Ancient Order of Hibernians in America
Each Division shall determine for
itself the number necessary to constitute a quorum. If that number be present,
they should be called to order, at the appointed time and proceed with, the
business of the meeting. The presiding officer will fill all vacancies with pro
term officers, who, however, will vacate the station they occupy if the regular
The President, having taken the
chair, gives one rap of the gavel, orders the Sentinel to lock the door and
admit no one until the meeting is duly opened, and says: The Division will now come, to order, officers will assume their
Whereupon the officers of the
Division take the positions indicated in the diagram and invest themselves with
their respective badges of office.
The President then directs the
Marshal to take up the current password which must always be given in a whisper: The Marshal will now take up the current password
and ascertain if all present are duly qualified to remain.
That officer performs his duty by
collecting the password from each member present, the member rising when
giving the password. If a member is without the password he shall be sent to
the Presidents station, the President will ascertain from the Financial
Secretary if the member is in good standing and if so shall impart the password
to the member.
The Marshal then advances to the
center of the hall, salutes the presiding officer by placing his right hand over
his heart, and reports the result of his examination by stating: Mr. President, I find all persons present in possession of the current
password, except ...
The President then raps twice
with the gavel, calls the members to a standing position and requests the Rev.
Chaplain to offer the Opening Prayer. In the absence of the Chaplain the
President will perform this duty. He then says:
Brothers will kneel and gives one sharp rap of the
gavel whereupon the members will kneel and the President (or Chaplain) recites
the following prayer:
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of
the Holy Ghost, and in the name of St. Patrick, the Glorious Apostle of Ireland,
I open this meeting and beseech our Heavenly Father to watch over us and protect
us, may He grant that peace and harmony may always prevail among us, and that
Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity inspire all our deliberations, - through
Christ, Our Lord, Amen.
Conclude with the Our Father, the
Hail Mary, and the Glory be to the Father. The president will then rap his gavel
twice and all will rise, and remain standing while the Organist plays the
Ode O’Donnell Aboo which the members will all join in singing.
At the conclusion of the Opening
Ode the President will recite the following:
I now declare this meeting duly open for the transaction of such business as may
properly be brought before it.
The President with three raps of
the gavel orders all to be seated.
Here the following Order of
Business may be taken up.
1. Meeting called to Order.
2. Taking up of Current Password.
3. Recitation of Opening Prayer.
4. Opening Ode, O’Donnell Aboo
5. Roll Call of Officers.
6. Reading of Minutes of the Previous Meeting.
7. Propositions for Membership.
8. Report on Candidates for Membership.
9. Balloting on Candidates.
10. Initiation of Candidates (Lesson of the Motto).
11. Collection of Dues and Fines.
12. Reading of Communications and Correspondence.
13. Report of the Committee on Sick.
14. Bills and Claims.
15. Report of Standing Committee.
16. Report of Special Committees.
17. Unfinished Business.
18. New Business.
19. Reading of a Chapter of Irish History, a short:
Irish Biography, or some piece of Irish Literature, or a talk on some subject
of current events or of general interest.
20. Good and Welfare of the Order, including
and musical exercises.
21. Reading of Names of Members in Bad standing.
22. Receipts of the Meeting and Report of the
23. Closing Ode: Soldiers of Erin and Star Spangled
Banner (or in Canada O Canada).
(Reading of Names of absentees from last regular
meeting is optional as an addition to the Order of Business with the Division.)
Proudly the note of the trumpet is sounding
Loudly the war cries arise on the gale, -
Fleetly the steed by Lough Swilly is bounding,
To join the thick squadrons in Saimers green vale.
On every mountaineer,
Strangers to flight and fear,
Rush to the standard of dauntless Red Hugh
Bonaught and Gallowglass,
Throng from each mountain pass,
On for Old Brin: O’Donnell Aboo!
Princely O’Neil to our aid is advancing,
With many a chieftain and warrior clan,
A thousand proud steeds in his vanguard are
‘Neath the borders brave from the banks of the
Many a heart shall quail
Under its coat of mail,
Deeply the merciless foe-man shall rue,
When on his ear shall ring,
Borne on the breezes wing
Tyrconnell’s dread war-cry: O’Donnell Aboo!
Wildly oer Desmond, the war wolf is howling,
Fearless the eagle sweeps over the plain.
The fox in the streets of the city are prowling,
All who would scare them are banished or slain.
Grasp every stalwart hand hackbut and battlebrand
Pay them all back the deep debt so long due.
Norris and Clifford well
Can of Tyrconnell tell
Onward to Glory O’Donnell Aboo!
Sacred the cause that Clan Connaill’s defending
The Altars we kneel at, the homes of our sires
Ruthless the ruin the foe is extending
Midnight is red with the plunderers fires
On with O’Donnell then
Fight the old fight again
Sons of Tyrconnell all valiant and true
Make the false Saxon feel
Erin’s avenging steel
Strike, for your country O’Donnell Aboo!
Balloting for Candidates
When the Order of Business
Balloting on Candidates is reached the President shall state: Marshal prepare the ballot box.
The Marshal shall take the ballot
box to the Vice President who will inspect it and then the Marshal shall take it
to the President who shall also examine it and see that it is ready for use.
The Marshal shall then place the ballot box on the center pedestal and then
stand at least five feet to one side: The President shall then read the names,
addresses, ages, and occupations of all candidates and the report of the
investigating committee thereon. The President then states: Brothers we are about to ballot on candidates for admission to this
Division of our Order. Their names are now before you for election or rejection.
Form in single file at the other side of the center pedestal and cast your
ballots. Remember that white balls elect and black balls reject. Vote for the
best interest of the Order.
The President will rap his gavel
twice and the members will proceed to the centre pedestal and each member before
casting his ballot will salute the presiding officer in the usual manner.
After the members have cast their
ballots, the President will state: Have
all voted who wish? If so, I declare the ballot closed. Marshal take the ballot
box to the Vice President, for inspection.
The Marshal takes the ballot box
to the Vice President and then to the President.
President: Worthy Vice President, how do you find the ballot?
Vice President: Worthy President, I find the ballot ...
The Vice President announces the
result of the ballot, favorable or unfavorable; and if less than five black
balls are cast the President will declare the candidate or candidates elected.
If five or more black balls are cast the President will announce an unfavorable
ballot. In that, case if more than one candidate has been voted, on at the same
time, the President shall order a ballot taken separately on each candidate.
After the balloting has been finished, the President will again call the names
of the candidates elected and the name at the proposer of each candidate and
instruct the proposers to see that the candidates are present at the next
The ritualistic ceremonies of the
Ancient Order of Hibernians are designed:
1. To provide a dignified and
orderly method of conducting the meetings of the society.
2. To impress the members with
the meaning and prepare them for the practice of the motto of the Order
Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.
3. To awaken in them a pride in
the ancient race of their fathers, and develop an interest in the history and
destiny of that race.
4. To encourage them, to live the
ideals and practice the virtues which distinguished the Irish people from the
5. To strengthen them in their
faith, make them practical in their duties and loyally observant of the precepts
of the Catholic Church.
For these purposes the ceremonies
1. An instruction on the Motto of
the Order, in which the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Chairman of
the Standing Committee take parts.
