Kappa Sigma Pi
Ritual of the First Degree or Order of Jerusalem
The only articles needed for this are a large, clean handkerchief for a blindfold, and a tossing blanket. This is best made out of strong canvas about 8 x 8 ft. in size, binding in the edge a small rope for strength, and to which can be attached handles about two feet apart. With reasonable care there is no danger of injury. A little practice will develop skill in handling it. This should be kept locked away from non-members. The boys call this their "goat."
A substitute for this in case of necessity may be arranged, such as having the boys hold up a heavy blanket in shape of a tent, under which the candidate is led, still blindfolded, and at a signal it is allowed to collapse, and the candidate wooled around for a moment, using care not to overdo it and letting the remarks of the boys indicate that they are trying to save him from serious accident. There are other variations that are just as good, but the idea of tent fabric or form must not be discarded, because that would be destroying the unity of the initiation.
Boys must be at least 10 years of age, recommended by chaplain and elected by chapter.
Chancellor: We will now proceed to the initiation of candidates. Let the members be seated and silent. Let the officers take their places. The Constable will usher the candidate(s) in, in due form.
Constable meets the candidates in outer room; blindfolds them, placing them in line with hands upon shoulders of one before. He then leads to the door and gives two hard knocks.
Sentinel, within: Who be ye, strangers? thru small opening.
Const.: We are travelers in this troublesome world. We seek to labor not in vain, and would enter the mysterious region of knighthood for sympathy and guidance.
Sent.: If ye enter this archway, the Chancellor will bind you with vows that will be hard to keep. Go not further, turn aside, and abide with the rabble on the streets!
Const.: Nay, but We must enter.
Sent.: Pass then to the Chancellor.
Const.: Worthy Chancellor, I present to you these candidates, who desire to be initiated into the Kappa Sigma Pi.
Chan.: Brother Scribe, has this person (or have these persons) been approved for character by the Chaplain, elected to membership by the club, and has the fee (of each) been paid?
Scribe: All requirements are fulfilled. Their records are clear.
Chan.: St. Paul said, "Brethren, be ye followers together with me," and such is his record whose name our club has taken. His name is honorable and we intend that our club shall be honorable. Let the Vice-Chancellor read to you its object.
Vice-Chan.: The object of our order Is to seek the mutual improvement and entertainment of its members morally and socially, and to occupy the time in such exercises as will assist in the making of Christian gentlemen.
Chan.: We have a declaration of principles which should become a part of your very life. Let us all repeat it in concert.
Club: We accept Christ as our Savior and Commander, and select Saint Paul as our type of heroic and manly character.
Chan.: You will now pass to the Chaplain and take your solemn vow.
Chap., may read vow thru first: You will please repeat after me the following pledge:
I (Give name) solemnly promise to lead a right life avoiding such habits and associations as would hinder me in developing a pure and manly character.
I shall attend regularly some Sunday school so as to know | what is the right life.
I shall carefully guard the secrets of this order. As far as possible I shall attend all meetings and work for the good of the club.
Club: We must never forget our solemn obligations.
Chan.: Worthy Constable, you will conduct the candidate to the stations for instruction in the Pauline virtues.
Const., leading to Tentmaker: Worthy Tentmaker, since you taught Saul, as he was first called, how to labor honestly and worthily, pray give our candidate some good, practical advice.
Tentmaker: Son, the contempt of all men and the curse of God is upon laziness; while the respect of men and the blessing of God is upon honest labor. There is a Hebrew maxim which says, "He who does not teach his son a trade, teaches him to steal." Paul was taught the humble trade of tent-making, and it served him well.
Learn thou, my son, some useful trade or vocation, and, if industrious, thou shalt never be tempted to beg nor steal.
Const.: Let us now go to the wise and noble Gamaliel, and like Paul of old sit at his feet for instruction.
Candidate will now sit down upon the floor. A word from you will be precious in our sight, O Gamaliel.
Gamaliel: Son, be thou honest with thyself. Do always only what thou believest to be right. Seek earnestly to know the truth. The world is full of knowledge of which thou hast not dreamed. Seek faithfully for thy share. Keep thy heart open for the Spirit of God, and He will lead thee.
Const.: Arise! Let us go further. We shall seek one who taught Saul by word and example the need of supreme moral courage. We shall learn the secret of courage from Saint Stephen.
