Grand Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill - Sons of Liberty
Initiation Ritual


1945


H.G.C.C., *: H.G.S.A. You will proceed to satisfy yourself that all present are members
of the Order of the S.B.H.
H.G.S.A. purges as Junior Deacon, takes up pass if necessary, and reports from his station.
H.G.S.A.:
I am so satisfied, H.G.C.C.
H.G.C.C.:
All is well. ***, Hon. G. Adj. Display the colors.
All stand as H.G.A. leaves station, and are seated by gavel when he returns.
Flag is placed on Altar with BLUE in upper left hand corner as H.G.A. faces it from W. side of altar.
H.G.C.C.: *.
H.G.C.C., *:
H.G.S.A., are there any candidates in waiting for the O.S.B.H.?
H.G.S.A.:
There are H.G.C.C.
H.G.C.C.:
You will escort the waiting brethren through the lines.
H.G.S.A., * * *** (in Prep. room with candidates.)
H.G.A., at prep. room door with sword, * * ***:
Who comes here?
H.G.S.A.:
Brethren who have been invited to share in the honors of our patriotic order.
H.G.A.:
Have they, in their lives, displayed the virtues of brotherly love, fortitude, prudence, and patriotism?
H.G.S.A.:
They have.
H.G.A.:
Who vouches for this?
H.G.S.A.:
The noble council of investigation for the recommendation of worthy brethren.
H.G.A.:
All is well. You will await orders from the H.G.C.C.
Close door and makes report from w. side of altar.
H.G.A.:
H.G.C.C., several brethren are without and await your pleasure.
H.G.C.C.:
Have they been favorably recommended by the noble council of investigation for the recommendation of worthy brethren?
H.G.A.:
They have.
H.G.C.C.:
All is well. You will escort the brethren within our sacred precincts and receive them beneath the stars and stripes.
H.G.A.:
Brethren, it is the order of the H.G.C.C. that you be escorted within our sacred precincts and be received beneath the stars and stripes. Forward march. *. Halt.
H.G.A. conducts candidates directly East and stops when all candidates are inside of room, or if only a few candidates, at North side of Altar. Flag is held on North side of room midway between the Altar and the West, facing South, so that candidates will be received while standing under it.
H.G.A.:
Brethren, upon your first admission into this order, I receive you beneath the Stars and Stripes on the point of a drawn sword because the first Grand Master of Masons of America, in like manner, gave his life in defense of his country's honor.
H.G.C.C.: *.
H.G.A.:
Forward march.
The following may be given, either by the Chaplain from his station, or by the Adj. as he perambulates:
"Breathes there a man, with Soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne'er within him burned
As home his footsteps he hath turned
From wandering on a foreign strand?
If such there breathe, 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 pelf,
The wretch concentered all in self,
Living shall forfeit fair renown,
And, doubly dying, shall go down
To the vile dust from whence he sprung,
Unwept, unhonored and unsung."
H.G.A.:
Brethren, Halt! Left face!
Halt in front of H.G.C.L.W. Face H.G.C.L.W. Knock * * ***. Answers knock *.
H.G.C.L.W.:
Who comes here?
H.G.A.:
Brethren on their way to headquarters to be accorded the honor to which they aspire.
H.G.C.L.W.:
H.G.A., are the brethren worthy to become associates of our noble Sons of Liberty?
H.G.A.:
They are.
H.G.C.L.W.:
Who vouches for this?
H.G.A.:
The noble council of investigation for the recommendation of worthy brethren.
H.G.C.L.W.:
Brethren, as H.G.C.L.W., I represent Paul Revere, who was the founder of our order and made that memorable ride that saved the lives of those immortal heroes, Hancock and Adams. Should like occasion again arise, would you be willing to undergo plain, peril, or danger, to save your country and your fellowmen?
Candidates:
We would.
H.G.C.L.W.:
All is well. H.G.A. you will escort the brethren to the H.G.C.R.W.
H.G.A.:
Brethren, Right Face! Forward march!
H.G.A.:
Brethren, Halt! Left Face!
Halt in front of H.G.C.R.W. Face H.G.C.R.W.
Knock * * ***. Answers knock *.
H.G.C.R.W.:
Who comes here?
H.G.A.:
Brethren, who aspire to be patriots of the O.S.B.H.
H.G.C.R.W.:
Have they the natural qualifications to withstand the assaults of their country's enemies?
H.G.A.:
They have.
H.G.C.R.W.:
Who vouches for this?
H.G.A.:
The noble council of investigation for the recommendation of worthy brethren.
H.G.C.R.W.:
Brethren, as H.G.C.R.W. I represent General Joseph Warren, who was the commander of the American forces at Bunker Hill; that noble patriot, who was first in Masonry, and was the first great light to be extinguished in the cause of American liberty. Will the heroism of that martyr, in making of his body a sheath for the sword of the enemy, inspire you to a lie act of heroism?
Candidates:
It will.
H.G.C.R.W.:
All is well. H.G.A. you will escort the brethren to the altar by way of a representation of State Street in the city of Boston where the paving is laid in a conventional design to commemorate the first blood shed in the American Revolution.
H.G.A.:
Brethren. About face. Halt on sacred ground.
H.G.C.C.:
Who approaches our sacred altar?
H.G.A.: Brethren who are on their way to report their acceptance of our invitation extended to them.
H.G.C.C.:
Was the invitation properly extended?
H.G.A.:
It was.
H.G.C.C.:
Who vouches for this?
H.G.A.:
The noble council of investigation for the recommendation of worthy brethren.
H.G.C.C.:
All is well. Brethren you will remember that one of the first lessons you were taught in Masonry was . You will therefore unite with us in (silent) adoration of the God of Battles that has guided our armies to victory. * * *.
