Ritual for the Initiatory Degree

THE MYSTICAL COURT

Ritual for the Initiatory Degre 2012.

Opening Ceremonies

At the time appointed, the Supreme  Grand Commanding Officer brings the Court to order by one rap (*) with his gavel. At this signal, the Brethren take their seats.

Supreme Grand Commanding Officer: Officers, take your respective stations; Gatekeepers, secure the door; Guards, examine the Brethren in the Court-room.

The Gatekeepers close the door, which must remain closed until the opening ceremonies are completed. The Guards examines the Brethren, and if any one present is unable to respond correctly, it must be reported to the S.G.C.O. The Guards should receive the explanation of the password from every member before the Court is opened. He may also demand the password, but he need not respond with any part of them. If the Cuard is satisfied in respect to all present, he reports: All present are Brethren, Supreme Grand Commanding Officer.

SGCO.:  Grand  Commanding Officer, what is your duty in the Court.

 Grand Commanding Officer: To have charge, under your direction, of the inner door, to act in conjunction with you in maintaining order; to require Brethren to be decorous during Court hours; to enforce, in your absence, a due observance of the Laws, and to assist you in the performance of your duties.

SGCO.: Grand Commanding Officer, examine your supporters.

GCO.: Right Supporter, what is your duty?

Right Sup.: To observe that Brothers give the sign correctly, and behave properly; to report to you the names of such Brothers as do not conduct themselves according to the regulations of the Order, and to occupy your chair temporarily when vacated by you during Court hours.

GCO.: Left Supporter, what is your duty?

Left Sup.: To assist your Right Supporter, and to officiate for him in his absence.

GCO.: My officers are correct, Supreme Grand Commanding Officer,

SGCO.: Commanding Secretary, what is your duty?

C. Sec.: To keep accurate minutes of the transactions of this Court.

SGCO.: Financial Secretary, what is your duty?

Financial Sec.: To keep correctly the accounts between this Court and its members; to receive all moneys due this Court, except when otherwise provided, and pay the same to the Treasurer at the close of each regular session.

When both of the above duties are united in one Secretary, his answer, as such, combines both of the above.

SGCO.:  Guard, what is your duty?

Guard: To examine the Brethren with circumspection before the Court is opened; to give the charge of my office at initiation, and perform such duties as may be required of me in conferring the degree; to place and replace the regalia in a careful way, and report to you any damage it may have received.

SGCO.: Right Supporter, what is your duty?

Right Sup.: To support you in keeping order; to execute your commands; to assist at initiation; to open and close the Court in due form, and to see that the signs are given correctly.

SGCO.: Left Supporter, what is your duty?

Left Sup.: To see that Brothers who enter the room are in proper regalia, and give the signs correctly; to officiate for your Right Supporter in his absence, and to assist at initiation.

SGCO.: Inside Gatekeeper, request the Outside Gatekeeper to enter, and assume his duties during his absence.

SGCO.: Outside Gatekeeper, what is your duty?

Outside G.: When candidates are to be initiated or Brothers admitted, to see that they are orderly and qualified; to examine and. reject any one I suspect, until your opinion is taken; to receive the password previous to admission, and to guard the Court against improper intrusion; to prevent the admittance of any one during ritualistic ceremonies, or at other times, when so directed; to prevent any person from listening to acquire a knowledge of what is going on in the Court, and to act in conjunction with the Supporters and Inside Gatekeeper in the execution of your commands.

SGCO : You will resume your station.

He returns to the anteroom, and the Inside Gatekeeper reenters the Court-room.

SGCO.: Inside Gatekeeper, what is your duty?

Inside G.: To act in conjunction with the Outside Gatekeeper; to receive the password of the degree in which the Lodge is open; during his absence to officiate for him; and obey your commands.

