Date Added: 5/11/2015
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OPENING THE CHAPTER
When the time arrives to open the Chapter meeting, the Worthy Matron (or Worthy Patron) comes to the East (or place called the East) and sounds the gavel which calls the Chapter to order. Then the 17 remaining officers are asked to go outside and march in. If all of the 17 officers are not present, the Matron may appoint other persons who are present to take their place, or may proceed with those present. The Officers line up in two lines, behind the Conductress and another line behind the place for the Associate Conductress, who stays in the Chapter room until instructed to go out to bring the officers in. The Worthy Patron or member acting for him, sounds the gavel three times, calls everyone up, then asks the Associate Conductress to go outside and bring the Officers in. The Associate Conductress goes out, takes her place in line opposite the Conductress; all march in, two lines side-by-side to a suitable song. After the lines reach the area about three feet behind the Associate Matron’s chair, they stop and then spread out. The Worthy Patron asks the Conductress to escort the Worthy Matron to the East. The Conductress goes down the center to get the Worthy Matron and escorts her to the East. When the Matron arrives at the East, the Worthy Patron gives her the gavel. The Conductress goes back to the head of her line. The Worthy Matron gives the orders that all Officers take their stations. The Worthy Matron sounds the gavel seating all the Officers.
Worthy Matron: Sister Warder, see that all doors of our Chapter room are secure.
The Warder checks the doors and sees that they are secure, then return and says: Worthy Matron, the doors are secured.
WM.: Sisters and Brothers, the time has come for us to open our Chapter and take care of our Chapter duties. I am asking for the careful attention and assistance of all members of our Order present.
Sister Associate Matron, are all here members of this Order of the Eastern Star?
The Assoc. Matron carefully view each person and answers: Worthy Matron, all present are entitled to be here. However, if the Assoc. Matron is in doubt she answers: Worthy Matron, I am not sure but I will ascertain with my proper Officers.
Whereupon, the Assoc. Matron asks the Conductress and the Assoc. Conductress to approach the West.
The Assoc. Matron takes the grip and the pass from each of them, and ask them to approach each member, have them stand and give the password and grip. If it is correct, say “you may be seated”. If it is not correct say “remain standing” and pass on until every member of the Chapter has been duly served.
Each examining Officer returns to the Matron and says: All present are members of this Chapter except those standing. Whereupon the Matron will ask if anyone can vouch for each member standing as being members of the Chapter. If each is vouched for, each is given the pass and the grip and may be asked to forfeit a token.
The Conductress and/or the Assoc. Conductress will return to the members and take up the pass-word and grip.
WM.: Sister Warder, you will instruct the Sentinel that we are about to open our Chapter and direct him (or her) to permit no disturbance while the Chapter is being opened.
The Warder communicates with the Sentinel by ***** (5 raps), the Sentinel answers by repeating *****, The Warder gives *, the Sentinel answers by repeating *. The Warder opens the door, gives the Sentinel the instruction from the Worthy Matron, then closes the door and says: Your orders have been obeyed.
WM.: Sister Associate Matron, how may Officers compose a complete Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star?
AM.: Sister Worthy Matron, there are 19 Officers to a complete Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star. They are: Worthy Matron, Worthy Patron, Associate Matron, Financial Secretary Corresponding and Recording Secretary, Treasurer, Conductress, Associate Conductress, Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha, Electa, Chaplain, Marshal, Monitor, Warder, Sentinel and Organist.
The Worthy Matron proceeds to call on each Officer in the following order, and each Officer being addressed is asked to locate the station of the next Officer before the next Officer is addressed. Each Officer addressed in the same manner beginning with the Sentinel, Warder, Associate Conductress, Conductress, Corr. and Recording Secretary, Financial Secretary, Treasurer, Monitor, Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha, Electa, Associate Matron, Worthy Patron, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Assoc. Matron, locate the Sentinel’s Station.
AM.: The Sentinel is stationed outside the closed door of the Chapter.
The Sentinel may be brought inside after the Chapter is opened to take part in the Meeting.
WM.: Her duty there and her badge of office?
AM.: Worthy Matron, her duties are to see that there are no disturbance while the Chapter is being opened or closed. Her badge of office is a Crossed Sword within the Star, and is an emblem of protection.
WM.: Sister Associate Matron, locate the Warder’s Station.
AM.: The Warder’s Station is at the entrance to the Chapter, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Warder, what are your duties and your badge of office?
W.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to work with the Sentinel and to admit only those entitled to be admitted. My badge of office is the Dove within the Star, an emblem of peace; which reminds me that peace and harmony are necessary to the work, and that it is my duty to promote them.
WM.: Locate the Station of the Associate Conductress.
W.: Worthy Matron, The Associate Conductress is stationed in the North, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Associate Conductress, give an explanation of your duties and your badge of office.
AC.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to receive and prepare candidates for initiation, and to help the Conductress. My badge is the Baton within the Star. It reminds me that good discipline is needed for the success of the Order.
WM.: Locate the Station of the Conductress.
AC.: Worthy Matron, the Conductress is stationed in the South.
WM.: Sister Conductress, what are your duties and badge of office?
Cond.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to obey your instruction, Worthy Matron; to help the Associate Matron, and to conduct the candidates through the initiation ceremonies. My badge is the Scroll and Baton within the Star. It is an emblem of prepared plans and their accomplishment. It reminds me that I must do my duties worthily, giving the candidate a good and lasting impression while being conducted through the phases of our Rite.
WM.: Sister Conductress, locate the Station of the Corresponding and Recording Secretary?
Cond.: Worthy Matron, the Corresponding and Recording Secretary is stationed in the Southeast.
WM.: Sister Corresponding and Recording Secretary, what are your duties?
C and RS.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to keep a record of the proceedings of the Chapter, and. send a copy of the Minutes to the Supreme Office and Grand Office once a month, if required.
WM.: Sister Corresponding and Recording Secretary, locate the Station of the Financial Secretary?
C and RS.: Worthy Matron, the Financial Secretary is stationed in the Southeast.
WM.: Sister Financial Secretary, what are your duties?
FS.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to receive all monies for the Chapter, turning it over to the Treasurer at once, receiving receipt for same, and sending endowment to the Supreme Office within 24 hours.
WM.: Sister Financial Secretary, locate the Station of the Treasurer.
FS.: Worthy Matron, the Treasurer is stationed in the Northeast.
WM.: Sister Treasurer, what are your duties?
Treas.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to receive all monies from the Financial Secretary, putting it in a bank at once and giving Financial Secretary receipt for the same, and returning a check or money order to the Financial Secretary for the endowment. Making report to the Chapter once a month of all funds, bringing bank book and statement to Chapter meeting to be checked. My badge is the Cross-Keys within the Star, an emblem of security, reminding me that I must be faithful to my trust in order that the Chapter may meet its expenses and carry on its charitable work.
WM.: Locate The Chapter’s Monitor.
Treas.: Worthy Matron, The Chapter’s Monitor is located in the Northeast.
WM.: Sister Monitor, what is your duty and badge of office?
Mon.: Worthy Matron, my duty is to keep a record of the Chapter’s growth in membership. My badge is the Balanced Scale within the Star, representing equal justice.
