Omega Phi Alpha
Initiation Ceremony

 
1998


Pledge Initiation Ceremony
 
Participants: President, first vice-president, pledgemaster, secretary, treasurer and historian. If the chapter has a second-vice president, she may be used instead of the historian.
Equipment: Table with white tablecloth; dark blue, light blue and gold candles; candelabra or candle holders; matches; pledge pins or ribbons.
 
 
Ceremony
 
The chapter officers take their places behind the table, the pledgemaster lines the big sisters in the form of a chevron, facing the table. The pledges, who are waiting outside, are lined up in the same order as their big sisters. When ready, the pledges are allowed to enter single-file and walk inside the chevron until they stand in front of their big sisters, and they face the table. The ceremony now begins:
Pledgemaster: We have come here today to welcome you as you take the oath of pledgeship of Omega Phi Alpha. But it is essential that you first understand what Omega Phi Alpha is and Why it was founded.
Historian reads brief national history.
President: Before you voluntarily assume the obligations of pledgeship in Omega Phi Alpha, we wish to explain to you the basic principles of our sisterhood. After you gain insight into our purpose, if you still wish to pledge yourself to the ideals and activities of our sorority, we will gladly welcome you.
Service Vice President: Omega Phi Alpha's strongest factor is service (light dark blue candle) We believe we can learn much and accomplish great things through cooperation with each other in a unified program of service. Our world today needs more women who are willing to do service for others. Service should be done with an open heart.
Treasurer: Another factor vitally important in our world is that of leadership (light gold candle) As members of Omega Phi Alpha, you will have many excellent opportunities for development of leadership abilities. Participation in chapter meetings and worthwhile service projects, on campus and in our community, will help you to learn and grow.
Secretary: Friendship (light blue candle) best expresses itself in service, for real happiness is found in giving rather than receiving. Let us remember that the best way to have a friend is to be one.
President: These three cardinal principles are incorporated into our sorority's statement of purpose.
All Sisters: The purpose and goals of this sorority shall be to assemble its members in the fellowship of Omega Phi Alpha, to develop friendship, leadership and cooperation by promoting service to the university community, to the community-at-large, to the members of the sorority and to the nations of the world.
President: Omega Phi Alpha's success on the campus of (university name) depends entirely upon the individual members of this chapter. In becoming a pledge you accept responsibility for the future of our sorority.
Pledgemaster: We have shared with you the story behind Omega Phi Alpha and our purpose. Meditate upon them and apply them to your own lives. Having this knowledge of our sorority, do you still desire to take the oath of pledgeship? If so, answer "I do" (response) Please repeat after me the Omega Phi Alpha oath in unison: I pledge myself to serve the university, my fellow students, and the community to my fullest ability as a member of Omega Phi Alpha, and in doing so will strive for unity and cooperation in my work with others.
Pledges, you will now receive pledge pins (or ribbons). As your name is called, turn so that your big sister may pin you.
Read pledges' names in the order in which they are standing. Pause briefly between each name.
President: On behalf of the sisterhood of Omega Phi Alpha, I welcome you as pledges of chapter and wish you many enjoyable experiences in preparing for active status. Let us now form a circle and sing the national song.
 
 
Brief National History
(To be used in chapter ceremonies)
 
In 1953, a group of men at Zeta Kappa chapter of Alpha Phi Omega decided they needed another organization to help with service projects at Bowling Green State University in Ohio . When the women of the university expressed an interest, Omega Phi Alpha, a service sorority with similar principles, was formed.
Women at Eastern Michigan University became interested in joining Omega Phi Alpha in 1958, as did a group at the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut in 1963. More than a year of organizing produced the first national convention at Bowling Green , and on June 15, 1967, the chapters became Omega Phi Alpha, National Service Sorority.
Alpha, Beta and Gamma chapters continued for several years as a national sorority until a group of women at Texas A&M University formed Delta chapter in 1971. A concerted expansions effort was made and chapters have been formed in Tennessee , West Virginia , Kentucky , Georgia , Alabama , Louisiana , Arizona and South Carolina . We currently have 16 active chapters in our sisterhood.
 
 
Pledge Activation Ceremony
 
Participants: President, service vice-president, pledgemaster, secretary, treasurer.
Optional: Second vice-president can read the secretary or treasurer's part.
Equipment: Table with white tablecloth; dark blue, light blue and gold candles; candelabra or candle holders; matches; one white candle for each pledge, plus one for the president; ledger pen; membership ledger; Optional: yellow rose (real or silk) for each pledge.
 
