Scandinavian Sisterhood
Ritual and Order of Business


President, giving two raps with gavel: Officers and members of … Chapter No. …, Scandinavian Sisterhood of America, we are about to open this Chapter. All those not qualified to remain will please retire. Officers will take their respective stations. Conductress. Please ascertain if all present are members of the order and entitled to remain.
Conductress communicates the current and permanent passwords to the President and then proceeds to collect them from the Officers and members, commencing on the right of the President. If anyone is found without the passwords, or either of them, Conductress will direct her or hint to the President, who will ascertain from the Financial Secretary her or his standing and if found in good standing will communicate the passwords.
Conductress, giving sign of courtesy:
Worthy President, I find all present in possession of the proper passwords.
President, calls up the Chapter:
Members, give the sign of the Order. We will attend the Chaplain’s invocation.
Chaplain, going to altar, faces the President:
Supreme Ruler (or sisters and brothers, as preferred) we are again gathered together in the cause of our fraternal sisterhood. Let the sun of enlightenment shine over us and guide our deliberations, so that we may bring credit and honor to the members and the Order. May our demeanor be such that the true spirit of fraternal love shall be manifest thereby. May we always be ready to relieve distress, visit the sick, bury the death and be kind and courteous to one another. May we remember to always do unto others as we would they should do unto us. Amen.
Members, in concert:
President, seating the Chapter:
Recording Secretary, please call the roll of Officers and note absentees.
The Conductress arises, facing the Chapter, and on call of the Secretary answers "Present" or "Absent," as the case may be. The President fills vacant offices by appointment before proceeding.
We will sing our Opening Ode.
After song:
I now declare this Chapter open for all matters lawfully brought before it.

Regular Degree

Inner Guard, please ascertain if there are day candidates in the ante-room awaiting initiation.
Inner Guard advances to altar, giving sign of courtesy, and retires. Returns, advances to altar, gives sign of courtesy and says:
Inner Guard:
Worthy President. I find … naming candidates awaiting initiation. Gives the sign of courtesy and retires to station.
President: Recording Secretary, have these candidates been duly elected to membership in this Chapter and have their initiation fees been paid?
Recording Secretary: Worthy President, they have and their initiation fees have been paid.
President: Sister Conductress, please retire to the ante-room and examine the candidates.
Conductress advances to altar, gives sign of courtesy and retires.
The Chapter may be at ease until the sound of the gavel at my station.


What is your name? Answer.
What is your nationality? Answer.
Have you ever been member of this Order? Answer: No.
The laws of this Order require in the case of a female applicant that she be over 16 years of age, and that she be either of Scandinavian birth or descent, or the wife, mother, sister or daughter of a member of the Scandinavian Brotherhood of America in good standing. Are you eligible under these laws? Answer: Yes.
In the case of a male candidate the question should be: ‘Are you a member of the Scandinavian Brotherhood of America in good standing?’ and the answer should be "Yes."
Conductress: You are admonished not to express either religious or politcal views while
Chapter is in season. I can assure you there is nothing in the ceremonies that will conflict with the duty you owe to God, your country, your family or yourself. With this assurance, are you willing to proceed? Answer: Yes, or I am.
Conductress gives alarm at the door, announces her readiness to report, whereupon the
President calls the Chapter to order. It is earnestly recommended that all the ceremonies of initiation be committed to memory, thereby greatly enhancing the effect.
Conductress, having re-entered the Chapter room, gives sign of courtesy at altar and says:
Worthy President, I have examined … names candidate and find them eligible.
‘Tis well, you will proceed to prepare for initiation, and when all is ready give the usual alarm at the door of the Chapter. I now declare a recess until the sound of the gavel at my station, after which let there be absolute silence and attention so that the ceremony of initiation may be duly impressed upon the candidates.
If possible have three or more candidates for initiation at the same time. The May Pole is placed on the altar or on a separate pedestal in the center of the room, and ribbons corresponding in number and color to the belts of the candidates (alternate colors) are fastened on the wheel of the pole. Ribbon belts corresponding with those on the pole are taken to the ante- room by the Conductress and fastened around the waist of each candidate. As the Conductress gives the alarm at the door the President calls the Chapter to order with two raps of the gavel, and the Chapter room is darkened, if practicable.
Inner Guard:
Worthy President, the Conductress is at the door with the candidates.
President: Admit them.
Enter Conductress with candidates, marching slowly, escorting one, followed by the others, if any, with or without escort as desired. Soft, sweet music is played on organ or piano, if an instrument is available. During the march the Counsel recite the following poem, slowly, but loud enough to be heard above the music, singing his words so as to bring the candidates before the President’s station at the close of the poem.
There are some hearts like wells, green-mossed and deep
As ever summer saw;
And cool their water is―yes cool and sweet―
But you must come to draw.

