Brotherhood of American Yeomen

The Brotherhood of American Yeomen, founded in 1897, was one of a vast number of fraternal benefit assessment societies established toward the end of the 19th century.  The Lodges were called Homesteads, and there was a strong Christian element to the Rituals and Ceremonies, which also praised the Magna Carta and the English language.  The Homesteaders was the result of a schism within the Yeomen.

In 1917, the Yeomen changed its financial footing to assure greater stability, and in 1932 it transformed itself into the Mutual Life Insurance Company.  The order is now extinct.

Yeomen Initiatory Ceremony

Revised 1927

Opening Ceremony
 
HONORABLE FOREMAN, standing: The hour has come to open this Homestead. Those who are not members will retire. Sentinel, close and bolt the outer door. Watchman, guard the inner door. Overseer, observe well those who are here and test the right of each to remain.
Overseer advances to the Foreman’s station by passing around the altar, and gives him the grip and semi-annual and permanent passwords, then takes same from each member, passing to the right around the room. Members will rise and advance a step when giving pass word and grip to Overseer. If a member has forgotten the passwords, or either of them, or the grip, the Overseer will report to the Foreman, who will call the member to his station and instruct him—provided the member is in good standing. When the Overseer has finished he will take his station at the altar, and salute the Foreman with the working sign and report as follows:
OVERSEER: My duty is performed, Honorable Foreman. Each has proven himself by word and sign and is entitled to remain.
FOREMAN: Master of Ceremonies, are the Watchman and Sentinel at their stations? Is the signal, which all Archers know, placed upon the inner door? Is the altar placed in the center of the room with the open Bible and bended bow upon it?
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: All is in proper form according to our laws. Each officer and member sits in his proper place and wears the token of his rank.
FORMAN: Worthy Correspondent, are your books and records here, and is the seal, the emblem of authority of the Homestead, in your possession?
CORRESPONDENT: The books and seal are in my possession and a true and accurate record shall be kept of what is done.
FOREMAN: Lady Rebecca, have afflicted members received proper care, and has attention been given to the needy?
LADY REBECCA: We have ministered unto the sick and relieved all worthy cases of want.
FOREMAN: Lady Rowena, the social affairs of our Homestead are important. Are our members in peace and harmony, and is cordial welcome extended to visitors?
LADY ROWENA: All is well, Honorable Foreman. Our social life is pleasant and a gracious welcome always awaits the visitor.
FOREMAN: Within our guarded hail we meet with common purpose for our common good. Let harmony prevail. Let each one do his work unselfishly and well, so that when we part we shall be wiser and better for our meeting. We will now sing our opening ode. Calls up Homestead.
Opening Ode.
Tune, “America.”
Let Wisdom be our guide;
Let Peace and Love abide
With us to-night.
Charity—sweetest name!
Protection is our aim.
Our Watchwords we proclaim!
Symbols of right.
Let no dissension rise;
Let us be just and wise
Within our hall;
Throughout this mighty land
Let us go hand in hand,
A grand fraternal band.
God bless us all.
FOREMAN: Officers and members attend while the Chaplain invokes the Divine blessing.
CHAPLAIN: Father Almighty, Thou who art infinite in wisdom and in goodness, wilt Thou bless us. Guide us in what we do and what we say, and may our labors result in honor to Thee and in good to our fellow men. Amen.
ALL: Amen.
FOREMAN: Archers, give the degree sign.
Officers, its answer.
The Archers sign
Officers, its answer
The working sign
Officers, its answer.
The recognition sign
Its answer
The distress sign.
Its answer.
The cry of distress
Its answer.
The voting sign
The test words
The answer.
The Yeomen honors.
FOREMAN: In the name of Wisdom, Charity and Protection, I now declare this Homestead open for the transaction of business. Watchman inform the Sentinel.
The Foreman seats the Homestead.
 
