Universal Brotherhood of the World
Ritual of the Sir Knights
Ritualistic Work, to be successfully
given, should be committed to memory by the various officers
interested, and the responses, where occurring, should be well
understood and promptly given by the Brethren. It should be
remembered that first impressions are usually quite lasting;
hence the great importance of so conducting the ceremonials
throughout, that the Neophyte will be duly impressed with the
gravity and importance of the occasion; and that those groat
truths which the work is designed to inculcate may be
indelibly impressed upon the candidate's mind. No light or
flippant remarks or frivolous conduct should occur; either in
the ante-room or elsewhere during the ceremonies. By attention
to these matters, the esteem and consideration of the
novitiate for the Order, and the members will be won, and
thereby a good member secured.
If deemed advisable, or the Commandery so elect, any well qualified member or members, whether acting officers or not, may officiate in the various parts: thus securing the best possible results.
3d-Captain of the Guard.
4th-Master of Ceremonies.
5th-ChiP.f of Records.
6th-Register in Chief.
7th-Chief of Exchequer.
8th-Herald at Arms.
9th-Warder of Inner Gate.
10th-Warder of Outer Gate.
The robes to be used by the principal officers when initiating may be made of any suitable material, cut loose, with large sleeves, and fastened with cords around the waist. That of the I. C. shall be Red, that of the C. G. Orange, that of the M. of C, White, and that of the C. of the G. Blue. The H. at A.'s robe should be shorter and green in color.
The use of a bell (either the ordinary call bell or any other form) is recommended in place of the gavel, but it should be as deep toned as possible. The lance may be al so used for the same purpose, giving the raps on the floor.
At the appointed hour the Illustrious Commander will assume authority by calling to order, with one rap of the gavel, or one Stroke of the bell.
Illustrious Commander, *: Warder of the Outer Gate. You will close and secure the Outer Entrance. that we may be safe from the intrusion of the unqualified.
Warder of the Inner Gate. You will close the Inner Entrance that none may pass or re-pass until ail are examined, and our opening ceremonies are complete.
The Herald at Arms will make the Grand Rounds and report whether all present are indeed Sir Knights and qualified to remain.
The H. at A. does so and reports the result.
Illustrious Commander, *: Captain General, what are the objects of this meeting?
Captain General, rising: To transact the necessary business of the Commandery; work for the good of the Order; cultivate the great virtues of Secrecy, Charity and Fraternity; promote each other's welfare and afford mutual aid and protection. Sits down.
Illustrious Commander, *: The Herald at Arms will now take the place of the Warder of the Outer Gate, and summons him to appear at the Shrine!
The H. at A. does so and says: Warder of the Outer Gate, you are summoned to appear at the Shrine!
Warder of Outer Gate advances and makes sign.
Illustrious Commander: It is your duty, my Brother, to keep faithful watch and ward at the Outer Gate; admit none without the Sign nd Pass Word unless so ordered, and report all not properly qualified to the Warder of the Inner Gate. Let your motto be Vigilancy. To your post of duty, my brother!
Illustrious Commander, *: The Herald at Arms will relieve the Warder of the Inner Gate, and summons him to appear before the Shrine!
The H. at A. does so and says: Warder of the Inner Gate, you are summoned to appear at the Shrine!
Warder of the Inner Gate advances and makes sign.
Illustrious Commander: It is your duty to guard well the Inner Gate; admit none except in the regular way; transmit messages from the Warder of the Outer Gate, and report all persons not qualified to enter to the Illustrious Commander. Your motto is Constancy.
To your post, my brother!
Illustrious Commander, *: The Herald at Arms will appear before the Shrine!
The H. at A. does so.
What are your duties my brother?
Herald at Arms: To ascertain, before opening, whether all present are qualified Sir Knights; to take charge of Novitiates; and such other duties as are required by the laws of the Order.
Illustrious Commander: Important duties, my brother; see that they are well performed, and ever remember your motto, Equality. To your post of duty!
Illustrious Commander, *: Chief of Exchequer he rises. Your duties m the work of this Commandery?
