of the Forest
adaptable group of orders which in North America evolved from the Ancient Order
of Foresters which in turn evolved from the British Royal Order of Foresters.
Included in the family are the Canadian Order of Foresters, the Catholic Order
of Foresters, the Independent Order of Foresters, Foresters of America,
Companions of the Forest (or of Foresters) and several lesser Forester orders.
All of the major American and Canadian branches of the order were founded in the
1870’s and in keeping with the times were fraternal benefit societies offering
life and disability insurance to their members. Over the years, the insurance
business gained dominance over the fraternal aspect of the orders.
include the Independent Order and
the Catholic Order
www.catholicforester.com . The Ancient
Order survives in England www.aof.co.uk
Foresters as a
group appear to have been somewhat more affluent than most fraternal benefit
societies. Nine of the pieces shown here are gold. Because of the stag
featured on many of the pieces, they are often confused with Elk and Moose
An Early Foresters Membership Certificate
A special "Thanks"
to Samuel Sade for submitting the above pictured Forester's membership
certificate. He writes that he bought it at a yard sale for $8.00 and that
it was not printed on acid-free paper so it has darkened over time. It
measures approximately 16 by 20 inches and is in wonderful shape for its age.
Thanks Samuel for giving us lore lovers a view of the past!
Foresters Lodge Charter
Pictured above is
an original signed Charter of the
Independent Order of Foresters for the Vancouver B.C. Canada Court
"Stanley Forest" No. 4985. It was signed on April 21, 1909
A special "Thank
You" to John Mallory of Vancouver B.C. Canada for submitting the above photo of
his Foresters Charter!
Early Foresters Banner
This banner was the property of
Foresters of America, Court Fordham No. 451. The banner has absolutely
beautiful embroidery on it.
A special "Thank You" to Ellen
Gregory for submitting the picture of this banner!
The picture of the above Foresters
of America ring was submitted by Jane Scarriot. Her grandfather came to
America from Italy around 1915 and settled in southern Illinois. I believe his
chapter was headquartered in Springfield, Illinois, made up mostly of Italians.
Inside the ring is a marking: symbol of 5 point star, M, symbol of 5 point
star. If there is anyone out there who knows the symbolism of the interior
markings we sure would like to hear from you!
Ancient Order of Foresters
This ritual is from 1907.
When a Candidate is to be initiated, who has been
duly approved by the Medical Examiner, favorably reported on by the
Investigating Committee, and regularly accepted by ballot, he shall attend a
regular meeting of the Court. At the proper time, the J.B. shall report to the
S.B. and the S.B. to the C.R. that a Candidate, Mr ..., is outside the portal
seeking to obtain light upon the mysteries of Ancient Forestry.
The C.R. shall therefore give *, which shall be similarly
responded to by the S.C.R. The C.R. and S.C.R. thereupon arise the C.R. saying:
Officers and Brothers, Mr. ..., a Candidate for initiation into the mysteries of
Ancient Forestry, is outside the portal of this Court. Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger,
can you assure the brethren that he is a sober and discreet person that he has
no affiliation with any illegitimate Society claiming to work under the name of
the Ancient Order of Foresters in any guise, and that he is, so far as your
knowledge extends, eligible to be initiated a member of this Court.
After having examined the application, the S.C.R. says:
Worthy Chief Ranger, the Physician of this Court has carefully examined the
Candidate as to his physical condition, and has certified that he is eligible to
membership. The brethren have exercised their prerogative, and you have examined
the result of their ballot, and certified the same to be favorable. I therefore
take pleasure in assuring you that the Candidate is worthy of admission.
The C.R. gives *, seating the S.C.R.
My Brothers: You have heard our worthy Sub- Chief Ranger certify that the
Candidate in attendance is worthy to associate with you on equal terms in this
Court. But I now ask as a final safe-guard against the introduction of unhealthy
or unworthy persons into the Order if any member knows of any circumstance which
would debar the candidate from becoming a worthy and beneficial member of this
Court and of the Order, that he forthwith proclaim the same or forever hold his
Should any objection be raised, its merits must be
discussed at once, and a vote taken upon its validity. A majority vote shall
determine whether the Candidate should be initiated.
Should no objection be raised, the C.R. will proceed as follows:
Officers and Brothers: The Candidate will be brought into the room blindfolded,
and I bespeak for him your utmost courtesy and consideration. Remember that he
is your guest, and in order that he may be properly impressed with the mysteries
on which he is about to receive light, I particularly request that all private
discourse cease, and that you devote your whole attention to the ceremony of
initiation. The Secretary will retire and collect the balance of the initiation
The Secretary salutes and retires, collects the balance of the
initiation fee, returns, salutes, and reports at the altar.
After everything is in readiness, the C.R. calls to order. *
Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger, is the Court prepared to proceed with the initiation?
Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger, you will now retire with the Woodwards and introduce
The S.C.R. and the Woodwards, with their battle axes drawn,
advance to the altar, salute and retire. They repair to the ante-room and divest
the Candidate of his coat and vest, blindfold him and tie his hands behind his
back. The S.C.R. addresses the Candidate:
Sir, I have been authorized by our Worthy Chief Ranger to enquire of you your
The Candidate replies.
And likewise your place of residence.
The Candidate replies.
I have further to enquire whether you have previously been a member of the
Order, or proposed to become a member in any other Court?
If the Candidate should say he has, his answer must be at once
reported to the Court, and his initiation not proceeded with until Rule 124 of
General Laws has been complied with. If the answer of the Candidate is in the
negative, the Sub-Chief Ranger will address him as follows:
Sir, at your own request, you are about to be made a member of the Ancient Order
of Foresters. It will be required of you that you solemnly affirm that you will
divulge none of the secrets or mysteries you are about to be intrusted with, and
that you will implicitly follow the instructions you will be given. For the
Court which you are about to join, I can say, that no pledge will be required of
you which will conflict with any of the duties you owe to yourself, your fellow
man, your country, or your God. There is yet time to retire if you so wish. Are
you willing to enter and conform to the laws and customs of Ancient Forestry?
If the answer is satisfactory, the S.C.R. takes the Candidate’s
left arm. The Woodwards fall in behind. The S.C.R. gives *,
responded to by the S.B. throwing a chain against the inside of
the door four times and * * by the S.C.R. and C.R.
There is an alarm at the portal, Worthy Chief.
An alarm! Who seeks to penetrate the glades of Sherwood Forest at this unseemly
hour? Ascertain the case, good Will Scathelocke.
The S.B. opens the door and says:
Our Chief Ranger, Robin Hood, bids me inquire the cause of this unseemly
commotion in the glades of Sherwood Forest! What seek ye, and whom would ye
I am little John, and back of me are Will Scarlet and Midge, the Miller’s son.
While wandering in the forest we happened upon a stranger, who could give no
good account of himself, and we straightway seized and bound him, and have
brought him hither, that Robin Hood, our Worthy Chief, might see and question
Has he a name?
He has, but he refuses to give it!
Wait ye outside the threshold until I have informed Robin Hood of his tale, and
get his answer.
The S.B. leaves the door open and addresses the C.R.
Worthy Chief Ranger, the commotion outside the portal is caused by Little John,
our Sub-Chief Ranger, and Will Scarlet and Midge, the Miller’s son, our
Woodwards, who, finding a stranger in the glades of Sherwood Forest, have
brought him hither to be interrogated.
A stranger, and in Sherwood Forest! Bring him in that we may hear what tale he
has to tell!
By command of
our Chief Ranger, Robin Hood, you will advance over the threshold three steps.
The S.C.R., the Candidate and the Woodwards advance over the
threshold three steps. The door is closed. The S.C.R. and the Woodwards fall
back one step. The J.P.C.R. steps up lightly, places his left hand on the
Candidate’s right shoulder and says:
My friend, you
are now just over the threshold of a Court of Ancient Forestry. You have come
here fettered and half clad, and are now about to act a part in a drama which
actually took place over seven hundred years ago, when Ancient Forestry had its
practical inception. The explanation will be furnished to you in due season. So
far as it lies in my power, I will befriend you, and will answer such questions
as may be put to you. Be of good courage!
The S.C.R. and the Woodwords resume their positions beside the
Candidate, the J.P.C.R. grasping his right arm. They walk slowly around the room
twice to a slow march by the organist, and halt in front of the C.R.’s chair.
How now, Little John? Who is this stranger whom ye bring into the glades of
Sherwood Forest? He is hot one of our band, and for aught we know, may be a spy
sent by the Sheriff of Nottingham to pry into our affairs. Where found ye him,
and what does he seek?
Worthy Chief Ranger, while wandering and seeking news of Will Stutley, who, as
you well know, went forth in search of adventure some two days ago, we fell
across this stranger. He refused to give his name, but said he was seeking Robin
Hood, and thinking he might be a spy, we bound him and brought him here that you
might question him.
You did well, Little John, to bring him here!
Addressing Candidate: You seek
Robin Hood, the out-law, you say? Know, then, that I am Robin Hood, and all
around me are the Merry Men who have thrown off the thraldom of servitude, and
the overweening oppression of feudal lords and purse proud prelates in civic
courts, that they might enjoy the free air of heaven in these true Courts of
Sherwood Forest. What do you seek with Robin Hood? Speak truly and fully, and if
your mission be for good, so harm shall befall you!
J.P.C.R., speaking for the Candidate:
As Little John has truly said, Will Stutley, one of your Merry Men, set out in
search of adventure two days ago. He donned the gown of a curtial friar, and was
sitting apparently in meditation at the door of the “Blue Boar” Inn, when a band
of the Sheriff of Nottingham’s retainers stopped at the hostelry. By accident,
they discovered his disguise, and not-withstanding that he made a vigorous
resistance, they made him prisoner, and carried him off to Nottingham town. The
Sheriff has sentenced him to be hanged by the neck when the clock strikes eight
tomorrow morning, and unless he is rescued before that time, he surely will die
on be gallows. It was to tell you this that the stranger cane here, and now that
his tale is told, he fain would depart in peace.
If this news he true, then indeed is poor Will Stutley in a serious plight. What
shall we do, my Merry Men? Shall we go to Nottingham and beard the Sheriff in
his den and take his prey away? Will Stutley, next to Little John, is the best
bowman we have, and even if his rescue were impossible, we can ill afford to
lose him. In unity there is strength, and with seven score good yeomen such as
you are, banded in ties of unity that draw us together, there can be no such
word as failure. What say you? Is Will Stutley to hang?
Then get ye ready, and we shall go to Nottingham town at break of day, and save
poor Will Stutley from the gallows.
Gently, good master, gently! There is no man that I love more than Will Stutley,
and I gladly would peril my own neck to save his; but what assurance have we
that this stranger tells the truth? It may be that this is a photon the part of
the Sheriff to beguile us from the recesses of Sherwood Forest, in order that he
may be better able to set his minions upon us and do us damage. The stranger may
be, and, indeed, looks honest enough, but, if he be speaking truthfully, why did
he refuse to give his name, and why did he attempt to escape when Will Scarlet,
Midge, the Miller’s son and I called upon him to halt? Methinks he is but a
retainer of the Sheriff who to curry favor with our arch-enemy, has laid this
plot that we might be taken unawares. If ye would take my advice, good master,
ye would hang him from the limb of yonder tree as a spy, nnd here is the rope to
Chorus of Members:
Hang him! Hang him!
The S.C.R. and the Woodwards grasp the Candidate, and throw over
his head a rope, provided with a running noose, and a knot at a proper distance
to prevent it from being pulled too tight, They pull it tout, so that the
Candidate may feel the strain upon it, and proceed to pull him off. The Officers
must use cautious care and common sense at this part of the ceremony, so as to
avoid causing injury or offence to the Candidate, and with practice and skill
this scene can be acted in an entirely effective but perfectly unobjectionable
Hold! Would you hang a man who is not only innocent, but at great personal risk
to himself has brought you word of the danger in which one of the chiefs of your
band is placed? This stranger’s name is of no moment, and his running away when
observed can be accounted for by his belief that you were the King’s Rangers.
When he saw who you were, he came with you peacefully enough, did he not? Then
why talk of hanging him? Time enough for that when you know he is a spy. Would
it not be better policy to keep him here until you return from rescuing Will
Stutley at Nottingham, and in the meantime, if he be willing, enlist him as a
member of the band?
Well said, good brother! Never shall it he said that Robin Hood permitted a
defenceles man to be hanged as a spy without evidence that he is such. If he be
willing to pledge himself to us, then will he prove himself a true man. What say
you, straiger? Are you willing to take the obligation which hinds us here as
What say you, brothers? Are you satisfied that this stranger shall bind himself
to us and our cause by the vow that we all have taken?
Little John and our Woodwards conduct the stranger to the spreading oak, where
allegiance to the band is taken, and place him in position to assume the formal
C.R., S.C.R., Woodwards and J.P.C.R. accompany the
Candidate to the altar where he kneels on his left knee. The S.C.R. removes the
bonds binding the Candidate’s hands, and the Candidate places his right hand on
his heart, the index finger of his left hand pointing upwards. The S.C. R. holds
the rope so that the Candidate may still feel the strain. The Candidate repeats
after the C.R. as follows:
I, do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare, in the presence of the
assembled brethren, that I will give a willing and implicit obedience to the
laws which govern this fraternity and this Court that I will at all times yield
a ready compliance with the orders issued by the Chief Ranger, so far as they
are consistent with the laws of Ancient Forestry and the will of the majority of
the members of this Court; that I will do all in my power to further the objects
for which we are united, and will never attempt to sow dissension or create
discord among the members, but, on the other hand, will do my utmost to preserve
the harmony and brotherly feeling which are the chief support of the
institution; that I will never reveal to any person not a member of the Order,
any of the signs, signals, grips, passwords, or test words, by which Ancient
Foresters are recognized, either by word, sign, or writing, and that I will use
the utmost caution in ascertaining the Forestric standing of any stranger,
before imparting to him any part of the written or unwritten work of the Order.
To all of which, I do most solemnly and sincerely pledge the honor of a man who
respects the value of truth and the sacredness of a promise.
The Candidate rises.
Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger, if you are now satisfied that this stranger is sincere
in his promises, you will withdraw the cord which is still about his neck.
Worthy Chief, if it is your command that the cord be taken off, it shall be
done, but as the stranger is to accompany us to Nottingham at daybreak to assist
in the rescue of Will Stutley, will it not the better serve him as a reminder of
his oath, that he should wear it about his neck, and will it not suit our
purpose better, that, if he should prove a traitor, we can the more readily hang
hun on the spot.
As you will Brethren, the eastern sky is rosy with the promise of sunrise. See
to your arms, that we may start for Nottingham.
Tune: “God Save the King”
with a righteous cause,
When danger or distress,
Or tyrant’s hands oppress,
For wrongs we seek redress
At this point the members pass about the room as if preparing for
a start. The J.P.C.R takes hold of the rope and the Candidate’s right arm, and
walks him slowly around the room (see diagram A) saying as they go:
My brother, you have taken an obligation which satisfies me that you are an
honest man. It is not enough, however, that I should be satisfied, but each
brother in the Court must have his every doubt removed. We are now at the market
place in Nottingham, and it lacks but three minutes to eight o’clock. Robin Hood
and his band are prepared to effect the rescue of Will Stutley, and
leave you here, where the battle will rage the thickest, in the hope that, your
story being true and your promises sincere, we shall meet again in the shades of
Sherwood Forest, Farewell!
The Candidate is left standing between the altar and the J.P.C’s.
station, facing the altar. (See diagram A) A bell strikes eight. The members
constituting the Sheriff’s party begin to march slowly round the room, beginning
at the door an going round by way of the Physician’s station, passing behind the
Candidate, Will Stutley being in the centre, between two members, his hands
loosely bound behind his back. He soliloquizes as follows:
Alas and alack! I fear this is the end of poor Will Stutley. Yonder shines the
sun which I am now to look upon for the last time. There stands the grim gibbet
upon which I am to hang like a dog: I, who but a few short hours ago, stood a
Saxon freeman in the glades of Sherwood Forest, breathing the free air of
heaven, and owing allegiance to no one but God and my conscience.
Struggling with his bonds. Oh ! had I but
the strength to break these bonds, to throw off these cursed shackles, and stand
for one short moment in the strength of my manhood, I would show these caitiff
knaves that Will Stutly is a worthy disciple of Robin Hood.
struggles. But, no, I cannot break them!
Procession stops opposite the Candidate, between the altar and the Physician’s
And now stand on the gallows alone! Yonder comes the hangman with his black mask
and sable cloak! A few short moments, and I shall be swung into eternity.
Farewell, sun! Farewell, green trees and verdant fields! Farewell, my companions
of sweet Sherwood Forest! Oh! If ye did but know to what straits poor Wil
Stutley is reduced, ye would be here and sweep these minions of an unjust law
before you like chaff before the wind. Ah! who is that standing yonder at the
foot of the gallows? A mist fills my eyes and I cannot see. Surely it is, it is
The C.R. blows a horn.
Will Stutley struggles with his bonds. There is
commotion in the room as Robin Hood’s men engage the Sheriff’s party. Cries,
shouts, etc., arise, the Candidate being jostled about in the centre. The battle
surges over the room, the Candidate being carried with it. The Sheriffs men seem
to prevail, and they finally lay hands on the Candidate, the leader crying:
Here is the robber; here he is! See, he has the rope still about his neck! Hang
They pull him off round the room, followed by Robin Hood’s men.
After considerable jostling the Candidate is rescued by Little John and his men.
Great caution must again be used, so as not to injure or offend
the Candidate. The C.R. must see that the Candidate is not handled roughly. Any
officer or member who handles a Candidate roughly in any part of the initiation
ceremony, may be dealt with according to General Laws, for conduct
unbecoming a member of the Order.
The commotion in the room ceases and the Candidate is led to the
front of the J.P.C.R.’s station. Little John removes the bandage and says:
My brother, you have had a narrow escape from death at the hands of the
Sheriff’s retainers. It will please you to know that we rescued Will Stutley,
and that we no longer doubt your courage, or honesty of purpose. Your story was
true in every detail, and the doubts which we entertained of your sincerity were
unfounded. As I placed the noose around your neck, I as publicly remove it, and
welcome you as a worthy member of our band. Removes
the noose and shakes his hand. I will now conduct you to our Worthy
Chief Ranger who will instruct you in the principles of Unity.
Conducts the Candidate in front of the C.R., where the S.W. has
already placed a chair.
My brother, for such I may now call you; you have acted your part nobly well,
and have proved yourself worthy to associate with us, and receive still further
evidences of our confidence. You have taken part in a drama which, seven hundred
years ago, actually took place. Will Stutley, one of the lieutenants of Robin
Hood, was captured by the Sheriff of Nottingham and condemned to be hanged.