WM.: Sister Monitor, locate Adah’s Station.
Mon.: Adah is stationed at the first, or blue point of the Star, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Adah, explain your duties and the meaning of your special color and emblem.
Adah: Worthy Matron, my duties are to reveal to all proper inquirers the light, knowledge and beauty of the Blue ray, which represents a clear sky, and symbolizes faithfulness. My badge is the Sword and Veil within the Triangle, standing for the heroic conduct of Jephthah’s Daughter, whom I personate in our Rite.
WM.: Give the sign of Adah, and explain it.
Adah: Worthy Matron, the sign made by a lady wearing a veil, pulls it down over her face, then raises it three times by taking one corner with the right and the other with left hand, and when lifting it the third time throws the veil over the top of her head to the back and holding on to the corners of it, looks up. This is called the “Daughter Sign.”
A member seeing this sign, answers “Alas, my Daughter,” which is the pass. This is the sign of the refusal of Jephthah’s Daughter to have her face covered when about to be executed. The pass recalls the sad but glorious event to which the entire history of Jephthah’s Daughter refers.
WM.: Locate Ruth’s Station.
Adah: Worthy Matron, Ruth is stationed at the second or Yellow point of the Star.
WM.: Sister Ruth, what are your duties and the meaning of your special color and emblem?
Ruth: Worthy Matron, my duties are to reveal to all proper inquirers the light, knowledge and beauty of the Yellow ray, which symbolizes constancy. My badge is the Sheaf within the Triangle. It is a symbol of plenty, and the reward of work, as shown by Ruth, the patient and humble gleaner whom I portray in our Rite.
WM.: Give the sign of Ruth, and explain it.
Ruth: Worthy Matron, the sign is by taking two handsful of barley (or something used to represent it) in the hands, holding them out a few inches. Then put them out further as if to show their contents. Then bring the hands up to the breast, the contents of each pointing up toward the shoulders, also look upward. The sign refers to Ruth holding out two handsful of barley to Boaz, and appealing silently to God. A member seeing this sign, answer, “who is this?” which is the pass of this degree, and recalls the humble but glorious history of the heroic Ruth.
WM.: Locate the Station of Esther.
Ruth: Worthy Matron, Esther is stationed at the third, or White point of the Star, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Esther, explain your duties, and the meaning of your special color and emblem.
Esther: Worthy Matron, my duties are to reveal to all proper inquirers the light, knowledge and beauty of the White ray, which is a symbol of light, purity, and joy. My badge, the Crown and Scepter together within the Triangle, is symbolic of royalty and power. When in leadership, we should be ruled by justice and unselfish devotion to the welfare of others. Esther, whom I portray in this Rite, saved her people from destruction by doing these things.
WM.: Give the sign of Esther, and explain it.
Esther: Worthy Matron, the sign of Esther is made in three motions. Raise the right hand, the palm downward, a little over the head as if touching a crown there. Extend the hand forward as if touching a scepter. The hand on a level with the eyes. Carry the hand to the left breast.
The sign alludes to the manner of Queen Esther’s appearance before King Ahasuerus, as explained in the history of this degree. A member seeing this sign given, should answer “What wilt thou?” which is the pass of this degree. It recalls the grand sacrifice and triumphant success of heroic Esther.
WM.: Locate the Station of Martha.
Esther: Martha is stationed at the fourth or Green point of the Star, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Martha, explain to us your duties and the meaning of your special color and emblem.
Martha: Worthy Matron, my duties are to reveal to all proper inquirers the light, knowledge and beauty of the Green ray, which is symbolic of nature’s loveliness, and an emblem of Hope and Immortality. My badge, the Broken Column within the Triangle, is an emblem of the death of one in his youth. It recalls the Sisterly grief of Martha, whom I portray in our Rite.
WM.: Give the sign of Martha and explain it.
Martha: Worthy Matron, the sign is made by joining the hands together at the tips of the thumbs and fingers, forming a figure of a triangle pointing upward. Raise the triangle directly above the eyes. Look up through the triangle. A member seeing this sign, answers “Believest thou this?” which is the pass of this degree. The pass recalls the loyalty and faith which is told in the history of Martha. The sign refers to Martha’s trustful appeal.
WM.: Locate the Station of Electa.
Martha: Electra is stationed at the fifth or Red point of the Star, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Electa, explain to us your duties and the meaning of your special color and emblem.
Electa: Worthy Matron, my duties are to reveal to all proper inquirers the light, knowledge and beauty of the Red ray, which symbolizes the burning enthusiasm which drives forward all who are devoted to the service of truth. My badge is the Cup within the Triangle, which is emblematic of charity and hospitality. It comforts us, and even though we seem to have too much sorrow to bear, we will soon have rich and heavenly blessings, “good measure, pressed down and running over.”
WM.: Give the sign of Electa and explain it.
Electa: Worthy Matron, the sign is made by crossing the hands on the breast (left over right) as if clasping something to the bosom, at the same time looking up. The sign alludes to Electa’s holding the cross to her bosom, in her love for the Saviour. A member, in seeing this sign, answers, “Love one another,” which is the pass of this degree. It reminds us of the great tragedy which crowned the life of the heroic Electa.
WM.: Very good, when a member of the Order gives any one of these signs, let us recall the virtues of the character whose sign is given, and thoughtfully answer.
Sister Electa, tell us the Station of the Associate Matron.
Electa: Worthy Matron, The Associate Matron is stationed in the West.
WM.: Sister Associate Matron, explain your duties and your badge of office.
AM.: Worthy Matron, my duties are to assist the Worthy Matron in her work in the Chapter, and to preside when she is absent from a meeting. My badge is an emblem of light, the radiant Sun within the Star, reminding me that so should the splendid principles of the Order of the Eastern Star shine; never ending through our lives.
WM.: Tell us the Station of the Worthy Patron.
AM.: The Worthy Patron is station at your left, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Explain the duties of the Worthy Patron and his badge of office.
AM.: Worthy Matron, the Worthy Patron acts as a liaison officer between the Lodge and the Chapter, and assists the Worthy Matron in the conduct of business of the Chapter and conferring degrees. He also serves at any other time when requested to do so by the Matron. His badge of office is the Square and Compass within the Star, showing the connection between the Masonic Fraternity and the Order of the Eastern Star.
WM.: Associate Matron, tell us the Station of the Worthy Matron.
AM.: Worthy Matron, the Worthy Matron is stationed in the East.
WM.: Explain her duties and badge of office.
AM.: Worthy Matron, the Worthy Matron is the guiding head of the Chapter. She maintains obedience to the rules of the Order; presides over the meetings, and regulates the business of the Chapter. Her badge is the Gavel within the Star, a sign of her authority. It reminds her to realize through prayer, her responsibilities to God, to loyal devotion to her duties, and to the Chapter whose success depends upon her judgment and decision exercised in the spirit of faith and prayer.
WM.: In this spirit, I declare our Chapter open to perform our duties. Let us unite in prayer.
