Order of Calanthe
Initiation Ritual of the First Degree of Degree of Fidelity
The hour having arrived for opening the Court, the Worthy Counsellor or, in his or her absence of the Worthy Inspectrix will call the members to order by a rap of the gavel. When all will be seated, the officers occupying their respective stations, all candidates should be at once conducted to the reception room to wait till the hour for initiation has arrived.
The utmost silence should prevail and no conversation whatever allowed in the Court Chamber.
W. C.: Worthy Inspectrix, why are we here assembled?
W. I.: To open this Court in the bonds of Fidelity, Harmony and Love.
W. C.: Sister Escort, we are about to open this Court of Calanthe for the transaction of lawful business. Are you satisfied that all present are qualified to remain?
W. E.: Most Worthy Counsellor, at your command I will examine the Court and find out.
W. C.: All who are not qualified will please retire from the room at once. Sister Escort and Conductress, you will please proceed to collect the semi-annual and third degree pass-words from all present. Those not having the pass-word will stand up till Escort and Conductress report.
The Worthy Escort begins at the right of the Worthy Counsellor and goes around to the Worthy Inspectrix. The Conductress begins at the left of the Worthy Couneellor and goes around to the Worthy Inspectrix. The members must all give the pass-word in a whisper. After taking passwords the Worthy Escort and Worthy Conductress will come in front of the altar and make the following report: (Members rise and whisper password to E. or C. and if correct sit again. If not correct remain standing).
W. E.: Worthy Counsellor, I find all on the right of the altar in possession of our semi-annual and third degree pass-word except those standing.
W. COND.: Most Worthy Counsellor, I find all on the left of the altar in possession of our Semi-annual and third degree pass-word except those standing.
W. C.: The members standing will please come before the altar and receive the proper instruction from the Escort and be seated.
W. C.: Worthy Escort, give the word to the worthy.
W. E.: Worthy Counsellor, your order has been obeyed.
W. C.: Sisters Escort and Conductress, I thank you. Please take your respective stations.
W. C.: Sister Herald, you will please inform the Protector that a Court of Fidelity, Harmony and Love is about to open, to guard the outer door and let none pass till notified by me.
HERALD, having informed the Protector, reports: Most Worthy Counsellor, your order has been obeyed.
W. C.: I thank you, my sister (or brother). How are we now protected?
HERALD: By a true Calanthe, with proper instructions.
W. C., * * * *: Brothers and sisters, let us all be invested with proper regalia of our Court and insignia of office. All being properly clothed.
W. C., * *, seats the Court and says: Sister Herald:
W. H.: Most Worthy Counsellor.
W. C.: Your place and duty in this Court?
W. H.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my duty is to guard the inner gate and see that the outer gate of our Court is duly protected, to announce to the Court all members and visitors and admit them when ordered by the Worthy Inspectrix, and to do any other duties that may be required by my office.
W. C.: Sister Escort, your place and duty in this Court?
ESCORT: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is in front of the station of the W. C. midway between the Worthy Counsellor and the opening altar, to collect the pass-word at the opening of the Court; to prepare and to conduct candidates for initiation and promotion and to perform such other duties as may be required of me from time to time.
W. C.: Sister Conductress, your place and duty in this Court?
W. COND.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is at the right in front of the Worthy Inspectrix; to carry messages from the Worthy Inspectrix to the Worthy Counsellor and other officers; to aid in collecting the pass-word and to assist the Escort in conducting candidates through our Court.
W. C.: Sister Assistant Conductress, your place and duty in this Court?
W. A. C.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is at the left and in front of the Worthy Inspectrix and my duties are to assist in carrying messages from the Worthy Inspectrix and aid in conducting candidates through our court.
W. C.: Sister Register of Deeds, your place and duty in this Court?
R. D.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is on the right of the Worthy Counsellor and my duties are to keep a correct record of all the proceedings of this Court, transmit any and all information to the Grand or Supreme Court, to register all fines and dues; to attest all orders drawn on Receiver of Deposits; to do all correspondence for the Court and to perform such other duties as may be required of my office.
