Order of the Golden Chain
Opening of Link
Note: It shall be the duty of the Sentinel to examine all persons entering the link room prior to opening or thereafter to ascertain if they are qualified to enter.
Visiting Master Masons shall be examined by the W.P. or A.P.
Officers assemble in inner room. Only the Associate Patron, Warder, Sentinel, Marshal, Organist end Soloist are in their stations. Associate Patron strikes gavel *, calling members to order. As he does so, the Warder and Sentinel close the outer door.
A.P.: The Worthy Patron enters.
Marshal leaves station and opens inner door to admit and escort Worthy Patron to the East, then returns to her station.
W.P.: Brother Associate Patron, ascertain if all present are entitled to remain. The password of the evening is the password of the ….
A.P.: Sister Marshal and Sister Warder you will ascertain if the Sisters and Brothers present are entitled to remain.
The Marshal takes up the password from all who are seated on the North side of the Link Room; the Warder takes up the password from all who era seated on the South side of the Link Room. When accomplished, they return to their respective stations.
Marshal: Brother Associate Patron all present are entitled to remain.
A.P.: Worthy Patron all present are vouched
W.P.: Let the doors be guarded, and the officers informed that we are prepared for their entrance.
Warder exchanges signals with the Sentinel. Marshal goes to the inner door, opens same.
Marshal: The Worthy Patron invites the officers of … Link No. … Order of the Golden Chain to enter.
As officers enter in double file W.P. * * *. Secretary and Treasurer stop at head of lines when they reach point at eastern end of Altar
W.P.: Worthy Matron we are risen to greet you, and to welcome you to your rightful station in the East. Sister Conductress and Sister Associate Conductress you will escort our Worthy Matron to the East.
W.P. steps down from E., extends hand to W.M., assisting her to E. and tenders her the gavel.
W.M.: Worthy Patron, are all entitled to remain?
W.P.: Worthy Matron, all present have been duly vouched for.
W.M.: The officers will assume their stations.
Done. Sister Conductress and Sister Associate Conductress let our emblems be revealed. C. and A.C. reveal Altar Cloth C. opens Bible. They give sign of Salutation, return to their stations. Sister Warder you will inform the Sentinel that we are about to open this meeting. W. on outer door * * * Sentinel responds * * * W. opens door and informs S. Sister Marshal you will present the Flag.
For the Pledge of Allegiance.
Sister Chaplain, let us pray.
Chaplain, walks to W. of Altar: We pray that these emblems inspire us with the ideals which they represent, and that we be found worthy of this convocation. Amen.
All: Amen. Chaplain returns to her station.
W.M.: We are met as Sisters and Brothers in communion, sacred yet friendly. Let us be concerned in fulfilling our duty to the ideals of the Order of the Golden Chain. Calls on each Jewel.
Homemaker steps forward and gives password.
Patriot steps forward and gives password.
Friendly Sister steps forward and gives password.
Torch Bearer steps forward and gives password.
Angel of Mercy steps forward and gives password.
Keeper of Faith steps forward and gives password.
W.M.: Thus dedicated I declare … Link No. … Order of the Golden Chain, duly and reverently opened.
M. O. G. C. N. B. B., etc.
W.M.: Sister Warder inform the Sentinel, the Link is open and the password of the evening is ….
Warder, on outer door * * * Sentinel responds * * * Warder opens door: The Link
is open. The password of the evening is ....
Worthy Matron, your Order is obeyed.
W. M. seats Link. *.
W.M.: Sister Secretary, retire and report what candidates, if any, are in waiting for initiation.
Secretary proceeds to W. of Altar, salutes, and retires thru outer door, greets candidates, checks their names and qualifications with the application blanks as accepted by the Link: then returns to the outer door to enter Link Room.
Sentinel, on outer door: * * *.
Warder: Worthy Matron, there is an alarm on the outer door.
W.M.: Ascertain the cause of the alarm.
Warder, * * *, opens door: What is the cause of this alarm.
Sentinel: The Secretary on her return.
Warder, closes door: Worthy Matron, the Secretary on her return.
W.M.: You will admit her.
Warder, * * *, answered by Sentinel * * *, opens door to admit Secretary.
Secretary, approaches Altar, salutes: Worthy Matron, Mrs …, who have been duly elected to membership in our Order now await your pleasure. Returns to her station.
W.M.: Worthy Patron, I now relinquish to you, my gavel, to proceed with the ceremonies of initiation.
