Chapter members form a triangle with the president at the apex. Before the president is a small table on which are placed:
- a lighted white candle
- a Bible
- a bowl with Lilies of the valley
- pledge pins or ribbons (rose end gray)
- Chapter Pledge Book in which is written the Delta Omicron Pledge and the name of former pledges.
The candidates are led into the room by the first vice president and assisted in forming a semi-circle facing the president. Each candidate is then joined by her/his sponsor.
Chapter members sing the Keynote",
PRESIDENT: We, of Chapter of Delta Omicron, are gathered here to greet new candidates for membership in our professional fraternity.
We welcome you who have expressed a desire to become members of Delta Omicron and now wish to pledge yourselves to that end.
Who are the candidates for pledging?
SPONSOR(S), in turn: I present (name of candidate).
PRESIDENT: It is my privilege to acquaint you with the purpose of the organization which you have expressed a desire to join. Delta Omicron was founded to create and foster fellowship among musicians during their student days with the idea of attaining the highest degree of musicianship individually. Membership in Delta Omicron is extended to students who are seriously pursuing the study of music. The fraternity has grown in breadth and scope to include the furtherance of music appreciation in any community; the giving of material aid to worthy students; the promotion of American music and musicians; and the furtherance of the work of women composers.
If you are in accord with the purpose of this organization, answer I am.
CANDIDATES: I am.
First vice president holds Bible for candidates. When there is an objection to the use of the Bible, an objector may raise a hand as a personal pledge.
PRESIDENT: Then place your hand on the Bible and repeat after me: I do solemnly pledge to further the purpose of Delta Omicron as I know it to be To act at all times as befits a Delta Omicron To abide by all the rules and regulations of the fraternity ever striving to make myself worthy to wear the lyre of gold.
Sponsors pin pledge pins or ribbons on candidates.
PRESIDENT: Let this pin (ribbon) be a constant reminder of the pledge you have just taken. Wear it at all times until you are proved worthy to wear our beloved lyre of gold.
This is your first step toward full membership. In the weeks ahead you will become more knowledgeable about Delta Omicron, its purpose and its aims. You will learn about our founding and continuing development throughout the past (number of years since 1909)
years. You will progress toward the day of initiation into Chapter and into fellowship with Delta Omicron members throughout the world. That will be the time when you can proudly proclaim belonging to our fraternity; the time when you are worthy to wear our lyre of gold.
Sponsors lead pledges to book to be signed.
PRESIDENT: We will close our service with the singing of The Prayer Delta Omicron.
The ritual formation is significant of the Seal as designated by the Founders of Delta Omicron. This is the secret coat-of-arms and is used only in the Initiation ceremony. It is portrayed on the banner.
The triangle, formed by the members, stands for Delta.
The circle (actually a semi-circle), formed by the candidates, stands for Omicron.
Two connecting rooms; one large enough for the ceremony, the other in which the candidates await their entrance into Delta Omicron.
Officers and candidates should be clothed in white.
Silver candelabra for the Queen/Kings table
Three rose-colored candles
Silver flower bowl
lilies of the valley - artificial, if necessary
Chapter membership book and pen
Sufficient chairs for officers, candidates, and members to use at a given point in the ceremony.
A table covered with a white cloth, the Ritual Banner hanging over the front edge.
On the table are placed thee silver candelabra with three lighted candles, fraternity badges to be presented to the candidates, the Bible, gavel, the silver bowl holding lilies of the valley, and the pointer.
Chapter membership book and pen should be near at hand for use during the ceremony.
Members are standing in a triangle.
The QUEEN/KI NG is seated in back of the table, facing the entrance, at the apex of the triangle of members.
GRAMATEUS is seated to the left of the Queen/King.
TAMIA is seated to the right of the Queen/King.
PHYLAX stands guard at the door, just inside the room used for the initiation ceremony.
HEGEMON remains with candidates in the outer room.
QUEEN/KING raps three times. At this sign, PHYLAX opens the door slightly.
The guide, HEGEMON, leads the candidates to the door.
HEGEMON, to candidates: This ceremony in which you are about to participate originated with the founding of Alpha chapter, and hence the founding of Delta Omicron in 1909. Its symbolic format unites us historically and philosophically with all other initiated members of Delta Omicron. The ritual is patterned after the Greek rhetorical style.
You now stand at a portal which, once passed, never swings outward for your return. Pause and consider well that you are about to make a vow of loyalty to the fraternity which shall be binding as long as you live. If you still desire to take the oath of Delta Omicron, answer, "I do".
CANDIDATES: I do.