Chief of Exchequer: To receive and receipt for all monies accruing in any way to the Commandery, paying the same out only in strict accordance with the laws of the Order.
Illustrious Commander: May you be ever faithful to the trust reposed in you, ever remembering your motto, Honesty. Be seated.
Illustrious Commander, *: Register in Chief, your duties, my brother?
Register in Chief, rising: To receive all monies due on assessments or otherwise and pay the same over to the Chief of Exchequer, taking his receipt therefor, and ·such other duties as the law's require.
Illustrious Commander: Remember that much depends upon the accurate fulfillment of your duties, and your adherence to your motto, Integrity. Be seated.
Illustrious Commander, *: Chief of Records he rises. What duties pertain to your office?
Chief of Records: To correctly record nil proceedings of this Commandery; conduct all its correspondence, and perform such other duties as are required by the laws, rules and regulations of the Order.
Illustrious Commander: Be very prompt in the performance of all your duties, ever keeping in view your motto, Accuracy. Be seated.
Illustrious Commander, *: Master of Ceremonies he rises. What duties devolve upon you?
Master of Ceremonies: To administer the obligation, lead in all devotional exercises and preserve order in my triangle.
Illustrious Commander: Much of the impressiveness and solemnity of the ceremonial depends upon you; therefore act well your part, and let your motto be Fidelity. Be seated.
Illustrious Commander, *: Captain of the Guard he rises. Your duties in the work?
Captain of the Guard: To have charge of the properties of the Commandery, especially when arranged for work; to see that all signs are correctly given; preserve order in my triangle and performed all assigned duties.
Illustrious Commander: Look well to your duties, my brother, and remember your motto, Secrecy. Be seated.
Illustrious Commander, *: Captain General he rises. What are your duties in the work?
Captain General: To see that the spirit and meaning of the ceremonial is carried out; preside in the absence of the Illustrious Commander; assist in the work; preserve order in my triangle; and any other required duties, ever keeping in view the motto of my office, Charity.
Captain General, *: But what duties devolve upon the Illustrious Commander?
Illustrious Commander, rising: It is my duty to preside with justice and impartiality; have
charge of all the triangles, endeavoring by all legitimate means, with the kind assistance of the brethren, to advance the great objects of our Order, ever keeping in view the motto of my office, Fraternity. To that end let harmony and brotherly love prevail, let us entertain no jealousies, hatred or ill-will, toward any member of this Order, but let us go forward in unity of purpose to discharge the important duties committed to our care.
Let us all attend whilst the Invocation is being offered.
Master of Ceremonies: Infinite Benefactor, we desire to draw near Thee in humble aspirations for a higher Ideal of Duty. May our minds be pervaded with a deep feeling of Brotherly Love and Charity. May unity of purpose and harmony of feeling characterize the work of the hour, and finally may much good be accomplished for us individually and as an Order, Amen.
Opening Ode (Air Auld Lang Sayne)
Father of Mercies from above.
Thy 'blessings, great, we call,
Prepare our hearts to work in love,
United Brethren all,
O, move our heart~ in sympathy
Each other's joys to share;
And in distress swift be our hands
To aid, to soothe, to cheer.
Illustrious Commander: Bro. Herald at Arms, you will make the proclamation.
Herald at Arms: By, authority of our Illustrious Commander, I now proclaim Commandery open for the transaction of all legitimate business.
Illustrious Commander: And now, Bro. Herald at Arms, let the Holy Symbol of Brotherly Love shine forth and illuminate our Shrine.
Advance the Sign and repeat the Word.
Illustrious Commander: The Herald at Arms will ascertain if there are any candidates in waiting and report.
H. at A. retires, returns with salutation and reports.
Illustrious Commander: The Register in Chief will retire and collect the necessary fee.
The R. in C. does so and reports.
Captain General, rising: Sir Knights, the important ceremony of initiation is about to be conferred upon a stranger; let every brother observe due circumspection, indulge in no levity, and especially let the utmost order and decorum prevail everywhere, that the Neophyte may be duly impressed with the solemnity and importance of the occasion. These rules are IMPERATIVE and must be OBEYED.
