Order Sons of St. George
Initiation Ritual



Officers and Brothers: Clothe yourselves in regalia. Officers take your stations. Worthy Inside Sentinel, notify Brothers in the ante-room to enter, secure the door, and allow no Brother to enter until I declare this Lodge regularly open.
Worthy Inside Sentinel admits Brothers, closes inner door and returns to station.
Worthy President, I have secured the inner door.
Worthy Messengers. Messengers rise and face the W.P. Advance and give me the current password. Messengers advance, give password to W.P. and return to stations facing W.P. Proceed on the right and left, see that all present have on their regalia, and are in possession of the password; if not, immediately report to the Past Worthy President.
Messengers collect the password, members rising, and while giving the password, give the Messenger the grip. If a member is without the password, the Messenger will refer him to the P.W.P., who will give him the password if he is entitled to receive it. A visiting Brother without the password must show his due book or other official receipt. The P.W.P. is in charge of the password in the Lodge room, and only during Lodge meetings. The password should always be given in a whisper.
Worthy Messengers return to stations, facing the W.P.
Worthy President, I find the Brothers on your right are in possession of the password and have on their regalia.
Worthy President, I find the Brothers on your left are in possession of the password and have on their regalia.
Messengers face altar.
Call up officers.
Worthy Inside Sentinel, direct the Worthy Outside Sentinel to present himself, and you remain in his station until relieved.
W.I.S. and W.O.S. change stations.
Worthy President, I report for instruction.
Worthy Outside Sentinel, your duty is to guard the outer door; upon you depends the privacy of this Lodge. Return to your station and relieve the Worthy Inside Sentinel.
After W.I.S. returns to his station, the Worthy President proceeds.
Past Worthy President, what are the duties of your office?
It is my duty to pass upon the right of all Brothers to remain in, or be admitted to the Lodge.
Worthy Vice-President, what are the duties of your office?
It is my duty to perform the ceremonies intrusted to me; support the Worthy President in the discharge of his duties; assist him in maintaining order in the Lodge room; and appoint a minority of all committees unless otherwise ordered by the Lodge.
Worthy Secretary, what are the duties of your office?
It is my duty to keep a true and accurate account between the Lodge and its Members; receive all moneys and pay the same over to the Worthy Treasurer, taking his receipt therefor; attend to all the correspondence of the Lodge; and, in conjunction with the Worthy Assistant Secretary, keep a true and complete record of all the proceedings of this Lodge.
Worthy Messenger, what are the duties of your office?
It is my duty to examine the Brothers prior to the opening of the Lodge; assist the Worthy President as he may direct; prepare the Lodge room for the meetings of the Lodge; and see that all Lodge properties are collected at the close of each meeting.
Worthy Inside Sentinel, what are the duties of your office?
It is my duty to admit every Brother in possession of the password, or inform the Past Worthy President that the Brother wishing to enter is without the password, and await his commands.
Call up.
Worthy Chaplain, you will please lead us in prayer.
Let us pray.
Officers and Brothers, all unite in singing our Opening Ode.
Opening Ode
Tune: Duke Street
1. Here we as faithful brothers meet,
United still in heart and hand;
And once again our vows repeat.
To firmly by each other stand.

2. In sickness, health, in weal or woe,
Misfortune or prosperity,
Our sympathies will ever flow.
In deeds of love and charity.

3. To cheer a Brother’s aching heart,
To soothe him on a bed of pain;
To take th’afflicted widow’s part,
The orphan’s cause e’er to maintain.

4. Be this our object and our aim,
As onward through the world we move;
So may we hope, at last to claim
The password to the realms above.
Officers and Brothers: It is my duty to open this Lodge for the transaction of such business as may be in order and properly brought before it. While we are together let no animosity hold an influence over our hearts, no unseemly conduct mar the pleasure of our meeting. Unity of opinion cannot be expected on all subjects, but the harmony of this Lodge will not be disturbed if the members will submit to the will of the majority. These principles and motives actuating us, we shall not fail in our objectsthe advancement of our Order, and the welfare of all worthy Brothers.