 
Initiation Ceremony
 
The table has the dark blue, light blue and gold candles set up in the middle. Next to the candles is the membership ledger which each pledge will sign. The yellow roses can be arranged on the table and given to the pledges as they sign the ledger. The officers stand behind the table. The pledgemaster arranges the big sisters in a Chevron, facing the table. Outside the room, the pledges stand single file in the same order as their big sisters. Each pledge is blindfolded (optional) and carries an unlit candle. When everything is ready the pledgemaster should knock three times, pause and then lead the pledges into the room. They walk inside the chevron until they stand in front of their big sister, then turn and face the table. The ceremony now begins.
President: Before you entered this room there were three knocks. These represent the three worlds of Omega Phi Alpha which, through your activation, you are entering. They are service, friendship and leadership.
Pledgemaster: Now that you have gained an Insight Into the purpose and program of Omega Phi Alpha, If you still wish to become members, you are heartily welcome. Sisters please help the pledges remove their blindfolds.
We are gathered here on this occasion because these young women believe In the Ideas of service, friendship and leadership which are the guiding principles of our organization. They wish to help further these principles as sisters of Omega Phi Alpha.
Behind you stand the sisters of our sorority. This is to symbolize that the sisterhood will be behind you in all you do. Also, you are standing In the shape of a chevron. It is pointing in one direction to emphasize we are heading toward one main goal, which is the spirit of service.
Service VP: The dark blue candle portrays service. (Light candle) The spirit of service has always been the foundation and inspiration of Omega Phi Alpha. Service brings about the revelation of talent, and requires much sacrifice on the part of each member.
Through service our organization will grow and prosper and our world will be made a better place. The strength of our ties and the steadfastness of our purpose have not altered. Our lives are enriched and others are benefited through our program of service.
Treasurer: The gold candle represents the principle of leadership (light candle). The leaders of today and tomorrow are found among our sisterhood. It is our hope that you, as a member of Omega Phi Alpha, will grow and learn in the spirit of service. The traditions evolved in the past provide the foundation for the present. The present is the framework for our future, and we shall meet each opportunity and every challenge with enthusiasm. Through serving we have broadened our knowledge; because it is through these experiences, augmented by personal integrity, that leadership is created.
Secretary: The light blue candle symbolizes friendship (light candle). In friendship we must open our minds and hearts to the needs of those around us. In friendship, we must seek those who are weak and help them become strong. Let us remember that the best way to have a friend is to be one, for true happiness is found in giving rather than receiving. Through cooperation and working together, we can learn much and reach many goals.
President: Please join me in stating the Purpose of Omega Phi Alpha: (In Unison) The purpose and goals of this sorority shall be to assemble its members in the fellowship of Omega Phi Alpha, to develop friendship, leadership and cooperation by promoting service to the university community, to the community-at-large, to the members of the sorority and to the nations of the world.
President: Service, leadership and friendship. These are the ties that bind us to the ideals of Omega Phi Alpha. If you are now willing to join our sisterhood as a member of Omega Phi Alpha, say "I do."
Pledgemaster: I now light the fourth candle. This represents the spreading of Omega Phi Alpha's principles to the women of   (university name.)
(Light the first pledge's candle)
Please repeat after me: I (give full name one at a time as the flame is passed), pledge myself to the three principles of service, friendship and leadership which are the guiding lights of Omega Phi Alpha. I willingly and openly affiliate myself in an effort to follow these three principles to the best of my ability. I ask my sisters to help me achieve these ends. I will strive to spread these principles wherever I go and in all that I do and say.
As tradition, please blowout your candle, never to be lit again. (pause) This is the end of your pledgeship, but it is also the beginning of something new - your life as an active sister.
President: The sisters of this chapter have voted to accept you as a member of our chapter. By the power vested in me as president of chapter, I now declare you lifetime members of Omega Phi Alpha National Service Sorority. As each sister is called, please come forward to sign the membership ledger and receive a yellow rose.
Old actives shall make a circle around the new actives. New actives, make an inner circle facing your big sisters. We will now sing "A Tribute to O-Phi-A," followed by the National Song.
 

A Tribute to O-Phi-A


Blue like the color of night and day.

Gold like the sun's bright shining ray.
Love for a sister, that's really true.
O-Phi-A, it's you.
 
Service to all unites our hands.
Leaders are we throughout this land.
Friends no truer you'll find anywhere
O-Phi-A's really care.
 
Come, be my sister; take my hand
Now you're my sister. Together we'll stand.
We form a bond beyond compare.
O-Phi-A's life we will share.
O-Phi-A's life we will share.
 
 
The National Song
 
O-Phi-A, O-Phi-A, we are sisters in service
Willing hands, helpful hands
This our ultimate purpose.
 
Yellow rose, may you bloom and grow
Symbol of our friendship
O-phi-A, O-Phi-A, bless our sisters forever.


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