.
COMMANDER: In the name of Judas Maccabeus, the liberator of his people, and with a firm belief in the brotherhood of man, I, as Commander of this Tent, now declare it open and ready for action.
Commander gives one rap with gavel, and all seat themselves.
Order of Business
1: Reading, correcting, and approving of records.
2: Reading of communications, notices and bills.
3: Applications for membership, and their reference to committees for investigation.
4: Report of Committees on Investigation.
5: Balloting for candidates.
6: Initiation of elected candidates.
7: Payment of dues and monthly rate.
8: Reports of sickness or distress.
9: Report of Committees (standing and special.)
10: Unfinished business.
11: New business.
12: Report of suspensions and reinstatements since last report.
13: R. K.’s report of receipts and disbursements since last review.
14: Does any Sir Knight know of employment for a Sir Knight who is out of work?
15: Good of the Order.
16: Close in regular form.
First Section
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, ascertain if any candidates are in waiting.
SENTINEL: Sir Knight Commander, a candidate is in waiting.
COMMANDER, as King: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, retire and introduce the candidate.
JUDAS: Mr ... , you have made application for membership in this Tent of The Maccabees. You have been well recommended and elected to membership. I can assure you there is nothing in the ceremonies of the Order that will conflict with your religious or political opinions. Are you willing to proceed?
CANDIDATE answers.
JUDAS: Before advancing, do you promise that you will never reveal any of our private work, or express either religious or political opinions within the Tent?
CANDIDATE answers.
JUDAS: Then come with me.
JUDAS: I trust you will thoughtfully observe and remember all that you are about to see and hear. But, in order to prepare you in a measure for what will soon take place within your sight and hearing, allow me to call your attention to an event in the history of the human race that was certainly one of the most pathetic and in some respects, the most remarkable this world has ever seen.
About the year 175, before the present era, there reigned, in Syria, Antiochus the IV, a monstrous King, who sent 22,000 of his soldiers against Jerusalem. He plundered the Holy City, and issued a proclamation that all should forsake their ancient forms
of worship. Many, in order to escape persecution, denied their country and renounced its laws. There were some, however, who preferred death to dishonor. One such was ELEAZAR, a doctor of the law, who, when commanded to defile himself, refused, and determined to go to the King and make answer before him, according to the Holy ordinance.
JUDAS: Behold the man!
KING: Hold! A pause, during which attendants carry and ground spears. Who art thou?
CHAPLAIN AS ELEAZAR: O King! I am a doctor of the law; I am Eleazar. Drops his hand and head.
KING, in an imperious manner: And what wouldst thou, Eleazar, before me Antiochus? I have not sent for thee.
ELEAZAR, slowly and with much deliberate emphasis: No, O King! thou hast not sent for me; but I hear that thou hast commanded my people to forsake the sacred law and deny its authority. It would be shameful in me to take shelter in hypocrisy, neither will I stain my old age by appearing to embrace thy false teachings.
KING, seriously: Knowest thou the penalty imposed upon all who refuse to obey the commands of Antiochus?
ELEAZAR, defiantly: Ay King a pause, death!
A pause. And, although I could escape thy punishment for the present, I could never escape from the hands of the Almighty. Therefore, I would rather lay down my life now, for the sake of my country and its venerable laws, than leave behind me to the young men of my tribe an example of dishonor. O King, I would!
KING, soliloquizing: This foolish old man is filled with conceit, and hath an exalted opinion of himself.
Rising, in a loud tone of voice: Guards, away with him! Let him be scourged to death!
JUDAS, after a short panae, when all is quiet and the curtain closed, addresses the candidate as follows: The fidelity of that man is a memorial of civil virtue, not alone to his nation and generation, but unto all people of every age, as long as patriotism and piety shall be considered honorable among men. Such sublime courage and utter contempt of death in a good cause, mankind will never willingly forget, for the possibility of such heroism is the glory of the race.
Ponder well, therefore, upon all you see and hear this evening; and let the lessons conveyed be indelibly fixed upon the tablets of your memory. Now, come with me.
Second Section
SENTINEL, opening the door slightly, says: Who comes?
JUDAS: Judas, of the house of Mattathias, with a friend.