2. The Lesson of the Tower.
3. The Lesson of Endurance.
4. And the ‘Test, in all of
which the Ard-Righ, Brehon, Bard and Ollamh take parts, assisted by necessary
The men giving this instruction
and these lessons should be capable and well prepared. The use of books spoils
the ceremony and neutralizes the impression intended to be made on candidates.
If the local officers or members
of a Division cannot go through the ceremonies without the use of books, it
would be well to invite the officers of other Divisions who can fill the
In the Instructions the President
will preside and the positions of the officers will be their regular places, as
provided in the diagram showing the positions to be held during Division
meetings. The four pedestals before the chairs of the officers should be
draped with small banners suspended from the pedestals, bearing the following
President: Order, Obedience,
Chairman of standing Committee:
Friendship, painted on a fountain base.
Vice-President: Unity, painted on
Treasurer: Christian Charity,
painted under a burning heart.
The center pedestal or table
should be draped with a large green cloth with the Irish Harp (without the
crown) embroidered or sewn on each corner.
The officers will wear their
respective badges or emblems of office. The Marshal will carry in his right hand
an ancient broad sword, and the Sentinel a spear.
If possible the candidates should
be marched into the hall to the accompaniment of music. Irish marching airs
should be played as the men are taken to each station. The Marshal should
arrange for an escort to march in with the candidates and they should be men of
military bearing. If each man in the escort carries a spear, it will make the
procession of candidates and escorts impressive and dignified.
When the order of business known
as Initiation is reached, the President will instruct the Marshal to retire and
report if any candidates are in the anteroom. When the Marshal reports the names
of all candidates awaiting initiation, he ascertains from the Recording
Secretary if they have been duly elected; and if so, the President instructs him
to retire with the Financial Secretary and duly interrogate those seeking
admittance. The Financial secretary will collect the initiation fees and cost of
badge which members wear on public occasions and which the candidates will
receive in due course during the ceremony of initiation.
The Marshal in the anteroom asks
the candidates the following questions:
What is your name?
What is your occupation?
Where do you reside?
What is your age?
Are you Irish by birth or descent?
Are you a practical Roman Catholic?
Have you complied with your religious duties within
twelve months last past?
Were you ever a member of the Ancient Order of
Hibernians? If so, where? What was the cause of your withdrawal?
Are you now in good health?
When the candidates have
satisfied the requirements of the preliminary examination and paid the
financial obligations in the anteroom, the Marshal and Financial Secretary will
return to the hail and report the fact to the Division. The Marshal will then
provide one escort for each candidate, retire with the escorts, arrange the
candidates and escorts in line, and approaching the entrance to the Division
hall, strike sharply three times on the door, and the Sentinel will ask: Who demands entrance to our hall?
Marshal: Men of our race who wish to enter the outer chamber of Hibernian
Sentinel, addressing the Chair: The Marshal approaches with men of our race in his custody, who ask
admittance to our Order.
President: If the Marshal vouches for these men. as practical Catholics of Irish
birth or descent and in good health, you may admit them.
Sentinel, through the wicket,
asks the Marshal: Do you vouch for these men as
practical Catholics of Irish birth or descent, and in good health?
Sentinel then opens the door, and
led by Marshal, the candidates and their escorts march around the hall to the
right while the members present rise to their feet. The candidates will be
formed in a semi-circle in front of the position of the President, who will
accost them: Candidates, you are requested to assure all present
that you are eligible for admission. Answer the following questions truthfully,
on your honor us men:
1. What is your name?
2. What is your age?
3. Have you approached Holy Communion at the
proper time, as required by our Holy Mother, the Church?
4. As far as you know, are you in good health?
The questions being answered by
each candidate in the affirmative, the President then proceeds with the
following: Sir(s), you are about to enter an ancient
brotherhood, which for centuries has labored to sustain the Catholic Church and
to preserve the traditions of the Irish race. The motto of this Brotherhood is
Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity. The Marshal will guide you to chosen
Counselors, by whom you will be taught wisdom born of the experience of the
Irish people. May the God of our fathers enable you to profit by their teaching.
President: Marshal, conduct the candidates before the officer who has been chosen
to instruct them in Friendship.
The Marshal marches the
candidates andl escorts around the hall, forming them in a semi-circle in the
center of the hall, facing the Chairman of the Standing Committee; says: Wise Chairman, I bring you candidates seeking wisdom at the Fount of
Chairman of Standing Committee: Strangers, it affords me
pleasure to gratify your desire for knowledge.
Friendship is an affection which prompts us to
make the highest sacrifice for the person or the cause toward whom it moves.
It begins in favorable acquaintance, grows with intimate association and ripens
by continued exercise. Through it our members come to regard each other as
brothers. We sympathize with one another in misfortune and assist one another
in distress. Through kindly offices of friendship we promote each others welfare
and prepare ourselves to meet every reasonable demand for the betterment and
happiness of our members. Are you willing to embrace such a friendship? And will
you be loyal to its obligations?
Chairman of Standing Committee: Marshal, do the candidates you present now understand the meaning of
Marshal: Answer, candidates.
Chairman of Standing Committee: Candidates, proceed on your quest of knowledge, and may St. Patrick guide
Marshal, conduct the candidates before the officer
who has been chosen to instruct them in Unity.
Marshal marches the candidates
and escorts around the hall and halts them in a semi-circle in the center of the
hall facing the Vice-President, says: Faithful
Assistant to our Chief, I bring candidates instructed in Friendship, who desire
to be taught the principle of Unity.
Vice-President: Unity, sirs, is a bond of strength to every person, to every enterprise
and to every cause that aims to accomplish anything in this world. It is as
controlling as the power that guides the stars in their courses. It is firm in
resolution, steadfast in purpose, invincible in attack, impregnable in defense.
Out of weakness it brings strength, out of despair hope, out of failure success.
It is the inspiration of men and the greatness of nations. The Ancient Order of
Hibernians aims to unite its members in sentiment, in purpose and in action. Are
you willing to join with us in its bonds and be bound by its exalted precepts?
Vice-President: Candidates, qualified in Friendship and Unity, you may seek the third
element in the bond of Hibernianism. May St. Finbarr’s missionary spirit
Vice-President: Marshal, conduct the candidates
before the officer who has been chosen to instruct them in Christian Charity.
Marshal marches the candidates
and escorts around the hail and halts them, in a semi-circle in the center of
the hall facing the Treasurer, says: Worthy
custodian of the property of our brotherhood, I bring candidates qualified in
Friendship and Unity, who desire to be instructed in Charity.
Treasurer: Charity comes from God Himself; from the Sacred Heart ever throbbing
with love for mankind. Divine Charity created man, forgave him when he sinned,
sent to his aid the only sacrifice which could win redemption. Charity is divine
love filling the universe with inspiration and with hope. Charity is the golden
key which will open the entrance to the home of true happiness. Charity of
thought, act and word, is the third link of our great motto. Charity is the
essence of fraternal love. Will you cultivate it in your hearts and extend it to
Irishmen of every days in every land?
Treasurer: Gentlemen, you are now in possession of the knowledge without which you
could not be worthy members of our Order. I now clothe you in the mantle of
Charity (here the Treasurer places the badge on the
breast of each candidate, if a badge or emblem is not used the Treasurer should
touch each candidate lightly on the breast with the palm of his hand),
and pronounce you ready to take the solemn obligation of our brotherhood. May
the blessing of St. Columbkill abide with you.