Robin and his rangers, to the number of seven score, repaired to Nottingham, and
put to flight ten tunes that number of the Sheriff’s retainers by the sheer
force of discipline and unity. The lesson to be drawn from the scene which has
just been enacted is, that “in Unity there is Strength.” Sometimes this precept
is illustrated by exhibiting a bundle of sticks,
sticks where one may easily be snapped in
twain, but where the strength of Hercules would be insufficient to break the
united bundle. The purpose of this object lesson us to teach you that concerted
action is the key-note to success. As a Court, we can know no prosperity, can
make no progress, unless our members work in unity and harmony for its best
interests, and bear with each other’s faults and shortcomings which are the
common inheritance of all mankind. In the Order, as a whole, each Court must
work in harmony with every other Court in spreading the beneficent works of
Forestry to the uttermost ends of the earth, so that all mankind, irrespective
of creed, color or nationality, may finally be embraced in its membership, and
call their fellows brothers. Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger, you will now conduct the
Candidate to the Past Chief Ranger, who will instruct him in the principles of
Tune: “Tramp, Tramp, Tramp, the Boys are Marching.”
members of our band, we extend a helping hand,
sympathy with truest common sense;
And we strive to do what’s right, working thus with
all our might,
charity, to show Benevolence.
learn well what the Order teaches:
lessons in your mind;
No false charity we preach, no excesses do we teach,
ready, helping hand you’re sure to find.
The S.C.R. conducts the Candidate around the room while the ode
is being sung, finally placing him in front of the P.C.R.
By command of Robin Hood, I present Bro. ... to be instructed in the principles
My brother, as you are doubtless aware, Robin Hood is regarded as the founder of
Forestry, and with good reason. The moral principles which he practised in the
thirteenth and fourteenth centuries were crude in their conception, and somewhat
harsh in their execution, but the cardinal doctrine of his motives and methods
was to help the poor, to cheer and protect the unfortunate, to relieve and
provide for the widow and the orphan, and to aid and assist the members of his
fraternity when they were in need of succor. In these days of modern
civilization, Robin Hood’s practice of taking from the rich to give to the poor
would be called robbery, but in the feudal times in which he lived the
emancipation of men from oppressive laws was still in its infancy and justice
was hardly to be obtained. Robin Hood was therefore the apostle of a new
philanthropy. Outlawed for his opposition to the tyrannical customs which
prevailed, he proclaimed by his actions, right in the teeth of those who had cut
him off from communion with his fellow men, the doctrine of the brotherhood of
man, which Robert Burns, the ploughman poet, has so finely expressed in the
us pray. that come what may,
it will for a’ that
sense and writh o’er a’ the earth.
the gree and a’ that;
that and a’ that,
coming yet, for a’ that,
to man the world o’er,
brothers be for a’ that.
emancipation of mankind from the thraldom of feudalism, with the development of
Christian civilization and the march of liberty and fraternity, have come the
opportunities of self help. It has been truthfully said that nothing is more
uncertain than the proportion of sickness and death which falls to the lot of
the individual, but that nothing is more certain than die percentage of sickness
and death among a multitude of men. As a multitude of men, seeking to help each
other, and to bear one another’s burdens, the Ancient Order of Foresters exists
and has existed from time immemorial. It assumes the individual’s inevitable
liability for sickness and death, and distribute it among a number of his fellow
members, who willingly bear their share, knowing that their own turn will come
then, is Benevolence: the refined robbery of Robin Hood, The word “Benevolence”
is derived from two Latin words signifying good will, and is synonymous with
benignity, humanity, tenderness and kindness. It does not mean charity: for
charity, while a worthy virtue, and the corner stone of many societies, has no
place in the Forestric vocabulary. We do not dispense charity. Whatsoever our
members may receive, they obtain as a matter of right, for which they have paid,
and for which they are expected to pay.
Forester, therefore, we expect you to display this most excellent teaching of
our profession: the exercise of Benevolence toward your fellow members and their
Worthy Sub-Chief Ranger and Woodwards, you will conduct the brother to the
preparation room, and clothe him suitably to receive further light in Ancient
The Candidate is prepared by taking off his coat and vest. His
left arm is bared to above the elbow. He is not hoodwinked or bound. It is
necessary that all the lights in the Court-room be put out. At the altar will be
placed two alcohol asbestos lamps, one at each side, filled with a preparation,
for which the recipe will be found on the instructional pages of this ritual.
The members must be grouped in horse-shoe shape round the altar, facing the
S.C.R.’s. station, and must remain perfectly stilt while the Candidate is
introduced and takes the obligation. The spirit lamps must not be lighted until
the door is about to be opened to admit the Candidate. The C.R. stands ot the
altar, within the horseshoe, facing the S.C.R’s. station.
So soon as the Woodwards have the Candidate ready to enter, the
My brother, you are now about to be presented to Robin Hood, our Worthy Chief
Ranger, for the purpose of taking a further solemn and binding obligation. Are
you ready and willing to enter?
The Candidate replies.
The S.C.R gives * * * * * on the inner door. When the members are
ready at the altar, the S.B. will respond with * * * * *. The S.C.R. will then
respond with * * and the S.B. with * *, whereupon the C.R. will silently swing
open the door, and the S.C.R. holding the Candidates left arm and followed by
the Woodwards will march in file to the altar, where they will stop (See diagram
Bro. ...,if you are willing to take the obligation you will kneel at the altar
on both knees, Candidate
kneels place your right hand on your heart
so, and raise your naked left arm with
the index finger pointing upward, all
so, as you see those around you do, and
repeat after me.
of my own free will and accord in the presence of the assembled brethren, do
solemnly and sincerely promise and declare, in addition to the obligation
heretofore taken by me, that I will conform to all the laws and obligations, now
in force or hereafter to be enacted, by which the Ancient Order of Foresters as
regulated and controlled, or in default thereof will submit to the penalties
therein contained; that I will further so far as in me lies the purposes for
which the Order is constituted, and that I will not make known its signs or
passwords, either by word, sign or writing, except to the Brotherhood or in
Courts legally assembled. Furthermore, I will to the best of my ability, so far
as my means will permit and the circumstances of the case will warrant, exhibit
in a practical way the principle of Benevolence towards distressed members of
the Order, and will by all legitimate means at my command see to it, that no
undue advantage is taken of any member, his wife, widow or orphans, in pecuniary
matters, connected with the Order or out of it. I make this pledge upon the
honor of a man who respects the value of truth and the sacredness of a promise,
in the presence of the assembled brethren, and under the all-seeing eye of the
Supreme Chief Ranger of the Universe.
My brother, having taken this obligation, you will arise and be taken whence you
came, and there further prepared to receive more light on the mysteries of
The S.C.R. takes the Candidates left arm and conducts him from
the room without saluting, followed by the Woodwards, the Officers and members
remaining around the altar until they have retired. The J.P.C.R. thereupon
follows him out.
The S.C.R. hoodwinks the Candidate and ties his hands behind his
back and removes his shoes. When the Court-room has been lighted and is prepared
for the Candidate’s reception the S.C.R. hands him over to the J.P.C.R., who
My brother, you will remember that on a former occasion I befriended you, and
answered for you questions which you could not answer yourself. So far as the
usages of the Order will permit, I will perform a similar office for you again,
but it will largely depend upon your own conduct how far I may be permitted to
befriend you in your coming emergencies. I counsel you to submit yourself to
whatever may be done to you, and if you will bear in mind that we are your
friends and not your enemies, your reasoning powers will prompt you to acquiesce
willingly in whatever ordeals may be necessary to bring you to a full fellowship
with us. Are you ready to enter?
The Candidate replies.
The J.P.C.R. gives * * * * * on inner door. When the Court is
ready the S.B. replies with * * * * *. The J.P.C.R. then gives * * and the S.B.
* *. The door is swung open The J.P.C.R. and the Candidate enter, the J.P.C.R.
on the Candidate’s left. The S.B. closes the door, and when the Candidate is
three or four steps over the threshold, the S.B. seizes him by the shoulders
during the colloquy. (See Diagram C)
Hold! By what right do you seek to gain admission to the
Be still, and let us pass.
Pass, you cannot, until you give me the word that gives you the privilege. Have
you the Word of a Forester?
Advance and pledge it.
The J.P.C.R. gives word in a whisper with the grip.
S.B., releasing the Candidate:
The Word is right! Pass on!
The J.P.C.R. and the Candidate pass around the room by way of
S.C.R.’s. station, where the latter is standing. He grasps the Candidate by both
shoulders, and shakes him, bringing him to a sudden stop.
Hold! Who seeks to travel the road that leads to the secret swainmote? Have you
the Word of a Forester?
I am deputed to pass a stranger through the recesses of Sherwood Forest.
S.C.R., shaking the Candidate:
Answer my question!
I have the Word.
Advance and pledge it.
The J.P.C.R. gives the word.
The Word is right and you can pass on, but the stranger cannot pass until he,
too, has given the Word of a Forester.
He has it not, but will be in possession of it on his way back, and you must
needs let him pass.
Pass, he shall not, without the Word! Shakes
Give me the Word of a Forester!
He has it not, but comes here by express command of Robin Hood himself.
I care not for that! Shakes
Give me the secret Word, or it will be the worse for you!
He cannot give it! He has it not!
Then he must
die! For the third and last time, with this instrument of death at his throat,
pressing the back of a knife to his throat,
I ask him for the Word of a Forester, without which none can pass in either
Nay, him you shall not slay, for I am his friend, and have brought him here! I
shall defend him. Attempt to block our passage, and you shall be successful only
over my body! Unhand him, I say!
The S.C.R. and J.P.C.R. struggle together. Finally the S.C.R.
falls to the ground at the Candidate’s feet, where he lies still.
J.P.C.R., taking the Candidate’s left arm again:
My Brother, before passing you through the portal of the Court, I promised to
befriend you to the extent of my ability. The proof of my sincerity lies at your
feet! His refusal to recognize a higher authority has laid him low. We are now
about to pass into the presence of one whose power in the present emergency is
supreme, and to whatever he may do, you and I must bow in submission, if we
value our obligations. We will now step over this body,
and we are now approaching the spreading oak which forms a canopy to shelter
from the bent of the sun and the inclemencies of the weather, the hind to which
you have hitherto sworn fealty. Robin Hood himself is in the centre, and
gathered around him are his followers. Listen!
The following ode may be sung by all the members in the
Court-room, but a more pleasing and impressive effect would result if it were
sung in the ante-room, by a complete quartette.
the tie hat binds
of brothers here,
of friendship true we work
the widow’s heart,
orphan’s tears we wipe away
strife demeans our Court,
with one accord,
the sick and aid the weak,
dwelling in Concord.
Court is doubly blest,
keeps these precepts three,
crowns its efforts for mankind
The Candidate and the J.P.C.R. pass once round the room and halt
in front of C.R’s station. (See diagram C). As they walk the J.P.C.R. says.:
A few steps farther, and we will be in the immediate presence of Robin Hood! I
counsel you to be of good courage!
Who comes here?
One who has a right to come, accompanied by a brother who has been duly
instructed in the principles of Unity and Benevolence, and who seeks light in
the principles of Concord.
Are you in
possession of the Word of a Forester?
Advance and pledge it. Word is given by J.P.C.R. in
a whisper with the grip. The Word is right! Has the stranger the
He has it not.
Then how did he gain admittance?
Through the courtesy of the Senior Beadle at the outer portal and by disabling
the Sub-Chief Ranger at the inner portal when he sought to block his passage.
By what means did this stranger, bound and blinded as he is, succeed in doing
readiness of a friend to relieve him in his distress and by that friend’s
exemplification of the Word of a Forester.
Do you claim the tight for him to sit in this secret swainmote?
By what token do you ask this right?
By the tokens
of Unity, Benevolence and Concord, and because be has taken the solemn and
binding obligations of the Order.
Stranger, do you ask this privilege for yourself?
And I vouch for us worthiness!
Then let the bandage be taken from his eyes that he may see what will befall
him, should he violate his obligations.
At this point the Secretaries and Treasurer present their spears
at his breast, the Woodwards at each side poise their axes as if to strike, the
C.R. and the S.C.R. draw their bows and point the arrows at his heart, the C.R.
from the front and the S.C.R. from the back, and the Beadles raise their
bludgeons in the act of bringing them down on his head.
The J.P.C.R. removes the hoodwink from the Candidate’s eyes, and
steps back so that the Candidate stands alone. The Officers maintain their
positions during the following colloquy.
Behold the penalty of transgression! In view of the vows you have already taken,
do you promise to be faithful to all your obligations on your journey with us
through the forest of this life ?
It is well!
All the Officers withdraw their weapons and remain standing
Worthy Junior Past Chief Ranger, you will release the Candidate from his bonds,
and reconduct him whence he came; that he may once more be properly clothed;
after which you will return him to this station for further instruction.
All other Candidates who were merely obligated and have witnessed
the conferring of this degree upon the Condidate, will here be placed in line by
the S.C.R.; then the J.P.C.R and Candidates retire, without saluting, followed
to the door by the other Officers in double file, as follows: S.C.R., Treas.,
Sec., Sub.Sec., S.W. J.W. (See diagram D).
in readiness they will return to the room where the Candidates are stationed in
front of the C.R. The first verse of the Initiation Ode is sung:
Tune: “God Save the King”.
Brothers! attention keep,
Whilst our Host Worthy Chief
you the charge.
Friendship and Sympathy;
I am now authorized to address you by the name of Brother, and to welcome you,
on behalf of this Court, into our honorable Order. You have bound yourself to us
by a solemn obligation which demands reverence and respect. It becomes you,
therefore, from the present hour, to honor our principles by an unblemished
course of conduct, whereby you will reflect credit upon your own character as a
man, and add to the dignity and stability of an Order with whose progress your
own interests are now associated.
now proceed to make you acquainted with the Grip, Word, and Signs o the Order.
of a Forester is given thus ....
Here the C.R. shall give the Grip.
intended as a memorial of the dependence upon each other of our first parents,
who, when expelled from the Garden of Eden, through the sin of disobedience,
became, in more than a figurative sense, the first Foresters; the wilderness of
the world before them, with all its dangers, difficulties and temptations. We
are taught by this to recognize the duty of walking hand in hand through the
forest of this life, and of helping each other to surmount its struggles, and to
bear up under its disappointments.
of a Forester is symbolized in the letter S * * *
and points to it. The three colors, Scarlet, Gold and Lincoln Green,
typify the virtues inherent in Forestry, namely, Unity, Benevolence, and
Concord, and the letter stands for the word of a Forester, which is the corner
stone on which the whole structure is reared. The Word is .... It expresses the
active interest we take in the welfare of our brethren, and our readiness to
share their burdens and relieve their distresses. It is the same the world over,
and is never changed. *.
Salutation Sign of a Forester is given thus, ....
The Woodwards will here takes one step backward, and after the
sign has been exemplified, they will resume their position near the Candidate.
It is emblematic of the act of our first parent, Eve, in plucking, eating and
offering to Adam the forbidden fruit, and is intended to remind us of the duty
of obedience and submission, and the penalties of transgression.
It shall be imperative upon the C.R. to give the correct sign.
Password for the current quarter, which is always given in a whisper,
accompanied by the Grip, thus, is ....
The C.R. will here give to the Candidate the current quarterly
In addition to the Salutation Sign, and Grip, we have other Signs of Recognition
with which I will now acquaint you. Should you at any time when among strangers,
desire to ascertain if there is a brother Forester present or near you, you are
at liberty to make this sign, .... Should your challenge be recognised by an
Ancient Forester, he will answer you thus, .... You will then advance toward
each other, when you will say to him, ...? He will respond, .... You will then
ask him, ...? He will reply ..., and extend his hand, which you will accept and
permit him to give you the grip of a Forester, which, if correct, you will
I now present you with a copy of the General Laws, also the By-laws of this
Court, which I trust you will study carefully, so as to be conversant with the
Laws of the Order.
exemplify this work with the Sub-Chief Ranger, for your benefit.
The C.R. leaves dais, and he and S.C.R . stand in front of the
Candidate and exemplify the work.
You will notice that the sentences begin with U., B., C. and S., which refer to
the three virtues of the Order, and the symbolic letter S. Worthy Sub-Chief
Ranger, you will invest the Brother with the apron and teach him its symbolism.
S.C.R., facing Candidate and holding the apron before him:
As the Grip in which you were heretofore instructed is a symbol of the
dependence upon each other of our first parents, and the Salutation Sign reminds
us of the penalties of transgressing the commands of the Divine Creator, so is
the apron, with which I am now about to invest you, symbolical of the aprons of
fig-leaves with which Adam and Eve clothed themselves when the sin of
transgression made them self-conscious of their nakedness. The apron is in the
shape of an inverted triangle, and is formed of four lesser triangles. Those on
the corners in Scarlet, Gold, and Lincoln Green represent the virtues of Unity,
Benevolence and Concord, while the triangle in the centre contains the symbolic
letter S in gold upon white or silver field. This apron you will wear only in
the Court-room. Its symbolism will ever remind you of the obligations you have
taken, and that, as a Forester, we expect you so to conduct yourself that no
reproach may be brought upon the Order, and no contempt upon yourself.
Invests the Candidate with the apron.
From this point the ceremony may he concluded by some Past Chief
Ranger or superior Officer who is present, provided always, the Chief Ranger is
disposed to depute such duty to another.
Brother, you have been invested with the apron of Forestry and are now admitted
as a member of our Society, and entitled to the privileges of the Order. On
behalf of this Court I offer you, then, the right hand of fellowship.
Here repeat the Grip.
From you we expect in return, a ready compliance with our customs, and an honest
obedience to our laws. We are united together, not only for the wise purpose of
making provision against those misfortunes which befall all men, and of
assisting those who require our aid, but for the moderate enjoyment of friendly
intercourse, and the temperate interchange of social feeling. We look,
therefore, to find exemplified in you a strict regard for all the obligations of
life: that you should be charitable in judgment, forbearing in temper, and
lenient in condemnation: knowing that, in return, these qualities will draw
forth our esteem and awaken our regard. We encourage no excess in our meetings,
and enforcing no creed in religion, or code in politics, we permit neither
wrangling nor dissension to mar our harmony, or interrupt our proceedings. In
your outward acts and dealings as a Forester, we expect you to be sober, upright
and conscientious: willing to help, ready to relieve, obedient to the laws of
our country, and respected in the circles in which you move. In your domestic
relationship we look to find you: if a husband, affectionate and trustful: if a
father, regardful of the moral and material well being of your children and
dependents: as a son, dutiful and exemplary, and as a friend, steadfast and
true. These qualities will command the admiration of mankind, and in you, as a
member of our Society, they will dignify our Order, consolidate its power, and
extend its benign influence.
welcome you among us, then, upon the principles of Unity, Benevolence and
Concord, and we trust that in your future course through life you will be
impressed with a due sense of the expectations we have formed of you, and of
those duties and obligations which it should be the aim of every member of the
Order to recognize and fulfill.
Sub-Chief Ranger, you will now conduct the brother to the worthy Junior Past
Chief Ranger for further instruction and examination.
The S.C R. and Woodwards will then proceed with the Candidate to
they P.C.R., the S.C.R. saying:
Past Chief Ranger, by direction of our worthy Chief Ranger, I herewith present
Brother ... for further instruction and examination.
Brother, I will now examine you in the Salutation Sign, Recognition Sign,
Countersign, Grip, Word, and Password.
