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This ritual is a guide that should be referred to at every meeting of the Lodge. Its importance should be impressed upon every member.


It is the duty of the President to open the Lodge promptly, to preserve order and discipline during the sessions, and to see that the other officers perform their duties in accordance with applicable laws and our Bylaws and Ritual.


The Bylaws of the Brotherhood are enacted by the members through their regularly elected delegates and are binding upon all members alike. The authority to interpret the Bylaws is vested in the National Division President, and his decision is final, except as provided in the Bylaws. As all members through their chosen representatives had a voice in making the Bylaws, all should aid in their enforcement.





1. The Bible shall remain open on the altar while the Lodge is in session.


2. After the Lodge has been duly opened the Conductor will conduct all visiting members to the altar and introduce them. The President will call up the Lodge and welcome the visiting Brothers/Sisters, after which the Conductor will escort the visitors to seats.


3. No Brother/Sister shall interrupt another in their remarks, except to raise a point of order.


4. During opening or closing ceremony, or during the reading of the minutes, the Inner Sentinel will require those in the ante-room to wait until the business is finished, after which they will be permitted to enter.


5. The Conductor will receive and examine visitors who arrive while the Lodge is in session (retiring to the ante-room); if the visitor is found eligible and correct he will be admitted. Conductor will then introduce the visitor, giving the member’s name and Lodge number. The President will rise, call up the Lodge and welcome the visitor. No visitor shall be examined during initiation. Every courtesy should be extended to visiting Brothers/Sisters and they should be made to feel that their presence at the meeting is appreciated.


6. The Secretary-Treasurer must fill out all receipts with pen and ink, and must not use a stamp to sign his name.


7. No motion shall be subject to debate until it has been seconded and stated from the Chair. It shall be reduced to writing upon the request of two members.


8. Each member, when speaking, shall stand and respectfully address the President, confining their remarks to the question under debate and avoid all personalities or indecent or improper language.





The hour of meeting having arrived and a quorum being present, the President will call the Lodge to order by giving one rap of the gavel.


PRESIDENT: This Lodge will now come to order. Officers will assume their stations and the Sentinels will see that none but duly qualified persons are permitted to enter. Brother Conductor, you will place the open Bible on the altar after which you will determine if all present are Brothers/Sisters in good standing and entitled to participate in this meeting. If necessary, the Conductor will examine Membership Cards, dues receipts or use other appropriate means to determine each person’s eligibility after which he reports.


CONDUCTORS: Brother President, all present are duly qualified to sit in this meeting. PRESIDENT: Thank you, Brother Conductor. Brother Chaplain, will you invoke the blessings of the Supreme Ruler on our deliberation.


CHAPLAIN: Most Holy and Glorious Ruler of the Universe, the Giver of all good gifts and graces, in Thy name we have assembled, and in Thy name we desire to proceed in all our deliberations. Grant that the sublime principles of our Brotherhood may so subdue every discordant passion within us, so harmonize and enrich our own hearts with Thine own love and goodness, that this Brotherhood may humbly reflect that order and beauty which reign forever before Thy Throne -- Amen.




PRESIDENT: Brothers (and Sisters), by the power and authority vested in me, I hereby declare this Lodge open for the transaction of such business as may be properly brought before it. Each Brother/ Sister, when speaking, shall stand and respectfully address the President confining their remarks to the question under debate avoiding all personalities and indecent and improper language. Sectarian discussions are strictly forbidden.





Introduction of visiting members.


