Alpha Chi Omega
Those who have accepted the invitation extended by Alpha Chi Omega must be
given due notification of the date and time of their Pledging Ceremony. All
chapter members are required to be present at the ceremony unless excused by the
Chapter President for good and sufficient reason. .
The Pledging Ceremony should be held in a room which will enhance the ceremonial atmosphere desired. The formation as indicated in the drawing should be used. An alternate formation is offered in those situations where the number of new members is nearly equal to the number of chapter members. If only one or two new members are to be pledged, it is suggested that chapter members take the places of the mystagogues indicated in the drawing, in order to keep the "hollow square."
The table should be draped in a freshly pressed, clean white cloth. If space permits, an arrangement of red carnations and smilax or fern placed on the table will enhance the effect Otherwise, consideration should be given to having such an arrangement somewhere in the room. Also, for each new member, there should be a single long-stemmed red carnation accented with smilax or fern bound together by florist tape and possibly tied with red and green ribbons. These are to be given to the Warden to hold until the time of pin presentation. She stands to the right of Pretanis,
Electric candles will emphasize the desired atmosphere: candles ih glass hurricane lamps might also be used. If space permits, the candles are most effective on the table where the Pledge Record Book is placed; otherwise, they should be on some type of high standards flanking the table. Pledge pins equal to the number of new members should be on a small tray on the same table as the Pledge Record Book. Pretanis should have a list of the mystagogue-mystagee assignments.
Participants should be dressed in a conventional manner appropriate to the occasion. After a Formal Rush Week the local Panhellenic Handbook often, stipulates the dress for pledging. Where an Informal Rush Week is involved, the individual chapters must be sure to notify each prospective new member of the preferred dress.
In an adjoining room the Vice President-Pledge Education should arrange the new members in proper order (usually it is alphabetically for the purpose of signing the Pledge Record Book, as well as ease of mystagogue arrangement). She will then lead them before Pretanis in a slow step.
After the ceremony opportunity should be given each mystagogue to talk seriously and privately with he: new member, stressing the individual responsibility and privilege of each new member within the chapter and the National Fraternity.
After the chapter members have taken their places, Pretanis addresses them before the new members are brought into the room.
PRETANIS: As a chapter, we are about to participate in one of our most important ceremonies. Through rush parties we meet and select those whom we feel will bring new vitality to our group. Let us remember this as we listen and review the concepts each of us has accepted.
The Vice President-Pledge Education leads the new members into the room while "Alpha
Chi, How We Love Thy Name" is sung.
PRETANIS: We, the officers and members of … Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega are convened for the purpose of conferring upon you the privileges and responsibilities of the First Degree of Initiation that will lead to the fulfilment of your wish to become a member of our Fraternity.
You have come here in response to our invitation, extended because we believe that the Fraternity will be strengthened by your influence for good, your power of achievement. The Pledging Ceremony is the first step toward your initiation into Alpha Chi Omega. Each state of membership presents a challenge designed to develop you as an individual and as an Alpha Chi Omega. .
As a Greek-letter fraternity, we use many of the ancient rites and customs of the Hellenes, one of these being a period of orientation. Because we realize it takes time to know individuals as well as the functioning of any organization, we have a mutual period of orientation for you and ourselves. As you learn about the high personal, social and scholastic ideas for which we stand, we will expect you to embrace them as your own. During pledgeship we expect you to learn about the Fraternity, the beliefs upon which it was founded, its development and its requirements. During tills period we expect our members to assist you in any way they can to help you learn, understand. And appreciate membership in Alpha Chi Omega.
Our Fraternity adheres to a strict Code of Conduct in regard to the personal behaviour of its members. Should sufficient cause arise for withholding the privilege of initiation, we reserve the right to release you from your pledge... Should you have doubt about membership in Alpha Chi Omega, we would expect a request for release to come from you during the time of pledgeship before you are initiated into full membership. With this clearly in mind, do you desire that the Ceremony shall proceed? The answer is, 'I do.’
Pause for new member response.
Since you understand and agree to our prerequisites for pledging, will you now raise your right hand and repeat after me the following pledge:
A pause is to be made at each dash to allow repetition by the new members.
I pledge myself to do all in my power to prepare myself for membership in, this chapter and - at all times - to support its interests.
I pledge myself always to uphold – the honor and integrity of each member - of Alpha Chi Omega - as well as the Fraternity at large.
I pledge myself to consult – with the mystagogue who will be my counsellor - throughout my pledgeship.
I agree to relinquish - all claim to initiation into Alpha Chi Omega - should I violate these pledges.
To all of which I pledge – my most solemn word of honor.
PRETANIS: You are now invited to sign our Pledge Record Book.
New members sign names, etc., while the chapter sings appropriate Alpha Chi Omega songs, such as "Long Have I Cherished" or "Girl of the Golden Lyre." The number of songs is governed by the size of the new member class. As each new member finishes signing the Pledge Record Book, she returns to her place in the line.
PRETANIS: You are now invited to sign our Pledge Record Book.
PRETANIS: In ancient Greece, the candidate for initiation would ask a former initiate to be his guide or mystagogue, This ancient custom of assigning a mystagogue has become the heritage of Alpha Chi Omega. I am about to assign you a mystagogue who will act as your counselor in all matters pertaining to the Fraternity and your initiation. Consult with your mystagogue freely, especially in time of need.
