Order of the Sons of Hermann
PRESIDENT gives sign to
be seated, *: I request the officers and members to provide
themselves with the insignia of the Order and be seated.
Brother (Sister) Inner Guide: Convince yourself that the Outer Guide is at his post of duty, ask for
the password and close the door.
GUIDE goes to the center of the hall and says: Brother (Sister): I desire to report that all those present are entitled
to take part in the proceedings.
PRESIDENT gives the sign to rise, *:
Officers and Members: Let us now proceed with the transaction of business,
without prejudice, selfishness or partyism, having in view only the weal and
woe of this Lodge, and this Order.
Sign to be seated.
The Ex-President, Secretary and Guide retire to the
ante-room, and let the candidate answer the required questions and sign the
The above named officers retire to the ante-room; the
Ex-President reads from the book the prepared question to be signed by the
candidate, and witnessed by the Ex-President and Secretary.
PRESIDENT: Officers and Members: You
have decided to admit the candidate to membership in this lodge. He is present
in the ante-room, and if there are no further objections, we will now proceed
with the initiation. Pause.
ante-room: I will again read the question which you signed in
the membership register and ask you to answer:
1. Is it your desire to become members of Lodge No, and of
the Order of the Sons of Hermann? Will you voluntarily assume all the duties
and obligations of membership?
2. Are you, to the best of your knowledge, in good health?
3. Are you a citizen of the United States of America?
4. If not, do you promise to become a citizen as soon as
5. Were you ever a member of our Order, and under what
circumstances did you relinquish your membership?
6. Were you ever rejected as an applicant for membership
in any Lodge of this Order, and on what grounds?
7. Did you read the Constitution of our Order? Does it meet
with your approval?
8. You must also sign the following obligation:
I, the undersigned, hereby promise and agree that I will
comply at all times with the Constitution and Laws of the Order of the Sons of
Hermann in the State of
as well as the Constitution
and By-Laws of … Lodge No …, and also with all changes in the Constitution
and Laws that may be made while I am a member of this Order, and I hereby bind
my self, my heirs, executors and administrators to make only such demands or
claims against the Order, as are guaranteed to me by said Constitution and
IN WITNESS WHEREOF and as a full understanding and
agreement between myself and … lodge No. … O.D.H.S. I hereunto subscribe
my name in … Texas, this the … day of A.D. 192…
Recommended by Initiated by President
After the above questions and pledges have been signed
the Ex-President says: Since you have properly answered all questions, we will
now make report to the Lodge and recommend you for membership. You will
therefore follow the Guide.
(Sister) Guide: Introduce the newly initiated Brother (Sister) to the
Ex-President, who will explain the origin and history of our Order.
Ex-President and Secretary re-enter the Hall and report: Bro. President: Candidate … has
all questions and desires to be initiated.
PRESIDENT: He is welcome. Brother
(Sister) Inner Guard, you will announce to the Guide in the ante-room, that
the lodge is ready to proceed with the initiation of the candidate,
The Guide demands admission and while entering the
president gives the sign to rise. The Guide escorts the candidate to the
President and says: Brother (Sister) President: I
introduce to you a candidate who wishes to become acquainted with the
teachings of our Order.
The President gives signal to be seated.
PRESIDENT: My Friends: By reason of
your admission into the Order of Sons of Hermann you are not required to
change your attitude towards your family and fellow man, for the Order of the
Sons of Hermann knows no distinction as to religion or politics: Any white
person can become a member of this Order if he is honest in his intentions and
of good moral character. Is it still your firm desire to become a member of
this Lodge and the Order?
Brother (Sister) Guide:
Introduce the candidate to the Vice-President who will take his obligation
required for a member of this Order,
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Vice-President:
Upon the request of the President I present this candidate who is willing to
take a solemn pledge required of him to fully comply with all of the
obligations which he is about to assume.
My Friends: If you are ready to take a solemn pledge, raise your right hand as
a sign that you will fulfill the promise which I now ask of you.
You again obligate
yourself in the presence of the Officers and members here assembled that you
will faithfully fulfill all of the promises that you have made in the
ante-room and to the Ex-President. You further promise that you will keep
secret all of the signs and pass words of the Order which will hereafter be
given to you, as well as the proceedings of this lodge, and that you will
communicate them to no one.
President gives sign of gavel.
You promise that you will
not wrong, nor cheat, nor harm any member in any manner whatsoever; but that
you will warn him of danger and defend him against secret attacks and that you
will assist him when necessary and protect him to the best of your ability.
Should any property of the
Lodge ever be entrusted to you, you obligate yourself to safely keep it and
upon request of the Lodge or Grand Lodge, promptly deliver it to any
authorized member. Should you be expelled from the Lodge for valid reasons, or
should your name be stricken from the roll of membership, or should you
voluntarily resign, you will still obey these obligations and hold this
promise as sacred and binding as though you had taken an oath in the court of
Vice-President takes candidates right hand and says: With this grip you place your honor in the hands of the members that you
will faithfully keep these promises.
President gives sign to be seated.
Brother (Sister) Guide: Introduce the candidates to the Secretary.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Secretary: The
candidate is ready to sign the constitution of the Order and By-laws of the
Lodge and to accept a copy thereof.
The candidate signs the constitution and by-laws and the
Secretary hands him a copy.
SECRETARY: Brother (Sister) Guide.
You will conduct the candidate to the chair of the President.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) President: I
present this candidate for further instructions.
PRESIDENT: My Friends: Since you
have taken the solemn obligations, it now becomes my duty to acquaint you with
the aims and purposes of the Order as well as the signs and tokens we use. We
Hermann Sons consider ourselves members of a large family, a genuine brotherhood,
(sisterhood), and therefore expect that every brother (sister) shall not only
demand his (her) rights, but that he (she) will also faithfully fulfill all
duties which the Order requires of him (her).