1. Roll Call of officers.


2. Reading minutes of previous meeting.


3. Introduction of new members.


4. Initiation of new members.


5. Secretary-Treasurer’s Report:

  (a) Report of suspended or expelled members

  (b) Communication, bills and notices

  (c) Receipts and Disbursements since the last meeting

  (d) Financial Report of Lodge since last meeting

  (e) Application for Transfer or Withdrawal Cards


6. Report of Committees.


7. Unfinished business.

8. New business.


9. Health, welfare and sickness benefits.


10. Is any Brother/Sister deceased, sick or otherwise distressed?


11. Political discussion.


12. Safety discussion.


13. Debate - good and welfare of the Brotherhood.


14. Appointment of Committees.


15. Election of officers, delegates, Board members, etc.


16. Installation of officers.





PRESIDENT: Brothers and Sisters, I am about to close this Lodge. All matters which have been discussed at this meeting are of a confidential nature and should be treated accordingly. When you again mingle with the outer world, I trust you will remember the principles and lessons imparted here. Let us ever be mindful of the obligations we have taken and constantly strive to extend the principles of brotherly love and unity. Brother Chaplain, we are ready for your parting benediction.


CHAPLAIN: My brethren, he lives best who does most for humanity, he lives well who walks worthily in the paths of industry, and to him shall the full measure of praise be given: “Well done, thou good and faithful brother.” In this parting hour let us not forget the obligation we have assumed, but as we leave this room let it be with a full determination that all our actions through life shall redound to our honor and insure the prosperity of this Brotherhood, and may the Great Ruler above watch over, bless and keep us until our next meeting -- Amen.




CLOSE MEETING: If the Lodge has regularly scheduled meetings, the President should announce the date, time and place for the next regular meeting.





Note: Bible should be open and visible to all those swearing the oath of office.


INSTALLING OFFICER: Please raise your left hand, place your right hand over your heart and repeat after me: “I (your name), in the presence of these delegates and members, do solemnly promise that I will perform all the duties of my office as laid down in the Bylaws of the Brotherhood to the best of my ability, for the best interest of the membership as a whole. To all this I pledge my sacred honor.”


INSTALLING OFFICER: Delegates and members, your officers have been duly obligated to perform their several duties and invested with the badges of their offices; their success depends on their fidelity and your cooperation; work together in harmony at all times. And now, by authority of the Bylaws of the Brotherhood of Maintenance of Way Employes Division, I declare your officers duly installed and authorized to enter upon the discharge of their several duties for the term for which they have been elected, or until their successors have been elected and installed.





The object of parliamentary procedure is to insure that business is conducted in an orderly manner, with items taken up one at a time and disposed of in a democratic fashion. When a meeting is called to order by the chair, an agenda, or order of business, should be offered for approval. The Ritual of the Brotherhood prescribes the Order of Business to be followed in the absence of a formal agenda being offered for adoption.


The business of a meeting is carried forward by motions. A motion is made from the floor and then followed by debate on the question. Motions must be seconded to be entitled to debate. If the motion is not seconded, the chair is obliged to point out that the motion has failed for lack of a second, and then proceed with the meeting.


In making a motion, the member should rise, face the chair, and signal or call for attention in a manner which will not disrupt the meeting. Once recognized by the chair, the speaker should first state his or her name in order that such information can be recorded in the minutes.


Before a motion has been stated by the chair, the maker has the right to withdraw it, or modify the language. After it has been stated by the chair, the maker cannot withdraw or modify his or her motion without the consent of the assembly, since it belongs to the assembly. Once a motion has been duly made, seconded and is on the floor, it is subject to amendment. The object of an amendment is to change or modify the original motion, without destroying the sense of it.


Amendments to motions are debatable and like motions, require seconding. Discussion on an amendment must be confined to the amendment itself. In taking the vote, after debate, the amendment is first voted upon and then the motion itself voted upon. Sometimes, the nature of the amendment is such that passing or defeating the amendment carries or defeats the motion also. In that event, it is not necessary to take a vote on the original motion.


The question of privilege is the privilege of getting the attention of the chair at once to ask a question, make a point of order, or draw attention to pressing business which cannot wait. Rising to a “Point of Procedure” means that you question the procedure the chair is following - y--ou feel that the chair is acting contrary to regular procedure. Rising to raise a “Point of Order” usually means that you feel a member of the assembly, rather than the chair, has departed from the prescribed procedures and you want the chair to take action.


You should refer to Robert’s Rules of Order in the event you require more detailed information relative to specific issues pertaining to parliamentary procedure.