Order of Ahepa
Ceremony of Initiation
President: The Secretary will now read the names of all those who, having been
balloted upon, are ready to be initiated.
The Secretary at this time reads
loudly all the names which have been balloted upon and have been accepted. The
President will then say: Brothers, you have heard the
names of those who, having been balloted upon, are ready to be initiated. What
is your pleasure?
At which time the Assembly says: Let us proceed.
President: It shall be so. Captain of the Guard, you will retire to the anteroom and
ascertain the names of all those who, having been balloted upon are waiting to
The Captain of the Guard,
standing at attention when he hears his name called, before his station,
proceeds to the Altar and salutes the President and says:
Mr. President, your orders will be executed.
After which he shall proceed to
the anteroom, ascertain the names of the candidates and report to the President
as follows. He raps at the door three times, the Inside Sentinel reporting to
the President that the Captain of the Guard seeks admittance, when the President
orders the Sentinel to admit him. The Captain of the Guard then will enter,
stand before the Altar, and say: Mr.
President. there are ... candidates by names: ...
President: Captain of the Guard, you will retire to the anteroom and prepare these
candidates for admittance.
The Captain of the Guard will
retire to the outer portal, and give the Candidates the Preliminary Oath, and
then blindfold them.
Candidates will place their left
hand over the heart and raise their right hand to Heaven.
I, ..., in the presence of almighty God, and these witnesses, solemnly affirm:
1. That my application for membership in the Ahepa
is not prompted by any thought of mercenary gain or other ulterior motive but
solely by a sincere desire to join my fellowmen in a bond of fidelity and
2. That I believe in the One True God, in the
Divinity of Jesus Christ and in the separation of Church and State within the
United States of America;
3. That I will enter the sanctuary of this Temple
with a pure heart and an open mind and will receive the sacred mysteries of the
Ahepa in a manly way as becomes a gallant knight seeking Light and Knowledge.
If there are more than one or two
candidates, it is advisable that the President send out additional brothers to
assist die Captain of the Guard and to have them act as escorts to the
Candidates. While the Captain of the Guard is preparing the Candidates, the
President will instruct the brothers in the lodge room to stop smoking, cease
all conversation and so deport themselves as not to detract the attention of the
Candidates, or interfere with the work of the officers during the Initiation.
When all the candidates are ready
the Captain of the Guard will again seek admittance, come before the Altar, and
report to the President as follows:
Mr. President, the candidates have been prepared and are ready for their
President: I now declare this lodge to be ready for initiation. Captain of the
Guard, let us proceed.
The Captain of the Guard proceeds
to the anteroom. He will give three raps at the door and the Inside Sentinel
will say: Who is there?
Captain of the Guard: The Captain of the Guard wishes to enter with several candidates that
long to enter our sacred domain to receive the benefits and privileges of our
Inside Sentinel: Mr. President, the Captain of the Guard, with several candidates, is
President: Admit him.
At this point the lights must be
lowered or turned out with the exception of one light. Two candles are set on
the Altar burning. A Brother at the piano playing a slow march. No noise or
stamping of feet should take place at this time. The Captain of the Guard will
proceed slowly, going towards the station of the Chaplain, while the
Vice-President says: Harken, you are now entering the
gates of Brotherhood to be received as Brothers in a Brotherhood dedicated to
Then the Captain of the Guard
will proceed by the station of the Chaplain, who says: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.
The procession will go by the
President who will say: Speak evil of no one.
Then towards the Warden.
Warden: Ever practice Brotherly love.
Then to the Vice-President.
Vice-President: Be inspired by Justice, Tolerance, Charity and Good Fellowship.
And again towards the Chaplain,
who will say: Love one another.
And the President: Speak evil of no one.
And the Warden: Know thyself.
After which the Captain of the
Guard will go half way between the Vice-President’s chair and the Altar with
the candidates facing the President.
President: Brothers, we shall now proceed to make Ahepans out of these men from the
outer world. Captain of the Guard, by what right do these men enter our sacred
Captain of the Guard: By right of being free-born they come in humbleness seeking light and
President: Captain of the Guard, are you satisfied that these men are of good moral
character and upright manhood?