Illustrious Commander: The Herald at Arms will retire and prepare the candidate for admission.
The H. at A. does so, by , after which the H. at A. and Can. advance to the inner gate and give ***.
Warder of the Inner Gate: Who makes this false alarm at the Inner Gate? What do you want?
Herald at Arms: A stranger, both good and true, and properly prepared, being desirous of an insight into our Holy Mysteries, and of being numbered and cherished as one of this Band of Brothers, humbly begs admission to our midst, promising obedience to our every law.
Warder of the Inner Gate: Illustrious Commander, there is without a man who desires admittance, and to become one of this Band of Brothers. We await your royal pleasure.
Illustrious Commander: Brethren, you have heard that there is without a stranger desiring admittance, and to be numbered as one of us. If any Sir Knight has aught to say let him be heard. Pause. If no objections are urged he will be admitted. Door slightly opened.
Captain of the Guard: Hold! one moment Illustrious Commander. Is he both good and true, and properly prepared?
Warder of the Inner Gate: He is!
Captain of the Guard: Will he confirm to all our laws, and strive to advance the interests of our beloved Order?
Master of Ceremonies: I have every reason to hope and believe that he will do so.
Brethren all: Then let him enter!
H. at A. and Can. enter.
Brethren all: Welcome, always to our midst, the worthy! But woe be to him who enters unworthily!
Candidate is led to middle of room and placed in position.
Illustrious Commander: Attention, Sir Knights! Forward, form triangle of Fraternity, and assist in the· ceremonial.
Master of Ceremonies: My strange, and as yet untried friend, you are about to take upon yourself a most solemn and binding obligation to keep forever secret all knowledge that may be given you in any manner of the secret work of our honored Order; also to obey all its laws, rules or regulations, so long as they do not interfere with your political, social or religious opinions? Are you willing to take such an obligation?
Can.: I am.
Master of Ceremonies: Bro. H. at A., in order that the stranger may be in full possession of all his faculties, and fully cognizant of his surroundings, you will restore him to light.
I, , in the presence of the Supreme Ruler of the Universe and these Sir Knights around me assembled, do most solemnly promise, declare and say, that I will never, so long as life shall last, whether a member of this order or not, reveal to any person or persons, any of the secret work thereof, except to those positively known to me to be members of the Order in good standing, and then only in strict conformity with the laws of the order.
I will not, by any signs, symbols, or other device, illustrate any part or parcel of said secret work, lest it might be unlawfully exposed.
I do solemnly affirm that I will render aid and support to a worthy brother, or any member of his family in time of need; that I will not knowingly wrong any member of the order or his family, but on the contrary, will warn, counsel, patronize and encourage him or them, in all lawful ways.
I furth er declare that I will not recognize any side or other degrees; or any laws, rules or regulations, other than those ordained by the Supreme, Grand and Subordinate Bodies with
which I now connect myself, or those enacted by their lawful successors.
Finally, in further affirmation of this, my most solemn and binding obligation and covenant, I do pledge my most sacred honor, and if I should ever willfully violate any part of it, or permit it to be done by another, if in my power to prevent it, may the swift retribution due a perjured wretch be visited on me. So may I continue steadfast, Amen.
Master of Ceremonies: My Brother, as I say and do, so do you.
I press this cup to my lips in token of secrecy; I press it to my forehead in token of my fraternal love to all; I scatter its contents abroad as a symbol of the fate that should befal me if I ever willfully violate this, my solemn obligation.
Response by all: May we be faithful to the end.
Illustrious Commander: Attention, Sir Knights! About face, to your posts, be seated.
Herald at Arms: Illustrious Commander, I present you Bro. , duly obligated, for instruction in the secret work.
Illustrious Commander: I will now instruct you in such portions of the secret work as will be required for your furth er advancement in our order.
Instructs him in the O. alarm, I. alarm, S. A. P. W. & Sal.
Bro. H. at A. you will retire with the candidate and prepare him for further instruction.
H. at A. and Can. retire.
Candidate is prepared by and placing on him .
