Blue Degree
Loyal Orange Association

This ritual is used in the Loyal Orange Association of British America, 1926

No business connected with the affairs of this Degree shall be transacted except in open Lodge, guarded by a Sentinel and Tyler, whose duties are laid down in the Constitution and Laws.
Seven brethren shall form a quorum.
A canopy of pillars and a cross-piece hung with blue-colored curtains shall be erected in front of the entrance within the Lodge room.
The Sentinel and Tyler shall be examined by the Master before taking their places, to see if they are properly qualified to report on those applying for admission.
The chair having been taken by the Master, and the officers and members being in their seats, all the officers and brethren (except the Master, Sentinel and Tyler) shall be tested in the Annual and Pass, by the Marshal and Lecturer, who shall report the result of their examination, to the Deputy Master. The Deputy Master shall then rise and say: Worshipful Master, all present are in possession of the Orange Annual and the Pass of this degree.
(If any brother be present who has not the Annual and Pass), the Deputy Master shall add: Except Bro. …. When the Master shall say: Who will vouch for Bro. …, that he is in good standing in the Blue Degree?
Note.—A member without the Annual must be vouched for by a member of the lodge to which he belongs, or, in the event of no member of his lodge being present, he must produce a receipt for dues, showing that he is in good standing, and must also pass an examination in the work of the degree.
Should the brother be in possession of the Annual, but without the Pass, he may be vouched for by some brother who has sat with him in a Royal Blue Degree meeting. Otherwise, he must pass an examination in the work of the degree.
The Chaplain shall then read:  I shall see Him, but not now; I shall behold Him but not nigh; there shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Sceptre shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And the Lord spake unto Moses, saying: Speak unto the children of Israel, and bid them that they make them fringes in the borders of their garments throughout their generations, and that they put upon the fringe of the borders, a ribband of Blue. That ye may remember and do all My commandments, and be holy unto your God. I am the Lord your God, which brought you out of the land of Egypt to be your God; I am the Lord your God.
The Master shall give two knocks, when the officers and brethren shall kneel and the Chaplain shall say: O Almighty and Everlasting God, who art the strength of them that put their trust in Thee, without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy; look upon the hearty desires, of Thy humble servants, and stretch forth the right hand of Thy Majesty to be our defence against all our enemies. Enable us to love and serve. Thee as we ought. Render us worthy to inherit the rest prepared for all them that love and fear Thee. Teach us to watch and prepare for the coming of the Day of Judgment, so that we may worthily enter into Thy Kingdom, as stars of glory in the House of Israel. Grant these, and all other mercies which Thou seest we stand in need of, for the sake of Thy dear Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
MASTER: I now declare this Royal Blue Lodge open in due form. God Save the King.
The Master shall then give one knock, the brethren shall resume their seats, and the following order of business shall be proceeded with:
Repeating the Lecture.
Minutes of last meeting read and confirmed, and signed by the Master.
Applications for Advancement.
Balloting for Candidates.
Initiation of Candidates.
General Business.
Repeating the Lecture.
Lodge closed with Prayer.
On the admission of a Candidate, the following form shall be used:
The opening proceedings being completed, the Master shall direct the Conductors to proceed to the ante-room and prepare the Candidate as follows: Coat and vest to be removed; his left arm bared to the shoulder, and a Blue ribbon tied thereon, above the elbow. The Conductors, each holding a committee pole, decorated with blue ribbons, shall then approach the lodge room. In seeking for admission the Conductors, with the Candidate, shall knock and make a noise, as if in great trouble. There shall be a dim light in the lodge room from this time.
The Master shall then say: What lamentations and mourning do we hear in Israel; Tyler, Who is in trouble?
TYLER, behind the curtain, asks: Who is there?
CONDUCTORS: Brethren who flee from their taskmasters.
MASTER: Admit the brethren.
They remain behind the curtains.
MASTER: Why do the taskmasters pursue our brethren?
CONDUCTORS: The plagues of the Lord do but harden them, and they oppress our brethren ten-fold.
MASTER: What do our brethren want?
CONDUCTORS: Admission into the House of the Lord for shelter.
MASTER: Shelter our brethren.
The Candidate and his Conductors are then admitted within the lodge room, by passing the curtains, and they shall march around the room once, after which the candidate shall be brought in front of the altar facing the Master, who shall then say: Brother Marshal, Raise the furnace of burning ashes.