They heard not, yet they rest in calm content.
And not unsought will give;
They can be quiet with their wealth unspent.
So self-contained they live.
And there are some like springs, that bubbling burst
To follow dusty ways,
And run with offered cup to quench the thirst
Where the tired traveler strays:
They never ask the meadows if they want
What is their joy to give―

Unmasked, their lives to other life they grant.
So self-bestowed they live!
And one is like the ocean, deep and wide.
Wherein all waters fall:
That girdles the broad earth, and draws the tide.
Feeding and bearing all;
That broods the mists, that sends the clouds abroad.
That takes again to give
Even the great and loving heart of God.
Whereby all love doth live.
Worthy President. I present these candidates for initiation.
Sister Conductress, come they well recommended and are they eligible to membership under our laws?
They come well recommended and have answered every requirement.
Then, my friends, it gives me much pleasure to welcome you to membership in this Order. The Scandinavian Sisterhood of America is a branch of the Scandinavian Brotherhood of America to which it is united by the ties of fraternal kinship. Its aim is to inspire in the hearts of women of Scandinavian birth or descent, and in the hearts of the wives, mothers sisters and daughters of members of the Brotherhood regardless of their nationality, a love and respect for the Scandinavian race, its history and institutions, and to inculate a friendly association and cooperation among persons thus situated for the uplift of mankind and the Scandinavian people especially who have made their home or cast their destiny among the great people of the American continent. As an auxiliary of the Scandinavian Brotherhood of America its purpose is to act as a handmaiden to that great order, so that by our united effort the objects referred to may be the sooner and better accomplished and so that the respect shown to women of Scandinavian lineage in the lands across the sea may be perpetuated among the people of their adopted country. While not a beneficial institution in the sense that pecuniary aid or benefit may of right be demanded by virtue of membership therein, yet it is a law of the Order, graven on the heart of each member, to render such assistance to the unfortunate and worthy at all times as circumstances will admit or the occasion seems to require. But there is one demand that each member has a right to make of each and all of the others by virtue of membership, and that is kindly and courteous treatment at all times and those administrations of love and sympathy which are prompted by the dictates of a common humanity, but too often neglected in this bustling and commercial age.
Why do we wait till ears are deaf
Before we speak the kindly word
And only utter words of praise,
When not a whisper can be heard?
Why do we wait till hearts are still.
To tell them all the love in ours,
And give them such late meed of praise
And lay above them fragrant flowers?
O! let us heed the living friend,
Who walks with us life’s common ways.
Watching our eyes for look of love,
And hungering for it word of praise!
Sister Conductress, please escort the candidates to the Vice President’s station for further instruction.
The Conductress makes one complete circuit about the altar before stopping at the Station of the Vice President.
Worthy Vice President, by direction of the Worthy President I present these candidates for further instruction.
Vice- President:
My friend, the Worthy President has referred to Scandinavian history and institutions as among those things which we should love and respect. I desire briefly to call your attention to a few of the leading characters and incidents that have made the Scandinavian countries conspicuous among the nations of the world. Aside from the more or less legendary history of these countries comprising the age of the Vikings, but from which the people inherit much of their sturdy traits of character, such as Honesty, Courage, Love of Liberty and Hospitality. the more modern and even contemporary history affords much of which we may justly feel proud.
From Sweden comes such names as Gustavus Adolphus, the greatest military leader and genius the world has yet produced, who fought chiefly for a noble and lofty principle, that of Christianity.
Charles XII., the conqueror of three kingdoms, who at his country’s call abandoned a life of gaiety and became a leader and patriot of the highest type.
Tegner, one of the world’s greatest poets, whose immortal "Frithiof Saga" comprises one of the brightest gems of the world’s literature.