In the name of Chapter of Alpha Chi Omega, and as its presiding officer, I hereby appoint the following members to be me mystagogues of these new members during the period before their initiation and throughout their life in the collegiate chapter.
Pretanis then reads the list.
Each mystagogue or steps behind her assigned new member as the appointment is made.
PRETANIS: Alpha Chi Omega has recognized in you the qualities that make you eligible for membership in the Fraternity. Our standards are surpassed by no other fraternity.
Scholastically it will be necessary far you to attain a minimum average of at this (college/university) to be admitted into full membership. Socially, Alpha Chi Omega expects its members to abide by a Code of Conduct defined by the National Fraternity.
This involves maintaining the highest personal moral standards at all times, meeting all obligations to the chapter, and abiding by federal, state and college regulations. We also expect that your interest in the varied activities of campus and community life will further broaden your purpose of daily living. When you assume these responsibilities, Alpha Chi Omega will be at its best because of you. .
The time has come for you to be invested with our pledge pin which is diamond-shaped, enamelled in scarlet and olive green, bearing a gold lyre across its face.
Pretanis remains in her position behind the table and hands the tray of pledge pins to the Vice President-Pledge Education who then works her way down the line of new members, handing one pin to each mystagogue. In turn, the mystagogue invests her assigned new member with the pledge pin. The Warden follows the Vice President-Pledge Education, presenting each new member with a red carnation after she has been invested with the pledge pin. The chapter sings an appropriate song while this is taking place, such as "Carnation Song," "She's Pledged to Alpha Chi," or another according to chapter tradition.
PRETANIS: This pin not only signifies our faith in you and your desire to become one of us, but it also indicates that you have taken that first step toward full membership, its privileges and responsibilities. The red carnation is a joyful reminder of the heritage we will share. You may rely on our love and confidence throughout-your journey.
The new members, led by their mystagogues, take their places among the chapter members. The entire group forms a circle and the chapter members sing another appropriate song. The circle then breaks according to the custom of the individual chapter, allowing the new members to receive the congratulations of their mystagogues and others.
Second Degree of Initiation into Alpha Chi Omega
Outside the Temple
This is a SPECIAL CEREMONY that takes place just before the actual Initiation Ceremony. It is to be conducted by the Vice President-pledge Education in the room where the initiates are being robed. Because this material sets the stage for the pageant to follow, it is recommended that the initiates be robed before this presentation. The Bond Book may be signed at this time if the number of initiates is large. The Vice President-Pledge Education should memorize the following material with the exception of the passages from
"The Ritual Statement," which may be read, in order to present the material with greater feeling than is possible while referring to the text. At the conclusion of this ceremony, Iris is to lead the initiates to the Initiation Ceremony room.
VICE PRESIDENT-PLEDGE EDUCATION: The Pledging Ceremony was your first step toward initiation into Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity. Each stage of membership presents a challenge designed to encourage you to develop as an individual, and as an Alpha Chi Omega, you have met the first challenge toward complete fulfilment and appreciation of Fraternity. Alpha Chi Omega has recognized in you the qualities that make you eligible for membership in the Fraternity.
During your pledgeship, you learned the non-secret features of au: Fraternity: You are now ready to have the more confidential portions of Alpha Chi Omega revealed to you as you participate in our beloved Initiation Ceremony.
The 'Alpha Chi Omega Statement on the Ritual' says: 'The Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega stands as a clear pronouncement of the purposes, values and goals of our sisterhood. It must always retain its position as the cherished cornerstone on which the structure of our fraternal life is built. It is the responsibility of each chapter to perpetuate the use of our Ritual with a correct understanding of its nature and purpose.
'ITS PURPOSE. Our Ritual states the ideals and values on which our sisterhood is based and provides a framework on which those ideals can be reinforced. Each time we participate in our Ritual, we are reminded of and challenged to uphold those values set forth in our ceremonies and summarized in our open motto: 'Together let us seek the heights.' The performance of our Ritual is meant to focus the eyes of all sisters on our common bond and common purpose: the constant striving for excellence' in our individual and collective endeavors.
'ITS NATURE. The nature of our Ritual is that of an art form – a pageant, a dramatization of our ideals set against a backdrop of classical Greek mythology. The message spoken by our Ritual therefore appeals to more than just our ears and our minds; to an extent it is also permitted to have a visual appeal and to stir our aesthetic sensibilities. It may be considered spiritual in the sense that music or art or drama or poem, touch the spiritual aspects of our nature, but it is never to be viewed as a religious ceremony.
In order to understand and enjoy your initiation more fully, you should know that Greek mythology is the basis for the symbols and traditions in Greek-letter societies. In these legends are found the embodiment of ancient Greek ideals and highest attainments. Many of our own customs and traditions have their beginning in ancient Greek folklore. This ancient background is reflected in the attire you are wearing as well as in the special properties and the music used throughout the ceremony.
In 1885 our seven founders agreed that the object of the Alpha Chi Omega fraternity was to encourage the spirit of true sisterhood, to develop through personal effort a high moral and mental standard, and to advance the appreciation of the fine arts among its members.
Alpha Chi Omega has endeavored to preserve these ideals and to make them a pan of the life of every member, that her formal education, so far removed from classical influence in this present time, may be supplemented and enhanced by an appreciation of human needs, beauty of living and artistic development.
Enjoy your initiation, and yet listen carefully-for in the precepts it contains you will find many meaningful guidelines for living.