SENTINEL: I will inform the Venerable Sire of your presence.
SENTINEL: Venerable Sire, without the gate stands thy son Judas, with a friend.
CHAPLAIN, AS MATTATHIAS: If he be Judas, my son, let him enter, and present his friend.
SENTINEL, returns and opens wide the door and says: Judas, thy father, bids thee enter, and present thy friend.
MATTATHIAS, in tones of deep distress, with head bowed on left hand: Oh, Jerusalem! The Holy! Thy sanctuary is laid waste; thy feasts are turned into mourning; thy Sabbath into a reproach; and thy honor into contempt. Wherefore was I born to see this misery of my people, and the sad day when the Holy City should be delivered into the hands of the enemy? To what end should we live any longer?
JUDAS, as soon as all is quiet in a low voice says: Father, I have ‘with me a friend, who, having seen the Holy Altar cast down, hath himself refused to be defiled or take part in unlawful ceremonies, and who desires to unite with us in the cause of humanity.
Those at altar rise, Mattathias tremblingly leaning on his staff, in a feeble voice says: My son, thy friend is welcome; but, before we accept him, let him truthfully answer me. Addressing candidate, says: Stranger, art thou true and loyal to thy home and friends? Candidate answers. Dost thou love thy country? Candidate answers. Art thou zealous of its laws? Candidate answers. Dost thou observe them thyself? Candidate answers. Further, art thou willing to yield up thy life, shouldst thy country or its institutions require such a sacrifice? Candidate answers. Kinsman, adversity surrounds us; and the hand of calamity lies heavily upon us. Who knows how soon thy assurances may be put to the test? Perchance, this very night! If, therefore, thou wouldst recall or modify them, do so now before it is too late.
At this moment a flourish of trumpets occurs, with commotion, cheering, etc Mattathias continuing says: The hour has come!
APELLES: Hear ye! Hear ye! Men of Judea! The King makes proclamation unto you. Unfolds scroll and reads.
“I ANTIOCHUS, would have all my kingdom one people. Now, therefore, unto you it is commanded, that all your former laws and customs shall cease; The Maccabees contemptuously torn away. that you shall forthwith set up altars to Almighty Jove; and that you shall not henceforth discriminate against the flesh of swine.
In token of your compliance, you are commanded to sacrifice before the reader of these present. I, ANTIOCHUS, have spoken!” rolls the scroll and says: And I, APELLES, the King’s officer, now command you to obey. Mattathias returs and looks upon Apelles with scorn.
APELLES: Mattathias, thou art a man of honor and influence here; come, be thou the first to set an example of obedience to thy kinsmen.
MATTATHIAS, with emphasis: NO. We will not depart from our faith. We will not harken to the King’s words.
APELLES, argumentatively: The people of other countries have obeyed. Yea, even Jason the High Priest at Jerusalem and many more of thine own people have obeyed. Come, Venerable Sire, if thou wilt be the first to offer sacrifice on this altar, thou and thy house shall find favor with the King and be counted among his friends.
MATTATHIAS: I know how Joshua became high priest and why the vile traitor calls himself Jason! Officer of the King,—though all the nations of the earth should obey Antiochus, and all the children of Israel abandon the faith of our Fathers, I and MY house will remain steadfast.
APOSTATE: General, I crave the favor of your great King Antiochus, and would burn incense on this altar.
MATTATHIAS: Traitor, thou must DIE!
Tableau—when the fire has burned out and the curtain closed, and all is quiet, Judas proceeds as follows.
JUDAS: The scene you have just witnessed, represents the revolt at Modin. The venerable Mattathias, the father of the Maccabees, was the first man to activity oppose the mandates of the pagan king. He not only scorned the bribes and flatteries of the king’s officer but in a moment of uncontrollable indignation he slew the Apostate Jew in the act of sacrificing to strange Gods, and likewise the king’s officer when he attempted to protect the miserable traitor. Do not mistake the significance of this scene. From the heights of Sinai the thunderous command of Jehovah still echoes through the known world. Yes, “Thou shalt not kill,” but the staff of Mattathias was not the weapon of a murderer. Its deadly blow was not struck with the fell purpose of the assassin. Rather did it speak the sudden impulse of the patriot, driven to desperation by the wrongs inflicted upon his country and his people. maddened by the craven hypocrisy of an erstwhile friend and follower, and fired with an unselfish zeal to strike for the liberty of his countrymen, avenge their wrecked hopes and ruined homes, and hold aloft the sacred traditions of his fathers.
