Order of the Builders
M.B., standing, *: The officers will assume their stations and the Builders will come to order. All seated.
M.B., *: Bro. Marshal Marshal rises and salutes, ascertain if all present are members of our Order.
M.: Bro. Stewards Stewards arise and salute M., ascertain if all present are members of our Order.
Stewards pass before Marshal to opposite sides of hall. Walk East before members in North and South. Salute each other at East. Return to station, face M., salute: Bro. M.., all present are members of our Order if adult visitors are present or adult visitors properly vouched for.
M.: Bro. M. B., all present are members of our Order if any adult visitors be present, M. adds or adult visitors properly vouched for.
M.B.: One rap seats Marshal.
M.B., if adult visitors be present: As we greet in the spirit of fellowship those of our Brother Builders who are present, and send out our fraternal greetings to those who are absent, so we welcome you who are elder brothers, upon whose counsel and guidance we may rely. We trust that your visit will be a pleasant one and shall welcome you whenever the opportunity to visit us may present. This may be varied at the will of the M.B.
M.B., *: Bro. S.I. S.I. rises and salutes, you will see that we are guarded from intrusion.
S.I., *: Bro. M. M. rises, faces S.I. and salutes, see that the Sentinel is at his station, and instruct him to guard us from intrusion.
M. goes to open door, salutes Sentinel: Bro. Sentinel I am instructed to direct you to guard well our Chapter from intrusion.
Sent. salutes: Your orders will be obeyed. Closes door.
M., returns to station, salutes S.I.: Bro. S.I., our Chapter is guarded from intrusion.
S.I. salutes: Bro. M.., our Chapter is safe from intrusion.
M.B.: It is well. * * *, all rise. Bro. Builders. Give reverent attention while the Chaplain conducts our devotions.
C. extends right hand: Father in Heaven, Thou who dost ever hear those who call upon thee in faith, attend these our ceremonies, we pray Thee, and bless us and each member of our Order with Thy favor. Guide us during the early years of our lives; help us to be good and true; to build for humanity’s advancement and our nation's good. Keep our lips, our minds, our bodies clean and free from stain, and as we approach the noontide of life lead us as Builders for Thee and Thy Kingdom, and may the prayer of our boyhood days ever arise from our hearts to Thee. All join in repeating the Lord's prayer. Amen.
If organist is present short musical response may be made.
M.B., all still standing: Bro. Dep., Illuminate our Chapter with the light of our faith.
Soft Music or Hymn, "Lead Kindly Light."
Dep., accompanied by two Stewards (Stewards walking several steps behind him) proceeds to altar (Stewards in West approach - four S. pass at altar and reverse, form square - two facing West and two East). Deputy goes to front of altar and opens Bible at Ecc. 12 and returns to station. As Dep. starts to leave altar, Stewards return to stations. When all arrive at stations, M.B. takes seat, gives 1 rap and seats Chapter. (This ceremony should be deliberately slow and impressive.) (The opening of the Bible may be made more impressive by - where possible – slowly dimming lights as Deputy approaches altar and bringing them up gradually to full as Bible is opened. This should be reversed in dosing ceremony.)
M.B., *: Bro. M. and Stewards of the West M. and Stewards rise, you will retire and present the flag. S.I. rises and proceeds direct to door, gives alarm and has door open by the time others arrive. Remains to admit other officers back into Chapter before returning to place.)
(Stewards and Marshal march to altar (quick-time music), give sign and march to door; M. secures flag and returns to Chapter. As M. and Stewards enter, all rise, stand at salute, M. escorted by Stewards marches to altar. Halt, facing East. AH sing the first and last verses of "America.") (As singing starts, M. and S. proceed to East with flag. Halt before M. B. M. steps forward, presents flag to M. B., who places it in the proper place. As soon as this is done, M. and S. return to stations.)
It is suggested that when possible an appropriate ode to the flag be rendered - by either an officer, a member or an elder brother - at its presentation before the altar. Where this is done the flag remains at the altar until completion of the ode and members will stand at salute only while flag is in motion.
At end of singing:
M.B., extends right hand: Bro. Builders, I hereby declare … Chapter, Order of the Builders, open for if business or stated meeting business; if ceremony for labor on the state grade.
Takes seat, then seats Chapter.
These exercises may be divided among other officers than those specified if desired.
Sentinel: * * * *.
S.I.: Bro. M B., there is an alarm of four at the door of our Chapter.
M.B.: Bro. Marshal, ascertain who knocks at the door of our Chapter.
M., proceeds to door—knocks 4 times, then opens, asking: Who knocks at the door of our Chapter?
Sent.: A stranger vouched for as a friend who is desirous of joining in our labors, is in waiting and humbly craves admission.
M.: Bro. Sentinel, instruct him to-wait patiently until the Master Builder’s orders are received. Closes door; goes to front of altar and announces to M.B.: Bro. M. B., a stranger vouched for as a friend who is desirous of joining in our labors, is in waiting and humbly craves admission. Salutes and stands.