H. at A. and Neophyte enter and pass slowly around the room and approach the Tabernacle.
H. at A. gives two distinct knocks on the floor with staff.
Captain of the Guard: What alarm is this? Who dares with profane step to tread upon the very thresh hold of our inner or most sacred Temple?
Speak! that we may know who you are.
Herald at Arms: One of the innumerable sons of men, actuated by lofty desires, who would feign become one of us that his sphere of usefulness may be extended, and that such protection may be vouchsafed to him, as shall alleviate the many trials, wants and perils that await us in our journey through life, and to that end he humbly asks to be admitted.
Captain of the Guard: Has he been fully obligated, and is he now properly prepared?
Herald at Arms: All is well.
Captain of the Guard: Then let him enter.
They enter, and when within, the hoodwink is removed.
Captain of the Guard: My friend, you now stand within our Tabernacle, our most sacred spot dedicated to Secrecy, isolated as it were from the world. Ever remember your obligation and the instructions given you for your guidance. Our object is to indelibly impression your mind those great principles before disclosing to you more of the important mysteries of our Brotherhood.
You are now at liberty to proceed on your journey.
H. at A. gives two raps on floor with staff.
Captain of the Guard: The alarm is correct, Bro. Herald at Arms; but can the brother pass the necessary examination before proceeding further? Bro. , please .
If the brother forgets, the H. at A. says: The brother has forgotten the work, Illustrious Commander.
Illustrious Commander: Please instruct him.
If he hesitates or refuses, the H. at A. offers to act for him.
The ceremonies are then gone through with as before.
After this the candidate is again conducted to the Outer Temple, and prepared by being and having placed on him.
H. at A. and Brn. enter and approach the .
Master of Ceremonies: My Brother, the ceremonies through which you are now passing are intended to indelibly impress upon your mind the great importance of fully realizing the weight of obligation resting upon you, not only as regards keeping forever inviolate the secrets confided to you, but also the absolute necessity of fulfilling to the utmost every duty you owe to your Bro. Sir Knights or their families. Use due caution, striving to act well your part, and see that yon fail not, as you prize your honor and standing in the Brotherhood. You will now proceed on your journey.
Ceremonies are then gone through, after which H. at A. and Can. slowly approach the .
Captain General: My Brother, your journey is not yet ended. The battle of life must be fought and won, beset though it may be on every hand with trials, difficulties or dangers. Our ceremonies, symbolical as they are of the pilgrimage of life, are designed to impress upon your mind the necessity of high moral courage, as well as the important fact of our mutual dependence on one another.
The one prompts us to meet with FORTITUDE whatever may befall us; the other inspires us to regard with interest the welfare of our fellowman, that he in turn may minister to our happiness and wellbeing.
My brave guides, what are your duties on this occasion?
Guides or Herald at Arms: To lead the blind in paths they know not, and see that they falter not, neither perish by the way!
Captain General: Are you prepared to do your duties?
Guides: We are!
Captain General: My Brother, to them I now consign you. Be of good cheer. The road you are about to travel is oftentimes a rugged, precipitous and even dangerous one, Frightful chasms abound, hidden pitfalls and treacherous quicksands threaten instant destruction. The storms of adversity may rage without, but with a consciousness of the rectitude of your intentions, and a firm reliance on the great principle of Brotherly Love and Kindness, go on, and in the end all will be well.
Ceremonies are now gone through, and the Can. slowly approaches the .
Captain General: And yet new difficulties present themselves. Man, filled with ambition, struggles to elevate himself, and too frequently when successful, even with the assistance of kind friends, he becomes vain-glorious, imperious perhaps, or selfish and tyrannical, disposed to ignore former friends, and to oppress all less fortunate than himself. ln his fancied security he forgets the uncertain tenure by which such things are held, and in an unexpected moment all is swept from under him, down he goes, to be hurried along by circumstances over which be has no control. What a pitiable sight indeed.
Herald at Arms brings Can. before the station of the Captain General.