Treasurer: Marshal, conduct the candidates before our President, who will administer
to them the obligation that binds us together in the bonds of Friendship,
Unity and Christian Charity.
Marshal marches the candidates
and escorts around the hall, halting them in front of the presiding officers
pedestal, facing the President, and says: Respected
President, Chieftain of our Division, I have returned from the path of knowledge
bringing with me these pilgrim candidates who have heard and understood the
lessons contained in our noble motto of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity,
and are now prepared to take the
obligation of membership.
President: Gentlemen, I welcome you. It is necessary that I should remind you before
giving our obligation that if you entertain any mental reservation regarding any
part of the pledge you are about to take; if you are actuated by any unworthy
motive in joining our society; if you nurture in your hearts bitterness, hate or
malice against any worthy member of our Order, it is your duty to proceed no
further. If, however, you fully appreciate the true spirit of
Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity and are pure in mind and heart,
you are entitled, to seek admittance here.
Candidates, if you take our obligation, will you be
loyal in letter and spirit? Answer.
President: Gentlemen, place your right hands on your breasts and repeat aloud after
me the following:
1. I, (Your Name) do declare and promise that I
will keep inviolate all the secrets of the Ancient Order of Hibernians from all,
but those, whom I know to be members in good standing, except the Roman Catholic
clergy, and that I will support the Constitution and By-laws of this
organization to the best of my ability.
2. I further promise that I will not divulge nor
allow to be divulged, the password of the Order, not even to a member of my own
3. That I will be true and steadfast to the
brethren of this organization, dedicated to St. Patrick, the Patron Saint of
Ireland, and that I will duly conform myself to the dictates of my legally
elected officers in all things constitutional and lawful, AND NOT OTHERWISE.
4. That I will not provoke or quarrel with any of
my brethren. If a brother should be defamed, or be treated unjustly, I will
espouse his cause, give him the earliest possible advice and aid him when in
5. I also promise that I WILL NOT PROPOSE OR
ASSIST IN ADMITTING any person of a bad or suspicious character; and that I will
at all times be zealous for the interests of this organization, and will not knowingly wrong a brother.
6. That I will not countenance by my presence or
support any performance that may reasonably be interpreted as caricaturing or
debasing the Irish people, whether in public or in private, in song, recitation
or story, on the stage or on the screen.
7. That I will ever be true to the Constitution
of my country and will combat any and all attempts that would tend to destroy
8. All this I pledge my sacred word and honor to do
and perform so long as I remain a member of the Ancient Order, of Hibernians.
The President will permit the
initiated members to drop their hands, and will then address them as follows: You, brothers, having made this promise of your own free will, I hereby
declare you, each and all, members of the, Ancient Order of Hibernians, and
commend you to the friendship of its members, subject, however, to the condition
that you receive the Lessons and take the Test of the Order in accordance with
If a Division so decide, the
Instruction and Pledge only may be given, and will, if, well done, easily make
work enough for one evening. Should this plan be followed, the candidates must
be instructed to appear at the next meeting fixed for initiations to take the
Lessons and the Test. If, however, the Lessons and the Test are to be given the
same day, the instructions following should be postponed until the close of the
exercises, and the candidates, by the direction of the President, to the
accompaniment of music, marched out of the room. Otherwise the President
proceeds: I will now give you such information as is
necessary. to secure for you admittance to our meetings, and enable you to
obtain the material privileges of the Order.
When you seek admittance you will give two raps at
the door of the Division hall, and when the Sentinel raises the slide, you will
whisper the password which I will now give you.
The President here descends to
the floor and gives each candidate separately the password. Resuming his
station, the President continues: The
door having been opened, you advance to the center of the hall, salute the
presiding officer by placing the right hand over the heart and bending the head
slightly forward. Should the President be engaged, turn and salute the
Vice-President at the opposite end of the hall.
Do not take your place until either officer
recognizes your salute.
Should you desire to cross the hall during the
session, rise in your place, and addressing the President, ask permission; and
passing between the center of the hall and the Vice-President, salute the
President and go where you desire. The space between the Presidents station and
the center table is never to be crossed during the meeting.
Should you wish to retire, during the session,
rise in your place, ask permission to retire, and when permission is granted,
advance to the center of the hall, salute the presiding officer and depart. The
salute when entering is a renewal of your obligation to be obedient to your
officers in all things lawful; the salute when retiring is repledging yourself
to respect your vow of silence regarding all transactions at the meeting. -
This is Division No. ..., County..., State ..., the
dues are ... per month. After you are a member of this Division for six
months in good standing you are entitled to whatever benefits this Division
allows under its By-Laws. (if the Division does not
pay benefits omit this sentence).
This Division meets regularly on the ... of every
The President here informs the
newly initiated members of any other benefits derived from membership in the
Division, stresses the importance of prompt payment of dues and hands each newly
Initiated member his, due book, or membership card and a copy of the
Constitution and the By-Laws, and informs them that they will receive regularly
a copy of the National Hibernian and continues: I
trust our future acquaintance will prove that we have secured in you a true
brother and our Order a loyal member. Brothers, please face the Division.
The President strikes sharply
with the gavel twice, the members arise and the President says: Brothers; I have much pleasure in introducing our newly pledged, brothers
who have learned the Lesson of the Motto.
The President repeats their
names. After the applause greeting the candidates, the President strikes the
gavel once and says: Each member will advance,
commencing at the left of the Chair and introduce himself to our new brothers.
All brothers present will
advance, take each new brother’s hand, and give his name; each newly initiated
member giving his in response. After all are introduced, the President strikes
the gavel three times, all being seated except the candidates, escorts and the
Marshal, the President says: The Marshal will conduct the new
brothers to the anteroom, teaching them the method of leaving and entering the
After the new brothers are again
in the hall, they will be seated in prominent places and later when the head of
‘Good of the Order’ has been reached, the President will ask each to address
the Division, giving his experience and his occupation to assist the cooperative
work of the Division.
Division should arrange to have a member who can play the piano or organ (or
even an accordion) play Irish marching tunes when the candidates are marched in
and out of the Division hall and around to each OFFICERS STATION. IF THE CLASS
CONSISTS OF MORE THAN THREE CANDIDATES the pianist should play SOFTLY, a song
:such as LET ME CARRY YOUR CROSS FOR IRELAND, LORD, when the Treasurer is giving
the emblem to the candidates and also at the time the president steps down from
his station to give the candidates the password. This fills in some time and is
also VERY EFFECTIVE. MUSIC PLAYED FOR MARCHING THE CANDIDATES GIVES THAT
EXTRA TOUCH TO THE INITIATING CEREMONY THAT MAKES THE LASTING IMPRESSION ON THE
For Initiation Officers Titles,
Robes, Emblems and Paraphernalia for giving the Lessons.
Master of Ceremonies Chief of Escort
Robe of Ard-Righ: Green flowing
robe, gold trimmings. Open book on breast; pages showing an ancient Irish cross.
This officer should be chosen for
his oratorical and elocutionary ability, and a man of executive ability, in
order to properly impress the candidates and conduct the Initiation ceremony.
When convenient, he may serve for many Divisions.
Brehon: Ancient Irish flowing
robe, Irish fox hounds bead for breast ornament:
Bard: Red flowing gown, with
oracle’s flame for breast ornament.
Ollamh: Flowing uniform robe with
crossed quills for breast ornament.