Thus having been done, the J.P.C.R. proceeds:
In addition to these, we have Signs and Signals of Distress, in which I will now
instruct you. Should you be in danger or distress, and need the help of a
Brother Forester, you may use the Distress Sign, which is made by .... The
answer to this sign is made by .... Should you be unable to attract attention by
the use of this sign, you may use these words, .... Should this sign be
observed, or these words be heard and understood by a true Ancient Forester, he
will answer you either by sign or in these words, ..., and immediately go to
your assistance. Should your attention at any time be attracted by this sign or
these words I charge you in the name of friendship and Forestry, go quickly to
the assistance of your brother in danger, and render him such aid as may be
within your power.
now instruct you how to enter or retire from the Court while in session.
advance to the inner door and give * * * * , and to the Senior Beadle give
the Password for the current quarters you will then enter the room and advance
to the centre and salute the Chief Ranger, giving the Salutation Sign, thus ...,
using the words “Worthy Chief Ranger” and if correct, he will answer it, and you
will be at liberty to take your seat. If you wish to retire before the Court is
duly closed, you must salute the Chief Ranger in the same manner as on entering.
Voting Sign of a Forester is given thus, ....
also exemplify to you the use of the Gavel, the symbol of authority’. One Rap
(*) calls the Court to attention, or seats
it when standing. Two Raps are for the Officers to assume a standing position
(* * Officers arise). Three Raps will summon
the whole Court to arise (* *
*, Court arises and remains standing until the Candidate has left the room.)
With the various tests now in your possession, you will
experience no difficulty in proving yourself an Ancient Forester, or in gaining
admission into a Court of Ancient Forestry.
The Woodwards will accompany the S.C.R. and the
Candidate as far as the portal, and then return to their stations.
The new brother having been instructed by the S.C.R.
in the ante-room, the caution being taken that no strangers are present or
within hearing, he will give the usual alarm, etc. for admission. On being
admitted, he will salute the C.R. and remain standing at the altar in the centre
of the room. The S.C.R. will be admitted at the same time the Candidate is and
follow a few paces in the rear, and slightly towards the left of the latter,
saluting the C.R. at the same time as the Candidate. The S.C.R. will then
proceed to the right side of the Candidate, and thus remain until the circle is
Tune: “God Save the King.”
I have nought to fear
honor’s court is here,
Love, truth and joy!
Benev’lence here abounds,
Concord our evening crowns,
every heart resounds,
bless our cause.
My brother! We are not associated here merely to glorify and do honor to each
other, but to cement still firmer our fraternal relations, and so unite our
influence, that while our social pleasures are increased, and our individual
security against adversity augmented, we may also exert a combined influence in
elevating the character and exalting the dignity of the human race.
intercourse with us, remember that brotherly love is the pervading spirit of our
institution. In discussion, let your language be temperate; in demeanor, let
your conduct be respectful. Let your whole deportment be an example of
moderation and good behaviour, without which no institution can permanently
prosper; and in the fraternal interchange of deeds and sympathies, may we ever
have cause to look upon you as a true Ancient Forester, standing among us and
walking before the world with all the excellence of an upright man.
The J.P.C.R. and the C.R. will here enter the circle.
This circle which surrounds us is a type of our endless bond of brotherhood. Now
let us add our new brother to our fraternal circle,
placing the new brother in the circle line with the other members, directly
opposite the J.P.C.R.’s chair, with the hope that be will remain
faithful to all our obligations on his journey with us through the forest of
Response by the officers:
This is our fraternal circle, and I cannot look upon these goodly pillars, and
doubt the stability of our noble Order. Brothers: Let our emulation be: Who
shall prove the most upright pillar, the staunchest support and the brightest
ornament in our Forestric band!
Response by all:
So let us strive!
Tune: “Nettleton,” 8s and 7s.
brothers, welcome ever,
Court in Friendship’s name;
greet you kindly, brother,
you will do the same.
hopes are one in union
strength may we unite;
us meet in sweet communion,
ever to do right
meet in joy and gladness
always happy be,
from sorrow, grief and sadness,
bonds of Unity.
Order always prosper;
strength and common sense
sick, that none may suffer
Courts prove always blessings,
brother thus afford
instead of wanst distressing,
dwell in sweet Concord.
During the singing of the Ode, the Officers of the Court in the
following order, viz , J.P.C.R., C.R., S.C.R., Treasurer, Secretary, S.W., J.W.,
and S.B., followed by visiting Officials will march pass the new member, each
one extending his hand, giving the new member the Grip of a Forester and
expressing a welcome greeting to him. The Officers and visiting officials, after
greeting the candidate, will proceed to their respective stations in the
foregoing order, and remain standing until the singing of the Ode is finished;
the circle of the members of the Court meanwhile remaining intact. The ceremony
having been concluded, all the members and visitors will remain standing, while
the C.R. proceeds as follows:
Foresters’ Fire (nine only)
Brethren: The ceremony of Initiation having been concluded, you will please
become seated, and resume the business of the Court.
Ritual of the Independent Order of
for Subordinate Lodges
Presiding Officer: In the absence of
the C.R., the Junior P.C.R. shall preside; if the Junior P.C.R. be absent, then
the P.C.R. present who was most recently the C.R. shall preside; if no P.C.R. be
present, then the V.C.R. shall preside; and if the V.C.R. be absent, the officer
of the Court who is next highest in rank shall preside. If no officer of the
Court be present, and providing there is a quorum of five beneficiary members,
any member may call the Court to Order, and a Chief Ranger pro tem. be chosen,
who shall preside until an officer of the Court arrives.
Absent Officers: In the case of
officers being absent the Presiding Officer shall fill the chairs by pro tem.
appointments from the members of the Court. Whenever a regular officer arrives
he shall take his chair.
Voting: The Presiding Officer shall not
be entitled to vote when the voting is by sign vote, but shall give the casting
vote on such occasions in the event of a tie. When the voting is by ballot the
Presiding Officer shall cast his ballot the same as the other members, and shall
not in that case be entitled to give the casting vote in the event of a tie. In
case of a tie in the election’ of an officer or a delegate a new ballot shall be
taken. In other cases the motion is lost.
Balloting: If a ballot is necessary,
the procedure shall be as follows: the CR. shall instruct the S.W. to prepare
the ballot-box. The C.R. shall then appoint 2 Tellers and the V.C.R. shall
appoint 1. The C.R. will then say to the Court, “We are about to ballot on ...”
The S.W. will then present the
ballot-box to the V.C.R., and the Tellers who will inspect it to see that there
are no ballots in the compartment into which the ballots are to be cast; it will
then be presented to the CR., who will also inspect it, and, close the box. The
S.W. will then place the ballot-box on the pedestal and return to his station.
The C.R. will then direct the members to vote, one at a time. When all have
voted who wish, the C.R. will say, “Have all voted who wish? If so, I declare
the balloting closed.” The Tellers shall count the ballots and report the number
of legal votes cast and the number of spoiled ballots. The presiding officer
shall then declare the results.
The black * * * indicate the number of
raps of the Gavel to be given by the Officers for calling up, seating, or
calling the Court to order; in certain cases they also indicate the knocks to be
given on the inner door of the Court room. Three raps of the Gavel call up the
whole court; two raps seat the Court; one rap calls to order; in the hands of
the V.C.R. one rap calls to order and two raps is a signal to the Senior Beadle
to attend to any alarm.
In the Ritual, wherever the masculine
or singular form is used it may be transposed into the feminine or plural form.
When necessary the word “Companion” may be substituted for the word “Brother”.
I am about to open Court ... No. ... for business: if there are any persons
present who are not members of the Court, or otherwise entitled to be present,
will they please retire.
The Officers will assume their accustomed stations in the
I appoint ... pro tem., respectively to the vacant offices.
The Woodwards will see that all present
are entitled to a seat in the Court and report to the Vice Chief Ranger.
The Woodwards will report to the V.C.R.
Chief Ranger, all present are entitled to a seat in the Court.
Brethren, all present being recognized, I request your assistance in opening
this Court. * * *
Vice Chief Ranger, officers and members, I welcome you to this meeting and urge
you to give your careful attention and best judgment to such matters as may be
submitted for consideration. Keep in mind that we are gathered to advance the
welfare of our Order by the practice of its principles at all times. Let us seek
the opportunity to be of service to others by protecting their liberty and
treating them with tolerance, understanding and justice. May we be moderate in
all things and strive to promote concord among our fellowmen regardless of creed
will sing one verse of the National Anthem. This may
be omitted at the discretion ol the C.R.
Will the Woodwards please present the colors. This
may be omitted at the discretion of the C.R.
Orator will now deliver the invocation. * * *
Great and Merciful God, we humbly invoke Thy blessings not only upon the members
of this Court but upon Thy people everywhere. Incline our hearts to do Thy will;
teach us to be wise, moderate and just in all our actions and courteous and
forgiving to one another. Inspire us to make truth, justice and charity, the
foundation of all our acts; and to Thee be ascribed all the glory and praise,
now and evermore.
All present will join me in saluting our Chief Ranger. Left hand over heart with
the left foot slightly advanced.
now declare this Court duly and legally opened for the transaction of business.
Order of Business
Recording Secretary call the roll of Officers.
2. The Chief Ranger will welcome any
visiting dignitaries and invite them to a seat on the dais.
3. Minutes of previous meeting. C.R.:
Recording Secretary, please read the Minutes of the previous meeting.
4. Communications. C.R.:
Are there any communications?
5. Report on Applications for
Membership. C.R.: Are there any application(s)
(Recording Secretary reads names of
“Will the Court deal with the application(s) by standing vote?”
(If open vote is approved, C R. will
say: “All those who are in favor of these
applicants being admitted to membership in this Court please stand ... Contrary
If the applicants are waiting the
Initiation ceremony will now be proceeded with.
8. Bills or Accounts. C.R.:
Are there any bills or accounts?
9. Treasurer’s Report.
10. Reports of other Officers as
11. Reports of Committees.
(Under this order of business the Court
Committee, the Sick Committee, Finance Committee, Special Auditing Committee and
all other special committees will report when occasion requires.)
12. Election of Officers (the C.R. may
invite a visitor of rank to preside.)
13. Installation of Officers.
14. Unfinished and General Business.
15. New Business.
16. Good and Welfare.
(Remarks by visiting dignitaries and
17. Closing Ceremony.
have concluded the business of this meeting. I thank you for your attention and
assistance and I look forward with pleasure to our next meeting which I trust
you will attend.
The Orator will invoke the divine blessing.
* * *
Great and Merciful God, we bow again in humble submission before Thee. We
implore Thy direction and blessing upon all our efforts to advance the
principles of our Order, and we earnestly beseech Thee to grant to all
Foresters, but especially to all members of this Court, wisdom and strength to
walk in the paths of peace, virtue, and morality. Guide our footsteps in safety
to our homes, through the journey of life ever lead us, and finally, through Thy
infinite mercy, bring us to Thy Heavenly Court above, and to Thy Holy Name be
all the glory and praise now and evermore. Amen.
Will the Woodwards please retire the colors. (Again
this may be omitted).
Brethren, join me in saluting our Chief Ranger.
now declare the Court duly and legally closed. *
Will all members who are here for initiation please retire to the ante-room.
Senior Woodward, retire to the ante-room, and if there are any candidates
awaiting initiation, please report their names to the Court.
Chief Ranger, I find awaiting initiation ...
Recording Secretary, (have) the candidate(s) been duly proposed and regularly
elected for membership in our Order, and conformed with all other requirements
of the Constitution and Laws, rules, and usages of the Order?
Chief Ranger, all requirements have been met.
(In case one or more of the candidates
have not complied with the requirements, his or their initiation will be
postponed, and the others who have qualified may be initiated.)
(If the Court has a Guard of Honour,
the guard should retire with the Woodwards and stay with the Woodwards and
candidates during initiatory ceremony.)
Senior and Junior Woodwards will retire to the ante-room to prepare and
introduce the candidates.
J.B.: * * *
Vice Chief Ranger, there is an alarm at our inner door.
Ascertain the cause thereof.
S.B., * * *, opening door:
candidates under escort of the Woodwards, seek admission to the Court to obtain
the benefit of initiation into our great Order.
Vice Chief Ranger, the alarm was given by the Senior Woodward who asks for the
admission of the candidates for Initiation.
Chief Ranger, the candidates under escort of the Woodwards seek admission for
Senior Beadle, by command of the Chief Ranger, you will admit the Woodwards and
direct them to conduct the candidates to the Chief Ranger.
S.B., * * *:, opening door:
Senior Woodward, you are permitted to enter the Court with the candidates whom
you will present to the Chief Ranger.
Senior Beadle opens wide the door and the Woodwards with the candidates march
slowly around the Court to the station of the Chief Ranger
friends I extend to you a cordial welcome into our Court. In order that you may
know of our history and purpose I will now instruct the Senior Woodward to
escort you to the Past Chief Ranger who will address you.
The candidates will be conducted to the
P.C.R the S.W. proceeding as follows.
Past Chief Ranger, by direction of the Chief Ranger I present these candidates
My Friends our Motto consists of the words, “Liberty, Benevolence and Concord,”
which are represented by the letters, “L. B. and C.”
LIBERTY is used by Independent Foresters in its best and
noblest sense. The Order recognizes the right of its members to enjoy freedom in
all things. It does not assume to judge between creeds, but accords to everyone
civil and religious liberty, so sacred to all.
The second word of our Motto: BENEVOLENCE brings before us
our responsibilities to our neighbours. It seeks to broaden our minds and to
enlarge our sympathies, to widen the circle of our friends and to free us from
the confining influences of selfishness.
The last word of our Motto: CONCORD suggests to all
Independent Foresters the imperative duty we owe to our beloved Order to
zealously promote within our fraternal circle that mutual respect which begets
Concord in all our acts.
You will now be conducted to the Vice Chief Ranger for
The Woodwards will conduct the
candidates around the Court once, halting before the V.C.R.
Vice Chief Ranger, I present the candidate(s) for further instruction.
will now explain briefly the origin and objects of The Independent Order of
As to its Origin
“Forestry” was suggested by the romantic and historic story
of Robin Hood and his Merrie Men of Sherwood Forest. In the twelfth century
these men banded themselves together for mutual aid and protection. There in the
forest they practised their “Swain Motes”, and shared the joys and sorrows
incident to the life of every one. Though centuries have passed since their
time, their deeds of bravery, their skill in Forestry, and their acts of charity
are still the theme of many a song and story. The simile is this, “The Forest
was their world, to-day the world is our Forest”.
Qualifications of Membership
Moral courage, physical fitness, and stability of character
were their essential qualifications. The aims and objects of our Order are also
in a measure akin to theirs, to assist each other in health and sickness, and to
provide for our loved ones when the axe of time shall fall in our Forest.
Our Aims and Objects
From time immemorial this world has been likened unto a
Forest. As every tree in the Forest has its own particular sphere of usefulness,
I would urge you as Foresters journeying through the Forest of Life to leave a
trail of kindly deeds, and charitable acts, so that when it shall please the
Supreme Ruler of the Universe to summon you to the Heavenly Court above, you may
prove worthy to hear the words: “Well done, thou good and faithful servant,
enter into the joy of thy Lord.”
The Woodwards will now conduct you to the pedestal for
The Woodwards will conduct the
candidates around the Court, hailing below the pedestal facing the C.R.
Chief Ranger, the candidates are at the pedestal to take the obligation.
C.R., * * *:
Let the circle of concord be formed.
All members will form a circle
surrounding the candidates , Woodwards and Orator, who will give the Obligation.
Friends, membership in The Independent Order of Foresters is entirely voluntary,
its principles are to believe in the existence of God, to cherish and protect
each other in every laudable purpose and undertaking, to visit the sick and
attend to their wants, and to constrain no one in his political or religious
convictions. Thus, you see, the Brotherhood of God and the brotherhood of man is
the foundation upon which the Order is established, and the Golden Rule: “Do
unto others as you would they should do unto you,” is the standard of all our
Orator, Brother ...,will now ask you to pledge your observance and loyalty to
our Order and its principles. This pledge contains nothing of a secretive nature
and does not conflict in any way or manner with any duty you may owe to your
religion, your country, your family or to yourself. Are you willing to make such
The Orator will administer
the pledge * * *.
My friends, place your right hand over your heart as a token of your sincerity
and answer the following questions by saying, “I do”.
1. Do you believe in God,
the Creator and Ruler of our Universe?
2. Do you promise to give true allegiance to the Supreme
Court of our Order and to be governed by its Constitution and Laws, its rules
and usages now in force and any which may hereafter be enacted or established?
3. Do you agree for
(yourself) (yourselves) and on behalf of your beneficiaries that in the event of
your ceasing at any time to be (a member) (members) in good standing of the
Order (as defined in the constitution and laws of the Order) all your rights,
title or claim to or interest in any property, funds, privileges or benefits
either of this Court, the High Court or the Supreme Court of The Independent
Order of Foresters shall thereby terminate and become null and void?
4. Do you promise to do
your best at all times to be a good member of society in general, honoring all
forms of government properly created by the will of the people and to render
true allegiance to the laws of the land?
5. Lastly, do you promise
to do your best to alleviate the needs and protect the honor of every member,
and to advance the welfare of this Order?
C.R. * *. All return to their seats
except the Woodwards and candidates.
The Woodwards will present the candidates to the Vice Chief Ranger for
instruction in Private Work.
Vice Chief Ranger, the candidates ... are before you for instruction in the
Private Work of the Order.
My friends, I congratulate you upon being admitted as members of this court.
Having taken our obligation, we are about to entrust you with the private work.
It is divided into three sections, the first of which describes our signs,
passwords, grip, and the use of the gavel as follows:
V.C.R. will then demonstrate.
The First Sign is called the Entersign, and is given thus:
Left Hand Over Heart.
The Countersign, or answer to it, is given by the Chief
Ranger or Past Chief Ranger in a like manner.
The Sign of Recognition is given thus: Draw Fingers of Left
Hand Across Your Forehead.
The Sign of Distress is given thus: Raise Your Right Arm
Straight Up Above Your Shoulder, Palm Of Hand Open And Outwards.
The Countersign, or answer to it, is given thus: In Same
Manner With Left Hand.
The Words of Distress are as follows: Will No One Help Me.
The Token is given thus: Raise Your Right Arm, Palm of Hand
Outwards Bending Arm At Elbow And Bringing Up Close To Side With Tips Of Fingers
At Level With Shoulder.
The Voting Sign is given thus: Raise Your Right Hand in Front
Of your Face, Palm Inwards And Ten Inches From Your Face. When you are requested
to give this sign in voting you will Look Into The Palm Of Your Hand signifying
that you make your decision with an open and unbiased mind.
The Grip is given in this manner: Clasp Hands As In Ordinary
Clasp But With Point Of Index Finger Placed Lightly Upon The Pulse Of The Member
You Are Greeting, (indicating that the hearts of all Foresters should beat in
In the hands of the Chief Ranger, three raps * * * of the
gavel call up the whole Court; two raps * * seat the Court; one rap * calls to
In the hands of the V.C.R. one rap * calls to order and two
raps * * is a signal to the S.B. to attend to any alarm that may be given.
The Woodwards will conduct you to the Orator, who will
instruct you in the Second and Third Sections.
Orator, by command of the Vice Chief Ranger, I present the candidate(s) for
instruction in the Second and Third Sections.