 
Initiation
 
The Foreman has general charge of initiations, but may appoint some member as Captain. The Foreman or Captain must assign the different parts to the persons most capable of taking them whether they are the Homestead officers or not Officers should be in costume and should have their parts committed to memory. Very elaborate costumes may be used, but the work will be almost as effective if simple costumes are used.
No costume is prepared for the candidate. If there are two or more candidates, all will be admitted into the hall at once and after Courier’s charge are seated except one.
The Ritual has its origin in Sir Walter Scott’s “Ivanhoe.” The scene is supposed to be in the home or Homestead of Cedric the Saxon, and the characters are the members of his household, visitors, and a stranger—the candidate. It will be noted that Cedric is Foreman, Ivanhoe is Master of Ceremonies, Gurth is Guard, and Isaac, the Jew, is Master of Accounts. The costumes described are those worn in that day, with as few changes as practicable for use in the Homestead.
For full description of costumes please see official catalog which should be in the hands of every Homestead Correspondent. Homesteads should secure full outfit of officers’ costumes as soon as possible after organization. The ritualistic work will be much more impressive and it will add to your membership.
All officers occupy their stations at beginning of initiatory ceremonies except Rebecca, who sits at left of Master of Ceremonies, Courier at Rebecca’s station, Wamba on floor in front Foreman’s station, officers speak from their stations unless otherwise directed.
The Overseer assisted by the Guard should see that all paraphernalia is properly distributed. If there is more than one candidate the language should be changed accordingly.
FOREMAN: Worthy Master of Ceremonies, are there strangers seeking fraternal protection?
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: Honorable Foreman, there is a stranger without our door who seeks admission and asks for fraternal protection.
FOREMAN: Worthy Overseer, has the Master of Ceremonies heard aright? Do you desire to present the stranger to this Homestead?
OVERSEER: Honorable Foreman, the Master of Ceremonies is correct. I do so desire.
FOREMAN: Worthy Correspondent, you will accompany the Overseer to the ante-room; return and report the result of your investigation.
Overseer and Correspondent arise and salute the Honorable Foreman with the working sign, then proceed to the altar, each walking in step with the other and on opposite sides of the hall. At the altar they salute the Master of Ceremonies with the working sign. Then they proceed side by side to the ante-room. Returning, they walk abreast to the altar where they salute the Foreman with the working sign.
OVERSEER: Honorable Foreman, we vouch for the candidate.
FOREMAN: Worthy Correspondent, you may resume your station. Worthy Overseer, bring the stranger before us.
Overseer salutes the Master of Ceremonies with working sign and retires to the ante-room. Takes candidate by the left arm and knocks loudly on the inside door.
FOREMAN, in full round tone: Who stands knocking at the door?
WATCHMAN, opening the door a trifle and speaking in a strong tone that the candidate may hear conversation between the Foreman and Watchman: The Overseer of the Homestead with a stranger who desires admission.
FOREMAN: Why comes he here?
WATCHMAN: He seeks Wisdom and Protection.
FOREMAN: He who comes seeking such treasures shall not be turned away. Watchman, undo the door; let him enter.
Overseer enters with candidate and stops about 10 to 15 feet inside of door. The Courier, a lady dressed in white, speaks from station near the Foreman Lights are turned down Light is thrown upon the Courier by lantern, if practicable. The Courier’s address can be made more effective by throwing pictures on canvas with a lantern, or by tableaux.
COURIER: Carry your thoughts back to the days of the Crusades, to the reign of Richard the First. In that age, and under that lion-hearted king, Chivalry attained its height. To that age English Yeomenry traces the beginning of its power in the State. Chivalry was the Christian form of the military profession. It was the sacrament, the baptism of the warrior. Yeomenry stood between an idle and vicious Knighthood on the one hand, and a dumb and servile peasantry on the other. In it dwelt the lofty strength of the English Commonwealth; from it have come free states and nations and peoples treading the middle way in the course of history, blessing and benefiting mankind. That was the May time of modern history—the beginning of light from the darkened Middle Ages. This was the code of Chivalry:
“Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy.
“Thou shalt never lie, but shalt remain faithful to thy pledged word.