Chief of Escort: Cloth imitation
of scale armor, with helmet, and round shield with center spike or buss, and
carrying a broad sword or short blade of the style of Grecian use.
Sentinel: A simple black flowing
robe with an emblem of a crossed sword and battle-ax spear on the breast. A mask
or a hood like mask pointed at the top with eye slits cut in the cloth should be
worn by the Sentinel.
Eight Escorts: Some style of
armor, helmet and shield, and an eight foot spear with spear-hand about twelve
inches long, including socket, and a cross-bar beneath the head of the spear.
These should be among the tallest
men in the Division, and of military bearing, having some knowledge of
The team should obtain two large
shamrocks made of green felt pasted on cardboard in the shape of the shamrock
for the use of the Ard-Righ and the Brehon. Also a supply of small shamrocks
affixed to a pin which are placed on the breast of the candidates.
A supply of masks with closed eye
lids should also be on hand with the paraphernalia.
The team should make sure that it
has on hand all the necessary tools of the Test.
An effective wig and mask with
beard attached may be obtained for the Ard-Righ, Bard, Brehon and Ollamh. This
is an effective disguise, particularly if these parts are filled by young men.
If masks are used, by the Chief
of Escorts and Escorts it will add to the effect which the Team wishes to
create. Ordinary black paper mache masks with cloth attached to the lower part
of the mask to cover the face should be used for the Escorts.
Lesson of the Tower
The meeting hall should be
decorated with American (or Canadian) and Irish flags and each pedestal should
carry the banner provided in the First Lesson. A large facsimile of an Irish
Round Tower should be placed on the right side of the presiding officer (midway
between the presiding officers chair and the chair of the Brehon.) The Tower
should be well lit by some style of lamp or electric light which should throw
the light through the windows of the Tower. National scenes or at least a
sunburst should decorate the walls.
If possible to have reflected on
screens, rough means of a small stereopticon some great incidents of Irish
history it would add uch to the effect. The lights in the hall should be turned
low, so that the chief light would come from the Tower. During the initiation no
book should be used by anybody under any circumstances. Each member of the team
should have his part committed to memory.
Music of a vocal and instrumental
character is essential for the success of this Lesson, and it is incumbent on
the officers to provide for this need.
The team for initiation will
Ard-Righ: in the presiding
Brehon: in chair of Chairman of
Bard: in chair of Vice-President.
Ollamh (pronounced Ollav): in the
chair of Treasurer.
One Chief of Escort and eight
The great need of this lesson is
solemnity and the strictest silence should prevail. Any member violating, this
rule after being warned should be requested to retire.
During the ceremonies no other
business should be transacted by the secretaries or other officers, who, if
necessary, should retire to the anteroom if their business will not bear
The chairs should be occupied by
the County officers or Division officers or temporary officers if the former are
members of the Degree Team. The presiding officer should see that the password
of the First Lesson is taken up by Marshals appointed by him. No one must be
permitted in the hall unless be has received this Lesson.
The team should be robed in the
anteroom (separate from the candidates), and when the time has arrived for
initiation and the chamber is ready, the Chief of Escort should knock at the
door and announces his readiness. When the Sentinel opens the wicket he asks: Who demands entrance to our inner Chamber?
Chief of Escort: The officers of the inner chamber
of Hibernian Brotherhood.
The Sentinel opens the door, the
officer presiding raps his gavel TWICE and brings the members to a standing
position. The organist should play ‘The Valley Lay Smiling Before Me’ while
the team is marching around the room: The team enters in the following order:
Chief of Escort
Marching to the right of the
chamber until he arrives at the chair of the President, the Chief of Escort
halts and raises his sword, when all halt.
Turning about, the Chief of
Escort salutes the, Ard-Righ by raising his sword until the hilt is in line with
his mouth and remains in that position until the Ard-Righ takes his place on the
rostrum followed by two escorts; who stand one at each side. The officers
occupying the chairs will vacate them as the officers of the team
approach. The presiding officer surrendering the gavel to the Ard-Righ. The same
ceremony is repeated with each officer, in turn until all the officers and
escorts are in position, when the Chief of Escort, standing at the center of the
hall facing the Ard-Righ, again salutes and says: The inner chamber of Hibernian Brotherhood is now prepared to welcome
guests. We are informed there are some who ask admittance to this inner chamber
that they may learn the Lesson of the Tower. We await your instructions.
Ard-Righ: Be seated. Valiant Chief of Escort and worthy protector of our inner
chamber. I will ask the counsel of our Brothers.
The Chief Escort salutes and
carrying sword smartly at his side marches to his seat at the side of the Round
The Ard-Righ; from a list
provided by the Secretary of the Division, reads the names of the candidates
awaiting in the anteroom and continues as follows: These
men have proved worthy of admittance to our outer chamber and come clothed in
the garb of Christian Charity to learn more of our ancient and honorable Order.
Even now we should carefully consider their fitness for admittance. Is there any
reason why any of them should not be permitted to go further? Let no motives of
worldly gain, personal connection or friendship seal your lips if you know aught
of any of these men which if known would make him unworthy of our closest
confidence. Should he be present who can give such information as may protect us
from the unworthy, let him speak now or be forever silent.
If there be no response, the Ard
Righ continues: Then signify your consent and approval of their
admittance by extending your right hands.
All present extend their right
hands with palm upwards.
Ard-Righ: Valiant Chief of Escort, I request your attention.
Chief of Escort advances to the
center of hall and stands facing the Ard-Righ, with sword at salute.
Ard-Righ: You, the trusty guard of our inner chamber, will proceed to our anteroom,
secure the men who desire admittance, place them under guard, bring them within
this chamber, treat them with gentle courtesy, and assure them that no harm will
befall them, even should they fail to satisfy our requirements. (Ard-Righ
hands list of names to Chief of Escort).
Chief of Escort again salutes;
marches close to the pedestal of the Ard-Righ, and facing the hall, says: Escorts, attention!
The Escorts near the Ard-Righ
fall in behind the Chief of Escort, who marches to the Brehons chair, when the
Escorts there fall in behind, then to the Bard’s chair, then to the Ollamh’s
position. When all
the Escorts have joined him, he
lines them up in the center of the hall where he salutes the Ard-Righ with his
sword and the Escorts salute with their spears at present, wheel to the
Brehon’s chair, and salutes, then to the Bard’s and Ollamh’s successively,
saluting each without leaving the center of the hall.
After saluting, the Chief of
Escort and Escorts leave the hail and proceed to the anteroom. Slow marching
music such as ‘The Memory of the Dead’ or other Irish air should be played
during this portion of the ceremony.
While the Escorts are absent is
the anteroom the members present should join in singing ‘The Harp that Once
Through Tara’s Hall’, and when the Chief of Escort knocks at the door,
denoting that the candidates are ready, the Ard-Righ will strike twice with the
gavel and the singing ceases.
Sentinel: Who asks admittance?
Chief of Escort: Pilgrims seeking entrance to the inner chamber of Hiberianism.
Sentinel: Noble Ard-Righ, pilgrims seeking entrance to the inner chamber of
are without and ask admittance to learn the Lesson of the Tower.
Ard-Righ: Admit them, but halt all comers on the threshold for cautious inquiry.