M.B.: Bro. Sec. You will retire with the Marshal and Stewards of the West, prepare and present this stranger among us.
Secy. approaches altar, Marshal steps a little to north of center in front of altar. Secy. takes similar station a little south of center in front of altar. As Secy. advances Stewards of West advance to altar, all salute, turn west and proceed to door of Chapter.
Sec., addressing candidates at door: My friends, I have been instructed by the M.B. of our Chapter to prepare you for your initiation into our ceremonies. Before you are admitted let me assure you that nothing will take place that will excite your mirth or the laughter of those by whom you will be surrounded. The solemn purpose of our Order is to impress upon your-minds important truths, which will aid you in the fulfillment of the duties of manhood and the responsibilities of citizenship. If these truths are to bear fruit in your life then you must approach them with an attentive ear, a serious mind and a thoughtful purpose not only to hear, but to understand and to apply them day by day in your contact with others. Is it with such a purpose that you approach our mysteries?
S.: Your answer being satisfactory I gladly recommend your admission. You will follow with your guides that I may present you to our Master Builder.
Hymn or music during entrance — "Onward, Christian Soldiers."
Procession forms by twos. M. and Secy.: 2 Stewards— Candidates. If only 1 candidate, he is placed and marches between the stewards. All march in and take position before altar in line across room; all facing East.
M.B.: Bro. Secy., who is this whom you present in our Chapter?
Sec.: Bro. M.B.: These are strangers who are desirous of becoming friends, and of uniting in our labors, and it is as such that I present them to you.
M.B.: You have done well, for great is our task and the laborers are few.
My friends addressing candidates, you have heard that the purpose of our Order is to impress upon your minds the important truths which will aid you in fulfilling the duties of manhood and the responsibilities of citizenship. Here we are builders, building day by day toward a larger, a higher purpose; each day and its purpose fitting us for a better day beyond. If you would build with us, the first duty is that- of being better sons, better companions, living clean lives, thinking pure thoughts and doing kind deeds. To be true to ourselves, to our parents, to all humanity. To be true to our God, of whose great family each of us forms a part. and faithful in the performance of His law. Is it with a purpose to strive to excel in these foundation principles that you have come among us?
M.B.: Then do we welcome you with a brother’s welcome and as a token of our faith in you we entrust to you the secrets of our Order. Let them sink deep into your minds, think well and often upon them, apply them in your contact with others, that each day you may build nearer to the temple of perfection which is our ultimate goal.
Brother Deputy, you will conduct the candidates on a pilgrimage to the four points of the Chapter, emblematic of the four corners of the earth, and symbolizing the journey of life; yet, ere they depart, enlighten their minds to the faith of our Order and let them hearken to the voice of the Spirit of Wisdom.
Dep.: My friends, companions of the journey we are abort to begin, here we teach no religious creed, each is entitled to his own opinion as a sacred possession. Yet, as all nature responds to the call of a Divine Creator, so we build towards a fulfillment of His laws, and in doing this, we expect from you, as one among us a belief in the Fatherhood of God and a reliance upon His goodness; that in unity of purpose we may prove our title to brotherhood, and be true to a universal sonship. Lend, then, I pray you, an attentive ear to the voice of the Spirit of Wisdom.
C. reads Ecclesiastics 12: 1 to 7 inclusive, from some point adjacent to his station.
At conclusion of reading, Deputy followed by Marshal and Candidates proceeds North, then East as outlined. Secretary and Stewards return to stations. Dep.M. and candidates slowly make complete circle around Chapter and halt before Chaplain.
Hymn or music during march — "Work for the Night Is Coming."
Dep.: My friend, here at the East, emblematic of the morning of life, lend an attentive ear to the voice of the Past.
The Past (Chaplain): My friend, here at the East, symbolic of the light of the new-born day, emblematic of the purity of your own mind and body in the morning of life, reflect, I pray you, upon the days of the past. There you have learned daily to commit your life, your being, your all, to God’s keeping. There you have learned that the days of your pilgrimage here, life as you know it now, is but a fleeting moment of an everlasting eternity.
Think not that these early teachings have been but a means to soothe the mind of childhood, or an idle fable to quicken your boyish fancy, but know that they are living truths, declared by the wisdom of the ages past, and proved by the inborn knowledge of your own heart.
There in the past, unconsciously you have builded, guided in your conduct by obedience to parents and respect to superiors, your words, your thoughts and your deeds kept within due bounds by discipline and training in the moral law; gradually your mind has expanded and you have gained richer knowledge, wider experience and aspired to greater purpose; gradually you have builded the foundation for the responsibilities of manhood and have learned the lesson that duty and the necessity for its fulfillment is the great law of life.
Reflect then upon these things, my friend. Remember that a belief in God, a knowledge of immortality, keeping your words, thoughts and actions within the bounds of righteousness; a realization of duty and the necessity of its fulfillment, are the foundation stones of the past upon which you must build for the future if you would be worthy in name and deed to be called a builder.