The Worthy Matron calls up the Chapter by three gavel raps. The Chaplain or the Worthy Patron offers a short prayer from the Altar: Oh Lord, the giver of all blessings, look upon us in our humble efforts to promote truth, love and peace in this beautiful world of Thy Creator. Embrace us with divine love, which shall overcome all enmity and discord. Give us the grace of charity for all, making us tender hearted, forgiving one another. Fill our hearts with the desire to serve Thee with good works, believing that our honest labors will reap their reward. Bless and prosper the work of our Chapter, and grant that finally we may all enjoy these blessing which Thou has promised to them that love Thee. Amen.
Always after prayers, members join in sayings, “So may it be” three times. During prayer, all members place their right hand over their heart, and afterwards while saying “So may it be,” they move their hand outward from the breast.
WM.: Let us sing together an Opening Hymn (of three times “The International Masons’ Heart-Felt Song”).
THE INTERNATIONAL MASONS’ HEART-FELT SONG
(Tune: Battle Hymn of the Republic)
Our leaders know the need of friends
When trav’ling far and wide;
In Masonry you get the key
Which is the surest guide;
So join our ranks and sing your thanks
For sharing with the wise
The myst’ries they provide.
International is our Masonry
Love of Brother our Fraternity;
To aid humanity through Charity
Is our Mason’s heart-felt song.
Our host have found the need of friends
Where’er we chance to go;
A friend in need’s a friend indeed
No matter where we go;
Our cause is right, our ranks have might,
We praise our God on high;
For giving us this goal
We’re always there in foul or fair
Our Order advocates;
To lend a hand and understand
The inner heart’s dictates;
Good friends assured and long endured
Our code of love creates;
The Brotherhood of Man.
After singing, opening ceremonies continue.
WM.: Sister Conductress, attend the Altar.
The Conductress opens the Bible on the Altar.
WM.: Sisters and Brothers, I do now declare ... Chapter No ..., Order of the Eastern Star, open for the business of the Chapter. Sister Warder, so inform the Sentinel.
The Warder, after the regular raps *****, answered by the Sentinel, closes the door and reports. The Sentinel may be brought in after the Chapter is opened.
Warden: Worthy Matron, your instructions have been obeyed.
The Worthy Matron seats the Chapter with one gavel rap, and the business of the meeting is carried out.
Instructions to Candidate.
Secretary (calls Candidate by name): ..., what you are about to do, you will meet friends who exemplify venerated characters whom we all have pledged to imitate. This is required of every Eastern Star. Do you voluntarily present yourself because you want to be an Eastern Star?
Can.: I do.
Sec.: Then listen well and remember what I am about to say to you. To be made an Eastern Star is as serious as anything you have ever undertaken in your life. The Scripture says “you must be born again.” In all birth, the seed dies. Many things in your former life must be seeds for your new life as an Eastern Star. This will serve as the beginning of our mutual love. In this new life, you will hope and expect to find love and understanding to equal and surpass that of mother and father, sister and brother, wife and husband. It should render you to be a better mother or father, sister or brother, wife or husband. For your (1) faith, (2) obedience, (3) loyalty, (4) truth and (5) heroic endurance, you should take on a new birth. You must rely upon me and others of this Order who you will meet to teach you this new character. Of times, it will not be most pleasant, but remember, we are trying to teach you in the best way we know, and we love you. Try to memorize these 5 words: (1) faith, (2) obedience, (3) loyalty (4) truth, and (5) heroic endurance, as you will often need to recognize them and call them by name.
The Candidates for initiation, having been notified by the Secretary of their election to membership and instructed to prepare for the same by not eating any food for one and one-half or two hours prior to the initiation (excitement and exercise on a frill stomach may result in stomach upset and nausea), are brought together in the ante-room at the time of a regular meeting. Both men and women may receive the degree at the same initiation, and the words of the initiation ceremony must be changed to suit the case.
WM.: Sister Associate Conductress, see whether there are any Candidates for the degrees waiting.
The Warder gives the usual raps and opens the door on receiving the response from the Sentinel. The Assoc. Conductress goes out into the ante-room, learns the names of the Candidates, and then returns to the Chapter room.
AC.: Worthy Matron, I find waiting to receive the degrees.
Worthy Matron or Worthy Patron may assist in giving the degrees.
WM.: Sister Secretary, has this Candidate been duly elected to receive the degree of the Order?
Sec.: Yes, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Associate Conductress, you will retire to the preparation room and make the Candidate ready
She leaves proceeding as before, and says to each Candidate: Do you believe in a Divine Being, who is God of the Universe?
Can.: Yes, I do.
AC.: Do you believe in the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of all Mankind, regardless of Race, Creed or Nationality?
Can.: Yes, I do.
AC.: Friend, this life is a maze through which we all roam blindly and, all too often in ignorance. It is well to learn from the experience of others, profiting by their wisdom and example. Allow me, therefore, as one who knows the many mazes of our Rite, to act as your counselor at this time, preparing you for the ceremonies of initiation.
Following this speech, the Assoc. Conductress proceeds in the preparation of the Candidate, removing her hat, gloves, and other wraps. She then puts a hoodwink over her eyes and leads her to the door of the Chapter room.
The Assoc. Conductress gives the usual raps.
Cond.: Worthy Matron, I hear an alarm at the door of the preparation room.
WM.: Sister Conductress, find out the cause of the alarm.
The Conductress goes to the door and gives the answering raps, and opens the door.
Cond.: Who knocks at the door of our Chapter room?
AC.: The Associate Conductress with a Candidate (or Candidates) who seeks initiation into our Order.
Cond.: Has she (or they) been properly prepared?
AC.: She has (or they have).
Cond.: Wait, my friend, for orders from the Worthy Matron.
The Conductress closes the door, faces the Worthy Matron and says: Worthy Matron, the alarm was given by the Associate Conductress who is accompanied by one Candidate (or as the case may be) waiting to receive the degrees of this Order.
WM.: Has the Candidate been properly prepared for initiation?
Cond.: She has.
WM.: You may admit her.
The lights may be lowered and soft music sung or played during the entrance of the Candidate and the following speech of the Conductress. The Conductress opens the door and leads the Candidate into the room. If the Candidate is hoodwinked, care must be exercised that she does not injure herself by bumping into anything or stumbling.
Cond.: You have well considered the step you are now taking in entering this Order, which is dedicated to the principles of Charity, Truth, and Loving Kindness. By your own free choice you are here. Do not complain, therefore, of any trials. Upon your lips is set a seal. Be warned thereby to keep eternal silence and secrecy concerning those things which may be revealed to you here. Be anxious to help others, but do not take up burdens which you are not able to bear. Woe unto the faithless and insincere who assume obligations lightly and straightway forget them. “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not to thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He will direct thy paths.”
While the music continues, or lacking music, the Worthy Matron recites from 1st Cor. 15th Chapter, the Candidate, leaning on the right arm of the Conductress, is led all around the room while the members proceed in their parts of the initiation. If there is more than one, each Candidate will line up, one behind the other, and place her right hand on the shoulder of the Candidate preceding her. After these activities, if there is more than one Candidate, the Assoc. Conductress also assists, and they come up to the Associate Matron, and the Conductress says: Sister Associate Matron, I take pleasure in introducing to you ..., whom you will present to the Worthy Matron.
Each officer arises as the Conductress and Candidate approaches; the Conductress introduces the Candidate. When the Assoc. Matron has finished her instructions, she passes the Candidate to the Worthy Matron for final instructions.