SGCO.: Officers and Brothers: I hope and expect each officer will do his duty, and Brothers will be orderly and attentive, so that we may not be under the necessity of enforcing the restrictive laws or flues. It is the duty of the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer to judge impartially of every transaction, and to admit no Brother (except members of this Court) who has not received the password of the current term or the annual traveling password. I therefore trust that all will act with prudence, zeal and integrity, as on these virtues depend our happiness and comfort; regarding our Court as our family, hailing each other as brothers and sisters, may all our actions be founded on that grand principle, which is calculated to make men and women social and humane. Officers, Brothers and Sisters, I will thank you to be standing and assist my Right Supporter in opening the Court.

 

Opening Ode

 

Brethren of our friendly Order,

honor here asserts her sway;

All within our sacred border

Must her high commands obey.

Join, The Mystical Court of brothers and sisters,

In the song of truth and love;

Leave disputes and strife to others,

We in harmony must move.

Honor to her courts invites us,

Worthy subjects let us prove;

Strong the chain that here unites us,

Linked with Friendship, Truth and Love.

In our hearts enshrined and cherished,

May these feelings ever bloom;

Failing not when life has perished,

Living still beyond the tomb.

SGCO.: Let us unite with our Commanding Chaplain in prayer.

C. Chaplain: Almighty God, our Creator and Preserver, we invoke Thy blessings upon the members of this Lodge, and our entire Brotherhood. May we be ever faithful to the principles of our beloved Court, so that benevolence and charity may be promoted. Bless the widow and orphan, and all in affliction or distress, and relieve their necessities. “Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us, and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.”

SGCO.: Right Supporter, proclaim this Court opened.

  1. Sup.: By direction of our Supreme Grand Commanding Officer, I proclaim this Lodge duly opened for the transaction of such business as may be lawfully brought before it, and for the diffusion of principles of benevolence and charities.

SGCO.: During which time we admit of no political, sectarian, or other improper debate under penalty.

Inside Gatekeeper, inform the Outside Gatekeeper that the Court is open in the Third Degree.

The SGCO. will proceed to business by giving one rap (*) with his gavel, which is repeated by the GCO., for silence and order, immediately after opening the Lodge.

SGCO: 1. Commanding Secretary, I will thank you to call the roll of officers, and read the proceedings of last Court night.

  1. Does any Member know of a sick Member. or a Member in distress?
  2. Consideration of previous proposals for membership.
  3. Candidates to be admitted.
  4. Has any Member a friend to propose to become a member of this Court?
  5. Unfinished business appearing on the minutes to be attended to.
  6. Has any Member anything to offer for the good of the Court?

The foregoing is the regular routine for opening the Lodge, and is always in the Third Degree.

Incidental to the above routine, there are other items in the Order of Business pertaining to Court matters, the consideration of which is provided for in their regular order.

The Court may proceed to close after the necessary business is gone through with.

When a Candidate has been elected, and is in attendance for the purpose of initiation, the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer appoints the Grand, Vice or Assistant Commanding Officer, to officiate as Conductor, who then withdraws to the preparation-chamber, where he asks the Candidate the following questions, and records the Candidate’s answers in a book provided for the purpose, in which the questions are printed, and blank spaces left for the insertion of the answers:

  1. What is your name?
  2. Where do you reside?
  3. What is your occupation?
  4. How old are you?
  5. Do you hold membership in any other Order of TYhe Mystical Court, or are you suspended or expelled from any Court of this Order?
  6. Are you, so far as you know, in sound health?
  7. Do you believe in the existence of a Supreme, Intelligent Being, the Creator and preserver of the Universe?

The Candidate and Conductor both sign their names under the questions and answers.

Should any of the above questions not be answered satisfactorily, the Conductor will dismiss the Candidate from the room, and report to the Court. If, however, they be all satisfactorily answered, the Conductor will say to the Candidate: Are you willing to enter into an obligation to keep secret all that may transpire during your initiation.?

If this be assented to the OC., he will require of the Candidate a promise in these words:

Candidate: I hereby pledge my sacred honour that I will keep secret whatever may transpire during my initiation.

A screen is placed concealing the station of the SGCO.

 

Forms of Initiation

The GCO. now assumes charge of the Lodge. The SGCO. and his station is concealed by a screen.

The PG. especially deputed, having received the Candidate in the anteroom and completed the examination as prescribed above, will then blindfold the Candidate, lead him to the door of the Court and give the usual alarm.