Dep.: Come, my friend, let us proceed upon our pilgrimage, reflecting as we journey, upon the lessons of life.
Circle lodge in attitude of reflection. Hymn or music—"How Firm a Foundation." After one complete circle, stop before East on meeting The Present, who walks in opposite direction. Candidates, remain facing South, The Present, North.
The Present (J.O.): Stay, my friend, pause in your pilgrimage, you aspire to be a Builder you have heard the purpose of our order, here we seek to build a temple of Perfection made up of lives of service, have you reflected upon its meaning? Reflection opens the door to higher aims, to purer thoughts, and better deeds. You have heard the voice of the Past and now hasten away to the future, but have you considered the present? Come, let us understand our apprenticeship before we aspire to the rank of Builder. Beckons candidates who with Dep. and M. follow and take place before the altar as before. The Present goes on opposite side of altar and faces candidates. Lays hand on or ruffles leaves of Bible. Remember, Wisdom sayeth, "Remember now thy Creator in the days of thy youth." These are the days of your youth. Have you remembered? Is your life daily guided and kept within the bounds of right living by fulfillment of His law? Are you building day by day in obedience to His commands? Would you build better? Consider then the present and its duties, and as you would build, heed, I admonish you, their fulfillment, for in your life you build a temple unseen on earth but eternal in the heavens.
Stewards approach as The Present speaks, form square and as he concludes, 1st S. takes his place back of the altar before the candidates and proceeds. All maintain square by advancing in order.
1st S.: My friend, I bring you the means of building strong upon the foundation laid. Learn to know God. Seek to do His will. We know we are sons of an earthly father, know also that all men and boys are united as sons of a Universal Father. Seek Him in faith, believing. Build not up in your life idols of earthly things, riches, honor, power, which shall turn you away from His presence, but make Him the Captain of your soul and know Him by the radiance of His love lighting your path in the way towards righteousness and truth.
2nd S.: My friend, I bring you the means of building true. Seek cleanliness of mind and lips. Let not your lips nor your mind be profaned by unclean words, by false testimony, by a lie, by a curse, by anything which your mother hearing or knowing would cause her an instant’s sorrow or you a moment’s shame. Avoid vulgarity, irreverence, guard your tongue from the smutty story, from defaming the name or womanhood, speaking the name of God profanely. Build for a clean mind, clean lips and a clean heart and with the Psalmist pray. "Let the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in Thy sight, oh Lord, my strength and my Redeemer".
3rd S.: My friend, I bring you the means of beautifying your temple. Adorn it with the spirit of love. Love to the parents who have guided your life. Heed the command of Him you serve, which has been handed down through the ages of time: "Honor thy father and thy mother." Consider their comfort and their happiness, give them in return some of the love, care and affection which they have never withheld from you. Be thoughtful and obedient, kind-hearted and true, and consider tenderest affection not as weakness, but rather as strength.
4th S.: My friend, I bring you the means of building high. Learn to give as well as to receive. Know that as we live our lives we either give or take away; that as we give, so in greater measure do we receive and as we take away, so in greater measure is our loss. Give of yourself in comradeship; be honest and true to companions. Give of yourself in courtesy to strangers as well as to friends. Give of yourself in relieving oppression and distress. Give of yourself in standing for the right, for cleanliness of body as well as mind. Put aside the selfishness only of receiving and learn the richness of the jewel of giving Be true and kind in word, in thought and deed; so shall you build strong, true and beautiful upward and onward toward the shores of the eternal kingdom.
Dep.: Come, my friend, let us proceed upon our journey for noontide approaches.
Proceeds half circle around Chapter to South. Soft music.
Dep.: Here, my friend, at the South, emblematic of the noonday of life and of your own manhood, lend an attentive ear to the voice of The Future.
The Future (Jr. Insp.): My friend, here at the South is the place of labor, here the sun reaches his height and pours light, warmth and beauty upon the earth; bringing life, peace and plenty. Shall it not be emblematic of your life? Here is the hour of rest and reflection. It typifies your journey toward manhood. Here you gird yourselves for the labors still before you. Here again you reflect upon that which has gone before.
In you is the power of bringing light and peace, warmth and beauty, into the lives of those surrounding you. In the noontide of life so will you again look back and reflect upon the past. Yet, greater duties are before you; there are still those who need your guidance; there are still those who are oppressed who need your aid; those who are in darkness who need you to lead them to the light. Go, then, to the West, fulfilling the duties of manhood as you go, and may the ties of love which bind you to Him who lights the path and directs the way, draw you ever upward and onward toward the goal of your eternal calling.
Dep. and Candidates proceed to West in meditation.
Dep.: Here my friend, is the West. Let us rest. It is the eventide of life and I am weary.
All recline or are seated in the West.
Hymn or music—"Abide With Me."
