J. O. O. F.
Public Dedication of an Oddfellows' Fall or Lodge-room.
Dunedin: Re-Printed by the Authority of the Grand Lodge of New Zealand. P.V.G. Bro. F. Humffray, Printer. 1876.
Public Dedication of an Oddfellows' Hall or Lodge-Room.
[The Room will be prepared suitably for the occasion, and officered same as an ordinary Lodge Meeting, excepting the O.G., who can be dispensed with. A stand representing an altar will be erected in the centre of the room, upon which shall rest the Holy Bible, Charter of the Lodge, and a mall space for lighting a fire. The N. G. will have the keys of the Building in his possesion, and on his pedestal a goblet of pure water, a small urn with wax matches, a vase of fresh flowers, and a cup filled with wheat. The Grand Lodge Officers will properly clothe themselves in another apartment, and proceed to the door, which the I.G. will open.—before doing so, the Subordinate Lodge Chaplain will stand up and say the following Prayer.]—
Direct us O Lord, in all our doings, with Thy most precious favor, and further us with Thy continual help, that in all our works begun, continued, and ended in Thee, we may glorify Thy holy name; and finally, by Thy mercy, obtain everlasting life. Amen.
One Rap calls the Meeting to stand up. Two Raps seats the Meeting.
All Singing to be sung standing. Meeting to be seated after the singing of each Ode, except that marked C.
G. H. The M. W. G. Master and other Officers of the R W. G. Lodge of N. Z., desire to be admitted in the name of Friendship, Love, and Truth, for the purpose of dedicating this Hall to the uses of the Independent Order of Odd-Fellows, and the diffusion of the principles of Benevolence and Charity.
I. G. Noble Grand, the Grand Lodge Officers are now in waiting to dedicate this Hall to the purposes of Odd-fellowship according to our ancient customs.
N. G. Admit them.
I. G. Enter in the name of Friendship, Love, and Truth.
[Upon entrance of the G. L. Officers, the N.G. will call the meeting up—omitting the honours and signs—when the Opening Ode will be sung, the G. L. Officers will march up the room with the Grand Marshal leading, and the Grand Master in the centre, the Grand Chaplain being at the end opposite the Grand Marshal—will then form, in a line between the Altar and N.G.]
Brethren of of our friendly Order,
Honor here asserts her sway,
All within our sacred border
Must her high commands obey,
Join, odd fellowship of brothers,
In the song of Truth of Love;
Leave dispute and strive to others,
We in harmony must move.
Honor to her courts invites us,
Worthy subjects let us prove;
Strong the chain that here unites us,
Link'd with Friendship, Truth, and Love.
In our hearts enshrined and cherished,
May these feelings ever bloom—
Failing not when life has perished,
Living still beyond the tomb.
G. Marshal. Is it the will and pleasure of the M, W. G. Master of N.Z., that the ceremony of dedicating this Hall to Odd-fellowship do now proceed.page 5
G. Master. Such is my will and pleasure.
N. G. M. W. G. Master, the work in which we have been engaged is now completed, and our temple is at last ready to shelter us within its walls. But we first desire that you should set it apart for its sacred uses, and dedicate it to the purposes of Benevolence and Charity, according to the solemn rites of our Order, and we therefore deliver it into your hands. [Here place the keys of the Building on the pedestal.]
G. Master. Noble Grand, please direct your Officers to surrender their respective positions to the Grand Officers present, and take your seat on our left hand.
N. G. Officers of the—Lodge, you will please vacate your chairs to the Officers of the Grand Lodge.
[The G. Master will take the N. G's chair; D. G. M. will take the V. G's.; G. W., the J. P. G's.; G. Chaplain will sit opposite to G. W. The G. Marshal on the right of G. Master. Four Heralds will be seated in front of the G. Master.]