Learn from this terrific scene a lesson in genuine patriotism, and see in it your duty to uphold and defend the rights of liberty and conscience, regardless of what the destroyer would promise or give in their stead. Let us retire.
Third Section
JUDAS: My kinsman, it will be necessary for thee to undertake a dangerous journey through the enemy’s country to the camp of our brethren, where thou wilt learn what will be required of thee. Wilt thou proceed? Candidate answers. Thou must go alone. Thy path will be full of pitfalls and snares. Unknown perils will surround thee. The safer route lies to the right. Be brave, be true, and all may be well. Remember thy assurances to Mattathias. He then causes candidate to pass into enclosure, immediately closing curtains behind him. GO!
GENERAL, addressing soldiers: An alarm at the outpost. Ascertain the cause.
SENTINEL, AS GUARD: An enemy! There he goes toward the foot hills!
SOLDIER: Well, if we haven’t another of the rebels! And in disguise too!
SOLDIER: Shall we kill him or take him to the General?
SOLDIER: Why take him to the General, of course, he may be a spy!
SOLDIER: General, the foraging band you dispatched up the valley, came upon three miserable looking peasants and proceeded to capture them. They offered resistance. One was slain on the spot. One defended himself in a most remarkable manner. One undertook to run away. We caught and have him before you.
GENERAL, eyeing the candidate fiercely: He is a Maccabee; one of the rebels under Judas. Let him stand aside and wait his doom.
SOLDIER: General, the squad you sent to forage the valley came upon three peasants. One was killed. The other escaped. One of them seems to have the strength of a lion and the skill of David of old; Reinforcements came to our aid else we could not have taken him. He is covered with wounds and almost ready to die from the loss of blood. We bound up his wounds. Thinking he might be of more value to you alive than dead, we refrained from killing him. In his delirium he continually called for a friend. This we do not understand. Question him yourself. Here is his sword stained with the blood of our comrades.
GENERAL, examining sword carefully, in tones of surprise says: This is the sword of Judas, the leader of this rebellious horde. Throws sword on floor to the right of and near center of enclosure, then turning to Judas and eyeing him fiercely. And thou art the arch rebel, under whose leadership this small land of rebellious Maccabees hath so long harassed the Syrian armies and spread death, desolation and dismay throughout the realms of Antiochus. Thus far thou hast eluded our pursuit; but now we have thee within our power. Nothing less than thy life will avenge the death of those whose blood hath moistened this blade. This hour thou shalt pay the penalty. Guards, chain him to the block and bare his neck for the sword.
SOLDIER: General, your orders have been obeyed.
GENERAL: No, but thou, fruit of this rebellious spirit, mast perform this execution or suffer the fate of those who refuse to obey the commands of Antiochas. Take this blade and with it slay this arch rebel, and thus end this rebellion.
GENERAL: Take it!
GENERAL: Take it, I say!
GENERAL, if sword is refused: What, thou refuseth to obey my commands? Guards, turning to Guards away with him, let him be destroyed!
GENERAL, if sword is accepted: Ah, I Thou art not only a rebel but a traitor as well, who would raise his hand against a kinsman and friend without cause. Thy boasted fidelity to friends and kinsmen is but a myth. So soon hast thou forgotten thy assurances to Mattathias. Thine shall be the fate of a traitor. Guards, away with him. Let him be destroyed!
SOLDIERS, shouting in concert:  Away with him!
Let us bind him to the post, and make a target of his body for our spears.
GENERAL: He is not brave enough to meet death with his eyes open. Blindfold him.
SOLDIER then shouts: Take that, thou rebel! And stamps his foot as in the act of throwing a spear.
GENERAL then says: You threw too high. Let me place a mark over his heart and see who will be the first to pierce it. He does so.
SOLDIER: This, for thy cowardly heart!
And stamps his foot as in the act of throwing a spear.
GENERAL: Shorten the distance and make your aim sure. When Guard at foot of enclosure sounds trumpet.