The West (S.I.), slow and impressive: My friend, here at the West, symbolic of the close of day and the setting sun, emblematic of the closing days of your earthly pilgrimage, again you look back and reflect upon the past. Here you learn that each thought, each word, each action bears its influence
upon some ultimate result. Here the scroll of the past is unrolled before you. There in the past you will have builded; built upon the plans to which your mind has been directed; then will the temple of your life stand high and glorious, a living monument in the sight of God and man, pointing to a never ending day gained by a fulfillment of the duties of manhood. Go, my friend, back to the East, and as you go, serene in the twilight joy of a well spent life, may the lessons that you have learned and those that await you, sink deep into your heart, and there abide until we shall awake in the glorious dawn of an everlasting day to continue our service as Builders in a greater, happier and more glorious eternity of life.
Arise and continue journey. As reach North stop as commanded. Hall dark except at North.
North (S.O.): Stay, my friend. Candidates stop suddenly and face North. Music ends with crash. Lights out except at North. Know you not the lesson of the North, the place of darkness? Have you lost the lessons taught, have you neglected to point the way to those who have needed you? Have you spent the years of your manhood in selfish purpose, seeking your own gratification, your own pleasure, the riches of earth and overlooked your own duties? Know you not that duty and the necessity of its fulfillment is the law of life? That if you have not given of yourself you have taken away from others? Know you not that except you have builded eternal in the heavens, though you have gained the whole world, you are poor indeed, for you can take nothing hence with you? That as you came, blind, naked and penniless, so must you depart unless you have builded for eternity?
Think, my friend, have you here at the end gained or lost the pearl of greatest price? Pause as if awaiting reply for candidates. Hymn may be sung or music played during pause while hall is dark.
Hymn or music—"Holy Spirit, Faithful Guide?"
Lights on. Proceed to the front of Altar. Stewards take place as at start.
Dep.: Bro. M.B., my friend has returned from their pilgrimage, he has learned the lessons of life and awaits your pleasure.
M.B.: My friend, you have done well. These lessons which have been impressed upon you are not idle words. All of life, its riches and its beauty, its ending and the knowledge of the dawn of an everlasting day, are based upon a knowledge of God and the fulfillment of His laws. I admonish you to seek His law. It has come down to us through the ages; yet, written on the mount in the midst of the fiery tempest, thousands of years ago, its message today is as clear as it was in the days gone by, and only in the fulfillment of that law can we wear in our hearts the badge of a builder, which implies building onward and upward in duty to God, service to humanity.
Here at the East, symbolic of that place to which the blazing star led the wise men of old, symbol of all that is good and pure and of the dawn of an everlasting day of peace and joy, let the light of your life shine forth that others seeing your good works may glorify your Father which is in heaven.
If, then, you can solemnly subscribe to the laws of an apprentice Builder as they have been here defined and expounded, you will kneel and contract your obligation.
Candidates kneel and repeat obligation. All others stand.
M.B.: My friend, placing your right hand upon the Bible you will say, "I," pronounce your name in full and repeat after me: "In the presence of God and relying upon His promise, with my hand upon His Holy Word, I hereby promise as a Mason’s son, or one who holds his pledged word sacred, that I will keep all the secrets of this degree and be faithful in the performance of my duty as an Apprentice Builder.
"That I will earnestly seek to know God, and to do His will as it shall be given to me to understand from His Holy Word.
"That I will strive to be pure in mind and speech and w4ll accustom my tongue and my lips only to speak that which is good and which will help, aid and support my brothers.
"That I will be faithful to the parents whom God hath given me, and by obedience and tender love will seek to deeper entwine my affections around their hearts, that in their declining years
they may lean upon me as their staff and strength.
"That I will keep my body clean from defilement and from sinful lust.
"That I will learn to give as well as to receive, that I may build up my life beloved of God and of my fellowmen.
"That I will be faithful to my brethren and support them in their lawful undertakings, and if I cannot speak in their praise, will refrain from saying that which will do them harm.
"That I will consecrate my efforts to the protection of womanhood, to relieve oppression and to the highest advancement of humanity, and will ever be faithful to my God, my country, and in the cause of my fellowman.
"All this I solemnly promise here in the presence of God, with my hand upon His law which I will ever strive to be obedient in fulfilling, and in the presence of these my newly found brethren of this Order. Amen and Amen."
M.B.: Brethren, you will arise and seal your vows by kissing God’s Holy Word. Chaplain presents Bible to each for salutation. Hymn or music—"Blest Be the Tie That Binds."
My brethren, I will now instruct you in the signs, words, token and step of our Order.
The token is given by clasping a brother by the right hand in the ordinary manner of handshaking, each pressing the hand three times as example and alludes to the bond of brotherhood and friendship with which we are now united.
The pass word of our Order is "Builder," the response is "Ever higher" and alludes both to our obligation and the purpose of our Order.
The hailing words of a Builder are, "Are you a Builder?"; the response is, "I seek daily to build higher."
The sign is given by raising the right hand with palm open toward a brother as a token of greeting and salutation and signifies our good will and open handed friendship.