W.P., takes gavel: Sister Conductress and Sister Associate Conductress retire and prepare these candidates for proper entrance into our Link.
C. & A.C. salute and retire thru outer door. The candidates should then be assembled in the inner room for instructions and preparation.
Obligation of Visiting Master Masons
W.P.: If there be any Master Mason present who has not as yet been obligated in the Order of the Golden Chain he will please rise and present himself West of the Altar. After all Masons to be obligated have been assembled W. of Altar with the assistance of Marshal. * * * approaches Altar.
W.P.: My Brothers, the Order of the Golden Chain is composed of Master Masons and their immediate female relatives. Because we endeavor to inculcate truly Masonic virtues in our Ritual, we welcome Master Masons to our secret sessions, but we require from them a solemn pledge not to divulge any of the secret work.
If you are willing to give us such a pledge, say I, pronounce your names separately, and repeat after me the following obligation:
In the presence of these witnesses and before this sacred Altar, do hereby solemnly promise that the secrets of the Order of the Golden Chain and of this Link shall remain forever as sacred and inviolate as the secrets of Freemasonry, and of my Lodge, never to be disclosed, except to a member of this Order. This pledge I do solemnly make on my sacred honor, as a Man and a Mason, so help me God."—Amen.
The sign of Salutation is given by placing both hands upon the extreme ends of the Altar, thereby symbolically forming our Golden Chain and making a slight bow to the presiding officer. When more than one person gives the sign of salutation, they join hands and the free hands at each end are placed upon the extreme ends of the Altar, thus completing the Golden Chain upon the Altar. W.P. gives obligation and instructions, facing Master Masons, East of Altar.
My Brothers, I extend to you a cordial and fraternal greeting, and welcome you to this
meeting of … Link No. … Order of the Golden Chain, and trust that your stay will be pleasant and instructive. You may now be seated. W.P. returns to East * seating Link.
Conductress from inner door: * * *.
A.M.: Worthy Patron, candidates for initiation seek admission.
W.P.: Let us be apprised of their qualifications.
A.M. steps down from W. and escorted to inner door by Marshal who * * * which is answered by Conductress * Marshal * and opens door which remains open, until closed by A. C. after candidates enter: Do you take this step of your own desire and volition?
A.M.: Do you understand that you will be bound by the laws of our Order, and by the authority of our Officers?
A.M.: Do you understand that the secrets of this Order may not be improperly disclosed?
A.M.: Are you a believer in the existence of a Supreme Being?
A.M.: You understand that we countenance no distinction between members of one faith and another, and that we insist upon the right of every human being to worship God in his own way, without suffering our prejudice?
A.M.: These questions have been asked of you at this time, so that you may join us with an understanding of our principles. If you wish to withdraw, you may do so now without any embarrassment. Do you still wish to be initiated Mrs …?
Candidates respond separately.
Marshal escorts A.M. to her station in W. and returns to door.
A.M.: Worthy Patron, the candidates are duly qualified.
W.P.: Let them enter and be inducted into the secrets of our Order. The procession, led by the Marshal, followed by the Conductress, candidates and A.C. into the Link room, in single file to the West facing East. Marshal takes position behind candidates directly in front of A.M.
Conductress, facing candidates: You have now entered for the first time, a Link of the Order of the Golden Chain.
A.C., facing candidates: in the North, you behold the station of Associate Conductress point in the South the station of Conductress point in the West the station of Associate Matron and Associate Patron point.
W.P., rising: And in the East you behold the Worthy Matron of … Link No. … Order of the Golden Chain, to whom you will hereafter owe your allegiance. W.M. rises and remains standing.
W.M.: And toward the East I invite you to come as true Sisters (and Brothers) who are to be.
Marshal meets A.P. in W. directly in front of candidates, end escorts him to the Altar. Conductress directs candidates to follow until they are at W. of Alter. A.P. is at S. E. of Altar, and Marshal remains at N. E. of Alter until conclusion of A.P. charge, then returns to her station at same time that A.P. returns to his station.
A.P.: You now stand before the East, the station of authority, where I am charged with enlightening your minds concerning your progress in our mysteries. The Order of the Golden Chain demands of its members absolute loyalty, and in them it puts unqualified trust. The secrets that we have are few, yet never to be violated. With the exception of these few secrets, we would have the whole world know of our work and conduct, that others may learn from our actions, and be inspired by our ideals, to the end that all the world may become one great benevolent Brotherhood, one Golden Chain, in which every Link is cast of none but the purest souls; and forged in the warmth of human hearts. But these few secrets set us apart from the rest of the world. They enable us to meet, uninterrupted; they permit us to include within our circle only those who have taken upon themselves certain obligations. We must be assured that you will be a safe repository for our confidence, and that the secrets to be imparted to you will remain forever within the Order of the Golden Chain. I now call upon you to proceed to our Altar and take the oath required of all candidates for initiation, an oath which recites only those obligations that you have already expressed your willingness to undertake. Are you willing to proceed?