Inside the Temple
Admete is seated on the throne holding a scepter in her right hand. At the left of the throne is the altar on which burns a Greek lamp, tended by Hestia, who holds the peacock plumes over her left arm. At the right of Admete stands Hebe with the censer. Eunomia guards the temple door and makes certain that only Alpha Chi Omega members have entered.
Euterpe is seated at the piano. Dike and Eirene are standing in the center of the base of the triangle. Once Iris has led the initiates into the temple, Eunomia joins Dike and Eirene in the base.
ADMETE reads: The Alpha Chi Omega Statement on the Ritual says: 'The Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega stands as a clear pronouncement of the purposes, values and goals of our sisterhood. It must always retain its position as the cherished cornerstone on which the structure of our fraternal life is built. It is the responsibility of each chapter to perpetuate the use of our Ritual with a correct understanding of its nature and purpose.
'ITS PURPOSE. Our Ritual states the ideals and values on which our sisterhood is based and provides a framework on which those ideals can be reinforced. Each time we participate in our Ritual, we are reminded of and challenged to uphold those values set forth in our Ceremonies and summarized in our open motto: 'Together let us seek the heights.' The performance of our Ritual is meant to focus the eyes of all sisters on our common bond and common purpose: the constant striving for excellence in our individual and collective endeavors.
'ITS NATURE. The nature of our Ritual is that of an art form-a pageant, a dramatization of our ideals set against a backdrop of classical Greek mythology. The message spoken by our Ritual therefore appeals to more than just our ears and our minds; to an extent it is also permitted to have a visual appeal and to stir our aesthetic sensibilities. It maybe considered spiritual in the sense that music or art or drama or poetry touch the spiritual aspects of our nature, but it is never to be viewed as a religious ceremony .
Iris leads the initiates to the temple door after they have been robed and the introduction to the Initiation Ceremony has been conducted.
To initiates: You, a Child of Darkness regarding the mysteries of our ancient sisterhood, have come form the Outer World seeking our inspired teachings. You are about to be conducted into the presence of those who are convened in the Temple of Light where the mystic rites of Alpha Chi Omega will be revealed to you. Your willingness to enter the portal imposes upon you a personal responsibility. From here on, you will learn to extend loyalty of thought and deed toward those within the temple. The intent of this ceremony is that it contains nothing that will interfere with your duties to yourself, your neighbor, your country or you: God.
Banish all worldly thoughts now, and prepare yourself in spirit for the ancient symbols of mythology. Put yourself in the context of the time when our Founders created our lovely Initiation Ceremony. The classics were a primary focus of intellectual pursuit, and the imagery exhibited in mythology was viewed seriously. In today's society emphasis seldom focuses on the classics, and language contains few references to the Grecian period of ancient history. Our ceremony provides you, the initiate, with an opportunity to experience a very different culture. By its very nature, ritual is not modernized., or this thread which binds all Alpha Chi Omegas together over eternity would be lost. Consider this ceremony a pageant, a pan of the great cultural heritage passed down to us from the Golden Grecian Age, when men on earth, groping for perfection, in their minds created deities dwelling on Olympus, who symbolized for man those virtues which he sought to attain. Give your whole attention to the words of the legendary High Priestess, Admete, who according to the Greek myth, left her high estate to take sanctuary in the Temple of Hera, and in accordance with a vision, remained thereafter as its most exalted priestess. Observe and listen attentively that you may fully understand the meaning of the solemn oath you will take.
Within the Temple:
ADMETE: Hebe, make certain there are no strangers present.
HEBE: I have done so.
Admete gives the following charge at the same time that Iris is addressing the initiates outside the temple. Hebe's reply is the cue for both of them to begin speaking.
ADMETE: We, the children of Light, are convened in this, our temple, for the purpose of revealing to a petitioner the mystic rites of Alpha Chi Omega. Having found the supplicants worthy in all respects, we are now about to unlock for them the door leading to the inner temple. Remember the vows you yourselves have taken here, for in the name of those vows, I hold each of you personally responsible and morally accountable for loyalty of thought and deed toward her who now approaches the golden throne. Should she stumble in her efforts to reach the heights, do not condemn, but help her regain her foothold; should temptation touch her, shield her with your love; should sorrow darken her path, comfort he: with your devotion.
Thus will we in practice reflect to the Outer World the inner teachings of our Fraternity. Let us raise our voices in solemn chant.
"Greek Chant" is played and sung by all members.
At the conclusion of her speech to the initiates and at the conclusion of the singing, Iris gives the Fraternity knock at the door of the temple. Eunomia answers the knock.
During the following dialogue, the singular form is used if there is but one candidate for initiation.
EUNOMIA: Who are you?
IRIS: A Child of Light, a sister in the Bond.
EUNOMIA: Are you alone?
IRIS: No, I bring candidates desiring to be initiated members of Alpha Chi Omega.
EUNOMIA: Who are they, and what do they come seeking?
IRIS: They are named … gives names and they seek to become Children of Light.
EUNOMIA: By what right do they come seeking this honor?
IRIS: By their sincere desire to become worthy representatives of Alpha Chi Omega.
EUNOMIA: Then let them enter.
Iris enters leading the initiates, each one having her right hand on the left shoulder of the one preceding. Iris having demonstrated this to them while they were being robed. A slow, not hesitating step is used. She conducts them to the base of the mangle and through the place left vacant by Eunomia and toward the throne. She places the initiates in rows in the center of the formation.