To enter a Court while in session, proceed as follows: At the outer door give
any usual alarm. This will admit you to the ante-room. There clothe yourself in
the proper regalia. At the inner door give * * and to the officer in charge give
the permanent Password Liberty. This will admit you to the Court. Advance to the
centre of the Court, below the Pedestal, and, facing the Past Chief Ranger, give
the Entersign. He will answer you by giving the Countersign, when you will take
If not in order for you to be admitted at the moment of
giving alarm at the inner door, (and it is not in order for you to be admitted
during the Opening, Closing, or Initiatory Ceremony) the Senior Beadle will
answer your alarm by giving * on the door, in which case you will wait; and when
the ceremony for which you are thus detained is completed, the Senior Beadle
will give * * on the door, when you will be admitted on your giving the proper
If you desire to, address the Court, rise, face the presiding
officer and raise your right arm, bent at the elbow, and say, “Chief Ranger”.
When you are acknowledged, proceed with your remarks.
If you desire to retire before the Court is closed, proceed
in the same form.
The Honors given to Visitors of Rank are as follows: To Chief
Rangers and Past Chief Rangers, thus: Left Hand Over Heart And Left Foot
To an Officer of a High Court thus: Left Hand Over Heart And
Old Entersign Given thus: the Old Entersign is given by placing the tips of the
fingers of the right hand touching the right shoulder with the elbow extended
level to the shoulder.
To an Officer of the Supreme Court other than the Supreme
Chief Ranger thus: Interlock Fingers Of Both Hands In Front Of Body In Form Of a
C representing The Circle of Concord. Bring The Hands Together Locked Up Over
Your Head In The Form Of an A representing The Act Of Benevolence And Then Drop
Your Arms Quickly By Your Side, Signifying That They Are Again At Liberty.
To the Supreme Chief Ranger the Royal Salute, thus: The same
salute is given, but is repeated twice and the Hands Are Brought Down With Some
Force At Your Side.
The Woodwards will conduct you to the Chief Ranger.
Chief Ranger, the candidates have been instructed in the proper Signs of the
Order and are before you for the final act of reception.
Brother(s), Companion(s), I am now authorized to address you by that term, and
in Liberty, Benevolence and Concord extend to you a hearty welcome into our
Order. You have bound yourself / yourselves to us by a tie which all upright
persons respect; it becomes you, from the present hour, to follow our principles
by leading an honorable life, whereby you will reflect credit upon the Order
with whose progress and prosperity your interests are now identified.
I now take pleasure in presenting to you your membership pins
bearing the colors of this degree. I trust that each of you will wear it with
dignity and with credit to Court ... No. ...of The Independent Order of
Foresters. * * *
If membership pin was presented with
certificate this paragraph may be omitted.
Now by the authority vested in me by the Constitution and
Laws of the Order, I proclaim each of you a Forester, entitled to all the rights
and privileges of membership in The Independent Order of Foresters.
Foresters join with me in extending a cordial greeting to our
newly initiated member(s). * *
Applause is permitted.
The Chief Ranger may declare a short
intermission to welcome the new member(s).
The Officers who are entitled to
install are: Supreme Chief Ranger, Elective Officers of the Supreme Court, Past
Elective Officers of the Supreme Court, a High Chief Ranger, the members of any
High Standing Committee and the Past Elective Officers of any High Court within
its own High Court jurisdiction, Court Deputies and District Deputies
commissioned by the Supreme Chief Ranger The officer conducting the Ceremony of
Installation shall at all times during the ceremony be addressed by his proper
title, as Supreme Chief Ranger, High Chief Ranger, etc., as the case may be. In
public Installations, employ four raps for calling up and three for seating the
Court The High Chief Ranger or other Installing Officer will proceed as follows:
Chief Ranger, your officers having been constitutionally elected, and the Court
having made the necessary reports and remittances to the Supreme Court and to
the High Court, it is my pleasure that the Installation of the officers-elect be
proceeded with; for which purpose you will direct the present officers to vacate
their respective stations.
Officers of Court ..., No. ..., by command of the High Chief Ranger, I direct
you to relinquish your stations so that your successors in office may be duly
Chief Ranger, in recognition of your eminent services, it is my desire that, on
this occasion, you occupy the post of honor upon my right as Junior Past Chief
Ranger of the Court.
If the C.R has been re-elected, then
the above will be addressed to the P.C R. who shall be requested, to occupy this
position at the dais after the C.R. has been conducted to the pedestal. The
Installing Officer will then appoint a High Marshal and Conductor or
Conductress, as the case may be. The H.M. and H.C. will arrange the Regalia.
The High Secretary (or Officer appointed by I.O.)
will call the roll of the officers to be installed. These officers will remain
standing until they are escorted to the pedestal to receive the obligation.
The High Marshal and Conductor will
suitably arrange the officers to be installed just below the pedestal facing the
High Chief Ranger, the officers to be installed are at the pedestal ready to
take the Obligation of office.
H.C.R., * * *:
Each of you will say “I”, pronounce your name in full, and repeat after me the
Obligation of Office
I, (name in full), in
the presence of these witnesses, / do most solemnly and sincerely / promise and
declare / that I will, / to the best of my knowledge and ability, / honestly and
faithfully perform / the duties of the office / to which I have been elected or
I will act with strict impartiality / in all matters
connected with my office, / and see that all members have their just dues. / I
will enforce / the Constitution and Laws / the Rules and Regulations / and the
Ritual of the Order / and be governed by the same. / I will pay due respect and
obedience / to my superiors, / and treat with kindness and consideration / those
who are my subordinates in office. / I further promise and declare / that I will
safely keep and preserve / the Charter / books / papers / regalia / all other
property and effects, / and the funds of this Court, / and of the Order, / which
may come into my possession or custody, / and use them / solely for the benefit
/ of The Independent Order of Foresters. / At the close of my term of office, /
I will safely transfer / and deliver them / to my successor in office, / or at
any time / upon the demand of the Supreme Chief Ranger, / to him personally, /
or to anyone whom he may designate / to receive the same.
For the faithful observance / of each and all of these
several promises, / I pledge my most sacred honor. *
officers just obligated will remain standing below the pedestal, and the High
Marshal will present them to the H.C.R. for investiture, in the following order:
Trustees and Members of the Finance
High Chief Ranger, I present to you the Trustees and Members of the Finance
Committee for installation.
(Brother) Trustees you have been elected by the Court to be the Trustees for all
the property of the Court, together with the Chief Ranger, Vice Chief Ranger and
Recording Secretary. I am persuaded that you will so discharge all of your
duties as to merit the still further confidence of your court.
(Brother) Finance Committee Officers, you shall examine all bills or accounts
presented and report upon their regularity and correctness.
At the close of each quarter or at any other time when
ordered by the Court, you shall audit the books of the Financial Officers of the
Court and report the result in writing; Such report shall include a duly
prepared income statement for the preceding period and a balance sheet.
The High Marshal will now invest each of you with your badge
of Office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your respective post, where
you will at once enter upon the discharge of your duties.
High Chief Ranger, I present to you the Senior and Junior Beadle for
(Brother) Senior and Junior Beadles, you will faithfully guard the doors, and
allow no one to enter the Court Room without permission of the Chief Ranger
unless the proper passwords are given; and in all things strive to promote the
welfare and harmony of your Court.
The High Marshal will now invest each of you with your badge
of office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your respective post, where
you will at once enter upon the discharge of your duties.
High Chief Ranger, the Woodwards are before you for installation.
(Brother) Senior and Junior Woodwards, it will be your duty to see that all
present at the opening of the Court are entitled to a seat in the Court, to
visit the sick and attend to their wants. You shall take charge of and carefully
keep all the property of the Court, and at the end of your term of office hand
the same over to your successors in office; and perform such other lawful duties
as may be ordered by the Chief Ranger, or by the Court.
The High Marshal will now invest each of you with your badge
of office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your stations in the Court
to enter upon the discharge of your duties.
High Chief Ranger, I present to you the Organist for installation.
(Brother) Organist, you are to superintend and conduct the musical services of
the Court, and perform such other duties as may be assigned to you by the Court.
Yours is an important position in the Court, for by the proper performance of
the functions of your office, you can add materially to the effectiveness of the
ceremonies and the interest and pleasure of the meetings.
The High Marshal will now invest you with your badge of
office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your station in the Court.
Promotor of Junior Work, Promotor of
Fraternal and Social Work
High Chief Ranger, I now present to you the Promoter of Junior Work and the
Promoter of Fraternal and Social Work for installation.
(Brother) Promoter of Junior Work, the department assigned to you is deserving
of your best energies. I trust that during your term of office we shall have
flourishing Junior activities under your care and promotion.
(Brother) Promoter of Fraternal and Social Work, it will be
your duty to design Fraternal and Social programs that will uphold the dignity
of the Court and assist in fulfillment of its purpose.
The High Marshal will now invest each of you with the badge
of your office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your respective
station in the Court.
High Chief Ranger, I now present to you the Orator for installation into office.
(Brother) Orator, you have been chosen to fill an honorable position in the
Court. I trust you will always perform the duties of your office with due
solemnity and dignity; and that our humble prayers, to our Creator, will be
rendered by you, with all reverence and devoutness.
The High Marshal will now invest you with the badge of your
office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your station in the Court.
Public Relations Officer
High Chief Ranger, I now present to you the Public Relations Officers for
installation and presentation of his commission.
(Brother) ..., upon the recommendation of this Court, you have been selected to
be commissioned as the Public Relations Officer. Your duties will be to provide
maximum public awareness of Court activities, submit all reports required and
perform such other duties as the Court may require. The proper public
recognition of the fraternal and community activities of this Court will rest
upon the diligent performance of the functions of your office.
The High Marshall will now invest you with your badge of
office, following which you will be conducted to your station in the Court by
the High Conductor.
Treasurer, and Financial Secretary
High Chief Ranger, I now present to you the Treasurer and the Financial
Secretary for installation.
(Brother) Treasurer, your duties are to maintain such books and records as
required by the constituted authorities of the Order and to safely keep the
funds of this Court, and to pay all legal orders drawn upon you out of such
funds. The great importance and responsibility of the office you have assumed
will always admonish you to hold untarnished the honor you have just pledged to
(Brother) Financial Secretary, it will be your duty to keep
accurate accounts as requested by the Court and pay over to the Treasurer any
funds in your hands, taking his receipt for the same; you shall also perform
such other duties assigned to you by the Chief Ranger or by the Court.
The High Marshal will now invest each of you with the badge
of your office, after which the High Conductor will escort you to your stations
in the Court. (You will enter upon the discharge of your duties as soon as you
shall have given the bonds required by the Court.)
High Chief Ranger, I now have pleasure in presenting the Recording Secretary for
(Brother) Recording Secretary, you will keep accurate minutes of all meetings of
this Court; you will conduct all the correspondence of the Court and make true
and correct reports to the Supreme Court and to the High Court; you will read to
the Court at each meeting all communications received from the Supreme Court or
the High Court since the last meeting; sign all orders voted by the Court and
none other, unless otherwise provided for in the Constitution and Laws of the
Order; and perform such other lawful duties as may be ordered by the Chief
Ranger or by the Court.
The High Marshal will now invest you with the badge of your
office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your station in the Court, and
you will at once enter upon the discharge of the duties of your office.
Vice Chief Ranger
High Chief Ranger, I have pleasure in presenting to you the Vice Chief Ranger
(Brother) Vice Chief Ranger, it will be your duty to aid in preserving order;
and in the absence of the Chief Ranger and the Past Chief Rangers of the Court,
to perform to the best of your ability, the duties of. presiding officer; and to
strive by all lawful means to advance the welfare of the Court. You will perform
such other lawful duties as may be required of you by the Constitution and Laws
of the Order, or by the Court.
The High Marshal will now invest you with the badge of your
office, and the High Conductor will escort you to your station in the Court to
enter upon the discharge of your duties.
Past Chief Ranger
(Brother) Junior Past Chief Ranger, it affords me much pleasure to have the
privilege of decorating you with this badge of honor. May this Court and the
Order long enjoy the benefits of your wise counsel and experience. You will now
be escorted by the High Conductor to your post.
High Chief Ranger, I have now the honor to present to you for investiture with
the badge of his office, Brother ..., who has been commissioned as Court Deputy
of this Court.
(Brother) ..., you have been recommended to the most honorable position in the
Court. It is your duty to exercise a general supervision over the work of the
Court; to give decisions on points of law whenever an appeal is made to you; to
enforce a strict adherence to the requirements of the Constitution and Laws,
Rules and Regulations of the Order; to install the officers of this Court in the
absence of superior officers; and to perform such other duties as may be
required of you by the Constitution and Laws, or by the constituted authorities
of the Order. I have every confidence that you will discharge the duties of your
office faithfully and efficiently.
I now invest you with the badge of your office, and your
Commission which has been duly signed. You will now take your seat on the left
of the Chief Ranger’s chair and will enter upon the discharge of your duties.
High Chief Ranger, I have now the honor to present to you Brother ..., the Chief
Ranger of this Court, for investiture and induction.
H.C.R., * * *:
(Brother) ..., you have been elected to the highest position in the gift of your
brethren. As Chief Ranger of the Court, your duties will be many, and at times
very onerous, requiring from you great patience and tact. As chief executive
officer, you should hold the interests of the Court, and of its members, of
paramount importance. Ever strive to promote harmony among the members; rule
with justice; reprove in kindness; and, above all, set an example of promptness
and regularity in attending the meetings of the Court, and of loyal obedience to
the Constitution and Laws of the Order. I now invest you with the badge of your
office (does so), in the full confidence that it will be handed to your
successor in office as unsullied as you now receive it, and I welcome you to
your post of trust and honor. Take the Constitution and Laws and the Ritual of
the Order as your guide and instructors. I commit to your keeping the Charter of
this Court; may you ever cherish and defend it as the Magna Charta of your
Forestric liberties and privileges; and may God protect you in health, and give
you wisdom to govern this Court with honor to yourself and prosperity to our
beloved Order. I have great pleasure in seating you in your official chair and I
proclaim you the Chief Ranger of this Court.
High Marshal, it is my pleasure that you proclaim the officers of Court ..., No.
..., duly and legally installed.
The H.M. will stand immediately in
front of the Chair, below the Dais, face the Court and make proclamation as
follows: By command of the High Chief Ranger, and
in Liberty, Benevolence and Concord I proclaim the officers of Court ..., No.
..., of The Independent Order of Foresters, duly and legally installed; and may
peace, harmony and good-will ever reign in this Court.
Chief Ranger, I now surrender to you this gavel, the emblem of your authority;
enter upon the discharge of your duties by seating the Court.
C.R.: * *.
The ceremony of instituting a new Court
shall be conducted by the Supreme Chief Ranger, or, in his absence by an
authorized Officer When everything is ready and the doors properly tyled or
secured, the Instituting Officer shall, if there are other Foresters present,
appoint an acting Secretary and a Marshal to assist in the ceremony. After which
the Instituting Officer will proceed as follows:
We are about to institute a new Court of The Independent Order of Foresters.
names of Charter Applicants have been noted for the records of the Court.
Marshal will now present the Charter Applicants for obligation.
The Marshal having arranged the Charter
Applicants in a semi-circle below the Pedestal, the Ceremony will be proceeded
with as follows: The Instituting Officer must here, and to the end of the
Ceremony, be addressed by his correct title as Supreme Chief Ranger, High Chief
Ranger, District Deputy of the Supreme Court, etc., as the case may be.
Supreme Chief Ranger, I have the honor to present the Charter applicants who
have petitioned for a new Court of The Independent Order of Foresters. They have
all signed the required Applications and they are now ready to take upon
themselves the Obligation. of the Order.
The S C R. will conduct the ceremony,
and administer the Obligation. The members will then be seated.
If the name has not already been
selected, it will then be done, care being taken not to select the name of a
living person, nor the name of an existing Court in the same High Court. It is
always advisable to select two alternative names, giving the order of
have selected ... as the name for the new Court. The number has been assigned by
will now appoint a Committee to recommend a staff of Officers to serve until
their successors are installed following this institution.
When the Committee has made its
selection, and if the selection meets with the approval of the Instituting
Officer, he will, on behalf of the Executive Council, appoint them as the first
staff of Officers and proceed to install them.
Installation of Officers
Brethren, on behalf of the Executive Council of the Supreme Court, I will now
install as the Officers of this Court the members whose names have been reported
by the Committee.
Secretary will please call the names of the staff of Officers selected by the
Committee, commencing with that of the Chief Ranger; and the Marshal will please
place them before the pedestal for installation.
officers to be installed are at the pedestal ready to take the Obligation of
Each of you will say “I”, pronounce your name in full, and repeat after me the
Obligation of Office
I, (name in full), in the presence of these witnesses, / do most solemnly and
sincerely / promise and declare / that I will, / to the best of my knowledge and
ability, / honestly and faithfully perform / the duties of the office / to which
I have been elected or appointed. / I will act with strict impartiality / in all
matters connected with my office, / and see that all members have their Just
dues. / I will enforce / the Constitution and Laws / the Rules and Regulations /
and the Ritual of the Order / and be governed by the same. / I will pay due
respect and obedience / to my superiors, / and treat with kindness and
consideration / those who are my subordinates in office. / I further promise and
declare / that I will safely keep and preserve / the Charter / books / papers /
regalia / all other property and effects, / and the funds of this Court, / and
of the Order, / which may come into my possession or custody, / and use them /
solely for the benefit / of The Independent Order of Foresters. / At the close
of my term of office, / I will safely transfer / and deliver them / to my
successor in office, / or at any time / upon the demand of the Supreme Chief
Ranger, / to him personally, / or to anyone whom he may designate / to receive
the same. /
For the faithful observance / of each and all of these
several promises, / I pledge my most sacred honor.
The Officers just obligated will remain
standing below the Pedestal and the Marshal will present them to the I.O. for
investiture, in the order shown in the Installation Ceremony.
Marshal, it is my pleasure that you proclaim the officers of Court ..., No. ...,
duly and legally installed.
The M. will stand in front of the
Chair, below the Dais, lace the Court and make proclamation as follows:
By command of the Supreme Chief Ranger, and in Liberty, Benevolence and Concord,
I proclaim the officers of Court ..., No. ..., of The Independent Order of
Foresters, duly and legally installed; and may peace, harmony and good-will ever
reign in this Court.
Your Officers having been duly installed, I congratulate you on the successful
performance of a most important ceremony : the institution of a new Court. It
is by such inauguration as this that our Order will extend throughout the length
and breadth of the whole land. May the establishment of this Court bind its
members in acts of brotherly love, practical fraternity and good-will to
mankind, and in perpetuating the blessings of social union to the remotest time.
And now, by the authority vested in me by the Constitution
and Laws, as (give title), I declare that
Court ..., No. ... of The Independent Order of Foresters is duly and legally
instituted for the objects and purposes recognized by the Constitution and Laws
of the Order now in force, or that may hereafter he enacted; and I declare each
and every one of you entitled to all the rights and privileges due to all worthy
Foresters by the Constitution and Laws, Rules and Usages of the Order.
Chief Ranger, you will now enter upon the discharge of your
duties by seating the Court..
Where it is possible to have a Guard
of Honor to assist, they will conduct the Charter Members (candidates) to the
Altar for obligation.
Reception Ceremony for Visiting Officers
J.B., * * *, gives the S.B. the name
and rank of the visitor.