HEGEMON leads the candidates before the QUEEN/KING forming a semi-circle of candidates within the triangle of members, then takes a position in the Circle at a point nearest the QUEEN/KING's table. PHYLAX remains on guard at the door.
QUEEN/KING: Once more we are gathered in Delta. The Wheel of Ixion as when Orpheus sang, stands still; the serpents now are artless.
Music, Play softly.
Let soft strains of music gently lead us along paths of beauty, uplifting us and bearing us ever through pain and sorrow, lightness and joy, sickness and health, always with a song in our hearts.
QUEEN/KING: Let us all be seated while we hear again the legend of our founding.
Begin Ritual Music, Part 1. Legend. Play softly.
QUEEN/KING: This tale was told to me by one who heard it from another still more aged, and thus it comes from ancient times far back when gods did dwell upon the heights and demons groped in blackest depths.
And so it happened, in these strange times, three young women disheartened because their ideals seemed so far beyond their attainment wandered one day into a land of dreams.
Through a forest dark with shadows, half despairing, they made their way. With weary footsteps and heavy hearts they struggled on, praying the gods who guard mankind to lead them to the light.
Suddenly they came upon a clearing. In front of them appeared a lake whose rippling waters reflected a sky of gray streaked with rose from the rays of the setting sun. All around grew sweet lilies of the valley, while soft breezes sang through the branches in golden, harp-like tones.
In the midst of the clearing they beheld a queen tended by her court. Drawn by some unknown power, the three young women, trembling with fear, came and knelt be fore the Queen. They did not dare to lift their eyes for fear of punishment because they trespassed hallowed ground. Their fears were soon dispelled. The Queen tenderly spoke thus:
"Your goal is reached. Now you may join us as we seek to give to the world our message of love."
Overjoyed and grateful to the Queen, the young women rose. The Queen bade them make ready to depart. Softly she spoke, "This duty is awaiting you: you are to dedicate yourself to music, and for the sake of music bring together a fraternity and name it Delta Omicron."
To each she gave a golden lyre, an emblem of this duty.
Treading softly back to mortals and light of day, they brought with them a page of prose, a page of rare and tugged beauty, to guide them all their lives. This has been handed down to us as the Creed of Delta Omicron.
QUEEN/KING: This rule of life we share with you. Tamia, will you lead us in the repetition of Our Creed?
TAMIA, rising: Will all please rise?
Officers, members and candidates rise. Established chapters may prefer to recite the Creed in unison.
TAMIA: Repeat after me. This truth comes to us more and more the longer we live that in what field Or in what uniform or with what aims we do our duty matters very little or even what our duty is great or small splendid or obscure only to find our duty certainly and somewhere somehow do it faithfully makes us good strong happy and useful and tunes our lives into some feeble echo of the life of God.
QUEEN/KING to candidates: You are now within the portals of Delta Omicron, but before you may see the light, further progress involves an obligation. It is a pledge assumed by each member who has gone the way before you. Listen to my words:
I do solemnly promise that I shall never reveal, by word or deed, what I discover here. I shall ever be loyal to Delta Omicron, abiding by all its rules, and shall forsake Delta Omicron for no other.
I shall ever remember my duty to make myself good, strong, happy, and useful, tuning my life into some feeble echo of the life of God.
I will, in my conduct and demeanor, exemplify the beautiful, not only in music, but in all endeavors, so that I may command honor and esteem for me and my fraternity.
I will evidence a kindly spirit of friendship toward other Delta Omicron members, treating their actions with charity and putting the best construction upon their words and deeds. In hours of need I will minister with sympathy and devotion, offering humble consolation to lighten any grief, and, giving generously of my time and ability, will endeavor to aid with problems and give relief.
I will willingly contribute my share toward the support of Delta Omicron, whether it be financial or in the line of duty or the spirit of cooperation. I will do my part in preserving the spirit of harmony, subordinating my prejudices for the good of the fraternity.
I will promote the interest of my Alma Mater by faithfully and constantly endeavoring to improve scholarship; and with enthusiasm and loyalty, zealously contribute to the school spirit.
To all of this I pledge myself asking strength from above to keep my solemn promise. Amen.
Hegemon, will you take the Bible.
HEGEMON quietly instructs candidates to place a hand upon the Bible or to raise a hand. When there is an objection to the use of the Bible, any objector may raise a hand as a personal pledge to Delta Omicron. If necessary, divide into smaller groups, and repeat the following pledge for each group.
QUEEN/KI NG: If you so promise, repeat after me: I pledge myself asking strength from above to keep my solemn promise. Amen.