IG.: Who comes there?

OC.: The Conductor, with a stranger who desires to be initiated into the Order of The Mystical Court.

The Inside Gatekeeper reports this to the GCO., on whose command the door is opened, and the Candidate is led into the Court room. The Conductor is now accompanied by two members as Right and Left Scene Supporters.

Conductor’s Charge

Conductor: You are now within a Hall of The Mystical Court; here the world is shut out; you are separated from its cares and distinctions; from its dissensions and vices. Here Friendship and Love assert their mild dominion, while Faith and Charity combine to bless the mind with peace and soften the heart with charity. Those who surround you have all assumed the obligations, and endeavored to cherish the sentiment peculiar to The Mystical Court. But before you can unite with them you must pass through an initiatory ceremony, which will ultimately lead you to primary truth. Are you willing to proceed?

Candidate answers.

Conductor: Be patient, therefore, and firm. Brothers and Sisters, the stranger now awaits our mystic rites.

  1. Supporter: Then at once the chains prepare.
  2. Supporter: They are here! Entwine their links about him.

The Supporters place the chain across the candidate’s shoulders, bring it around under his arms and fasten it behind his back.

  1. Sup.: Now! bind him to the stake.

Conductor: Hold, Brothers! Shall we proceed with these our mystic rites, or shall we mercy show?

  1. and Bros. (solemnly):Mercy, Mercy show!

Conductor: Then mercy I will show; but first a solemn warning give.

The Conductor, leading the Candidate, followed by the Scene Supporters, and two or more Brothers, move slowly around the Court-room.

Conductor: Man in darkness and in chains! How mournful the spectacle! Yet ‘its but the condition of millions of our race, who are void of wisdom, though they know it not. The Candidate is led by such route as will enable the Conduct or to conclude the following sentence by the time he reaches the scene. We have a lesson to impart to him; one of great moment and deep solemnity; a faithful exhibition of the vanity of worldly things; of the instability of wealth and power. Of the certain decay of all earthly greatness. The scene being reached, the Conductor begins to take off the blinds, saying at the same time. Be serious, for our lesson is as melancholy as it is truthful. The blinds being off. Behold a representation of the effect of death; that silent yet impressive lecturer, to vice confusion, but to virtue peace, it is all which remains on earth of one who was born as you were born, who lived as you now live, and who for many days enjoyed his possessions, his power and his pleasures. But now, alas! nothing is left of him save that sad memorial of man’s mortality. The warm heart which throbbed for other’s woes, or the cold one which held no sympathy, has now moldered away and joined its kindred dust.

(A dirge may here be sung, all in the procession, except the Candidate, kneeling. Afterwards they rise standing.)

Contemplate the scene! Should it not humble human pride? should it not awake the soul to a just sense of responsibility to God, of duty to itself? And in view of this common lot of all, should it not enlist the tenderest of human sympathies? My friend, that gloomy monitor is but an emblem of what you are sure to be, and of what you may soon become. Seriously meditate the solemn admonition it affords; ponder it well, and see that your heart fosters not evil; the bane of society, the fountain of all wrong, the progenitor of crime, hatred and violence, whose fearful consequences must continue to afflict mankind until that period to which Hope looks forward with ardent joy, when one law shall bind all nations, kindreds and tongues of the earth, and that law shall be the law of Universal Brotherhood.

  1. Supporter: I have seen the rose in its beauty spread its leaves to the morning sun. I returned, and behold! it was dying upon the stalk. Its grace and form were gone; its loveliness was vanished away; its leaves were scattered to the ground, and no one gathered them again. I have seen man in the pride of his strength; his cheeks glowed with beauty; his limbs were full of activity; he walked, he ran, he leaped, he rejoiced in that he was more excellent than the rose. I returned, and. behold! life was departed from him, and the breath from out of his nostrils. Death is in the world and the spoiler is among the works of the Almighty. All that is born must die.
  2. Supporter: I have seen the leaves fall and lie thick upon the ground; I have heard the wintry blasts sing sad requiems over their decay; and yet spring came; the soft zephyrs played among the branches, they budded forth again, and in the place of death there was life, beauty and joy. Candidate is again blindfolded.

