Kappa Sigma Pi
Ritual of the Second Degree – Order of Damascus
An Inner Circle
The Order of Damascus is the first inner circle of the Club and is not to be considered a separate organization, but a little more select, since the pledge is more definite, age limit is higher, and the character test is a better average. This circle is for boys whose fixed purpose is to be, and to confess to be, Christians.
Where there is a Young People's Society in the Church, they are expected to enter into its membership, and work as they have opportunity, to develop in the Christian life.
If they are active members of the Church it is all the better, but an equivalent to membership in the Young People's Society of the Church is expected to show the sincerity of their purpose, and to train them for Christian service.
Church membership is necessary for promotion to Third Degree membership.
They are to be leaders of the younger and less seriously inclined, sometimes taking the part of an elder brother to a single boy until he is led to the right decision for Christ.
The work of building up the Young People's Society should be an important part of their activities. In most places the Society needs greatly just this young masculine energy to make it go. Become familiar with Period II in Paul's life; see Manual, p. 115.
Age at least 13 years. Active member in Young People's Society, if any. Passing record in the first degree. Recommended by the Chaplain. Vote of second degree members present, after sufficient notice of meeting. Three negative votes reject.
Chaplain selects the charter members, upon whom the degree is installed. The local Chaplain is responsible to the Grand Chaplain for the moral standard and qualifications of members in this degree.
The standard must not be lowered for the sake of numbers nor for any other reason.
Organization of this Circle
Appointed by Chaplain, or elected by order.
Secretary and Treasurer—Servant of Records.
Warden and Custodian—Servant of Arm s.
Doorkeeper—Servant at the Door.
Committees may be appointed by the High Priest for any special work.
Order of Business
1. Prayer by Chaplain.
2. Roll Call.
3. Reading Record; Financial Statement.
4. Reports of Committees.
5. Anything for the good of the order?
6. Chaplain's Recommendation for Membership.
The work decided upon should be done modestly and quietly in true fraternity spirit.
Do not be anxious about credits. Be deliberate in electing new members. Say little about it to the younger boys. They will be anxious. Let it mean something. Arrange for the initiation quietly.
Boys asking the Chaplain to recommend them for election to this degree will give the Chaplain his opportunity to talk to them personally about being a Christian.
This point, with the initiation itself, is the very heart of Kappa Sigma Pi work. Failure here will be a crime. Every member should be assigned to some task, or to be a "big brother" to some younger or less fortunate boy.
The initiation fee is the only required tax; usually this is 25 cents.
Members continue paying dues in the first degree only. One Purser for all degrees. Funds may be kept separate if desired; then Servant of Records makes out warrant in place of the regular Scribe.
The fund from the initiation fee is generally sufficient to pay for all paraphernalia.
Meetings of the Order
The Order should meet once a month, if only for a few minutes, to hold conferences for the good of the order. Some have the 2d Degree meetings to follow the regular meeting in the same evening. Others give an evening of each month entirely to 2d Degree.
The best plan now in operation, it seems, is to have the regular club meeting for the first degree with all Kappa Sigma Pi members one evening each week.
Have a special program or initiations in the first degree the first and third meeting nights of the month, to occupy the whole evening.
On the second meeting night of the month dismiss the regular club meeting at the end of the first hour, and take the second hour for the second degree meeting.
Send the younger members home, keeping only the members of the second degree (and third if any) and candidates to be initiated.
Use the fourth meeting night in the month for the third degree in the same way, when it is installed in your Chapter. This plan demands but one night a week and holds the degrees together as a solid Chapter.
Large hamper or basket supported with wire with rings (four) for snaps. Small rope and pulleys with four ends and hooks or snaps to attach to the basket. Strong hook for the ceiling. Flash light trap like photographers use. Blindfold. Cup of water. Bench or table. Set of one dozen imitation stones. Costume for high priest and servants adds greatly to the effect.
Stephen, High Priest, Servants, Ananias of Damascus, Mob of Jews, Barnabas, Circle of Disciples.
Create an opening scene in which the candidates are led (eyes open) into the room and made to take part in the stoning of Stephen.
One boy takes the part of Stephen and allows the others apparently to stone him to death. The candidates are made to hold some of their coats while others are thrown at their feet and involved in conversation as a party to the crime. Let the team practice this scene several times before it is enacted the first time, and it can be made very realistic. The signal to stop throwing stones is for Stephen to throw up his hand, say: Behold. I fee the heavens open and the Son of man standing at the right hand of God, then to fall back as dead.
From this position, or, having been returned to the ante-room, they are summoned one at a time to appear before the High Priest, to be rewarded for zeal against the Christians, with a commission to go to Damascus.
High Priest: Servant of the Records, read to us the names of the band of Sauls who seek favor at our hands.
Candidates' names are read.
H. P.: Servant of the Arms, bring one named Saul in before us and we shall inquire of him certain things.
S. of Arms goes to the ante-room, approaches the first candidate, speaking the following, and leads him to the H. P.
S. of Arms: Sir! Thy name is Saul. The High Priest calleth for thee. Come with me and answer his summons at once.
The Servant at the Door and the S. of Arms may arrange raps and challenges, if desired.
S. of Arms to the H. P.: Worthy Father, I present to you one Saul who seeks a favor from thee. He would undertake to travel to distant cities so as to continue his persecution of the despisable sect of the disciples of Jesus. Wilt thou give him authority?
H. P.: Servant of the Records, what sayeth thy book of this man?
S. of Records: It is entered here that this one has paid his tithe (fee). He has kept his vow and the laws of Moses from his youth up. He has been properly recommended, and all the Sanhedrin have voted confidence in him.