W. C.: Sister Recorder of Accounts, your place and duty in this Court?
R. A.: Most Worthy Counsellor, My Place is on the left of the Worthy Counsellor and my duties are to keep a correct account between the Court and all its members; and to furnish the W. Inx. with a list of members; in good standing; to collect all dues, taxes, fines and other moneys due this Court, giving receipt with date to every member; and to turn over to the Receiver of Deposits all funds that may come into my possession, taking her receipt for the same; to make an itemized report at the close of each meeting of the amount received and paid out and the balance on hand.
To sign all orders on the Receiver of Deposits for the payment of moneys of the Court.
W. C.: Sister Receiver of Deposits, your place and duty in this Court?
R. of DEP.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is at the left of the Worthy Counsellor near the Recorder of Accounts; and my duty is to receive all moneys of this Court from the Recorder of Accounts, giving her my itemized receipt for same; and to pay out the funds of the Court only upon vouchers properly signed by the Worthy Counsellor and by the Register of Deeds.
W. C.: Sister Senior Directress, your place and duty in this Court?
S. D.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is in front and on the right of the Worthy Counsellor, and my duty is to remind the candidates from our book of lessons and to do whatever else may be required of me.
W. C.: Sister Junior Directress, your place and duty in this Court?
J. D.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is on the left and in front of the Worthy Counsellor and it is my duty to assist in giving instructions in our book of lessons.
W. C.: Worthy Orator, your place and duty in this Court?
W. O.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my station is opposite the altar and facing the Worthy Inspector; my duties are to offer up invocation to the Deity, to administer the several obligations and to perform such other duties as may be required by this Court from time to time and to visit the sick at such times as I can to counsel them regarding their spiritual welfare.
W. C.: Worthy Inspectrix, your place and duty in this Court?
W. Inx.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my place is opposite the Worthy Counsellor, and my duties are to assist the Worthy Counsellor in opening and closing the Court; assist in the preservation of order, appoint a minority on all committees unless otherwise ordered by the Court, and to have charge of the entrance of our Court and determine the admission of the members by a record furnished by Recorder of Accounts; to preside in the absence of the Worthy Counsellor in the deliberations of the Court.
W. C.: Worthy inspector, your place and duty in this Court?
W. I.: Most Worthy Counsellor, my station is opposite the altar, and facing our Worthy Orator; and my duties are to see that the proper signs are given on entering and retiring from the Court; to instruct all candidates in the signs, grips and words; to assist the Worthy Counsellor in explaining such other duties as may be required of my office.
W. C.: Sisters and Brothers, my place is at the head of this Court; it is my duty to be present at all meetings and to see that the Court is opened in the bonds of Fidelity, Harmony and Love; and to enforce the laws with firmness in a loving spirit; to decide all questions and points of law, subject to appeal to the Grand Court or the officers representing them; to welcome all worthy visitors and to pay due honor to our Grand or Supreme Officers when visiting this Court; to confer the degrees of our Court on all qualified applicants and to enforce the collection of all legitimate money from our membership; to see that all reports to the Grand or Supreme Court are properly made out and forwarded promptly according to law; and to sign all orders for the payment of moneys by our Worthy Receiver of Deposits; pledging my honor to the faithful performance of these duties to the best of my ability, and animated in the spirit of Fidelity, Harmony and Love, I will now open this Court, that we may have the grace to do our work, let us listen to the words of wisdom from our Worthy Orator. * * * *.
All rise, attitude of prayer.
ORATOR: Lord, our Heavenly Father, the high and mighty ruler of the Court of Heaven, Who doth from Thy throne behold all that dwell upon the earth, Thy footstool; it is Thou, most mighty and all wise God, that rules the kingdom of men. We earnestly beseech Thee to favor and bless Thy servants that are here assembled in this Court, and the members of all Courts of Calanthe.
Incline us to Thy will; endow us plentifully with heavenly gifts, and finally, after this life, receive us into Thy Heavenly Court, where we will give Thee eternal praise through our Lord Jesus Christ.
All: Amen, Amen.
Sing opening ode or some other appropriate song.
Welcome to joy and peace
To virtue’s sure increase,
And wisdom’s ways.
And may we ever be
From poverty set free,
To sing our victory
In love and praise.
Welcome, we bend in love,
From the bright heaven above,
And bid you come.
Our love with tireless wing
Shall strength and blessing bring,
Until in heaven we sing
Your welcome home.