Captain of the Guard: I am, sir. These men have been recommended and vouched for by some of
our tried and true Brethren, and upon investigation they have been found ready
to serve as true soldiers of the Ahepa. I appeal to you, in behalf of this great
fraternity, to permit them to continue their journey.
President: As for myself it is well, Members of
this Brotherhood who are here assembled, you have heard the plea of these
candidates. Remembering your solemn vow that only true and good men shall
receive our Brotherhood and Friendship, what is your pleasure?
Assembly: Let us proceed.
President: It shall be so. Captain of the Guard, conduct these candidates to the
station of the Vice-President to receive their charge.
The Captain of the Guard wilt
then proceed with the candidates, making one more round and stop in front of the
Vice-President, and say: Mr. Vice-President, by direction
of our worthy President, I present these candidates to receive their charge.
The Vice-President’s charge
follows: Candidates, as you are aware, the Hellenes are
descended from a noble race. Their ancestors are the greatest and most learned
men of the ancient world. They were leaders in every art and science and the
great philosophers and statesmen of ancient history.
The whole civilized world looks with wonder and
admiration upon the Hellenic race. The enlightened people of the earth gaze with
amazement on the achievements of the Hellenes. Their architecture, sculpture,
painting, literature, rhetoric, poetry, history and drama surpass those of all
others. The Hellenic people were able to accomplish so much because, as free men
they believed in democracy — in fact, originated democracy. And because they
were always ready and eager to excel in whatever they undertook to do.
The Hellenic race has always been a benefactor to
humanity. For several centuries it stemmed the hordes of barbarian and Asiatic
invaders and then preserved for Europe and the West the civilization which we
For several centuries the Hellenes have suffered
under the yoke of tyranny and ruthless oppression. But these hardships never
discouraged them. They overthrew their oppressor and regained their freedom,
preserving all the spiritual and moral bonds with ancient Greece.
In the fifteenth century, while Greece was
suffering under the yoke of barbarian tyranny, America was discovered and a new
nation established on this virgin soil — the Home of the Free and the Land of
the Brave. In this new haven of freedom the Hellenic people were destined to
find an unlimited opportunity for the full expression, practice and development
of those manly virtues which were handed down to them by their ancestors. They
have adapted the loftiest ideals of Hellenism to the spirit and customs of
America and have thereby become loyal and valuable citizens of this great
In this great land of ours any person desiring
equal opportunity who has in him the spark of justice and the ambition to become
a real citizen may enjoy the greatest happiness and attain the sublime heights
of his ambition and may enrich himself to his every satisfaction by honest
industry and thereby claim for his own that freedom and that liberty guaranteed
by the government under which we live.
I charge you, therefore, to think seriously as you
make your way to the sacred Altar of this Lodge where the oath and obligation of
this great fraternity will be administered to you.
Vice-President: Captain of the Guard, you will conduct these candidates before the Altar,
cause them to kneel with left hand upon the Holy Bible and the right hand raised
Captain of the Guard: Your orders will be obeyed.
When the Captain of the Guard
conducts the candidates before the Altar as directed, all lights must be out
with the exception of the two candles burning. The President will give three
raps for the assemblage to rise and proceed to the Altar, the other Officers
forming a semicircle back of the President. The President will order the Hood
Winks to be removed and say: Candidates, before you can become
members of the Order of Ahepa, it will be necessary for you to take a solemn
oath and obligation. This obligation does not conflict with your religious or
political beliefs or your duty to your family, your neighbors, or yourself. With
this assurance, are you willing to take the obligation?
Candidates: I am.