Floor Work Instructions

Opening and Closing Ceremonies
Note: The Bible, Sword and Shield are placed on altar, prior to opening ceremony.
Worthy Messengers and Worthy Chaplain.
Messengers and Chaplain arise and face Worthy President. Messengers draw, present and then carry swords.
Adjust the altar.
Messengers again present and carry swords, right about face and proceed with the Worthy Chaplain, stopping three paces from altar.
Messengers present and sheathe swords.
Worthy Messenger advances to altar, removes and places shield on left forearm at position to defend body, then steps back to his position in line.
Worthy Assistant Messenger advances to altar, removes and presents sword, then to position Carry; then steps back to his position in line.
Worthy Chaplain advances to altar, opens and places Bible in proper position, then steps back to his position in line.
Worthy Messenger advances and places shield in proper position, then steps back to his position.
Worthy Assistant Messenger then advances, places sword in proper position, then step, back to his position.
After the altar has been adjusted the W.P. will say.
Officers and Brothers, by virtue of the power invested in me as Worthy President, I declare the Lodge legally open.
Messengers and Chaplain approach altar and salute, right about face and then return to their stations.
Note: In closing, the same procedure is carried out; Leaving the Bible, Sword and Shield in the same position on the altar as prior to opening ceremony. No member should pass between the altar and dais of the W.P. while the altar is adjusted.
Call down.
Worthy Inside Sentinel, admit any Brother wishing to enter.

Ceremony of Initiation

Instructions and Suggestions
To make the initiatory degree as effective and instructive as possible, each officer is expected to commit his lecture or charge to memory.
Lodges are at liberty to allow their degree teams to use soloists, quartettes, or choirs, to sing appropriate selections between the lectures. They may introduce other features for effect, which must in no way alter the proper form of initiation.
When there is a class initiation (over three), to simplify the marching and to save time, the following method may be used. All candidates will proceed to the end of the obligation, when one candidate will be selected to represent the whole in the lectures; the others being seated in the Lodge Room. All will, however, take the charge of the W.P. and the ceremony of Knighthood.
The degree is written as for one candidate, but when there are more than one candidate, the plural form should be used in the proper place.
There are two higher degrees, which were adopted by the Supreme Lodge in session at Cleveland, Ohio, October, 1922, known as the Degree of Patriotism and the Rank of Knighthood. These degrees may be given by following the instructions in the ritual books of these degrees, which can be obtained from the Supreme Secretary.
When in the proper order of business, degree work has been reached, the Worthy President will call the Lodge to order, and address the Inside Sentinel.
Worthy Inside Sentinel, ascertain if any candidate is in waiting for initiation.
The Worthy Inside Sentinel inquires through the Outside Sentinel, and if a candidate is waiting, will report the name or names of the candidates from his station.
Worthy President, Mr. … is in waiting for initiation.
Worthy Secretary, has Mr. … been constitutionally elected to membership, and has he paid the required fee?
Worthy President, Mr. … has been constitutionally elected, and the required fee has been paid.
Worthy Messenger, retire to the outer room, prepare the candidate in proper form, and conduct him to the altar of the Lodge.
The Worthy Messenger retires in due form, and after fully preparing the candidate, and in the required manner, enters the Lodge room with hi-s charge in the usual form. They march once around the room, and advance to the altar, while the members sing the Initiation Ode.
Call up.