* * and all are seated.
W. C.: In the name of the departed beroines from whom this Order is founded, and in the name of Fidelity, Harmony and Love, by which bonds we are blended in the performance of deeds of Benevolence and Charity, and in the name of the supreme Counsellor of the Heavenly Court, I do declare … Court No. … of Calanthe, opened in due form for the transaction of lawful business.
W. C.: Sister Herald, you will please instruct the Protector that this Court is open.
W. H., having notified the Protector, reports: Most Worthy Counsellor, your order has been obeyed.
W. C.: I thank you.
W. C.: Sister Escort, please attend to the arrangement of our Book of Lessons, opening it at Proverbs, Chapter XXII.
W. E.: Worthy Counsellor your order has been obeyed.
W. C.: I thank you.
Ritual of the Degree of Fidelity, or First Degree
W. C., *: Sisters and Brethren, we will resolve ourselves into the first degree; Sisters Senior Directress and Conductress, you will please take up the pass-word, while the Escort will drape the altar in blue, the color degree.
When the word has been taken, the Conductress and Senior Directress will come in front of the altar and salute the Worthy Counsellor with first degree signs and report.
W. COND.: Most Worthy Counsellor, I find all correct on the right except those standing.
W. S. D.: Most Worthy Counsellor1 I find all on the left correct except those standing.
W. C.: The members standing (if any) will please approach the altar and receive the password.
W. C., * * * *: All members will please give the sign of Courtesy or Fidelity.
W. C.: We will now, all give the sign of recognition.
W. C.: Please, all go through the sign of caution.
W. C.: We will all give together the sign of distress.
W. C.: Escort, you will take such assistance as you need and prepare such candidates as you may find in waiting.
The Escort goes to the preparation room and puts a blue robe or veil on the candidates and gives them a rose in the left hand. Hoodwinked, they are led to the door and gives * *.
HERALD, * *, in a loud voice: Who dares to disturb the peace of our Court while assembled in the manifold blessing of Fidelity?
ESCORT: A stranger who wishes to be received and adopted by this Court of Fidelity, Harmony and Love.
HERALD: Has she (or he) shown by her (or his) worthy conduct that she (or he) is entitled thereto?
ESCORT: She (or he) has.
HERALD: Is she (or he) well recommended?
ESCORT: She (or he) is.
HERALD: How and by whom?
ESCORT: By two witnesses, as sound in body and mind and of good moral character.
HERALD: You will wait until the Worthy Counsellor is notified of her (or his) request and his (or her) answer given. Closes the door and gives * * * at the door.
W. C.: Who alarms there?
HERALD: A stranger knocks without and desires to be received and adopted by this Court of Fidelity, Harmony and Love.
W. C.: Is she (or he) worthy and well recommended? Is she (or he) vouched for by proper witnesses? Is she (or he) sound in mind and body, and of good character?
HERALD: She (or he) is.
W. C.: Let her (or him) enter the true gates and he instructed in Fidelity, Harmony and Love.
HERALD, opens the door: Enter into this Court of Fidelity, Harmony and Love and learn to do thy part well.
The candidate is conducted three times around the Court Chamber, while the following ode is sung:
Welcome to join our band
Welcome with us to stand,
In this pure cause.
Welcome the oath to take
Welcome these vows to make,
And for sweet Charity’s sake
To keep our laws.
The candidate is now conducted in front of the Worthy Counsellor; on the way the Escort will say: Stranger, you are now within the walls of a Court of Calanthe; be deeply impressed and ponder well. You will now hear the instruction from the Senior and Junior Directress.
Ephesians, V. 20.
J. D.: Submitting yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.
S. D.: Nevertheless, let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself, and the wife see that she reverence her husband.
W. C., after reading of the lessons: Sister Escort, you will now approach the altar for further instructions.
The candidate is led to the altar, where she (or he) kneels on both knees, right hand upon the Bible, and left with a rose in it, resting thereon.
ESCORT: Worthy Counsellor, the candidate is in proper position.
W. C., * * * *: All will assemble around the altar and assist in adopting the candidate in our Court.
Perfect order must be observed, there must be no levity, nor even a whisper, to be heard.