G. Master. [N. G., or Chairman of Building Committee, as the case may be.] In the name and on behalf of the Independent Order of Odd-fellows of the Colony of New Zealand, I accept for dedication to the uses of Odd-fellowship this Hall, which has been constructed under your supervision. To you and your associates the present must be an occasion especially gratifying. Today you witness the consummation of that for which you have ardently toiled and hoped—to-day you hail the completion of that for which you have zealously and faithfully labored—and to-day you behold the recognition by your brethren from the North, the South, the East, and the West; of this, the result of your efforts, as a temple devoted to the services of those whose vocation it is to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, educate the orphan—duties which neither interfere with, nor supersede the discharge of any other—social, moral, or religious.page 6
Brethren, I congratulate you upon the completion of this beautiful edifice, which we are about to dedicate to those cardinal virtues which should adorn and elevate humanity, and the names of which we have selected as the motto and watchword of our beloved Order. Beneath this roof, you are to encourage one another in the duties of benevolence and charity; before this altar the good works of Friendship, Love and Truth are ever to be presented as the only acceptable sacrifice. From hence, as from a perennial fountain, are to flow the gentle streams of true Friendship; to gladden and make green many waste places. In this quiet retreat are to be cultivated those flowers that Love unfeigned shall scatter on the rugged pathway of life, under many bleeding feet. Here is to be sown the good seed of Truth in many hearts, to spring up and yield its hundred-fold harvest. It is, therefore, not so much this temple made with hands, that should occupy our attention at present, as the great principles that are here to be disseminated. I hope and trust, brethren, that our united efforts, with those of our brethren throughout the globe, may lead to the raising and adorning of a still nobler Temple, which shall be consecrated by the approval of the Supreme Grand Master of the Universe, without the invocation of whose blessing no work should be undertaken.
G. C. Almighty God, the Maker of all worlds, whom we are taught to approach and call by the tender name, Father, we would humbly draw near and beg Thy blessing on the work in which we are engaged. Whatever is amiss in us, do Thou make right by Thy Divine power, and in all things do Thou overrule our thoughts and deeds to Thy greater glory and the good of our fellowmen. Amen.
The Meeting to be standing.
Psalm CXXII.G. Master.
I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord.Response.
Our feet shall stand within thy gates, O Jerusalem!G. M.
Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together (at unity in itself),R.
Whither the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, unto the testimony of Israel, to give thanks unto the name of Lord.G. M.
For there are set thrones of judgment, the thrones of the house of David.R.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem; they shall prosper that love thee.G. M.
Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity within thy palaces.R.
For my brethren and companions' sakes, I will now say, Peace be within thee.G. M.
Because of the house of the Lord our God, I will seek thy good.R.
So be it.
[This Psalm may be read or sung by the meeting, as may be arranged.]
G. Master. Hear—hear—hear, all men: By authority, and in the name of the Grand Lodge of the Independent Order of Odd-fellows, of the Colony of New Zealand, I dedicate this Hall to the business and purposes of Odd-fellowship—to disseminate Friendship, Love and Truth, and to diffuse Benevolence and Charity in their fullest extent to all its worthy members—and by this solemn act, I hereby declare it duly dedicated.
The Grand Marshal will please cause this dedication to be Appropriately proclaimed.
G. Marshal. Brothers Grand Heralds of the North, of the South, of the East, and of the West—By the solemn act of the M. W. G. Master of the Grand Lodge of the Colony of New Zealand, this Hall is duly dedicated to the business and purposes of Odd-fellowship—to disseminate Friendship, Love and Truth, Faith, Hope, and Charity, in their fullest extent, to all its worthy members. It is his will and pleasure that the same be proclaimed, which duty you will perform.
[The four Heralds will present themselves before the G. Master, and receive from him as follows: North, a goblet of pure water; South, a small urn with wax matches; East, a cup filled with wheat; West, a vase of fresh flowers; after which, they will take their station around the altar in the ventre of the room.]page 8
H. of the N. Hear, all men—by command of the M. W. G. Master, and in the name of Friendship as pure, refreshing, and life-giving as this water, [sprinkling it] I dedicate this Hall to the practice of that ennobling virtue which, uniting men as brethren, teaches them to sustain that relation at all times, each in his turn helping and helped, blessing and blessed.
Response. Behold how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity; for these the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.
(A.) Trickling far among the hills,
Tinkling in the cheerful rills,
Flowing 'till the sea it fills—
Friendship—void of wordly art,
Baptism of the faithful heart,—
To our souls thy grace impart—
H. of the S. Hear, all men—by command of our M. W. G. Master, I proclaim this Hall dedicated to Love, worldwide and ever-enduring, [lights the fire on the altar] and may the fire that is this day kindled upon the alter of our hearts be as perpetual as that which burned upon the alter in the secret tabernacle of the Most High, of which this is but a feeble emblem.
Response. Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass or a tinkling cymbal. Charity never faileth.
H. of the E. Hear, all men—by command of our M. W. G. Master. I proclaim this Hall dedicated to the inculcation and cultivation of Truth. [Scattering Wheat] And may the good seed here sown, of which this is the emblem, like the grain sown broadcast on the earth, spring up again an hundred-fold for future use and blessing; and may that ennobling virtue, which lies at the root of all other virtues, and which is devoid of guile and hypocrisy, teach us sincerity and plain-dealing in all our communications, an earnestness in the inculcation of whatever is good and true,page 9
Response. He that walketh uprightly and worketh righteousness, and speaketh the truth in his heart, O Lord, shall abide in Thy tabernacle, and shall dwell in Thy Holy Hill.