C. & A.C. instruct candidates to hold hands, and place the two free hands at each end on the extreme ends of the Alter.
A.P., after seeing that candidates are properly placed: Worthy Patron, the candidates are in proper form at the Altar. Returns to his station in W.
W.P., strikes gavel * * * and descends to Altar, addresses candidates: Repeat after me the following obligation; I do solemnly promise, of my own desire and volition, that I will ever treasure the secrets of this order as sacred, and solely the proper possession of members of the
Order of the Golden Chain, that I will submit to the jurisdiction of the Grand Link and of this Link; and any other Link that I may become a member of; that I undertake to exemplify in my own life the ideals, principles and purposes of this Order, to the end that the Link which I shall forge in our Chain may be everlastingly and gloriously golden. To this my oath, I subscribe my character and good name, under the penalty of such discipline as my sisters and brothers may see fit to impose. So help me God, Amen. M. O. G. C.—N. B. B.—A. H.—E. P. Turns about and returns to E. strikes gavel * to seat Link. The Worthy Matron will now address you.
W.M.: My Sisters (and Brothers) the Golden Chain which is the emblem of our Order, is a never ending circle in which you as new members are the most newly added Links. Its gold has been washed -by the blood of myriad martyrs, and refined in the blazing zeal of saintly souls. It has been chased by the industry of woman’s handiwork through the ages, and engraved by the finger of the Divine. Its Links have been moulded by the ennobling sacrifice of kindred souls and tempered in the cool waters of tolerance. They have been joined by the Universal artist called Woman. Woman, whose toil begins with the rising sun and ends not with the going down thereof, whose suffering endures motherhood and the whole gamut of life’s vexations yet never complains. These pearls of purest pink emblazoned in our Golden Chain symbolize woman’s achievement through the ages, and her perpetual gift to posterity. Behold these jewels, and may you be inspired by their teachings.
Cond.: Let us gaze upon these jewels set within our Golden Chain, and learn the secrets of their brilliance.
A.C. instructs Brother candidates, affiliates and reinstatees to take seats until after the Jewels have completed their renditions, end returns to rear of line of candidates.
Stands between A. C. Station and Altar.
I am Woman the Homemaker. I am the foundation, the pillar of society. By me the family is founded; and through me all the institutions of human civilizations endure.
It is appropriate that you enter our Order veiled. The veil is an oriental symbol of womanly modesty, virtue, purity—without purity there can be no Homemaker—no happy home. As you are now veiled, seeing our Order but dimly and vaguely, you are about to be brought to clearer vision. Let modesty ever guard your thoughts and virtue ever move your heart. May purity ever shine through your life and soul. As this veil is now lifted from your eyes (veil is lifted, lights bri9htenedl may you remember ever, to preserve the home.
In this Holy Bible is an ideal of Womanhood, inscribed three thousand years ago:
A woman of valor, who can find?
For her price is above rubies.
The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her.
And he hath no lack of gain.
She doeth good and not evil all the days of her life.
Strength and dignity are her clothing;
And she hath confidence in the time to come.
She openeth her mouth with wisdom;
And the law of kindness is on her tongue;
She looketh well to the ways of her household
And eateth not the bread of idleness.
Her children rise up and call her blessed;
Her husband also, and he praiseth her.
Many daughters have done valiantly,
But thou excellest them all.
As Wife, I have been the comrade and comforter of man. I rejoice in his happiness, and console him in his sorrow. I sing with him, and if need be, I suffer with him and for him. I am his strength and stay. I am his helpmate. I guide him when he is lost, lift him when he is fallen, direct him in ambition, in his error I correct him; in achievement praise. I am his other self.--As Mother and Wife—as preserver of the family, I am proud—I, the Homemaker.
Stands between C. Station and Altar.
I am Woman the Patriot. I serve my country, and I venerate the flag, which proclaims our nation to the world.
The true patriot reveres his county in peace as well as in war. This flag gives its benign protection to me and to my home. It bids me observe the laws of my nation; it commands my respect and gratitude at home and my pride and admiration abroad.