AM.: My friend, you are truly welcome. Sister Conductress, will you have the Candidate to face the East. Worthy Matron, allow me the honor of presenting ..., whose application has been approved by this Chapter, and who is now prepared to accept the obligation of our Order.
WM.: I welcome you into this Chapter with pleasure.
With the recommendations which you bring with you, assure us that you are worthy to be entrusted with the light and knowledge of our Order. The Order of the Eastern Star is designed to further this aim of securing the welfare of each member. The Masonic principles of Fraternal Love, Friendly Aid, and Truth are here declared and taught. As we journey through life’s maze, we unite for cheerful companionship and pleasant society; nor do we fail to give comfort, aid and protection; one to another.
We have in our Order certain secrets for your benefit, some of which enable us to recognize each other at any time. These secrets will be made known to you in due time. There is an Illustrious Grand Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star which make the laws and regulations governing the Subordinate Chapters, of which this is one. We have framed our own By-Laws. These laws, regulations and by-laws, each member of the Order must obey We shall expect you to share in this obedience.
Our obligation is a solemn pledge which you must make before you may enjoy the privileges of our Order. It binds you to strict secrecy about the work of the Order, your performance and the performance of deeds of charity and mercy upon which depends your success and that of the Order of the Eastern Star. Are you willing to take this Obligation?
Can.: Yes, Worthy Matron.
WM.: Sister Conductress, place the Candidate in position to take the Obligation.
The Candidate is led to the Altar while soft music is played or sung. While she kneels, facing the East, a Bible is placed in her hands. (If more than one, have them fold hands on breast and kiss Bible after obligation.) She holds it open against her breast, fingers clasped over the Book, thumbs holding the edges against her breast. The music continues. The Worthy Matron calls the Chapter up by three gavel raps, and takes her position at the East of the Altar. She gives the Obligation, which is repeated by the Candidate and all the members.
I, ..., hereby pledge the sacred honor of a woman (or a Master Mason) to the faithful performance of the conditions of the following obligation: I will keep and protect the absolute secrecy to which I now agree, promising never to reveal unlawfully any of the ceremonies, signs or passes of the Order of the Eastern Star.
I will not be present nor assist in giving these degrees to any man not vouched for as being a Master Mason, nor any woman not vouched for as being of a Christian disposition, regardless of race or creed. The common bond among members being a fundamental faith in the Fatherhood of God, and the Brotherhood of Man.
I will obey the Constitution and laws and regulations of the Supreme Grand Chapter, the Grand Chapter, and the By-Laws of the Subordinate Chapter of which I may be a member.
I will help any Brother or Sister of these degrees who is in need (if they apply to me as such and are found worthy), as far as their needs may require and my ability permit.
Furthermore, I will not speak disrespectfully of a worthy Brother or Sister of these degrees, but will give them due and timely notice of their default that they may ward off approaching danger. In the presence of Almighty God, and before these witnesses, I do make this solemn pledge. The Conductress takes the Bible from the Candidate, and ask the Candidate to kiss it. The lights are turned off or lowered.
WM (recites from Genesis 1, as follows): “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.” As the Worthy Matron says “Let there be light,” at the last word, all the members join in saying “Light.” The lights are turned on. If Candidate is hoodwinked, the Conductress removes the hoodwink.
WM extends her hand to candidate and says: Arise, Sister ..., your pledge is accepted and we share with you in our Covenant of Adoption. You will now be made a member of our Order and conducted through its maze to the several points of the Star, receiving instruction along your journey regarding those virtuous characters whom we seek to emulate.
The lights are turned on; the Worthy Matron returns to the dais in the East, and seats the Chapter. The Conductress leads the Candidate all around the Star, and up to the first point, facing Adah. Music should be played or sung, or the Worthy Matron recites Proverbs 3:13,15,17.
Cond.: Sister Adah, I bring to you this Sister, who pledged to our Obligation and shanng in our Covenant of Adoption, will receive instructions from you on the sanctity of a vow, and faithfulness to the beliefs of tight, as forcibly portrayed in the Book of Judges in the history of Jephthah’s Daughter.
Adah: The history of Jephthah’s Daughter, as composing a degree of the Order of the Eastern Star, is thus given to exemplify our character: Her father, Jephthah, was the ninth judge of Israel. He lived in Mizpeh, in the mountains of Gilead, warrior of valor. Being called upon, after many of his country’s defeats, to go at the head of its armies and resist the Ammonites, its enemies, he prepared his household for a campaign that might cost him his life, and then committed himself to the protection of God in solemn prayer. It was an age when man knew but little of his Maker’s will. Jephthah thought to please the Lord by a vow, such as his forefathers had made when about to leave upon dangerous missions. The record of his vow, as found in the 11th Chapter of the Book of Judges, is as follows: Jephthah uttered all his words before the Lord in Mizpeh.
And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the Lord and said, “If thou shalt, without fail, deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, then it shall be that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the Lord’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.”
He was victorious and returned to Mizpeh exulting in his success, for God had redeemed his people. The thanks and praises of his grateful nation were showered upon him. This loving father hurried home to enjoy the congratulations of his neighbors, and still more of his daughter, his only child.
Coming upon the hill which overlooked his dwelling, he stopped; for now the full meaning of his vow came to his mind. The Lord had “without fail” given him the victory, and whatever “came forth” of the doors of his house to meet him must be the Lord’s to be offered up for a burnt-offering.
It was only for a moment, the door opened as his eye painfully watched it. It opened, and something came forth; not a pet lamb, not even a servant or a neighbor; but his daughter, his only child.
“Behold,” says the Holy Scriptures, “his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances.” Jephthah tore at his clothes, and in the anguish of his heart cried aloud, “Alas, my daughter! Thou hast brought me very low. I have opened my mouth to the Lord, and I cannot go back.”
Adah was a daughter in every way worthy of her father. Throwing away the instruments of rejoicing and changing the merry dance to solemn steps, she answered: “My Father, it thou hast opened thy mouth unto the Lord, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth.” She had but one request to make before the sacrifice. She asked that she might go among the mountains for two months, and there with the virgins of Israel, prepare her mind to meet in calmness and resignation her coming doom. The request was granted, and during two months the heroic woman joined in the hymns and prayers of her friends, with which the mountains caves of Gilead sounded.
When two months were up and the day arrived, a great number of people gathered together to witness the sad event. Precisely as the sun came on the horizon, she was seen followed by a long train of her friends, winding their way down the mountain’s side to the fatal spot where the altar was built, and her father, with an almost broken heart, was standing, prepared to fulfill his vow.
She approached him and, with one long kiss of affection, said goodbye. Taking hold of the thick mourning veil which she wore, he drew it gently over her face and drew his sword. Unveiling herself, she said he needed not cover her face, for she was not afraid to die. Her father replied that he could not strike the blow while she looked upon him, and again cast the veil over her. She tore it off the second time, and turning from him, she said she would look up to the heavens, so that his hand should not be unnerved by the sight of her face, but that she would not consent to die m the dark. A third time, however, he insisted, and a third time she strongly tore it off, this time holding the ends of it firmly in her hands, and then in the hearing of all the people she solemnly declared that if he insisted upon covering her face, she would claim the protection of the law and refuse the fate that otherwise she was willing to endure. She said it was the practice to cover the faces of criminals when they were about to be put to death, but that she was no criminal; that because of her fidelity she chose to die to honor her father. Again she cast her eyes upward, and in that position she received the fatal blow. Her gentle spirit rose to the heavens upon which her last gaze had been fixed; and so the deed was done which set forth the name of Jephthah’s Daughter forever famous in the Scripture.