Chan.: Yea, Saul, in his youth and ignorance, consented to the stoning of Stephen, but after he was converted he, too, suffered many afflictions, including stoning, and finally death, proving that he had the moral courage to do right, when he knew the right.
But speak, noble Stephen, and tell us the secret of your courage, when cruel men were stoning you to death!
Stephen: "Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of man standing on the right hand of God."
Chap.: Ah, the lesson then is, that true courage supports one who does what he honestly thinks is right. As John Wesley said when dying, "The best of all is, that God is with us." One is filled with courage when he knows that God is with him, and all must end well.
Chan.: Brother Knights, are you satisfied to proceed and put the final test to the candidate?
Club: Good! Good! Let the beggar be tried!
Chan.: Tentmaker, is your fabric well woven, and seams well sewn? Will they permit a hard strain?
Tentmaker: Our work is faithfully done, and all is ready.
Chan.: Candidate, so far, you have done well. Remember that you are in the hands of your friends, who will do you no harm. We would know your courage and if you can trust us. Prove this by making no outcry when you shall be tempted to cry out with fear.
To the work, brother Knights! To the work!
NOTE: When the Tentmaker is thru with his words in the ritual addressed to the candidate, he should spread the tent" (tossing blanket), so that now the constable can lead the candidate upon it, and assist him to He down in- the center, or hold tent up and let it collapse on him and roll him over on top of it and toss. Tentmaker should have notified certain members to handle the tent.
When there is more than one candidate, they should be led to an ante-room and stationed separately, with instruction to remain quiet in place until called for later. Then lead one at a time into the blanket.
Another plan popular in several chapters is to work out the "rough road up to Jerusalem," by having a number of boys on their hands and knees, side by side, over the backs of whom he is led when brot into the room by the constable and his assistant, holding each arm. His shoes should be removed for this act.
He is asked if he knows how to walk. The performance is declared a failure, and so he is tried out to see if he can talk in the following way.
A forum, made by a box or chair on top of a table, upon which the blindfolded candidate is helped to mount and urged to sing a song or speak a piece to show his ability to do something. Again he is pronounced a failure, and the constable instructed to "push him off." In the meantime the boys have spread the tent, and carefully hold it so as to catch him as he falls, with perfect safety, and he is given a few tosses for good measure.
The Chaplain must see that no extremes are reached in the fun of this initiation and no risk of accident taken or any new stunts, without first submitting such proposed changes to the Grand Chaplain for approval. There is danger of overdoing a good thing and of anticipating the work of the higher degrees.
Serious violation of this rule will be occasion for the withdrawal of your charter, rituals, and privileges. The chaplain or adult assistant must always be present and in authority at regular meetings, and especially when candidates are initiated. There is no more danger here than in a ball game or a school-yard contest, but the Kappa Sigma Pi must not have accidents.
The Chancellor or Chaplain gives the signal to stop tossing.
Chan.: Loose his bonds! Stand him on his feet! Give him the hand of a brother! Welcome, brother Knight, to our circle.
Club: Aye, so say we all of us.
All shake hands with him. After all candidates are thus tested, the club is seated in order with the candidates before the Chaplain, who gives the closing lecture, the substance of which should be as follows:
Chap.: Candidates, we congratulate you on the courageous way in which you went thru the trying ordeal. You have proved yourselves to be the right metal, out of which can be made young men of the kind the world and the Lord is looking for, to lead in the battle for right and true manhood.
This initiation is based on the life of Saint Paul, which you will be given opportunity and be expected to study. His life is full of thrilling adventures and heroic acts. You will need to become familiar with it all to appreciate the several degrees. If loyal and true, you can, in time, be advanced to the higher degrees which involve greater privileges, more thrilling experiences, and higher honors.
If your parents insist on knowing what our secrets are, you can send them to the Chaplain, who will explain matters to them.
Remember that now you are brothers to each other and are to help and defend one another in all that is good, and to work together to help save every boy you can.
Sign roll of members, present badge, membership cards, secret signs, etc.
The ritual for the initiation in each of the three degrees is supplemental to the manual, but bound separately. They can be secured only by organized chapters, applying for them to the Grand Chaplain. The chapter may secure password, grip, signs, cat-calls, etc., by applying to Grand Chaplain.