I stand before you at this sacred DeMolay altar, upon which we have placed the mighty bulwarks of our faith: the Holy Bible and the school books. Not far away rests the banner of our beloved country. Standing as sentries are these seven burning candles, beacons in the darkness, lights to illuminate our pathway as we journey ever onward down the road of life. They are symbols of all that is good and right with the world. They are the standards upon which we as DeMolays have pledged to base our lives.
The first candle symbolizes the love between parent and child, that love which existed before we were born, has remained with us all our life through and will follow us even beyond the grave. The sages named this love "agapé", love for no other reason than the sake of being.
The second candle is emblematic of reverence for all that is sacred. A young man crossing the threshold of DeMolay for the first time professes a deep and abiding faith in one living and true God. Without this steadfast faith and the grace of our Heavenly Father, our toil would be for nothing.
This third candle stands for courtesy, a courtesy that transcends friendships, a courtesy which reaches to the stranger, to the aged, to all men. It is this courtesy that brings a warm feeling and a smile and makes this life more pleasant for others as it lights the pathway before us.
The fourth candle, the candle in the center of our seven, stands symbolically for comradeship. Millions of young men such as ourselves have knelt as this symbolic altar and dedicated themselves to the same high principles of good sonship and good citizenship. As long as we remain faithful to these pledges, as long as there is an Order of DeMolay, we are one.
The fifth candle stands simply for fidelity. A DeMolay can never justly be
false to his vows, his promises, his friends, his God. He is called upon daily
to defend the bulwarks and precepts of the Order that he
might never fail as a leader or as a man.
The sixth candle is symbolic of cleanness. Not only the bodily cleanness which we all practice, but the cleanness of every thought, word and deed. Only in cleanness can a DeMolay rightly be representative of the pureness of our teachings.
The last candle is emblematic of patriotism. Perhaps we shall never be called upon to defend our country on the field of battle, but each day affords new opportunities to stand as good and upright citizens on behalf of that beloved banner and our hallowed land.
Yet we live in troubled times when the bulwarks of the Bible, flag and school books are in danger of sinking into the waste of doubt and uncertainty; when these seven glorious precepts may not be the most coveted standards upon which to base one's life; when trust and justice and brotherhood may not be considered the most virtuous of qualities.
And if we as DeMolays do not stand unswervingly in defence of the teachings of our Order, if we do not seek to perpetuate them in our daily lives, then perhaps these flames will be extinguished, muted in the shadows and darkness shall inherit the land.
Yet each of you, as a DeMolay, holds within your heart a flame, a beacon to guide you through the darkness. If you can make this light shine upon another, if you can reach into the innermost depths of his soul and set his flame afire, then therein lies the purpose of the Order of DeMolay, and therein lies your purpose for living.