Conductor: You may think it strange, my friend, that we thus blindfold you; its symbolic purpose will, in due time, be fully explained.

Candidate is led to the Assistant Grand Commanding Officer, where the blinds are removed. The Chaplain offers prayer in behalf of the Candidate, all kneeling.

Conductor: This, my friend, is our Venerable Assistant Grand Commanding Officer; he has a charge to deliver to you; listen attentively to what he may say.

AGCO: Stand! presumptuous mortal! How old art thou?

Candidate answers.

AGCO: What trade, profession or calling hast thou?

Candidate answers.

AGCO: Canst thou keep a secret?

Candidate answers.

AGCO: Ah! but wilt thou?

Candidate answers.

AGCO: Be serious, then, while I address you as a man. Listen to the voice of wisdom speaking from age and experience, and let it sink deep into your heart. These trembling limbs and this wrinkled brow betoken that the weight of years is upon me. I have indeed seen many years, and many solemn scenes have passed before me. A wise man has said: “I have been young but now am old, yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken or his seed begging bread.” I would impress this upon your mind, and will add another maxim which I pray you also heed and be wise. It is this, that in the practice, Friendship, Love and Truth will be found time best safeguards against the ills of life. Forget it not; forget it not. Brother Conductor, you will now present the stranger to the Vice Grand

The Conductor takes the Candidate blinded to the Vice Grand Commanding Officer’s chair, and says to him: You are now at the chail of our worthy Vice Grand Commanding Officer.

VGCO.: Stranger, having entered within these walls, you are never to make known the secrets of this Court, or to make any discovery to any person or persons upon any pretense or for any purpose. Will you comply with these rules?

Cand.: I will.

  1. to Conductor: Restore him to light and liberty.

The blindfold is taken off, and the chain removed from the candidate.

VGCO.: Stranger, it is my duty to administer to you a solemn and binding obligation, one which we have all taken, but which will not conflict with any of those exalted duties you owe to your God, your country or yourself.

With this assurance, are you willing to take such an obligation?

Cand.: I am.

VGCO.: Place your right hand on your left breast, and repeat after me the following:

Obligation

The VGCO. gives three raps (* * *), all rise.

I, …, in the presence of the Brothers and Sisters of this Court, now assembled, do solemnly promise that I will never communicate to any one, unless directed to do so by a legal Court, the signs, tokens or grips, the term, traveling or other passwords belonging to the Independent Order of The Mystical Court. Nor will I expose or lend any of the books or papers relating to the record or secret work of the Court to any person or persons, except to one specially authorized to receive them. That I will never reveal any private business which may be transacted in my presence in this or any other Court. I also promise that I will abide by the laws, rules and regulations of this Court, or of the Independent Order of The Mystical Court of here name the State or any other Grand or Working Lodge to which I may be attached.

I further promise that I will never wrong a Subordinate or  another Court to the value of anything. Nor will I take part or share, directly or indirectly, in any illegal distribution of the funds or other property of the Court; but will, to the best of my ability, endeavor to prevent the same. Nor will I wrong a brother or sister or see them wronged without apprising them of approaching danger, if in my power so to do. Should I be expelled or voluntarily leave the Court, I will consider this promise as binding out of it as in it. To the faithful performance of all which I pledge my sacred honour.

The VGCO. gives one rap (*), and all are seated.

Vice Grand Commanding Officer to Candidate: Stranger, you have now entered into a society that is far more important than you may at first imagine. It conforms to law, religion and. sound morality, and does not permit anything contrary to the allegiance we owe to our country, or the duty we owe to ourselves. Let good conduct procure you the esteem of your family and friends. Let strict caution guard you against making any improper discoveries to the uninformed, so that by your example; you may convince the world that good faith and virtue are the peculiar characteristics of a true Mystical Court member; for according to our laws we can be The Mystical Court only while we act like honest men and women.
Conductor, proceed with our friend to the Commanding Secretary, where he will sign the constitution and by-laws of this Lodge.
Vice Grand to Conductor: Proceed with our friend to the principal chair, there to be introduced to the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer.