Initiation Ode

Enter, Stranger, freely enter;
In our midst no cause for fear:
Each true friend of our dear Order
Meets a hearty welcome here.
Enter, Stranger, freely enter,
None but friends around thee stand,
Off’ring thee, with manly frankness,
Entrance to our noble band.
Worthy President, I have brought before you a stranger, who testifies that it is his earnest desire to become a member of our beloved Order. He claims to be of our blood and kin, with the necessary qualifications entitling him to admission. I have therefore brought him before you, that he may join with us in the obligations and privileges of our Order.
My Friend, you are now in the presence of those of your own blood and kin; who have pledged themselves to promote peace and good will between the United States and England, and to be just and true in their relations with all mankind, and to give aid to their fellow members in times of sickness and distress. Are you willing to join us, and take unto yourself a like obligation?
I am.
With this assurance on your part, we will proceed, first calling on our Worthy Chaplain to invoke the Divine Blessing. Brethren, you will give reverent attention to the prayer of the Worthy Chaplain.
Worthy Messenger causes candidate to kneel on both knees at the altar, the Worthy Chaplain approaches and faces the candidate.
Let us invoke the blessing of Almighty God upon this candidate.
O Thou Great and Loving Father, the Creator of the Universe, we approach Thee with reverence and humility. We thank Thee for the manifold blessings Thou has bestowed upon us, and especially for the privilege of meeting together in this brotherhood, banded together for the promotion of each other’s welfare and the mitigation of suffering in time of sickness or distress. Look now in tender compassion on this candidate, who now seeks to join with us in this our noble purpose. Give him wisdom and understanding; purge his mind of every selfish and evil desire; may he seek his greatest happiness in doing good to others; strengthen his every noble purpose; and suffer no evil or misfortune to befall him. Seal Thou the consecration he now makes on bended knee at this altar; and may he be ever true to the solemn vows he here may take; and when he has fought the last good fight, may he be found rejoicing with the angelic host in the Heavenly Home of our Father, amidst the joys of reunited Brotherhood. Amen.
Call down.
Soft instrumental music with candidate still kneeling. After the last strain dies away, the Worthy Chaplain returns to his station. The candidate is caused to arise, when the Worthy Messenger conducts him to the station of the Worthy President.
My Friend, before you can further advance, it is required that you take a solemn and binding vow; one which I assure you will not deprive you of any liberty that you now or should hereafter enjoy; nor will it embarrass you in the performance of your future duty to God, your country, family or yourself. Do you now cheerfully volunteer to take this vow?
I do.
Call up.
Worthy Messenger, proceed with our friend to the altar, and place him in the required form. The Officers and members will assemble in position around the altar.
Candidate is caused to kneel on both knees at the altar, right hand resting on the shield and sword, supported by the Holy Bible. The Worthy Messenger stands beside and to the left of the candidate. The Worthy Vice.
President directly behind the candidate and Messenger. The Worthy Past President and Chaplain stand on either side of the altar and help form an inner circle, the brethren forming an outer circle around the altar, each with his right hand upon the shoulder of the other, leaving room for the Worthy President to come from his station into the inner circle.
Worthy President, the candidate is in position to take the obligation.
The Worthy President advances to the inner circle around the altar.
My Friend, you are now in the presence of those who are about to accept you as a Brother. The vows you are about to take are serious and lifelong in duration. Place your right hand on the Bible, sword and shield of St. George; raise your left hand with the index finger pointing upward; and pay strict attention to the vows you are about to make.
The Worthy Messenger will assist the candidate to place his hands in the proper position.
You will repeat after me: I, in the name of God and St. George, and in the presence of the Brethren here assembled, do solemnly and sincerely promise that, regardless of the circumstances in which I may be placed, I will never reveal any of the signs, grips, passwords, or any of the secret work of this Order. I will keep secret any business of a private nature transacted in this Lodge or any Lodge I may attend. I will faithfully uphold and obey the constitution and laws of the Supreme Lodge, the Grand Lodge of this jurisdiction, and the bylaws of this Lodge; and I will show due respect to all Officers constitutionally installed. I will not speak ill of a Worthy Brother, but will defend his character as I would my own. I will, to the best of my ability, help a Brother in need of assistance, and will exercise my best efforts to promote the welfare of my fellow members. I will be loyal to the established government in the United States of America. And I will, with every power at my command, help to maintain peace between the two great families of the English speaking race. I will not discuss sectarian, religious, or partisan p0litical subjects during a session of this Lodge, nor introduce any subject foreign or harmful to the interest of this Order. I make these promises and vows with full knowledge of my responsibility, and will keep this vow inviolate as long as life shall last. So help me God; and may He help me to keep this solemn obligation and be faithful to the promises and vows I here have made.
Worthy Messenger will remove hoodwinks; all members drop hands to sides, and join in singing the Obligation Ode.