Chief Ranger, I have the pleasure of announcing that Brother ...
(rank) is in the ante-room for the purpose
of visiting our Court.
The Woodwards will retire to the ante-room and escort the visitor into the Court
room, halting immediately in front of the pedestal. The Court will rise at the
sound of the gavel and assist me to receive and salute our distinguished visitor
with the honors due his rank.
The members will remain at the salute
until the visitor is seated.
The C.R. will then address a few words
of welcome to the visitor, after which he will instruct the escort to conduct
him to a seat on the dais.
Independent Order of Foresters
Exaltation of a Royal Forester
This ritual is
Ill. Captain of the Guard, what is the first charge of an Encampment of Royal
Ill. C. of G.:
Ill. Commander, to see that we are duly guarded.
Attend to that charge.
Ill. C. of G.:
Ill. Guards, *, to your posts, and guard
well this Encampment of Royal Foresters.
As soon as the Ill. Gs have taken their posts the Ill. I.G. will
give three loud knocks upon the door, which will be answered by three loud
knocks upon the door given by the Ill. O.G.
Ill. C. of G.:
Ill. Commander, the Encampment is duly guarded.
’Tis well. Ill. Lieut. Commander, *, what is the
next charge of an Encampment of Royal Foresters?
Ill. Lt. C.:
To see that all present are Royal Foresters.
Direct that that duty be performed
Ill. Lt. C.:
Ill. Sword Bearers, *, examine all present in the
Countersign and Pass, and make due report.
The Ill. Sw. Bearers will examine in the current S.A. Pass, and
in the Countersign and Pass of a Royal Forester; after having examined all
present, except the Ill. Com., the Ill. Lt.C. and any distinguished visitors
near the Throne, the Ill. Sw. Bearers will report to the Ill. Lt. C.
1st Ill. Sw. B.:
Commander, all on your right have given the Countersign and Pass of a Royal
2nd Ill. Sw. B.:
Ill. Lieut. Commander, all on your left have given the Countersign and Pass of a
’Tis well. Ill. Commander, all present are Royal Foresters.
’Tis well. Ill. Lieut. Commander, are you a Royal Forester?
I am, Ill. Commander; try me and prove me.
How will you be proved?
By my Signs, Ill. Commander.
Advance the Signs.
Ill. Lt. Com.:
I will, Ill. Commander, with the assistance of the Ill. Knights and Sir Knights
Let it be done in due form.
* * * * *.
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, attend to giving the Signs.
All, then, in conjunction with the Ill. Lt.C., give the
Countersign and the Salutation Sign.
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, I perceive that you have all been advanced to the
Exalted Degree of a Royal Forester; but, before I declare this Encampment duly
opened, let us look to God for His blessing.
Almighty and Everliving God, in whom we live, and move, and have our being, we
pray Thee to look with favor upon this assembly of Royal Foresters; endue each
of us with a competence of Thy divine wisdom, so that we may ever walk before
Thee with acceptance; and to Thee, Immortal, Omniscient, and Omnipresent Father,
be all the glory, might, majesty, and dominion now and evermore. Amen
Ill. Orator, what is the next charge of an Encampment of Royal Foresters?
To display God’s Holy Book of the Law, Ill. Commander.
Attend to that charge.
The Ill. O. then proceeds to the Altar, opens the Sacred Volume,
returns to his post, and says as follows:
Ill. Commander, that duty is performed.
Ill. Lieut. Commander, what is the next duty?
Ill. Lt. O.:
To see that the Guards are alert and at their posts, Ill. Commander.
Perform that duty.
Ill. Lt. C.: * *.
Ill. Lt.C.: *.
Ill. O.G.: * *.
Ill. Lt. C.:
The Guards are alert and at their posts, Ill. Commander.
Then, by virtue of the powers vested in me, I declare this Encampment of Royal
Foresters duly and legally opened.
* * * * *.
Ceremony of Exaltation
Each Sir Knight should he clothed in full uniform if practicable.
Those who are not provided with the uniform should at least wear a black suit,
with sword belt and sword. Every Officer should know his part thoroughly by
heart. The chairs and ballustrade, if any, at the Royal Line should be removed.
Ill. Com., *:
Ill. Archivist, you will retire to the outer anteroom, ascertain if there are
any suppliants in waiting who have been duly elected to membership in this
Encampment, and report to me. The Ill. Inner Guard will permit the Ill.
Archivist to retire.
The Ill. Arch. does as directed, and on his return
will enter in the usual way, and proceed as follows:
Ill. A., salutes:
Ill. Commander, I find in waiting Bro, ... of Court No. ... who has been duly
elected to membership in this Encampment, has paid the required fees, and now
desires to be advanced to the Exalted Degree of a Royal Forester.
Here and throughout the ceremony, if there be more than one
suppliant, the necessary words must be changed accordingly, as “have” for “has,”
and “desire” for “desires,” etc.
Thank you, Sir Knight. Ill. Lieut. Commander, I will thank you to attend to the
admission and examination of the suppliant.
Ill. Lt. C.:
Ill. Marshal, repair to the Outer anteroom and bring the suppliant before me for
The Ill. M. salutes and retires, sees that the suppliant wears
the badge or emblem of the Order, conducts him to the inner door, and gives
three loud knocks.
Ill. I. G.:
Ill. Captain of the Guard, there is an alarm at the inner door, but not that of
a Royal Forester.
Ill. C of G.:
Inquire who comes.
Ill. I. G., opens the wicket, if there be one, and says in a loud
Who comes here ?
Ill. M., loud enough to be heard within:
A suppliant who humbly seeks advancement to the Exalted Degree of a Royal
Ill. I. G.:
Ill. Captain of the Guard, the alarm was caused by the Ill. Marshal who stands
at the inner gate, accompanied by a suppliant who humbly seeks advancement to
the Exalted Degree of a Royal Forester.
Ill. C. of G.:
Open wide the door and let them enter.
Ill. I. G. does so and closes the door again. As they enter the
Ill. C. of G. will proceed as follows:
Ill. C. of G. to Ill. M. and suppliant:
Halt! Sir Knights, attention! A stranger is within the Encampment; let the Royal
Line be formed.
Whereupon a line will be formed right across the room, at the
Royal Line, each facing the Ill. Lt C. The Ill. C. of C. meets the Marshal and
suppliant, and proceeds as follows:
Ill. C. of G.:
Ill. Marshal what do you know of this suppliant? What claim has he for
He is a worthy Forester, a member in good standing in his Subordinate Court,
recommended as worthy of Exaltation by Sir Knights of the Royal Degree.
Ill. C. of G.:
Conduct him to our Ill. Lieut. Commander, and report to him.
The Ill M. conducts the suppliant directly to the front of the
Ill Lt. C’s. seat.
Ill. Lieut. Commander, by direction of the Ill. Captain of the Guard, I bring
before you this suppliant. He is a worthy Forester, a member in good standing in
his Subordinate Court, recommended as worthy of Exaltation by Sir Knights of the
Ill. Lt. C.:
Has he, by faithful discharge of his duties, as a man, as a citizen, and as a
Forester, fairly merited the honor he seeks?
The members of this Encampment have so adjudged by their unanimous vote for
Ill. Lt. C.:
Before he can be advanced, he must prove his knowledge of the work of our Order.
You will examine him in the Semi-annual Password and the Grip of a Forester.
The Ill. M. does so, requiring the suppliant to give the S. A. P.
W. in a whisper, and to begin the Grip, and reports to the Ill. Lt. Commander as
Ill. Lieut. Commander, I find the suppliant to be a worthy Forester.
Ill. Lt. C.:
Thank you, Ill. Marshal. Addressing the suppliant:
My brother, attend to the following questions:
The Ill Lt. C. then addresses the suppliant. The first three
questions may be put to one, two or more of them in turn, the remaining
questions are addressed to all, a pause being made for the reply in each case.
If the Ill. Lt. C. is not satisfied with the examination of any suppliant, he
may require him to withdraw and wait until the next convocation.
Ill. Lt. C.:
1. What is the entering signal at the inner door of a Court Room?
further is required in order to pass the inner door?
being admitted to the Court Room; what do you do?
will (each) give me the Entersign.
me the Foresters’ Sign of Recognition and its answer.
the Warning Sign and Danger Signal.
the Sign of Distress, and the answer to it.
are the Words of Distress?
Brother, you have passed our scrutiny thus far, but before you can gain
advancement you must undergo a further test.
Do you still desire to proceed?
Ill. Lt. C.:
Do you promise to submit to all the established usages of the Royal Foresters ?
Ill. Lt. C.:
Do you pledge your word that you will never improperly reveal any of the
ceremonies or other secrets of this Encampment?
Should any suppliant decline to answer any of these questions in
the affirmative, the Ill. Lt. C. will direct the Ill. C. of G. to conduct him
beyond the outer door. If the answers are all satisfactory, he will rise and
proceed as follows:
Ill. Lt. C.:
It gives me pleasure to reward your apparent devotion to our Order, by
communicating to you one of the secrets of this Exalted Degree, namely, the
esoteric significance of the letters on our emblem. To all who see them, they
express the name and motto of our noble Order,
Independent Order of Foresters
benevolence and Concord.
Pointing to the initials on a badge or on a chart or banner.
us they signify that which you will find to be true of those who meet within the
sacred walls of an Encampment of Royal Foresters,
okp Mdqpfu oqh Xenquguv Lhgnnqyujkr.
mind that this phrase is never to be uttered in the hearing of any person whom
you do not know to be a Royal Forester, unless it be as at present uttered in
presence of one who is about to become a Royal Forester. Before you can fully
attain to this Exalted Degree, it will be necessary for you to pass the Royal
Line and take a solemn obligation at our sacred altar. You will now retire in
charge of our Ill. Marshal that you may be duly prepared.
The Ill. M. conducts the suppliant to the outer anteroom, the
Ill. I. G. allowing them to pass, and the door being closed after them. The Sir
Knights in the Royal Line then resume their ordinary places.
Ill. Lt. C0., standing:
Ill. Commander, the suppliant has been duly admitted and examined, and has now
retired to be prepared for the final ordeal.
Ill. Com., seated:
Thank you, Ill. Lieut. Commander. Guards, attend to your duty. Let the “triangle
of steel” be formed.
The Ill. Sw. Bs arrange themselves about six feet from the door,
and about eight feet apart lacing each other. The Ill. C. of G. stands about
four or five feet farther from the door and facing toward it; each points his
sword straight before him. The Ill. M. meanwhile conducts one of the suppliants
into the inner anteroom blindfolds him securely, and then places him close to
the inner door. The Ill. O. G. keeps the outer door closed.
Let the signal be given.
The Ill. I. G. gives one loud rap on the door.
Ill. M., to suppliant in a low voice:
Until you see again, beware! Raise not a hand except as directed; just before
you is a door; give two knocks, and when you hear the signal answered, give two
The Ill. I. G. answers with one rap, and as soon as the signal is
repeated by the suppliant, the Ill. I. G. opens the door wide.
Ill. I. G.:
Who comes here?
Ill. M., standing behind suppliant:
A suppliant, who has undergone the scrutiny, and been found worthy of
advancement, and is prepared for the final ordeal.
Ill. I. G., in a low voice:
Enter, but beware! Swerve not!
The Ill. M. places his hands on the suppliant’s shoulders, and
causes him to go forward three steps, counting “One—two—three.” This should
bring the suppliant directly between the Ill. Sw. Bs.
You are now in a perilous position. On either side the way is hedged with points
of steel. The Ill. Sw. Bs here touch his arms with
their swords. Before you the way is guarded, and you go forward at
the peril of your life. Backward alone the path stands open; would you escape
peril, you must retreat; but bethink you! If you turn back now, your advancement
to the Royal Seat is for ever barred. Will you retire or go forward?
Suppliant answers for himself.
The Ill. C of G. receives the suppliant upon the point of his
sword, carefully pointed to his breast.
Ill. C. of G.:
You have advanced upon the point of a sword, and thus given proof of your
courage and determination. Of such stuff worthy knights are made! But the end is
not yet. Be patient!
If there are other suppliants, the one just received should be
conducted to a seat near by, to wait until all have been separately received in
like manner. The Ill. M. will then arrange the suppliants near the Ill. Lt. C.’s
station. facing the Royal Seat. While he is doing this, the following movement
will take place.
Note: Should the number of Knights present not be sufficient to
form the Royal Line effectively, this order and its execution will be omitted.
also the words of the Ill. Com. from “But behold,” down to “inner sanctuary”
inclusive; and the giving of the C. S. and P. will be omitted.
* * * * *.
Ill. Com., standing:
Sir Knights, to your places in the Royal Line.
All the Sir Knights present, except the Ill. Com., the Ill. M ,
and the Ill. Gs., silently and quickly form a line or lines across the room
below the altar facing the suppliants, each with a sword pointed forward from
his breast. In order to present a good appearance, the Sir Knights should be
arranged according to height, the tallest in the middle. One-half may be in
command of the Ill. Lt. C. and the other of the Ill. C. of G. If the Ill. St. Bs
can be spared from the line, they may remain at their posts and display the
standards when the line opens. If the Sir Knights are not in uniform, then they
will hold out their arms as if they were holding out their swords.
Ill. Com., seated:
My suppliant brother, you have been tested and tried and found not wanting. Your
fidelity and devotion heretofore warrant us in believing you worthy of
advancement. You will now be restored to light, after which you may, if you
will, pledge your vows at our sacred altar, thence to be conducted to the Royal
Seat. The Ill. M. removes the
blindfold, or request the wearers to remove them, assisting them if required.
behold, the way is guarded; yet fear not; go forward without flinching.
The Ill. M, if necessary, prompts them to advance in
line, he keeping near them on their right. When within three or four short
paces, the Ill. M. gives the C. S., and begins the P.: “Hkp Tvtwvj.” The Sir
Knights all wave their swords aloft and exclaim, “Aku Ovjg Prqygt,” upon which
the Ill. M. concludes the P.: “Wqh Hhtkgpfujkr.” The line then opens in the
centre and each section wheels backward till the sections are parallel, facing
Ill. Com., seated:
Behold the power of the Royal Foresters’ Pass to open the way to our inner
Marshal, you have my command to proclaim the suppliant.
Ill. M., standing in front of the suppliant, facing the altar:
Hear ye, Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, and give heed! By command of the Ill.
Commander, I hereby proclaim that Bro. ... has been tested and proved to be a
Forester, faithful and true, a man courageous and zealous, and worthy to be
advanced to the Exalted Degree of a Royal Forester. If any Ill. Knight or Sir
Knight present can show cause why this should not now be done, let him speak
forth, or for ever afterward hold his peace.
If objection is made against the advancement of any suppliant, he
must retire to the anteroom, whereupon the validity of the objection must be
forthwith decided by a majority vote of the Encampment, without debate. If there
are no objections raised, the Ill. Com. will proceed.
Ill. Marshal, place the suppliant at the altar, and thereon lay this sword.
Hands his sword to the Ill. M., who places it on the open Bible,
after which he arranges the suppliants before or around the altar.
Your commands have been executed, Ill. Commander.
’Tis well! Ill. Standard Bearers, take your positions near the altar.
The Ill. St. Bs. station themselves on the right and left of the
altar, with standards displayed, or if there are no standards, with drawn
swords. In the absence of the Ill. O. the Ill. Com. may administer the
obligation, in which case the necessary changes will be made in the directions
The Ill. Orator will take his position at the altar. Ill. Knights and Sir
The Ill. Knights and Sir Knights will then draw their swords. The
Ill. O. will pass to the side of the altar nearest the Royal Seat and will
uncover his head, if chapeaux or fatigue caps have been worn. The ranks will at
once close up the gaps left by the Ill. Officers.
Ill. Com., standing:
The suppliant will place his left hand on the sword resting upon Gods Holy Book
of the Law, and repeat after the Ill. Orator the Sacred Obligation of a Royal
You will each say “I,” and then pronounce your own name in full and repeat after
Sacred Obligation of a Royal Forester
in the presence of High Heaven, and before these Ill. Knights and Sir Knights,
do most solemnly and sincerely promise and declare, upon my sacred word, and
upon the sword, the symbol of honor, and upon Gods holy Book of the Law, that I
will never reveal any of the secrets of or pertaining to a Royal Forester,
unless it shall be to a worthy Knight of this degree whom I certainly know to be
such, or to a brother duly qualified to receive the same within the sacred walls
of an Encampment of Royal Foresters, or as I may be instructed, for the purpose
of mutual recognition.
will take as the rule of action and the guide of my life the Divine Law, “Do
unto others as ye would they should do unto you.”
will acknowledge a Royal Forester at all times and in all places, and will visit
him in sickness, succor him in distress, and assist him at all times to the full
extent of my power.
will not speak ill of a Royal Forester, nor suffer others to do so without
protest from me; but will, as far as in me lies, protect and maintain his
character and honor as I would my own.
further promise to be an exemplar of temperance, virtue and honor, and to be at
all times a true and law-abiding citizen.
further promise to cause the mortal remains of a deceased Royal Forester to be
decently interred, even at my own expense.
and each of these several points I do hereby pledge my sacred word and honor.
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights. Present arms!
token of your sincerity, and to seal your vows, you will kiss God’s Holy Book of
When each suppliant has done so, under the guidance of the Ill.
M., the Ill. Com. will continue:
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, Order arms!
suppliant will now be conducted, under royal escort, to the foot of the Throne.
The Ill. Knights and Sir Knights will resume their accustomed places.
The Ill. M. will arrange a procession as follows: 1st, Ill. M.
with sword at shoulder; 2nd, Ill. St. Bs. with Standards displayed; 3rd, the
suppliants in single file or in pairs, and the Ill. Sw. Bs. one on each side of
the leading file of suppliants, with swords at shoulder. In this order they will
march once or oftener around the room, past the Ill. Com., O., Lt. C. and P. C.,
wheeling squarely at the corners, to the front of the Throne—a grand march being
played, if practicable. The Ill. M. then passes to the rear of the suppliants,
the Ill. St. Bs. stand on the right and left of the Ill. Com., upon the dais;
while the Ill. Sw. Bs. conduct the suppliants, not more than three at a time,
to the foot of the Throne and cause each to kneel on both knees.
Ill. Com., standing:
By virtue of the high powers in me vested, and in the name of the Independent
Order of Foresters, I do hereby proclaim (each of) you a Royal Forester.
* Rise, Sir Knight ....
The last words are repeated for each
one, when all have been Knighted, the Ill. St. Bs. and Sw. Bs. will take their
respective stations; the Ill. M. will arrange the newly made Knights in a line
for instruction and may then take his seat.
Ill. Com., standing:
As you have now taken upon yourself the sacred obligation of a Royal Forester,
and been duly advanced to this Exalted Degree, you are entitled to be instructed
in our secret work.
The Ill. Com. gives full instructions as to the C. S. and P., the
G. and the manner of entering and leaving the room when the Encampment is in
session. He will then continue:
You will now be conducted to the station of the Ill. Past Commander, who will
further instruct you in the significance of the emblems of our Order, our Signet
Ill. Past Commander, by command of the Ill. Commander, I present before you this
Sir Knight for further instructions.