The step is made by stepping forward with the right foot in front of the left as if about to greet a brother, and alludes to our readiness and desire to help a brother in his distress or sorrow.
And now, my brethren, I place you in charge of the Marshal, who will symbolically conduct you upon a journey which shall teach you in the lives of those who have gone before the duties of citizenship.
Candidates retire or are seated during arrangement of hall, after which, if retired, they are returned by Marshal and seated. Hall should be arranged so as to allow plenty of space for candidates in prominent place.
To conform with action taken by the Central Council at its Convention July 9, 1931, requiring that the two degrees of the Order of the Builders shall be continuous and that no entertainment shall be permitted between degrees.
Upon the Master Builder’s return to his station he will make the statement: As this completes the initiatory ceremonies of the Apprentice Degree we will proceed with the conferring of the Builder Degree on our Apprentice Builders.
Turning M.B. will face D.M.B. and say: Brother Deputy, you will retire to prepare for the Builder degree.
After retirement of D.M.B., the Builders Degree will proceed in manner indicated.
Ceremonial Exercises – Builders’ Degree
Where it can be conveniently arranged, characters represented in this degree should be made up of members of Chapters (irrespective of line office) who have not taken part in the preceding degree.
It should be understood that the individual characters dealt with in this degree represent the builders of American history and independence; while the six disturbers represent organized groups which are those destructive elements, known in modern society by the names indicated, but always present in every land under some name or title, as opposing forces to every form of established spiritual and social institutions and constituted government and authority.
The characters Wisdom and History represent truth and acquired knowledge, and an account of events gained by knowledge and recorded by truth.
The use of uniforms or character dress is left to the pleasure of each Chapter. So far as is possible they are desirable. Where used, every effort should be made to conform to the character of dress of the period and character represented or dealt with.
In this degree the sign of the Builders is used only by Wisdom (represented by M.B.). Other officers should give military salute before addressing Wisdom. Wisdom answers by giving sign of Builders. (History does not salute nor give sign.)
All officers stand while speaking.
The characters Anarchy, Communism, Sovietism and Sabotage should be dressed as workmen.
Bigotry should be dressed in scholarly costume. Pacifism in plain dark clothes and white cotton gloves.
Wisdom should wear white robe. History in appropriate costume.
Immediately before Wisdom (M.B.) makes first announcement, commencing. "Hear ye," etc., it is desirable to have a member sound "Assembly" with a bugle, as given by U. S. Army.
Where bugler is not available sound on piano or organ.
Bugler or Organist. Sounds "Assembly." (If by bugler this is done before altar, facing East.)
At sound of "Assembly" all officers assume station and remain standing until seated by gavel. All officers stand while speaking.
Wisdom, represented by M.B. sounds gavel; seats officers but remains standing: Hear ye! Hear ye! Come all ye that fear God, ye that love the brethren and honor your country. Draw nigh and answer my call. Come!
West, represented by S.I.: I answer for the West; the land of General Lewis Cass and General Rufus Putman! both Grand Masters of Freemasons; foremost of fighters for the right, wise and devoted leaders among men.
East, represented by Chaplain: I answer for the East; the land of our first President, the Commander-in-Chief of the victorious armies of our country, the Master of his Masonic Lodge, General George Washington.
North, represented by S.O.: I answer for the North; the land of Paul Revere, once Grand Master of Freemasons; hero of the Boston Tea Party; cannon maker of the new-born Republic, a brave and skilled lover of liberty.
South, represented by J.I.: I answer for the South; the land of General Andrew Jackson, once Grand Master of Freemasons; a soldier simple, and fearless in the cause of freedom, a staunch and strong citizen and President of the United States.
Wisdom: Truly do ye speak and how may we too best serve our comrades, our country and our God?
West: We serve best by being like unto these, the founders of the United States.
Wisdom: There wait among us Apprentice Builders who seek at our hands the badge of brotherhood. Shall we accept them?
North: Is he a lover of mankind?
Wisdom: He is as yet but young in years.
South: Is he prepared for the struggles of life?
Wisdom: He has very much to learn.
East: Has he strength of arm and heart?
Wisdom: He has yet to be tried.
West: Has he the friendship of a Freemason?
Wisdom: Yea, truly he is here with the God-speed of a Craftsman. May we not admit him on the recommendations of a Master Mason?
West: With such honorable recommendations my brethren of the North, South and East unite with me in agreeing to their admission.
Wisdom: Then let him follow the advice of Benjamin Franklin, once a Grand Master of Freemasons, and with hand on breast declare before all present our common convictions.
The candidates will rise and repeat after me the following Builders’ profession:
The truth in all kindness will I ever strive to speak. Neither man, woman nor child will I willfully wrong. Nothing will I ever say unfit for my Mother to hear nor unworthy of my Father’s voice. My body and my mind will I preserve and improve as a cherished gift entrusted to me by God, the Father; and I will loyally support my companions and faithfully serve my country even unto the loss of life itself.