If a prayer is to be used leave out the word (silent) and Chaplain will give the following from his station.
H.G.Chap.:
Almighty God, whose council and guidance enabled our forefathers to conceive and build this great nation, we humbly ask that thy guiding hand keep us in the paths that we may preserve the blessings of peace, liberty, and happiness, which thou hast so bountifully blessed our America. Amen.
H.G.C.C., standing at station, *:
Brethren, the institution of which you are about to become members is founded upon the principles of patriotism combined with those of public and private service to our fellowmen.
The O.S.B.H. was founded to perpetuate the remembrance of the first great light of American Masonry to be extinguished in the cause of American liberty and to indelibly impress on the minds of this generation the sacrifices of our Masonic forefathers in wresting our country from the hands of a tyrannical monarch.
Masonic history informs us that, with but few exceptions, every officer in the Continental Army from major to commander-in-chief was a brother of the order under penalty of court martial by the order and cheerful submission to the finding rendered.
In token of your sincerity you will kiss your country's flag and arise.
*.
H.G.A. will you escort the brethren to the foot of the dais for an historical account of this order.
H.G.A. conducts candidates to East:
Brethren, Masonic history informs us that General Joseph Warren was the first Grand Master of Masons of America, and history records that this noble patriot, although first in command of the American forces at Bunker Hill, fought in that memorable battle as a private soldier. While in the act of defending the life of a comrade he was killed by a sword thrust of a British officer, and his body was hastily buried with the slain. After the evacuation of Boston, King Solomon's Lodge obtained permission to remove the body. Paul Revere identified the remains supposedly by a British sword sheathed in the breast of the faithful hero. The body was conveyed to the State House in Boston whence it was buried with due Masonic honors. You will recall that the body of O.A.G.M.H.A., one of the three first and, my brethren, Masonic tradition informs us that the body of General Joseph Warren, the first G. M. of M. of A., was found in the brow of Bunker Hill near a mass of evergreen. And as the body of our ancient hero was returned for burial as near the scene of his labors as the Jewish law would permit, so also was the body of our first G. M., returned to the scene of his labors for Masonic burial.
The Green Dragon Tavern stands forth in history as the scene of many important historical and Masonic events. It was from the Green Dragon Tavern that Paul Revere started on his famous midnight ride. It was from the Green Dragon Tavern that a Masonic Lodge, while at refreshment, matched to Griffin's wharf and formed the famous Boston Tea Party. The Green Dragon Tavern was the meeting place of St. Andrews Lodge, over which both Joseph Warren and Paul Revere, in turn, presided as W. M. It was also the home of the first Grand Lodge of America of which Joseph Warren was G. M.
Within this Historical building was held the convention that formed the General Grand Royal Arch Chapter of America.
And, finally, my brethren, our traditions tell us that it was in the Green Dragon Tavern that Paul Revere, the G. M. of Massachusetts, founded the O.S.B.H., in honor of General Joseph Warren.
Paul Revere's dying request that he might once more hold the sword he had found in the heart of his friend, inspired the poem you will now hear.
"The sword was brought; the Soldier's eye
Lit with a sudden flame,
And as he grasped the ancient blade
He murmur'd Warren's name,
Then said, "My boy, I leave you gold,
But what is richer still,
I leave you mark me, mark me, now
The sword of Bunker Hill.
"Oh take the sword!" his accents broke,
A smile and he was dead.
His trembling lips had lisped the pass
Upon that dying bed.
The son remains, the sword remains,
Its glory growing still,
And many millions bless the sire,
And sword of Bunker Hill,
Brethren, the pass of the order is communicated only in the manner that Paul Revere on his dying bed transmitted it to his son.
Therefore, it will be necessary that you retire to the anteroom and be individually returned to a representation of the death bed scene of Paul Revere and his burial with military honors.
H.G.A. conducts candidates by way of preparation room to waiting room and escorts them singly on their return to lodge room.
H.G.C.C., *:
Brethren, you will assemble in the East and assist me in enacting the death bed scene of Paul Revere. All assemble.
H.G.C.C.:
My brother, Paul Revere, on his dying bed, pointed to the opposite wall on which was hanging the sword he had found in the heart of his friend. He requested his son to place the rusty blade once more within his hands that he might once again feel the steel of battle ere he departed this life. His son complied with this request, and as this dying hero fondly gazed upon the original insignia of the order he had founded, he gently murmured, "My son this is the sword of Bunker Hill, found sheathed in the body of General Joseph Warren, the first G. M. of Masons of America." He then returned the sword and communicated the pass of the order.
Mark well the following questions and replies that you may make yourself known as a member hereafter.
.
 