Ill. P. C.:
In a former part of these ceremonies, you were informed that the letters on the
emblem or badge of our Order signify to us who have been ADMITTED to an
Encampment of Royal Foresters, RECEIVED on the point of the sword, and KNIGHTED
at the Royal Seat, that we are ....
letters form the SIGNET of a Royal Forester, In testing a person who claims to
be such, ....
TOKEN is used by the Ill. Commander only in acknowledging the Royal Salutation,
and is given thus, ....
Moose’s Head, depicted upon our emblem or badge, is significant of the origin of
the Foresters brotherhood. The Moose is a lordly ranger of the forest, a king of
his kind, and his head is to us a symbol of excellence, and should stimulate us
to try and excel in all good works, but especially in those connected with our
Female Figures represent Liberty and Benevolence, while the clasped hands
symbolize the Concord which should ever exist amongst Foresters.
seal of an Encampment of Royal Foresters appear the following symbols:
Crossed Swords: emblematical of knightly honor and chivalry;
Crown; appropriate to our ancient title of Royal Foresters;
All-seeing Eye; reminding us of the loving care exercised over us by an
Omniscient and Omnipresent God, and of our duty to be ever watchful over the
welfare of our brethren.
and Sir Knight, it is now my pleasure to congratulate you upon having attained
to this Exalted Degree in our Order, and having been made acquainted with its
secret working. The vows you have taken at this time are of a very solemn
character, and impose upon you new and increased obligations. Ever be watchful,
lest you inadvertently violate any of them.
The Sir Knight will be escorted to the Ill. Orator for further instructions.
Ill. Orator, by command of the Ill. Commander, I present before you this Sir
Knight for further instructions.
Sir Knight I congratulate you on having attained to the Royal and Chivalric
Degree of our Order.
Forester, you should henceforth be more than ever devoted to the Order. Any
society worthy to exist, will grow and prosper in proportion to the interest its
members take in its working. We belong to a society of whose principles and of
whose history we need not be ashamed.
As a Sir
Knight of the Royal Degree, it becomes you to cherish in your heart, and
exemplify in all your conduct, those high principles of chivalry and honor,
unflinching courage in support of the right, and self-sacrifice on behalf of the
weak or distressed, which characterized the noble knights of the olden time. By
such qualities as these, the early forest rangers, known in English legends as
“Robin Hood and his merrie men”, —robbers and outlaws though they were,— won the
admiration of the country folk.
ideal Robin Hood is the knight-errant of the lowly, a chief among free men
united against despotism, and rejoicing in the virgin freshness and gladness of
unsubdued nature. The kindly woods and secret-keeping mountains of all lands
with a long history, have sheltered fugitives from injustice, and avengers of
wrongs, whom popular love and fancy and faith have transformed and glorified
into objects of enthusiastic admiration.”
We modern Foresters, far from being outlaws, are
bound by our obligations to be law-abiding citizens. But in all good ways we
should emulate our ancient brethren, whose haunts were in the leafy depths of
the forest. And not least of all should we imitate their love of Nature, that
our more enlightened minds may be led up to Nature’s God. Let us not forget that
groves were God’s first Temples Ere man framed
The lofty vault, to gather and roll back
The sound of anthems; in the darkling wood,
Amid the cool and silence, he knelt down,
And offered to the Mightiest solemn thanks
And supplication. Ah why
we, in the world’s riper years, neglect
Be it ours to meditate,
In those calm shades, His milder majesty,
And to the beautiful order of His works
conform the order of our lives.”
The Ill. Sword Bearers will conduct the Sir Knight to the altar, after which the
Ill. Marshal Knight will proclaim the exaltation of the Sir Knight.
* * * * *.
The Ill. M. having previously provided himself with a list of the
names, will proceed to the foot of the throne, stand facing the altar and make
proclamation, the new Knights standing in line.
Hear ye, Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, and take heed! By command of. the Ill.
Commander, I hereby proclaim that Bro. ... has been admitted, received, and
advanced to the Exalted Degree of a Royal Forester, and is now entitled to the
honors, privileges and immunities of that distinguished rank.
The new Sir Knight will now be welcomed by his older brethren, after which he
will proceed to the table of the Ill. Archivist, where he will subscribe his
name on our roll.
Ill. Lieut. Commander, *, I am about to close this
Encampment of Royal Foresters: what is the first charge?
Ill. Lt. C.:
To see that all present are Royal Foresters, Ill. Commander.
Ill. Lieut. Commander, are you a Royal Forester?
Ill. Lt. C.:
I am, Ill. Commander; try me and prove me.
How will you be proved, Ill. Lieut. Commander?
Ill. Lt. C.:
By my Signs, Ill. Commander.
Advance the Signs.
Ill. Lt. C.:
I will, Ill. Commander, with the assistance of the Ill. Knights and Sir Knights
Let it be done in due form.
* * * * *.
Ill. Lt. C.:
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, attend to giving the Signs.
All then, in conjunction with the Ill. Lt. C., give the Token and
then the Salutation Sign. The Ill. Com, will then give the Countersign and
proceed as follows:
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, I perceive that you have all received the Exalted
Degree of a Royal Forester; but, before I declare this Encampment duly closed,
give ear to the words of the Ill. Orator.
The Ill. O. then returns his sword and proceeds to the altar and
takes his position just
the altar, facing the throne.
Ill. Knights and Sir Knights, attention!
And now, to God, the Supreme Ruler of the Universe, be accorded all might,
majesty, and dominion now and for ever.
Amen. Amen. Amen.
The Ill. Brethren “return” their swords.
what is your next duty?
To close God’s Holy Book of the Law, Ill. Commander.
Perform that duty.
The Ill O. closes the Bible, and after reporting to the Ill. C.
as under returns to his post.
Ill Commander, that duty is performed.
Thank you, Ill. Orator.
Lieut. Commander, what is the next duty of an Encampment of Royal Foresters?
Ill. Lt. C.:
To see that all present have received justice, tempered with fraternal love.
Ill. Marshal, you have my command to make the closing proclamation.
Hear ye, and take heed! By command of the Ill. Commander, if any Ill. Knight or
Sir Knight present has not received that justice which is due from one brother
to another, let him now make known his grievance.
A slight pause takes place, and if any grievance is laid before
the Encampment, it must be attended to before closing the Encampment; but if no
grievance is laid before the Encampment, the Ill. Lt. C. proceeds:
Ill. Commander, every brother present has received his just dues.
Ill. Lieut. Commander, what is the last duty of an Encampment of Royal
Ill. Lt. C.:
To see that the Guards are alert and at their posts.
Ill. Com.: Attend to that duty.
Ill. Lt. C.: * *.
Ill. I. G.: *.
Ill. O. G.: * *.
Ill. Lt. C.:
Ill. Commander, the Encampment is duly guarded.
Then, by virtue of the powers in me vested, I declare this Encampment of Royal
Foresters duly and legally closed.
* * * * *.
Ceremonial of the Catholic Order of Foresters
approved by the High Court, 1926
Promptly at the appointed hour, or as
soon thereafter as a quorum is present, the Chief Ranger (or in his absence the
Vice Chief Ranger) must call the members to order by giving a series of raps
with the gavel. As soon as there is sufficient silence for him to be heard, the
Chief Ranger, standing, orders: The members will
please come to order and the officers will take their respective stations.
The stations of the officers are shown in Fig 1. The Outside
Sentinel’s place is in the ante-room.
The Chief Ranger must then note whether any of the officers be
absent, and if so, appoint temporary ones and bid them to take the respective
In making such appointments the Chief Ranger must select only
members who thoroughly understand the duties of the offices they are to fill,
and in case there be no such members present, he must instruct the appointees in
their duties. This applies especially to temporary Conductors and Inside
Sentinel, who should be acquainted with most, if not with all, the members of
The Conductors must see to it that the officers are provided with
badges and, if the attendance be small compared to the seating capacity of the
hall, assign the members to seats about equi-distant from each other, so that no
parts of the hail will be crowded whilst others are deserted.
The Chief Ranger then orders:
Inside Sentinel, lock the door and allow no one to enter and make no
announcement until ordered to do so. Do you understand your duty?
The Sentinel locks the door and answers:
I do, Chief Ranger.
Conductors, come forward.
The Conductors go to the center pedestal, salute the Chief Ranger
with the sign and await his instructions.
The Chief Ranger then proceeds:
Conductors, all the members of this Court are in good standing and are entitled
to seats in this meeting, provided they have the grip and the password. You will
now give me the grip and password and then examine every one in the hall. Do you
understand you duties?
The Conductors answer:
I do, Chief Ranger. and then
go to the Chief Ranger, exchange the grip with him and give him the password,
and proceed to examine every person in the hall (Catholic Priests excepted), the
Senior Conductor beginning at the left of the Chief Ranger and continuing along
the left side of the ball, the Junior Conductor taking the opposite side.
If either Conductor finds anyone whom he does not know
personally, though he have the grip and password, the Conductor must obtain his
name and the name and number of his Court, and before proceeding any further
report to the Chief Ranger thus:
Chief Ranger, Brother ... of this Court or Brother ... of ... Court No. ...
as the case may be, and await
the Chief Ranger’s instructions.
If the person in question be a member in good standing of the
Court, or if he be a visiting member known to the Chief Ranger to be in good
standing in the Order the Chief Ranger declares: Brother ... is entitled to a
seat in this meeting.
But if the person in question is not known to the Chief Ranger,
the latter must first assure himself of such persons good standing in the Order
before declaring him entitled to a seat.
The Chief Ranger, in his discretion, may accept the assurance of
any officer or member of the Order as to the good standing of a visitor, or he
may accept the latters receipt book, showing him to be paid up to date, as
evidence of the visitors good standing in the Order. In case a delegation from a
Court visits another Court, either one of the officers of the visitors Court or
the leader of the delegation should be prepared to vouch for all the members of
If either Conductor find anyone not in possession of either the
grip or the password, the Conductor must request him to go to the Chief Ranger
The Chief Ranger must wait until the Conductors have examined all
in the hall before instructing those not in possession of either the grip or the
password, and must direct such applicants to form in single file to his left,
and have their financial standing vouched for by the Financial Secretary.
The Conductors will then go to the Chief Rangers station, where
one of the Conductors, standing to the left of the Chief Ranger, must detain
each successive applicant four to five feet from the one the Chief Ranger is
instructing, whilst the other Conductor, standing to the right of the Chief
Ranger, examines each member after he has been instructed.
It is imperative that the Chief Ranger must under no
circumstances give either grip or the password to any person whom he does not
personally know to be a member in good standing of the Court and he is empowered
to give the grip and password to a visiting member only upon the presentation by
such member of a valid traveling card or a written request for the grip and
password from his Chief Ranger, such request being authenticated with the seal
of his Court.
A visiting Chief Ranger is empowered to give the grip and
password to a member whom he knows to be in good standing in his Court.
Any person found not be entitled to a seat in the meeting must
retire from the hall before any further procedure.
After the Conductors have examined everyone in the hall and found
them in possession of the grip and password, and to be otherwise qualified to be
present, they proceed to the center pedestal, and after saluting, report—each in
I have examined all on this side of the hall
indicating the side with the hand and find them properly qualified
and entitled to seats in this meeting.
Senior and Junior Conductor, you will bring forward and place upon the Center
Pedestal the Cross and the Flag, the standards of the order, to remind us of our
duties to God and Country.
The Conductors will salute, secure cross and flag, and place them
upon the Center Pedestal, the cross to the right, the flag to the left of the
Chief Ranger. The crucifix should face the meeting. In bringing them lorward the
Junior Conductor should bear the cross, the Senior Conductor the flag. After
they have been properly placed the Senior Conductor will report:
Worthy Chief Ranger, your orders have been obeyed.
Resume your stations.
The Conductors salute and proceed to their stations, and the
Chief Ranger requests:
Spiritual Director will please say the opening prayer.
Three raps. All rise and remain standing during prayer.
If the Spiritual Director be absent, the Chief Ranger must, in
the same form, call upon either the Past Chief Ranger or the Vice Chief Ranger
to say the prayer.
The opening and closing prayers, like the other parts of the
ceremonies, should be memorized.
Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and kindle in them the fire of Thy
love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the
face of the earth. O God, who hast taught the hearts of the faithful by the
light of Thy Holy Spirit, grant, us by the same Spirit, to have a right judgment
in all things, and evermore to rejoice in His consolation through Jesus Christ,
Our Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
Seat of Wisdom. R.:
Pray for us.
We will now sing our National Anthem.
At the conclusion of the song the Chief Ranger formally opens the
Brothers, I declare that ... Court No. ... Catholic Order of Foresters, is now
in session for the transaction of any and all business that may be brought
before it in accordance with the laws, rules and regulations of the Order.
Please bear in mind that we meet for our mutual benefit and for that of our
families and dependents; let this be the key to all our acts. We also meet as
Catholics; let this be the reason for conducting our deliberations in a manner
becoming intelligent gentlemen.
In the case of a special meeting of the Court the following form
is to be used:
Brothers, I declare that ... Court No. ..., Catholic Order of Foresters, is now
in special session for the purpose of state the
purpose or business for which the meeting was called, in accordance
with the laws, rules and regulations of the Order.
The Chief Ranger gives one rap and then orders:
Inside Sentinel, you may now, as well as later on, announce any member seeking
The Sentinel must obtain the name of any member in waiting and,
if he be a visitor, the name and number of his Court. He must also ask the
applicant for the password and then make his announcement in one of the
following forms, whichever will suit the case:
Chief Ranger, Brother ... of this Court, with the password.
2. Chief Ranger, Brother ... of this
Court, without the password.
3. Chief Ranger, Brother ... of ... Court
No. ..., with the password.
4. Chief Ranger, Brother ... of ... Court
No. ..., without the password.
If, in the first and second cases, the member be in good standing
in the Court, and if, in the third case, the visiting member is known to the
Chief Ranger to be in good standing in the Order, the Chief Ranger orders:
But if, in the third case, the visiting member is not known to
the Chief Ranger, the latter must first assure himself of such members good
standing in the Order before ordering him admitted.
In the fourth case the Chief Ranger is empowered to order the
admission of the visiting member only when the Chief Ranger of such members
Court is present and gives his consent, or if such member has either a valid
traveling card or a written request for the grip and password from his Chief
Ranger, such request being authenticated with the seal of his Court.
The Sentinel, having been instructed by the Chief Ranger to admit
a member in waiting, opens the door and, as the member enters, exchanges the
grip with him.
If a member so admitted is without either the grip or the
password, one of the Conductors must accompany him to the station of the Chief
Ranger and, after the latter has instructed the member, take the grip and
password from him.
If no members are seeking admittance, or when all in waiting have
been disposed of as explained above, the Chief Ranger proceeds with the Order of
Business as prescribed in the laws of the Order.
If any member seeks admittance during the course of the meeting
he must be treated in the same manner as explained above, but he should not be
admitted, nor should the Sentinel announce him, when it would disturb any of the
business of the meeting.
To save time and annoyance when a large number of members seek
admittance at the same time, the Inside Sentinel should step into the ante-room
and obtain the required information from those in waiting and then return and
announce all such members to the Chief Ranger.
At Roll Call of Officers the Senior Conductor must stand at the
center pedestal and answer present or absent as the Recording Secretary calls
the names, which should be called in the following order: S.D., C.R., V.C.R.,
P.C.R., S., R.S., F.S., T., Ts., S.C., J.C., I.S., and O.S.
In calling the roll both the title and name of each officer must
be called; for example: Chief Ranger, Thos. B. Blank; Recording Secretary, Thos.
F. Blank; Trustees, J. F. Blank, Phil J. Blank, E. S. Blank.
At Roll Call of Members each member answers present for himself
when his name is called.
In lieu of calling the names at roll call the members may write
them on cards, which the Conductors must collect and hand to the Recording
Secretary, or a special registration book may be placed on the Recording
Secretaries table, or some other convenient place, where members can register;
or each member in turn may be bidden to rise and give his name, which the
Recording Secretary must note.
After the entire Order of Business has been gone through, or
after the business of a special meeting has been transacted, a motion to proceed
to close the meeting will be in order.
Order of Business for Subordinate Courts
Every Subordinate Court shall conduct its meetings in accordance
with the following
Order of business.
1. Opening ceremony, as per Ritual
2. Roll call of officers.
3. Reading of minutes of last regular meeting, and of any special
meeting held thereafter.
5. Installation of officers.
6. Reading and disposing of transfer cards.
7. Reading and disposing of applications for reinstatement.
8. Reading and disposing of communications from the High Court,
State or Provincial Court and Subordinate Courts, and any authorized letters or
9. Reading and. disposing of propositions for membership.
10. Reports of Investigating Committees.
11. Balloting on per sons proposed for membership.
12. Reading and disposing of reports of the Visiting Committee
and the Medical Examiner.
13. Reports on members who are in distress or out of employment.
14. Reading and disposing of bills.
15. Reading and disposing of report of the Auditing Committee.
16. Report of the Committee on Good of the Order and of special
17. Reports of officers of any official act per formed since
previous meeting; suspensions, etc.
18. Reports of change of occupations, residence or address of
19. Roll call of members. (Collection of assessments and dues and
delivery of benefit certificates to members.)
20. Unfinished business. (Any matter deferred from a previous
21. New business. Election of officers and appointment of
standing committees, and any other new matters.
22. Report of suspensions incurred by members, and on members who
have withdrawn, resigned or forfeited their membership.
23. Good of the Order (Secret work drill, if there was no
initiation; new password,, and presentation of names of eligible prospects which
should be noted by R.S. and referred to membership committee, etc.)
24. Adjournment. Closing ceremony, as per Ritual.
The foregoing order of business shall not be changed, but the
ceremonies of installation of officers and initiation of candidates may be
deferred, and, by general consent or by two-thirds vote, any order of business
that has been passed may again be reverted to.
Initiations may be held either at a regular meeting of the Court
or at a special meeting called for that purpose, but must in the case of
candidates for regular membership be held within forty-five days after the High
Medical Examiners approval. Joint or class initiations can be held more
satisfactorily at special meetings.
If there be any candidates—cardinals, bishops or priests—whom the
laws of the Order exempt from undergoing the ceremony of initiation, they
should, before the ceremony begins, be caused to sign the obligation of the
Order and to pay the prescribed fees and dues, and then be introduced to the
Court, unless they express the desire to go through the ceremony with the other
As soon as the candidates arrive, they must be taken in charge by
the Outside Sentinel, or by a member appointed for that purpose, who must care
for their hats, overcoats and other superfluous garments; acquaint the
candidates with each other and see to it that they are made comfortable. This is
a very important function and should not be underestimated. It is the first real
contact between candidates and the Order and the aim should be to make the first
impression most favorable. The Chief Ranger should see that the Outside Sentinel
is duly instructed. Members must not be allowed to remain with the candidates or
engage them in conversation.
When Initiation in the Order of Business has been reached the
Chief Ranger will say:
Recording Secretary, are there any candidates whose medical examination has been
approved by the High Medical Examiner. If so, you will please read their names.
Recording Secretary rises and reads names and addresses of
candidates and presents list to Chief Ranger.
Is there any brother present who knows of any valid reason why any of these
candidates should not be admitted? If so, let this be made known privately to me
If not, let there be no objections raised later.