The candidates will repeat the Lord’s Prayer.
At end of prayer Anarchy, Communism, Sovietism, Sabotage, Pacifism and Bigotry push by Sent. and enter with some confusion talking among themselves and proceed slowly over to candidates. In meantime, Mars, S.I. and Sentinel should confer regarding intruders and appear to hesitate as to what to do.
Wisdom, after short wait rises excitedly and strikes one rap with gavel. Officers all rise as if to put out intruders and remain standing until next sound of gavel. After Wisdom sounds gavel there should be no talking or confusion among the characters who have entered. As each enters into his dialogue he should step out from among his companions in order that the interest of candidates and audience may be focused on him. Avoid bunching into a solid group; give attentive interest to each speaker; keep away from altar. Bro. S.I., Who are these whom you have allowed to interrupt our solemn ceremonies?
S.I.: Brother Master Builder I do not know; they forced their way past—
Anarchy, interrupting S.I.: I claim the right to interrupt anything at any time. I am Anarchy. My purpose is to destroy; to abolish form and order. Addresses candidates. Unite with me! Forget this prattle of Building; come with me and learn destruction! Come! Beckons to candidate and moves as if to leave with him.
Communism, addressing Wisdom: You prate of serving your country. I am Communism. With me and mine, ours is the teaching that no country can endure as a nation until all its men are equal in rights, in property and in station. Beckons candidate. Come with me!
Wisdom, striking gavel. Officers resume seats: Wait! The fundamental law upon which our nation is founded is that all men are created free and equal. With emphasis. This is America.
Sovietism: Idle words! Idle words! A sop to the downtrodden. What right has one to rise above or to advance beyond another? I am Sovietism. We pull down the high and mighty, destroy old beliefs and faiths, aand overturn constituted authority. Our aim is to make all men equal; to take away wealth from the wealthy; to make industry common in the ownership of the people. When we rule, only we, a chosen few of the Soviet, will control the home, the school, the church, the factory and the individual. Addresses candidate. Come with me!
Sabotage, sarcastically: Ha; Ha, a weak, weak plan. I am Sabotage: We teach our lessons sharply and quickly. We teach alike the rich and rulers. We destroy wheat fields, food supplies, smash machinery and blast places of industry. We believe in destruction — control and rule by the ignorant. Addresses candidate. Come with me! Destroy and help bring about chaos until a people and its rulers submit to our terms, whatever they may be.
Wisdom: But would you bring about greater suffering among the poor, and destroy all their opportunity of individual advancement in life? Your doctrines mean nothing but a war of the classes, if there be classes. In America every man has equal opportunity of advancement.
Pacifism, effeminately wringing and twisting hands: Hold! Stop! There must be no more war. I am Pacifism. We desert our country in its need and to prevent war are willing to lend our
support even to those who have entered with me. Indicates Anarchy, Sovietism, Sabotage and Communism. No, there must be no more war. Addressing candidate. Unite with me, I beg, I pray you.
Wisdom, sternly: Misguided one. War is to be deplored, but the time comes when no true man and patriot will stand idly by and see his nation insulted and his flag defiled. He will fight always, both for his flag and his faith.
Bigotry, sanctimonious manner: He may so fight, if his faith is mine. I am Bigotry. I concede to no man or woman the right to believe other than as I believe. Mine is the only true faith, and all who differ with me are heretics; unfit to breathe the same air or to share the same blessings with me.
Wisdom, sternly and wondering: And are ye all still alive? It had been said that with the end of the world war you had been done away with and that America should know you no more.
Anarchy, Communism, Sovietism, Sabotage, Pacifism and Bigotry laugh sneeringly and harshly.
Sovietism: Done away with? And you call yourself Wisdom! Do you not know that this very day we are working harder than ever in this land of which you boast? Do you not know that I and my willing lieutenants are spreading the propaganda of Sovietism through factory and farm, through town and city?
Communism: Done away with? Ha! Ha! Not a day or a night passes that thousands do not hear our messages to the great common people.
Sabotage: Truly the day will come, as Solomon said, when Wisdom shall cry in the streets and none will hear. Day by day there pour into this country thousands of eager listeners to our doctrines. They come from lands where they are oppressed, and they listen gladly to us.
Pacifism: No. No. To us. Why should they fight for a land they do not know, whose language they cannot speak, whose leaders they do not understand? Among them pacifism finds its most fruitful field.
Bigotry: So does bigotry. I show them how those whose faith is not as theirs are grinding their faces and enslaving their children. Wait! Wait! The day will come when they shall make your flag a byword and your nation a mockery.
Communism: And then we shall have all the world one great nation—no property, no laws— Wisdom: And no future for any one.
Sovietism and Anarchy: Bah!
Enter History bearing scroll. From West—Represented by Deputy—Takes stand before altar facing East.
Pacifism, looking toward History: And now who comes?