They are placed in equal rows.determined by the number of initiates and the size a the room and are to be facing toward Admete. Eunomia follows the line of initiates and take her place at the base of the triangle. Eunomia plays the "Greek Chant" softly while the initiates are entering and being placed. When all is quiet, Admeta stands. Chapter members again sing the "Greek Chant." and after this is sung. Admete speaks.
ADMETE: Stranger, you are on the threshold of a great and mystic sisterhood and before you may proceed further, I am compelled to bind you to the most profound secrecy. Do you solemnly promise that the secrets of this night shall remain with you, never to be spoken aloud or whispered, never to be written, carved, or painted or to be otherwise communicated either directly or by parable to those not of our Fraternity? If so, the answer is: 'I do solemnly
Iniates repeat: I do solemnly promise.
ADMETE: You are now within the Temple of Light where all is harmony and clarity. But you must go forth again into the Outer World which is the Hall of Strife and Darkness, where along life's pathway there are many temptations. Before you may be free of these temptations, harmony within must be attained. Within this temple there are three pathways: the Halls of Wisdom. Devotion and Achievement Your understanding of their teachings will lead to that harmony of spirit which carries to the Outer World the radiance of the light within.
Prepare yourself now for your journey along the mystic pathways leading to your enlightenment. 1m can but lead the wav. By your own efforts you will reach the goal. Remember to fix your gaze upon the heights; aim to attain perfection in all that you attempt; strive for knowledge, but let knowledge go hand in hand with humility. Guard against selfishness for you will receive much.
Having received. you must give in order that the great law of compensation maybe exemplified in you, Meditate upon your own shortcomings before you pronounce judgment upon others and let harmony be the keynote in your relations with all mankind. Thus you’re your life show forth the ideals of our Fraternity.
Before you take your first step, O Seeker of Light consider carefully our teachings as they have been revealed to you.
While the "Meditation and March of the Hours" is softly played, the First Formation changes to the Second Formation.
ADMETE: Candidates, do you find your heart and mind in accord with the essence of our teachings? If so, the answer is: ‘They are in true accord'.
Initiates repeat: They are in true accord.
ADMETE: Prepare yourself to hear the Bond of Alpha Chi Omega to which you are required to pledge your solemn oath of allegiance.
DIKE reads the following aloud from the Bond Book, allowing the book to rest upon the altar. After reading The Bond, she closes the book: We, the Children of Light, who have inscribed our names on this scroll, desirous of perpetuating the rites of this Fraternity the purposes of which are to bind together with the closest bonds all those who take upon themselves its vows, to exemplify as each day passes the duty of service to our fellow beings and to follow faithfully and intelligently the three Muses: Art, Literature and Song, do hereby dedicate ourselves to these purposes embodied in our Fraternity, known to the Outer World as Alpha Chi Omega, of which this Bond shall be the visible token.
We bind ourselves to regard as sisters all those who enter herein; to extend to each the love and loyalty which one sister has the right to demand of another, to promote her interests as we would our own; to hold ourselves responsive to her needs; and to guard her character from the breath of slander.
We bind ourselves to endeavor to attain intellectual, moral and physical perfection; to cultivate the love of truth for its own sake; to seek it in every department of study, and having found it, to give it forth for the benefit of society.
We bind ourselves to strive always to develop that fineness of moral feeling, nobility of character, strength of intellect and kindness of hem inherent in every true woman; and to admit into this Bond only those who are capable of attaining such a standard.
We bind ourselves to work faithfully and harmoniously for the perfect attainment of these purposes, provided that nothing herein shall be so construed as to interfere with our duty to our neighbor and to our God.
We bind ourselves to keep forever secret from every person not dedicated to this Bond all things pertaining to our solemn rites, known to the Outer World as the Ritual of the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity; and moreover, if, for any reason, anyone of us should become disconnected from this fraternity, we do most solemnly bind ourselves to hold inviolate the obligation of secrecy which we have sworn to maintain.
And finally, we declare that this Bond shall be forever unalterable, except by vote of the Alpha Chi Omega Fraternity.
ADMETE: You have now heard The Bond of Alpha Chi Omega. Are you ready for the Oath of Allegiance? The answer is: 'I am ready. '
Initiates repeat: I am ready.
ADMETE: Then repeat after me the Oath.
INITIATES, Admete prompting: I hereby solemnly affirm and declare, that I do accept the Bond of Alpha Chi Omega and that I will keep its statutes in loyalty and love and that I will endeavor at all times to bring honor to the Fraternity. May I be kept forever steadfast in this, my secret and binding obligation.
ADMETE: In the name of Hera, our patron goddess, and as High Priestess of the Temple, it becomes my joyous duty to pronounce you as one of the Children of Light and a sister in The Bond of Alpha Chi Omega. You may now look upon the mysteries pertaining to the temple.
The first path leads to the Hall of Wisdom. There you will find the open book which holds within its pages the keystone of our philosophy. There all shadows are unknown, and the light of truth shines with unfading glory.
Be humble if you would attain wisdom; be humbler still when wisdom you have mastered. DIKE, Guardian of the Open Book, reveal the secrets of the Hall of Wisdom.
DIKE: First must I have the Golden Key whose mystic sounds unlock its treasures.
