Brotherhood of St. Paul
Ritual of the First Degree or Order of Jerusalem
One rap of the President's gavel means attention or sit down, two raps officers rise, three raps Chapter rise, four raps all kneel.
The President shall announce a hymn, and after singing say:
PRES.: Brothers, our lives having been spared to another meeting let us thank God, and ask His guidance in our deliberations.
In everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.
I will ask Brother … to lead us in prayer. * * * *.
PRES., * * *; *: Let us hear the Word of God.
Here some member appointed may read I. Cor. 13, Gal. 6: 1-10, Rom. 12, 14, 15: 1-7, or some other passage appropriate.
After Scripture the President shall say:
PRES.: Brothers, what is the object of our society?
Response by all: The mutual improvement and entertainment of its members by religious, social, physical and literary culture, to promote the spirit and practice of Christian brotherhood, to build up the church, with which we are connected; and especially to extend Christ's cause in the world by winning our brothers to a Christian life.
PRES.: Brothers, what are our examples and what principles inspire our hearts?
Response by all: We accept Christ as our Great Commander, Example and Savior, and St. Paul as the leader of our division of Christ's army. They are our types of the manly Christian.
We declare loyalty to the Methodist Episcopal church, to its laws and its officers, and to the Scripture doctrines on which it is founded. * * *.
Singing: "Stand up for Jesus." *.
PRES.: Brother Secretary, what are our standing committees?
SEC'Y.: We have an executive committee composed of the officers, the pastor and the chairmen of the three department committees,—namely those of Christian Work, Entertainment and Membership.
PRES.: Let the members of these committees do their duty well as care-takers. Says St. Paul:
"Moreover it is required in stewards that a man be found faithful."
Response—Members of all committees rising and saying: We will endeavor to keep the trust committed to our hands.
PRES.: Brother Treasurer, have you any exhortation?
TREAS.: The dues of our society should be promptly met,
"And herein I give my advice, for this is expedient for you, not only to do, but also to be forward. Now therefore perform the doing of it." II Cor. 8: 10, 11.
PRES.: We will now proceed to the regular order of business.
Frequently repeat together in opening or closing.
We will seek daily the noblest Christian manhood.
We will devote our lives to the cause of Jesus on earth.
We will be loyal to the church, and will keep her rules.
We will know more of the Bible, and be proud to carry and use it.
We will be educated church-men, making good use of our church papers and of the publications of our Methodist Book Concern.
We will esteem them that are over us in the church very highly in love for their work's sake.
We will be true brothers, seeking to protect each other's reputation and to advance each other's interests.
We will be Christians everywhere, and in all the relations of life, social, business, political, religious.
We will take an all-round interest in every good cause, and especially in missions, church-building, education, and the care of veterans and the sick.
We will pray daily, and will labor to save lost men, and to increase the numbers of them who shall be under the influence of our church.
Initiation for First Degree
PRES.: The time having arrived for our initiation service, let the brothers of the membership committee bring the candidates forward, and let them be delivered for initiation.
Candidates brought forward, and chairman or some member of the membership committee shall say: Brother President, I present to you these candidates for initiation into the Brotherhood of St. Paul.
PRES.: Brother Secretary, have these persons been approved for character and elected to membership in our Brotherhood?
SEC.: All these candidates have been approved by the executive committee, and elected by ballot of the Brotherhood. We believe them to be worthy of our fellowship, and we have confidence that they will bring no discredit upon us.
PRES.: Brothers, you ask to join a Brotherhood connected with a great Christian Church, and bearing the name of a distinguished hero who for Christ and for the Church fought manfully, set a good example, and received a crown of life. You shall listen to his life story.
Members of all committees rise and read: "If any other man thinketh that he hath whereof he might trust in the flesh, I more: circumcised the eight day, of the stock of Israel of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of the Hebrews; as touching the law a Pharisee; concerning zeal, persecuting the church: touching the righteousness which is in the law, blameless.
"But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yes, doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus, my Lord"—Phil. 3; 4-8.
"Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one. Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep; in journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren: in weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness." —II Cor. 11:24-27.
"It is not expedient for the doubtless to glory—for though I would desire to glory I shall not be a fool—II Cor. 11: 1-6.
"But He that glorieth let him glory in the Lord."—II Cor 10 : 17.
PRES.: St. Paul said, "Brethren, be followers together of me;" and such is his record whose name our society has taken. His name is honorable, and we intend that our Society shall be an honorable society. The officers will read to you its object. * *.
Officers read Article II of the Constitution: The purpose of the Brotherhood of St. Paul is to effect the mutual improvement and entertainment of its members by religious, social, physical, and literary culture, to promote the spirit and practice of Christian brotherhood, to build up the church with which we are connected, and especially to extend Christian cause in the world by winning our brothers to a Christian faith.
