Alpha Epsilon Pi
Master: The importance of the ritual and ritual meetings cannot be overemphasized. The ritual is the basic fabric of the Fraternity. The Fraternity is united as an international organization by the fact that the same doctrines are preached in every Chapter when the ritual is expounded. When the ritual is not used, the Fraternity loses much of its character and becomes very little more than a social club.
The initiation ceremony is arranged by the Initiation Committee, the chairman of which is usually the Lieutenant Master, who is called the Master of Ceremonies. A sponsor accompanies and leads each neophyte throughout the ceremony, unless the chapter membership is small, in which event one or more brothers should act as sponsors for the group.
This ceremony is sacred to every brother of ΑΕΠ, and should be made as impressive as possible for the neophytes. It is especially important that the initiation ceremony be performed properly, and with all the dignity and solemnity possible. This is a great moment in the life of the candidate, and one which he will always remember if his elevation to brotherhood in Alpha Epsilon Pi is made the impressive occasion it can be.
As the neophytes are firstly led into the room, all brothers will hum the Gold and Blue and stop immediately after the reading of the 23rd Psalm is concluded. This is resumed when the neophytes are again led around the room for the Key Man Lectures. All nonparticipating brothers shall remain in ABSOLUTE SILENCE throughout the ceremony.
This means that no smoking, whispering, or moving about, is permitted. When the last neophyte has been congratulated by the Master, the Sentinel turns on the lights.
The Master will say: Brother Master of Ceremonies, conduct the new brothers around the room for congratulations.
The brothers will exchange handshakes and say only one word, congratulations. The new brothers are then escorted from the room, Absolute Silence.
Prevailing. This procedure not only adds to the dignity and solemnity but also affords an opportunity for the new brothers to learn how to properly gain entry to a meeting.
The Master, Lieutenant Master, and initiation team are expected to rehearse the ceremony at least once before each initiation so that all participants will be thoroughly familiar with their parts. This means that the entire ritual team must read their parts aloud or recite from memory, in the presence of each other, so that constructive criticism will result in a perfect performance by the entire team. The Master, in particular, should memorize that part of the ritual, which occurs after the blindfolds are removed.
Alpha Epsilon Pi Initiation
The space set aside for the initiation ceremony is, wherever possible, rectangular. The Master is at the end farthest from the entrance, and each of the three ritual Key Men is stationed in the center of each side of the room: A, at the Master's right; E, in front; and Π, on the Master's left.
THE ROOM IS DARK: CANDLES ARE BURNING. Chairs for the brothers are placed along the three sides of the room in front of the Brother Master. The Master, Master of Ceremonies, Sentinel, and the three Key Men wear the required ritual robes.
The ritual lamp is burning, a sterilized needle, matches, and the Holy Bible placed upon the Master's table.
THE ROOM REMAINS DARKENED THROUGHOUT THE CEREMONY. Each Key man has a few burning candles at his station. When all is ready and the brothers are quietly seated, the Sentinel sounds a long, low whistle or makes a hand signal which notifies the Master of Ceremonies (Lieutenant Master) that he should proceed to bring the blindfolded neophytes to the door of the initiation room.
SENTINEL: Who goes there?
M. of C.: A rightful brother of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity and neophytes who desire more light on brotherly love, more vision of faith and courage, and more instruction in honesty by being admitted into this fraternity.
SENTINEL: Is it of their own free will and accord?
M. of C.: It is.
SENTINEL: It is well. The Brother Master shall be informed of their request.
SENTINEL: Brother Master, the Brother Master of Ceremonies is accompanied by neophytes who desire more light on brotherly love, more vision of faith, and courage, and more instruction in honesty by being admitted into this fraternity.
MASTER: Is it of their own free will and accord?
SENTINEL: It is.
MASTER: Are they worthy and well qualified?
SENTINEL: They are.
MASTER: Why do they wish to enter into this great privilege?
