The Order of Artus
Ritual

 
1916


The Brothers in Artus having been called to order by the M. R. T., the Guide and Candidates approach outer door of Council Chamber. Guide knocks … times on outer door. Answer … knocks inside.
GUIDE:
 Worthy Master of the Round Table, esquires, candidates for the knighthood of our order, wait in the outer court. What is your will?
M.R.T.:
 Enter with your companions. Guide leads in candidates with eyes blindfolded.
M.R.T.:
 Companions of our worthy guide, upon examination I have found you qualified to become members of our beloved order, but before proceeding on the journey which now awaits you, it is meet and proper that you take upon yourselves a solemn and binding oath of eternal secrecy. Are you willing to proceed?
Candidates answer.
M.R.T.:
 Kneel and raise your right hand. Candidates kneel.
M.R.T.:
 Do you most solemnly swear before this chapter here assembled that you will never divulge to anyone not a duly initiated member of Artus anything whatsoever of the secret work, business, rules, or regulations of our fraternity?
CANDIDATES:
 I do so swear.
M.R.T.:
 Do you further swear that you will obey and support the constitution of Artus as well as all laws and regulations now in force or that may be hereafter duly passed by that order?
CANDIDATES:
 I do so swear.
M.R.T.:
 Do you further and finally swear that you will do all that lies in your power to further the interests of your brothers in Artus?
CANDIDATES:
 I do so swear.
M.R.T.:
 Companions of our worthy guide you are now ready to proceed on your journey. Proceed and give good heed to that which you shall see and hear. Guide with the candidates turn to the right and proceed to the Altar of Production. Candidates pause before it and eyemuffs are removed.
M.R.T.:
 Neophyte, before you are the primal things of nature. From the womb of the elemental chaos before the day had begun for man came fire, water and earth — the elements — later came wheat, clothing earth with verdure. To fuse together the elements and to make them serve even as bound servants, is to assist in making big the flame of the torch of civilization. To produce is to toil, to hunger, to thirst, to travail in labor. Those who produce for mankind shall be kings crowned with an iron crown. M.R. gives Neophytes wheat and ingot of iron. To you as you fare forth into the unknown I give you as producers, iron torn from the bowels of the earth and fused in the cleansing flame of fire, and wheat grains golden as the harvest moon. Cherish these for through them you live. Candidates proceed to the Altar of Valuation before which they pause.
M.E.:
 What brings you here?
CANDIDATES:
 I come to barter.
M.E.:
 What have you?
CANDIDATES:
 Wheat and iron.
M.E.:
 What seek you?
CANDIDATES:
 I seek bread and salt.
M.E.:
 Give here your iron and wheat; for them I shall in turn render unto you value in bread and salt. Here the wheat and iron have value, in the place whence you came they had none, so always does transportation create value. Here is the balance (indicating balance); the tiny coin outweighs the greater mass of iron. Look ye well; ye know the meaning. Watch that in your dealings with traders you value justly and that you seek to have all things valued righteously:
so that one will get a pennyworth of barley for a penny and a pennyworth of oil for a penny. Proceed. Go to the Altar of Distribution.
M.R.T.:
 What have you?
CANDIDATES:
 Salt and bread.
M.R.T.:
 Why do you bring them here?
CANDIDATES:
 For the feast.
M.R.T.:
 Lay them down. They shall be again given to you at the time of the feast but from them must be taken the portion for the chiefs. You have purchased them and they are yours. To you shall be given crystal water freely given of nature’s bounty to man. Take heed that you regulate your actions that you may assist in bringing about a system of distribution that will give to him who toileth in the vineyard and beareth the heat of the day a greater portion of the product of his labor. That is the dictate of wisdom. That is the path that leadeth to a mighty nation. Candidates are again blindfolded and taken back to the place where they first were addressed inside the door.
M.R.T.:
 Neophytes, you have returned from your journey. Nothing further stands between us, all the secret work of this order shall now be revealed to you. The master of the Round Table of the Knights of Artus shall by the touch of the knightly sword upon your shoulder, admit you to full fellowship with this chosen company of the Order of Artus, the successors of the Knights of the Round Table, and of the Artus-hoffen. Esquires, kneel. Neophytes kneel.