Jennie Lind and Christine Nilsson, two of the sweetest singers the world has ever produced, John Ericsson, the inventor of the Monitor, which saved the American navy during the Civil War of the United States, contributing greatly to the cause of the Northern states during that struggle; and Selma Lagerlof, the distinguished author, recipient of tile Noble Prize in Literature in the year 1909.
From Norway comes such names as Leif Erikson, the explorer and real discoverer of America.
Ole Bull, the greatest violinist that ever lived to charm the ear and heart of man with one of the simplest and yet most difficult of all instruments of music.
Bjornsljerne Bjornson, the patriot, statesman, dramatist and poet, composer of the country’s national anthem.
Henrik Ibsen, dramatist noel poet, whose plays have been translated and acted in nearly every civilized country on the globe.
Edvard Grieg, the composer. whose quaint melodies and classic strains have enriched the world of harmony, and Camilla Collet, daughter of the patriot clergyman, Nicolai Wergeland, and sister of the author and patriot, Henrik Wergeland, who wrote, and labored for the betterment of her sex not only in the Northland, but for the whole world, and whose name is revered by all lovers of the exalted womanhood.
From Denmark come such names as Queen Margaret. who reigned during the fourteenth century, who was distinguished as one of the wisest and best rulers of the Scandinavian countries and who has the distinction of being the only monarch that ever successfully ruled over the three crowns of these nations.
Thorwaldsen, the sculptor, one of the world’s most famous artists, whose work adorns some of the finest museums of Europe and copies of whose craftsmanship and art may be found in nearly every quarter of the globe.
Hans Christian Anderson, dramatist, poet and writer of fairy tales. the translations of which are familiar to children of nearly every nation.
And Drachman. the poet of the people. who voiced the pastoral sentiment so dear to the hearts of all lovers of nature.
Prom Iceland comes down to us not only the history of early Scandinavia, preserved by a people whose love of literature us proverbial, but the name of Snorre Sturlason. author of the "Younger Edda," one of the world’s most valuable contributions to mythological lore.
These are but few of the illustrious ones who adorn the pages of history. In the field of science and discovery Scandinavians hare been equally prominent, as witness such names as Linne, Nobel, Nordenskjold, Nansen. Amundsen and others.
Surely inch a heritage of patriotism, literature. art and science should command our deepest admiration and respect and imbue us with just feelings of pride in the realization that either by birth, marriage or descent, we are participants of such a legacy in a kindred sense. Despicable, indeed, must be those persons who, although so related to this great and noble race, feel ashamed to acknowledge the relationship, thereby revealing either their ignorance or the small souls with which they are possessed.
Breathes there a man with soul so dead
Who never to himself hath said.
This is my own, my native land.
Whose heart bath ne’er within him burned.
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there be, go mark him well;
For him no minstrel raptures swell;
High though his titles, proud his name,
Boundless his wealth as wish can claim.
Despite those titles, power and pelt,
The wretch, concentered all in self,
Living shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from which he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored, and unsung.
Sister Conductress, please escort the candidate to the Chaplain’s station.
The Conductress escorts the candidates to the Chaplain’s station by way of the Counsel’s station.
Worthy Chaplain, by direction of the Vice-President I present these candidates before you.
My friends, will you promise on your word of honor to do all in your power to live up to the principles of this Order and to keep forever sacred the private work and ceremonies thereof?
I will.
Then, my friends, it will be necessary for you to take an obligation such as we have all taken. I can assure you this obligation contains nothing that can conflict with the duty you owe to Cod, your country, your family or yourself. With this assurance, are you willing, in the presence of the members here assembled to take such an obligation?
I am.
Sister Conductress please escort the candidates to the altar to receive the obligation.
Conductress escorts the candidates to the altar by way of the Vice-President’s station.
The President calls up the Chapter and the members form a circle about the altar. If practicable, lights should be turned down as low as possible, and a strain of soft, pathetic music may be played during the giving of the obligation. The Chaplain takes her station facing the candidates on side of altar nearest the President’s station, the candidates standing in line on side nearest the Vice-President’s station.