SENTINEL: That they may be helped to attain personal perfection and deep seated friendship; that they may be shown the healthy spirit of cooperation and helpfulness in order to create better understanding toward their fellow man; that they may be encouraged and may encourage others toward vigorous participation in University and community activity, to the mutual benefit of all.
MASTER: Under what qualifications do they seek admission?
SENTINEL: By being men of good repute, well recommended, and students in good standing of ... (name of university or college).
MASTER: Then let them enter.
SENTINEL: The Brother Master has been informed of your request. You may now proceed.
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, why are you here?
M. of C.: Brother Master, I am accompanied by neophytes who desire more light on brotherly love, more vision of faith and courage, and more instruction in honesty by being admitted into this fraternity.
MASTER: Is it of their own free will and accord?
M.of C.: It is.
MASTER: Under what qualifications do they seek admission into this fraternity?
M. of C.: By being men of good repute and well recommended; having successfully completed their period of pledge ship.
They are students of ... (name of university), in good standing, and finally passed upon by every active brother of this chapter.
MASTER: Neophytes, you are now about to assume an obligation pertaining to this fraternity which will not interfere with your duty to God, your country, or your school. If you are ready to proceed, repeat after me the following oath: I AM FULLY PREPARED TO MEET ALL THE OBLIGATIONS NECESSARY-TO BECOME A BROTHER OF THE ALPHA EPSILON PI FRATERNITY.
MASTER: Neophytes, you will now take the solemn oath which all of your brothers before you have taken upon admission to this fraternity. Place your left hand on the Bible, raise your right hand, and repeat after me:
ALPHA EPSILON PI AND BROTHERS HERE ASSEMBLED-IN THE PRESENCE OF ALMIGHTY GOD AND IN SACRED SINCERITY TO THE IDEALS OF THIS FRATERNITY-WE PLEDGE FAITH OF BOTH MIND AND BODY-TO WHAT OUR TONGUES NOW SPEAK.-OUR ACTS WILL BE ONLY THOSE WHICH SHALL REFLECT HONOR-UPON OURSELVES AND OUR BROTHERS.-AS LONG AS THE HEARTS WITHIN US BEAT-AS LONG AS THE TONGUES WITHIN US SPEAK·SO LONG SHALL THE WORDS AND MYSTERIES-OF THIS FRATERNITY REMAIN CONCEALED-SO LONG WILL WE SUPPORT AND MAINTAIN ITS LAWS AND REGULATIONS:-SO HELP US ALMIGHTY GOD-IN THE PERFORMANCE OF THIS, OUR SACRED VOW.
MASTER: Neophytes, the secrets of this fraternity are embodied in its initial letters, ALPHA, EPSILON and PI. ALPHA STANDS FOR ....., WHICH TO US SYMBOLIZES brotherly love; Epsilon stands for ..... which to us symbolizes FAITH AND COURAGE: and PI for ......, which to us symbolizes HONESTY.
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, conduct the neophytes to Brother A......
BROTHER A....: Neophytes, Hearken to the message of A.....To ΑΕΠ men all over the world, A.... is the symbol of Brotherly Love. It is our first symbol and perhaps our most important. Certainly it is the broad base upon which the principles of our fraternity are built. It is the foundation of our three ideals. Great discourses have been delivered on the meaning of Brotherly Love; many tomes have been written about it. In the words of the poet:
No one could tell me where my soul might be;
I searched for God, but He eluded me;
I sought my brother out, and found all three.
BROTHER A....: But I think that no finer exposition of Brotherly Love can be found than in the story told about that famous teacher in Israel,.. Hillel. One day a Roman came to taunt him and asked Hillel to teach him the whole Bible while he stood on one foot. Hillel as you know was a gentle and patient man. Quickly he replied: Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not do unto thyself. This is the whole law; all else is explanation. That, we feel is also the true meaning of Brotherly Love. And what better time to learn Brotherly Love than in your youth; in your college days, when you live those experiences which will provide memories for a lifetime to come. So go forth, Neophytes, and let this simple teaching of Hillel be a guide for you in your conduct throughout the years. Do not do unto others what thou wouldst not do unto thyself. Brother Master, I have expounded unto the Neophytes the meaning of A .....
