THIRD DEGREE, OR DEGREE OF TRUTH

 

Dit amerikaanse rituaal dateert uit 1909.


The Lodge is opened in due form in Third Degree. When the designated routine is reached in the Order of Business.

Noble Grand: Recording Secretary, have any candidates been elected to receive the Third Degree?

If the Secretary answers in the affirmative, he gives the name (or names) of the Candidate (or Candidates) in full. The NG. instructs the Warden to go to the ante-room and ascertain if he (or they) is (or are) in waiting. The Warden re-enters the Lodge and reports accordingly. The Officers prepare themselves and the Lodge for initiation in the Third Degree. The NG. appoints an officer to assume the duties of Conductor. The Conductor retires into the ante-room and after a few moments raps on the inner door.

Inside Guardian: Noble Grand, there is an alarm at the door.

NG.: Attend to the alarm.

I Guar. (opening the wicket): Who comes there?

Conductor: A Brother, who, having taken the covenant of the Order, has learned the divine lesson of humanity, and now seeks to obtain the Degree of Truth.

I Guar. (closinq the wicket): Noble Grand, a Brother, having taken the covenant of the Order, has learned the divine lesson of humanity, and now seeks to obtain the Degree of Truth.

NG.: Why does he seek to obtain this degree?

I Guar. (opening the wicket): Why does he seek to obtain this degree?

Cond.: Because Truth is the Imperial virtue.

I Guar. (closing the wicket): Because Truth is the imperial virtue.

NG.: What does he expect from the Truth?

I Guard. (opening the wicket): What does he expect from the Truth?

Cond.: That it will teach him his duty to God and his fellow man.

I. Guard. (closing the wicket): That it will teach him his duty to God and his fellow man.

NG.: Admit the Brother to the mysteries of the Degree of Truth.

The Conductor proceeds with the Candidate to the chair of the NG., and introduces him as follows.

Cond.: Noble Grand, I present to you a worthy Brother, who having been duly elected, now seeks to obtain the mysteries of this degree.

NG. (standing): Has he been found worthy in the degrees he has already received, and is he one who is likely to perform with fidelity the obligations of an Odd Fellow?

Cond.: He seems in all respects worthy of our confidence.

NG.: Is he proficient in the work of the preceding degrees and is he qualified for advancement?

Cond.: He is, Noble Grand.

NG. (to Candidate): My Brother, before receiving the mysteries of this degree, are you willing to enter into a solemn obligation to retain its secrets and to perform all the lawful duties to which it may enjoin?

If the candidate answers in the affirmative, the Noble Grand continues: Present the Candidate to the Vice Grand for obligation.

Conductor presents candidate to Vice Grand from center of floor.

Cond.: Vice Grand, by direction of the Noble Grand, I present this candidate for obligation.

NG. calls up the lodge.

VG. (to the Candidate): Place your right hand on your left breast, say I, pronounce your name in full, and repeat after me:

 

 

OBLIGATION

 

I, ..., in the presence of the members of the Degree of Truth here assembled, do solemnly promise, that I will conceal and never reveal the signs, secrets, and mysteries of this degree, unless it be to a brother Odd Fellow of this degree and in good standing, or in a lawful lodge of brothers who shall be legally authorized to receive the same. I furthermore promise to be faithful to my former obligations in this order. To the faithful performance of all which I pledge my sacred honor.

NG. seats the lodge.

VG. (to Conductor): Present the candidate to the acting Past Grand for the charge of this degree.

Conductor presents candidate to Past Grand from center of floor.

Cond.: Worthy Past Grand, by the direction of the Vice Grand, I present to you this candidate for the charge of this degree.

 

 

PAST GRANDíS CHARGE

 

Past Grand: My Brother, you are now entering upon the last degree of a Subordinate Lodge, that which crowns the fabric; and we devote it to the principle of Truth, which is appropriately introduced in this portion of our work; for it follows close after Love, and has an intimate connection with it. It is the spontaneous result of genuine and constant Love. If you are faithful to the duties enjoined in the last degree, Truth will appear in all you say and do, as an intrinsic ornament of your character. If Love is the fundamental element of all morality, Truth is the Imperial virtue. It is the treasure for which the candid mind ever seeks, the consummation for which we apply in all our investigations. It is the sanction of every appeal that is made for the good and the right. It condemns the wrongs, the sins, and the falsehoods of the world. It may be long in achieving its victory, but it is omnipotent, and must triumph at last. The man of Truth is the best and the strongest man; his soul, like a spring of clear water, reflects the light of heaven and is full of life. His speech and his actions are always just, he wins involuntary respect, he blesses and purifies all around him. He is a solid landmark amid the waves of faction, the storms of passion, and the conflicts of error. Based upon the principles of universal brother. hood, open wide the doors of relief and sympathy, imparting the beautiful and sacred sentiments of friendship and love, Odd Fellowship sends forth its novitiates clothed with dignity of truth; without which, all professions are uncertain and insincere. With which, they become harmonious and effectual.

To the Conductor: Proceed with the Candidate to our Noble Grand.

The Noble Grand gives one rap, (*) seating the Lodge.

NG.: Brother, are you willing to advance, that you may become a Brother of this degree?

Candidate answers.

NG. (to Conductor): Let the Brother be taken to the ante-room, that he may re-enter and be instructed in the Degree of Truth.

The Conductor will retire with the Candidate to the ante-room; a white robe is placed upon the Candidate, and all being ready, the Conductor will advance to the inside door with the Candidate and give the alarm.

I Guard.: Vice Grand, there is an alarm at the door.

VG.: Attend to the alarm.