GENERAL: An alarm at the out post! Go and learn the cause.
JUDAS: Still alive! Fortunate indeed are we to have escaped with our lives from those cruel barbarians.
JUDAS: Hark! The battle rages fiercely over the hills, whither our enemies have gone. The destiny of Judea and the liberty of its people hang in the balance. Taking candidate’s right arm and advancing toward point where sword lays on floor. Come, let us hasten to join the forces of the Maccabees that we may aid in the cause of humanity, and share in the glory of their triumph!
JUDAS: Ah! here is my trusty blade again.
Turning to candidate and holding it aloft in his right hand, says: This day thou shalt listen to a proclamation of Judea’s freedom, for unto the just belongeth the victory.
Fourth Section
Triumphal Song
See the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Songs of triumph to him sing.
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Songs of triumph to him sing.
See the god-like youth advance,
Breath the flutes and lead the dance;
Myrtle wreaths and roses twine,
To deck the hero’s brow divine
Myrtle wreaths and roses twine,
To deck the hero’s brow divine
See the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums;
Sports prepare, the laurel bring,
Songs of triumph to him sing.
See the conquering hero comes,
Sound the trumpets, beat the drums.
COMMANDER, rising: Welcome, Judas Maccabeus! Thrice welcome art thou! What tidings from the front?
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, I have just returned from Jerusalem. The power of the blasphemous King is ended; the widows, orphans, and the disabled are provided for; the light of liberty has broken over our beloved land, and Judea is free.
COMMANDER: To the patriotism of thy father, Mattathias, is due the credit of having begun this revolution, but to thee, JUDAS MACCABEUS, belongs the honor of having achieved its victories. Ask what thou wilt of us, and it shall be granted unto thee.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, now that victory has graced our banner, let us the more strongly bind ourselves together in the bonds of fraternal love, in order to better aid and assist one another and protect the widows and orphans of our departed brothers. For myself I ask nothing, but permit me to recommend for membership in the family of Maccabees the friend at my side who has so nobly complied with all our requirements.
COMMANDER: This last act of thine is as great as any of thy magnificent victories. To thus defer to a friend is nobler than to wear a crown. Turning to candidate: Friend of Judas Maccabeus, if thou wilt accept this generous offer, thou must first be bound with us in a fraternal covenant. Art thou willing?
Candidate answers.
CHAPLAIN, advancing to head of the Altar, by way of the Commander’s station: You will now repeat after me:
I do most solemnly vow, in the presence of these witnesses, that henceforth, in all matters pertaining to the Order of the Maccabees;
I will be bound by the laws of the Order in force from time to time;
I will not make known to any one not a member of the Order, any of its private work, or secret business;
I will never fail this Order, my country, my friends, nor those of my own flesh and blood in time of danger, need or sorrow;
I will comfort with my sympathy, and assist with my substance all worthy members of the Order, their families and dependents who may be in sorrow or need;
That of them I will speak no evil, and should I see, hear, or know of anything that threatens harm to them, I will give them timely notice or warning;
I will bear with modesty and administer with strict integrity, each and every trust, official or otherwise, committed to my care or keeping;
I will be temperate in my habits and honorable in my conduct, so as to command the respect of all.
ALL SIR KNIGHTS, in concert, pointing index finger at candidate: Thy pledge is recorded.
CHAPLAIN: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, you will now conduct our kinsman to the Commander’s station for further instruction.
COMMANDER: I will now instruct you in the private work of the Order. When giving signs, outside of a tent, always make them in a careless, easy manner, so as not to attract the uninitiated.
COMMANDER: The Step is given thus ...
The Salutation sign is given thus ... This is also the voting sign.
The Recognition Sign is given thus ... The answer thus: ...
The Token of Sincerity is given thus: ... It must always be given in a standing position when being addressed by. or addressing an officer.
The permanent password is URLLRLTXRF adopted in honor of LTM QRLTMD of Judas Maccabeus, and is only used when visiting a Tent, if required.
The Test Word is given thus: ...
Ask the Lieutenant Commander to give the Test Word.
When you wish to make or support a motion, or address the Tent, you will rise, give the “token of sincerity,” and say, “Sir Knight Commander.” You should not proceed with any remarks until recognized by that officer.