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, conduct the Neophytes to Brother E....
BROTHER E....: Neophytes, Hearken to the message of E ..... The second of our ideals, embodied in E ....., is Faith and Courage, seemingly distinct and apart, but to us interwoven as one. Since the days of the early Greek philosophers, the mind of man has struggled with the problem of the true meaning of Faith. To some, Faith is the blind acceptance of fixed dogmas. For them, reason is inconsistent with Faith. Yet, true Faith is not the mere credulous acceptance of a proposition, but such acceptance as is tempered by reason. It is rational and intelligent. That is the Faith of E .... Learn to understand, Neophytes,
what you believe; try to understand why it is true. Learn to substitute for a blind, unthinking Faith the insight of reason. Still, Faith alone is but a passive instrument, which must be vitalized by Courage. The civilized man, like his primitive ancestor, lauds Courage as a virtue, and loathes cowardice as vicious and contemptible. To the primitive world, however, Courage took the form of physical action-attack and defense, while in civilized society it takes the form of patient duty or belief. Be of strong Faith, Neophytes, and of good Courage. Then will you have intense Faith that Right is right; and then will you have Courage in your Faith. Brother Master, I have expounded to the Neophytes the meaning of E....
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, conduct the neophytes to Brother P....
BROTHER P….: Neophytes, Hearken to the Message of P .... You now have the structure of this fraternity built up for you through the interpretation of A .... and E .... P ...., which to us symbolizes Honesty, is the capstone of our trilogy of ideals.
Just as A, E, and Π merge into one in the badge of our fraternity, so do the meanings of the symbols portrayed by A ..., E ..., and P ... mould into a perfect entity to complete our banner of fraternalism. Honesty, the third of our ideals, refers not only to integrity; it means loyalty, steadfastness to our ideals. Honesty is that quality which shows a man to be fair and truthful, above cheating and misrepresentation. The honesty of P ... is that quality in man which carries him along a straight path of uprightness, of honesty and duty. Although we are imbued with the splendor of idealisms' mansions, we must be practical in the application of the lessons we have learned here and apply them honestly in the house of our earthly pilgrimage. Neophytes, meet reality face to face with the standard of your idealism. Be honest with yourself and you will then be true to your fellow man. Do not let the idealism of A ... and E ... become hollow sermons. Remember the words of P ... and bring your idealism into honest action. Brother Master, I have expounded to the Neophytes the meaning of P ....
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, please escort the Neophytes before this table and remove their blindfolds.
MASTER: Neophytes, the ideals of Alpha Epsilon Pi are just explained to you are embodied in our coat of arms forming a beautiful pledge as follows which you will repeat after me.
We pledge (pledge button) ourselves to the ideals of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity-as embodied in the three key words A...., E...., and P...., (Esponda)-to knowledge (wisdom lamp)-to purity (fleur-de-lis)-to truth and honesty (six pointed star)-to courage (lion)-and to faith in these ideals. A faith as everlasting as the seven candles of the Menorah (Menorah lamp)-so that my life may remain an open book (book)-for all time until death (skull).
MASTER: Brother Master of Ceremonies, invest the neophytes with the signals and password necessary to enter a meeting and with the handshake of Alpha Epsilon Pi.
M. of C.: Brother Master, I have invested the neophytes with the signals and handshake of Alpha Epsilon Pi.
MASTER: I am about to confer upon you the highest honor in my power to bestow. Your fidelity, zeal, and constancy have gained for you this favor. Brother Master of Ceremonies, you will escort the neophytes out of the room and will readmit them when the proper signal is given by the Sentinel. This line is spoken only once for ALL neophytes.
MASTER: By virtue of the authority vested in me by the Supreme Board of Governors, I will now make you brothers of the Alpha Epsilon Pi Fraternity.
MASTER: Into this flame has been poured the life blood of all your brothers. Your blood is now mixed with theirs in the holy fire of brotherhood. You now are a lawful brother of Alpha Epsilon Pi. I congratulate you.