“Thou shalt be generous
“Thou shalt respect all weakness, and shalt constitute thyself the defender and the bold champion of the widow and the orphan.”
Upon this foundation we today build our Castle. In these modern times Yeomenry and Chivalry are synonymous terms. Yeomenry is Chivalry without alloy; honor without stain; service without recompense; heroic deeds without the blare of trumpet. In the older day the Yeomen were the body politic. Kings and potentates may issue edicts, but they are naught compared with the great moral force exercised by a thinking, active, living people. The virtues of the day “When Knighthood was in Flower” therefore, were due to the great body of common people of that day—the Yeomen. To their valor, courage and wisdom are due the consummation of two of the greatest deeds that mark human progress. The first victory for liberty was won on the field of Runnymede, when the Great Charter was wrested from a ruler who was blind to the march of events. The second great accomplishment was the establishment of the English language. No greater service has been rendered mankind.
Such, briefly, is the history of Yeomenry. The memory of such deeds deserves to be perpetuated. This story of yesterday is at once the treasure and emulation of modern Yeomen. As successfully as the Yeomen of old wielded the bow and the battle axe against real or imaginary wrongs, does the Brotherhood of American Yeomen today combat wrong and injustice with the sword of truth and the battle axe of fraternity.
Sir Walter Scott has told us in “Ivanhoe” of the stirring limes and sturdy men of Yeomenry. If tonight Time turns backward for you to the Yeomen days of merry old England, you may gain Wisdom from the rugged characters of that day.
Courier retires, lights are turned on.
FOREMAN: Overseer, escort our guest to the place of honor at my right. Pause. What is this stranger’s purpose in seeking admission to our Homestead?
OVERSEER: He seeks Wisdom and Protection.
FOREMAN: In return for these what will he do?
OVERSEER: He will do Charitable deeds.
FOREMAN: Does the Overseer speak correctly? Candidate answers. Do you pledge yourself in truth and honor not to communicate to any person not entitled to receive the same, what passes here or what we do? Candidate answers. I bid you welcome. I call upon our friends to voice the fraternal spirit extended to all who have been found worthy of our confidence and protection. Lady Rowena, greet the stranger.
LADY ROWENA: Thou art welcome, thrice welcome. Thy name shall be enrolled on our lists. The fraternity of man makes the whole world kin. Its actual achievements are among the greatest events that move in the theatre of time. Its bright, effulgent rays illuminate the earth with a radiance that uplifts and ennobles humanity. Thou art welcome to such an Association.
OVERSEER: Thy welcome is indeed sincere, gracious lady. May health and peace be thine.
FOREMAN: Ivanhoe, have you a word of welcome?
Overseer faces candidate to Ivanhoe.
IVANHOE: To deserve a welcome here thou must observe well the code of Chivalry: “Thou shalt not recoil before thine enemy; thou shalt constitute thyself the defender and the bold champion of the widow and the orphan.”
REBECCA, rising at once facing Ivanhoe: Rebecca, the daughter of Isaac, the Jew, would remind the gallant Ivanhoe that the widow and orphan have need rather of the tongues of advocates than of the iron weapons of Knights. Then facing candidate and Ivanhoe is seated. There is a chivalry that makes no proclamation of trumpet. Practice it, and it will be said of you: “He listened always if one cried to him for help.” May He who made both Jew and Christian bless and keep you.
CHAPLAIN: No choicer blessing could fall from human lips. Although the daughter of a persecuted race, no loftier soul ever dwelt in human form; no braver spirit ever chose death rather than shame; no tenderer heart ever pitied the distressed; no gentler hand ever bound up human wounds. Learn from this that sorrow and scorn may develop grandeur of soul, and learn to despise the petty meanness which scoffs at race or nationality. Gurth approaches candidate, so timing himself to arrive as Overseer completes introduction.
OVERSEER: Gurth, the swineherd, approaches. He is rough and bold of speech, but remember that a rough outside may hide a noble soul. Gurth, bid the stranger welcome.
GURTH, shakes candidate by the hand: The swineherd’s welcome is as sincere as the sovereign’s, and his station in life is as important. Honest toil is a truer mark of a noble soul than rank and title. Remember that it was to the lowly shepherds that the angels first appeared, bringing glad tidings of great joy.
FOREMAN: Gurth speaks the truth. There is virtue in the common people. True men and women, no matter what their rank in life, are the glory of a State. More blessed than the ruler of men is he of whom it may be said:
His life was gentle, and the elements
So mixed in him that Nature might stand up
And say to all the world—this was a man!
As the Foreman completes his charge, Wamba jumps to his feet and by his actions inspires the Overseer to say: Wamba, the court fool, must have his fling.
WAMBA, in front of candidate: ‘Tis not given to all men to choose their profession, but ‘tis better to be a court fool than to be a fool court, or a King’s fool than a fool King. And ‘tis better, mark you, to be all fool than part fool. If thou are part fool and part sage, it may be hard to tell just where the fool ends and the sage begins. So be what thou art.
Be firm; one constant element of luck
Is genuine, solid, Yeomen pluck
Stick to your aim, the mongrel’s hold will slip,
But only crowbars loose the bull dog’s grip.
Small though he looks, the jaw that never yields
Drags down the bellowing Monarch of the fields.
Overseer takes candidate by arm, walks direct to station of Isaac or Master of Accounts, repeating the following. Isaac rises as they approach.
OVERSEER: There is sometimes more information to be gained from fools than from wise men, because they dare tell the truth. Isaac, the Jew!
ISAAC: The Yeomen have placed in my hands their treasure, a trust for the widow and orphan. We minister unto the bereaved when death places a blighting hand upon the brow of the wage earner; we relieve sorrow, care for the sick and bury the dead. Your presence here is an earnest that you desire to join us in this beneficent labor. May you help us as we will help you and yours.
Overseer walks candidate to lower end of hall, thence to altar facing Foreman. Ivanhoe and Rebecca leave stations, marching on right and left sides to hail of Foreman’s station. Foreman joins them and the three march to altar, facing candidate. The lectures may he illustrated by throwing pictures on canvas.
FOREMAN: My friend, we would teach you Wisdom. Tableau of Wisdom. Nature bestows none of her best benefits upon Ignorance. Until man obtained Wisdom he roamed the forest and the desert alone, or with savage tribes, In quest of forage and fray. Wisdom taught him to seek the friendship of his fellow man, rather than his enmity, and that it is better to heal a wound than to give one. Wisdom taught man progress, and he no longer stands dumb and aimless in the presence of the mighty problems of this pulsating age. Wisdom taught him to establish governments, to build cities, and gave him knowledge of his own material conditions. It enables him to conquest nature, and gave him dominion over earth and air and ocean. It led him to the discovery of continents. It taught him liberty and freedom of thought. Wisdom led man from savagery to civilization, from the cave to the castle, from the wilderness to the home. It taught him the Fatherhood of God and the Brotherhood of Man. It taught him the equality of man—that the swineherd and the sovereign, the rich and the poor, the Jew and the Gentile, may all meet on one common level. Through Wisdom man learned the benefits of association, of fraternity. Wisdom softened the heart of man, and lo! Charity, Tableau of Charity the chiefest virtue of them all sprang forth like the red dawn of a new day to bless mankind.
LADY REBECCA: Charity is the greatest of the virtues, and her patron is the civilized world. Her fruitage falls like manna from heaven. Charity is the religion of the Master in motion. It makes the Golden Rule the law of action, and personal sacrifice a welcome boon. It salutes mankind with the glad song of emancipation from sorrow. Like a tidal wave, it sweeps through all the avenues of modern life, and will continue to soothe the sorrows and thrill the hearts of men so long as virtue is loved and vice is hated. Let Charity’s light, full orbed, shine into your soul. Heed the cry of sorrow seeking consolation. To the cry of Cain give answer: “I am my brother’s keeper.” May you assist our Order in fulfilling its mission, and may the good evolved, through Charity, flourish and bloom and fill the earth with gladness.
The quality of mercy is not strained
It droppeth as the gentle rats from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice hiest;
It hiesseth him that gives and him that takes.
FOREMAN: The bright ray of Charity sheds its light on our lives. But there is something else. Wisdom is essential, Charity is noble, but the trinity is yet incomplete; to these must be added Protection. Tableau of Protection.
IVANHOE: It is delightful to live in this age and take part in its heroic conflicts; it is glorious to forget self and live for others; happiest is the man whose opportunities for doing good to others are greatest.