Wisdom: Here is one from whom you must learn, if you will not heed the words of Wisdom. This is History.
Bigotry: History—the greatest liar of all—except when it agrees with me.
History, raising hand: Stop! Listen! Listen well and mark my words. With me, Today is of little moment. It is of Yesterday that we must learn the lesson of the future. One of our greatest American patriots truly said: "I know of no way of judging the future save by the past."
Communism: Ha! Ha! Patrick Henry—a base slave of the ruling class of colonial aristocrats.
History: Not so. He helped awaken a nation to its rights. I, with my pen, have recorded this upon my imperishable scroll, as I have the words and deeds of Benjamin Franklin, that great Grand Master of Freemasons—
Bigotry: Bah! Franklin! An infidel who would not see the necessity of compelling all men to hold the right faith.
History: Again a lie. He was a Christian, a patriot, a statesman and a tower of strength. And I have recorded alike the words and deeds of George Washington and Paul Revere.
Sabotage: Who cares for them now? They lived in another age. Our people who are coming to America now never heard of them and never will.
Wisdom: But they shall hear, and they shall know, through the Order of the Builders that the principles of Washington and Franklin and Revere are the principles responsible for the existence today of this America to which they have turned their eager faces.
History: Fear not, Wisdom. These new citizens have minds and hearts. My scroll tells of many climes and many nations wherein the arts and practices of Communism, Anarchy, Sabotage, Sovietism, Pacifism and Bigotry were sought to be established, and the records of the ages show that they have always failed. So will it be here, for our new citizens seek the truth, and seeking, they shall find.
Sovietism: Yes, they will find the truth from us.
History: Stop! From you they will hear the lies. They will receive the truth as the people of America have received it—not alone from Washington and Franklin and their companions but from Lincoln, McKinley and Roosevelt. Men who saw the need and builded for America’s future.
Pacifism: Great war makers, all of them! So long as the love of peace lurks in the human breast, so long will their doctrines be put aside.
History: Enough! Ye cannot deny and put aside the truths that I have recorded. America is no spot for you and your infernal teachings, and least of all is this place—this Chapter of the Order of the Builders, a spot to be defiled by the presence of such evil influences and evil teachers as you.
Wisdom, sounds gavel excitedly: Away with them! Wait! As Marshal and Stewards start toward group. Addresses candidate. Choose ye now, Apprentice Builder! Will ye be Americans, clean, and undefiled by these breeders of destruction? Will ye be Builder or destroyer? Think well; here is no place except for the clean, moral, true, and loyal American and Builder. Answer, will ye go with these?
Candidate answers as he desires, but should answer.
Wisdom, addressing candidate: Well have ye spoken. Addresses group. Out upon you, here we are builders, not destroyers. Officers! Away with these breeders of discord. Away with them!
Sovietism, as Marshal and Stewards advance to lead group out: Ha, Ha! What matter. Addresses companions. Come, let us be about our work. You are but a handful in number. We have fertile soil where there are millions to teach and who will yet rise and overthrow you.
Wisdom: No! For from this place go forth teachings and influences which shall undo all your work and drive you and your like from our shores forever. Begone!
Escorted to door by Marshal and Stewards, exit Anarchy, Communism, Sovietism Sabotage, Pacifism and Bigotry, scowling, muttering and turning to shake their fists. Officers return to stations. Wisdom sounds gavel and all officers except History are seated.
History, writing on scroll: So now I open a new chapter on the pages of American history, which shall tell, in the building and loyalty of the Builders, of the bringing of greater strength to the greatest republic the world has ever known. A nation—a republic—in which, under God, "government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth." Slowly returns to station and takes seat. As History returns to station some appropriate patriotic music, such as one verse of "America the Beautiful" may be played or sung.
Freemasonry, approaching from East — represented by Treasurer: Worshipful Master George Washington well said that the great object of Freemasonry is to promote the happiness of the human race. Said he also that a just application of the principles of the Fraternity would promote private virtue and public prosperity. Thus also said Grand Master Paul Revere, cheering his brethren with the words that in this auspicious day the arts and sciences are establishing themselves in our happy country, a country distinguished by being a country of laws where liberty has formed a safe and secure abode and where her sons are determined to support and protect her. May we, he said to his brethren, so square our actions through life as to show the world of mankind that we mean to live within the compass of good citizens, that we wish to stand upon a level with them, so that when we part we may be admitted into the Temple where reigns silence and peace. Thus in this day and generation do we as Builders love and labor and so do we in turn trust that those who coke after us shall know these things and profit thereby. Addresses Wisdom: He that waits upon you hath the blessing of the brethren and we commend him to you.
Wisdom, to candidate: Now rise and repeat after me the pledge of brotherhood: My God and my country I will serve to the utmost. Honest and helpful will I be to all and I will ever strive to be bodily strong, mentally bright and morally true.