H. P.: What think any of you Scribes and Pharisees of this man's fitness for this important journey?
Several standing about the H. P. answer:
l—Worthy High Priest, This man Saul is a Pharisee, strict and exacting. He loves the law and will enforce it.
2—I, too, declare, noble priest of Jehovah, that Saul is worthy of this honor, for he is a learned lawyer, having sat at the feet of Gamaliel; a Greek scholar, and an expert tent-maker. He is a Jew of the Jews.
3—Yes, he was with us in our efforts to rid Jerusalem of the disciples of Jesus, and held the clothes and gave authority to the stoning of Stephen.
4—I also would witness in his favor. I have been with him on many expeditions against the Christians, when we shut them up in prison, punishing them of ten in the synagogues, trying to make them blaspheme, and he voted against them, so many were put to death.
H. P.: Saul, take thou authority to journey with all haste to the city of Damascus. My servants will accompany thee and aid thee. Bind and bring unto me all the fanatical disciples of the Nazarene, who are creating so much stir, and say that he hath arisen from the dead. Bring them to me, I say, and they shall be utterly exterminated. Farewell!
S. of Arms: Come, we shall guard thee from all harm and fight right valiantly for thee.
Two servants take his arms and walk him promiscuously about, improvising remarks about the journey and the city of Damascus or the following lecture.
We are now entering upon the rough and dangerous journey to the oldest city in the world, the beautiful city of Damascus. Severe tests of your bravery and courage are before you, for Damascus is a city of seven days' journey and rocky roads and Bedouin bandits are likely to be encountered in many parts of the journey.
We are to take the steep and dangerous path down to Jericho and up the Jordan valley and reach Damascus at the earliest possible date, for we are told that this old city has large numbers of the followers of the Nazarene, and the commission which you hold for their arrest must be carried out. Let your courage fail not.
Finally approach a door to a darkened room or behind a curtain, explaining that this is the gate of the beautiful city of Damascus. . . . Here is the gate to the city. This is the cue to the flash light operator. As he enters, the flash light is set off and he is thrown down and blindfolded.
A Voice: Saul! Saul! Why persecutest thou Me?
Saul, instructed by servant: Who art thou, Lord?
A Voice: I am He whom thou persecutest. It is hard to kick against the goad.
Saul, instructed: What shall I do?
A Voice: Arise! Go into the city of Damascus, to the street called Strait, and to the house of one named Judas, and thou shalt be told what to do.
Candidate is now led to a bench or table and laid upon it in silence for a few minutes.
Just before the appearance of Ananias, while the candidate is lying on the couch in the house of Judas blindfolded, improvise a scene to test his sincerity. By a prearranged plan let his best friends raise the question of his sincere purpose to be a Christian and fitness to enter the fellowship of the Order of Damascus. Tell the most inconsistent and unworthy things known or imagined about him, and suggest that he should be dismissed, or the initiation be postponed at least. Let others join freely in a discussion of his case, destroying all conceit in his mind. Do not let this be frivolous, but impress him that you are in earnest, and if he is not sincere in his purpose to lead a Christian life the initiation had better stop now, and not trifle with so sacred a question.
Finally let the Chaplain suggest that while these things sound bad, that it is not a question of the past, but only one of sincere purpose to be clear and straight in his efforts to serve Christ in the future, and put the matter straight up to the candidate for a decision.
When he declares his purpose to be sincere the Chaplain asks the members whether they are satisfied, and all agree that the ceremony shall proceed.
Ananias enters, laying his hand on him, and questions him.
Ananias: Brother Saul. I am Ananias. The One who appeared unto thee on the way hath sent me that thou mayest receive thy sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit. But I must question thee closely. Dost thou believe that Jesus is the Christ?
Anan.: Wilt thou confess and serve Him as thou hast opportunity?
Anan.: Wilt thou associate thyself with His band, known as the Young People's Society give local name, or some such organization of the Church, so as to learn how to live a Christian?
Anan.: Wilt thou be loyal to the Order of Damascus by keeping its secrets and striving at all times for the good of the members?
Anan.: Thy answers seem good to us, Brother Saul. Thou shalt be called Paul, and the Lord shall be with thee to help thee, and thine eyes shall be opened to see glorious visions of Divine truth. I hereby anoint thee with pure water as a token of the cleansing from sin and the pure life that thou mayest live thru Jesus the Christ.
Sprinkle some water in his face. Angry, threatening voices heard immediately after. Growing louder and closer.
Anan.: Hasten, Brother Paul, we must send thee speedily out of the city, for the Jews would now kill thee. From the house on the wall escape by basket is possible, but the gates are guarded by your enemies.
He is hurried to the basket, swung, dropped, left alone and silent. Lowering a basket with the candidate over a balcony or out of a window is ideal. Suspended by rope and tackle from the ceiling and entered from a step-ladder or stairway is good. Take no risks of accidents. Have everything strong and in order, with some of the team below to catch the basket in case of a Fall. A substitute, when necessary, for rope and pulleys, is to have two strong boys pick up basket in hands, silently swinging and dropping it, not too roughly. After a pause, in which the candidate is left alone, and the team and members have time to form a circle, then Barnabas approaches and releases him, saying:
Barn. to Paul: Ah! a brother in distress. It is Saul of Tarsus. My name is Barnabas. Let me assist thee. I know of thy conversion. I will lead thee to the brethren at Jerusalem.
Introducing him to the circle of members.
Barn. to brethren: Here is one, Saul, who formerly persecuted us, but who is not Paul, preaching Christ, and is one of us.
Club welcome him with hand shake and words of greeting.
After all the candidates have "traveled the road," let the closing scene be as follows: All the members with the candidates form a circle, facing; inward with arms horizontal and hands on each other's shoulders. Then, with bowed heads, the Chaplain leads in a consecration prayer or calls for short prayers by the members.
An Inner Circle