President: Candidates, you will pronounce your name
in full and repeat after me:
Ahepa Oath and Obligation
I, ..., in the presence of Almighty God and these
witnesses, with my left hand resting upon the Holy Bible, and my right raised to
Heaven, without mental reservation, and of my own free will and accord, do
solemnly affirm that:
1. I will be always loyal and steadfast to the
Order of Ahepa, founded in Atlanta, Georgia, on the 26th day of July, 1922;
2. I will not either in writing, by word of mouth
or in any other manner divulge its secret work;
3. I will obey the laws, rules, mandates and
traditions of this Brotherhood and its Supreme and subordinate officers;
4. I will never recommend any one for membership
whom I know to be of questionable character and when voting on candidates
proposed by others, I promise nor to allow personal, religious, political or
commercial differences to influence my ballot;
5. I will support the Constitution of the United
States of America and obey all laws made under its authority, as well as the
laws of my state and community. If I have nor already done so I promise to
become a citizen of the United Slates and will strive always for the betterment
of my Country;
6. I will always remember the land of my origin
with which I will maintain unalterable, moral and spiritual bonds, will respect
its language, culture and best traditions, and will so demean myself as to prove
worthy of my noble heritage;
7. I will speak evil of no one, rather will I see
the good in my fellowman and praise him for it;
8. I will never defraud, swindle or strong a member
of this Brotherhood, but will
always defend and aid him to the extent of my ability to do so;
9. I will consider thoughtfully my relation to
other members of this fraternity and in every way possible will cooperate with
them to our mutual advantage;
10. I will always protect the good name, virtue and
chastity of the wife, mother, sister or daughter of every member of this Order
and will compel others to do so if within my power.
To each and all of these vows I again pledge myself
and should I knowingly or willfully violate this, my solemn Oath, may I be
denounced and expelled from this Order as a self-condemned perjurer and be held
by all my brothers as unfit to enjoy their friendship and association.
With my left hand resting upon the Holy Bible and
my right raised to heaven, I again pledge myself
to remain steadfast and true, so help me God. Amen,
President: You will arise.
Candidates arise and stand before
President: You will now repeat with me, in unison, the Pledge of Allegiance.
I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United
States of America and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under Cod,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.
At this point, the President will
ask the Captain of the Guard to determine if any candidate understands only the
Greek language — and if such is the case — then he wilt instruct the Captain
of the Guard to conduct the candidates to the Station of the Chaplain, who will
read the Oath and Obligation in the Greek language for their benefit. NOTE: The
candidates DO NOT repeat the Oath in Greek — it is merely read to them.
The President then and the Officers will walk to their respective
stations, the President giving one rap, seating the lodge and saying: Captain of the Guard, you will conduct these candidates to the station of
the Chaplain for further instruction.
The Captain of the Guard will take the candidates before the Chaplain and
say: Brother Chaplain, by the direction of the President. I
present these candidates for further instruction.
Chaplain: Candidates, you have received a binding oath and
obligation before the Alter in the English language. I will now repeat same oath
in the Greek language and I request that you pay strict attention.
The Oath is read in the Greek language. Chaplain: Captain of the Guard. you will conduct these candidates to the station of
the Warden for further instruction.
Captain of the Guard: Your orders will be obeyed.
And the Captain of the Guard proceeds to the station of the Warden,
saying: Brother Warden, by the direction of our worthy
Chaplain. I present to you these candidates for further instruction.
It is necessary to have the banner of the Ahepa stationed at the right of
the Warden. If the Chapter has no banner then the emblem of the Order in a
fairly good size will do. The Warden will explain the emblem while the Captain
of the Guard will point out its component parts as explained by time Warden.
Warden: Candidates, the Emblem of the Order of Ahepa
represents Faith, Justice, Hope, Power and Peace. Perhaps the most striking
element is the Sign of the Cross. It may be meant to remind us of the burdens we
have to bear and that we should imitate the Biblical example by shoring the
burden of our Brothers whose cross is heavier thon ours. The Cross, although
associated with the sacred story of Pathos, Suffering, agony, and death,
ultimately leads to Victory, Life and Peace. It meant Victory to Saint
Constantine who was the first to officially adopt it as the Standard of his
Empire alter he had seen the Sign of the Cross with the inscription ‘En Touto
Nika.’ Back of the Cross are time ancient Hellenic swords, naked and
double-edged. short and swift, they should at once remind us of the strict
discipline, the swift and impartial execution of justice, obedience to lawfully
constituted authority and the readiness to uphold and defend free Democratic
institutions so characteristic to the Hellenic race. As long as we are amenable
to the virtues exemplified by the Cross and religiously adhere to the qualities
represented by the swords the, rays of Hope will always be discernible.
The spread Eagle hovering over the Cross of Faith
and the swords of justice is emblematic of the protection of the divine precepts
and examples of the Order of Ahepa we are privileged to enjoy. The Eagle is the
king of the air. He is strong in battle, swift in triumph, end fierce in defeat.
