Ritual for a Funeral Ceremony
Dit amerikaanse rituaal
dateert uit 1906
When the Fortress is requested to take charge of a funeral of one of its members, either lady member or chevalier, it will use the following ceremony.
When possible, a guard of honor of not less than four chevaliers, in full dress, and a commanding officer, who precede the of officers and members of the Fortress and will form a hollow square around the casket, leaving an interval for the officers to pass through, and will come to an order swords. The Commander will take position at the head of the casket with two aides, the Adjutant acting as Right Aid. The Lieutenant Commander with two aids, Quartermaster as right aid, will take position at the foot of the casket, and the Chaplain and Past Commander will take position on the right and left of the casket. Members taking position behind officers.
Commander: Adjutant, you will please call the roll of ... Fortress No ..., and if any are absent report the cause. Here the Adjutant will repeat the names of all those members who are present, all answering, 'Here.' Call name of deceased member last, and twice.
Adjutant: Commander, I find Lady ... (or Chevalier ...) does not respond to the call.
Commander: Please report the cause of her (or his) failure to respond to the call.
Adjutant: Commander, Comrade (here give name) has passed beyond earthly muster, and will answer to roll call in the Supreme Fortress above, forever more.
Commander: Comrades, it is with heavy hearts that we receive the melancholy report of the Adjutant, apprising us that our loved comrade has answered the last roll call on earth. We gather here, upon this occasion, to pay the last earthly tribute to our comrade, we have come to do for her (or him) what the sacredness of our duty directs that we shall do.
Lieutenant Commander, you will please give a history of our comrade's life, so far as the records have come into your possession.
The Lieutenant Commander should prepare as full a history of the deceased as possible, at least detailing the relationship to the Fortress, such as date of entering, rank obtained, etc. It is also permissible at this time to have a short address by a minister or other speaker.
Commander: Comrades, our earthly labors are measured at the final judgment, by the good that we have done, by the love we have exhibited, by the happiness that our lives have brought to others. Our comrade has fulfilled life's mission and at last casting aside all earthly toils and cares has gone to her (his) reward.
Right Aid to the Commander, dropping a white rose upon the casket: As an evidence of a faithful life we place upon the casket of our late comrade and friend this rose, emblematic of purity and love. May the lessons that it teaches continue to be our guide and our inspiration so that when we shall be called from earth it will be with the infinite assurance of life everlasting.
Right Aid to the Lieutenant Commander, dropping a sprig of evergreen upon the casket: As the evergreen is emblematical of the ever: existing hope that gives strength and joy to human life, so should it be a reminder that our departed comrade shall ever remain with us in memory, and may we find in that recollection an influence of helpfulness and a light that shall ever guide us along the paths of truth and love.
Commander: We have paid the last tribute to our departed friend. No longer is that life that was so prolific of good deeds inspired by praise or discouraged by censure, earthly labors are finished for her (or him), while for us there yet remains time and opportunity for speaking words of love and performing deeds of kindness. Then let us here consecrate ourselves anew to the lessons of the order as taught by the motto: Friendship, Love, Charity and Fidelity. Chaplain, you will address the Throne of Grace.
Officer of the Canton: Chevaliers, uncover.
Chaplain: Great and Supreme Ruler, let Thy promises console us, as we stand at the bier of our comrade, from whose companionship we have been severed by the relentless hand of death. Let the light of Thy love illuminate the pathway of our departed friend into the realm of eternal life. Fill our hearts with greater love for our comrades, and endow us with increased strength to carry out Thy commands. Save us to Thy service, and Thine be the glory for ever and ever. Amen.
All Members: Amen.
Officer of the Canton: Chevaliers, recover.
Commander: Comrades, salute.
Members may disband, as is most convenient to time and place.