O may you now and ever keep
Your obligation true!
And faithful be to all of us
Then we will be true to you.
All Officers and Members will return to their stations, excepting the Worthy Messenger.
Worthy Messenger, assist the candidate to arise, and conduct him to the station of the Worthy Vice-President for instructions.
Call down.
Worthy Vice-President, by the direction of the Worthy President, I have the pleasure of presenting to you our newly obligated Brother, who now awaits your instructions.
My Brother, having made your solemn vows, it is my duty as well as privilege to in-form you that the American Order, Sons of St. George, was founded in the year eighteen hundred and seventy, in Scranton, Pennsylvania, primarily for the purpose of enforcing civil law and order, at a time when the regularly constituted authorities for the enforcement of law had suffered a regional lapse, and misguided enmity towards those of English descent had resulted in cowardly and willful murder. A Gideon band of noble souls, from the coal mining district in and around Scranton, responding to the call of humanity, covenanted together, each pledging to the other that, for each innocent life taken in violation of the law, the guilty should be justly punished under the law; pledging themselves also to the restoration of that God-given right of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, guaranteed to all alike under the constitution of the United States. From this beginning was evolved a mutual benevolent fraternity, for the administration of financial benefits in sickness; comfort for the dying; the assurance of a befitting funeral for the dead; and to encourage the economic, social and intellectual uplift of its members. While the Order is of American origin, one of our important principles is to cultivate the closest friendship, and to do whatever lies within our power, calculated to strengthen the bonds of Brotherhood between the two great families of the Anglo-Saxon race. The Worthy Messenger will now conduct you to the station of the Past Worthy President for further instructions.
Past Worthy President, by the direction of the Worthy Vice-President, I present to you our Brother for further instruction.
My Brother, as you were instructed at the last station, our Order is of American origin. It is therefore fitting that we should foster and cultivate a spirit of true patriotism, a reverence for the memory of our forefathers, and a devotion to the high ideals of our constitution. While enjoying the opportunities and liberties guaranteed to all who live here, we must jealously guard the liberties of others. The history of this country teaches that the Cavaliers of England who settled at Jamestown, Virginia, in the year sixteen hundred and seven, and the English Pilgrims who founded the first colony at Plymouth, Massachusetts, in sixteen hundred and twenty, founded the ideals of a true democracy, out of which grew the United States. The great and illustrious names of those who have been leaders before and since we became a sovereign nation will always embellish the pages of history. Not alone in this country great in its ideals of democracy, but also in science, in art, in literature, in mechanical ingenuity, and invention. But its greatest attribute is its humanitarian principles: offering equal rights and opportunities to all who come under the protection of its flag: the Stars and Stripes. A helpful interest is also taken in all peoples, of any nation, who may need help in times of calamities, of whatever nature. My Brother, these principles of Americanization have been enumerated that you may engender a true feeling of patriotism and pride in this great country.
Worthy Messenger, you will now conduct our Brother to the Worthy Chaplain, for further instruction.
Worthy Chaplain, by direction of our Past Worthy President I present to you for further instruction our Brother, who has taken the obligation and received the instruction of the Worthy Vice-President, and that of the Past Worthy President.
My Brother, your desire to join us as a Son of St. George, is an indication that your inspirations and ambitions are in sympathy with the best traditions of the Mother Country, and that you seek fraternal communion with us. It is fitting, therefore, that we emulate not only the life of St. George, the patron saint of Old England, but that we exercise in our everyday life those principles which have caused England and the British Empire to be synonomous with honor and obedience to law. You have just cause to be proud of your ancestry. For near a thousand years the flag of St. George has been the emblem of freedom. When King John, in the year twelve hundred and fifteen, at Runnymede, was compelled by free Englishmen to sign the great Magna Charta, true democracy was born, not alone to England, but to the entire world. The great men and women whose names embellish the history of England have been instrumental in advancing the theory of sound government and the highest ethics of those principles which are beneficial to mankind.
My Brother, let me impress upon you the ever growing importance of holding fast to all the great attributes of the English character; so that this great country may never lose the high ideals of the forefathers, always remembering that the people of England and the United States come largely of one common heritage.
Worthy Messenger, you -will conduct our Brother to the Worthy President; inform him that he has been instructed at the several stations, and is now well qualified to receive the high honor of Knighthood and such further instruction as only one of his rank can give.
Worthy President, I am directed by our Worthy Chaplain to present to you our newly-made Brother. He has been instructed at our several stations, and is well qualified to receive the high Honor of Knight, and such other instruction as only one of your degree can give.
My Brother, I congratulate you on your advancement; and it is to be hoped and expected that the lessons already imparted to you will profoundly impress your mind and rightly influence your future conduct. It becomes my duty, as Worthy President of this Lodge, to give you such further instruction as will enable you to properly fulfill the duties you have now assumed by your obligation.