First, we have a motto:
“Friendship, love and truth,” which is explained as follows: Friendship we
offer to those whom we honor and respect; love we give those to whom our
friendship is extended; and truth we offer to every brother (sister) whom in
Friendship we love until we follow him (her) to his (her) final place of
rest; if we do this, we are true to the obligations we have assumed.
Second, We have an
entrance sign which is used as follows: Should a member be late to a Lodge
meeting, he (she) will find the door closed; he (she) gives a vigorous knock
on the door; the Outer Guard steps to the door and opens it; you give him
(her) your name, number and location of your Lodge and the pass word which I
will communicate to you later, thereupon, he (she) will permit you to enter
the ante-room. Here you will obtain the regalia to which you are entitled, and
then the Inner guard will notify the Vice-President who will permit you to
Third, the salutation
sign. After you have entered, you step to the center of the hall which is
indicated by a table or altar and give the following signs which mean:
The index finger of the
right hand placed perpendicular over the mouth, with the thumb under the
chin (middle) means “secrecy” of all matters that come before the Lodge or
in any other Lodge of the Order. Placing the right hand over the heart means
love for the members, love for the Order and love for mankind. Dropping the
open hand means that you are always ready to assist and help needy persons; it
is especially your duty to assist a needy member as much as possible. Should
you desire to leave the hall, you have to repeat the signs that you gave when
you entered. Give Vice President the same sign.
Fourth: We have a voting
sign for “yes” or “no,” “for” or “against; “that is, the right
hand lifted to the height of the right ear.
Fifth: We have the sign of
the gavel as given by the President, two raps (**) of the gavel is the sign
for all members to rise from their seat. One rap (*) calls the Lodge to order,
closes all debates definitely and signifies that all members must be seated.
Sixth: We have the
handclasp. A Hermann Sons gives the whole hand, thumb against thumb.
As you have heretofore
been told, we use, besides the signs, a pass word which I shall now
communicate to you as a full-pledged member. Gives
pass word This pass word which I have just given you can only be
given by the President or his authorized representative, and you must always
keep it secret. Should you at any time be authorized to give it, you are
obligated to give it in the same manner as you received it.
Sign to rise * *.
PRESIDENT: Brother (Sister): I now
invest you with the insignia of our Order, extend the hand, and hope that you
will become a true and worthy member of our Lodge. By virtue of my office, I
now declare you a regular member of … Lodge No. … , under the jurisdiction
of the Grand Lodge of the Order of the Sons of Hermann in the State of Texas.
Sign to be seated.
GUIDE: Brother (Sister) Ex-President:
Upon request of the President I present to you … for further information.
…, as a member of our Order it will be of interest to you to know why we have
adopted the name, Sons of Hermann, also the duties that you have assumed by
joining our Order: The name was chosen to honor the memory of Herman the
Cherusker, a noted hero in the early history of the German race known for Valor
and unselfish devotion, ever ready to render assistance to those who were
oppressed. Loyal to his duty, faithful to his friends, he inspired others to
render service to their Fellow man. Follow his example, be ever ready to render
service to your country and assistance to. a member and his family.
Be true to your promise,
your family, the principles of our Order and the members. These attributes are
essential because we are a brotherhood in name and deed. To visit the sick and
assist those in distress, as much as possible is one of our highest obligations.
It is also our duty to pay homage to a member, whose spirit has departed to
realms unknown, by accompanying his remains to its final place of rest. To
provide for the widows and orphans of our brothers and to assist them in every
way, is also one of the most important duties which the O.D.H.S. strives to
perform, so that the widows and orphans may always find solace and hope in their
I have confidence that
you, as a member of our Order, will carry out these principles. I now offer you
my hand and ask that you attend our lodge meetings as often as circumstances
permit. Make an earnest effort to carry out the principles of our motto;
Friendship, Love and Truth, and your deeds will be crowned with success and
prove you worthy of membership.
The Guide leads the new member to the center of the lodge
room, facing the President, who gives the sign to rise.
…, I bid you welcome to our beloved Order and hope and expect that you will
not only cherish and follow the beautiful teachings that you have just received,
but that you will also be, strive to remain, or become a true housewife under
any and all circumstances; a true wife to your husband; a loving mother to your
children and a worthy sister to your brothers and sisters. In that event, we
will always look with pride upon you, and many sisters will emulate your example
and try to act likewise. Therefore, work with us from this day, encourage the
officers of this Lodge by being present in the meetings, and if possible attend
all regular meetings; also visit the sick sisters, console and cheer them, also
help them if in poverty as much is in your power and you will have the
consolation that you acted as a worthy sister of Thusnelda, the beloved wife of
Hermann the Cherusker.
Permit me, before I close,
to explain the meaning of our beautiful motto: “Friendship, Love and Truth.”
Friendship we offer those whom we exalt in the large family of mankind, whom,
from the bottom of our hearts, we wish success and prosperity; whom we would
warn of danger and whom we would assist and help if in need.
Love: Beloved is a person
with whom we love to be and have with us, and with whom we love to associate;
whom we wish to have all that is good, which we ourselves desire; for whom we
would sacrifice all and for whom we would pledge our honor; that is Love.
Truth: Truthfullness in
our words and actions, and truth even in our thoughts is to cherish and foster
true friendship and love.
The Guide leads the new member to the center of the lodge
room, facing the President, who gives the sign to rise.
PRESIDENT: Brothers (Sisters): I now
commend you to the friendship of our members and declare an intermission for you
to make their personal acquaintance.
PRESIDENT, gives sign to rise: Officers and Members: We now part in F. L. and T. and I declare this
meeting duly adjourned until our next regular meeting.
President gives the closing sign.