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 be initiated.
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.
Preliminary Oath
The Triad
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
brotherly love;
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 perilous journey.”
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 Fraternity.
Inside Sentinel: Mr. President, the Captain of the Guard, with several candidates, is seeking admittance.
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 noble service.
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 domain?
Captain of the Guard: By right of being free-born they come in humbleness seeking light and knowledge.
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 now enjoy.
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 republic.
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 to Heaven.
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
The Decalogue

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 the altar.
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. Georgia.
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 that chain.
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 instruction.
Whereupon the Captain of the Guard proceeds to the anteroom with the candidates.
Part Two

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 disturbance?
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 expulsion.
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 anyone.
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 heretofore provided.
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 initiation.