Here the Marshal shall place the furnace on the altar.
The following hymn shall then be sung:
Welcome from earth; lo, the right hand
Of fellowship to you we give!
With open hearts and hands we stand
And you in Jesus’ name receive.
Thou God that answerest by fire,
The spirit of burning now impart;
And let the flames of pure desire
Rise from the altar of our heart.
Truly our fellowship below
With Thee and with the Father is;
In Thee eternal life we know,
And Heaven’s unutterable bliss.
The Chaplain shall read as follows, the Candidate remaining in front of the altar and facing the Worshipful Master: And the Lord said unto Moses and unto Aaron. Take to you handfuls of ashes of the furnace, and let Moses sprinkle it toward the heaven in the sight of Pharaoh. And it shall become small dust in all the land of Egypt, and shall be a boil breaking forth with blains upon man, and upon beast, throughout all the land of Egypt. And they took ashes of the furnace, and stood before Pharaoh; and Moses sprinkled it up toward heaven; and it became a boil breaking forth with blains upon man and upon beast.
The Master shall then direct the Candidate to take ashes from the furnace and sprinkle three times toward Heaven.
MASTER: Knowest thou why we do this?
CANDIDATE: I do not.
MASTER: You did it, then, in obedience to the command?
MASTER: We do this as a type to show that even as the Egyptian taskmasters persecuted the Lord’s people, Israel, until they were delivered from bondage by Moses the servant of God, so were our Protestant fathers persecuted by Popery until the Lord i’i His mercy raised up deliverers, among the greatest of whom was William, Prince of Orange, whose name we bear and whose immortal memory we hold in reverence, hoping in the adoption of his name to emulate his virtues by maintaining civil and religious liberty without persecution or entrenching upon the rights of any.
Permit me also, Brother, to impress another truth upon your mind. It is this: That as Moses liberated the children of Israel from the land of bondage, so God sent His Son into the world in the likeness of sinful flesh to make us free from the law of sin and death. Stand fast, therefore, in this liberty and “walk in the spirit” if you would not fulfil the “lust of the flesh,” for the flesh lusteth against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary the one td the other, so that you cannot do the things that you would. But if you are led fC the Spirit you are not under the law. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these:
adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings and such like. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, long suffering gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.
The Candidate shall now be led once around the room and back to the altar, during which time the Marshal shall remove the furnace from the altar and place thereon twelve lighted candles.
One bright star shall be placed in the East near the chair of the W. Master, the Candidate facing the Same.
The following hymn shall be snug, while the Candidate is being led around the room, concluding the same while in front of the altar.
As with gladness men of old,
Did the guiding star behold;
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright;
So most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.
As with joyful steps they sped,
To that lowly manger-bed;
There to bend the knee before
Him whom heaven and earth adore;
So may we, with willing feet,
Ever seek Thy mercy-seat.
As they offered gifts most rare,
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee our heavenly King!
The Chaplain shall read as follows:
CHAPLAIN: Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, in the days of Herod the King, behold there came wise men from the East to Jerusalem, saying, Where is He that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen His Star in the East, and are come to worship Him. And, lo, the Star which they saw in the East went before them till it came and stood over where the young Child was. When they saw the Star they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. And when they were come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary his mother and fell down and worshipped Him; and when they had opened their treasures, they presented unto Him gifts; gold, frankincense and myrrh.
The Master shall give two knocks, when all the brethren shall kneel, and the Chaplain shall say: O Lord God, Judge of the world, who has commanded that creation should come forth to judgment, we entreat Thee to grant us life, grace and pardon. Thou, O Lord, holdest forth the lamp of righteousness for good to mankind, and to Thy honor and glory nations are made righteous. Thou inscribest our good deeds in the Book of Life, and Thy mercy is shown forth in our lives. As the morning star bringeth joy to the awakening world, so Thou, O Lord, by Thy Son our Redeemer, awakenest in the soul of Thy servants joy and everlasting life. Amen.
The Master shall give three knocks: the brethren shalt rise, come to the sign of Fidelity, and remain standing, while the Master, advancing to the altar, administers the following Obligation to the Candidate, who remains kneeling with his right hand over his heart and his left hand on the open Bible.
I, ..., do solemnly and voluntarily promise, that I will never disclose, either in whole or in part, the signs, mysteries and symbols of this Degree, except I shall be duly authorized to communicate them by the proper authorities of this Association. So help me God, and keep me steadfast, in this my Obligation of the Royal Blue Degree.