For hundreds of years, and even down to the time of Samuel, “it was a custom in Israel that the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah, the Gileadite, four days in the year.”
I will now explain to you the manner of giving the sign of this degree: A member seeing this sign takes a card, writes her name on one side of it, and on the other writes “Alas, my daughter” which is the pass. The sign alludes to the refusal of Jephthah’s Daughter to have her face covered when about to be executed, and recalls the entire history to which the sad but glorious event refers.
The color representing this degree is Blue. It is a symbol of the sky over the mountains where in solitude Jephthah’s Daughter passed two months while preparing herself for death. It signifies fidelity, and charges us to take careful note of our duties. The emblems of the degree are the Sword and the Veil. The Sword reminds us of the instrument of the death of this noble woman. The veil reminds us of her determination to die without fear, and facing the light.
Sister Conductress, will you lead this Sister to the second point of the Star for instructions from Sister Ruth.
In guiding the Candidate from one point of the Star to the other during the process of initiation, the Conductress leads her clockwise completely around the chair of the point of which she has just been instructed, then over to the next point. Square corners are always observed in walking in the Chapter room.
If a song is to be used, “Oh Sister, Won’t You Help Me” is suggested.
Music should be played or sung while going from one point to the other, or the Worthy Matron may recite certain Bible verses appropriate to each degree. A special meeting to practice the initiation ceremony should be held by the Chapter.
THE DEGREE OF RUTH or SECOND DEGREE
For the march from Adah to Ruth, the recitation suggested is Judges 11:35 and 36. After the Conductress has led the Candidate up to Ruth, she says: Sister Ruth, I bring to you our Sister for instruction in the virtue of faithful devotion to religious principles of obedience as pictured by the Bible story of Ruth.
Ruth: The history of Ruth, as composing a degree of the Eastern Star, is as follows: Ruth was of the nation of Moab, a people who worshipped idols. She married a man named Mahion, who had been a citizen of Bethlehem, but had come to live in the land of Moab, where he dies. He was a worshipper of God, and by his pious example and by her obedience to his teachings she was converted to the true religion. A few happy years followed, and then the sorrow of widowhood came upon her. Before his death, he suggested that she go to Bethlehem to be in the company of those who worshipped the true God, rather than remain with the idolatrous people of Moab.
Immediately alter his death, she obeyed his pious commands. Giving up her home and friends, she traveled in company with her aged mother-in-law to Bethlehem, where she arrived in due time, wayworn and so poor that she had to seek some means of work for her own support and that of her mother-in-law; the only work she found was in the barley fields, for it was the time of harvest, and glean among the poorest and lowest classes of the people for support. This very tedious work exhausted her strength, as she had been raised in luxury. The sharp stubble cut her feet, and the blazing sun made her head ache. The mocks and insults of her companions frightened and discouraged her, and near noon, with only two little handfuls of barley as the reward of her work, she sought the shade of a tree to rest herself for a few moments.
Boaz was the owner of this field. He was a devout and charitable man. No other in Bethlehem was as rich or more beloved and honored than he.
As he entered the field, he noticed Ruth near the other gleaners. She had a different dress and manners than the rest. He asked the overseer “who is this”? In reply, he learned that she was a woman from Moab, who had asked permission to glean among the sheaves, but that she evidently was not used to such work; for she had been there since the sunrise, and had gathered only two little handfuls of barley This aroused the kindly feelings of Boaz and he went to her to say a word of sympathy, and to offer her relief.
As she saw him approach she supposed him to be the owner of the field who had come to order her away. Ever since morning, she had met nothing but scorn and reproach, and she looked for it now. Raising her hands, therefore, to show him how small were her gleanings, and that she had taken nothing from the sheaves, she placed them meekly upon her breast, as showing her willingness to give in to whatever she might be called upon to endure, and cast her eyes upward, as appealing to God against the unkindness of man. It was for God she had given up home, wealth and friends. The sorrowful widow, alone in the world, had none other to whom she could look for protection. This silent appeal was not lost upon the kind heart of Boaz. He spoke words of sympathy and tenderness to her. He encouraged her to try again. From the provisions brought for his reapers, he invited her to eat and drink. He directed that handfuls of barley should be dropped on purpose in her way by the reapers to encourage her and so that she might gather an ample supply to feed herself and her mother-in-law. In a short time, Ruth became the wife of Boaz, by whom she had a son called Obed, the father of Jesse, the father of David, the father of Solomon, whose wisdom and power are known to every intelligent Free Mason. I will now explain to you the manner of giving the sign of this degree.
Take a newspaper, handkerchief, pencil or anything convenient in each hand as to represent handfuls or barley, and have the contents sticking out of the hands a few inches. Then put the hands out in front, as if to show what they contain, and next bring the hands up to the breast, the contents of each hand pointing upward toward the shoulders, also looking upward. The sign alludes to Ruth holding out two handfuls of barley to Boaz, and appealing silently to God. A member seeing this sign, writes her name on one side of a card, and on the other writes, “Who is this?” which is the pass of this degree. Then gives her the card. The pass recalls the meek and obedient spirit that resulted in her being exalted in this glorious history of the heroic Ruth.
The color yellow, belonging to this degree, signifies the ripened barley sheaves of Boaz, among which Ruth was gleaning. It is a symbol of Constancy and Obedience to religious principles.
The emblem is the Sheaf, reminding us of the generosity of Boaz. From the sign of plenty, made up of many small parts, we are taught that in order to live comfortably in old age we should constantly work; frugally live, saving bit-by-bit, and adding it to the results of earlier efforts, thus security is assured.
THE DEGREE OF ESTHER or THIRD DEGREE
Sister Conductress, will you escort our Sister to the third point of the Star, to receive further instructions from Sister Esther.
The suitable verses to be recited here, if there is no music, are from Ruth 2:4,5,6.
Cond.: Sister Esther, I bring to you this Sister for instruction in the praise-worthy quality of faithfulness and loyalty, as shown in the story of Esther.
Esther: The history of Esther, as composing a degree of the Eastern Star is thus given: Her Husband, Ahasuerus, otherwise termed Artaxerxes, was King of Persia, a ruler of great power, a man faithful to his word and devotedly attached to the queen-consort.
The heroine Esther was a Jewish girl of the tribe of Benjamin. The family had not returned to Judea after permission was given by Cyrus, and she was born beyond the Tigris, about five hundred years before the Christian era. Her parents being dead, Mordecai, her uncle, took care of her education. After Ahasuerus had divorced Queen Vashti, search was made throughout Persia for the most beautiful and suitable women, and Esther was the one selected. She found favor in the eyes of the king, who married her with royal magnificence, bestowing on his people gifts and cancellation of debts, as was the custom, not knowing that she was a Jew. Race and religious prejudice was as much practiced by the Heathens then as it is today. Her matchless beauty, having attracted the attention of the king; her virtues won his love, but her wonderful genius gained his permanent admiration and respect.