The VGCO. gives three raps ( * * *), all rise.

Initiation Ode     (Through the night of doubt and sorrow)

This is sung as the Candidate goes around the room to the chair of the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer.

Stranger, you’ve nought to fear,

For honour’s court is here,

Love, Peace and Joy.

here in good faith we meet;

here friends anti brothers and sisters greet,

And in communion sweet

The hours employ.

Stranger(s), amid a band

Of brethren here you stand,

Firm tried and true ;

Here Friendship’s power is shown;

Here Love and Truth are known;

And here before their throne

We welcome you.

Arriving at the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer’s chair as the last line is being sung, the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer being behind the curtain, the Conductor addresses his Right Supporter.

Conductor: Brother Right Supporter, is the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer engaged?

Right Supporter: He is, my Brother.

Conductor: Business of importance demands his attention. A stranger desires to be introduced to him.

Right Supporter: Then he may be disturbed.

Right Supporter basses behind the screen and holds the following dialogue with the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer.

Right Supporter: Supreme Grand Commanding Officer!

SGCO.: Well, my brother.

Right Supporter: A stranger stands before you.

SGCO.: A stranger stands before me? How gained that stranger admittance within these walls?

Right Supporter: By the recommendation of worthy Brethren and the permission of the Vice Grand Commanding Officer.

SGCO.: Has he taken upon himself that serious, solemn and binding obligation?

Right Supporter: He has, Supreme Grand Commanding Officer

SGCO.: Then let him be introduced to me.

Curtain is thrown back and Supreme Grand Commanding Officer rises.

Officers now take off their robes and the members their masks.

Conductor: Supreme Grand Commanding Officer, by direction of the Vice Grand Commanding Officer. I present to you … for instruction in the mysteries of this Degree.

The Supreme Grand Commanding Officer gives one rap (*) seating the Court.

Supreme Grand Commanding Officer’s Charge

SGCO.: My brother, for by that endearing name you are now privileged to be hailed, as Supreme Grand Commanding Officer of … Court No. … of the Independent Order of The Mystical Court, I welcome you to its membership.

May you ever be a true and loyal brother (sister); faithful to every tenet of our court.

The moral precepts which govern us, and according to which we would have all men regulate their conduct, are the laws of God. May those laws be indelibly engraven upon your heart, and may they guide and direct your daily walk of life.

The Supreme Grand Commanding Officer then proceeds to communicate in a whisper and explain to the Candidate the current and traveling passwords, the signs, countersigns and grip.

SGCO.: We will now proceed to instruct you in the signs peculiar to a Working Court of this Order. There are four of them.

First, the Enter sign.

Second, the Password of the Initiatory Degree

Third, the Countersign, its answer and explanation.

Fourth, the Grip.

The Conductor leads the Candidate to the SGCO. who gives him the Grip, and instructs him in detail the manner of obtaining entrance into the Court-room and his mode of procedure after admittance.

SGCO.: Without these signs you cannot gain admittance into this or any other Court of the Mystical Court. Be observant, therefore, that you may acquire them, and be careful that you do not improperly reveal them. Remember, also, that you have given us your pledge of honour, a pledge which is the most binding of any that can be given or received. We feel confident that you will keep it inviolate.

Conductor, present the Candidate to our worthy Commanding Chaplain for admonition.

Chaplains Admonition

C.Chaplain: You have been admitted by certain forms of initiation, in which there is deep significance. You were blindfolded to represent the darkness and doubt through which man gropes his way to a knowledge of himself, his duty and his destiny, a darkness not only of reason, but of the moral nature. And you were bound with chains to illustrate that slavery of soul to sense, that subjection to things outward and perishable into which man is brought by his own passions. You were then led to a scene where an emblem of mortality was exhibited to represent to you the end of this servitude, to remind you of the insignificant and perishable nature of all these outward objects, which so often excite men’s passionate ambitions. After this representation, intended to reach your conscience and touch your heart, you have been restored to light and liberty. One of these acts is emblematical of that liberty which the virtuous enjoy when conscious of being disenthralled from sensuality and passion; the other is emblematical of the light of that truth, which reveals to us Love as the grand remedy for all social evils, as it is indeed the foundation of all good towards God and man. In this light we trust you will ever walk; this liberty we hope you will ever maintain. It will be our duty, it is one of the great ends of our institution to aid you in so doing. We claim the privilege, therefore, of watching over your conduct, not only in the Court Room, but in your intercourse with the world at large.

