First Modern Vigil Honor Ceremony

First Third Degree Members Inducted with Goodman Written Ceremony

According to Edson, he recalled returning to Treasure Island at the end of camp in 1916 where he and Goodman wrote the ritual for the Second Degree (then equivalent to Vigil Honor). Edson further recalled that Goodman was put through that ritual. It is presumed that this is the ceremony that Edson experienced when he kept his vigil.

There is no known copy of this ritual. Presumably the Second Degree ceremony was evolving just like both parts of the First Degree ceremonies were evolving.

By 1919, after the next group of Second Degree inductees had held their vigils and experienced the Second Degree ritual, the ceremony was formalized and set in print. This formalization was hurried along because of the formation of the Grand Lodge and the desire for all ceremonies to be similar in all lodges.

The printed version was used for the vigil class of 1921, which by that time were known as Third Degree inductees. The transition from calling what we know today as Vigil from Second Degree to Third Degree was ratified in the writing of the Second Wimachtendienk Constitution in 1920. That constitution changed what had been called “Pledge” to First Degree (Ordeal), what had been the second half of the old First Degree to Second Degree (Brotherhood) and what had been called Second Degree to Third Degree (Vigil).