As the "Song of the First Golden Key is sung softly, Admete returns to her seat on the throne. Iris turns the initiates in their places to face toward the Hall of Wisdom (First Hall). Once the initiates are facing the Hall, Iris nods to the line of chapter members in front of the Hall, and upon this cue, this line turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the throne. Upon movement of the line in front of the First Hall, the line in front of the Third Hall turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the Second Hall. As always, the lines face inwards toward the initiates. Iris takes her place at the left side of Dike. When all are in place and the "Song of the First Golden Key" has been sung. Iris speaks.
IRIS: The Hall of Wisdom will reveal to you the meaning of our name, our motto and other things pertinent to our Fraternity.
DIKE: Welcome, Seeker of Truth to the Hall of Wisdom. Behold the Open Book. The Bond of Alpha Chi Omega to which you have already sworn allegiance. This scroll contains the names of all those who have entered the temple through this hall. It has been your privilege to enrol yourself as one of the Children of Light.
Initiates sign their names in alphabetical order in the Bond Book, together with the proper dates, addresses and Bond Book numbers. Iris sees that each initiate is immediately ready to follow her predecessor.
When a chapter is being installed or when a large number of initiates is going through the Ceremony, the initiates should be permitted to sign the Bond Book just before the Ceremony begins. If the Bond Book has been pre-signed, Dike's speech ends: "It has been your privilege to enrol .yourself herein as one of the Children of Light"
Euterpe plays softly the "Song of the First Golden Key" while the Bond Book is being signed, following it by the "March of the Hours" if there is a large number of Initiates.
Iris, after assisting with moving initiates forward to sign, takes her place at the left side of Dike, facing the initiates.
DIKE: It is now my duty to instruct you in the mysteries of which I am the guardian, let these three Golden Precepts aid you in your search for knowledge:
First, cultivate tolerance and open-mindedness.
Second, learn to distinguish the true from the false.
Third, strive to keep the proper balance between the head and the heart.
Such are the precepts of the Hall of Wisdom. Crowning these with our open motto, ΣγΣΠΟγΑΣΩΜΕΝ ΤΑ ΑΝΩΤΑΤΑ, translated ‘Together let us seek the Heights,' and keeping them ever before us, may we climb onward and upward to the better, higher things of life.
From this time forward we expect you to join with us in bringing honor to the Fraternity. May each day reflect the selection of worthy objectives and tasks well done; and let our name, Alpha Chi Omega, whose hidden meaning is ΑΓΑΘΙΑ ΧΑΡΙΣ ΟΦΘΛΙΑ, be a constant inspiration. For ΑΓΑΘΙΑ, means goodness, virtue; ΧΑΡΙΣ, kindness. refinement; ΟΦΘΛΙΑ, assistance, benefit.
The password of the Temple is AL-CHI-GA. This is formed from the first syllable of Alpha and the last syllable of Omega, keeping Chi as the middle syllable.
The cornerstone of our Temple is the secret motto, ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ ΚΡΑΤΕΙ Η ΦΙΛΙΑ ΣγΝΕΡΓΙΑΔΕ Η ΚΟΙΝΩΝΙΑ, translated, 'The strength of love is Unity; the strength of Unity, Co-operation.'
DIKE holds up a picture of the coat of arms and points to the various parts as she speaks or uses one mounted on the wall behind her.
DIKE: Alpha Chi Omega has adopted a coat of arms embodying in symbol the mysteries of the Fraternity. The square shield is divided into three pans picturing the trinity within our Ritual. It is red, cut by a bar of green.
The crest is a lyre bird, suggesting our badge. It is the spirit of music, hovering over us as a constant source of inspiration.
The first division of the shield displays an Open Book symbolic of the Bond of Alpha Chi Omega, In a larger sense it represents to us the wisdom of the ages, and is open that all may read and acquire knowledge.
In the second division there are Three Stars which correspond to the three essential jewels in our badge. These radiate unceasingly: 'their message of Faith, Hope, and Love to those within our Temple, who is turn reflect it to the Outer World.'
The sheaf of wheat in the third division represents the garnering of our hopes, the harmonious co-existence of the fine and liberal arts with all of our studies. It is corded and tied with a knot forever securing our sisterly love in permanent union.
Below the shield is a scroll bearing the Greek words of our open motto, 'Together let us seek the Heights.'
With this heraldic symbol in mind, we go forth to strive for the ideals of our Fraternity, keeping her name untarnished and her standards high.
This completes the mysteries guarded by the Hall of Wisdom. From here your path leads to the Second Hall, where further secrets will be unfolded to you.
ADMETE: The second path leads to the hall of Devotion. There you will find the Three Stars: Faith, Hope, and Love, plucked from the veil of Hera and set for time unending within our Golden Lyre. Before you can apply what you have learned here, you must attune your heart and mind to the great hear: and mind of all mankind. Eirene, Guardian of the Three Stars, reveal the mysteries of the Hall of Devotion.
EIRENE: First must I have the Second Golden Key whose mystic sounds unlock its treasures.
As the "Song of the Second Golden Key" is sung softly, Iris turns the initiates in their places to face toward the Hall of Devotion (Second Hall). Once the initiates are facing the Hall, Iris. nods to the line of chapter members in front of the Hall, and upon this clue, this line turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the First Hall. Upon movement of the line in front of the Second Hall, the line in front of the throne turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the Third Hall. As always, the lines face inwards toward the initiates. When all are in place and the "Song of the Second Golden Key" has been sung, Iris takes her place at the left side of Eirene, facing the initiates, and Iris speaks.
