PRELUDE TO THE ELEVENTH HOUR TOAST
Perhaps there is a certain sentiment that you didn’t know.
But it started in an Elks Lodge many years ago.
On May 31, 1868 the Absent Members Liturgy was to originate.
It was at a social session, just like this, when one member asked
“Where is John?” another answered you didn’t know,
John has passed on.
The members present quietly bowed their heads in reverence,
In remembrance of their departed member.
And so it became a custom, most generally observed,
That the gone be not forgotten and their memory served.
The Grand Lodge has made provision for this ceremony toast
With the Exalted Ruler as the reciting host.
Members and guests please rise ~ none should remain seated
For now the Absent Members Liturgy is repeated.