My friends, raise your right hands, give your names, and repeat together after me:
I, …, of my own free will and accord hereby sincerely promise to become a true and faithful member of the Scandinavian Sisterhood of America; I will support, maintain and obey all laws, rules and regulations of this Chapter and of the Supreme Chapter of the Scandinavian Sisterhood of America, under whose charter this Sisterhood is now Instituted, Including the laws now in force or hereafter adopted or amended, and to the best of my ability aid and assist a worthy sister or brother when in need or distress. I furthermore promise not to reveal any of my secret work, passwords or ceremonies of this Order, except it be to a sister or brother duly authorized to receive the same. I will not wrong a sister or brother, a Chapter or the Supreme Chapter of this organization but of the value of’ anything. I will, as far as I am able, attend the meetings of this Chapter and do everything in my power to promote the welfare of the Order.
I especially promise that I will be true and loyal to my country and its laws, that I will be temperate in my habits and upright in my conduct, so as to command the respect of all. To all this I pledge my sacred word of honor and promise to remain steadfast as long as my life shall last.
Members, in concert:
So will we. Lights on.
Sister Conductress, you will now prepare the candidates for the March of the Golden Circle. Seats the members by one rap of the gavel.
Conductress proceeds to fasten to each candidate’s belt the ribbon on the pole corresponding in color to that of the belt, and faces each candidate with right shoulder toward the pole. If there are only one or two candidates, the Conductress herself and one or two others selected by her from the members, should participate in the circle. No less than three, and preferably four or five, should he employed in this ceremony. Before fastening the candidates the Conductress should turn the wheel back and forth by means of the ribbons, as if testing the apparatus, being careful, however, to finally run the wheel back as far as it will go in order to allow it to turn one revolution with the candidates before stopping and allowing them to wind the ribbons around the pole. When all is ready, the Conductress reports:
Worthy President, the candidates are in due form for the March of the Golden Circle.
President to candidates:
The Golden Circle which you have now formed is emblematical of the circle of friendship and fraternal love to which you are now bound by the most sacred ties, and while you march around this circle and the strains of the Closing Ode of this Order may you fully appreciate the binding and concentrating forces of social organization, the power that holds society together and makes possible the ever uplifting progress of mankind.
leads candidates around the pole very slowly. The President calls up the Chapter and all sing the Closing Ode. "Beyond the Sea" Etc., until the candidates are wound up as close to the pedestal, or altar upon which the pole stands, as they can get, when the singing is stopped by the President’s gavel, seating the members.
My friends, the circle which you have now completed, and which has brought you so close together, is to symbolize the truth that the longer you remain within this circle of friendship, the longer you remain attached to this institution, the closer will you be drawn to your fellow members in love for the Order and in emulation of the noble principles for which it stands. Sister Conductress, you will now release the candidates and present them to the Counsel’s station for final instruction.
If the Iduna Degree is to be worked, the President should omit the last sentence and say instead thereof: "Sister Conductress, you will now release the candidates and escort them to the ante-room to prepare them for the Iduna Degree.". Conductress after having released the candidates, marches them to the Counsel’s station by way of the Chaplain’s and Vice-President’s stations.
Worthy Counsel, by direction of the Worthy President I present these candidates to you for final instruction.
My friends, I will now instruct you it toe secret work of the Order.