In time she became his trusted aide, and shared with him in the greatness of the kingdom. These circumstances made her able to save her people from destruction in their time of danger.
The Heathens, who were the enemies of the Jews, were numerous and powerful. They had brought false accusations before the king, and persuaded him to set forth an edict that, upon a fixed day the Jewish people throughout all Persia should be killed. The chosen people of God were doomed to be totally destroyed. The one to prevent this was the heroine, Esther.
No sooner did she hear of the cruel edict that she quickly decided to save her people or die in the same destruction. The king had often publicly proclaimed that he owed much to her advice, and had pledged his royal word to grant her any request even “to the half of the kingdom.” Esther decided that this was the time to test his sincerity, even at the risk of her own life in order to reverse the horrible edict. She dressed herself in white and gold silken robes, put a brilliant crown upon her head, gathered her maidens around her, and went boldly, and in state, to the palace of the king at Shushan.
It was a day of Grand Council, a gathering of the governors, princes and officers of Persia. The dependent nations had sent in their representatives to pay homage and tribute, and the royal guards filled the ante-rooms of the palace. It was the law that none should enter the king’s presence without being called for by him, under penalty of death. The guards warned the queen of her danger as she passed. But she asked them to stand aside, and she entered the great council chamber.
The king was on his throne of gold and ivory, and it was a splendid scene. Through all the crowd of courtiers Esther boldly passed, and amidst the deathly silence of the observers, stood up before the king. Everyone gazed and was struck by her swarthy dazzling beauty. She looked fearlessly upon the king. Everyone frowned sternly at the violation of the law. It was the crisis of her life, and the wise Esther felt it to be so. By a secret sign she first reminded him of his promise, in a way that they both understood. She saw his golden scepter signal for her to come forward. She knelt and laid her hand upon it. Graciously, the king said, “What wilt thou, Queen Esther? and thy request shall be given thee, even unto the half of my kingdom.” The admiring crowds applauded the generosity of their devout ruler. He placed her beside him on the throne, loudly expressed admiration at her beauty, good judgment, finding favor with the king.
The sacred story tells us how Esther’s loyalty to her kingdom, and to her people, caused her to risk her life, to the faith in her husband’s loyalty to her. She was successful and saved the nation which, to this day, keeps a yearly festival in her honor. No woman has ever left behind her a better record of wisdom than Esther. It is a standing tradition among her people that, as the swarthy king Solomon was to men, so was Esther
to women, the wisest of her sex. The more intimately the king became acquainted with her mental powers, the more he respected them. There was no problem of state so difficult that she could not help him to solve it.
I will now explain the manner of giving the sign of this degree. Place open right hand just above top of head, as if touching a crown on the head, then throw hand forward, bring the hand back and lay open on the breast. The sign tells of the way Queen Esther came before King Ahasuerus, as told in the history of this degree. A member seeing this sign writes her name and “What wilt thou?” which is the pass of this degree, on a card and gives the card to the Sister. The pass recalls the grand sacrifice and triumphant success of the heroic Esther. The color of this degree is white, as the silken robes of Esther, symbolic of the loyalty of her character. It teaches us that loyalty is the essence of a worthy life, and is beyond censure. The emblem, the Crown and Scepter united, reminds us of the queenly state of Esther, and the way in which she hailed the king. It is a sign of royalty and power.
THE DEGREE OF MARTHA or FOURTH DEGREE
Sister Conductress, you will continue with our Sister to the fourth point of the Star, for the instruction from Martha.
The suitable verses to be recited here in the absence of music, are Esther 5:2,3.
Cond.: Sister Martha, I present this Sister for instruction in the hope of immortality, and the moral qualities of trustful faith in the time of trouble, as shown in the history of Martha.
Martha: The history of Martha as a degree of the Eastern Star, is thus given: Her brother, Lazarus, was a resident of Bethany; a man of good standing and the friend of Jesus Christ. The family, made up of two sisters, Martha and Mary, and a brother Lazarus. They had all the things necessary for a happy life. They loved each other, and were blessed with the friendship of Jesus who promised “everlasting life.” Their neighbors called them “the beloved of the Master, the happy household of Bethany.”
Once when Jesus had gone out beyond the Jordan, Lazarus was taken violently ill. The terrified sisters quickly sent a message to Jesus, saying “Lord behold, he whom thou lovest is sick!” They were sure such a tender message would bring Him back. But the Saviour returned a reply that bewildered them. Finally, Lazarus died and was buried. Four days passed and still the Saviour had not returned. The sisters were grieving not only for the loss of their brother, their household protector, but for the supposedly unkindness of Him upon whom they had leaned as the “Rock of their salvation.” Yet Martha kept her faith, and trusted that Jesus would come and bring relief.
At the end of the fourth day, news came that Jesus was coming. Martha rushed to meet Him, fell on her knees before Him, raised her hands up, and with deep emotion cried aloud: “Lord, if Thou hadst been here, my brother had not died.” Then looking into His face, and seeing the graciousness with which He looked down upon her, she added: “But I know that even now whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, He will give it Thee!” She had faith and heroic confidence in Jesus. Though her brother had been dead four days and sorrow rested heavily upon her spirit as she knelt, her hands raised to heaven; there was a spirit of prophecy in her words which gives them a value of their own. Then Jesus said: “Thy brother shall rise again”, testing her faith still further. She replied: “I know that he shall rise again in the resurrection at the day” Jesus said unto her: “I am the resurrection and the life; he who believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” Martha answered at once in the tone and spirit of truthful faith: “Yea Lord, I believe that Thou art the Christ, the Son of God which should come into the world!”
The reward of such faith was soon given. Taking her by the hand, they were joined by Mary, and went to the tomb where Jesus raised the dead man to life.
I will now explain to you the manner of giving the sign of this degree.
Join the hands together at the tips of thumbs and fingers, forming the figure of a triangle. Raise the triangle thus formed directly above the eyes. Raise the eyes, looking through the triangle. The sign signifies Martha’s first meeting with Christ after the death of her brother Lazarus. A member seeing this sign writes name on a card and “Believest thou this?” which is the pass of this degree. Then passes it to the Sister.
The pass helps us remember the truthful faith of Martha. The color for this degree is green, which signifies life and Lazarus being raised from the dead to live again. Whenever a Free Mason casts the evergreen sprig into the open grave of his Brother, he remembers that promise of resurrection. The Broken Column is an emblem of this death of one in his youth and the uncertainty of physical life.
THE DEGREE OF ELECTA or FIFTH DEGREE
Sister Conductress, you will lead this Sister to the fifth point of the Star, for further instructions from Sister Electa.
They go to the fifth point. The verses which may be used here instead of music are John 11:21-26.
Cond.: Sister Electa, I present to you this Sister for instructions in the courage of bearing wrongs and injustice for the sake of Truth, as portrayed in the story of Electa.
Electa: The history of Electa, as a degree of the Order of the Eastern Star, is thus given. It is the story of a person whose confidence in God’s justice gave her perfect endurance and strength to withstand the most inhuman wrongs. In the Second Epistle of John, she is called the “elect lady and her children.”