I. Guard. (opening the wicket): Who comes there?

Cond.: A Brother who is ready to receive the mysteries of this degree.

I Guar. (closing die wicket): A brother is ready to receive the mysteries of this degree.

VG.: Admit him.

The Conductor will proceed with the Candidate to the Noble Grand and introduce him as follows:

Cond.: Noble Grand, I have the pleasure of presenting to you for instruction Brother ..., who is a probationer, has served his time as such, and has proved to be obedient and willing to do his duty in conformity with his obligations.

NG.: Brother ..., I welcome you, and commend your zeal for promotion in our Order, fully believing that you have an ambition to do good. Before you can be advanced to the full enjoyment of this degree, it is necessary that you give acceptable answers to the following questions in presence of the Brothers here assembled.

Several Brothers draw near, around the Candidate. The Noble Grand proceeds.

NG.: Do you know of any reason why we should not entrust to you the mysteries of this degree?

Candidate answers.

NG.: Is it your desire to receive the Scarlet Degree, for the purpose of promoting your moral and intellectual welfare?

Candidate answers.

NG.: Brethren of the Priestly Order, are you satisfied with the answers?

If satisfied, each member says: I am.

The Brothers surrounding the Candidate retire.

NG.: Conductor, you will introduce the Brother to the High Priest of this degree.

The Conductor leads the Candidate to the Chaplain.

Cond.: High Priest Aaron, I present to you Brother ..., a probationer who is qualified to receive the Scarlet Degree or Priestly Order.

Chaplain (as High Priest Aaron): My brother, you come among us in darkness and in doubt. With faltering steps you groped your way to light. Here you learned anew the lesson of manís mortality, and of the certain decay of all earthly greatness. For your benefit was retold the story of Jonathan and of David, that you might rejoice in the triumph of friendship; and for your instruction the Good Samaritan exemplified his works of love and brotherhood. Now hearken to the voice of Truth, speaking through forms and symbols, for truth is taught as well by emblems as by words. They speak of duty and of love, they inculcate morality, they foretell destiny.

My brother, be attentive to the instruction you are about to receive.

The High Priest then instructs the Candidate in the symbols, aided by the Warden and the Supporters, during which the Candidate may be seated.

Chaplain: Warden, what are the symbols of the Initiatory Degree?

Warden: The All-Seeing Eye, the Three Links, the Skull and Cross-Bones, and the Scythe.

The Symbols are duly exhibited and explained with the application of each. Then follows the explanation of the Symbols of the First Degree, the Bow, Arrow, and Quiver, and the Bundle of Sticks. Then the symbol of the Second Degree, the Axe, Heart and Hand, Globe, Ark and Serpent. Finally, the Scales and Sword, Bible, Hour-Glass, and Coffin of the Third Degree.

Chaplain (as High Priest, to Conductor): Conduct our Brother to the Noble Grand.

Candidate stands.

NG.: My Brother, you are now admitted to the Third Degree, known also as the Priestly Order. You have already been informed that it is dedicated to the principle of Truth. You are prepared for admission by having placed on you a white robe. This was intended to represent the purity of truth. But the emblematic color of this degree is Scarlet, implying that the Truth is an Imperial virtue. The pure white robe is an external symbol, representing that your lips should speak the truth, and at all times be ready to administer words of affection to a Brother requiring consolation. You are now placed in a position among us to gain rank, the highest in a Lodge. It, therefore, becomes your duty to enforce by example, as well as by precept, the tenets of our Order. Its mysteries are confided to your charge; you are to preserve them inviolate; duty and honor, your own solemn vows, all require that you be faithful, and that you also guard your Brethren against any breach of fidelity. Be true and steadfast in this as well as in all things, and thus demonstrate that merit constitutes the great title to our privileges, and that on you they have not been undeservedly conferred. (Calls up the Lodge with three raps * * * .) Members of the Priestly Order, are you willing for Brother ... to receive the decoration of the third Degree or Priestly Order?

The Lodge answers, and the NG. seats the Lodge with one rap. (*).

NG.: Conductor and Warden, you will now disrobe the Brother and conduct him to his station.

The Conductor and Warden obey the command.

NG. (to Candidate): My Brother, I present to you this regalia; it indicates your rank. We trust that your zeal for the promotion of the principles of the Order will be ardent and pure. I will now instruct you in the mysteries of this degree.

The NG. instructs the Candidate in the password, signs, and grip, orders the Conductor to proceed with the closing ceremony, and calls up the Lodge. The Conductor leads the Candidate to the center of the Lodge-room facing the Past Grand.

Past Grand (advancing to the Candidate): By this (gives the grip of the First Degree) I greet you in Friendship, as one who has attained to the First Degree.

The Conductor turns the Candidate to face the Vice Grand.

Vice Grand (advancing to the Candidate): By this grip (gives the grip of the Second Degree) I greet you in Brotherly Love, as a member of the Second Degree.

The Conductor turns the Candidate to face the Noble Grand.

Noble Grand (advancing to the Candidate): Brother, I welcome you in Truth, and urge you to attend our meetings, that you may assist your Brethren and promote your own happiness by acts of mutual assistance. By this grip (gives the grip of the Third Degree) I greet you as a Brother of the Degree of Truth, and I now declare you fully entitled to all the rights and privileges of the three degrees of Odd Fellowship.

Resumes his station.

NG.: Brothers, I now introduce to you Brother ..., who has been advanced to the Degree of Truth. You will welcome him

as a Brother of this degree.

All: Welcome, Brother.
The NG. gives one rap, (*) seating the Lodge.


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