If objection be made to anyone the initiation of such one must be
deferred until the next meeting, during which time the matter should be
investigated. A special committee of three members should be appointed to
investigate and report at next meeting. If an adverse report be presented, the
Court shall reconsider its previous action and reballot on the application as
per laws of the Order. The Chief Ranger will then proceed:
Secretary, proceed to the ante-room and collect the prescribed fees and dues
from the candidates and cause them to sign the obligation of the Order.
The Financial Secretary proceeds to the center pedestal, salutes
the Chief Ranger and then goes to the anteroom taking all necessary blanks and
writing materials with him.
Initiating officers, you will now robe and take your respective stations.
Conductor will appoint necessary assistants and arrange the hall for initiation.
The initiating officers then proceed to invest themselves with
their gowns. The Chief Ranger should request two brothers to occupy the seats of
the Conductors during initiation.
He also appoints a banner bearer and two brothers to act as cross
and flag attendants. The latter are to be seated in front of the Chief Rangers
station; one on each side. The cross to the right of the Chief Ranger, the flag
to the left.
The Chief Ranger then directs the removal from the pedestals and
from the backs of the officers chairs of everything not belonging there, and the
placing and arranging of all appurtenances in orderly and proper position.
Unless special musical program is arranged the Conductors must
distribute the Initiation Song Cards; and provide the Vice Chief Ranger with a
sufficient number proposition blanks and copies of the laws and by-laws for the
Unless special singers are provided it is a good plan to
distribute amongst the other members, those who are able to lead in singing,
instead of having all the good singers together.
After all is in readiness for the initiation, the Chief Ranger
will call the meeting to order and deliver the following charge, Chief Ranger
should use singular or plural depending upon the number of candidates.
Brothers, we are about to initiate state
number candidates. We desire to make a
most favorable and lasting impression upon those to be inducted into our Order.
The Officers alone cannot do this. They need your cooperation and for this I ask
at this time.
yourselves throughout the ceremony in a dignified manner. Please do not indulge
in smoking, talking or in anything else that might distract the candidates. Do
not stare or smile at them or give them the slightest sign of recognition.
Please give the most respectful attention to the work in hand. Listen most
attentively to all spoken. To hear again the obligations taken; the instructions
given and the wonderful lessons of the Order dwelt upon, can only be of profit
to you and to the Order. You know how easily we forget. Do not leave your places
or retire while the initiation is in progress. When there is singing in unison,
let all join and sing whole heartedly and pronounce plainly.
candidates are announced I will give the signal to rise. Please remain standing
until the signal is given to be seated.
Inside Sentinel! Should a brother ask for admission after the ceremony has
begun, you may admit him quietly provided he has the proper password and his
entry will not disturb the ceremony.
If the number of candidates be large and therefore considerable
time be required for the collection of prescribed fees and dues from the
candidates, the Chief Ranger may proceed with the Order of Business.
When the Financial Secretary returns from the anteroom he
proceeds to the center pedestal and reports in this form:
Chief Ranger, I
have collected the prescribed fees and dues from the candidates, and they have
signed the obligation of the Order.
F.S. salutes and retires.
Senior Conductor! Senior
Conductor and assistants and banner carrier will come be fore the center
pedestal and salute; the banner bearer standing back of the Conductors.
Conductor, I present to you this list of candidates. You and your assistants
will proceed to the ante-room and prepare the candidates for initiation.
The Conductors salute the Chief Ranger, and preceded by the
banner carrier will retire to the anteroom. The musician for the instruction of
the members (unless special music is provided), plays the initiation ode, which
should be in slow, march time. The ode should be rehearsed before candidates are
The accompanist should be instructed that in case the candidates
do not reach their positions by the time the singing is concluded he must
continue to play either the ode or an appropriate interlude until one rap of the
gavel is given by the Chief Ranger.
The Senior Conductors part in the ceremony is a most important
one, and he must undertake its performance with perfect confidence in himself
and in a manner that will at once command the respect and attention of the
candidates. He must give the instructions and directions in a dignified, clear
and unmistakable manner. He must not allow the candidates to indulge in
pleasantries or levity, and, if they persist, he must not hesitate to reprimand
them and to inform them that the initiation they are about to undergo is not a
frivolous but a serious matter.
As soon as the Conductors arrive in the ante-room, the Senior
Conductor requests the candidates to rise and form in line as he calls their
names. He then proceeds to call the names of the candidates—those for honorary
as well as those for regular membership. The Junior and the Assistant Conductors
then arrange the candidates in single file in the order of their height, the
shortest one at the forward end of the file; and, if not already done, request
and assist the candidates to lay aside their hats, overcoats and other
superfluous garments, all of which must be cared for by the Outside Sentinel or
by a member appointed for that purpose. The Junior Conductor then assumes
position at, the forward end of the file and an Assistant Conductor at the rear
end; the other Conductor or Conductors should take positions on the side of the
candidates. The banner carrier should march back of the Junior Conductor.
Before marching into hall the Senior Conductor must instruct the
candidates in about the following form, speaking slowly and in a conversational
Candidates, please give me your attention. During the course of the initiation
ceremony you will be given various commands which I will now explain, and which
you must endeavor to execute promptly and properly. When I command Attention!
you will fold your arms and when I command Forward—march! you must
start out with the left foot at the word March, thus
exemplifying, and while marching keep your
arms folded and step to the music and maintain a uniform space of at least
eighteen inches between each other. At the command Candidates, halt, you must
come to rest promptly at the word Halt and remain in your positions until I give
the command, Left face, which is executed by turning to the left, thusly
exemplifying. Upon command Hands down, you
will drop your arms at your side.
resuming the march I will give the command, Candidates, fold arms, Right face,
which is executed by turning to the right, thus
exemplifying. You will also be asked several questions, which you
must answer by responding I do, I am, I did, or I will, as the question may
indicate; you must not answer yes, sir or no, sir; please remember this. When
making the answers and repeating the Obligation of the Order you must speak
distinctly, moderately loud and in unison with each other. Please pay close and
respectful attention to everything that is said and done.
The Senior Conductor, having assured himself that all
preparations in the ball are completed, orders candidates to fold arms and then
proceeds to the inner door and announces himself with candidates to the Inside
The Senior Conductor with candidates asks to be admitted.
During the ceremony the Senior Conductor has entire charge of the
floor; he directs the marches and acts as commandant.
The Inside Sentinel announces:
Chief Ranger, the Senior Conductor with candidates seeks admittance.
The Chief Ranger gives three raps and then orders:
Admit the Senior Conductor with candidates.
The singing of a song or of the first stanza of the Initiation
Ode, or march music, is at once begun and the Sentinel opens the door.
The Senior Conductor commands:
The Junior Conductor, under the direction of the Senior
Conductor, leads the candidates to the station of the Chief Ranger over the line
of march shown in the diagram, Fig. 2, by broken lines, the direction of the
march being indicated by the arrows.
this station, and at each succeeding one, the candidates resting position should
be twelve to fifteen feet from the respective officer, and in the form of a
semi-circle, as shown in the diagram, wherein the positions of eight candidates
are indicated by light circles; the heavy circles, a, b, and c, showing the
positions of the Senior, Junior and Assistant Conductors, respectively. In case
the number of candidates be very large, it may be necessary to place them so as
to form a large circle or several circles, one behind the other. Where this is
necessary, the candidates should be divided into sections and a Conductor placed
at the head of each section.
The Senior Conductor must take up a position from which he can
observe the progress of both the front and rear ends of the file of candidates,
and as soon as the latter have reached the positions forming a symmetrical
semi-circle in front of the Chief Ranger he commands:
He then awaits the conclusion of the singing if the latter has
not already been reached.
The speed at which the candidates should be marched must be
regulated in accordance with the size of the hall and the number of candidates,
so that the completion of the march and the singing will, as nearly as possible,
In case the candidates have not reached their resting positions
when the singing of the stanza is concluded, the accompanist must continue to
play either the Ode, song or an appropriate interlude.
As soon as the singing is concluded and the candidates have been
halted, the Chief Ranger gives one rap. The members take their seats, but the
Chief Ranger remains standing.
The Senior Conductor commands:
Candidates, left face, hands down.
seeing to it that the candidates are in orderly position, and standing about
midway between the candidates and the Chief Ranger, he salutes the latter and
introduces the candidates thus: Chief Ranger, I present candidates for
initiation into the Catholic Order of Foresters.
The Chief Ranger inquires:
What assurance have you that they are worthy of membership in our Order?
The Senior Conductor responds:
They have been recommended by two of our members, have been duly elected to
membership and have otherwise qualified as required by the laws of the Order.
The Senior Conductor then salutes and assumes position at the
side of the Junior Conductor, as indicated at a, in the diagram.
The Chief Ranger then proceeds to question the candidates,
speaking slowly and distinctly, thus:
Candidates, do you say, each one of you, that you desire to be initiated into
the Catholic Order of Foresters? Then answer—I do.
The candidates must answer I do and if they fail to respond
promptly the Chief Ranger must request them to answer.
The Chief Ranger then continues, giving ample time for the
candidates to answer after each, question:
Are you—each individual one—a practical Roman Catholic? Then answer—I am.
you—each individual one—solemnly promise to remain true to the church and
faithful in the practice of her teachings? Then answer—I will.
now sixteen or over and under fifty years of age? Then answer—I am.
always be temperate in your habits, clean of tongue and gentlemanly in your
conduct? Then answer—I will.
practice the principles of our Order with your brother members to the very best
of your ability? Then answer—I will.
do all in your power to promote by word and deed the best interest of your Court
and of the Order and refrain from all captious criticism and fault-finding
either of the Order, its officers or its members? Then answer —I will.
been sick, or have you consulted a physician for any personal physical ailment
since your examination by the Medical Examiner of the Court? Those who have not
will please answer—No.
After candidates have answered Those who have will please answer—Yes.
candidate answers yes to the foregoing question he should not be initiated until
the matter has been first referred to the High Medical Examiner and initiation
now prepared to take the binding obligation of the Catholic Order of Foresters?
Then answer—I am.
The Chief Ranger, turning towards the Senior Conductor, then
Senior Conductor, present the candidates to the Past Chief Ranger, who will
administer the obligation of the Order.
The Senior Conductor steps forward to about midway between the
candidates and the Chief Rangers station and after saluting the Chief Ranger,
Candidates, fold arms, right face.
The Chief Ranger gives three raps, the members rise and then the
Senior Conductor commands:
At the latter word of command the singing of the second stanza of
the Ode begins, or the musician plays a march.
The Junior Conductor leads the file of candidates over the line
of march, shown in diagram, to the station of the Past Chief Ranger.
In case of a narrow hail, where there is insufficient space
between the Past Chief Rangers station and the center pedestal the Senior
Conductor should circle candidates back of center pedestal.
The Past Chief Ranger, the Vice Chief Ranger and the Treasurer
remain standing after the completion of the singing when the candidates are at
The candidates, having reached their positions in front of the
Past Chief Rangers station, and the singing or playing being concluded and the
members seated, the Senior Conductor salutes the Past Chief Ranger and then
introduces the candidates thus:
Past Chief Ranger, I present candidates who desire to take the Obligation of the
Catholic Order of Foresters.
The Past Chief Ranger then proceeds, slowly and impressively,
candidates! This is the station of the Past Chief Ranger. Its
emblem is the Cross, symbolic of the virtue of Faith. Faith—that gift of God
which unites man with God, and causes man to recognize most clearly the
relations and obligations existing between men.
Order has as one of its objects the strengthening of faith in God and the
development of faith in the brotherhood of one another. You were presented here
to assume the obligation of the Order; thus to dedicate yourselves in special
and solemn manner to the work of Catholic Forestry.
candidates, the obligation which you are required to take is a comprehensive
one. In taking it, however, you will not assume anything in conflict with your
duty to church, country, home or loved ones, but you will be bound to render
strict obedience to the laws of our Order, both in letter and spirit. With this
understanding, are you willing to take the obligation? Then answer—I am.
candidates fail to respond promptly they must be required to answer, and having
answered, the Past Chief Ranger proceeds:
Then raise you right hands exemplifying with the
hand open and fingers together and repeat after me.
Chief Ranger gives three raps and, when the members have risen and all is
orderly, the Past Chief Ranger, holding his own right hand in a raised position
and speaking slowly, distinctly and impressively, administers the following
obligation, division by division, giving the candidates ample time to repeat
solemnly promise that I will remain faithful to holy church, devoted to home and
loved ones and true to my country. I promise that I will earnestly endeavor to
live up to the highest ideals of the Order.
promise that I will respect and uphold the constitution and laws of the Catholic
Order of Foresters and obey all commands of the High Court of the State
and of the Subordinate Court of which I am a member provided such commands do
not conflict with my civil liberty or the teachings of the Roman Catholic
Church; that I will never use for any purpose or communicate to any person
except as prescribed in the ceremonial and the laws, rules and regulations, any
of the signs, grips, passwords or business affairs of the Order; that I will not
defraud or wrong any member or department of the Order or suffer it to be done
by others if in my power to prevent; that I will not
tolerate anything of a political nature at any meeting of the Order; that I will
not disparage any member because of his nationality, color or race; or engage in
captious criticism or fault-finding or idle and hurtful gossip; that I will be
clean of tongue; gentlemanly in my conduct; temperate in my habits and just in
all my dealings; that I will assist a member or his family, when in distress, so
far as charity requires and my circumstances permit; and that I will do all in
my power to promote the best interests and welfare of my Court and of the Order.
further promise that should I violate in letter or spirit any part of this
obligation or the form subscribed by me, I hereby agree to be expelled and
should I be expelled or leave the Order, I will consider this obligation still
binding. To all of which I pledge my word of honor as a man and a Catholic.
At the conclusion of the obligation the Chief Ranger gives one
rap and, when the members have taken their seats, the Past Chief Ranger
Senior Conductor, you will now present the candidates to our worthy Treasurer
for further preparation. Senior Conductor, proceed.
The Senior Conductor proceeds as before. The Chief Ranger gives
three raps, the members rise and at the command Forward, march the singing of
the third stanza of the Ode or music begins. Upon arrival at the Treasurers
station, the candidates being in proper position, the Senior Conductor, saluting
the Treasurer, says:
Worthy Treasurer, upon direction of the Past Chief Ranger, I present candidates
for further preparation.
The Treasurer proceeds, speaking plainly and impressively:
Worthy candidates, this is the Treasurers station. Its emblem is the heart,
emblematic of that greatest of all virtues—Charity. You have subscribed to the
high ideals of our organization and have obligated yourselves in solemn manner
to the fulfillment of the duties and obligations of membership therein. It is my
duty now to call your attention to one of the essential obligations. With the
ideal, this Order unites the practical. To talk charity—brotherly love—affection
for home and loved ones is one thing. To practice these things by making
substantial provisions, is another. By their fruits, ye shall know them, said
the Master. So, by our work, not our words—will our Order be known and will we
individually gather spiritual treasures for the world to come and build enduring
monuments for ourselves in the hearts and memories of those near and dear to us.
Before the station of the Past Chief Ranger you severally and collectively
pledged devotion to home and loved ones; you pledged that you would assist a
member or his family when in distress so far as Charity requires and your
circumstances permit. You sealed this obligation with your word of honor as men
Worthy candidates, that there may be no
misunderstanding, permit me to ask you at this time, did you each fully
understand this part of the obligation taken?
After the candidates have answered the Treasurer will say:
If there is any candidate who has not, let him make it known now.
After a pause:
Worthy candidates, this Order through its Courts, makes provision for members in
case of sickness and distress and through the benefit treasury of the Order for
the beneficiaries in case of death. To meet these obligations members are
required to pay dues into the Court treasury and assessments into the benefit
fund of the Order. Dues and assessments are payable on the first of each month
to the Financial Secretary of your Court and must he paid before the close of
the month in which they are called, otherwise a member stands by that fact
suspended. With a full understanding of this and to impress the importance of
your financial obligations most firmly upon your minds, I shall now ask you to
raise your right hands and repeat after me the following obligation:
The Chief Ranger gives three raps. After members
have risen, Treasurer continues:
solemnly promise to participate in the great charitable and benevolent work of
the Order, by faithfully and punctually discharging my financial obligations to
promise that I will never allow myself to become suspended for the non-payment
of dues and assessments. I further promise, should I, for any reason, desire to
leave the Order, I will make final payment to the financial secretary of my
Court and secure from its officers an honorable withdrawal card.
of this I pledge my sacred word of honor as a man and a Catholic.
Treasurer orders hands down. C.R. gives one rap for members to be
Worthy candidates! You are coming into this Order in honor. Self interests
dictate that you should never leave it, except in honor. Life, my brothers, has
its trials and tribulations. Should circumstances or conditions therefore arise
at any time, which would make it impossible for you to pay your dues and
assessments before the close of the month, go to your Chief Ranger, state your
case, and I am sure that your Court will exercise that Charity which is one of
the basic principles of the Order.
Worthy candidates, by the pledges you have taken you are bound to
us and have assumed the duties of membership, and you are now entitled to
instruction in the secret and other work of our Order.
Addressing himself to the Senior Conductor, the Treasurer then
Senior Conductor, present the candidates to the Vice Chief Ranger, who will give
them all necessary instructions.
The Senior Conductor proceeds as before; the
Chief Ranger gives three raps; the members rise and at the command March, the
singing of the fourth stanza of the Ode, or the march music, should begin.
Upon arrival at the Vice Chief Rangers station, and when all is
ready, the Senior Conductor introduces the candidates thus:
Vice Chief Ranger, I present candidates who having assumed all obligations of
the Order, are now entitled to instructions.
C.R. gives one rap for the members to be seated.
The Vice Chief Ranger then proceeds to give the
following instructions in a slow, conversational and explanatory style,
exercising every care to be clearly understood by the candidates:
Worthy candidates, this is the station of the Vice Chief Ranger. Its emblem is
the anchor, symbolic of the virtue of Hope. Hope— that force that springs
eternal in the human breast, and ever leads man on to renewed and greater
effort. Not only do we as Catholic men hope in God, but we hope, with Gods
assistance, working unitedly, through the instrumentality of this Society, to
carry out successfully the great purposes and objects of our organization. It
behooves you therefore to become thoroughly familiar with all pertaining to our
Order. It is for this reason that I shall ask you to pay close attention to my
instructions. Furthermore, your future advancement in this Order will largely
depend upon the knowledge you have of it.
This branch of our Order is (will be) known as ...
Court No. ....
In case of a joint initiation the Vice Chief Ranger must give the
names and numbers of the several Courts having candidates initiated, using this
The respective branches of our Order of which you will be members are known as
fraternal society the members of the Order address each other as ‘brother’.
Order has signs, grips and a password, which are to be used only as I will
explain, and which you will never disclose to anyone—not even to a member of the
Order—except when you are acting in the capacity of a duly authorized officer.
oft. salute is made by placing the right hand—thumb and other fingers extended,
but held together—over the heart exemplifying
and bowing the head—not the body—slightly
Candidates make the sign of salute. When all have
made it properly, continue I will explain the uses of this sign
of recognition is made by explain and exemplify
sign, and then bid the candidates to make it. The countersign is the
answer to the sign of recognition, and is made by
explain and exemplify countersign, and bid the candidates repeat it.