W. C.: Stranger, for the first time you are kneeling at our sacred altar to take a binding obligation that will in no wise interfere with your religious or political preferences. Are you willing to be thus obligated and adopted into this Court?
CANDIDATE: I am.
W. C.: Then, Sister Orator, you will please proceed to obligate the candidate.
W. O.: You will please call your own name and repeat after me. I, …, of my own free will and accord, in the presence of Almighty God and these witnesses around me, do most solemnly declare and affirm, that I will not communicate the secrets of this Court to any person in the known world except it be to a true brother or sister of this degree.
I further promise and affirm that I will not be at the conferring of the degree of this Court upon any person except in a Court working with a proper dispensation or warrant from a Supreme Court or a Grand Court, or its proper officers, qualified to issue dispensations.
I furthermore promise and affirm that I will always and at all times, aid and assist all Daughters of Calanthe or Knights, they applying to me as such, I finding them worthy, by counsel, advice or means, without injurying myself or family.
I further promise never to give the sign of distress unless I am in danger or in need of help, and should I see it given I will endeavor with all my ability to succor and aid the one giving it, if in my power and means.
I further promise to obey all signs and orders handed or sent, or written or verbal, from a Court of this Order, or officers duly authorized.
I further promise and do on this book declare that I will not speak evil of, nor slander a brother or sister of this Order, but will always inform them of any danger to themselves or family.
To all of which I solemnly promise to comply, and should I voluntarily violate this obligation when reminded of the same may my penalty be to have my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth for perjuring my oath. So help me God.
You will now remove your hands and kiss the Book, which is the Holy Bible, our book of lessons. You will now be removed from darkness and admitted into the Court of Light.
W. C., leaving his (or her) station and uniting in the circle around the altar: What do you desire at this time?
CANDIDATE, prompted: To see the beauties of this Court and those with whom I am adopted.
W. C.: Stretch forth our circle and let the new-made sister (or brother) be brought into the light of our Court.
As the Lord commanded, "Let there be light."
The hoodwink is removed simultaneously all members clasp their hands. Clash.
The candidate is then assisted to rise. All are seated except the Orator, Escort and Candidate.
ORATOR: My sister (or brother) for by this title you will hereafter be known to us, you have been obligated into this Court of Calanthe. I trust you will ever remember the sacred oath you have taken, and remember you have invoked our Heavenly Father to help you keep the same; may you ever try to live up to the promise made. It is with pleasure that we confer on you this degree of Fidelity. Friendship and Love are the links which bind the heart to heart and unite us in the bonds of love. It teaches us to watch over the interests of each other and bestow such acts of kindness as friends alone are capable of bestowing when circumstances render it necessary.
We aid and assist each other and especially do we feel bound to give our support to brothers and sisters of our beloved O’rder, a duty which we, as true friends to each other, cannot forget.
Let us remember that it is more blessed to give than to receive, when we do it under a sense of obligation to each other, not in words but in a sense of pure benevolence. May you my (sister or brother) be enabled to carry out the principles inculcated in this Court; so shall your life be crowned with usefulness, and your reward a perpetual peace: You will now be conducted to our Inspector for further instructions.
The Worthy Escort conducts candidates to the Worthy Inspector.
ESCORT: I here present you sister (or brother) … for further instructions.
W. I.: Sister (or brother) I congratulate you upon your adoption in this degree of Fidelity. You see before you the sacred altar, upon it the Holy Bible, the anchor of hope, our guide from earth to glory. Search it often and regularly. It will guide you to the Courts of Glory where the great Supreme Counsellor will meet you, where all is peace and love; where reigneth forever, Fidelity, Harmony and Love.
In Fidelity I will give you the signs and password, whereby you can make yourself known to the members of the Court, at home and abroad. You must pay strict attention and learn therefrom.
Desiring to gain admission into the Court you will give an ordinary knock at the outer door; the Protector, who is stationed at the door, will open the door or wicket, and you will give him the one-half of the password, which is S. y. r. a. He (or she) will answer c. u. s. e. (He or she) will then admit you to the anteroom. You will then put on your regalia, or insignia of the Order, which is a blue collar or jewel. You will then apply at the inner door and give two raps, thus: * *, which will be answered from within by the Herald. You will then give your name, and number of the Court and whisper the degree pass-word Syracuse through the wicket. You will be reported by the Herald to the Worthy Counsellor who will order you to be admitted. You will advance to the center of the Court before the altar and give the sign of courtesy or Fidelity.