(B.) Bursting in the early spring,
Beauty to the earth to bring.
Fragrance all abroad to fling—
Flowers for evermore.
Love—that in the blossom glows,
Breathing in each wind that blows,
Ours be lily* and the rose, †
H. of the W. Hear, all men—by command of our M. W G. Master, I proclaim this Hall dedicated to Faith, Hope, and Charity Those Graces, like these flowers, [strewing flowers] fill the common air with fragrance, and beautify and adorn all on whom they fall. The practice of these highest virtues is in itself the fulfilling of that law which commands us to visit the sick, relieve the distressed, bury the dead, and educate the orphan.
Response. A good man sheweth favor and lendeth; he will guide his affairs with discretion; he hath dispersed; he hath given to the poor; his righteousness endureth forever; his horn shall be exalted with honor.
[The four Heralds will return and deposit their vases on the pedestal of the Grand Master, and stand together in front of the G. Master, facing the audience.]
(C.) Buried'neath the wintry sheen,
Springing, clothed in living green,
Golden in the harvest-scene.
Wheat for evermore.
Truth—of Heaven's own glory born,
'Reft of thee, how sad, forlorn.
Welcome waving, vital corn,
Truth for evermore;
Thus in Water, Flowers, and Wheat,
Friendship, Love, and Truth repeat,
All the virtues here we greet,
Yet in Charity shall men
Sound the noblest praise again,
And the angels shout Amen,
G. Marshal. M. W. G. Master—Proclamation has gone forth to the four quarters of the globe, that all men may hear and know that the principles of Odd-fellowship have here a dwelling-place.
G. Master. The Grand Chaplain will now address the Throne of Grace.
G. C. We humbly beseech Thee, O God, to bless the work in which we have now been engaged. Let the lessons we have received sink deep into our hearts, so that this shall have been to us no idle ceremony, but a means of edification in righteousness, and truth, and humanity. May we all leave this place with our good resolutions strengthened, our charities enlarged, and our hearts expanded in all-embracing love toward our brethren of every tongue and clime. Bless, O Heavenly Father, the Order of which we are members. Aid us in the good work of Benevolence and Charity, to which we are pledged, and give directions and success to our efforts. Bless this edifice in the promotion of the good objects to which it has this day been set apart. Let Thy protecting care be over the brethren who here shall meet together. Keep their feet upon the right path, and guide them by thy power in the way everlasting. Make them faithful to their duties, and zealous in every good word and work; so that when the solemn close of life comes, the soul of each may be stayed upon Thee. And unto Thee, our God and Father, be ascribed glory and dominion, and power, world without end. Amen.
G. Master. [seats the meeting.] My brethren, I trust that the solemn ceremonies of this occasion may not be lost upon our hearts. In setting apart this Hall for its purposes, we have renewed our vows to practise coscientiously the lessons of our beloved Order. Let us never forget j the imperative command of our laws—"to visit the sick,! to relieve the distressed, to bury the dead, and to educate the orphan." Let us not forget, moreover, that besides these good works of charity, Odd-fellowship has high and important lessons to inculcate: lessons that, if attentively listened to and practised by all, would elevate the character of man, and hasten the coming of the promised day of universal peace and love.page 11
Brethren of—, we now again deliver into your hands this beautiful temple you have elevated to our Order, Joy be within its walls, and peace a constant guest. May these walls never echo with the sound of an angry or unkind word. May all the influences that flow hence be good and for good, now and forever. Amen.
Response. So may it be.
[Here follow Odes, Orations, addresses, &c., as may have been arranged, after which the following may be sung.]
Sound the glad chorus! let praises arise,
In works of our Order, to God in the skies!
Sing! for the light of His truth is advancing,
And darkness and suffering are fleeing away;
His love, in its warmth, human souls is entrancing,
And Friendship, on earth, is asserting its sway.
Sound the glad chorus let praises arise,
In works of our Order, to God in the skies.
Welcome Odd-fellowship! Praise to the Lord!
His love is its buckler, His truth is its sword.
Brethren raised up from despair are its story,
And orphans protected, its jewellry bright;
The tears of the widow—from gloom turned to glory,
Like the bow on a cloud—grow bright in its light.
Sound the glad chorus! let praises ascend
To God in the work of the heart and the hand.
G. C. Now unto Him who is able to keep you from foiling, and to present you faultless before the presence of His Glory with exceeding joy, I commend you and the whole family of man. And to Him, the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and forever, Amen.