Alpha Gamma Delta
Initiation Ritual

No date

1. Novitiates shall be arranged (in the ante-room) according to class, seniors first, and if from the same class, in order of the eldest first.
2. In accordance with the instructions in the President’s Handbook, the First Vice President, Recording Secretary and Corresponding Secretary shall arrange for the signing of the Constitution and the Initiation Slips. The Constitution shall be signed by the novitiates in the SAME order as that in which they will be initiated. The chapter numbers shall be carefully checked, and the number appearing in the Ritual and Constitution shall be the same as that appearing on the Initiation Slip.
3. The Chapter President shall be responsible for the signature pages. She shall see that each subsequent page is headed like the first one. She shall insert the date of the initiation service prior to the signatures of each initiation class and shall see that both sides of the pages are used, with only the date of the service separating consecutive initiation classes.
4. When the Herald leaves the room to bring in the novitiates, the pianist strikes a chord, the members rise and sing the Initiation Song and continue singing until the novitiates are arranged in e semi-circle in front of the President’s table.
5. Marching is accompanied by Initiation music.
6. Each officer steps to the right of her table and starting with the one next to the Herald hands a rose or fern to each novitiate in order. It should not be necessary for the novitiate to step out of the semi-circle. The officer picks up not more then five roses at one time, moves counter-clockwise and completes the circle by returning, left, to her position. Marching is resumed.
7. President requests novitiates to kneel, individually, for Pledge I.
8. When the first novitiate is given the Fraternity grip, she passes her flowers to the Herald, on her left. Each novitiate in turn passes hers to the left before the grip is given. When the last novitiate has received the grip, the flowers are returned.
9. When the Recording Secretary describes the Insignia and Symbols, the pianist plays the Call and Answer on the piano.
The Answer is the same as the Call. The music is played twice, the second time very softly.
10. The Recording Secretary demonstrates the Knock on the wall or, if necessary on the table.
11. While the President is administering Pledge II, the Chaplain and Recording Secretary  quietly change places.
12. The Chaplain shall hold the Armorial Bearings so that all novitiates may see it during her explanation.
13. Our Flower Song shall be sung as a solo.
14. Not more than five novitiates place their hands on the Armorial Bearings at one time, and repeat Pledge III in unison. If there are more than five novitiates the pledge is given twice.
15. Following Pledge IV the President lifts a burning candle and lights the center candle.
16. Prior to the President's closing speech to the initiates, the members shall rise.
Following the President’s closing speech the members shall repeat the closing prayer in unison.
17. The first two verses of the Alpha Gamma Delta Hymn shall be sung by all members as the Sister-Mothers go forward to pin the badges on their Sister-Daughters. Pianist continues playing the Hymn until after all have left the room.
18. After all have been pinned, each Sister-Mother takes the right arm of her Sister-Daughter. With the Herald leading, the line marches into the outer room, followed by the Co-Herald and participating officers. All members will follow so that greetings may be exchanged in a room other than the initiation room.
19. Badges for novitiates are kept by the Sister-Mothers until the close of the service when they pin them on their Sister-Daughters. They are never displayed on the President’s table.
Initiation Service
HERALD, standing before the President’s table, in the middle of the room: Most exalted and worthy President!
PRESIDENT: Speak, Herald, and tell the purport of your entrance.
HERALD:number novitiates await without, seeking permission of your gracious self to enter.
PRESIDENT: Let them be admitted.
Herald departs to bring in novitiates. Members rise and sing Initiation Song. Herald leads novitiates around the room. Members continue to sing until novitiates are in semi-circle in front of the President’s table. Members are seated.
PRESIDENT: You are now to become familiar with the sentiment of this Fraternity. The significance of its most cherished symbols will be made known to you.
Marching is begun to the accompaniment of soft slow music, with the first stop at Table I.
HERALD, holding lighted candle above her head: The lamp of love shall guide our feet through paths of truth and justice.
FIRST VICE PRESIDENT: You are now to hear the explanation of our first symbol, Alpha. Alpha stands for the Greek word, …; meaning …. The Greek has two words, meaning .... One…., meaning the general … which one has for all mankind. The other meaning the elective, particular … which one has for her dearest and best friends, and is the … of God. It is for this … that our symbol stands. It is the purpose of each individual member of Alpha Gamma Delta to live up to the highest meaning of this word ….
The precepts governing this ideal … are found in First Corinthians 13. The following verses are our standard for the perfect … of perfect womanhood.
“Love suffereth long and is kind. Love envieth not; love vaunteth not itself; is not puffed up; doth not behave itself unseemly; seeketh not its own; is not easily provoked; thinketh no evil; rejoiceth in the truth; beareth all things; believeth all things; endureth all things. Love never faileth.”