Captain General, from station: But how different with the humble Toiler in whatever pursuit. His trials, disappointments and misfortunes, borne so frequently with mock submissions and a fortitude almost sublime how they enlist our sympathies. May we be ever ready to extend a helping hand to every such person, especially if he be a worthy Sir Knight. My brother, you have now passed through a severe ordeal. By it you have signified your confidence in us, and, we trust, your purpose to carry out the sublime lessons of Charity inculcated therein. As the calm the storm succeeds, so the clouds are breaking away, and the bright sunshine is gleaming forth, soon to shine in all its glorious effulgence. Let us turn our footsteps thitherward, and seek to stand upon the sacred spot dedicated to Fraternity.
Herald at Arms and Can. move to the station of the Illustrious Commander.
Illustrious Commander: All hail! Thou sacred principle of Fraternity! Under Thy sweet in spiration all forms of oppression cease; and the worthy man, no matter how humble his calling, or how plain his garb, is met as a man and treated as a brother. The Hydrae beaded
monster of selfishness no longer reigns triumphant to curse the earth; but tamed, subdued and deprived of its venomous fangs, it becomes subservient to the best interests of man. We seek to inculcate this noble principle for the good of all. In view of it all petty animosities, bickerings and jealousies should be avoided, Mutual confidence and interest in each other's welfare, so necessary in the varied relations of life, should be to us as present helps, never to be betrayed or neglected. And finally, when life's fitful fever is o'er, and the Grim Messenger of Death claims one of our number as his victim, it shall be our melancholy duty to accompany his mortal remains to their final resting place and to perform the last sad rites over his grave.
But our sympathies and material aid do not stop here. May be there are those remaining behind to whom we are bound by the most sacred ties. Let us discharge our every duty with
strict Fidelity and Honor. I will now instruct you in the secret work of the Order.
1st - The Outer Signal and Pass.
2d -The Inner Signal and Pass.
3d - The Sign of Courtesy or Universal Equality.
4th The Opening Sign and Word.
5th - The Closing or Countersign and Word.
6th - The Sign of Recognition and Answer.
7th - The Test.
8th - The Grip.
9th - The Sign of Caution.
10th - The Distress Sign and Word.
11th - Grand and Supreme Honors.
Illustrious Commander: The business for which we assembled having ·been accomplished,
we will proceed to close.
Let us sing our Closing Ode:
Closing Ode, (Air, Bonny Doon)
Goodnight, goodnight, may each depart,
With peaceful thought, a11d kindly heart,
As Brethren true, in Union strong,
Nor know division, strife or wrong.
Goodnight, goodnight, may we all meet,
When done with earthly work, and greet
Dear friend~ on that Eternal Shore,
Where joy shall reign forevermore.
Illustrious Commander: We have brought this session of our Commandery to a close, as we trust, in harmony and unity of purpose.
Master of Ceremonies, how should Sir Knights live?
M. of C.: In Purity!
Illustrious Commander: Captain of the Guard, how should they work?
C. of the G.: In Secrecy!
Illustrious Commander: Captain General, how should they act?
C. G.: With Charity!
Illustrious Commander: Therefore, as Sir Knights of the Universal Brotherhood, let us part in Fraternity, and may due caution characterize all our dealings with the outside world, while charity for all, with malice toward none, together with brotherly love and kindness as the bond that unites us, shall make of us a Band of Brothers indeed. Let us go forth as Brethren should, each acting his allotted part in the great drama of life, remembering our mutual obligations, and fulfilling our every duty in honor.
Bro. Herald at Arms, you will extinguish the Torch of Love.
The H. at A. does so.
Illustrious Commander: And now as the Symbol of Love no longer illuminates our Shrine, may the reality shine forth all the more brightly in our hearts, and guide and control us evermore.
Response by all: So may it ever be.
Illustrious Commander: Advance the counter-sign and repeat the word.
Master of Ceremonies: And now let the choicest blessings rest upon us and our loved ones; may sickness and death be averted; and finally, may we so live that we shall be accorded that measure of happiness are to the upright in heart.
Herald at Arms: By authority of our Illustrious Commander I now proclaim Commandery duly closed until our next regular (or called) Convocation, when it is desired and hoped there will be a full attendance.