As you come in contact with those who represent every vocation and calling in life we admonish you to observe and to remember, as one of the lessons taught by The Mystical Court that men are not always to be taken for what they appear. One may have a rough, unseemly exterior, but a good, true heart within; while another, possessing a captivating person and manner, may be, destitute of all genuine principle.

Heed well this admonition

Conductor introduce the Candidate to the acting Past-Grand Commanding Officer

Conductor: Worthy Past-Grand Commanding Officer, by direction of the Supreme Grand Commanding Officer I present to you this Candidate for further instruction.

Past-Grand Commanding officer: My friend: You are now initiated into and made acquainted with the organization and works of a Court of the Mystical Court and are recognized as a member. The institution of The Mystial Court is progressive in its character. You have passed its threshold, and after a reasonable probation may advance step by step, through all its gradations until you shall have fully attained a knowledge of its intrinsic excellencies, its adaptation for the promotion of good-will among men, and its fitness as a minister to the trials and adversities which are inseparable from human life. We have at this time a few general lessons to inculcate, which, in addition to those you have received in your progress to this chair, will serve to give you proper views as to the character and true objects of The Mystical Court.

The Mystical Court is founded upon that eternal principle which, recognizing man (woman) as a constituent of one universal Brotherhood, teaches him (her) that as he (she) came from the hands of a common Parent he (she) is bound to cherish and to protect his (her) fellow man (woman). It thus presents a broad platform upon which mankind may unite in offices of human benefaction. Under its comprehensive influences, all the nations of the earth may concentrate their energies for the good of the common race. Based upon certain truths which are like axioms among all nations, tongues and creeds, its sacred tolerance presents a nucleus which, by its gentle influence, gathers within its orbit antagonistic natures, controls the elements of discord, stills the storms and soothes the spirit of passion, and directs in harmony man’s united efforts to fraternize the world. This is the great first principle of our fellowship, which we denominate fraternity; a universal fraternity in the family of man. Our forefathers have wisely made this principle the cornerstone of The Mystical Court. Upon its solid basis the whole superstructure has securely rested, and, as we believe, is destined immovably to repose until time shall be no more.

From this principle we learn to regard the Great Author of our existence as our Father, “in whom alone we live and move and have our being;” to recognize each other as alike the offspring of the same Parent, as the master-piece of his handiwork, and designed as such to reflect in our nature and relations the image of Him, alter whose likeness man was formed. We are, therefore, Brothers (sisters), and in all our intercourse we illustrate the truthfulness of this profession by reciprocal relief and kindly offices to one another in the day of trial. With the divisions and classifications of human society our Order holds no fellowship. While it inculcates a veneration for religion and subordination to civil government and its laws, it studiously avoids all affinity with systems of faith or sects, whether religious or political.

In becoming a member of The Mystical Court no sacrifice of your opinions, no change of your relations to the State, no loosening of the obligations which, as a good citizen, you owe to the laws and institutions under which you live, is required.

On the contrary, learn now and forever, that you cannot become an Odd Fellow, in spirit and truth, unless you are grateful to your Creator, faithful to your country and fraternal to your fellow man. Within the walls of a Lodge Room we meet for mutual counsel, the relief of distress, and the elevation of human character. With pure hearts and clean hands must we come to such offices. Strife and discord, party and sect, which create heart-burnings and divisions among men, are banished by our laws without this counsel; and if, perchance, some thoughtless Brother should so far wander from this injunction as to permit evil influences to control his actions, he must atone to the offended law. We war against vine in all its forms. Friendship toward man prompts the contest the gentle influences of Love supply the weapons; Truth consecrates the effort and leads to victory.