Chief of Escort and candidates
with Escorts enter, (the organist should play an Irish marching tune such as
Garryowen while the men are being marched into the hall) and as soon as the last
are inside the
door the Chief of Escort says: Candidates, Halt! Then facing the Ard-Righ, he
continues: Noble Ard-Righ, I bring with me pilgrims who have been admitted to our outer
and have proved themselves worthy associates. They seek further advancement in
our Order and are ready to meet such inquiry and assume such bonds as our worthy
brotherhood may demand.
Ard-Righ: Let them answer to their names as you repeat them. Conduct them to the
center of our chamber that all here may study their faces. We must guard our
threshold against the unworthy and the self-seeking.
Chief of Escort and Escorts bring
the candidates to the center of the hall, and having disposed of them in an
orderly manner, salute the Ard-Righ, who says: Brothers,
study those features well and if through any neglect of ours there should be any
who have no claim to place amongst us, it is not yet too late to remedy the
After a pause, the Ard-Righ
continues: If then no obstacle stands in their path the
valiant Chief of Escort may present them to our Brehon, Bard and Ollamh, whose
wise words will convey the message all must receive before they are prepared
to take a seat in this chamber.
The candidates are marched around
facing the Brehon, and while this is being done the choir sings The Harp that Once Through Tara’s Halls
The Harp that once through Tara’s halls
The soul of music shed
as mute on Tara’s walls
As if that soul were fled.
So sleeps the pride, of former days,
So glory’s thrill is o’er,
And hearts that once beat high for praise
Now feels that pulse no more..
No more to chiefs and ladies bright
The harp of Tara swells;
The chord alone that breaks at night.
Its tale of ruin tells,
Thus Freedom now so seldom wakes,
The only throb she gives
Is when some heart indignant breaks,
To show that still she lives.
At end of song the men are lined
up before the Brehon, and the Chief of Escort says: Ancient Brehon, these strangers invoke your aid and ask that you will lift
aside the veil that hides the glory of our ancient race for twice a thousand
Brehon: As my friend(s), you stand on the threshold
of the mighty past, rich with inspiration and with memories of the olden days
when Ireland was the home of learning and the cradle of soldiers. We bring you
with footsteps slow to these portals of silent temples, and invite you to
befit yourself for the journey every true child of Erin must undertake before
he can reach the inner chambers of the House of the Gael.
Gaze upon yonder miniature representation of the
ancient Round Towers of the land of your forefathers. Those monuments of whom
the bard sang:
The pillar towers of Ireland,
how wondrously they stand,
On the mountains, in the valleys,
By the rivers of our land,
In mystic file throughout the isle,
They raise their heads sublime,
Those gray old pillar temples,
Those conquerors of time.
Mark, my friend(s), the straight shaft pointing
heavenward. See each stone laid upon the other in even circle round; see the
door placed some distance above the ground; see the whole fabric knitted
together by some cement whose composition was known only to the Master Architect
of by-gone days, the ‘Goban-Saer’. Recall that twice one thousand years
those venerable monuments have withstood the attack of time and man. The arches
of imperial Rome, the temples of Classic Greece are gone, but still remain those
towers of our sires. Once they were the home of wild pagan custom, and the
abiding place of false gods. Purified of error, they became the shelter of Holy
Faith, and the treasure house of Mother Church. When the glory of Innisfail was
lost in days of gloom, their deserted columns still remained silent sentinels
over the relics of the past.
My friend(s), reflect those towers saw the coming
of Milesian, Dane and Saxon. Those pillars witnessed the glory of Con, of
McNessa, and of Brian of the Tribute. Those mystic temples heard the prayers
to Bel, the hymn of the Druid, and at the psalm, of Patrick, and since
then welcomed no other faith. My friend(s), read the Lesson of the Tower. Time
must not change the Irishman. No matter among what peoples we wander, if bound
by the ties of Friendship; we can withstand the glow and sunshine of prosperity
as well as the bleak and bitter winds of adversity. As the tall tower points
upwards, so must your hopes and aspirations be directed to high and noble
ideals. As the door to the chamber within is some space above the ground, the
entrance to your heart must be placed too high for the creeping serpents of
slander and envy to enter therein. Stepping from your old life into the new life of
Hibernianism; like those old towers you must be purified and cleansed
of the errors of the past to worthily receive the new faith of Irelands destiny.
Crossing the threshold of the tower, leave behind you the evils and prejudices
of the past, and resolve to become a zealot for our race and a crusader for our
faith. Ever teach that our people must cultivate the spirit of true friendship,
which, coupled with forbearance and fortitude, will, like the cement of the
tower, bind them as an enduring monument.
Sons of Milesius, are you ready to assume this hold
Chief of Escort: Gentlemen, answer.
Brehon: Worthy Ard-Righ, I bespeak your attention.
The Ard-Righ steps from his
pedestal, moves into the center of the circle, salutes the Brehon, and turns to
the candidates. The Escorts step forward and present their spikes lengthwise of
the line of candidates at the command of the Chief of Escorts: Escorts lower pikes.
Ard-Righ: Gentlemen, place your right hand upon these pikes, your left hand above
your heart, and assent to the obligation our ceremonies impose.
I promise faithfully and sincerely on my honor as a
man and member of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, and as a loyal Citizen of
this Republic (Commonwealth in Canada), conscious of the dignity and glory
thereof, to obey all just laws imposed upon me by the rules of this society, I
pledge myself to hold every member of this, Order in true friendship; never to
provoke a quarrel with a brother, and always be ready to assist him when in
distress. I promise to uphold, with dignity and honor, the good name of the
to the best of my ability.
All assent to the above. Ard-Righ
withdraws and Brehon resumes.
Brehon takes shamrock in right
hand, holds it aloft, and says: Brothers, salute the
national flower of Ireland.
Choir answers by singing:
‘Tis the shamrock, the shamrock, the shamrock
immortal and green,
Ireland’s hills, by her murmuring rills.
The shamrock can be seen.
Brehon: Valiant Chief of Escort, retire these pilgrims for further preparation to
pursue the Path of Knowledge.
Chief of Escort and aides march
candidates to anteroom, while the organist plays ‘The Boys of Wexford’, the
choir and members joining in the singing. In the anteroom the Chief of Escort
gives the candidates the password of this lesson.
‘The Boys of Wexford’
In comes the captain’s daughter
The captain of the Yeo’s
Saving brave United Irishmen
Will ne’er again be foes
A thousand pounds I’ll give to you
And fly from home with thee
I’ll dress myself in man’s attire
And fight for liberty.
We are the Boys of Wexford
Who fought with heart and hand
To burst in twain the galling chain
And free our native land.
And when we left our cabins, boys,
We left with right good will
To see our friends and neighbors
That were at Vinegar Hill
A young man in our ranks
A cannon he let go,
He slapped it in to Lord Mountjoy
A tyrant he laid low.
Lesson of Endurance
Division in order and robed and
seated as before; the Bard presiding.
Bard: Valiant Chief of Escort, you will ascertain if all now in this room are
entitled to remain during the conferring of this lesson. If they are in
possession of the password of this lesson, then it is well; if not, they will be
retired by you to the anteroom.
Here Chief of Escort takes up
password and reports to the Worthy Bard: All
present are members entitled to be present and I vouch therefor.
Bard in Chair: Valiant Chief of Escort, I am informed that we have candidates waiting
the honors of this lesson. You will, therefore, repair with suitable escort to
the anteroom, prepare these candidates for such honors and conduct them to this
Chief of Escort: Venerable Bard, your commands shall be promptly obeyed. Escorts, you will
form in double rank.
