Artisans’ Order of Mutual Protection
Initiation Ritual


One rap of the Gavel, when the meeting will come to order.
M.A.: We are about to open our Assembly. If there be any present who are not entitled to remain they will retire.
M.A.: Bro. Senior Master of Ceremonies, you will see that the Assembly Room is securely guarded.
The Sr. M.C. examines all doors and avenues leading to the Assembly sees that the Warder is at his place, secures the Preparing-room door, closes the entrance door by one knock thereon, which is answered by one knock thereon by the Warder, retires to his place and says: Master Artisan, the Assembly room is securely guarded.
M.A.: Bro. Conductor, you will see that the brethren are clothed and in possession of the pass-word.
The Conductor collects the pass, places himself in front of the Altar and announces: Master Artisan, I find all present properly clothed and in possession of the pass-word.
Two raps of the gavel by the M.A., when all the Officers arise, except the Recorder and Cashier.
M.A.: Bro. Junior Master of Ceremonies, what is your duty in the Assembly?
Jr. M.C.: To take charge of the preparing room door and attend to all alarms thereat.
M.A.: Brother Senior Master of Ceremonies, what is your duty in the Assembly?
Sr. M.C.: To take charge of the entrance-door and attend to all alarms thereat.
M.A.: Brother Conductor, what is your duty in the Assembly?
Con.: To prepare and conduct candidates during their initiation, and to carry orders from the Master Artisan to any part of the Assembly.
M.A.: Brother Inspector, what are your duties in the Assembly?
Insp.: To explain the objects and principles of the Order to candidates prior to their being obligated as Artisans.
M.A.: Brother Superintendent, what are your duties in the Assembly?
Supt.: To administer the obligation to candidates and to assist the Master Artisan in the discharge of his duties.
M.A.: What are the duties of the Master Artisan in the Assembly?
Supt.: To see that the Assembly is properly opened and closed, and that the initiatory ceremony and business are properly conducted therein. To govern with impartiality, judge with equity, and execute the laws of the Order with justice. To him belongs the government of the Assembly during its working hours.
M.A.: Brother Chaplain, what is your duty in the Assembly?
Chap.: To invoke the blessing of the Supreme Master Artisan upon our labors.
Three raps with the gavel, when all the members rise. If no Chaplain be present the M.A. will repeat the following prayer EXTEMPORANEOUS PRAYER NOT PERMITTED!
Chap.: Oh, Thou Supreme Master Artisan, we humbly invoke Thy blessing upon us at this, the opening of our Assembly. May Thy peace be with us. Preside over all our deliberations, we beseech Thee. Vouchsafe that all we do here may redound to Thy glory, and result in good to ourselves and our fellow-men. Give us grace, so that we may be able to bear with cheerfulness all the duties of life; and when life’s labors are ended, give us each a place in the Most Excellent Assembly on High; the Assembly of the first-born in Heaven. Amen.
Brethren all respond: So may it be.
M.A.: Brethren, we will now salute the flag of our country and give the salutation sign.
M.A.: I now declare this Assembly open in regular form for the transaction of such business as may properly come before it.
One rap with the gavel. When the officers and members are all seated the M.A. says: Brother Senior Master of Ceremonies, you will inform the Warder that the Assembly is now open for business.
When initiation is reached in the regular order of business the M.A. will say: Brother Conductor, you will please inquire if there be any candidates in waiting for initiation.
The Conductor will retire and learn the names of those in waiting, if any, re-enter the Assembly-room and report as follows: Master Artisan, I find Mr. .. in waiting for initiation.
The names of all candidates should be announced by the conductor.
M.A.: Brother Recorder, has this candidate been duly elected to membership in our Assembly?
Recd.: He has, Master Artisan.
M.A.: Brothers, we are about to initiate this candidate into the secrets and mysteries of our Order and to receive him into membership in this Assembly. If any of you know of any just cause why he should not be received into our fraternity, you will now declare it.
After a pause, if no objection is made, he will continue: If there be no objection, we will proceed with the ceremony. Brother Conductor, you will please introduce the candidate for initiation.