Having obtained permission to cross the hall, or to retire from the Tent, during review, you will always do so by right lines, by way of the Sergeant’s station, giving the “token of sincerity” to that officer in passing him. The walks around the foot and the sides of Tent must be followed at all times; care being taken never to pass between the altar and the Commander’s station after the altar is arranged.
The gavel, the emblem of authority in the hand of the presiding officer, is used as follows: Three raps, thus ..., call all the members to their feet; one rap, thus ..., seats them; two raps, thus ..., calls to order.
Grand honors to the Supreme or Great officers are made by giving the ordinary military salute with right hand, at the same time giving the “token of sincerity.”
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, you will now conduct the candidate to the Past Commander’s station.
Candidate is then conducted to Past Commander’s station by way of the Chaplain’s and Sergeant’s stations, and seated a few feet in front of that officer.
PAST COMMANDER, to candidate, seated: My kinsman, you are about to have conferred upon you the title of a Knight of The Maccabees, but before this is done, I desire to call your attention to the objects of our Order and to some of the requirements of a membership among us. Its great object is to unite fraternally all those who are physically and morally qualified under its laws, in order to better aid and assist those who may become disabled, or who may reach the allotted age of man, and to provide for the widows, orphans, and dependents of its members.
This Order is a great co-partnership; all are equally interested in its welfare; all are equal under its laws. It is not a cold business corporation, organized for profit and gain. Its foundation is fraternity; its superstructure, protection, and in order to promote its healthy growth and enlarge its usefulness, we must all work zealously hand in hand.
The ceremony through which you have just passed was not an imaginary creation, in which an attempt was made to entertain or surprise you. The tragedies you have seen enacted and the warfare in which you are supposed to have taken a part are facts, and part of both sacred and profane history.
While groping your way cautiously along a solitary and unfamiliar pathway, you were set upon in a rude manner, carried captive before an arbitrary despot, and subjected to a most harrowing and desperate experience, to test your loyalty to friends, as well as your regard for the assurances you made to Mattathias. How well you bore the ordeal and justified those assurances let your own thoughts now answer, and let that answer be a warning for the future and a solemn reminder of your fraternal covenant with us.
While in this dilemma your Maccabee friend, after freeing himself from the chains of his oppressors, came to your relief, and rescued you from your perilous situation—and later, to more fully exemplify the beautiful lesson of friendship, bestowed upon you the favors which his valor had won for himself. Learn from this and forget not that “A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
The lessons we would have you learn in your experience with us this evening have an important application to your personal relationship with the government that protects you, as well as your social relations with your fellow-men, and your duty to Order, home, and friends. As Maccabees, we strive to impress all members with a firm and determined resolution to always labor in the cause of justice, mercy, and charity; remember that justice begets justice, mercy begets mercy, and charity begets charity.
All these virtues were exemplified in the life and character of Judas Maccabeus, the liberator of his people; one of the first of a glorious army of martyrs who have since suffered in the cause of human freedom. His whole life was characterized by an undying devotion to country, home, and friends. He it was who demanded of his soldiers that, in dividing the fruits of their victories, they should reserve a part for the widows, orphans, and disabled; a practice observed (in effect) among all true Maccabees unto this day. May his name be honored as long as patriotism, love and friendship have a place in the hearts of men, and may you ever emulate his virtues, and prove yourself worthy of the new character you have assumed tonight.
You have given us your pledge of honor as a man, that you will always be true to country, order, home, and friends, and those of your own flesh and blood; and that you wilt comfort with your sympathy and assist with your substance the broken-hearted and the destitute. Should you ever knowingly or willing violate this solemn pledge, you need not longer expect our confidence and fellowship.
When you think of the solemnity and magnitude of your engagements here tonight, need I say that you cannot retire from this room exactly the same kind of man you were when you entered? No! After seeing and hearing what you have seen and heard, and making such promises as you have made, you will surely go hence a better man, filled with a higher ambition, and inspired with a nobler purpose in life.
Time will not permit me to indicate more of the valuable lessons contained in this degree, but, to the thoughtful mind, they are sufficiently obvious. If we have succeeded in awakening in your breast a manly determination to exercise these noble attributes in behalf of the widow, the fatherless, the unfortunate, and the stranger within thy gates, we have not labored in vain.
