The Orange Order unites Protestants of all reformed denominations. We believe in the freedom of democracy, these freedoms were largely brought in by King William III, the Prince of Orange in whose memory our order was founded.
Absolutely not. A devout Orangeman has pledged ‘to abstain from all uncharitable words, actions, or sentiments, towards Roman Catholics’. And while as a member we may not agree with other religious beliefs we would never deny someone the rights of conscience. The Orange Order is not anti-Catholic but a truly positive Protestant witness for the faith.
On Orange regalia, banners, arches and diplomas you might see emblems and symbols. These can look like pillars, eyes, stars, ladders and a number of different images.
Symbols are a big part of Christian Heritage for example doves and flames may be symbolic of the Holy Spirit. Evangelists often use the fish symbol. Presbyterian Churches the burning bush as recorded in Exodus Chapter 3.
To us in the Orange Order, the symbols simply remind us of well-known biblical passages and encourage us to think about life, death and the future.
There is so much written about the Orange Order now that there is very little not in the public domain. At an ordinary lodge meeting, there are prayers, bible reading, minutes, discussion and admission of new members. However, there is ceremonial work with includes instructions on how members may identify each other, this is something that is private and we keep to ourselves. Think perhaps of a secret recipe, there is nothing evil about it, it is simply special to that person. Rather than secrecy “privacy” may be a better word.
No. Christians should not take oaths, an oath is invoking the name of God to witness a binding promise. Orangemen and woman do however make a declaration that they will be loyal to their country, fellow member and that they will keep quiet any private matters communicated to them.