The Conductor goes into the Preparing-room and calls the candidate in and directs him to remove his hat and overcoat; he then conducts him to the Assembly-room door and there gives two raps. The Jr. M.C. in charge of the door will announce as follows: Brother Inspector, the Conductor, with a candidate for initiation, knocks for admission.
Insp.: You will admit them.
The M.A. calls up the entire Assembly with three raps of the gavel.
The Conductor then enters with candidate, and is met by the Quartette, who march in advance around the room, singing, stopping at the Inspectors station, who arises in his seat as they approach.
Con.: Brother Inspector, it is with pleasure I present this candidate for instruction in the objects and principles of our Order.
Quartette here sings.
M.A. seats the Assembly with one rap of the gavel.
Ins.: My friend, we would have none unite with us who are not fully acquainted with the objects, principles and character of our organization. It is my duty to instruct you fully upon these points. We are a secret beneficial society, bound together by mutual interests and laboring for the welfare of each other, our families and ourselves. We are duly incorporated under the laws of the State of Pennsylvania. The objects of our Order are to improve the moral, mental and social conditions of the members, and to promote their mutual benefit in the continuous accumulation of a fund by the quarterly payment of dues sufficient to pay each member in case of illness or disability such amount per week as shall be regulated by the laws of the Order; and in case of the death of any member to pay to his beneficiary or beneficiaries such amount of money as the laws of the Order shall prescribe. That we may obtain the greatest benefit from our Association we have prescribed certain qualifications for membership. We require of every applicant that he be physically sound, between the ages of 18 and 50 years, and believe in the existence of a Supreme Being; and, further, that he has not been rejected by any Assembly of Artisans within the last six months.
We carefully investigate the character and physical condition of every applicant for membership. We assume no extraordinary risks, and therefore reject all persons engaged in hazardous pursuits and those whose habits are such as tend to produce disease or disability, or shorten life.
To carry out more fully our objects and principles we are bound together as a brotherhood, having certain signs and ceremonies to more readily recognize each other, and to prevent the intrusion of strangers at our meetings. We exact from every one who joins our fraternity an obligation of secrecy, binding him to keep secret forever all our signs, grip, secret words and ceremonies. This obligation contains nothing which will interfere with any duty you owe your God, your country, your fellow-man, your family or yourself. With this explanation and assurance, are you willing to take the obligation?
Candidate: I am.
Ins.: You will then be conducted to our Superintendent for obligation.
The Conductor takes candidate to Superintendent at his station and says: Brother Superintendent, by direction of the Inspector, I present this candidate, who desires to take our obligation.
Supt.: Do you voluntarily and of your own free will and accord desire to take the obligation of an Artisan?
Candidate: I do.
Supt.: You will then accompany me to the Altar for obligation.
The Conductor leads candidate to the Altar and faces him toward the M.A. Superintendent takes his place on opposite side of the Altar, facing the candidate. The Quartette takes position back of Superintendent. The M.A. gives three raps with the gavel, when the members form a circle around the Altar, holding each other by the hands. The Quartette then sings.
Supt.: You will kneel on your right kneeuse your name where I use mine and repeat after me:
I, …, in the presence of these Artisans now surrounding me, do faithfully and truly promise and declare that I will keep as a profound secret all the signs, secrets and ceremonies of the Artisans’ Order of Mutual Protection that I have witnessed, or may hereafter witness or be instructed in, as well as all secret business transactions of any Assembly at which I may be present. I will obey all the laws, rules and regulations made for the government of the Order, whether they relate to the Most Excellent Assembly or Subordinate Assembly. I will never wrong the Order nor any member thereof. I will never speak evil or falsely of a brother Artisan. I will not assist in conferring the rites and ceremonies of this Order upon anyone not lawfully entitled to receive them, nor will I permit it to be done by persons not qualified according to the laws and usages of the Order. All of which I promise on my sacred honor without any qualification or mental reservation whatever.
Singing, Quartette.
Supt.: My brother, for such we may now call you, you see yourself within a circle composed of members of our fraternity with hands united. The circle symbolizes the brotherhood of our Order, and the union of hands signifies our union of heart, purpose and effort. In laboring to promote the interest of our Order and better the conditions of our fellow-men, we should go hand in hand. If we do so, we cannot fail in our undertaking.
