The Order of DeMolay is an organization dedicated to preparing young men to lead successful, happy, and productive lives. Basing its approach on timeless principles and practical, hands-on experience, DeMolay opens doors for young men aged 12 to 21 by developing the civic awareness, personal responsibility and leadership skills so vitally needed in society today. DeMolay combines this serious mission with a fun approach that builds important bonds of friendship among members in more than 1,000 chapters worldwide.
The Origins of DeMolay
DeMolay was founded in 1919 by Freemason Frank S. Land and was closely modeled after Freemasonry. With the sponsorship of a Masonic lodge, the chapter normally meets in a lodge room. DeMolay is considered to be part of the Masonic Family, along with other youth groups such as Job’s Daughters and the Rainbow Girls. Like the Rainbow Girls, a young man does not need to have a family tie or sponsor in a Masonic organization to join DeMolay.DeMolay has seven Cardinal Virtues, which are the sole structure of what its members follow. They are:
- Filial Love (love between a parent and child)
- Reverence for Sacred Things
DeMolays are required, unless extenuating circumstances, to participate in what are referred to as “Obligatory Days”, where a chapter usually holds some sort of program in observance of such. The seven Obligatory Days are:
Patriot’s Day – A day in which chapters commemorate the country, founding fathers, and past and current military in recognition of patriotism, the last of the DeMolay Precepts. Such programs may include the singing of the Star Spangled Banner or playing of Taps, the Flag folding Ceremony, visiting a historical site or monument, hosting a program honoring veterans, or having a speaker elaborate on Patriotism. Occurs sometime in February.
Devotional Day – A day to recognize the importance of God in our lives. Although DeMolay teaches no religious creed, members are encouraged to frequent places of worship. Chapters usually attend a church, synagogue, or temple together as a chapter, hold a bible study, or honor a pastor, deacon, or clergyman with gratitude. This is in respect to the second DeMolay Precept, Reverence for Sacred Things, to which a DeMolay learns tolerance of others’ beliefs and things which they may hold sacred, as well as appreciating their own religious opinions. Occurs on or closest to March 18.
Parent’s Day – A day to honor Parents and the daily care and sacrifices they make for their son’s well being. Events may be dinner where DeMolays cook and serve the parents, or the presentation of the Flower Talk, a heart-felt ceremony that points out how important mothers are. Occurs on a day between May 1 and June 21, usually around Mother’s Day or Father’s Day.
My Government Day – A day to explain the government of the country, state, province or community in which the Chapter is located. Usual events may include having a congressman come and speak at a chapter, participate in an Independence Day activity, meeting with the Mayor or Governor, or visiting the capitol building. For example in the Texas jurisdiction, DeMolays gather at the capitol building in Austin, TX, and participate in mock legislature in the House and Senate Chambers. Occurs in July.
Educational Day – A day to stop and appreciate the foundation of America’s greatness, the public schools, and all education. Activities could include, reading to Elementary aged kids on a special night, collecting books for a local Library, or having a teacher give a message in recessed chapter. Occurs any time during the year.
Frank S. Land Memorial Day – A day to recognize and pay tribute to Dad Land and all the work he did for the founding of DeMolay. Chapters are encouraged to raise funds and donate them to a DeMolay Charity. Visiting Dad Land’s grave site, presenting a copy of “Hi Dad!” to someone, or presenting the Dad Land Talk to the Chapter and guests, are common ways to observe this day. Occurs on or near November 8, the day Dad Land died.
Day of Comfort – A day where every member of DeMolay should make an effort to visit the sick and carry words of comfort to those who are confined. The Almoner should be responsible for planning this observance. Events include collecting and donating items in a food drive, visiting a nursing home or hospital, or holding a seniors day, where demolays prepare a meal for the elderly. This day occurs between Thanksgiving and Christmas.DeMolay alumni have gone on to be successful in all walks of life. Our alumni include cartoonist and visionary Walt Disney, legendary actor John Wayne, news anchors Walter Cronkite and David Goodnow, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, football Hall-of-Fame QB Fran Tarkenton, legendary University of Nebraska football coach Tom Osborne, and many, many more. Each has spoken eloquently of the life-changing benefit gained from their involvement in DeMolay.