She was a lady of high standing in the land of Judea, of noble family, wealthy and talented, who lived in the days of St. John the Evangelist, and was known for her kindness and aid to the poor.
Electa had been brought up as a Heathen. Like Ruth, however, she was converted to Christianity by hearing the inspired story of Calvary and the Divine Christ. She even told everyone of her faith in the Nazarene though she knew that doing this would expose her to reproaches and persecution, and perhaps death, at the hands of the Roman authorities.
Fourteen years passed away before that fate came upon her. These years became the happier, as well as better, years of her life. She gave all her money to the relief of the poor. Her mansion was a haven for the persecuted pilgrims. The poorest tattered and foot-sore pilgrims, coming up to her door, were met and welcomed. She gave them the best rooms, refreshed them with the richest wine in a golden cup; fed, cheered, clothed them; and would not let them leave until they were strengthened for the journey. Through all the country, she was famous for her heroism and defiance in the face of the persecution of Christians. All this time, she was preparing for the fate which she knew would one day come.
A renewed persecution began, and anyone who confessed Christianity was required to deny their faith, or suffer the penalty of the law. Electa was visited by soldiers and a lieutenant who sympathized with her. On an appointed day, he asked her, as an act of her denial to cast down the crucifix and tread upon it. They could then report her denial. Instead of casting down the crucifix, she held it to her breast, and said:
“love one another.” This was an act of her faith in her Saviour and her readiness to die rather than deny Him. The family was put into a dungeon and kept there one year. Then the Roman judge came and offered her another chance, promising that if she would deny Christ she would be protected. Again she refused. The whole family was tortured to the very point of death. They were then drawn on a cart, by oxen to the nearest hill and crucified. She saw her husband and each of her sons and daughters die on the cross. She was then nailed there, and being about to pass to the better land, she prayed with her last breath, “Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!”
The color red belonging to this degree symbolizes the heroic devotion and noble generosity of Electa, which she showed toward the poor and persecuted of her faith. The emblem of the Cup reminds us of the loving hospitality of Electa.
I will now explain the manner of giving the sign of this degree. Hands crossed on the breast as if holding something to her bosom, at the same time looking up. The sign alludes to Electa’s clasping the cross to her bosom, in her love for the Saviour. A member seeing this sign writes name on one side of the card, and on the other, “Love one another,” which is the pass of this degree. The pass recalls the tragedy which crowned the life of the heroic Electa.
Sister Conductress, you will lead our Sister before the Worthy Matron (or Worthy Patron) for further instructions.
Carrying out the idea of a maze as before, the Conductress leads the candidate around to the Worthy Matron. In the absence of music, the Worthy Matron may recite Second John 1:3,5,6 and First John 4:7,10.
Cond.: Worthy Matron, again I bring before you this Sister who has proceeded through the maze of our Order. At each point of our Star, she has received instructions in the high virtues shown in the lives of those illustrious women whom the members of our Order strive to emulate.
WM.: We welcome you to unite with us in the pleasure of our good works. In behalf of ... Chapter, I wish to tell you of your true relationship to the Masonic fraternity. A little knowledge of the real nature and purposes of Masonry will help you to understand this. We are connected with Masonry by intimate and tender ties as Sisters and Brothers of one great family If in traveling at a distance from home, you find you (of this Order) are sick and in want, among strangers, you have but to make yourself known as an Eastern Star, and the hand of relief is stretched out toward you by all our members. (The kind voice of sympathy will cheer you on. You are no longer a stranger, but have dear friends, whose kind deeds endears them to each other.)
All of these are reasons why members of the Order of the Eastern Star are the most devoted friends that Masonry has. All the advantages of the society are given to us, its shield of protection, its hand of relief, and its voice of sympathy The only Masonic privilege denied to us is that of visiting the Brother’s Lodge. It is against our law for a woman to be made a Mason. But she does share with them in all the solid privileges and benefits of Masonry, and join them in this great charitable work.
We, as Eastern Star members, join with the Masons in giving our all to this work. You, my Sister, having now been received into our Order, this chance to serve is now yours. Your obligation requires it. The instructions have revealed to you the five examples upon which this Order is built. You will find true happiness in this fraternal love and companionship, if you yourself will be devoted to our aims and efforts. In this earnest pursuit, never neglect to ask Divine aid and counsel. Let us bow before our Heavenly Father, praying for His help and blessing.
With three gavel blows, the Presiding Officer calls the members to rise, and the Chaplain offers a prayer. A hymn may be sung after the prayer. The Presiding Officer then seats the Chapter, and the Initiation ceremonies continue.
WM.: The proceeding of this initiation, my Sister, is to reborn you into a new life. From this day forward, this Order is to mother you. You will be under the protecting hand of every member whose principle inspiration is the Star of Bethlehem. Let me remind you, that for this privilege you owe the same obligation to every member, wherever you chance to meet. You have been told that we work together in love and fellowship, devoted to good works for each other and for our neighbors, that through our Order we may help, relieve, and give sympathy to the needy and sorrowing.
At the five points of the Star, you heard the histories of those noble women who are worthy examples of us; of the fidelity of that heroic daughter of Jephthah, who died for her father’s honor. Of the obedience of Ruth, the harvest gleaner in the field of Boaz, who obediently gave up all things to live among the people of God; of Esther, that loyal daughter in wedlock, who so bravely resolved to share the fate of her people, even if it meant death; of Martha, whose truthful faith could stand even the loss of her dearly beloved and not waver; and finally of that heroic and devoted Electa, who above all women suffered for her Master’s sake in the loss of home, family wealth, and life itself.
You have taken upon yourself the solemn obligation to strive to be like these. The instructions you have received in the secrets of the Order, will enable you to recognize a member, and to make yourself known as a member of our Order. I will explain to you further methods of giving these secret signs and passes. The Conductress will help me.
WM.: Are you a member of the Order of the Eastern Star?
Cond.: I have seen His Star in the East.
WM.: For what came you here?
Cond.: I have come to worship Him.
WM.: Have you the cabalistic word?
Cond.: I have.
WM.: Will you give it to me?
Cond.: I will, with your assistance.
Cond.: No, you begin.
WM.: You must begin.
Cond.: L, Fatal
WM.: Has that word any significance?
Cond.: It has two. First, that it would be fatal to a member’s reputation to violate her sworn obligation and disclose these secrets unlawfully.
Second, each of the letters of this word stand for another word, which make the cabalistic word.
WM.: Sister Conductress, have you the cabalistic motto?
Cond.: I have.
WM.: Will you give it to me?
Cond.: I will, with your assistance.
Cond.: No, you begin.
WM.: You must begin.
Cond.: Lovely Fairest among thousands, altogether lovely.
WM.: Jephthah’s Daughter, because she gave up her life to save her father’s honor, was fairest among thousands, altogether lovely Ruth, because she obediently left home, friends and wealth that she might live among the people of God, was f – a – t, a – l.
Esther, because of her loyalty was ready to give up her crown and life to save the people of God from death or to die with them, was f – a – t, a – l. Martha, because through sickness, death and loneliness her truthful faith in the Saviour never wavered, even to raising the dead, was f – a – t, a – l. And finally, Electa, because of her heroism that stood even fatal persecution. This is a grim testimony to her Christian love, even to a martyr’s death, was f – a – t, a – l.