The best portions of a good woman's, life are her little, nameless unremembered acts of kindness and of love. A woman who gives her life to her friends is manifesting a sacrificial love which is akin to the love of God.
Roses are distributed. Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table II for explanation of Gamma.
HERALD: To gain God’s greatest gift to man,
We strive to know the good, the true,
We count all else in life but poor and low,
If knowledge doth not into service grow.
SECOND VICE PRESIDENT: Our second symbol stands for the Greek word …, meaning …. … is God's gift to man. While in college it is our aim to make the most of our opportunities, and to study any branch of learning that broadens and strengthens womanhood. We are resolved to know only the pure and good and to shut our eyes and ears to that which does not build up and strengthen. We do not wish to be narrow and circumscribed, but we earnestly desire to extend the … we may acquire and so help not only our Fraternity sisters, but everyone with whom we may come in contact. Not only to have the … of earthly things but to have the higher … of the One whom to know is Life Eternal. To know whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely and of good report is true ….
Roses are distributed. Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table III for explanation of Delta.
HERALD: But Mercy is above the sceptered sway.
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings.
It is an attribute to God himself,
And earthly power doth then show likest God
When Mercy seasons Justice.
CORRESPONDING SECRETARY: Having heard the explanation of our first two symbols, Alpha and Gamma, you now await the explanation of Delta.
Delta stands for the Greek word …, meaning …. … as a moral habit is that tendency if the will and mode of conduct which refrains from disturbing the lives and interests of others. So far as possible it hinders any such harm on the part of others and implies the respect and protection of right. This is the positive, aggressive …. In college and in the Fraternity we
purpose to become identified with ... tempered with mercy, so that it will be readily recognized in our every act. … will be intensified by … and …. It is easier to be just where we love, and surely we cannot be just without knowledge. Then through the medium of …, … and … we will attain that perfect womanhood for which we are striving.
Fern is distributed. Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table V.
PRESIDENT: You will now kneel, and in the presence of these members of Alpha Gamma Delta and with your right hand upon the honored Constitution, previously read for your instruction, by taking a sacred pledge of the Fraternity, which I shall repeat for you, solemnly promise your loyalty and devotion to Alpha Gamma Delta from this time forth.
President instructs first novitiate to kneel and repeat, clause by clause, the first pledge of Alpha Gamma Delta.
I, … (name of novitiate , in the presence of these members of Alpha Gamma Delta, and with my right hand upon the honored Constitution of the Fraternity, do solemnly promise never to disclose any of the significance of the cherished symbols of Alpha Gamma Delta. I will make …, …, …, the ideals of my life. I will ever strive to be loving and just in all my relations with my sisters in Alpha Gamma Delta; I will ever strive to gain that knowledge which broadens womanhood and to foster unobtrusively a spirit of …, … and … in all my associates in our Alma Mater.
The entire first pledge having been taken by first novitiate, she rises, returns to her place in line, and each novitiate proceeds in like manner until all have repeated the pledge.
Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table IV for explanation of Insignia and Symbols.
RECORDING SECRETARY: The badge is the monogram pin of the letters with the member’s identification number inscribed on the back, also the Greek letters Ε Π. Use badge for illustration.
Colors: Red, Buff and Green.
Flowers: Red and Buff roses with green leaves representing the Fraternity colors.
Sign and Countersign: They are the passwords which are necessary for entrance into the chapter room …, given by the person on the outside of the door. …, by Guard on inside,
then … by person on outside.
Grip. Given to each novitiate.
Call and answer: Played on piano.
Knock. The knock has the same rhythm and lime as the call--one long knock, four short ones, and a long one, all beats except the last to be made on the lower part of the door with the knuckles, the last with a snap of the thumb and finger an arm's length higher on the door. Illustrate.
Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table V.
PRESIDENT administers second pledge, clause by clause, with novitiates repeating after her in unison: I solemnly promise to attend all meetings whenever possible, to address each sister by her given name, to respond cheerfully whenever called upon in the name of the Fraternity, to pay all dues promptly, to guard well the secrecy of the chapter room, and never to repeat anything detrimental to the character of any sister. I promise never to write in connection with the Fraternity, either in Greek or in English, the words fro which Alpha Gamma Delta stands, and most of all, I promise to give my loyal and hearty support to the Constitution of this Fraternity.
Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table V.
The armorial bearings of this Fraternity are, in heraldic term “Gules; on a bend, or, between two billets, or, three annulets vert; crest, on a royal helmet a buff and crimson rose between epsilon pi, proper.”
Gules is red, or is gold or buff, and vert is green. Red indicates love and bravery; buff or gold indicates generosity, elevation of mind, and represents all that is highest and best; green indicates hope and eternity.