We would teach you Protection! The first law of nature is self-protection. Protect yourself, not only against temptation and wrong doing, but against the day of physical disability. Protect your estate. The proper exercise of prudence and care in things temporal is the true path to things spiritual. Protect the weak! If you are strong, you therefore have the greater responsibility. Protect your family—your loved ones—those dependent upon you. The Brotherhood of American Yeomen teaches and practices Protection. Many of our homes have been invaded by the death angel; Our ministrations have led the bereaved to a light beyond. Yeomenry comforts those who mourn, ministers unto the afflicted, rejoices at the cradle and weeps at the grave.
Officers retire. Rebecca takes her seat and Courier returns to station at left of Master of Ceremonies.
Homestead singing “Blest Be the Tie.” Overseer conducts candidate slowly around room to ante-room. The Black Knight, four pall and two torch bearers should he ready in the anteroom. Robes for pall and torch hearers should he black and hooded, black masks may he worn.
Wamba returns to seat at lower end of hail.
When all is in readiness the Watchman will admit Overseer and candidate without ceremony. Overseer conducts candidate to a place one-third the distance between altar and Foreman’s station, nearest altar and facing preparation room, lights are turned out, musician plays a funeral march Team enters from preparation room and marches around room to a place one-half the distance between the candidate and Foreman’s station (Overseer with candidate faces bier at all times ) When bier is directly in front of the Foreman, Captain halts team. At signal, lower bier on standards and pall and torch bearers kneel on one knee, remaining so until signal to rise. Black Knight steps between bier and Foreman’s station to deliver charge. A gong should be solemnly sounded while procession is coming and going.
OVERSEER, taking candidate by the arm and walking slowly toward the bier: At every feast there is a skeleton. The Black Knight who stands before you represents the Future, Unknown and Mysterious. It may be that it brings you joy and triumph, or it may be that sorrow and defeat will be your lot. And at the end comes death, the gloomy gateway to a brighter world.
Below are given two charges, one in prose and the other in verse. Either may be used.
BLACK KNIGHT, takes skull in hand, speaks slowly, turns skull and addresses appropriately each part suggested by the language: What relic’s this? How long have run the sands of time since this thing lived? Who can say? And who can tell by what unknown means the life that once so filled this empty dome was here retained? From mortal man is hid the secret of how that life escaped, and where ‘tis gone. He who gave this dead thing life, took back the gift he had but loaned. We know not the state of him who once did move this thing about. We see the space where throbbed the brain with thought. From here shone forth the eyes, those well springs of the soul, from which outflash the hidden secrets of the heart. The organ here was placed that caught the tuneful sound of praise and harkened to the critic’s scoff. This gruesome, clacking jaw was once the means of thought transfer. The whole scheme of life here dwelt within this empty vault. This thing did once o’ertop a frame like thine; a thing like this shall that which rests upon thy shoulders be. So live that when thy frame is reduced to this, thine immortal part may rest in peace content, concerned not with material decay, though mortals gaze upon this thing with awe. Thine Immortal part? If immortality be but a delusive dream, then he who fears to die should fear to live, for then the hopeless tragedy of life would be more desolate than the destructive tragedy of death. It matters not to us how lived this thing, nor when; but idle curiosity for the moment stirs to wonder. How walked the feet? The hands, what wrought they, good or bad? Have lover’s hands soft patted here where dwelt a cheek, and has this gruesome thing in love content been sweetly pressed to bosom fair which now itself is shorn of all that made it fair? He who owned it has his just reward.
Black Knight places skull on bier and at signal pall and torch hearers rise, pick up bier and team marches slowly to preparation room.
BLACK KNIGHT: Look not mournfully into the past; it comes not back again. Wisely improve the present; it is thine. Go forth to meet the future without fear and with a noble heart.
Black Knight clasps the band of the candidate and takes place in procession.
The Black Knight may use the following instead of the above:
Behold this ruin’ ‘Twas a skull
Once of ethereal spirit full.
This narrow cell was Life’s retreat,
This space was Thought’s mysterious seat
What beauteous visions filled this spot,
What dreams of pleasure long forgot
Nor hope, nor love, nor joy, nor fear,
Have left one trace of record here.
 