East (Chaplain): Thus do we consecrate ourselves to the service of God and humanity. We are also to be loyal to our country and fair even to our foes. The laws we must respect and we will not use the unclean or profane word. We will abuse not our bodies nor will we neglect our minds. The passions will we control, remembering that rightly employed they are useful as fuel, but beyond safe limits bring on destructive fires. To curb the desires and to do good to all mankind, to comfort the distressed and relieve the needy, and to tolerate all conscientious beliefs are our plain duties. Do you promise before these witnesses to be clean and kind of thought and act, faithful of purpose and with at least one earnest prayer said and one good deed done, brighten this world for yourself and your companions every day?
Wisdom: Let there be told the service message of the Flag.
Patriotism, entering from East. (May be represented by, Secretary or Steward): We must strive for the establishment within our borders of a stern and lofty standard of personal and public morality which shall guarantee to each man his rights, and which shall insist in return upon the full performance by each man of his duties both to his neighbor and to the great nation whose flag must symbolize in the future, as it has symbolized in the past, the highest hopes of all mankind. Thus spoke a President of the United States and a devoted Master Mason, the late Theodore Roosevelt.
Hymn or music—"Star Spangled Banner."
Wisdom: Let there be given the Book of the Law and of Instruction.
Master Mason presents Bible containing certificate of membership, etc. Presentation address may be varied at will. Gift of Bible should be made by Lodge, Chapter, or boy’s parents. See suggestions for address on last page.
M.B., after presentation: My brethren, I now with pleasure receive you as a Builder. Let the lessons you have learned sink deep into your mind and bear fruit. You have received the Book of the Law; be guided by its statutes. Bear in mind that while your name may be enrolled upon our records, while the world and your brethren may know you as a Builder, it will be only as you live, only as you serve, only as you keep the faith that you in your heart will know yourself to be a Builder in deed and in truth. Build, therefore, my brother, strong and true, build high and beautiful and may He in whom your faith is founded ever direct and lead your way.
M.B., *: Bro. Deputy, what is your duty?
Dep., rises and salutes: To assist the Master Builder in the discharge of his duties and in his absence, to preside over the Chapter.
M.B.: What is the purpose of our Order?
Dep.: To teach us so to build upon the training of youth that each may be better fitted for the duties of manhood and the responsibilities of citizenship.
M.B., *, Dep. takes seat: Bro. S.I., what is your duty?
S.I., rising and saluting: To counsel and guide my brethren in the fulfillment of their service as Builders.
M.B.: How may we build?
S.I.: By avoiding that which is wrong, holding to that which is good. Keeping our lips and minds from words of uncleanliness and thoughts of evil; our bodies clean and our hearts upright. Takes seat.
M.B., *, J.I. rises and salutes: Bro. J.I., what is your duty?
J.I.: To aid my brethren in the performance of their tasks.
M.B.: What are the first lessons of our Order?
J.I.: Love and obedience to parents. Belief in. God, knowledge of His law and fulfillment of His statutes. Devotion to country and respect for all in authority. These are the first and necessary foundation stones with which to build righteous manhood and good citizenship. Seated.
M.B., rises: Brother Builders: Well have our brethren spoken. Duty is the great law of our Order. By its fulfillment we are led to honor those who have guided our footsteps in childhood; to fear God; love our brethren; honor our country; relieve oppression; and stand as a brotherhood, auxiliary to that of our elder brothers, whose basic principles, founded upon a belief in God, are the application of Brotherly Love and Relief and the Search for Truth.
May each of us so live that our ceremonies may not be empty forms but that our lives may reflect the lessons learned in this, our Chapter.
M.B., * * *, all rise and remain standing during closing ceremony: Bro. S.I., inform the Sentinel that I am about to close … Chapter of the Builders. S.I. informs Marshal. Same form as opening.
M.B.: Bro. Dep., you will close the light of our faith. Dep. proceeds, accompanied by S. as in opening. Closes Bible and returns. On return to stations all remain standing.
M.B.: Bro. M. and Stewards of the West, you will approach the East, receive and retire with the flag.
S.I. rises and proceeds direct to door, gives alarm and has door open by time others arrive to retire. Remains to admit others back to Chapter.
Stewards and M. march to altar, give sign, proceed to East and receive flag from M.B.; march to altar; Stewards give sign. March to door, leave flag, and return to station. All Builders give Builders salute while flag is in motion.
M.B.: Bro. Builders, give your attention while the Chaplain asks Divine blessing.
C.: Our Father who are in heaven, we praise Thee for the benefits of brotherhood; we thank Thee for the many blessings Thou art continually bestowing upon us; and now go with us as we retire to our dwellings, help us to do our part in making them real homes of joy and contentment; help us to be worthy of comradeship and as Builders may we ever labor for Thy Honor and Thy Glory and the upbuilding of Thy Kingdom. Amen.
All respond: Amen and Amen.
Song or music—"Battle Hymn of the Republic."
M.B.: Accordingly I declare … Chapter No. … of the Builders closed until next assembly on …, at … p.m. *.
Bugler or organist sound "Taps."