This lecture must be given prior to the installation of the honorary officers.
H.G.C.C.:
Brethren, it now becomes my duty and pleasure to inform you that the Order of the Sword of Bunker Hill had its origin for three fundamental purposes:
First: To promote the interests of Masonry by encouraging a more regular attendance to its meetings and discouraging horseplay and irreverence in its beautiful and sacred ritualistic ceremonies.
Second: To form a social and fraternal organization to perpetuate the principles of American liberty and instill into the minds of each generation the sacrifices of our Masonic forefathers in forming our great republic.
Third: To forever inspire patriotism and loyalty by administering to every candidate for our order the oath of allegiance to state and nation.
At first thought it might seem that there is one instance in our patriotic ceremonies that is not in harmony with these ideals. But a careful survey of the progress of a candidate through the mysteries of Masonry from the time he is impressed with the meaning of something of a metallic kind to his being raised on the five points of fellowship reveals that when the candidate may have a feeling of undue pride and importance he is taught an impressive lesson in humility.
In keeping with this spirit the candidates for this order are deeply impressed with the patriotism and sacrifices of Masons in the greatest cause for liberty the world has ever known and then, that they may not have a haughty demeanor toward others, by a few quietly spoken but never-to-be-forgotten words they are to be reminded that "Pride goeth before destruction
and a haughty spirit before a fall."
 