IRIS: Eirene is the Goddess of Peace and the Keeper of the Lyre. She will explain the significance of our badge.
EIRENE: Welcome, Seeker of Love, to the Hall of Devotion. It is now my duty to instruct you in the mysteries of which I am the guardian. Let these three Golden Precepts aid you in your search for Love:
First, strive for harmony in all things.
Second, cultivate an appreciation for the Fine Arts.
Third, live to benefit others.
Such are the precepts of the Hall of Devotion. All nature is organized according to the laws of harmony. Among the ancient Greeks, music in general meant the education of the soul, They felt music to be a spiritual thing, too far removed from common affairs to have an earthly origin. Our beloved symbol, the lyre, was invented by Hermes and played by the gods on Mount Olympus. Upon the death of Orpheus, greatest of the Greek lyrists, Zeus placed his lyre in the skies, where it is still to be seen as the constellation Lyra, with Vega as its brightest star. Thus was it held divine by the Greeks from whom it was handed down to us.
Eirene holds up a large drawing or suitable replica of the badge while explaining the following symbolism to the initiates and points to it while she speaks or uses one mounted on the wall behind her.
EIRENE: First must I have the Third Golden Key whose mystic sounds unlock its treasures.
EIRENE: The frame of the lyre is fashioned of gold, signifying purity, truth, and light. It is set with precious stones, expressing beauty, harmony and immortality. The lyre within the lyre represents to us the life of the girl within the Fraternity, while the three strings signify the individual girl, the chapter, and the Fraternity as a whole. If one string fails to answer, discord arises and the melody is lost; for they are inseparably bound together by the scroll which represents our secret Bond. Upon this scroll is inscribed our Greek name.
Three stones are required to represent the three stars, and these form our perfect mangle. The two upper, outer jewels, Faith and Hope, point to all that is inspiring and helpful; while the center jewel Love, is the heart of the pin, symbolic of true sisterhood in Alpha Chi Omega.
The lyre is the most precious of our symbols, the crowning gift of sisterhood, and is never bestowed by anyone except the High Priestess at the conclusion of our rites.
This completes the mysteries guarded by the Hall of Devotion. From here the path leads to the Third Hall, where the remaining secrets will be unfolded to you.
ADMETE: The third path leads to the Hall of Achievement. There you will find the fruition of our hopes, the garnered sheaf from which we gain the bread of wisdom. As season follows season, fresh wheat must be-corded in the sheaf; therefore, let each harvester for the temple sow seeds of love and kindly acts in the fields of the furore. Eunomia, Guardian of the Sheaf reveal the mysteries of the Hall of Achievement.
EUNOMIA: First must I have Third Golden Key whose mystic sounds unlock its treasures.
As the "Song of the Third Golden Key" is sung softly, Iris turns the initiates in their places to face toward the Hall of Achievement (Third Hall). Once the initiates are facing the Hall, Iris nods to the line of chapter members in front of the Third Hall, and upon this clue, this line turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the Second Hall. Upon movement of the line in front of the Third Hall, the line in front of the First Hall turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction, reforming the line in front of the throne. As always, the lines face inwards towards the initiates. When all are in place and the "Song of the Third Golden Key" has been sung, Iris takes her place at the left side of Eunomia, facing the initiates, and Iris speaks.
IRIS: Eunomia is the Goddess of Good Order and Keeper of the Carnations. She will reveal more of our traditions and will tell you the Legend of the Red Carnation.
EUNOMIA: Welcome Seeker of Action, to the Hall of Achievement. It is now my duty to instruct you in the mysteries of which I am the guardian. Let these three Golden Precepts aid you in your future acts:
First, cultivate ambition and industry
Second, strive for physical perfection.
Third, practice honor, uprightness and fairness.
Such are the precepts of the Hall of Achievement which should be applied to your collegiate and alumnae life. Although we require your undivided loyalty, we advise you to identify yourself with the larger interests and organizations of your college. Remember that Alpha Chi Omega endeavors to maintain a broad-minded policy and stands for absolute fairness in all relations. Remember, also, that undue absorption in your college life will tend to blind you to the larger interests of the outside world.
There are certain forms in use among those who have entered the temple with which you should become acquainted. Toe door of the temple will open only in response to the proper knock which is thus: Illustrates by knocking on the hall table while she speaks one long, two short, and one long knocks. You will be answered by two short, and two long knocks.
Eunomia demonstrates both knocks by rapping on the table as she speaks.
All written communications between sisters are recognized by the test words which are 'Pi - Pi'; and the answer; - Tau -', used at the close of the letter. The complete cipher, Pi Tau Pi, signifies Alpha Chi Omega. Pi, Penta, represents the five letters of Alpha and Omega. Tau, Tres, represents the three letters of Chi.
Our official grip is the clasp which I will now show you. She turns to Iris who receives and returns the grip in demonstration while Eunomia speaks.
Little fingers interlocked; the thumb on the second knuckle; the forefinger or the wrist. The grip should be covered with two hands. Pressures, one long, two short, one long. Answer, two short, two long.
In conducting formal meetings, the Chair is addressed by her Greek name, Pretanis, and is saluted by a special sign which is made thus: Eunomia demonstrates and says, "Pretanis" as she gives the sign. The sign is made by extending the index and middle fingers of the hand to a straight position with the ring and little finger folded down across the palm and covered by the thumb. The salute is given by placing the side edge of the index finger above the eyebrow line of the eye. Middle and index finger are thus extended diagonally across the forehead above the eye. Eunomia demonstrates the formation of the sign and giving of the salute as she
In voting, the formal sip is the right hand over the heart. Eunomia demonstrates.