In conclusion, let me remind you that in becoming a member of this great fraternal brotherhood, you have changed your relations with a vast number of persons. While you remain true to your pledges, rest assured that in the Maccabees you will find friends who will comfort you in your sorrow, assist you in adversity and rejoice in your prosperity. When the battle of life is ended and you are about to commence your journey to that realm beyond the grave, you will have the consolation of knowing, that, among us, you have brothers who will give your remains a fraternal burial, keep green your memory, defend your character and provide for those who are nearest and dearest to you.
Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, conduct our kinsman to the Commander ‘s station there to receive Knighthood.
LIEUT. COMMANDER: Sir Knight Commander, our kinsman awaits your pleasure.
COMMANDER: In commemoration of the Valor, Friendship and Obedience of Judas Maccabeus, one of the first fruits of genuine chivalry, and by the authority in me vested as Commander of this Tent, I now dub, create and proclaim you a Knight of the Maccabees. ARISE, SIR KNIGHT, and stand erect among your fellows.
Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, you will now conduct the Sir Knight to the Record Keeper’s station, there to receive a copy of the Laws of the Order and By-Laws of this Tent, which he should read carefully and consult frequently, after which you will retire with him to the ante-room and instruct him further in the manner of working his way into a Tent while at work.
Upon re-entering and after saluting at the altar the Sir Knight is conducted to Chaplain’s station.
CHAPLAIN, taking Candidate by the hand: I welcome, and at the same time, congratulate you upon your admission to membership among us. We sincerely hope that the brotherly relationship established here, at this time, may be a continuing one; that you may be a regular attendant at our reviews, and that in the practice of the principles of Maccabeeism you may find both pleasure and profit.
The Motto of our Order is “Astra Castra—Numen Lumen,” meaning “The Stars my Tent—The Deity my light.”
Displaying the Maccabee flag: The Colors of the Order are Black, Red and White. These were the colors chosen by Judas Maccabeus, during his struggles for the liberation of his people. Black, symbolical of the dark prospects around him; Red, indicative of his fire, and zeal for the right; and White, emblematic of the purity of his motives. His wars were all defensive. No crime sullies his fair name.
The emblems of our Order are the Circle and the Globe. The Circle is universally regarded as symbolic of Eternity, it has no ending. So let it be with the vows you have taken and the noble duties you have assumed. Keep inviolate every promise you have made to us and then, wherever you may find yourself on the face of the Globe and meet another who has taken and kept the same vows, you will always find a brother.
Sir Knight Lieut. Commander, conduct the Sir Knight to a seat.
COMMANDER rises: Master at Arms, That officer rises and gives token of sincerity what is the last and constant care of every Knight of the Maccabees?
MASTER AT ARMS: To remember his pledges to the Order, and to protect humanity, especially the widows and the orphans.
COMMANDER: Sir Knights, never fail to discharge these important duties. Let us now sing the closing ode.
Give three raps with gavel.
Closing Ode
Air:—Sweet, Bye and Bye.
1. We now go from our labors tonight,
To our homes, to our hearths, to our rest.
May our lives overflow with kind acts,
Our hearts full of joy and tenderness.
Chorus—Let us join in the song,
As it comes from that beautiful shore.
Yes, we’ll join in the song,
As it floats from that beautiful shore.
2. When we meet in our Tent once again,
When we enter this guarded abode,
As brothers our work we’ll review,
And endeavor to lighten each load.
Chorus—Let us join in the song, etc.
3. When our life’s grand review shall be held,
In yonder grand mansion of rest,
All warfare and trials will be over,
In that beautiful land of the blest.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Master at Arms, remove the circle; close the book; collect the odes, and place all in the depository of this Tent.
MASTER AT ARMS, after complying with the orders, returning to his station and says: Sir Knight Commander, your orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: Sir Knight Sentinel, call in the Picket.
SENTINEL, after the Picket appears, says: Sir Knight Commander, your orders have been obeyed.
COMMANDER: This review is ended. Sir Knights, retire to your homes in peace, and hold yourselves ever in readiness to serve our noble cause.