 
Ceremonies for Installing Honorary Officers
 
H.G.C.C.:
Brethren, at this time, we will have the installation of the honorary class officers.
The secretary will call the roll of officers who, as their names are called will be placed in line at the altar by the H.G.A., and escorts.
When all are in position H.G.C.C. proceeds:
Brethren, you have been chosen as the honorary officers of Order No. O.S.O.B.H. and upon you may devolve the duty of conferring this order.
I wish to remind you that your first great duty is to impress upon every candidate the influence of Masons and Masonry in every great event in conceiving, forming, and establishing the United States of America.
Thomas Jefferson, who had been taught as a Mason to "regard the whole human species as one family high and low rich and poor who as created by one Almighty Parent, and inhabitants of the same planet are to aid, comfort and protect each other," wrote into the immortal Declaration of Independence, "All men are created equal."
Under Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, who was taught in a Masonic lodge to put his trust in God every gold and silver coin of our land was to bear the motto, "ln God We Trust."
The first Congress of America, composed largely of Masons true to their principles, was opened with prayer. Following this precedent the Congress of the United States like a Masonic lodge does not enter upon any undertaking without first invoking the blessing of God.
At the time of the formation of our government the governor of each of the thirteen original states was a Mason and Robert Livingston, Grand Master of New York, administered to George Washington, Master of Alexandria Lodge, whose right hand rested on the Bible of St. John's Lodge of New York City, the oath of office as first president of the greatest nation on earth.
John Paul Jones, Father of the American Navy, who first raised the American flag in defiance of the mistress of the seas, gave to the lodge of his Masonic brother, George Washington, the stars and stripes that floated at the mast-head of his flag ship.
The guiding spirit of Masonry has not ceased with the passage of time.
In every national conflict the dominant American leaders on land or sea have been guided and inspired by our three great lights.
Gen. John J. Pershing who led the American doughboy across the Marne, over the Hindenburg Line, through the Forest of Argonne, to the Gates of Sedan, to "make the world safe for democracy," was a Master Mason.
Col. Chas. A. Lindbergh as he winged his weary way over the wintry wastes of the North Atlantic a thousand miles from a human heart, bore on his breast and on his plane the sacred letter "G" denoting his dependence upon that All-Seeing Eye whom the sun, moon and stars obey.
Brother Warren G. Harding took his oath of office as twenty-ninth president on the self-same Bible of St. John's Lodge used by the Father of His Country. It seems that he must have caught the inspiration of early Masonry for when he called the Peace Conference at Washington he caused it to be opened with prayer. This was the first international conference
in the History of the world to recognize Almighty God.
As long as Masons keep these principles dominant in our government our republic will remain the most beneficent gift civilization has ever received.
Bearing in mind the principles of our order you will now take your official obligation.
The H.G.C.C., will now kneel at the altar with his hands palm downward upon the stars and stripes.
As the hand upon the shoulder is the most friendly attitude man can bear to man the other officers will kneel behind him with their hands upon the shoulders of the one before them.
H.G.C.C.: ***.

The H.G.C.C., will now repeat after me I solemnly and sincerely promise that I will ever be true to the allegiance to my country, furthermore that I will ever honor and respect the flag of our republic, furthermore that I will dispense light and Masonic knowledge of the patriotism and sacrifices of Masons in the making of America, furthermore that I will do all
in my power to curb arrogance and pride and maintain a spirit of humility among the officers and members of the order.
In token of your sincerity you will detach your hands and kiss your country's flag. The other officers in turn will do the same.
Brethren, it may seem to you that the foregoing was entirely out-of-place and uncalled for but I assure that it was made use of on this occasion to impress upon your mind in the strongest manner possible a vital and fundamental principle of fraternal and social life that is never allow yourself to be placed in line for promotion simply for the honor or prominence it may give you but ever remember he who seeks honor without rendering true service in return will sooner or later be humiliated. May you here highly resolve that in whatever station in life you may be hereafter, you will always refrain from doing figuratively what you have just now literally failed to do.
You will now be escorted to your respective stations.
H.G.C.C.: *.
H.G.C.C., **:
The ceremony of initiation being over, I declare Order, No. O.S.B.H. closed without further form or ceremony. H.G.S.A., inform the sentinel. H.G.A., guard well the colors.



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