The words used as the motto of our Order are "Fraternity, Concord and Love", the initials of which, "F., C. and L." you may use when addressing a communication to one of your Brethren. This is the grip: … Should you wish to make a test to make sure that the man whom you have met is a member of our Order you will ... and he will return by ... The position of the fingers will always remind you that we are one in heart and hand for the welfare of our Brotherhood. This is the Salutation Sign ... Placing of the ... thus is intended to remind you of the obligation we all have taken. Raising the ..., thus, is to impress upon you the absolute necessity of forever keeping secret all that takes place in the Lodge Room; and returning the . ... thus, is the open hand of fellowship, which we offer to all Worthy Brothers. This ... is the salute to be given in honor of a visit by a Grand Lodge Officer (when announced as such). This ... is the salute in honor of a visit by a Supreme Lodge Officer (when announced as such). This ... is the voting sign.
I will instruct you how to gain admittance to a Lodge of this Order. If the Lodge is not in session, you will clothe yourself in proper regalia, enter the room and take your seat. If the Lodge is in session, you will approach the outer door and give such an alarm as will attract the attention of the Outside Sentinel. He will raise the wicket and you will give him the first half of the current password, which is ... You will then be admitted to the ante-room, where you will clothe yourself in proper regalia, advance to the inner door, where you will … If your alarm is returned, you will know there is business before the Lodge, and must await its conclusion. When the wicket is raised by the Inside Sentinel, you will give your name, and the name and number of your Lodge, in this way: Brother ... of ... Lodge No. …, (that being the name and number of this Lodge). You will also give the second half of the password, which is ... You will then be admitted, and must at once proceed to the front of the altar, facing the Worthy President, and salute by giving the Salutation Sign ..., which the Worthy President will return, when you may be seated. Should you forget the Password, you will so report to the Sentinels, and upon being admitted you will salute the Worthy President; and, before taking your seat, present yourself at the station of the Past Worthy President, who will give you the password if you are entitled to receive it. Should you wish to retire while the Lodge is in session, you will approach the altar and give the Salutation Sign …; and if returned by the Worthy President you may retire.
I will now explain to you the use of the gavel. … commands order in the Lodge room and seats the Lodge when standing: ... the officers will rise: ... the entire Lodge will rise.
All members rise.
Worthy Messenger, you will place the Brother in position to receive the high Honor of Knighthood.
The Worthy Messenger assists the Brother to kneel on right knee on stool or platform, the Worthy President, with sword in hand, steps in front of the Brother and says:
By virtue of the trust reposed and power vested in me by my Brother Knights, I now invest you with the degree of Knighthood, and with this good sword I dub thee Knight; in the name of God taps Brother with sword over left shoulder, our country taps again and St. George taps. Rise, Brother Knight, and may you prove to be true and worthy.
The Worthy Messenger will assist the Brother to rise.
I will now decorate your breast with the badge of our Order, which should be hereafter worn by you during Lodge session only; unless otherwise directed by the Worthy President.
Worthy President hands badge to Worthy Messenger, who adjusts it; following which ceremony the Worthy President continues:
This badge when on your breast is a symbol of your membership within the Order; likewise of your devotion to its principles and teachings. It is also an outward sign of your inward pledge that, as far as in you lies, you will keep pure the channels of your thoughts as required in the motto, thereon inscribed, "Honi Soit Qui Mal Y Pense": the English translation of which is, "Evil be to him who evil thinks". Worthy Messenger, you will present our Brother to the Worthy Chaplain, who will give him the closing words of advice and instruction.
Call down.
Worthy Chaplain, I am directed by our Worthy President to present this Brother, who has just received the high Honor of Knighthood, for final advice and counsel, which you are well qualified to impart.
My Brother, I will now present you with this official button, bearing the imprint of the emblem of our Order; as the Knights of old wore on their armor the insignia of their Knightly vows, we trust you will wear this emblem as the insignia of your Knightly vows; and may its presence ever inspire you to attain every Knightly virtue. In closing, My Brother, let me remind you that the motto of our Order is the three words, "Fraternity, Concord and Love". Fraternity has a meaning stronger and more beautiful in its relative value than friendship: it is the uniting of men in the bonds of Brotherly interest. While Concord means union, there can be no Concord unless there be Fraternity. These two virtues are inter-blended. The last of the trio of words cherished by our Order is Love: it is the greatest and best of all virtues. Fraternity and Concord without Love are void and without meaning. The unseen power which rules and regulates the highest human impulses is Love.
My Brother, we sincerely hope that the solemn vows you have taken will be to you no idle ceremony, to be forgotten as a passing dream, but a pleasant reality of manly duties assumed. Longfellow tells us in one of his poems that:
"Life is real, life is earnest,
And the grave is not its goal;
Dust thou art, to dust returnest,
Was not written of the soul.
"Not enjoyment and not sorrow
Is our destined end or way;
But to act that each tomorrow
Finds us farther than today."
Worthy Messenger, you will conduct our Brother to the Worthy Secretary, that he may sign our constitution; then proceed to the Worthy President.
Worthy Messenger conducts Brother to the desk of the Worthy Secretary, from there to the Worthy President.
Worthy President, the Brother in my charge has received the closing instruction from our Worthy Chaplain, and now awaits your commands.
W.P., taking newly-made Brother by the right hand:
My Brother, in behalf of our beloved Order, and for myself, I welcome you into the fellowship of ... Lodge, No …, whose sacred words, "Fraternity, Concord and Love" should cause you to become stronger and firmer in the ties of Brotherhood and the advancement of our Order. Worthy Messenger, you will place our Brother in position at the altar to receive the grip of welcome from the Brethren here assembled.
Worthy Messenger places the Brother in position front of the altar, facing the Worthy President.
Officers and Brothers, I have the pleasure of introducing Brother ... I commend him to your good offices. Let us give him the grip.
Call up.
The grip may be given by Officers only, Degree Staff only, or the, whole Lodge, as the Lodge may direct. Meanwhile, all join in singing the Welcome Ode.