The olive branches may well attend the emblem of the Ahepa fer wherever this
glorious emblem is established the deluge of Ignorance. Intolerance, and Discord
are dispelled and the Loyal Archons of the Order reap a bountiful harvest of
useful benefits. Benefits which grow from deeply rooted Fraternal relations:
benefits which come from co-operation: benefits which can be attained only
through the teachings of this Order; benefits that are the fruits of peaceful
law-abiding and congenial lives.
The Crown that you see at the top center of the
Banner does not represent the crown of a king or an emperor; it represents the
Supreme Lodge. the highest executive authority of the Order of Ahepa, with
headquarters in Washington. D.C.
The Octagon Star at the center of the foundation
represents the Venerable Members of the Mother Lodge, eight men who back in 1922
conceived the idea, organized and gave us the Order of Ahepa, in Atlanta.
The large stars at the four corners represent the
District Lodges. 25 throughout the United States, Canada and Australia.
The stars enclosed in squares and linked together
with a chain represent the Chapters. 400 in the Ahepa Domain. As long as these
Chapters are solidly bound together, there is no power strong enough to break
Captain of the Guard, you will now conduct these
candidates to the station of the President for final instruction.
The Captain of the Guard proceeds to the station of the President, saying:
Mr. President, by direction of our esteemed Warden.
I present these candidates for final instruction.
President: Candidates, I congratulate you upon reaching this
station. You have been given a charge by the Vice-President. You have taken an
oath and obligation before the Altar and that same oath was read to you in the
Greek language by our worthy Chaplain. The emblem of the Order was explained to
you by our esteemed Warden. In this Order we have secret words, Grips, Signs,
and Countersigns. Before I am permitted to give you any of these it is necessary
for me to repeat an article of our By-Laws concerning secrecy. Secrecy is the
fundamental principle of our Order. No action taken, no comment made, no
ritualistic work executed, or no other event, no matter how insignificant, shall
be revealed to anyone outside of a duly initiated Ahepan. A violation of this
article shall be deemed a great offense against the Order and the guilty ones
thereof shall be tried and punished by their subordinate Chapters. In the event
of their conviction, the penalty which they shall suffer shall be left to the
discretion of the Presiding Officer.
And then the President will came down from his rostrum and give the secret
word and the grip to the candidates, after which he will return to the rostrum,
and say: Brothers, since these candidates
have qualified, it is with pleasure that I welcome them among us. It is
necessary for them, however, to show more courage and faithfulness. I will now
ask the Captain of the Guard to conduct them to the anteroom to await further
Whereupon the Captain of the Guard
proceeds to the anteroom with the
In performing the second port of the initiation it is necessary that the
President instruct the Brothers to keep absolutely quiet. Many Brothers feel
that the second part is given in order to have some fun, but in reality with the
second part you are teaching the candidates the lesson you expect them to learn.
If there are many candidates then the President will ask the assembly as to how
many they wish to have tried. If one or two, then the President asks the Captain
of the Guard to bring in all the candidates with the exception of the ones to be
tried. The President then will immediately appoint two Brothers, one for the
prosecution and the other for the defense. These Brothers to speak from their
seats without coming forward. The candidate then should be taken to the
Secretary’s Office while a discussion is going on in the lodge. The Secretary
will then ask the Candidate in this manner: It
is our desire to prevent undesirables from becoming members of this lodge. If
you know of any man who has committed an offense or who has harmed you or anyone
else we would like to have his name.
Whereupon the Secretary will pass him a slip of paper and pencil. While
this is done the Captain of the Guard will stand behind the candidate,
indifferent, and when, if the candidate marks someone’s name, he will pound
his sword upon the desk, grabbing the candidate by the shoulder. The President
will say: Captain of the Guard, what is the meaning of the
Captain of the Guard: This Candidate is about to
violate his oath and obligation.
President: Bring him before me.
Whereupon the Captain of the Guard, taking the slip of paper and the
Candidate, he stands before the President.
President: What evidence have you that he is about to violate
his oath and obligation.
Captain of the Guard: He was about to write the name
of someone who has committed wrong to him.
The President, turning to the Candidate:
Were you about to write someone’s name down who has committed wrong to you?