Such, my friend, are among the first principles of Odd Fellowship; its objects you will more clearly understand as you advance in the Order.

If you have become initiated into this institution from the influence of a too common error, namely, that Odd Fellowship is a mere beneficial society, having for its single purpose the relief of its members in the struggle incident to human life; if you have united yourself with this great Brotherhood from the promptings of idle curiosity, be at once undeceived. Mutual relief, it is true, is a leading office in our affiliation. To visit the sick, relieve the distressed, to bury the dead and educate the orphan, is the command of our laws, and an imperative duty which Odd Fellowship enjoins. But these, although its frequent and almost daily ministrations, are but a tithe of the intrinsic virtues of our beloved Order. We seek to improve and elevate the character of man, to imbue him with proper conceptions of his capabilities for good; to enlighten his mind, to enlarge the sphere of his affections, in a word, our aim is to lead man to the cultivation of the true fraternal relation designed by the Great Author of his being. My Brother, I greet you as an Odd Fellow of the Independent Order, and welcome you to a world-wide, united brotherhood. May you ever be animated by the pure principles of Odd Fellowship, and may your life and conduct afford no reproach to the new character which you. have this night voluntarily assumed.

Conductor, proceed with the Candidate to the Noble Grand for final instructions in this Degree.

The Supreme Grand Commanding Officer gives the Candidate in charge to the Assistant Grand Commanding Officer; they both retire to the ante-room. They then re-enter in due form and take their stand at the center of the Court. The Supreme Grand Commanding Officer gives and exemplifies the Sign of Recognition, the Sign of Distress, the Rebekah Signs of Recognition and Distress, with their answers. The Candidate is conducted to a seat.

Supreme Grand Commanding Officer calls up the Lodge (three raps all rise).

Closing Ceremonies

SGCO.: We are about to close the court in the initiatory degree, to reopen in the third degree. All brethren who have not attained the third degree will please retire in form.

After they have retired, the Court is raised in due form from the Initiatory Degree to the Third Degree, and ready for any further business that may be lawfully brought before it. The correct form is given at the end of this Degree to apply to all occasions.

  1. (three raps * * *, all rise):Officers and Brothers, I will thank you to rise and assist me in closing the Lodge.

Song

Brethren, we thank you all

For this your friendly call

Our hearts to cheer;

May Peace her influence shed,

And heaven its wing outspread,

To guard each Brother’s (sister’s)head

From pain and fear.

Good-night! and as you go,

Bear hence, and fully show

Stamped on your breasts,

The seal of Friendship pure,

And Love through life t’endure,

And Truth, which still secure

With honour rests.

SGCO.: Vice Grand Commanding Officer, I will thank you to perform the last duty of your station.

VGCO.: Brethren, we thank you for your attendance this evening, and invite the company of as many of you as can make it convenient to attend at any future meeting.

SGCO.: Assistant Grand Commanding Officer, what is the last duty of your station ?

AGCO: It is to collect the regalia and deposit it in its proper place.

SGCO.: Gatekeeper, what is the last duty of your station?

Gatekeeper: It is to open the door, that the Brothers and sisteers may depart in peace.

SGCO.: I will thank you to do that duty as soon as the Court is closed.

Gatekeeper: I will.

SGCO.: Right Supporter, I will thank you to perform the last duty of your station.

Right Supporter: By desire of our Supreme Grand Commanding Officer, I proclaim this Court closed until next Court night, at … o’clock, when it will be reopened for the transaction of such business as may be lawfully brought before the Court, and for the diffusion of the principles of benevolence and charity.

  1. (one rap * repeated by Grand Commanding Officer): I, therefore, declare this Court closed.

SGCO:      Supreme Grand Commanding Officer

GCO:         Grand Commanding Officer

VGCO:       Vice-Grand Commanding Officer

AGCO:        Assistant-Grand Commanding Officer

CO:               Commanding Officer

CC:                 Commanding Chaplain

CS:                  Commanding Secretary

OGK:             Outer GateKeeper

IGK:                 Inner GateKeeper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Author: Godfrey Gregg