Here’s the grip; Brother take it;
‘Tis a Freeman’s true grasp,
With the pledge of his honor
As thy hand he doth clasp.
‘Tis the promise he gives thee
That, true to his creed,
He will help a true Brother,
In the time of his need.
Here’s the grip; Brother take it;
‘Tis a Patriot’s true sign
That his heart goes out with it
To mingle with thins.
Then take, and return it,
Wherever you be,
To each Son of St. George
That may give it to thee.
When all have returned to their stations, the Worthy President will say:
Worthy Messenger, you will escort our Brother to a seat in the room.
Call down.
Business may be resumed or a recess may be declared to welcome the newly-made Brother.



Call up.
Officers and Brothers, all unite in singing our CLOSING ODE.
1. And now, the hour once more has come
when, Brothers, we must part
Let us remember, ev’ry one
The cause we have at heart.
God prosper still our glorious cause,
And bless the grand design,
Till Brothers in fraternal love
Their hands together join.
2. Till link’d fast by the golden chain
Of love and sympathy
A mighty hand of Brotherhood,
St. George’s sons will be
Thus, as we give our parting word
Once more our vows we plight,
To live in peace and harmony
Good night, good night, good night.
Worthy Messengers and Worthy Chaplain W.Ms. and W.C. rise and face the W.P., dismantle the altar and when the Lodge is closed the Worthy Messengers will be careful to collect all Lodge property. The W. Ms. and W.C. will return to their stations and the W.P. will say:
Officers and Brothers, I now declare this Lodge closed, and bid you to retire in Faith, Hope and Love, Faith in our principles, Hope in our Future, and Love for our cause.