QUEEN/KING: Will all be seated.
When everyone is seated, the Queen/King continues.
QUEEN/KING: As our sisters of long ago departed from their mystic Queen, you too must now go among mortals, wearing over your heart the symbol of your duty. You must ever bear in mind our Creed, that it may be a constant guide in your daily life.
You have yet to learn the myth upon which our fraternity was founded. It is that of Orpheus, whose spirit hovers over the world of music; the echo of whose golden harp whispered among the trees where our sisters of long ago first found and learned their duty.
Gramateus, will you tell again that famous myth.
Begin Ritual Music, Part II. Play softly.
GRAMATEUS, rising: Of mortals who have visited Hades and returned, none has a sadder or sweeter history than Orpheus, son of Apollo and the muse Calliope. Presented by his father with a lyre and taught to play upon it, he became the most famous of musicians. Not only his fellow mortals, but even the wild beasts were softened by his strains. The very trees and rocks were entranced by his charm, and so also was Eurydice, whom he loved and won.
Hymen was called to bless with his presence the marriage of Orpheus and Eurydice, but he brought no happy omens with him. His very torch smoked and brought tears into their eyes.
Fulfilling this sad omen, Eurydice, shortly after her marriage, was seen by the shepherd Aristeus, who was s truck with her beauty and made advances to her. In fleeing from him, she trod upon a serpent, was bitten in the foot, and died.
Orpheus sang of his grief to all who breathed the upper air, both gods and men, but finding his complaint to no avail, resolved to seek his wife in the regions of the dead.
Descending through a cave, he entered the lofty portals of Erebus and the grove that is murky with black terror, and came to the Stygian realm. He passed through the crowds of ghosts and presented himself before the throne of Pluto and Persephone.
Accompanying his words with his lyre, he sang in mournful tones his petition for his wife. Without her he could not live, would not return.
In such tender strains he sang that the very ghosts shed tears. Tantalus, in spite of his thirst, paused for a moment in his struggle to reach water; Ixion's wheel stood still; the daughters of Danaus rested from their task of drawing water in a sieve; and Sisyphus sat on a rock to listen, Then for the first time, it is said, the cheeks of the Furies were wet with tears, and Cerberus, his triple mouths agape, forgot to snarl. Persephone could not resist, and Pluto himself gave way calling Eurydice from among the shadowy ghosts.
But not yet was Orpheus to behold his wife. Only could he see her after he had led her to the upper air. There was to be no looking backward, no glance toward her who followed in his steps. Such was Persephone's severe decree, To this he gave his promise. Thus they proceeded on their way, unmindful of any but themselves.
All Hades held its breath. Faster he stepped, all eager to embrace her who followed close behind. A sudden frenzy shook him; was she truly in his wake? He stopped, and, on the very verge of light, looked back. In that moment all his toil was lost. Three flashes of blue lightning; three peals of thunder gave the sign that the ruthless tyrant's pact was broken.
Eurydice cried out, What madness, Orpheus, what dreadful madness has ruined my unhappy self and thee? For lo! the cruel Fates recall me now. Chills lumbers press my swimming eyes. Farewell! Night rolls a round me as I spread my helpless arms. Thine, thine no more:"
Thus she spoke, and like a vapor vanished into air, nor beheld her helpless lover as he clasped the void and sought to speak. in vain. He tried to follow her, but Charon would not ferry him again across the
Beneath a cliff overlooking Strymon's freezing stream, for seven long months he lingered, and, deep in an icy cave, unfolded h is sorrows.
The rocks were moved to pity with his mean;
Trees bent their heads to hear him sing his wrongs.
He soothed the tiger, moved the oak with song.
The Thracian matrons ─ who the youth accused
Of love disdained, and marriage rites refused ─
With furies and nocturnal orgies fired,
At length against his sacred life conspired.
Whom even the savage beasts had spared, they killed,
And strewed his mangled limbs about the field.
Then, when his head from his fair shoulder torn,
Washed by the waters, was on Hebrus borne;
Even then his trembling tongue invoked his bride;
With his last voice, "Eurydice", he cried.
"Eurydice", the rocks and riverbanks replied.
The Muses buried the fragments of his body at Libethra where the nightingale is said to sing more sweetly over his grave than elsewhere in all
The lyre of Orpheus was placed by Zeus among the stars.
The spirit of Orpheus was permitted to pass a second time to Tartarus ─ to join his Eurydice.
GRAMATEUS is seated. QUEEN/KING rises.