PRES.: We have a Declaration of Principles, which you ought to bear.
The whole membership rise and repeat from Constitution, Article III: 3: We accept Christ as our Great Commander, Example and Savior, and St. Paul as the leader of our division of Christ's army.—They are our types of manly character. We declare loyalty to the Methodist Episcopal Church, to its laws, its pastors, and its law officiary, and to the Scripture doctrines upon which it is founded.
Quartette or soloist or Chapter sing No. 608, Hymnal, President announcing it.
Faith of our fathers, living still
In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;
O 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.
Faith of our fathers! we will love
Both friend and foe in all our strife;
And preach thee, too, as love knows how,
By kindly words and virtuous life;
Faith of our fathers! holy faith!
We will be true to thee till death.
PRES.: The Brotherhood of St. Paul comprises three degrees, to the first of which you are now to be admitted.
The Secretary will read to you that part of our Constitution which relates to membership in this order.
The Secretary reads from Article VII: "The membership is divided into the following division: First, an Order of Jerusalem, comprising all who are not in full membership in The Methodist Episcopal Church with which the chapter is affiliated, and who will agree to endeavor to live a moral and upright life.
PRES.: You have heard what is our requirement of those who would be members of the Order of Jerusalem of the Brotherhood of St. Paul. That you may have a better understanding of the moral precepts of St. Paul, which also are our principles, listen to these words.
The Pastor or, in his absence, the Vice-President reads: "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man the truth with his neighbor for we are members one of another. Be ye angry and sin not; let not the sum go down upon your wrath; neither give place to the devil. Let him that stole steal no more, but rather let him labor, working with his hands, the thing which is good, that he may have to give to him that needeth. Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamour and evil speaking be put away from you with all malice; and be ye kind one to another; tender-hearted, forgiving one another."— Eph. 4: 25, 29 and 31, 32.
"Rebuke not an elder but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; the elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity."—I Tim. 6: l and 2.
Luke tells us that as Paul "reasoned righteousness, temperance and judgment, Felix trembled."—Acts 24: 25.
PRES.: Upon these passages we do not place our interpretation and ask you to accept that, but we do require manliness at your hands; that you will try to be moral and upright. In pledge of which we ask you to respond "I will" to the following questions:
1. Will you undertake the simple requirement of admission into the Order of Jerusalem, and strive like Paul "to keep under your body and bring it into subjection?"
2. Will you treat kindly the brothers of this society, and seek to advance the interests of the order with which you desire to be connected?
3. Will you promptly resign if ever you should cease to try to keep the code of a moral life?
4. Will you faithfully try to perform any duties which you have agreed to undertake, and will you be free from self-seeking and ambition in relation to the offices of the society?
PRES.: We will join in singing No. 784 in the Hymnal, verses 3 and 4., 3. " The law of Christ."
Help us to help each other. Lord,
Each other's cross to bear;
Let each his friendly aid afford,
And feel his brother's care,
Help us to build each other up,
Our little stock improve;
Increase our faith, confirm our hope,
And perfect us in love.
PRES.: Our Brotherhood colors will be placed upon you by the membership committee.
This having been done the chairman or a member of that committee shall say: May gold truly represent your character, and may this badge betoken the golden bonds of fellowship which bind the hearts of our brothers together.
PRES.: You have heard the principles of our order, you have agreed to our conditions of membership, you have received our badge of purity and loyalty. Let us invoke the blessing of Almighty God upon our further relationship together.
Brief prayer by the Pastor and address by the President or such other member as he shall appoint.
PRES.: I now extend the right hand of fellowship and you will proceed to inscribe your names on our roll of members.
PRES.: The motion to adjourn having prevailed we now bring our meeting to a close.
VICE-PRES. or Chairman Religious Work Com.: Brother officers: "Let us not be weary in well doing for in due season we shall reap if we faint not."—Gal. 6: 9.
Response of officers, * *: "As we have therefore opportunity let us do good unto all men, and especially unto them who are of the household of faith."—Gal. 6:10.
SEC.: Brothers of the Society: "Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers. And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby we are sealed unto the day of redemption."—Eph. 4:30.
Response by all, * * *: ''For our citizenship is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ."—Phil. 3: 20.
CHAIRMAN or a Member Religious Work Com.: "I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some."—I. Cor. 9: 22.
CHAIRMAN or a Member Social Com.: "Let love be without dissimulation." " Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love." "Given to hospitality."—Rom. 12: 9, 10 and 12.
CHAIRMAN or a Member Membership Com.: "Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time."—Col. 4: 5.
PRES.: "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue and if there be any praise, think on these things,"—Phil. 4: 8.