Chief of Escort salutes and
passes to the anteroom. On entering same the Chief of Escort will command: Brothers, arise and permit my Escorts to prepare you for entry to our
inner chamber where further honors of this lesson await you.
Here all candidates are
blindfolded with closed masks.
When all is in readiness, the
Chief of Escort approaches the chamber door and gives usual signal.
Sentinel: Who comes there?
Chief of Escort: The Chief of Escort and Aides of Honor escorting candidates to the honors
of this lesson.
Sentinel: Give me the proper words.
Chief of Escort gives proper
Sentinel: Enter, Chief of Escort, Escorts and candidates.
As procession enters the choir
sings the following:
‘Let Erin Remember the Day of
Let Erin remember the days of old
Ere her faithless sons betrayed her
When Malachi wore the collar of gold
Which he won from her proud invader
When her kings with standards of green unfurled
Let the Red Branch Knights to danger
Ere the Emerald gem of the western world
Was set in the crown of a stranger.
On Lough Neagh’s banks as the fisherman strays
In the clear cool eve’s declining,
He sees the round towers of other days
In the waves beneath him shining
Thus shall memory often in dreams sublime.
Catch a glimpse of the days that are over
And sighing look through the waves of time
For the long faded glories they cover.
During the song, candidates are
marched around the hall; at the end of song, the Chief of Escort arranges the
candidates in a semi-circle in, front of the Bard. The Brehon in full regalia
takes his place in front of center of circle.
Chief of Escort: Ancient, Venerable Bard, we await your wisdom and advice.
Bard: Brehon, are these men qualified for the honors of the degree of the Dove
of the Cell?
Brehon salutes and says: Worthy Bard, these men are entitled to the honors of the degree of
Bard: Worthy Chief of Escort and Escorts, remove all obstructions to the
sight of our Brothers.
Bandages are removed and Bard
says: Gentlemen and Brothers, you doubtless desire to
learn why we have temporarily obscured your vision. Let me say it was not
because of any dark or mystic rite or ceremony, but to forcibly bring to your
understanding one of the most, striking and glorious evidences of
devotion, sincerity and obedience in history.
The sainted Columbkill; may his memory be as green
as his deeds were glorious; who brought the highest honor to the Irish race,
wore bandages likes those just taken from your eyes. Living as he did, directly
following the advent of the patron saint of Ireland, he was one of the many
learned and pious men that won for Erin the distinguished title of ‘Island of
Saints and Scholars’, and though the number of Irelands saints and scholars at
that era was countles, there was none to surpass or even rival in devotion to
God and country, the sublime Columbkill. His grand passion for learning led him
to a grievous error for which he was severely punished. He was banished from
Ireland, never to look upon its hills or vales again, banished from the land of
his birth and his love, and of which he has so beautifully and touchingly
spoken: ‘Great tears are in my eyes when I turn to Erin where the young are so
gentle; the old so wise, where the great men are so noble to look upon, and the
women so fair to wed. The very breezes that blow over the hills of Holy Ireland
are to me like the zephyrs of Paradise. In his anger he caused war between the
clans of his beloved Innisfail. Faction’s horrid strife defiled the fair
land, and though victory crowned his comrades arms the heart of Columbkill was
heavy with the weight of his fault. The great saint knew that he who caused
disunion amongst a people, committed a sin which was almost beyond measure
of its ill effects on the future of a race.
Time, the great healer of sorrows, never relaxed
the rigors of the severe sentence of Columbkill. His noble soul, after thirty
long years of exile, once more set foot upon the soil he loved, as an envoy of
his followers in Scotland. In departing from his adopted home, his eyes were
bandaged and so remained until he reached his native land, fulfilled his
mission and returned to Iona with his eyes still blindfolded. There, away from
the land that he loved, with a heart as pure as the dew from heaven, the soul of
Columbkill passed to its God. We have taken this grand character and this
pathetic event in his glorious life as the best exposition of the enormity of
factionism. As an example and an inspiration for every true son of the Gael, let
Columbkill’s penance to God and country be ever in your memory and heart to
remind you of your duty to preserve UNITY- among the children of the Gael.
And now, turning from the life of this gentle saint
and scholar, hark to the exultant song of the warrior. Let its fierce, wild
notes fill, your heart with joy and inspire your soul with courage. Brothers,
sing, sing the grand war song, O’Donnell Aboo.
The choir, ‘or better still,
the Division sings: O’DONNELL ABOO!
Proudly the note of the trumpet is sounding,
Loudly the war-cries arise on the gale,
Fleetly the steed by Lough Swilly is bounding,
To join the thick squadrons in Saimer’s green
On every mountaineer,
Strangers to flight and fear!
Rush to the standard of dauntless Red Hugh!
Bonaught and Gallowglass!
Throng from each mountain-pass!
On for old Erin: O’Donnell Aboo!
Princely O’Neil to our aid is advancing,
With many a chieftain and warrior clan!
A thousand proud steeds in his vanguard are
Neath the borders brave from the banks of the Bann.
Many a heart shall quail
Under its coat of mail,
Deeply the merciless foe-man shall rue,
When on his ear shall ring,
Borne on the breezes wing,
Tyrconnell’s dread war-cry: O’Donnell Aboo!
Bard: Valiant Chief of Escort, conduct these, men to our learned Ollamh, who
will teach them to observe what will weaken and what will strengthen the virtue
Chief of Escort commands: Attention! and marches the candidates around
the hall, forming them in a half-circle before the Ollamh. The organist will
play and the choir, will sing: ‘The Men of the West’.
Whilst ye honor in song and in story
The names of the patriot men
Whose valor has covered with glory
Full many a mountain and glen
Forget not the boys of the heather
Who rallied their bravest and best
When Ireland lay bleeding at Wexford
And looked for revenge to the West.
Then here’s to the gallant old Went, boys,
Who rallied our bravest and best
When Ireland lay bleeding and broken
Hurrah for the Men of the West.,
Chief of Escort: Inspired Ollamh, I present candidates who ask for your instruction
Ollamh: Brothers, in your progress toward the goal of Hibernianism you were
reminded of the olden days. You stood beneath the grey old temples, the
preachers of the past, and heard the message of Friendship from those mystic
conquerors of time.
From the silent tower you turned to contemplate
the Soldier, Saint and Scholar. The grand character of Columbkill loomed up
you. If there be a glorious page in the history of the past, it is that which
shines in honor and virtue about the name and memory of that gifted son of the
Gael. Imperial Rome, in all her brilliant history, can scarcely trace a
brighter page. Yet, if there be a lesson in our Nation’s story, worthy of
Irish thought, it is conveyed in the tale of the sin and penance of the Dove of
the Cell. Let those sacred memories live in your heart and
mind. They are a proud inheritance, pure, beautiful
and bright; let their impress never die.