Should you happen to be in a company of men and wish to know without inquiring
whether any of them be a Forester you may employ this sign of recognition
exemplifying, making it so deftly as not to
attract the attention of anyone not a member of the Order. If a Forester be
amongst them he will notice this sign and answer with the countersign
is given and returned in this wise explain and
exemplify the grip with the aid of the Senior Conductor, who must step up to the
Vice Chief Ranger for that purpose, and then bid the Conductors to exchange the
grip with the candidates. The grip should always be exchanged when
greeting a brother member, and it must be exchanged with certain officers at the
meeting of a Court, as I will explain later.
password will be given you by the Chief Ranger. Only members in good standing in
the Order are entitled to the password and they can obtain it only from the
Chief Ranger of their Court or from the acting Chief Ranger at a meeting of
their Court. Visiting members may, however, obtain the password upon presenting
either a valid Traveling Card or a written request from the Chief Ranger of
Brothers, you must keep the password a close secret, as you promised, and never
communicate it to any person or to any member of the Order, excepting the
presiding officer, Conductor and Inside Sentinel in their official capacity at a
session of a Court or a convention of the Order; and you must always speak it in
have gavel signals taking up the gavel
employed by the Chief Ranger when presiding at the meetings of the Court. One
rap exemplifying is the signal for
order—silence—and for the members to take their seats; and it is also used by
way of confirming the result of a vote as declared by the chair or a ruling made
by him. Two raps exemplifying is the
signal for all officers to rise. Three raps
exemplifying the signal for all to rise to their feet; and a series
of raps is used for calling the meeting to order.
the opening of a Court meeting, the Conductor approaches you, you must rise in
your place, exchange the grip with him and give him the password in a whisper.
If you have forgotten either of them you must go to the Chief Ranger for
instruction, after which you must give the grip and password to the Conductor
before taking a seat. If you are not personally known to the Conductor, though
having the grip and password, you must give him your name and if you be a
visiting member also the name and number of your Court, and then remain standing
until the Chief Ranger declares you entitled to a seat in the meeting.
arrive after the meeting has been opened you will give three raps
exemplifying on the inner door—the one
leading into the hall. When the Inside Sentinel opens the wicket you must give
him your name and, if you be a visiting member, also the name and number of your
Court. You must also give him the password when he asks for it. When the
Sentinel admits you, you must exchange the grip with him, then pass up the
middle of the hail to the center pedestal pointing
where you must salute the Chief Ranger with the sign
exemplifying. If he be engaged you may turn
towards this station and salute the Vice Chief Ranger. After you have been
recognized with a return of the salute you may take a seat on either side of the
hall. If you have not the password, the Chief Ranger, after having been assured
of your good standing, will order you admitted. When the Sentinel opens the door
you will proceed in the same manner, but after you have saluted, you go to the
Chief Ranger for instruction and then give the grip and password to the
Conductor before taking a seat. The Senior Conductor will demonstrate the proper
manner of entering a hall while the Court is in session.
The Senior Conductor leaves the ball, gives due signal, enters in
proper form and takes his seat.
If you have not the grip or password and desire to attend a meeting of a Court
other than your own, and at which the Chief Ranger of your Court is not present,
you must have either a valid Traveling Card or a written request for the grip
and password from the Chief Ranger of your Court, such request being under seal
of your Court.
this explanation, candidates, it must be clear to you that you are not entitled
and cannot be permitted to be present at any meeting of any Court, unless you
have the grip and password, and unless you are known to be members in good
standing in the Order. Bear this well in mind.
few words as to your conduct during the meeting of a Court. Should you wish to
obtain the floor for any purpose whatever, you must first rise in your place and
addressing your self to the presiding officer, say Chief Ranger.
has recognized you, you may proceed, but not before. Should you desire to change
your place, cross the hall or retire from the meeting, you must first obtain
permission, and then go to the center pedestal
it and salute the Chief Ranger, or, if he be
engaged, the Vice Chief Ranger, and then pass on in crossing the hall, always do
it between this station and the center pedestal.
close of the Court meeting the Chief Ranger gives one rap with the gavel
exemplifying and then making the sign of
salute, says: ‘Brothers, good night, or good afternoon’, as the case may be. The
members in acknowledgment also make the sign and say in unison: ‘Chief Ranger,
good night or good afternoon.’
regular meetings of this Court are held on the give
week of each month
and you should endeavor to attend each and every one of them.
Conductors will now present to you copies of the constitution of the Order. and
of the by-laws of the Court, which you should peruse diligently, so as to become
conversant with the laws, rules and regulations and with your duties of
membership. Will each of you promise to do this?
answer. Please bear in mind that you will
not be able to observe the laws or fulfill your duties unless you know them.
also be given some proposition blanks.
The Vice Chief Ranger then bids the Conductor to hand each
candidate copies of the laws and By-laws and several proposition blanks.
After they have been distributed the Senior Conductor will report:
Worthy Vice Chief Ranger. your orders have been obeyed.
The Vice Chief Ranger continues:
You will now be conducted to the station of the Chief Ranger, where you will
hear the lesson of our Order and receive the password.
The Vice Chief Ranger gives three raps for members to rise,
turning to Senior Conductor he then orders:
Conductor, present the candidates to the Chief Ranger.
The Senior Conductor proceeds as before, the candidates being led
over the same line of march as at first to the Chief Rangers station, and the
fifth and last stanza of the Ode is sung, or a march is played.
Upon arrival at the Chief Rangers station, the Senior Conductor
introduces the candidates thus:
Chief Ranger, I present candidates who have taken the binding obligations of the
Order and have been instructed by the Vice Chief Ranger.
The Chief Ranger gives signal for members to be seated and then
delivers the following, with feeling and conviction, and to the yery best of his
Brothers, I have a few words to say to you touching upon the fundamental
structure of the Catholic Order of Foresters.
order, planted under the protecting shade of holy Mother Church, in which it
finds its source and from which it draws its inspiration, is founded upon three
cardinal principles—principles based upon the three great theological virtues,
typified so beautifully by the stations you have just passed—Faith. Hope and
Charity; principles that tend to elevate and make us better members of society,
of the church and of the state and nobler defenders of the Christian home.
principles are: Friendship, Unity and true Christian Charity.
Friendship——a flower that blooms in all ages and in all climes. It is—as the
rivers, the strands of the seas or the air we breathe—common to all mankind. It
is a principle that you should practice at all times and under all circumstances
and you should cultivate, both by intercourse and association, the friendship of
the members of this Order, whom you ask to be your brothers. We will be your
brothers. Having assumed the self-same obligation that you have taken, we stand
ready to aid and protect you so long as you wear your armor in the cause of
right and live amongst us as true and faithful Catholic Foresters.
brothers, I will now give you the grasp of Friendship as a mark of welcome to
our ranks; at the same time I will impart to you the password of the Order,
which will open to you the doors of all our Courts.
The Chief Ranger passes around among the candidates, giving to
each the grip and password of the Order. While doing so an appropriate (solemn)
song should be sung or an interlude or reverie played on the piano. If the class
is large, the Chief Ranger should request several visiting Chief Rangers or Past
Chief Rangers to assist him in giving out the password. This will expedite the
work. These officers, if possible, should be gowned.
Returning to his station, the Chief Ranger continues:
The Conductors will now take the password to assure me that you are in
possession of it.
The Junior and Assistant Conductors, each beginning at his end of
the file, then proceed to examine the candidates, and, if there be a large
number, the Senior Conductor assists, taking the middle one-third. The musician
should softly play an interlude or reverie.
The Conductors should not exchange the grip or grasp the hands of
the candidates when taking the password.
If any candidate has forgotten the password the Conductor must
request him to step up to the Chief Ranger for instruction.
The Conductors, finding all in possession of the password, the
Senior Conductor will report to the Chief Ranger thus:
Worthy Chief Ranger, all have been examined and are in possession of the
The Chief Ranger then continues:
Brothers, the second principle of our Order is Unity. This principle teaches us
that alone man is weak, united he is strong; a truth that the philosopher of old
exemplified so strikingly and which I, in like manner, shall now ask the Senior
Conductor to exemplify.
Conductor, come forward.
The Conductor will come forward and salute the Chief Ranger, who
will hand him a stick. He will salute again and then face the candidates,
holding the stick so that all can see.
Conductor, break the stick.
After this has been done the Chief Ranger will say:
Worthy Conductor, you will now take this handful of sticks, bound closely
together to unite their strength, and try to break them.
The Conductor will salute the Chief Ranger, accept from him the
bundle of sticks, salute again, face the candidates and try to break the bundle.
Having made several efforts, he will turn, salute the Chief Ranger and report:
Worthy Chief Ranger, I have tried but cannot break the sticks united.
Conductor salutes and retires to his position.
What a splendid illustration of the power of Unity. The single stick so easily
broken, resists every effort when united with others. As with the sticks, so it
is with man. Alone we are weak and can do but little or nothing; our efforts are
easily shattered; but associated in a bond of fraternal union we are strong and
can accomplish much for church, home and country and can make substantial
provisions for one another in case of sickness and distress and for our loved
ones, in case of death. You, my brothers, from henceforth will be called upon to
lend strength to this potent principle by inviting into our Order all eligible
Catholic men, to the end that the greatest good may come to the largest number.
third principle, my brothers, is Christian Charity. Charity is that principle
which inspires in our hearts and minds those of Friendship and Unity, and which
incites us to do unto others as we would have them do unto us. Life, my
brothers, has its sunshine and its shadows; its days and its nights; its seasons
of joy and its hours of sorrow, and in this eventful drama each and every man
plays a part. And so in our Order. Every member is called upon to dc his share
toward making the world better and brighter; toward bringing sunshine and
gladness to hearts in gloom and towards, dispelling the clouds that at times
gather about and darken the life of a brother member.
Remember, my brothers, that Charity consists not only in money giving, or in the
doing of things possible only for the rich; but Charity includes as well those
little acts of kindness and mercy, which all can practice, irrespective of
calling or station in life, which give to humanity the touch of kinship and make
the world a place we delight to live in.
brothers, consoling and encouraging indeed to every Christian soul must be the
words of our Divine Master, promising eternal reward—some, ye blessed of my
Father, possess you the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the
world. For I was hungry and you gave me to eat; I was thirsty and you gave me to
drink; I was a stranger and you took me in; naked and you covered me; sick and
you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me.
say to you, as long as you did it to one of these my least brethren, you did it
Fraternity—humanity—Christianity— in its deepest significance.
Cultivate ever, my brothers, the practice of the sublime principle and virtue of
Charity. Let no day pass without enriching it, by performing, in the Masters
name, some little act of kindness, charity or benevolence. Cast from your hearts
every grudge; banish every unkind thought: lay aside every personal prejudice.
Recognize more clearly, each day, in every man, the imagine of God—your brother.
Let not the vanity of the world dazzle and blind you.
Golden Rule be your motto. Let the sun of charity that rises at home, always set
abroad. Help to propagate and extend the great work in which we are engaged.
Lastly, let no act of yours ever tarnish the fair name of our Order, but let
your lives at all times be above reproach. Be faithful in. your duty to your
God, to your family, to your country and to your fellowman; and consider that,
when at last your earthly mission is ended, all the noble and generous deeds
which you performed will serve as golden keys to open for you the gates of
These, my friends, are the sublime teachings of our Order, and these point out
the rule of conduct we would have you follow as members of the Catholic Order of
My brothers, I will now invest you each with the emblem of the Order, signifying
that you have been selected to regular membership. This emblem
pointing to the emblem on the banner has
upon it a cross and a deer. The cross typifies our faith. The deer, figurative
of Christ, symbolizes those ardent and virtuous desires, which spring so warmly
from a truly Christian soul.
cross—the tree of salvation—and the deer—the noblest and keenest denizen of the
woods—are to remind us further of the Forest—the Forest of Life—in which we as
true Foresters are to labor zealously and which we are to guard faithfully.
cross you find the letters F. H. C., representing those sanctifying
virtues—Faith, Hope and Charity. I ask you to wear this emblem. Let it always be
worn, however, with honor. By no act of yours bring discredit upon it.
The Chief Ranger passes among the candidates and invests each
with an emblem (button) of the Order.
The Senior Conductor assists by passing him the emblem, which he
carries on a tray. Should the class be large, the Chief Ranger should ask one of
the other officers to assist.
During this ceremony an appropriate song should be sung, or an
The Chief Ranger, upon returning to his station, continues:
My dear brothers, your initiation to regular membership is about
to close. Further travels await you, would you reach the heights of full
membership in the Order. You will soon be conducted from this hall. Later you
will be returned to be introduced to the brothers present You were presented
proposition blanks. I now hand you this roll, which I kindly ask each to sign
while in the ante-room, certifying that in appreciation of your admission to
membership, and as evidence of your willingness to help extend the Order, you
will make an earnest and sincere effort to secure the application of at least
one good, eligible man within the next sixty days.
sign this roll and let it be returned to the Secretary of the Court for
safekeeping and,, later, during your next march to a higher degree, let it be
presented as a pledge and as evidence of your loyalty to the Order.
The Chief Ranger hands roll to Senior Conductor who, in turn,
hands it to the third candidate.
C.R. gives three raps, members arise.
C.R., pointing to the cross and flag:
Behold before me the two great standards of civilization—the cross and the flag.
The cross and flag attendant should rise.
The one symbolizes the church; the other the state. How closely interwoven is
man’s destiny with both. How dependent on these is the happiness and safety of
brothers, you each declared before this assemblage that you were a practical
Catholic: You pledged loyalty and obedience to holy Mother Church. I present to
you this cross, emblematic of our faith. The cross
attendant hands cross to Chief Ranger, who presents it to Senior Conductor, who
remains standing until C.R. closes remarks. Take it with you. Let it
ever serve as a reminder that through it alone man can be saved and on the
occasion of your next journey toward higher membership let it be presented as
evidence of the faith that is in you.
The Senior Conductor holds cross erect, facing candidates, until
song is concluded and then hands cross to the first candidate in line.
Solo: Hail, Cross Divine, Nearer, My God, to Thee or other
appropriate religious song.
After the cross has been presented the Chief Ranger continues:
At the close of each meeting of our Order, the members are
reminded that a good Catholic and a true Forester is the highest type of a
to God is the best assurance of loyalty to country. Loyalty to country is a duty
as is loyalty to God, for the Master said: Render to Caesar the things that are
Caesars, and to God, the things that are God’s.
impress upon your minds most fully the duty you owe to your country, I now
present to you this flag, the emblem of our nation.
Flag attendant hands flag to the Chief Ranger, who holding it high continues:
Let it ever remind you of your civic obligations, and cause you to discharge
them faithfully, be it in peace or be it in war.
The Chief Ranger hands flag to Senior Conductor who faces the
candidates and stands holding flag erect while the Star Spangled Banner (in
Canada a national anthem) is sung. At conclusion of singing the Chief Ranger
Take this banner with you and in your onward march toward higher
membership let it serve as evidence of your patriotism and your ever willingness
to upbuild and defend your country, even at the cost of your very lives.
cross and flag I beg you to proceed and vouch for you a safe and happy journey.
Conductor presents flag to
Worthy Conductor, proceed.
Senior Conductor orders candidates to march as before and leads
them to the ante-room.
The Chief Ranger gives three raps; all rise and sing America. In
Dominion of Canada a national hymn is used. Singing should be continued until
the new initiates have marched out of the hall. Upon arrival in the ante-room
the Senior Conductor should have all sign the pledge roll. As soon as all have
signed the Senior Conductor should announce to the Inside Sentinel that the new
initiates are ready to return. If the class is large several pledge sheets
should be used to expedite signing.
The Inside Sentinel, awaiting a proper pause in the business
procedure of the Court, announces:
Ranger, the Conductors with the new initiates ask to be admitted.
You will admit them.
The Chief Ranger gives three raps. All members rise. The
Conductors will lead the new initiates before the Chief Ranger, placing them in
a semi-circle, as when first they entered: A march should be played on the piano
during entry. After new initiates have been properly placed the Senior Conductor
will step to the center, salute the Chief Ranger, and say:
Ranger, I present our new brothers, each of whom has signed the roll, they now
await your further pleasure.
Brothers, you are about to be introduced collectively to the members present by
me and individually, a little later, by the Conductors. Before proceeding with
this formality, permit me to present to you a number of books, the reading and
study of which will be most helpful to you in. your journey toward higher
membership. Read them carefully. Read other books and literature of a similar
nature and thus prepare yourselves for the journeys to come. A word to the wise
Conductors will please distribute the books.
After they have been distributed the Chief Ranger will ask the
new initiates to face the members and will make the following introduction:
Brothers of ... Court No. ..., I take much pleasure in presenting
to you these new brothers, who are now regular members of this Court and of the
Order. Give them your hearty greeting.
The members applaud and then the Chief Ranger declares a short
recess, instructing the Conductors to introduce the new members individually to
After sufficient time has been given for introduction,
congratulations, etc., the Chief Ranger again calls the meeting to order and
continues with the Order of Business. If the meeting is a special one, for the
purpose of initiating a class, a social session should follow.
In either case, one or more of the new, initiates should be
called upon for remarks.
A motion to proceed to close having prevailed, or there being no
further business to transact, the Chief Ranger, standing, says:
we will proceed to close this meeting in regular form. The conductors will
please collect the officers badges.
The Conductors proceed to collect the badges and the Chief Ranger
Financial Secretary, what are the receipts of the Court since the
last regular meeting?
The Financial Secretary reports in the following form, speaking
slowly so as to enable the Recording Secretary and the Treasurer to write it
The receipts are: Benefit Fund, $...; Court Fund, $...; Contingent Fund, $...;
Treasurer, will you receive and receipt for these moneys at the close of the
meeting and credit them to the respective funds ?
The Treasurer must answer.
Recording Secretary, have you kept a true record of the acts of this meeting?
The Recording Secretary must answer.
And have you noted the receipts of the Court as reported by the Financial
The Recording Secretary must answer.
As soon as the Conductors have finished collecting the badges,
the Chief Ranger requests:
Spiritual Director will please say the closing prayer.
Three raps. Members rise and remain standing during prayer.
Thy protection we take refuge, O Holy Mother of God. Despise not our petition in
our necessities, but deliver us from all dangers, O ever glorious and blessed
pray for our departed Brothers.
Father, etc. Hail Mary, etc.
souls of our departed brothers and of all the faithful departed, through the
mercy of God, rest in peace. R. Amen.
Let us now sing the closing song.
At the conclusion of the song the Chief Ranger commands:
Conductors will come forward and take charge of the Cross and Flag.
The Conductors come forward, salute, take cross and flag, turn
and face the meeting.
Brothers, salute the standards.
Members give military salute.
Conductors take cross and flag to place of safe keeping. Upon
their return the C.R. will say:
Brothers, the work of our meeting is performed. Let us part as we met—in the
spirit of unity and brotherly love. Let all our acts at all times be governed by
the sublime precepts of our Order, and the world will learn that a good Catholic
and a true Forester is the highest type of a citizen. Do not fail to attend the
next meeting, which will be held ....
give day and date, and call particular attention to any special
feature of that meeting.
The Chief Ranger then gives one rap and, making the sign of
night, or good afternoon as the case may be.
The members, in acknowledgment, also make the sign and say in
Chief Ranger, good night, or good afternoon.