The sign of Courtesy or Fidelity is raise right hand, palm open, and make a wob.
The sign of Recognition is passing over the right eye with the first three fingers.
The sign of Caution is three fingers perpendicular over mouth.
Answer same with left hand.
Should the member not be recognized she will say: "Why Calanthe."
C.: I have forgotten my lesson. Come with me.
The sign for Distress is bring the hands.
While thus doing, the member in distress will say: "Where is Calanthe?"
Any member seeing or hearing the distress call will approach and say: "Is that you Hermione?"
H.: I was so named.
H.: At S. Y. R. A.
C.: C. U. S. E.
Both grasping hands, I greet my sister (or brother).
The password is never to be given only in corning into a Court, or to its proper officers when duly opened.
WORTHY INSPECTOR: The Escort will now conduct you to our Worthy Counsellor for further instructions.
ESCORT conducts the sister (or brother) to the Worthy Counsellor and says: Worthy Counsellor under instructions from our Worthy Inspector, I cheerfully present to you Sister (or Brother) … for further instructions.
W. C.: Has the Sister (or brother) been instructed by the Worthy Inspector in the signs of the Degree.
ESCORT: She (or he) has.
W. C.: You will now give me, as an indication of the attention you paid to the instructions:
The sign of Fidelity
The sign of Distress.
The sign of Recognition and answer.
The sign of Caution.
It is only necessary that I should call your attention to the gavel and its use in Our Court. The gavel is used to preserve order. You must remember your obligation to obey all order when given or sent, and the gavel is a reminder of that portion of your obligation. One rap calls to order; four raps call all members to rise; two raps seat all. So when coming to the Court, you are reminded of the gavel the moment you enter the door.
The grip is thus given: clasp the first three fingers of the fingers of the right hand, letting the two thumbs rest on the knuckles.
The pass-word is Syracuse.
This word denotes the place where was exhibited the affection of Damon and Pythias.
The Worthy Counsellor now binds a handkerchief around the right hand of the initiate and reads the following lecture:
W. C.: My sister the triune spirit which pervade our acts and thoughts are Fidelity, Harmony and Love. In conferring upon you the degree of Fidelity we are blazing the way for all the nobler qualities that shall spring up. If you are faithful your character will be beautiful, your conduct noble, you will be obedient to all authority; true to all humanity. I can give you no nobler example of Fidelity than that of Damon and Pythias, Calanthe and Hermione to their beloved, and the beautiful Queen Esther of the Jewish race.
Sister Escort, you will please conduct the candidate to our Worthy Inspectrix.
W. E.: Sister Inspectrix, by the direction of our Most Worthy Counsellor, I present to you sister (or Brother) ....
W. INX.: I would admonish you to be faithful to your obligation. Love, cherish and honor all Calanthians We need your help in our work and we, therefore, bid you thrice welcome to our Order. May you be found with us in Fidelity, Harmony and Love forever.
Sister Escort, you will now conduct the brother (or sister) before the altar and report to the W. C.
W. E.: Most Worthy Counsellor, the candidate is now before the altar.
W. C., * * * *: Brothers and Sisters. I now introduce Brother (or Sister) … as a member of this Court.
All shake hands and give the grip. Two raps, all are seated.
COURT sings: A charge to keep I have
A God to glorify;
A never dying soul to save,
And fit it for the sky
To serve the present age,
My calling to fulfill―
O, may it all my powers engage
To do my Master’s will.
Arm me with jealous care,
As in Thy sight to live.
And, O, Thy servant, Lord, prepare
A strict account to give.
Help rue to watch and pray,
And on Thy strength rely;
Assured if I my trust betray,
I shall forever die.
W. C.: Sister (or Brother) you will now be excused till you are notified when you are to receive the degree of Harmony. You will not be permitted to sit in our deliberations till you are in possession of the Third Degree, or Degree of Love. The candidate is conducted from the Court room.
Sister Senior Directress please remove the blue drapery and place on the altar the emblem of the Degree of Harmony.
S. D.: Most Worthy Counsellor, your order is obeyed.
W. C.: We will now proceed with the business of the evening.