But, sirs, we have now to deal with the present,
this day, this very hour, and in the name of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, we
call to your attention the sacred duties that you owe to God, country and the
proud old race of which you are a scion. You are possessed of the blood of an
heroic and honored race, whose escutcheon is as bright today as when
Clontarf’s fateful field was grandly won. Our Order speaks and charges you in
the name of justice, liberty, and right, to preserve the honor of the
unconquerable Celt, as spotless and as pure as it was handed down to you. These
virtues should never pass from our possession while an Irish heart hath blood
and love to cherish. Though in the bitter past stern fortune frowned, the
is still on, although through the heroic efforts and sacrifices of the Men of
Easter Week and ,the determined resistance of the Irish people, our cause has
achieved a measure of success, the dream of Irishmen has not yet been realized
and can never be fulfilled until heavens sun shines radiantly over a free,
united and fetterless Ireland.
Thus far through fate our cause hath failed, yet we
cherish the proud thought that future ages will listen to the tale of Erin’s
struggle with noble pride rather than with a tear of patriotic pity. The race
remains, their cause remains, both loyal, both eternal. Then, sirs, let it be
your duty at all times to kindle anew the fires of patriotism until Erin is free
from the center to the sea and takes her rightful place among the nations of the
earth knowing that the direct path that leads to all that is dear to the
children of Innisfail lies through unchanging faith, virtue, justice and
The Irishman believes that all men are equal in the
sight of God; that mans governmental duty is to provide for spiritual as well
as material needs; that freedom, unaided by Christian education, opens the door
of forgetfulness and neglects true ideals, which alone can make man happy,
people prosperous and nations great. Will you promise adherence to these
principles of lofty patriotism and respect that promise as binding on you both
within and without the Order?
Candidate: I will.
Ollamh: Then repeat after me: I (your name), impressed by the story of the land
where my forefathers were born, imbued with loyalty and devotion to the United
States of America (Canada), my country, hereby promise before all assembled that
I will promote the happiness, welfare and prosperity, of the Irish people in
every land whenever in my power. I will encourage the people of my race to
cooperate with each other in advancing their material interest. I will, strive
for the upbuilding of the Irish Nation to the end that absolutely free from
foreign control she may develop her resources, establish her independence and
continue the noble record of her past in behalf of Religion and Education.
After a pause Ollamh: Esteemed Chief of Escort, present our friends to the noble Ard-Righ.
While the candidates are being
escorted before the pedestal of the Ard-Righ, the choir sings Faith of our
Faith of our fathers! living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword!
Oh, how our hearts beat high with joy
Whene’er we hear that glorious word.
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death!
We will be true to thee till death.
Our fathers chained in prisons dark
Were still in heart and conscience free
How sweet would be their children’s fate.
If they, like them, could die, for thee.
Chief of Escort: Noble Ard-Righ, our candidates have listened to the counsel, admonitions,
and inspiration of Brehon, Bard, and Ollamh. They now return to receive your
to remain in this chamber.
Ard-Righ: Children of Innisfail, welcome thrice welcome! I offer you, the hand of
Friendship. I extend to you the embrace of Unity, I share with you the spirit of
Christian Charity. I now invest you with the emblem of the Trinity made
sacred by the teachings of St. Patrick.
The Ard-Righ then touches each
candidate on the left breast with a shamrock held in his right hand. Aides
follow and pin small shamrocks on the candidates.
Ard-Righ: Worthy Chief of Escort, conduct our brothers to the places reserved for
Chief of the Escort seats the
newly obligated brothers in seats provided, and the Ard-Righ continues: Most worthy associates and esteemed brothers, it is fitting and proper
that at this happy moment when we rejoice in the accession of these worthy
brothers to the ranks of our noble Order, that we learn from their lips whether
they in their own persons can give evidence of the necessity of our thus meeting
beneath the shadow of the Round Tower of our forefathers. The ancient methods
of education included that which was imparted by propounding questions to the
pupils and correcting such errors as were made in their responses. Following the
example of the past we will invite our friends to answer such inquiries as we
may make regarding their knowledge of the doctrines of our faith and the history
of the land of their forefathers.
The Ard-Righ will call on one of
the newly obligated brothers and ask such questions as may be agreed on by the
team previous to the commencement of the ceremony. Should the answers be
wrong, the Ard-Righ will give the correct reply and urge the study of Irish
history and Catholic doctrine in every home. If the team desires they may at
this time have the Chaplain or some person verged in Irish History and Catholic
Doctrines give an explanation of the questions which have been expounded.
The inquisition having concluded,
the Ard-Righ continues: Let
no brother think the questions were for the purpose of embarrassing him; but
rather let him believe it was intended to impress on him the need of Education
and Patriotism among our people. Let this lesson suggest that every school where
it is practicable for our children to attend, should be one where the doctrines
of our Faith and the History of our Nation are taught and explained, to the end,
that amid the unbeliever and the stranger all may be fitted to advocate and
defend Holy Church and Mother Country. In this moment of enthusiasm and
interest; let us rise and sing God Save Ireland.
High upon the gallows tree,
Swung the noble-hearted three,
By the vengeful tyrant stricken in their bloom;
But they met him face to face,
With. the spirit of their race,
And they went with their souls undaunted to their
God save Ireland! said the heroes;
God save Ireland! said they all,
Whether on the scaffold high,
Or the battlefield we die,
Oh what matter, when, for Erin dear we fall.
Girt around with cruel foes,
Still their courage proudly rose,
For they thought of hearts that loved them far and
Of the millions true and brave
O’er the oceans swelling wave,
And the friends in holy Ireland ever, dear,
God save Ireland! said they proudly;
God save Ireland! said they all;
Whether on the scaffold high
Or the, battlefield we die,
Oh, what matter, when for Erin dear we fall!
Climbed they up the rugged stair,
Rung their voices out in, prayer,
Then with England’s fatal cord around them cast,
Close beneath the gallows tree,
Kissed like brothers lovingly,
True to home and faith and freedom to the last,
God save Ireland! prayed they loudly;
God save Ireland! prayed they all
Whether on the scaffold high
Or the battlefield we die,
Oh, what matter, when for Erin dear we fall!
Never till the latest day
Shall the memory pass away
Of the gallant lives thus given for our land;
But on the cause must go,
Through joy, or weal, or woe,
Till we make our isle a nation free and grand.
God save Ireland! say we proudly,
God save Ireland! say we all
Whether on the scaffold high
Or the battlefield we die,
Oh, what matter, when for Erin dear we fall!
If the Test or Fourth Degree is
being exemplified on the same day the following will be omitted and will be
used at the conclusion of the Tests. If it has been decided to give the test
separately on a different night, then the following will be used to conclude
Ard-Righ continues: Noble Escort in Chief, you will prepare to dismiss our worthy associates,
and guide us from this chamber, bearing with you the emblem of our ceremonies
assisted by your guard.
To you, brothers all, and to every Irish heart we
wish: Bannacht Die Libi (Liv). (Gods Blessing he with you.)
Two raps of the gavel. All arise.
Chief of Escort salutes Ard-Righ,
advances to pedestal of Ollamh, who steps down, and two escorts take places by
Chief of Escort proceeds in
succession to Bard; Brehon and Ard-Righ. The Ard-Righ proceeds to center of
hail, accompanied by Escorts, and halts, facing entrance. In turn, Brehon, Bard
and Ollamh take positions behind Ard-Righ. When all are in line, Chief of Escort
again faces Ard-Righ, and facing around, raises his sword as a signal to march.
Leading the team he guides them to the anteroom, and all disrobe.
Immediately after the door closes
on the team the proper official will assume charge of Division, and giving three
raps of the gavel, all take their seats ready to proceed with the routine
Test, or Fourth Lesson
At the close of the previous lesson, the Chief of Escort will command: Gentlemen and Brethren, you will please arise, form a single file, and
accompany me to the anteroom.