Beneath this mouldering canopy
Once shone the bright and busy eye.
But start not at the dismal void—
If social love that eye employed.
If with no lawless fire it Gleamed,
But through the dews of kindness beamed,
That eye shall be forever bright
When stars and suns are sunk in night
 
Within this hollow cavern hung
The ready, swift and tuneful tongue;
If Falsehood’s honey it disdained,
And when it could not praise, was chained,
If hold in Virtue’s cause it spoke,
Yet gentle concord never broke—
This silent tongue shall plead for thee
When time unveils Eternity!
 
Say! Did these fingers delve the mine?
Or with its envied rubies shine?
To hew the rock or wear the gem
Can little now avail to them.
But if the page of Truth they sought,
Or comfort to the mourner brought,
These hands a richer mend shall claim
Than all that wait on Wealth and Fame.
 
Avails it whether hare or shod
These feet the paths of duty trod?
If from the bowers of Ease they fled,
To seek Afflictions humble shed;
If Grandeur’s guilty pride they spurned,
And home to Virtue’s cot returned—
These feet with angel wings shall vie,
And tread the palace of the sky!
Overseer makes no reply, but takes candidate by the arm and follows procession, but turns to altar, facing Foreman. As procession passes into preparation room lights are turned on.
OVERSEER: My friend, you have witnessed this panorama of the past for a purpose. We wish you to be impressed with the fact that the Brotherhood of American Yeomen is as broad as humanity and as deep as the great sea of human thought. Honorable Foreman, again the candidate stands before you.
FOREMAN: The lessons we would teach you have been given. You have already pledged yourself to keep secret what is done within these walls. Before, however, you can come into full fellowship with us, you must take an additional pledge, obligating yourself to perform truly the duties of a Yeomen. Are you willing so to do? Candidate answers. Does any member know of any just reason why the obligation should not he administered to this candidate?
ISAAC: What has he promised in return for our Protection?
FOREMAN: That he will do Charitable deeds.
ALL MEMBERS: It is well. Proceed.
If other candidates are in the room all are now brought forward to altar.
FOREMAN, calls up the Homestead and advances to altar: Raise your right hand and repeat after me:
I, ..., solemnly promise that I will not divulge the secrets of this Order to anyone not entitled to receive the same. I will guard and protect the good name of a brother or sister; if in my power I will aid a member in distress. I will give my influence to the upbuilding and advancement of the Order, and I will obey its laws and follow its precepts. To the performance of all this I pledge my sacred word of honor.
Master of Ceremonies seats the Homestead, Foreman returns to his station; Overseer conducts candidate to Foreman’s station.
FOREMAN: I will now instruct you in the unwritten work of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen. There are in Yeomenry three great words which indicate the teachings of our Order, and are the watchwords of the Yeomen. They are Wisdom, Charity and Protection.
We have a degree sign and answer. The sign is made thus —, the answer —.
There is an Archer sign which is made thus —, and answered —.
The voting sign, which is used in voting on all matters in the Homestead, except where written or ball ballots are used, is made in this manner —.
This is the working sign —, it is answered —. This sign is used in addressing the Foreman when rising to speak in the Homestead. These words and signs are used only in the Homestead.
Should you desire to test one supposed to be a Yeomen you will give him the recognition sign, which is made thus —, to which a Yeomen will reply in this manner —.
Should you still be in doubt that he is what he professes to be, you will further test him with the words —, to which he will reply —.
We have a sign of distress and answer made thus —. When this sign cannot be seen words may he used instead of the sign and answer. These words are — for the sign and — for the answer. A member seeing or hearing this Sign or Word should answer and hasten to your assistance if within his power to do so.
There are Yeomen honors, used only in the Homestead, to greet Supreme officers when visiting a Homestead officially, and are made thus —.
You will now be conducted to the Master of Ceremonies, for further instructions.
MASTER OF CEREMONIES: As the shield is to the warrior in battle, so is our Order to those who seek its Protection. Beneath the protecting folds of its banner you are safe.
We will shield you in time of sickness, injury or misfortune, and your loved ones when you shall be no more. In all Homesteads there is an outer and inner door, between them the ante-room. You will approach the outer door and make any ordinary alarm. The Sentinel will open the wicket and you will give him the semi-annual password, which will be given you later by the Honorable Foreman. If given correctly, you will be admitted to the ante-room, where you will clothe yourself in proper regalia. On the inner door you will observe the signal, which is a small bow with arrow pointing upward. On this door you will give this signal —. The Watchman will answer you with the same sign —. The Watchman will then open the wicket and you will give him your name, and, if you are visiting any Homestead other than your own, the name and number of our Homestead. This is — Homestead No. —. You will also give him the permanent word, which is —. If given correctly the Watchman will open the door and you will enter. You will proceed to the altar, always turning, right angles, and salute the Foreman with the degree sign, —. He will answer you —. You will then turn racing Chaplain and salute the Master of Ceremonies with the Archer sign , as with a drawn — and —. He will answer you with the left arm held thus —, which is the sign of Protection. You will then take your seat.
Should you wish to leave the Homestead before it is closed, you will advance to the altar, and facing the Master of Ceremonies, you will salute him with the working sign —, and he will answer —, when, If no objections are offered by the Honorable Foreman, you will be allowed to depart. You will now be conducted to the Honorable Foreman who will give you the semi-annual password and the grip.
FOREMAN, gives password and grip: Overseer, conduct the candidate to the Correspondent for further instructions.
The Correspondent should inform him of the amount of his monthly payment; when, and where, and to whom payable; when he will become delinquent if payments are not made; the effect of delinquency; the proper officers to notify in case of sickness, and deliver to him a copy of the Constitution and By-Laws of the Brotherhood of American Yeomen.
FOREMAN (overseer faces the candidate about): I will now instruct you in the use of the gavel. One rap calls the Homestead to order and seats members when standing. Two raps call up the officers and three raps call up the Homestead. Archers, advance the degree sign. Officers, the answer. Archers, advance the Archer sign. Officers, the answer.
An exemplification of the secret work will be loaned to the Homestead Foreman on application to the President.
 