The Candidate kisses the Bible and is here invested with the regalia of the Degree. The Master shall then raise the brother, and holding him by the right hand, shall say: In the name of the brethren of the R6yal Blue Degree I bid you heartily welcome. As your opportunities will now be advanced with your station among us, so likewise your neglect of the better means of serving this religious and loyal brotherhood would cause our more especial injury. For this cause, brother, increase in your diligence; be instant in season and out of season; for the higher we stand the more should we take heed, lest we fall.
The Master shall return to his station, give one knock, and the brethren will be seated, after which the Chaplain shall say: I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service, and be not conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. For I say through the grace given unto me to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office, so we being many are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. Let love be without dissimulation Abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love in honor preferring one another. Not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. Rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, distributing to the necessity of saints, given to hospitality. Bless them which persecute you, bless and curse not. Rejoice with them that do rejoice and weep with them that weep. Be of the same mind one toward another; mind not high things, but condescend to men of low estate. Be not wise in your own conceit. Recompense to no man, evil for evil. Provide things honest in the sight of all men. If it be possible as much as lieth in you live peaceably with all men. Therefore, if thine enemy hunger feed him, if he thirst give him drink, for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.
The secret work of the degree shall now be communicated to the Candidate in accordance with the Code of Instructions, after which he shall be conducted to a position in front of the Past Master’s station, and a Past Master shall address him as follows: Brother, I congratulate you upon your admission to this Degree, because it calls upon you for the exercise of greater activity and a nobler zeal. It is to prove to you a beacon of light; to keep your passions and prejudices under proper subjection. The bearing of the Degree is to bring your mind to the consideration of eternity. It is to prove to you by the Star in the East, the course of which was arrested over Bethlehem, how small beginnings can, by the decree of an All-wise Providence, have great and glorious terminations. It is to teach you the duty of being satisfied with your lot, when you remember your Saviour’s nativity and His high destination. Reflect that, however humble your lot, however unpolished your habits, by a constant life of virtue, faith in Christ, and the aid of God’s Holy Spirit, you may arrive at as near a state of perfection as sinful man can expect to attain. In your journey through life you will meet with men whose views on many important questions do not coincide with yours. This you must expect. As you know, there are twelve months in the year, each serving to produce different climatic results, and twelve different signs of the Zodiac, each having its own function. Even the twelve disciples of our Lord and Saviour were men of different types and possessed different characteristics, yet all were necessary to His work. All He demanded was faith and trust in Him. Being weak men He could not always depend upon them. It was for this reason that He sent them forth in pairs, knowing that they required the sympathetic cooperation of a brother, teaching that should you meet a brother imperfect in his life and work, you must exercise patience, and do your utmost to aid him in carrying out the high ideals of our Association as indicated in this Degree.
Therefore it now becomes your duty narrowly to watch your brethren. You are mildly to correct their errors, and to remonstrate with them on their approach to any evil action, and thus prove to them the worth and value of your exalted station. You must at all times exert yourself to keep our glorious Association from harm, and not allow the precincts of the Star to be desecrated. By your submission to your seniors, you will convince your inferiors of their duty to do likewise; and although you are particularly to see the sufferings and wants of your brethren relieved; yet, by virtue of that brilliant Star which you have assumed as your guide, you must feel that your benevolence should be universal.
Lastly, you are not to screen the faults of a brother from the Brotherhood; but you are, as far as possible, to screen him from the censure of the world, and to do all that is in your power for his reformation. You are at all times to treat his foibles with candor, and to admonish in friendship. Having thus secured to yourself this advancement, it is hoped by your continued practice of all that is good and commendable, and your avoidance of all that is bad and censurable, you will not give us cause to regret the step we have taken in advancing you as we have now done.
The newly-advanced brother shall then take his seat among the brethren.
In closing the lodge the Master shall give three knocks when the officers and brethren shall rise and come to the sign of Fidelity, the Chaplain saying: O God, Holy Ghost, sanctifier of the faithful, visit we pray Thee our lodge with Thy love and favor. Enlighten our minds with the light of the everlasting gospel; graft into our hearts the love of the truth, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness and of Thy great mercy keep us in the same, O blessed Spirit, whom with the Father, and the Son, we worship and glorify, world without end. Amen.
The Master then shall say: I now declare this Royal Blue Lodge closed in due form. God Save the King.