Our colors, scarlet and olive green, symbolize for us many phases of life. Scarlet brings visions of love, strength, good cheer and happiness. We see in it the flicker of the hearth fire and the glow of the flame, the very blood pulsating in our veins, It suggests the active and aggressive. On the other hand, green typifies the passive qualities, and in its contemplation, we think of quietude, infinity and things eternal. The combination of these two is symbolic of complete existence.
If the chapter feels that a rest period is necessary during the ceremony, Eunomia may give a signal at this point for everyone to sit; but she continues to stand.
EUNOMIA: There is a legend concerning our flower, the red carnation, which explains its significance to our Fraternity.
Eunomia picks up the Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega, opens it to the "Legend of the Red Carnation" and reads with feeling:
The Legend of the Red Carnation
In days of old, Greek gods and goddesses dwelt in the lofty heights of Mount Olympus. There was a valley guarded by blue hills rising up to meet the heavens with a floor carpeted by twining vines, eternally green. Rising from this valley were flowers of many shades, but of scarlet there were none.
In this valley dwelt a maiden. All of the graces were present at her birth, each bestowing a special gift. She was thus endowed with gentleness of manner, kindness of heart, nobility of soul, loveliness of spirit, and clarity of mind. Although she was well-loved, in time the maiden became discontent with the confinement of her surroundings..
In the distance, towering above the valley's blue hills, stood the Mountain of Light, and the maiden, gazing at its mystical radiance, found the determination to leave the valley in search of new horizons. She set forth toward the mountain to attain her goal, but she soon found herself in the Valley of Strife. She was surrounded by others who had stumbled in their efforts to reach the heights and were hindered on all sides by unforeseen obstacles.
But the maiden, mindful of her fellow travelers, helped them regain their foothold and shielded them with her love and devotion. Thus, through her noble deeds, she completed her journey through the Valley of Strife and found herself ascending the Mountain of Light.
When she reached the pinnacle of the Mountain, she was greeted by the beautiful sound of lyres, signaling that she had reached her highest aspiration. Hera, the protectress of womankind, addressed her, saying, "Oh Seeker of the Heights, you have reached your goal and have given much to others along the way. Your deeds are deserving of praise and honor and shall serve as an example for others. From this day forward, you shall be known as the High Priestess in all my earthly temples. And the name of the High Priestess was Admete.
Eunomia looks toward the throne and gestures with her left hand toward Admete.
At that very moment, a new flower sprang up along the paths traveled by the maiden; a flower of scarlet petals cradled in a sturdy green stem and graced by slender leaves. The world rejoiced at this gift, for this flower, known as the red carnation, carried a message of brightness and served as an illustration of everything that is noble-good, and true. Only through deeds of worthiness could such a gift be given, and, to this day, the red carnation inspires us and reminds us of hope that is ever green and love that never fails.
Eunomia closes the Ritual of Alpha Chi Omega and lays it on the table.
EUNOMIA: Initiates, please kneel, while upon your head I place this garland, a symbol of our never-ending sisterhood and a heritage from the maiden, who, daring to seek her aspirations, achieved the heights.
Eunomia places a wreath on each initiate's head. She is assisted by Iris who follows her down the lines of initiates and hands the wreaths to Eunomia. Iris carries the wreaths hanging from one arm and returns to the table for more wreaths as needed. While the wreaths are being distributed, Euterpe softly plays "The Song of the Third Golden Key." After all wreaths have been distributed, Eunomia and Iris return to behind the table.
Remember well the lesson in the 'Legend of the Red Carnation' that the deepest meaning in life comes from giving of yourself. To preserve it in our memories, we have set aside a special day to be of service to others. It is observed on the first day of March and is called Hera Day, coinciding with the Heraea when the first ancient Greek festivals were celebrated. On this day, let each one of you share her talent for the happiness and wellbeing of others as did the maiden of long ago.
Arise. Eunomia should pause until all initiates are standing. Your path leads again to the Golden Throne and to the fulfilment of your desires.
As Euterpe plays the ‘Processional and Greeting to Hera,’ Iris turns the initiates in their places to face toward the throne. Once the initiates are facing the throne, Iris nods toward the line of chapter members in front of the throne, and upon this cue, this line turns to its right arid members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction until the head of the line reaches the middle of the Second Hall. Upon movement of the line in front of the throne, the line in front of the Second Hall turns to its right and chapter members walk slowly in a counter-clockwise direction with the last person in the line stopping at the middle of the Second Hall. Thus a "U" is formed by the two lines in back of the group of initiates.
Iris and Eunomia stand behind the group of initiates. Dike carrying the Bond Book, and Eirene, carrying the tray or pillow with the badges, advance to the altar on which Eirene places the tray. When all are in place, the soloist sings the "Greeting to Hera."
ADMETE: The deepest thought of Fraternity is its oneness, and this we must not mar. From this time forward, may our temple be strengthened by the addition of another life of undivided loyalty, love and achievement. Together let us stand as on Olympus, our feet fixed in the dwelling place of beauty, peace and truth. Treasure the Golden Precepts unfolded to you by the Hours, and remember that the deepest joy in life comes from giving of yourself.