To each Neophyte in turn:
 With this sword, emblem of knighthood and by the powers in me reposed by the Grand Chapter of the Order of Artus striking him on the right shoulder with the sword I dub you Knight of Artus, the well beloved; as he stood for the right so may you. Arise, Sir Knight. Members of Chapter cry in chorus “St. George for Artus."
M.R.T.:
 Steps to the Altar of Distribution. Blindfolds are removed from Neophytes.
M.R.T.:
 Brothers, gather together that we may rejoice that other loyal knights now bear the stainless shield of Artus. To you fraternally I give forth bread bought with iron and wheat by toil taken from the soil. He who breaks bread with me is forever sacred to me and it is meet that we break bread with our newly consecrated brothers. Breaks bread and passes it to the brothers who have assembled before him in a semi-circle. To you I give salt, the symbol throughout the ages of wisdom and of the sanctity of friendship. May you who partake be endowed eternally with a fraternal friendship sanctified with wisdom. Gives salt to the brothers. To you I give water clear as crystal, pure as the first beams of morning sun. You are Knights of the Modern World in search of the Holy Grail of Righteousness. To find it, it is necessary that you stand high above the tumult of the crowd and that you have the mind to plan, the will to dare, no matter what the cost. Brothers eat bread and salt and drink water.
M.R.T.: 
Brothers, our fraternity is patterned after the Artus-hoffen of the medieval German cities. These societies were commercial city societies. The members were the rich merchants and the public spirited men of the cities. The societies met frequently to deliberate on the economic and commercial welfare of the city. At the meeting there was a small image of St. George slaying the dragon on the table. St. George was the patron saint of the society. This society was a branch of the Knights of the Round Table. Of the Round Table much has been written and much sung, and through the songs and stories of the wandering minstrels of the middle ages so much of legend has crept into the story that it is hard to say whether there ever was a King Arthur or whether the whole tale is merely an allegorical representation of the duties of knighthood. The Order of The Round Table in England has been replaced by the Knights of the Garter of which it was the parent. The Order of Artus crossed the Channel and became the Artus-hoffen. Today by our revival of the order it has crossed the Atlantic and became the Order of Artus. The word Artus means …. The story of the Death of King Arthur is as follows: We read that the king, sorely stricken, is lying on the battlefield, attended by his constant companion, Sir Bedivere.
“My hour is near at hand," said the king to Sir Bedivere. “Therefore take my sword Excalibur and cast it into the sea and then come and tell me what thou hast seen."
The knight on his way to the shore noticed that the hilt of the sword was covered with precious stones and thought it were a shame to throw such a beautiful thing into the sea. He bid it and returned to the king.
“What sawest thou there?" said the King.
“Sire," he said, “I saw nothing but the waves and wind."
“Thou speakest not the truth," said the King, “therefore go quickly and do my bidding; spare not, but throw the sword into the sea."
The knight went down to the shore and again took the sword in his hand and drew near the sea but again was he overcome with its beauty and forgot his duty to the king. He concealed the sword and returned to the dying monarch.
“What sawest thou?" said the king.
“Sire, I saw nothing but the waves lapping on the beach and the water rising and falling among the reeds."
“Traitor untrue," said King Arthur, “Now hast thou betrayed me twice. Who would have thought that thou who art called a noble knight would betray me for the riches of my sword? But go again quickly because I am chilled with cold and my life is in danger through thy long delay. And if thou dost not do my bidding and I see thee again I will slay thee with mine own hands, for thou, for the sake of my rich sword, would see me dead."
The knight went quickly to the shore and taking the sword he threw it into the water as far as he could. And an arm and a hand came above the surface of the water and caught the sword and brandished it thrice and then the sword with the hand vanished in the water. Then the knight returned to the king and told him what he bad seen, and he helped the king to the waterside. And when they came to the shore a little barge was seen floating close to the bank and in the barge were fair ladies and among them a queen. The knight helped the king into the barge and the ladies attended him.
“Comfort thyself," said the king, “for I go to the vale of Avelon to heal me of my grievous wound."
There is a legend that Arthur did not die but will come again and will be king, and on his tomb it is said there is an inscription in Latin “Here lieth Arthur who was and is to be king." And so on the key of our society the arm coming forth from the water with the sword represents …. The great battle of today is between conflicting economic forces. lit is for those who have had the advantages of a college education to endeavor to see the problems clearly and to work to their ultimate solution. The motto of the fraternity is … and is rendered …. The grip is ….