Approaching the outer door you will give any alarm that will attract the attention of the Outer Guard, who will open the wicket and you will give him or her the semi-annual password, which is the first word that will be given you by the Conductress; if correct, you will be admitted into the ante room. At the inner door you will give the following raps …. The inner Guard will open the wicket, and you will give her your name and the permanent password, which be the last word given you by the Conductress, who will now give you both of these passwords. Conductress here communicates the passwords. If correct you will be admitted into the Chapter room, after having donned the regalia of the Order. Passwords must always be given in a whisper. Admitted to the Chapter room, you will advance in a straight line to a point at right angles to the altar, turn square corner and advance to the altar, where, if necessary, you will attract the attention of the President by saying. "Worthy President." Being recognized, you will salute her with the sign of courtesy, which is given in this manner: …. She will answer in the same manner: …. You will then be permitted to take your seat. The voting sign of the Order is given thus: …. The grip of the Order will now be given you by the Conductress, who will explain to you its significance. The Conductress will now give you the Distress words of the Order: …. Their answer is: "Help is near," signifying there is a sister or brother near to aid you. The Distress word should be given in a whisper if possible, but may be given aloud if necessary. A member in good standing without the passwords, may be admitted, upon report of good standing by the Secretary, and receive the passwords from the President. Members in arrears are not entitled to the passwords, or ether of them, until all arrears are paid. The term password, first given to you, changes every six months, but the permanent password, the last given to you, is never changed. In the absence of the Outer Guard, both passwords should be given to the Inner Guard.
Sister Conductress. Please escort the candidates to the President’s station.
Conductress escorts candidates to the President’s station by the shortest route, but turning square corners, always.
My friends, having completed the ceremonies of initiation, by the power in me vested as President of this Chapter, I now declare you members of the Scandinavian Sisterhood of America, subject to the laws and entitled to all the rights and privileges of the Order. I now present you with the regalia of the Order, and I trust you will wear it with equal pleasure to yourself and honor to the fraternity. Sister Conductress, please face our newly admitted members to the Chapter. Calls up Chapter.
Members of … Chapter No. …, Scandinavian Sisterhood of America, behold your newly admitted fellow members. May your relations with them and theirs with you be always cordial and friendly and may the addition of these new members be a source of strength and encouragement in the growth and advancement of our beloved Order. I now declare a recess until the sound of the gavel at my station, for the purpose of congratulation and welcoming our newly admitted members.

Closing Ceremonies

Is there anything further to be brought before the Chapter before we proceed to close? If there is nothing further, we will close the Chapter, but before so doing let us implore the blessing by the Chaplain. Calls up the Chapter.
Supreme Ruler (or sisters and brothers, as preferred), as we depart from this Chapter, may we do so with the conviction that our deliberations have been agreeable to the dictates of justice, honor and fraternal love. May we be inspired to be true to our obligations;
And as we go out into our various stations in life, may we carry with us in our hearts all the good and beautiful tenets of our great and noble Order. Amen.
Members repeat in concert:
Let us sing our Closing Ode. Calls up Chapter.
At the singing of the last verse, all the members, including the officers. gather in a circle about the altar.
Sisters nub Brothers, I thank you for this friendly and social gathering, and I hope to see as many of you as possible at our next meeting. I now declare this Chapter closed until we meet again.
Until we meet again.
The Conductress and Counsel should see to it that all the paraphernalia of the Chapter, including the rituals and regalia, is put away in its proper place, and that the lights are extinguished and the doors locked, In this they should he assisted by the Outer and Inner Guards, who act under their direction.