Your journey is over, and you have learned much on the way. We have bestowed upon you the gilt of Fraternity, and you truly have become a sister in Alpha Chi Omega. It is with confidence in your worthiness to wear the lyre that I take this emblem and give it into your keeping.
When Admete says, "As you take this emblem..." Eirene takes the tray or pillow with the badges from the altar and stands near Hestia. Iris moves forward to stand near Hebe. Hesria hands the badge to Admete as Dike reads each name from the Bond Book. Admete repeats the following each time she hands a badge to Iris or the initiated Alpha Chi Omega relative or significant alumna if participating who then pin on the badge.
As you take this emblem from my hand. place it over her heart.
Admete then repeats the following to each individual initiate as the badge is pinned on.
I give the lyre into your keeping.
After all badges have been presented, Dike and Eirene replace the Bond Book and empty tray or pillow on the altar, and they, along with Iris, move to stand with Eunomia behind the group of initiates. Admete then speaks.
The lyre is the visible symbol of our Fraternity to the Outer World. Worn with a genuine understanding of its true significance, it becomes our most treasured emblem, an enduring inspiration for the attainment of our goals.
In the name of Hera, I greet you as one of her followers, and welcome you as a sister in the Bond of Alpha Chi Omega.
The ‘Song of Welcome’ is played through once by Euterpe as the line of chapter members forming the "U" move to close this shape into a circle enclosing the group of initiates. They stand in place until Euterpe is finished with playing the song through once. Then they raise their left arms, holding the bottom of the backend of their scarves, to the right shoulder of the chapter members next to them, and stepping with their right foot and rising slightly on the ball of that foot, they begin the dance. The circle continues to move in a counter-clockwise direction with the rising steps in time to the music until both verses have been sung. The circle then stops and remains in place with their arms extended until the grip has been given to each initiate. Euterpe continues to play the ‘Song of Welcome’ until the grip has been given to all initiates.
At the start of the dance, Iris and the Hours move through the lines of initiates, each taking a row, and congratulate the initiates and give them the grip, explaining the response. When this exchange is concluded. Iris moves to stand behind the initiates with the Hours in a row behind her. Euterpe finishes playing the ‘Song of Welcome’ and Admete then speaks.
ADMETE: Let us now close our rites according to tradition by the formation of our beloved lyre, within which we rejoice to set our newly acquired jewels.
Euterpe plays the ‘Processional and Greeting, to Hera’ as the lyre is being formed. The circle opens at the middle of me top, the end in front of the throne, and the sides curve to form the shape of a lyre with the base of the lyre left open. Iris instructs the initiates to place their right hands on the left shoulder on the initiate in front of them and leads them in a line to the base of the triangle, passing to the left side of Eunomia. She leads them to form the base of the lyre, facing the throne, in as many rows as necessary to accommodate the number of initiates. She leaves a space in the middle of the rows at the base, and after arranging all the initiates, Iris moves to stand in this middle position.
Once the sides of the lyre have been formed and the initiates and Iris. are in place at the base of the lyre, Admete leaves her throne and moves forward to take the place representing the center jewel, love. She walks through the center of the Hours by having Eirene step Dike behind as she passes through. Eirene returns to her center position, and the Hours then rotate to their right to turn and face the base of the lyre, i.e. the initiates. They raise their scarves by the bottom end to the right shoulder of the Hour beside them with Dike raising hers as well to form the scroll. Hebe and Hestia leave their places after Admete has descended from the throne and take their places as the upper, outer jewels. Chapter members arms are at their sides. Euterpe finishes playing the ‘Processional and Greeting to Hera, and Admere speaks.
ADMETE: Let us together sing praises to our living lyre.
Chapter members in the sides of the lyre raise the bottom of the backend of their scarves to the right shoulder of the chapter member next to them, and the first two verses of the ‘Song of the Living Lyre’ are sung. Hebe and Hestia do not raise their scarves. Admete then speaks.
ADMETE: As you go forth from this temple, each of you bears a flaming torch, kindled at the fire of Fraternal love. May we carry with us into each new day the light of new faith, of firmer purpose and of higher ideals. If you would keep this flame forever bright, remember to give unceasingly of the great love which you have received. Thus giving, you will someday reach the Heights.
Euterpe plays and the last verse of the ‘Songof the Living Lyre’ is sung while the disbanding occurs. Once the verse has been sung, Euterpe continues to play the song softly until all have left the room. Chapter members drop their arms to their sides after the song has been sung.
Admete leaves the room first by walking through the middle spot in the base of the lyre which is opened by Iris stepping back and to the side. Once Admete has left. Iris leads the initiates behind her, They are followed by the Hours and the chapter members in the sides of the lyre walking in a double line. All use the same slow step used throughout the ceremony with the right hand on the left shoulder of the chapter member in front.
This Concludes the Initiation ceremony. Initiates and chapter members, led by Admete march quietly to a place where gowns are removed and all other costume and equipment properties are collected by the Warden and her assistants and then immediately returned to safe keeping in the locked storage area. The initiates should disrobe in a separate room, and Iris should remain with them until they are dressed again. At that time art appropriate celebration for all initiates should occur.
Those who have accepted the invitation extended by Alpha Chi Omega must be
given due notification of the date and time of their Pledging Ceremony. All
chapter members are required to be present at the ceremony unless excused by the
Chapter President for good and sufficient reason. .