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Order of Patrons of Husbandry

(Grange; Nat. Grange; originally Nat. Grange of the Patrons of Husbandry). Agricultural trades union or soc. based on occupational interests; has many features of a lodge but is not a lodge in the strict sense. Purposes: industrial benefits and soc. improvement of mems. Exercises considerable influence, esp. in promoting cooperation among farmers. Politics are kept out. Has a ritual and 7 degrees. Uses signs, pledges, and allegorical ceremonies characteristic of secret socs. A typical injunction: “Friends, your present condition is but an example of Faith, and emblematic of a higher confidence in a Supreme Being. We are constantly passing blindly along the pathway of life, events occurring that we do not understand, and often encountering difficulties and obstructions in our way; but we should press forward, having faith that God will ultimately bring us into the broad and pleasant fields of Paradise.” In all degrees pledges are made to observe the precepts and injunctions and not to reveal the secrets. Initiation on application only, without ceremonial, has not been allowed. The order is more like a union than a secret fraternal order, but it has pan-religious and deistic features. The grange hall has an altar. Prayers are spoken. Officers of the Assem. of Demeter, which has charge of the secret work, are called priest or priestess. A burial service is provided. The ritual of the Nat. Grange is mandatory for all subordinate granges. But Grange law says: “A member cannot be required to do anything in conflict with his religious convictions, and entire freedom of conscience is assured to all members in matters of prayer … but so long as he holds a position in the Grange he must perform his duties thereof, in accordance with the laws and usages of the Order.” TG, PHL

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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