Singing, Quartette.
Supt.: You will now be conducted to the Master Artisan.
The M.A. gives one rap with the gavel, and the members are seated. The Conductor will lead the candidate to the station of the Master Artisan.
Con.: Master Artisan, I present this brother for final instruction.
M.A.: My brother, you have been presented to me for instruction in the secret signs, words and grip of our Order. Before giving you these I desire to call your attention to the points of the obligation which you have just taken. You bound yourself to keep secret all the signs, secrets and ceremonies of the Order; never to wrong the Order nor any member thereof, nor to speak evil or falsely of a brother Artisan; not to assist in conferring the rites, and ceremonies upon anyone not qualified, and to obey all our laws, rules and regulations. To all of which you gave your solemn promise on your sacred honor without qualification or mental reservation; and from the good report we have of you I have no doubt your promises will be faithfully kept.
I will now instruct you in the grip, words and signs. The grip is made in this manner, … The password is … The salutation sign is made thus, … This is the position you assumed while taking the obligation, and is intended to remind you of it. The Master Artisan will answer with this sign, … This signifies secrecy, and teaches us to guard well the tongue. The two signs taken together remind us of our obligation, and admonish us to keep it sacred and inviolate and to guard well from exposure the signs, secrets and ceremonies of the Order.
On entering or leaving the room when the Assembly is in session you will advance to the Altar and give this sign …the Master Artisan will answer with this sign … You are then at liberty to take your seat, or retire, as the case may be. These signs are never to be used out of the Assembly-room, except in undergoing examination.
To gain admission to the Assembly you will give any alarm at the outer door, which will call the attention of the Warder, who will admit you to the ante-room. Here you will clothe yourself with an apron and give two raps upon the inner door, which will call the attention of the Senior Master of Ceremonies, to whom you will give your name and pass-word. The Sr. M. of C. will admit you to the Assembly-room but before taking your seat you will advance to the altar, salute the flag of our country and give the salutation sign. In visiting other Assemblies, after announcing your name to the Warder and Sr. M. of C., you will state the name and number of the Assembly to which you belong, which, in your case, is … Assembly No. …If not in possession of the pass-word you may be admitted upon being vouched for by any member of the Order or after satisfactory examination.
I will now instruct you in the use of the gavel or voice of the Master Artisan. One rap calls to order and closes the Assembly, seats the Assembly if standing. and calls up any officer addressed by his title. Two raps call up all the officers, and three the entire Assembly.
Any question coming before the Assembly is decided by an aye and no vote.
I now give you a copy of our laws, with which you should make yourself familiar.
I also clothe you as a member of our Assembly and a co-worker in our cause. This beautiful apron is the badge of an Artisan, and emblematic of labor; its color is significant of innocence and purity, and reminds you to ever keep yourself pure and unspotted in all your intercourse with the world. May you never be ashamed to wear it. The experience of mankind teaches us that without labor there is neither excellence nor true happiness. Solomon says: “Wealth begotten by vanity shall be diminished, but he that gathereth by labor shall increase.” And again: “The sleep of the laboring man is sweet, whether he hath little or much.” Then, my brother, here upon your entrance into our Order, learn your first duty: to labor; for if you would have success crown your efforts in your struggle with the stern realities of life you must labor faithfully, earnestly, diligently.
I congratulate you upon your admission to our Order, and welcome you as a member of … Assembly, No. ..You will be addressed by our Deputy Most Excellent Master Artisan.
Use of the following is not obligatory. It is offered as a suggestion to Deputies not otherwise prepared.
Deputy: My Brother, for many years the Artisans Order of Mutual Protection has taken pleasure in presenting its insignia to new members. In this we have a two-fold purpose. First, that they may be more readily recognized in the busy walks of life and second, that they may proclaim to the world, by its use, their membership in one of the best fraternal orders known to man.
It is my privilege to make this presentation in the name of the Most Excellent Master Artisan, the supreme head of our order. Before doing so I desire to emphasize certain points which may have been outlined to you by your proposer. In joining our fraternity you have become part of a great, human organization which has the advancement of its members, and the protection of their homes, for its primary objects. We are constantly striving for these ideals. Our history, since our foundation on May 1, 1873, has been marked by continued progress.