QUEEN/KING: To us in Delta Omicron, Orpheus personifies Love ─ love which soars above the commonplace, the mortal Eurydice, ─ up to the desire for absolute perfection, personified by the spirit of Eurydice.
Pause slightly; continue slowly.
Thus, with the vision of what they, as Disciples of Orpheus could do for youth in its search for perfection in music, our three Founders. Hazel Wilson. Mabel Dunn, and Lorena Creamer, translated the immortal searching of Orpheus for his Eurydice, ─ the striving of man to reach absolute perfection, into the ideals of Delta Omicron, and, on the sixth day of September, in the year 1909, at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music, founded this fraternity with the purpose of creating and fostering fellowship among musicians during their student days, so that the highest degree of musicianship might be attained individually.
It is now my privilege to explain to you the secrets of our fraternity. The Greek letters stand for the English letters D and O. These mean to all of us Disciples of Orpheus of whom you have this day learned.
Our colors are pearl gray and old rose, which were the colors of the sky when our sisters first learned their duty.
Our flower, chosen for its simplicity, is the lily of the valley, which surrounded the mystic Queen in the land of dreams.
Our badge, which you must treasure as a sacred symbol, represents the lyre of gold upon which Orpheus so divinely played.
The QUEEN/KING calls each initiate forward by name and presents a badge to each one saying slowly while pinning it on the initiate:
QUEEN/KING: Wear this, and may it ever recall to you our purpose.
After each badge is pinned HEGEMON leads the initiate to sign the Chapter Membership Book. Note: Another officer or member may be in charge of the book. Other biographical details may be filled in after the initiation is over. HEGEMON then directs each initiate back to the circle.
QUEEN/KING: You now wear the lyre of gold over your heart. Remember that it must never be worn otherwise. You must keep yourself worthy of this symbol, ever remembering our motto to love another as you love yourself.
HEGEMON points out each symbol on the banner as QUEEN/KING continues:
QUEEN/KING: Our ritual formation is shown on our banner. Delta is the triangle. The wheel in the center of Delta represents the one of Ixions which stood still as Orpheus played, symbolizing the power of music. The circular rim forms the Omicron initial of Orpheus, the most famous of musicians. The triangle and the circle which these two letters form are two of the most perfect of all forms. The triangle through the centuries has symbolized unity, stability, and upward thrust; the circle, completeness, beauty, and eternity. The torch is that of Hymen which smoked at the wedding feast, reminding us that we are warned against breaking our vows. The serpents represent the means of Eurydice's death, symbolically suggesting that if we truly aspire to perfection there may be sore trials awaiting us, but that even these may bring forth some of the sweetest strains of music. The upper star represents. Zeus, who placed the lyre of Orpheus in the stars reminding us that music is a heavenly art. "The only art of heaven given to earth; the only art of earth we take to heaven." The javelins through the star represent the means of the death of Orpheus, which came about because his music was a constant effort to be united with love and perfection.
Pause slightly; continue slowly.
Our secret motto is "Love one another as you love yourself."
Our open motto is "Continenter nitentes, consequimur", which means, "Continually striving, we attain."
Our password is Calliope, who was the mother of Orpheus, the most famous of all musicians.
Our grip is an ordinary handshake, with little fingers interlocking and the forefinger of each bent back into the palm of the hand.
The QUEEN/KING demonstrates the grip with HEGEMON, who then returns to her/his place.
QUEEN/KING: You have now learned the secrets of our fraternity. We are indeed proud to welcome you as sisters (and brothers) in Delta Omicron.
Let us stand and bow our heads in the Prayer of Delta Omicron.
All, singing: O Lord, Thy blessing now shed down
Upon dear Delta Omicron.
May all her ties and friendships be
Strengthened and honored, Lord, by Thee. Amen.
QUEEN/KING: We are about to separate. For a time we have gathered here and heard again the legend of our sisters of old. We are reminded again that in a world of striving and attaining, in ancient times or modern, it is love that conquers all, and in the words of St. Paul:
"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels,
but have not love, I am a noisy goog or a
clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic
powers, and understand all mysteries and all
knowledge, and if I have all faith so as to
remove mountains, but have not love. I am
Love is patient and kind: love is not
jealous or boastful; it is not arrogant or
rude. Love does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful; it does
not rejoice at wrong, but rejoices in the
right. Love never ends.
So faith, hope, love abide, these three;
but the greatest of these is love. "
QUEEN/KING: Let us bow our heads in silent prayer.
SOLO: I Walk with Love.
QUEEN/KING: To the only wise God be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and forever. Amen.
QUEEN/KING, followed by officers and members, informally greets the initiates.