The Candidate will answer yes or no. If he says yes, then the President
will ask the Candidate how long he has been in this country. If he understands
the English language, whether he understands his oath and obligation, whether
he remembers the paragraph where it says “I will speak evil of no one” After
he gets the answer of the Candidate, the President will say: I am very much surprised to see that you have so little regard for the
oath you have taken. A few minutes ago you have sworn to speak evil of no one
and here I find you violated that very same oath. If I had the power I would
have you expelled immediately, but since that power rests with the Brothers, I
will consult them in regard to your act.
Brothers, you have heard what this Candidate has
done, He has already violated his oath.. What is your pleasure?
Assembly: Put him out.
If there are some Brothers who say give him a chance, then the President
will ask for a rising vote at which time the majority should rise for expulsion
President: Candidate, I’m sorry, but you see yourself that
it is the desire of the majority for you to go out. Captain of the Guard, you
will conduct this man out, giving him his check.
At this time, while the Captain of the Guard is conducting the Candidate
out, the Brother who was appointed to defend the Candidate should get up and ask
the President to say a few words in favor of the Candidate. After the defense
finishes then the Brother who has been appointed for the prosecution should
begin to speak against the Candidate. When he is through the President will ask
the candidate if he has anything to say himself before he takes another ballot
as there seems to be dissension among the members and in order that justice
might be given the Candidate. When the Candidate is through the President will
again ask for another rising vote and again the majority should be for his
President: I am sorry, but you see yourself the majority
wishes you to go out. Inasmuch as I have given you the grip and our secret word,
it is necessary that you toke another oath that you will not reveal anything to
And the President will ask the Captain of the Guard to blindfold the
Candidate and conduct him before the Altar, cause him to kneel. At this time the
spanker should be filled with a blank and one of the Brothers stand behind the
Candidate. The President should get down from his rostrum and give the Candidate
the following oath: I solemnly swear that I
will not reveal anything that I have seen or heard here this evening. If I do,
may they do to me as they do to me now.
The Brother who stands there with a spanker should strike the Candidate,
causing the spanker to explode, the hoodwinks to be immediately brought down and
the President congratulating the Candidate while the Brothers applaud. After the
applause is over and while he holds the hand of the Candidate the President will
say: Speak evil of no one. He who
steals my gold steals trash, but he who robs me of my good name enricheth him
not but leaveth me poor indeed, I solemnly promise to guard the good name of
every member of this Order. I further promise to live by the Golden Rule and
‘Do unto others as I would have them do unto me,’ and guide my actions so
that they may be a shining light and example to my fellowmen and let my heart
spread the mantle of charity over the actions of every man in his weakness and
to help create a spirit of Brotherly Love and Fidelity among men.
Whereupon, the Brothers congratulate the candidate. If, however, the
candidate does not give any name then the same procedure can take place charging
the candidate with disobedience. Or if the Secretary wishes he may ask the
candidate to put down on a piece of paper the secret word and if the Candidate
does he can be charged for disclosing a secret and can be tried the same way as
In many Chapters where they have different devices, electric mats, or
chairs, or any of those and they wish to have some fun, either with the same or
another Candidate they can do so. Some one of the Brothers gets up and tells the
President that he has heard this and that about the Candidate and that he wishes
to make sure whether it is so or not, The President then asks the Lodge what is
their pleasure and the Lodge answers: Let
us try him.
Then the President orders the
Captain of the Guard to prepare the Candidate according to the device that they
have, but by no means should this take place before the real trial takes place
which is one of
the most important ports of the initiation.
After that’s over the President will say: My
Brothers, I congratulate you for becoming members of our Order; with the trial
that you have witnessed we wish to teach you three lessons:
Speak evil of no one. If you can not say anything
good about a man, say nothing at all. If you did not give anyone’s name, you
would be tried just the same for disobeying the officer. With this, we want to
teach you that obedience is the paramount duty of every Ahepan. With that I do
not mean that you should obey blindly. You have a perfect right to express your
opinions in the lodge room, but when the majority speaks, then that is final.
And the third lesson that we wish to impress upon your mind is secrecy.
Then the President gives to the Candidates some short lecture for the
Order and instructs them as to how they should come into the lodge when the
lodge is in session, giving them, also, the keyword, thus finishing the