 
Closing Ceremony.
 
FOREMAN: Friends, at the Yeomen City of Childhood there is a band of happy children eager for knowledge. One of the greatest instruments for the dissemination of knowledge is the printed page. How useful, how helpful, are our book friends. They are patient, waiting friends, always ready to entertain, edify and comfort. They are great teachers who silently speak, guide and instruct. They are helpful companions who go the Journey of life with us.
A library embracing the best there is of literature is desired for our children at the Yeomen City of Childhood. It is proposed to establish this library by the presentation of pennies to the Children’s Home. The Pennymarch is now in order.
All embers march by the altar and deposit coin.
FOREMAN, calls up Homestead: The time has come to separate and go to our several homes Overseer, you will see that the Rituals, Regalia and other property are placed in safe keeping as soon as the Homestead is closed. We will now sing our dosing ode.
Closing Ode may be Home Sweet Home, God Be With You, Yeomen Battle Hymn, Blest Be the Tie, or America.
FOREMAN: Worthy Chaplain lead us in prayer.
CHAPLAIN: Father, if we tonight hare done Thy will, bless us and our work. Guide and guard us as we separate, and grant that we may meet again in harmony and peace. Amen.
FOREMAN: That which is done is done. Its evil and its good shall be made manifest in time to come. May Wisdom guide our steps, may Charity to all be shown by word and deed, and may those we love remain under the Protection of our Society. Watchman and Sentinel, undo the doors. As in Wisdom, Charity and Protection, I declared this Homestead opened, in their name I now declare it closed. Forget not your vows.

 

         

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