This flag of our country was fashioned by a woman, and for these many years, its warm inspiring colors have been flung to the breeze of the seven seas, spreading its message of freedom, idealism and dignity to the citizens of America and to the nations of the world.
Its purity has never been sullied, its protection has never failed. In peace as well as in war, at home and abroad, in deed as in word, I shall ever devote myself to defend the flag.
So shall it flaunt its message rare,
That all the world from zone to zone
May glimpse Old Glory floating there,
Shouting a freedom all our own.
Rich product of our struggling years,
Rich heritage of patriot tears.
The Friendly Sister
Stands between A. C. Station and Alter.
I am Woman, the Friendly Sister. From earliest times, men and women have felt the need for some great uniting agency to obliterate all distinctions of nationhood, of creed and ritual, of human relationships to be welded into a Universal Brotherhood. The greatest of these fraternities, one that has inspired mankind since the days of the Temple of Solomon, is the Order of Freemasonry, which is devoted to the unity and brotherhood of man, and to which we feel ourselves closely kin, since we require of every candidate a close relationship to a Free Mason.
I hold in my hand a bundle of sticks symbolizing humanity in all its strength, and a single stick symbolizing its weakness. These sticks when taken singly are easily broken done. Together they are unbreakable, strong and unconquerable done. Each sister alone, is easily discouraged, helpless and lonely, but joined together in our Golden Chain, we are endowed with an invincible strength. One weak, one imperfect link may cause a chain to be broken. Beware lest you break our chain. Resolve rather to seal our sisterhood.
Into this never ending chain of friendship, let all men and women enter as human souls, with their joys and ambitions, their sorrows and their sufferings.
Friendship is a chain of gold,
Shaped in Gods all perfect mould,
Each Link a smile, a laugh, a tear,
A grip of the hand, a word of cheer,
As steadfast as the ages roll
Binding closer soul to soul,
No matter how far or heavy the load,
Sweet is the journey on friendships road.
The Torch Bearer
Stands between C. Station and Altar.
I am Woman, the Torch Bearer. I hold aloft the light of progress and of learning. As teacher in the public schools of the land I prepare tender minds for wholesome manhood and womanhood. As nurse in the hospitals, I bind up the wounds and help heal the stricken bodies and souls of my fellow creatures; always seeking to uplift humanity from the depths of ignorance and the curse of intolerance.
As Torch Bearer, I seek to uphold the ideals of peace. It is only when a cloud hides the sun of understanding, that men resort to armed conflict and to war.
I know how all mothers love their sons, whatever be the nation that holds their loyalty. I know that maiming and death bring grief and horror, even to the household of any enemy. I would take the sword and break it in two. When others are content to see the torch of understanding and of enlightenment fall to the ground despised, I am proud to lift it, yea, to hold the torch aloft.
If all the land shall bend neath war’s disaster
And brutish power destroy a groping world,
If sorrow cleave the heart of man and master,
And wisdom from its pedestal be hurled,
I shall reach out my beacon in the gloom
Lighting a stricken nation from its doom.
The Angel of Mercy
Stands between A.C. Station and Alter.
I am Woman, the Angel of Mercy, and as you now come before me, I meet you with a greeting ancient and symbolic. You are wayfarers, having traveled long and far to reach this station. I therefore greet you with this cup of hospitality, that you may derive refreshment and strength hold cup aloft. This is an ancient symbol of the host’s welcome, inviting you to drink of his cup and eat of his food lowers cup.
It is I, Angel of Mercy, upon whom this task of hospitality and charity has fallen. All who are hungry, come to me and are fed; the naked come and are clothed; to the afflicted, I give of my healing balm. My charity is without condescension; my mercy without pride. When the stranger comes, I ask no questions and no names.
Let me live in the house by the side of the road
Where the race of men go by,
The men who are good, and the men who are bad,
As good and as bad as I.
I would not sit in the scorner’s seat,
Or hurl the cynics ban—
Let me live in the house by the side of the road
And be a friend to man.
The Keeper of the Faith
Stands between C. Station and Altar.
I am Woman, the Keeper of the Faith. As prophetess and as priestess, as master and as disciple. I lead the way to faith and to prayer. When the night is dark and lonely, I humbly submit to the Ruler of the destinies of men, who knows best when to give and when to withhold. And when I am troubled, I turn to this great book, the Bible, wherein is written God’s message to mankind. Then I am no longer troubled; there my despair is drowned; I am inspired once more to keep the faith.