All arise and when arranged in proper order under the lead of the Chief of
Escort and his guards march to the anteroom while the choir and the assembled
members will sing ‘The Felons of our Land’:
Fill up once more, well drink a toast
To comrades far away.
No nation upon earth can boast
Of braver hearts than they.
(II) And though they sleep in dungeons deep,
Or flee, outlawed and banned,
We love them yet, we cant forget
The Felons of Our Land!
In boyhoods bloom and manhoods pride,
Foredoomed by alien laws,
Some on the scaffold proudly died
For holy Irelands cause,
(II) And, brothers, say shall we today
Unmoved. like cowards, stand
Whilst traitors shame, and foes defame
The Felons of Our Land?
Some in the convicts dreary cell
Have found a living tomb
And some unseen, unfriended, fell
Within the dungeons gloom!
(II) Yet what care we, although it be
Trod by a ruffian band
God bless the clay where rest today
The Felons of Our Land!
Let cowards sneer and tyrants frown
Oh, little do we care,
A felons caps the noblest crown
An Irish head can wear!
And every Gael in Innisfail
Who scorns the serfs vile brand.
From Lee to Boyne would gladly join
The Felons of Our Land.
The Escorts remain with the men while the Chief of Escorts returns to
learn if the
tools of the Test are in readiness. When all is ready, the members arise
and in a standing position await the return of the Chief of Escort with, all
the candidates. The organist will play ‘The Minstrel Boy’ as the candidates
are being marched into the room:
The Minstrel Boy to the war has gone
In the ranks of death you will find him;
His fathers sword he has girded on,
And his wild harp slung behind him.
‘Land of song’ said the warrior bard
Though all the world betrays thee
One sword at least they right shall guard
One faithful harp shall praise thee!
The Minstrel fell but the foemans chain
Could not bring his proud, soul under,
The harp he loved ne’er spoke again
For he tore its chords asunder.
And said, No chains shall sully thee,
Thou soul of love and bravery,
Thy songs were made for the pure and free
And shall never sound in slavery!
The men are formed in a circle. The Ard-Righ, Ollamh and Bard and Brehon
are in full regalia in center of circle. When the men are halted the Chief of
Escort says: Worthy Brothers, the men are here.
Ard-Righ says: Brothers, you have clearly shown
your right to a limited membership in our honorable Order. The questions of
faith and blood have been successfully met by you. It now remains for you to
prove your right to unlimited membership. The matter of your physical courage
and manly daring is now to be put to the test by which you may gain or lose our
everlasting love and respect. Manly courage is an attribute inseparably
connected without ancient and loyal race. It nerved the heart of every hero of
Innisfail from the days of Gadelius down to this very hour. To claim kindred
with this mighty host of history, we demand that you, at this time and place,
demonstrate that you are worthy of such honors. That green shamrock we placed
upon your breast would wither and drop at your feet in shame, should you fail to
prove that the ancient spirit is in you.
Here retire all but one candidate. Organist plays ‘The Dead March’
as men are marched out.
Ard-Righ says: Behold this (No.
1,***). Observe its (No.
2,***). Come forward, sir, and in the name of Irish Chivalry,
confront its terrors. The brave man dies but once; the coward, many times. Let
us burn the daring soul of a Celt into you, never to depart while a wrong
remains to be righted, in the cause of our Fatherland. We desire to extend to
you the right hand of fellowship. We wish to clasp a warm and valiant hand. Now,
sir, advance and (No.
5,***) the (No.
4,***), to show your assembled brothers your courage and devotion.
Here the fine work is introduced by friends whispering: Don’t do it; it is cruel and wicked. When
candidate refuses, take him out and bring in candidates one after another until
all are tried out. When all have been tried out, arrange them in solemn line
about the (No. 5,***).
The Bard advances and says: Worthy Ard-Righ, as a
representative of the days of Irish Chivalry, I desire in the name of true
Christian Charity and Brotherly Love, to prove its value still. I will redeem
the failures of this night through these new brothers. Bard advances and (No. 6,***) his (No. 7,***)
into the (No. 8,***) takes it (No. 9,***) calmly and continues:
Now, Worthy Ard-Righ, show these men their folly.
Ard-Righ explains the (No. 10,***), and, after the usual (No. 11,***)
extends the right hand of fellowship, with the following words: Brothers, in the name of ... Division No. ... (or the County Board of
County) of the Ancient Order of Hibernians, I welcome you to our Order.
Note: The explanation may be given as suits the Chief of Escort. After
this the men are taken by the Chief of Escort to be introduced to the brothers
of the Division.
For missing sentences, officers will consult the explanatory circular,
which has been issued from headquarters.
Great care should be exercised in the preparation and giving of this test.
It is as good as can be devised, but requires great skill and ability on the
part of the men who conduct it.
The President with ONE rap of the gavel, requests all to kneel, and either
the Chaplain or the President recites the following closing prayer: In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, and in
the name of St. Patrick, the Glorious Apostle of Ireland, I declare this meeting
closed. Grant, O Lord, who makest the minds of the faithful to be of one will,
that we, Thy people, may love what Thou hast commanded, and desire what Thou
hast promised, and that amid the changes of the world our hearts may ever love
and obey Thee, Through Christ, our Lord, Amen.
Chaplain (or President): Let us pray for our
President and members recite the ‘Our Father’, the ‘Hail Mary’,
and the ‘Glory be to the Father’, etc., and the ‘Eternal Best Grant to
Them O Lord’ to which members respond: And Let Perpetual Light Shine Upon Them.
Chaplain (or President): May they rest in Peace.
The President then raps twice with the gavel and requests the members to
rise while the President says: Brothers, you are
cautioned against speaking of anything that has transpired at this meeting to
any but those whom you know to be members in good standing and bound by the same
fraternal ties as ourselves of Friendship, Unity and Christian Charity.
The organist will then play the Closing Ode, ‘The Soldier’s Song’
and ‘Star Spangled Banner’ (or in Canada ‘O Canada’, which the members
will join in singiIng. At the conclusion of the song, the President then raps
the gavel three times and says: This meeting now stands adjourned until our next
regular meeting ... except in
the case of emergency, in which event you will be
‘Soldiers of Erin’
I’ll sing you a song, a soldiers song
With cheering rousing chorus,
As round our blazing fires we throng,
The starry heavens o’er us;
Impatient for the coming fight
As we await the mornings light
Here in the silence of the night
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
Soldiers are we, whose lives are pledged to Ireland
Some have come from a land beyond the wave,
Sworn to be free, no more our ancient sireland
Shall shelter the despot or the slave
Tonight we man the Beargna Wail
In Erin’s cause come woe or weal
Midst cannons roar and rifles peal
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
In valleys green, on towering crag,
Our fathers fought before us,
’neath the same old flag
That’s proudly floating o’er us,
Were children of a lighting race,
That never yet has known disgrace,
And as we march the foe to face
We’ll chant a soldier’s song.
Sons of the Gael, men of the Pale,
The long-watched day is breaking
The serried ranks of Innisfail
Shall set the tyrant quaking,
Our camp-fires now are burning low,
See, in the East a silvery glow,
Out yonder waits the Saxon foe,
So chant a soldier’s song.