We have an enviable reputation for paying all claims promptly. Often the value of the Artisan certificate is the only thing left to an aged mother, a helpless widow, orphaned children or other dependents. Good fellowship prevails at our meetings and you are strongly urged to attend all of them. Lifelong friendships are formed through contacts made in the Assembly room.
The founders of our fraternity chose the square, circle and triangle as features of our insignia. The equal sides of the square teach us that all men are equal before God and the right angles admonish us to observe the strictest rule of right and truth in all our dealings. The circle, symbol of eternity, teaches that there is but one God Who is without beginning of days or ending of years. The triangle reminds us of our duty to our God, our fellowmen and ourselves and typifies the three cardinal virtues, faith, hope and charity: faith in God, hope of immortality and charity, or love, towards all men.
The letters “A. O. M. P.” are the initials of our title. The words Peace, Power and Protection indicate to us that we shall find peace of mind in the realization of the power of our fraternity to protect our loved ones. The windlass, the most powerful mechanical device known to man, symbolizes the strength to be gained from our association in fraternity. The red in the triangle and the white within the square represent courage and purity, qualities which we honor in every Artisan home.
Wear this emblem proudly, my brother. You now represent an order which, by strict integrity, has won a most honorable place in the regard of human kind. Your oath as an Artisan, and the good opinion in which you are held, assure us that your every endeavor will make our fraternity increasingly worthy of that high esteem. It is a pleasure to welcome you as an Artisan.
Singing of Ode ‘Work’.
Work, for the night is coming,
Work through the morning hours,
Work while the dew is sparkling,
Work ‘mid spring flowers;
Work, when the day grows brighter,
Work in the glowing sun,
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is done.
Work, for the night is coming,
Work, through the sunny noon;
Fill brightest hours with labor,
Rest comes sure and soon;
Give every flying minute
Something to keep in store;
Work, for the night is coming,
When man’s work is o’er.
Work, for the night is coming,
Under the sunset skies;
While their bright tints are glowing,
Work, for daylight flies;
Work till the last beam fadeth,
Fadeth to shine no more;
Work while the night is dark’ning,
When man works no more.
M.A.: Brother Superintendent, have you anything further to offer in this Assembly?
Supt.: Nothing further, Master Artisan.
M.A.: Brother Inspector, have you anything further to offer?
Insp.: Nothing further, Master Artisan.
M.A.: Have any of the brethren anything further to offer?
Two raps with the gavel by the M.A., when all the officers rise.
M.A.: Brother Senior Master of Ceremonies, what is your last duty in the Assembly?
Sr. M.C.: To open the Assembly-room door that the brethren may depart in peace.
M.A.: Brother Conductor, what is your last duty in the Assembly?
Con.: To collect the officers’ regalia and other property of the Assembly, that they may be cared for until our next meeting.
M.A.: Brother Chaplain, what is your last duty in the Assembly?
Chap.: To invoke the blessing of the Supreme Master Artisan upon the labor we have just performed.
Three raps with the gavel by the M.A., when all the members rise. If no Chaplain be present the M.A. will repeat the following prayer.
Chap.: O, Thou Supreme Master Artisan, who dost preside in the Most Excellent Assembly on High, vouchsafe Thy blessing upon the labor we have just performed. Continue, we pray Thee, to bless the work of our hands and direct us in all our ways. Bless and prosper, we beseech Thee, this Assembly and every other Assembly of our Order. Make us a power for good in the world. Be with us while we are separated from each other, meet
with us when we come here again; and may all that we do be done in Thy fear. When our labors on earth are ended, may the door of the Most Excellent Assembly on High open wide to admit everyone of us. Amen.
Brethren all respond: So may it be.
M.A.: Brethren, we will now salute the flag of our country and give the salutation sign. I now declare this Assembly closed in regular form. I thank you for your presence here this evening, and request your attendance at our next meeting. You will be careful to conduct yourselves properly in your intercourse with the world, so that your names may remain untarnished, and that no reproach may fall upon our Order.
One rap with the gavel.