So let it be your solemn duty to constantly show the virtues of these chosen and tried servants of God; by doing likewise, great shall be your reward. You may not be called to suffer as they did, and yet when we live by these principles, sufferings and trials await us in life. I will now explain the signs, and the Conductress will act them out.
The first is the Daughter’s Sign, or the Sign of Jephthah’s Daughter. It is made by three motions as is each of these five signs. The Conductress illustrates. Three has many significances in Masonry. The Holy Trinity: the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; Three stages of life: Youth, Adult, Old Age, etc. This sign reminds us of the refusal of Jephthah’s Daughter to have her face covered when about to be killed. The Pass is: “Alas, my Daughter.” A member should say this when seeing the Daughter’s Sign.
The Widows Sign, or the Sign of Ruth, is made thusly: Conductress illustrates. This sign represents Ruth holding out two handfuls of barley to Boaz, and appealing silently to God. The Pass “Who is this?” should be said by any member seeing the Widow’s Sign.
The Wife’s Sign, or the Sign of Esther, is made thusly: Conductress illustrates. This sign shows how Queen Esther came before King Ahasuerus as told m the history of the degree. The Pass “What wilt thou?” should be said by a member seeing the Wife’s Sign.
The Sister’s Sign, or the Sign of Martha, is made thusly: Conductress illustrates. This sign represents Martha appealing to Christ after the death of her brother, Lazarus. The Pass “Believest thou this” should be said by a member seeing the Sister’s Sign.
The Mother’s Sign, or the Sign of Electa, is made thusly: Conductress illustrates. This sign represents Electa clasping the crucifix to her bosom, showing her love for the Saviour. The Pass “Love one another” should be said by any member seeing the Mother’s Sign.
The Sign of Greeting is given by any member entering or leaving the Chapter room during the work of the Chapter. To give it, the member advances past the Associate Matron toward the Altar, facing the East: (1) puts the hands together as in prayer, interlacing fingers, (2) makes a slight bow, (3) drops the hands and returns to original position; then she may leave.
The Grip is given thus: 1. Take the right hand of the person opposite, in the ordinary manner of shaking hands; after balancing the hands once or twice (as customary).
2. Move the thumb over between the thumb and forefinger of the opposite person’s hand and press lightly
3. Return the thumb to the original position, while watching her reaction.
The Supreme and Grand Honors are made thus: Cross the arms over the breast, the right arm over the left, the ends of the fingers resting on the shoulders; make a bow Raise up, then drop hands to your side. After which, you should greet the person you are giving the sign. Supreme Honors are given by the gavel sounding six times. Grand Honors are given by four gavel raps.
The Signet of our Order is to remind you of your obligation. The five points of the Star, representing the five degrees of the Order. In the different points of the Star are the symbols of the five characters: Adah, Ruth, Esther, Martha and Electa, whose histories make up the degrees. Each point has its own color and flowers, as follows:
Jephthah’s Daughter: Blue, for fidelity and faithfulness; represented by the violet.
Ruth: Yellow, for obedience and steadfastness; represented by the jasmine.
Esther: White, for loyalty and pure happiness; represented by the lily.
Martha: Green, for truth and hope in eternal life; represented by the fern.
Electa: Red, for heroism and zeal; represented by the red roses.
The center of the Star is divided into five parts, bearing emblems alluding to the distinguished characters composing the degrees, as follows:
(1) The Open Bible is the symbol of Adah’s fidelity in accepting the Word of God.
(2) The Lilies symbolize Ruth, in her obedient simplicity as the Lily of the Valley
(3) The Sun is the symbol of Esther, as the sun is the symbol of crowned majesty of her loyalty.
(4) The Lamb symbolizes Martha, as the symbol of her truthful faith and humility.
(5) The Lion is the symbol of the heroic courage and strength of Electa, during her severe trials.
Around the outer edge of the center of the Signet are the letters forming the cabalistic word, FATAL.
And now, my Sister, in all your conduct hereafter, may you always be reminded to exemplify one of these characters in every situation. Then it can truly be said that you are “fairest among thousands, altogether lovely” If ever you see a Sister in trouble, gently touch her and say, “Fairest among thousands.”
It is certain, no one hundred men in a lifetime could work out the laws and principles we teach. They have come down through the ages and have been gathered from the four corners of the earth. They, therefore, deserve study.
They can remake your live, if you make them a part of your consciousness. The study of our instructions leads directly and unfailingly to a path of attainment for you.
We are happy to guide you, to provide the light; but you must do your own mental work to prove worthy of fellowship.
I wish I could find words to impress you with the importance of this new life here planned for you. In this new life, you are to be different in every way; even you are to stand and walk differently. You will now be instructed in this: A correct posture will improve your health and happiness.
This is taught by three different exercises: kicking, prance-time and promenade. Each of these exercises are to be practiced with sustained breathing. This is done by expanding the chest and elevating it as much as possible by three counts of inhaling without exhaling in between; while sustaining the chest in this position, proceed with 14 counts of the exercise (which is 7 with each limb). Then exhale for at least 14 counts. This same exercise is repeated twice more, making a total of three times.
WM.: Members of ... Chapter No ..., let us now extend a hearty welcome to this Sister who has received the degrees of our Order, and whose initiation has been completed satisfactorily to us and we hope, to her.
Music is played or sung while all the members pass and give the new member the Grip. You are now free to join in a social hour until called to order, by the sound of the gavel, for the closing ceremonies.
As soon as the business of the meeting is finished, see the Order of Business in Meeting Guide, the Worthy Matron continues, as follows: Sister Associate Matron, is there any further business to come before this meeting?
AM. (if she knows of none): Worthy Matron, I know of no further business.
WM.: Does any officer or member know of any further business before we close. (If no answer) Sister Warder, instruct the Sentinel to allow no interruptions while we are closing the Chapter.
The Warder instructs the Sentinel with the usual raps.
Warder: Worthy Matron, your instructions have been obeyed.
WM.: Let us all join in promenading while singing our Heart-Felt Song.
She calls the Chapter up.
WM.: Let us pray.
The Chaplain or Worthy Patron says a prayer at the Altar, as at the opening exercises: Our Father, merciful and holy, who hearest and answerest the humble petitions of Thy children, let Thy spirit of love descend upon us.
Make us ever mindful of our duties to mankind and to Thee. Permit us to meet here again in truth and in love, with honor to Thee, that we may advance in wisdom and in service to our fellow men. In Thy name do we pray Amen.
So may it be, So may it be.
WM.: Sister Conductress, attend the Altar. The Conductress closes the Bible, and steps back to her station.
Sisters and Brothers, we go forth into life of the world, not knowing what may be ahead of us. Let us not be afraid, for we have the promise of every Brother and Sister of this great Order throughout the land, that they will respond to our rescue whenever we need them, and of our Heavenly Father that He will strengthen us and support us by His might and power. Farewell, members. Farewell, farewell, farewell. This meeting of ... Chapter No ... is now closed. Sister Warder, please instruct the Sentinel.
The Worthy Matron closes the meeting with one rap of the gavel. The Warder notifies the Sentinel that the Chapter is closed.