As Keeper of the Faith, I resist the temptations of the faithless, I defy those who would rob me of my belief. I lay down my life, as countless martyrs, other Keepers of the Faith have done before me, rather than prove traitor to my God and my Faith.
In this Bible, it is written, "Have we not all one Father? Hath not one God created us all?" Therefore, just as I insist on my right to my religion, so I gladly recognize the right of every other human being to the same privilege.
Whatever the faith he professes, no matter how it differs from my own; no matter what his language or his mode of prayer or worship, if my fellow man serves his God sincerely, uprightly and honorably, him I welcome and hail as one like myself; a Keeper of the Faith.
Conductress, conducts candidates to W. of altar. A.C. escorts Brother candidates and affiliates and reinstatees to join line of candidates: These are the jewels in our Chain, and as you have come to them to-night, so may you emulate their teachings in your daily life. You will now greet the Worthy Matron as you will greet her upon entering or retiring from a meeting. You will approach the Altar join hands, form a chain thus and bow done. When your salute is acknowledged by the Worthy Matron, you may proceed to your seat, or retire. The Worthy Patron will instruct you Further.
W. P., rising: My Sisters (and Brothers) you have beheld the pearls, the precious jewels set within our Golden Chain. Each jewel has a password which is the summation of her duties. These passwords are the keys to our mysteries. I bespeak for them your most earnest attention.
The Homemaker rises, steps forward end gives password.
The Patriot rises, steps forward and gives password.
The Friendly Sister rises, steps forward and gives password.
The Torch Bearer rises, stops forward end gives password.
The Angel of Marcy rises, steps forward and gives password.
The Keeper of the Faith rises, steps forward and gives password.
All jewels remain standing until after Keeper of Faith has responded, then all seat themselves simultaneously.
The general motto that is symbolic of our Chain, I will now impart to you. When from the East comes the proclamation M. O. G. C. N. B. B. from the members come the response.
Members: A. H. E. P.
W.P.: These passwords and the general motto of our Order are now given you, so that you may become acquainted with our secrets. You are admonished never to cross the Link Room between the Altar and the East make gesture while the Link is in session. The gavel is an emblem of authority. One tap * calls the Link to order, seats it when standing, or establishes a decision. Two taps * * cause the officers to rise and three taps * * * cause all present to rise. The voting sign of the Order, is given by raising the left hand. Makes a sign. Grand Honors are accorded to present and past Grand Officers only, and are given by placing the palm of the right hand over the palm of the left hand, on a level with the breast, and making a slight bow to the person honored. Present and past Matrons and Patrons are greeted with the sign of salutation, which is given by making a slight bow to the person saluted. I now declare you duly initiated into the Order of the Golden Chain, and regular member of … Link No. … entitled to all its privileges and subject to all its penalties. Let us invoke the blessings of Him above Who is the beginning and the end of all. * * *.
Chaplain, steps to W. of Altar: Our Father on high, who joineth all Thy children in the chain of humankind, we ask Thy blessing on these our Sisters (and Brothers) who have this evening been welded as links in our Chain. We pray that they may bring strength to us, honor to themselves, and achievement to the ideals which we proclaim. Amen. Returns to her station.
W.P., *, seats Link: Sisters and Brothers I take pleasure in introducing our new members. I present Sister …. After you have signed the membership roll, you are invited to take seats with your Sisters and Brothers.
W.P.: Worthy Matron, the ceremonies of initiation having been completed, I now return to you your gavel to proceed with the regular business of this meeting. Done.
Closing of link
W.M.: Sisters and Brothers, we are about to close. Sister Warder, you will so inform the Sentinel.
Warder, * * * on outer door, opens door: We are about to close, closes door. Worthy Matron your order is obeyed.
W.M.: Sisters and Brothers, may the memory of this meeting be pleasant and instructive, and may these emblems give us of their strength.
Let us approach the Altar. * * *.
All officers approach together, encircling the Altar.
Chaplain: Our Father on High, as this evening of fellowship draws to a close, we pray that the inspiration of the Order of the Golden Chain may remain with, us as we go about our daily tasks. When we meet again, may there be none missing from our midst. May we go on from strength unto strength. Amen.
W.M.: Let the Altar be covered. C. and A.C. cover Alter.
Officers place their jewels upon the Altar.
W.M., forming chain with officers around Altar: May Our Golden Chain Never Be Broken. Officers retire.
W.M., at outer door: May Our Golden Chain Never Be Broken.
W.P.: The Link is closed. *.
Opening of Link