The bend represents a scaling ladder and denotes striving after all that is purest and most noble. The three annulets indicate perfection. The annulet is the most perfect figure used in heraldy. The uppermost one on the bend indicates the ideal … in the outward and inward life; the second stands for the perfect … and the third for the highest … attainable. The circle is an emblem of well-rounded womanhood. The outer circle is the development of the outer, visible life of woman. The inner circle denotes the perfect inner life which is the ideal of every Alpha Gamma Delta. The lozenge or billet denotes secrecy. It represents a letter closed and sealed for transmission and originally meant that the owner had obtained faith and credence and knowledge in words and deeds and was secret in his affairs.
The helmet used is that of royalty, for there is nothing more royal than a true, pure woman.
The crest is crimson is “a crimson and buff rose between Ε Π, proper,” that is, in their natural colors.
The rose represents sincerity. A rose is no more perfect than its least perfect petal. Each chapter of our Fraternity may be called a rose and each member a petal. No chapter can be more noble than its least noble member. So upon each individual member rests the standards of ..., … and …, the honor and purity of the entire Fraternity. A true, sincere Alpha Gamma Delta can never see a rose without instantly thinking of the honor that is hers and the responsibility she should uphold by being a member of the Fraternity which has an emblem that flower.
SOLO (to music of Our Flower Song.)
In every flower that blooms around
Some pleasing emblem we may trace,
Young love is in the myrtle found
And memory in the pansy's grace.
Peace in the olive branch we see,
Hope in the half-shut iris glows,
In the bright laurel victory,
And lovely woman in the rose.
CHAPLAIN: Place your right hand on the Fraternity Armorial Bearing, and repeat:
I promise to keep secret the explanation of the armorial bearing, or Alpha Gamma Delta, and to endeavour to live up to the ideals for which they stand.
Marching is resumed, semi-circle is formed at Table V.
PRESIDENT: The most sacred and most secret of our symbols are those found on the back of our pin. They are Ε Π, which represents … …, meaning ….
This is the motto which binds us together as a Fraternity. This motto is symbolized by the inner circle of the annulets of our armorial bearings. If we are true to Epsilon Pi, we will be true to Alpha Gamma Delta. Loyalty to Epsilon Pi requires unselfishness and demands the highest friendship attainable.
"For what are men better than sheep or goats
That nourish a blind life within the brain,
If, knowing God, they lift not hands of prayer
Both for themselves and those who call them friend.
For so the whole round earth is every way
Bound by gold chains about the feet of God,"
The secrecy of this most sacred motto must be guarded diligently. Never must these two words appear in writing, nor must they be passed by word of mouth to any person not a recognized member of Alpha Gamma Delta. This motto is significant. The obligations it thrust upon us differ from the obligations of the symbol, by which we are known publicly, in that it strengthens the bond between the individual members of the Fraternity only, while the other symbols extend our obligations to all mankind. We are a united body, bound by sacred and eternal vows to aid, comfort, and enlighten each other by whatever means we can employ. Hold fast to the vision of Alpha Gamma Delta, remembering that: "Where there is no vision the people perish." The extreme secrecy and importance of this motto necessitate an additional oath which you will repeat after me: in unison
I hereby most solemnly promise ever to guard diligently the secrecy of the most sacred motto of Alpha Gamma Delta. I promise never to write this motto in connection with the Fraternity, nor will I make it known by word of mouth to any person who has not been duly initiated, according to the regular form, into Alpha Gamma Delta. I also promise to live up to this motto to the best of my ability.
After novitiates have taken this pledge, they remain standing before President’s table, on which an unlighted candle has stood during the ceremony. President lights candle from one already burning on her table.
PRESIDENT: This candle is lighted as a symbol of your life within the eternal circle of Alpha Gamma Delta. May you burn with an unwavering flame and so help to guide many into broader paths of …, … and ….
Members rise.
PRESIDENT: Our hope for our Fraternity is that God may bless her, that earth may give her increase in faithful followers. May her chapters be as oases in the journey of life; may Heaven receive her votaries and may Alpha Gamma Delta so mould our spirits that when we meet with all our sisters about the throne of God we may recognize each other without badge or sign.
MEMBERS, in unison: Grant, O, Lord, that we may believe in our hearts the words we have said and sung with our lips and steadfastly fulfill in our lives.
Entire Fraternity now sings, Father Let Thy Blessings Fall. As soon as singing begins, Sister-Mothers step forward and pin the badges on their Sister-Daughters. When all badges have been pinned, each Sister-Mother takes the right arm of her Sister-Daughter, and Herald leading, line marches into outer room.